Life in Bloom: Journaling my way through Life, Fashion, and Travel​

Riu Playa Blanca – Resort Review May 2019

Located in Playa Blanca, Panama
May 16th to May 23rd, 2019


Went here with my husband for a week of rest and relaxation. The ride to the resort from the airport was a mere 10-15min transport. Totally amazing, made it a great start!

Upon arrival, as soon as we stepped off the shuttle bus, we were greeted with an amazing and refreshing cold fruity beverage and a little snack served on trays. Ten points for that right off the bat!

The lobby was large and very modern and bright. Spacious and accommodated all patrons lining up for check-in. Staff was very welcoming and all smiles. The place looked spotless. The mood was awesome and positive.

Check-in was quick and front reception was very personable.


Our room was beautiful, spacious and had a great view. It was clean and well maintained. The hotel is a U shaped complex and we were at the tip of that U. Though a long tiring walk from the elevators which was located obviously in the center of that U, the view made up for it. Day and night, I truly appreciated our view of the courtyard, the pools, the entertainment section, and the ocean.


This was a beautiful hotel, everything modernly decorated and so spotlessly clean. Every day every minute the staff was polishing, mopping, washing, and straightening something. I swear that a baby can eat off their floors. The hotel is also quiet at night, no rowdy people making a scene, and in the mornings, it is also unbelievably quiet. Usually, at other resorts I’ve stayed at, you can hear the staff early in the morning with their carts, cleaning in the hallway.


The staff were very accommodating here and also attentive. They aim to please every guest and I’m pretty sure they have made many happy. I called up for minor issues and within minutes there was a knock on my door ready to fulfill my needs.


Well, this is where everything went wrong during our vacation. My husband and I both got sick. He, as soon as we got there for 2 days. Me, for four days, until we boarded back home and still another week after that.

Before I got sick I ate the fruit platter that was left on our bed as a welcome gesture. It was the best fruit I have ever tasted. The mangoes, pineapple, watermelon, melon, everything tasted wonderful. Until it hit me with diarrhea/vomiting. So I stopped eating almost everything and let my sickness mend.

After a few days of eating their food, I got sick again and that was the end of our vacation. I had three days of using the pool and enjoying their facilities until I was bedridden.

After my third day of being so sick, my husband had to call the nurse. I was given an intramuscular injection on my buttock and given antibiotics. We stayed in our room for the entire last week. I didn’t even have the energy to eat in the dining room.

We couldn’t eat the food and was so scared to get sick, so we had liquids and bread most of the time. It was so sad!


This was absolutely beautiful!

There are 4 pools

  • The pool with the swim-up bar. This was a noisy pool. Adult only.
  • The pool closest to the snack bar is where the animation team entertains you, and also has a volleyball net.
  • The kid’s pool, with a water slide
  • The quiet pool. Loved this one!

The beach was nice but I didn’t go into the water. The current is pretty strong and my husband went in, once. I see patrons lounging at the beach, instead of enjoying the water.

The pool and beach scene, in my opinion, was beautifully laid out and convenient. Everything was close by. The snack bar which turns out to be the specialty Steakhouse during dinner is just a few steps away.


  1. Anton Valley – a little village about 30 minutes drive from the hotel. It’s in the crater in an extinct volcano, surrounded by mountains and forest. We went for an amazing walk into a waterfall called  “El Chorro Macho”. The suspension bridges were so amazing and we had a great time walking up into the forest.

Los Pozos Termales –  A place to relax and rejuvenate. I had the pleasure of trying a mineral mud facial and a soak in a mineral bath/pool. It was such a great and amazing experience for me. So tranquil and quiet, surrounded in plush greenery and mountains, my god what else can you ask for.

2. Panama Shopping –  We took a private taxi to Panama City and shopped at Albrook Mall. This a large mall, and enjoyed shopping here. Their food court has many wonderful options and their food was delicious.

Panama Canal – Our taxi drove us around the Canal, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, it was raining and we didn’t feel like touring the area intimately.

3. Rented a car – We rented a car and visited the Panama Canal on our own, in better weather. The canal was massive and so impressive. We watched the cargo ships and were in awe of how humungous they were. It was such a sight and was happy that we finally got to see the famous Canal!

Unfortunately, after doing these excursions I got very sick. Thankful at least for having experienced this.

Final Thoughts

I have such mixed feelings about our vacation here at the Riu Playa Blanca Hotel. It was so beautiful and clean and alive and I really loved all the pools. Every morning, even when I was sick, all I needed was a quick glance at our view and always fell in love.

It saddens me, that we both got sick from the food and was completely starving to death and couldn’t wait to go back home. Even the water in our fridge tasted so weird and had a terrible stench to it.  I had to drink pop every day just to wash down my meds, and I’m a water lover.

All in all, you have to proceed with caution with this hotel, because of the food situation. We’ve talked to other guests and it was a hit or miss. Some didn’t have food issues, while others got very sick just like us.

Such a shame though, the hotel was absolutely beautiful.










2 thoughts on “Riu Playa Blanca – Resort Review May 2019”

  1. Great honest review T! I’m so sorry that you were so ill even when you came back to work poor girl!

    You had so been looking forward to sunshine!!

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Wife, mother of 3, owner of 2 rottie's, foodie lover & wanderlust. "My level of maturity depends on who I'm with".....


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