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“A wonderful time in Panama!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino

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Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Farallon
Regina, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“A wonderful time in Panama!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

Ok! I had meant to write this sooner. We had stay at the Royal Decameron for a week long all inclusive (Jan 21 - Feb 2). We were traveling with another couple and this was basically all of our first trip to Panama. I have to say that I was impress. Prior to going, I did read most of the reviews - the good, the bad and the ugly! However, my experience was very good. Yes, the bus ride to the resort from the airport is long due to traffic since our flight landed in Panama city around 4pm. But the nice thing is at the airport, they have your room assignment (the number on the luggage tag that you attached is your room number) and hotel package information. We were given a bottle of water when we boarded the air conditioned bus. Panama city is interesting and busy. Our bus ride thru the city, passing most of the sights had taken us 3 hours to get to the hotel. We did get a short bathroom/beer break. By the time we arrived at the hotel it was around 7pm. Upon our arrive, we were all given a fruity drink as we wait to finalize our check in. Don't worry about your luggage since they were tagged with our room numbers, the hotel staff goes and delivery all the luggage. It may take a bit since they are unloading and organizing everyone suitcases. We just happen to luck out and get ours a few minutes after arriving in our room.

Our room happen to be at the other end of the resort away from lobby 1, close to lobby 3. Building 40 is the last building on top of the hill and it also happens to not be marked but if you are looking at the map that was provided, they have it marked as one of the two Building 49. Our room was in the lower level. So you can see the corner of the ocean but it was mostly the hill and tree view which is not a big deal since we were not going to be spend a lot of time in the room. The room was clean, nothing really fancy but everything was in working condition (lights,running toilet and water) and a working the air conditioner! (note: make sure you can locate the air conditioning remote, our happen to be on the wall in a protective holder. Our friends did not have a remote in their room so they could not adjust their ac temperature. But they borrowed ours and was able to finally adjust their ac). The bathroom is spacious and there is no bathroom fan, just these little bathroom windows for venting. The water pressure was ok but don't expect hot water. Although after spending a week down in Panama, I'm not sure why anyone would want hot water. The temperature of the water was mostly warm to cool. The only downside to the room was that the walls and doors are really thin that you can basically hear the person next door to you as if they were right in your room. In addition, down the hill a bit further towards the beach is the night club. They don't get started until midnight and pretty much goes till 3-4am. So you are able to hear the constant bass sound. Thank goodness, we always bring earplugs! However, I'm glad we were on that side of the resort because if you were close to lobby 1 where the nightly entertainment is. It can get really loud and from what we heard from other vacationers, the nightly entertainments goes till 11pm. The room does come with some essentials like towels, soap, shampoo, hair dryer, extra blanket, bottle of water and glasses. There is a safe but you have to rent the lock from one of the lobby. I paid $22 something with taxes for a weeks use of the lock and when you check out you will have to return it.

The resort is huge. There are 2 main buffet building, our building was closest to the Pacifico, just down the stairs. Apparently, every day both buffets have different food theme nights like Fusion, Spanish, American and Asian. Also during the day the Al a carte restaurants become a pizzeria and burger place. We pretty much spent our lunch time at Kontiki where they have burgers, pizza, hot dogs, fries, other hot food, salad bar, fruit and dessert. Speaking of al la carte, your first day at the resort I highly recommend you go to the lobby and book your al a cart. You are allow to book up 4 restaurants in advance and then if you are want more. You will have go go and check on the availability of spots the morning of. We ended up going to Kontiki (fusion), El Canal (seafood),
Cayuco (grill) and Mogo Mogo (Thai). Note: at the booking desk, they have the menu of what each restaurant is serving that evening. All in all the food was wonderful at the buffet, al a carte and pizza joints. I always manage to find some delicious food and the assortments of fruits were awesome!

Being a huge resort, the beach was long and nice. Just don't be expecting the white sands of Cuba as the resort is on the Pacific side so you will see a lot of sea shells and black sand. We did walk down to Noriega's old abandon summer house (from the main lobby head left). It was neat to see but just be careful where you walk as there are broken glass and garbage... remember it's abandoned. Now if turn right from lobby 1 on the beach, past the night club, there is a bar call 'Woody's" that are owned by some ex-Canadians. We had supper there one night just to check it out and say that 'We had poutine in Panama'. A quaint place right on the beach. It is actually quicker to get to Woody's from the beach verse walking from town.

The resort has tons of pools and little shallow water ponds to help keep you cool. Believe me, you want that and any place where you can find shade. My week there was hot and sunny! Of course, you are never far away from one of the bars. The workers were friendly and nice, especially the bartenders. We don't know much Spanish but we were always able to communicate with what little Spanish that we did know and we were always given great service.

We did do the Embera Indigenous community excursion. We got to go in a piraguas (long wooden boats) up the river to a water fall and then had lunch and learned more of the Embera culture at the village. It was a wonderful time except it was a 3 hours bus ride there to the river and then another 3 hr bus ride back. A long day but will worth the adventure and seeing more of the country side. Note: if you are going to swim at the fall, my suggestion is to wear your bathing suit. The bus does stop at a grocery store to allow you to change but it's hectic with other people also trying to use the bathroom.

On our last day, we had hired Panama Roadrunner to take us into Panama city with our luggage; since our flight wasn't flying out till later in the day. I had made the arrangement prior to us flying down with owner and ex-Canadian, Denise. Denise' s husband and co-owner Neil came and picked us up from the hotel lobby in an air conditioned van that happen to be sporting the Rider flag!. A wonderful personal touch! Neil was awesome and very informative of what is happening in Panama. Neil took us to the Mira Flora locks where we happen to see the locks in action, Anton Hill (wonderful panoramic views of the entire city), the causeway where we had a wonderful lunch at this nice restaurant and then he dropped us off at the airport. We weren't on any time schedule so we were able to spend as much or less time at various locations. It was a nice excursion for the day and we got to experience more of Panama City before flying home.

All in all, I had a wonderful time in Panama. The weather was wonderful and hot. The nights were just right that you never needed to wear a light sweater. We also got to see iguana, various birds, gekos, frogs and peacocks at the resort. I would totally go back to Panama again.

note: Currently, a new airport is being built closer to the airport. So in 2014, Panama will have new airport, a subway system and, a new larger lock in the canal.

Things you may want to consider taking or at least be aware of:

* bring sunscreen ... you are very close to the equator
* you will have to pay to rent a security lock for your in-room safe
* extra room key is an extra cost and don't lose the key or else you will have to pay big $$ for replacement
* there is no face cloth or kleenux so you may want to bring your own
* there is a lot of walking and stairs but there are the shuttle vans (we walked everywhere so I can't say how long it takes for a shuttle van)
* book your Al a carte the first day as they do fill up quickly
* internet is not free. You can pay a daily rate or just buy an internet cards with minutes from the souvenir shop
* bring ear plugs as a just in case the room is noisy
* there is no alarm clock in the room

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
11 Thank myseert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Maple Ridge, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2013

we had a fantastic week in Panama. The weather was spectacular, the beaches beautiful and the people were very friendly. Staff knew enough English to communicate and were always willing to help us learn Spanish. Alot of stairs.. but its part of the charm. Wish the pools were open for more hours though. Definately recommend a stay here. Best value for a trip ever spent.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CarolefrBC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Just got back from an amazing week in Panama with the boyfriend. From reading previous reviews on this resort I was expecting something totally different then what I had actually experienced.

The moment we landed in Panama I felt like I was already on vacation. Although the flight and bus ride down was quite long it was definitely worth it!

First off, Panamanians are very friendly and polite people. Their native language is SPANISH so I find it ridiculous that people complain that they cant speak english when in fact lots of the employees do or at least are able to just enough to communicate.

The bar and food service was great, the entertainment was amusing and best of all, the resort itself was absolutely GORGEOUS!!! The weather was perfect. The beach and view was just unbelievable. It was like looking at a postcard from the vacation of your dreams which to us, this place was.

Like many others have said, there are many pools to choose from. Each one better than the other especially the swim up bar.

As for the food, the buffets were pretty good. Lots of items to choose from. I found the Al a Cartes to be the best. We went to the Thai (Mogo Mogo), seafood (El canal), fusion (Kontiki) and lastly sushi restaurant. All were quite delicious. We were very pleasedThey fill up fast so make sure to book your ASAP!

We also, checked out Woodys bar located just a few minutes down the beach from the resort. The owners were fabulous. They were very inviting and Canadian! It was nice to sit and have lunch with them. A definite must see for good laughs and food.

Lastly, was the ATV tour to Anton Vallee. Worth the money for you get to see the beauty and nature of Panama. Check out Ty's bar and grill too who is the tour guide. He has a monkey named "Mona" which alone is worth seeing.

To sum up, we will DEFINITELY be returning. This was an amazing trip especially considering that this was our first one together. I LOVE PANAMA <3

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Avillari
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

My girlfriend and I just returned from 5 nights at the royal decameron then 2 nights at the hard rock hotel. My choice would be the decameron if we go to panama again. The water was fine as it is the pacific ocean, for some people who clearly arent very educated. The pacific ocean has very few areas of clear blue water. Its the caribbean side with that type of water. If you book a trip ignorantly to somewhere youve never been, RESEARCH it beforehand. We enjoyed learning spanish to help us communicate better, even though most the bartenders and staff knew enough english to help. The food was not bad and there was tons of selection, we always found something we could enjoy. We had 4 a la carte dinners: sea food, kontiki , sushi and thai which were all delicious. The drinks were delicious. The disco was fun and we had a good group of about 10-15 to party with most nights. I would definately return in a heart beat. Service everywhere was impeccable as well, between the use of sign language and minimal spanish and english we were always pleased.

As a sidenote, definately do the atv tour to anton valley and swim in the waterfall it was incredible.

  • Stayed February 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cadillac_ctsv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Stayed 1 week at Decameron, Jan 28-Feb 4, 2013. Booked on a golf package, (2 couples) in a Villa on the Golf Course. Nice and quiet there, away from party Beachfront rooms. An extra 3 minute walk to Main Lobbies or Shuttle service is quite quick. Golf course very pretty, challenging, NOT on the ocean. A la Carte Kontiky and El Cayuco very good and they all book up quickly. Buffet food tasty, limited selection. All staff not very warm and chatty, not too smiley though not impolite either.
Unless you are physically challenged, don't let the steps deter you. I expected something horrible, not so. Stairs at Lobby 1 are easy, the hill at Lobby 2 and 3 will give a bit of a workout each time! Use Shuttle service instead if you want.
All pools are glorious, the lounge chair in the shallow pools were my favorite! Beach is great for walking and seeing the large homes and Public Beach with shopping. I did not go right in, we had 8 people get stung by Ray Fish buried in the sand in shallow water at low tide. Apparently excruciating pain! That along with the black lava mixed with the sand and strong waves was not so inviting. Pools were my first choice.
New airport being built for December 2013, 15 mins from resort. Currently everyone must travel 2-2.5 hours. VERY long.
Lastly, bring facecloths, lots sunscreen: Guaranteed hot sun from December-May. No rain.
We will return, beautiful vacation.

Room Tip: Beachfront: bldgs #40++ are quieter. Villas #70s to 90s , 3 minute walk to Lobby 3.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Donna S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ottawa, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Visited the Royal Decameron Resort from 29 Jan - 6 Feb 2013. The weather was amazing everyday! I think it rained for 10 min over the 7 days.

Good points
1. Arrival - We landed at 430pm... Tour staff met us at the airport and gave us our hotel package. Once arrived at the airport check in was done in 20 min and we were off to our room. Luggage was delivered to the room within 60 min.

2. Food - lots of choices

3. Pools - clean, big, lots of location

4. Activities - Beach volleyball, ping pong, small gym with treadmill, pool aerobics, universal gym and elliptical.

5. Bars - Located close to every pool. I recommend the Banana Mamma Drink or Farrallon....purchase a Large Bubba Mug at Canadian Tire. This will keep your drinks cool and keep you from going back to the bar every 20 min for a drink

6. Casino - Went every night. Staff were friendly and most spoke english

7. Beach - Long and clean. If the life guards close the beach for swimming obey them.... most times it's because stingrays are close to shore.... if you step on one you will be stung and end up in the hospital.

8. General Noriega house. Just a short walk from the resort was an abandoned beach house once owned by General Manuel Noriega, former military dictator of Panama.

Bad points
1. The 2 hour bus ride to the resort is long. If you arrive during the day, stay awake through Panama City (about 20min outside the airport) to see the amazing buildings. After that there's not much to see until you arrive at the resort

2. There is lots of stairs and there is no elevators in the buildings. If you have mobility issues this resort might not be the best for you.

Comments from other travellers: I've read other reviews about staff not speaking english. I did not run into this problem.... In the past 3 years I've traveled to Cuba, Jamaica and Costa Rica and I found the staff to this resort as good as any other resort I've been to in the past 3 years.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KevDaly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

My husband and I just returned from a fantastic golf vacation at the Royal Decameron, Panama. The flight was on time, and Nolitours staff were waiting to very efficiently whisk us off to our bus. The drive to the resort was a little long, but seeing the Panama City skyline at night was wonderful. Check in went smoothly & quickly.

Our luggage was delivered to our villa, and was waiting for us when we arrived.

This property is Huge, and we were surprised to discover that our villa was a LONG way from the main resort. As it turned out, this was no problem, as the shuttle service was good. That said, there was no popping from your room to the bar to refresh your drink, or grab a quick snack. We just picked up some refreshments from the little store across from the main resort, and kept them in our room in a small cooler with ice.

The golf course was awesome. Colourful flowers, lush vegetation, birds of all kinds, (even birdies), and immaculately manicured fairways, made this an exceptional golfing experience.

The beach was beautiful, but unfortunately, the flags were red due to jellyfish in the water.
Woody's bar is a short walk up the beach, and a great hangout for a change from the resort.
You can walk to the ruins of General Noreaga's beachouse, as well, and contemplate the terrible effects this dictator had on this beautiful country.

We also went para sailing. I would recommend this to anyone! Really fun!!

We enjoyed a tour going through the locks on the Pacific side of the canal, and would also recommend this tour, as opposed to the ones that view the canal from the land.

The only drawback we found at the resort is that the buffet was disappointing, and the al a carts book quickly. That said, there was enough to scrape by on, and there are very good restaurants off the resort, particularly one little seafood restaurant, across from the resort.

All in all, a great trip.

Room Tip: If you are staying in the villas, ask for a room close to the resort.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Karen B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino

Property: Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino
Address: Avenida principal Farallon, Km.115, 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 4 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf & Casino 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 Panama/Farallon
Royal Decameron Resort Panama

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