Rates From

$ 63 .00

History

DISCOVER CONNOR/JACOBSON HOTELS

Connor/Jacobson Hotels is a third generation family business, founded in 1951 by Vern Harry Jacobson and his wife Mollie Connor Jacobson when they leased the Gran Hotel Managua, in Nicaragua. Over the next twenty-five years they added: the Gran Hotel Lincoln in Tegucigalpa, Honduras; the Gran Hotel Sula in San Pedro Sula, Honduras; the Gran Hotel San Salvador, El Salvador; the Executive Hotel in Panama City, Panama; the Brickell Point Apartments in Miami, Florida and the Grand Hotel Guayaquil, in Ecuador. 

The Executive was purchased in 1969 from Mario Cespedes, a contractor who had started the construction of a 96-room hotel but decided to sell the property before its completion. The hotel was designed by Humberto Moran, a well-known and talented Panamanian architect who received a prestigious award for the design of the hotel. The Hotel was ideally located in the center of the growing financial district of Panama City, and with the property about 70% complete the Jacobsons had enough leeway to leave their imprint on the internal spaces and finishes.

Opened in 1970, the Executive Hotel was well received because it met the needs of executive travelers. In fact, within the first month of opening it had a 100% occupancy rate… and ran with the highest occupancy rates of the city even after the oil embargo crisis in the mid to late 70’s.
In addition to being within walking distance of the main commercial and banking addresses of the city, the modern rooms were uniquely designed as a comfortable mini-office that featured many “firsts” in the Central American hotel industry. It was the first hotel that included a private balcony, executive desk with swivel desk chair, mini-refrigerator, in-room coffee maker, TV, direct dial telephone (with free local calls), central air-conditioning, wall-to-wall shag rug (…it was the rage back then!), and an extra-long Simmons Beauty Rest mattress on beds that doubled as sofas.
The Executive introduced to the community the Happy Hour in its Galeria Bar that often featured jazz performers, making it a popular watering hole for locals. It was the first hotel in Panama to operate a 24-hour coffee shop with luncheon buffet (for people in a hurry) and an American style menu peppered with favorite local dishes and the Best Apple Pie in town.

Over the years the Executive has fortuitously hired managers who have maintained the C/J Hotel tradition of providing guests with friendly, efficient service in a comfortable setting. The managers were: Peder Jacobson (second generation) – 1969/1974, Francisco García – 1974/1978, Emilio Vargas – 1978/1980, Antonio Boeri – 1980/1991, Mark Jacobson – 1991/1992, Hernan Escobar – 1992/2008, and now Peder Jacobson (third generation) – 2008/present. In the wings is Connor Jacobson, assisting on important fronts related to remodeling and expansion. Since 2008, the Executive Hotel initiated a major renovation effort. Unfortunately, the initial remodeling plans turned into a major rebuilding project due to the discovery that over the last 45 years most of the piping in the building had deteriorated past repair and needed to be replaced. We can now appreciate the reason why contractors often say that they would prefer to knock a building down and start anew rather then reconstruct an older building… especially while keeping the hotel open.
The Executive has earned a loyal base of clients who are enduring the inconveniences of the construction while looking forward to the positive changes that are soon to come.
They also appreciate the fact that even now the Executive remains one of the best values in town. And once we are finished, we will certainly find ways to repay our clients for their loyalty!
Concurrent to the rebuilding process, we are constructing an adjacent building. This will add another 48 new rooms. 12 of these will be luxurous suites, bringing the total rooms to 150. In addition, there will be five floors of parking space, a first-class gym and an attractive garden pool area that will beautifully compliment the remodeled rooms of the original hotel.
The new/old Executive Hotel will maintain its innovative spirit that has been the tradition of the hotel and we are making sure that all the finishings and equipment in the rooms meet the needs of our most discerning clients. As far as the “location, location, location” of the Executive, it has only gotten better in the last 45 years!
Connor/Jacobson Hotels have lost a few properties to earthquakes… but that’s another story. What is most important is that we are betting on the increasingly brightening future of Panama.