Anyone who has stayed in a hotel in Panama knows that quality and price are all over the board. Panama’s new tourism regulations mean that hotels in the Republic will now have a standard rating system based on price and quality.
Some hotels in Panama that aren’t run under well known international chains, will call themselves 4 or 5 star establishments. Only once you set foot in a room do you realize the accommodations are more like a no-tell-motel than an upper end hotel.
I would venture to say that most hotels in Panama are pretty well kept. It’s not often you will find rotting sinks and dirty toilets. However, if a hotel claims to be 4 stars, you would usually expect at least hot water and a room with secure windows. That’s not always the case though.
Many hotels in Panama City have dramatically increased their room rates recently. This isn’t because they’ve undertaken renovations or built a pool. It’s strictly due to the fact there are not enough hotels in the city. The hotel operators know that their rooms which cost just $30 last year are the exact same, but now hold a $75 price tag. If it’s the only room left in the city, travelers have no choice but to book it at the inflated price.
The new tourism regulations will ensure that all 1,2,3,4 or 5 stars hotels will offer the same quality and price within their category. The criteria for the star ratings have been set, however, as of yet there is no entity that has been charged with assessing all of the hotels around the country.
When the assessments begin and the stars are given out, it will be interesting to see what hotels receive 4 and 5 star ratings. Hopefully the criteria is based on the standards of other countries, such as Europe, the US and Canada, as to not confuse the foreign tourists. One has to wonder, will the push buttons (pay by the hour motels) also be rated?
|Written by Rebecca Tyre|
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