We recently travelled to Panama for our second trip and this time stayed at the Contadora Island Resort, for two weeks (Jan.31-Feb 14) instead of the Decameron (which is a fabulous resort by the way). This was the worse resort my family has ever stayed at.
The Resort: – Hotel room was just barely clean, nothing spectacular about the service either. The floor was mopped maybe once or twice while we were there, and never swept up and we’re tracking in sand & dirt from the beach. – When we arrived one of the first things we noticed was the hundreds of dead bugs in the light fixture in the bathroom as well as those in the bathtub. This bathroom was so old, it was falling apart. The floor tile was crumbling ? wasn’t a pleasant feeling having a piece of tile stuck in your foot. The room was re-tiled so why didn’t they re-tile the bathroom. – The next thing was cockroaches. We killed at least two to three a day ( and those are the ones we saw.) They were somehow getting in through the bathroom. All the staff did was pull out a can of raid (it didn’t matter if you switched rooms, the whole place was infested, other people we met had the same problem and were located in different sections of the resort.) – We either had a cold shower, scalding shower or no shower. You never knew what you were going to get. We had to be very careful when taking a shower or you’d end up getting burnt. The first person to take a shower that night might have cold water, then the next person would start out with maybe a cold shower & it would instantly turn to scalding hot water (this is no joke). This is when you did get water. We went a whole day during our second week, where we had absolutely no water at all (that meant no water at all – no sink, no toilet, no shower) This was through out the resort because we even went to use the lobby bathroom and it was gross ?unflushed toilets full of human waste. No one notified the guests. Then that entire second week after this, our water was shut off, all night, every night after 11:30-12:00 (again, no one ever notified guests of this). And a few times we’d be showering around 4-5pm and all of a sudden you have no more water. When you went to complain they play stupid. What upsets us the most is that we PAID for this! It was absolutely ridiculous. – If they could post notices all over the place telling us that the power was going to off from 10am-Noon one day could they not have did the same for the water problem?
– The facilities were filthy. Garbage was never picked up. The pool areas were never swept or washed down and there was bird crap all over the pool ‘decking’ area and the lounge chairs, not to mention the thousands of ants (yes all right at the side of the pool). Every other resort we’ve been to has always had someone wash down the pool area and chairs each night or morning. The kid’s pool had no water in it, but it did have a nice collection of garbage ? cups, chip bags etc. There seemed to be too many staff just walking around with clipboards, doing nothing. Maybe they should pick up a broom or mop and get cleaning.
More Concerns: As for Activities ? what activities, the only thing ever done that any saw was ‘stretching’ at the pool & once a week a walking tour of the island. Activity staff was pretty lazy compared to other places. – Food was boring and dull but edible. We realize with being on an island that they have to import everything in, and it makes it difficult to prepare many different dishes, but we’d had enough of stale bread. The A la Carte restaurants we found we much better than the buffet one – they were quite good, especially the Italian & International. – As for service in the restaurants, unless you were giving tips to most of the servers, you were ignored( not all of the servers did this, but a lot were). – Personal safety was an issue. It was dangerous to walk around at night because of poor lighting, which it made it that much easier for whoever to break into 3-4 different rooms, bust open their safes and steal cash & credit cards. This all happened within the first week we were there. Anyone could have fallen into the pool and no one would see them. There is also many exposed wires and pipes in areas that are used frequently by guests. – Overall we felt that the place was misrepresented in the World of Vacations brochure and the local rep was no help to any WOV patrons that had any compliants. You don’t see any dilapidated buildings, with the roof peeling off and missing shingles do you? We realize that they are renovating some buildings but apparently we weren’t in one of them. It is no more than a one star resort ? its definitely not a three. If it’s a three, the Decameron is 5/6 star resort.
The main positive is that its very peaceful & quiet and the beaches are beautiful.