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“Royal Decameron Aquarium - Things that makes you go hum...”
Review of Decameron Aquarium

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Decameron Aquarium
Ranked #8 of 42 Hotels in San Andres Island
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“Royal Decameron Aquarium - Things that makes you go hum...”
Reviewed 14 April 2009

My wife and I flew in from Toronto last December to San Andres. We arrived to the island on a rainy afternoon where we were picked up by the usual run down taxi that brought us to the Aquarium. We had requested the new tower but were put in an older one. We had went to San Andres twice before and didn’t make a fuss about the new tower not being available. We previously stayed at the Maryland and the Los Delfines and found the rooms to be quite acceptable. When I walked into my room, I must say that I was very disappointed. I found the room very used and somewhat dirty. I told my wife that we should at least talk to management to see what could be done for us. I must say that we had a spectacular view from our balcony of Johnny Cay. We unpacked our stuff and went directly to the pier bar where we met 10 other Canadians stating their holidays. From then on, the room wasn’t an issue anymore. The hotel is quite unique, no beach but a series of docks that leads you to a bar, a restaurant, a disco and 2 sport centers. You can even swim from one of the docks to an area where you can snorkel and see schools of fishes.

Restaurants:
I found the restaurants at the hotel to be very good. I liked the Italian restaurants so much that we ate there twice. I had the sea food spaghetti and I found it to be quite tasteful. We also liked the Thai restaurant and the buffet. We didn’t like the seafood or the patio restaurant. We ate at the Maryland buffet, the Los Delfines (my favorite) and at the San Luis buffet. All were quite enjoyable!

Beach:
There only one nice beach in my opinion and that’s the public beach located at the front of the Isleno Hotel. I rented a beach tent and two sun chairs for about 5 dollar. We swam part of the day, sunbathed, ate at the lunch buffet (hamburger and fries) and drank a few cold cerveza con limon at the Isleno bar (my favorite bar).

Shopping:
Tons of shopping in this freeport (you pay no taxes) but after a while, you get tired of seeing the same thing (perfume, name brand shoe and clothing, electronics, etc).

Money:
I found it relatively easy and safe to take money out from the ATM. Bring a few US dollars as they don’t cash Canadian traveler’s checks anymore.

Things to do:
We rented a golf cart for about 40 us dollars from Esmeralda (in front of the Aquarium hotel) and did the island tour thing. We had done this twice before and each time we enjoyed it very much. We saw the pirate cave, the natural pool (tons of fish to see while snorkeling), the blow hole and the north point. We stopped at the San Luis for lunch and then drove to Rocky cay and finally up the hill to see the Baptist church and a fabulous view of the island reefs from atop the mountain. It was quite a nice trip done at our pace were we stopped where we wanted to stop.

The people:
Overall I can’t say enough good things about the many Colombian friends I made while in San Andres. Everyone seems happy and they aren’t happy just because they want to make a quick buck off of you. I like the culture and the smiling faces I see every time I go to San Andres. This is truly an exceptional island.

Final words:
Things that make you hum the first day will make you sing “take me back to my San Andres…” when comes time to pack your bags and hop on that cab that will bring you to the airport. I only have nice memories from my trip to San Andres and my stay at the Aquarium and I know I will be back to that wonderful island pretty soon.

  • Stayed December 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MAD&Dib
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Cayman Islands
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 9 April 2009

We had a very disappointing experience at the Decameron Aquarium.

We booked a room for three and we given what would have been a small room for two. When the third bed was put in, it was extremely cramped. The third bed didn't arrive until the second night meaning two people had to share a single bed the first night. The staff didn't seem interested when we requested the third bed (which we had paid full per person price for) and one staff member was very rude.

The food was good, but very rushed. They allocate a certain amount of time per sitting and rush people out to get ready for the next sitting. The alcoholic drinks were all very cheap brands. The only beer they had was Mad Dog (which was served at room temperature in a can).

The hotel was full of Colombian teenagers over from the mainland for holidays. They drank a lot and were noisy and rowdy late at night.

The island is lovely and a trip to Johnny Cay is well worth while. Stay in a different hotel though. There are smaller local hotels close to the town that seemed much nicer and were much cheaper. I'll never stay in a Decameron again.

  • Stayed May 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Deargach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakville, Ontairo
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 April 2009

Well after hearing about this hotel/place for several years, my husband, son and I finally decided to check it out! The flight with Air Transat was good overall, no complaints and definitely more leg room than some other airlines. The hotel is just 5 minutes away from the airport which was nice. We had a few challenges with our room door locks but after a few days figured out how to open and lock the doors! The rooms were clean but basic. The definite hilight was the balconies which overlooked the ocean. The people in San Andres were amazing. They are honest and kind and don't take advantage of tourists the way that some other places do. Everything is reasonable in San Andres from taxis to dinners to souvenirs. We had a great taxi driver who we used all week. His name is Calvet and I highly recommend him. He is usually hanging out at the hotel and you can ask for him. The meals overall were great, no complaints at all. We tried the Thai, seafood and Italian. We rented a golf cart and toured around the island. Diving is amazing here. My husband and son dove with Werner (German fellow). His dive shop is just left of the Aquarium down the road. They had a great experience with Werner and he made our trip a memorable one. Other than my son (13 years old) there were not a lot of teens around so something to think about. If you're not looking for luxury but just comfortable rooms and rest and relaxation around beautiful water, this is the place! I definitely would go back. We miss it already!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank EstaOakville
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
laprairie
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 4 April 2009

My boyfriend and I went to San Andres from March 26 - April 2. Best trip ever!!! We've been to Cuba, Mexico, and Dominion Republic, and nothing can beat this Island for its people, beautiful weather and the carribean sea. All week the weather was between 25'C - 30'C with clear blue skies. To start off after meeting with your agent the next morning, book for the Island Tour with Nolitours. It's worth the 25.00 per person. It gives you and idea of the Island and where you are situated. We found that the Aquarium was the best of the 5 Decamerons because its situated close to the village (walking distance of 5 minutes) and the beaches. The public beach is a 5 minute walk, but you are better off at the Isleno beach alittle further........15 minute walk, but it's worth it. You're aloud drinks and buffet (but you have to reserve for buffet at your hotel). Piece of advice.....do rent a golf cart. It's worth the money. But, do not rent through your hotel, they charge 83.00 US a day. We rented thru Extreme Tours across the street left of the hotel. Speak to Sonny (tell him Suzanne & Yves sent you). They rent for 40.00 US a day or 30,00 per day if renting for more than a day. We took the cart for 4 days. After taking the Island tour, you can manage around the island on your own. You can also go to another beach.....Rocky Cay just after the Marazul. Again about 15 minutes by cart. You can drink and eat there (reserve for buffet at hotel). Just to let you know.....the island is very secure. So, don't worry. Go and visit the Picinita, wonderful for snorkling and you can buy while you are there an excursion ....Aquanautas. Again we paid 40.00 in stead of 59.00 which the hotel charges. A once in a life time experience.....a must activity!!!! This activity we bought from Extreme Tours, for 40.00, because they reserve the hour for you!!!! Do take Johnny Cay Island tour....you also see Aacuario and Haines Island. We took it through the Nolitour at the hotel, because for 34.00 you also get lunch, drinks, and a t-shirt. So, don't hesitate to go on this Island, you won't regret it. If you are looking for a 5* adventure do not go to San Andres! If you like to adventure abit, good food and alot of fun this is the place to visit. We will definetly go back, but probably for 2 weeks.....1 week went too fast!!!!! Hope you enjoy your trip!!!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank suebbq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chatham
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 March 2009

there are 5 different hotels that you can go to and use their facilities, but if you were wanting to eat there you have to call ahead to let them know you are coming. if you want to go on some excursions you can go thru your vacation package but you can go out of the hotel and find someone who will do the same tour for a little bit cheaper. we used a guy named LUIS and he speaks english very also . there is a tour to Cayo Bolivar and Luis took care of the group of us. we had our own private island for the day. they took the guys out spear fishing and that was our dinner. it was so fresh. amazing time. we saw stingrays and fed fish and found conch shells. we took two home. we went to the blow hole and actually swam inside it. take water shoes.it was well worth it. You can rent golf carts and go around the island it is very safe there are police everywhere and army. I suggest eating at the thai place it was good. Were going back for sure!!!!!

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank shelleyandcrisden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boca Raton, Florida
Level Contributor
58 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jimmy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fonthill, Canada
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
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.

  • Liked — view of the ocean, beautiful beach
  • Disliked — mediocre room, okay food
  • Stayed January 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
6 Thank Amers1983
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Decameron Aquarium

Property: 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 Spa Hotel in San Andres Island
#2 Top resorts Hotel in San Andres Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
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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