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Sheraton Bijao

Just returned from this resort and really enjoyed it.  It wasn’t as bad as some reviews in the past have posted & we thought it was just fine.  We would return only if the new airport was open & the flight landed there…the long 2 hrs. drive was a bit much.  Will post a review in the next week.

Yes please post review. It is new hotel and I am interested to see your review. Did you stay in the hotel for the week or you went to Panama City etc. Was there a lots of people. What countries other tourists are from? I agree with you that ride is bit too long and hopefully they will do something about it.

Review has been sent in. It previously was the Breezes and completely refurbished. They didn’t scrimp on the furnishings. We were there for one week and did spend a day in Panama City. Its a very busy city and many people coming and going. The traffic was insane ! I really think it takes alot of guts to drive the city as there didn’t appear to be any driving rules…you just inch your car in - honk your horn and nudge in…lol. Frightening but fun. We ran into tourists mostly from United States. Some from other island like Venezuela and Colombia. Few from Canada. If the new airport that is slated to open soon, receives international flights, we’ll definitely go back. Just haven’t gotten an answer as to whether this will happen or not.

I have been many times in Panama and yes traffic in the Panama City is insane. Who feels stronger goes. Actually now traffic is bit better than it used to be before as now they have new Cinta Costera what was Avenida Balboa before. Avenida Balboa was tiny and now they build hwy through the city called Cinta Costera. Panama is good because weather is hot all over the year. True there can be some nasty rains during the raining season but they need that rain for the canal. One of the things that I see in Panama different than many countries that there is no people who ask you to spare the change. Prices of food and clothes and other things is very cheap. I met many Canadians who moved and retired in Panama and they love it there.

I can’t believe how cheap things are in Panama. From clothing to groceries…unbelievable. I can understand why people settle down in Panama. I can see hubby and myself checking out real estate and staying put. We really appreciated no vendors and no hassles from people begging for money. Even walking in Penonome, no one asked for money or bugged us to shop in their store…that was very welcoming to us.

Infrastructure as well is top and services such as Internet, Cable TV etc is available everywhere. Panama was voted many years as number 1 place to retire and I went there to check it out about 6 years ago. After that I visited many times because I really like it there. Maintenance fee for apartments is not high as here from $100 to $180 a month and most real-estate properties ate big. One big plus that Panama offers regarding investments and real-estate is that they offer 20 years no property tax on the new developments. We all know how expensive property tax can be in North America. Plus they offer visas for people who wnat to retire “Pensionado Visa” or Retirement Visa as long as you have proof that you getting $1000/month from retirement in Canada or RRSP or investment, TFSA etc. Anyway I am glad that you liked it there as I know many people that love to go there and enjoy Panama.

No property tax? that’s an interesting fact to know. Btw, I have sent in my review (over a week) ago, wondering if it’s lost or just a back log of reviews to sort through?

Ok, just re-sent my review. Used the form (again) from the home page that is provided.

It is not lost I found it … having small issue that I am trying to fix at the moment! Thanks for submitting your review!!

[p]Looking forward to seeing the review. We’ve been to Panama several times, six times to Royal Decameron and once to Playa Blanca. Love the country, but a change of scenery (meaning try another resort) interest me.

Yes there is the disadvantage of that long two hour ride, but so worth it.  If only that airport would open to international flights. So many rumors going around when that is going to happen. [/p][p]
[/p][p]We have a friend who bought a home in the mountains last year and graciously offered us to stay with her, but we do prefer to be on the beach.  [/p][p]
[/p][p]Interesting hearing through her, that it isn’t all that easy to settle in Panama for good.  So many loopholes to go through.  [/p]

[quote=@bebbie]
[p]Interesting hearing through her, that it isn’t all that easy to settle in Panama for good.  So many loopholes to go through.  [/p][/quote]

Sure it is not easy especially when you are away form the big city! Many bought homes in the mountains because of the weather. They have perfect weather on the mountains not too hot not cold just perfect 25 c to 28 c but some things that we take here for granted in Panama takes forever. But comparing with other countries where they have hurricanes or high crime Panama is the one of the best choices. International Living Magazine gives the best reviews year after year as the best place to retire.

[quote=@bebbie]
Interesting hearing through her, that it isn’t all that easy to settle in Panama for good.  So many loopholes to go through.  [/quote]

I’m not surprised. We may think it’s a piece of cake to retire permanently to a lovely tropical place until the reality of all those loopholes kicks in.

Did your friend mention what some of the loopholes are? From what I’ve heard, meeting permanent residency requirements is one of the big issues. Easiest way apparently is if you are married to someone born there. A former colleague successfully retired to Costa Rica 3 years ago, but her husband was Costa Rican by birth even though he grew up in Canada.

Actually for Panama is not so hard to get “pensionado visa” and with that visa you can stay as long as you wish. You can obtain “pensionado visa” if you receive $1000/month from any source as your retirement and you have to show the proof. The source of money can be Canadian RRSP or government of Canada pension etc… Once you have “pensionado visa” in Panama you are entitled for many benefits . here are some:

50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events)
30% off bus, boat, and train fares
25% off airline tickets
25% off monthly energy bills
30% to 50% off hotel stays
15% off hospital bills*

If you would like to read more please check this link http://internationalliving.com/countries/panama/visa/

[quote=@admin]Actually for Panama is not so hard to get “pensionado visa” and with that visa you can stay as long as you wish. You can obtain “pensionado visa” if you receive $1000/month from any source as your retirement and you have to show the proof. The source of money can be Canadian RRSP or government of Canada pension etc… Once you have “pensionado visa” in Panama you are entitled for many benefits . here are some:

50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events)
30% off bus, boat, and train fares
25% off airline tickets
25% off monthly energy bills
30% to 50% off hotel stays
15% off hospital bills*

[/quote]

Wow, that’s one heck of a nice “welcome mat”!

[quote=@yvrck][quote=@admin]Actually for Panama is not so hard to get “pensionado visa” and with that visa you can stay as long as you wish. You can obtain “pensionado visa” if you receive $1000/month from any source as your retirement and you have to show the proof. The source of money can be Canadian RRSP or government of Canada pension etc… Once you have “pensionado visa” in Panama you are entitled for many benefits . here are some:

50% off entertainment anywhere in the country (movies, theaters, concerts, sporting events)
30% off bus, boat, and train fares
25% off airline tickets
25% off monthly energy bills
30% to 50% off hotel stays
15% off hospital bills*

[/quote]
Wow, that’s one heck of a nice “welcome mat”![/quote]

True and they do not have to wait for Tuesday to go and see a movie :slight_smile: