Last Friday night was the inauguration party for the second opening for Hotel Ladera, in Boquete. The event was to celebrate its reopening following the tremendous flood that had put it out of business.
The event was supposed to begin at 6:00 PM and I arrived about that time. A tremendous amount of work has been done to the hotel and the surrounding area since the flood that had invaded the hotel. The hotel looks spectacular.
As I entered, there was a band playing in the lobby in front of the reception desk.
Here is the front desk.
The invitation said semi-formal all white dress. Seeing so many people dressed in white made the evening even more special and Panamanian. The area behind the hotel was set up for the festivities. People were just starting to arrive.
You can see from the following photo that the hotel is well equipped for a large party, and Friday night was a large party. There were a lot of tables for three people and a lot of tables that held 10 or more.
There was one table of appetizers. Shrimp, squid, so many good things, that I gain weight again just thinking about it.
There was another table filled with pastries and I had one or two (minor understatement) from that table as well.
I staked out a table close to the dance floor and where the opening speeches would be made.
When the event began, as with all such events, it began with a benediction and a blessing of the hotel. By now, most people had arrived.
The crowd watching.
The owner of the hotel, David Carballeda, spoke and thanked all that had assisted in the reopening of Hotel Ladera. It was an emotional speech and you could tell that the decisions were not easily made, but they had refused to let the past prevent the future.
All tables had wooden mallets and everyone was asked to “knock wood” to ask that only good fortunes would be in the Hotel’s future.
This turned out to be a double celebration. It was also David’s birthday.
With that the celebration began with huge fireworks filling the sky.
I took this photo of my friend, Alvaro González, who was one of the people that had been given thanks for all of his hard work in the Hotel’s reopening.
Al told me that the Hotel wanted everyone to know that they knew how to throw a party and he expected to see many weddings and other such celebrations in this area in the future. Al was right, the hotel does know how to throw a party. This party was FIRST class, from start to finish.
The main entertainment was the outstanding band, Grupo ARCOIRIS. They were nothing less than fantastic.
Music filled the air, dancers fill the dance floor, the food and dessert tables were open, wine glasses were full and the party was on.
Here are a few photos of the dance floor. I think there was close an equal amount of gringo and Panamanians at the party.
Here are some videos, so you can hear the music and feel a part of the party. See if you can find your favorite Chiriquí personality, be it gringo or Panamanian. One of the lights on the dance floor caused the video to have a stripe, but I think you can still get an appreciation for the party.
I arrived at 6:00 PM and left about 11:45 PM. I have no idea when the last diehard left or was carried out. Fantastic party. It was a great experience. My congratulations to Hotel Ladera.
I plan to go back one of these days and try out the restaurant. Alvaro tells me it will be an epicurean experience that I won’t forget.
I hope you enjoyed the party through the eyes of Chiriquí Chatter.