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Reviewed June 11, 2007

Just returned from Puerto Vallerta, stayed one night at the Royal Decameron All Inclusive because we did not like the room. We went and stayed at a 5 star down the street for about 100 bucks a night. The rooms were small, moist and had little black bugs, and the check in and out procedures (or lack there of) sucked. There was NO MEXICAN FOOD. The hotel is huge and the grounds are beautifully kept but the rooms are old and outdated. They were a lot of natives there and lots of small kids cluttering all three pools. The positives about this resort is the cheap internet cost, several pools, beach front, several restaurants. But if you are a picky eater do not stay here.

Stayed: May 2007
6  Thank fabdullah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2007

Our stay at the resort was a great experience. I've been to Mexico a lot and you have to know that no matter where you stay there will be something you don't like.

The resort and the grounds were beautiful and VERY clean. We saw staff cleaning or doing upkeep all day and even at night in the dark. The staff was really nice. We stayed in Block 6 which I really liked. I think it had the best pools and bartenders. It was a ways away from the beach but the walk was no big deal. The resort is so huge!

The rooms were spacious and adequate. We didn't spend much time in the room. There was a lot of activities for you to do on the beach. You could ride waverunners, parasail, ride horses (for additional costs) , boogie board and kayak (no charge.) I felt very safe at the resort as well.

The food was just ok. I've actually never been to an all-inclusive resort that had really good food anyways, so my expectations weren't that high to begin with.

A couple things to bring, an alarm clock or watch and a big cup for drinks. I could not find a clock anywhere there.

The ocean is nice but doesn't have the pretty blue water like on the Cancun/Cozumel side of Mexico. This side of Mexico wasn't as Americanized which I liked. I enjoy experiencing the culture and when I go to the other side of Mexico I see almost all Americans. The blue water in exchange for the culture was worth it.

We were there for 7 days and it wasn't long enough for me. I will go back for sure.

There is nothing bad I can say about the resort except for the food quality and the SOL beer. I've been on a lot of trips and have to say that I was most satisfied with Royal DeCameron.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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7  Thank MichelleMcClendon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2007

We made our reservation through Funjet, which included our transportation to and from the airport. We're a family of four, ranging in age from 18-52.

Be sure to check current flight rules. Just today (6/8/07), the government announced Americans no longer need passports to go to Canada or Mexico (NINE hours after we had to deal with customs! Grr). Also know the TSA rules regarding liquids.

Don't talk to anyone at the airport--they're likely time share reps. Just claim your bags and walk straight out to catch your bus/taxi.

We were in Block 5 at Decameron, and liked it because we were at the adult only pool--much quieter by day than the 4 or 5 kids' and activities pools. However, Block 5 was closest to the discoteca, which blasts music till 3 am. We found that by closing our windows we could fall asleep--thankfully!

Food was pretty good. Dinner buffets changed menu daily--Spanish, Latin American, American style food--always with a salad bar, some sort of "as you like it" (pasta, meat, sandwiches), and cereal if nothing sounded good. The sit down dinner restaurants were good. We liked the Italian, El Piccolo, the best. If you go there, order the shrimp risotto or lasagna. The service was by far the best there too. The Brazilian was fun--6 kinds of rotisseried meat--but a bit overwhelming and salty for my taste. The Mexican was good, but don't go there expecting TexMex or stereotypical Mexican food. I liked their mole sauce, and my parents liked their crab tacos.

Pay attention to when the restaurants close! They are very strict about this and begin taking food away at about five till close. They do come around and warn you though.

Bring floaties/rafts for the pool. They're $8 on the resort, though they do inflate them for you at the store.

The adult pool was kept pretty clean. No drinks allowed in the water--please follow that rule! It was irritating to watch drunk 40somethings spill drink after drink, thinking it was hilarious. The staff works hard to keep plant debris out, and a chemical solidifies the sunscreen ooze at night so it can also be removed (a good reason to follow the no swimming after 8 pm rule!).

Bring a thermal mug for the bar--otherwise you get drinks in 4 oz plastic cups. 1) These get warm, fast. 2) If you want more than 3 swallows, you have to order more than one drink at a time. 3) It's horrible for the environment to use a zillion little plastic cups when you could use one thermal mug and enjoy your drink more.

A/C works well. NO clocks anywhere on the resort--so be sure to bring watches and an alarm clock/cell phone with that feature. Very little dresser space, so plan accordingly by packing light or bringing a few hangers for the ample closet space. Rooms were poorly lit, unless it was daytime and you could just open the drapes.

Be sure to pack shower stuff. They include a small bar of soap, but that's it.

The beach was nice--not Caribbean blue water with white sand, but this is the Pacific side. You can rent boogie boards for one hour to play in the waves. Careful though--my brother and I got rashes from the friction after a hard hour's playtime. Wear a tshirt or a one piece bathing suit to avoid that. There are workers selling souvenirs, but they are very polite and don't bother you once you say "no thanks." Watch out for tiny blue jellyfish. My brother got stung and said it's the worst pain he's felt from a jellyfish sting. They range from the size of a pencil eraser to about a silver dollar in diameter, so are easy to miss. Pay attention to the warning flag.

Checking out was a fiasco! This is our only real complaint about Decameron. You have to turn in your keys, remote controls, towel cards (not towels!) and bracelets. The line is long (and we found that some Mexicans aren't at all interested in waiting in lines) and the resort does not tell you what you'll need until they kick you out of the line. We would have appreciated a checklist to remind us what they wanted, and a roped off line (like in American hotels) to control traffic and keep everyone in order.

Lastly--a little Spanish goes a long way. It's a great opportunity to practice if you're a beginning student or took classes years ago--people are very patient and complimentary. You should know how to say hello (hola), goodbye (adios/hasta luego), please (por favor) and thank you (gracias) at a minimum in any vacation in a country with a different language. The workers have made the effort to learn your language--you should at least greet and thank them in theirs.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled with family
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8  Thank no8dochica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 7, 2007

We stayed here from May 22nd - June 5th. This is a well spaced out hotel with plenty of pools and bars for everyone. We started off in block 4 which was clean with a pleasant view but ended up changing rooms because of a barking dog at the back of the building. The aircon was quite load too in this block. So we were moved to the newer block 6 which is alot nicer. The rooms are more modern, quiet aircon and a lovely view of the pool. The only downside was that it was the furthest block from the beach but this did not bother us as we don't mind walking. If you get a ground floow room I would suggest not leaving your hotel towels out to dry like we did as somebody came and took one of ours and if you lose your towel card you get charged £10. We managed to convine the reception that it had been taken and we had not lost it and so got a new towel card. All pools are nice, we liked the one at block 6 as it was quiet. The food in the buffet was ok, it could of done with abit more variety by the second week as they seem to do the same dishs but just in slightly different ways, e.g. beef in a different sauce every night. Also the food was quite salty. I would not say the food was bad, just not great. We tried 3 a la cartes. The Brazillian was quite good as long as you like lots of different meats, which we did so were happy. The Jap Jap was ok but they bring the food out staggered and so by the time they brought out the meat our rice was cold. The best was the Italian as it was aircon and the food was not staggered. You were also able to choose from a menu rather than have a set meal. Drinks were ok, but downside was drinking out of plastic cups, beer does not taste the same as having it in a glass, but maybe thats just picky? The beach is lovely and its a nice 15 min walk along the beach to Bucerious which is a nice Mexican village. We'd reccomend the Sierre Madre trip for meeting people, Canopy Adventure is great-lots of fun. Also we did a bungee near Mismaloya for £25! Bargain, its over a cliff and the ocean looking over a lovely deserted beach, def worth a look. First Choice were pretty good, lots of legroom, rep was helpful.

I would say that overall this hotel is value for money in a lovely location.

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank MandaH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2007

Hello - my husband and I visited the Royal Decameron May 24-29th. This is our first time out of the US and we had a great time!!! We want to revisit this resort yearly now and have some friends who are going to travel with us next year. I will give you an idea of how our stay was and try to touch on things I wondered before picking it.

Check In - was very easy and quick - we arrived, got our bracelets allowing us access to everything, our room keys (regular keys), remote for tv, and 2 towel cards. We went to the lobby by our room in block 4 to get our safe key (again a normal key for 2 US a day). We went to our room and took our stuff - the room was very basic and had a funny smell but it was fine since all you do is change and sleep there. The beds were just ok, but I sleep on a waterbed at home so I don't like regular beds. The air worked great and the cable had Spanish and English channels to watch. You need to bring your own shampoo and probably soap (the bars are small) - they have a hair dryer in the room and bucket to get ice at the bars. They also leave a very large bottle of water daily.

Resort grounds - this place is just gigantic and my husband and I felt we got our exercise just viewing the place daily. There are 3 buffets, I think 6 Ala Carte Restaurants and 2 snack bars - your map you get at check in gives the times for everything. There are 6 bars all located very close to a room or pool somewhere. There are 5 different pool - all but the adult pool have the shallow pools for kids to swim in. The pool in Block 6 is the best pool for children. The pools were kind of warm though, it wasn't refreshing if it was a warm day but they are all very pretty and very large. The flowers, trees and everything are all kept up very nice and being worked on or watered all day and evening long. I never seen anything out of place.

Bars/Drinks - They only have SOL beer as others have pointed out. I don't drink beer but my husband said it was great and he actually filled his insulated cup a couple of times with it. I drank, Funky Monkey's (banana flavor), Banana Mama's (coconut flavor) and then in the end found out about a drink called a (???? not positive on spelling or pronunciation) Di Panina. We were served one in the steak house on our last night there and the girl explained it as kind of like a margarita. Well, it was nothing like a margarita (I don't like them) - it was fantastic and I wanted more. I was told you only get one in the steak house and the bars didn't make them. Well, I went to the lobby bar and asked for one and they did make it and said it was Rum, Lime Juice, Sugar and something else - it's the BEST drink there by far! Try one and if you find out how to get something like that at home tell me. Oh, my husband said the margaritas were great as well! The drinks are of course endless and they are great about making as many, as strong as you want or filling your insulated cups. Our favorite bar was the beach bar in block 4, loved the guys running that place!

Food/Restaurants - Food was pretty good but different from home. I am so picky so I wouldn't try anything named funny. I gotta tell you, the breads and pastries they made though - man - to die for! I ate allot of that. The breakfast buffets were great with a fresh fruit and yogurt bar, fresh homemade omelet or eggs station, endless things to pick from on the buffet and so on. The Banana bread is a must and the oatmeal, oh man I have never had something so good! Also, the bacon is back on the omelet station and you have to ask for it - it's great!! The dinner buffets were different all the time and I always found something good on those. The Italian restaurant was just ok for me - I had pizza and my husband had Rissoto and we both liked what we had. The steakhouse was our favorite - there is no menu and it's just rounds of different meats brought out on huge skewers. The Wok was very good as well! We were only there 5 nights so it was buffet the other 2 nights instead of Ala Carte. I would have to say though, the meat on the buffets was very different and I didn't like allot of it.

Ocean/Beach - Great - fantastic and we swam there every single day, I didn't get to Kayak but I will next year! I could see dolphins jumping in the water every day as I ate breakfast or just hung out. There are so many chairs on the sand that you will never have trouble finding a place to sit. There is also a small flea market there that has nice stuff and you can get them down cheap! Oh, bring like SPF as high as you can go - I got so sunburned I just started crying on my last night and I was in the shade and lotioned up and still got fried.

Town - we walked into Bucerias by beach and that was fun and interesting - just be careful where you go and get them down - the prices are good.

Entertainment or anything else I forgot - since we went to just relax we didn't see a whole lot of their entertainment but we did watch this Jamaican band 2 nights and they were great! Also, the vendors that come there and walk the beach during the day are very nice and a simple no thank you is enough. They also allow 2 nights a week people to set up booths by the pools - they won't bother you and their stuff is nice.

I can't think of anything else and if you have any other questions write me - I loved this place as you can tell and can't wait to go again!

  • Stayed: May 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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8  Thank Royalherewecome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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