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Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama

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Overview

A spectacular property located on a private beach near the entrance to the Panama Canal. Secrets Playa Bonita's ideal location provides easy access to the Punta Bruja Nature Reserve and offers sunrise views that will inspire even the more amateur of photographers. This Unlimited-Luxury® resort boasts five sparkling freeform pools, jungle walkways, ocean view suites, and an expansive, tranquil spa. Perfect for a romantic getaway or a memorable family vacation.

Location: Beachfront, 25 minutes from Panama City, 40 minutes from the airport.


tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • conphuzer : wisconsin
the reviews are right

We went to Dreams Playa Bonita,as we love AM resorts, and would be staying in Panama for a week. Despite all of the negative reviews, we went there optimistically. We try to look for the positive and hope that it meets our expectations. I am writing this with much difficulty, as I do try to find the positive and make the best of everything we do. We booked an oceanview room, and requested the 4th or 5th floor close to the adult pool and preferred club status. Our requests are usually granted pretty close to what we want, when we go to other resorts. It never hurts to ask. The resort is a bit of a drive from the hotel but not bad. We did run into rush hour traffic but that was expected, so no big deal. We had a private ride so we were happy to be arriving before a large group.Problems started upon arrival. This is not a good sign, as first impressions are what stay with us. When we arrived there was nobody to take our bags to the reception area or to leave them with at the bellboy stand, so we had to drag them up the stairs ourselves.They do not use the front desks for check in or out, I do not really know what they are used for. Instead we had to stand in a line through the middle of the reception area, going back to the desks. We were in line for 50 minutes before we were at the desks to be helped. We did get drinks at the bar while we waited but that was not the problem. There is no seating and you just stand in line with your bags. But we were fortunate, there were people who came in after us that waited up to 5hours! So totally unacceptable. Others told us they were sent to the preferred club to wait and it took them around 3 hours...at least they had a place to sit and eat, but that is still unacceptable. I have to say I did not see this the rest of the week. But if they know they are expecting a big influx of guests, you would think they would staff accordingly.After waiting, at the bar, for about an hour, we were given our room keys and had to take our bags to our room ourselves, No we do not have to be pampered, but it was an oddity. Rooms - our room was smaller than most of the rooms we get in the states, at a regular hotel. And much smaller than any resorts we stay at. There were nice amenities in the bathroom. But there was nothing special about it, and did not seem like a preferred club room. As stated, the refrigerators are stocked every other day. I happened to be in the room the day they came to restock it, and he noted that we were preferred club and gave us a little can of pringles, a small bag of m&m's, and three small bottles of alcohol. We were never given any more. Our maid, however, was excellent!! Our room was always cleaned beautifully! Towels and amenities were always replenished! We were very lucky! We talked to many others who were in preferred club rooms and they said there rooms were much bigger than mine, but alot of them were not on the higher floors, And many did not get good housekeeping services. Preferred club - We used it the first couple of days but our key did not work. They would just open the door for us and ask us our room number. There was some food, but nothing really special. The bartender was not really a bartender and did not know how to make drinks, any drinks. We had to tell him how to make simple things. We finally asked if they could fix our key for us, and they went to do it and came back and said we did not have preferred club privildges, only preferred club room. My advice - if what we had was preferred club room - don't bother as most rooms have a good view. We are usually given preferred club status but not always a preferred club room. I saw no advantage. We didn't even have robes!Pools - We mostly stayed in the adult pool. It was good and we had good bartender service by Zara. Our drinks were always good with plenty of alcohol. We did have shots with other guests and play bingo at the main pool, and it was good there also. But we did not want to be by the kids so we stayed away from that pool. Food - This is another area that is lacking. It was normal to not have anyone bring you water, coffee, juice, etc. My husband would sometimes go up and get it for us but that should not be the norm. Finally on our 4th day we met Valerio - he was wonderful to us! Always there to greet us with a smile and ask if there was anything we needed! He was the only person who made breakfast nice! The setup at the breakfast buffet was very odd. You had to reach around people standing in line, for the egg station, to get many items. Bacon was hit or miss, but if you asked they would bring it out. We ate lunch a few times, at the buffet, but again another odd set up. Never tried the barefoot grill. Had dinner twice at Oceana. Both nights I had the salmon, very inconsistant, as the first time it was done perfectly to the way I ordered it, and the next time it was almost raw on the inside. We also went to the french restaurant which was not very good. The Italian was the worst. We had the risotto, and it was not cooked well and so salty that it was inedible. We ended up not eating that night. We did useroom service, that we ordered off the tablet in the room. Did not look like the food in the pictures and was not very good. I talked to others who just called and ordered there food without a menu, just whatever they wanted. Bars - The lobby bar was excellent unless it is the weekend. On weekends, when the Panamanians come in, you get ignored. We saw it happening to many people, not just ourselves. Some people were even told they couldn't sit at certain seats at the bar but the Panamanians would come and sit at those same seats and nobody said anything to them. Our 2 favorite bartenders were Joel and Jonathan. They were very friendly and we enjoyed talking with them. They treated everyone well, and made great drinks. They were very professional at their jobs! The main pool bar opens at 10am and around 10:30-11am the adult pool bar will open. We did make it to the disco, one night. The drinks there were good too. Not many people down there and nobody dancing but a good place to go when the lobby bar closes. You have to go downstairs and go through the doors of the convention area, past the ball rooms, and you will find the disco. Grounds were beautiful! There is such beautiful vegetation and it is groomed very well!We were celebrating our wedding anniversary, while there. They knew this when we checked in they noted it. We did not get it. When we talked to the manager, he said that because they had changed our room number, our special anniversary things went to the people in that room. They did finally get us our bottle of champagne and some delicious brownies, on our last night. I would like to thank Queribe for her help whenever we had questions. Eduardo - bellboy, for helping us get our driver in and out whenever we had him coming. Yannyreth - VCU - she helped us with everything! She deserves the biggest thanks!We spent most of our time off the resort, as we wanted to see Panama, but also because we really didn't find alot to do at the resort. Luckily we found a great Uber driver, that we hired for the week, and saw and learned many great things about Panama. There is alot to see and do. Our original thought was to go off about 3 days of the trip and we ended up being gone almost everyday for all or part of the day. We definitely didn't relax.We see alot of potential in this resort. And although we enjoyed ourselves we would not go back. We would try the Riu instead. If this had been our first experience with AM resorts, we would not be back to one. We met many nice guests to talk to and that always helps to make your vacation more enjoyable. Use the Uber and do some sightseeing. Its not expensive and very easy to get around with it. Just know that there are alot of negatives to this resort and don't have high expectations. The staff is nice and helpful We did meet the manager, Victor Quiceno, and he seemed very indifferent to problems.. Pura Vida! On to our next destination!!

  • gaudi091 : Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
Quiet, Relaxing - Not For People Who Want to Party

Myself and my two girlfriends visited Dreams Delight from June 3rd-June 8th. In reading reviews prior to our trip, I was a bit nervous about what to expect, but for the price, it's understandable. Here is a detailed summary of our trip in hopes that it helps you decide if this is the resort you should visit. Entertainment: The resort itself is BEAUTIFUL. It has a quiet, relaxing and calm environment. This is not the resort for young people who want entertainment; you have to make your own. There is no staff dancing by the pools, or trying to get people involved in 'Bingo' or other games that they have here. Unlike other all-inclusive resorts that I've been to, there is no shows at night. There is a 'club', which they call 'the disco' downstairs, but hardly anyone is ever there. It's a shame because the bar itself is cool; it has a pool table, and a stage. It seems to me that they have the facilities to have a night life, but they don't have the clientele--it's mostly older couples and children. There's a lobby bar, which they have a piano player--this is the most 'happening' thing at night at the resort.POOLS and GROUNDS: There is an adult pool that we mostly hung out at. This pool does not have a swim-up-bar like the other pool (mostly filled with children). This resort (at least when we visited) was mostly older couples and children. We (being in our mid-20's) didn't mind this because we wanted a relaxing vacation. The grounds were beautiful and landscaping was done everyday. BUGS: They're bad. Out of the three of us, my friend and I got eaten alive, while my other friend did not. I even used DEET bug spray and the wipes that they give you in the room. Stay in the pool and try to avoid the mosquitoes. I wish I would have brought a citronella bracelet or something for more protection. ROOMS: Upon arriving, we were greeted and given champagne. The check-in process was quick and our rooms were clean and roomy. There was some black hair in the shower, which was pretty gross, but otherwise, everything was clean and spacious. Our rooms were cleaned daily. Like other reviews, the maids did not bring towels when requested. To avoid being annoyed, I just started taking the orange towels from the pool area (they were actually softer and larger anyway). Additionally, the resort has WiFi everywhere. This was great. We put our phones on airplane mode and data off, and used the WiFi to communicate with family.DRINKS: The drinks are good if you find the right bartenders. The BEST bartenders are Sanchez and Donovan. Not only our their drinks awesome, but Donovan and Sanchez will literally bring drinks to you while you're in the pool, and they'll do so without you even asking; we tipped them each day because they were so great. Kayaking and Hiking: Alex, is in charge of the kayaks and the Rain Forest Hike. He is AWESOME as well! Kayaking is included in this resort, which was great. The Rain Forest Hike is also included. This hike is no joke; it was hard. Also, the bugs will eat you alive despite how much bug spray you use. It was really cool to see part of the Rain Forest. Alex was very informative during the hike and the scenery is really pretty. I would definitely recommend if you like hiking, and a challenge (we were soaked afterwards). GYM: The small gym they have is good. Up-to-date machines and very clean.Staff: They're friendly and they smile often. We tipped frequently and they were also accommodating. The maids I think do not listen to their superiors (i.e. never getting towels). BEACH: Water isn't the Caribbean; it isn't crystal clear and blue. You should know this going in. However, we did go for a dip in the ocean and it was clean. Beach was clean. Lots of shells, but overall, taking a walk on the beach was nice. Weather: The weather was great when we visited, however, the last 2 days were cloudy and rainy. I've heard it's been cloudy ever since. There were two days when it was sunny all day until 3:30/4:00 pm and then got cloudy. However, it's always humid. It is rain season, which is their 'off-season'. FOOD: Breakfast is AWESOME. Same things mostly everyday, but it's GOOD. Fruit is very fresh. They made fresh omelettes and they were great. Lunch was pretty good as well--convenient right by the pool. There was an air conditioned little room that had refrigerated foods (cheesecakes, cheese and meats, pasta salad, bread, etc). People constantly opening and closing the door did let condensation and bugs in. Dinner was our LEAST favorite. The only good dish we found was at the seafood place and it was the steak and shrimp kebab. The pasta salad (variations each day at buffets) was our favorite side dish. We didn't try the French place because that was an additional charge. They definitely need to work on their dinner. Panama City: We went to the mall on a rain day and it was HUGE. We also ate at the Hard Rock--this was awesome as well. If you want a break from the resort, I would suggest checking out Panama City. We had no idea how developed it really was. The Hard Rock was fun too. If you go on the 62nd floor when the "Sky Bar" opens at 8pm, you can see the WHOLE city (Trump Tower has a pool on their top floor we heard too and you'll probably get a similar view). The staff danced at the Hard Rock and the food was great. Sam was our server and he was awesome.Old City: This was BEAUTIFUL. We were nervous to go because of things other tourists said, but it was super cute. Yes, the 'ghetto' is located close to Old City, but there are so many police officers because the president lives in Old City. It was really quaint, had good food, had roof top bars, good shops, etc.Panama Canal: So cool! It was $15 to get in and that included a museum tour on your own, seeing a boat and the locks go through the canal and a 12 minute movie describing the history of the canal. I know that there's tours through the hotel that goes to the Canal and Old City, but honestly, you can Uber and do it cheaper on your own (and it takes less time).Uber: We Uber'd everywhere we went and each way was like $8 (for a 30 minute drive--INSANE). It was safe, even if your person doesn't speak English, we had no problems with Uber.Volleyball: The staff did get a bunch of people to play volleyball against the staff, which was really fun too.SPA: We were looking forward to get a spa on our vacation. However, the spa is ridiculously expensive. It's $50 just to get your eyebrows waxed! It's like $190 for a back/shoulder and neck massage. The resort does give you 'coupons' for $10 off a bottle of wine and $20 off a massage priced at $100 or higher, but still incredibly overpriced.So why a 3/5 stars? The dinners. The lack of entertainment at night and at the pool. You really need to make your own fun (i.e. traveling to Panama City, or Old City at night, or meeting people to hang out with at the pool/Lobby bar). The last day really put a bad taste in our mouths, so-to-speak. We were lucky that they had just started construction on our second to last day. However, I would have been VERY upset if I had paid and unknowingly had construction all around the pool throughout my entire vacation. It was noisy (couldn't hear it at the adult pool though), and it was obviously unattractive. Lunch was then moved up to the main lobby (not convenient if you're at the pool), and lunch was pushed back until noon, which it had been open at 11:00 prior. This was a very negative factor because we were getting picked up to go to the airport at noon and had banked on eating prior to our travels. June is their slowest month, but your customers are expecting relaxation and beautiful grounds. I would suggest that they should close for a week while they renovate the concrete of the pool area, because if I would have arrived to that, I would be very upset. We're lucky that we had good weather for most of our trip and that the construction didn't start until the 2nd to last day of our vacation.

  • southseafee :
Pleasant but could be better

Beautiful grounds and pools. Although the preferred guest pool is filthy. And there is a used plaster, by the pool for 3days no-one has removed it.Breakfast is excellent, but all the restaurants food is very poor in the evening.In fact awful.Most staff are very welcoming but you have to nag for towels and refill of mini bar.The preferred guests club is very pleasant.I would not recommend this hotel

  • JannaMike : London, United Kingdom
What a first family holiday!

Amazing time has by all 5 of us finally plucked the courage to fly on a plane and booked this resort. EVERYTHING was perfect, all of the Staff are friendly and happy, they obviously enjoy their jobs. Our kids had a great time in the miniclub with Alex and Anca (the kids already miss you). The complex is so clean, you could not find a thing to complain about. The pool and surrounding areas are kept up to a very high standard. We will definitely come back.

  • mlunsford : Orlando, Florida
Wonderful trip! Manage Expectations

My husband and I have never visited a Dreams or Secrets property, so we didn’t know what to expect. We were also concerned a little with some of the reviews, but we had our hearts set on Panama so we booked. Our vacation motto is "vacation is what you make of it," and we were pleasantly surprised.  Property – the grounds are lush and green. I took tons of photos and none can accurately portray the deep green of the trees and surrounding area. The hotel appears to have been cut out of the rainforest, which is part of the charm that attracted us to it. It is not a big box cookie cutter resort. It felt authentic. All of the room doors open to a lush tree line with beautiful trees and flowers, which attract all manner of butterflies. We could hear the birds chirping all the time. It was so peaceful. The beach is a bit rocky when the tide goes all the way out, but when it is in, the sand is soft and the water warm. I collected a lot of shells. They are the most vibrant shades of pinks and purples. It is the Pacific ocean so the water is not the same clear blue as you would see in the Caribbean, but when the sun hits it, it is very pretty shades of blues and greens. I walked from one end to the other where there is a lovely quiet mangrove of trees and rock jetty where you can see the ships closer (about 2 miles total). Although the view of the ships lined up to go through the canal was visible from all sections of the hotel. It never got old to look at. I had no issues with bugs or sand flies. I normally get eaten alive and for me to walk away with no bug bites, it says something. I saw them treating the area and I didn’t go out in perfume. I used Off Dry with Deet. It didn’t smell or make me sticky. Wear your sunblock there because the sun is intense. We were there at the end of May, which is the start of the rain or low season for the area. The hotel didn’t seem at capacity, which made it all the more quiet. White sometimes overcast, the sun is intense and sunscreen is a must. It was not without some aesthetic changes and renovations that could be used, but overall, I thought it was great. I think people think of the brand and the high level of luxury the others carry and don’t manage their expectations. Also, this was the first time we have been to a resort that allowed kids. I have to say I didn’t even notice there were any. They had their own play area and stayed to a section of the pool. Food – We are by no means “Foodies” but our tastes aren’t completely unrefined. We enjoyed the food. We actually found it to be better than the last 4 resorts we visited in Mexico. Sure there were only 2 breakfast options, the buffet and the small café, but breakfast food is breakfast food and all bases were covered. I especially enjoyed the fruit and the pastries with the chocolate baked inside. I also enjoyed the coffee. It is very rich but smooth and not bitter. I liked that the restaurants switched over daily so the locations and menus changed and there was no repeating. One night the pool side buffet because an a la cart steak restaurant which was amazing and they had delicious chocolate truffles that I never could find again. I have also found a new found love for Panamanian beer, which I haven’t been able to locate in the states. We did not get the package with room service included because we normally don’t even use it and we didn’t even have a need for it. We ate dinner as late as 10pm one night by choice. The salmon at Oceana was amazing. We sat outside and watched the ships, ate a delicious meal and enjoyed beautiful breezes. Service – I will get slack for this, but I feel like a lot of travelers who aren’t familiar with Latin American countries, don’t relies the culture and attitudes are a little more relaxed than what we are normally used to in America. We are an instant gratification nation and we can’t really expect other cultures to be the same or to cater to it. That said, we didn’t have to wait long at restaurants or at the bar. We found Caesar at the pool bar to be an excellent server who always anticipated our needs. The lobby bar tenders were also attentive and respectful. There is a disco downstairs that stayed open later than the lobby bar and we got good service in there, but because it was the low season, there weren’t a lot of people in it. I am surprised it wasn’t advertised more. There are some pool tables and dance floor and it was fun. I took 2 years of Spanish in college, which basically means I can ask for the bathroom and what time is it, but it felt like to those whom I spoke with that worked there, appreciated that I was trying and would help me when I got stuck. They were very happy when you try to speak Spanish and never made me feel bad if I messed up, which was a lot.  Activities – Again because it was low season, I don’t think they did a lot of special interactive activities, but there were a lot of activities to be done. There was kayaking, archery, putt putt, driving range, sand volley ball and I saw several water aerobics classes and a rainforest hike. So there were things to do if you are looking to be entertained, but we went to be relaxed. To sit in a chair, drink cold drinks and unwind from our busy lives. We did that. We also did some activities in Panama City and the canal of course is a must. We took Uber to the Mariflores Locks ($8 USD) and self-toured. We got there just before 9am and were able to see a ship come in and another go out before it. There is also a movie and some other attractions on the visiting center ($15 admission). It was very cool to see up close like that and pretty awesome when you are witnessing it. There are other longer and guided tours, but we didn’t have the time. One day I will go back and take the tour where you actually go through the canal on a boat. Panama City itself is a beautiful modern city with some pretty unique and very cool architecture, just driving through the city was very neat. There is more to do like Old City and museums and open air markets. I heard some people talking about a zip line tour in the jungle and a canoe trip into some indigenous villages. There is no shortage of things to do. There is music playing at the pool each day, but it was soothing and some pop, not like some other resorts we have been to where it felt like spring break and people shouted in microphones all day. The spa was great. The hotel offers coupons off services so I booked a 50 minute massage. (I think her name is Jessica) who worked the scheduling at the front desk was quite helpful and my massage therapist, Luz, was amazing. I am pretty sure that I fell asleep on the table. She was that good. Fernando is a very nice guy who will greet you in the lobby and he knows his ins and outs and a pretty amazing guy. We chose not to become members of the Dreams club because we like the flexibility when we travel but we would for sure stay at another Dreams and /or Secrets Property again for sure. Misc. The gift shop has the basics. We bought some souvenirs but going into Old Town is better for souvenirs. The have sun block and some OTC medications, but ladies there is no AVO or cranberry pills so if you are prone to UTI, take note. The hotel was very helpful to my husband who went looking for some medication in a panic. They were unable to get the medication but there was an English speaking tour guide out front who took him a short distance to a local pharmacy and translated for him. They gave him a medication that made me better in a matter of hours. When I went to my doctor in the states 2 days later, the UTI was gone. This was also the furthest south we have been in Central America and outside of our comfort level which made it a truly unique and incredible experience. What I mean is that people did speak some English. Signs were in Spanish and English and with the help of Google translate, we were able to communicate but we were visiting another country, with different cultures and experiences and we were the foreigners and it was a truly humbling experience. We a lot met a lot of people from other countries, as well as our own and that is always fun and interesting to me. It is easy to get stuck in your own little bubble and I am glad we broke out of ours and chose Panama. It is a beautiful country with warm people and lots of history. The airport is maddening because after you go through security and buy food and water, they make you go through again before you get to your gate and while I appreciate the extra security, I hate throwing away a newly bought bottle of water. Anyway, I plan to go back in 2 years – not to mention there is a large ex-pat community of retirees.     

Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).

If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.

Items not included:

  • Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
  • Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
  • Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
  • Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
  • Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
  • Items of a personal nature

  • Welcoming check-in experience with champagne, fresh towels and cookies
  • 3 meals daily plus snacks
  • 3 gourmet à la carte dining options without reservations
  • Unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits
  • Mini-bar with soft drinks, bottled water and beer restocked every two days
  • 24-hour dining in cafe
  • Daytime activities and live nightly entertainment
  • Theme parties, oceanfront bars and entertainment venues
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the resort
  • 310 rooms in 1 five-storey building
  • 4 a la carte restaurants 
  • Buffet restaurant
  • Cafe
  • 4 bars including a swim up bar
  • 24-hour room service 
  • Pools
  • Tennis
  • Fitness facilities
  • Spa (fee)
  • Golf nearby (fee)
  • Business Center (fee)
  • Wi-Fi
  • Gift shop
  • Dedicated on-site wedding planning facilities

Deluxe Room Ocean View includes:

  • A/C
  • 1 king or 2 double beds
  • Cable TV
  • Phone
  • WiFi
  • Full Bathroom
  • Hair dryer
  • Iron & Ironing board
  • Mini bar
  • Electronic in-room safe
  • Coffee & tea maker
  • Balcony
  • Room service available for a surcharge

For the Kids

  • Explorer's Club for kids (ages 3-12)
  • Core Zone Teens Club (ages 13-17)

Wedding and Honeymoon - Special packages are available. Please inquire for details.

Early Booking Bonus - This hotel may offer early booking bonuses at certain times of the year. If early booking bonuses apply to your vacation, prices shown online have already been adjusted accordingly. Please inquire for complete details.

Resort Location Map


  • Dreams Delight Playa Bonita Panama
    Panama,Panama

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
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Secrets Playa Bonita Panama Resort & Spa
Road to Veracruz km 7 Arraijan District, Panama City Panama

Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.

Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.

Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.

Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.

Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in. Special requests cannot be guaranteed and may incur additional charges upon check-in to fulfil.

Hotels do not condone unruly behavior, parties in rooms, excessive noise or any other actions that violate the hotels terms of use. Guests may be removed from the property at their own expense in the event of any disturbance or complaint from other guests or hotel staff. Escapes.ca cannot be held responsible for any guests who may be removed from the hotel due to a violation of rules.

Escapes.ca makes every effort to ensure that the information on this page is accurate, however, all information on this page is subject to change without notice. Escapes.ca is not responsible for any changes, errors or omissions that may occur.