Panamainfo’s Blog

Los Mandarinos: A Mountain Oasis of Beauty and Impeccable Taste,

Hi Folks

I just spent the weekend staying in the new wing of Los Mandarinos mountain resort in El Valle.  I came back soaked in beauty and peace.

What a perfect get away.

I loved Mandarinos deluxe new wing- it has one of the most beautiful swimming pools I have seen- with muted natural colors, intriguing shapes that embrace flowers and  a spectacular mountain  view as a backdrop. Owner Pedro Fabrega also has also built new facilities with families in mind, including a childrens play room, a children’s pool and a snack bar.

The handsomely appointed  deluxe rooms have large picture windows that look out on the gorgeous Gaital peak with the beautiful marble floors and tiling. On the top floor there is two bedroom suite which includes a terrace jacuzzi with some of the best views in all Panama.

Another great addition to  El Valle is Los  Mandarinos new on-premise restaurant O’Pedros, which is Panama’s first Irish pub. It features a fine large bar in rich dark wood, tables inside and tables large wooden deck with views. ( At Mandarinos you will always find me taking in the views.) I loved the shepherds pie, club sandwich and even the hamburger was delicious.

O’Pedros Pub is open from 8am to 10pm to everyone– so if you can’t stay at Los Mandarinos, at least  come here to drink or dine .

The entire resort is beautifully landscaped with expansive grounds with soft grass and a  bright variety of flowers everywhere.

There is also a well appointed full service spa with an outside jacuzzi, sauna etc.

The staff is very attentive- it is exciting to see how fast the El Valle locals are learning to take care of tourists.

I talked to Anne, the capable French manager and she says they are doing very well-bookings are well up over last year. About 70% are locals and 30% are tourists.  She says more and more businesses are choosing Mandarinos for conferences.

Congrats to Pedro Fabrega and the whole team at Los Mandarinos for giving Panama a superlative place to enjoy Panama’s mountain beauty.

Check it out at

Bargain Shopping in Panama- The Amazing Albrook Mall

I am not sure what is happening but it seems to me that USA companies must be dumping merchandise unsold in the States in Panama where it is being sold at well below cost prices. You can find these amazing bargains at Albrook Mall-name brand American clothes for 20%-30% of the original price. For example Christmas , we bought beautiful cashmere wool scarves with a Macy’s price tag on them of $68.00 for 6 bucks. My daughters bought lovely blouses for one or two dollars and costume jewelry for the same. Liz Claiboure suits originally $290.00 are $99.00 and sometimes less. The best stores for name brank clothing bargains are Dorians and BMB. Dorians is very large and you have to hunt for name brand items. Just about everything BMB sells is a well known name brand. If you don’t care about name brands, there are endless clothing bargains and household items bargains in other stores like Madisons and Costco and Titan and Conway.

Albrook Mall is very crowded on weekends. We recommend you go to Albrook Mall on a weekday or in the morning on a weekend. It opens at 10am.

Please tell me about some of your favorite bargain places in Panama.