Artisanal Ambience at Amarla Casco Viejo, Panama

Words by
Sphere Editors

21st March 2024

Amarla Casco Viejo, Panama, awaits. Only eight rooms of exclusive adult-only holidaying, boasting local antiques and abundant greenery. Here we walk through the unique amenities and ethos of Amarla, packages for an intimate Panamanian wedding and memorable experiences from ocean safaris to intricate coffee tastings.

Amarla means purity. And this characterful boutique hotel in Casco Viejo does nothing but hone inspiration from the very word. In design, ethos and guest experience. After success in Cartagena, Amarla have spread across the Columbian border to Panama, with the opening of sister hotel – Amarla Casco Viejo.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama
Each room features framed Panamanian images by Phoebe Montague along with local art and antiques

Family hotels can conjure up a series of chaotic images. Children running screaming and free-spirited by the poolside, cannonball splashes and resort entertainment begging you relentlessly to join in with water aerobics. Amarla is an adult-only space, meaning that all the above is completely out of the picture. The serene environment of being adult-only is not the only aspect that sets Amarla apart from other hotels in the area. With only eight rooms, each decorated to a high (and homely) standard, Amarla provides a warm and personalised stay for each and every guest.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama - suite
Amarla ensures a comfortable stay for every guest, a home away from home in Panama

Every room is different, only amplifying the individualistic experience. No monotonously laid out hotel rooms in sight. Each space with their own unique personality, housing hand-made items that support local designers and artisans. As well as craftsmanship from afar: from fresh Portuguese linens to Moroccan brass adding a rustic touch to the bathrooms. One of Amarla’s main aims is to ensure that the interiors mirror the Panamanian culture of the surrounding setting, rather than deterring from it. With this, there is a theme to the rooms. Each visually linking to a Panamanian province. Walls are lined with sets of framed photographs from Phoebe Montague - capturing the raw livelihood of Panamanian nature and culture.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama - greenery balconies
Amarla have striven to have more greenery on the inside of the hotel than the outside

Amarla is all about making you feel like a local, no matter the distance you came from or how long your stay. Although offering a range of experiences from historical journeys of the old town to ocean safaris – a large part of culture is food. Kaandela is Amarla’s chic social restaurant led by Edy Acedo, encapsulating you in an array of Panamanian dishes with a twist. From kombu-glazed pork belly lollipops to a hearty seafood casserole (view the full menu here). All devoured under the glass ceiling, looking up at the cascading greenery above. A horticultural haven for those who always long to be amidst nature, Amarla have striven to have more plants inside than outside. Packing spaces full of blossoming orchids, shadowing palms and delicate jasmine - the balconies flowing with waterfalls of vines.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama - Kaandela
Inside signature restaurant, Kaandela

Coffee connoisseurs, buckle up. Home to some of the world’s most expensive and sought-after beans, Panama really knows how to make one incredible cup of coffee. At Amarla, you can experience the flavours of coffee to a whole new level with an in-depth guided tasting. Not a coffee drinker? The flavour journeys go beyond shots of espresso. Both a knowledge-rich sommelier and mixologist are at hand to guide you through a selection of wines, tequilas, rums and whiskeys. Or even local fruits, for those on a wellness kick putting all caffeine and alcohol on the back-burner. Perhaps those individuals would also be keen on Amarla’s wellness program, topped off with a glass of cleansing herbal goodness from Kaandela Bar.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama - Rooftop pool view

Soulfocus Media

Amarla's rooftop jacuzzi has panorama views over the whole city

Nestled in the heart of Panama’s historic district, Amarla is a leisurely stroll away from attractions such as Cathedral Basilica Metropolitana, Molas Museum and Canal Museum. For a further view, head up to the rooftop jacuzzi where sights stretch over Panama Bay. And to continue the relaxation, one can order an in-room massage - easing the mind and body whenever needs be.

Amarla Casco Viejo Panama - multi level suite
The Superior Duplex Suite is split over two levels, joined with a cascading staircase

Amarla offers a selection of packages for an intimate wedding in Panama, with every aspect of the big day ready to book and go – hassle free. The largest being the Orquídea Wedding package, for up to 20 people. Providing an oasis of orchid themed decoration, special restaurant menu at Kaandela and a deluxe open bar for the wedding. Amongst the little things: a violin player, professional photographer, hair and makeup artist, sparkling wine and strawberries and an in-room couple’s massage to name a few touches. For honeymooning, the largest room, the Superior Duplex Suite, is recommended for its skylight – perfect for stargazing.

Explore all of Amarla’s event and wedding options here and book for a boutique getaway here.