The Panama hotel scene ascended to the next level with the 2013 arrival of this five-star favorite, located downtown near the business hubs and nightlife-lined Calle Uruguay, featuring best-in-class service, modern decor, and a pool with skyline views. The Waldorf Astoria Panama brings storied luxury to a city that has its share of boutique, resort, and international chain staples, but no true five-star properties (save maybe the Trump, another recent addition). Even better, the rates can be shockingly affordable, depending on the season. The Waldorf Astoria has 130 nonsmoking room and suites, each with Egyptian cotton linens, high-def TVs, Wi-Fi (fee), and marble baths with walk-in showers; suites have upgraded views and amenities, and additional living spaces. As in the rooms, the public space design is contemporary and bright, with lots of natural woods and creams and subtle Central American influences. Dining options include a poolside terrace and bar with city skyline views; the
all-day, French-American Brio Brasserie; local favorite Ginger for handcrafted sushi; and an outpost of the Waldorf's signature Peacock Alley bar/lounge. Though lots of business is conducted here, guests can also relax in the four-room spa, fit in a workout, or soak up the sun (and views) from the 7th floor pool.