Hotel La Compañía, which opened in April of this year in the vibrant old city of Casco Antiguo in Panama City, has a rich history that dates back to the 17th century when it was built as a Jesuit convent. The first hotel in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio in Central America, Hotel La Compañía features luxurious guestrooms, five restaurantsa rooftop bar and lounge, a spa and a rooftop infinity pool. Surrounded by three of the most well-known and historic churches in the Casco Antiguo, Hotel La Compañía offers guests the ideal location for an authentic cultural vacation experience.
The hotel’s Exilio Bar — named after the secret exile order from King Carlos III of Spain to expel the Jesuits in 1767 — has released a signature cocktail called The Albayalde as an ode to the neighborhood’s storied past.
Legend says that when Henry Morgan’s pirates took over the Panama La Vieja (the old city of Panama), the Jesuit priests in the Order of St. Augustine painted the church’s cherished Golden Altar black with thick layers of “albayalde” to make it look like plaster. The idea saved the famous alter from ruin, and today, it can be found at the San José Altar de Oro Church, which is located across the street from Hotel La Compañía.
The new craft cocktail celebrates the most famous legend in Casco Antiguo and sits on the top of the signature cocktail menu at the Exilio Bar, the hotel’s stylish lobby lounge. With Licor 43, a ginger infusion, and aged rum, The Albayalde is served in a martini glass with lemon, thyme, and a pink pepper garnish.
“To create a cocktail that accurately captures the essence of the church’s history with albayalde, we had to infuse aged rum,” says Executive Chef Luis Artigas. “The base of the cocktail brings an earthy flavor, and its garnishes bring a crisp, modern taste to the drink – very representative of the restoration of the hotel.”
Positioned in the center of Casco Antiguo’s dining and entertainment scene, Hotel La Compañía’s strong, chef-driven food and beverage program dives into the rich flavors found in the region. The hotel’s culinary experiences range from fast-casual cafe and coffee bar to a fine-dining modern French restaurant that features a 300-year-old wine cellar, as well as an unmatched international menu at El Santuario, which features a menu with authentic Panamanian, Asian, and Indian dishes.
“Hotel La Compañía is completely constructed around its history,” continues Artigas. “Across all menus, Casco Antiguo’s history of exile, immigration, and settlement inspires our selective choice of ingredients, honoring the colorful history that our location has survived. With The Albayalde cocktail, we wanted to retell the story of a pivotal moment of the city’s past.”
The hotel’s American wing, which opened this month, will feature three additional restaurants opening later this summer with immersive programming. The American wing’s rooftop bar, Capella, is already a favorite spot for nightlife among locals and visitors alike.