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“Nice setting but poor Wi-Fi. Disorganisation is rife”

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Royal Decameron Punta Centinela
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Elena
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Nice setting but poor Wi-Fi. Disorganisation is rife”
Reviewed 14 April 2014

The hotel boasts a lovely setting, right on the beachfront with beautiful landscaped gardens surrounding the two swimming pools. The outside bars are restaurants are spaced nicely apart and service within them is great. Indeed, all the waiters and waitresses as well as bar staff were very friendly and helpful. At the front desk, however, the same cannot be said to be true. Simply put, the staff here seem to have little or no idea about any of the goings-on within the hotel and take great pleasure in re-directing you to other parts of the lobby when they can't answer a question (often).

While Wi-Fi is not a deal-breaker for me, I did need to do a little bit of work during my stay. Unfortunately, free Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby so I needed to purchase a Wi-Fi pass to benefit from some privacy when working. The paid Wi-Fi is not, by any means, expensive at $4 for 12 hours of connectivity. However, it rarely works. In fact, I lost count of the number of times the connection just cut off for no reason, even in the bedroom. I expect this sort of thing with free Wi-Fi, but not when you have to pay for it.

The most annoying thing about this hotel was the sheer chaos that accompanied the check-out process. When checking out, guests are asked to fill in some kind of satisfaction survey. Why they can't email this to you or put it under the door like other hotels is beyond me because this lengthened the check-out process significantly and resulted in what can only be described as a melee with guests barging past each other, rather than standing in line, to return keys, pay bills etc. Additionally, I was quite unprepared for the scenes that were to follow when I had to retrieve my baggage from the outside store room after checking out. In a situation akin to an Ethiopian aid drop, guests were forcing open the door of the store room demanding their baggage be given to them ahead of those that had patiently waited in line (such as me). Rather than instruct the guests to behave in a non-animalistic manner, the bell boys and "security" actually seemed to encouraged the elbowing, pushing and shoving. Clearly, people in Ecuador are not accustomed to queuing and very few seem to have been brought up with manners or etiquette.

On the plus side, there is a nice beachfront massage hut next to the beach that you'll inevitably need to visit due to stress overload from the above disorganisation or the fact that you'll likely spend 1-2 hours in front of a Royal Decameron salesman determined to sell you a credit/loyalty card.

Food is basic but decent and drinks do the job (i.e. one can, with enough determination, become inebriated which is often not the case with the watered-down stuff normally on offer in all-inclusive resorts).

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank foggyhorse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Waltham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
37 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 February 2014

We stayed at Punta Centinela during the 1st week of February. The hotel is 2 hours by car from Guayaquil airport (BTW this airport is one of the nicest and newest airport I have been in South America with the strongest WIFI signal ever experienced at any airport). We arranged with the hotel for the ride to the hotel. We arrived at around 3pm and the room was not ready but we were able to use the hotel amenities (food) while we waited at no extra cost.
Once we we arrived to our room we realized the gave us the wrong room and were quickly upgraded to a larger nicer room.
The staff was the best. Always with a smile and willing to help. They only spoke Spanish so you better brush up on your español before arriving. Most of the people staying were from South America.

My wife and I spend most of our time at the beach reading and drinking but most of families with children were at the pools.
There is a bar at the beach were you can get drinks and chips all day long. This worked out great for us.
Also the ocean is warm, not Caribbean warm but warm enough and a bit rough and fun (Great for body surfing)

There is a buffet every night at the main restaurant. Each night there is a different food theme.(Mexican, Italian, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, etc) There is a lot food each night so there is always something you will like.

There is also nightly entertainment. This was fun.

Overall, it was a great experience for us. Our goal was to hang out at the beach and relax for a few days and we accomplished that.

Room Tip: Try to stay in the newer main building. Rooms are larger.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cavv123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort Worth, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 June 2013

I was a little nervous because I usually don't like all-inclusive resorts (because the food/drinks usually suck.). I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this place. The check-in staff were super friendly and the process was quick. The room was large and bright. The whole grounds of the place were gorgeously landscaped and maintained. Every staff member that I came into contact with was very friendly. The drinks were decent, but served in very small plastic cups. We remedied this by always ordering 2 drinks, which they happily supplied. (Tacky, I know, but we like to party. LOL!!) The thing that surprised me most was the food. The buffet had some really great selections (with a few misses, but that's to be expected.) But the Mediterranean restaurant was AMAZING!!! You have to make a reservation, but it's so worth it. You MUST try the "lomo de res" with Roquefort sauce. It's one of the best steaks I've ever had. The only complaints I would make is that the pool/jacuzzi closes too early and the resort is far from Guayaquil so it takes about 2 hours to drive there. But I will definitely be coming back to this place.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank kevi747
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York, New York, United States
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 May 2013

We arrived from Guayaquil airport ..2 hours trip, after that my wife and I got into the lobby, we were greet by 2 employees one of them Silvia sabando and another from Uruguay susana magnolia and think is her last name this woman has a very poor customer service skills, she told us right before we spoke to the hotel counter that we were not supposed to check in before 3:00 pm otherwise we had to pay an extra 19 dollars for early check in,we kind of new about it cause we read the rules of the hotel, but I said ok and I am going to sit at the lobby and wait for it, 2 minutes later a guy name marlon Rodriguez, approached me and said that since we were coming from the airport we were not supposed to wait at all that I have to check in immediately and get my room, as I was walking to the counter this lady susana magnolia without any kind of respect told me that what I was doing there, that she already advised me of the rules, at this point I was irated with this woman and explode and I advised the counter that I need my money back for the 3 rooms I paid for it, at this point Silvia spoke to my wife and apologized for the attitude of the other coworker susana, I think this lady should not be working at lobby of the hotel or at least the management should send this woman to get classes of how to handled guests of the hotel in cases like this, I think personally the first impression that any guest would take is check in, after that everything else comes along, after all this hotel needs a lot to do for its guests, food was horrible, not Ecuadorean food at all, had Mexican food, pleaseeeeee I went to Ecuador not Mexico, only had ceviche as domestic food , drinks were not what I expect it, not real juice, rooms were ok, not bad, employees overall need more educated, I would rate my stay as very poor, needs more attention from the management, as a travel agent that I am, would not recommend my clients to go to this hotel, they will probably call me and ask me for a full refund.

Room Tip: Talk to Silvia sabando, she is the best
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  • Stayed May 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Jimmy L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guayaquil, Ecuador
Level Contributor
389 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

Had a convention with my fellow workers. Price for the whole package (13 people) was very convenient. Rooms and convention related services acceptable.

Check in process was very smooth. I had suffered badly in other Decameron properties during check in.

Best time of the year to go is from January to March. You will find warm waters and sunny days.

Food was OK. Can't complaint.

Well trained staff.

Water sports end early. Make sure you ask open hours once you check in.

There is a tennis court outside the property that you are allowed to use.

Room Tip: Ask for ocean view rooms.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank alerf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2013 via mobile

Fun small family resort very private and entertaining workers ... Family oriented bar opens until 2 am ... Food is delicious with wide variety international and typical of the country ... Rooms are very clean and have a little porch .. Dance classes on the beach and exciting and energetic workers

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Paoladorellana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guayaquil
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 February 2013

We stayed the first weekend of Feb. The remodeling building was nice but the bathrooms were terrible. The attention was good, everybody smiles and were polite. The food just enough...No sea food at all, they just served cebiche in plastic cups (a little bit over cooked and chewy) . The drinks were very nice but to small and again with horrible plastic cups (?¿) The lazy chairs at the beach didn´t have a mat so this made them very unconfortable. For kids over 6 years, there is no activities at all, just snorkelling lesson at the pool that unfortunately my kids all ready knew, the jacuzzi, gym, spa, canoe or ping pong table required 18 years, and for the evenning a movie like happy feet proyected at the main bar cause the activity room was not working. At nights, they have parties at the bar till 2 am, the music was so laud that we couldn´t sleep and in the sunday morning they started fumigating at 7:30 with a very noisy machine, I had to call front desk twice to beg them to stop, when I was ready asleep again (8:00AM) some hotel worker knocked on my door to leave a paper that says that I have to leave my room at noon other wise a will have to pay 50% more (?¿) We consider this inappropriet not only for the time but the way to treat a guest...One of the two pools closes at 6:00 PM for hotel policy (?¿) so if the sea have a red flag the whole hotel is going to be at the same pool at the time and yeap it happens too.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Maria C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Royal Decameron Punta Centinela

Property: Royal Decameron Punta Centinela
Address: Km. 10.5 via Santa Elena | Manglaralto, Santa Elena 241702, Ecuador
Region: Ecuador > Santa Elena Province > Santa Elena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Santa Elena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Royal Decameron Punta Centinela 3.5*
Number of rooms: 197
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in one of the most idyllic and exclusive areas of the Ecuadorian Coast, on a 1.5 kilometer wide pink coral sandy beach. The Hotel Royal Decameron Punta Centinela is located in the Province of Santa Elena, over the Ecuadorian coast-line, 20 minutes away from the Ulpiano Páez airport at Salinas Air Base, or approximately 2 hours away from the International Airport José Joaquín de Olmedo in the city of Guayaquil by car on a modern highway.. ... more   less 
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