Last updated: 05:03 PM ET, Mon May 11 2015

Apple Leisure Group Inks New Resort Management Deal in Panama

Hotel & Resort | May 11, 2015

Apple Leisure Group Inks New Resort Management Deal in Panama

The Pulse: Apple Leisure Group doubles Central American footprint with new Panama deal.

Why it Rates: Panama is an emerging Central American vacation destination and the arrival of a branded, leisure resort option to the market confirms its significance. AMResorts is continuing with its aggressive expansion in Central America and the Caribbean. – Brian Major, TravelPulse Caribbean editor

Apple Leisure Group subsidiary, AMResorts, will increase its presence in Panama with the signing of a resort management agreement for Secrets Playa Bonita Panama. The deal introduces AMResorts’ adults-only Secrets Resorts & Spas brand to the region, and marks the eighth deal announced by the company since the beginning of the year, representing a 20 percent growth. Apple Leisure Group has doubled the number of resorts in its Central American portfolio since the beginning of 2015. 

“Panama has become a premier destination for luxury experiential travel, making it a perfect fit for our award-winning brand, Secrets Resorts & Spas,” said Alex Zozaya, CEO of Apple Leisure Group. “In concert with our expansion plans for the region, we are committed to offering our owners access to highly desirable markets that are ready to welcome North American travelers.”

Guests will continue to enjoy the resort under the InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa name until December 2015, when AMResorts will assume operations and commence rebranding as Secrets Playa Bonita Panama.  The project includes enhancing the resort’s 303 rooms, meeting facilities, 10,000 sq. foot spa and amenities to Secrets Resorts & Spas brand standards.

The resort is owned by Bern Hotels & Resorts, the hospitality division of Empresas Bern, a leading real estate and construction company in Panama. The company owns nine resorts and hotels in the country, as well as Gamboa Tours, a destination management company which will offer excursions for guests of Secrets Playa Bonita Panama.   

Located just minutes from Panama City, Secrets Playa Bonita Panama offers a secluded tropical paradise with the amenities of a luxury resort. Guests will enjoy five freeform pools with spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, a private golden sand beach, and easy access to popular attractions such as the Panama Canal, historic Old Town of Panama City known as Casco Antiguo, and the Gamboa Aerial Tram that overlooks a tropical rainforest.      

“We received very positive feedback from our resort owners and guests upon announcing our entry into Panama with the family-friendly Dreams Buenaventura Panama, and this is a prime opportunity to expand our footprint in the country with an adults-only offering,” said Javier Coll, executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Apple Leisure Group. “We have the distribution network and market knowledge to support our continued growth in the region, and are a valuable resource for owners seeking to rebrand or enter Panama’s burgeoning resort market.”

Guests at Secrets Playa Bonita Panama will enjoy AMResorts’ signature Unlimited-Luxury® vacation concept, which includes premium accommodations; multiple gourmet à la carte and specialty dining restaurants; 24-hour room and concierge service; pool and beach wait service; world class spa facilities; and unlimited international and domestic beverages and top-shelf spirits. 

“Apple Leisure Group is the ideal partner for Bern Hotels & Resorts, as we are both dedicated to offering guests premium, luxury experiences in unique destinations. We are very excited about this venture, and look forward to bringing the Secrets Resorts & Spas brand to Panama,” said Herman Bern, president of Bern Hotels & Resorts.

To learn more about our exciting development opportunities within Latin America, Mexico and the Caribbean, please visit

SOURCE: Apple Leisure Group press release

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