Hotel Carol (tel. 758-8731, US$16–23 s/d), near the south end of Avenida 17 de Abril, offers 37 air-conditioned rooms. The rooms are dark, basic, but okay, with smudged walls and concrete floors. The cheapest rooms are cold-water only and have no TV. The more expensive rooms are nicer, with cable TV, hot water, and tile floors, though they’re still not the cleanest. This is the best bet among the cheaper hotels.
Hotel Golden Sahara (tel. 758-7478, 758-7908, or 758-7910, hotelgoldensahara [at] yahoo [dot] com, US$31.65 s/d), toward the north end of town, has 28 modern rooms with hot water, air-conditioning, and cable TV. Rooms are clean if a bit sterile. The rooms vary quite a bit—some are dark, and others are quite a bit cheerier; try to get one with a window. The hotel is well-run, and the staff members are attentive. They’re happy to recommend places to eat and give other tips. This place is a good deal.
Semiramis Hotel (tel. 758-6006, 758-6009 or 758-6013, US$30–35 s/d), near the heart of town, across the street from the Banco Nacional de Panamá, has fairly nice, clean rooms with air-conditioning, cable TV, and attractive bathrooms. It has a bar and restaurant that’s open 7 a.m.–11 p.m. daily.