Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Reviews

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Royal Decameron Costa Blanca  

Avenida Principal, Playa Blanca, Panama

"Definitely not a 4 star."
Posted by: Darlene on Apr 4, 2012
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Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Reviews
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of 9 Hotels in Panama

User rating 3.8

Based on 37 reviews

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Information


Royal Decameron Golf Beach Resort & Villas Panama offers a traditional All Inclusive experience and more.

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Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Reviews

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 3.8 of 5 37 reviews
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"A first nice trip to Panama"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Robert  on Jan 25, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
204 people found this review helpful

We go down south every winter and in the last 2 years, we were bad lucky with the weather in Cuba and Riviera Maya in January and February. So this year, we decided to go way south to Panama and we chose the Royal Decameron for a 1 week stay. We were not disappointed by the weather we had a 32-33C every day, 22C during the evenings and no rain.Between January and April, you are sure to get good weather in Panama.I read many reviews before going to the Decameron so I was aware of what was to come.

Room Block:
21

Arrival:
Arrivals and departures are very well organized at this hotel. They are used to get many travelers and it shows.

Rooms:
Our room was in the garden section up the hill. Air conditioning worked well. No little fridge in the rooms (you have to pay to get one) which I think is a little cheap for the price we pay.One bottle of water (1L) at room temperature is all you get everyday. You also have to pay $3/day to use the safe in the room which again should be included in the price we pay. The room was very clean, the king bed was comfortable and it was quiet in our block (21).

Restaurants and Bars:
Food is good specialy in the many "a la carte" restaurants. Not bad in the buffet but it is hard to get hot food from the trays, it is always tepid or cold unless you wait till a server puts new food in the trays. Drinks are not too bad but instead of using reusable hard plastic glasses, they use soft plastic glasses that you often find lying in the sand at the beach. I cannot understand that people leave those glasses (and straws) on the sand when there are trash cans everywhere.Barmen, servers and maids dont smile very much but I think it's because they are shy and they dont speak english. I tried a little spanish and they were more smiling at me.



Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Beautiful gardens very well maintained. There are many beautifull pools and they are very clean but not many places to hide from the sun around them. The beach is nice but the sea is a little rough even when it is not windy, nothing like the caribbean. Lots of chairs on the beach and around the pools, it's not a problem to get some of them anytime during the day.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Entertainment is good but the theater is not so great; no roof, no tables, it looks like an arena, you sit on concrete during all the show. It really has to be re-designed or at least they should lend some cushions. There is a lack of local musicians on the site. There is a show every evening but it is a little too late (21H45), no live bands, music is always provided by a disk-jockey. There are many nautical activities, we would have liked to do some kayaking but we saw too many people having a hard time to come back to shore because of the current.
There are a couple of excursions available but most of them are around Panama City and the canal which means a 2 hours bus ride to get there and another 2 hours bus ride to come back. We did the cruise on the canal and liked it very much, we had a very friendly and good guide (Wesley)who gave us lots of informations on the canal, the city and the people of Panama.

Other Comments:
Overall, I would say that Panama is a nice place to go specialy for the weather; you are sure that it is going to be hot in January end February which is not always the case for Cuba, the Domican Republic and Riviera Maya. For me the decameron is a good 4 *. We heard from many visitors that go to Panama every year that the Royal Decameron is the best hotel in that region, I have a tendency to agree. But for the same amount of money, I would wait till March and April and go to the Riviera Maya which is a lot better for the resorts, the food, and the beaches.

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"Great vacation!"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  JP  on Jan 11, 2011  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jan, 2011 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
211 people found this review helpful

Room Number:
2002

Room Block:
20

Arrival:
Arrival was very efficient. Nolitour guides were there to indicate the way, take luggage and give the room number. It's a 2-hour ride from the airport to the hotel, but the guide gave drinks and a lot of trivia on the place and there's a stop midway to eat something and go the the restrooms. At the hotel it's very efficient, you give your voucher and get the bracelet and room key all in less than 5 minutes.

Rooms:
Rooms are clean, though not very luxurious. We had a small TV, but I saw some widescreen HD tv sets on the beachside rooms. Each day there's a new bottle of water, though you can drink water directly from the sink without any problem. Air conditioning works great but its always a bit humid, so good luck trying to dry clothes off by leaving them in the room. Also, no face towels or tissue box, but whatever. We had problem with hot water and water pressure at some point, but there's a card you can hang on the outside door and everything was repaired within 2 hours without having to call anybody.

Restaurants and Bars:
There is a lot of variety. Buffets don't repeat often, mashed potatoes are great! But rice is minute rice, always overly sticky. If you don't like the buffets, there a something like 9 or 10 a la carte restaurants. Some of them are pretty good, like the japanese restaurant (except for the disgusting sushis) and the thai. Is all dishes, fish is always the safe bet, that's always fresh and very well cooked. Avoid the italian restaurant, it's the worse. It's basically an italian buffet with awful lasagna and watery pastas...

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The one problem is that you can't really go swimming in the ocean. Since its pacific side, there's too much current and there's rays and jellyfish. Two people got stung by a ray during my stay (don't worry they tell you when not to go swimming but some people just don't care). But the beach IS beautiful, so you can get a lot of sun there and there is chairs for everybody. There are some sellers, but they wait for you to come to them, so they're not annoying.
And there is something like 9 pools, which are all very clean and beautiful. The adult pool has a direct view on the sea and a bar in it. All pools have something special, like a palm tree in the middle of things like that. There's a lot of work in the flowers, trees and fauna in general. Geckos, pans, small birds and lizards are on the grounds. All incredible to watch.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities are great but I understand those who were disappointed. There's free kayak, ping-pong, waterpolo, etc. There's even a tennis court. There's a small casino if you're into that, and theres a discotheque which is very fun. Close to the hotel a Farallon, a small fishing village. It's fun to walk there and there's a little market. The other activities are more expansive. You can rent a car for less than 35$ a day, or go horseriding on the beach. The expeditions are more expansive and very far away. I did the city tour/panama canal which cost 70$/person. It's a 2-hour bus ride, and it all depend on the guide, really. I thought it was very interesting, but I would have liked to walk a bit more in the city and listen to more trivia. Also I would have loved to visit a rum distillery or something. For some shopping you can get a shuttle (8$ for a 2-way) to Penonomť, but it's all crap. It's like a flea market which sell commercial junk. So if you're not into 1$ shirts, there's not a lot to sea there except a beautiful chapel.

Other Comments:
Overall, it's a great experience. Panama is not like your other beach resorts. The emphasis isn't put on the beach. But the place is magnificient (it's really like a small city) and there's things to see outside. A trip in Panama city is a must. Compared to other Caribbean countries, Panama has a middle class. The economy is booming in the city and it looks like a small Dubai or UN city in Vienna. Each building is a statement and it shows. There's also a lot of history to the place and it's very interesting to see how the country evolved in ten years of controlling the Panama canal.
I would highly recommend the Royal Decamaron for your next vacations! And if you want to have even more fun, take your drinks without ice!

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"Best Vacation Yet.... Not to be MISSED!"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Phibian  on Sep 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
247 people found this review helpful

Arrival:
Customs was long due to 3 flights landing at the same time, but understandable for a small airport. Once more customs lanes opened it was quite quick. Finding the bus was easy and Decameron has a really nice touch of having the rooms preassigned and packages made up with tour information, maps and room keys. The bus ride is around 2 hours but you get quite a few of Panama City along with the mountain side and small rural towns and they have beer and beverages on the bus. There is a stop mid-way at a restaurant for a bathroom break, beers and homemade Tamales and burritos. At the hotel they took our luggage and delivered them in short time to the rooms while we got our wrist bands. But overall a very organized and efficient arrival.

Rooms:
We chose an ocean view room which was on the 3rd floor of our building, which was the second building from the beach. It was an amazing view every morning and evening. The room was large with a King bed and a day bed. The bathroom was clean and modern but had no bath tub, only a tiled shower stall but good water pressure and bathroom always kept clean. Little known fact, due to the USA's influence on Panama, the water treatment systems are quite modern and the water is drinkable. I drank the water right from the start and had NO problems (I've had problems in Ohio!). The balcony was spacious with 2 chairs and a table, there was a table in the room and a TV with great Mexican wrestling and apparently the Panamanians love the show "2 and a Half Men"! There was always large bottles of water delivered to the room daily. The rooms have a real "Island" feel and add to the charm.

Restaurants and Bars:
We ate at several of the A La Cart restaurants including the Mediterranian, Fusion, Steak, all were great and the Med was the best. The buffets were great also, the first night was Mexican night and we had great Turkey Mole and Caramel Flan, we almost preferred the buffet over the restaurants and the food was always good. My husband is a Chef and a picky eater and I never heard him complain. At breakfast they even customized his omelet for him. The Coconut Ice Cream was great also. If you want to go to the A La Carts, make sure you reserve by 5:30 pm or they wont budge to try and fit you in... even if its 5:31!

The bars were good too. If you tip well right off the bat ($20 goes a long way to great service) and go to the same bar, the bartenders are very personable and go out of their way to serve you and do so with humor and a smile. My husband had sun stroke one day and the bartender asked where he was and sent me back to the room with a shot of tequila to "make him feel better"! Take a Bubba Keg or a thermos mug to save them time and you time.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Grounds were the most beautiful I have seen on a resort. Plantain tree's everywhere, as well as hibiscus. The grounds were exceptionally maintained and we saw them fogging for mosquito's one day also to keep them at bay. There was always lots of wildlife in the garden area's including iguana's, lizards, colourful birds, frogs and we even saw a very large iguana prowling the grounds. The century tree was amazing and spectacular at night.

The pools were nice and well maintained even though we aren't pool people. There is one pool that stays open late for those steamy hot nights.

The beach is phenomenal as is the ocean. The tide is quite dramatic and requires some basic knowledge of how to get in and out safely as they can take you for a ride. The water is great once you get in. The beach is long and great for walking. If you walk to the left of the resort (facing the ocean) towards the rockface at the end of the beach, you can see Manuel Noreiga's beach house which was bombed by the US Army when trying to capture him, you can (with caution) walk in the house up to the 3rd floor although the staircase is disintegrating but worth the risk for the beautiul view of Farallon Island where supposedly Noriega held female's captive for betraying him and then killed them from his balcony with a sniper rifle. At the end of this beach you can usually find large Mother of Pearl shells on the shoreline. If you walk to the right of the resort there is a restaurant called "Woody's" which is owned by Canadians and Canada themed. The owners love anything from Canadian military, sports, Police, Fire etc for their decor and it usually gets you a free beer or two if you sit down and chat with them.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We chose not to do any of the Tour trips as there seemed to be enough to do around the resort. There is all the boat activities of which I usually participate but I had torn a ligament in my knee 3 weeks prior to our trip. The sea-doo's looked like fun and they have all the normal boating activities as well as Parasailing daily. We did go on the "Booze Cruise" and had a great time, highly recommended. We also rented mountain bikes for $10 for the hour and we rode into the little town nearby of Farallon. It was very safe and nice to see the culture and homes, school, great church, and rode all the way to the end of the beach. It was a great way to spend the morning and to do some shopping as there was a little store with crafts, art and trinkets just down the road. Speaking to people we'd met on the trip, a lot of the day trips sounded great but with long travel.

The Casino was just ok, not my thing, and the Hard Rock Cafe is just a souvenier store, not a restaurant. There is a games room near Buffet #1 and the Stage where they have a Pool table and 2 ping pong tables and tv's with sports on. There is nightly shows and Disco which is also not my thing so I can't comment. There is outdoor Chess and Shuffle board as well.

Other Comments:
This vacation was our Honeymoon, and as a rule I don't go to the same country twice. I would definitely go back to Panama as this was an amazing trip. I'd like to go to the Rainforest hotel for a different experience. Most of the staff speak some English, but if you know some Spanish it helps. There is LOTS of stairs and walking at this resort, so if you have an injury or bad knee's pay the extra money and get a beach front room. I had a bad injury and still enjoyed my stay, and I think it actually helped my knee get stronger. There is sections with hills rather than stairs for strollers etc.

Their is craft vendor's on the beach and if you find the one that's willing to haggle, you can get a great deal. My husband bought me an amazing natural pearl necklace for a ridiculously cheap amount. If you ignore them they just keep walking and don't hound you.

I can't say enough about this destination. I really is a 5 star holiday for a reasonable price. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a beach destination thats different from the caribbean with all the appeal of the sun, sand and surf!

I am looking to go to Decameron El Salvadore and Decameron Jamaica next!

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"Great Experience If You Want To Relax"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Kyle  on Jul 27, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Jul, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
255 people found this review helpful

Arrival:
The arrival was handled very efficiently, our Nolitours rep met us after customs and we had our luggage tagged and collected for the delivery to the resort, we boarded buses and left shortly after, on the bus we had a few beers and the ride went quickly with a running commentary on the scenery and the things we were passing, we stopped at a restaurant about halfway, it looks like a bit of a dump but the rice was great! Upon arrival we were met by the staff with drinks (skip the fruit punch its disgusting) and then collected our bands and room keys and were off, this went extremely smoothly maybe 5 minutes spent checking in. If you have any special requests I recommend going through Julia, she is amazing and everything we requested was well taken care of.

Rooms:
The rooms were extremely nice but not luxurious, but really how long do you spend in your rooms? The king size bed was not too soft or hard and the couch was awesome (I fell asleep on it one night) the balcony is nice and the TV works well with enough English speaking channels to keep you entertained, Our shower was always hot except for the last day, but that was checkout day, 300 some odd people showering at the same time was too much for the system. The air conditioning was fantastic and kept the room downright cold when we turned it up. No musty smells and the maids changed and cleaned everything daily and properly

Con: The chains on the door are to long, so much so that it makes the lock almost ineffective!

TIP: Get a breachfront room, the travel agent might say it doesnt matter, it does, the rooms at the top are up a flight of 86 steps, if you room is on the the third floor, you are talking around 120 steps everytime you want something, and absolutely everything is at the bottom, nothing but the lobbies and rooms are up top, it was 120.00 upgrade total for the room.

Restaurants and Bars:
The restaurants were good the buffets are not really repetitive at all, there are the staples and I think that is what people are complaining about, but our buffets have staples too what do you want? I was never dissapointed and the omelets were great every morning, however I highly recommend booking as many al a cartes as possible and then going to the buffet if you are dissapointed, all in all a solid experience. Snack bars are there if you can't find anything good, wings, burgers and fries.

TIPS: The Farallon is a drink made with Banana, its deadly you cannot taste the alcohol and it tastes great. Bring a BUBBA KEG the glasses are way to small.

Yelkin at the Pool bar is the best bartender at the resort, order your drinks once and he will remember your name, your drink and is a great guy!

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Pools are a great size, the only problem was that the kids were not controlled at all, I am young and am not overstating this, however if this doesnt bother you there is nothing wrong with them with the exception of them being too hot, However the adult pool is colder if you want to be refreshed.

The beach is nice, the sand is not too rough but can get quite hot, and staking out a palapa or tent is not a bad idea as the sun is intense, the water is nice however unless you go out the visibility sucks, so no snorkeling close to shore, the vendors are there but will not approach you unless you wave them over.

The grounds were well kept with no complaints at all, this resort is huge.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
This was the biggest downfall of the resort!

Other than the booze cruise, marina and the Anton Valley, everything is a 2 - 3 hour each way trip for the excursions, they are a little pricey but the real killer is spending approximately 4 - 7 hours in a bus for a 3 hour excursion, it sucks, far and away the only real complaint about the resort, the decameron needs to start some closer excursions!!!

The casino is great but be careful leaving at night, some shady people around!

Never made it to the discotheque but heard it was great!

Other Comments:
Great resort, met some great people, the shows were alright, but no english at all so that was not too enjoyable, I was crowned Mr. Decameron though so not too many complaints.

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"Amazing!"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  Maureen  on May 24, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
239 people found this review helpful

I have been there three times. I always get an ocean front or ocean view on the bottom floor. It is well worth it to not have to climb the stairs to the second or third floor. My husband and I would have no trouble in going back again.
The food is sooo good and sooo much. Drinks also. The weather is hot and humid in May, in June we found it not so humid. We always go and visit the Embera tribe and bring gifts for the children and also something for the women. They know us by now. We have learned quite a bit of Spanish. I have no complaints, except to say that if you don't like noise, don't get a room too near Lobby l where the entertainment is playing and if you are an early to bed person. We love the people there, Panamanians are good hearted people. One day, Iost my gold necklace (my very favorite), it fell out of my pocket as I pulled out a kleenex ( I had taken it off because I was hot) and one of the servants saw me lose it, and ten minutes later a knock was at my door with the necklace in his hand. They do not make much money there and for him to return it to me was so amazing, I thought. We love it so much there, in fact, we would love to buy a house in Panama. The resort is beautiful, so many pools to swim in, our favorite is the one that has a water fall on the one side and is up high. The food - 7 restaurants- my favourite - the Panamanian for the Italian food. They make the best lasagna I have ever tasted, and I am Italian. The room was fine and the maids always keep it clean. Water they bring to you.
We have found that you can get a taxi ride for about 20 dollars to Panama or 30 and the guy will stay with you all the day and drive you anywhere you want and back. We found a taxi driver in Panama, after we took a $5.00 bus ride there in a very nice air conditioned bus. Also, one can take you to the hills and to the Embera which is cheaper than they do it for. You can go into Pananome, a poor town for about 3 dollars on the village bus if you don't mind travelling with all the poor locals. We liked it for the experience. The seats were very squishy, they pulled up seats from everywhere. We also rented a car for about 50 dollars and took a two days visit into the west beautiful Boquette to visit someone there we had met. It is one of the best retirement paces in the world, so they say. And the best part, we got some much needed dental work done there at a peanut price, compared to here in Canada. We love Panama and I want to bring my whole family there and have a family reunion at the DeCameron this coming year, God willing! Great and beautiful place! And the hard working people there make it that way. Amazing!

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"Royal Decameron Great Place!!"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  didi  on May 11, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: May, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
224 people found this review helpful

We loved it there. No it is not a Dubai Hotel, but the location is beautiful and it was very clean and tidy and staff very pleasant.

Your Arrival:
Arrival was like any other. It was organized and a comfortable bus. The representative waits for you and hands you the envelope, which includes the keys to the room and towel card and etc.

Rooms:
Rooms are not a 5-5.5 star but I canít complain about mine. It was clean and not smelling like SMOKE. Everything was in tact and nothing broken. If something is not right then just complain to the office and donít just leave it and make a big deal of it to everyone but to the right person.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants were VERY CLEAN and food well I have heard and read a lot of reviews about this. At this resort the kitchen staff at all times wear head covers. I have stayed, at 5-5.5 hotels and I have not seen this. They also wear gloves in the kitchen this is great. At home I am positively sure we all have one meal only. I have heard people say they are having cereal, pancakes or etc for dinner, what? On vacation you have such an assorted buffet so why do people complain, stay home and have your own food if you think that yours is better, donít travel. You have many restaurants to choose from and a large variety of food so what is the problem?

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The beach was a lovely long beach. I loved going for my 1-1.5 hr long walk every morning and evening. Also the location is beautiful. It is on the same place that that Manuel Norega had his military base. I am not saying that his actions were right, but it is a lovely area. It is a bit dirty towards the locals but this is also due to TOURISTS that pollute the beach with their cups and beer bottles not just the people living there. I think that people go away and they think that they have maids waiting for them for every time they dirty something it will be cleaned. I see people treat locals like they are a piece of dirt, they think they are the Queen / Prince and they should have the red carpet out for them. We go on vacation to treat others like we want to be treated

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Activities I canít really comment because I did my own stuff. I went to the Gym and did a lot of walking due to back problems.

Other Comments:
I really enjoyed my stay and I will return again. I was there for two weeks and it was sunny and hot everyday. It was a very safe place and hotel. The only thing that I hope gets corrected and apparently it is in the future is the distance from the airport to the hotel is toooooooo far.

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"Good value"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 3.0 of 5

Posted by:  Carolyn and Craig  on Apr 23, 2010  >  4 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
234 people found this review helpful

We are a couple in our 50's and have travelled extensively in the Carribean.For comparison purposes we would suggest this resort is 3 star resort comparable to Breezes Curacao and Jolly Beach Antigua better than Salinas in Cuba but not in the same category as Sandals in Jamaica or the Bahamas. This trip we travelled with a large group (50) as were going to Panama for our nieces wedding. A good choice for a destination wedding.

Your Arrival:
We booked thru Air Transat and Nolitours. The flight from Toronto was long approximately 5 hours followed by a 2 hour bus ride to the resort thru the countryside and Panama City. We upgraded to Option Plus with Air Transat and would highly recommend this. It costs $50 extra per person each way but for this you get assigned seating, an extra 10kg per person for luggage, priority boarding and baggage handling,headsets, blankets and free champagne and alcohol with the food service. Well worth the extra money!! Air Transat is a good carrier and Nolitours is very efficient.
Customs and security were handled efficiently in Panama and there was a pit stop half way to the resort for those that wanted washrooms and food.The bus trip to the resort was a good way to see Panama City and parts of the countryside.
Check in at the resort was bit hectic with a large group but it was handled well and organized so it really did not take that long.

Rooms:
We stayed in the 10 block (room 1007) on the first level of the resort. Its well worth paying the extra for Oceanfront as you are closer to the beach most pools and a good choice of restaurants.
The rooms are adequate and simple, we had a king size bed that was comfortable. The walls are paper thin and you can hear EVERYTHING that goes on in other rooms, so be forewarned.
The air conditioning is either full ON or full OFF but it is a godsend when you come in from 40 degrees heat.
We had to ask three times for towels on arrival but this was not a problem after that. The rooms are cleaned daily and they restock the room with a large water bottle every day (hide the water bottle if it is not empty so you get a new one each day)
It costs $21 extra to rent a safety deposit box for the week, this is well worth the extra money for piece of mind.

Restaurants and Bars:
There are 8 a la carte restaurants with sittings at 615 8 and 930. Most North Americans eat early most Latinos eat later. On arrival you are given a restaurant booking for the first night. Reservations are made for the a la carte restaurants at one of the 3 Lobbies for the rest of the week. You can initially book 3 additional nights and then return on a daily basis for the rest of the nights. We ate at one of the a la carte restaurants every night at the 8 oclock sitting.
Our favourite restaurants were El Canal (seafood), Cafe Med (Mediterrean food where we had a good paella and live flamenco music) Kontiki ( a great seafood crepe with curry),and Panamai (Italian) We did not enjoy Sushi Samba as mush as the tepayanaki style of cooking was done at one station instead of at your table and the food was not as good. The food is very salty here.
There are lots of bars around the resort and getting a drink is not a problem!
Sometimes spanish speaking people get preferential treatment and get served first.
The bar in Lobby 1 serves spanish coffees, cognac and a good dirty martini in REAL glasses but they watch you like a hawk if you try to leave the bar with your drink!
We had breakfast and lunch at one of the buffets and they offered good choices.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
Grounds are beautiful and there is always someone pruning, cutting, cutting etc.There are many pools and they are all well maintained and clean. Lifeguards are stationed at all the pools and on the beach and they are very vigilant. The adult pool which was an infinity pool was very nice albeit a fair distance from our room but we found it colder than the other pools so we did not use it as much.
The beach was very nice, the sand was quite hot and you needed shoes of some sort.
A short walk on the beach to the left of the resort is Manuel Noriega's old beach house and is worth seeing. A short walk to the right of the resort is a bar called Woodys and it is owned by Woody and Monique, expatriate Canadians who used to be in the Canadian Forces, it is worth the walk to see.
Iguanas and peacocks room the resort and they are nice to see.
The resort is large and the shuttles they operate dont seem to operate regularly but when we preordered them for our 88 year old mother they did show up on time and were efficient.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
The shows at night were really all in Spanish and catered to the Latino crowd and were not all that great.
There are variety of tours that can be booked by DECAMERON EXPLORER at Lobby 1.We did the Embera Indigeneous community and this was a highlight and not to be missed. It costs $80 goes from 8 am to 6 pm with a 2 hour busride thru the countryside followed by a 30 min dugout canoe ride to the Embera. You get to have a refreshing dip in a waterfall, experience the culture of the Embera, see their village have a nice lunch of fish and fruit and buy Embera crafts if you wish.
We also rented a taxi at the main entrance for $50 for five of us and the driver took us into Penonome to see the local crafts.This is well worth it.

Other Comments:
A good vacation and good value for the money. Very HOT and HUMID in April and if we went back we would probably go in January. Bugs were not a problem like in other places and bring lots of sunscreen. The heat can be oppresive.
Checkout was a bit convoluted. Luggage had to be out by 430 am but you could not check out until 5 am, just in time for the lineups to start. This needs to be rethought! Breakfast starts at 5 am on the day of departure and the first bus to the airport leaves at 7 am so its a long day to get home.
We found the 2 hour bus ride way to be a bit long and that might preclude us from going back, but all in all it was a good valued vacation someting a little different than the norm.

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"Amazing Resort, Beautiful Grounds, Good Food and Hot Weather"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  Mary Beth  on Apr 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Group
214 people found this review helpful

My daughter was getting married there on April 7th 2010. Julia the wedding co-ordinator was amazing. The day was spectacular and Julia did everything to make their day extra special. The grounds are immaculate. We stayed down at Lobby #1...we had ocean front. I would suggest that to anyone. Pay the little bit extra and get a great view and close to everything. The stairs are brutal for anyone with health issues, however my 88 year old mom did manage to make the buffet restaurant for breakfast each morning taking her time. The staff is very friendly. Check in was quick and easy and you were greeted with a welcome drink. The weather is hot, but I loved it. They say the best month to travel there is January....less humidity, but seriously it didn't bother me much at all.

Your Arrival:
We arrived 20 minutes early but had to sit on the tarmac because the gate we were going to was occupied at the time. We had a fast check through security and customs and then were on our bus to the resort. It's approximately a 2 hour drive but they stop about 45 minutes into the shuttle for a washroom break and for anyone that wanted to get some refreshments or beer for the shuttle to the resort. We just considered it a free tour of the countryside as we arrived during the daylight and got to see some countryside and Panama City.

Rooms:
Rooms were simple but adequate. I would reccommend renting a small fridge if you have anything you've brought down to keep cold. I personally take down a 12 pack of diet coke and of course some small plastic bottles of Mott's Clamato Juice for yummy Ceasars. There was always plenty of hot water for the showers and the cleaning staff did a great job and keeping things nice and clean for us. We found the beds very comfortable. We had kingsize beds and got good night sleeps however I was told the walls are very thin and you can hear others next door, but that didn't happen to us. You can also rent a safety deposit box that I would also reccommend for piece of mind that your passport and valuables are locked up.

Restaurants and Bars:
Mega restaurants and bars to choose from. We always seemed to have something different to eat each night, and never got sick of the food. Good choices. There was always a variety of alacartes to choose from. We did 4 nights out of the 7 which was nice as some places you are only allowed 2 per week stay. The bars were plentiful and seemed to always be willing to make you something a little different. The Beer was great.

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
The Beach was nice, with lots of cabanas for those requiring shaded areas. The sand does get hot so you would want to make sure you had sandals with you to wear. I personally didn't go in the ocean, but did walk it often and the pools were nice. Lots to chose from and were still refreshing even though in the middle of the afternoon they do warm up. The grounds were immuculate and you could see the workers working about early in the morning.....6am if you're an early riser.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
For those that like to keep fit there is a gym that looks out to the ocean. Gorgeous view and always had people in it. There are lots of activities to do from renting jet-skis to parasailing. You can also walk down the beach to Woody's Beach Bar which is owned and run by Canadians. Amazing food and cheap beer. The owners do anything to accommodate their patrons. We actually had a 55th birthday party there on the Saturday. We had about 35 of us from the wedding group go there. The owner had a cake, put all the tables together and we pretty much filled the bar with our own crowd. Sure there were some others but they joined right in to the festivities. The bill was unbelievably cheap. I had fillet mingon, salad, and rice, my hubby had two lobsters, 3 jumbo shrimp, fries and salad along with many beers and price came to 69.00 I couldn't believe it. Other people from our group did tours from the resort...the Embera Indigenous Community which they said was excellent, we did the Culture & Crafts which was okay...the lunch was excellent and some parts of the tour was good but other parts I could of done without, other friends did the Panama Canal Expedition and totally loved it.

Other Comments:
I have done my share of travelling since 1995 and have done several Carribean destinations and usually by the end of the week I am ready to come home, tired of the food, tired of the beer but this resort...I could of easily stayed for a second week. I am actually considering going there again possibly next year. Loved everything about it and would definitely reccommend this resort and destination to anyone looking for something other than the same ol same ol.

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"Top Notch!"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 5.0 of 5

Posted by:  AMY  on Apr 22, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Business | With Spouse/Partner
189 people found this review helpful

Our complete experience, from the Air Transat flight, the tour operator (NOLITOURS) to the resort and the all the people we met, was absolutely amazing.

Air Transat had roomy seats, good hot food and pleasant staff.

Your Arrival:
Nolitours have mastered the "tour operator" to a tee - no line ups at checkin, luggage delivered to our rooms, all the info you need to enjoy your stay (and nice knowledgeable staff)

Rooms:
Rooms - we had ocean front -- roomy, clean, well stocked. Yes, get ocean front if it's in the budget but if you don't mind stairs, and desire a discounted price, go for oceanview or garden.

Restaurants and Bars:
Restaurants -all awesome - beautiful settings (3 on the ocean side), great service
Buffet - awesome, never disappointed
Bars - lots of local drinks (Tasty too)but you can find international drinks too (margaritas, spanish coffees) - beer = good! smiling service

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
pools - tested them a few times - clean and and warm (but can be busy)

ocean - red flag week - not sure if that is normal but we LOVED playing in the waves - if we had our kids we would have been more stressed perhaps if they wanted to go in

landscaping was literally perfect (and every morning, inconspiciously you can see staff working hard to keep it that way)


Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
- did our own excursion - rented a car ($55) and went to El Palymar, a 20 min trip. Its a great place for surfing - a little village with a bar and restaurant too - very nice people - rent a board or take a lesson! (the resort offers a excursion
But all the excursions sounded worth the money - but most had long bus rides so we chose to pass this time

Other Comments:
GO!

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"noisy"

Royal Decameron Costa Blanca
User Rating:  Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Review: 4.0 of 5

Posted by:  brad  on Apr 21, 2010  >  1 contribution(s) Canada
Visited on: Apr, 2010 | Leisure | With Spouse/Partner
175 people found this review helpful


Your Arrival:
One hour wait at Panama airport going through customs
The flight with Air Transat was on time and always a pleasure flying with them

Rooms:
Very clean
Nice view
Reason we would not return to this hotel because you can hear every bit of noise from the other rooms,were checked in to a second floor room but had to move to the third because of the noise from the third floor

Restaurants and Bars:
Lots of restaurants but not enough variety although we only ate at the buffets
Bars are great drinks are not watered down and you never have to wait

Beach/Pools/Grounds:
You can only get in the ocean at low tide because of the under tow
Ocean tempature 88 degrees
Pools are 85-90 degrees

Grounds are beautiful

The hills and stairs to the upper level are murder

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
N/A

Other Comments:
Great resort except for noisy rooms

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