- Reviews: 1
Hotel Rex: Great Hotel Rex !!
Yes! I would most definitely recommend this hotel to anyone. The new owners/managers have completely remodeled this hotel and it is clean, bright, and quiet. It is located 1/2 block from the cathedral in the downtown area.
You will find one of the co-owners (Carmen) working the front desk and because she has a vested interest in the success of this hotel, she is most gracious and welcoming. We stayed here for a week and the room was kept spotless. The pictures I am sending will attest to this. Since we qualify for the senior discount because of our age, we received a 30 % discount on the weekend and a greater discount (plus free breakfast at the restaurant downstairs) during the week. That brought our weekday price down to $33 for a room with a king-sized bed and this price included two breakfasts !
Please don't get me wrong - this still isn't a Marriott. The linens were bright prints with a few splotches of bleach on them. However, they were not thin and worn and were changed daily. Towels also were not thin and bathroom tissue was not the kind on the gigantic gas station type rolls that we had found in other budget hotels.
We'd like to come back to this hotel and stay for an entire month next time.
This hotel has a beautiful large balcony on the top floor overlooking the city park. There are also small balconies on the second floor. Comfortable chairs and tables are on each balcony.
If you are physically challenged, the desk clerk will have someone take your luggage upstairs for you. (A tip of $1 per bag was appreciated.) We arrived before check-in and our luggage was in our room when we returned later.
This hotel is very secure. There is a locked door in the lobby and they "buzz you in". This was absolutely no problem. There was always someone at the desk who did this immediately for us.
There is a nice restaurant downstairs. We ate breakfast there every morning and often had dinner there.
Since some rooms have as many as 5 or 6 beds, it would be a great hotel for groups or large families.
- Reviews: 259
La Amistad Backpackers Inn: Clean and Inexpensive
La Amistad "The Friendship" is a small hotel near the Stadium in Chitre. It is not near much, but then it is only about three-four blocks to downtown. It is clean, has nice woodwork in the rooms, very simple, yet it is pleasant and inexpensive.
There are no phones in the rooms, (but there are phone jacks), the water was out the morning of our stay, they said they were turning their storage tank on, but it never happened. I guess they forgot to fill it. If I had water that morning, I would score them better, because I would stay here again, but for the lack of water. Water outages are common in Panama, and in Chitre, very common. I don't know why, the pumps break down or lines break and they have to shut off the water to repair them, there certainly is no water shortage or rationing. Anyway, save that it is a decent place, just that if the water is out when you stay there, you may not get any.
Update: We stayed there again May 26-28 and we had water! No hot water, well, it was sort of hot, but hardly noticable. The room we stayed in, 10, had a new shower head, (it even had the price sticker on it, yet!) however, and was in as good shape as 13, the room we stayed in last time. I would prefer room 13, because the mattress and the A/C are better. The mattress in 10 was lumpy and soft and the A/C didn't get very cold. It was a slight improvement over our last stay as the water did not go out, but the room we were in was not quite as comfortable as the other, although they were the same size and layout.
As I said; all rooms have a 3/4 bath (shower). Cable TV (small 13") and amoire. They are spacious, nice woodwork, smooth tile floors, very clean. A/C but no ceiling fan. No phones, no pool. We had our dog with us and they said it was OK, didn't charge extra, but then, we have a chihuahua. When you pull in there are two security gates you enter to the parking lot, and you go upstairs to the lobby. The ground floor is offices and a warehouse. Not close to anything, but then, it is a short walk or a 90-cent cab ride to shops and restaurants.
They also have a small tienda in the hotel and sell a limited variety of soft drinks, beer, coolers, and snacks. There is a price list on the back of the door of the room, they also may not necessarily have these items, either. But you can ask and saves some time and trouble going out to get these things if they happen to have them there. The prices are reasonable.
The rate for our room was $20, including tax, we had a double bed that was in decent shape and had nice sheets in good repair. Pillows, as with most cheaper lodgings in Panama are very small and thin, not very comfortable, try to bring your own or do what we did and roll the bedspread up and use it as a big pillow! But the place is decent and we will probably stay here when we have to come to Chitre for business, since it is clean and inexpensive and convenient to where we need to go in the area.
- Reviews: 259
Hotel Karla: In between but not far from everything
Hotel Karla (or Carla - the sign on the hotel is spelled with a "C" - the sign over the entrance, with a "K") is on Avenida Central (Carmelo Spadafora) about half-kilometer from the Cathedral and the same from McDonald's. It is between the two. The hotel boasts an excellent Chinese restaurant on the premises that is open 24 hrs. Unless the cook wants to go home early! But we have gone there at 2 a.m. on a week night and gotten served just about anything they have on the menu. The hotel is in pretty good shape, it is clean. The rooms are clean, but they are tiny and have one full sized bed. They have A/C in some rooms, but not others. They have cable TV, but the TVs are small. The baths are OK, they have hot water, but the room we have used has black mold in the caulking seams where the plastic wall of the shower stall meets the tiled room wall. Other than that, it was clean. The matresses are not the best, and the pillows are almost useless, I had a towel with me I used for a pillow instead of theirs. For $22 it is not really a bargain, the Pension Central has better mattresses and bigger rooms for about $2 less, although the rooms are beat-up at Pension Central, at least they are clean with no mold in bathroom. Also, the rooms at Hotel La Amistad are clean and neat and in better condition for $20. See my tips for these other hotels.
About the only real thing going for Hotel Carla is that they do have a very good Chinese restaurant on the premises. To enter the hotel one must enter the restaurant, turn left and go up the stairs to the registration desk. It is just another one of the quirky things about the place. The restaurant, I have that under seperate review, but I will say, that the food is very good, if not excellent, and that you can go there almost any time and order anything. As with most Panamanian restaurants, they do not have everything listed on the menu most of the time, so have contingency items you want to order!
C(K)arla is Ok if you want a cheap, clean place to stay, that has A/C and is not far from everything.
- Reviews: 259
Pension Central: Central Chitre
The Pension Central is a good choice if you have limited funds and the Hotel Rex is a little too high for you. Pension Central is around the corner from Hotel Rex. It is clean, albeit shopworn and very spartan in accomodations. The room we stayed in had one full and one twin bed. It was smallish. They had a small table but no chairs in the room. The bath was pretty beat up and there was no head on the shower. They did not have hot water in our room. The A/C did work fine, and we were nicely chilled. The TV was fine, they do have cable, altho the TV was small. The mattresses were nice, however, firm and clean. Very comfortable.
It is close to everything, being in the center of town. It is rather beat-up looking, but if you can't afford more than $20 for a room, it is very servicable and the price does include breakfast, although it is sparce. If you can afford another ten bucks, go around the corner to Hotel Rex and get a bigger, better-kept room and a decent breakfast. The price, with tax was $19.80 for two. About the only place cheaper in Chitre are the Backpacker Inn and Hotel Carla. But they aren't in the center of town. Magic Casino is two streets over and the government offices are around the corner, across from the Cathedral. There is a pharmacy across the street and an internet cafe that charges .75 an hour to use the internet.
- Reviews: 259
Hotel Rex: Best Choice in Midtown Chitre
Hotel Rex is a landmark in midtown Chitre, next to the govenment office building and across from the Cathedral. It is safe, reliable and economical. It is simple, but is is well-kept and very clean. Our room with two double beds, a/c and ceiling fan was nearly spotless and everything worked and there was hot water aplenty. Only thing, there is an elevator, but it seems to out of order most of the time, and the stair case is narrow. If you have physical limitations to climbing stairs then you need to probably avoid staying here. Other than that, it is fine, the rooms have some space, one does not feel cramped in and there is a small table with two chairs in the room and a decent-sized TV. They give you the remote with the key when you check in. The price we paid for two adults for our room was $33, including tax. In rainy season, they may be a little lower, like mid 20's. The price includes breakfast in the restaruant on the ground floor, they have a menu with nine different breakfast combos you can order from for hotel guests. They are quite substantial.
Hotel Rex has an in-house restaurant that is one of the best in Chitre and it is also very dependable and economical. The food is good, if not great. The hotel is also on the parade route all local events, including Carnaval. The prices are much higher than above but they have a balcony that the guests can watch the Carnavales parades from and a bar they open there so you won't miss any of the action! It is also near a casino (Magic one block away) and most local and federal government offices.
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