PREFACE: Have been to numerous all-inclusive throughout Mexico, last trip was to Hawaii....
GETTING HERE: The hotel is literally 5 minutes from the airport... however because the World Cup game was in progress... we waited 30+ minutes to board a shuttle to the hotel. Also, this is referred to as 'Jack Tar'... instead of Royal Decameron... we never were told why.
ARRIVAL: the resort entry is pretty, although it seems to lack a busy hub of people. Of the 12 on the shuttle we were the only ones staying at this hotel. We walked in to the lobby a bar to the right, desk to the left, and straight ahead a look at palm trees and blue water. Checking in was easy, show them passport you are then handed a schedule, and a room KEY... which is an actual 'key' on a chain you wrap around your wrist. 'Denton' was asked to carry our bags to the room... he was the highlight of our visit.
THE ROOM: the 3 of us and our 2 carry on bags entered an elevator... which had a maximum capacity of 4. Very small... but suitable. As we walked down the opened corridor to our 2nd floor room, the door opens, and it is colorful and welcoming, offering a full view of the water, boardwalk, and beach area. Closer inspection of the room indicates very modest accommodations... the bed is on a standard frame, I thought it was ok, wife disagreed. couple of night stands, table with 2 chairs, ceiling fan, A/C (which was in Celsius, which we did not have conversion for) and flat screen tv with cable & movie channels. Bathroom was very dated, and in need of some repairs, but again suitable. As far as NOISE... our room was 4 rooms down from the evening entertainment, which means you have loud music till at least 11, which is not a problem, until you have to rise at 4AM next morning.
THE FOOD: 3 restaurants. The beach grill, had very strange hours... open from noon-5, then again at 11PM. Table/chairs near it, they had someone wait on you, even though it was set up like a buffet line. Some things you can help yourself to, others you cannot... and they do not communicate this to you. Buffet restaurant for breakfast, lunch & dinner. We had several very good new foods we tried. Some things were tasty, but overall I found the food to be rather bland. Plenty of fresh options, and they did a fantastic job of reusing yesterday's leftovers in today's offerings. The sit-down dinner required reservations, and had a limited menu selection of about 8 items to choose from. Someone had warned us against the beef and pork, so we chose the shrimp and pasta. It was a 4 course meal with full table service including wine. Again the food was good, but nothing spectacular.
THE DRINKS: They have 4 bars open various hours. Most had similar offerings, some had a menu of tropical drinks, others did not. They use local brand liquors, and most drinks did not appear to be that strong... which just leads you to drink more often. Even though there are bars spread out, they have ZERO 'table' service as we have experienced in other places. if you want a drink, you go to the bar and get it yourself.
TIPPING: Every other all inclusive we have been to, gratuities have been included, as was the case here. However we always take extra 1 & 5 dollar bills handing them out as needed. The people here definitely do NOT work for tips. The few times I would tip someone what I thought was fairly healthy... you go back and most times, they are no longer at that station. The servers in the restaurants had no real interest in going above & beyond, engaging the customers and making them 'happy'. I could've easily tipped twice what I did, having found people who were interested in making more money.
THE STAFF: most were 'friendly', but I felt did not go out of their way to make you HAPPY. they were just there doing the minimum, and (to me) it showed. Passing by staff in your walkings, some would say hello, others would not, very few would engage you in conversation.
THE ENTERTAINMENT: there is a list of daily activities... which we found to be non-existent. We were by the pool and activity area one day, and we heard the coordinator talking about the days activities... beer chugging, beach volleyball, a few other things... then it was time for the pool aerobics, which lasted about 30 minutes... and then we never heard from the coordinator again! The night entertainment was good, but could have been much better had they advertised what was happening. the only thing you could get was - the Decameron dancers. One evening, less than 30 minutes before it was to start, I asked the bar person at the bar in the middle of that activity - what is happening tonite? the response? I"m not sure. If the people working in the area of the event have no clue what is going on, how is the customer supposed to know? As a result, we came to it late, to find out they were playing Bingo (with prizes) which we would have liked to play, but arriving late meant - no card. They also had a discoteche, but we could not even locate it until our last day there. Not having scheduled activities is fine... but having them and not DOING them.. is to me a big let down.
THE WATER: There are several areas for swimming. 2 or 3 included a section of sand, which in some areas was completely under water at high tide. However during low tide, you had 10-15 feet of sand and adequate chairs and tables for your belongings. Another very long section was more like a pool setting... you either jump in, or climb down a ladder into the water. It was between 7 & 20 feet deep throughout, and crystal clear. They had an anchored platform, and a 'tramp' as well you could use. There were 2-3 lifeguards on duty 'most' of the day, but they were never needed. There was also a very long section above this area, with sand, chairs and umbrellas, as well as an area with cushioned 'beds'. The various times we visited each of these areas, there were perhaps 10-15 other people present.... not at all crowded and very quiet (no music playing).
THE POOLS: 2 of them, 1 with swim up bar, the other just above it more of a 'kids' area. Several VERY comfy lounge chairs, some in shade, some under umbrellas. DOWNER - the pool deck is in SLATE, which became VERY hot to walk on during the day. Even from your chair to the pool could easily burn your feet. Thursday afternoon 1PM, there were 11 people in the pool with bar, including my wife and I. Again, extremely quiet and peaceful.
THE GUESTS: Having been to other resorts, we met quite a few people interested in conversing with others. At this resort... it was the opposite. People did not want to talk with you at ALL! Pass someone on a path - they would not look at you, or if they did.. you might gather a brief smile. At the bar, an older guy was doing a tequila shot by himself... I asked - is it already time for shots? He replies - yeah... then turns to the bartender - one more shot please. We found very few guests that spoke English, I guess this is a spot for many Europeans.
THE EXTRAS: The rooms do have A/C, and cable TV with movie channels, however no PPV or anything. Several channels in other languages also. INTERNET: Available in the lobby, $5/hour or $20/day. What they may forget to tell you is it is not consecutive... that is LOGGED IN time. Once you are done, you disconnect from WIFI, and your time-clock stops. so your HOUR may be enough for 2-3 days if you use it sparingly. There is no WIFI in the rooms. This is good in a way, to help you to communicate with other people, but as stated previously, we couldn't find anyone interested in having a conversation, even when we tried to start them with several people.
SOUVENIRS: They have small gift shop on premises which we visited. NO high pressured sales here. Prices we thought were a bit high... until we ventured down the street to a gift shop. We found items MUCH higher priced than the store... and VERY high-pressure sales tactics.
BOTTOM LINE: We planned our trip to Jamaica as a way to 'relax' and unwind, after a week in florida with the kids & grandkids all in one house. We wanted to 'do nothing', in a tropical setting... to ourselves. With all the 'negative' comments you may read above... this one gave us everything we were looking for. For 4 days/3 nights, we paid less than $600 total (excluding air). While we certainly could've paid much moire for a 'nicer' place, it may have been MUCH more crowded, and a LOT less friendly.... If you are looking for a resort with lots of activity, GREAT food, being waited on hand/foot with drinks... and lots of people to interact with... this is probably NOT the place for that. However, if you are looking for a budget friendly, mostly nice place to relax and unwind with lots of privacy.... or you plan to do a lot of tours, and only need a place for sleeping and occasional meal/drink... this is probably a great place to do so!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located five minutes away from Montego Bay International Airport near the commercial district and the Hip Strip, Royal Decameron Montego Beach is a beachfront property on white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters. Its facilities and ensure a relaxing holiday environment. This hotel has two restaurants, PassaPassa and Souk, where you can enjoy different international and regional dishes. During the day, you can partake in different recreational activities including dance lessons, aerobics and non-motorized water sports like kayaks, sailboats and diving lessons in the pool. In the evenings, enjoy our shows and dance till you drop at the disco of the Royal Decameron Montego Beach hotel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Jack Tar Village
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach Bay
- Royal Decameron Jamaica
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach Hotel
- Royal Decameron Montego Bay Jamaica
- Montego Beach
- Decameron Montego Bay
- Royal Decameron Montego Beach All Inclusive