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“Its okay for a short stay.....”

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Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Reviewed October 29, 2013

The grounds are undoubtedly beautiful, food mediocre (cold, bland) in buffets. You must make dinner reservations for the restaurants and they GO FAST. Many locals at this resort and they sign up for dinner reservations even before they check in. By the time you do check in almost all the better restaurants are gone. If you are budget conscious there is a bus from the city (Allbrook), which costs $6.00 each way. It does get tight on the bus.....otherwise there is a Coach for around $24.00 each way as well (not sure where it leaves from).Nightly entertainment is 80% in Spanish; they do not cater for English speakers....Many of the staff in the restaurant too; speak only Spanish so that can be a bit challenging at times. Stayed in a Villa which was large, clean and comfortable. One has to take a shuttle to get to the main resort from the area with the Villas. Shuttles are pretty efficient and came whenever we called. Both checking in and checking out was somewhat chaotic. You are called to check in based on your room number and you have to listen closely (in a noisy lobby) since the man calling the numbers sounds almost unintelligible at times. Drinks are just okay too. Pool areas are large with many chairs available. It was just okay; and I would not readily return to this resort. As my 13 year old sums it up "BAD FOOD, GREAT SCENERY, NOT MUCH TO DO". Have heard "good" things about Bijao which I may try next time in Panama.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank ccm1319
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 19, 2013

I was looking to go somewhere different on vacation after being to the usual suspects (DR, and Cuba); the bang for your buck, and location lead me to Panama.

The trip from the airport to the resort takes about 2 hours (if you encounter downtown traffic like we did). I honestly didn't mind the drive on the way there, as you get to see downtown Panama, the canal, and the country side on your way to the resort. Tip: wear shorts or a dress- or have a change of clothes in your carry on. When you arrive at the resort there is a big welcoming from the staff, and they give you a festive beverage. You can then go off and get a bite to eat while they bring your luggage to your room. It is really hot, and if you are in jeans you will be sweating and uncomfortable at the start of your vacation. Some people had to wait a few hours to get their luggage - and they were not dressed for the hot weather.

The resort is HUGE and very modern- there are 3 main lobbies. It is on a hillside, and our room was on the 3rd floor (top) of one of the buildings. There are no elevators. You will definately get your exercise walking around and using the stairs in this resort! If you have limited mobility, you should request a ground floor room. If you are on the ground level look out for the peacocks that may be on your balcony on the morning! The rooms themselves are very clean, and very modern. The TV in our room was a flat screen model, and it had a USB insert that we could play some movies we brought when we had enough of the entertainment in the evenings. Our room was the "garden view" room, and was the cheapest package available. We had a very private balcony that overlooked the ocean, and trees with lots of iguanas. I was actually suprised at how nice it was. Outside of our room were mango and banana trees!

There is a lot of security at this resort. It was comforting to see security guards outside each building and doing the rounds throughout the night walking around.

There are many different restaurants (about 10) that you need to book in advance. They are quite organized with this, and you don't have to get up early to get a spot. They give you a little electronic receipt with your time and day when you make your booking. On our last night we ate at one of the restaurants on the beach, and we had the best salmon and chicken of the trip. Too bad we waited until the last night to try that place out. They do eat quite late (up to a 10pm start) in this part of the world, so I opted for the earliest time slot.

There is more than one buffet to chose from and they have different themes each night, so you can decide which one you want to eat at. The food is fresh and there is a lot to chose from. The many bars are very well stocked, and you can get pretty much anything you want. I liked to get a Spanish coffee after dinner.

The resort can get quite crowded in ALL of the many pools on the weekends. There are a lot of locals that stay at the resorts over the weekends. I prefer the beach, so I never found that to be a problem, but I wanted to point this out. The beach front is huge. Sometimes it was difficult to find a chair after lunch time- but we eventually found one even it we had to walk a bit further down the beach, or spend the afternoon at the infinity pool by our room.

WIFI tip- if you walk down the beach about 5 minutes you can pick up a few free signals. The walk down the beach is really nice as well. Not sure why more people don't do it.
The night shows are catered to the local Spanish crowd. If you don't speak Spanish, you won't get a lot out of them.

Construction is underway to build an airport in Farallon. When completed it wil be a 10 minutes drive to the resort. I plan to return to this resort again- it was a very good all inclusive resort!

Room Tip: We stayed in room 1810. Great view- right in the middle of the resort. Very clean and modern room...
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank Travels_by_Day_1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 9, 2013

This was my first experience of an all-inclusive of this scale. I was resistant to the 'all inclusive'.... But needed a week to chill. This was excellent for just that. Headed to beach most days, preferred the 'far end' of the resort, where we were. Less kids and easy access to very cool infinity pool and swim up bar. Also easy access to the beachwalk that takes you to a local bar owned by east coast Canadians 'Woody's Beach Bar and Grill' right on the beach. Note - best to get there from the beach. Don't try the local road outside resort. Easy to get lost. So just walk past the resort's boundary fence and you'll come to Woody's in about 10 minutes. Many locals on the beach outside the resort, enjoying beach, selling crafts. We liked it a lot. We were 'warned' not to walk much further that the condos beside Woody's. Some sketchy activities about a 1km down the beach that you don't want to know about. Apparently government working to try and clean it up.
There is an airport being built close the resort - due for 2014 opening. Could be noisy. You might find it's location appealing though. Right now the bus ride from Panama City to the resort is a couple of hours. Hold your breath on some of the winding roads. But its beautiful.
Tip for when you arrive - stay with luggage. Don't let it out of your sight. When you are met by the coach/bus representatives at the airport, keep luggage with you until you are actually getting on the bus, and make sure you and your luggage get on same bus.
Also, at the resort, they will offer to take your luggage to your room. We were told the restaurants were closing, and if we wanted to eat we should go right then, and our bags would be taken to our room. It was new years eve (!) around 10pm and we were hungry and ready for our celebratory toast, so we thought we'd take up the offer. The walk to your room can be 20 mins or so, and its fabulously hot, so it seemed like a good idea. However our luggage didn't arrive at our room for nearly 3 hours. I was still in Canadian clothes. Not good. Again, keep luggage with you. You can find rides to your room, or walk.
Very few people speak English, so any Spanish is a bonus.
The room is basic, very clean, fresh, and no problems at all. Would choose different room next time. See room tip. Our cleaning lady was a delight.We felt security was good. We were on the ground floor and a security guard was often checking to make sure our patio doors were locked. (!)
The food was ok. Better than I expected. Snacks are available all day. Book 'restaurant' meals in specific 'theme' based venues in the resort when you arrive. We didn't understand this. But there are quite a few different restaurants that become 'specialty' restaurants at night - you need to book a table. Find out which ones you like, and book early. My advice is to book at least one as soon as you arrive. They fill up. You can book a couple of days in advance and always cancel if you choose not to go. We also missed our reservation times more than once and they always took care of us. If you don't eat in one of those places, there are the regular eating places, but for evening meals they aren't as exciting.
Would have liked more local music - missed that.
Found the entertainment to be over the top, but families loved it.
.. we watched it twice. That was enough.
Take advantage of the 'day trip orientation' to find out more about the day trips.
Panama Canal trip was excellent - highly recommended. And we also got to see some of Panama City with that tour.
We also took a local bus to local nearby town, Penonome. About 45 mins from resort. Wonderful town, shopping, colour, character. Was told to make sure we were back before dark...Pick up local taxi outside the resort. Riding in that van was one of the highlights of the week.
I travelled with my student son - he teamed up with other Canadians and spent most nights at the disco/bar and days on the beach... jet skiing... sailing...
I found one beach side bar/restaurant that I could get a fabulous cappuccino as well as great drinks. The barman was adorable.
So for a place to chill and unwind, this all inclusive was pretty perfect.

Room Tip: Determine if you want to be close to beach, golf, or pools. We stayed in 4601. Ground floor. Not muc...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank barbara w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2013

First of all I would like to thank everybody who wrote on this board and help me set up my vacations. I wish I listen to you more.

Now about resort.

Grounds: I would give 4,5 stars just because there always something better. You can even meet peacock in some place as I did.

Rooms: Also no complains here, everything was all right except there is no iron, but in many countries it is usual.

Buffets: I would not call food there bad it is just okay and I think for several days sufficient choice. A lot of people complained about staff there but I would like to jump in this particular case to their defense. In another post I compare Decameron to big buffet with small prices and the same guests. There is a lot of people in those buffets. I did not see this in couple of resorts in Mexico where I was before. All those people, mostly local grab as much food as they can and often did not finish plate go and grab another one so the staff there just too busy with cleaning to provide any service and keep carry all those plates. On several occasions we observed as people were filling their bags with food. As soon as you smile to staff and they have a minute they poured our glasses with requested wine which was okay. So I have no problem with the staff in buffet but just want to warn you. Do not expect them or anybody else who work in this hotel to speak English so if they do it would be great surprise for you))

Specialty restaurants: We visited three of them and they required reservations which you can do in a lobby bar or by calling number you can get from front desk. It was okay nothing really special but at least it provided some intimacy in place swarm with people trying to grab as much food as they can.)) Food almost the same as in buffets and it can be hot because most of the restaurants in open huts.

Walking: A lot of people complained about it. We got lucky because our room was in one of front buildings but we did walk from dance place on far side of hotel(actually outside of hotel wall)
to another side where front desk numerous times. Also we went around resort uphill and looked around all resort. If you do not have physical disabilities, too lazy or have other limitations stairs or little walks should not stop you to enjoy your vacations.

Beach: It is Okay and when was there barely used by mostly local crowd who spent most of time near pool. May be because it is hard even walk to ocean because water just pulling you back away from shore, so be very careful.

Pool: Pretty and have a lot of kids running around. I need to say that if I can recommend this resort to some one it would be mothers with bunch of kids because they may be able to sit near this pool and relax a little bit for the rest of people may be need look elsewhere.

Front desk: When we arrived provided us with keys to our room 1224 took money from us so make sure we return all keys back and when bellboy pull us to building 14 I thought that he made mistake but as it turns one of keys given to me was from room 1424 and another one to 1224.
I let bellboy know about it so he run to room 1424 and checked and it was available. So we went there. he left us with other keys to wander what would happen if somebody else have another keys from our room so we went all the way back and exchanged our keys.

Discotheque: Was outside of resort and security pat me down and we spent there may be 20 minutes. Only local music and 99% people seems like local, many most likely from outside of resort not our idea of fun because everybody keep looking at us like what they forget here.

Show: Attempted couple of times to check it but first time it was show for little kids and second time also some amateur show where pretty much people suppose to entertain themselves. Most of the time it is in Spanish so If you guest who do not speak Spanish you mostly out of luck.

I do not think I forget anything else. So I think this is great resort from working class Panamanian citizens. If you from USA or Canada you can have a good time but I think you can see much more in Panama if you skip this resort it is what I will do if I return to Panama.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank kaluga67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2013

DeCameron was a family trip. The kids had a great time. There was entertainment at nighttime and poolside during the day. Food was ok. There were a lot of choices but it was hard to get in where you want if you do t go very early. There was a lot of walking but we didn't mind. We would probably go again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Dani D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 14, 2013

This was a family trip, and we really couldn't ask for a better stay.
Upon arrival, check-in was very quick and we were immediately given our room keys. There is an open vehicle service that drives you to and from your room, as it is a little bit of a walk, and that was a very helpful service. Any time you need to be driven to a location within the hotel, you either stand outside and look out for the car, or make a call, order a pick up, and they are there within minutes.
Our room was the first floor of one of their "villas" and it was HUGE. It was like a one-bedroom apartment. There was a kitchen, dining space, a huge living room, two bathrooms, and a very big, separate bedroom. I believe there were even washing/drying machines, but we didn't use those. And the best part was the access to what seemed like our own backyard. Right from our room, through the sliding glass doors, we had access to a large "deck" area which connected to the golf course, and it was a beautiful view to wake up. Couldn't have asked for a better room.
The staff at this hotel seemed very friendly, especially those that transported the guests to and from their rooms.
The food was fine, with a lot of variety for any one's taste.
The pool area was large and we were always able to get lounge chairs there, as well as on the beach, but we'd also go early in the morning, at around 7am, so you may have a different experience depending on when you go.
One thing to keep in mind is there is a very, very long stair way down from the lobby to the pool are, just something to keep note of. There may be a way around this, but we didn't really look for one, so I am not sure.
Entertainment at night was decent, but didn't go on for too long so you have to find other ways to stay occupied on your own. The casino is definitely an option. Though it's not the best. Very small.
Definitely a good idea to make a trip out to the Panama Canal at some point during your stay. It was a nice thing to get to see.
And keep in mind, because this hotel is on the beach, be prepared for a long ride to and from the airport. I'd say approximately 2 hours.
Great hotel overall!

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank Ilana D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

This all-inclusive resort was not my cup of tea. However, everyone travels differently. What I can tell you is this:

1. The staff was very nice.
2. My room was very spacious and clean with a balcony. However, the walls are paper thin and all night we could hear the family next door as well as hallway noise.
3. The resort is huge and appears to have many activities, nightly entertainment, a fitness center, etc.
4. There are several pools - however, they are very crowded and noisy most of the time.
5. Eating in the buffet restaurants is like a feeding frenzy. Guests piling food sky high on their plates - some eating it - some wasting it. Watch out for little kids sticking their hands in the buffet food!
6. The grounds are nice. The beach was enjoyable.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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12  Thank Suzyd1964
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: $171 - $438 (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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