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“A Truly Odd Place”
Review of Decameron Baru

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Decameron Baru
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Isla Baru
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 September 2013

The hotel is very pretty, clean, has beautiful pools, and a beautiful location. BUT I checked out early, after only one night. I just couldn't stand it any longer.

The food is included. But is HORRIBLE. Mostly a big buffet, but there are two so-called restaurants. Only significant hunger, and the lack of any real alternatives on the island, could induce one to want to eat at the buffet. The Italian "restaurant," which I hoped/prayed would be better, wasn't. The Caprese salad, for example, was 3 silver dollar-sized slices of tomato, and about 3 slices of similarly sized cheese of some sort. The "wine" was so strange that I have to wonder if it properly could be called wine. Other drinks were horrible as well.

The place has a number of timeshare salesmen. They're the seemingly helpful people hanging around the lobby. I asked one staff person if there was an ATM. That led to being introduced to 3 people, filling out a form, and then meeting another person. Who tried to sell me a timeshare. At this point, I'm pretty sure they have no ATM, although no one ever said yeah or nay to that one.

There is no way to get a bottle of water, which is strange indeed for a beach resort. I asked at 3 places and was told "no." This even though they had stacks of bottles of water readily visible to me. Finally they said I had to go to the reception desk, which was not very close. Yes, just for a bottle of water! Reception promised, not to hand me one, but to have one sent to my room. I'm still waiting for it to arrive.

Having no willingness to endure more, I tried to check out early (not requesting a refund for the rest of my stay) and was told they did not know how to call a taxi. With enough pestering of the staff, they agreed to let me leave and called their vehicle to take me. Whether to punish me or otherwise I do not know, but the driver was so smelly I had to keep the windows down. Thankfully it had rained and was fairly cool.

Stranger than fiction, and more creative than I could muster if inclined to make up such an ending to the story, would you believe that my driver, Old Stinky, was playing "Hotel California" on the CD player?!

It's all very sad since the hotel and setting are very nice. So is the staff. But I think this place is run by aliens from some distant planet.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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10  Thank kevininnaples
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 7 September 2013

the first thing was the key for the room,they give you only one regular key with a huge key plaque
instead of cards as 5 star hotels use.
When we got to the room, it was hot in there they should keep the ac on when guest first arrive.
this is the kicker, no mini bar, no room service from the restaurant, you need to get some type of lock they give you for the safe, which looks from the 1800's
the staff most of them need more training on making a guest feel special.
you need some cards they give you for you to get towels, if you dont have those cards they wont give you towels for the pool, there is no pool bar, drinking not allowed in the pool,
Pools are beautiful, beaches are nice but not transparent,lots of rocks so you need to wear beach
shoes, there is no bar at beach, except in the other island adjacent from the resort wich is very nice.
i also went to the hotel decameron they have in downtown cartagena and it is horrible
rooms smelled like mold, plus bathrooms smelled like sewers and old.
the food not attractive, the pool too small plus is next to where people are eating,
My family and i decided to come here to experience a south american resort,
since we have been in resorts in the caribean many times , what a bad choice that was,
we will never come back or recomend this resort to anyone, stick with punta cana resorts, those are really 5 star rating hotels

Room Tip: lower rooms you dont have to walk the steps
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  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank louis m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 September 2013 via mobile

Altought rooms need a bit refurbishing (normal ware and tare maintenance), the location is a magnifique Caraibean Sea typical, with nicely maintained clear blue water beachs. Plenty of bars all around the resort, main restaurant and the "a la carte" good food, but rather limited offer.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank BogdanPre
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2013

We spent 4 nights at this place, and it was decent for an all-inclusive resort. To get to the resort you must drive thru the poorest part of the city, and it is quite depressing. Once at the resort, the beach and the pools look beautiful, and they are until later in the day you see things that don't seem right....like a fecal floating in the pool...and then when you tell an employee about the fecal, and he just scoops it out. The pool doesn't close, people just keep swimming. My husband caught a nasty eye infection that day. The good news? They had a nurse on staff...bad news..they gave him a very weak antibiotic so his eye infection spread to both eyes and lasted over 2 weeks and he had to visit another dr during our vacation because his eyes kept getting worse. I keep thinking how unsanitary those pools must have been....yuck. The food was ok, don't expect to have fine dining.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank RollerDiscoPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 August 2013

We stayed for two nights this August with a large party of friends, both Colombian and British. The hotel was not very busy, probably because it's the low season in Colombia, so this meant that there were never any queues for food or service at the bar. We also always got loungers both at the pools and on the beach.
The location is stunning. Once you've gone over the rickety ferry and the bumpy bus ride, it's totally worth the effort. Uninterrupted views out over the island and a beautiful beach curving out to the horizon. Because we were a large group we were offered drinks while we waited to be checked in. We also got given our wristbands early to get some lunch after the drive over.
Unfortunately we were then directed totally the wrong way to our room, which in the heat of the day was not great, but once we found it were pleasantly surprised. Aircon works and is hugely needed.
There are four pools all of which are clean and tidy, with free towels available and a range of activities. You can also head down to the private beach with lifeguards on duty. Both the pools and the beach are cleared at 6pm.
Food at the decameron was really good. There was a lot of choice, from local specialities to more standard fare. One of our nights seemed to be Mexican night and the chimichangas, tacos and fajitas were brilliant. The various bars are well stocked and service is friendly and helpful.
The only reason this doesn't get five stars is because of the misdirection to our room on arrival and the chaos to get on the right bus on departure. Both of which happened in the heat of the day and with no shade. Apart from this, thoroughly recommend.

Room Tip: Block 1 is the best with the sea views and direct access to the beach. But beware of the numbering...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with friends
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3  Thank throdd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2013

Had a great weekend there....my wife and I are from Bangladesh and were in Colombia for a work assignment from my office. Since we got married very recently we wanted to go somewhere nice and were referred to this place. Its just as great an experience as it sounds. The service is fantastic and the environment was very relaxing. Food was good, room comfortable, beach was clean and lots of fun activities....well mannered staff. Only issue was it took about an hour and half to get our luggage delivered to the room.

Room Tip: Book in advance by a few months to get good deals....or else can be a little expensive. Although the...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Mifta H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2013

The prices are affordable, yet the most expensive Decameron there is. Amazing location and a very nice infrastructure. If you like the "All inclusive" type of vacations, this is definitely a top 5 hotels to go. They have great facilities for this. and tons of services. But it's way too crowded.

For me it was not the place to go. I like to walk along the beach and be sort of alone, or with few people around, meaning, no lines for a restaurant, no curfew, being capable fo reserve the menu restaurant by phone and not having to show up at 7Am. I expect good quality food and I definitely I'm hoping to stay in a Hotel with some sort of Green Policy (at least). Here there is nothing close to that next to the obvious. It's an island so they have to watch out with the water. There is not water during night time in your room.

If you are with a bunch of friends and want to party together and go crazy for a bit. This is the place. But it's not if you want to be in a romantic get away. I appreciated the trying from the Staff as they were in general kind, but the hotel it's just not build for couples.

Room Tip: I stayed in the section 4. It was quite and private. Also very centric. If you can get a higher floo...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank German C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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: £214 - £548 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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