Ace Hotel's Panama location in Panama City's Casco Viejo quarter, finds its way into my heart through it's inspired design, macrame wall hangings and tile floors. Oh, the tile floors!
Panama City's Casco Viejo neighborhood offers a vintage, authentic feel to the city apart from the Miami Beach style high-rises across the causeway. With a mix of Havana-esque vibe and colorful streets, the historic district was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, making it a hub for up-and-coming restaurants, emerging hotels and renovated storefronts.
Upon walking into the American Trade Hotel, we indulged ourselves in a cold Panama Lager at the hotel bar after the five hour drive from the Pacific Coast of the country. The ceiling high windows bring natural light into the open spaces within the lobby, in keeping with Ace Hotel's popular aesthetic. The wood floors in the bedrooms combined with the dark wood headboards and leather and brass grommeted chairs, make the rooms feel like a headmaster's study while the Aesop body products make the bathroom feel like a spa.
The hotel may be most known for it's live music at Danilo's Jazz Club. Our Friday evening was spent in an intimate club of a dozen tables listening to classics from Idania Dowman, a woman with the presence of Nina Simone backed by a band of talented local musicians.
The Casco Viejo area itself is only about a 30-minute-walk in its entirety and with its current transitions, you can find yourself walking alongside a boutique building one minute, only to find homeowners sitting on their porch in tattered clothing the next street over, while laundry swings from a tattered clothesline above the sidewalk. The slew of constant construction is a peek into the future of the historic quarter.