Hotel Marbella (Calle D near Avenida Eusebio A. Morales, tel. 263-2220, www.hmarbella.com, US$55, US$60 d s/d), near the Hotel Granada, is generally considered one of the better economy hotels. It’s a clean, modern, five-story place on a pleasant residential street but close to a lot of urban action. However, I find the rooms dark and austere, and most look out on blank walls. There’s a restaurant on site.
Las Huacas Hotel and Suites (Calle 49 Oeste, a half block from the corner of Vía Veneto and Vía Argentina, tel. 213-2222, www.lashuacashotel.com, starts at US$88 s, US$94.50 d, including breakfast) is not the fantastic deal that it used to be, but it’s still a pleasant, reasonably priced surprise tucked away on the back streets of El Cangrejo. A renovation in mid-2010 replaced most of its rather kitschy safari trappings, and its 33 rooms now have a sleek, modern look. The rooms vary in size but all feature a minibar, free Wi-Fi, and safe. Most have a small balcony.
© William Friar from Moon Panama, 3rd Edition