Decameron Isla Palma
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
We had a wonderful time at Isla Palma. A lot of the reviews made us think this would be a rundown, messy hotel, but it was really pleasant! Also the bus ride is actually kind of nice, y'all just whiny. Turn on your iPod and look out the window at the real Colombia.We heard the boat ride might soak our luggage so we put our stuff inside our suitcases in plastic bags. So unnecessary. The boat ride was lovely and our stuff didn't get wet whatsoever.The best part about this hotel was the privacy. There might be only 30-40 people max at the hotel at any given time, and the beach is pretty big so you get tons of space to yourself. AND NO VENDORS!! AMAZING!! Several times over the 4 days we were there I had the beach almost entirely to myself (while my mom napped). It was magical! Watch out for the annoying white fish at the beach, though. They usually come out in the afternoon and tend to nip at you, though it doesn't hurt much they can swarm you and it's really annoying. But tbh if you're not used to the sun, you should be in the shade at that time anyway. ;)The beach is far from the hotel, though. So if you don't like walking 7/10 mins and want the beach right at your door, you may be frustrated. But the walk is really nice and you get to see deer and flamingos and various other cute animals along the way.The rooms are fine. Not great, but I hardly spent any time in mine anyway. They don't have much of a view, but a quick walk to the front of the hotel fixes that with a lovely dock right out front that leads to a jacuzzi and a bar that makes you feel like you're in the middle of the ocean. The showers are bad, either having barely any pressure or way too much pressure and being hose-like. If the hotel is going to fix ANYTHING, I would recommend that. Also, the light on the air conditioner that tells the temperature was really bright and woke me at times. Just sleep facing the other way.The walls in your room are also pretty thin, so if you want to take a nap during the afternoon when people may be making noise, or you sleep in late in the morning, make sure to bring ear plugs because you can hear people talking in the next room, walking around upstairs, etc.The hotel caters almost exclusively to Spanish-speaking guests, so if you only speak English and don't have somewhat working knowledge of Spanish, you might have a hard time getting what you want. Usually there is at least one staff member that speaks a little English though. The waiters don't, at all, so make sure you know the basics like how to ask for coffee or wine or more cutlery. When you arrive, they will give you a paper with information about the hotel services in English though! Make sure to ask for that, it's helpful and though I speak Spanish I wish I had gotten it.The staff are so friendly! Even if you don't speak Spanish, they always say really nice basic things to you in Spanish like "hi, how are you? How did you sleep?" Etc. The night entertainment is entirely in Spanish, but it's mostly comprised of dancing and slapstick, so even if you don't understand the talking, you can still find it pretty funny. Expect to cringe, they like to do a lot of "Decameron games" where they have guests compete against each other in embarrassing tasks. But the host is hilarious and so energetic. The food is great, not boring at all. They do tend to repeat a few items everyday, like the chicken and the fried fish, but everything is so delicious! Go for the coconut rice, it is absolutely to die for. I could eat my weight in coconut rice. The fruit is incredible and they have such a great variety. They also serve popcorn and hot dogs in the right hand side of the lobby between 3 and 5pm and it's a nice yummy snack if you happen to miss lunch.Overall we had a wonderful time at Isla Palma. It was so nice to be away from the crowds and vendors of Cartagena and just totally relax for 4 days. I would definitely come back here.
Best to go if you can speak Spanish. We were the only English speaking people there. Had fun practicing our Spanish. Beach is nice but not much in the way of fish. Took an island tour which included snorkeling at a coral reef. They don't tell you but you should take extra cash on this tour as you need to pay for a tour of a small island. Then you stop off at a beach where you can buy food/drinks. Although this beach is part of a national park, it was dirty. When we finally got to the coral reef part of our tour, we were to be there for an hour but was probably only there for 40 min. The reef was very small and had lots of bleaching, not many fish at all.They have a nightly show which is loud but is over by 10 each night. Fun if you relax and take part.
Decameron Isla Palma may not be everyone's first choice. From Cartagena, Colombia, It is a 3 hour bus ride and a 25 minute boat ride. Once you are there you are limited to the amenities that the resort offers which are not many, but what it does offer is provided with EXCELLENT service. The all inclusive package comes with good food well prepared and with adequate variety. Extra curricular activities include snorkeling tour, scuba diving tour and fishing tour. One can also make use of their Coco Spa and get a luxurious massage at very reasonable rates compared to Canadian rates. If you are looking for a beach experience without crowds and incessant hawkers, Isla Palma is the place. My only criticism was the volume of the music was louder than what our ears would like. My largest praise is the friendly, patient and professional staff that had to deal with 6 Canadians that had too little speaking ability in Spanish. I would recommend Isla Palma to anyone that wants to have a tropical beach holiday without hordes of people and the venders that those crowds attract.
The island and the archipelago are fantastic places to visit, especially if you are interested on scuba diving or interacting with the flamingos and the parrots. The hotel is merely functional with tolerable food, it would greatly improve with some remodeling and maintenance.
We spent four days in the island, the place used to be a more scenic place but since then the island has been cut in half.. ( not sure how that happened..) the half that is not accessible anymore used to make the experience a more engaging and beautiful setting and that has created a problem for the hotel, namely an infestation of rodents :( but in all fairness the management seems to be taking all the steps necessary to correct the problem, but with the half of the island that doesn't belong to the hotel not being inhabited it just makes for a perfect rodent nesting site. Now for the amazing experience; the place is just as unique as before with a great all inclusive theme, the food is just as good as before and the rooms as tropical as it gets, very comfortable and unique (all rooms seem different from each other) the staff is amazing especially the entertainment group, also, being a private island makes for great relaxation and privacy, the beach just a short walk from the hotel is beautiful and unique, so, it is your choice to relax or be active and the resort never seems too crowded or too busy, in short it's still a great vacation spot with room for improvement, including the kind of long and cumbersome bus ride from Cartagena to Berrugas (the little town where you catch the short boat ride to the island) it just to be a much better experience when you had the option of taking the boat from Cartagena, in the end I can still recommend Isla Palma for a great experience!
Vacations packages include round-trip flights, accommodations, round-trip transfers (unless outlined below) to and from the hotel, and tourist cards (if required, unless outlined below).
If selecting an all-inclusive resort option, the package will also include the all-inclusive features as outlined by each resort.
Items not included:
- Travel insurance (mandatory if traveling to Cuba)
- Tourist cards ($10USD)if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing Airlines
- Departure taxes ($20USD) if traveling to Dominican Republic with Sunwing or Signarture Vacations
- Hotel transfers for packages with WestJet to USA (with exception to Honolulu)
- Hotel transfers for packages to Europe
- Items of a personal nature
- Buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner
- Unlimited domestic drinks (house wine included)
- Selected non-motorized water sports
- Daily activities program
- Dolphin shows
- Nightly entertainment
- Pool tables
- 42 rooms
- One 2-storey thatched wooden building
- 1 Restaurant
- 4 bars
- Gift shops
- Spa (fee)
- Wifi (fee)
- Scuba diving centre (fee)
- Snorkeling (fee)
- Fishing (fee)
- 1 king-size or 2 double beds
- Bathroom with shower
- In-room safe (fee)
- Maximum occupancy 3 adults (or 2 adults and 2 children)
Resort Location Map
Decameron Isla PalmaCartagena,Colombia
- Hotel Contacts
- Extra Info
San Bernardo Archipelago, Isla Palma Colombia
Some restaurants may be open for certain meals only and limited visits may apply. Reservations required and dress code in effect for a la carte restaurants. Time restrictions may apply for water sports.
Child pricing may only be available with select tour operators and valid for select dates and durations. Child pricing rules are subject to change without notice. Please contact one of our vacation specialists if you require assistance with child pricing.
Photo identification and/or credit card or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on hotel policy. Rollaway beds and cribs (infant beds) may be available and should be requested at the time of booking; fees may apply.
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