The Contadora Hotel is located on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, on the island of the same name at the end of a large and beautiful creek. Time seems to have stopped here, to allow holiday-makers to take time for living. However, far from the standards expected of the all-inclusive establishment that it is, this hotel, located in vast grounds, is made attractive by the care taken over its various unusual areas that have been imaginatively decorated. Enjoy your holiday here, in unique and simple surroundings!
This hotel review is a translation of the French version published on our French site Easyvoyage.com.
Located on the small island of Contadora, which has beautiful villas, the hotel is just a 15-minute flight from the capital of Panama, or 1 hour 30 minutes by boat.
The name Contadora means 'counter'. It comes from the Spaniards who landed on this volcanic island in the 17th Century to count the gold amassed from the Americas. Allow 2 hours to get around the whole island! The nearby islands to discover are Mogo Mogo, Bayarena and Bartholome. Snorkelling or scuba diving and sport fishing are among the activities available here.
Most tourists at this hotel are from South America. A small car collects customers from the island's airport, which is 5 minutes from the hotel. Dance shows are organised 6 times a month.
Located right on the seafront, the Contadora hotel sits ideally on a large, average-sized property facing the turquoise sea. Large, widely-spaced trees enhance the peaceful, open and airy surroundings. Some fifteen peacocks take advantage of this to stroll freely on the sun-dried lawn, while the monkeys loll in their cages. You can breathe here, lost (or almost!) on this small island of 0.8 mi by 0.6 mi! The facilities centre around two lagoon swimming pools with an area for children and an impressive pool bar, both surrounded by deckchairs and parasols. The large reception and 14 dark wood bungalows of a maximum of two storeys are arranged around these. You can see painted tiles from Colombia representing animals, for example, on each of them. Stained-glass windows, sculptures, drawings: many decorative ideas are displayed here, particularly in the lobby area. Also available: 3 bars.
The hotel's 354 bedrooms each have a balcony or terrace and are divided into single, double and triple rooms and 48 very large suites. Each bungalow has 16 bedrooms. Of the 14 bungalows, 5 overlook the sea. Once you have walked up the exterior staircases, the interior is not homogeneous and is rather worn. Time seems to have stopped here. However, it does have charm. Tiled floors, a hammock on the balcony, bedspread and curtains: everything is white or cream in the standard, functional and basic rooms. There is a 25-channel television, free safe deposit box, noisy individual air-conditioning, a small refrigerator and a telephone. All the suites are on the second floor and have beautifully high roofs. They also have a flat screen television in the living area, several paintings, a kitchenette and a large bathroom.
The Contadora's four unpretentious restaurants are available to guests at normal times. However, when there are not many guests at the hotel, only one is open. They are all located along the beach and often in the open-air, meaning guests can appreciate the beauty of the bay whilst eating. The buildings are all similar. Bohio Cocos, the international buffet, is open if the hotel is very busy. This is a large covered and open-air restaurant with many green-painted wooden tables and chairs. La Palmas, the international à la carte restaurant, is nicer outside than inside. El Pescador serves seafood and fish in a large round straw hut decorated with fishing nets. And, just for a change, the Italian restaurant: the trattoria. Although the food is good, it is a shame that there is not a great deal of choice when there are not many hotel guests!
The large beach of fine white sand stretches along the whole length of the hotel and continues into a beautiful calm creek. Some pebbles and white coral can be found on the foreshore and in the water. An Olympian calm reigns over this beach which is only frequented by the hotel guests. It would be a shame not to make the most of the deckchairs provided to soak up the sun here. The bay, surrounded by two hills, is not windy. The turquoise waters lend themselves to the water sports offered by the hotel club. Unfortunately, there are no parasols on the clean and supervised beach.