Monday, April 17, 2017


By Eva Fydrych

Magnolia Inn
Charming colonial mansion for style-conscious travellers

Photos by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine and courtesy of Magnolia Inn (4)

Everyone who travels frequently probably experienced this feeling at least once or twice: you may be in a foreign country, somewhere exciting and exotic, but when you take a closer look at your hotel, somehow it looks very, very familiar. The more you travel, the more difficult is becomes to find a place that is truly unique and memorable. After a while, most hotel rooms look the same and you start craving something that is totally different.

That's why we were really happy when we discovered Magnolia Inn - a hidden gem in the historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo. This stylish hotel and luxury hostel (two in one!) offers everything that a trendy traveller needs for their stay: beautifully designed rooms with great attention to detail, inspiring artwork, friendly customer service, excellent location, and a 'home away from home' atmosphere.

Casco Viejo. view from the penthouse 3C (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

5 Interesting Facts about Magnolia Inn:

  • located in the Unesco Heritage Building 
  • it used to be the first house in Casco Viejo (and for a long time the only one) painted in blue
  • it offers both private rooms and dorms 
  • there is complimentary coffee available every morning from 5 am 
  • unique artwork by H. Cansdale displayed throughout the hotel was found / bought in New Orleans

Lobby (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine) Click to enlarge

Painting by H. Cansdale (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)


Magnolia Inn has a lot of character. Stylish design and high-quality features are the defining elements of the hotel. Carefully selected paintings can be found throughout the whole building - from guest bedrooms to the hotel lobby, corridors, and the dining area.

"According to historical documents, the original home located on the site was built for Señora Rosa Icaza de Briceño in the eighteenth century. Damaged by fire, the original home was demolished and a new, larger home was built around the time of Panamanian independence in 1903. An addition was later added to the fourth floor during the boom years that followed the completion of the Canal in 1913. In the 1940s, however, the property, like many others in the neighborhood, fell into decline as residents moved from the old city to the suburbs. " - says Escapes Panama

Current owners, Cherie and Reggie Flagg, bought the property in 2006 and it took them about a year and a half to fully renovate the building. The whole process was done in stages and required a lot of careful planning and flexibility, but the final effect is mesmerising. The details inside the building feature French Colonial, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau elements mixed with contemporary style.

An excellent location of the hotel makes it a good starting point for various activities - sightseeing, shopping or eating out. In case you are not familiar with the neighbourhood, Magnolia Inn provides very efficient and friendly concierge service. You will be able to ask any questions you have and arrange anything you want to do and see in Panama City. So don't worry if you forgot to pack your tourist guide, you won't need it!

Penthouse 3C (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Inn)

Penthouse 3C (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Inn)


Casco Viejo location means unlimited dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities within the walking distance.

"Visit attractions such as the Presidential Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, the Inter-Oceanic Canal Museum, National Theater, Las Bovedas, and many more. Casco Viejo is also home to an ever changing and active art and social scene. There are many galleries to stroll through, and great restaurants to suit any taste or budget, plus some of the city's most popular bars and clubs." - Magnolia Inn

The historic district of Panama City, Casco Viejo (also known as Casco Antiguo or San Felipe), is an up-and-coming neighbourhood and should definitely be on every traveller's list. It is one of the most visited areas in Panama City by both tourists and Panamanians seeking an authentic atmosphere, unforgettable dining experiences, and historic buildings boasting a variety of architectural styles.


Panama City is a great place to study Spanish. You can read more about our experience here.

Welcome to My Room

Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Room M7 (Photo courtesy of Magnolia Inn) 

Stylish fabrics (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)


This elegant and well-designed room features neutral colour palette and all the necessary amenities: an orthopedic queen size bed with soft linens, a glass table, comfortable chairs, a huge flat-screen TV, air conditioning, and in-room safe to store your valuables.

What's really surprising, despite being located in the heart of Casco Viejo, the room is very quiet at night.


Compact yet elegant bathroom features modern design and simple colour palette: different shades of  grey with occasional black and white accents. Bright light is perfect for applying makeup. Fluffy towels and wonderfully scented toiletries add a touch of luxury to your everyday bathing experience.

Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine

Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine


  • A private tour of the hotel on the arrival (thank you Joeri!)
  • Central location in the heart of the dining and entertainment district
  • Unique design and cozy atmosphere of the hotel
  • A small balcony overlooking the vibrant streets of the neighbourhood
  • Complimentary coffee 
  • Spacious kitchen and dining / sitting area
  • Friendly and helpful staff

Dorm room (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Balcony (Photo by Eva Fydrych / Fashion Studio Magazine)

Magnolia Inn is a perfect choice for everyone looking for a trendy yet unpretentious accommodation with a young ambience and a fashionable touch. The building features beautiful architecture and interior design, unique artwork, and large, comfortable common space.

With a good selection of both dining and drinking options nearby, the hotel is an excellent meeting point and is suitable for various types of travellers. I would definitely stay at Magnolia Inn again!

Eva Fydrych

Photo courtesy of Tango Panamá

8-18 Calle 8 y Calle Boquete
Casco Viejo, Panama City, Republic of Panama

Phone: +507-202-0872 (Panama)
+1 786-375-9633 (USA)

*Special thank you to Magnolia Inn for hosting Fashion Studio Magazine in February 2017.


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