Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino
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Historical Traveler Reviews Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino Farallon
Worth what we paid for it
It really is a very nice resort.
The beaches are beautiful.
The buildings are clean and rooms are spacious
The food is pretty good and it's all very hygenic
The drinks are served in disposable cups.
Booze outside the resort can be bought cheaply ($6 for a 26-er of good rum)
Very good price-- we paid about $800/pp because it's off-season (for the northern hemisphere)
Staff were grumpy. We were told by a panamanian staff member on holidays that the staff HATE summer. It showed. Summer is when the Panamanian and S. American tourists come. We were told that both were very demanding customer groups and really tax the staff's patience.
Language was a real barrier. Staff don't or choose not to speak English. (Although, fair enough, we're in THEIR country, right?)
There was a town about 45 minutes away by local "bus" called Panonome where, we were told, one could pick up real bargains like sandals for $1. Well, don't bother. The town is a dump. And those $1 sandals? --That's what they're worth. It's junk, and not at all interesting.
Our excursion to the rainforest was cancelled due to lack of interest. Unfortunately, the staff lacked the interest to tell us that it was cancelled. We ended up going on some excursion that didnt interest us because we werent notified early enough to choose something else that we might've like just as much.
Overall, for $800/pp, we can't really complain. It really was fine. That said, I don't think that we'll be rushing back.
Suggest you to spend your vacation somewhere else
Last time i went there i made sure to include in my reservation form that i wanted a room right in front of the beach and not a room upstairs. I told the office lady that last time they gave me a wrong room and the lady answered me that it wont' happen again. she was WRONG. When we arrived there, they assigned us room 34, which is right at the very back, far end, right in the corner!!! i was so pissed off and told them that i wasnted to talk to the GM. They refused to let me talk to the manager because i was under-age. I thought that was very riduculous and that a 5 starts resort shouldn't show PREJUCDICE against their clients. When i told them that i did not wanted that room they told me that they had NO more room in the lower area (near the beach). I simply stood there and the lady who was waiting behind me went up to the front desk and they assigned her a room that was right in front of the beach. they pratically LIED to me!!! I was so mad that i started to yell at them and told them that their service simply - SUCKED - ! At this point one of the people who worked at the fornt desk came up to me and told me that since i was young i SHOULD DESERVE to walk the stairs up and down to get to the beach. In addition to that he also told me that the rooms downstairs were reserved to the HANDICAPPED people ONLY. which obviously was not true. I felt really ripped off because i paid the exact SAME amount of money as the lady who was behind me in the line and all the other people who were vacationing there. It was really UNfair that i had to be put in a room so far away just because i was young. I really think that they have no service skills and they do not think that the customers come first, which is the base of all service type business.
I higly suggest you to go somewhere else and spent your money wisely. not on BAD service.
We recently visited the Royal Decameron in Panama and found it to be an excellent value. We travel extensively during the year( at least 4-5 vacations) and we usually take 1 cruise and several land vacations, mostly all inclusive. The rooms were nice, but not luxurious (no little bottles of shampoo, etc.) We did have to call for air conditioning service because you are unable to control the temperature by yourself. It was actually too cold! But service arrived prompltly and took care of the problem. Most of the rooms ( I believe there are about 600 rooms total) face the beach, which is very lovely, however there were jellyfish in the ocean so we did not swim there. That was not a problem because the resort has many pools and they were never crowded. The food for an all inclusive was fairly good. Let's face it, you very rarely get gourmet food when you are feeding that many people. But trust me, you will certainly not go hungry! They have several a la carte restaurants that you have to make reservations for in the morning and I especially liked the Mediterranean restaurant. FYI the rainy season starts the end of April and goes for several months. We did get caught in a couple of downpours. The entertainment at night was not too bad, and not as "corny" as some of the resorts we've visited. It's something to do in the evening. I also would like to mention the excursions that they have. They were extremely well organized (even to calling us with a wake up call when we didn't even ask them to!) and very well priced. We took an excursion to Panama City and the Canal(2 hours from the resort) . It was very well done, the guide was great and very knowledgable. They took us to a good restaurant for lunch and I believe the entire cost was $60 a person. (If you've taken an excursion on a cruise, you know that this is quite a bargain) The people we met were very friendly, but we probably were the only Americans in the resort. There were quite a few people from Canada. Other than that, you'd better know some Spanish! Have fun if you go, we did!
This was my first visit to panama, and the trip was a last minute deal as well. Most of what the other reviews say are right on. This place is huge!! Everything is situated on the side of a hill, along a long section of beach. This involves a lot of walking, but I am on vacation so who cares!! plus the grounds are kept in perfect condition. Tonnes of flowers, trees, plants etc so the walk was very nice. If you are a little on the older side there are golf carts that pick you up and will take you around. Checking in is a breeze. There is a 2 hour bus ride to the resort, but it goes fast and the guide on the bus does their best to keep you entertained, and the bus is air conditioned. You stop once for a stretch, but like other reviews say, take a snack as its a long day. Your luggage goes on another truck and arrives when you do, As you are getting checked in there are guys carrying your bags to your room. Very good system. The first night you eat in the buffet, as the other restaurants require reservations, but all of them are nice. I went with a party of 4 (25-32yrs for 8 days) and none of us had any problems with the food. The disco is small, but fun, and the thai food restaurant was the best (for me anyway). The shows are a bit better than the usual stuff you get at an all inclusive. Its the hotel staff in the show ( thats normal ) but they do a real good job. Nice costumes, good music and lots of interaction. The Miss panama contest is hilairious!! They try to sell a CD after every show. Dont bother,
The guys by the atlantis pool are the best. If you go, look for walter (has a wife in ottawa) , carlos, joel, and marina (who is from toronto). All of them do a fantastic job, and are fun to hang around with. Ok, down to the point.
The resort is great, I would go again in a heartbeat. Bring your own drinking container. Walmart, $5 bucks, as the cups down there are small, and when its 35 degrees with 80% humidity you tend to drink a bit. Bring your own toiletries as ONLY SOAP is supplied, and no face clothes either ( for those who have to have one... not sure why...) rooms are clean, and neat so no complaints there.
For the guys... dont need pants at diner, plus it was too hot anyway. I took 2 pair, and never even took them out of the suitcase.
As the hotel is in panama... between mexico and south america... there is a lot of spanish. Well no kidding. I have read other reviews about people complaining about a language barrier. The staff make an honest effort to try to speak english, and the staff run about 50% english speaking. So be patient, and if they dont speak much english there is someone close who does.
My only complaint. Beach side bathrooms. Those things are nasty. They put moth balls in the urinals, and with pool water and overspray... bring sandals!!
Thats it. Foods good. Its damn hot there, have a good time
Great place, gorgeous grounds. Food is excellent, 7 different restaraunts, all included for 90 bucks a day for two people total! Unlimeted drinks, food, and even cigs! Check for rainy season though. Panama is the next costa rica, buy your real estate now!
Beautiful grounds, many activities and great food
From April 26 to May 3rd, I was at The Royal DeCameron Costa Blanca in Panama and it was the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on. I am in my 20's and went with friends but met many friendly people there. Most people were couples or families, but there is something for everyone to do. I would highly recommend this resort to anyone, except perhaps the disabled or elderly because the resort is situated on a hill, so there are some long steps to climb. There are little shuttles that come around to bring people around the resort, but I walked around because the grounds were just so beautiful.
I took Air Transat which was very on time both ways and fairly comfortable. The flight was 4 hrs and 45 mins in length and when we arrived at the Tocumen International Airport in Panama, we were greeted by DeCameron staff which was very helpful in guiding us in the right direction to make check-in procedures fast and smooth. The resort is about 1.5 hrs away from the airport, so it was a long bus ride, but our tour guide was great & entertained us with some background information on Panama and explained sights as we passed them by.
The rooms were all very spacious and clean. There are a lot of bugs outside on the resort (as any hot place would have), but the rooms were spotless. They have tiled floors which are mopped everyday. Only soap is provided in the washrooms so you will have to bring your own shampoo, etc. (which was perfectly fine with me because for a week-long vacation, I prefer to use my own shampoo, etc anyway.) The only problem I had with the rooms is the fact that they did not change the bed sheets daily. I think they were supposed to, but the maid did not do that. She made the bed, but the sheets themselves were not changed. Why? I have no idea. If you go to this resort, please tell them to change it, I didn't realize that they weren't changing the sheets until the second last day I was there, so I never bothered telling them.
Absolutely stunning; many plants and beautiful flowers decorate the gardens. It's a pleasure to walk around the resort and admire all the large banana, coconut and mango trees around the resort. Not to mention the many birds, including many peacocks who enjoy showing off their fan tails for you to take pictures.
Excellent and very sanitary. I agree with the other two previous reviews. (Darn it, i forgot to try the "banana mama" drink! But yes, the "sex on the beach" or "Sexo a la Playa" was a good drink) The chefs wore masks and gloves to prepare the food and they were always kept hot. The salad bar sometimes have flies around, but for the most part, it was not much of a problem. The tap water was very clean (Panama uses a US filtration system to filter their water and they say it is among the cleanest water in world) and drinkable from the tap. I had no stomach upset problems at all, it was like I was at home in Cananda. There is 1 theme buffet restaurant (a different theme everyday, eg. mexican one day, italian the next) and 6 a la carte restaurants, all of which have excellent food and variety. Even if you are a picky eater, you are bound to find something you enjoy. Great fish is often made and their fruit punch is delicious (made of real fruit, of course). I have no complaints about the food at all. You DO have to make reservations to go to the a la carte restaurants, and you may have to wake up early to do so (around 8 am). Being a person who likes to sleep in, that was the only downside. But even if you wake up late and go make a reservation at 2 pm, there is often still a restaurant available for you (at least when we were there).
All drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) and cigarettes are included. I don't think there is an age limit for alcohol or cigarettes. I could be wrong, though.
Tons to do, including windsurfing, peddleboating, snorkeling, scuba diving, fun games, an enormous chess board, and horseback riding. The nightly entertainment was so fun to watch and the dancers are very talented. If you like being on stage, participate in their shows, it's hilarious. They have daily kids activities and a kids show in the evening. Since I do not have kids, I do not know exactly what activities they offered, but the kids always seemed to be busy.
The Royal DeCameron is situated on a very long strip of beach, so you could walk for a long time without being interrupted. We never had trouble finding beach chairs. There are over 1000 chairs on the resort, and the capacity for the resort is 600. The only problem with the beach, is that the water is not as clear and beautiful as Cuba beaches. There ARE jelly-fish in the water, so you have to be careful. I generally stayed out of the ocean; the pools were more than adequate (4 adult pools and 3 kids pools) and cleaner anyway. Regardless, it was a pleasure sitting on the beach and enjoying the sounds of the ocean without being disturbed. Very relaxing and the sun shone every day, with the temperature staying the same (in Panama, it is the same temperature at any time of the year... a good 30+ degrees).
Panama is very proud of its rainforests and ecotourism is popular. Cool animals such as the sloth and poison dart frogs can be found in the rainforests of Panama. The problem with the tours is that they are far from the resort, so you will have to take a bus for 1 to 3 hours before you reach your destination. If you get car-sick easily, you may want to bring something to help. I went on the Canopy tour, which I guess is more for the adventurous people, because you get to "fly" from tree to tree via cables and explore a rainforest.
I hope this has been a useful review (i apologize for how long it is!). I have been searching the internet prior to my vacation to find reviews and there have been very few for this resort. I guess it's because it is fairly new(opened in December 2000). Overall, I'd give this hotel a full 5 out of 5 because it is a beautiful resort with many activities and amazing food. I would not recommend going to Panama from May to November because that is the rainy season in Panama (they have only 2 seasons, "dry" and "rainy") if you wish to go for the sunshine. But during our stay, the sun shone every day. It would rain in other parts of Panama, but the resort is situated in the most dry part of the country so the weather was predictably gorgeous. If you go from December to April, you should have beautiful hot weather every day. For the money, this resort was worth every penny; a true gem.
A great surprise
my husband and i went to the decameron in panama pretty much in the dark. it was a last minute deal and we had no review to read here so i guess i am one of the first to write one. it is a positive one.
the place is big with 600 rooms in small buildings spread throughtout the property which is facing a long long strech of beach (pacific ocean).
there 8 restaurants, 2 lobbies, 9 pools. the service is close to excelent with staff doing the best to serve you and make your stay comfortable. the rooms are clean and bright. the resort is just 4 yrs old. the food is good and there is a good variety but keep in mind that they tend to go towards the central and south american flavours since a big bulk of their clientele is from those parts. food is of good quality but simple. having 9 restaurants one will not have trouble finding something they like. they post the menu of the buffet restaurant at the lobby so you know in advance whether u should eat there or should make reservation in one of 6 alacarte restaurant which serves : italian, steak(grill), thai, sea food, japanese, mediterrean. The buffet restaurant will have different themes every night. This one is located by the pool which is very pleasant to dine in.
the resort have all the usual all inclusive activities. the nightly shows are something to look for; the team responsible for the shows are well trained and very talented, it is not las vegas but you will enjoy yourself. there a disco with drinks included.
the resrot is set up in area full of fruit trees and palm trees, and if u go mid april to mid may the air smell sweet with the smell of flowering trees. it is true what they say : "the tropical air smells sweet". you will see 2 pair of peacocks lazying around the resort.
it was the best surpise of my life, since i was not expecting much from this place. but now it is for sure a place i will return soon. We have been to a few resorts but this one so far is the best.
please keep 2 things in mind before booking this one: there is a 2 hr transfer from the airport to the hotel but it a pleasant ride with the guide from the resort talking to you about the culture and place. (pack a snack) and because the place is rather large be prepared for a LOT of walking up and down stairs and hills. they do however have shuttle within the hotel (golf cart cars) every 30 minutes :)
otherwise i higlhy recomend for the first timers travelers and for people looking for a new place to explore!!!
if you have any further questions please contact me.
This is an excellent resort! The people are friendly, the grounds are absolutley beautiful and the food is very well prepared. We loved it, and can't wait to go back! Everything is super clean and the pools are amazing. Try learning a little Spanish before you go - very helpful, and the people appreciate it so much. One thing I would like to stress is this is not home, people don't speak English very well - and nor should they be expected to! This is a Spainish speaking country, so don't get upset when their is a bit of a language barrier. Just get a good Spainish travel booklet, and have fun! Also be aware that the bus ride from the airport to the hotel is approximatley 2 hours. The bus driver stops at a little store where you can buy a beer for 1 U.S. dollar and hop back on the bus - great fun! I actually didn't mind the bus trip there; we were able to see a portion of the country that way.
Tipping - leaving a tip for the staff each day is a good idea; we left 1 U.S. dollar per day. Remember- even if your travel brochure says "tipping is included" it is likely that the workers don't see a lot of that. We are very fortunate in North America, so I don't see tipping a little extra as problematic.
Enjoy this trip - you'll love the Costa Blanca!
P.S. The drinks are amazing here - try the "sex on the beach" or the "banana mama" We found it helpful to bring our own reuseable drink mugs - the bartender will fill it up for you.
Great place to stay and play!!!!
Brand new resort (2001).Three in one vacation. This place is great! The resort is beautiful, food is magnificent and the beach is a perfect.
You can do rainforest tours, see Panama city, or just stay on the resort and veg.I would go here every year if I could.
Not worth the money
It was a surpise to take my parents, of all people that I want to enjoy themselves. We arrived to the resort and the lack of professionalism at the front desk would certainly be the begining of a multitude of probems. The rooms are clean, nice and comfortable. We stayed facing the beach/ocean which was nice but needed to be requested at the time of check-in. The service in all the bars was WORST than BAD. With this all-inclusive resort, you better eat til your hearts content to get your money out of it because the drinks contain little or NO alcohol. The food was adequate, but no alot of variety after staying a couple of days. The service at the front desk, the bars and shops was very bad. With a 5 star rating, I posed the question to the GM as to who exactly is the responsible party to issue such status- because this by far was a 2 star resort. I have traveled to many resorts around the world, and this by far is the worst. The staff lacked professionalism and had no interest to ensure you were adequately taken care of (such as a 5 star resort would). Save your money.
TripAdvisor Reviews Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino Farallon
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