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“Place to relax”
Review of Hotel Villa Romana

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Hotel Villa Romana
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Pedasi
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 5 May 2012

This was our fifth time in Panama in the last seven years. We stayed for three days. The first two days there was only one other couple and the third day we were the only ones at the hotel. Hans, the owner, was extremely helpful in booking a room for us in Chitre after a mix-up with our reservation and we were told there were no rooms. He did this before we even left the states. We had reservations for a Junior Suite and were upgraded to the next bigger room. Compared to other lodgings in Panama, the Junior Suite is a very good value. Having a refrigerator in the room is great. The refrigerator is not stocked, something that needs to be updated on the website. One complaint: It is nice to sit outside in the morning or evening, but the chairs are uncomfortable. It would be nice to replace them lounging chairs. There is a small beach within walking distance. However, it is like most beaches in Panama, trashed and littered. The pool is small, but since there weren't many people it wasn't a problem and besides it's just a place to get wet. It gets cleaned every morning.
Breakfast is hit or miss, depending on what they have on hand. Since the place is a ways from everything they will run out of things. It was better the second day after receiving supplies. We had a nice plate of fresh fruit. Breakfast is continental, but eggs are available to order. Also, it is served buffet style. I would suggest that the staff at least serve coffee and juice at the table. The setup is not conducive for a buffet setup. The breakfast staff is very nice and we tipped generously.
The hotel’s restaurant dinner service is not run by the hotel, but is run as a concession. Lunch is not available. If we had to do it over, we would pick up some extra items at the supermarket. We were not impressed with dinner service. The first night, there was a printed menu. The second night, the menu was read off to us. The menu is so small; it wouldn’t take much to print off the menu every night if the cook takes the time to preplan. The kitchen is limited and so are supplies, but they try hard to present something out of the ordinary. A word of caution, their description of the dishes is flawed and may not match the actual dish. The first night I had “shrimp cocktail” which consisted of three shrimp on a plate with some remoulade sauce smeared on the plate. The second night my husband had five shrimp floating in a sauce with some tomatoes and peppers. When the couple next to us ordered the same dish, the presentation looked completely different. Since the entrees are small, you have to order the appetizer and dessert in order to be satisfied. Expect to pay about $50+ with one beer and one glass of wine for two people. The first night there were some diners that did not stay in the hotel. They had their dog with them and were smoking in the dining area, a violation of Panama law. The deck above the dining area is very nice to have a before or after dinner drink, but it is also used by the cook’s girlfriend as a hangout and smoking lounge. We also didn’t like seeing the girlfriend with long hair hanging on the cook in the kitchen when we walked in. One night there was a cat walking through the dining area. This did not bother us at all. We eat in places with cats, dogs and chickens in Panama and don’t have a problem. But since this place presents themselves as a fine dining establishment, we had a problem when we saw both the cook and the server pick up the cat at one time to take it outside without a thought of washing his hands. The whole place has a too casual atmosphere for the prices they charge and for giving the appearance of a fine dining establishment.
The bottom line, the restaurant needs polish if they are going to continue charging the high prices. It would be nice to know what the menu is ahead of time. The second night we asked the cook about 5:30pm if the menu was going to be the same. He said No, and when asked what it would be, he said whatever inspired him. It appears that he is much more into surfing than cooking. We already made one drive into town for lunch and did not want to drive after dark so we gave the restaurant another try. The third night we ate in town and were very happy with traditional Panamanian food.

Room Tip: Some rooms have more privacy than others.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank love2travel1954
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaRomanaPty, Owner at Hotel Villa Romana, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2012

Dear Love2Travel1954,

We are very glad to know you had a peasant stay with us. Thank you for your criticism as it helps us grow and improve. We have regained control of the restaurant and have improved each and every aspect of it from breakfast to dinner.

We would be happy to see you again soon!

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114 - 118 of 329 reviews

Reviewed 5 May 2012

I have been staying at Villa Romana for over one month now. From my very first day I have been treated like a family member by each and every staff member. The food is excellent with cook to order breakfast and gourmet dining at night. My room has been kept well maintained and spotless. The view from my room is breathtakingly beautiful and ever changing with the tides and weather. I swim almost daily in the pool.
Having stayed at other properties locally, none compare with Villa Romana in any category.
I realize that here in the Azuero Peninsula the infrastructure is not the same as in the US. The power blinks out on occasion and Internet is sometimes weak. After heavy rain, there may be some leaves floating on the surface of the pool and land crabs searching for new shelter. These minor issues are quickly resolved and are what I consider to be part of he charm of Panama.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled solo
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2  Thank Richard B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaRomanaPty, General Manager at Hotel Villa Romana, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2012

Dear Richard,

We miss you already! See you soon!

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Reviewed 23 April 2012

The stay was disappointing. In one of the two rooms we occupied, there was no running water in the 2 days we stayed and no service room in one the room.
There was 1 available swimming pool, but it was not clean (lots of leaves the first day, lots of crabs the second). The breakfast was very poor (only bread with butter and marmelade, cornflakes, small fruit salad and an egg) and the restaurant owner lacked both customer and organizational skills.

Finally, it came as a bad surprise that the hotel management had already deducted the full amount of the hotel bill from my credit card account, without even mentioning this or asking for my signature or consent.

Some other things were good such as the landscape, the cooking and the Panamanian staff.

Conclusion: pricing and venue of an upscale hotel, services and amenities of an average camping.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank nuageblanc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VillaRomanaPty, Owner at Hotel Villa Romana, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2012

Dear Nuageblanc,

I am very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience with us. While we did have some water issues, they were promptly resolved and the staff failed to report that your room was still having water problems. I apologize for that as this is not acceptable and was mishandled by us.
For what concerns your room not being serviced, housekeeping informs me that it was specifically requested by the guest for the room not to be serviced. Our rooms are cleaned everyday with no exceptions.
The pool is also cleaned everyday but, unfortunately, after a stormy night, some leaves and crabs in the water are quite normal to be found in the morning, mostly when the rainy season is around the corner.
The restaurant is no longer independently operated and our high standards are again effectively enforced.
Finally, due to not having paid the room balance at check-in time, the system automatically charged the card that was used at time of booking to secure the reservation.
We hope to have the pleasure of having you again at Villa Romana and we would be happy to offer you a free night stay with us. Please contact us via email.

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Reviewed 19 April 2012

Even thought it was a long trip to get to Villa Romana it was worst it.The Villas and the staff was excellent, the view and the peace my husband and I felt was Perfect. The chef David know how to treat a guest like family. LOVE IT

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank IVELLISES63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2012

We had planned to stay only 2 nights, but ended up here for 4. The experience was just about perfect. Our villa opened to the ocean & we felt the breeze and heard the waves crashing on the shore every day. It was the ultimate in relaxation and convenience. If we hadn't wanted to explore the area, we could have remained on the hotel site for the entire time. Great pool, nice restaurant, relaxed atmosphere. The staff went out of their way to make us comfortable. Anything we requested was handled immediately. Outstanding!

The only thing we would change is the size of the TV screen & the lack of cable TV--just DVDs available. Also, the restaurant food & service could be better, for the prices that were charged. Other than that, we hope to return many times!

Room Tip: We enjoyed Room #7 and would request it again.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank BeautyTips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Villa Romana

Address: Camino a Puerto Escondido | Los Destiladeros, Pedasi, Panama
Region: Panama > Los Santos Province > Pedasi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 7 Hotels in Pedasi
Price Range: ₹ 5,233 - ₹ 11,839 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Villa Romana 3*
Number of rooms: 21
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Villa Romana is an oceanfront hotel in Puerto Escondido (Pedasi), Panama. It features 21 ocean view suites with air-conditioning, Satellite TV and minibar. The 180 degree ocean view from the main terrace is spectacular. ... more   less 
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