JW Marriott Panama beach

We try not to spend much time covering the ins and outs of the hotel industries as the signs on the door change often throughout the world. But two prominent hotels we’ve reviewed in Panama changed from independent properties to Marriott brands recently, so we’ve updated our reviews.

The major one is the Buenaventura Resort on the Pacific coast of Panama, opened with all kinds of hype and pizazz before the owners of the Bristol in Panama City found that booking beach resort rooms at high rates was harder than doing so in the city. So Marriott signed on to manage the place and tap into their international marketing machine. If you’ve got lots of Marriott points, you can now book a beach resort in Panama. See our review of the JW Marriott Golf and Resort.

Panama City Suite Hotel

The other is the former Finisterre Suites in Panama City, which also opened with a bang and then promptly started looking for an international brand to partner up with when the expected bookings didn’t materialize. It’s now the Marriott Executive Apartments Panama, with the old name tacked onto the end.

In general it’s as good as the old one, with a seldom-used spa and poolside bar gone but otherwise looking exactly the same. And again, if you’re a frequent Marriott traveler, now you can cash in some points for a suite.