Royal Decameron Playa Blanca | Debbie's Caribbean Resort Reviews Forums

Just got back from a week at the Decameron. Awesome time at a great resort. Will be posting my review later in the week.

I too am looking forward to your review. I am very seriously thinking about going there for two weeks in late November.

We are planing to go there in March 2010 for 2 weeks. Very anxious to learn as much as I can before next March and see as much pictures as possible. Any tips where best room best restauraunt…best excusrion. We plan on doing 2 hotels in 1 trip. Royal Decamoron and 1 in Panama City.

Hey everyoneThe reviews posted…but it looks like I forgot to mention a few things.Woodys Canadia Beach Bar:This place was amazing…a quick walk down the beach from the Decameron. Forget the steak house at the resort and head there instead for a great fillet and lobster…very inexpensive and woody is a great host. We strolled down a few times while we were on vacation and had a great time with the staff.Febe:Rooms choices are a matter of preference. We were in building 23..right across from the Sushi samba pool. I though it was a great location. It was on top of the hill, but very central in the resort. Keep in mind that 95% of the pools and restaurants are on the lower level (beach front), but we didn’t mind the walking. Our favorite restaurant was the Kontiki…really nice pad thai. Med was good too.Take a thermal mug as well, drinks are served in small plastic cups and melt extremely fast.Ask away if you have anymore questions.

Again, this place was amazing, and wouldn’t hesitate to go back.

Any fishing charters available leaving from the Royal Decameron? What airline did you fly with? We are travelling ( 4 men) from Toronto, Canada. Wishing to travel to Panama for the first time, early June or Mid July? Suggestions, tips please.
What airline did you fly with? We are travelling ( 4 men) from Toronto, Canada. Wishing to travel to Panama for the first time, early June or Mid July? Suggestions, tips please.

Assuming you are traveling from Toronto you should check Nolitours as they have one week all-inclusive Decameron packages packages in June as low as $740/week including taxes. I believe they still use Air Transat as carrier. Great deal…

Hope you can help with my questions – I notice you just recently got back. We are going Nov. 30.The stairs might be a problem as 2 people are ages 74 & 73. From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like the best location might be the rooms closest to the beach. In add’n, as one of the people smokes and I understand that is only permitted either on the beach or at the rooms, it might be easier for her room to be closest to the beach. My question: do you have any idea how much more $ those rooms are if we ask for them when we arrive.

My next question – did you do the canal tour?

Hope you can help with my questions – I notice you just recently got back. We are going Nov. 30.The stairs might be a problem as 2 people are ages 74 & 73. From what I’ve been reading, it sounds like the best location might be the rooms closest to the beach. In add’n, as one of the people smokes and I understand that is only permitted either on the beach or at the rooms, it might be easier for her room to be closest to the beach. My question: do you have any idea how much more $ those rooms are if we ask for them when we arrive.

My next question – did you do the canal tour?

Beach rooms are the best as far as walking goes. When we were there they were charging $25/night to upgrade however we booked it with our travel agent before we went. Should you want to go to upper level and not climb 65 steps there is a van to take you up or down. It is often faster to phone front desk to get van to come and pick you up.My wife had no trouble smoking at the outside tables at the beach bars but restaurants did not allow smoking.Your bus from airport will cross over the canal giving a quick introductary look. There were 4 canal tours from the resort: 1) Canal & shopping $55.00 US$ 2) Canal & city tour $70.00 US$ 3) Partial Canal transat $110 US$. and 4) Panama express train $110 US$It is almost a 2 hour trip from resort to canal. We took partial canal tour which included bus from resort to canal; Boat ride with lunch; and passage through two of the three locks. There was a short stop at a duty free at the docks when you leave the canal but prices were much higher than at the airport..(cigarettes $30/carton vs $15/carton at airport duty free.) We enjoyed the trip which included very little walking. You will find pictures at the following link

www.worldisround.com/articles/351162/index.html

Hi, I’m traveling to Royal Decameron Nov 30th 2009…heard the lounge chairs have no cushions and may need an air mattress for comfort. Are air mattresses sold there & for how much? Should we bring them with us? Are they necessary or are they too much bother? Don’t other vacationers just leave them behind? We all plan to spend a lot of time at the beach & pool side so comfort may be important to us.

Hi, I’m traveling to Royal Decameron Nov 30th 2009…heard the lounge chairs have no cushions and may need an air mattress for comfort. Are air mattresses sold there & for how much? Should we bring them with us? Are they necessary or are they too much bother? Don’t other vacationers just leave them behind? We all plan to spend a lot of time at the beach & pool side so comfort may be important to us. Hi: That is true – the loungers have no cushions, hard plastic. An air mattress makes a world of difference. There are usually air mattresses available in the gift shops – not sure what the price is….maybe ten. It is well worth it. The third year we were there a couple who was leaving gave us their air mattresses. We left them behind in our room. The next year we brought our own down and left them in the room.
Just arrived home from the Royal Decameron Resort last night after spending two weeks there. Great resort. As soon as I get organized I will write a review. Keep one thing in mind if you are thinking about going there:[glow=red,2,300]VERY HOT & HUMID[/glow].
Date of trip: November 23 – December 7, 2009 Flew out of Pearson with Air Transat early in the morning. We had to go to Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport in Montreal to pick up more passengers which made the day even longer. Flew Club Class for the 1st time and I will attempt to do so from now on. They treat you like royalty in Club Class, priority check-in & boarding, more baggage allowance, great food, drinks and seats.Arrived in Panama after a great flight and overhead view of Cuba, going through customs was a breeze. The Nolitours reps meet you in the main terminal, you give them your bags and they put your luggage on the truck and you board an air conditioned bus after they give you a beer, water or soft drink. It is then about a two hour ride (with a 15 minute stop at a restaurant on the highway) to the resort. The tour operator on the bus tells you the history and interesting sights of the country as you travel.Check-in at the hotel was very organized as they had about three buses coming from the airport all around the same time. I would estimate that it took all of about 5 minutes. You are escorted to your room by a bellboy and your luggage arrives about a hour later at the bottom of the stairs of the building that you are staying in.The rooms are OK, functional, but very clean. I was in Building 30B, room 3039, Oceanfront, right next to the Atlantico buffet. Most of the buildings have three floors to them and I was on the 2nd floor. The maid did a great job for all 14 days that I was there. Shower (no bath) was large and I always had hot water no matter when I took a shower. The TV had about 25 Spanish channels and about 6 English channels. There are no fridges in the rooms but the maid will leave you with a 1.5 litre of water every day. A suggestion is to also rent a safe for $2/day. It takes a couple of tries to figure out the key for the safe. Rent the safe key as soon as you check-in before you are taken to your room.Attend the orientation meeting the 1st Tuesday morning that you are there, 9:30 AM in English or 11:00 AM in French.The resort has three buffets for breakfast & lunch, and two buffets, the Atlantico & Pacifico for dinner. There are about 8 a la cartes, 11 bars and 9 pools. In each of the three lobbies they post the dinner menus for the the two buffets. The lobbies are also where you can reserve your a la carte reservations. Reservations are made between 7AM – 12 Noon, and from 2 – 5PM. The sitting times for the a la cartes are 6:15, 8:00 and 9:30 PM. I would recommend that you get to the lobby early in the morning to book your a la carte for that night, or, you can book three ahead of time for the week. Lobby # 2 was where most of the Canadians, Francophone & Anglophone booked their dinners and tours.Food was always good in all of the restaurants, I tried everything and never had a problem.Between meals you could easily find a snack, hamburgers, french fries, fruit, salads, etc. These snacks could also be found from 11 PM to 2 AM for those late night munchies.The drink menus are posted in Englsh & Spanish at every bar, and I certainly tried many of them. Bring a Bubba Keg from home to keep your drinks cool and the bartenders have no problem filling them up.There were no mosquitos of any kind, never heard one and was never bitten by one.There are childrens shows every night around 8:15 PM, mainly movies. The adult shows start around 10:00 PM. The shows are %99 in Spanish and geared towards the tourists from Columbia which made up about %70 of the guests while I was there. They try hard but it is usually the same dancing and lip singing every night but wearing different costumes. The other guests, about %30 Canadian, would watch a bit of the shows and then drift off to the various bars.I did find that there was a slight communication problem. Many of the resort workers do not understand English very well. The front desk personal & bartenders were generally very good in English. Little story: For several breakfasts in a row I went to the Atlantico Buffet and had my omlettes made in front of me by the same cook. One morning though, I wanted two fried eggs over easy, but, there was no way that I could say that in Spanish and no way that the cook understood my order in English. I eventually got my order made known to her by many hand signals.Beach is very long and has white, brown and black sand mixed together. The sand can get very hot. Never had a problem finding shade. Be careful of the waves and undertow,these two things and the tide in the Pacific Ocean can make swimming a challenge some days. They have lifeguards throughout the beach and on wave runners out in the water. You can reserve pedal boats and kayaks at the nautical centre.If you walk down the beach about 5 minutes you will come to Woodys Bar & Grill which is operated by two Canadians. I went there once for supper during the Grey Cup and it was fine.Many pools throughout the resort but my favourite was the adults only one on top of the hill which featured a swim-up bar. The lifeguards at this pool strictly enforce the adults only rule. There are a variety of tours that you can take but beware that the resort is a long way away from many of these. I did two, the Panama Express Train and the Panama Canal Expedition. The Panama Express Train tour is 12 hours long. You are transported by bus over to Portobello on the Atlantic side of Panama where we toured the forts and town where infamous pirates like Henry Morgan and Sir Francis Drake attacked. We had a nice lunch in a restaurant right on the beach. We then went to Gatun Locks on the Canal, then took the Panama Express train from Colon and followed the canal all the way back to Panama City and then by bus back to the hotel. The Panama Canal expedition is basicaly a day out on the Panama Canal on a motor boat that holds about 20-24 people. Here we saw the big ships up close, monkess, crocodiles and many various other exotic animals, and had lunch picnic style on an island in the Panama Canal.There is a small casino accross the street from the hotel, with several 1, 5 or 25 cent slot machines.Horseback riding is free and you reserve your time the day before at the activity, towel exchange hut by the pool. The towel huts are also you can exchange your beach towel every day. On your last day, hand in your towel for your towel card which you must present at check-out.Internet is $10/hour. You buy your internet card in any of the shops in the lobbies.

Things to consider:

[glow=red,2,300]Bring plenty of sunscreen, and limit your exposure to the sun. I saw too many Canadians get badly burnt by the sun.[/glow][glow=red,2,300]Take it easy, the humidity level is VERY HIGH and takes some getting used to.Just walking around the large resort I frequently arrived back to my room drenched in sweat. [/glow][glow=red,2,300]Seriously consider upgrading to Ocean Front. There are many, many stairs and hills to climb getting from the beach level, where most of the restaurants, buffets and pools are located, up the hill to where the Ocean View and regular rooms and three lobbies are located.[/glow]

On your last day you must have your baggage outside bt 4:30 AM, check-out is at 6AM, followed by breakfast and then the busses leave the resort around 7:30 AM for the two hour drive back to the airport in Panama City.

Your review was great we are going Jan 25 for 2 weeks do you know if there are scooters to rent at the rd we rent alot in costa rica and cuba. Do you think it is safe to venture out with scooters and how are the roads thanks for any info

Mustangmom,
I did not see any scooters to rent around the RD. I did go on two tours and we witnessed several accidents (long after they happened). Your best & safest bet would to go on a tour and let the bus driver drive you around.

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