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Reviewed January 16, 2008

First off the grounds of this resort were beautiful! The wildlife was amazing! We were surrounded by beautiful birds and saw Iguanas daily at any given time. Very tropical and at night very beautiful!

This resort was not what we expected but I will share how it changed our trip and we feel that it became one of our favorites.

We went expecting to have a relaxing adult time, and this place was loaded with families and children. Not at all a bad thing unless you were wanting a romantic quiet get away. There are pools to do that, a few, but they were on the back side of the hotel and not near the activities or beach.

The resort was not as close to town as we expected.
The sand on the beach was literally unbearable to walk on...seriously by mid morning it wasn't even worth it to attempt to play beach volleyball. All of the activities were mainly being swarmed with kids, teenagers, and not what we expected. These negatives were just based on our preference, not what we expected, so we changed our trip.

The first day we began to take stock and revamp our vacation and make excursions out of the resort and what a lovely surprise for us!!!

Wake up one morning very early and be the first to rent for free the kayaks at the resort. We LOVED this and the wildlife in the water was amazing and beautiful!

Next rent for free bikes or walk down the street from the resort to a little town called Bucerias. Lovely village with some great buys on silver if you aren't afraid to barter or say DaNada...no thanks! Friendly folks, cool authentic culture, local food is being cooked on the corners and loads of cheap keepsakes to take home that will be the best deals you will find.

At night you MUST try the Brazilian restaurant at the resort, overall the best dining atmosphere of all of them and although I'm not much of a meat eater, it was great for all inclusive meals.

Next day take a bus trip or taxi ride into town and go tour the strip and all of the stores. Don't miss the Cathedrals downtown!!!
Also at the end of the walkway there is a flea market under the bridge. Super cool area, lots of great cigars....which...P.S...I will tell you fresh hand rolled Mexican cigars are cheap and great and in our experience were better than most Cubans we tried. Barter and get a good price it's great fun!

I'll post another blog about the other towns that we visted because each deserves it's own little write up, but for us....leaving the resort and taking a bus around to all of the other little towns was SUPER cheap if you brave the buses and they are easy to navigate. Even with a taxi it's worth it!

Get out and explore it is such a beautiful town if you get off the beaten path and see authentic Mexico! For us we are so thankful we got out and met so many wonderful people and walked around and saw other villages. I feel like we had a new adventure every day and every town had it's own feel to it!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled as a couple
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20  Thank Shellina1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2008

I read many reviews prior to the trip. I am a pretty fussy guy and not especially easy to please. I found the Royal Decameron a terrific experience. The staff was just outstanding -- friendly from beginning to end. My room was on fourth floor (in adult building 5) and I had a great view of the pool. My room was very clean and nice -- liked getting CNN and so-called American Network on TV late at night or in early morning. Food was good --not great --but good. Italian Restaurant is over-rated, however. There is Internet available, but kiosks are few -- save some money and the wait by walking only 5 minutes to Internet Cafe --a real bargain. The town of Bucerias is nearby and has some great restaurants and wonderful local color. Clientele at hotel was about 55% Canadien, 40% American, and the remaining a mixture. This resort is very family friendly -- 6 buildings --closest ones to ocean all cater to kids. Escape by getting into buildings 5 or 6. By the way, ny building had no elevator --I climbed four floors every day!! Also, peso/dollar exchange rate is not so good there. Better rates just off the property a half block towards the highway and in Puerto Vallarta. Oh, taxis from hotel -- $15 for up to four people to airport. $20 to get to center of Puerto Vallarta (tell them you want to go to the Malecon where the big church is or where the statue of two dolphins is--lighthouse is nearby. If they don't understand --tell them to take you to No Name Bar. It is right across from dolphins. Otherwise, they'll drop you off at north end --not good!!
I LOVED Puerto Vallarta, but you need to explore just south of the Malecon --where the river comes in --and, cross the bridge --much nicer shops and restaurants --less touristy. Overall, my experience at the Royal Decameron was a very good one. Be careful of many of these negative comments. It's a great escape.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank RogerCG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2008

We stayed at the Royal Decameron for 2 weeks. My husband and 2 sons aged 15, 10. We were greeted at the airport by our Noiltours rep. We rode in comfort to the resort and once at the resort we were greated with a ice cold drink. Check in was a breeze. We got the room we requested on Block 6. Close to the kids pool. It was the newer area and it was nice.

Rooms: Our room had a new air conditioner with a remote. 2 double beds, room safe, tv,clock radio, plenty of storage. The bathroom had a shower... you really could fit the whole family in it. no place for the shampoo but who cares.. You not there to spend you life time in the shower. there was tons of counter space in the batthroom with its own hair dryer.

Food: There were 2 buffet s that served wonderful meals.. I loved that I haved a 2 week break from cooking! The Snack bars were yummy. My son who is a picky eater lived at the snack bar. The Italian resturant was by far the BEST! It was our 15 year anniverssary and they went out of are way to please us. We had a special dinner just the 2 of us. Dessert was to die for. They really spoiled us. Dont forget to tip... It gets you almost the anything. We booked the next 4 nights at this resturant. The kids loved the pizza. The steak house was excellent. The Asian we really didnt care for.. Mostly because our son didnt like different food.. We sent him to the buffet...

The bars were fun We loved our bartender. We brought tons of Canadian trinkets. We made sure to wear Canadian buttons... . The Bartender wore his Canadian Hat with so much pride. We gave him a tee-shirt and playing cards key chains. This goes a long way/ Our drinks were perfect.

The Beach; The beach was groomed and looked after. One night a turtle came up from the water and layed eggs. Now thats a great sight to see. Once she was done and returned to the water the wild life operations came and took the eggs too keep them from being spoiled.
There are tons of huts and chairs to sit under to take a break from the sun. Your not served drinks on the beach.. But take along your own mug and get the bartender to fill it up. less travel time to the bar. But
The water was so warm it was like bath water... It was wonderful.

Day Trips- there are so many things to do. ATVing was great. We walked up from the resort and to the left is a ATV place. Owned by ALex hes a fantastic tour guide. Our trips were 5 hours long. We went through the jungle and up to a village called Yella. That was fun visited the little town and toured the church. Then went to the top of the mountain and has lunch. The views are very nice. It was cheap to eat and drink there. 50 cents for a corona..
Horseback riding, boat tours and snorkeling, we even went scub diving... Theres a little town to walk to and the shopping is great.. better prices than downtown PVR. There is a excellent Spa outside of the resort. There is one there too. we visited both but the one on the road to the resort is so cheap and relaxing they really know what they are doing. I dragged my husband along with me... He got hooked. I have never had a massage like that. Totaly excellent.
There are so many things to see and do in PVR... Dont let the ROYAL DECAMERON pass you by. Its well worth it.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with family
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23  Thank SunandSandLovers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 4, 2008

The royal Decameron is a wonderful resort for a fair price!!
My 16 yr Daughter and I stayed the week of 12/15, we only took a day to get the feel for the property, it is big enough to give you variety but not so big that you'd get lost. I loved the option of being in a busy pool with activities or resting in pool 5 or 6 for peace and quiet. And it is so very pretty, I was impressed with the property and tried to soak in as much beauty as I could! The buildings are painted very colorful and added a festive atmosphere without being gaudy, My daughter said it looks like a giant Taco Bell, which we really liked!!
We were in block 3 and also block 6. I loved 6!! Bed was very comfortable and it was nice and quiet at night, 3 is noisy, too close to the disco and show, so if you go to bed early and are a light sleeper ask for 5 or 6! Neither room smelled and I never saw a bug.
After reading a few reviews about theft problems I had an idea to booby trap the closet doors to see if the housekeeper would open them (the safe was inside) I put a hair on the doorknobs, and I am happy to say the hair was never moved! So I had that peace of mind that no one was snooping through our stuff. I had to know that I wasn't tipping a thief!
We did have to pick and choose alot at the buffets, mainly because we are fussy eaters, but we ate just fine and if all else failed we thought the french fries at the snack bar were awesome!
I brought my own cup and straws, good to have!
The bees are bad so bring a cup with a lid!
I didn't use any bug spray, never saw any bugs, even at night!
They did supply soap in bathrooms but bring your own shampoo and kleenex, no big deal. And the clock, it's true too!
I didn't think the lounge chairs were so rock hard like soooo many people said, I thought they were like any other I've ever seen. I wouldn't bother with a floatee, it wasn't an issue. There is alot of room to sit and it wasn't necessary to hoard space with a towel. I think that's just rude.
My daughter had a blast with the kids she met and was happy the internet wasn't too expensive . We both made some new friends and really enjoyed the shows and employees that made you feel so welcome.
We did walk to the flea market along the beach, I don't know that I would do that a 2nd time, there were alot of cat calls from various construction sights, and just about every man would ask my Daughter " How about it, you need a Mexican boyfriend? "
It got annoying and I wished I had a big bat to whack them one if they got too close. We looked around abit and wished we hadn't left the resort. I was happy to get back, maybe I would've felt differently if there was a man with us, but there wasn't, so I'm just saying how we felt. Not real safe.
All in all, it was one of our best vacations to Mexico, we really liked the Decameron!! It was a great deal and only 25 min from the airport!
The weather was perfect and we didn't get sick at all! The grounds are beautiful and the bartenders were friendly. The rooms in block 6 were very nice and big and the beds in 3 were great too, just the room was older and abit duller. It depends on your preferences. Have a Great Time! We sure did!

Stayed: December 2007
27  Thank pastachiomustachio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2008

We went to the RDC Dec 15 to 22 as a group of 7. Overall our vacation was good - mostly due to the great weather and the beach. The resort is fine - it just depends on what you are expecting. I knew that for the price we paid and from the information people posted we shouldn't expect a lot - and that is pretty much what was delivered. We had booked 3 rooms and when we checked in they had 2 rooms for us in Block 4 and 1 in Block 6. We asked if we could get closer so they gave us a room in Block 3. When my husband and I arrived at the room there was someone else's bags in the room. So back to the lobby to get a different room - which ended being on the top floor of buidling 5 with a 2 foot balcony!! Was I ever sorry I didn't take the first room in Block 6.
The room had a bed, nothing to write home about, but the cleaning people did an awesome job keeping it clean. We never had to turn on the cold water, but the hot water seemed to be an adequate temperature (not sure if we just choose the right time of morning to shower). Block 5 is in dire need of a renovation - we were given a hospitality suite at check out in Block 2 - it was way nicer than any of the rooms we had in Block 4 and 5.
As another reviewer wrote, I came down with some kind of stomach problem Sunday night which lasted well after we got home. As a result I can't comment too much on the food - I really didn't eat much. When I did I stuck wtih the freshly prepared stuff, my stomach just couldn't take all the sauced dishes on the buffet. I have been to Mexico on 4 other occasions and never had any problems with the food or water so I really am not sure what happened.
The best part of our vacation was the fishing and snorkeling trips that we organized through Scott's Travel in Bucerias. We had to wander around Bucerias a bit to find his office but eventually we stumbled on it. Five people from our group rented a panga through Scott and Captain Patches took them out to some spots where they caught so many fish - Makeral and Tuna - they were a pretty tired bunch when they got back. The snorkel trip was pretty much the same as it was when we were there 5 years ago, with the addition of some pretty amazing dolphins that decided to join us for the trip back, swimming alongside and underneath the boat, jumping out of the water - just way too cool. We also saw quite a few whales, which are pretty amazing as well.
Some of the tips that I found useful were
- take an insulated mug for your drinks. There is no chair side service, so your drinks will last longer.
- there are lots of chairs, don't worry about reserving a bunch, there is always shade available for those that want it and lots of sun for those that don't
- go to the Mexican Fiesta night, there is lots going on
- the young adults in our group seemed to enjoy themselves the most, they enjoyed the Sports Bar and the Disco pretty much every night
- if you are arriving late, you need to either eat in town or get down to the buffet, they really do close at 9:30
- the tequila is wretched, it is best to let the bartenders poor weak drinks as the tequila can actually ruin the taste.
- if you plan on laying around on the chairs on the beach or by the pool invest the $8 in an inflatable mattress, makes the hard chairs much more bearable and are nice if you want to cool off in the pool.
Most of the staff are very nice, as in all places there are a few that really would rather be somewhere else.
This is a good place to go if you want a very reasonably priced vacation. I however, will not be going back to the Royal Decameron. After this trip I know that I do like the extras that come along with 5 stars resorts.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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15  Thank Free_Skier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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