Even though we considered Venao Cove 'nearly paradise' there were two things missing from high on the nice-to-have list...air conditioning and fast wifi. Fortunately we had planned for such luxuries at the tail end of our trip. We headed to Rio Hato to stay at the JW Marriortt Golf and Beach Resort. Yes, we were cashing in more Marriott Rewards points.
On the way to the resort the kids talked us into stopping at McDonald's. No, this is not our norm but since we're on vacation we decided to oblige. Both kids got Happy Meals which included the regular nuggets and fries, but the triangular shaped juice box was something we had never seen. It was the juice flavor that threw us for a loop. Apple and Plantain? Seriously, kids in Panama like this? We've found that plantains are often a filler food and have found them in several juices and ketchup throughout Central America.
We were talking up the resort with the kids. Online it boasted "a tropical oasis" with:
Lush gardens and a lagoon, spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus, a spa, on-site restaurants, beach butlers to ensure umbrellas and extra towels are always at hand, high-speed internet (CHECK), air conditioning (CHECK), pool with a swim up bar and 5 separate pools steps from the beach, whirlpool, jogging and fitness trail, large outdoor playground, and much more.
It sounded awesome and it did not disappoint. We spent two very relaxing days at the pool. We were pampered, had fast wi-fi, and slept in amazing comfort. The Marriott beds are worth writing home about.
Coming from Venao Cove this place was quite a shock to the system. We also knew that heading back to Guatemala would be another jolt, but we were ready.