One of the things high on our list of priorities in living here in Boquete, Panama, is maintaining our health. That means eating right, getting enough sleep and exercise. While there are lots of ways to exercise in and around Boquete (hiking, horseback riding, white water river rafting, zip lining, etc), John and I are looking for something a little more traditional. A gym, a sauna, a pool, maybe a spa attached…you know – a one-stop “clean up your bod” shop.
In Boquete, there were two places that made our final list: The Haven Spa and Valle Escondido. Both are lovely facilities and are financially accessible to us as a couple. But both are equally different in style, and/or amenities as the following comparison pictures will show.
The gym at The Haven is top-notch with all the latest equipment, even some I’ve never seen before:
The gym at Valle Escondido is certainly acceptable, but not as technically advanced:
The swimming pool at The Haven is one of those “Swim against the current” types of pools and a reservation must be made in advance to use it:
While the pool at Valle Escondido is a more traditional pool with chaise lounges surrounding it. Yes, you can lay by the pool and order a meal from the adjoining restaurant.
The locker rooms at The Haven were a bit on the small side but their sauna is one of those new infrared saunas, wonderful for detoxing:
In comparison, the locker rooms at Valle Escondido were larger and more traditional/Spanish in style:
Now, strategically, it would be VERY politic of us to join The Haven Spa. Why? Our landlord also owns The Haven, and Howard Jones would love us to become a member at his club. Of course, why wouldn’t we? It’s gorgeous, accessible and modern.
Well, Valle Escondido has one thing that The Haven does not:
We had to face facts: we are golf people. I worked at a golf course in the States for 14 years and we love the type of people who golf. Golfing is a great way for us to make friends, as VE has planned tournaments, Mens’ days, Womens’ days, etc. The facility with the golf course won, hands down! Hmmmm, now we just have to get our clubs down here….
So, there you have it, folks. Valle Escondido is getting our money. We plan on golfing twice per week, probably just 9-holes and using a walking cart to get our walking exercise in. Three times per week, John will hit the gym while I hit the swimming pool. Then it’s followed by either a steam bath or a sauna. After a bit of clean-up, we’ll lunch in the clubhouse restaurant or just enjoy a soft drink in the Members Only Lounge and we’ll call it a day.
For those of you who are interested, the prices PER COUPLE break down as follows:
$500 to join. (Refundable after 12 months if we quit). $225 per month for all the golf, gym, locker room and exercise classes we want. $50 Food and Beverage minimums. Spa services such as massage, hair cuts, manicures, pedicures, etc., can be applied towards that monthly if you choose not to utilize the F & B minimums at the Clubhouse Restaurants.
We hope we’ve made the right choice and we’re ready to get on with it. In fact as I write this, we’re getting ready to hit the Tuesday Morning Market, which will be followed by a day at Valle Escondido. Have a great day, everyone!