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“Holiday of a lifetime - despite no towels”

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Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
60 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Holiday of a lifetime - despite no towels”
Reviewed August 4, 2004

i stayed at club caribbean for 2 weeks this summer and i can't wait to return. I did have some problems but nothing like as bad as some of the reviews would have you believe.

When we arrived we were 'upgraded' to a 'suite' which to be honest was disgusting. I work in a 4 star hotel so my standards are pretty high. but this was just in need of a good clean, the sofa was smelly and the whole room very grim. We complained to the hotel and spoke to a lovely chap called Paul who moved us to a Garden Cottage - It was by no means the ritz but was clean and perfectly suitable. There is definatly a shortage of towels the trick is to keep at least 1 in your room at all times in case the maid doesn't bring you one back!

The beach was stunning, the food excellent you will never go hungry (the best muffins i have tasted)and the staff were great (very friendly). The Entertainment wasn't bad, perhaps a little repetative.

I will be returning as soon as i have saved enough cash. you will either love or hate this resort the trick is to follow the rule below:

When in Jamaica do as the Jamaicans and just chill.

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2 Thank mrs_p81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed August 4, 2004

Arrived with my wife and two teenage boys on July 24 at 11pm only to find the two cottages I reserved were not available and we were put up in two smelly(urine) rooms overlooking their corporate yard. Incredily I had telephoned the resort in May, faxed them in May and July and exchanged e-mails with reservations just days before our arrival. No disclosure of any problems. The next morning we were offered the option of transferring to either Starfish Trelwany or the Jamaica Grand in Ocho Rios. We were told they had rented 10 rooms at the Grand and a like number at the Trelwany. This small resort overbooked itself by 20 rooms!!! We opted for the Grand and had a fabulous- fabulous vacation at a 5 star resort. We would never return to the Club Caribbean but would return to the Grand in a flash. I cannot recommend any family going to any 3 star resort I saw in Jamaica, and most definitely not Royal Decameron. The Jamacians are a wonderfully friendly people but their's is a third world country and 3 stars there is not the same as 3 stars here. When and if we have the chance to have another Jamacian vacation as a family we would definitely limit our search to 5 or 6 star resorts. Any extra cost is well worth the enjoyment received. Several reviewers have noted overly obnoxius peddlers. If there has been a significant problem in the past the Jamacians have mostly cured it. Even at the Dunn River Falls, where the exit walk is lined with curios dealers, no one intimitated us, albiet they hawked their wares. One last comment concerns the tour to Kingston. We went of a tour with Jamacia Tours, probably the class tour operator, and we spend about three hours in Kingston (takes about 2 hours to get there). 1 hour was spend at the Bob Marley Home and Museum (which justified the trip for my 15 year old son). 1 hour was at lunch and 1 hours was spent driving into and out of the city and a very brief drive by of a small portion of the city that did not include the business center (there are several sky scrappers). My teenage son was happy but I was disappointed. The city has museums but we didnt seek them. In all we had a great Jamacian vacation but strongly recommend staying clear of Royal Decameron Club Caribbean- they overbook.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Memphis, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2004

Possibly the worst, no, the worst vacation that my wife and I have ever taken, and we have had some that we did not think could be beat! The best part of our vacation at the Royal Decameron was the letter that was left in our room asking us if we wanted to change hotels! Luckily we were able to do this about half way through our trip. On arrival, we were told that our room was not yet ready, even though our plane had been an hour or so late. The front desk staff left our luggage sitting in the open air lobby until they finally had our room available. Unfortunately, they did not have the room that we had reserved (and paid for) available and told us that we would be in a room for the night, and then we would be moved the next morning. We were taken to what I can only describe as a newly remodeled rent by the hour room. We were very disappointed to say the least. We were told to check with the front desk in the morning and that we would be moved to our room. The next morning we checked at the desk and were told that we needed to check out of our room and that we would be moved. So at 10:30 we did. They didn't have a room available until after 2:00 pm. Our luggage sat out unattended in the lobby the entire time. As others have mentioned, beach towels were a huge problem. We kept being told to come back in an hour, at one point we complained to our tour rep that was conveniently stationed at the hotel to help with any tours that we may want to purchase. We waited and waited and were told that someone was ont he way with the towels. After thirty minutes, a gentleman finally came to thte desk and told us that they were short on beach towels and that if we would use our room towels, they would replace them. He said that they had ordered beach towels from oversees but that they had not yet arrived. This seemed like a plausable reason until we noted on the beach towels the tag that read :Made in Jamaica!

As an added bonus, you could buy your marijuana from the life gaurd at the pool, it was conveniently located in a towel that was placed on top of the pool bar. What a great convenience! Just look for the employee with the large fake diamond watch, you can't miss him, if he is not there, his brother is and will be ahppy to help. I guess that's why the pool was an "adults only" pool.

We asked to be transferred on the first morning after our arrival and were told that we would be transferred to the Jamaica Grand. However, after thirty minutes we were told that that was not possible. The next day we went on a tour (Blue Mountain Bike Tour - highly recommend, but takes 3 hours to get there from hotel) on our return we had a small slip of paper on our bed that stated that a promotional transfer was available to either the Jamaica Grand or the Starfish, and to check with the guest services desk before 5 pm. It was after 6:30 when we returned so we let the front desk know that we wanted to move. They suggested speaking with the guest relations person the next morning. The next morning we did so and were asked which hotel taht we wanted to move to. We picked the Jamaica Grand. We also told them that we could move immediately. We were told to check back at 11:30 and everthing would be arranged. We packed and returned at 11:30 only to find that they had transferred us to the StarFish and that they would not take us until the next day! Finally, on the next day we were able to get away from the hotel. We also had to sign a statement that said that we were not under duress in our decision to move. Of course, if you did not sign you would not be moved. (I guess this is a way to prove that you were satisfied with the hotel once you ask for a refund from your travel agent.)

On the positive side, the food was excellent (much better than the Starfish, a SuperClubs resort), the entertainment was good, although they seemed to repeat the same songs nightly, which was not really noticed by most of the guests that were either too drunk or too high to notice.

Bottom line, this hotel does not live up to its island charm, unacceptable behavior by staff members, questionable clientelle, rocky beach, and away from most everything. Spend a little more and stay somewhere else, its not worth the headaches. Profit from our mistake.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank TnTraveler274
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Essex, England
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2004

Don't take notice of the few bad reviews posted. The place is the ultimate chill out. superb staff, drinks drinks and more drinks, excellent food, and a great entertainment package. The gardens are absolutely stunning,and the beaches clean, and the sea even close to the shore is home to some stunningly colourful fish. We booked a couple of trips out while there, and quite honestly resented the time spent away from the resort. There were a few people whinging and whining, and in the main these were Americans, everyone from the UK I spoke to absolutely LOVED the place. I cant wait to return, this was my first trip to Jamaica and certainly will not be the last. Anyone considering a change of resort because of bad reviews will be missing out on a great holiday.

  • Stayed January 2005
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Helpful?
14 Thank angryEssex_England
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 28, 2004

I honestly think you can't please everybody. Still, reading some of the reviews already posted about this lovely hotel made me wonder - they seem to vary from the terrible to the excellent with no middle ground.

My wife and I decided to treat this holiday in early July as our honeymoon, since our actual honeymoon in Majorca last year was a bit of a let down. Quite simply we wouldn't have decided to do that if the hotel was anywhere near as bad as some people are making out. It was a little piece of paradise - very romantic, plenty to do with friendly and courteous staff. Anyone complaining of rude staff must have been rude to them first. I witnessed a few guests being all high and mighty - tip: go to Sandals or some other such soulless place in future!

The bar staff were the highlight - excellent and friendly (and plenty of ice!) who seemed to know every cocktail under the sun. Yes, the plastic glasses were small but as it's all inclusive, just get two at a time, or just go up again. It's not rocket science!

Food was generally very good. Always hot and quickly replenished with plenty of variety. It stands as a testament that I didn't suffer from any upset stomach problems while I was there. We also tried the a-la carte restaurants too, which were good.

I got an ear infection towards the end of the holiday and was looked after very well indeed by the friendly nurse who called the doctor and got me sorted out.

If I had any criticisms they would be levelled at our bathroom. Although always immaculately clean (that goes for the whole of our garden view cottage), our shower was a bit low and the bath tended to fill up. But these didn't spoil anything one bit rather adding to the character of the place. The gardens, by the way, are beautiful - you get used to the sound of the crickets at night and there were hardly any insects (one cockroach quickly and cleanly dealt with by a porter).

A fantastic holiday, worthy of a honeymoon! Great weather too. Shame about the moaners (mainly American) and the one of the British contingent who occasionally reared his loud, drunk, sweaty head!

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
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Helpful?
11 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 28, 2004

Yep! never again!! this resort was the worst i've been so far. First, it took 4 hours of waiting before we got our room. Nobody in the front desk seemed to care and they weren't very friendly either. Beach towels was a struggle everyday. One morning, it took me 5 times to ask before I finally got one, which was about 2 in the afternoon already. They ask u to come back every hour and on the hour I would come back and there wouldn't be any towels again. This went on almost everyday for the whole week I was there. The front pool was so dirty that u could see all the dirt and grease?or whatever that was on the corner of the pool. One morning, I saw the lifeguard trying to clean it but when I came back at lunch it was back there again. Disgusting! The beach was so rocky! there was a small part that could swim to but aside from that everywhere else was rocky. Food was good. They had lots of fruits which was great. Entertainment staff was also great! they were very friendly and talented. Aside from that, there wasn't anything else that impressed me about this place.

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1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed July 27, 2004

Our trip was from July 16 - 21. Six SINGLE women. We absolutely LOVED it!! How could anyone rate this place average or below? Unless you are just a complete snob, The price you pay to stay at this place is worth every cent!!! Trust me when I say... Royal DeCameron Club Caribbean is OFF THE CHAIN!!! EMAIL ME IF YOU DON'T THINK THIS IS A REAL REVIEW.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Club Caribbean

Property: Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Address: Main Street Runaway Bay, Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Location: Caribbean > Jamaica > Saint Ann Parish > Runaway Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Runaway Bay
#4 Family Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Runaway Bay
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Runaway Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Club Caribbean 3*
Number of rooms: 231
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in Runaway Bay about an hour from Montego Bay International Airport, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque place of the island, populated by friendly and happy people. This hotel's architecture offers incredible paths through the gardens and terraces until you reach the 2 swimming pools, one exclusively for adults and another with all the facilities for children. This hotel also has a long dock for sunbathing. The cottage-style rooms bring a tropical environment and let you enjoy the peace of the beach where you can partake in a large variety of water sports. Its restaurants offer many different types of cuisine which range from typical Jamaican flavors to the exquisite tastes of Asian food. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Hotel Caribbean
Royal Decameron Jamaica
Royal Decameron Caribbean
Royal De Cameron
Club Caribbean Jamaica
Decameron Jamaica Royal
Caribbean Club Decameron Royal
Club Decameron Jamaica Royal
Royal Decameron Club Caribbean Jamaica
Royal Decameron Club Jamaica

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