We've just got back from a week at the royal decamaron and it was just what we needed. This is a place to get away, relax, de-stress and get a tan. This isn't really an activities or cultural holiday so if you want those things, don't come here. Yes there are activities, but not many and everything is very expensive there because there's little competition.
The hotel is great - not fancy, but really good. The rooms are clean and spacious and provide everything you need. We actually ended up in a suite (we hadn't booked one) which was gigantic with views over the beach - perfect! The all inclusive food is great - we loved lunch at the restaurant tortuga overlooking the beach and the dinners were always impressive. There was so much choice, even the pickiest people could find something and the standard of the food is very good. Guaranteed you'll come back 1/2 a stone heavier! All inclusive drinks are fine - nothing amazing, but good. They love to overpour the spirit measures! I ended up asking for a small gin and tonic just to avoid getting an entire glass of tin with a splash of tonic (after two of these I was totally plastered!). The wine at dinner is drinkable but nothing amazing. The beer is good. Wasn't keen on the cocktails - left them to the French. But the spirits and mixers were great and a good choice.
The animation team is fine - we tended to avoid them, but if you want then all sorts of activities and entertainment are available all day and night long.
The pool is lovely as are the loungers around it. However there aren't enough which leads to ridiculous towel hogging situations! They need more sun loungers. The beach is beautiful golden sand over long stretches with dunes at one end (great fun - recommend you visit them, preferably on a quad bike). It's very windy and the sun on the beach is very hot which is why the pool is preferred, but there are plenty of loungers and umbrellas on the beach too.
Here are some tips of things we wished people had told us before we went:
- mastercard is not accepted anywhere on the island. There are ATMS in Sal Rey but they only accept via - not electron, solo, mastercard, maestro or amex - despite the signs on the machine. Ditto the hotel. The travel reps only accept cash. We recommend you take euros cash with you as this is interchangeable with escudos on the island (and we never take cash, always our cards as we get better rates but had such issues with them).
- Don't pay for transfers as part of your package. They are ridiculously overpriced. It costs 5 euros each way from the airport to the hotel. Per taxi, not per person.
- Do take higher factor sunscreen than you would on other holidays - you are almost at the equator and the sun is very strong. My husband burnt in the shade under an umbrella. I burnt in 30 minutes at 3.30pm with factor 15 sunscreen on (we were white and pasty after a long English winter).
- Do go exploring. It's a friendly island, the locals are great, they will try to sell you things, just hold your ground and say no if you don't want it. If you do, haggle. It's expected.
- Do go out and eat in a restaurant outside the hotel. The local food is delicious and not expensive. We went to Porton de nos Ilhos in Sal Rey and had the most delicious seafood meal we've had in a long time.
- Do go for lunch in restaurant Tortuga - you can also get lunch at the beach bar and the main restaurant but it's best at Tortuga.
- Don't bother buying water - you can refill your bottles in the restaurants - there's a bottle provided in your room.
Other than that - go, have fun, enjoy, relax, chill out, and appreciate somewhere before it gets overrun with tourism and turns into the canaries.
The suites are the single story rooms in rows overlooking the beach (ours were the 600s). These are...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC