JW Marriott Panama, luxury and gastronomy in the same place

Opened in 2018, the hotel is positioned as a leader in the Panamanian market with an acclaimed track record and a strong commitment to innovation to continue improving

The JW Marriott Panama is a 5-star hotel that is conveniently located on the Bay of Panama and close to the Multiplaza Pacific Mall. Inside there are several restaurants with multiple options ranging from seafood to specialties of local and American cuisine, which can be accompanied by any of the varieties available in the wine bar. The rooms are spacious, modern and have private balconies with ocean views, as well as a terrace area with swimming pools, a place to eat and an entire floor dedicated to designer shops. We spoke with Demetrio Maduro, general manager of the hotel, and these were his responses:

How has the project for this property been and what goals did you have?
The hotel is one of the most representative buildings of the architecture of Panama City, almost 300 meters high, in the shape of an unfolded sail and facing the sea, the modern architecture of the property has become an emblem of the City of Panama and its horizon.
Located in front of the ocean in the prestigious neighborhood of Punta Pacifica in Panama City, it is close to the banking, commercial and entertainment areas.
The luxury proposal offered by the hotel has conquered both leisure and business travelers, since we offer comfortable and versatile spaces, as well as services at hand for greater comfort and ease of executives during their stay in the city. Whether for business or vacation.

It is a very special date since the hotel celebrates its anniversary, could you highlight the milestones in history and how do you describe the present?
It has been 4 years of many unforgettable moments, from our opening in September 2018, to experiencing the global health situation and recovering from it.
During these 4 years we celebrate the opening of our iconic Masi restaurant, we praise the trajectory, the outstanding flavor of Panamanian and international gastronomy, the attention and authenticity as part of the distinctive features of JW Marriott Panama.
Among some of the achievements we have had, we can mention being the hotel awarded among the list of the best hotels in Central America by Conde Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards in 2021. Additionally, in 2022, we received recognition from TripAdvisor as part of the 20 “Best of the Best” hotels highlighting the best properties to find in Panama City.
Currently, we have positive expectations, we want to continue positioning Panama City as a captivating destination that continues to grow at the forefront of travel.

Could you reveal how is your commercial mix between trade, MICE?
Our hotel offers facilities to conquer and satisfy different profiles of travelers, from those who dare to discover the magic of Panama City during their vacations to executives who visit us on business, everyone is welcome.
We have luxury rooms all of them equipped with areas to work and rest, bathtub and balconies. All our rooms have a sea view, either partial or total.
JW Marriott Panama is a desired hotel for weddings, corporate events and others, due to our facilities and excellent services.
The MICE segment has evolved in the new reality and we have also adapted to offer new approaches to meetings and events, a market for which Panama has always been one of the preferred destinations, since it has infrastructure and air connectivity.
The hotel incorporated tools to facilitate virtual and hybrid events in its facilities, and seeks to profile itself as one of the best options in Panama City for the MICE segment. From the planning process to the actual event, the hotel's facilities are adapted to the new normality to provide comfortable experiences for both organizers and guests.
 Part of the novelties of the hotel is the virtual tour in real time so that the hosts of events can get to know the hotel spaces and the rooms equipped with screens, projectors, microphones, professional cameras and broadband internet for live broadcasts.

Marriott Bonvoy has had a growth meteorite, what does it represent for you?
It is the award-winning travel program of Marriott International.
Marriott Bonvoy's portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands offers renowned hospitality in the world's most memorable destinations.
Members earn points when they stay at more than 8,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy properties in 139 countries.
Members can earn points for stays at hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive resorts and premium home rentals, as well as through everyday purchases with co-branded credit cards.
Members can redeem their points for experiences including future stays, Marriott Bonvoy Moments, or for luxury merchandise from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.
With the Marriott Bonvoy app, members enjoy a level of personalization and contactless experience that allows them to travel with peace of mind.
Being a member is easy and free, you can register by downloading the Marriott Bonvoy app on your phone or through the website.
Marriott Bonvoy has more than 169 million members worldwide.

Urban Leisure is a global trend, how do you think it influences your property?
Without a doubt, urban tourism or urban leisure is a trend. As travelers accelerate their plans and vacations, many are embarking on city adventures around the world. As in the United States or Europe, travelers normally carry out leisure tourism in large cities, so the objective is to motivate all travelers to discover the attractions of Latin American cities, which in turn offer a wide variety of options cultural and gastronomic.
The growth of urban tourism in recent years, fueled by affordable transportation, increased mobility, travel facilitation, new technologies, and a growing middle class, has made cities increasingly popular tourist destinations. the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
And speaking of Panama City itself, we can highlight great attractions to enjoy urban tourism, starting because it is a city by the sea, so visitors can enjoy the dynamism of the city with views of the ocean, which is a city that combines modernism with the historical part and everything is close.
According to a survey conducted by Marriott International, 69% of participants indicated that exploring the history and culture of a place is one of the experiences they most enjoy when traveling. For lovers of history or for those who want to learn more about Panama's cultural richness, in the vicinity of the hotel there is a glimpse of traditions that highlight unique experiences and adventures.
A plan that I always recommend to enjoy urban tourism in Panama is to explore the Panama Canal. There are two ways to do it. The easiest way is to visit the observation facilities located above the main locks of the canal, the other option, which is my favorite, is to board a tourist boat to float on the canal, which can be arranged directly from the hotel.
Other sites to consider are the Biomuseo, where you can explore exhibits showing how the land bridge changed migration routes, evolution, and climate when it emerged millions of years ago; and the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town, with its colorful colonial streets, open-air plazas, and restaurants is the best place to find street art and colonial architecture.
In addition to this, the JW Marriott Panama offers its special urban leisure offer with which it invites you to enjoy a getaway in the city discovering the wide variety of cultural and gastronomic options in Panama City.

Which are the most important source markets and why?
Panama has an attractive geographical position for tourists and a chain of various elements that promote tourism, among them the following stand out: the promotion of the country as a tourist destination, the connectivity of international and local transport, the latter also benefits from the short distances to tour the country-, the development of hotels, extensive complementary services (travel agencies, tour operators, etc.) and the availability of a wide range of restaurants.
According to the Statistics Department of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), a total of 578,297 international visitors entered the country's main ports from January to April 2022, some 450,051 more compared to 2021, that is, a growth of 350.9%.
Tourism is becoming more dynamic in part thanks to the relaxation of sanitary measures and at JW Marriott Panama we are more than happy to welcome travelers. In terms of international travelers, we could mention some relevant markets such as the USA, Mexico, Central America and Colombia.
Similarly, the local market is important to us, we seek to offer enriching experiences of local tourism.

What are the challenges from now on after the dark stage of the pandemic is over?
Innovation to be current and meet the needs of travelers. We are aware of trends, some that have emerged and others that we saw prior to the pandemic but that in the current context become relevant, such is the case of bleisure. With the reactivation of business trips, we have seen that executives are taking advantage of extending their stay to get to know the destination they are visiting.

How do you work to be leaders in such a competitive market?
We continue to strengthen the training of the staff, trust in the brand and ensuring that the client who arrives leaves totally satisfied with the experience they have in our hotel.
Also offering luxury experiences that remain in the minds of travelers and taking advantage of the vibrant and captivating destination that is Panama City.
The extensive dining options at the hotel appeal to a wide range of palates, not to mention the luxurious facilities the hotel offers for both leisure and business travelers.
I cannot fail to mention the great human talent that we have at the hotel, I am more than grateful for belonging to an exceptional team in which we aim to always be aware of the needs of our customers and make them feel at home.

What is your message to the community of tourism professionals?
Innovation is definitely the primary characteristic to reinvent ourselves and strengthen the foundations of knowledge and learning that allow us to catapult ourselves as an essential destination in Latin America. In this way, with Human Capital willing to exceed the expectations of the travelers who visit us every day, we will create experiences and moments that not only make our guests and clients happy, but also develop in them memories that make them choose our country as a destination again. vacation or business.

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