Panama City – El Cangrejo

Best Hotel in El Cangrejo, Panama City ?

First, I have to say that the El Cangrejo neighborhood of Panama City is our favorite. It is centrally located within Panama City. It has an extensive amount of hotels, restaurants and is easily accessible to shopping. It is 30 minutes to the bus terminal and 40 minutes to the international airport. It is also a safe part of town, bustling with people at all hours.

We have stayed at 4 hotels in this area, all within 2 blocks of each other. Not knowing the area at all on our first scouting trip we stayed at the Veneto. It  is part of the Wyndham Grand Hotel chain. We choose this hotel because it had a restaurant on premises, pool and it was offering a “deal.” The room rates now start at $160. If we had not gotten a deal, we would not have thought about staying here.  While the room was terrific and the pool okay, we soon found out that other hotels nearby were far less expensive. If you want a luxurious hotel room however, this is the place for you and I would recommend it.

When we came in October of 2012, we knew we had to be in Panama City for over a week so we looked for a hotel that offered a kitchen so we could save money and eat in. Across the street from the Veneto we stayed at the Torres de Alba. We paid $99 a night. It included a wonderful breakfast buffet with hot prepared dishes, fruit, bread and juices. This price was for a suite which included a full kitchen, full size washer and dryer, separate bedroom, wonderful living room with great view. They also had a swimming pool. The rooms were clean and nicely decorated. We walked the 4 blocks to the El Rey grocery store and cooked most of our meals in the room, saving us money. We believed that for the amenities included this was a  good price.

When we came to Panama City in March of 2013 we knew we only were staying 2 nights and wanted to eat out, so we choose another hotel instead of Torres de Alba. A brand new hotel had opened in October a few months before so we decided to stay there. The Tryp Centro is another Wyndham hotel. We encountered a problem at check in. They would not at first, accept our Jubilado discount that they are by law required to give us, as permanent residents over the age of 55. After much haggling, they agreed to give us the discount for only one night. The regular rate for these rooms is now $89. When we were there, it was over $100. The hotel itself was new, rooms were good but somewhat small. They did include a small frig but offered no meals with the price. They had a pool, but when we were there you could not use it. The pool was under repair. Because of our confrontation with four people on the staff and their unfriendly welcome, we will not stay there again. It is a great hotel for those looking for a smaller newer place that caters to business travelers.

The reason I am writing this post is to let you know about our latest discovery and the place we will from now on call home when in Panama City. The Hotel Milan is about one block from the Veneto. It is one of the best small hotels in the city. We made reservations by phone to get our Jubilado Discount. This is a small hotel with only 53 rooms. The lobby is decorated with  relaxing sofas and fresh flowers.  A standard room has a safe, double bed, table 2 chairs and nice size bathroom. While it does not feel luxurious, the rooms are modern, exceptionally clean and perfect for a budget minded stay. We stayed 3 nights. The front desk staff were friendly and accommodating.  There is a restaurant onsite but we did not eat there. This is our number one choice for a hotel in this part of Panama City. With our Jubilado Discount of 50% for weekday stays our price per night was $35.00. I could not believe it. There regular rate without the discount is  $70.  They were voted Travelers Choice Award for 2013 by Trip Advisor. I would recommend this hotel to anyone. The Hotel Milan is the best hotel in Panama City for us.

Here is a picture out our window at the Hotel Milan. What a view!

View From Hotel Milan



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