Poor check-in experience - ask for Pedro straight away if you have trouble. Esther was useless and hid in the back office, and pretended not to speak english. No rooms for wedding party of 30, stayed in courtyard first 2 nights, then beachfront room 62 for further 7 days. Room 62 can be quite loud as it's near the entertainment, but I can sleep through anything. As compensation, we got £150, free safe lock, plus upgraded room and cool runnings boat/falls trip. Our virgin rep, Jerline Johnson, was very helpful to us. It was an inconvenience, but we didn't let it spoil our 10 days. This problem should be finished now, and the french season is about to end.
Room had TV with good selection of channels, including sports. Bar/internet room had more channels, but you'll have to wrestle the control from the old man who lives there and hogs the screen (mostly through the night).
Made use of access to fun caribbean hotel on 2 days. Nice big pool with a bar you can swim to. (Try the brown cow and purple rain cocktails!) Waterslide is good fun, and buffet lunch was fantastic with carvery, salad and great cookies and desserts. Rooms seemed a bit dated, and was funny to see they had mirrored ceilings, knowing the history of the place. Regular free shuttle bus runs between resorts, takes about 5 minutes.
I made friends with the gardeners (after declining their offer of weed), and had jelly coconuts and mangoes from them most days, for a small tip or in return for some beer. You can drink the coconut water, and then get the nut cut open and eat the jelly inside.
I played with the tennis coach ($), Chris, most mornings before it got too hot. He's very funny, and helped me find a gardener for my coconut fix. He's present until 10am. Tell him Kris sent you - we played like warriors (his words). He appreciates a drink when the bar opens at 10, as he leaves the hotel. The courts are very nice. Bring your own rackets if you like to play. There is a small gym next to the courts, too.
Unfortunately the beach was red-flagged for the first few days, which meant the water was rough and there were no water sports. After having snorkelled, I can tell you to bring rubber-soled water shoes. Some of the bays are quite rocky, and you'll see many sea urchins beyond the walls. Water shoes are useful for the Dunns River Falls trip as well, otherwise you'll have to hire some. We used the pedalo boats, which were hard work, and you can get to the sea-trampoline by wading out to the walls and a short swim. It doubles up as a great sun lounger. The glass-bottom boat wasn't operational, which was a shame.
The wedding was nicely done out on a pier. We had exclusive use of the thai restaurant for the night of the wedding (as an apology for the booking experience), and reception drinks at the jetty bar.
For trips we did the blue mountain coffee tour, Dunn's River falls (via cool runnings) and tubing down the white river.
The coffee tour was the best value trip I've ever done at $100. It lasted 12 hours, and was just us plus a couple from another hotel who we collected, and the driver + tour guide. 6 in all. We saw lots of Jamaica on the trip, including banana and coffee plantations, Ian Fleming and Noel Coward's houses, Kingston, military barracks in the mountains, and a 3 course meal at beautiful Strawberry Hill. The coffee tasting at Craighton Estate is a lovely setting, and you can buy their exclusive coffee there. One of our spontaneous stops allowed us to buy fresh fruit from a roadside stall, including coconuts (our first), star apples and mangoes at a road that often floods and gets closed. Hugh and Tony (guides) were great fun, and deserve a good tip!
We got our cool runnings trip free from the hotel as an apology, but got picked up an hour late, so missed the snorkelling...make sure you get picked up no later than 11.30am! The boat trip is good fun, and the DJ/MC could have been a pirate, with a prosthetic leg with a jamaican flag on it and long dreadlocks...funny guy. When you arrive at the falls, you'll need your water shoes. You can climb in a group with a tourguide (they expect a tip at the end), and you can opt out of the riskier parts of the falls. Some of our party did the dry walk, and came into the water for photo opportunities. Take a waterproof camera, and be prepared to get totally wet. Our climb was filmed, and we bought the dvd afterwards ($20). Ignore the sellers who try to press trinkets into your hands afterwards like gypsies with lucky heather. Rum-fuelled disco on the way back to port was good fun. You can buy pictures from the staff on board. The trip lasted about 5 hours from pick up to return. Try to choose a day when no cruise ships are in. (http://www.tourochorios.com/cruise-schedule.html)
The white river tubing was good fun. http://tinyurl.com/7w3gvyc Waterproof shoes needed again.Take a waterproof camera, or you can buy a CD with the pictures they have taken of you with various price increment bundles, e.g. 100 pics for $100 was the dearest. They take nice pictures from the river banks, and you can choose which ones you want afterwards.
Water is cool and fresh, and it doesn't matter how you start the ride, you all end up mixed together along the way. You may fall out of your rubber ring along the way, it's real life, not disney. There's a jerk chicken stop near the end so you can snack (free taster, and you can buy extra if you're hungry). After the food stop is the biggest/fastest rapids. Most of us fell out then, but we dried off quickly at the end as it was such a hot day. Again, try to choose a day when not cruise ships are in (http://www.tourochorios.com/cruise-schedule.html).
Our friends did the Blue Lagoon trip at Port Antonio, and enjoyed it. 3 hour drive away from the hotel, though. It's a full day.
Food: we ate so well at the buffet restaurant, that we didn't try the others.
Breakfast, there's omelettes and pancakes/waffles + meat/eggs/spinach +fruit/cheese/yoghurt/bread/croissants
Lunch/Dinner: several main courses, lots of salad, and lots of dessert choices.
We didn't have any bad meat while we were there, all cooked nicely. The jerk chicken/pork was good.
Drinks: I don't drink a lot, but enjoyed the rum punches and some cocktails. They do a nice banana milkshake with rum cream. Our friends thought JJ was the best barman.
French Invasion: Yes there lots of french, mostly ok but a few rude ones. The entertainment got a bit annoying with the french bias, but I was often tired after dinner so had early nights anyway. They definitely were favoured when it came to check-in, entertainment and childrens activities. There was one ever-present middle-aged french woman who always sunbathed topless (which is not allowed). It's never the young pretty ones, is it?
I'd definitely stay there again if we could guarantee a room, and it was in the french off-season.
The cats are cute and friendly, but a couple of them could do with seeing a vet from time to time. Guests often leave a plate of food for them under the bushes where they often sat (the cats, not the guests).
I'd prefer more no smoking areas, but I'm a militant anti-smoker.
I also made full use of the hammocks.
I'd like to go back to Jamaica again and see much more of the island.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Runaway Bay about an hour from Montego Bay International Airport, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is located in one of the most beautiful and picturesque place of the island, populated by friendly and happy people. This hotel's architecture offers incredible paths through the gardens and terraces until you reach the 2 swimming pools, one exclusively for adults and another with all the facilities for children. This hotel also has a long dock for sunbathing. The cottage-style rooms bring a tropical environment and let you enjoy the peace of the beach where you can partake in a large variety of water sports. Its restaurants offer many different types of cuisine which range from typical Jamaican flavors to the exquisite tastes of Asian food. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Royal Decameron Hotel Caribbean
- Royal Decameron Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Caribbean
- Royal De Cameron
- Club Caribbean Jamaica
- Decameron Jamaica Royal
- Caribbean Club Decameron Royal
- Club Decameron Jamaica Royal
- Royal Decameron Club Caribbean Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Club Jamaica