I was very excited to go to this resort..i had heard great things about it. I broughtmy husband with me to experience Panama for the first time .Almost no one spoke english. I did not get the room that I had reserved with a balcony. We did not have hot water for two days. I asked to speak with a manager three times and never did. I kept getting excuses from the staff. All of the surrounding restaurants were closed when we wanted to go eat there. I feel that the money I paid was definetly not worth the service. I ended up leaving and finding better service, a better price at Playa Blanca. Decameron was a hell hole and Playa Blanca was heaven. My husband said he never wanted to return to Panama because of his experience at Decameron. I do not recommend anyone to go to the Decameron!!!
I just recently returned from the Decameron and usually I would not post a review but felt this trip had too many negatives to ignore.
The grounds were very well maintained and I actually didn't mind the 2 hour bus ride because it gave me a chance to see the country side of Panama. But...
I felt the service to be horrible!
Being North American (Canadian), you could feel and see in the locals and even some staff that we were not really welcome.
Walking down the paths, we all felt like we were almost being forced to move onto the grass. I'm not an aggressive person so most of the time I did!
At one point, I waited 10 minutes at a bar to get a drink. there were originally 2 locals ahead of me. they were served and then I was ignored for a few minutes. finally got his attention and ordered. While he was making my drink, more locals showed up so he put my drink down and served them making me wait another 5 minutes! I have never been treated that way in my life and I have travelled many places. There were other instances that were similar just not as long a wait.
I spent a few nights at the disco. The second night there, 2 locals decided to get into a fight. One was very badly hurt and knocked out. The one standing was so revved up, he looked over @ a group of North Americans and screamed "get them, Americans!" One of those men were punched before he could scream, "I'm Canadian!" Completely uncalled for. Those same locals then started pulling speakers off the walls and banging them to the floor. I went back 2 nights later thinking it might be different, Police showed up with Pepper Spray Bombs! Luckily we were on our way out. I didn't stick around to find the outcome...
The Food was good, I felt. I ate the al-a-carte all 8 days and didn't have one bad dinner. Really enjoyed the Thai. The Breakfast served great omelettes and the lunch buffet grilled great Panini sandwiches.
The Lobby 1 bar after around 6 served fantastic drinks and in glass not plastic which i prefer.
I went Golfing 3 times and the course was decent. They were pretty cold with us as well though considering we spent almost 100 US each for a Round, Cart and Rentals every time.
The Rooms were okay. Clean, nothing fancy.
Lots of walking but I didn't mind that really.
I went to Woody's (Local Canadian bar down the beach) 3 times and enjoyed there Poutine and cold beers. It's @ an addition expense but they are very friendly and worth a visit. They play the hockey games on a flat screen! Lol!
I would definately advise you learn a bit of spanish before going. I did and it helped get a bit better service. Like most Countries, they expect you to atleast try. Most would do there best to communicate if they saw an effort on my part. If you don't try, I saw so many pretend they knew nothing you said. That took a bit to get used too.
The weather was great and a do think Panama was a beautiful Country but I'm not sure I personally would go back. It was an experience though at a very low cost.
My 2 cents...
We arrived home a few days ago from Royal Decameron – Panama where we had a great time. The resort overall is certainly above average and met our expectations. Their service was good, the grounds were perfectly manicured and the beach and pools were great. We had an ocean front room below lobby three which was adequate in size, clean and in a good location. The food was above average considering the size of the resort and the number of buffets. Reservations for the specialty restaurants were easy to make and worth it. Sushi Samba was our favorite because of the great food and perfect atmosphere. The sushi is good, but pretty basic (mostly veggies wrapped in rice).
Many previous reviews on this site have been negative due to the number of steps from the beach level to the lobby level, the lack of gourmet food, and too little English being spoken by staff. You have to know going in that there are a large number of steps, but that is what gives the resort some of its beauty. I would agree the food was not great/gourmet (but it was very good). I also know that we did not pay gourmet prices. Any criticism about a lack of English being spoken is simply out of place - You are in Panama for goodness sake. If you cannot speak Spanish or are unwilling to try to communicate – stay in the States for your vacation. We speak conversationally in Spanish, but we noticed that even the most feeble attempt to speak Spanish to the resort staff was always met with a friendly smile and an attempt on their part to communicate in English. 9.9 out of 10 times, the guest and the staff member met in the middle and understood each other.
The only negatives that we found were the very long trip from Panama City out to the resort and the fact that the air conditioners in the rooms are on a light switch, not a thermostat. So, the A/C is either on or off. But the beautiful grounds, friendly staff and picturesque beach location far outweighs any negative impressions.
We would definitely recommend the Royal Decameron!
It is a beautiful resort but customer service needs to come up a few levels. Communication is a major drawback. Not many staff spoke English. Information was not communicated very well. Ala carte restaurants were quite good but buffet was not. A bit odd to have customers responsible for having luggage down from the 3rd floor for 4:30 a.m. Asked for a wake-up call at 6:00 a.m. and received one at 3:55 a.m. Wine is an international drink and should be available at the bars not just with dinner. A 24 hr. ATM is available but in the casino that is not open until 1:00 p.m. Beds were lumpy and on a slant.
Great resort. But would like to mention, not a resort for people who have trouble with stairs or steep hills. Decameron has plenty of both. However, the up side, I only gained 3 pounds ! Took the Canopy and Embra Indian village tours. Both were well worth the money and the tour guides very friendly. The food at the buffet was repetative for breakfast and lunch, but they do theme nights for dinner. The restraunts we went to were good. However the Catch of the day restraunt was so so, unless you wanted to spend extra $. Would I go back. Absolutley.
I went a fews months ago with some of my friends and our moms and had the best vacations ever!! They had amazing food with different themes at the resturants everynight! We ha so much fun going on the different tours and the guids were so nice and alot of fun! We had such an amazing stay and the resort we are planning another trip for tis April!!!!!
This year was our second winter getaway to the Royal Decameron in Panama. We did notice some changes from the previous year that degraded our experience a bit.
There were too many small trucks and vans on the path ways. Far far more than last year. The vehicle traffic was extremely heavy, and there was a constant smell of diesel fumes in the air. Quite unpleasant out of character with the beautiful and lush surroundings. We were continually jumping out of the way of trucks. Most of these vehicles had only the driver and no load. Seemed to us that the staff were using them for personal conveyance and not for business. Bicycles make more sense. Would certainly save wear and tear on the concrete pathways.
The restaurants are now booking three seatings per night instead of two, making dining a rushed affair. We barely had time to finish our meal when we were asked to leave the table for the next seating. I understand they're trying to accommodate more people but the experience was unpleasant.
One last comment. I realize that any business should always look for revenue making opportunities. However we found it hard to understand the WiFi fee of $15 for twenty four contiguous hours. I don't know anyone who would spend 24 vacation hours tied to a laptop. Twenty four any-time hours sounds more reasonable.
WiFi is pretty much offered as a free attraction by most places these days, including Woody's Beach Bar and Grille just down the beach from the Decameron. Let's face it, the cost of a wireless router is insignificant, and offering complimentary WiFi to customers would be more in keeping with the times.
Other than that, the Royal Decameron is still the same beautiful and lush resort with a very friendly and thoughtful staff. Always a smile. These folks work very hard behind the scenes to make your stay a comfortable experience.
The Royal Decameron resort grounds were absolutely beautiful--but the hosptitality and the food could have not been any worse. Americans do not want to go there--I actually felt--that they hated us. Spoke with several Canadian visitors and they felt the same way. Now if you are Colombian then go--they treat you like you are Kings??????
On our reservations we asked for a king bed-we got two double beds with a cot?????? You do not get washcloths--you get handtowels to wash with--no kleenex--you use toilet paper--no such thing as a kleenex.
They charge you to cash travelers checks--they charge you for an extra room key--they charge you for a key for your room safe--they charge you $30.00 to have your phone turned on in your room. Our phone in our room --never work--took us 3 phones before they finally brought a new one and then I had to fight every time I wanted to make a call. Then we had one little lamp in our room--we asked for an additional lamp the day we got there, again a week later we asked again on the day we left--(2 weeks later) we still never had a lamp.
You had to tip the maid-if you didn't --something would not be done when you came back to the room--such as no towels or the bedding was not done-- and the bedspreads were never put back on the bed --they were folded after the first day and that is the way they stayed.Twice we were gone all day and when we got back--the room was not even cleaned.
Also, non of the staff would even volunteer that they knew English--thank goodness my husband was from Panama and knew some Spanish--but it took me getting very upset and angry one day for the girl that we had been dealing with for over a week to have English come out of her mouth. It is like they ignore you--have no interest in making the American or the Canadian happy by any means--they actually resented us being there.
At the eating establishments--you would have to ask for beverages--they had staff all over the place--but they would act like they did not see you come in --and again this was not an occasional incident--this was constant.
The food--my husband and I lost weight while we were there-the meat was so tough(you actually needed a hack saw) and this was not an occasional
happening this was everyday.
I feel that spending 3500.00 for a trip of a lifetime-should have wonderful memories--but thanks to the Royal Decameron I am still crying from the pain and unhappiness they caused us.
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