Westin Comes to Panama

Westin Playa Bonita is the country’s first Westin-branded property — a second is scheduled for later this year By: Skye Mayring
The Westin Playa Bonita features six restaurants and three freshwater pools. // © 2012 Westin Playa Bonita
The Westin Playa Bonita features six restaurants and three freshwater pools. // © 2012 Westin Playa Bonita

Last month, the Westin Playa Bonita in Playa Bonita, Panama, celebrated its grand opening with a massive party — featuring fireworks, a meringue band, live DJ sets, a marching band and traditional Carnival dancers — for approximately 3,000 guests. The 611-room resort, owned and operated by Bern Hotels & Resorts, is the first Westin-branded property to open in the Republic of Panama and a second Westin property is scheduled to open in the Costa del Este area later this year.

“Westin has had an explosive growth and, given its positioning globally, was ready to expand into Latin America,” said Trip Barrett, vice president of brand management for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Latin America. “Our travelers from North America love the brand.”

Ideal for MICE travel, the Westin Playa Bonita features 62,000 square feet of meeting and event facilities — the largest meeting and banquet space in the country thus far. The beachfront property also offers Wi-Fi access, an Executive Lounge on the 19th floor, a business center, six restaurants, three freshwater infinity pools and a kids’ club.

While some guestrooms are currently under construction, all 611 rooms are set for completion in April when a fitness center and a full-service spa are scheduled to open as well.

“We have great expectations for the Westin Playa Bonita,” Barrett told TravelAge West. “It is a great hotel, with a strong team running the property. It will be a natural draw for large or small groups, weddings/social events and the corporate traveler, given its location close to [Panama City], as well as to the Panama Pacific area, which is becoming a new business hub in the city.” www.starwoodhotels.com; www.westin.com/playabonita

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