Decameron Isla Palma
- What's Included
- All Inclusive Features
Isla Palma is just a natural paradise with white powder sandy beaches surrounderd by clear water. That only makes worth the trip, especially if you stay with your significant other for a 2 days adults escape and don't care much about level of the service.That wasn't our case.We have been at the same resort in Christmas 2008 and Christmas 2017. Apparently no maintenance since then. Decameron sells it as a top of the rank destination, but it all feels quite in decline, especially if compared to our first stay 9 yrs ago or with same level/same price resorts.You can tell from small things: same dishes at buffet every 2 days (quite incredibly lacking of fish), dirty baby seats at restaurant, lampposts on the dock either broken or without lightbulb, holes in wooden pier and so on...The island can only be reached by boat. We embarked in Tolu' at Los Delfines, round trip costs about 80.000 pesos per person. Departure early morning, return between 2pm and 4pm to reach Tolu' before sundown. Usually in the afternoon the sea is more agitated than in the morning.In 2008 there was a circular path starting behind the hotel, to reach the other side of the island and crossing a sort of zoo with may different types of local animals, birds and the typical mangroves environment. Nowadays the other half of the island has been sold to another venue, therefore there's nowhere else to go, but the beach. The mangroves/swamp area on the right hand side of the long beach seems particularly foresaken although a dozen flamingoes still reside there.
We spent four days un total relaxation away from city stress and sourrounded by pleasant beaches Náutic sports like kajak, snorkeling and diving are available and is a great experience because the beeaches are very nice and calm.The hotel is confortable and service is good.Is three hours by bus and boat from Cartagena, however the trip is comfortable, secure and always on time.
I've done many things from camping in the wild in eastern Europe, hostels without electricity or water to luxury 5 star hotels and resorts. Some experienced were great others not so. Though nothing compares to this resort from hell. I will try to sum up why we didn't like it:- room that needed a lot of attention.- mosquitoes from the swamp next to our room- loud music everywhere you went- food with as much taste as old arepas- plastic cups for all drinks(mother nature must love plastic.....)- If there was no loud music there where Colombian entertainers screaming about something.- Dead dolphin basin.Everything combined we decided to leave within 24 hours. The people at the hotel told us we would get our money back, but after month of back and forward. Sometimes it took over a month for them to respond. They suddenly decided we wouldn't get a penny. In the end I'm still glad that we managed to escape this place and managed to find the best place ever nearby.So if you want to relax go to another place if you're however looking for a dirty hotel with loud music and bad food this is the place to go.
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.
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
- Resort fees (if applicable) must be paid directly to the hotel
- Hotel transfers for packages to USA
- 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.
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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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