My wife and I stayed at the El Dorado Maroma (EDM) from July 20-27 celebrating our 10 year anniversary. We had a great time and absolutely loved the EDM. Overall, I would highly recommend the EDM for a couple that is looking for complete relaxation and unwinding. I do not recommend the EDM for a couple that is looking for a lot of activity and a lot of night life. Below I break down the review into different categories.
First let me provide a tip for anyone arriving to the Yucatan Peninsula via the Cancun International Airport. Once clear of immigration and customs, and you are ready to find your transportation, do not stop in the airport, go straight through the lobby and go all the way outside where the transportation companies are waiting. Inside the lobby are all kinds of timeshares/travel companies etc. that will offer free transportation or want to get you to sign up for excursions. They will do their best to side track you and tie up your time as long as they can. We made the mistake because some of the people presented badges and went under the guise that they were government related tourism agents that are there to help you navigate your way to your transportation or provide useful tourist information. After about five minutes I figured out the agent that stopped us really wasn’t trying to help us and we ended up walking away (we did not get suckered into buying anything).
Arriving at the EDM, other posted reviews are accurate in that the access road is long, and narrow with a lot of sharp turns through the middle of jungle/brush. Don’t let this scare you, as you eventually arrive at the resort, which is very beautiful.
Check in was very easy with a glass of champagne (each of us actually had two glasses) and a cool wash cloth offered upon arrival. Our room was ready when we arrived, which was around 2:30, so they did allow an early check in (check in is usually 3:00). Be aware that when you check in, the staff will ask for your credit card up front and they preliminarily charge 5,000 pesos (approximately $500) to your credit card. This is not a big deal because you settle any charges at check out time. At check out, I settled with travelers checks and cash, and the 5,000 peso charge was removed from my card. One of the few complaints I had was that they did not take our luggage to the room right away. After waiting in our room 30 minutes or so, I checked back at the front desk and the luggage was still sitting in the same spot. Once I informed the staff, they immediately delivered our luggage to our room. I think another reviewer mentioned their luggage getting stolen at check in, so upon checking in, you will want to make sure that they deliver your luggage to your room right away.
Our arrival day was the same day that tropical storm Dolly arrived. We beat the storm by a couple of hours. When we arrived, the grounds crew was taking preparations (removing outside furniture, boarding windows, etc.) for the storm. Let me say that the grounds crew did an excellent job not only in preparing for the storm, but also getting the EDM back to normal as quickly as possible after Dolly exited. The grounds crew worked very hard to clean the beach (washed up seaweed) and restore all of the outside furniture after the storm and got the resort back to normal quickly. Granted, Dolly was not a big storm when it hit and there really was no damage done by the storm, but the grounds crew still did an excellent job.
Overall the grounds and the beach are beautiful and very well kept. It does seem as though the grounds crew are continuously maintaining the resort. I don’t think that is a bad thing, as the grounds are kept up nicely. The fact that they continuously maintain the grounds was not an inconvenience or a burden to us when we were relaxing.
The beach is a white sandy beach, with a few small pebbles here and there in the sand, nothing that hurt the feet. Other than that, the sand is mostly very soft to the feet. The water is very warm and some good sand bars to swim out to. There is quite a bit of seaweed in the water, but the seaweed is avoidable and there are plenty of areas to swim in.
There are plenty of beach beds and beach chairs on the beach and by the pools. Obtaining a beach bed or beach chair is not a problem as there are more than enough. EDM was less than 50% capacity during our stay, so it was very easy to find isolated spots on the resort if we wanted peace and quiet. Having the resort less than 50% capacity also helped claiming beach beds, but I must say that even if the EDM was near or at capacity, it seems as though there are plenty of beach beds. There are two swimming pools in which both pools the water is very warm. Both pools have swim up bars for drinks through out the day. Other reviewers complained that there is no other bar open during the day except the pool bars. This is true but it does not matter as you do not have to be in the pool to get drinks. You can walk up adjacent to the pool bars and order drinks and there are plenty tables adjacent to the pool bars to sit with your drinks.
Next to EDM, there is a marina, which is owned by the same management group. Other posters have noted that the presence of the marina did not give the EDM the total seclusion that they advertise. This is somewhat true. While you are on the EDM resort, you will definitely notice excursions coming and going from the marina next door, but there really is no impact to while you are on the resort, and quite frankly, the marina activity did not bother us. The activity at the marina was not overly obnoxious. If you take a walk by the marina (off the resort), you definitely notice more of the activity. Plus, activity at the marina starts around 9 am, but the activities wind down around 5 pm, so from late afternoon on through the evening and dinner, there is minimal to no activity at the marina. The marina actually has some shops over there, which were nice to have, because if you don’t feel like leaving the resort, you can still go purchase some souvenirs for family or kids at the marina.
We stayed in a swim up suite, room number 802. This suite is all they way at the end of the newer section of the hotel away from the beach. This suite was nice in the respect that we felt we were secluded from many other guests. However, where this room is situated, while sitting on the patio (the swim up area), it is adjacent to where there is a lot of foot traffic from hotel staff (grounds crew, breakfast/lunch staff at the Sabores restaurant). It is also next to the ATV and horse trails that the marina utilizes for excursions. All of this extra activity really did not bother us, but just be aware if this is where your room is located.
The room itself was very nice and spacious. There is a Jacuzzi tub large enough for two people. There is also an outside shower in which obtaining the right water pressure can be a little tricky, but once the right water pressure is obtained, the outside shower is very nice; we both liked it better than the indoor shower. Take note that when exiting the room to go to the patio, the sliding glass door automatically locks when it is shut. You can easily lock yourself out of your room (we did the first day!).
One other complaint we had was relative to the turn down service of our room. We never, not once had towel art. Even though we saw plenty of pictures on trip advisor of towel art, and we knew of other people at the resort that got towel art, and, after we specifically asked the concierge three different times if we could get towel art at least once, we still never got any towel art. Overall, this was not a big deal at all, but you’d think that after we asked three times, you’d think we would have gotten towel art at least once. We still don’t understand why we didn’t get towel art. Furthermore, the turn down service/house keeping service for our room was not consistent with replenishing our bathroom supplies such as shampoos and soaps. This is one aspect in which we were disappointed with (still, it really was not a big deal and obviously did not diminish our vacation).
I need to say up front that I am a very picky eater (picky in that I don’t like a lot of foods – I am happy with pizza or macaroni and cheese, etc.). So I was a little worried about having to eat gourmet foods and not liking anything. With that said, there was not one meal that I was not satisfied with. I thought the food was outstanding.
Of the three restaurants (Mia – Italian, Sabores – Mexican, Kiyoko – Japanese), the Japanese was our favorite. The menu’s aren’t huge, but there is plenty enough of variety where the choices do not get old. Also, the portions are the right size, not too small and not too big. If a portion is too small, order another entrée. You can order as much as you want. If there is something you want that is not on the menu, ask, and they will bring it or do their best to accommodate you. Trust me, it worked for me several times (I wanted a chocolate milkshake with lunch one day. It wasn’t on the menu, but they made one).
There is a dress code for dinner time. For males you are supposed to wear slacks, shirt (polo or button down) and shoes (no sandals or tennis shoes). However, they really are not strict with this policy as I saw plenty of guys wearing t-shirts, shorts and sandals. I would recommend bringing at least one pair of pants and dress shoes.
Room service was also very good. The menu for room service is scaled down with not as much variety as the restaurants, but they were always on time or even earlier than what they said with respect to delivery time.
I did find that the alcohol at times seemed watered down, but not always. This was not a big deal to us as we weren’t there to get drunk every day. However, this falls back in the category of ask for what you want. If an alcoholic beverage seems watered down, ask for more alcohol on the next beverage, I am sure they will accommodate you
Tipping is not required. I did tip when I felt it was warranted (I did not tip every time). Not in large amounts, just a dollar or two here and there. Any time you tip, the staff is very appreciative. I have to say I did NOT notice a difference in the level service whether I tipped or I didn’t tip.
Lomas travel has an office on site in which they offer plenty of options for excursions off of the resort. One day we took an excursion to Xel-Ha. We did have a little trouble in the morning in that our transportation did not arrive. It seemed to be an isolated case that doesn’t happen all the time. They corrected the situation and paid for a taxi to take us to Xel-Ha. I have to say taking the taxi was much better than riding the bus back to the resort at the end of the day. The bus transportation transports several people from several resorts, so be ready to make several stops on the way to the excursion or returning to the resort. A taxi is much more efficient time wise, but if it is paid out of your pocket, a taxi will be more expensive than the travel group.
Not much to say about the night life, other than there is not much of a nightlife at EDM. There is Rick’s bar which does host live entertainment and bands (the bands were sometimes loud though). But the bar was always far from packed. Rick’s does also have a pool table, darts, and board games. It was a nice option though for a nightcap if desired.
The spa was wonderful. We both got a massage at the sky hut over the water at 10 pm at night with the sound of the water and breeze and the sky hut lit with candles. It was heavenly. One negative is that one of the spa brochures lists a thermal mud massage, which my wife was interested in, but it apparently is not offered anymore as the spa staff seemed confused why we were asking about that spa treatment and said that it did not exist.
SERVICE OF STAFF
Overall the staff was very friendly and helpful. The wait staff for meals was excellent. The turn down service/maid service was a little spotty (as mentioned above). The front desk was very helpful. The concierge was friendly, but seemed to just be a liaison to the vacation club presentation that we sat through.
We did sit through a Vacation Club presentation, which was not high pressure. It lasted for about an hour, but it was worth it as we got $150 off of our final checkout fee.
Checkout was very easy. There were no problems with the conversion rate, getting overcharged, or any hidden fees/charges. Like I said before, I settled with cash, so the 5,000 peso charge to my credit card was removed.
Other than the minor problems listed above, our stay at the EDM was wonderful. If not for those minor problems, I would have rated it a five out of five. Again, I highly recommend the EDM for any couple that is looking for total peace and relaxation.
- Also Known As:
- El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Hotel
- El Dorado Maroma Hotel
- El Dorado Maroma Resort
- El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located on one of Travel Channels Top Ten Beaches in the World, El Dorado Maroma is an upscale, exclusive Caribbean resort for romantic couples and active vacationers alike. Intimate and beachfront. Rustic and luxurious at the same time. the hotel provides outstanding services and gourmet cuisine. Receive personalized butler and concierge service, arrive with style with a champagne check in. It is rustic, because it is not pretentious and was built using traditional materials and with the philosophy of embracing the bounty of the nature and the local environment. It lies directly on the beach of Maroma, considered to be one of the best beaches in the world by independent reviewers, including the Discovery Channel. ... more less
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