When I went to El Salvador, I stayed at the Royal Decameron Salinitas Resort and I can’t say enough good things about it! The large room was impeccable, the grounds were finely manicured and the variety of international food at the buffet was always very good and fresh. There were also a few choices of à la carte restaurants offering Thai, Italian, Mediterranean and, of course, El Salvadorian dishes. All these amenities and its attention to detail consistently earns the Royal Decameron Salinitas Resort close to 5-star ratings.
The architecture of the stream-lined white buildings enhanced with splashes of bright colors smartly borrow from the local culture without being tacky. Keeping in line with El Salvador’s history and culture, Mayan sculptures depicting ancient gods and supernatural beings (and a cluster of crocodiles) are thoughtfully scattered around the site.
At sunset at precisely the same hour every day, a delightful group of long-legged white-feathered birds gathered at the leafy trees lining the marsh area. The fluttering of wings and their cheerful chirping created a beautiful symphony of sorts echoing throughout the surrounding foliage.
The only significant downside especially for those who enjoy sunbathing and frolicking in the ocean was the beach. The dark volcanic sand and the opaque blue water might not appeal to everyone (I didn’t mind) and at low tide the water receded so much that it wasn’t, if at all, easily accessible. The restricted area closed off by volcanic rocks was more often than not quite shallow making swimming a challenge or even impossible.
To keep their clientele happy, the resort offered a free shuttle bus to Playa Costa Azul which was bigger and better (though the sand was still dark). I decided to go for a stroll along the Playa Costa Azul and was accosted (in the best way possible) by a few giggling children wanting me to take their picture. I kindly obliged and even surprised them by lending them my camera so they could have their very own uninterrupted and unedited photo session on the beach.
Apart from the four (!) large fresh-water pools, there was also a “natural” salt water swimming pool filled by the ocean tides. Seeing that the water was stagnant for most of the day (it’s apparently emptied on a regular basis), I decided not to go but it was nice to have an alternative to the pools brimmed with chlorine.
Another unique activity offered gratuitously by the resort is to take part in a traditional Temazcal sauna – a circular cement sweat lodge which originated with pre-Hispanic Indigenous people. The sweat lodge served many purposes such as healing the sick and helping women give birth but the main benefit was to purify the body, mind and spirit. A traditional mini-ceremony is performed by a chanting Mayan shaman. The smoke and heat generated by the burning stones can be unbearable; I was only able to stay for a few minutes.
I’ve been to a few all-inclusive resorts but the Royal Decameron Salinitas Resort surpassed all of them on every level. It’s the ideal place to just relax (not much of a party scene), sip a cocktail and enjoy the hot Salvadorian sun!
Read all about my travels in El Salvador!
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Do you enjoy all-inclusive resorts or do you avoid them?