From the first of November through the middle of January, it is holiday season in Boquete. During November there are all the holidays that celebrate the various stages of Panama’s emergence as an independent nation. Due to the presence and influence of so many North American expats, Thanksgiving events always feature all the traditional trimmings. There is Mother’s Day on December 8 (a bigger holiday than either Easter or Christmas), followed by Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Beginning in January, the International Coffee and Flower Festival reigns for ten event filled days.
The Panamonte has been providing hospitality, delicious food and comfortable lodging to travelers for almost 100 years. Today, under the leadership of Executive Chef and Owner Charlie Collins, the Panamonte dining room features a world-class gourmet menu in a style which blends the best of traditional Panamanian dishes with the artistry and imagination of nouvelle cuisine. The newly constructed wings feature luxury rooms, spacious baths, private garden terraces and the amenities associated with exquisite small European style hotels. However, the Panamonte continues to pursue the tradition of personal hospitality established by the Elliott-Collins family and executed for many, many years by Inga Collins.
Now, we are approaching Christmas in Boquete, Panama. The sun is shining, world-class coffee is ready to harvest, the temperature outside is a perfect 70 degrees and the traditions of Sweden blend seamlessly with those of Latin America.
Did you say Sweden? We were talking about Panama! But yes, Sweden meets Panama at the Panamonte Inn & Spa. The Panamonte has its roots in Sweden, the home of the Collins family, and each year the Collins family continues to celebrate Christmas with a Nordic flair. Or perhaps, it is more accurate to say, a Nordic flame!
The evening glögg-fest in the El Salto Lounge is a spectacular ritual set in the coziest and most beautiful bar area you can imagine. Fires dance in the stone hearths. The teak bar gleams. Huge vases of tropical heliconias and gingers are completely at home next to traditional evergreens. Gleaming copper pots grace the mantels. The sofas and cushioned arm chairs invite one and all.
Glögg, the Swedish version of mulled wine, is a holiday specialty in the El Salto Lounge. The red wine is warmed, the spices are simmered. A cauldron of aquavit is flamed to melt the sugar. An exotic aroma fills the room as the bartender pours the wine through the melting sugar into the flames, which leap higher. Guests hold their breath, waiting for the last flames to subside, because then comes the part where everyone gets to wrap their hands around a steaming cup of the potent brew. Toasts, laughter, and conviviality accompany the sipping of this ancient Swedish recipe which is traditionally enjoyed during the Christmas holidays.
The Panamonte features both a magnificent Christmas Eve dinner and a Christmas Day buffet that hearkens back to the groaning boards of the Old World. New Year’s Eve is yet another a spectacular multi-course banquet, topped off by music in the garden, champagne toasts and fireworks.
Looking for a new locale in which to celebrate your holidays this year? Come to the Panamonte, where you will find the best possible combination of hospitality traditions from around the world in an intimate, personal and luxuriously comfortable country inn. Make your reservations now…because Christmas at the Panamonte, Boquete’s premier bed and breakfast inn, is always a full house.
Boquete, Panama—easy to get to, lovely to visit, impossible to forget.