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“Isla Bonita”
Review of Decameron Aquarium

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Decameron Aquarium
Ranked #8 of 43 Hotels in San Andres Island
Reviewed 12 March 2009

awesome place to stay if you are bringing a significant other

food is great! breakfast - try the pan - so many different varieties and tastes

i island has many things for you to explore

I would sign up for daily activities. The nightlife is OK. We were too exhausted from the daily activities, sun and food to stay up past 12pm

I did learn how to salsa and meringee there... with a little help from my colombian girlfriend

also, I'd brush up on your spanish a bit... you might have a more pleasant time if you or someone in your group knows the language well.

OVERALL - GREAT TIME and amazing place to stay!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank Jimmy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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154 - 160 of 3,162 reviews

Reviewed 27 January 2009

Stayed a week (Jan 8-15) at the Aquarium and absolutely loved it. The people on the island were friendly, welcoming, and more than happy to help any way possible. The resort was clean and staff were always very helpful and friendly. Our room had an amazing ocean view overlooking the beautiful water. Rooms could use a little updating but we knew this before going and weren't concerned. The food was okay. There were always lots of choices. On the resorts premises they had an Italian restaurant, steak house and thai (i think) restaurant. There are also 5 other decameron resorts on the island you can go and enjoy for the day and eat/drink at. If you want to take an amazing all day island tour the Jeneral who can be found at either the San Luis or Marzual(i forget which one) will take you in the back of his truck for $25US each on an all day island tour. He took us from 9:00-4:00. We stopped off at all the major attractions. With him, he brought a cooler with beer, rum, orange juice, pop, water etc for us to enjoy during the tour. I highly recommend this tour. He is VERY informative. The hotel is also located about a 5min walk to downtown where there is many nice shops and a very nice beach. I also recommend going to Haynes cay and Johnny cay. For $10US we took a boat to both the islands for the day. Don't forget snorkel gear because the fish are amazing. I think that is about it. Contact me if you want to know anymore info on this amazing Island.

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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6  Thank Amers1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 January 2009

I recently returned from San Andres Island, where I stayed at the Decameron Aquarium. Out of all the Decameron resorts, I would highly suggest the Aquarium. It is close to downtown, the public beach, and has the nicest property (in my opinion).

The island itself has alot of charm. It is beautiful, safe and has not (yet) been completely spoiled by the tourism industry. The resort was comfortable and clean, but not the epidemy of luxury, so if you are a high maintenance traveller, do not plan on ever leaving the resort, or are an extremely picky eater - do not go to San Andres.

If you are looking for turqoise water, white sand, warm weather, friendly people, modest rooms, and decent meals then San Andres is for you.

If you do decide to go make sure to visit Johnny Cay and Haynes Cay/Aquario, which are two beautiful, tiny islands that are accessible by motor boat. You can pay a local to get you to and from or you can go with Nolitours for $34 USD, which includes lunch and a drink.Also, if you have snorkelling gear, take a cab to West View for the most amazing snorkling.

It might be a good idea to take a tour of the Island (by taxi) during the beginning of your trip. The taxi drivers are super friendly and will take you to all the interesting areas around the island. Make sure to bring some money for tips.

The only con that I can think of is the dinner reservation system. In order to eat at one of the a la carte restaurants, you need to make reservations at 7:30 am. Otherwise, you will have to eat at the buffet, which is great, but gets repetitive after a few nights. Pack food for the airplane - they definitely cheap out.

Bon voyage!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with family
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2  Thank ratherBtravelling_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 January 2009

The Royal Decameron Aquarium hotel was an enjoyable place to stay. However, I don't recommend this resort for families with young children or people who enjoy doing things other than laying in the sun on a pier and drinking (not that there is anything wrong with that.)

There is only a small roped off area to swim in at the resort itself. There isn't a beach at all on the resort, you have to either walk to a public access beach, take a taxi to a different Decameron resort, or pay to go on the excursion to El Aquario, Johnny Cay, and Haines Cay (which I highly recommend...this excursion was the hi-light of my trip).

The rooms were decent, and the view from the balcony was breathtaking. Air conditioning worked very well!! And the room was cleaned very well every day. The bed was VERY hard though, that was a big disappointment. The other big disappointment was that at 11:00 every night the show that is put on at the pool is REDICULOUSLY loud. You will not be able to sleep through the noise unless you have ear plugs or you are a VERY deep sleeper!

The resort was beautifully cleaned everyday throughout the day. I mean it was SPOTLESS!! And the people who cleaned it took pride in what they were doing so they were always friendly and cheerful and did a great job.

There weren't a lot of english speaking employees or guests for that matter...a lot of the guests were visiting from mainland Columbia. The signs are all in Spanish for the most part, and even the front desk clerks didn't speak much english.

The food was very good at the a la carte restaurants, and the buffet was ok for the most part. Some of the food is prepared very differently than North American's are used to and some may find it to be inedible. I do recommend if you like ketchup with your food...BRING YOUR OWN from home...their ketchup is disgusting!!! The drinks were good but very strong. They also have complimentary cigarettes at the bars...I don't know how good they are since I don't smoke, but they are there for those who do.

Be sure to bring:
-Water shoes
-AMERICAN MONEY or Columbian Pesos...they don't accept Canadian anywhere
-Umbrella and rain coat/poncho...when it rains, it pours!!
-Comfortable shoes...you have to do a lot of walking to get anywhere both on and off the resort

My trip to San Andres Island was an enjoyable one overall, however, I was quite disappointed that there was no beach at the resort. I am not sure if I would return again, but I don't regret going. The Islands and the water are unbelievably gorgeous, and the people are very friendly.

  • Stayed: November 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Bambino_016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2009

My sisters bag got stolen the first they we got there, we know it left the airport and we know that it made it tot he hotels registering room, when we were going to go our rooms my sisters luggage was no where to be found.

the hotel managers, said that they were going to fix it and asked us to give them some time for them to find the bag....after 48 hours of the luggage gone missing he asked me and my parents to give him an estimate of how much everything was worth then told us to give him more time which we did.

He avoided us as much as he could and left it till two days before we were returning to Canada, that they were not going to pay and asked my dad to sign a letter sayin the the the bag had never arrived at the hotel and that therefore they could not be responsible. I find this act dispicable since we had shown him that the bag had left the airport and that it had come into the hotel.

They simply did not and do want to admit that they were disorganized and that they never followed their procedure where they are supposed register our luggage and give us a ticket for it. We asked other guest that were coming from Canada if they had received such registering ticket for their luggage and they said no. The managers lack of sincerity and honesty did not only cause an inconvenience but it ruined our vacation since we were there to celebrate my sister quincianera, its like the sweet 16, and her dress was in the bag. Also since he left it till last minute to tell us that they were not going to take responsability for the stolen luggage, we lost a lot of time of our vacation running after them the whole while giving them time to so call find out from head office how much they were going to pay.

Also, if you are satying here becareful, if you are going to go scuba diving. I almost died because of the instructors negligence. there so called mini course its not a mini course it does not prepare you properly if you are a first timer like i was. After the so called mini course we decided to go scuba diving, the instructor was so busy doing his own scuba diving that he did not realize that he had left me behind and when my tank ran out of air 12 meters or so under water he had no clue. I almost drowned because it took him nearly 10-15 minutes to realize that i was struggling to stay afloat.

The things you have read about the rooms its true they are not good at all and the hotels is not waht you would expect for what you pay. The only good thing about the hotel was their cleaning staff and the food.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled with family
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1  Thank melow_yellow3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2009

First impression was the rundown airport,needs complete renovation and modern facilities like telephone, bathrooms, information office or staffs, no nice restaurants, very slow, fake smiles of the airport workers,in short word,its a very bad airport for such a very turistic island...although everywhere is kind of safe with all those uniform cops everywhere, the city needs some highlighted streets name which really a hard time for a tourist finding places.The hotel of Decameron chain is not as nice as they look on the pictures...short word..its all fake.... Aquarium hotel entrance is awfull. lobby is so lousy..that makes you turn back and go see other hotel, the reception is a mess like a market, unfriendly staff and they speak to you so fast that they themselves could not understand each other that they are so unorganized, avoid hanging around on the lobby from those sales agents for vacation package, they lure you to show some other hotels and then they try to convice to show or pass your credit card and ask other personal information to get you signing in for the vacation packages which you will never do it again with them,,,, so annoying really, food is a bit ok with the buffeet, but once a plate is over , it takes a very long time for them to replace it till you lost your appetite, the dessert is not really appetizing, they are for coffee stuff, they need a real pastry or a real baker for dessert. the bartenders are very slow and those lousy mixes of drinks makes you go to bed early or go out and have fun outside,,, all drinks they serve are very lousy and cheapp brands,you need to waid a long time to be served a coffee or drinks when you sat on the table to eat, and you need to go look for your self some porks and knifes, since the person you asked for never show up again or just ignoring you....the nightly shows are terrible and childish like the host...my gosh..take some lesson for this kind of job...not worth spending a minute watching the show.On the package says you can use all 5 hotels, eat , recreation , facilities etc, but reserving a lunch or dinner to other hotels is such a nonsense and the most stupid thing....why tell that you can use eat and use all the facilities of the 5 hotels if theres no transportation for them to take guest to other hotels, also the reservation is limited....its just a nonsense .if you ask for a room with ocean view they claim that they are full and wait till the next day, but they really dont want you to have an ocena view which they never call you anymore or they just say its all occupied and you see that lots of vacant rooms next to you or on the other buildings with no occupants at all.Theres no information about the hotels, no person whom to ask or tells you waht you can do outside the hotel.... but i have to admit, the walking street is very nice, clean and orderly, stores open very late in the morning and if you need to buy something before you depart , better get them in the afternoon coz they dont open very early in the morning and no schedules showing on the store windows......if you have a delayed flight, you better bring something to read and something to fill up your stomach, airport manager or workers will let you starve or lock you in the boarding place telling you all the lies about the delay and the manger never shows up to see the poor passengers what really happening.No telephone, no TV, no stores, no information, not allowed to go out,,in short word you are being kidnapped..I suggest before taking a trip from the hotels tour agency, better ask first outside, they are cheaper and friendlier and you can bargain them and they dont rip you off coz they need to live as well, changing money is better on the stores, bank dont let you change it, they send you to money changer, or you just simply ask a store where to change and they themselves offer you to chane it in a better rate, but make sure you know the exchange rate on that day.
Rooms of the Aquarium hotel is so unpleasants,hard pillows and bed loke a rock,tv is not running well, need to pad it to get the signal, the room floors are not appealing at all for you to walk barefoot,long hair every where on the roomswhich i thought they clean everyday and I have short hair....disgusting really. you hear all the noise, and the discohouse is so loud that no matter how far your room is, you still hear the loud lousy music......the hotel has no beach, so you need to go to other beaches like san luis but need to pay taxi a lot of money, dont take hotel taxi, they are expensive, walk a bit and bargain, or theres a bus every 10 minutes.....

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled with friends
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Thank phithaicos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2009

My husband and I arrived and the staff welcomed us warmly. I had called a week before and requested a room in the new tower. Tower #16. Room was clean, nicely decorated, pillows a litlle deflated, TV worked, closet space nice, room view excellent for making out and hanging out overlooking ocean and no one to see you. Water pressure and temperature in bathroom excellent.
Food was good by the third day it got repetitive. The beach-pool was nice. Went on a snorkeling trip with a colombian instructor who forgot to mention sharks and saw one too close for comfort almost having a nervous breakdown in the open ocean with no life jacket. Instructor scared the shark away with underwater camera. It was scary. I would go back with kids. Not on honeymoon or girlfriends.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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Thank chiro2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Decameron Aquarium

Address: Avenida Colombia 1-19, San Andres Island, Colombia
Region: Colombia > San Andres and Providencia Department > San Andres Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in San Andres Island
#2 Spa Hotel in San Andres Island
Price Range: £168 - £288 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Decameron Aquarium 3.5*
Number of rooms: 297
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the midst of an Antillean environment, this resort has an exceptional architecture with circular towers overlooking the sea at ‘Punta Hansa’ – at the northern end of the Island of San Andres – which allow for wonderful panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea. These buildings are alongside a long wooden dock that leads to a natural pool in the sea and with an aquatic platform ideal for snorkeling and other water sports. The Decameron Aquarium is located approximately 10 minutes from the airport and is a well sought out location for tourists since the longest and most beautiful beach of the island is located only a few blocks away, surrounded by a boardwalk, parallel to a commercial area with restaurants, discos and the most exclusive bars. You will enjoy an enchanting paradise that can be explored completely on foot and where a cultural mixture of English, Spanish, Pirates and Corsairs can be explored. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Royal Decameron Aquarium Hotel San Andres Island

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