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Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo: Elevating Panama’s Historic Center

Posted by Leydi Chong on October 5, 2023

A new gem has emerged in the heart of Casco Antiguo, Panama City, and with its arrival, anticipation of the tourist potential of our historic center has reached new heights.

This magnificent hotel is housed within the historic Club Union de Panama building, a project that has been in the works for over two decades and has now come to life under the prestigious Sofitel brand. Sofitel, a part of the French group AccorHotels, a global leader in the travel and tourism industry, with a presence in 95 countries worldwide.

Taking exclusivity within this brand to the next level are the “Sofitel Legend” hotels, renowned for their exceptional distinction of being housed within historical structures that have gracefully stood for a century or more. In fact, there are only six such unique and luxurious hotels in the world: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, Sofitel Legend Cartagena, Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian, and now, proudly, Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo in Panama.

Following the tradition of “Sofitel Legend” hotels, the hotel’s decor pays homage to the era of the building, in this case, the iconic Club Union de Panama. Back in the early 20th century, when Panama was emerging as an independent republic, Club Union was the epitome of social life. It hosted grand receptions and gatherings for Panama City’s high society, and welcomed esteemed foreign guests including Queen Elizabeth II, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, General Pershing, and John Wayne, among others.

As historical heritage is integral to the identity of “Sofitel LEGEND” hotels, guests can embark on the “Legendary Tour” any day of the week. This guided tour unveils the hotel’s hidden corners, where storytelling experts share captivating stories and anecdotes, enriching the overall experience of staying at the hotel.

Stepping into Sofitel Hotel is like stepping back in time, immersing oneself in the early 20th century. The hotel weaves its magic through meticulously crafted details that pay tribute to the construction of the Panama Canal, and its elegant decoration with retro accents. The signature restaurant, “La Caleta,” specializes in Mediterranean cuisine, while the “Amni bar” offers a sky bar experience with outdoor terraces, a dance floor, and a margarita bar—perfect for savoring baked pizza and dancing to Latin rhythms.

My personal favorite is “Mayda,” an area with an outdoor terrace overlooking the Bay of Panama. It’s an idyllic space to enjoy classic cocktails, engage in conversation, and relish the sea breeze.

With the introduction of the French luxury experience by Sofitel, we can expect a transformation in Panama’s hospitality landscape. It will set new standards of sophistication and competitiveness, spelling excellent news for the growth and development of Casco Antiguo, a vital component of Panama’s tourism strategy.

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