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“Good Resort, able to eat Gluten-Free”

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Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Generally speaking this was a good resort and I can't complain about anything. That said, if I were to compare it to the Majestic Colonial in Punta Cana, I would would put it at a star less. Older rooms, less ammenities, and slightly lesser staff and quality in the food department. Perhaps if I'd gone to the Decameron first my opinion would be higher, but the Majestic Colonial was just that little bit better and I'm using that as a base of comparison.

From Toronto it is a full day of travel, and coming home, even though the flight didn't depart until 8:00, we still had to be out of our rooms by 11:00, so you really don't get much on that final day.

So if you are open to where you are going to go, you might want to look at other options, if you are set on Panama, I think you'd be quite satisfied here.

Rooms:
Very basic but clean. Not included: bathtub, iron, alarm clock, facecloth, kleenex. Fridge and safe are $3/day each. I would say most of the buildings have a great view. We paid a little extra for ocean view and we were not disappointed. We had a King bed room which was very large and included two daybads. Our kids had an adjoining room with 2 queens which was more of your standard hotel room size. The walls are thin - I could hear my neighbours tv when it was loud.

Grounds and Pools:
Lush, beautiful and clean. Many pools to choose from including adult only, party pool, and my favourite, the infinity pool which has its own bar and snack bar. Like any resort, you need to mark a chair by 7:00 if you want an umbrella. If you don't care about that there are many loungers without umbrellas and tons of chairs on the beach.

Beach:
Deep beach, strong waves and quite a few jellyfish on the sand and in the water. Both my kids got bit but it is nothing worse than a mild sting.

Food:
Decent but not spectacular. At the buffet they had probably 2 grilled meats, salad bar, bread bar, and maybe 8 side dishes? Always some rice, maybe beans, mixed veggies etc. Again, if comparing to Majestic Colonial, Decameron had less selection and didn't do anything presentation wise. Majestic had desserts up on pedestals, and fruit cut out like a swan. Sounds silly but it just made it more special!

As well, salad bars always seemed to be running low, and at the buffet, the clearing of tables was quite slow. You often had to ask for the table to be cleaned so you could sit. I don't know if they are understaffed perhaps?

Lastly, I have Celiac so I brought a card, written in spanish explaining my restrictions. At the buffet they chef was always visible and he was able to point out to me what I could eat. I really appreciated that.

Excursions:
1. The city bus (mini van really) is only $2 each way in to Penonome, a small town about a half hour away. Great experience as it is not geared towards tourists but completely safe. Shopping includes TONS of shoes, tshirts, and dollar store type stores. The good thing is you can go for just a few hours, it is cheap and safe.
2. We did the ATV and Anton Valley trip. Expensive but fun. Even if you've never driven an ATV you should be ok on this. Takes you through the mountains so the scenery is beatiful and you can swim in the falls.
3. Parasailing is $70/person, pretty typical. 15 minute ride, but you're out for about 45 including boat ride too.
4. They have Catamaran boats to use for free, but my husband wasn't feeling experienced enough to handle it alone in the waves, so for just $15 someone took him and my son out for a 1 hour ride. I think that is a bargain.
5. The Nolitours are really helpful, so if you aren't sure what you want to do, just go talk to them and they can probably help you figure something out.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank 0416
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 27, 2012

The resort grounds, pools, restaurants and beaches were a Five Star. Everyday we saw maint people painting and sanding and fixing some thing around the resort. Very well kept. Beaches wonderfull. As far as the eye could see was nice sand.

The resort is about 3/4 of a km long with an upper and lower level. So be prepared to walk. You will find after all the eating, drinking, and sun that the walking does you good. It just sucks when you forget or need some thing. Going from the lower level to the upper level takes some work on a pathway or stairs. They do have little vans that will help you if required.

I would be lying if I said I was happy with the rooms! I am used to 5 star rated rooms and these rooms were around a 3 star. They were clean, that wasn't the problem, just old looking. The water pressure was great. My wife and friends reminded me of how much time we actually spend in the room and convinced me not to make a big deal out of it. I really missed having a bar fridge to keep my private stock of beer cold. I learned from another traveller later on that they had a bar fridge? might be something to ask for next time.

We purchased a sell off vacation on a Saturday and left for Panama on Wednesday morning. The Flight was long and we arrived in Panama Airport to a great reception of Air Transat people. They had tables set up in the airport with information and check in packages. As we loaded the bus, they gave us a nice cold beer or drink.

It was a long two hour trip to the resort. It was dark so we did not see much. Not like I was staying awake anyways. When we pulled into the resort they handed us another fruity drink, and once again had a quick check in process. They had the buffet waiting for our arrival so we could all eat right away.

We paid extra for the safe key and wire-less Internet. 72 hours was the maximum internet time you could buy. I think it was $46.00 but don't quote me. You can buy less time also.

Brush up on your Spanish. Yes many speak English or French on the resort but it can be limited. For the most part it was not a problem. My wife and I walked through the village and her Spanish ability's helped communicate with the locals.

The Buffet food was good. A wide varity of Western and Native dishes. You can book Alacarts every night. I liked all of them but it depends how picky of an eater you are? I would give the Buffets about a 4 star rating.

We enjoyed the Casino in front of the resort. By the end we made more than we spent. So that was good. They are not part of the resort, but the drinks were free if you were playing.

Don't bring Canadian $$. They want US.$$ The hotel was only giving 0.60 cents on the dollar? Not sure why? The maids and cab drivers were giving me Canadian money and I was exchanging it for them to US. They were happy about that. Two ATM's on site for cash if required.

If planning a tour, depending how many of you there are (we had 7 in our group) we rented a taxi Van for $180.00 and they gave us from 8 am until 7pm a personal tour of where ever we wanted to go. We had a driver and an English teacher for translatiing. We went to Panama City the old and new, The man made Island, a nature reserve on top of a hill to view the city, The canal, a very modern and huge mall, and to a zoo in the forest. Another day we went to the rain forest and near by with many attractions like water fall, volcano, zoo, and shopping and eating on the streets.

Were this resort is located the temperature is always around 28 to 34 degree's celcuis and if it rains it's only for a minute or two so you should never have your vacation washed out.

We felt perfectly safe on or off the resort. Each block on the resort has a security guard standing out back keeping an eye on things 24 hours per day. Making sure people are not trying to break in the windows or doors. Around the old Panama city were guards with guns just keeping an eye on things. Again, no issues.

Would I go back? For the price we paid yes for sure. But if I had to book in advance and pay way more money then I would find a hotel with with better rooms.

Have fun

Room Tip: Lobby (1) is where all the entertainment goes on so if you like quiet try and get a room around Lobb...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank Rodney-Cheryl-K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2012

Just returned from Royal Decameron yesterday. I had spent a few days in Panama City with my 20- something daughter at the Trump (another story) and then to the RD for a few days for R & R.
I had read the mixed reviews, so weren't quite sure what to expect...and we were quite pleasantly surprised! The grounds are beautifully landscaped, the beach is wide and easily accessible, the pools clean and refreshing! Check-in was easy. We were assigned Building 11, which was quiet and centrally located. Rooms spotlessly clean. Bartenders are friendly and accommodating. We tipped for each drink and were surprised at how many people didn’t tip…hey, it’s only a $1, people!
Mixed drinks were good, but the big disappointment was the wine—I think it is watered down, so we were glad we brought our own wine to dinner for a few nights…
Food was just OK but the Mediterranean restaurant was very pretty—we especially liked the live music there. The Kontiky had nice ambience as well. The Catch of the Day spot was good—located at the far end next to the disco and under the stars( the stars are gorgeous there!).
All in all, it was a very nice place (although it is 2 hours away—not 90 minutes) for relaxing. Nice mix of people although singles might not be that happy.
If you are not part of a large group, book airport transportation thru the hotel concierge. Our trip from Panama City hotel with Panama Roadrunner was $126. Our return yesterday by private air-conditioned minivan (maybe we were just lucky) was $52 plus tip.

Room Tip: Building 11 was good for people who don't want to walk too far...Building 47 (adult pool) far of...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank capricorn151
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2012

We just loved the Royal Decameron last year so we decided to go again this year. And we were not disappointed! With our limited Spanish and the staff's English, we communicated quite well. Staff were excellent and tried very hard to accomodate us. There is a lot of choice of food on the 3 buffets and the a la cartes were excellent. Rooms were simple, but clean. We had an issue with our A/C for a few days and the maintenance staff tried very hard to repair but the repair was only temporary. The A/C was fixed 100% by the 4th day so all was good. The ride from the airport to the hotel is long (2 hours), but you do get to see the vastness of Panama City and drive over the Panama Canal. There is a new airport being built about 5 minutes from the Royal Decameron so that will be nice when it is completed in 2014, but then the cost of the Royal Decameron may go up.

The beach is nice and wide with lots of shells to collect. The ocean can be rough at times, but we swam in it everyday. The resort also has about 9 pools if the beach is not your thing.

If you have mobility issues, this resort may not be for you unless you request an ocean front room. The ocean front rooms are on beach and pool level as well as near the buffets. There is a shuttle bus that can take you to other places on the resort if you are not able to walk the stairs.

All in all, it was a great 2 weeks and we highly recommend this resort.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank niagarafallslouie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

We chose Panama as somewhere different to go having been to all inclusives in Mexico, Cuba, Turks and Caicos and Costa Rica. Unfortunately for the Royal Decameron but fortunately for Panamanian tourism we split our stay with five days at the Royal Decameron and 2 days at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort.

On the plus side, the Royal Decameron property is beautiful, a lot of natural shade from old trees as well as the the planted palms, a huge property, great beach with lots of palapas and good pools. Facility seemed well maintained and clean. Our room was basic, bathroom amenities minimalist, air conditioning worked (it is either on or off, you are not entrusted with temperature control so it can be quite sub-arctic in the morning) and beds were fine. Extra charge for safe and deposit for second key which seemed a bit odd. WiFi available for a fee. Tour of city and canal we arranged thru hotel was excellent, Lenny was a great guide.

On the not so plus side, food is edible and plentiful but mediocre at best. Drinks were poorest we have had at an all inclusive (setting aside the debate as to whether they are watered down or not) the mixes used for pina colada, margaritas and such seemed pretty econo (however, George at the Lobby 2 bar did make great iced coffee). Staff not unfriendly, but not friendly, we are used to having to ola and buenos dias everyone from the gardeners on up. Service was slow to non-responsive, but plenty of opportunites for tipping. New experience for us at a la carte dining, told we had to leave after 1 hour 40 minutes when it had taken them 20 minutes to first serve us and second time being chastised for being 10 minutes later for the third and final seating. Food quality about same as the buffet at the restaurants we got reservations at: El Canal, Mogo Mogo, Kon Tiki, maybe the others were better.

We had set our expectations lower for the Royal Decameron before going based on the mixed reviews.The Royal Decameron met these lowered expectation, no surprises good or otherwise.

Fortunately we also spent two days at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort where food, drinks and service were excellent. A la carte meal was first class. Lots of new all inclusives are coming to the Playa Blanca with the new airport, Royal Decameron will have to pick up its' socks to compete.

Room Tip: The resort is on two levels, the high level is a good hike to pools, restaurants and beach, steep up...
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with friends
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank lightening996327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

We stayed here for two weeks at the end of Feb and believe me, you will NEED two weeks to enjoy everything. Travel day is pretty long - after the flight (6.5 hrs from Winnipeg), it is approx another 2 hours to the resort. And if you go on any of the tours, it'll be a lot of driving as well.

The hotel check-in was the easiest thing I've ever been a part of.... Got off the bus, handed our first drink and was given a package with our room key, map etc and rented a roomsafe lock in less than 5 minutes. We were in a villa on the golfcourse. The room was small but nice and was cleaned very nicely everyday. These room are a bit out of the way from the rest of the resort, but if walking isn't an issue for you then no problem. You can call for a ride to the lobbies but sometimes you need to wait awhile.

There are a lot of restaurants, bars and pools here. The booze was great, the drinks were strong, but do yourself a favor and bring an insulated mug to cut down and trips to the bar and to keep your drink from warming up almost instantly. I would get my mug filled with beer and a scoopful of ice and I was gold !

The food at the buffets for the most part was pretty good, although there were a number of items my wife and I weren't adventerous enough to try. The a la cartes that we really enjoyed were Mogo Mogo, Kontiky and Cayuco.

The excursions were all very good. If you go on the city tour, it's lots of walking and very hot !
Anton Valley is nice and cool and was very enjoyable. The shopping and canal tour was fun as well. We found everything to be fairly reasonably priced at the markets and you may want to keep room in your luggage to bring home souviners.

Lots of people talk about Woody's..... It's five minutes down the beach to the right of the resort. It's a cool place to go check out, especially if you are Canadian, but a little bit over hyped.
Service kinda lacked, the food was ok and the beer was semicold. Five more minutes down the beach will bring you to Pipa's where the beer was cheaper and COLDER !
If you do come from Canada and go to Woody's, bring something to leave behind - especially from a CFL or NHL team. Look for our Winnipeg Jets Monkey on the bar

Five minutes down the beach the other direction will take you to the ruins of Gen. Manuel Noriega's beach house. Had a great time poking around in there, great photo op.

All in all, we had a wonderful experience here with no problems. We would definately go back and would recommend it to anyone we know.

PS - tip these people and don't be cheap

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Toddmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2012

We were pleasantly surprised by the rooms. Nothing too fancy, but clean enough to sleep in and fairly spacious. Our aircon did work well. We found the internet expensive and thought a resort of this size would have wifi and computers at no charge. The food was average for resort food and by the end of the week we were ready for some variety. Al a cartes were quite good but we stayed away from the beef after a tough steak. The weather was fantastic and we enjoyed the grounds and the beach and walked early in the a.m. Lots of stairs but we managed. The bus ride out was long after a long flight but we booked a city tour for the last day with Panama Roadrunner who took us to the Locks (a must see), an amazing lunch before dropping us at the airport. They also took us on a day trip to Portobello to snorkel and then we took the Panama Railway home. Nothing to complain about here except we would have liked to have stayed another week.
Tip - exchange at the hotel is more than 30% so we used the automated teller about 1/2 block north of lobby 1

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank CgyRiderGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas

Address: Avenida principal Farallon, Km.115 | Carretera Interamericana, Farallon, Rio Hato, Panama
Phone Number:
Location: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato > Farallon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range: $173 - $431 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 1170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama is an all inclusive hotel located about 2 kilometers of white sandy beach in Farallon, Panama. The hotel is located on the Pacific coast, close to many tourist attractions. Also, the city of Panama and the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) are located 120 miles away. The Royal Decameron in Panama hotel offers 852 guestrooms in low-rise buildings and 370 rooms Villas. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, closet, safe (local charge), direct dial telephone (with deposit cash at the reception) and a private bathroom with shower and hair dryer. Also have a minibar as part of the all inclusive plan and the villas are located on the golf course. Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama offers eight pools for adults three wading pools, three hot tubs, a casino, a golf course with 18 holes and a full spa. This beach hotel also offers a variety of organized activities on land and water for the whole family, and two convention centers for business travelers. The Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort has 11 bars, a nightclub and 10 restaurants ranging from traditional to the more exotic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf Hotel Farallon
Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf And Casino
Royal Decameron Beach Resort Panama
Royal Decameron Beach Hotel
Royal Decameron Panama
Hotel Royal Decameron Beach
Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Hotel
Royal Decameron Beach Resort Golf & Casino
Royal Decameron Resort Panama
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama/Farallon

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