More about Royal Decameron Beach Resort
On the Beach
Surely it is the best deal in town!!!
An "All Inclusive" resort that I recommend it plenty!
for some Reviews
of the resort see this link. The ROYAL DECAMERON Beach resort
It's only three years old, so everything is functional and new.
The interior design, a melange of "muralled" walls, neo-Moroccan light fixtures, and Spanish colonial loveliness elevate even the buffet breakfast meal to a memorable event. There are five restaurants onsite, three pools, countless bars that stay open until early morning. You can jet ski, kayak, and paddleboat to your heart's content
So good the locals even come!
Rooms were clean and cool (temperature wise) but I would recommend trying to get one closer to the beach area instead of up in the hills. Especially if you have mobility problems (and not from the drink I mean) it can be quite an walk. If you forget something in your room, you will either forget about it or build up the courage to walk the hill or stairs back up.
Have had friends go back since I've been and they mentioned that they are expanding huge so try to inquire where you will be situated first.
The only other thing I didn't enjoy was the ride to get to paradise! About 90 minutes on a bus over a VERY bumpy road area. Icky!!!! Food was excellent for a beach destination. The great part is they had 6 a la carte restaurants and I thought the best was Sushi Sambe (Japanese if you can't guess already).
The best pool area with a bar close and not very busy was definitely the one located "up-top" beside Sushi Samba restaurant
Also, disco's be damned! Hit the Nega Nega (beach bar) and see if the 2 guys singing with their guitars are still there as not only did they sing in English but you could shout our requests and they would play them (with a slight Panamanian accent of course). Can anyone say "you're my boy Blue, you're my boy."
Golf Course - The Mantaraya Golf course was just finishing the back 9 when we were there but if it is anything like the front 9, I can't wait to go back. Maybe the other best part was some of the people we met owned a condo on the course and met us on #5 with Caesers! Nothing better than playing golf while on holiday with a Canadian Caeser in your hand at 8:00am!
Excellent except for one thing
Excellent Except One Thing!
I recently stayed at the Royal Decameron in Panama for a two-week period (13 to 27 Dec). Overall I had an excellent stay at this resort. The food was outstanding, facilities very clean, personnel extremely helpful and friendly and of course, the weather was exactly what one wants; sunny and warm. Of special note is the folk singer at the Cafe Med, he is extremely talented and has a vocal range of two and half octaves (pay attention talent scouts).
The only complaint, which I have, is the lack of an area set-aside for adults only. Since there was allot of children at this resort, at times it got somewhat noisy. I have written the Royal Decameron suggesting that a small area be set aside for adults only, hopefully they will consider my comment on the preceding. If not they should advertise this resort as a “family resort.”
All in all this resort definitely deserves its 4 star rating and perhaps with a few minor changes can achieve a 4 ½ stars.
Family Had A Great Holiday
My wife, two sons (13 and 11) and I spent December 26 through January 2 at the Decameron.
We arranged our travel ourselves so we hired a car to take us to the resort. It took about 2 hours to travel from the Tocumen airport to the resort with light traffic. We arrived after midnight.
We were greated and in our room within thirty minutes and thirty minutes later enjoying a quick bite at the Cayaco.
During our stay the weather was great. Around 90 degrees F each day and mostly sunny. Just a few really short showers (minutes long). The beach was whitish sand a a bit course. The Pacific Ocean tide difference was about 16 feet each day and a bit more undertow than the Carribean. However, the water was fairly clear and shelling was fun. No jellyfish or other critters in the water as I have read in other reviews. May be seasonal??
Being from the United States we were in the minority -- but that made the trip very fun. The resort was full, and nearly half the guests were from Canada, many from Quebec, the rest from Ontario. The balance of the guests were mostly from Colombia and other Central and South American countries. It was great conversing (or trying to) in French and Spanish. My two boys made instant friends with children from all over. Knowing a little spanish is a plus. Marney who works in guest services is a saint if you need some extra assistance.
The resort has many restaurants. Two buffets (one each side of the resort open for breakfast and lunch). One open for dinner. The seaside bars serve fast food. At night many of seaside bars turn into ala carte restaurants. The buffets were really pretty good and I attribute that to the wide variety of guests from all over the world and the resort's need to provide quality meals to draw large tour groups. Our favorite ala carte restaurants (in order) were El Canal (seafood) and the Mediterrean. We also ate at the Japanese, Thai and steakhouse.
New years celebration and party was a blast!!!!!! Music, champagne and fireworks.
1. Bring your own, BIG plastic cup for drinks. Like every all-inclusive I have been too, the cups a tiny.
2. Brush up on the basics in Spanish. Gracias and por favor go a looong way. A dollar here and there works well too.
3. Be patient. Remember you are own vacation. Leave the watch behind.
4. If the resort is full, I suggest you mark your territory on the beach by laying your towels out on chairs under the huts by 0700. You can do this and leave for breakfast.
5. There are several non-buffet restaurants. You need to sign up in the morning for either an early or late seating. People start queuing up just below the main lobby before 0700. You take a number and when they call it, you make your reservation if seats are still available. Some found this inconvenient, but we are early risers and the coffee was on.
6. The resort is pretty big from end to end. Also, some of the units are located nearer to sea level and the others up a hill. Depending where you climb it is between 80 - 100 steps...but they do provide a cart train that runs non-stop if you need assistance. While the resort must run nearly a half mile from east to west, there are numerous pools, bars, and activity centers each few hundred yards or so.
7. Did not have any problems with mosquitos during our stay.
8. One of Noriega's gutted villas is about 200 yards away from the east property line of the resort (remember Panama runs pretty much east and west). You can walk through the property. Its the one that is somewhat surronded by barb wire (hard to miss).
9. North of the resort is an old airfield where supposedly the F-117 was first used operationally during the 1989 invasion (at Rio Hato).
10. If you walk west off the resort property on the beach you will come upon a few stands where they are selling crafts. If you walk further you can stop in at one of the seaside restaurants/bars for an inexpensive beer or shrimp. A ways up the beach is another resort, the Barcelo.
11. Rooms were pretty standard. The grounds were spectacular. Tap water was good to drink. No one had any problems. Did have some hot water/pressure fluctuations in the shower, but nothing too irritating.
12. Tocumen airport in Panama City was pretty easy to get through both entering and leaving the country. If from the US, you need to fill out a tourist card for each traveler ($5 per person) and there is an immigration form for each person and one customs form for each family. We paid for the tourist cards in the US before boarding our Atlanta to Panama flight. Do this if you can, because it makes the process on the other end quicker. We cleared customs and immigration in less than thirty minutes. Check in and security on the return trip was pretty smooth (but it was 0700 AM).
13. We took one tour arranged at the resort. It was a full day trip to Panama city where we stopped at a duty free shop (good prices on booze), then visited several areas in the city. Lunch, more sites in the city, then spent time at the Miraflores lock on the Panama canal. The tour was great for us.
We plan to return late May/early June 2005 for two weeks.
To the friends I made from Montreal, Toronto, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, Ireland, Venezuela...(especially those who greated me with Seco on New Year's day at 630 AM as I watched the sun rise on the beach) -- hope to see you there when we return.
Feel free to email if you have questions. I can email you some digital pictures. firstname.lastname@example.org
There were 8 of us, 4 couples who stayed at the resort for 1 week, Jan 31 to Feb 7th 2005. Check in was very simple, as they gave us an envelope before we recieved our luggage so we could tag our luggage so it would go directly to our room. There was slight confusion for one couple because their building was serviced by the 2nd lobby, so they could have specified that on the envelope. It probably took 1 1/2 hrs for our luggage to get to our room once we arrived. We had packed shorts in our carry on so it wasn't a problem. We just headed to the bar to have a drink while we waited for our luggage to arrive. They had arranged for us to have dinner at one of the reservation restaurants, so we didn't have to worry about that either.
The room was very simple, but very clean. We didn't spend too much time in the room, so we didn't really care. Bottled water was supplied in the room, but nothing else. Take your own soaps, shampoos, and washcloths. The airconditioning worked well, almost too cold at times. There was a nice balcony with 2 chairs. We paid to use the safe in the room, I think it was $2.00 a day. We also got a 2nd room key, and had to give a $14 deposit but got the money back on check out.
The resort overall is quite large, but very easy to get around. Several flights of stairs, anywhere from 60 -80 steps, so be prepared. There is a ramp at the middle of the resort, so I used that most of the time, much easier than stairs. There was a shuttle train that went around constantly, but I never used. It is there is you need it.
There are 7 bars throughout the resort and a disco. You never have to walk too far to get a drink. There are no swim up pool bars. Only 2 bars at poolside and they will not allow you to be in the water with a drink.
There are three main pools, with "hot tubs" but the water in the hot tub is the same water as the pool as they are connected. So its not really hot. The pools are all about 4 to 5 feet deep at the most. Great temperature. We spent a lot of time in the water. There are always chairs available, we were never out there until 9 or 10 and always found a chair by the pool. There were many palapa type umbrelas on the beach also.
There were 2 buffet restaurants were just ok. There was always something to eat there, but the food was never outstanding. At the Sushi Samba restaurant they had a grill, where they made pizza every afternoon. It was very good. If you were still hungry late at night, they had food available at Cafe Med and Cayuco restaurants. There was never a lack of food available. The a la carte restaurants were all great. The only problem there was getting a reservation. You had to be up at 7 and then there was already a huge line to get reservations. We didn't realize until our last day that they made reservations in lobby #2 also. Try to head there to make your reservation. Thank god we had an early riser in our group who made a few of the reservations for us. Otherwise we would have been at the buffet every day.
The casino was a waste of time. VERY smoky and very few tables and slots. We went one night for 1/2 hr and that was plenty.
We went to the disco one night and it was a waste of time also. It has a strange musty, moldy smell and very dark and not very good music.
The shows at night were ok. We watched a couple of them. We found we liked sitting at the bars and meeting people instead. Our favorite bar was at the Cayuco restaurant. George is the bartender there and he was great. Always friendly, drinks ready for you as soon as you arrived. A lot of fun.
Definately take the 8 am walking tour to see Noriega's house. It was pretty interesting. You meet at the Cayuco every day for the walk.
We didn't take any planned tours. We rented a cab and driver for the day and he drove us back into Panama city, to the Panama canal, to a duty free store, out for lunch on Three Islands, to a Harley Dealership to get a tshirt, to a mall to shop, and then we stopped at a grocery store Rey's on the way back to browse and shop. Buy your alcohol there. It was cheaper than the duty free store he took us to. He picked us up at 9am and we were back at the resort at 7pm. It only cost us $65 a couple. Definately worth it. He spoke a decent amount of english. We arranged it with the bus boys at lobby one. Our cab driver was Roberto.
Another day we took another cab into Penonome. Anna took us. She picked us up outside of the gated entrance. The price was $2 return each. But for $3 each, she stayed with us and took us through the town. She was with us for 2 hrs. She also stopped at a grocery store for us to pick up snacks for the flight back home.
There was a small market on the beach a very short walk away. We bought a few souvenirs there. The will barter a little, but not much.
Nothing is very expensive anyways. There was a small bar there on the beach. Beers for $1.
I think thats everything. Definately worth the trip there. The language barrier is much worse than the Caribbean or Mexico. Definately brush up on your spanish before you go.
HATED THE VILLAS
My husband & I went to the Decameron for a week on Feb 14th. Had a great time except for 2 things. The trip from the airport is 2hrs minimum-actually took almost 3 on the way home. This makes for a very long travelling day back to Canada!
The 2nd thing we didn't like was the villa we had to stay in instead of the hotel rooms. We had to pay extra to stay in the villas which were sold to us as being superior in that they had extras and were newer. They surround the golf course and are a fair walk from the hotel especially when it's hot and you have to do it approx 8 times a day. Sure there was a shuttle but it never seemed to be around when you needed it. We had a kingsize bed and bathroom with shampoo but no hairdryer. We had no balcony or windows that opened. Our wooden blinds didn't even open properly. I felt like we were in a dungeon!!! I repeatedly complained that we had no outside furniture to sit on and finally got 2 chairs 3 days later. The front desk staff are terrible to deal with. They promise to look into things and then ignore you. We had very little or no hot water and were actually without water for almost 2 whole days.
The food is excellent in both the buffets and the a la carte restaurants. The grounds were beautiful as were the pools.
The band that played at Cafe Med was fantastic. The shows were mediocre. The M.C. was annoying. Most was in Spanish.
We went on the shopping tour to the Panama Canal which was very interesting. The outlet mall had good bargains but the other mall downtown was extremely expensive.
We rented a car and drove to the Anton Valley-beautiful and worth the drive.
Casino was okay. Disco had very musty smell indicating an a/c problem.
The walk to Noriega's house definitely a must-do. Hoolio was fantastic.
Beach was very nice.
As for the A la carte restaurants; loved Cafe Med and the Sushi one. The seafood restaurant is constantly booked and we had to pull some strings to get in there. Not very good. Japanese one was okay and The Grill was not so good.
We went to the Barcelo to have a look and didn't like it at all. Heard a lot of negatives about it.
Would we go back - probably not , but would definitely recommend it to anyone for a one time stay. By the way it is mostly an older crowd - average age of 50's and up with a few young families with preschoolers. Not a party place.
Nice place and wonderful country - watch out when using credit card!!
The resort is quite nice and there are many activities and tours to keep you busy, or a nice beach to keep you relaxed. I really want to warn against credit card fraud - I used my credit card twice (spa, casino) and the number was stolen electronically and used half way across the world (I was notified by Visa). Otherwise, nice place, OK food ... hotel service could improve.
Costa Blanca Royal Decameron
I was wondering if anyone reading here is going to be visiting Panama, more specifically the Royal Decameron Resort anytime between Septemeber 25th - October 9th. It would be great to meet up with some other people.
Re: Costa Blanca Royal Decameron
YES. My husband and I are going to be there during your first week there. We will be leaving Toronto on the 25th and returning on Oct 2. We are very much interested in seeing Panama, it's beautiful rainforests and the amazing panama canal and panama city.
I hear there is some great shopping there, however I don't think we will get a chance, but who knows?
I am also hoping we can get to met and experience the cultural tradtions and ways of the native Indians.
DO yo umind telling me a little more about yuo and who you are going with. My husband and I are in our late 20's early 30's and we don't have kids but looking forward to starting a family soon.
I am quite excited about our upcoming trip which will hopefuly give us some r&r too.
Transportation From Tucomen Airport to Play Blanca Royal Decameron Resort
I was wandering if anyone has any idea of a company or website for transportation from the international airport to my resort in Playa Blanca ( Royal Decameron Resort). Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Re: Transportation From Tucomen Airport to Play Blanca Royal Decameron Resort
i supposed the hotel has a shuttle bus from tocumen to playa blanca...but i will contac to the staff in the hotel and let you know, if you have time yet...
let me know
Looking For Fellow Tourists
I was wandering if anybody would be staying at the Royal Decameron in Playa Blanca from March 11th until 25trh. I would thoroughly enjoy meeting other fellow travellers.
RE: Looking For Fellow Tourists
Do you play golf? Im looking for golf partner.