The drive to Playa Blanca was approximately 1 and ½ hours on great highway through scenic areas. It went quickly and was very enjoyable. I checked into Breezes and strolled the property. First impression of the Playa Blanca area — This is definitely what Apple Vacationers are used to when looking for a “sun” destination. The beach itself is on par with the likes of Riviera Nayarit. The sand is lighter but the color of water is a darker blue as most Pacific beaches tend to be. They do have occasional rip currents and most beaches have lifeguards. Interesting note — because of the way the land curves you can actually see the sun rise over the water on the Pacific coast in this area. The hotel appeared full and was active with families. The first children I’d seen at any hotel in several days! I had dinner at the a la carte Japanese restaurant called Munason. It consisted of the typical tapenyaki/sushi fare. The restaurant tries to seat clients into English and Spanish speaking tables because they seat ten. Food was ok, service excellent.
The hotel is a higher standard than some of the other Breezes properties I have visited. It is shaped like a U and is compact and easy to maneuver. The open-air lobby is at the top of an incline and offers sweeping views of the pools and beach below. The rooms are spacious and were well appointed with flat screen TVs, iPod docking stations and stocked mini bars. The décor is bright and tropical. The entire hotel itself feels very light and airy. There are 2 a la carte restaurants in addition to the buffet and snack bar (Japanese and Italian). I spoke with clients staying at the resort and most commented on the good service level. There is a kids club and teen center and the hotel appears very active. Good for families and young people. The pool is 3 tiered and houses a large Jacuzzi near the snack bar at the beach. They serve hamburgers, hot dogs, nachos etc. There is a swim up pool bar. As I mentioned before the beach is long and quite beautiful.
I also visited the Royal Decameron which is all-inclusive. This property is so large all guest should receive a map and flare gun upon check in! It is built parallel to the beach so you are never too far from the water. Also, each section has its own pool, snack bar and restaurants nearby — so you don’t have far to walk for a drink or to grab a bite to eat. They often tend to put families in one section, couples in another etc. The entire resort is built on a fairly steep incline, so those booking an ocean view room should keep in mind that they will have an uphill walk consisting of a lot of stairs back to their room. This is definitely a full service hotel and the type of resort our clients are used to as far as amenities go i.e. 10 restaurants 9 pools, 11 bars, a casino, a spa, shops etc. The rooms themselves are moderate and locally decorated with a Panamanian flair. Nice spa facility. The disco is open air and located at the end of the property to keep the noise away from the rooms. The beach is long and wide and the sand in this area appears very white. The hotel offers a lot of palapas and tented chairs for shade on the beach. There is a convention center on property. This hotel also has a section of independently owned vacation villas located on a golf course across the street. The 18-hole course is well maintained and designed by Randall Thomson. This would be a great group hotel option and suitable for families, singles and couples.