although, I don’t like the ocean too much. Go figure, right?
Needless to say, it was a short vacation but a much much much needed one. A time that I got to relax, have some quality time with myself and soak in the environment of somewhere other than the busy life of New York City. Let’s just say, I miss Panama.
My best friend and I stayed at the RIU Playa Blanca Hotel in Provincia de Cocle in Panama. We arrived June 18th at Tocumen Airport and because we didn’t have a shuttle bus awaiting our arrival, the taxi to the hotel was 100 dollars (which for two broke college students was very expensive). However, I’ll say that the inexperience of traveling is why this happened. Next time, I’ll definitely research the actual location of the hotel in reference to the airport and definitely get shuttle bus service lol.
When we got to the hotel we noticed that it was very secluded. It was a bit disheartening because we did want to go out an explore the city. However, after a day or two we started to enjoy the seclusion because it gave us time to just be. (Next time though, we plan to stay in the city! lol). Actually, if you are going with a significant other or a big group/family, I think you might appreciate the seclusion. So for location I would give this hotel 3.5/5 stars.
Needless to say, the hotel was very nice. The best part for me was the staff and entertainment crew, they were very sweet (although their English, accompanied by our Spanish was a fail) and they made us feel very welcomed. I would give them 5/5 stars.
And the entertainment ! Was just GREAT! They had a show every night and the dancers were the sweetest people ever. (From left to right, Noel, Justine(my best friend) and George) Noel and George were our favorites. George is my new best friend and I don’t think he knows it. They had dancing, karaoke and friendly competitions that involved the crowd. It was great. Entertainment would absolutely be a 5/5 stars and they had entertainment for children as well.
What left me disappointed, however was the lack of authenticity of the food. I’ve stayed at RIU Negril in Jamaica and had the same reaction in regards to the food but the disappointment still occurred this time around. The hotel really didn’t cater to the natives of Panama and didn’t offer any real Panamanian food to those who came to experience the culture … I mean where were the Carimanolas, the Hojaldras .. the Arroz con Pollo. I’ll tell you one thing .. they weren’t there. Lol. Food was a solid 2/5 stars. My friend and I literally had to take a taxi to the nearest town just to get some authentic Pana food.
Despite that one mishap, I had a blast. I spent most of my time by the pool, enjoying the drinks and thinking to myself “Yupp, I need to learn Spanish”. Lol. Anyways, this trip was amazing and I’m already planning my next one.