The Expanded Multiplaza in Panama City … Just Incredible!
Yesterday was my first opportunity to visit the new and vastly expanded Multi Plaza in Punta Pacifico near the Trump Towers in downtown Panama City.
To be honest, I was overwhelmed. The extent of the expansion and renovations was mind boggling. It felt like I was strolling along some of the ritzy side streets in Rome near the “Spanish Steps”.
No End to Exclusive Shops
Just for starters, you can “shop ‘til you drop” at more than 280 high-end, exclusive shops including Chanel, Cartier, Lacoste, Louis Vuitton, Emporio Armani, Faconnable, Hermes, Tiffany, Fendi, Dolce and Gabbana, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bellagio, Mont Blanc, Valentino, Rolex, Versace, the Gap, Forever 21, and the Banana Republic. It would not be remotely possible to check out even half of these shops in a single day. Then there is the integrated cinema complex with about 10 theaters showing the latest of Hollywood usually in English with sub-titles.
By all means bring your Platinum Card. The displays of finery in every “shop” are to die for yet so laid back and enticing.
The architecture is also marvelous with a kind of “see-through” theme for this three story emporium of pleasure. Everything is so light and airy; so polished and slick. The structure itself must exceed one million square feet.
When we lived in Central New Jersey, my wife and I used to visit occasionally the “Far Hills” Shopping Mall near Summit which is billed as a shopping mall for millionaires. In my opinion, the Far Hills would be like comparing a nice Lexus to a flashy Lamborghini with the Multiplaza being the latter.
Integrated High End Dining
But the most significant and exciting change was the extremely clever integration of shopping and dining and not just any dining.
Before the recent expansion, the Multiplaza featured a large “standard food court” which was extremely normal and boring. Today, however, well known, private brand restaurants, exclusive “coffee shoppes” and gelarti ice cream parlors are sprinkled everywhere throughout the complex again much like in Rome around the Spanish Steps.
Each dining facility has its own space, its own menu, its own environment, and its own waiters. This is not a “food court” strategy. Today there are many private restaurants (perhaps 40-50) and many people now visit just for the food experience plus of course some window shopping. For a Sunday mid-afternoon, there were lineups everywhere for the specialty restaurants. I had an excellent meal at “Wingz”. There was an impressively huge “Ruby Tuesday’s” about to open. There were specialty bagel shops, sushi eateries, soft pretzel outlets, Mexican fare … you name it!
And for the kids (which were swarming around in large numbers many on roller shoes) there is even a huge Chuck E Cheeze’s packed to the rafters with the latest video games and whatever other “toys & games” kids like today.
It was fun. I am not a great shopper but I love to watch other people shopping or doing whatever. This is now the place to do it. A village within a city. The only danger being all the wonderful merchandise being offered for sale. I might just break down and actually buy something one of these days.