When the Westin brand continued their Latin America expansion and set up in Panama, they didn’t build another skyscraper in the middle of Panama City. Instead they located it on a nearby beach on the other side of the Panama Canal entrance: Playa Bonita.

The location is close enough to the capital to stay here on business and get meetings done, but it’s a resort you’d be happy to bring your family to so they can play while you’re working. Naturally it’s going after the meeting and convention business as well, but there’s only one other hotel on this beach – the Intercontinental Playa Bonita – and you’re next to jungle. So it’s never going to feel very crowded.

For leisure travelers, staying here can make a lot more sense than being right in the city:

Right on the Westin’s premises, at the office of Gamboa Tours, guests can plan half-day or full-day outings in the hotel’s proximity. Popular sightseeing attractions include Casco Viejo, Panama City’s picturesque historic quarter, now a UNESCO World Heritage site; the Panama Canal’s fascinating visitor center at Miraflores Locks; the wildlife-rich Gamboa Rainforest and other nature reserves; the Embera Indian Indigenous Village; and the unique Museum of Biodiversity, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry.

Of course if you just want to laze your day away by the large pool complex, that’s fine too. You get a unique vista here: ships waiting for their radio call so they can proceed through the Panama Canal.

See our full review of Westin Playa Bonita near Panama City.