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Riu Playa Blanca

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  • Overview
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Overview
Stay at the Riu Playa Blanca in Panama and enjoy world-class hospitality services, white sand beach and a fabulous 24-hour all inclusive plan including limitless international drinks. Guests have access to a variety of water sports and daily activities, as well as a fully-equipped fitness centre. Dine a la carte at one of the specialty restaurants, relax under a palapa on the beach and let the kids burn off energy in the Kids Club!

Location: Beachfront at Playa Blanca. 150 km from Panama City airport.

tripadvisor Traveler Reviews
  • Al M :
Will NOT be back!

Worst RIU Ever!Nice hotel!Good room.Staff are a complete joke. They don't know the meaning of hospitality! Or being Personable. Riu could at least teach the staff basic English. I am not asking for them to be fluent but at least make an effort as I did with Spanish.Food was ok but nothing great and gets worse as the week goes on.A LA Carte restaurants are laughable.Food was terrible! And the the service was extremely sub-par. 30 minute wait for our meal.Entertainment nightly shows was like a high school talent show. A very poor excuse for entertainment! Come on RIU you could do alot better.I would not visit Panama ever again. The people are not friendly at all. They are not hospitable. And act like you don't exist and don't need tourism to support them.All in all it is what it is. I am not complaining but just stating the obvious. I guess when you have had better, then you expect better. This wasn't what I expected.

  • travelbugNG : Ontario, Canada
Great Family Resort

It’s a shame this hotel markets itself as a 5 star resort because it’s definitely not a 5 star property BUT it is a very solid 4 star hotel. If you come expecting a solid 4 star resort (as we did) then you will not be disappointed! A complete breakdown is below but for the right price I would recommend this hotel to most people, especially for families and those with kids.FOOD/DRINK – Overall very good. Lots of variety at the main buffet and decent selection at the beach buffet. Buffet is lacking true made-to-order stations but they do cook lots of dishes in front of you and then fill up trays directly from the grill/cooktop so food always tasted fresh, was served hot and re-stocked regularly. They are big on efficiency at this hotel which is great as they have serve yourself drink stations (including wine, beer and coffee) and often have duplicates of hot food dishes in different places to keep things moving. The a la cartes were a bit disappointing - the Italian was only a la carte for the main course (apps and dessert were buffet), the Asian a la carte was 100% buffet (although the food was excellent, especially the tuna and salmon) and Steakhouse was a true la carte but had limited menu options and only mediocre food. Drinks were very good overall with lots of variety. Canadian’s will be happy to hear they do proper caeser’s with clamato juice! Premium liquor was advertised but the best we saw was Smirnoff and Canadian Club at the lobby bar only. One complaint would be that the steakhouse, which at a “5 star” resort one would expect to be high-end, did not even offer cocktails (only wine and beer!)BEACH/POOLS – Both good. The 4 pools offered a nice variety from a kids pool, pool with swim up bar, an active pool and a quieter pool. Music was playing almost all day the pools though so those looking for a quiet spot would need to go to the beach. As others mentioned the beach is a darker send and almost black near the ocean but there were not many rocks and we could walk out in the water in bare feet without any issue so we enjoyed our time there. The only issue with bare feet was how hot the sand was…the hottest any of us had ever experienced for sure. Of all the resorts we have been this was one of the best in terms of lounge chair availability at both pool and beach. Although the premium shady spots by the pool were taken early in the am, you could always find a chair any time of day, especially at the beach (including by a palm tree with shade if you wanted)ROOMS – Nice rooms that were clean, modern and simple. Nothing fancy but had everything you could need. In room liquor bottles and mini fridge were handy, although mini fridge only re-stocked every other day. We opted for the OceanFRONT room which put us right at the end of the building overlooking the pool and beach. The upgrade cost was minimal and we felt it was worth it as the courtyard rooms have little privacy (although it seems most rooms have oceanVIEWS. Note that our oceanFRONT room had no bath, only a walk in shower. HOTEL – Definitely a unique hotel which has a very modern, North American feel. Didn’t have the same look and feel as other southern hotels so that may be an issue for some but to us it wasn’t negative, just something unique. The restaurants are large and airy which made it nice for us and our friends with small kids (their loud noises didn’t bother anyone!). Couples looking for a quiet and intimate atmosphere might be disappointed. Nice property overall though, everything was well kept and still felt pretty new. Common places such lobby bar and theatre had lots of comfy seating and good views. Free WiFi is available in select common areas only, it worked ok most of the time.SERVICE – No complaints with service in general as long as you are not expecting 5 star service. This resort is lacking things typically associated with higher end hotels such as drink service at the pool or beach. Staff were generally very nice, friendly and hardworking throughout the hotel. One disappointment was that the hotel staff left me to struggle with 3 people’s luggage loading on the bus while my friends tended to their ill child. I have been to many 4-5 star hotels where staff would have seen that and rushed over to help me, but not here.In summary, this is a solid 4 star resort with lots of variety, activities, and good food that would make it a good value pick, especially for families and those with kids.

  • Peppermay2014 : Toronto, Canada
HOT HOT HOT vacation

This is our second time at this resort and it's lovely and now an airport is located 8 minutes away! The weather was perfect and very hot being so close to the equator sunscreen is a must! We really enjoyed the steak house and Italian restaurants. Everything is clean and the staff are more than accommodating. We rented a car and drove to the mountains to visit the mud baths and a restaurant recommended to us. I have read some of the reviews and didn't have a problem with anything and I can be "particular", if you don't have hot water it's the operator not the hotel (hot is in the middle) someone else enlightened me to this. If you are thinking of going have a wonderful time!

  • ryderdog : Sarnia, Canada
just ok

bathrooms were a big hike from the beaches and pool area. A big mistake, lots of people in pool all day so guess where they go! Pretty ucky, The week we there ocean filled with sea lice or red flagged. Rooms were spacious and dining was good but would not return. I travel for the beaches and visiting surrounding area...nothing near by. Staff was ok only, they discouraged any personally arranged travel.. would not return

  • HamiltonONT : Hamilton Ontario
Highly recommend this resort in Panama

I am giving this resort a 4 out of 5 only because of the food. There was lots of variety, but nothing that got any of us very excited at meal time.The check in process was very simple, no hiccups and we were in our room very quickly. Staff were friendly and helpful.The rooms are very nice with a modern appearance of white, grey and red. The bathroom/shower was extremely nice - for those who have experienced bad bathrooms, this is important. There is a separate room for the toilet which helps when getting ready for the evening.The resort is very well maintained. The grounds are kept clean and are very picturesque with tropical flowers and greenery. Palm trees never hurt obviously to enhance the view. The grounds are large enough that you never feel crowded but not so big that you need a cart to get from place to place. All restaurants, pools, and beach area is very accessible and nothing is more than 5 minutes away on the resort. The beach area, which is where we spent our days, has loads of shade and loads of lounge chairs. There were 4 in our party and we never had a problem getting lounge chairs together. The beach is wide and very walkable – safety was never in question. We walked the beach early in the morning before it got too hot. You can walk about ½ hour each way from the resort until you reach an estuary that I don’t think is passable but I didn’t try. The ocean is very swimmable and there is a lifeguard along with signs indicating swimming condition. It is the ocean so caution flags are pretty much always flying.The staff were a bit standoffish, but pleasant. This was fine with me - I wasn’t there to make friends with the bartender. Service at the bars was quick and always pleasant. Staff didn’t engage in chit chat but I expect the language is a barrier for most.We tried the steak house and the Italian ala carte restaurants, we passed on the Asian. Both the Steak house meal and the Italian meal were very good. The Italian is a combination of Buffet and of the menu.My only hesitation in recommending this resort is the food. There was plenty of it and loads of variety. Our group normally goes to Mexico and this was not the same calibre of food we have received at Riu’s in Mexico. Perhaps if I had known this ahead of time I would have adjusted my expectations.If you are looking for a “Party Place” I would suggest you look elsewhere. This resort is more quiet which suited us just fine for this vacation since we were just away to relax and recharge our batteries so to speak.We did the ½ day Panama Canal, ½ day Panama City tour purchased from SunWing on the plane for $110 Canadian. It was a very good day, and I would recommend this tour to get a taste of Panama.As far as the pools go, we used all the pools and they were all very nice. Not really refreshing later in the day but very clean and well maintained.If you are considering Panama for a vacation, I would certainly recommend the Riu Playa Blanca.

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

  • 3 Meals daily plus 24-hour snacks
  • All drinks 24-hour (domestic beer and cocktails, select international brands, house wine with meals )
  • Daily activities
  • Introductory scuba lesson in pool
  • Non-motorized water sports
  • Evening entertainment

RIU�-topia bonus:

  • Welcome cocktail
  • Unlimited International drinks
  • In-room liquor dispenser
  • Unlimited dining at a specialty restaurants
  • In-room mini bar re-stocked regularly
  • In-room safe
  • 20% discount on select excursions booked with Signature
  • Signature Hour from 4 - 5 p.m.
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby (90 min/per day)
  • Spa credit available (applies to selected treatments, may vary per hotel)
  • 573 Rooms
  • 2 Pools
  • Kids pool
  • Kids Club
  • 4 Restaurants
  • 5 Bars
  • Shops
  • Conference Room (fee)
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi in lobby for 90 consecutive minutes daily
  • Concierge Desk
  • Tour Desk
  • Beauty Salon (fee)
  • Non-Motorized water sports
  • Gym 
  • Golf (fee) (nearby)
Garden View Room:
  • Air Conditioned
  • Ceiling Fan
  • Hair Dryer
  • Safety Deposit Box
  • Satellite TV
  • Mini Bar
  • Balcony or Terrace
  • Liquor Dispenser
  • Telephone
  • Vanity Mirror
  • Bathroom
  • May or may not include sofa or sofa bed
  • Maximum Occupancy 4; Maximum Number of Adults 3
Kids Deals - Children under 2 stay and eat FREE. Children 2-12 yrs pay special rates when sharing a room with 2 paying adults. Max 2 children per room.

Honeymoon Bonus - Surprise welcome gift in your room, King-size bed, Late check-out, and Complimentary upgrade to next available room class. Request at time of booking. Proof of marriage required. Subject to availability and subject to change.
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


  • Riu Playa Blanca
    Panama,Panama

  • Hotel Contacts
  • Extra Info
  • Disclaimer
Hotel Riu Playa Blanca
Finca 43.668 Playa Blanca - Provincia de Cocle, Rio Hato 0213 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.