Decameron Aquarium Hotel, San Andres Island
Reviews - Decameron Aquarium Hotel
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Historical Traveller Reviews of Decameron Aquarium Hotel
Loved San Andresfrom snorkellovin
Found Paradisefrom fab4barrie
Much better than we expectedfrom A TripAdvisor Member
The Location is just perfect, we requested a room in Tower 1 Room 103 or 104 by e-mailing the hotel from home and were surprised we actualy got it! We felt like on an Ocean Liner without the waves making you dizzy, The Balkony actualy hangs over the Ocean, very save, we slept with sliding doors open, peaceful and quiet and woke up with the sunrise in our face[there are wall to wall shutters to keep the sun out if prefered. The Food was great [My scale it home told me so] The service is just perfect and very clean. [especialy if you have Georje as your waiter in the Baracuda Restaurant for your daily breakfast or Lunch, he could not do enough for you. Josephine [Baby] the happy bartender in the Lobby bar will make you smile no matter how you feel! Charlotte will book you a la carte Restaurant every morning and is very helpful[if you like to sleep in in the morning, to bad, you must reserve the place you prefer after 7:30 am or you might not get the Restautant you prefer, We went to Seefood, Italian Steak house and our favorit was Seafood! The Poeple are very friendly and while shopping not Pushy at all, not like in other places, We never seen anybody begging. The Sidewalks in places are in bad shape, there is lots of traffic on motor scuters, a cheap transportation at$2.80 per Gallon Gasoline. We took a Boat trip to two Islands, went snorkling, and a Island Tour over the whole Island with stops in 3 hours. You will have a great time, as we did.
Loved the Royal Decameron Aquariumfrom A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewer: Cecilia & Manny Gouveia, Brampton, Ont. Canada
My husband and I stayed here for a week. It was awesome right from arrival the staff made you feel welcome and were helpfull for all questions. The resort is very clean, staff always cleaning. Our room was facing the back but once you went out to the varanda we also had an ocean view and it wa fabulous. There are 3 restaurants in the resort, we had the
oportunity to eat at all 3 but you need to reserve daily early in the morning. The food was great the only thing we found was that the beef was a little tuff. At lunch there was always a huge salad bar and a lot of difeferent fruits. They had hot dogs and hamburgers and other snaks by the pool bar from 3-5 we never went hungry. Drinks were also great try the Coco Loco. Snorkeling is awesome, with a lot of diferent beautiful coloured fish. (Don't forget to take water shoes). We also went to the other 4 DECAMERON hotels and they are all nice if you like the beach St.Luis or The Isleno have beaches across the street. You can also walk to town with a lot of shops I purchased some gold and emeralds great prices.
All the tours from the hotel were reasonable priced, (some quite cheap)I loved the tour to Acuario and Johnny Cay the water is gorgeous never seen so many diferent shades of blues and greens and so clear you can see the fish all around you.
Overall the vacation was very relaxing and would recomend to anyone. The weather was very warm 34 take lots of sun block. It says this is a four star I would give it 3 but well worth your money. Will go back again some day.
Just Okfrom Marita-vacaciones
3 stars. The food is not good at all but the breakfast has a great varity of options like hot cakes, eggs, etc.
The room are nice and quite big. I got a room in building 4 with a great view to the sea!
The drinks are well preparared and the beach area is not a real beach.
I really loved the Isleño hotel! The beach was the best I've ever seen in the Caribbean area and the hotel was never than the Aquarium...and nicer, not crowds.
The Island offers good shoppping, original perfums for a very good price since it's all duty free.
The tour I loved most was the one to the Aquarium island where you can so snorkel and see the fishes under the sea...lovely!
The shows were funny but sometimes kind of bored
I'm not sure if I'd stay there again...maybe at the Isleño.
You can e-mail me if you wish any advise.
Had a Great Timefrom A TripAdvisor Member
-The weather - Even if it the sky is dark and it looks like its going to be a horrible day, chances are it will pass it 5-10 minutes. It will pour hard and then in a blink of an eye it will be hot and sunny again. So before you go if you check the weather and it says that its going to rain everyday, dont get upset, it will rain everyday but not for long.
-The people. From the staff at the resort to the locals , everyone here is so friendly. You feel very safe all the time and you can go up and talk to anyone. We did get offers for drugs while we were on the street but just say no thank you and they will leave you alone. There is no harassment.
-The rooms - The rooms are great and try to request an ocean view room if you can. The rooms arent huge but they're good enough, they have a fridge a comfy chair and a desk. But - there are no clocks in the rooms so if you need one, bring your own.The bathroomss are good as well although they dont come equipped with anything like shampoo etc. But most people bring there own anyways so this is not a big deal. The water pressure is very very strong. Ive never had such strong pressure in my life, you'll understand what I mean when you get there.
-Stay at 1 play at 5 - This is their main selling point. You can go to the other resorts to hang out or eat. The other resorts are nothing special, The Marazul is pretty nice but I would say that the Aquarium is the best hotel out of the 5 Decamerons.
-Snorkeling - You can snorkle right from the dock at the resort and it is amazing. I have never snorkled before so it was a whole new experience for me but it was so cool that you could see so many fish right there off the dock. They also offer snorkling tours. We didnt do any tours but people we talked to did them and said that they were pretty good.
-Food - the food was not very good at all. Out of the 7 nights that we were there, we ate out 4 nights. It was the usual boring buffet and to get a reservation you have to wake up really early in the morning and we were not willing to do that on vacation. Going out for dinner was ok with us because nothing is too expensive and there is no tax on anything that you buy on the island.
This island is part of Columbia but it does not have the "Columbia" reputation of being a dangerous place to visit. I would highly recommend San Andres Island. It is gret experience and a little different from the usual Cancun, Cuba, etc.
Feel free to email me if you have any questions.
Great times and great islandfrom PWest2388
Anyway travel from the airport to the hotel is done by taxi and is just a short ride from the airport. Check-in was fast and we were in our room in minutes of arrival. The rooms are small but clean and bright(how much time do you spend in there anyway). The views from most of the rooms is unbelievable. One down side is if you are on the top floor its a lot of steps up and down. There was always plenty of hot water for showers but showering between 5 and 6pm you seemed to be adjusting the water all the time.
Food. The food was good,breakfast was pretty much the same every day and we only had bacon once maybe twice in the 2 weeks that we were there. Lunches were also good and there were 2 locations for lunch. Dinner is a bit of a pain as you have to book every day so you have to line up and pick a place which does take time. There are 4 different spots The barracuda (different themes each night) Steak house (T-bones steaks are great) Italian excellent(note this room is also used for breakfast and lunch sometimes) and the Sea Food(hard to get into and not the greatest). You can also go to any of the other hotels but should be booked the day before. There are 2 sittings for dinner 6:30 and 8:30. We found the 6:30 the best as is gave you time for a walk into town at night before the show started at 10pm
If you are looking for a beach this isnt the resort for you as there is really no beach. Its either the pool or the pier. The snorkeling from the pier is great lots of fish right around the sea food restaurant. You can also take snorkeling tours right from the pier. The weather was nice and hot but it did rain every day but only for about 10 to 15 minutes. I should say too that when it rained it poured. The fun crew were always there getting you up doing something and were always very friendly. The bar staff were generally fast but as always there were times they didnt seem to see you. The best bartender is Josie in the lobby bar, she will keep you laughing and is always smilin.
There are 2 hotels that you can walk to from the Aquarium the first is the Islano nice place to go for lunch beautiful court yard. They do have a beach but it is the public beach so you have to walk back to the hotel for drinks. The next is the Maryland, really nice looking hotel realllyyyyy small beach and small swimming area if you like swimming in the ocean. The airport runway is also right between these 2 hotels so guess what you are listening tooo everyday. Take your travel mug with you when you take this walk as you can get refills at the hotels and its ok to drink while walking through town. Also there are police or military all over the place so its safe to walk at anytime of the day.
The Marazul is a short ride shuttle from the hotel(taxi ride is 4US each way) it has a large beach and great view as well as a pier bar. Lunches here are also very good. Take the kayaka tour while there. You can also take a trip to the island but will cost you 5us to get there. If you take this trip they will also charge you 1US for a locker while you are swimming. Anyone interested in kite surfing it is cheaper at this hotel then at the Aquarium by about 30US. The last hotel is the SanLuis, we only spent a few hours here just to check it out. THIS IS THE PARTY HOTEL, (also it is far from town so you are sort of stuck there or lots of cab rides) when talking to some of the people there they said that 4am was the norm for getting to bed. They have a large beach but you do have to cross the road to get to it. So anytime you need something its back across the street.
Trips there arent that many but the island tour costs 25US/person. We found it better to rent a cab for 4 people it cost us 10US and had the cab for over 6 hours. Ask for Alfredo his english is good and he takes you on the exact same tour but stopping for as long as you wanted not on the schedule that the tour bus wants. You will have to pay to get into some of the stops but they range from 25pesos to a 1US(still cheaper than taking the bus tour). When you stop at the Blow hole have your cameras ready for the first time that someone in your group gets there. Also if You like sea food have lunch here unbelieveable and cheap.
Shopping in 99% of the stores you can bargin the price with them. There some really good deals on the island and NO taxes.
We ate off the resort a few times there are 2 places just minutes from the Aquarium the first is Nicols for steak dont let the outside of this place fool you the food is unreal and cheap. We got a bit of a spanish lesson while there. The next is Nikkos for Seafood its a fancier place and real good food as well as a view of the ocean while you eat. My wife had a seafood platter and I had a huge Phillymigon( I know that isnt the way to spell it) and drinks for 45US. The last place that we went was across the island cant remember the name but its suppose to be the best seafood on the island.
Get there about 5:30 for a great sunset,Alfredo will book it for you and make sure that you have great seats. My wife and her sister had 3 lobster tails in different sauces and I had a fancy chicken dinner plus drinks and salads for 76US.
When booking our trip we wanted the Marazul but couldnt get it for the weeks that we wanted and ended up at the Aquarium. Im glad that we did once we got there. The ease of beening able to just walk into to town so see the locals and shop and go to the other 2 hotels out ways loosing a beach for this trip. This was one holiday that I was truly relaxed by the end of it and I would go back to San Andres in a second. Feel free to email me if You have any questions on the resorts or the island.
Not a 4 Starfrom A TripAdvisor Member
good time at the aquariumfrom wildings
We paid around $1700.00 a couple taxes included. Good deal for a 4 star all inclusive. (We would actually give it a 3.)
We did not realize that not only is november still hurricane season but it is also the rainy season in San Andres.(Now honestly, you cannot travel before the end of November and expect abosolutely perfect weather,it is hurricane season everywhere)That is why we try to go the last week of November as the weather is usually improving by then. Anyway, when we landed at the airport the weather was beautiful and sunny. We were told by an employee that they had 20 days straight of rain. People we talked to that were staying for 2 weeks said that the week previous rained every day and in total they had 2 hours of sun. 2 hours of sun in 7 days! I feel so bad for those people, but again you are taking a chance travelling this time of year- you have to know that, that is why the price is so good!
San Andres is a beautiful island. If you get the chance sit by the window in the plane- it is breathtaking from the air. The island is small, 7 miles by 5 miles. So, of course there are limited activities for some people. We found lots to do: Snorkelling-right at our hotel was awesome(a very strict word of advice,DO NOT SWIM PAST THE BUOYS- you would think everyone knows this but believe they don't, and there was an accident while we were there. There is a lot of boat traffic just past the buoys.)
Back to the activities: Scuba diving - 2 of us went once and wish we had gone again. Bus tour of the Island- yes it is $20.US a person but it is worth it. Our tour guide Lucy was very imformative about the island's history and our bus driver Moses provided all the free beer we could drink! It was a great time.
Visiting the other Decameron resorts- there are 5 Decameron resorts on the island and a free bus shuttle runs daily to all the resorts. You have to make reservations for lunch or dinner 24 hours in advance to eat at the other resorts, but it is not a big deal. You could eat lunch and dinner somewhere different every day! As for checking out the other hotels, you don't have to reserve anything to just visit-use the pools, have drinks etc. All included with your wristband at all the hotels-kinda neat!
Johnny Key and Aquario island boat tour,$30.US- this was a great day. The islands you visit are beautiful. Bring your snorkelling gear and suntan lotion. Our guides Mike and "Eddie Murphy" were great fun and spoke very good English. A lunch of fish or chicken is included at the Aquario island and was delicious. Drinks were not included but were only $1US for beer and $2.50US for mixed drinks served out of a coconut,a new coconut for every new drink! Try the Coco Loco- but be careful it is strong,good but strong!
Unfortunately we had 2 trips cancelled because of very windy weather. Night snorkelling and a trip out on the catamaran to snorkel past the reef-(several people saw sharks there!) My friends were so disappointed to miss that trip.
We could have kept busy every day with an outing if we wanted too.
As for the shopping- you will not find many local crafts in San Andres. It is a duty free port, there were a lot of Colombians that stay at the resort for a long weekend and shop in San Andres.They pay 16% sales tax in Colombia and none on the island. Were we amazed at all the guests with loads of shopping bags- blenders, stereos, clothes, shoes you name it. Downtown San Andres was like downtown Toronto.And yes it is stuff made in China etc. Same prices we would pay at home too.
Oh yes and speaking of downtown San Andres- we strongly recommend you do not rent scooters to drive around- it is the most unorganized, erratic driving we have ever seen. No stoplights or signs or signal lights. It is downright dangerous. And if you have an accident while you are driving, there is no insurance available, you are responsible for the cost of the repair-even if it is not your fault. We met a man who did have an accident and while he was not too badly injured-he did see the nurse-he was badly scraped and bleeding and had to pay$100US for repair to scooter and it was not his fault. Maybe a golfcart would be ok,I don't really know.
All in all we had a great time -the employees at the Aquarium were friendly and courteous, those who didn't speak English would go to get someone who did. The service was great, rooms were always clean, the resort was clean. The ocean was beautiful and warm. If you want to stay right on the ocean with great snorkelling,the Aquarium is for you. If you want a great sand beach, it is not-(try the Decameron Isleno.) The food was just ok, the coffee was excellent!-try the Seafood and the Italian restaraunts at the Aquarium-they were very good!
We met some wonderful fellow Canadians at our hotel and we wish them all a big hello especially to Shawn and Simone.
I don't think you will be disappointed for the cost and value of a trip to San Andres Island.
Top Local Tips for San Andres Island
make sure you always take heath insurance gettinsick on a small island can be costly so always take health insurance
Windy island... January is apparently always very windy as it was during our trip and so are December and February according to our taxi-driver friend. It seems March is the best time to go because the wind dies down a bit and the weather is still not too hot. Snorkling fun is available on-site or elsewhere on the island.
bring it with you in your luggage Don't forget to bring with you some medicament before to go in travel. especially medication for stomach( like pepcid Ac and Peptobismol, gravol.....) it can be usuful to have it right in your room if you get sick during your vacation. The change of fod, the sun all day long can make you feel strange and medicament can help you to feel ok faster!
Other names for Decameron Aquarium Hotel
- royal decameron aquarium hotel
- royal decameron aquarium
- decameron aquarium
- Address: Av Columbia 1-19 - San Andres Island - Colombia
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