We were at the Royal Decameron in Panama for the first two weeks of March 2014. This resort is huge but well maintained with 3 different lobbies. The grounds are well maintained. If you don’t like stairs, this is not the place for you. We were in building 16 and had to go up 104 stairs from the beach to our room. There are lots of a la carte restaurants and at least 3 buffets – one for each lobby - open for meals. All restaurants were good, cannot complain about the food at this resort. The only complaint from us is the variety – always the same food day after day. Rooms are good size, somewhat outdated, but kept clean. We were a bit frustrated - we had to pay extra $3.00 a day for a mini fridge that took almost 2 days to show up. Apparently the resort only has about 50 fridges, so we had to wait for someone to leave to get one. There is also lots of open bars all over the resort – at least one in every lobby and pool. Service was slow at some and OK at others. We noticed that the younger bar tenders were nicer than the older bar tenders. The best bar was the one in Lobby 2. The bartender was the best, always happy and smiling and very friendly. We spent the first week at the pool in lobby 2. At first, the animation crew were very nice and playful. They would ensure everyone got to participate in their daily games. After a while, they did not want us (Canadians) to play. We tried to play volleyball or sand bags but to no avail. We were never chosen so we decided to go to pool in lobby 1 and got better service and fun there.
We booked 1 excursion from the hotel - Decameron Explorer - to visit the Embera Indigenous Community. On our way there by bus, our tour operator explained to us that we had to stop at a grocery store to buy groceries for the Indigenous village because they could no longer hunt for food as all the animals are gone and their village is now on a national park. We were told we could purchase beer, rice, beans, etc. so we bought beer, rice and cookies. Once the bus stopped, we took a small ride on a piragua (small wooden boat) to the indigenous community. Arriving at the village, we were told to either give our bag of goods to the people of our choice or put the items on a table and it would be shared by the tribe. We decided to put our items on the table. We had a meal (fish or chicken) served in a bowl made out of a banana leaf. It was good; then the villagers danced and played music then some tourists had temporary tattoos done on them for a small tip. We then went to their market to purchase trinkets made by the locals. Someone in our group then noticed that one of the guides from Decameron Explorer took all of the beer and some food and put those items in a bag and was leaving with it. We confronted him and he told us that we were not allowed to give beer to the indigenous people. We explained that our guide had told us that we could so he finally gave the beer back to the tribe chief. He still left with a bag full of food though. This kind of ruined our day trip. When we arrived at the hotel, we told our Nolitour representative. Not sure what happened after that!!!!
All in all, we liked our trip but were a bit disappointed with the lack of fauna in Panama. We were told that with the deforestation, most of the animals were either dead or moved to higher elevations. There was also a lot of garbage everywhere on the side of the road. It’s a pity because they have a beautiful country and could ensure tourist get to see their animals and plants. Over all we loved our vacation to the Royal Decameron in Panama, but would not go back to this resort as there are a lot of other places/countries to be visited.
In our opinion, choose rooms close to lobby 1
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.