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“Disappointed for the first time”
Review of Decameron Marazul

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Decameron Marazul
Ranked #14 of 42 Hotels in San Andres Island
Picton, Canada
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Disappointed for the first time”
Reviewed 27 February 2014

This was our 12th trip to San Andres Island and we love it. However this trip was very disappointing for us.

There were there issues:
1) the hotel was full of loud children ages 8 and under. There must have been a South American holiday and there was a lot of screaming, yelling and crying around the pool all day where you can normally relax.
2) several people including my wife and i got very sick with severe diarrhea. Not sure if it was from the food or water but we were sick for 10 days and couldn't enjoy our usual scuba diving and other activities.
3) they always have loud shows from 9:30 pm until 11:00pm. Even in your room you can hear loud bass and yelling over the microphone. I can never figure out why it has to be so loud.

About being sick: The staff was very good about preparing us bland food ordered by the nurse.
They would not tell us how many people were sick but we found out that many people were sick during the time that we were there.

In all our previous trips we have never had a problem on San Andres.

I am so disappointed to spend that much money only to be sick almost the whole time.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank ScubaKeith27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Level 5 Contributor
50 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2014

We stayed end of 2013 at the Decameron Marazul for 10 nights and had one of the best relaxing timing ever there. We stayed there with our two sons, one 15 and a little daughter 7 years old.
The hotel and its staff are fantastic. Time flies there with no stress. Rooms are big, clean and quiet. The pool is well maintaned with a body guard looking for the safety of the guests all the time.
Three very good restaurants. You need to book in advance two of them, but it worths to be at all the three. The Caravelle has always delicious sea food.
The bar at the pier is an amazing and runs 24 hours a day serving all kind of tropical drinks. The bar by the pool also has a great service.
Being at the Decameron you can book and use facilities at other Decameron in San Andres, but we decided to use just the Marazul and going to the Aquarium Cay and Rocky Cay, which are nearby the Marazul. There is a boat running 4 times in the morning to the Aquarium Kay, which really worths. Spending a couple of hours there is being at the paradise and really watching the sea of 7 colours. At the rocky cay if you book in advance you can have lunch at the restaurant and drinks are free of charge at the beach. You just need to have your Decameron all inclusive bracelet with you.
Annex to the hotel there are two external facilities, which are very good. A small shop and a dive shop (Sea Garden Dive). We did a couple of dives with them and they were superb. They are very professional and the owner, Jayme, of the dive shop has a tremendous sense of humour, making the athmosphere for going dive incredible. I highly recommend a night dive as well.
Last not least, as we stayed for both, Christmas' and Happy New Year's eve, the celebrations were marvellous. The hotel prepared unforgetabble dinners.
Every single night a different show at the stage just by the beach and a special one for New Year's even. Shows not just for adults for also for the kids.
The monitors also are very frindly with children. My daughter cried at the time to say goodbye to them.
Some posts say that the hotel is not close to the town, but if you want to go to town, taxi is very cheap and even the drivers are so kindly. If you need, ask for Willys. The man is very polite, friendly and you can even hire him for an island tour.
If I had to define the experience there in a few words, it would be : The best experience ever and people really makes the difference and the whole staff of th Decameron are so friendly that all of them deserve a five star recognition. And starting with the office where we made our reservation. Ms. Yesenia, thanks for making it all possible.

Room Tip: If available ask for a room pool facing. They do not have sea facing, but you can see the sea anyway...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank petrauskas1903
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 September 2013

The amenities seemed straight out of 1990. No wifi. Only internet available were two public computers that you had to pay to use. I didn't even ask the price. Most of the staff was nice enough but they were not as customer friendly as you'd expect at a '4 star' resort.
Maybe it's a local thing, but it seems kind of rude that no one says 'you're welcome', instead just responding to a 'thank you' by saying 'okay'.
Here's where it gets bad though. I caught a STAFF member staring at my wife's backside. No exaggeration. Staring for a good 10-15 seconds. Head tilted sideways and all. I called out and got his attention as I was about 40-50 feet away but we were walking out the door with family to a very important event and I didn't want to cause any further of a scene.
Food was actually not bad for an all inclusive. But, I did find a nice long black hair in my food, but frankly that could happen anywhere.
Also, we called the front desk after our first night because the AC condenser was making a terrible noise. Instead of sending maintenance they offered us to change rooms, which we really didn't want to have to do, but after accepting we were told that we had waited too long and no other rooms were available. The hotel was booked solid that night so I find it interesting that it wasn't of concern to the hotel staff that even if we did move, someone would be in that room that night and the noise would still be an issue, even if we were in another room. Now that I think about it, this story kind of explains the attitude of the hotel and staff in general. Just doing what they have to do to get by. Never going above and beyond.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank raynj732
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers are raving about these San Andres Island hotels

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level 6 Contributor
220 reviews
70 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 145 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 May 2013

What sets Marazul apart from most other San Andres hotels is that is is located directly on a nice swimable beach with palm trees, turquoise water, and white sand. There is a large roped-off swimming area and the water is very calm, but the bottom has been left natural with sea grass and vegetation. The whole place has an old-Carribean retro kind of feel. Upstairs rooms have railed balconies (more private) and downstairs rooms have open terraces, some of which overlook the large pool as well as the ocean. The show at the outdoor theater between 10 and 11 makes early sleeping difficult and the screechy noise of our air conditioner was often annoying. Buffet meals are served in the open-air restaurant which overlooks the water. The breakfasts have a wide variety of choices. At lunch and dinner, there are always two tasty soups, a copious salad bar, and a dessert table and the main course offerings run from adequate to excellent. There are also two sit-down restaurants, the Caravelle being the more elegant, but we actually preferred the buffets. A free boat ride is provided to the off-shore Aquarium Island (definitely worth the price) where you can snorkel in waist-deep water among more people than fish. Everything is included except use of the room safe (an absolute necessity but they charge $3 a day) and Wi-Fi connection ($7 an hour). San Andres is a nice little tropical island without much to see or do except beaching and R&R. Our four-night stay was just right.

Room Tip: Ask for an upstairs room overlooking the pool
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank KathyinCostaRica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
saskatoon
Level 4 Contributor
16 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2013

My wife and I stayed at the Marazul from March 4 - 18. We came for the scuba diving and were not disappointed. Sea Garden, the on-site dive shop was excellent and will be the subject of a separate review.

The Marazul has guest rooms spread over three buildings. A and B are two storey. C is three storey. The rooms are spacious and well equipped with lots of storage. We emailed (jefederecepcion.marazul@decameron.com) the hotel in advance requesting an upper floor room with an ocean view. We were given room 318 on the top floor in building C, which is one of only a very few rooms with a good view of the water.

Positives
- One of the best values for the money in the Caribbean.
- good food in all three restaraunts.
- free access to the facilities, bars and restaurants at four other Decameron hotels on the island, plus Accuario/Haynes Cay and the beach club at Rocky Cay. However you have to pay for a bus or cab.to get to most of these places.
- Friendly, helpful staff.
- Beautiful grounds.
- Short cab ride from the airport.
- good check-in procedure including a cold drink on arrival and a reservation at one of the a la carte restaurant for the first evening.

Negatives
- Small weedy/rocky beach on-site. Instead go to Rocky Cay for a really nice beach, bar and restaurant. Thirty minute walk or five minute $1 bus ride.
- Pricey internet only available in the lobby.
- $3 a day safe rental.
- Mosquitos/no-see-ums. Keep your room cold and they won't bother you if they get indoors.
- Ants in the bathroom. Despite being on the third floor we had to get rid of red ants every day.
- No library. My wife donated some paperbacks to help them get one going.
- Restaurant reservations available only one day in advance. It would be nice if you could book several days ahead.
- No onsite vehicle rentals.
- Night time entertainment starts at 9:45 pm and is loud enough to be heard everywhere onsite, making it hard to get to sleep until it ends around 11:00 pm.
.

Room Tip: If you want a room with an ocean view, request it in advance as there are only a limited number.
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  • Stayed March 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank CostaWatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Myre
Level 5 Contributor
51 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 March 2013

Nice hotel with many facilities and activities around the hotel. Great pool and a big restaurant. We were anly here on a daytrip to relax by the beach and eat dinner. Huge bufet that had all kinds of Columbian food. Fantastic dinner in great enviroments. Loved the park around the hotel. We were here in april 2009.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Balsam R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Penticton, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 February 2013

Unlike the title, it's far from being a Super Decameron. It's rated as a 3.5 on the brochure when you get there. Nolitours' website rates it as a 4.5 which is misleading.

In a nutshell, you get what you pay for. The resort is not well maintained. There's nothing attractive about it at all.

Room:
If you're on the second or third floor, you're safe from being invaded by ants or creepy creatures crawling in your room. There's not bath tub. Our shower worked but there wasn't much pressure. It needed a good CLR cleaning. The mattresses are hard. It's one mattress on a wood plank (not a box spring). There's a fridge but all you get is 2 big bottles of water. If you want anything else, you have to get it yourselves. They turn the water off around 4:00am so if you need to go to the bathroom, you can flush but the toilet won't fill up and there's not water to wash your hands. There is A/C and ours worked but it's a very noisy A/C.
The lady who cleaned our room did an OK job of keeping it clean.

Food:
There's a relatively good variety of fruits and vegetables, however, the food that is kept in the food warmers is luke warm. They use a lot of salt.

Beach:
This is the only hotel that has a beach (100 feet), and it's ugly. It's not nice sand and the water is merky and dirty. The few huts are canvas types of huts and many of the canvasses are ripped. The loungers are uncovered plastic loungers and many are cracked or falling apart.

In order to see the nice turquoise water with nice sandy beach, you have to go to the public beach which is downtown and you have to get there yourself by local bus or taxi.

None of the other 4 Decameron hotels have a beach, and even though you can go to the other hotels, the only way to get to them is by bus or taxi. There isn't a free shuttle that takes you there.

Pool:
There's only one small pool.

Location:
It's a small island (100,000+ for population) and there isn't much to see. You can tour the whole island in 4 hours. There isn't much for excursions either. Apparently, the snorkelling and scuba diving excursions are worth while.

Bars:
There are only 2 bars (no pool bar). 1 is open from 10am to 5pm, and the other one at the end of the pier is open 24 hours. They often run out of certain mixes like pina colada, vodka and tomato juice. There's no potable water on the island.

A la carte restaurants:
There are only 2 A la carte restaurants at that hotel. The others are at the other Decameron hotels. Booking is quite the challenge. Some of the A la carte are only open certain days, and you can only book the day before you intend to go, assuming it's a day that it's opened. Not a great system.

Airport:
They bring you to your hotel by small cab (4 people by cab), shove all the luggages in the trunk and leave the trunk open. When it's time to leave, they don't have scanners so they go thru your luggage by hand, including carry-ons and purses.

Weather:
Very hot and very humid.

If you are a smoker, it is a non-smoking resort. You're not allowed to smoke where there's a roof like on your balcony or at the bar at the pier. At the pier bar, the bartenders allow it, and most smokers were able to smoke on their balcony.

Bottom line: you get what you pay for.

British Columbia, Canada

Room Tip: Rooms above ground.
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  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Funinthesunholidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Decameron Marazul

Property: Decameron Marazul
Address: Via San Luis No. 30-47 | Interior 100, San Andres Island, Colombia
Region: Colombia > San Andres and Providencia Department > San Andres Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in San Andres Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Decameron Marazul 3.5*
Number of rooms: 128
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Between the ocean and the thick brushes surrounding it, the Decameron Marazul rises as a first class paradisiac hideaway near the Orange Hill area in San Andres Island. Only 15 minutes from the airport and on the via San Luis, the resort is surrounded by a mangrove forest with a white sand private beach and a spectacular sea tinted with the entire spectrum of blue, contrasting the garden and ample green areas reserved for guests. From here, you may visit the most beautiful keys in the archipelago such as Cayo Acuario and Cayo Haynes which are located right in front of the beach, as well as Rocky Cay only 5 minutes away, with a beach and the only rocky key where we have an exclusive club for you to keep on tanning during your vacations on the various island locations. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Super Decameron Marazul Hotel San Andres Island
Decameron San Andres

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