We picked this hotel to get away from the large, sprawling and soulless hotels that we have visited elsewhere in the Caribbean; that and it’s recommendation on TA! We were not disappointed at all; in fact even reading how friendly the staff are, does not prepare you for just what lovely people they really are.
Check in was quick and efficient, they required a swipe of a credit card; I never do this as it’s a security threat, but I carry an out of date one for this eventuality and gave that, they never checked. Personally I would rather leave a cash deposit than a credit card swipe but this wasn’t an option. I paid for a safe, I expected a cost, but I think this is not acceptable even in a three star hotel; this should be free to guests.
Our luggage was taken to our adjoining ocean front huts, I had requested from the hotel adjoining huts and one with a mezzanine floor and that is exactly what we got, thanks reception RDCC!
I knew in advance the rooms were dated, and they are very basic; one room had daylight through the door frame and the roof; the toilet was not properly secured to the floor and the sofa was, well, uncomfortable. The other room was fine though, it seems that not all the huts are the same. Only having to change and sleep in the rooms what more do you need than a clean room? It was very clean and the bed sheets were good quality and the beds comfy enough. There is not much hanging space in mezzanine huts, but plenty of balcony space that suffices.
We travelled with Thomas Cook and attended the welcome meeting just to get a flavour from the local rep of the resort and the island. Was pretty turned off at the hard sell yet again, including the now dated ‘don’t go with others you won’t be insured’. This annoys me as Thomas Cook do NOT insure you on trips, you insure yourself; just a way of selling their overpriced product. We chose to go with local guide Paul Williams and that was a great choice. We went to Dunn’s River Falls and Paul told us it was all in the timing. It was; we got there early and we were the only party on the falls, just 5 of us, not a long line of 23 holding hands. The Falls were great and we have some great pictures taken by our guide (who expects a tip, and deserved one for his guidance and photography). Of course we are the only ones in our picture as Paul had ensured we got there before the crowds. Even the traders outside the Falls ignored us, waiting to pounce on those who went with Tour Operators. Paul also took us to some really ‘local’ shops. T shirts at $6, anyone bought a T shirt in Jamaica for that price? We also went to Scotchies for lunch, really quaint place with great jerk chicken. You have to try the hot sauce; words could never describe how hot it is! If you are planning a trip e-mail Paul or any other local driver (but Paul comes very highly recommended, he is a lovely guy). You would be mad to book through a tour operator; enough people on TA have had great experiences with the local guys to trust them implicitly.
The beaches at RDCC are man-made but I thought it was very good, a little rough in places but kept really tidy by the very hardworking beach attendants constantly raking it. Hats off to these guys as they work long hours and never stand still. We brought one an omelette one morning from breakfast, I may as well have given him the crown jewels such was his appreciation. This guy walked along the beach with a cut down plastic bottle which was for his water! Come on management at RDCC at least feed all your very hard working staff; they are your biggest asset!
The sea was cloudy most days and was rocky, but I knew this before we even booked and for us, it was not an issue. It was like stepping in a bath though, it was just so warm! The sea could also be quite choppy when out on the glass-bottom boat so be warned! This boat and their speedboat have also both seen better days; they need replacing. The staff on them though were very professional and knowledgeable about the undersea world.
The food was OK to good you can tell hygiene is a priority when you see staff coming out of the kitchen dressed like cardiac surgeons, wearing face masks. There was always a good choice, and we ate late! Breakfasts were really good, great omelettes and pancakes delivered with Cassandra’s lovely smile and ‘morning, how are you today?’ We ate mostly at Jasmine Delta for lunch; they had pizzas, burgers and hot dogs every day, jerk chicken most days with local specialities changing daily (anyone for cow foot?). Here we were waited on by the ever lovely Kermit, always smiling, always chatting, and always keeping our glasses filled. He is a real star so look out for him when you visit.
The bar staff are all great, George is well reported on here and I miss his ‘paparazzi man, talk to me’ and ‘Jungle man is warming up’. A born entertainer, he also mixes some great cocktails. But he is not the only star behind the bar; in fact they are all wonderful. But I have to mention three great guys who don’t receive the praise George gets, but deserve it as much. Hezekiah, Wayne (big eyes) and Jerome Johnson. They felt like family by the end of our holiday (shows how much time we spent in the bar!) Great bartenders but thoroughly nice guys (don’t give up on the dream Jerome!) Even when they were just cleaning the bar in the morning they smiled and exchanged pleasantries with you; and a big smile and ‘good morning’ from Antonette was well worth having!
Evening entertainment was OK to great; Rocky (entertainment manager) was a great compare and boy can he and the Fun Crew dance. During audience participation nights these guys were very funny, at times very close to the mark decency wise! But great entertainment.
I am a certified diver and went diving with the ones at the hotel, now Scuba Caribe and not Resort Divers. There is no diving direct from RDCC, you are picked up and taken to Grand Bahia Principe about 15 minutes away. I didn’t take my own kit so used theirs, their regulators were OK but I had a problem with the exhaust on the set I had last trip. They have two boats, a lovely new Catamaran and ‘slow boat to China’; which is not great. This boat is not suitable to dive off and the manager, Leon, assured me that he is going to upgrade it in the next few weeks as he is aware of the issues I raised. The diving itself was OK, but just OK. The coral is quite pretty in places but the ravaging of Lion Fish is clearly visible. These fish should not be in the Caribbean but at least dive companies are doing what they can to eradicate them, but their effect on local wildlife, or rather lack of local wildlife is devastating.
As has been said many times on here by far the biggest asset RDCC has is its staff. They all engage with you so much (oddly apart from the Funcrew who rarely spoke to those who didn’t hang round them, and seemed to just sit round the bar all day, maybe too much dancing the night before!).
To all the staff at RDCC I salute you and thank you for giving my family a fantastic holiday.
My title was you must visit here and I would say if you are thinking of booking then just book; but please come with an open mind. Yes the rooms are dated, yes the beach is man made, yes the sea is not clear and can be rocky and yes the food is not a la carte. This is a small, very intimate resort and if you are willing to put aside its limitations it is a very special place. Rocky sings a parody of ‘One Love’ ‘come to Jamaica we’ll treat you right’; RDCC lives up to that promise and more.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Runaway Bay about an hour from Montego Bay International Airport, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque place of the island, populated by friendly and happy people. This hotel's architecture offers incredible paths through the gardens and terraces until you reach the 2 swimming pools, one exclusively for adults and another with all the facilities for children. This hotel also has a long dock for sunbathing. The cottage-style rooms bring a tropical environment and let you enjoy the peace of the beach where you can partake in a large variety of water sports. Its restaurants offer many different types of cuisine which range from typical Jamaican flavors to the exquisite tastes of Asian food. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Decameron Hotel Caribbean
- Royal Decameron Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Caribbean
- Royal De Cameron
- Club Caribbean Jamaica
- Decameron Jamaica Royal
- Caribbean Club Decameron Royal
- Club Decameron Jamaica Royal
- Royal Decameron Club Caribbean Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Club Jamaica