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“Discriminated against by staff”

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Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Reviewed March 10, 2013

After seeing a recommendation on CNN for this resort we booked the trip. We found that frequently the staff would use an excuse to keep us from participating in an activity or recieve the service we were promised.

We asked for king beds, we got 2 fulls. We asked to switch rooms when a room with a king bed was availible and we were told we would have to go to an hour long meeting where we could ask to trade. We asked to kayak and we were told the tide was to high, or the winds were too swift etc. Meanwhile, other guests were given kayaks right away. There are many more examples like this.

It was very obvious that we were unwanted as Americans (identified by our wristbands at check in) and that any service would have to be asked for many times. Do not go to this resort, it was far from all inclusive.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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6  Thank justtowriteareview
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 10, 2013

I don't know how many other resorts/hotels do this, but the Decameron charged my family and I a rate 3x higher than what they charge residents of Panama. I found this out on the first night there and it made me feel taken advantage of for the entire stay since my expectations for the rate we paid were continuously not met. The rooms were basic, no mini fridge for cold water, though they do leave you a large bottle of room temperature water each day. The bathrooms were on par with a motel, although even a motel may have a bath, this was a stand up shower only. The food was mediocre and mostly bland, though there was plenty of it. I would recommend making dinner reservations at one of the resort restaurants. Service/hospitality was below average, it really didn't feel like they cared about the guest experience. The redeeming quality of this resort is the landscape, the grounds were beautiful, there are several large pools that are clean, and the beach/ocean view is great.

Room Tip: The ocean side room had a beautiful view
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank KMBChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

I travelled to this hotel for my 30th birthday to celebrate with my friend.

This hotel was beautiful and offers a variety of positives!
1) tons of meal options for breakfast lunch and diner. You can choose buffet style (which changes daily, which is great so you get a variety), and tons of a-la-carte restaurants which you can book as often as you like. All the a-la-carte's were awesome food (especially if you love seafood)
2) Lots of options during the day of places to relax (all are very clean, nice, offer varying entertainment). If you want adults only, they had an adults only infinity pool overlooking ocean and swim up bar, if you wanted a quiet pool with minimal noise by beach they have it, want a party pool with activities all day they have that, along with several other pools and a white sand beach.
3) The room we stayed in was really nice it was all renovated and very clean.
4) Hotel offered a variety of tours and spa services
5) the resort is huge so you can go all over the resort to try different buffets, and snack bars, and bars and pools. There is a shuttle service available to get around the resort, however we did not use it. Walking around the resort is really nice and there was soo much to see in the evening and during the day that we enjoyed the walking on the resort.
6) Drinks were awesome! any drink you wanted you got domestic and international
7) hotel staff were very professional and provided great service.
8) The disco is really fun and has great music and drinks!
9) The check in/out process was very efficient and well organized. We didn't wait in line at all even though there were over 40 people checking in at the same time as us.

Some suggestions I would have for the hotel as opportunities for improvement:
1) no one on the resort speaking english made requesting service a little bit difficult and confusing for both the hotel staff and clients. Although the staff tried their best to help, I think having at minimum one staff member who speaks english in each lobby and each restaurant would be helpful to improve service at the hotel. Given the number of Canadians on the resort it may be beneficial for the hotel staff to be sent on english language training.
2) The hotel should hire a few more staff to provide service around the pool/beach. It would have been nice to have a waiter around the pools and on beach offering guests drinks.
3) Not sure if its possible for the hotel staff to do something to reduce the noise (walls were paper thin) coming into the hotel rooms from the halls of the hotel. We could hear everything going on outside the hotel and could hear noise from rooms close by. This often kept us awake at night. Also if they could provide clocks in the rooms, I think the guests would appreciate it.

Beyond those suggested improvements - I really have to say this is one of the best all inclusive resorts I have stayed at! Several activities offered, several restaurants (both a-la-carte and buffet) and a number of places to relax without overcrowding. I would recommend this hotel to anyone!

Room Tip: Ask for a new renovate room (close to Lobby 1 or 2)
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Amanda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 9, 2013

The resort is large. Lots of walking. Also lots of stairs and hills. We felt very safe in Panama. The beach was beautiful and the pools were great. We spent most of our time at the beach.

The grounds of the resort are beautiful. The plants and the flowers were very beautiful! There are lots of iguanas wandering around the resort. There is also peahens, peacocks and lots of other birds around the resort.

The night we checked in, the front desk gave us the wrong key for an automatic safe. We had a manual safe. Had to walk all the way back to the front desk to get another key. Our deck did not lock in our room. Our toilet seat would try and shut while you were sitting on the toilet.

The bus ride to and from the resort was 3 hours long. Our room was very clean. There was air conditioning in our room but no temperature control for it.

The food was average. We went to the Steak, Catch of the Day, Sushi, Italian and the Seafood a la carte. The Italian was the best a la carte we went to. Very delicious. Don't waste your time at the Catch of the Day a la carte. It was awful. Fish sticks, boiled fish that did not look appetizing at all and rice. We left there and went to a buffet.

Jorge, the bartender in the lobby 2 bar was amazing! He was wonderful! So friendly!

Overall this resort was ok. We would not come back to this resort. We definitely would come back to Panama.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank cf_travellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

The resort is large and beautifully landscaped. Yes, there is a lot of walking and climbing of stairs, but I saw this as a plus. It gave me a chance to see the plants, trees, flowers, peacocks, iguanas and birds. We stayed in an ocean front room, block 30. Our room was large and clean, but not new. The furnishings were a bit dated, but the room had a colorful tropical feel. The air conditioning worked fine, and the cleaning staff always made the bed, mopped the floor, left clean towels and lots of bottled water. I did not find any insects or any other wildlife in my room. The birds are amazingly noisy just before sunrise and sunset, if you are a light sleeper the loud whistles and calls might wake you up, but if they do, take the opportunity to walk on the beach and enjoy the beautiful sunrise.
The buffet food was fine, I wasn't expecting 5 star cuisine. There was always plenty of choices, unless you are really picky the food is perfectly acceptable. The dress code in the buffets is pretty relaxed, so as long as you are not wearing a wet swimsuit it's OK.
The ocean was a pleasant temperature, and the surf is great fun. There are tons of pretty shells on the beach, and it was only on our last day there were some jellyfish in the water. This is the Pacific Ocean, so the waves are strong and the water is murky with sand. Don't bother bringing snorkel gear, you won't use it. The beach was clean and raked each night. There are tons of chairs, but the sunshades fill up quickly, so be prepared to get up early if you want some shade. If you don't like saltwater and sand, there are lots of pools scattered all over the resort.
Yes, the staff speaks Spanish! Shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. At the front desks they speak enough English that you can communicate. I found everyone to be friendly, and helpful. No problems at all. The evening shows are also primarily in Spanish, but they try to make it fun for everyone.
There are a couple of annoyances. The wifi costs $16 per 24 hours for one device, and that's not 24 hours of use. A key for your room safe is $3 per day. The safe cost should really just be added onto the rooms instead of making people feel that they are being nickeled and dimed. It is also extra if you feel you need a fridge in your room. I didn't bother.
Overall, I had a great vacation. I loved the relaxed atmosphere at the resort, but if you are after some hard partying, or have mobility issues, this might not be the best choice for you.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank LMP2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2013

We stayed at the resort for a family wedding. We cannot say a positive thing about this resort. The filth, in our very sad room to the buffets and poolside amenities was sickening. Our room had ONE lamp! We moved it around the room where needed and refused to turn it off since turning it on was a comedy routine. Bathroom had 1 bulb, and shower had a mind of its own, since it was hanging out of the shower wall. The food was inedible. Drinks watered down with below grade alcohol . The wedding was lovely on the shores of the Pacific. Food ok. Sadly, the service was the usual chaotic, very very slow. No dessert because wedding service too slow. The staff was rude...only English spoken was....NO! The group we traveled with had the same thoughts. We did the jungle adventure and were thoroughly surprised and pleased with the cleanliness and kindness of the people up the mountain. The food was yummy. In conclusion, if you live in a cabin, hunt and skin caribou all year, the Decameron is for you.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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4  Thank Liberty1953
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2013

People!
When you travel, you have no idea who might be in the room next to you.

To the two "ladies" ( and I use the term very loosely) from Vancouver upstairs in the villa, you are in a foreign country, please do not act like 12 year olds let loose for the first time in your lives. (Maybe that is an insult to most 12 year olds, they would act better than you two). Running around in your undies at four oclock in the morning and yelling at the top of your lungs on the balcony for four days in a row is not really very grown up. Vancouver is NOT the hub of the universe, but you never know who you meet on vacation, it just might be your next potential employer, You left a lasting impression of how NOT to behave on vacation with staff and guests alike.

We have been going to Panama for the last seven years and the hotel is very clean, safe and the staff are lovely. They speak spanish in Panama, so make the effort to communicate and they will equally make the effort. Every morning I got smiles and "holas1" from the grounds workers, restaurant staff and golf course staff. They all made us feel very welcome indeed.

The golf course is a good layout, but suffers from a lack of fairway because people will insist on driving all over the place with their carts. Stay on the paths and we will all benefit.

The a la carte restaurants are good and the food in the buffets is fine. If you want 5 star fancy meals, then go to a more expensive place and pay the price.

Room Tip: We heard compalints about the villas being far away, but if you pay attention to the description of...
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank sylviaR25
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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