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“You get what you pay for.”
Review of Decameron Aquarium

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Decameron Aquarium
Ranked #8 of 43 Hotels in San Andres Island
Reviewed 22 September 2017 via mobile

We went for my first visit to San Andres and wanted an all-inclusive so as to not have to worry about what and where to eat and drink. The rooms are small and pie shaped but we had a nice water view. They had great shows every night and we were always able to get great seats. No beach inside the resort but plenty of poolside chairs so no worries. We were able to walk to the public beach just a short 10 minutes away. The drinks and buffet food were great. Be sure to get up early to get your restaurant reservations. We ate at La Bruja and Thai restaurants, both were good but we preferred the Thai. We booked a tour at the onsite agency to Johnny Cayó but due to poor weather the sea was closed and we received a refund. We rented a cart right outside the front door and took a trip around the island. Overall a pleasant experience.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
3  Thank ElPrimero001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3 - 7 of 3,237 reviews

Reviewed 4 September 2017

To sum up this review, this is an overpriced all-inclusive that offers convenience at the cost of all else.
- Our hotel room was BROKEN INTO
- Service is poor
- Food is poor
- Rooms are out of date, poorly furnished and in need of repairs
- WOULD NOT RETURN OR RECOMMEND
- 3 days, 3 different rooms, due to lack of service and improper maintenance

Pre-check in: we are a family of 3 that purchased two rooms. We asked in advance for adjacent rooms (or suite) but were told we would need to make the request at check-in.

Check-in: this consists of signing a few docs and receiving the room key, tv remote and a map of the grounds. There is no introduction given to services or instructions on how to navigate some of the bureaucratic inefficiencies that exist. We again requested adjoining rooms but were told to go to another office at 8:00am then next morning. I asked about internet and was told it was $3USD per hour. I rechecked Booking.com website and it showed it as a popular service, but made no mention of the ridiculous price. Fortunately, Juan Valdez is nearby and has free internet. My phone service also allowed me to check emails and do basic internet searches. We also rented a safe in our room for $3USD/day…. ridiculous to charge for this. The safes are in the room, but you must pay to receive the key.

Our room: we got to our rooms (116 and 107) and found my daughters room had 3 beds and ours had 2 large beds. Both rooms where completely taken up by beds. The a/c in our room had one temperature, the setting did not work. The rooms were outdated, lighting poor, and poorly decorated.

Dinner on 1st night: we learned of a Thai restaurant on the property. We went at 7:30 to see if we could get in and told we need to have a reservation that can be obtained at a certain desk at 7:30am. We noted several tables empty, but were told they were reserved. They were unable to release tables for no-shows and in no way could we eat there. We went by the restaurant again later and it appeared the same. We ate at the 1 of 2 buffet restaurants, but had to wait in line prior to entering. The food was marginal and service ok. After dinner we went to one of the bars and ordered had a couple beers, which they serve in paper cups, not plastic, but paper….not nice.

2nd day, 1st morning: we went to get into line for dinner reservations at 7:30am, the line was already 30 people long. We were able to make reservations after standing in line for 20minutes, for the Thai restaurant. You can only make reservations for the same day. At 8:00am we got in line to check on changing our room. There were a half a dozen people ahead of us, but we got in to speak with Aura fairly quickly. As a side note, Aura was by far the most helpful and courteous person we met during our stay. Aura was able to move us to adjoining rooms by early afternoon (rooms 1403 & 1404 on the 1st floor, water side). We went to buffet breakfast, which turned out to be the really only descent meal during our stay (every day the breakfast was good). There is a coffee bar next to where you make reservations. They serve all hot coffee drinks in small paper cups that are approx. 4oz serving size. This was almost comical, except the fact that I ordered a latte and it was ridiculous small, cute, but stupid small.

2nd day, 1st afternoon: we decided to go into town and visit the beach. The beach is a 5-10minute walk to town, very convenient. We rented a canopy and chairs for the day (30,000pesos) and enjoyed the beach and water. We then walked around town a bit and returned to the hotel in the afternoon. We went swimming in the ocean pool, which is very nice. There are plenty of chairs around the area and you can get drinks nearby.

Thai Restaurant: The food was marginal and a seafood allergy that existed with one of the people in our party was largely ignored. Eventually, we had the cook come to the table and provide confirmation on what was in the seafood (the allergy is for shellfish). He explained one of the fish dishes did in fact have shellfish in the sauce and made a recommendation that was exempt. We would not recommend this restaurant due to the food not being very good.

2nd day: we decided to rent a golf cart and explore Rocky Point and Playa Luis. We rented it for 220,000pesos including gas for the entire day. We drove to Rocky Point and stayed the afternoon on the beach. The beach is great, the food we ordered on the beach was ok, but we rented a canopy and chairs and had a nice time. Afterwards we drove further before turning around and returning to our hotel. It took minute to get into the door and when we did we found the back door open (2 of us checked the locks before leaving) with wet footprints leading coming into our room stopping at the backpack. I was with my wife and daughter and checked the both adjoining rooms first to make sure the perpetrator was gone then went out on the deck where I found wet footprints leading to/from the rail and the water. It was 90degrees outside, these water footprints would not last 5 minutes before evaporating, I’m sure we scared the person away when we came in. Inside the backpack was an expensive camera and Macbook Pro, neither will fit in the safe. I immediately went to the front desk and was told to go to Aura’s office and meet head of security. Long story short, Aura (again extremely helpful) moved us yet a 3rd time to upstairs adjoining rooms (913 & 914). When we got into the new room later in the day, we discovered the lock on the external door (albeit, we are up 2 floors) did not work, I requested maintenance come and repair, which they promptly took care of. The a/c in one of the rooms sounded like a freight train and in desperate need of repairs.

2nd day Dinner: we made a reservation in the morning for the seafood restaurant. The food was average, nothing special, but better than the buffet.

Other notable:
- Ocean pool has constant boats going buy within feet of the property. The noise is not an issue, but the noxious smell of gasoline fumes every time they go by is bothersome and probably not healthy.

Room Tip: Not beachfront, but on the water.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: August 2017, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank Bill B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 August 2017

The hotel is overpriced compared with what you get. We paid a lot of money for a room with no air conditioning, no hot water and a bed that smells really bad. There was hair every where on the floor and the sink was cracked. We were told that the AC went bad the day we checked in but talking with other people and even employees, they have been without it for a long time. We were sent to another hotel even though we asked to be sent to el isleño and offered to pay the extra fee. Food and drinks were disappointing.
I would definitely never recommend Decameron Aquarium and have no desire to return to San Andres.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Isabel R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2017

After living in Colombia for several months, everyone told me I must travel to San Andres and recommended Decameron Aquarium or Isleno. We ended up staying at Aquarium because Isleno was fully booked. Nearly everything about our experience here was disappointing. The views and the ocean are truly stunning, but there are so many other places (other than San Andres) you can go and have that with a better experience.

The check-in process was awkward and unwelcoming. Although our room was clean, the accommodations and decor at Aquarium is dated and underwhelming. A storm came through during our stay, and part of a restaurant collapsed into the ocean and the bridge we had been using to get to our room was closed because of disrepair. This was concerning to say the least. The food and drinks were disappointing and the entertainment was outright bad and uncomfortable to watch as they tried to convince people to participate in dancing and shows. We booked massages for an afternoon. The spa was closed because the employee evidently couldn't make it into work because of the storm, which is fair, but we were never notified and a sign wasn't even posted on the door. We had to track down one of the resort managers to find out any information. The resort offers wifi, which is basically a dollar per hour; however, the employees recommended we not buy it because it does not work well. So we ended up just relying on our spotty cellular service.

We were told we could visit Isleno for a day since we wanted to experience the beach. Isleno is WAY nicer than aquarium, and I would say if you are going to San Andres, stay there or don't go at all. However, our experience with the service there was even worse. They were rude and unwelcoming, treating us like trespassers because we weren't actually staying at the resort. When we asked to buy a day pass, they refused us because it was past 10 am and apparently they prefer you book it at least a day in advance (which was ridiculous because the resort was dead). Employees at all of the Decameron resorts appear to be unfamiliar with these policies and are unhelpful in trying to promote good customer experiences. The town is also incredibly underwhelming and very developing nation.

I would definitely never recommend Decameron Aquarium and have no real desire to return to San Andres.

  • Stayed: July 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank emilyclare2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2017 via mobile

Let me start with my dream experience of swimming with rays which is something I will never forget. Amazing and loved every (far too brief) second.

However..... waiting for a couple of hours to check in was a disgraceful start to proceedings. Then being given the room immediately above the bar, pool, restaurant and entertainments area was an added shock which we weren't accepting (at this point Vivienna was particularly helpful and lovely).

So once we moved rooms to something a little quieter we were a little happier. The rooms are nothing better than 2* quality. Adequate but that's it. The bathrooms are tiny. Everything was completely dated and old. Just not what you would hope for.

Then the restaurants which were nothing short of pathetic. It's an all inclusive deal but the options are poor and the service is a disgrace. I've seen more smiles in a funeral parlour. Thank goodness for the lovely Iris who was warm and friendly each and everytime we saw her.

One restaurant was way too hot (Barracuda) and the other too busy.

Then you have this backwards system of booking for a la carte restaurants which has to be done at certain times only ON THE DAY meaning you must stand in queues for ages before having a hope of booking a table.

We don't like the beach so something we loved was the direct access into the water.

Otherwise this was disappointing to a different level.

It's like Butlins from the 80s. Except the staff made an effort in Butlins. With 2 exceptions they certainly didn't here!!!!!! Shame coz it's potential is limitless.

Gutted.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled as a couple
1  Thank Paul E
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 Spa Hotel in San Andres Island
#2 Top resorts Hotel in San Andres Island
Price Range: $297 - $626 (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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