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“Great deal on an all inclusive”

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Decameron Cartagena
Ranked #89 of 149 Hotels in Cartagena
TonyLoco23
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Great deal on an all inclusive”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 July 2008

All in all we had a great stay here.

The best things were the food and drinks. For the price we paid I was stunned at how good the food was. The lunch was oustanding, there wasn't much to choose from but that did not matter because everything was delicious.
Obviously the wine was not great, but thats because it was a cheap all inclusive hotel! What i loved was that I could go down to the bar whenever I wanted and order a Pina Colada free of charge, and they make awesome pina coladas!
The seafood restaurant on the top floor was excellent and has great views, the pasta restaurant on floor 3 was not so good. Try to book dinner at the seafood restaurant early in the morning, otherwise it will be full and you will have to eat at the pasta place.

The other good thing is the location, it is in Boca Grande, but at the end closest to the old city.

2 bad things about the place:

-There are only 3, slow elevators, we were lucky that we booked a room on floor 4 which meant we could take the stairs, if you book a room on floor 20, be prepared for long elevator waits.

-The organized tours were far from organized, the trip to Playa Blanca is not a trip to Playa Blanca at all, it is a trip to another private beach 1/2 a mile away, which is not as nice and a little over-crowded. Also the so called "organized tour" on the Chiva Rumbera (party bus) ended up with me having to pay some guy in the street to take us on the bus. But the party bus was actually the best part of the trip and not to be missed (all you can drink rum and a vallenato band!)

  • Liked — Food and drink
  • Disliked — Organized Tours
  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
3 Thank TonyLoco23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,793 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
99 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 84 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 June 2008

I usually do not write negative reviews of hotels, but this place was really an exception.

First of all, let me say this hotel is for families on vacation. Therefore, if you are an independent traveler and you get your kicks by standing in line with impatient children or holidaying extended families who scream at each other, this is the place for you. Otherwise you are going to feel out of place.

The first room I got was filthy. There was hair everywhere, the paint was old, the bed was hard, there was no remote for the TV (you have to beg the front desk for it), no towels in the bathroom save one small one. I complained and got moved the next day to a slightly better room, but it had many of the same problems as the first. These included air conditioning that never turned off nor could be adjusted short of opening the window, fithly windows, musty smells and on and on.

The hotel forces all guest to wear hospital like wrist bands, and god forbid if they catch you without it. They read you the riot act. There are four elevators, two of which stop only at even floors, two of which stop only at odd floors. Of course, I had even floor rooms and one of the even floor elevators was down. Even without, the wait for an elevator to anywhere was a long, long, long one.

My advice is to splurge on a nice hotel if you must stay on Bocagrande, or otherwise take a cheaper two or three star place in the city. This hotel advertises as three or four stars, but it is really only two stars. If that.

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank carrache
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these Cartagena hotels

atlanta, ga
1 review
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2008

I have been in the travel industry for over 14 yrs and stayed in some of the most beautiful hotels in the world. I love Cartagena and the location where Decameron is located is a GREAT location of Cartagena. Yes, the hotel is not up there with technology and the rooms are not deluxe( if you want a nicer room with GREAT views you need to stay in the suites), but the food, the value, the service, and location are well worth the price. Yes, it is buffett for breakfast and lunch, but they have a great variety of fruits, vegetables, breads, carbs, and meats. For dinner you have a choice of Italian, Seafood, and Steak restaurants. I ate at the Italian and Seafood and loved the food. As far as the beach there are a lot of vendors on the beach. If you don't want to be disturbed on the beach Cartagena's Boca Grande area would not be the place for you to stay. As for me I don't mind tell them i'm not interested and asked them politely to leave me alone. The hotel is under some renovations right now so there is a bit of construction going on, but it's looking better.

  • Liked — location, food, views from the rooms
  • Disliked — no internet access/rooms need updating
  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank aserna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2008

My wife and I (I'm American and she Colombian) showed up at the Decameron to check in and it took forever, partially because they filled EVERYTHING out by hand. We were originally to be on the 21st or 22nd floor, but we settled for the 10th floor room after a three hour wait.

The room was okay. We took a trip to Baru the following day. That place was beautiful, but we were constantly bothered by vendors trying to sell something.

The best part was going to Isla Palma, which was beautiful and more private. That's were we ended our honeymoon.

  • Liked — The all inclusive feature
  • Disliked — The ridiculously long check-in time. Writing everything down in longhand, rather than computer, which would have probably sped up the process.
  • Stayed January 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Colombiaphile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Salvador, BA
Level Contributor
135 reviews
65 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 February 2008

The hotel is big and kind of old (actually they were painting its façade!!). But, considering it is a 3 star hotel, the cost X benefit is more than terrific. We paid only U$427 for 3 nights, and considering it is an all inclusive hotel, it was more than great!
Food is like the one served in a cruise (a buffet), and for dinner, we can make reservations for the following restaurants: italian, Steak house, Sea Food, Japanese/Thai (this last one, actually is in Cartagena Historic Center - the hotel provides round trip transportation).
They also have shows in the evening.
The beach in front of the hotel is OK. They even have a bar there. Vendors are annoying, but if you say you dont want to buy anything, they leave you alone.
The drawback was the whole hotel was too cold, and we could not adjust the temperature of our room, since there was no termostate.
Some of the staff was great: special thanks to the Johnnys (Aguas and Caicedo) and Sophia, from the Decameron Explorer. They were really great and did all possible to please us!!
Even being more simple then Decameron in Panama, I enjoyed this one in Cartagena much more!!

  • Liked — The price
  • Disliked — The temperature. Too cold!!
  • Stayed February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VaniaBrazil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami Shores, Florida
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 January 2008

Clean, good location, across to the beach, nice staff, all inclusive with many choices of restaurants, shows and tours. Don't take the "Paseo en Chiva", it is worthless. Prefer "Islas del Rosario" rather than "Baru". For the price, the Decameron is the best option for your stay in Cartagena. Enjoy the magic.

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
2 Thank AventuraBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, WA
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 December 2007

**Note- I will post pics as soon as we get back to the states and I have the correct cord**

I am from the US, my boyfriend is Colombian, and we just got back from a 5-day stay at the Decameron in Cartagena. I literally think the hotel staff were some of the nicest people I have ever met in my entire life. Let me give you the play-by-play, as there were pros and cons (although the pros far out-weighed the cons).

First of all, I think it is VERY important that you know that the first meal you eat at the resort may not be a good one. Upon arriving, the staff let us know that they wanted to check the entire group in at once so we could go over to the snack bar and choose from a hamburger, pizza, or a hot dog. Well, none of the options were good- I was actually really worried that we were in for 5 days of horrible food but that was not the case so don't worry! For whatever reason, the snack bar has not yet caught up with the quality of the rest of the food at the resort.

Once we checked in, we were amazed with the view from our room. The resort is located right on the water so the rooms have ocean views and we were on the 16th floor with sweeping views of both the ocean and the old buildings of the city- AMAZING!!!

We chose to take 2 day trips with the hotel. One to the castle and plaza area, and the other out to the Islands. Both were incredible experiences and I would highly recommend them to anyone reading this. The tour guides are really great people, and everything is made very easy for you- which is what vacation is all about :) On one of the islands we got to hold a spider monkey named Michaela (well, I found out later that I wasn't supposed to hold it- oops) and it was one of the cutest experiences of my life. If any of you out there have the pleasure of taking that day trip, tell her Aubree says "hello" and buy here a bottle of warm Coke (she loves it and will hold it in her little hands- SO cute).

As for the hotel itself, the staff was wonderful, the rooms were clean, and the food was both yummy and plentiful. It is served buffet style with a main course that you order separately from a menu. If you don't like your main course, you simply order another one. The staff never makes you feel badly for asking for more food :) We loved out wait staff (both at the bar and the restaurants) so much that we tipped them every day to show our thanks. I am not sure if most people tip or not, but these folks definitely deserve it!

What else... there are lots of people staying at the hotel, lots of hustle and bustle in the lobby, a cool little dance club with a great DJ, fun night time shows, live bands, beach volleyball, etc. It is definitely not the most luxurious place to stay, so if you are looking for a really romantic, quiet getaway, this would not be the place for you. However, if you are thinking of taking the kids, I guarantee you they will love it. I have stayedat nicer places but for the price I would definitely say it is worth every penny (or...peso I guess). Hope this was helpful- please feel free to contact me with any more specific questions.

Have a wonderful trip!!!

Aubree Hazel
Seattle, WA

Stayed December 2007
Helpful?
5 Thank AubreeH12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Decameron Cartagena

Property: Decameron Cartagena
Address: Carrera 1A # 10-10, Bocagrande, Cartagena 130010, Colombia
Region: Colombia > Bolivar Department > Cartagena District > Cartagena
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #89 of 149 Hotels in Cartagena
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Decameron Cartagena 3.5*
Number of rooms: 282
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Decameron Cartagena Hotel Cartagena
Hotel Decameron Cartagena
Cartagena Decameron Hotel
Decameron Hotel Cartagena

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