FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Bristol Hotel Panama City: A Downtown Traveler Favorite for 25 Years

by Ron Bernthal

Apr 11, 2023

© Bristol Panama, A Registry Collection Hotels


On Dec. 31, 1999, the United States officially handed control of the Panama Canal to the Panamanian government, ending a long saga that started a 150 years earlier. American dominance over the Canal started to lessen in 1978, when the United States and Panama approved the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.

Beginning in 2000, despite U.S. fears Panama may have trouble controlling and protecting this major shipping channel, Panama took over the entire Panama Canal operations, and the country started using some of its huge revenue from shipping fees to support major downtown Panama City building projects. For the city hotels that opened just prior to or after the Canal’s change of hands, the timing was a godsend.  In addition, after UNESCO designated the city’s Casco Viejo District a World Heritage site in 1997, a flurry of revitalization projects also began to take shape in this part of the city, just a few minutes’ drive from the downtown Financial District. Founded in 1519 by conquistador Pedrarías Dávila, Panama’s Old City is the oldest European settlement on the Pacific coast of the Americas.

Historic District

© Joanna Tricorache

Bristol Hotel Panama City opened in 1997 as the first modern business hotel in Panama City. At the time, the hotel had just 56 rooms, one small restaurant and a bar. But with Panama’s new ownership of the Canal, a new influx of international business travelers and real estate developers were now stopping in Panama City for deal-making and planning new projects.

During this period, Bristol Hotel thrived, expanding over the years to add a new lobby, additional guestrooms (now 130) and artwork from more than 100 Latin American artists. Today, the property offers beautiful upgraded furnishings, Italian marble bathrooms and free daily rum tastings. The hotel continues to attract many leisure travelers, as well.

Of course, after 23 years of fully operating the Canal, Panama’s capital city enjoys a booming tourism industry.  Downtown hotels that have since opened include Waldorf Astoria, Le Meridien, InterContinental Miramar, JW Marriott, Hard Rock, Radisson Decapolis and, the most recent, Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo, opened in early 2023.

Panama Canal

© Joanna Tricorache

Today, the skyline of Panama City looks very much like downtown Miami, with dozens of white, residential and corporate towers overlooking the blue waters of Panama Bay; palm trees lining the busy boulevards; and trendy new restaurants and cafés offering Latino cuisine and music. Like Miami, the humidity levels in Panamá City can be oppressive, but with the U.S. dollar as local currency (as well as the Panamanian balboa), and a shared time zone with Miami, many American tourists, business executives, retirees and expats are discovering the tropical lifestyle, affordability and friendly tax laws that may await them in Panama City, just three hours non-stop from Miami International Airport.

Situated in the heart of Panama City’s Financial District, Bristol Hotel provides easy access to the city’s top attractions like Casco Viejo, the Panama Canal and Biomuseum, as well as nearby restaurants, cafes and beaches. The hotel offers 10,000 square feet of event space for local social events and international conferences, as well as a full-service spa and gym on the 25th floor with stunning views of the city; an outdoor lap pool on the fifth-floor terrace; and modern Panamanian fusion cuisine at SalSiPuedes restaurant, named after one of the city’s 18th-century food markets.

guest room

© Bristol Panama, A Registry Collection Hotels

Bristol Hotel Panama City is a member of the Registry Collection Hotels brand and part of Wyndham’s collection of hotels and resorts. Room rates begin at $189 and include breakfast.


FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Explore Excursions


Insta Feed
eFlyer Deals
Jul 17, 2024

AmaWaterways Has a Host of Savings Offers for 2024/2025 Sailings

AmaWaterways celebrates its 22nd anniversary with a plethora of savings offers on 2024 and 2025 sailings. Plan ahead and enjoy savings of up to 20 percent off on 46 different European itineraries. This offer can be combined with AmaWaterways’ exclusive AirPlus Promotion, letting travelers from all U.S. gateways enjoy economy airfare to Europe at $899, premium economy airfare at $2,299 or business-class airfare at $4,299.


There’s more to travel than just getting there.

eFlyer Lead
Jul 17, 2024

What to Know About Delta Air Lines’ New Agreement with Riyadh Air

Last week, Delta Air Lines announced a new partnership with Riyadh Air, offering a range of benefits for consumer travelers between North America, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and beyond. The new agreement strengthens connectivity and increases future growth opportunities for both carriers.

Jul 17, 2024

Delta One to Feature Luxury Brand Missoni

Delta Air Lines recently partnered with Italian luxury fashion house Missoni to create new amenity kits for Delta One. Missoni is known for creative use of colors and patterns.

Why Buy Trip Cancellation Insurance?

Don’t risk losing all the money you’ve spent if you must cancel your trip at the last minute. Allianz Travel Insurance can give you:

Global City Guidebook: Rotterdam

Situated about one hour from Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the second-largest city in The Netherlands and Europe’s largest seaport, is the more futuristic city of the pair. Rather than rebuild as it was before, following its near-destruction in World War II, Rotterdam looked ahead, and its extraordinary architecture is a result. The city has always focused on healthier living and working environments, and today it engages in climate-adaptive urban projects. Two areas harken back to old Rotterdam: Delfshaven (Delft Harbor) and Oude Haven (Old Harbor). Rotterdam is always alive, especially in springtime.

Destinations / Caribbean
Jul 12, 2024

Global City Guidebook: Punta Cana

Situated at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana’s 30 miles of white-sand beaches border the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, where a coral reef creates calm, clear waters. Together, Punta Cana and Bávaro form La Costa del Coco, or the Coconut Coast, an area boasting lavish, all-inclusive resorts. Visitors enjoy snorkeling, diving, zip lining, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and golfing, as well as national parks, local music, exquisite seafood and lively nightclubs.

Tips to Plan a Destination Event Worth the Trip

It's time to shake things up and inject some serious excitement into your next gathering. Whether  planning a corporate conference, black-tie gala or milestone celebration, choosing the right venue can make all the difference. City Winery shares some tips to make your next gathering a rockin' success.

Global City Guidebook: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Situated on the banks of the River Lagan in Northern Ireland, this capital city is the second-largest city on the island of Ireland, after Dublin. A major port, Belfast is steeped in history, from The Troubles to the construction of Titanic. Theater halls, museums, cathedrals and nearby natural sites make Belfast a continually up-and- coming city.