Nestled between Costa Rica and Colombia and the coasts of the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, Panama City offers visitors diverse experiences—from great food and myriad business opportunities to nearby jungle excursions and seaside yoga retreats. Upon arrival, it’s difficult not to revel in the downtown skyline, with high-rise architecture that rivals the most modern metropolitan areas in the states.
Located in Casco Viejo, “the old quarter,” the Palacio de las Garzas is the governmental office and home of President Juan Carlos Varela. Just a five-minute walk through town is The American Trade Hotel (pictured above). The hotel is unquestionably the centerpiece of Plaza Tomás Herrera and is centrally located, ensuring guests are walking distance from the city’s finest dining, historical sights, and arts offerings—including the Panama Art Society.
The recently renovated hotel boasts 50 rooms, balconies jutting out over the square, and a delightful mix of modern amenities mixed with old-world charm. The hotel is well suited for corporate retreats, able to host up 350 guests in the American Trade Hall as well as 4,100 square feet of conference rooms that can be divided into four smaller rooms or one large room, holding at most 250. For downtime in between meetings, the property features a lobby jazz-bar and cafe, rooftop pool with views of the city, and fitness center.
Just outside the hotel is one of Panama’s best restaurants, Donde José. In an intimate space with seating for 16, Chef José Carles pairs stories of his upbringing with traditional flavors of Panama, highlighting local spices and ingredients from indigenous farmers.
At neighboring Madrigal, Michelin-starred Chef Andrés Madrigal serves up traditional fare and sumptuous dishes with local ingredients, changing the tasting menu daily.
In town for business and planning to extend your trip? The Red Frog Beach Island Resort in Bocas Del Toro is a short flight and boat ride away. The resort, on Panama’s northern shores, features modern villas with private pools and views of the Caribbean. Guests will be met head on with a plethora of wildlife and water-based activities as well as seaside yoga, spa packages, and—of course—jungle zip-lining.