Here we are in late September, and lots of progress has been made since my previous construction update. We are running a bit behind; we always lay out a fairly ambitious construction schedule for ourselves, but acknowledge when the challenges of building in Panama AND on an island interfere with our best-laid plans. We’ll probably need to push our boutique resort’s soft opening date a couple of weeks later than originally scheduled, but this allows us more time to get the details right — for instance ensuring our resort’s restaurants and bars are staffed, stocked, and ready to serve our first guests come January. Keep an eye on The Ambler for a series of posts detailing the resort’s menu of island cocktails – a side project I’ve enjoyed working on as construction progress nears completion. For those of you eagerly awaiting the chance to stay at The Resort at Isla Palenque – I’m pushing things as fast as I can, and you can be sure I will keep you posted.
Remember that funnily-angled wall I wrote about in the April construction progress report? Here is the near-final result (the concrete floor needs an acid wash, and we still need to make a base grill for the firepit). But the wall I showed now supports most of the boulders you see, which are also tied into the concrete slab above it. The result is a stunning terrace to watch the sun rise over Playa Primera in the morning, or to sit around a small fire in the evening with a Caipirinha.
The image above shows two views across several of the estate rooms. Roof installation is nearly complete, siding has begun, and we are getting ready for door and window installation to start before the month is over.
We’ve been planting the organic farm, which everyone is excited about, and the greenhouse structure is up and awaiting netting and plastic to protect the plants from insects and iguanas, before we plant inside of it. A variety of of tomatoes and peppers have been planted, along with pineapple, zucchini, chayote, and various herbs. And there’s a lot more to come: as you can glean from the photo, we’ve only planted a small fraction of the area that has been tilled. Things grow very fast down here: some of those plants were seedlings just two weeks ago, and now spread over a foot wide! Produce will be ready to eat before the hotel is open (the construction crew will be pleased).
This is one of the three employee housing buildings we are erecting. Together they will be capable of housing up to 55 employees in our back-of-house “base camp”, next to the administration buildings. That’s over three employees per room, and indicative of the high service levels we’ll be providing at the hotel.