Breezes Panama (c) 2010
Book Soon: Through Aug. 31, the resort is offering more savings with its Super Summer Sale. A Beachfront Jr. Suite, for example, can be booked for $125 per person, per night, including all of Breezes Super-Inclusive benefits. Through Oct. 31, travelers can also trade in their checked baggage receipts for up to a $100 spa credit per room.www.breezes.com/panama
Copa Airlines serves Panama City via Los Angeles, New York (JFK), Washington Dulles, Orlando and Miami. Copa is an international partner with Continental Airlines, and its codeshare agreement means access to Panama is virtually unlimited throughout the U.S.www.copaair.com
When it comes to tough economic times, agents in the know have long touted the all-inclusive resort as a solution for clients who want to anticipate the price tag before boarding a plane. Clients particularly focused on staying on budget while still seeking a slightly more off-the-beaten path adventure may find that Breezes Panama is just the spot for their next getaway.
Breezes and its parent company, SuperClubs, which are particularly well known in the Caribbean, opened Breezes Panama last October, making it the first resort in Central America to carry the Super-Inclusive promise. In Panama, “Super-Inclusive” translates to an all-expenses-paid experience. There is no extra charge for meals, snacks or drinks (even the premium ones). Most land and watersports, and even professional instruction, are free, as are hotel transfers and all entertainment. Even tipping is prohibited at the resort, and prices start at $155 per person, per night.
The 294-room property is located two hours outside of Panama City on the Pacific Ocean in Santa Clara, a region known for its scenic beaches and its top-notch eco-adventure activities, such as archeological tours, whitewater rafting and jungle trekking. For guests who want to explore the area, the hotel has a tour desk that offers optional, daily eco-adventures and other tour programs that visit sites throughout Panama, including the famous Panama Canal.
Travelers seeking much-needed downtime will also find plenty of activities at the resort to keep them busy. Breezes Panama is built around a central outdoor area made up of three pools. Adults wishing to maximize their all-inclusive drink package will especially enjoy the swim-up bar, and kids of all ages will probably find themselves trying the water slide. There are frequent poolside activities, as well as a disc jockey playing music, receptions and happy hours.
There is plenty of beachside fun, as well, including sea kayaking and space to just soak up the sun. Although the resort tends to attract a mostly twentysomething crowd, during my stay, there were plenty of guests of all ages, including children who were sufficiently entertained at the resort’s kids’ club.
The resort also provided several mealtime options. Most guests will find themselves dining at Taboga, the buffet restaurant, several times during the day, but a slightly less casual dinner experience can also be found at both Martino’s, the resort’s Italian restaurant, and Munasan, the Japanese teppanyaki-style restaurant. The resort has at least one restaurant open between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 2 a.m.
After dark, there are plenty of activities, including a piano bar and a nightclub featuring staff-sponsored activities, such as karaoke and talent shows.
For me, the resort’s highlight was the Miraflores Spa, which offered a charming respite from the outdoor activities. The Panama location is the only Breezes Resort with a Miraflores Spa so if a spa is an important part of your client’s getaway, it is definitely worth considering Breezes Panama.
I enjoyed a unique “relaxing seashells” massage, where the therapist used seashells to “stimulate my natural energies.” After the massage, I took part in a lengthy post-massage trance in the spa’s relaxation room. As an added bonus, the resort’s book-trading shelf was located there, which meant that the staff had to practically boot me out of the area at closing time.
Massages begin at approximately $60 for one hour. While not part of the Super-Inclusive offerings, the resort can customize spa-and-stay packages for agents who wish to custom-design packages for their clients.