Two weeks in Panama, a new adventure...

Old Feb 5th, 2016, 07:22 PM
  #21  
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We have servants quarters, will that work
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Old Feb 5th, 2016, 07:27 PM
  #22  
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Everyone is being so nice to us...flowers were delivered... 4 face cloths, to make up for none for 2 days... Telephone calls asking how our visit is going.. Linen mats everywhere.

Food was good tonight... Shrimp and filet.

Had dinner with our room neighbors who are from Acton, Ma
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 04:40 AM
  #23  
 
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Glad to hear that the service turned around. Hope it stays that way.
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 05:40 AM
  #24  
 
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I think the service has turned around ONLY because some one heard we were unhappy. I had a call from the head of housekeeping asking for details....I gave him a nice ear full. But, it should not have to come to that. When staying at a JW , there are standards, and all guest should be treated the same, not just the gold and plat. people. The hotel property is beautiful and soooo full of potential that is not being used.

It is very relaxing and we are enjoying our selves. The breeze in the afternoon is fabulous. It is hot at the pools and beach, but in the shade very tolerable . Pools are walk in temp, but not bath tub warm. Just refreshingly right.
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 08:53 AM
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I'm glad the took care of it, but they should have been proving better service to begin with, you are quite right!
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 02:43 PM
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Glad things are working out. I'd be going ballistic with the things that went wrong for you. We have never chased hotel points, always paying extra to stay on the "club" floors of the chains, especially in big cities such as Singapore or Sydney, where service is usually excellent (as you know) or staying in smaller boutique hotels, as we did while in Panama and elsewhere in Central America and will be doing in South Africa. We do have a feeling of comfort with smaller places where the management is omnipresent and the staff usually speaks English. The Alam Shanti in Bali (which was your excellent recommendation) is a perfect example.

The house sounds like an awesome venue for your anniversary celebration - I am sure it will turn out to be an fab choice.

So you are missing the NH primaries - are you still registered in MA?
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 06:23 PM
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Craig we voted in NH before we left--proudly for the Donald, as whacky as he might be, but well grounded and RIGHT on everything. The alternative might have been Bernie, I'm sure he is big on fodors
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Old Feb 6th, 2016, 06:28 PM
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K spoke too soon. With 3 tables full in the dining room tonight we waited 45 min for a simple pasta dish and a chicken breast. I spoke to the rest. Mgr....he knew who we were. He offered to pick up the check..I refused his offer...JUST FIX THINGS.

I also told him I am forced to write our experiences on the Internet, sorry.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 05:09 AM
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I have to say yesterday was the first day with any semblance of pool service. At both pool areas people asked re drinks and were carrying towels for people. Not sure if because the big group of Rotarians were not tippers they didn't offer service or what.

It continues to be relaxing, enjoyable, and beautiful. I keep telling Bob "let it go"
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 01:17 PM
  #30  
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The last couple of days were hangout days....just relax and enjoy the sunshine.

Tomorrow we head back to Panama City for an overnight and Tuesday we fly home via Miami.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 02:25 PM
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You won't believe this!!!!

At 4:45 they called to tell us we needed to change rooms.... This after k had the door cards redone at noon and the maid completely made up the room this AM...

I hit the roof... No yelling but plenty assertive talk. No mgr here on a Sunday, not even an assistant. They refused to have the GM call me.

We have kept our room. Check out tomorrow AM.

Now I need to look for a regional VP to vent to.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 02:44 PM
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This does not encourage me to stay at this hotel. I'm sorry you've had to put up with it. It's a good thing that you and the whole family will be staying at the villa when you return in November.
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Old Feb 7th, 2016, 07:04 PM
  #33  
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No one would believe all of this, esp loyal marriotites
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 03:22 PM
  #34  
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Moved back to Panama City today in advance of our flight home tomorrow.

Road Runner came for us at 10:30 and we had another enjoyable 2 hour ride back to Panama City with Rob the very nice UK driver. He is a very interesting guy.

We are staying at the Le Meridian this time right on Balboa looking out to the pacific and the ship traffic waiting to enter the canal.

Our room is very nice. The checking, early, was efficient and friendly.

We have a res at a Brazilian steak house tonight, preceded by some drinks in the club here. We had a nice lunch in the hotel restaurant which was served efficiently and was hot.

Our fingers are crossed that we will make it to Boston, despite the snow.
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Old Feb 8th, 2016, 11:12 PM
  #35  
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Thanks for the report. Snow wasn't as bad here as predicted. About 7 inches of fairly light, fluffy stuff. Your flight should be fine. Safe travels.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 06:20 AM
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That was an interesting report! Sorry for all the glitches. But I have a question: Since the country seems pretty pricey compared to others in the region, why is it a big retirement area for North Americans?? Does it draw only wealthy retirees?

Did you explore any of the Casco Viejo, the old Colonial quarter? I've read that this is the big draw in Panama City with lots of restaurants, shops, etc and great architecture.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 09:51 AM
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Yes we did spend some time in the old city. It is quite charming but still has a long way to go in rehab. Good but pricey restaurants and a few shops. We had our 2nd best meal there-- tuna rare in a delicious sauce over veggies.

I don't fully understand the financial aspects of living here. Expats are entitled to tons of perks: 25% off car and house insurance, steeply discounted air tickets, huge tax savings, a new car free of import duty every 3 years, 25% off already reasonable health insurance. Johns Hopkins and others offer excellent health care here.
Did I mention fabulous weather?? Domestic servants are very inexpensive, but with nearly 100% employment can prove to be unreliable. It seems quite safe here and the government is stable, albeit socialist.

Panama is not for everyone, and I think I would just prefer to visit. The Manama attitude is tough for me to overcome.
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Old Feb 9th, 2016, 10:00 AM
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We had our best meal yet last night. We visited Gaucho, 2 blocks behind the Le Meridian hotel. It is a Brazilian steakhouse. Charming interior, fabulous service, all waiters, great menu, 80% beef. Moderate... $80 for one huge glass of Malbec, 1 beer, 1. 8oz tenderloin, 1 12oz tenderloin, perfectly cooked, FF and two fab desserts.

The Le Meridian is everything the jw Marriott and Intercontinetal were not... Friendly, efficient, cozy, comfortable, eager to accommodate and please, service orientated, good food, good service with a smile, good location, etc, etc. This is a small hotel in a larger building...6 floors, small outdoor pool on 6.

Thanks Celeste for the weather update
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 01:31 PM
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Hi Bob, Just read through your report and felt compelled to jump in. First, I'm sorry that you found the service in Panama disappointing.

But more troubling to me was this comment you made about the election:

<we voted in NH before we left--proudly for the Donald, as whacky (sic) as he might be, but well grounded and RIGHT on everything>

I can't help but wonder how an avid world traveler could proudly support a racist, sexist, anti-gay, anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, Islamophobic, xenophobic narcissist. Surely your journeys have opened your eyes to embracing cultural differences, and also to the importance of having a leader who is not a loose canon and an embarrassment to the US.

I'm not looking to pick a fight, just genuinely curious. Happy to move this discussion to the lounge if this is not the right place. But, since you brought it up, I would love some insight about how a worldly person could possibly think that Trump is "right on everything."

Enjoy your final days in Panama!
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Old Feb 11th, 2016, 01:32 PM
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CORRECTION: 'loose cannon'
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