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InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa, Arraiján 

Road to Veracruz
Tel: 507 211 8600
view web site ›'s insider take:

Barely outside Panama City—just a 30-minute drive from downtown—is one of the country's loveliest resorts. The sprawling white InterCon resembles a sandcastle (if a sandcastle could hold 300 rooms) and sits completely alone on a mile-long stretch of golden-sand beach. The property has plenty of charms, including a 10,000-square-foot spa offering seaweed wraps and facials. The rooms themselves are pretty compelling: All are spacious and minimalist-luxe, with rattan-and-wood furnishings and cream-colored fabrics, hand-carved headboards, and cool tile floors. Many guests take advantage of the 24-hour room service to dine on their private balconies; birdsong from the adjacent rain forest makes for a romantic soundtrack. Just make sure you lather up with repellent before you go for a nighttime beach stroll; the sand fleas can ruin the mood.

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