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).
- 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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