Royal Decameron Club Caribbean holds a special place in my heart. It was the first all-inclusive hotel that I booked when I set out on my initial hunt for the best and most affordable retreats on the island.
Although I loved the experience to the point of gloating about it, this review will be a fair analysis of all that it has to offer, including the food, staff, and entertainment.
What I liked
- Budget-friendliness: perfect for anyone who wants the all-inclusive experience without spending an arm and a leg.
- Friendly and helpful staff: the front desk staff members were warm and polite. In addition to a welcoming smile, check-in was quick, plus they offered to hold our bags while we grabbed a bite at the daytime, buffet restaurant since our room wasn’t quite ready.
- Food options: three different restaurants to choose from, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and offering a variety of culinary choices. Alcoholic beverages are also of a good standard and served round the clock (during the day and into the night) – just be careful not to get too drunk.
- Accommodation: reasonably comfortable rooms and suites available in several accommodation types. The best experience depends on what you book (I recommend ocean front cottages – for the view of course – or suites, which offer the most spacious floor plans).
- Entertainment offerings and activities: although the property is not immediately close by to other notable attractions (20 minutes to Dunn’s River Falls, for instance), there is a lot of entertaining events and fun activities to keep you occupied during your stay.
- Clean and well-kept grounds: not only is there a clean and wide beach, but the rest of the grounds are also kept in an immaculate condition, with paths incorporated to allow smooth flow of traffic between areas of accommodation.
What I disliked
- Lack of room or service: no butler service either, but understandable considering its budget friendliness.
- Wi-Fi is not free: one of the few disappointing features here is that you have to pay for Wi-Fi per device if you need to use it.
- Security safe also not free: so securing any item of value also comes at a cost.
Let me start off by saying that the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is not a 5-star resort. If you’re expecting top-notch butler service or nightly turn-down service, then you may be disappointed. With that said, it does pair some great amenities with high-quality service to provide an all-around pleasant experience for visitors. If you’re looking just to relax and have a good time, you might be in for a treat.
The entire atmosphere at this hotel, I must say, is simple and laidback. That goes for the cozy lobby, with its marble floors and warm furniture, as well as the basicness of the rooms, accentuated by pops of colour, here and there. On the other hand, when it comes on to overall comfort and sleep quality, it comes down to where on the property you booked.
In total, there are over 200 cottage-style guest rooms with all the essential conveniences you will need for a relaxing stay. The property consists of 120 Garden View Rooms, 33 Ocean Front Rooms, 20 Courtyard Rooms and 20 Suites.
Oceanfront cottages, in my opinion, are the best because they offer direct beach access, stunning ocean views, and are also a little more on the quiet side. Arguably, the suites would provide the best combination of privacy and comfort due to a larger floor plan and amenities such as a private balcony. However, if you don’t want to shell out the extra bucks, I would suggest sticking with an oceanfront cottage or looking for the most secluded garden view cottage. A garden view away from the main entertainment stage is ideal especially if you want more privacy and a quiet surrounding.
Standard in all categories of accommodation is flat screen TVs, mini fridges, and air conditioning. Bathrooms are also relatively clean and simple, if not run-of-the-mill, offering either shower and tub or walk-in shower.
I had to speak separately about the entertainment offerings here because of the entertainment staff, who I think you’ll love. For the three days that we spent there, we were kept upbeat with day and night activities that ensured we never got bored.
In the daytime, you’ll find the list of planned activities posted on the board by the main pool. At night, the animation team takes center stage and gets the crowd excited. They also put Jamaican culture on display, and we often found ourselves rocking to some reggae music or mimicking the latest dancehall moves.
In addition to the entertaining routines, we also enjoyed the pools and watersports. Just after a filling breakfast, you might want to relax on the beach, sipping on a red stripe beer and soaking up some sun. Well, you’ll be happy to know that finding a beach chair at Royal Decameron Club is never any problem. There are more than enough along the beach, just pick your spot.
There are also two pools at the hotel. If you take pride in peace and quiet, I suggest you check out the quiet pool for adults only. The main pool is good too if you can tolerate a little noise from both children and adults, as well as some music in the background.
If you crave more adventure, there are also non-motorized sports included. Everything from kayaks to pedal boards is available to you. There are even mini-sailboat excursions that one of the experienced guides can take you on (just ask!).
Just a word of warning: be mindful of the weather. On windy days, it can be quite difficult to manoeuver the waves.
Lifeguards on duty check the weather conditions daily and put up a red flag as a warning to be careful. I was unfortunate to be out on a kayak when it suddenly got breezy, and boy oh boy, it turned out to be a challenge getting back to shore.
Now, when it comes on to dining, there are numerous choices, although the property only has three restaurants. There’s the Pick a Pepper restaurant, which is the most popular, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a variety of menu options.
There’s also the Jasmine, which provides walk-in lunches and la carte dinners by reservation only. Finally, there is the reggae-themed Nyamming restaurant on the second floor. We didn’t get to try this one, but other guests said it was great.
The food quality is good. There’s something for both meat lovers and vegetarians as well. The dining staff is quite attentive; they ensured we were well taken care of.
Being the first all-inclusive hotel I had ever visited, I would say Royal Decameron was well-worth every penny. In fact, on the last day of my stay, I convinced my girlfriend to let us book another night (I loved it that much).
You’ll probably see a 3-star rating floating around online for this hotel, but I’m also tempted to give it a 3.5 or, dare I say it, four stars. Therefore, I would recommend it to anyone who might be thinking of checking out a Royal Decameron property (they have locations in several countries outside of Jamaica).
A word of caution, the Montego Bay Royal Decameron was a let down (you can read my review here), but Club Caribbean has my love.
If you’re interested, I would encourage you to go ahead and make your reservation today. You won’t be disappointed.
Book Your Stay at Royal Decameron
If you’re ready to try out this budget-friendly resort then by all means go right ahead!