With new convention centers opening in and around Panama City, Panama, planners were already eyeing the Central American destination—but now there’s even more reason to do so.
The 182-room Santa Maria, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Golf Resort debuted on Feb. 22 as one of Marriott’s newest Luxury Collection properties. And luxurious it is, situated in a high-end neighborhood near Costa del Este and Santa Maria business parks.
Its lavish feel is matched by an authentic Panamanian design. The idea behind the design: that attendees will really get a sense of the destination’s history and cultural traditions. For instance, guest rooms include Guna Yala inspired traditional Mola blankets decorating the beds as well as handmade baskets created by the local Embera tribe. Beyond the guest room, the public spaces feature equally exquisite handcrafted furniture and curated artworks made by local Panamanian artists. The wooden pillars in the lobby are also made from the square-shaped trunks of the cottonwood trees growing in El Valle de Anton, while other wooden elements in the public spaces are made from wood rescued from the depths of Gatun Lake.
Onsite concierges can help organize local immersion tours for groups, including a canoe trip down the Chagres River to spend a day with the Embera tribe or the Reprosa Treasures of Panama experience that gives insight into the country’s history with gold and silver jewelry. Attendees can also experience the local flavors at Mestizo Restaurant, where Panamanian cuisines infuse with international dishes. Even the Coffee Shop pours the unique Geisha coffee, exclusive to the Boquete region of the country. Native ingredients also show up in the ancestral spa treatments given at the resort’s spa, especially in its signature spa treatment inspired by the Holy Spirit Orchid, Panama’s national flower.
Lastly, groups will appreciate the resort’s onsite golf course and 18,000 sf of sunlit meeting space that round out the resort experience.