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Royal Decameron Club Caribbean
Ranked #5 of 14 Hotels in Runaway Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
359 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 209 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2005

After reading some of these reviews, I decided I better write my own. My sister, my son and I stayed at the Royal DeCameron Club Caribbean for almost 2 weeks in August, 2004. We LOVED it because it is exactely what we wanted. If you prefer lots of noise, crowded beaches and partying everywhere, then you're better off staying in Negril or Ocho Rios. This hotel is more in touch with "nature" and therefore left in a more natural state. The little beach coves are quaint, we had no problems with rocks...I'm sure if you want to, you can find some but we had no problem. The cottages are adorable, the staff is very sweet and the buffet always offered delicious fresh fruits in addition to a variety of cooked foods. The entertainment was also nice...it's by the main pool area, so if you want to participate you can, if not there are plenty other areas to relax in. We found the resort to be very, very comfortable. Let me give you a little tip though....something I've noticed a lot of people don't seem to understand....you are visiting a third world country with a different culture than America or Europe. The appropriate thing to do is to adjust to the Jamaican culture and try to understand it...rather than go there and complain about everything!! If the Jamaican people see that you are interested in their culture and if you are nice to them, they are very sweet!! Go there with a good attitude and you'll love it!! I cannot wait to return to the Royal DeCameron Club Caribbean this summer!!!

  • Stayed August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank GermaicanSpiceGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lake Superior
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2005

Jan 8 to Jan 12 '05

This little old resort keeps gettin better. We've been here three times over the past twenty years and everything is still in great shape. There's no other place in Jamaica where you can stay in individual bugalows this close to the sea, with the services of an all inclusive resort. I can't speak for the garden cottages, suites or rooms as we've never stayed there.
Cottage 22 has a king bed facing a large picture window looking directly out at the beach. The steps are about ten feet from the water at high tide. There is a beautiful almond tree in front which always provides areas of shade on the beach as well as some privacy inside. There is a large full bathroom and a large walk in closet behind the bedroom. Each unit has a small water heater which will run out after about 15 minutes. There is a safe available for US$2 per day. Satellite TV has CNN, ESPN, HBO and some other channels. There is a phone in the room. They require a deposit to use the phone for international calls and this gives them a chance to make sure you understand the high charges. We emailed a request for a cottage (between #17 and #22) a few days before arrival and that's what we got.
The beaches are small coves with the reef a few hundred yards offshore. There are rocks and coral in shallow water in all the coves except the western beach which is fine for swimming. The snorkeling is good when the wind is down. The tennis center and gym are small but excellent and the boys there provide good lessons and shag the balls for you.
The food and drinks are better than other 3 star properties. In four days I ate grilled snapper, kingfish creole, thai shrimp, halibut, rundown codfish and other seafood along with great fresh breads and fruit. The coffee is excellent. There is no dress code here at all other than shoes and shirt required and this makes for some interesting people watching at meals. The drinks are made with Appleton brand liquors and various Jamaican rums unless you request top shelf. I enjoyed the Jamaican Delight which is like a rum margarita. They would use Cointreau in place of triple sec if I asked for it. The service is typical for Jamaica which means they see you and they'll get around to you as soon as possible if you just chill. George at the pier bar is exceptional.
Outside the resort is the lively main highway with some fun local bars and shops. A few minutes walk east is a nice public beach.
We passed on the airport shuttle and took a cab to and from the airport. The drivers showed the sights, some history, and where they lived with some side trips up into the hills. We were able to stop at several nice beach bars for a Red Stripes and jerk chicken and to pick up some excellent ganja. We paid US$60 each way.
So my advice is to do some research before you book here and make sure you know what you are getting. We love this place and we'll be back.

13 Thank roachkilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 18, 2005

My husband and I stayed at the RDCC 1/13-1/16. I just can't say enough good things about the place. To break it down....the accomadations were good...not 5 star, but lots of room, everything you would need, and most importantly CLEAN! We stayed in a hut and were quite pleased. The food was wonderful, lots of variety and plenty of it. We ate at the Jasmine Delta restaurant one night and would highly recommend it. The food was great and the atmosphere couldn't be beat....very romantic. The staff was helpful, courteous, and willing to accomadate us in any way. The beach was sprawling, clean, and very scenic. There was definitely enough room for everyone and you felt like you could stretch out and have your own little piece of paradise. The weather was great and the only thing I would change is staying there longer! If you go, make sure to sign up early for the water activities....water skiiing, glass bottom boat rides, banana boat rides...it's all included! Take advantage of the nature walk or local bike tour...you'll get a real taste for local life (a little bit scary, but worth the jont off the property). For the money this is the place to be....I'm recommending it to all our friends and can't wait to go back next year!

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 17, 2005

We arrived in Jamaica on the 21/12/04 for a two week stay over Christmas and the New Year expecting something different, this being our first Holiday away over Christmas. Having already been to Barbados, St Lucia & Antigua we were looking forward to a special time. The transfer from the airport (our flight was some 4 hours late arriving at 11.15pm) although uncomfortable due to the A/C not working properly took nearly 2 hours with just the one drop before ours (the brochure said different) so be aware of travel times, we arrived at Royal Decameron at 1.50am ~(no welcome drinks) which means the full travel time from the UK was 19 hours, on arrival we were met by a night porter who checked us in and showed us to our 'Hut', first impressions on walking by many of these huts were 'they look quaint', we reached ours and entered through the door not the 'Ritz' I thought, but here we are so lets make the best of it.
Wanting to hit the sack quickly I pulled back the covers to find dirty sheets, we slept on top of the bed, so our first night in 'paradise' was somewhat disappointing, further inspection in the morning light and the musty smell made up our minds to ask for a change, we eventually moved after 1 more night, fortunately the weather was good so we spent as much time away from the room as possible we never unpacked, we inspected the 2nd room which although basic (2 star at best) was clean and no smell was evident, there were various issues we overcame like no hairdryer (an absolute must for my wife) the tele did not work properly but to be fair we adapted...we had no choice. The service from the front desk was appalling, the staff being ignorant and most times very unhelpful (be warned).
Now the good news...the rest of the staff were 'BRILLIANT' absolutely fantastic a pleasure to be with and they consistantly made you welcome, the food was plentiful and varied and NONE of our party had any complaints (you will put weight on), drinks were always available from 10.00 am, perhaps not always the best makes and served in small plastic cups but you will get used to it, again you had little choice apart from dinner when you can order from the waiters (who again were excellant) and they will serve you drinks in a glass.
Must mention George at the swing bar, a gem he makes you welcome in the true Jamaican spirit. The entertainment was varied and they did make sure the 'acts' were good... definately no complaint there, when the resort staff entertained it did become a little boring with the same routine but you could just about accept that over a 2 week spell.
The checkout day came with you vacating your room by 12.00, not being collected until 4.00pm we requested a shower facility which was granted, however we found that everybody else who were leaving that day at no matter what time was granted the same, it became a free for all and with us having 3 children things became heated when the front desk were being very unhelpful...............from leaving the resort at 4.45pm it took 22 hours to reach home in the UK.
You will need to be prepared to tip the staff, especially the ones who look after you, you will receive better service and attention, don't forget you will be expected to tip everyone, even the transfer drivers down to the porters, for what is no more than 30 seconds walk.
Do your homework first, what you may consider a 3 or 4 star in the UK is no more than a 2 star in Jamaica especially accommodation wise. The beach was small and the sea stoney not ideal for children.
I will not be going back to the Royal Decameron even though I understand new owners have taken over, I would love to return at some stage if only to meet the Jamaican people again 'YEH MON' they are special.
One last comment, whilst we were there the owners were asking for volunteers to move to the sister hotel in Montego Bay the reason being they over booked (this happened both weeks we were there), we put our names forward to move only to learn that all was not well in Montego Bay, so we stayed, people were arriving mainly from America and having to wait long periods for a room.

  • Stayed December 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank ollyjohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Castle, PA
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2005

We booked the RD Runaway Bay. I wasn't expecting the Ritz and actually the resort wasn't that bad. We had booked a cottage and naturally they weren't available. We were given a suite that was a little run-down but was nice enough for a 3 star resort. We could see the ocean from our balcony. Our bedroom door adjoined a porch which had the doors to four other suites. There was a bunch of young kids in the room next to ours and they were up hollering and stomping up and down the stairs all night. Standing out on the porch making a dog that was down below bark.

The didn't ask us if we wanted to move, I asked them. Once a surveyed the beach in the morning, I decided that there really was no beach and I was on vacation to be at the beach. So we were out of there by 10:30 the next morning.

I think that the weather is much better in MoBay also. It was sunny when we left the airport, but the closer we got the Runaway Bay, the cloudier it got. We were told that the clouds were from the nearby mountains. Once at MoBay, we would speak to other guests coming in from Runaway Bay and they would say that the weather was cloudy while we had wall to wall sunshine.

There were several groups of young girls at the MoBay resort that had booked Runaway Bay who were taken directly to MoBay. They weren't even given the choice as to what hotel they wanted to be at.

MoBay is definately the better of these two hotels. If you get a good deal at Runaway Bay, go and ask to be upgraded to MoBay as we did. It makes the trip back to the airport on your way home a lot shorter - 5 minutes.

2 Thank capit850
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed January 10, 2005

After the 2 hour bus ride, we arrived to find that they did not have our private cottage reservation we had made through Expedia. They also said they did not have any private cottages available even though Expedia still showed availability for them. They put us in a Courtyard "sub-standard" Room. It was near they main entrance guard gate and highway; very noisy. The bed was hard as the floor. I spent over $100 on phone calls to Expedia to complain and they confirmed that my reservation was sent to Royal Decameron and confirmed by the hotel. Neither Royal Decameron nor Expedia would take responsibility. We spent an uncomfortable night. We were offerred an option to move to the Royal Decameron-Montego Bay (formerly Jack Tar or Montego Beach Resort). We were transported again (2 hour drive) back to Montego Bay.
It was recently renovated and had only been open for 3 weeks. Many other couples were also moving to the Montego Bay location. After speaking with other couples I learned that almost everyone at the Montego Bay location had gone through the same experience. Some people even said they saw a sign at Decameron - Runaway Bay offering a free upgrade to the Montego Bay location. Overbooking the Runaway Bay resort was management's way of filling up the Montego Bay resort, even if it caused headaches and problems for travellers. Perhaps their advertising for the new resort had not begun and this was their brilliant idea to fill rooms at Montego Bay.
The Montego Bay Royal Decameron was beautiful, plenty of helpful staff, and management obviously had a different philosophy at this location. Even though they were still putting the finishing touches on the renovation, everything was beautiful and the service was excellent.

Don't waste your valuable vacation time by reserving at Royal Decameron Runaway Bay, because there is no guarantee that when you arrive, your room will even be available. Stay at another resort in Ocho Rios or at the Royal Decameron-Montego Bay. The Royal Decameron Montego Bay does not have private cottages, so find another resort chain if that is what you are seeking in Jamaica.

  • Stayed January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Den Bosch, The Netherlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2005

Been there from 27th december till 9th of January. When we arrived we got an hotelroom, eventhough we booked a cottage. Next day we went to the reception and they told us all cottages were full, but later that day we finally did get our cottage. So with lost of a cottage-day, our great vacation could begin!
The food was supererb! Especially both the a-la-carte restaurants were fabulous!!! Lot's of choice for everyone. Best of all was the cocktailbar!!! Great waitering and the best cocktails I've ever had! The barmen and women were fabolous!
Entertainment was big fun, eventough we spend most the time at the silent pool. There was less wind so we could relax more. So you can choose between 2 pools, both very different. Lots of other stuff to do: snooker, tennis, gym (great!!), kayak (big fun!), surfing, sailing (was difficult because of the had wind), boardgames, and so on! At night there was lot's of live entertainment. At new-years-eve they made a fabolous party I will never forget!!!
Housekeeping was very good, although they frequently were out of towels, but that was not much trouble. The beachtowelservice was great: everyday we could get a fresh and clean towel!

But... we did have some problems:
The beach was terrible! Not much sand and there we rocks all over in the water. Gladly we had some watershoes, but we had hoped for more beachfun. Now we were in the pool most the time.
Outside the resort there is... nothing! You have to go with one of the organised tours to do something (they were great!!!) but going out on your own for a short walk or something like that was "no fun".
The tours were very expensive! I've been on many holidays in different countries but although the tours were fun, I always had the idea they were to expensive. But we went because we wanted to see al lot! I could really recommend the following tours: swim with dolpins in Dolpings Cove (superb!), Dunn's Rover Falls and Rafting on the Rio Grande (better and more fun than Martha Brae). Just book the tours at the tourdesk at the resort, the lady called Janice is great and she will take care for all of your wishes!!!

All over conclusion: this was a great holiday that we would never forget! I would recommend this resort to anyone, but beware of the things we told above! If you don't matter that, than you would have a great time and you would really relax.... IRIE!!!!

4 Thank David_from_holland
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
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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