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Guests Got A Taste of Carnival This Weekend At The Westin Playa Bonita

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  Site Where: Km 6 Camino a Veracruz, Panama City, Panama
January 30, 2012 at 9:15 AM | by | ()

Any Panamanians who were still unclear about that gigantic white tower that recently went up on a quarter-mile stretch of beach outside of Panama City had their doubts removed this weekend, when Westin Playa Bonita, a 650-room, Pacific Ocean-facing resort with three pools, six restaurants, and a forthcoming spa, officially opened.

Drawn by a few awesome firework displays, an open bar, and a steady stream of live music (salsa, merengue, reggaeton—you name it, they played it), an estimated 3400 people turned up to celebrate Westin's grand arrival in the city (though Starwood's Le Meridien Panama has been around for a few years now). And with yet another Westin set to open later this year, Panamanians aren't likely to be forgetting Westin's name anytime soon. Nor, for that matter, will the 700 (mostly US) guests who received a taste of Carnival-style partying that lasted well into Friday night/Saturday morning, during the hotel's grand opening event.

Headdresses aren't exactly a typical part of Friday nights here—but if this weekend was any indication, you might want to consider this place when Latin American breaks into Carnival festivities next month. We think we may have even spotted the city's Carnival queen.

Rates started last month in the low $200s, but have since climbed to a steadier $265 ($275 gets you breakfast). As we mentioned, six restaurants offer distinct dining experiences (try a teriyaki-glazed salmon at Asiana, or go for a more laid-back buffet at Pacifica), and the lobby bar, Oasis (above), is a convenient middle ground whether you're on your way out to the pool or coming back from an evening in Panama City.

This selection is enhanced by the resort's compact design, which situates almost all of the restaurants and bars in a half-moon around the three glistening blue pools. So whichever you choose, you're never too far from any other part of the hotel. And since everything looks out at the beach (similar to the InterContinental next door), the view is always amazing.

With or without a Carnival dancer shaking her tail feathers at you.

[Photos: HotelChatter]

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