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Back from a one week trip

Ottawa, Canada
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59 posts
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Back from a one week trip

We are slowly returning to normal speed after a week stay at the Royal Decameron Salinitas March 23 to 30 2009). And a good week it was.

Our expectations (using the info in this forum) were met. The resort is clean, our rooms were quite adequate and the staff were, for the most part, all smiles and ready to help. And they are well organized. Registration to the hotel could not be easier. They greet you at the airport, they give you instructions to label your baggages and you don't see them until they magically appear at you hotel room door (in our case about 15 minutes after unlocking the door to our room). A guide accompanies you on the bus ride in and gives youy the necessary info. Same with checking out. You leave your luggage by your door and they take care of putting them on the bus. This is the most efficient set-up I've ever experienced.

A quick note. Our plane was delayed 3.5 hours in Montreal due to some small malfunction. Instead of leaving at 12h00 we left at 15h45. So... we therefore got to the resort 3.5 hours late at which time the buffet is normally closed. They kept it open for us. Granted the choices had been picked over but tere were still choices available.

The place is stretched over 1 km in lenght parallel to the seashore. It takes a day to figure things out. At each extremity of the property you will find a separate pool next to a 'à la carte' restaurant and a small bar. The central part has a cirlular bar, a long sinuous central pool, a steak house, a sauna, a massage section and more. All the restaurants were great. Obviously all menus of all 5 restaurants offer chicken, pork, beef, fish, sea food, but each restaurant prepares the plates according to their specialty (italian, thai, mediterranian, north american, etc.

As previously described the beach is somewhat disapointing but you can still swim in it at high tide. There are enough chairs for everyone to lounge and listen to the waves that accompany the rising tides.

The place did get crowded on the weekend. Salvadorians and Guatamalians come for some R&R along with there kids. The place is nevertheless big enough to accomodiate everyone.

Night life is simple. There is usually some entertainment at the main bar. The nightly shows are somewhat amateurish but they put the necessary effort to make it entertaining.

We did three tours offered by Decameron Excusions: the volcano (El Boqueron) - lake Chetepeque tour, the coffee tour and the market tour (5 different villages). They were all different and gave us a pretty good idea of life in El Salvador. We also went to the Azul beach club offered by the resort. It's a 30-45 minute ride. The beach is great for the swimmers as the waves are strong and the undertow is big-great boogy-boarding! The non-swimmer can still waddle at the edge of the water.

I would definitely recommend this trip to my friends.

As for returning I think not. Not that it's a bad place but there are so many places to visit on this planet of ours. We were told that the Bahia chain is builind a new resort south-east of the airport and that it will be ready in 2 years. Maybe then...

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1. Re: Back from a one week trip

Nice report. It sounds like a great trip. Would you mind sharing with us how much the trip was? Also, how is the location? Is it near a town? I love Salvadorian food and I find it healthier than Mexican food.Did you have any papusas. They are the thick tortillas and they sometimes come with cheese or meat. I am dying to go to El Salvador.

Ottawa, Canada
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59 posts
43 reviews
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2. Re: Back from a one week trip

Hi

The price of this trip varies depending where your departure airport is. We left from Montreal. the price for one week also varies from around $800 to $1000 (Canadian dollars) per person depending on the time you go. Right after New Year is usually the cheapest but you can still get good deals on last minute prices.

The Decameron tour prices vary from 75$ to $40 US depending which tour you take. About a month ago one of the bloggers gave a list of the prices for the various tours. It should still be on line.

As for food we ate all our meals at the hotel with the exeption of the 2 meals we had on the tours - the fish was great. We did have a wrap of sone sort at the airport before leaving and it was also good.

London, Canada
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3. Re: Back from a one week trip

I paid $497 (plus taxes) in January and $597 (plus taxes) in March. Both times departures were from Toronto.

Yes, they have puposas at the resort. I thought they were pretty good and my friend just loved them. They have them at the buffet for some meals. One night of the week the theme at the Chak Balam buffet is Salvadoran food and they definitely have them that night. I also saw them on the other buffet a couple of other times.

Ottawa, Canada
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59 posts
43 reviews
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4. Re: Back from a one week trip

Hi

The cost I quoted in my previous message included taxes and I appologize for not specifying it.

I seldom get upset of other peoples messages but quoting trip prices without taxes can be deceiving because the taxes are not only the provincial one and the federal one wich amounts to apoprox. 15% but you must also add the airport taxes which can be one half or more of the original quoted price. Just look at the adverts in the papers.

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5. Re: Back from a one week trip

I have never done the all inclusive thing but I might if I went to El Salvador. Actually, my partner would feel safer about staying at a resort if we went there. Is there a town nearby or are you out in the boonies? If I went I would definitely like to go on some excursions in order to experience some of the culture.

I live in the Boston area and there is a El Salvadoran community. There are many great restaurants and I love the food. Its very simple but delicious and healthy. The Salvadorans that I have met have been very nice and lately I have been interested in visiting their country. I don't have immediate plans to go but its up there on the list.

San Salvador
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6. Re: Back from a one week trip

otroviaje,

Decameron is rather isolated. There is Las Veraneras (golf and a restaurant) next door, and a bit further a small fishing village.

Sonsonate is the next biggest town nearby, but is not a tourist destination - not very safe. But from there the road called Ruta de Las Flores starts, going through the coffee growing towns of Nahuizalco (handicrafts), Juayua (food fair on week-ends), Apaneca (zip lines), Ataco (handicrafts).

If you take normal precautions, you can go out and learn more about the country. Or take the tours.

Santa Tecla
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7. Re: Back from a one week trip

You must return soon!!! As you have only seen but just a small part of our beautiful country...!!!

It really is shame you didnt get to go to the more well known beaches like PLAYA EL TUNCO, LAS FLORES, BARRA DE SANTIAGO & COSTA DEL SOL. These are places are amazing and I can totally recomend them! Especially Playa El Tunco - with its like a mixture of beach (-particularly great for surfing!) and a bohemian ambiance! I would recomend HOTEL TEKUANI KAL in Playa El Tunco (La Libertad), LAS FLORES SURF CLUB in Las Flores (San Miguel) & LA COCOTERA RESORT in Barra de Santiago (Ahuachapan).

Other great places missed are the Mayan Ruins (Tazumal & San Andres), Suchitoto Lake (& Hotel Los Almedros de San Lorenzo), Ataco (amazing art and atmosphere), Juayua (famous for its gastronomical festival every weekend where you can find a bit of anything and everything on the menu for only a few dollars a plate!) & La Palma (amazing mountains & arts!)

Ottawa, Canada
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59 posts
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8. Re: Back from a one week trip

You are right Pilie. It is a shame that we did not visit more of the places you mention. And I would have liked to visit them but we ran out of time...sort of. We choose an all inclusive resort so we can benefit of our down time to relax and and to escape the cold of winter. The tours available give us a chance to visit part of the country we visit. A two week stay would have allowed us to visit more.

There are no car rental facilities at the resort so it is difficult to get around. Some of the private tour companies could probably accomodate visiting some of the places you mention.

If an all inclusive resort is not your thing you can fly to San Salvador, rent a vehicle and tour around. Driving around, from what I've seen, is not that bad. A good map would greatly help. There are quite a few comfortable hotels in San Salvador. Reading some of the other messages from this site will help in planing the visits you would like to do.

The country is definitely worth seeing.

9. Re: Back from a one week trip

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