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Royal Decameron Questions

Saskatoon, Canada
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Royal Decameron Questions

I am in the process of planning a winter vacation (and if you look at my posting history over the last week or so, you can see I haven't settled on a destination yet) and saw a great deal to head down to Panama in early December to the Royal Decameron Beach Resort. I have several questions.

Myfirst question is are there any official nude beaches nearby? I had seen a thread on here from 2008 that mentioned there was only one and it was on an island. But perhaps a new one has sprung up nearby?

Another question I have is unlike all the other resorts I've stayed at, this one doesn't automatically come with a stocked drink fridge as part of the all-inclusive correct? The resort's website mentions that superior rooms do have one but makes no mention of them being on the golf course. However, the tour company says those rooms are on the golf course, across the street from the resort. Are there some on the non-golf side?

I'm not against walking across the street, but it appears that the golf rooms come with 4 rounds of golf. If there are rooms that I don't have to pay for golf rounds I likely wouldn't use, but still have a stocked minibar that is what I'd want.

Conversely, if non-golf rooms don't exist, does the pro shop at the golf course rent clubs? If so how much are they? I figure if I am paying for 4 rounds of golf, I might as well use at least one. I haven't golfed in many years, but is the course a regular sized course (i.e. not a par 3)? Is it a regular American style course or is it a British style links course? Overall, is it a difficult course (with lots of sand and water hazards)? What do the complimentary rounds include? Simply green fees or do they include more like a motorized cart? I assume that the food/drinks at the pro shop and on the course (assuming either of these exist) are part of the all-inclusive package? Is there a dress code on the course? I know some course are ok with t-shirt and shorts and running shoes (or even sandals) whereas some require a golf shirt and long pants.

Is there much of a town at Playa Blanca? What I mean is for souvenirs/gifts etc. can I shop in town or does it require going to Panama City?

Are there excursions to Panama City? I am somewhat of a political junkie and would be interested in visiting the Parliamentary buildings there. Do they have tours that go there?

As far as traveltime, what am I looking at for doing a Panama Canal tour from the resort? Being Canadian a two or three hour bus ride (assuming the buses are large, air conditioned coaches like one would see in Cuba or Jamaica) wouldn't phase me since on a given weekend I'll drive two hours each way to go to Edmonton or Saskatoon.

London, Canada
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1. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

I will answer as best I can. I have never heard of an official nude beach in Panama, except the one you noted which is nowhere near the RD. The one at Playa Blanca in front of the RD is a public beach, and the local residents stroll along it, as do hoards of tourists. Nude isn't an option. Now next to nude in thongs etc, well that's another matter. Playa Blanca (actually the village of Farallon), is not anything except a small mini supermarket, a couple of bars and a restaurant or two. The closest likely would be a short bus ride to Penenome. It's the bargain shopping place with all kinds of cheap places to buy almost anything. If you want to true crafts, the El Vallee (by local bus also) will fit the bill. You don't need to go to Panama for gifts. But if you do, try to take the tour which goes to the craft market. Here, you will see the crafts people at work. But the prices here are not cheap, and nor should they. The used to be a crafters market right at the RD one night, where you can also pick up some local souvenirs.

One word about a Panama Hat. They ones costing $10 in Penonome are not true ones. They are made by machines in Columbia, I believe. A real Panama Hat made at the nearby factory will run you $100. So don't be an ignorant tourist and run off at the mouth about them. Regarding excursions, there are many. Often here there will be a posting here about tours not booked for at the RD. It sounds as though they may be superior. One of the tours does go to the parliamentary buildings, but when I was there, you could not go inside. This may be different now. I don't golf, so will leave that answer to someone who has.

I do know you can rent a fridge, so I suppose you could stock it yourself. I don't really know much about the drinks except the beer seemed to be just on draft and not in a bottle and not very strong.

Edited: 5:38 pm, September 02, 2011
LN
Panama City, Panama
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2. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

No automatically stocked frig. At the bars, etc., it will be local beers and a local liquor or two - Seco and Rum, and a cheap wine.

You mention "walking across the road" from the Golf Course to the beach area - the golf accommodation rentals may be much further than a walk (depending on where your unit lies on the golf course.) Some units are closer to the beaches area, and some are not.

All trips to anywhere except El Valle, Penonome, Coronado, will be an all day affair - with travel anywhere from 2-2 and/1/2 hours each way,so good thing you like to travel.

Do a "search" on here as there are many discussions, which may help.

Saskatoon, Canada
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3. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

The hotel's website says the Superior Rooms come with a minibar that is part of the all-inclusive package. Is this not like the minibars in other countries? In both Cuba and Jamaica the minibar was stocked with water, pop and beer. In fact, Jamaica also had hard liquor dispensers in the room (but that isn't common). I assumed it was like that.

If it is simply the price of a fridge, then perhaps the superior room (since this was the only reason I was going to book one) is not worth the money. I honestly could care less about golfing, since I haven't golfed in 15 years.

With the rooms on the course being so far away in places, do they have "taxis" (i.e. resort staff driven golf carts) to ferry you from the rooms to the other part of the resort? In Cuba when I was there, this was the case at our resort due to the size of it.

As far as buying a Panama Hat, I'll see if I'll buy one. I always end up buying a hat of sorts on my travels and wear it while in that country. When I get back to Canada, I wonder why I bought it and it sits in my closet. Most recently, I thought a Che-style beret was a good idea. Definitely, not something I'd wear back in Canada. So I'll see about a Panama Hat. However, if I were to buy one I'd probably get the $100 legit one. I mean I spent over $100 on a box of legit Cuban cigars, so dropping that on a hat wouldn't phase me.

LN
Panama City, Panama
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4. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

Mini bar, but pay as you use, not all inclusive.

Golf carts do "taxi" guests from golf course to beaches, restaurant areas.

Not sure how often they come by.

Saskatoon, Canada
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5. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

I'm confused then, here's what their website says for a Superior Room:

"Superior guestrooms at the Royal Decameron are all located in the new section of the hotel with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean from private balconies or terraces. The new design is relaxing, cool, and modern. This rooms feature 1 king bed as well as two sofas beds. One can also enjoy an all-inclusive standard mini-bar, stocked daily."

To me this would mean that the mini-bar is part of the all-inclusive deal.

I assume this also means that all these rooms are on the golf course?

Edited: 10:15 pm, September 03, 2011
LN
Panama City, Panama
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6. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

No, these rooms, I believe are ocean side or ocean view. hmmmmmmmmmmmm, never heard of all inclusive mini-bar there,but I guess you can always argue with them about it IF it is NOT the case. Practice your Spanish, chuckle chuckle.

toronto
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7. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

i read this too. hmmm.... don't know what bloody room to book now.

i wish these travel sites could be honest with their write ups.

i want a mini fridge stocked gawd damm it. lol

i'm willing to pay for it. i just don't want to be anywhere near a golf course.

i'm booking for early February.

8. Re: Royal Decameron Questions

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