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“Fantastic vacation!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Decameron Salinitas

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Royal Decameron Salinitas
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera al Litoral Km. 84 Acajutla, Sonsonate, El Salvador   |  
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Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sonsonate
1 review
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Fantastic vacation!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2008

Fantastic resort, beautiful, clean and friendly. Will definitely be back!

Check-in started at the airport and all very easy & straight forward. Bus ride to resort is long but scenery is beautiful and they do provide drinks & snacks for the journey.

Luggage was deliverd to our room and we wher in the pool within 30 mins of arriving at the resort.

Made dinner resveraions for three of the ala carte restaurants. Favourite was the Thai restaurant. Had breakfast & lunch at the Bamboo buffett every day and went to the main buffet for dinner when not at the ala carte. Found the food to be very good, plenty of choice, tasty and piping hot. Staff all very friendly and will do anything to make a pleasant stay. We do not speak spanish and had no problems communicating.

Pools are fantastic, lovely and warm and well maintained. Activities are there if you want to participate and no pressure from staff to join in.

Had the hot stone massage ($45 for 60 mins) and it was amazing. Felt totally relaxed afterwards.

We took Dukoral two weeks before we went and did not have any problems with sickness. They provide 2 litres of bottled water every day but you can ask for more if you need it. All food is prepared with bottled water and we really enjoyed the salads & fresh fruit. The water & ice is safe in the bar as it is all from bottled source.

Enjoyed many cocktails and found the bar staff very freindly.

Not sure if the people with the negative views stayed at this resort as we only experienced excellent service in a wonderful resort.

Overall, will definitely be back. Great place to sit back and relax and enjoy the weather, pool & bar!!

  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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1,508 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (180)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

I will start my comments with what a beautiful resort you have and how very well taken care of it is. The weather was perfect for the two weeks we were there.

The two representatives from Nolitours, Linda and MaryLou were very informative and made our transition from the airport to the hotel and vise versa when returning home, very easy and uneventful.

The most friendly and english speaking staff were in the Nolitours office behind the buffet restaurant. They spoke when you entered, very welcoming, answered any and all questions, offered information.

The staff at the front desk for dinner reservations were anything but friendly and helpful. We were not greeted and sometimes carried on their conversations and only when finished did they even look at us. Most of the staff in the dining areas did not speak english and could not converse with guests. We were never greeted warmly or welcomed into a diningroom. While we were at the resort, the location of the International restaurant was changed. It was changed on the day that we made reservations for dinner there. When we arrived at the restaurant, the girl said no reservation??? She could not explain what the problem was. My husband asked into the restaurant if anyone spoke english could they come and explain what the problem was. A man came, said what's the problem, they spoke and he informed us our reservation was at another location. We said no we had made our reservation that morning for the International that evening. He said but this is not the International any longer. So we asked then where is it? He said it is across the property where the Mediterran was. So we asked when did this change and he said today. There were three other couples by this time standing with us, we were all in the same position. No one had bothered to inform the guests of the change of location. So now we were late for our reservation which we were informed if late they would not allow us in.

Most of the food in buffets is either luke warm or cold, if you are not having the staff cook you eggs on the grill or have pasta made up for you and this was the case here. Now we did eat at all the al la carte restaurants, can't really say that I had a favourite. The Steakhouse had good hot meat but the accompaniments were always the same regardless of what meat you chose to have, half a grilled tomato, half a potato, a piece of plantain and a piece of brocolli, COLD. We could not find anyone in the others that could explain what the meal components were. We were daring but most often not satisfied and returned to the buffet to try and find something recognizable and hot.

My husband and I have travelled quite a bit thru the Caribbean and Europe and not been treated by such unfriendly staff. You have staff posted at several locations throughout the resort and heard from other guests they are trying to sell other locations but these people did not speak to most guests or even acknowledge them. I have no idea what they were doing but they certainly did not give us a good feeling. In all the different locations we have been to, we have never been sick and I was quite ill on the first Wednesay, after arriving on Monday and did not really feel that well for the remainder of our vacation. We did not speak to anyone or whom ever they were travelling with that was not sick in some way for all or part of the time they were there and never felt that the resort was concerned about the situation. We spent two weeks in Honduras a couple of years ago, took a trip on our own to Copan to see the ruins. Upon our return three days after, heard about illnesses at the resort, so much so that they closed the resort, sent us all home and we were refunded for our trip. We were not told of any specific problems but they were concerned for our well being and decided it best for us to return home. We did not see or hear of any concern for guest well being.

I believe this resort has great potential but being in Customer Service myself, I know if I can not communicate with my clients I will not have a job. I know that Barcello resorts have tutors for their staff, to assist in learning english and also customer service and we have never been dissatisfied with their resorts. We have been to another Decameron, San Luis in San Andres, and had a wonderful vacation, very friendy staff there so maybe its just Salinitas.

Stayed January 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Courtice, Canada
11 reviews 11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
140 helpful votes 140 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2008

I really don’t know what more positive things I can add about this resort. However, I will provide you with my experience and hope that you find it helpful. My husband and I stayed here from January 28th – February 4th. We had a wonderful time. We met a lot of nice people from Ontario. Thanks everyone for a fun and memorable time.

Check in and out was extremely efficient. Our plane left 4 minutes early and we were on the beach by 3:30pm. Safety deposit box is available for $2/day. You can book a la carte’s when you arrive for that evening and 3 further nights (at the front desk beside the Nolitours sign). There are 5 a la carte’s and 2 buffets. The main buffet will have theme nights. If you don’t care for what they are serving that night, the smaller buffet by the Bamboo restaurant will have your regular stuff available (ie. fresh cooked pasta)

We found the resort extremely clean. Not one bug to be found. I did email the resort ahead of time to see about getting tower #4, but we ended up with block #2 – third floor. In hindsight, I am glad we had this room. Originally I thought having a bigger balcony would be nice, but we were never in our room anyways. Yes, I could hear the show from 10pm-11pm, but I quickly dosed off as I was exhausted from the fresh air and sun. I am a light sleeper and this did not prevent me from falling asleep. The air conditioning in the room ran smoothly and was relatively quiet. By the way, tower # 4 is right in front a pool and has a lot of activity during the day. There is a big closet with hangers and 2 drawers available. I took extra hangers down and left them there. The bed is very comfortable.

My husband and I did 3 day trips:

JUAYUA CASCADES – amazing scenery. This is a hike to a natural fresh water pool filled by cascading water from volcanic rock. Please ensure you wear shoes with good treads. The hike is about 30 minutes each way and can be intense at times (uphill, maneuvering around tight spots). The rocks do get slippery. We also packed water shoes for the swim. Very slippery again where you get in and out of the water and rocky when you could touch. There is a tunnel on the 2nd pool in which we were allowed to go through, BUT NOT ALONE. Ask the guide if they will take anyone through the tunnel. If you go the wrong way, you could end up half a mile away from the tour group. We did stop at a small plaza (I think one of the passengers requested this and we were all in agreement) for 30 minutes which had a grocery store. This was probably the best place to buy liquor (price and selection were good).

COPAN RUINS, HONDURAS – long day, but we are glad we did it. Unfortunately we ran out of time and did not get to go to the museum. Pay attention to the tour guide. This will prevent the same questions being asked over and over again. Perhaps this is way we ran out of time. We left the resort at 6am and returned around 7:30pm. We were provided with an amazing lunch in Honduras (your choice for fish, chicken or beef) and had about an hour to walk around a market in Honduras. You do travel through Guatemala. Guatemala will stamp your passport, but Honduras will not. On the day we went through, we bought 16 Lempira’s (Honduras $) for $1US.

CULTURE AND CRAFT TOUR – excellent value for the price. We visited 3 different markets and stopped at a few sight seeing spots along the way. Each market provides different things so if you see something at the first market, do not hesitant to get it. You will not see it at the other markets. If you wanted to bring things down to the children, there would be an opportunity to do so on this excursion. The kids will gather around the bus, some selling things, but I think they were looking for treats.

Unfortunately the Canopy tour was closed the week we were there due to high winds.

COSTA AZUL (beach club) – included, but you need to reserve your spot on the bus beforehand. They have increased the number of runs to this beach, instead of 2 times a day, you have 4 options (I believe 8am-noon, 10am-2pm, noon – 4pm and 1pm-5pm) Be prompt for your bus as they do not do attendance for this on the way home. We were walking up the pathway about 2 minutes to departure and the bus left without us. We then had to wait for the next bus (2 hours later). As Linda the tour rep will tell you, the undertow and waves are dangerous. I went out just to my knees and could feel the strong current. Please use extra caution and buddy up so you know someone is watching you. Do not underestimate the power of the waves ~ enough said. They have 3 lifeguards on site. A bar is on site and the food is available around 11am. Security is also on site. It is safe enough to walk down the beach to see what the locals are doing.

SAFETY – I felt completely safe at this resort and off on day trips. We did have tourist police escorting us except for the Copan Ruins trip. All tour guides are well versed in English and are extremely helpful and friendly.

FOOD – we visited all of the a la carte’s except for the International one. I thought the service was great and had no complaints about the food. Men ~ you do not need to wear long pants here. A dressier shirt and long shorts is fine.

BEACH/POOLS – It is never a problem to find a chair on the beach. The pool by the Bamboo (in front of tower #4) is very noisy. The pool at the opposite end is much quieter.

GYM – excellent equipment, but busy in early morning

MISC – bikes are available at the resort. A bike tour is available at 10am and you go off the resort for about an hour with one of the staff members. Take a cheap air mattress down. Ideal for the Salt water pool or the ocean outfront. They do have them at the giftstore for $12. Please take Imodium. Although we were careful with what we ate and drank, both my husband and I had a bit of diarrhea. Other guests experienced the same thing, some more severe. Who’s to say it was from the resort. I know a lot was going around in Ontario the week before our departure and it may have been from the plane ride down. Just be prepared, use caution and your stay should not be compromised.

I would not hesitate to recommend this destination. For the price, beautiful weather and lack of overexposed tourism, it is on my top list to visit.

Please feel free to email if you have any questions (powlzATyahooDOTca).

  • Liked — Friendly staff, clean resort, weather
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Ontario
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2008

We were at the resort from Jan 28 to Feb 4.
I will try not to repeat what has been said in many other reviews.
The resort was wonderful. One of the best I have seen for this price. The grounds were immaculate, and the staff were always there to accomodate you.
Nolitours were amazing with their precision planning and execution. They need to be commended.
There is no worry about security, as there was always some form of security around.
The rooms were very good, and they all faced the ocean. Comfortable beds and everything worked. There was plenty to do for the most sedentary to the most active. Lots of tours or just lying on the beach, or at one of the many pools, relaxing and reading a good book. Take in the daily Spanish lessons.
They had live music, early evening, in the Grand Acan Beach bar. This was very enjoyable. We did not take in the very late night entertainment as a 10:00 oclock start was too late for us.
We went on the the Culture and Crafts tour which was 6 hours long, and gave you a chance to see the people, the countryside, local towns and do a little shopping.
The Santa Leticia Gourmet coffee tour would have been another good one to go on, but we ran out of time. You need to be in good physical shape to go on the volcano and the mayan tours. Be careful of the Canopy Apeneca tour. I heard people were injured and they shut it down while we were there.
We played once at the nearby Varaneras 18 hole golf course. The cost was very reasonable at $52.00 per person, and a shared golf cart for $20.00 for two. They also had decent rental golf clubs at a reasonable price. There were only ourselves playing, together with one other couple, on the entire course. We had a helicopter following us around. We guessed it was either our escort, or the marshall, making sure we kept our carts off the greens.
I don't think I am a picky eater but the food was very mediocre, For that reason, unless I knew they did something to improve it, I would not go back, . The buffet foods and the lunches were not kept warm. They would cook up several dozen hot dogs and hamburgers, and lots of fries, which sat there getting cold. The a la cartes were not great. We also ate one dinner at the Varaneras golf club restaurant, where I enjoyed the lobster tails. I am afraid the other three people in our party did not enjoy their food as much. This is an extra charge for this offsite restaurant..
Many people at the resort were ill with stomach cramps and diarrhea. I read some of the reviews from the previous two weeks, and they also indicate that people were sick. There is something going around that has been happening for at least three weeks or more.
Be extra careful of the underwater currents at the Costa Azul Beach Club. Sadly, one of the guests at the hotel drowned the week we were there. Three others were rescued at the same time.
In conclusion, I am very happy that I went, and I would recommend this resort to any first timers that want to experience a new and interesting country on the tourist circuit.

  • Liked — Ground floor with patio, comfortable beds, cleanliness, great service
  • Disliked — mediocre food
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windsor, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2008

How refreshing it is to discover a destination that has not yet been discovered by too many people! The resort is spread over a large area and beautifully landscaped and maintained. My brisk morning walk, took about 45 minutes, covering the whole property. Swimming in the salt-water pool is a real plus when the tide is out. Do take water shoes or buy them at the resort as it can be a bit slippery though! And there are so many pools, large and small, that it never seems crowded. The rooms are spacious and cleaned quite well but a small fridge would be a nice addition. The hotel staff bend over backwards to be helpful but the entertainment is mainly focused on Spanish speaking visitors from Central and South America and the in-jokes, even for those of us who speak Spanish, were lost on the Canadians! The shows were only average.
A large number of people came down with upset stomachs which was blamed by the hotel and Nolitours on a family who were already ill on the aircraft.
The food at the buffet gets quite monotonous, particularly as the same food appears for both lunch and dinner so I advise booking dinners at the a la carte restaurants which are very good and the only place that you get really good seafood.
Nolitours and the hotel guest services staff ensured that our stay was safe, especially on the tours on which we were really well-escorted. Would I go back? Absolutely!

Stayed January 2008
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London Ontario
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
68 helpful votes 68 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2008

This is the only resort we've ever returned to. This is mainly due to value for the money and weather you can count on. Our first trip was Feb/07, and we returned Dec 17-24/07, and are going back on Feb 25/08 for our third time!

I'm not sure what the recent issue is with people being sick, but no one was sick that we travelled with, or people that we spoke with, either time. It is entirely possible that it was something picked up on the plane and nothing at all to do with the resort.

Things we liked about the resort:

1) Check in and out best organized of any where we've ever been!

2) Wireless Internet in the Lobby

3) Beach resort that you can be bused to at no extra charge-nice change of scenery, and great walking beach

4) Friendly staff, even if english is limited

5) Food- decent variety, we found everything to be good, no problems with quality either

6) Spacious resort- lots of chairs everywhere, and shaded areas. Happy not to have to "reserve" a chair as in some resorts

7) Choice of pools, clean, well cared for, and warm!

8) Beautiful grounds and palm trees, everything kept clean

If you look for things to complain about, yes, you could find them, but remember what you are paying. If being waited on hand and foot, and being treated like a princess is important to you, then you really have to go to a 5 Star, and even then, you'll have to chose carefully. The rooms are nice, but not posh, there are no fridges, bath tubs, room service, top shelf liquour etc., so you need to weigh out how important that type of thing is to you.

I felt safe, at the resort, on excursions, and at the beach resort (we walked around the streets there).

If you go to the beach resort, you could bring small gifts for the kids that hang out there. They won't bother you or beg, but if you show them some attention, they'll play near your chair etc. We enjoyed that, but if it isn't something you like, they aren't a problem.

The weather is much better then you might find in the Caribbean, as it can be hit and miss there. This is hot and sunny every day.


  • Liked — Beautiful grounds, clean, friendly staff, the best weather!
  • Disliked — Loved everything
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2008

We just returned from a one week stay at the Royal Decameron Salinitas.As has been said by many other trip advisors, the resort has many good and bad points. In my opinion, there are more good than bad.
The grounds around the hotel are amazing. There are beautiful flowers and replicas from the Mayan ruins at Copan.The swimming pools are very clean and the beach is raked every morning.
Our room in building 2 had a king bed and two sofas. My only complaint is that the water in the shower was not always hot and it did not drain properly.
Now to the food - this is a major problem. The breakfast and lunch buffets are not too bad. We had an omelette most mornings and they were freshly made. We also had yogurt and I had fresh fruit ( cantelope, watermelon) every day.
For lunch, we avoided the burgers and hotdogs, as they usually have been sitting for a while. We had rotisserie chicken or salad
most days. We avoided the prepared dressing and had oil and balsamic vinegar.
The a la carte restaurants need to be improved greatly. They were basically hit or miss and there was no consistency.
The Bamboo which served Thai food had a very good grilled shrimp but a terrible Pad Thai. The Pastafari, Italian restaurant had the worst lasagna I have ever tasted in my life, but an excellent grilled chicken. The steak house had great grilled fish but terrible steak. I think you can see the pattern.
Several people we talked to were ill. I was slightly queasy one day but I took an Immodium and the problem clearly up quickly.
I'm not sure why people were ill. We avoided drinking mixed drinks like pina coladas and had only wine or beer at dinner.
We avoided anything with mayonnaise or a creamy dressing.
We also tried to eat foods that were cooked and served right away.
It is necessary to brush your teeth with the bottled water provided in your room and I also brought hand sanitizer to wash my hands.

We took two excursions- both were very long, but well worth it.
One to the volcano and Lake Coatepeque, the other to Copan in Honduras to see the Mayan ruins. It was absolutely fantastic and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Nolitours has everything well organized - arrival and departure went smoothly.
My only complaint is that Air Transat serves the worst airline food I have ever had - a stale bagel and McCain's frozen pizza in a box are not food. Transat should really work on that.

This resort opened in 2005 and therefore is fairly new to the tourism game. I'm sure with time they will iron out all the kinks.
We would definitely return.

  • Liked — The Ocean, the view, the staff.
  • Disliked — Warm(not hot) shower, food.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Salinitas

Address: Carretera al Litoral Km. 84 Acajutla, Sonsonate, El Salvador
Phone Number:
Location: El Salvador > Sonsonate Department > Sonsonate
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Sonsonate
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Salinitas 3*
Number of rooms: 552
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Also Known As:
Hotel Decameron El Salvador
Decameron El Hotel Salvador
Royal Decameron Salinitas San Salvador
Decameron El Salvador
Royal Decameron El Salvador
Royal Decameron Salinitas Hotel
Salinitas Decameron
Royal Decameron Salinitas El Salvador
Decameron San Salvador
Decameron Salinitas El Salvador

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