The American Trade Hotel, Panama

Remember when a hotel meant little more than a room with a bed in and a free mini hand soap? There’s no doubt that we are living in the age of the boutique hotel experience. These days, booking a trip can frequently revolve around a dream bolthole over destination. With this in mind, allow us to introduce The American Trade Hotel, the hottest thing to hit Panama since the Spanish arrived way back in the 16th century.

The colonial wonder is the latest foray of the Atelier Ace, in partnership with Commune Design, their go-to collaborator for a number of projects to date. The impressive building, located in the midst of Panama City’s historical quarter Casco Viejo, originally housed the American Trade Developing Company and later down the line, became the base camp for local street gangs in 2000. Now, with its past well and truly behind it, the space is embodies everything we’ve come to expect from the Ace group, and some.

Ultimately, the space is dapper and eclectic. Unsurprising when you consider the diverse cultures that surround and pass through Panama. Think Mexican modernism in the form of patterned floor tiles, English heritage sofas and Danish lamps. The interior is a complete pastiche but remains airy, inventive and super hip – the feeling that a new ‘scene’ has been carved out is palpable.

There are fifty idiosyncratic rooms to choose from and each boasts ‘basic’ amenities that include a plasma television, Aesop products, 100% Turkish cotton bathrobes and complimentary WiFi. That mini hand soap is feeling pretty sheepish right now…


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