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American Trade Hotel

Casco Viejo
Panama City



ABOUT AMERICAN TRADE HOTEL -  in their own words:
American Trade Hotel and Hall opened its doors in Fall 2013 in Panama City, occupying a lovingly restored landmark building in Casco Viejo. The property stands at the ecological and cultural crossroads of  the Americas, deeply connected to both the historic Old Quarter and the nascent new Panama City – a meeting place for  influencers, creatives and cultures from around the world. The property and surrounding area are steeped in local heritage and culture, while the hotel has been thoroughly outfitted with the contemporary conveniences and modern luxuries today's traveler requires

The property is the result of a joint undertaking between Atelier Ace, Panama City-based Conservatorio, and Commune Design. American Trade Hotel is the first independent addition to Atelier Ace's portfolio, which also includes the distinctive Ace Hotels.

Chef Clara Icaza helms The Dining Room at American Trade Hotel, bringing to it a culinary philosophy shaped in top kitchens from Northern California to New York City. Through her work at Limoncillo — the sorely missed Panama City culinary stand-out she directed until 2010 — Icaza earned international attention, with Gatopardo Magazine's naming her one of the top 20 young chefs in Latin America.

For The Dining Room's sophisticated lunch and dinner menus, Icaza's focus is wholly ingredient-driven — her innovative take on classic meat and seafood dishes distinguished by their commitment to fresh, local and seasonal components. She's paired it all with an impressive global wine list, a studious cocktail menu, dessert selections prepared under the direction of Pastry Chef Luis Bula and a communal
atmosphere that's warm and welcoming to guests and locals alike.

The Dining Room has space to seat up to 80 guests for brunch, lunch and dinner service, welcomed between 11:30am and 11pm.

Curated by The Dining Room's celebrated chef Clara Icaza, the Lobby Café and Bar's cocktail menu harkens back to Panama City of the 1920s and '30s, a time when the country's thriving social culture was at its most vibrant. Taking cues from the menus of notable Panamanian sporting clubs of the era, drinks infuse classic offerings with the bright energy of today's Casco Viejo — with a focus on fresh fruits and artisanal ingredients.

With seating available throughout the lobby and into the plaza, The Lobby Café and Bar also offers breakfast, lunch and dinner, featuring cuisine inspired by the extended offerings in the adjacent Dining Room, plus additional appetizers and light dishes.

THE HISTORY: A Testimony of the Isthmus' History

The original American Trade Developing Company building was constructed in 1917 in the boom years following the completion of the Panama Canal. Mixing neo-classical and Art Nouveau details, it became Panama’s first luxury high-rise — the tallest building in the country at the time and only the second with an elevator. At the crossroads of the Americas, its location at the center of the city’s old quarter made American Trade a natural meeting place for influencers, creatives, and cultures from around the world.

The building’s decay over the years mirrored that of Casco Viejo: by the 1950s, the neighborhood’s wealthy residents had left for the suburbs, followed by a middle class exodus during the dictatorships in the ‘60s and 70s. By the 1990s the building was abandoned by its owners and occupied by a street gang, who used its commanding height to control a wide swath of the area. In spite of the ensuing graffiti and vandalism, the building’s most important details were still fully intact when Conservatorio bought it in 2007. 


Exploring the building now, it's not hard t6o imagine the entrepreneurs, artists, foreign correspondents, musicians, gangsters, and bon-vivants from all corners of the world who have in some way left their mark on it. Having lived in dozens of lives, we've been honored to lead it towards its latest - working with local and international artists, woodworkers, and artisans of every persuasion to execute its loving restoration.