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Reviewed December 9, 2017

The staff were excellent throughout the whole resort.
Reception were very helpful.
Bar staff were all excellent and always friendly. Nothing was too much trouble.
Restaurant staff were always friendly as well.
This is one of the cleanest hotels we have ever stayed in. Clean towels and linen daily, fabulous.
Small hotel with limited facilities.
Wi-fi was 20US dollars per day. In this day and age, paying for it is a con.
Safe key for the room was 2US d per day. No fridge in the room either.
Food choice was limited, that’s the but. Loads of chicken cooked in loads of ways.
Not a great choice really. The steak served wasn’t the nicest quality.
There are discos outside the hotel which play extremely loud music. It lasted until 04:30 on one night. If you want a quiet holiday, forget it. Too close to the very busy main highway, when the music stopped, you can still hear the huge lorries.

Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank Keith J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 6, 2017

On day five of my stay at the Royal Decameron, I was relaxing at the quiet pool when music from outside the property began disturbing the silence. It was blasting out so loudly at 3 o'clock in the afternoon that it eventually emptied the pool area. I returned to my bungalow nearby, and the noise from across the street continued to penetrate my walls. The partying continued until 1 a.m. — and it was loud enough that I could hear what was being said over the booming loudspeakers. Other guests who had been at the Royal Decameron longer told me later that we were lucky that night because the revelry sometimes goes on until 3 a.m.
I was staying in an ostensibly quiet section of this attractively landscaped resort, but this location afforded no protection from the off-property noise. And unfortunately, the hotel management is helpless in stopping it. The best the front desk can do is call the police and hope that that the noise will be curbed at least temporarily.
However, the resort does have to assume responsibility for supplying its own on-site recorded music over the loudspeakers which is sometimes so incessant during the daylight hours that you're desperate to escape it. So when it comes to assessing this resort, there are definite pros but also some serious cons.
You encounter genuine warmth and friendliness from the staff and on occasion somewhat less than that, particularly at the main bar where swarms of wasps around the drink area would be enough to test anyone's patience. But I was checked in swiftly and efficiently, and the front desk was responsive to problems. When I reported that an outside light was broken, it was dealt with in minutes. And there were staff members who seemed genuinely glad to have you staying there. I can cite my own chambermaid, Adrian the morning omelette guy and Kendra who tended bar at the quiet pool.
I don't understand the complaints made by some guests about the bungalows. Mine was certainly not five-star quality — but this is not a five-star resort. What I did get was a comfortable king-sized bed with adequate bedside lighting. a good desk, a day bed, a large walk-in closet, TV and air conditioning that worked, a well-equipped bathroom with a tub-shower, very good housekeeping — and a rustic charm.
It's a compact property, but it's well laid out. There's lots of greenery surrounding the bungalows and good well-lit pathways throughout the resort. The beach is narrow, and the sand is not the sparkling white of the tourist brochures, but it is attractively appointed with picturesque breakwaters and an abundance of comfortable recliners. The main pool is small — and this area also serves as the venue for the evening's entertainment, which features some talented performers, as well as the focal point for the daytime games which tireless staffers oversee with mixed results. However, despite an abundance of umbrellas and palm trees, it's something of a challenge to find a shaded area that does stay shaded. The quiet (adult) pool is a lovely oasis to which I retreated every afternoon.
However, I didn't find during my stay that the Royal Decameron was delivering in the food department. Breakfast is the most successful meal period, offering a choice of several juices and cereals, fresh fruit, a wide selection of breads (the bread at this resort is a continuing delight) and several cooked items. I made for the omelette bar every morning with excellent results when Adrian was on hand, but less excellent on two other occasions when portions of the eggs remained uncooked.
Breakfast aside, however, I have to report that my most satisfactory meal fell into the snack department. The Decameron offers snack service mid to late afternoon and also late at night. I took advantage of it mid-afternoon one day and had an excellent freshly cooked hamburger with good French Fries and a glass of beer,
However evening meals are problematic. The main buffet restaurant, Pick A Pepper, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and in the evening whisks out the white table cloths and attentive smiling service. The concern for food hygiene is outstanding with perishables always packed onto beds of ice, but also undermined by flies which constantly land on buffet offerings.
The food, sadly, is inconsistent. Good soups sometimes (the pumpkin was very good) and disappointing other times. Tired sometimes watery salads, Uninspired desserts that quickly become monotonous after a few nights. The Pick A Pepper offers "theme" menus which change daily. I found Spanish night the best of the lot when it came to a choice of entrees, Jamaican Night, surprisingly, was the worst except for the jerk meats (the pork especially) sliced for you at the carvery. The French night seemed promising until you sampled what passed for French onion soup: onion-flavoured broth with a very few onion slices floating in the tureen — I managed to land one bit of onion, only one, when filling my bowl. The coq au vin also looked promising — and indeed, the wine sauce was flavourful — but the challenge was to find any chicken meat on the chunks of bone. The bottom line for me is that the fish dishes, in general nicely cooked and sauced, were the most dependable items available, although only rarely was the kind of fish identified
White and red wines were on offer, and they were of appalling quality,
But what of the two second-floor a la carte restaurants (Caribbean Fusion and Thai Cuisine) available as alternatives? I had no trouble booking them, and I had attentive, friendly service. In the case of the Caribbean Fusion, I ordered a tenderloin steak that was flavourful and beautifully prepared, although the picturesque mound of mashed potatoes was cold. But the choice of hors d'oeuvres was essentially the same as what was available in the buffet restaurant; ditto for the desserts.
In the case of the Thai restaurant, the menu offered the traditional coconut-based soup as a starter, However, it wasn't available. Instead, there was the same flavourless soup that had been available at lunchtime downstairs in the buffet. Other starters consisted of the same tired salad choices provided in the main restaurant; there were also no surprises dessert-wise. But again the entree I ordered — an Asian pork dish — was excellent. Nevertheless, the bottom line on the a la carte restaurants is that, apart from the main course, they offer the same stuff you can get downstairs.
The Royal Decameron is tricky to write about because it does have attractive features. Yes, you can make allowances for it as a budget facility, but it doesn't match up to other comparable facilities in the Caribbean. Some three-star resorts merit four stars. Sadly, not this one.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank travelling1935
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 5, 2017

Accommodation: The cottages were lovely however; the rooms were basic and the bedroom very small we found it difficult to move around the room as the king size bed took up most of the space. The bathroom is in need of an upgrade but is clean. There were no facilities in the room to make a hot drink and only 1 bottle of water in the fridge. The gardens were beautiful and very well maintained.

Food & Staff: There were a variety of food to choose from at the main buffet restaurant however food was at times undercooked and lacking in taste. We like our food hot, but found the food to be lukewarm. The waiting staff were very friendly and accommodating they all went over and above to provide a great service each evening.

Bar: Cocktails were sickly sweet and the house red and white wine tasted awful.

Front Desk: Customer service wasn't the best, we felt that some staff would benefit from customer service training.

Wifi: Is charged at $20 for 24hrs, access is very poor as it keeps cutting out. Only location we were able to access wifi was in the lobby area but they don’t tell you this in advance.

Entertainment: The Animation staff/fun crew were a bit of a mish mash. We however enjoyed listening to the resident sessional singers/band who played great music each evening.

Noise: The local nightclub across the road from the hotel was a distraction, music went on until 3.00am and unfortunately, we found it difficult to sleep through the loud music.

The best part of the holiday was when we hired a taxi driver who took us to various locations such as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and Kingston. It was such an amazing experience to see the Island and its people.

We love the north coast but will try a different hotel on our next visit.

Room Tip: The garden views are lovely.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank JenNov2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 5, 2017

This is a well maintained, if not slightly dated hotel, but value for money. We knew this from previous reviews and knew what to expect. We have stayed with Royal Decameron before (Cape Verde), and were very happy to use the company again.

- The main asset of this place is without doubt the staff. We met so many fantastic people who made us feel like old friends (Big Mike, Odane, the marvellous Marvelyn, Edward, Donte, Gavin and the non-stop cleaning lady, aptly named Sandra McClean, to name but a few) Everyone is friendly and polite, and happy to share their knowledge of the island, from the gardeners to the lifeguards. Most work their socks off, and we were very impressed - thank you everyone.
- The gardens are beautifully maintained with all sorts of trees - banana, almond, citrus and breadfruit - and the hotel was spotlessly clean
- Plenty of sunbeds to go around and the beach was raked daily
- Yes, the cottages are in need of a refurb, but they are spacious and clean, with enormous beds, a flatscreen TV and a walk in wardrobe
- Food on the whole was very good, with breakfast the stand out offer of the day. The egg counter has to be the hottest place on the whole island, but Adrian kept his good humour and churned out one dish after another
- The bar service was excellent, with generous measures and a great cocktail list (but no tonic water for 11 days!!!)
- We went on two trips (booked through TUI) and they were superb days out. These were the Blue Mountain cycling day- a true reflection of life in Jamaica - and a half day climbing Dunns River Falls. Our TUI rep, Amaril, was also extremely good.

- There needs to be a policy (or enforcement) for guests who insist on smoking marijuana in public places. So many times we sat on the beach, with people openly rolling joints and smoking on sunbeds or in the beachfront cottages, and it just stinks. Some staff were clearly offering their sourcing services in this department, as well as sneaking off for a crafty smoke.
Even on the coach transfer on the way in (which was ludicrously long as we sat on the coach for an hour and a half before we left the airport) we made a completely unnecessary stop after over an hour on the road, just five minutes from the hotel for a 'comfort break' - this is clearly an opportunity for those in the know to buy their 'supplies'
- the beach is man made and not the beautiful white sand seen on the postcards, but rather more grey, so gave the overall impression of a construction site in places
- the Animation Team worked incredibly hard to keep people entertained, and we know some regularly worked over 12 hours a day as they were at breakfast with us. Some of their performances were great, and the guest act who told the history of Jamaican music was brilliant - however, after a week of certificate ceremonies for throwing coconuts and guessing the number of pages in a book, it wore a little thin. And the fake accents of some of presenters (Skittles?) were just terrible. Hats off to VIP though, what a superstar.
- and finally, sadly, the kicker for us: unrelenting, wraparound music. We got used to the Groundhog Day of Michael Bolton playing at breakfast every morning, and wall to wall Bob Marley, but the noise coming from outside the complex (we appreciate it is NOT the fault of the hotel) was like Chinese water torture. Ironically our cottage was next to the Quiet Pool (which is very nice indeed), but the noise coming from the establishments on the main road was indescribable and eventually made you question your sanity. One morning it went on until 4 a.m., other days 2 a.m.. It wasn't every single day, but you were left anticipating when it would start up again, so not relaxing at all, and of course you are shattered from lack of sleep. We saw several guests asking when it would stop, and the Reception staff themselves told us they had called the Police so many times, and yet it still continued. When you can feel the bass of the music buzzing through your bones when you lie in bed because of the volume, enough is enough. This is the sole reason why we can't bring ourselves to return, and I suspect we are not alone in that.

We would love to come back to this beautiful and fascinating island, and we want to thank everyone who worked so hard on our behalf, but unfortunately we will be staying elsewhere.

Room Tip: Stay away from the Quiet Pool side, it isn't always quiet! Take ear plugs - they are essential.
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank RichPen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed December 4, 2017

Booked here. Didn't read reviews til just prior to departure - was dreading it having read them. Shouldn't have dreaded it at all!

When booking your holiday, If you look for words such as pomp, ceremony, perfection, massive, vast, impressive when booking a holiday, stay away, your looking for some concrete un-Jamaican monstrosity (a carbon copy hotel that could be absolutely anywhere in the world, with little feel of the locality).

On the other hand, if you look words like relaxed, friendly, local, colonial, unpretentious, shabby chic, welcoming, low-rise, scenic, then this place is most likely up your street and you may just wish to read on.

I can only believe that people reviewing this hotel are judging it against 5 star. Its a 3 star so you have to consider this when judging its performance, or you're misleading other travellers. Personally, it's a 3 star that we feel is more like a 4 star, but I dont do the ratings!

Firstly - The food is incredibly varied. Loads of various international dishes, and always 2-3 local dishes. If you crave chips (fries), then there's chips with everything upstairs 12-5 pm daily. I prefer the buffet, breakfast, lunch and tea. Lovely fresh food, courteous staff, serenaded by The Sledge Brothers, a local acoustic trio playing local music and their take on international tracks, all alongside the dining area, for 6 lunches/evenings per week.

The foods all tasty, endless drinks to your table. Wine ain't great but its adequate. Beer is excellent - red stripe. Spirits mainly local. Loads of cocktails, including Kiddy cocktails. You could get in a serious mess here, but I saw none of it. All mature guests enjoying themselves responsibly.

They laid of a surprise 25th Wedding Anniversary meal with Champagne for us. Absolutely amazing. Flowers covered the table, (and also our bed back in the room). What a lovely touch.

Games around and in the pool 10 am-12 and 3-5 pm including water-polo, quizzes and bingo. Awards are given to the winners at the nightly presentation at 9.25pm, with those achieving 5 winning awards gaining a free half bottle of rum or a necklace. Our daughter, being 12, had the necklace and was so delighted. The entertainment crew were excellent, friendly and caring.

Once a fortnight there's a celebration of returning guests - and there are lots of them. Certificates and awards given out, with the actual manager and his team all dancing on stage, followed by bubbly and nibbles around the pool for all at 5pm! What an incredible touch, and it just shows how this place values its guests.

Night entertainment is 8 pm on-wards. Bit loud, but you can escape it, as in the day. Its all by the pool which is right by the dining area, right by the main bar. Its all together. And the dining area truly overlooks the sea - hear it lapping at the shore whilst you dine. You can dine from 6.30 pm on-wards til 10 pm, then again 11-2! Breakfast starts at 7 - 11. There are some very short gaps when you cant eat, but seriously, how greedy can you be! You don't get checked in or ticked off the dining list when you go to dine (like i have experienced at many 4 & 5 star hotels). You could have 2,3,4 breakfasts, 2,3, 4 lunches etc and they wouldn't mind. They are truly friendly here.

Staff cannot do enough. I was unwell the day after I arrived - sunstroke/dehydrated. Nurse called. took me straight to medical room for assessment. gave me re-hydration sachets. checked up on me for the following 2 days to ensure i was improving. All excellent prompt and FREE care. Nothing serious. Thank god.

Beach is 4 crescent bays created through erection of jetty /harbour like walls. Stroll along the walls and gaze out to sea. so scenic. Loads of bathing space. lots of sun-loungers. Free beach towels (sign for them initially and change them as often as you like). There's none of that reserving the sun-loungers at ungodly o'clock here due to the overnight / early morning rain! no towels on these beds until breakfast. How i detest that desire to reserve "their" beds by certain people.

There's a quiet pool tucked out of the way. little used. good if you want to swim lengths. Small bar to one side. 2 storey accommodation behind it. That's as high as this place goes - 2 storeys. no massive concrete monstrosity of a hotel here, just 2 storeys and lots of garden bungalows - low key, relaxed and truly Jamaican.

Water-sports are 10- 5 pm, inc paddle boarding, Kayaking, snorkelling etc. FREE. not just the morning as one reviewer claimed. Opening times are stated on the banner and its sited on the beach just in front of the main bar. Life guards patrol everywhere. Pontoon trampoline is great to swim out to.

We opted for a garden room. Little individual bungalows with shale roof tiles, walk-in wardrobe (closets), roomy bathroom with large tiles showers (no bath) and uber comfy super kingsize bed 6ft6+ wide, with soft cotton sheets (wanted to take it home). Silent and effective aircon. simply styled clean rooms, surrounded by well maintained gardens, some with hammocks. 1.5 ltr bottle of water in your room daily. Were temporarily located overnight in Royal suite, but really wouldn't recommend this accommodation in the 2 storey blocks. Beds small. Uncomfortable. Lost the feeling that you get in your little bungalows.

All relaxed. unpreteneous, shabby-chic, friendly, authentic, accommodation.

As for the other moans by some - you can pay for 24hrs internet usage - its not free. But the reception/wifi ain't great. You need to use it in the reception area (or room to side of reception). Its 24 full hours. So it counts the minutes from when you sign in to when you sign out. So 24 hrs would last most people their entire holiday, unless they want to stream stuff, and then I have to ask why stay at this beautiful place if you aren't going to enjoy it. Stay at home. Save your money. Stream to your hearts content.

Yes there's a charge for the safe. cost us about £20 for the 2 weeks. Paid for nothing else. So if that bothers you then maybe this place isnt for you and you'd prefer to pay £1000 more and stay in a 4-5 star?? And get the safe included in the price!

What I will say is the high we ended our holiday on. Yes, our daughter didn't want to leave, Yes, its the an amazing place and we'll be checking out their other hotels. What we have never ever had is this....... We checked out at 12 noon as stated we have to. Our all-inclusive bands were cut off, and we were checked out with labels attached to our bags and them stored awaiting our coach to transfer us to the airport. Then Reception stated, you can take lunch and/or drink at the bar whilst you await your pick up. Gob-smacked! Most places check you out and that's it. We, instead, enjoyed a sumptuous plate of lunch and several drinks whilst we awaited our transfer. And it was on that transfer that we picked up at one of those massive impressive mega 5 star hotels. The guest boarding the coach had had their holiday tainted. Their lasting memory would be their having to stand in the reception area for 2 hours, having checked out, they could not go back into the hotel (for which they'd paid excessively for, being 5 star). They couldn't have a drink or dine. They had to stand.

So which hotel has it right and cares for their customers? Where would you prefer to stay?

Room Tip: Ask for a quieter Garden room away from the bar
  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
13  Thank Sandra L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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