One of the Best Traveler's Hotels I've Ever Stayed At
I traveled around the world for three years in the late '80s and I dreamed of places like La Estancia. It's clean, it's comfortable, it has a great location, it's extremely well-run, and you have the chance to meet a lot of interesting travelers and learn about Panama. I spent two nights here with my wife and two small children (2 and 7) last week, and Gustavo and his staff couldn't have been more helpful or courteous. The rooms aren't big, and he suggests no more than 3 people in them, but he accommodated our family nevertheless.
Sure, there isn't a TV, but do you come to Panama to watch the boob tube? Wouldn't you rather see a sloth climbing the trees outside your window or have breakfast with a wild eagle perched on the railing by your table? Or how about the blue-grey tanangers or scarlet-rumped caciques nibbling on bananas that the staff hang from a nearby tree every morning? This is nature at its most incredible--and we had this while we stayed at La Estancia. But back to breakfast: this was hands down the best we had in all of Panama--pancakes, eggs, wheat toast, a delicious fruit salad, excellent coffee, cereal--and you could go back for more and more.
Gustavo was incredibly thoughtful. He did small things like turning on the air conditioner when we arrived downstairs in the taxi and thus cooling our room by the time we checked in 5 minutes later. The staff also recommended good places to eat with the kids, lent out his bird books and guide books, and at the end of our stay, when my 2-year-old hid our room key in my dab kit ( a key we thought we had lost) ,Gustavo refused to take money for it.
Money. The princess from Nomos, Arizona, who complained about no TV was also disappointed that $60/night didn't buy her a smiling Panamanian Yes-Boy or Yes-Girl, but--Gasp!--an Asian. If she wanted luxury, she could have gone to the Hyatt and paid 10 times that much. I'm sorry, too, that our member paid a couple of more bucks for a few taxis. She should learn to bargain better perhaps. Or maybe she could ponder the fact that most Panamians, including some taxi drivers, live in extreme poverty, and the $10 she overpaid the drivers probably bought the Panamanians' families food for the week. Who knows, maybe our member can write the ten bucks off?
But seriously folks, consider yourself lucky if you get to stay here. It's not super luxury, but it's infinitely laid back and comfortable, and you'll be surprised by the interesting characters you find.
P.S., we had a room on the street, right next to the common room, and it wasn't noisy at all. The air-conditioner's white noise was the only thing we heard.
Great and relaxing place in otherwise boring city
La Estancia is a little piece of heaven in a boring and very uneventful city. The staff is very friendly and respects your privacy. Rooms are clean and spacious. Loved the terrace with the hammock overlooking a bit of wilderness. If you really have to be in Panama City then La Estancia is definitely worth staying.
Wonderful Gem on Ancon Hill
This place was wonderful. I highly recommend the Suite #2, which has a full kitchen on the first floor. We had a group of three and they put an extra bed in the front room. The suite was very large and had great air conditioning. We sat on the balcony and saw beautiful birds and monkeys in the trees. The breakfast was made to order and very good.
The last day our taxi did not arrive so the owner was kind enough to provide transportation for us. One guest had left his wallet ,which I found,so the owner drove to the airport early in the morning to deliver it to him before his departure. What service!! The walk up to the top Ancon Hill overlooking Panama City was breathtaking.
I highly recommend this B&B and will return some day.
The hotel to stay at in Panama City
My friend and I spent a day and night at La Estancia. And if we were gonna stay in Panama City longer I would've definitely opted to stay there for the rest of the trip for sure. I went directly to the La Estancia website to book a room. They actually didn't have a room available for the night I wanted but I put in a request to be contacted if one does come up. A day or so later, they emailed me with an available room and I booked right away. The hotel manager also coordinates trips and activities around Panama, and is so geared to helping you out however he can to make any trip or activity possible. The staff also were very nice and accommodating.
The website was definitely right on describing the location and scenery of the hotel. It's nestled up on a hill of jungle greenery from the city. You can hear and see jungle life around you, and around the hotel. A short walk up the hill more from the hotel you get to see panoramic views of the Canal and downtown. Great picture-taking spots.
The hotel has community living rooms and a kitchen, where you can buy little snacks and drinks. The room we stayed in was definitely comfortable. It suits the guest who doesn't need a whole lot because they are out and about in the city and not just chillin in the hotel. But it meets basic requirements definitely.
If you feel like a massage, the hotel manager has just the right person to do it. The masseuse came to our hotel and set up her table in the living room. Luckily there wasn't anybody hanging out there. It was absolutely divine to have a massage with the air and sounds of the jungle right outside the balcony.
So this is a lot to say for just the day we stayed there. Overall it was comforting to have a manager and his staff be very accommodating to our first night there in Panama. It was a pleasant stay and look forward to staying there in the future.
Home away from Home La Estancia
La Estancia is a small Bed & Breakfast in a terrific location. The owners live there and they are very friendly and helpful. They also run a tour company so they are very knowledgeable about places to go and see. The rooms are very basic, but, they have air conditioning and some have balconies. The balconied rooms (recommended) look right out onto the Bridge of the Americas and the Canal but yet, you are still surrounded by forest and wildlife. My favorites were the monkeys (tamarins), the sloth and the tucanes. You're likely to see these every day. Tammy and Gustavo have employed the friendliest staff and they are always there with a smile. They also have access to the best guides for hire in Panama, so, don't be afraid to ask.
The location is also perfect because it is close to the Albrook airport and if you are using the B&B as a base and flying around the country like I did, it is very convenient. La Estancia is in a very safe neighborhood and you are likely to meet many fellow travellers there. The best part is that you can eat breakfast right out on the common balcony with the resident hawks, monkeys and other animals. I definitely recommend staying here versus the crowded and messy downtown Panama City hotels.
Not really a B&B
Our experience here was a little disappointing. They call themselves a B&B and while they do serve breakfast, it doesn't have the charm of a real B&B. The interior decor is not very pretty and in fact I felt like we were sleeping in a college dorm (cement walls, small rooms, no TVs anywhere). Pluses include: A/C, extremely helpful and pleasant hotel owners, snacks and beverages available for a small price - they follow the honor system which is nice. The room rate is a bit pricey for what you get and the hotel is located in a very remote and quiet part of the city. Not a great place for young, hip travelers.
Went above and beyond
I was sick for a week while I was in Panama (not from the water, more likely caught it on the plane). The staff at La Estancia went out of their way to be helpful.
When I forgot my wallet at the hotel, the owner, Gustavo drove it out to me at the airport so I didn't miss my flight.
I am very impressed by their friendliness, professionalism and customer service.
Great Place to Stay
Stayed here for three days in November.
Quiet,clean, friendly enviroment. Helpful staff.
Great location in the hills of Panama City, with birds singing all day.
Arrange to have the same cab driver take you around.
Make sure to hike to the top of Ancon hill for great city views.
A wonderful stay
Just came back from Panama last week. Spent 4 nights at La Estancia, then another two after a quick trip to El Valle de Anton.
We cant praise the staff enough for their help and advice.
If we were to go again we would stay there, but not select a room with it's own balcony as we didn't use it - it was much more fun socialising with the other travellers over breakfast, or an evening glass of wine, on the shared balconies.
Good meeting place in Panama
Best place to meet other friendly travellers. The place is clean- the owners helpfull. If you need a quiet place in Panama for few days go there.