Nearshore Americas

Historic Hotel Makeover

Most outsourcing pros in the Americas eventually transit through Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport. Make the most of your visit by visiting Casco Viejo to witness the resurrection of a historic building. It started as a department store in 1917 but was abandoned when the area turned to poverty and became known as “Castillo Grayskull” after being occupied by gangs. “We’d send kids into the square to rob tourists,” one former gang member told the Financial Times. “Now, I give them tours.” Miraculously, the structure has been transformed into the boutique American Trade Hotel after a $30 million renovation in 2007. The lush decor—including rooms designed by Frank Gehry—has made the place unrecognizable, and the city’s business elite, not gangs, fill the interior. Whether you stay the night or just visit for some fresh grilled octopus and organic Panamanian coffee, everyone should experience this unique history.

Sign up for our Nearshore Americas newsletter:

Jared Wade

Add comment