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“Viva Colombia!!!”
Review of Decameron Baru

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Decameron Baru
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Isla Baru
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Viva Colombia!!!”
Reviewed August 17, 2014

We would give this place 4 1/2 stars if we could.

We went here this past February and it was AMAZING!!!!!! Read some of the negative reviews that have been posted, and we suggest you ignore them because they seem to be written by snobby travellers. We are recommending it to all our family and friends! We are an adventurous couple in our late 20s who needed some R&R, but who also wanted to go somewhere a little more exciting than the regular resort places. The majority of guests at Royal Decameron are families from South America, so speaking Spanish is definitely helpful. There are some English speakers and the people who work there are always wiling to practise their English with you, but bring a Spanish Dictionary in case. (There are also a lot of Quebecois at the resort.) English-speakers are a minority, but we LOVED that. We loved practising our Spanish! It’s the whole point of TRAVEL, people - you want to feel like you are in a different country, you know?! We brought our own travel mugs which were the best things we ever brought! Much better than using their small plastic cups which are quite wasteful. The bartenders happily filled our big cups right to the top every time. Everyone who works at the Royal Decameron are from the Island of Baru and they are so grateful to be working there and to serve you. Please show your appreciation by tipping! We learned that they prefer tips in Colombian Pesos or in US bills that are larger than $1. Because there are many counterfeit $1 US bills, many banks do not accept them as currency, and workers will sometimes ask if you can exchange a $5 bill for 5 x $1US bills. Wish we knew this before. Everyone who works there were fantastic and we brought some of our favourite waiters/bartenders some soccer gear as gifts on our last day for their little siblings. Make sure that when you give a gift that you leave a note with it, including your room #, so the workers can show their supervisors as proof that they were gifts and not stolen.

Our favourite night restaurant to go to was the Eurasian Restaurant (make sure you make your reservation first thing in the morning in the lobby). We also loved lunch on La Playa Puntilla, which is a lovely separate beach that you need to take a small boat to (make sure you get your reservation card from the desk next to the boat departure).

There were not enough people who wanted to take the boat tour to Cartagena, so we had to take the bus tour instead. We suggest you avoid the bus if possible because traffic was horrendous and it cuts into your tourism time. If we could have done it again, we would have just asked for a shuttle to the walled city and walked around ourselves. Our guide was extremely informative and knew all about the history of everything in Cartagena, but we are the kind of couple who would rather explore on our own (which there was no time to do on the tour) and we hate being held back by a group. There were a ton of people backpacking through Cartagena within the walled city and we talked to a few of them. We felt COMPLETELY SAFE there, and all those stories about how dangerous Colombia is are false. Not being able to just explore the walled city on our own was our only regret about the trip.

Best thing you can bring back as gifts is the Colombian Coffee mmmmmmmm. We purchased bags from Juan Valdez and we were really sad when we finished our last bag. Coffee has never tasted the same. Leave your clothes at the hotel and fill your bags with Colombian coffee.

Internet was on the pricey side, but really what are you doing on the internet when you are vacation?! You can pay for tours and anything from the gift shop with your credit card.

Weather was absolutely beautiful, but be careful travelling there between April and June as those are the rainy months.

If you are headed here, we promise you won’t regret it! :D

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Brelena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,192 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
philadelphia, pa
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2014 via mobile

Very disorganized check in. The rooms were like something you'd find in a cheap hotel. It would be ok if things reflected the local culture-I mean I don't travel to live like we do in USA but this place is just tacky. No fresh fruit drinks at the bar. The food was mostly bad-I did enjoy some traditional Colombian dishes that were on the buffet here & there. The special restaurants were mediocre.
Great location on the water-nice beach.

Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
Helpful?
3 Thank madwomyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Welland, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2014

Travel to this resort, in Jan 2014, with my husband who has early,stage Alzheimer's, and my sister that is a diabetic. We purchased 2 day trip, at the time of purchase I asked if for any reason, we could not go to our trips could we get our money back the guy said yes no problem. They didn't charge my sister enough money for her trip, and was ask to pay the money, which she did. On our last day excursion, I got sick during the night called the front deck to tell them that we could not make it, when ask to get our money back oh, no way in hell we were getting that back, talked to the manager, so we left Columbia. Very disappointed!!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kanjo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
89 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2014

If you come here expecting an all-inclusive resort worth the money you are going to pay you will be sorely disappointed. It just doesn't have what other places on the Caribbean coast (of Colombia or the islands) offer for the same or less.

The room is alright but not too fancy. The internet is pretty slow and expensive. The beach isn't pretty and you have to get there early with a towel. The drinks are cheap.

The food at the buffet wasn't as bad as others make it out to be--it just wasn't very good either. There is something for everyone and it's relatively clean, but generally lacks flavor.

Service all around was good, except at the reception. Prepare to be herded like cattle and ignored. Courtesy is not a word they know.

If you come in with these low expectation, you will not be disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 502Dave
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Miami, Florida
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 25, 2014 via mobile

This reviews is based entirely on a price vs quality point of view. There are better options for this price tag. They may not be all inclusive but they do present a better value for money

Good: location, beach, delux rooms with ocean view

Bad: service, amenities, pool (dirty and warm)

Terrible: FOOD!!!! There is no way the food there does justice to the $400usd/night price tag

Stayed July 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Pedro M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Farmington, New York
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 23, 2014

The place is Beautifull and clean! The food is great and the staff is friendly. The location is one of a kind and there are plenty of activities to do everyday. Had a memorable time and I definetly will come back in the future!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank CharlesCardon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2014

The hotel grounds are beautiful, with a generous layout (a lot of walking). The standard room we had was huge. The pools are big and never crowded. The water was nice and warm (pools and ocean). The resort has two beaches, both with small riffs to go snorkeling. We were really able to relax and enjoy the great weather.
Overall the hotel it not up to international standards. The food was good, but not great, mostly pleasing the South American taste. Not many people spoke English. The check-in process was lengthy and not well organized. We paid for the WiFi and is still did not work all the time. What really bothered me was that they used mostly disposable cups for the drinks (not the reusable plastic cups most resorts use) - this is not a all eco-friendly.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Suzanne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Decameron Baru

Property: Decameron Baru
Address: Baru Km 7 | Sector Portonaito, Isla Baru 130017, Colombia
Location: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Isla Baru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Isla Baru
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Decameron Baru 3.5*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the paradisiac Baru peninsula, 75 minutes from Cartagena and member of the TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’ for its certified excellence during 5 consecutive years, the Decameron Baru allows guests to enter a magical experience that will disconnect them from the outside world. The resort is located amidst a tropical forest and its architectural design intermingles with an ecological environment surrounded by many beaches, among which is the popular ‘Playa Blanca’, considered one of the best beaches of the Colombian Caribbean, and the luxurious ‘Playa Puntilla’ beach, where our travellers may enjoy a private club and several sports such as kayaking, rowing, scuba and snorkeling. Partying and enjoyment are guaranteed, enlivened with the rhythms from the countries of the great Caribbean basin such as ‘champeta’, a genre that mixes African and Colombian Indigenous sounds and that introduces travellers to the local culture. As a complement to pleasure, you may sharpen your senses with the delicacies of typical and renowned Colombian Caribbean cuisine. From this destination you may explore Cartagena’s colonial history and visit other important cities from Colombia’s northern territory such as Barranquilla, a commercial, river and sea port and seat of the multitudinous Carnival, as well as historic Santa Marta, considered the most beautiful bay in America. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Baru Hotel Isla Baru

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