Rated 5 out of 5 by Claude101 Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort Front Line Staff
Our second visit to the Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort was enjoyable as our first in January. It's appropriate we acknowledge some of the outstanding first line people who work hard to make our holiday vacation memorable.
First, we must mention "Dio," who leads animation. This requires an individual of specific personalty, who can delicately coax semi-dormant guests to become motivated, and join in beach volley ball, darts tournaments, aerobics, water sports and so on. His energetic, friendly nature, along with reasonable command of English and French language makes him ideal for this activity. Noticeably, on Dio's day off, and no one of enough initiative and capable of replacing him, guests return to their vegetative state.
Why not get someone as "Jackie," who gets your drinks at the piano bar. She has a vivacious, outgoing personalty, that doesn't recognize her complete potential as a "bar keep."
At the Coco Solo Beach Restaurant is where Michael performs his housekeeping duties, not stopping to talk with anyone. He's the hardest working person we've noticed. Michael cleans and replenishes the toilets, sweeps floors, empties garbage containers, picks up drink glasses, fetches loads of clean towels, etc. He seems to know intuitively what has to be done. Again to Michael's credit, on his day off, two people are assigned to do his job.
There still isn't anyone assigned to periodically hand skim floating refuse from the lower main pool. In our two week stay, only Juan, one of the lifeguards, we'd met previously at another local resort, did any skimming.
In the main dinning room, if you're seated in Michael's or Juan's section you're assured of superb service. Both these servers move quickly and efficiently, anticipating guests needs. And when they have their area serviced, they don't remain idle; moving to an adjacent section to help out. Then there's long, tall Freddy. We first met Freddy three or four years ago, serving in the dinning room of another local resort. He didn't seem happy. When he noticed us at the Sheraton, he quickly reintroduced himself. Whether Freddy is setting up for a destination wedding, bar tending, acting as head waiter in one of the a la carte restaurants, or serving in the main dinning room, his performance is superb and professional. Best of all; he's now happy. Missing from the outside of all a la carte restaurants are menus. These help guests decide on entrees, hours before seating, reducing the time spent on arrival.
We did encounter incomplete and tardy housekeeping issues. We mentioned this to Jhoan on the front desk a couple times. Jhoan recognized us from our previous visit. Things improved for a couple days, then returned to the previous inefficiency. Finally we spoke to Roxanne, the Sheraton Guest Services lady. Her command of the English language is impeccable. She called housekeeping each morning and told them to refresh our room completely by 11:am. Now that's looking after the guest. She even sent us a fresh bowl of fruit.
Hopefully, we'll renew out acquaintance with all these folks for another couple weeks in November.
April 24, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by AlexJ33 Great service and platinum recognition.
Could this hotel use a little love and a few renovations? Yes. Could the bathroom in the room have been a little cleaner and newer? Probably. But those things don't at all take away from what was an incredible, memorable stay.
Upon arrival we were immediately escorted to the platinum check in desk, where our concierge had already prepared our room keys, towel cards, and dinner reservations. The normal check in line must have been a 20 minute wait, but we were in our room relaxing within 2 minutes of arrival.
Our suite was nice, nothing particularly special on the inside. The bathroom could have used a deep cleaning to clear out the grout, but the powerful rainforest showerhead more than made up for it. The best part of the room, and in our opinion the entire hotel, was the balcony. Beachfront, with two sunbeds and tables. Pro-Tip, bring a table outside to put between the beds and watch movies and drink privately by the beach all night.
The staff continuously impressed us with their attentiveness and personal touch.
Also, get the Hawaiian massage. Amazing.
There are some great unpublished benefits for spg platinum members, too, such as premium alcohol, that one should definitely inquire about upon arrival.
Despite nearly full occupancy, the pools and beach never felt crowded or loud.
February 15, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Claude101 Superior to all hotels in this general area.
Sheriton Bijao Beach Resort
The Sheriton Bijao Beach Resort; owned by Sunstar Hotel and Development Corp., was built in 2009 and situated immediately adjacent the Bijao Condominium Complex.
Standard suits are spacious and clean, with more than enough storage drawers, shelving and closet space for a family of four. Housekeeping is timely and efficient. You may want to select a suite on the inside or pool view side of the hotel. A driveway just inside Bijao condominium community is used by condo residents as "doon buggy" access to the beach. Especially weekends they race up and down this driveway with their souped up machines. You could expect to be awaken in the middle of the night by folks returning on their doon buggy from a beach party, hammered out of their minds and singing at the top of their voices. Or you could just join in!
The morning after out arrival we went to the front desk to enquire about the TV and safe function. We hadn't returned to our room 5 minutes, before the technicians showed up. But this immediate service wasn't what really surprised us. What impressed us most, was after we'd explained our problem to the desk receptionist, she voluntarily offered if we'd yet made our al a carte dinner reservations. We found this type of guest sensitivity would prevail through out our stay.
There are four fast efficient Korean Goldstar elevators, not all bunched together, but spread out through the four main sections or buildings. This decreases guest walking the halls to reach their destination. Equal are service elevators, as not to impede guests.
The entire hotel complex is smoke free, except in the designated smoking area. It's out front in the parking lot. No shade umbrella or chairs; just two butt pails. The place crawls with security, so abstinence is strictly enforced. Funny how some countries can seemingly enact laws overnight. Only a couple or three years ago we were offered cigarettes at all bars, and you could smoke anywhere. Also, it may seem a small thing, but there's free Wi-Fi through out. And it's 24hrs. per day. Elsewhere you pay US$100.00 for a two week stay.
We've noticed more elderly and wheel chair bound guests traveling. In keeping with this trend all areas and levels are negotiable, though the hotel is built into the side of a hill. This is also the first facility we've noticed to have defibrillators located through out.
There are three al a carte and one buffet restaurant. At the main buffet lunch and dinner, there's always a prime entree of either roast beef, turkey or pork. It's the only place we've found in Central America, to serve roast beef tender enough to cut with a fork. The menu is extensive, tasty and generally seems to lean to the North American palate. The dinning room seating is randomly arranged promoting an enjoyable meal. Lunch at the beach grill begins around 11:00, and sort of continues the remainder of the day. Quite a few people seem to enjoy the early lunch. At the Mediterranean restaurant when our fish platter arrived, we asked about lime for flavouring. The young male waiter without hesitation, immediately said: "just a moment." He grabbed a small serving plate, ran out the front door to the nearest bar, and returned in less than 30 seconds with three lime wedges. The generous fish entre was excellent. Dining at Sakura al a carte Japanese restaurant is in the traditional custom. Seated in a "U" shape around the grill, on counter height dinning chairs, the chef prepares a meal of beef, chicken or sea food in front of you. The chef prepares every item separately, and serves them individually, so you can custom design your course. The meal is superb, but watch the chef, he'll try to completely fill your plate. The first seating at the beach grill isn't till 7:30, but it's worth the wait. Steaks are a good half inch thick, tender and juicy, without sinew or fat. Best of all, they're prepared precisely as you've requested. Finally, your glass is continually "topped up" at all restaurants with excellent bottled Chilean wine, it's not bulk dispensed.
There are seven pools of various depths and ground levels built into the hillside. Many overflow into the lower one, finally arriving at the lower main pool. Along the way there's two Jacuzzis, something you seldom find elsewhere. If the already clear pools could use it, would be occasionally daily skimming of the lower main pool which receives all refuse form subsequent pools. There doesn't seem to be anyone assigned this job. We were particularly impressed by the lifeguard safety control of the long, high water slide. There's one at the top and one at the bottom to control use, so the lower landing pool is completely empty. There's as many adults use it as children. There are two or three 7 inch depth pools, folks draw lounges into and just "vedge" there for hours under an umbrella. Something we just don't understand, but it seems to appeal to a lot of people. Their water sports program have all the usual equipment, just on a smaller scale. They don't promote, as is common with other resorts, but everything is there if you want to make use of it, even to wind surfing. We look forward to an early return.
January 22, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by VVK2015 Great stay at Sheraton in Panama
My wife and I have visited Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort in Santa Clara, Panama to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in November 2015. We were very happy with our choice. The servers at the front lobby were very helpful, the place was clean and we often used it to sit and relax during the day. The rooms were great, clean, very specious with great view (garden/ocean view). The main buffer restaurant was clean, well kept and offered a big verity of food. The servers were outstanding, quickly learned our favorite drinks, and were ready to serve as soon as we came in. We didn't try any of the a la carte restaurants, so cannot speak for them.
Due to the large daily ocean tide, you could easily find the seaweed on the beach. The staff did clean the seaweed, but not daily. The sand was quite unique and beautiful, combining two different colors, black and gold, to make new designs on the beach every other minute.
There were at least 4 different pools available for us to enjoy, each of them provide different activities. All of the pools were very clean, and had a lot of space to relax.
We would have appriciated a trip or two organized to the nearest shopping area.
We will defiantly want to come back and stay much longer then our original two week vacation!
December 30, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by jmmp0224 This hotel is really fun
This hotel is excellent for family trip, for a romantic dinner in front of the beach or only for getting away from our daily rutine. You will have fun all day long with a lot of activities, and then at night you can have a more romantic dinner having an sky full of stars. Sheraton Bijao is an amazing hotel.
December 7, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by DioPinzon AWFUL!
This is probably, the worst hotel I have ever been in my life.
The food was terrible, the staff was rude and didn't care at all, the night activities were atrocious, boring with tasteless humor. It fell like they improvised everything that night with talent less people.
The bed and room, was excellent, they were very comfy.
Now, the fact that the room and bed were the best things in the whole weekend, tells you that this was a complete nightmare ( Thanks G'd Freddy Kruger didn't show up)
I really hope upper management (Starwood Executives) make the right decisions on the staff and local managers, because the place is beautiful and have a great potential.
November 21, 2015
Rated 1 out of 5 by MissTang The most terrible hotel i have ever been.
The view from this hotel is excellent, the whole concept of the hotel is great. But the people operating this franchise have spent cero money on maintenance.
We were a big family group that booked 5 rooms : 9 adults + 8 children. We stayed on the 2 floor of the side building. The rooms lacked painting, the bathroom door didn't close properly, the AC vent was dirty. The power outlet was broken, the sink didn't function properly. Trust me i could go on. . .
The elevator didn't work ( so you can imagine trying to carry the baby strollers to the second floor with the hot weather of panama ) . . . i was sent by the cargo elevator and the mess i saw was terrible.
The pools were filthy, we found mold around the pool areas, i found napkins floating around. The chairs in the lobby area were filthy & the guest bathrooms were smelly.
The staff was very helpful and ashamed of what happened because they knew that the hotel owners / operators don't invest a single penny on making the hotel better.
Needless to say, we were checking out the next day and headed to another SPG hotel ( which is operated by another company in Panama )
I have plenty of pictures to illustrate our stay, so if you would like , contact me by email and i can provide them. Along with the email the director of operations sent me as an apology.
Its a pity because you book your stay of a 4 star hotel you don't expect this situation to happen. In the end we lost a whole day of our vacations.
August 25, 2015
Rated 5 out of 5 by myjordan Wonderful stay
Exellent resort very attentive staff.
excellent quality accomodations and food selection. The SPG staff Irene Avalos is wonderful and attentive and the hotel manager Santiago tries to ensure all goes well and Eyre at the front desk; Judy and Maricarmen went out of their way to help with tours and special requests.
June 23, 2015