- Introduction: Two Trips To The Southern Hemisphere
- Review: Copa Airlines Business Class 737 (MIA-PTY)
- Review: Crowne Plaza Panama Airport
- New Panama Airport Terminal 2: Impressive(ish)
- Review: Copa Club Panama Airport Terminal 2
- Review: Copa Business Class 737-800 (PTY-LIM)
- Review: Sumaq Lounge Lima Airport (LIM)
- Review: Priority Pass Restaurants Lima Airport
- Review: LATAM Business Class 767 (LIM-MIA)
- Review: Hyatt House & Hyatt Place LAX
- Review: Qantas First Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)
- Review: Oneworld Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)
- Review: Alaska Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)
- Review: Amex Centurion Lounge Los Angeles (LAX)
- Gorgeous: LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse
- Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A350 (LAX-NAN)
- Review: Fiji Airways Lounge Nadi Airport (NAN)
- Review: Fiji Airways Business Class A330 (NAN-AKL)
- Review: Park Hyatt Auckland, New Zealand
- Review: Air New Zealand Lounge Auckland (AKL)
- Review: Strata Lounge Auckland (AKL)
- Review: Air New Zealand Business Class 787-9 (AKL-LAX)
After kicking off my two trips to the Southern Hemisphere and flying Copa Airlines from Miami to Panama City, I spent the night at the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport. This hotel did the trick for me, given that I just wanted somewhere decent near the airport to sleep.
In this post:
Booking the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport
I booked the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport because it’s the only “international” hotel at Panama Airport with a shuttle service. Admittedly I had a pretty long layover in Panama, as I was there for around 19 hours.
So why didn’t I stay at a nicer hotel in the city? There are lots of hotels there I still wanted to check out. Well, unfortunately that gets at the less glamorous part of these review trips. Even though my flight only departed Panama at 3:43PM the following day, I got to the airport shortly after 4AM.
That was so I could review the new Copa Club and Terminal 2 at the airport — there was simply no way I was going to get decent pictures of the lounge unless I was there right as it opened, given how crowded so many lounges tend to be nowadays. So I ended up getting to the airport that early, and just working from there for the entire day, until it was time to fly.
Anyway, the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport was charging either $120 or 18,000 IHG One Rewards points for the night. I value IHG points at 0.5 cents each, so I decided to redeem points for the stay.
Crowne Plaza Panama Airport location & shuttle service
The Crowne Plaza is less than a mile from Panama’s Tocumen International Airport (PTY), so it has a convenient location. The airport offers shuttle service from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. You can find the schedule below — it runs once per hour.
My flight arrived at Terminal 1, so on the arrivals level I went to Zone 4, which is where I was told the shuttle departed from.
The timing worked out pretty well, as the shuttle arrived within 15 minutes, and it was only a very short drive to the hotel. I will say that the shuttle has possibly the worst suspension of any vehicle I’ve been in, and that’s saying a lot.
On the return I was departing from Terminal 2 (where check-in occurs for all Copa Airlines flights), and that took a bit longer. That’s because the shuttle first stops at Terminal 1, so it was a roughly 15 minute drive, as it’s quite a maze for the shuttle to drive between terminals.
Crowne Plaza Panama Airport check-in & lobby
The Crowne Plaza had a nice and modern lobby, with plenty of seating.
Reception was located inside the entrance and to the left, and there was also a little grab & go market, where you could purchase drinks, snacks, and even hats.
I had to wait a few minutes before I was helped, though once it was my turn, the associate was really friendly. She thanked me for being an IHG One Rewards Platinum member, and gave me a voucher for a free drink or snack to use during my stay.
Since I was checking in at around 9PM and leaving at 4AM, I didn’t actually have a chance to use it, as I wasn’t hungry or thirsty.
Crowne Plaza Panama Airport king room
With room key in hand, I headed to my room. The elevators were located right behind reception.
I was assigned room 402, on the fourth floor (the hotel has five floors). Once out of the elevators, I turned right and then my room was at the end of the hall on the right.
I’d say the room was pretty basic, but also clean and functional. The room had a king size bed, though I found the bedding to be rather scratchy. One of the two lamps by the bed was also out (I always make a point of turning on lights prior to taking pictures, so I don’t want anyone thinking I wasn’t paying attention). 😉
The walls were pretty bare, aside from the piece of art over the bed.
There was a wall-mounted TV opposite the bed, plus a desk with a rolling chair.
The console underneath the TV also had the in-room coffee machine.
There was a further chair near the back corner of the room. My room just faced the parking lot, so there was nothing in the way of airport views.
The room had its own wall-mounted air conditioning unit, right by the window.
The bathroom was back near the entrance, and had a toilet, a sink, and a walk-in shower, with wall-mounted toiletries.
Wi-Fi in the room was free and quite fast. My one real complaint about the room was that the sound insulation at this hotel isn’t good at all. You could hear every single door in the hallway slam. Fortunately I was pretty tired, so slept without issue.
Crowne Plaza Panama Airport gym & pool
While I didn’t have a chance to actually use any of the hotel’s amenities, the Crowne Plaza did have an outdoor pool right behind the lobby. It looked pretty nice and was large, especially for an airport hotel.
The hotel had a gym on the basement level, which had a variety of weight and cardio equipment.
Crowne Plaza Panama Airport restaurant
The Crowne Plaza Panama Airport has Jetstream Grill, an all-day dining restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s located in the lobby opposite reception. I was hoping to snap a few pictures of it prior to leaving the hotel in the morning, though all the lights were shut off.
Below is a picture from the hotel’s website that shows the restaurant.
The Crowne Plaza Panama Airport is a good option if you’re looking to spend a night near the airport. The hotel has a convenient location, friendly service, and pretty good amenities.
However, in general I’d avoid spending a night near Panama Airport. Panama is an interesting enough country that I tend to think it’s worth having a longer stopover and going into town if you can. Alternatively, Copa Airlines has an efficient route network, so you should almost always be able to connect same day. Of course in my situation this hotel did the trick, and sometimes passengers deal with irregular operations, where an airport hotel is useful.
If you’ve stayed at the Crowne Plaza Panama Airport, what was your experience like?