by Andrea Guthmann
“Let’s get the party started!” is the motto at Royal Decameron Club Caribbean. Other than the name, there’s nothing regal about the accommodations or atmosphere at this fun-loving hotel. This is a budget-friendly, all-inclusive property in Runaway Bay, just over an hour east of Montego Bay’s Donald Sangster International Airport.
Best known for the unique octagonal cottages that make up the majority of its guestrooms, The Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is also known for its private beach and water sports activities. There are two pools and an onsite dive shop where you can get certified to dive, or schedule snorkeling or glass-bottom boat tours at an additional charge.
The resort is located within walking distance of its sister property, Royal Decameron Fun Caribbean, and there’s a free shuttle between the two. Guests of one property are free to use the pool, beach and facilities of the other.
Since alcohol is included in your stay and there are five bars, you’ll find it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, sometimes everywhere, at this resort. The most popular drinking hole is the beloved Jetty Bar, which extends out into the ocean on a wooden dock. Here you can drink in an amazing view of the ocean while lounging on one of the delightful wooden swings that encircle the bar.
All the action is by the main pool, where you’ll find the hotel entertainment staff working tirelessly to keep the spring break atmosphere alive. They work hard to get guests to participate in dance classes, bingo, game shows and other vacation activities on the main stage. If wild and crazy poolside entertainment isn’t your thing, there’s an adults-only pool where you can get some peace and quiet.
Plenty of serenity can also be found throughout the lush flower gardens. You’ll find plenty of hammocks, benches and other places to rest while simply taking in the scenery in this tropical paradise.
Our Editor Loves
- Lush tropical gardens
- Private beach and watersports
- Nightly family-friendly entertainment
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Onsite Dining
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Royal Decameron Club Caribbean is best known for its unique octagonal cottages with either a garden or ocean view. There are 33 of these charming, oceanfront cottages perched over a beautiful section of the Runaway Bay coastline. Keep in mind the cottages are built on a small concrete ledge that drops a few feet, which could pose a problem for smaller children. All cottages contain one king-size bed and a day bed. Another single bed can be brought in free of charge. Cribs are also complimentary, but they do not provide bed rails. The maximum number allowed in these cottages is two adults and two children.
The cottages are simply decorated in bright colors with Caribbean art. These rooms are not luxurious, nor are they the most modern, but they are clean and make for a delightful home base on vacation. The bathrooms are simple, but tasteful, with some containing baths, and some only with tiled showers. If a bath is important, you'll need to request that when booking.
There are also 114 garden cottages with the same layout of one king bed and a day bed. All rooms come with air conditioning, cable TV, a hair dryer, iron and ironing board and a telephone.
You can request a refrigerator in your room for $5 per night. A safe deposit box will cost you an additional $2 each day.
The oceanview suites in the two-story building are large enough to sleep five people and come with a complimentary refrigerator. These 20 suites contain a living room with a pull out couch and a bedroom with a king-size bed, separated by the adjoining bathroom. An additional single bed can be added to sleep five people. Both rooms have TV's, making it a good way for everyone in the family to have a little more space to relax. If you have small children, make sure to request the garden level rooms instead of upstairs, as the stairs can be both cumbersome and dangerous.
Families larger than five can reserve two adjoining garden cottages that connect through a covered walkway. For those who need them, there are wheelchair accessible rooms.
The party never seems to end at this resort, so when booking your room, request not to be anywhere near the main stage by the pool. It gets extremely loud, and the fun keeps going late into the night.
It was a great weekend. The staff made my family and I feel special. From checking in on Friday to check out on Sunday,it was a wonderful weekend. The nightly entertainment, the food,drinks (especially Jump Up) and the room was Excellent. My daughter loved the daily activities especially the trivia, 'pon di river pon di bank' and the bingo.This was my 4th visit to this hotel and already I'm planning another one soon.
Worst experience I had after visiting here for 4 year.I was discriminated as a local and treated with no regards by a waiter by the resort# Tevin Johnson from jasmine cuisine.He was very unprofessional, disrespectful,disrespectful and full of attitude just because I wasn't feeling well and reach the reservation dinner at 7 16pm for my anniversary.He told my wife and I that he wasn't going to let us in because we were late.Then he said with attitude " because a u Anniversary so hold a table round the back" I didn't want to mess up our night so I went even though I was very upset then he came again and siad" you late already so I'm skipping appetizer and going straight to main course".This made me more upset so I look at the menu and stepped out and went to the front desk for a supervisor.The lady at the front desk thought I was stupid and went and call another waiter who was friend with the one who was very unprofessional.So now I will never visit this resort again and would never reccomend it.General Manager I call on you to deal with this matter immediately
Royal Decameron Club Caribbean advertises that they have a kids' club for ages 5 to 12 years old, open from 10 a.m. to noon, and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. When I visited, the kids club looked, and smelled, like it hadn't seen any children in a while. There was a musty odor in the small, one-room facility. In-room babysitting is available for an additional charge; just let the front desk know a day or two in advance.
I did not visit during a school break, so there were not many children at the property.
During school holidays and busier times, activities are scheduled for children throughout the day, including evening parties held twice a week and nightly children's shows on the main stage. There's also a children's playground in the garden area. Throughout the year, entertainment staff will gather children for poolside games and activities on the outdoor stage.
In addition, every evening there's a family-friendly show on the main stage. Some nights it's the resort's dancers, other nights it's a reggae or steel drum band.
Runaway Bay is not generally known for having Jamaica's best beaches. Although Royal Decameron Club Caribbean sits on one of the more scenic stretches of the beach, it can be rocky and doesn't quite compare to the grand stretches of soft sand you'll find on the western side of the island in Negril. You won't be able to take long walks along the beach in Runaway Bay, as you can on Negril's famous Seven Mile Beach.
All non-motorized sports at Royal Decameron Club Caribbean are free to guests, including kayaking, snorkeling, windsurfing and a banana boat. There's also a trampoline platform out in the ocean to enjoy. Plenty of complimentary thatched huts are lined up along the shoreline to lounge the day away with a good book or while watching your kids frolic in the sand or water. The beachside huts are a delightful property amenity, and unlike many all-inclusive resorts that charge up to $100 per day, these are free to guests. The resort does not provide complimentary children's beach toys, but you can purchase them in the gift shop or bring your own.
Another perk is the onsite dive shop. You can get certified to scuba dive while on vacation and complimentary introductory classes are offered in the pool. Keep in mind this area of Jamaica is not as well known for its diving. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, located one hour west and the other an hour east of Runaway Bay, definitely make for better diving.
Other onsite activities include pingpong, pool, shuffleboard or chess on a giant outdoor board. There are also two tennis courts, which are lit at night. The resort has an onsite tennis instructor and gear, all complimentary.
Royal Decameron Club Caribbean has three restaurants. The most kid-friendly is the buffet style Pick-a-Pepper, open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. They serve pretty standard fare, including fruit, eggs, omelettes, pancakes, waffles and bacon for breakfast, alongside Jamaican specialties. At lunch you can order a hamburger and fries, pizza and chicken wings from the grill, or choose from the fresh salad bar and other hot entries, which include Caribbean specialties. There are themed nights where cuisine reflects a specific region -- Asian, Mexican, French, etc. Jamaican night is obviously one of the most popular.
The two other restaurants are a la carte and require reservations. Jasmine Delta serves Asian cuisine. The other restaurant, Nyamings, serves seafood and Jamaican specialties. The view of the ocean from the patio area of Nyamings is magnificent and would make for a romantic dinner.
There is no room service offered.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There's a staffed fitness center for guests to use (included in your room rate). There are also adult-size bicycles for complimentary guided bike tours, but guests are not free to use them on their own.
There is a small onsite spa, but the facility is extremely outdated and seems like an afterthought at the resort. This is not the place to come for a luxurious massage.
The resort has a small gift shop selling sunscreen, over-the-counter medications and souvenirs.
Along with the five bars, the resort has its own disco.
Internet service is available only in the lobby, where you'll pay $5 per hour. There's also an Internet cafe with a few computers that charges the same rate. Unfortunately, you'll often find several people waiting in line to use them. It's a good incentive for you to disconnect from electronics during your vacation!
The charge for phone calls is $1.20 per minute to call the U.S. and 60 cents per minute for local calls.
The Art of Smart Timing
High season in Negril is December 15 through April 15. Hurricane season is June 1 through the end of November.
There are plenty of direct flights to Montego Bay's Donald Sangster International Airport from major cities in the United States and Canada. Transportation from the airport to the hotel is not included in your room rate. The 75-minute ride from Montego Bay's airport will cost you upwards of $75, depending on the number of people traveling. It's a scenic drive along highway A1, all the way from the airport.
Since Jamaica is a former British colony, locals drive on the left hand side of the road with the steering wheel on the right. You may want to pass on renting a car and let another driver do the work.
The hotel's front desk will call a taxi for you and arrange tours.
For Mom and Dad
Runaway Bay's location provides convenient access to some of Jamaica's most beautiful natural sites. If rugged adventure is your idea of a perfect getaway, then the wild treasures of this area will leave you impressed.
The hidden delights of the Green Grotto Caves are a quick 10 minutes away. You can take an informative 45-minute guided tour of the caves and view the dramatic underground lake. Admission is $20 for adults and $10 for children.
About 45 minutes east of the resort is Ocho Rios, best known for its magnificent waterfalls. The most famous is Dunn's River Falls, and guides will take you on walks along the falls. Keep in mind that on days when the cruise ships are in port, you could be climbing the waterfalls with hundred of tourists.
Reggae music lovers will want to make the one-hour trip to Nine Mile, the birth place and final resting place of the legendary Bob Marley. Rastafarian tour guides offer insights into Marley's humble childhood as visitors from around the world view Marley's small house. Admission is $15.
For $150, a driver will take you on a day-long tour through the Jamaican countryside to the rural village of Nine Mile, then to Ocho Rios and Dunn's River Falls, with stops along the way at craft markets.