The Style of Nothing: 24 Hours of the Westin Playa Bonita

Any traveler, veteran, or rookie knows a certain point in all vacations when you wind up too tired (and likely hungover) to do all the vacation plans you may have made. It’s hard work having so much fun, and everyone eventually hits their limits after a few days of rushing from restaurant to bar to club to museum to attraction. Fortunately, an intelligent traveler such as myself plans and chooses a base of operations like the Westin Playa Bonita where you can experience all the luxury and relaxation and fun that your chosen destination offers without even leaving the grounds. This was the case for me halfway through my adventures in Panama when I woke up in my Westin Playa Bonita ocean-view suite, weary from the previous day’s travels, and decided that, like Bruno Mars, today I wasn’t going to do anything. And I was going to do nothing in the most fantastic way possible.

I may or may not have put the platter lid on my head and pretended I was fighting aliens.

The miracle of 24-our room service means that I can make a call without leaving my bed. With minimal effort, I wake up to discover the Westin Playa Bonita staff has already prepared my recovery meal and has it sitting and waiting fresh for me. I must have gotten out of bed to let the delivery person in the room. However, I’m pretty sure I was still asleep when I did it and thought I was opening the door for a talking pelican, swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker, and former U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Anyway, Ike knew that I needed fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, and a plate of fresh tropical fruit, prepared the way I liked them, so I’m glad my great-grandmother voted for him.

While recovering, I looked over my welcome letter from the Westin Playa Bonita Public Relations Manager. Most resorts offer the “if there’s anything we can do for you, just ask” guarantee. I am constantly impressed by their commitment to this belief and their adorable stationery.

Look, it’s got little palm leaves in the corner.

I was severely tempted to stay in the Westin Heavenly Bed and watch Panamanian telenovelas on the 42-inch LCD TV all day, but that would have made for a boring story, so I dragged myself up and decided to explore the Westin Playa Bonita resort. I found the state-of-the-art fitness center, where people are much more dedicated than I can sweat out their toxins, and a beautiful business center for meetings and conferences. I thought about how difficult it must be to try to focus on work in such a beautiful place, then realized that by thinking about that, I was thinking about work. Then I felt confused and had to sit down.

After much debate over whether the poolside bar or the beachfront Sensory Spa by Clarins with the sauna and Turkish bath would be a better first destination, indeed the most nerve-wracking decision of my life, I decided to trust my instincts and let the Westin Playa Bonita masseuses take my mind off my confusing theoretical conflicts.

You can tell it’s a good spa because of all the little lights.
More little lights= better spa

The Westin Playa Bonita full-service spa features seven cabins for treatments, facials, and massages. Feeling the need to cleanse and exfoliate, I went in for the full-service treatment, and I was treated like royalty by some of the finest spa staff I have ever encountered. My only complaint is that the receptionist did not offer to hold my umbrella drink and let me sip from a straw while getting a back rub. The people at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort would not do that either for some reason.

Afterward I met some fellow writers at the Oasis Bar terrace, where we discussed the many offerings of the resort compared to others we have all visited.

I have to say, I did not expect a place this nice to offer me anything “On-A-Stick.”

The battle raged on as we enjoyed pan-Asian cuisine at the Asiana restaurant, one of seven restaurants and lounges located around the Westin Playa Bonita. Fortunately for those around us, the food was so good we couldn’t even speak, let alone argue. After dinner, I decided to get some work done, and arrangements were made at the on-site Gamboa Tours travel agency to see the Embera Indian Village. Then, risking my life and ignoring my mother’s warnings, I decided to live life on the edge and hit the pool less than 30 minutes after eating.

But first I posed for this picture.

Without a stomach cramp (I TOLD you, Mom!) I lazily drifted through the LED-lit pools, occasionally pausing to drink and eat snacks at the poolside bar. I stuck it to my country, ordering plenty of Havana Club rum mojitos. Latin dance music thumped from a nearby DJ at a private party closer to the beach in a large cabana. As a downside to my perfectly relaxed day, I hadn’t engaged my brain at all thus far, so I was unsuccessful in planning my approaches. Live to fight another day, as it goes. After a hot shower in my suite’s oversized tub, I took a couple of moments to reflect on my day in the suite’s lounge.


I hit the Westin Heavenly Bed again, knowing that tomorrow would be business. There’s a lot to be said about the art of doing nothing. It refreshes the mind and the body, and occasionally doing nothing can make you more productive. When you have a heavenly playground like  Westin Playa Bonita, doing nothing is something you can be proud of.

There is nothing going on in this man’s head.




Photo of author

Jason Batansky

Jason Batansky is a 34-year-old entrepreneur/blogger who has been in constant motion since he graduated college in 2010. His three online businesses have allowed him to travel and live throughout South America, South East Asia, and Europe, while working here and there wherever he found reliable Wi-Fi access and motivation, two elements necessary to running online businesses that can be difficult to obtain simultaneously in the world. Jason lives in Miami Beach.

Leave a Comment