Hotel Group: Trump Entertainment Resorts
Hotel Status: Privileges Member (Basic Member)
Booking Type: Priceline.com
Room Type: Suite on the Curve
Date of Stay: Feb 2018
Opened in July 2011, the Trump International Hotel Tower is the tallest and largest building in Central America, rising 70 stories over the Pacific Ocean and Panama Bay, with just over 2.5 million sq ft. The hotel has 369 rooms, including 41 suites. Included in the hotel amenities are an expansive pool deck on the 13th floor consisting of five pools overlooking Panama Bay, a 4,000 sq ft health club, four dining options, valet parking, and a casino.
For a while now, there has been a power struggle going on at the hotel, between the Trump organization, who manages the property, and the owners of the building. I don’t have a dog in the fight but, from the small amount I’ve read, the owners of the building want the Trump team out and the Trump management team doesn’t plan on going without a fight. It will be interesting to see what happens with this.
I was booked in a Suite on the Curve room through Priceline. I normally like to book directly with the hotel but with Priceline giving me a $55.60 cheaper rate than what the hotel was offering there wasn’t much of a reason to do so.
I arrived around 3:45pm. I was promptly greeted by a bellhop, who escorted me to the elevators and showed me to the 14th floor lobby. The reception area is in a small room just off the main lobby. The front-desk agent was welcoming and, after finishing up formalities, she informed me my room wasn’t ready yet. It was 3:55pm by this time, but I didn’t mind, as hotel associate Dora, who works in guest relations, came out to introduce herself and apologize that the room wasn’t ready. We chatted for a bit while she showed me around the hotel and finally down to the pool area where I had a small bite to eat while I waited. By 4:30pm, the room was ready.
My suite was located at the end of the hallway on the 27th floor. Suites on the Curve are on the curve side of the building, with 9ft floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies facing the Pacific Ocean, as well as the Panama City skyline. They average 673 sq ft, with a seating area and work desk along with a deep soaking tub and separate rainfall shower in the bathroom. The hotel staff had a nice surprise waiting for me in the room in a huge fruit selection, a cheese and olive spread, and a beautiful spread of desserts on the nightstand.
The mini-bar, safe, and Nespresso coffee machine were in front of the bed by the 55in LED TV. There was an array of drinks and snacks. If you have read some of my other reviews, I’m hard on some properties about the prices of the mini-bar items. That’s because unless you are a five-star hotel, such as this one, there’s no reason to have high prices. But this being one of, if not the best hotel in the city, I understand why prices are a little high. The channel guide consisted of almost 100 TV channels. I was pleasantly surprised they had Golf Channel.
The King bed has 300 thread count Bellino sheets and a mattress that is exclusively designed for Trump Hotels by Serta. Each of the nightstands had easy access to outlets.
There were two balconies, one beside the bed and one beside the work desk. I don’t do heights well, and this being on the 27th floor, I can’t say I felt too comfortable out on the balconies but I had great views.
The in-room Wi-Fi wasn’t the best, but I didn’t have much trouble loading websites and social media.
Like I mentioned above, there was a soaking tub and separate rainfall shower, alongside a closed-off toilet and double sink.
The toiletries, Diamond Collection by Natura Bissē Barcelona, were the same I had at the Trump Hotel in Chicago, I believe. These are some expensive items according to their website. I’d rate these toiletries probably my third or so favorite hotel toiletries, behind Le Labo and Aesop.
The hairdryer was a Conair Ionic cord-keeper 1875. The photo doesn’t show a concentrator attachment, but it did have one in the bag. It was very good hairdryer.
The robe had a terry plush interior, I was a big fan.
Here is the price list for the laundry service.
The fitness center was on the 13th floor. I must have visited this place six times trying to catch it with no one in it, but every time, there were always a few people there. So my photos didn’t get everything but you get the idea. It’s 4,000 sq ft and offers personal training.
The pool area is also on the 13th floor. They advertise having five pools, but I only saw four, so I’m not sure where the other is located and I forgot to ask before I departed. There were two infinity pools and two others behind them on each side of the pool deck. Separating the pools is a bar and dining area. This has to be the best hotel pool in Panama City. The views from the infinity pools were spectacular, especially at night.
Unfortunately for me, there were two private parties going on at the pools between 7pm and 11pm, so I was unable to enjoy the pool for as long as I would have liked. It’s always a letdown when hotels shut down public spaces for private parties, but I get it. Hotels make a lot of money hosting parties and conferences, but it’s still unfortunate for everyone else.
The business center had four computer stations and a place to print airline boarding passes.
The four on-site restaurants are Tejas, offering Latin America and Caribbean cuisine, Barcelona, serving Panamanian specialties, Cava 15, their wine lounge offering small plates, and finally Azul, their ocean view restaurant offering burgers and lean cuisine options.
I had breakfast in Tejas before I left. I could have ordered the breakfast buffet but instead I went with the chilaquiles. I am usually a big fan but this dish had more of a tomato sauce flavor, instead of a salsa flavor.
I ordered off the Barcelona menu that morning.
Barcelona was closed for a private party but I managed to get a photo of the outdoor seating area.
Cava 15 is on the lobby floor. I went in for a few beers and some bar snacks that evening. It was packed the night I was there but the service was still attentive.
Azul is where I had some small plates while I was waiting for my room. The shrimp ceviche with plantain chips was one of the best I’ve ever had, while the other dish was decent at best. For the life of me, I can’t remember what it was called.
Here is a sample of the room service menu.
I’ll give service 8.9/10. All associates I encountered were friendly and polite. Dora introducing herself to me and showing me around was something I always appreciate and the welcome gifts in the room far exceeded anything I expected. There are three things that could have been better, considering this property wants to be a world-class five-star place. First, I called down for a robe soon after I arrived at the room. Initially, I didn’t see the closet by the door. I phoned guest services and asked that one be brought up. It never was. Luckily, I found mine so I didn’t have to call again. The second thing was the morning I went for breakfast at Tejas. The hostess tried to seat me at a dirty table. I had to literally tell her, “No, it’s dirty,” before she put in any effort to move me to a different table. Lastly, the morning I went down to the pool, I was the first one there, along with one associate setting up chairs. I asked him if I could get a towel, and he told me it would be a few minutes. I had to stand there while he finished what he was doing. Guest needs should always come first as long as the employee isn’t doing something dire. These are all small things but if you want to be considered a truly great property, these things shouldn’t happen. With that said, I still thought overall service was really good.
I had a wonderful time. I’ve been wanting to stay here for the past five years, and I was more than pleased with all aspects of the hotel. I think if they tighten up service just a little it could be a world-class property. With everything this hotel offers, I could make a strong case for it being the best in Panama City. I have no problem recommending this place to anyone, and I hope you get a chance to experience it.
Have you stayed here, what are your thoughts?