Panamainfo’s Blog

Hard Rock Hotel Megapolis, Panama City Set to Open December 2011

The Hard Rock Hotel Panama Megapolis is set to open in December 2011 in Panama City.

The 66-story hotel will have 1,449 rooms, including a whopping 796 suites, some of which will be the brand’s signature Rock Star Suites. Located on Panama Bay, rooms will feature spectacular views of Panama Bay and Panama City. One special feature of the rooms is that guests will be able to create a music playlist all their own through the hotel’s “Sound of Your Stay” music collection.

The hotel will host eight restaurants and bars, a club on the 62nd floor, a Rock Spa and a Rock Shop where you can buy Hard Rock-branded gear.

Designed with meetings and conventions in mind, the hotel has 7200 square feet of flexible space for both small and large meetings.

The hotel decor will feature authentic memorabilia from the age of rock and more contemporary music. A special service “The Sounds of Your Stay” will enable guests to download a wide choice of music free.

At a May press conference announcing the December opening  Michael Shinder, Hard Rock VP said:

“We are proud to launch the first Hard Rock Hotel in a region with a prodigious music culture”.

Hard Rock is partnering with  Megapolis and Decameron Hotels & Resorts, a major hotelier in the region which owns Panama’s most popular beach resort- the Royal Decameron on the Pacific Coast just outside Panama City. Jacop Torres representing Megapolis said “The mixture of luxury and Hard Rock life style will give clients one of Latin America’s most unique hotel experiences.”





Rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures: More Fun than Disney World!

Every year our family goes to Boquete after Christmas. One of our favorite activities while there is rafting. In the last two years we been privileged to go  rafting with Boquete Outdoor Adventures. (BOA)  Their staff  really outdo themselves to make sure you  have a really fun and perfectly enjoyable trip. As we ride those rapids laughing all the way, taking in all the natural scenery I often think how this excursion beats any family experience Disney can offer.

The Boquete area is one of the best areas in the Americas  for both rafting and kakaking. The rivers are close and  the scenery is beautiful all along the way.  BOA  picks you up at your hotel at 7 am and get  you back around 4 pm.

Many people ask me “Isn’t rafting dangerous?” The answer is that there are different levels of rafting.  BOA offers rafting trips for the whole family and also for experts. Kids from age 10 can go. Also it is important you go with a company with an impeccable reputation for safety.  BOA, like that other good company, Chiriqui Rafting,  has a perfect safety record.

BOA is fully booked lots of the time, so we recommend you make a reservation before you arrive. Find them at

Rancho de Caldera: Fabulous New Luxury Eco-Retreat in Boquete

Just spent the weekend in an important new eco-destination for Panama- Rancho de Caldera Eco-Retreat in Boquete.  A friend had told me it was “fabulous” and she was right. Where to start? Created by American couple Gina and Chris McCall , the setting is idealic with sweeping mountain panoramic views.  The architecture is a delight in a warm, modern style taking advantage of the  the great vistas at every point with dining terrace, conference room and the cabins with all with panoramic mountain views. All the cabins have a 20 foot wall of glass facing the  mountains to the east, allowing for some spectacular sunrise views from the comfort of bed.  Add to that luxury finishings, a spacious balcony and more amenities that I have seen anywhere in Panama including free wireless internet, an  electric massage chair in each cabin, ipod docking stations, comfy furniture, a complete kitchen, lots of  deck furniture  and of course flat screen TVs with Direct TV.

Another big attraction of Rancho de Caldera is the chef- a delightful Frenchman named Claude who fusses over you and makes the most mouthwatering meals.  Claude has 30 years of experience as a chef for cruiselines and top hotels and it shows.  All our meals were memorable.

Rancho de Calderas will soon be open for lunch so if you want to check it out and  have a great lunch with views and pristine nature, go for a lunch.

And this is also a real eco-lodge- Power is provided with a combination of solar panels, hydro-electric generators and wind power. There is a small organic garden and will soon be  an eco-greenhouse with locally grown bamboo to provide vegetables and herbs for the restaurant.

This is the ideal place for a romantic getaway close to nature but with all the comforts you could want and also a great place for a small business meeting or a personal retreat. The resort is about 20 minutes on the Caldera turnoff before you arrive at the town of  Boquete.

Call them at  (507) 772-8040. (507) 6612-2147. (507) 6612-8716.

Great New Panama City Hotel

Great New Upscale Holiday Inn in the City of Knowledge, Clayton, former American Canal Zone: Just attended the inauguration of this new hotel- it is a beauty with a contemporary design that blends in with the traditional Zone architecture and amazing birds-eye views of the Panama Canal and the rainforest. The guest rooms are as nice as many a 5 star hotel. With all the business coming related to the Canal expansion, this 128 room hotel is perfectly located and a much needed given the current shortage of Panama City hotels. This Holiday Inn is also home to Central America first hotel school.

Wow- Central America’s First Hotel School- something our burgeoning industry really needed- the facilties are state-of-the art and the international and national staff are first rate. A Panamanian can now for less the $3000.00 a year tuition get training in the major hotel skills from cooking to management and upon graduation is just about guaranteed a job. I was fascinated with the cooking class salon- it looked like the set of a a Cooking Channel show.

Congratulations to Herman Bern and his Bern Hotels group for once again perfect timing and hotel- architectural delight.