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Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Kelowna, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“would stay again here”
Reviewed 2 March 2012

i found the food was excellent ,staff were helpfull in most cases,it is a large area the hotel is on so there is some walking if you want,there are shuttles.
It was very clean which is what i liked.
A few things they could improve on are internet which you need to pay for and a fridge was $3 a day somthing that should be free i think.
overall i would stay there again

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled solo
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8 Thank 19beachbum57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Regina, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I mean dont go,I have been to a number of other resorts and this resort is a 2.5 star at best,there is nothing to do after supper (the food realy sucks)there night show is all in spanish so you have no idea what they are saying and the the show really sucks big time.the resort has No idea how to treat canadians at all,All they want is your money.After supper there is no late snack place to eat and if you are diabettic and you need a late night snack your out of luck.
The room I was in was in the 16oo block and my room wasnt done up till 5:00pm the next day.The floor in the room was washed with a dirty mop and dirty water this I saw with my own eyes.If you like noodles or chicken that wasnt done well your in luck this is the place to go.If Transsat had only one thred of dignity they would not off this trip next year.I was happy to get home to the snow and cold weather.In your rooms you had to pay for you own coffee maker in you room and also for a fridge in your room per day,this is one big joke of a resort to go to so on my advise dont go there you will waste you money and this is from a guy who has been to 6 different resort in the last 5 years

Room Tip: dont go and waste your money
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank riderblood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Winnipeg, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

The resort is located on a vast piece of property built into a hill and is picturesque and very well maintained. Staff are constantly grooming and cleaning so the areas, including out door bathrooms are very clean. Our room was one of the newer ones on the 3rd floor of Building 48, overlooking the resort and ocean. It required we climb many stairs to our building and then our room which was fine for us but may be challenging to the infirm, elderly or handicapped. The room was spacious and lovely, however at 11:00 p.m. the music from the disco was a problem with the constant booming of the bass. One one occasion, our neighbors had a spat and we thought they were going to come through the wall. Our attempts to phone security went unanswered which was strange as there was a strong presence throughout the resort.
The issue of the food was the main one for both of us. We're not huge eaters but enjoy quality and it was sadly lacking both at the buffet and the ala carte restaurants. The vegetables were pretty tasteless and we found the chicken was the safest bet wherever we went. One night we ordered the sea bass @ "Catch of the Day" and it came as a whole fish with no fish in it so we ordered food off the menu we paid for.
Another issue for us was the charge for wifi and a lock box, both of which should be included in an all inclusive. 15$ per day for wifi is gouging especially since people are in a remote area and want to connect to loved ones at home. You can buy a card for internet in the lounge 1$ per 5 minutes, but in this day and age this should be free. Also, there is no kleenex, clock or washcloths in the room and the hot water was inconsistent to say the least. Bring your own shampoo, etc. They didn't charge us for the fridge but for the most part this was extra which is ridiculous. Also, no kettle, coffee pot etc. which is something that should be in the room.
The beach is lovely and you can walk forever. We went para sailing which was fun. Friends of ours took the "booze cruise" and felt it was a waste of 75 $ per person. We went to the Embera indigenous community and it was a great experience. Buy your goods there as they are very reasonable and a little bit different than what you see elsewhere. Take good water shoes for this as you visit a waterfall and are walking along a muddy river or rock.
We ventured off the resort into the little town of Farallon where there are shops and a great restaurant call La Fogata. It is owned by a Swiss man and offers delicious seafood and steak at very reasonable prices. If you keep walking through the village you end up at a beach bar/diner called Pepa's and the food is great...fish and chips, calamari and ice cold beer. You can then walk back to the resort along the beach. There is also a place called Woody's along the beach (owned and operated by a Canadian) where you can get a good hamburger. I had sea bass and it was very good.
We stayed 11 days on the resort and then went to the city for 3 where we stayed at the Radisson. In retrospect we would have stayed in the city longer. We visited both sides of the Canal (Panama City and Colon). The area in Colon was much more interesting as they are expanding the Canal and you can almost touch the boats as they go through and it is less crowded. We also went to the little town of Portobelo which is charming and full of history. We took the train from Colon back to Panama city and followed the canal the full way.
Once in the city we visited old town where they are restoring the old part of Panama City. We went to the Causeway which is an area in which 3 islands are connected using the rubble left over from the building of the canal. There are 2 good restaurants at the end, Buccaneero's and Lenos. The stay at the Radisson was much better. Our room happened to be deluxe and the service and food was great. One complaint we had was that they didn't advise us that they were charging for water which resulted in a bill of 28$ at the end of our stay.
All in all our trip was great but we would NOT return to the deCameron unless they took care of the food issue. The bus ride there is long, but there is a new airport that is due to open in 2014. I wonder about the noise of the air traffic when this occurs. We would definitely return to Panama in the future and visit other areas.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank WinnieManitoba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Regina, Saskatchewan
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

Loved the resort, the beach was fantastic and we were able to walk for long distances in both directions. A very large resort but once you have your bearings it is very easy to get around. We stayed in the Villas closest to Lobby 3 and were extremely happy with the size of the room as well as how quiet it was, a little bit of a walk but yet was still only 10 mins to the beach. The only drawback was the long bus ride to and from the resort but as of Feb 2013 there will be another airport open within 15 mins of the resort. Not a lot yet for nightlife here which would have made the stay even better, however we were more prone to getting up early anyways as the sunrises were beautiful. The staff were very friendly and tipping went a long way, although not expected, in fact I think only about 10% of the people were tipping.

The best part of the holiday had to be the weather, it was very hot and sunny every single day. In fact it was the first holiday where we have actually looked for shade during parts of the day. Absolutely as hot here at nights as most other places have been during the day.

The food was good and the fruit was amazing, not hard at all to find something to your taste's. An abundance of places to get drinks and lots of pools to swim suitable for all ages.

Would highly recommend this resort to anyone.

Room Tip: If you pick a Villa perhaps look at the ones closest to Lobby 3 or just off Lobby 1, otherwise you c...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank TommyboySK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

We visited this resort as guests of a wedding. I'd read some reviews prior to going, and so was expecting a mexico-like vacation.

*1st suggestion - upgrade to business class on the flight, it was so worth it. The extra leg room on the longer flight was nice, and we were provided snacks and unlimited drinks.
The bus ride to the resort felt long after the flight, but this will be a non-issue after the new airport opens in 2014 - you'll be minutes from the resort.
We did not get the upgraded room we requested at check in and although we were moved, were told we had to wait until tomorrow for the beachfront room to be available.
*2nd - Ensure you pack shorts, toothbrush, etc in your carry on, because it took hours to get everyones bags to their rooms.
The restaurants serve meals only at breakfast, lunch and dinner times, everything in between they have a snack bar - the only problem is the snack bars all serve the same hamburgers, hotdogs and french fries - all pre-made, all the same, every day. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but if you go on an excursion, or lose track of dinner time, you're stuck eating a lot of hamburgers over your vacation.
*3 Make your a la carte reservations early.
The a la carte restaurants had much better food than the buffets. The resevation slots always sold out early (a couple days in advance) although we never saw a full restaurant.
*4 Plan your excursions in advance - know what to ask for.
Although we reviewed some of the activities in Panama, we waited until arriving at the hotel to make any plans, thinking we'd rely on the expertise of the staff. We did manage to schedule and enjoy some excursions - but it was a painful process in the hotel. The staff were not helpful, we were told yes by one, and no to the same question by another. They didn't assist in planning or making activities available to us at all. If you know exactly what you want (and can request it in spanish) you'll be ok.

The bartenders were fantastic, the beach was nice, the pools were numerous - although it would have been great to have more than one adult only pool - and different music (not blaring all day). The staff worked hard to encourage everyone to join in the pool side activities (dance lesson, water polo, aquasize).

*If you are traveling with someone who has mobility issues or children, its a long walk everywhere, and the hills are steep. It may be better to book near the beach/pools, but don't plan on making it to the lobby if that's the case.

**Most importantly** Visit Woody's. It's a short walk down the beach - its a small bar owned by a Canadian, so he imports Clamato - they have a killer ceasar - and the food is decent and very well priced. We had lobster dinners - hands down the best i've had and only $30.

Overall we had a great beach vacation. It would have been nice to be able to do more activities, and be near a town - so you can get a change from the resort. I'm sure this will be possible once the airport opens as it will encourage more development (and a dramatic increase in price).

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
10 Thank blueeyedgrl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Massachusetts
Level 5 Contributor
34 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 216 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

As I write this review, I am torn with mixed reactions regarding my vacation in Panama and my stay at the Decameron property. I base this on a good deal of travel experience throughout Mexico, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, etc. as we love this part of the world. While we enjoyed our time in Panama and traveling through the country, meeting its people and learning about its culture, we feel extremely disappointed in certain aspects of the Decameron.

First, the Decameron - This is an extremely large property spread out over a large area. It is best to do your own walking tour upon arrival with a Decameron map in hard, so that you may “learn the lay of the land”. There are many individual restaurants, bars, three buffet restaurants, various bars, and a variety of pools on the property. The property itself is located on a large expanse of beach which is ideal for walking as it is about a 50 minute walk from one end to the other. There are many beach chairs and covers, though the chairs with cover protection in the shade go quite early in the morning. The weather was wonderful while there. It was very hot and sunny by day, cooling down and comfortable in the evening. We found we could only take so much sun and were searching out shady areas as the day went on. One had to pay attention while swimming as there were warnings of undertows during our week’s stay.

The property is beautifully landscaped and in good repair though requests for items needed in the room often took days to accomplish. We had daily room service and even with leaving a gratuity daily, it was difficult to receive as much as an extra hand towel – just one for the two of us. Most workers were polite.

After trying five specialty restaurants on the property, we came to the conclusion that the food at the buffets was much better that at the specialty restaurants. The service offered at the buffets was also much better. In several specialty restaurants service was extremely poor. We never went hungry as there was always something to eat and after all, we did not travel to Panama for its food. A plus was the salad selection available at each restaurant.

We enjoyed having drinks at the terrace bar of the Café Med, the Mediterranean Restaurant. There was also some entertainment at this location. It was a delightful setting overlooking the beach, and we made some new friends here.

Our room was equipped with two queen sized beds, two chairs, small table, a roomy bathroom, and a balcony with two chairs. Our room was in good repair and just fine until the nighttime hours set in – namely 11:30 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. This is when the open air disco on the Decameron property situated below our building was open. Then… for me it was miserable. You see, the blaring disco music was nonstop and the BOOM, BOOM, BOOM of the loud heavy base music vibrated throughout the room. This was with the sliders pulled shut and locked, drapes pulled, and the air conditioner on high. For me, sleep was impossible until 3:00 a.m. My husband can sleep through anything so this did not affect him the same way. The wife of our friends that we travel with experienced the same thing in her room upstairs, while her husband also could sleep through anything. It was the women who suffered. Each morning my friend and I would discuss our distressful night, close to tears and exhausted. The first two nights were the worse, and then it became calmer mid-week, thank goodness. Our final night there however, Saturday night, was a nightmare. As we had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to have a quick breakfast and drive to the airport in order to avoid road closures due to Carnival, we were exhausted.

This simply is not fair or considerate of customers. For $297.00 a night, one should expect to be able to get a good night’s sleep with some peace and quiet. We reserved our rooms months in advance. When we checked in, the front desk receptionists, seeing our age – being on the older side, should have known better than to put us in these rooms. They could look at us and know we were not going to be partying in the disco until 3:00 a.m. Or… these rooms should be available at a reduced rate and with a warning. Throughout all my travels over the years, I have never experienced anything like this before. It did indeed put a serious damper on my vacation.

Panama - We rented a car for the week prior to our arrival. It was an easy pick-up at the airport. The drive to the Decameron takes about 2.5 hours due to heavy traffic volume. It is easy to get lost in Panama City as roads are not well marked. We took several half day driving trips and also booked a full day tour through the hotel. We booked a full day tour as we wanted to take the Panama Express Train ride along the canal. This trip consisted of the six of us in our group. Omar was our tour guide and he was fabulous. This trip also included a visit to Portobelo along the Caribbean coast, and a visit to the Gatun Locks. The visit to the Gatun Locks was amazing as we felt like we had our own private viewing – there were very few folks there. Being at the Canal was a real highlight. We also spent time in El Valle de Anton, a pretty community with a wonderful artisan market for shopping. The prices were very good. We spent most of a day in Penonome, about 30 minutes from the hotel. Penonome is the commercial area closest to Farallion. We enjoyed their preparation festivities for Carnival. We also enjoyed the beautiful village of La Pintada. In addition, we were able to take in the visitor’s center at Miraflores Locks and toured Panama Viejo. The visitor’s center at Miraflores Locks was extremely crowded with many large tour buses there at the same time. We were so thankful we had visited Gatun Locks prior. We took advantage of our opportunity to drive through a large part of Panama City in route to the airport. We enjoyed our travels through Panama and felt safe at all times. Speaking some Spanish does help with directions.

We felt we made good use of our time in Panama and enjoyed venturing out from the property very much. It truly is a shame that folks at the Decameron were so inconsiderate in their room placement. A warning to all: If you hope to get some sleep during your stay, be aware of the placement of your building on the property in relation to the disco before accepting the room and checking in.

Room Tip: Be aware of the location of your room in relation to the disco on the property.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
11 Thank School's Out 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Farallon hotels

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 February 2012

Just finished a stay at the resort. I arrived on Feb. 20 and left on Feb. 27, 2012. My room number was 4521. I was there to attend a wedding with a group of 30+ people.

Beautiful resort, the waiting and bar tending staff were excellent. I also enjoyed the level of security offered on the resort.

The rest of my stay was not up to 4 star standard. I have been to a dozen resorts in my life, mostly 3 star and up. This resort is at most, a 2.5 star.

The food was very bland and flavourless. Even at the a la carte restaurants, the food was only tiny bit more flavourful.

I did not mind the long, steep uphill walks. I am not sure how the elderly, which is the majority of the patrons, could survive a week of going up and down the hills. I did mind having to jump out of the way of staff vehicles at least 5 times a day. The resort is big enough, that these types of vehicles can have their own paths and not disturb guests.

My room is where they lost the most points. Most of these issues should not arise and I should not have to ask for them if it were indeed a 4 star resort:

We did not have an ashtray on our balcony. Other guest's did. Cigarettes were thrown onto the lawn.

We were only given one hand-towel, I was in another guest's room and they were given two. This did not change throughout the week.

One day, we were given bath towels which were so old, they began to deteriorate as I was drying off. My body was covered in white fluff and I was forced to take another shower and wipe down with a beach towel. Throw your old towels out.

My bedsheets were not changed on a regular basis. I know this because when I arrived, there was a mark on my bed sheet that did not change until mid-week. I was told by another guest, mid-week, that the room should have had a card where we could check off what we wanted changed/cleaned. Our room did not come with this and we never received one.

The curtains covering our balcony were terrible. Every time someone would open or close them, they would come off the hinges. The first day, we left the curtains off the hooks hoping that the maid would set them back up. This did not happen. We had to re-hook our curtains the rest of the week.

The blinds to one of our windows fell off the first time we tried to lower them and it was left on the floor for the entire stay. There was no attempt by the maid to put it back up.

The floor in our room was only swept 2 or 3 times. In a beach resort, where guests can easily track in sand, the rooms should be swept automatically everyday. Again, if we had a room cleaning card to check this off, we would have.

The biggest issue I had occurred when a friend of mine, in room 4503, had an unopened bottle of Havana Club 7 year old rum, gone missing from his room on the morning of Feb. 22, after he had gone to breakfast. He had reported it to reception and they had said they would look into it. They never looked into it. I believe that theft should be treated seriously at a resort where you want your guests to feel secure. Unless, of course, you don't care about your guests.

I would not come back to the resort and I would not recommend it to others when I am asked. The resort is definitely not 4 stars and should stop advertising itself as such.

Room Tip: Pick another resort.
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank TO_Quan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas

Property: Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas
Address: Avenida principal Farallon, Km.115 | Carretera Interamericana, Farallon, Rio Hato, Panama
Region: Panama > Cocle Province > Rio Hato > Farallon
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Farallon
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas 3*
Number of rooms: 1170
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama is an all inclusive hotel located about 2 kilometers of white sandy beach in Farallon, Panama. The hotel is located on the Pacific coast, close to many tourist attractions. Also, the city of Panama and the Tocumen International Airport (PTY) are located 120 miles away. The Royal Decameron in Panama hotel offers 852 guestrooms in low-rise buildings and 370 rooms Villas. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, satellite TV, closet, safe (local charge), direct dial telephone (with deposit cash at the reception) and a private bathroom with shower and hair dryer. Also have a minibar as part of the all inclusive plan and the villas are located on the golf course. Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama offers eight pools for adults three wading pools, three hot tubs, a casino, a golf course with 18 holes and a full spa. This beach hotel also offers a variety of organized activities on land and water for the whole family, and two convention centers for business travelers. The Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort has 11 bars, a nightclub and 10 restaurants ranging from traditional to the more exotic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf Hotel Farallon
Royal Decameron Beach Resort, Golf And Casino
Royal Decameron Beach Resort Panama
Royal Decameron Beach Hotel
Royal Decameron Panama
Hotel Royal Decameron Beach
Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Hotel
Royal Decameron Beach Resort Golf & Casino
Royal Decameron Resort Panama
Royal Decameron Golf, Beach Resort & Villas Panama

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