I really don't understand the complaints. We stayed here for a week in August and had very few complaints and certainly didn't see the problems that othesr see. We have stayed at another Decameron in Jamaica and both are nice and relaxing in different ways.
There is an ATM on the premises. It's hidden, but it's there. The fee to use it is $7.00 but since El Salvador is on the US dollar and the prices are cheaper than the US, it's an easy fee to swallow.
1. The complaints about the lines for food. We had no issue getting seated for any meal. The trick is to download the Decameron reservation app provided on flyers throughout the resort. Then you don't have to go to the lobby and queue up to make your reservations. I'd make mine on my phone at 6 am and go back to sleep. I get that not everyone wants to pay international data fees (in our case we have Verizon and it's $10 and totally worth it).
The restaurants are not available everyday nor for every meal, this is true. Friday through Sunday had the most options. But honestly, the central buffet is more than worth it. Fantastic local food. Yes, it's odd that they call it a buffet and don't let you serve yourself except at specific stations (cereal, salad, juices, breads). Breakfast is especially delicious at the buffet. Oliva is the second best place to eat and I highly recommend the lasagna and will admit the paella was very disappointing. The Steak House/Grill was not that great, although my husband loved his baby back ribs. I thought the beef was chewy and they are aggressive with the grill flavor. The International buffet in what is called Bamboo and was lackluster but filling.
2. Lines for drinks. Yes, this happens. It's hot and you're at a pool. During the weekdays not all the bars are open but there are 4 that are open. Two at one pool by Bamboo, one at the pool by Oliva, and then the main bar in the center of the resort. The convenience market also sells individual beers. They had at least 4 varieties plus Smirnoff Ice on hand.
The pours are not 4 ounces, they're 8 ounces which is the same as you get in Jamaica. Pro tip: bring a travel mug. They will fill a 16, 24, 32 ounce mug of your choice if you don't want to go back and forth a ton. And the convenience store sells them if you don't bring your own. The drinks are strong, the beer is tasty. The longest I stood in line was maybe 10 minutes and that's because when the bartender was making a pina colado, a wasp got into it. Nothing was watered down.
3. The rooms. Yeah, the rooms could use a refresh but they're not bad and they don't smell moldy like Jamaica did. The air conditioner works, the rooms were clean, the linens were clean, the bathroom was clean, and the beds were comfortable (they are very hard mattresses which I like). Unlike many places in the US currently, the housekeeping comes every single day. They replace sheets and towels every other day. The safe in our room was completely useless, but that's fine. All rooms have a balcony (another difference from Jamaica).
I'm not going to say that the walls are thin, we actually never heard the rooms on either side but the room above us seemed to rearrange the furniture every night and that was loud. We were located not too far from the lobby, the main pool, and the disco and you could hear the thumping of music. It didn't keep us up but lighter sleepers may want to be aware of that. What did wake us up were the storms at night. August is part of their rainy season so it rains almost every night.
4. The staff. I have no idea where people are getting the idea the staff was rude. Everyone, and I mean everyone, was absolutely pleasant and kind. We don't know a great deal of Spanish and not many of the staff knew a lot of English but we made it work. Google translate helps a lot.
Pro tip: it's not a tipping culture like the US is used to. We did tip whenever we could (more out of habit than anything else) and people did appreciate it.
5. Miscellaneous. Pro tip: bring your own beach towels. There are two stations to get towels and they're not super conveniently placed. We brought our own and it cut down on that annoyance.
Pro tip: If you want to do an excursion, go to the tourism office located next to the convenience store and talk to them. The app isn't accurate on what's offered and the prices. Don't expect a same day excursion. Salinitas is about 2.5 hours from everything (4 hours to Antigua) so they ask you to book in advance and then you wait to see if your excursion makes.
The pools are shallow. The deepest points are 4.33 feet at the side pool, the main pool is over 6 feet. The tidal pool is deeper and then, of course, there is the ocean and the beach right there if pools aren't your jam. The entire time we were there they were flying red and white flags which meant poor swimming conditions and jellyfish/sting rays/manta rays were present. That didn't stop people from swimming. It didn't stop us from swimming.
You get beautiful sunsets every night. The bars at Oliva and Bamboo have the widest array of cocktails, but the pool bars can also deliver on that point.
There are daily and nightly entertainment options. We didn't partake of any of that. When we visited the it seemed like very large (think 8-12 people) families were the order of the day and they did take advantage of the entertainment which freed up the pools. The arcade area was closed, probably due to COVID.
All the staff are masked at all times. Some guests are as well. Your mileage may vary on this point.