One of my favorite hobbies in Panama City, Panama is pool crashing at luxury hotels. There is nothing like enjoying the view of an infinity pool overlooking the ocean at the Trump, and enjoying that view for free. As a foreigner it is pretty easy to get away with using hotel pools in Panama. You have to have confidence, pretend the only Spanish you know is “Gracias” and “Por Favor”, and order a few drinks so that you are not completely freeloading. It can also help to wear an “I love Panama” shirt.
Here is a list of some of the hotel pools I have used and how I did it:
- Trump Ocean Club: Magnificent pool and pretty easy to sneak into. When you enter you have to go in the elevator and go to the lobby floor indicated on the panel. When you arrive here you have to go to another elevator that is located across from you. go to floor 13 and you just have to walk up a ramp and you’ve made it there. They provide towels for you. Located in Punta Pacifica.
- The Venetto: This pool is very easy to sneak into as well. Walk in and then go to the 7th floor and the pool is there. Bring a white towel with you to blend in as a guest because towels are not provided. Located in El Cangrejo.
- Le Meridien: Small pool, but has a really good view of the city. When you walk in take a left and you will see the elevators. Go to the 6th floor and you will see the pool. Located on Avenida Balboa.
- Manrey: Very cool rooftop south beach style pool surrounded by cabanas. Elevators are to the left when you walk in the hotel, just head up to the 4th floor and you’re there. Located on Calle Uruguay.
- Hard Rock Hotel: Take the elevator to floor AS2 and grab a chair or spot by the pool. One of my favorite pools in Panama because they have real hot tubs instead of hot tubs with cold water like many places in Panama.
One of the biggest scares can be when the staff asks for your room number. If one of the staff asks for your room number after you order a drink, simply say that you will be paying your account in cash. But it also helps to have a fake room number in mind before you arrive so you can say it with confidence if they persist on you giving one. If for some reason the staff asks you to leave, don’t make a big deal. Just leave your dignity at the pool and go to one of the other many hotel pools in Panama.