Sofitel marks Central America first on Panama waterfront

by | 03 Jul 2022 | Design

Imagery courtesy of Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama.

Sofitel Legend will unveil its first hotel in North and Central America, bringing its quintessential art de vivre to the historic city of Casco Viejo, Panama, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Accor group brand’s French luxury theme will be evident with the debut of the 159-room Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama in autumn 2022.

Flagship site

Uniquely located on a waterfront enclave, the property will be the sixth in the Sofitel Legend portfolio. The hotel will embrace local culture and blend the heart of the destination with the brand’s art-de-vivre spirit.

Accor’s CEO for North and Central America, Heather McCrory, said: “We are privileged to introduce the exceptional Sofitel Legend brand to North & Central America in the vibrant and thriving destination of Panama City, within the historic and culturally significant district of Casco Viejo. A remarkable addition to our portfolio, Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo will be the brand’s flagship in the region and will debut a distinctive luxury hotel offering in Panama.

“Inspired by the essence of the city, and where local culture is celebrated and infused with an authentic passion for French art de vivre, the hotel is poised to set a new standard of luxury hospitality in Panama.”

Restored façade

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with sweeping vistas of the Panama City skyline, the hotel is situated in the heart of Casco Viejo, on the former site of the iconic Club Union of Panama. Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama will continue the glamorous legacy of days gone by, honouring the historical and cultural importance of Club Union while embracing modern times.

Behind its restored colonial façade complemented by new, state-of-the-art construction, the exclusive locale merges legendary history with contemporary splendour. Manuel Choy of Architect S.A., one of the most prominent Panamanian architects specialising in building restoration in Casco Viejo, was appointed to lead the project alongside Accor North and Central America’s design and technical services team.

The French stylings of the building’s architecture are carried through into the interior by incorporating luxurious finishes such as the ballroom’s marble checkerboard floors, wrought iron balcony detailing and brass touches, and contrasted by the use of contemporary Panamanian design elements, including local artwork, handmade encaustic tiles, and colourful furnishings inspired by the diverse flora and fauna found throughout the country.

The lobby’s dramatic décor visually depicts the story of the Panama Canal and is adorned with nautical design elements including custom-made sculptures, striking artwork, historic photographs on display, and maritime navigational instruments.

Innovative concepts

Facilities and amenities include five food and beverage venues, including a Skybar and lounge; an oceanfront pool; and approximately 9,880 sq ft of flexible indoor and outdoor function space offering unique and innovative concepts in the market.

A full-service Sofitel Spa and Sofitel Fitness exercise studio overlooks the ocean, while a Sofitel Spa will offer an array of services with treatments inspired by local Panamanian culture, luxurious amenities including a spacious tea room, and serene relaxation rooms for in-between treatments.

The hotel’s general manager David Kianni said: “I am very proud and honoured to be opening Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama, an important milestone in Panama’s tourism offer and destined to be a luxury hospitality leader in the market and around the world. The hotel will be a magnificent addition to the neighbourhood, and will feature unique offerings that cater to locals and international visitors alike.”

Waterfront dining and drinking

Overlooking the waterfront, Ammi SkyBar will feature indoor and outdoor dining with 180-degree views of the ocean and city skyline, and will transform into an exclusive lounge at night. Caleta, the hotel’s bi-level Mediterranean brasserie will feature a flavour-driven menu with a seafood focus, using fresh local seasonal ingredients.

Mayda Lobby Bar & Plaza will offer classic cocktails and small plates inspired by Panama’s history and culture. Guests can either sip and savour in the lobby area or at The Plaza, in a picturesque courtyard setting. The hotel will also include a grab-and-go venue, Vera Gourmet Café, a patisserie offering freshly baked French pastries and exclusively-blended Panamanian coffee. Lastly, the hotel’s Pool Bar will feature freshly prepared juices, handcrafted cocktails and healthy fayre.

Prestigious brand introduction

Accor North and Central America’s SVP of development, Mark Purcell, detailed: “Sofitel Legend is one of two prestigious luxury brands within the Accor portfolio that we are introducing in the North & Central America region in the next year, further solidifying our position as a leader in the luxury segment. Following a record-breaking year of growth, we remain enthusiastically committed to growing our unique collection of hotels and look forward to celebrating the opening of Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama in just a few months,”

Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama joins a collection of heritage luxury hotels including Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi (Vietnam), Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan (Egypt), Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena and Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian (China).

Parent group Accor will also open Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences in early 2023, and recently celebrated the debut of the landmark Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

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