Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort and Spa

About Panama City , Panama

​I have news! Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort and Spa opened on the 7th., of January. The 310-room, adults-only property on 20 acres of lush tropical property is the 15th Secrets-branded resort.

I have news! Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort and Spa opened on the 7th., of January. The 310-room, adults-only property on 20 acres of lush tropical property is the 15th Secrets-branded resort.

It used to be that you needed a two-destination holiday to enjoy all that the city of Panama had to offer AND enjoy the beach, Now you can enjoy both and be just 40 minutes from the airport, and 20 from the city itself. Panama is not just another sun destination, it is unique, with the modern city, great restaurants, all the eco tours you could want, and you can swim in two oceans in one morning. 

And did I mention the shopping? 

Panama has the second best duty free in the world next to Dubai, and the shopping centers full of designer stores make it a destination in itself. Bargains are amazing. Every upscale shop is here, but there are huge discount outlets as well. Electronics stores offer great bargains. 

There is a 17th Century fortress and eight indigenous tribes. The crafts are wonderful. The Kunas from the San Blas Islands make panels of cloth applique called Molas used on wall hangings and clothes; other groups make stunning baskets, pottery and the list goes on.

Tell your clients the cushion on their bed at Secrets is a “Mola” applique.

Ah, but not only is it the only city in the world that includes a rain forest, the country offers rivers, mountains, great bird watching, fabulous fishing and with 2500 kilometers of ocean coastline you will always be close to the beach.

I was through the famous Panama Canal, one of the world’s engineering marvels four times before I was 11. My brother says I hated it because they always drained the pool on the ship, before we entered the canal, and that meant I couldn’t go swimming.

Things have changed. I’ve since fallen in love with the canal.

I’ve visited the Canal Museum twice, truly a must see, and travelled through two locks on a day trip. 

This time at Secrets, we could watch the huge ships lined up to wait their turn through the canal from the balcony of our room (all guest rooms are ocean front) and from most everywhere else on the property. The five pools have a view of the line-up and I wasn’t the only one sipping Chivas Regal in the pool while watching the lineup.

I spent hours and hours watching. At night the ship’s lights sparkling were even more impressive.

Yes, there is top shelf alcohol. 

Now, your clients probably want to do more than watch the 15-16 foot tides come in and out, and there is lots to do. Of course, last week’s football playoffs were on at the Desire Club. There is live music including a piano player at the Rendezvous Bar, and a live DJ in the wee hours at the Desires Sports Club. Guests loved the entertainment team. There are kayak tours, beach volleyball, a walk through the jungle, mini Golf Tournaments, Bocce ball, and the list goes on.

There are four bars; the lobby bar called the Rendezvous is spectacular. 

There are succulent gourmet meals at 4 à la carte restaurants, a buffet and a coffee and desert café. 

The restaurants rotate each week, and the number open depends on the occupancy. 

And yes, there is room service. 

The Market café offers international specialty items, and of, course the classics, but also includes a slow cooking experience.

As we were there a few days after it opened and occupancy was low, there were two restaurants open for dinner, no reservations needed, of course. We had fabulous risotto at the Portofino Restaurant, and then we headed down to Oceana to leisurely experience their menu. 

Veranda dining is amazing. Yes, there is a dress code. Your clients need to pack “big boy” long pants for dinner.

The Bordeau restaurant has a French menu and offers a Wine Gala. 

Free Wi-Fi and free international calling to the US, Canada and Panama is available to guests the complimentary mobile and tablet app. Its great to be able to call home to see how things are going and remind the kids to do their homework. 

The spa and wellness centre by Pevonia is huge,10,000 square meters, and an intimate Bride’s room. 

The preferred guests have access to wet areas of the spa, and their own quiet pool amongst other upgrades.

Ruben Blades, who was Panama’s minister of tourism, has a resume as stunning as the gorgeous country he represented. “We’ve looked at Costa Rica as a role model and will improve on it,” Blades said.

“We have attributes our neighbour doesn’t have like a 17th century fortress, and eight indigenous tribes.” Panamanians don’t immigrate, they stay home, they love their country. 

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

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