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“Nice getaway, really private, especially if you know no spanish!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino

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Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino
3.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Avenida principal Farallon, Km.115, Farallon, Panama   |  
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Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Burleson, Texas
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Nice getaway, really private, especially if you know no spanish!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2014

Took my wife here for an out of the box honeymoon. Really enjoyed the privacy of the place. The rooms are old school and don't offer as much along the way of amenities. They were clean. The all inclusive was a really good thing, especially since we were in another country and eating off site could become an issue. There are nightly reservations you need to make for the more upscale romantic restaurants. It is covered under the all inclusive charges. There are also 3 buffets that are going pretty much all day long. They have the same fair at each buffet. They are average in quality. The activities are abundant, but not knowing Spanish made it tough to really be a part. There are tons of excursions that can be booked directly from the resort concierge. We actually met an Ex Pat American online who took us on a tour of the El Valle area. This was a highlight of our trip. We seen the sights, did a zipline adventure over a 400 foot waterfall, went to animal rescue zoos and seen some native animals. We stopped at a local bakery and had some of the best banana bread I have ever eaten. The resort entertainment was nightly and it was very entertaining and kid friendly. The all inclusive included free alcoholic drinks as well. We had our fair share. Especially pool side while relaxing in the adult pool, which just so happened to be an infinity pool. Something out of the box and recommended by the para sailing guide was a self tour of Manuel Norriegas beach house which just so happened to be about 5 doors down the beach from the resort. That was interesting though it was dilapidated. Very affordable vacation, nice people, and a relaxing honeymoon.

Room Tip: Ocean view room is very nice, although no rooms are right on the water.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (420)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Mississauga, Canada
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2014 via mobile

We went to the Decameron over Christmas. The beach was beautiful and the ocean was calm enough to swim in every day. It was a challenge to get 2 beach chairs together. Like every resort, people get up early and stake their claim with towels and in one case pages out of a magazine. I found getting a chair tougher than at some other resorts I have been to.
The weather was good. It rained a couple of times but mostly at night. The guide on our day tour told us they build the resorts in Fallaron as the weather is better there than in Panama City. I guess the better weather makes the 2 hour bus ride from the airport to the resort worthwhile.
The staff were friendly but customer service was slow. There were plenty of staff at the front desk however any request seemed to require a huddle of 3-4 people to complete it.Spanish is the main language of the resort.

We went on a day trip to Panama City and the canal. It was crazily hot. The city tour itself wasn't anything exciting but the visit to the Miraflores locks was really interesting. If you do the Duo package where you stay 5 nights in the resort and 2 in the city, you are better off taking the included transfer to the city and then taking a cab or the hop on, hop off bus to the locks. Definitely a cheaper alternative and you can then spend as much time as you want at the locks.

The food at the resort was disappointing. The fresh fruit was great, but the rest of the food was either mediocre or not good. There was little variety and on the 2 occasions I tried the beef, I could not even cut it as it was so tough. I got to like the local beans and rice tho! We met a couple of different people who had been to the resort in the past and who said it had really gone downhill, particularly the food. I thought the food in Cuba was better.
We enjoyed our time there, because of the beach and the beautiful weather. However I would not return to the resort.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

Officially, and as many hotels the check in time is at 3:00 pm; people at front desk agree that this is true, but this doesn't mean that the key will be given to you. We are waiting 1:30 hrs and there is not a key yet. As many places in Panama this is poor and very poor service. This is bad! Visit Costa Rica instead. Seriously!

Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barrie, Canada
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2014

A group of 18 of us went to this resort for New Year's. I travel extensively and feel that this resort is rated fair as a 4 star all inclusive. We usually tend to stay at 4 1/2 - 5 star all inclusive resorts, so I was a little hesitant, but as it was such a large group, and we were trying to maintain a budget, we went with it.

It is a large resort and a lot of walking. We upgraded to a beachfront room, which I feel was worth it for location alone. The rooms were what I expected - yes they are dated, but the bathroom is fine/clean and the room itself is ok. The bedding and furniture are older but comfortable. I won't repeat what's already been said about safe, keys, etc.

The food is exactly what others have said. Buffets were lacking, however my kids (well adults really) liked it. The beach snack bar was fairly good with nachos, hot dogs, etc. We ate at the Italian, which was good, the japanese, which was also good, and the Thai, which had good food, but service was lacking. Overall, the food is ok. One of my daughter's did have some stomach issues, which has never happened before.

Pools and grounds were very nice as well as the beach.

Bars were good and you never had to wait too long for a drink. I would have preferred if they had offered a more varied alcohol selection (no Crown Royal or Canadian Club), but it was fine. The red wine was better than I expected, which was a nice surprise.

We did go down the beach to Woody's and Sunset Grill. Both are owned by Canadians, and both have good food and drink and are very reasonably priced. It was a nice break from the resort food/drink.

My main complaint is the service. Overall, the people were not very friendly and service was hit and miss. While we did get by with the language barrier, it was a bit of an issue. I've never been to a resort where so little english was spoken. I guess they cater to a lot of tourists from Central/South America and that's understandable, but there were a large number of Canadians, so you would think it would be easier to communicate. I'm not one of those people who travel and expect everything to be like at home. Most places we visit, the people speak Spanish but at least they have a little knowledge of english (as I do Spanish....and I do mean little) and it's easy to get by. I sometimes felt like some of the staff spoke english better than they let on, which is very weird. We noticed this a couple of times.....let's just say we were talking to staff and trying very hard for them to understand us, and then they would let a sentence or words slip out that showed they could clearly speak english. Not sure what that was all about.

We did end up booking a City/Panama Canal tour with the last two nights in Panama City. It was a really nice way to end the trip, and you really should see Panama City/Canal. We could have booked this option prior to leaving and we wished we had of. The Hard Rock Hotel was booked, so we stayed at the Radisson right next door. We were happy we did. The Hard Rock was very busy and too much going on. Our kids liked the Night Club there though. Booking this through the excursion desk was another whole story and it took a couple of hours and going back three different times to get it right. They first just booked me for the City tour, and then when I realized and went back, they made me wait for a an hour or more and still didn't have the right information for pricing as the appropriate person wasn't in that day. I did go back the next day and got everything booked, only to be called later in the day saying the Hard Rock was unavailable. Not sure why they make you pay, etc. before confirming this. Anyhow, it all worked out in the end.

So it all depends on what's important to you if you're considering staying here. It is a 4 star resort, and exactly what I expected. I personally wouldn't go back because of the food and service, but if you get a good deal and just want the sun/heat, you may be fine with it. Oh yes, it is very very hot here, but I guess you can't complain about that when it's a deep freeze at home!

Room Tip: I'd go for the Beachfront rooms. We were in the 30 block and it was a great location and view.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

I recently spent 5 days at the Royal Decameron - Dec 31 - Jan 5 with my wife and another couple . We each had ocean view rooms at the north end of the resort (building 46).

Review:
Room: Room was clean and the bed comfortable. Location was good for the view, but required a fair bit of walking up and down the hill to go the beach and restaurants. It was close to the adult only pool and bar.

Beach: Nice enough beach for the pacific. Had to be out early (7:00am) to get any shaded spot with a beach chair - (could have been the time we were there). Nice for walking on. We rented Jet ski's ($65 for double for 1/2 hour) We took the hobi cat out.
Enjoyed visiting Woody's Bar down the beach - watched the world Junior semi final hockey game there!

Food: We are at three al a cart places - Japanese, bbq Grill and Seafood. Seafood was pretty good, the Japanese good/ok and the BBQ place the best. The food for breakfast and lunch were buffet style - food was OK. You could always find something to eat.

We spent a total of 14 days in Panama and this was the first 5 days of the trip. This was our least favorite for all members of our group.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Pole, Alaska
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

The big issue for myself was no one seems to care ! The lack of English speaking front line workers and the poor quality workmanship on grounds makes the resort that has tons of potential a big disappointment . I think the management needs to be changed first off, and the staff to learn to appreciate there jobs .I talked and witnessed several frustrated guests . The food is not very good and simple labeling would make a big difference . I asked does this have sea food and they shrug there shoulders . The ATV tour that runs out of National rental that the resort offers is just not safe. I booked it and after examining them we refused to partake then spent 2.5 hours and two separate days trying to get our money back. The lights around the Pools have exposed wires and the A/C units are scary with exposed wires no junction boxes with live wires that will be sure to offer you many sleepless nights with the loud noises that come from these units .These are just a few of several issues that make this a low end resort .

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2014

We just got back January 13th. One week trip.

I stayed at this resort before, in November of 2002, so it has been 11 years since I was last there.
I had a good time last time. Many things were the SAME as before, many things have CHANGED over the years.

All in all (summary/blanket statement): we had great weather, clean room, clean resort, great drinks, excellent facilities, and average/ok service and average/ok food.

Now for the details...

FACILITIES: this place is a dream for those who enjoy walking and enjoy a large resort. Several swimming pools, a huge expanse of beach, tons of beach lounge chairs and pool lounge chairs, tons of bars, and restaurants. This place seemingly goes on and on and on.
The grounds were fairly nice with green lawns, a variety of species of trees and bushes and flowers around the resort. If you're lucky, you'll see free-roaming peacocks on the resort (I didn't personally see them on this visit but I saw them in 2002 and people we met on this trip in 2014 said they saw them, so they are still there). The lawns had sprinklers going and men cleaning up debris and leaves, so maintenance was good. The pools were cleaned daily in the morning and the decks and lounge chairs were washed nightly. The staff work hard to keep this place looking good. This resort is NOT a good resort for people in wheel chairs or who have mobility issues, such as not being able to walk a lot or not being able to do stairs.

FOOD:
The food was very hit-and-miss for me... I personally did not like a lot of the soups and stews and entrées they were offering in the buffets at Panamai or Atlantis (regardless of time of day). I really didn't like their scrambled eggs. They had a weird taste that I couldn't put my finger on.

However, that being said, I found a LOT of other things I did like. We certainly didn't go hungry. :-P

Food items that I liked, that I recommend to other North American travellers:
-- the nacho chips with hot gooey cheese, and/or chili, and/or salsa at the beach grill (Cayuco was the one I was going to) - east end of the property. They also had tasty french fries, burgers and hot dogs. The items in the dessert case were quite good there too.
-- the Sushi Samba a la carte restaurant was nice - the 3 pieces of sushi you get at the beginning were just ok, but the several courses of Teppanyaki style food (food cooked on a hot iron griddle) was very hot, fresh, and tasty. You get rice with chicken, then beef, then vegetables, then fish. It's a ton of food and all of it was good.
-- the buns, rolls, loaves of bread, pastries, sweet buns, cakes: were all amazing! They have the SOFTEST, FRESHEST breads I've EVER had, and I've been to at least 10 all-inclusive resorts in 6 different countries!!! The dessert cakes were quite good too. In Mexico, all their cakes and desserts always turn out weird/wrong. Panama/Royal Decameron has gotten this RIGHT. The cakes are light, fluffy, fresh, never dry and never mushy.
-- the Atlantis breakfast buffet sometimes had these flaky wheat pastries filled with spicy beef, or corn-flour pastries filled with beef - those were quite tasty!
-- Even though an item might look weird/gross (because you don't know what it is), and doesn't have an English explanation, slop a small amount onto your plate anyway. I tried pretty much everything, (and I admit I didn't like a lot of it), BUT, there were MANY things I DID like, and was glad I tried them, and went back for more. Keep an open mind and remember this is Central America and not North America.
-- On the breakfast buffet, it's worth waiting in line to have eggs made to order, and to get bacon when it's offered. One suggestion I made to this resort on their feedback form was to offer bacon directly, in the steam table buffet, for people to grab without having to cue. Resorts in Mexico offer bacon that way, and I didn't like having to line up to get it in Panama.
-- On the dinner buffet, it's worth waiting in line to get stir-fries and paella from the stations that are separate from the steam table buffet. They are hot and fresh and taste great. I had a really nice piece of vegetable lasagna on the "Italian" theme night at Atlantis.
-- The buffet cold tables have deli meats, sliced cheeses, yogurt, fresh fruits - if you can't find anything you like in the hot steam table, these are great back-ups. Load up on the lovely fresh buns/bread/pastries and cold deli meats and cheeses. YUM.

ROOMS: Our room (1231) came with the king bed we asked for. It was large enough and clean. We always had fresh shower towels and one hand towel. They don't have wash-cloths, we knew this and brought our own. There are a few English channels on the TV. There is no in-room mini-fridge, which doesn't really matter to me, but I heard other guests complaining they like having one. We requested a higher floor (did not want ground floor) and building 11 or 12 (thanks to other Trip Advisor people who suggested those buildings!) and we were so pleased to get a room on the 2nd floor, building 12. This is an excellent location, in my opinion. Close to the Panamai, Cayuco, Atlantis restaurants, close to the amphitheatre and games room, and close to the pools and beach and bars.
The in-room safe is just over $3/day. We have stayed in many (at least 10) all inclusive resorts before and sometimes the safe is included in the room rate, and many times it is not. We've had to pay for a safe before. We don't love it, but we didn't complain about it. But other guests were complaining that the safe should be included...
The wifi is $42 for 72 hours. That is a ridiculous price. We had to pay it because we are self-employed and had to "work" a little while away... this resort should offer FREE wifi in the lobby, like other resorts offer. It should only be a cost if you want to access it from anywhere around the resort. This was definitely a cash grab.
The resort gives you a room key (literally a key, not a pass card) on a string. Each couple only gets ONE key. We like to be able to go do different things and go to the room separately throughout the day, so we requested a 2nd key. You must pay $15 deposit for it, which they give you back when you return the key. We paid cash and they gave us the cash back on check-out, so no worries there. Just ask for one.

BARS:
The drinks were quite good. The beer they serve is ok and definitely drinkable! :-)
The mixed drinks were pretty good too. They have a sign board that offers some suggestions for mixed drinks and fruity ones, and smoothie ones and frozen ones. I tried a lot of them, and they are very tasty! Some of them have a little too much booze in them, which can get you into trouble if you drink them too fast and they taste like punch. Just pace yourself and don't drink too many too fast!
I found the booze to be inconsistent... Not sure why - not sure if it was the bartender, controlling how much they poured in, or if it depended on which bottles they grabbed, (maybe some were watered down, and some were not?) because I found some drinks to be really strong and boozey, some were normal, and some were weak.
Most of the bars had reasonable line-ups that moved fairly quickly - not too much waiting.
My favourite drinks were: The Decameron Royal and the Farallon.

SERVICE:
The service was yet another inconsistency about this resort. SOME of the staff (servers) in the buffets were running around like crazy, fetching drinks, coffee, dirty plates, etc and doing it with a smile; and yet others were standing around like they didn't feel like working, or did it in a grumpy, gruff way.
The staff that works behind the food stations (the bacon & egg ladies) were pretty grumpy and unfriendly.
The bar staff seemed to be most friendly, offering smiles and laughs along with the drinks.
The towel hut girls and guys and activities guys were quite friendly.

When I was at this resort 11 years ago, hardly anyone knew English and it was a real challenge to communicate since I don't speak Spanish. This time, I found almost all staff spoke a reasonable about of English, and it was much easier to communicate. I don't think they are super motivated to learn English, since a LOT of their clientele is from Colombia, Argentina, Costa Rica, etc. Anyway, I found it nice that they knew more English. What I didn't like, was the fact that a few staff members snickered at me, when I tried to speak Spanish. In Mexico, whenever I make an effort to speak Spanish, they smile and seem happy that I'm "trying" to speak their language. But in Panama, it was like they looked down on us Canadians and thought our efforts were juvenile. :-(
I realize these people are "working" and work sucks, and it probably really sucks to be working where you're surrounded by people who are drunk and on vacation. BUT, every other all inclusive resort I've been to has staff that are friendly, smiling, eager to help. This resort does not give that impression.

All in all, for what we paid, we really enjoyed the resort and got good value. The food and service could use some improvement, but in general this is a nice place to stay.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino

Address: Avenida principal Farallon, Km.115, Farallon, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Farallon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino 3*
Number of rooms: 1170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama is an all inclusive hotel located about 2 kilometers of white sandy beach in Farallon, Panama. The hotel is located on the Pacific coast, close to many tourist attractions. Also, the city of Panama and the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) are located 120 miles away. The Royal Decameron in Panama hotel offers 852 guestrooms in low-rise buildings and 370 rooms Villas. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, closet, safe (local charge), direct dial telephone (with deposit cash at the reception) and a private bathroom with shower and hair dryer. Also have a minibar as part of the all inclusive plan and the villas are located on the golf course. Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama offers eight pools for adults three wading pools, three hot tubs, a casino, a golf course with 18 holes and a full spa. This beach hotel also offers a variety of organized activities on land and water for the whole family, and two convention centers for business travelers. The Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort has 11 bars, a nightclub and 10 restaurants ranging from traditional to the more exotic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
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 Panama
Hotel Royal Decameron Beach
Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Hotel
Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino Panama/Farallon
Royal Decameron Resort Panama

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