Ok! I had meant to write this sooner. We had stay at the Royal Decameron for a week long all inclusive (Jan 21 - Feb 2). We were traveling with another couple and this was basically all of our first trip to Panama. I have to say that I was impress. Prior to going, I did read most of the reviews - the good, the bad and the ugly! However, my experience was very good. Yes, the bus ride to the resort from the airport is long due to traffic since our flight landed in Panama city around 4pm. But the nice thing is at the airport, they have your room assignment (the number on the luggage tag that you attached is your room number) and hotel package information. We were given a bottle of water when we boarded the air conditioned bus. Panama city is interesting and busy. Our bus ride thru the city, passing most of the sights had taken us 3 hours to get to the hotel. We did get a short bathroom/beer break. By the time we arrived at the hotel it was around 7pm. Upon our arrive, we were all given a fruity drink as we wait to finalize our check in. Don't worry about your luggage since they were tagged with our room numbers, the hotel staff goes and delivery all the luggage. It may take a bit since they are unloading and organizing everyone suitcases. We just happen to luck out and get ours a few minutes after arriving in our room.
Our room happen to be at the other end of the resort away from lobby 1, close to lobby 3. Building 40 is the last building on top of the hill and it also happens to not be marked but if you are looking at the map that was provided, they have it marked as one of the two Building 49. Our room was in the lower level. So you can see the corner of the ocean but it was mostly the hill and tree view which is not a big deal since we were not going to be spend a lot of time in the room. The room was clean, nothing really fancy but everything was in working condition (lights,running toilet and water) and a working the air conditioner! (note: make sure you can locate the air conditioning remote, our happen to be on the wall in a protective holder. Our friends did not have a remote in their room so they could not adjust their ac temperature. But they borrowed ours and was able to finally adjust their ac). The bathroom is spacious and there is no bathroom fan, just these little bathroom windows for venting. The water pressure was ok but don't expect hot water. Although after spending a week down in Panama, I'm not sure why anyone would want hot water. The temperature of the water was mostly warm to cool. The only downside to the room was that the walls and doors are really thin that you can basically hear the person next door to you as if they were right in your room. In addition, down the hill a bit further towards the beach is the night club. They don't get started until midnight and pretty much goes till 3-4am. So you are able to hear the constant bass sound. Thank goodness, we always bring earplugs! However, I'm glad we were on that side of the resort because if you were close to lobby 1 where the nightly entertainment is. It can get really loud and from what we heard from other vacationers, the nightly entertainments goes till 11pm. The room does come with some essentials like towels, soap, shampoo, hair dryer, extra blanket, bottle of water and glasses. There is a safe but you have to rent the lock from one of the lobby. I paid $22 something with taxes for a weeks use of the lock and when you check out you will have to return it.
The resort is huge. There are 2 main buffet building, our building was closest to the Pacifico, just down the stairs. Apparently, every day both buffets have different food theme nights like Fusion, Spanish, American and Asian. Also during the day the Al a carte restaurants become a pizzeria and burger place. We pretty much spent our lunch time at Kontiki where they have burgers, pizza, hot dogs, fries, other hot food, salad bar, fruit and dessert. Speaking of al la carte, your first day at the resort I highly recommend you go to the lobby and book your al a cart. You are allow to book up 4 restaurants in advance and then if you are want more. You will have go go and check on the availability of spots the morning of. We ended up going to Kontiki (fusion), El Canal (seafood),
Cayuco (grill) and Mogo Mogo (Thai). Note: at the booking desk, they have the menu of what each restaurant is serving that evening. All in all the food was wonderful at the buffet, al a carte and pizza joints. I always manage to find some delicious food and the assortments of fruits were awesome!
Being a huge resort, the beach was long and nice. Just don't be expecting the white sands of Cuba as the resort is on the Pacific side so you will see a lot of sea shells and black sand. We did walk down to Noriega's old abandon summer house (from the main lobby head left). It was neat to see but just be careful where you walk as there are broken glass and garbage... remember it's abandoned. Now if turn right from lobby 1 on the beach, past the night club, there is a bar call 'Woody's" that are owned by some ex-Canadians. We had supper there one night just to check it out and say that 'We had poutine in Panama'. A quaint place right on the beach. It is actually quicker to get to Woody's from the beach verse walking from town.
The resort has tons of pools and little shallow water ponds to help keep you cool. Believe me, you want that and any place where you can find shade. My week there was hot and sunny! Of course, you are never far away from one of the bars. The workers were friendly and nice, especially the bartenders. We don't know much Spanish but we were always able to communicate with what little Spanish that we did know and we were always given great service.
We did do the Embera Indigenous community excursion. We got to go in a piraguas (long wooden boats) up the river to a water fall and then had lunch and learned more of the Embera culture at the village. It was a wonderful time except it was a 3 hours bus ride there to the river and then another 3 hr bus ride back. A long day but will worth the adventure and seeing more of the country side. Note: if you are going to swim at the fall, my suggestion is to wear your bathing suit. The bus does stop at a grocery store to allow you to change but it's hectic with other people also trying to use the bathroom.
On our last day, we had hired Panama Roadrunner to take us into Panama city with our luggage; since our flight wasn't flying out till later in the day. I had made the arrangement prior to us flying down with owner and ex-Canadian, Denise. Denise' s husband and co-owner Neil came and picked us up from the hotel lobby in an air conditioned van that happen to be sporting the Rider flag!. A wonderful personal touch! Neil was awesome and very informative of what is happening in Panama. Neil took us to the Mira Flora locks where we happen to see the locks in action, Anton Hill (wonderful panoramic views of the entire city), the causeway where we had a wonderful lunch at this nice restaurant and then he dropped us off at the airport. We weren't on any time schedule so we were able to spend as much or less time at various locations. It was a nice excursion for the day and we got to experience more of Panama City before flying home.
All in all, I had a wonderful time in Panama. The weather was wonderful and hot. The nights were just right that you never needed to wear a light sweater. We also got to see iguana, various birds, gekos, frogs and peacocks at the resort. I would totally go back to Panama again.
note: Currently, a new airport is being built closer to the airport. So in 2014, Panama will have new airport, a subway system and, a new larger lock in the canal.
Things you may want to consider taking or at least be aware of:
* bring sunscreen ... you are very close to the equator
* you will have to pay to rent a security lock for your in-room safe
* extra room key is an extra cost and don't lose the key or else you will have to pay big $$ for replacement
* there is no face cloth or kleenux so you may want to bring your own
* there is a lot of walking and stairs but there are the shuttle vans (we walked everywhere so I can't say how long it takes for a shuttle van)
* book your Al a carte the first day as they do fill up quickly
* internet is not free. You can pay a daily rate or just buy an internet cards with minutes from the souvenir shop
* bring ear plugs as a just in case the room is noisy
* there is no alarm clock in the room
- Also Known As:
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf Hotel
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf Hotel Farallon
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf And Casino
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort Panama
- Royal Decameron Beach Hotel
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort
- Royal Decameron Panama
- Hotel Royal Decameron Beach
- Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Hotel
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort Golf & Casino
- Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino Panama/Farallon
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