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“Excellent Beach Front Resort near Cartagena, Colombia”
Review of Decameron Baru

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Decameron Baru
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Isla Baru
Certificate of Excellence
Ontario, Canada
Level 5 Contributor
18 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Excellent Beach Front Resort near Cartagena, Colombia”
Reviewed 29 December 2012

Visited in March 2012. We decided to choose this resort as it had a great beach and looked great in the photos. It is however about 1.5 hrs from Cartagena, and the roads are a bit rough! Beautiful, vast resort built on a cliff. Lots of stairs and some room blocks are a bit far away from the beach than others. They have identical pools all over the resort, even one hidden by the rooms up in the cliff. No one seem to use this one, most likely because they don't know about it! The beach is awesome, beautiful blue water. The resort also has a nice little bar relaxation spot across the resort which you can take a short boat shuttle across to. Very nice set up and serve food and drinks. Don't forget to do this! Their spa is to dream for. They have their own infinity pool and the massage beds (some indoors) are on little islands (see pic) overseeing the ocean. The food was good and the sun was very hot! My suggestion to anyone visiting Cartagena is to do 2 weeks - one week at the beach (Decameron Isla Baru Resort) and one week at a resort in downtown Cartagena (beaches not as good) to explore the local culture and scene. I would recommend this resort to friends and family.

The only thing is no bar fridge, can request one $$$. If you have mobility issues, definitely request a pool side room on the first floor.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the buildings near the main pool for best access to everything
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  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank firewoman_911
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (119)
Date | Rating
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 December 2012

This is the 4th Decameron I have stayed in across Colombia and it was by far the best so far!
I spent a week there in April with my wife
Rooms - spacious, clean and a really nice bed / pillows
Grounds - clean, tidy and easy to get around but be mindfull that there are quite a lot of steps as this hotel is set out over different levels.
Food - great quality buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner the choice was updated daily, fresh great tasting selection with the staff happy to help.
Beach - was very crowded so get there early, alternativly make sure you walk out to the beach which is located a bit furthur along, lunch there was a welcome change.
Note that English is not widely spoken by the staff, so brush up on Spanish otherwise you might find it a little tough when booking / ordering anything. The pools are nice but shallow, the main pool which is next to the dinning area can get very very busy with kids so if you like a bit peace and quite whilst on holiday dont choose this one, there are other pools available which are much more relaxing.
Gym has some good equipment, its clean and tidy... on the 4 occasions I visited I had the place to myself - The massage was amazing, really relaxing spa section at the hotel make sure to check it out.
Only one gripe, and thats that the pool being cleaned in the morning meant that I wasnt able to swim before 9am (not the end of the world though to be honest)
I will visit again in the future!

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank Wich456
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2012

That's the only word that comes to mind when I read negative reviews about this hotel. This is my 11th all inclusive caribbean vacation and this is in the top 2 hotels I have stayed at. If people complain about this hotel then they must think they are royalty and above us "common" people. The hotel was recently built so the rooms are very modern. The view is one of the best I have ever experienced at any hotel I've stayed at. Yes, there is a lot of walking involved so if you feel you are too special to walk then don't go to this resort. Yes, the food is simple but it was very tasty and excellent quality. Yes, the liquor is not the high quality brands but the beer and wine are excellent. Again, if you feel you are extra special and comparable to royalty then don't go this resort. Yes, the beach is small but you can walk to Playa Blanca in 20 minutes and enjoy an awesome beach. Yes, the water is not crystal clear, it is milky white but it is still beautiful. The staff was oe of the friendliest bunch I have met. I would return to his hotel in a minute.

Room Tip: Room 2301 has patio doors and also a side window. It has a view of the ocean from both sides. Room 2...
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  • Stayed November 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Sylvie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Ramon, California
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 December 2012

the grounds were nice and we got to see several iguanas munching in the tops of trees. The spa and massage was great dampened only by the sound of nearby construction. Staff was excellent and the room was terrific.
Food was very good but not 5 star.
It was a romantic get-away that we really enjoyed.

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank DaCaDad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 November 2012

I was disappointed by our stay here. We were a large group of family, and friends who stayed here.

The food was boring, even at the "speciality restaurants" (we used all three). The desserts were the same everywhere.

I understand that they are trying to feed large numbers of people at the buffets, but most of it was bland and overcooked.

That being said, the service staff were all nice and friendly.

The beach was ok. We did take the walk/very short (20 feet) boat ride to the Puntilla Beach...which was quieter. The lunch there was ok. Go for the the little empanadas. The fish was much better than the chicken.

We all experienced huge problems with a lack of hot water for showers, every day, all the time.

For the price, it was an ok experience. We did have fun, mostly because of the group we were with.

We never made it to any of the shows...

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank jillindenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 October 2012

Honestly I don't understand what kind of spoiled people has to be to write bad reviews about this hotel?! Me and my husband had a great time, everything was perfect. The ride from airport to hotels was fine, good bus, air conditioners, in the bus they pass through Cartagena, and there is a guide that tells you a bit about the places that you pass, which I find expected and was nice, a really quick fairy as well and normal roads to get to hotel. When we arrived they took our bags and after brought to our rooms, 5 min after we checked in and we knew the room we went there and they brought our luggage Really quickly, in the mean time we could use everything, so we went to have some lunch as we had to wait until 3 pm, that that was ok, because we had lunch and went to the beach to have a look. Buffet was good, big choice of food, fruits were amazing, loads of deserts. We tried only one sea food restaurant and it was great, sitting in front of the beach was really nice, food arrived quickly. Rooms were great. Service was perfect, everyone was really friendly, in the evenings there was shows all the time, and the people that does the shows were really talented! Amazing dancers! Even during the day in the pool no 1 they used to do dance classes, funny games so were never bored! And if you want to be bored there is other pools wher is quite and can be very relaxing. Really would go there again!

  • Stayed October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Justina B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Munich, Germany
Level 6 Contributor
77 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 October 2012

We booked this hotel for the last 3 days of our 5-week trip to Colombia. Finding ourselves in this huge resort was a bit of a culture shock after spending all the other nights in cozy, yet comfortable hotels and bed & breakfasts.

Getting to the hotel was no problem. We only had to get to Cartagena International Airport and hop on board of one of the comfortable sub-zeros on wheels. It only took about an hour (incl. very short ferry crossing) to get to the hotel. After reading the reviews I expected a bumpy, uncomfortable ride, but alas was surprised to see that it was nothing like the descriptions I had read. I guess the all-inclusive clientele expects even smoother rides - and yes, the last couple of hundred meters are still unpaved, but certainly not bumpy.

Checking in took a while (with hords of other guests around) but in the meantime we could go to the restaurant and grab some food. The food in general was good and selection was ample. We only tried one of the a la carte-restaurants (the seafood one) and there the food was excellent and the setting right by the beach was quite nice, too.

The room was very spacious, comfortable and had a nice view of the lagoon and the beach. As far as I could figure out, all rooms face the sea. It should be mentioned however that it was hard not to notice the wear and tear (the door hardly closed, the tap was lose, some light bulbs were in need of replacement, and the cleaning and housekeeping was very superficial). Yet, it was absolutely OK for a few days.

The beach is not really what dreams are made of. The sand is white and soft, the water is warm and crystal-clear and there are coconut palmtrees but the beach is pretty narrow and there are sunbeds everywhere. Forget long strolls at the beach - you would have to cross a deep channel and the security won´t let you do that.

The hotel covers a huge area and is surrounded by a lush, well-kept tropical park. Expect long walks to get anywhere! There are several huge pools and while we were there, there was hardly anybody in them.

This being an AI-resort, there are of course several bars (which is where most guests seem to spend their days) that serve all sorts of drinks. I tried some cocktails and most were horrible. As long as you stick to the classics like Cuba Libre or Caipirinha you should be alright though, but some of their concoctions smelled and tasted like toothpaste (or worse). The wine is drinkable, beer and sodas are fine.

So, apart from re-confirming that AI is just not my cup o´ tea and the fact that there is nowhere you could go if you wanted to leave the premises (except by booking one of the extremely overpriced excursion packages) it is certainly not a bad hotel. The staff are so-so, some are very attentive, friendly and helpful while others are almost rude and unfriendly... it´s mass tourism after all. And if you want WIFI you will have to pay for it, and you pay a lot for a slow connection and lousy signal. Don´t expect to meet many non-latin tourists either - it´s a good idea to have some Spanish!

Been there, done that, don´t think I´ll go there again, but that´s just a matter of personal taste, so don´t let this put you off if you like this kind of vacation! There are certainly worse places to spend a few days...

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank OliverE77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Decameron Baru

Property: Decameron Baru
Address: Baru Km 7 | Sector Portonaito, Isla Baru 130017, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Isla Baru
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Isla Baru
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Decameron Baru 3.5*
Number of rooms: 366
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the paradisiac Baru peninsula, 75 minutes from Cartagena and member of the TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’ for its certified excellence during 5 consecutive years, the Decameron Baru allows guests to enter a magical experience that will disconnect them from the outside world. The resort is located amidst a tropical forest and its architectural design intermingles with an ecological environment surrounded by many beaches, among which is the popular ‘Playa Blanca’, considered one of the best beaches of the Colombian Caribbean, and the luxurious ‘Playa Puntilla’ beach, where our travellers may enjoy a private club and several sports such as kayaking, rowing, scuba and snorkeling. Partying and enjoyment are guaranteed, enlivened with the rhythms from the countries of the great Caribbean basin such as ‘champeta’, a genre that mixes African and Colombian Indigenous sounds and that introduces travellers to the local culture. As a complement to pleasure, you may sharpen your senses with the delicacies of typical and renowned Colombian Caribbean cuisine. From this destination you may explore Cartagena’s colonial history and visit other important cities from Colombia’s northern territory such as Barranquilla, a commercial, river and sea port and seat of the multitudinous Carnival, as well as historic Santa Marta, considered the most beautiful bay in America. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Baru Hotel Isla Baru

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