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Gamboa Rainforest Resort

3.5 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

Many issues - room hadn't been clean upon arrival, cleaning throughout the stay occurred sporadically and often only covered part of the room. Facilities were out of date. No information provided about the hotel facilities - no brochure, booklet, nothing. Tours overpriced. Staff not very friendly. All a bit depressing and disappointing.

By all means NOT a luxury resort, but coming into it knowing that, it definitely exceeded all expectations. The hotel itself is nice enough, not super done up, the toilet didn't flush properly but the shower was lovely. There were obvious cosmetic things they could do to the hotel to real improve upon it as well, so if you are looking for luxury and super clean, this isn't for you. But if you are looking for a truly amazing experience then this is the place! Waking up every morning watching the fog lift from the rain forest and seeing the agouti's and toucans wake up all while drinking your coffee sitting on the hammock was incredible. There are also numerous trails around the grounds that you could walk for days and days. The only downfall is that there was no early morning taxi service. If you need an early morning service you need to pre book it. We wanted to go to pipeline road for birding at 7:00 am and we would have had to wait 40 minutes for a taxi from Panama City to arrive. The hotel should really provide a shuttle to these types of places as they are only 5-10 minutes drive and the location of the hotel attracts a lot of wildlife enthusiasts so this could be a positive thing for them to do. Also, a suggestion, they need to add a vending machine or a shop in which to buy water or Gatorade or snacks. Since there is really nothing nearby, it is difficult to keep yourself hydrated and fed in the heat. The food at the restaurant was very good albeit expensive.

Yes, it needs maintenance, and yes, the service could use major improving, but it is still stunning. Don't expect a lot of food options. Breakfast was lovely on the terrace. I would stay again.

Gamboa is showing its age, but is still an interesting place. They offer a lot of outdoor activities but they are not vigorous sorts of things. The hotel is in serious need of a facelift, but the service is good and the food decent.

The hotel its too old need a remodeling . the road to access it's felling apart. the natural scenery its breath taken .

We always have a good time. Recommend room service.

Enjoyed my stay at this hotel. was beautiful area with interesting tours and great breakfast. buffet was pricey. However there is an option to choose the cold or hot half for a lower price. The aquarium, butterfly house, etc etc have gone wayyy down in quality and way up in price during the last 10 years.

Beautiful resort. Pool, rooms and view are gorgeous. Food is okay. Lots of activities. We did not love the lake tour. Not enough time going slow to point out nature. That's my only complaint.

The location is excellent. Check in was easy, but we arrived late. The front desk and guest relations employees knew us by name and were usually very helpful. Check-out was also very smooth. We booked the honeymoon package, which I highly recommend. One reason was to secure I suite, which I understood were all on the top floor. Not so. The hotel is a series of buildings connected by a walkway, with most being (I think) 4 floors and the furthest one from the main building having 7 floors. The suites are located on floors 3 through 7; we were given a suite on the 3rd floor. Half-way through our 4-day stay, a suite on the 6th floor opened up and they moved us. The view really is better higher up. Neither room was musty, the layout of the suites was identical, and they had a large living room, bedroom and large bathroom. The walk from the main building to the room was not an issue. The rooms have hammocks, which were wonderful. My husband and I sat in them in the evenings, reading before dinner. Very relaxing and romantic. Our package included transfers, which were smooth. Drivers were nice, and the one that met us at the airport took us to a grocery on the way so we could pick up some wine for the room. The package also included the arial tram tour which was nice, but would likely be overpriced if paid for separately. There was a nice view from the top. The tram tour included a tour of the exhibits, which are small buildings along the walk back to the resort - butterfly house, snake house, reptile & fish house, and orchid garden. These are not open to go through on your own, and there is a fee for the tour. The exhibits were small and probably not worth the price, but interesting if you have nothing else to do. The only complaint was when we went in the snake house, one of the snakes was loose on the floor - not a small problem since it was listed as an aggressive snake! Needless to say, we left quickly. Our package included an hour massage on a boat in the lake - probably the highlight of our trip. Very relaxing, and included champagne and a fruit plate. The only problem was difficulty booking it. We were told at check-in to book through the spa, but we went by 3 times before finding someone at the desk. She told us we had to book through guest relations in the lobby. This was finally done. Issues with the room include no hot water in the shower in one room (we were later told hot was cold and cold was hot and you had to run the cold for a while before it got hot), no coffee left by the maid two days in a row, a drawer in the bathroom that fell out every time you pulled it out, and no blow dryer until requested. The package included room service for breakfast, but there was no menu and the restaurant staff spoke limited english. That did not make it easy to order. And the one day we did order, the food was wrong, and when we asked for the correct food (including coffee), the order was still wrong, and no coffee. Also, the man who brought the room service fought with us over having to pay for the food, and after several minutes of arguing with him, and him calling someone from our room phone, he acknowledged we should not be charged extra. Phones were often not answered at the front desk, and the concierge never answered the phone. The biggest thing this hotel has going for it is location, location, location. The pool was gorgeous and the grounds could have been with a little work. The buffet meals were good, and the salad bar at the buffet restaurant at dinner was outstanding. Service was very slow, and we often had to ask several times for water. Los Lagartos, on the water, is a short hike - or they can drive you down - and I highly recommend it for lunch due to the view. If service and basic maintenance were improved, this has the opportunity to be a world-class resort in a very unique setting

Spectacular surroundings. Amazing views. Helpful, friendly staff. Animals abound, and you can watch and listen to them by walking onto your private balcony! We only stayed one night, but I would love to return to Gamboa for a week. Hiking, boating, relaxing, animal watching, this place has it all. The room was large and comfortable. It was a little musty, but I suspect that comes with being in the middle of a rainforest. Breakfast buffet was delicious. In the middle of nowhere, but worth the trek.

The hotel is tucked away in the rain forest. It has the perfect location for outdoor activities. The staff at the front desk spoke perfect English so check in was very easy. We were originally given a room on the 3rd floor and when we got in the room it smelled very strongly of mold and mildew. We went up to the desk and requested a different room and they gave us a room on the 6th floor and that was perfect. The view from the room is amazing. There is Wifi but only in the lobby area. The pool was huge however the pool bar was only open a few times. There is not much to do at night there so once you eat dinner, you basically go back to your room for the night. I would recommend two or three nights there max. The food is the same so it gets old after a while.

Previous reviewers are correct when they describe the Gamboa Rainforest Resort as "tired" and in need of a coat of paint. However, the longer I stayed (we were there six nights), the more "tired" became "relaxed" and the more I realized the climate is not kind to paint. The pluses of the resort included the courteous and friendly staff, the diversity of the excursions, and the wonderful view of the Chagres River from any room above the second floor. Its isolation meant wonderful experiences with nature but it also meant visitors were reliant on the resort for everything and eventually we were destined to get tired of the menu. All in all, it was a memorable experience. Great pictures!

location is excellent it is better to stay here than in panama city costs are high food OK but not great

Room options

Deluxe Room, River View

Full 2 | King 1 | Sleeps 4

Junior Suite

Full 2 | King 1 | Sleeps 5

Guest reviews for Gamboa Rainforest Resort

Everyone (2) Couples (5) Family (5) Friends (1)
2
Everyone

Many issues - room hadn't been clean upon arrival, cleaning throughout the stay occurred sporadically and often only covered part of the room. Facilities were out of date. No information provided about the hotel facilities - no brochure, booklet, nothing. Tours overpriced. Staff not very friendly. All a bit depressing and disappointing.

By on Sep 19, 2016

5

incredible experience! not luxury-

Everyone

By all means NOT a luxury resort, but coming into it knowing that, it definitely exceeded all expectations. The hotel itself is nice enough, not super done up, the toilet didn't flush properly but the shower was lovely. There were obvious cosmetic things they could do to the hotel to real improve upon it as well, so if you are looking for luxury and super clean, this isn't for you. But if you are looking for a truly amazing experience then this is the place! Waking up every morning watching the fog lift from the rain forest and seeing the agouti's and toucans wake up all while drinking your coffee sitting on the hammock was incredible. There are also numerous trails around the grounds that you could walk for days and days. The only downfall is that there was no early morning taxi service. If you need an early morning service you need to pre book it. We wanted to go to pipeline road for birding at 7:00 am and we would have had to wait 40 minutes for a taxi from Panama City to arrive. The hotel should really provide a shuttle to these types of places as they are only 5-10 minutes drive and the location of the hotel attracts a lot of wildlife enthusiasts so this could be a positive thing for them to do. Also, a suggestion, they need to add a vending machine or a shop in which to buy water or Gatorade or snacks. Since there is really nothing nearby, it is difficult to keep yourself hydrated and fed in the heat. The food at the restaurant was very good albeit expensive.

By , from nyc on May 3, 2016

4

worth it

Families

Yes, it needs maintenance, and yes, the service could use major improving, but it is still stunning. Don't expect a lot of food options. Breakfast was lovely on the terrace. I would stay again.

By on Aug 6, 2015

3

tired old dog

Couples

Gamboa is showing its age, but is still an interesting place. They offer a lot of outdoor activities but they are not vigorous sorts of things. The hotel is in serious need of a facelift, but the service is good and the food decent.

By on Jun 14, 2015

4

family trip!

Families

The hotel its too old need a remodeling . the road to access it's felling apart. the natural scenery its breath taken .

By on Apr 17, 2015

4

food is ok.

Couples

We always have a good time. Recommend room service.

By on Aug 2, 2014

4

hot and cold

Families

Enjoyed my stay at this hotel. was beautiful area with interesting tours and great breakfast. buffet was pricey. However there is an option to choose the cold or hot half for a lower price. The aquarium, butterfly house, etc etc have gone wayyy down in quality and way up in price during the last 10 years.

By on Jun 25, 2014

5

great experience

Families

Beautiful resort. Pool, rooms and view are gorgeous. Food is okay. Lots of activities. We did not love the lake tour. Not enough time going slow to point out nature. That's my only complaint.

By on Feb 21, 2014

3

great location; service needs improvement

Couples

The location is excellent. Check in was easy, but we arrived late. The front desk and guest relations employees knew us by name and were usually very helpful. Check-out was also very smooth. We booked the honeymoon package, which I highly recommend. One reason was to secure I suite, which I understood were all on the top floor. Not so. The hotel is a series of buildings connected by a walkway, with most being (I think) 4 floors and the furthest one from the main building having 7 floors. The suites are located on floors 3 through 7; we were given a suite on the 3rd floor. Half-way through our 4-day stay, a suite on the 6th floor opened up and they moved us. The view really is better higher up. Neither room was musty, the layout of the suites was identical, and they had a large living room, bedroom and large bathroom. The walk from the main building to the room was not an issue. The rooms have hammocks, which were wonderful. My husband and I sat in them in the evenings, reading before dinner. Very relaxing and romantic. Our package included transfers, which were smooth. Drivers were nice, and the one that met us at the airport took us to a grocery on the way so we could pick up some wine for the room. The package also included the arial tram tour which was nice, but would likely be overpriced if paid for separately. There was a nice view from the top. The tram tour included a tour of the exhibits, which are small buildings along the walk back to the resort - butterfly house, snake house, reptile & fish house, and orchid garden. These are not open to go through on your own, and there is a fee for the tour. The exhibits were small and probably not worth the price, but interesting if you have nothing else to do. The only complaint was when we went in the snake house, one of the snakes was loose on the floor - not a small problem since it was listed as an aggressive snake! Needless to say, we left quickly. Our package included an hour massage on a boat in the lake - probably the highlight of our trip. Very relaxing, and included champagne and a fruit plate. The only problem was difficulty booking it. We were told at check-in to book through the spa, but we went by 3 times before finding someone at the desk. She told us we had to book through guest relations in the lobby. This was finally done. Issues with the room include no hot water in the shower in one room (we were later told hot was cold and cold was hot and you had to run the cold for a while before it got hot), no coffee left by the maid two days in a row, a drawer in the bathroom that fell out every time you pulled it out, and no blow dryer until requested. The package included room service for breakfast, but there was no menu and the restaurant staff spoke limited english. That did not make it easy to order. And the one day we did order, the food was wrong, and when we asked for the correct food (including coffee), the order was still wrong, and no coffee. Also, the man who brought the room service fought with us over having to pay for the food, and after several minutes of arguing with him, and him calling someone from our room phone, he acknowledged we should not be charged extra. Phones were often not answered at the front desk, and the concierge never answered the phone. The biggest thing this hotel has going for it is location, location, location. The pool was gorgeous and the grounds could have been with a little work. The buffet meals were good, and the salad bar at the buffet restaurant at dinner was outstanding. Service was very slow, and we often had to ask several times for water. Los Lagartos, on the water, is a short hike - or they can drive you down - and I highly recommend it for lunch due to the view. If service and basic maintenance were improved, this has the opportunity to be a world-class resort in a very unique setting

By on Feb 20, 2014

4

rainforest!

Families

Spectacular surroundings. Amazing views. Helpful, friendly staff. Animals abound, and you can watch and listen to them by walking onto your private balcony! We only stayed one night, but I would love to return to Gamboa for a week. Hiking, boating, relaxing, animal watching, this place has it all. The room was large and comfortable. It was a little musty, but I suspect that comes with being in the middle of a rainforest. Breakfast buffet was delicious. In the middle of nowhere, but worth the trek.

By on Jan 2, 2014