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“Beautiful grounds, wonderful staff, great food...with minor setbacks.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma

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El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 95 Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #1 of 15 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
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“Beautiful grounds, wonderful staff, great food...with minor setbacks.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

We recently had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful El Dorado Seaside for a hot & sunny week. This was our 8th trip to the Mayan Riviera (our favourite AI vacation area). We have also visited Jamaica, DR & Cuba on various other AI trips. We've stayed at many of the larger resort chains (Iberostar, Palladium, RIU, Melia) and have stayed at both adults only and family resorts.

For this trip, we wanted a smaller resort with excellent food and service, lush grounds and the option to book a swim up room with lounge chairs in the pool out our room's back door. El Dorado Seaside fit the bill perfectly for the key aspects of what we were looking for. The grounds are mature, very well taken care of and very lush. The walkways are covered by palm tree canopies, beautiful bushes and flowers which just oozes with tropical charm. We loved marvelling at the Beaty of the landscape while walking throughout the resort. We also loved to small, quaint vibe this resort had - like we were at a resort on it's own private island. Very nice atmosphere to relax and enjoy.

Food
The food was very good and all meals could be a-la-carte if that's what you wanted. There were also options around the resort at breakfast and lunch for buffet/BBQ if you'd like something more low key. And of course, there was the room service option we used a few times for snacks and lunch. Our favourite spots to eat were Vida for breakfast, Sandwicherie for lunch & Mia Casa for dinner. All the food we had was beautifully presented and most dishes were tasty as well. We never had to wait longer than 10 minutes to be seated for any meal - most of the time we were seated right away. Wine was not the best & I wish I had known to ask for the included wine list; some restaurants offered better house wines than others. You will be given the additional cost wine list and steak/lobster menu at every dinner - we did not feel the need or desire to spend more money. We did, however, genuinely want to tip at every meal because of the attentive service, great atmosphere and good food. There is no feeling that you necessarily need to tip, we just felt like we wanted to. Dress code was resort casual during the day and mixed at night. Some guests were extremely dressed up (like formal nights on cruises) and others were just in dressy tank tops/collared golf shirts and shorts. My feeling is, you're on vacation so wear what you want. The resort seems to agree with this too - we went as both very dressy or more casual and were never turned away from a dinner. Mini rant: The guests that are complaining about how others should dress need to chill out! Everyone is on vacation here, so enjoy who you are with instead of trying to dictate what everyone else is doing or not doing. For those going on vacation here, I'd suggest a few light pants and golf shorts as well as some button up shirts for guys and a couple nice sundresses, dressy tanks/blouses and shorts/capri's for girls.

Rooms
We were extremely happy with our room choice. We booked a swim up room & emailed the resort 1 week before arrival to ask for a very sunny location. The general manager replied saying they would do their best to accommodate & they definitely did (thank you!). We were given a room in block 40, which had the sun on our lounge chairs all day & faced the large Giovatas swim up bar. We were celebrating a belated birthday, and upon arrival to the room we had balloons, music and a towel birthday cake to surprise. It was extremely cute & a very nice way to start off our stay. A bottle of chilled champagne was also delivered after we had settled into the room - awesome & the effort was very much appreciated! The rooms have been recently updated & the bed was very comfortable. All rooms have flat screens and DVD players as well as ample closet and drawer space. The safe was small and old - not digital, but lock & key so we had to carry around the key everywhere. No big deal, just not the standard of other resorts. The minibar has pop, crisps, water and beer (Tecate, Sol, Heineken, Coors light). At night, the rooms are a little dark, but the bathroom was bright enough to get ready for dinners (& has hair dryer + vanity mirror). We enjoyed having our own loungers in the pool and hardly ever went searching for chairs elsewhere until late afternoon. We heard the towel game was I full effect and all chairs + Bali beds were "reserved" with towels by 7am. That would have been frustrating, but luckily we did not have to partake in the game. We were able to find available beds on the beach in the afternoon when we did want to have a siesta in the ocean breeze...we just had to look for a few minutes to find the non-towel reserved ones.

Beach
If the #1 most important thing on your list is a beach that looks like it is from a Corona commercial, this is not the place. However, this is a good spot to try out snorkelling - we saw lots of people snorkelling & checking out the small fish off shore. The beach itself is typical of the area and is finely crushed coral. It is long & you can walk for quite awhile to the south of the resort (you will eventually get to the Grand Palladium). There are numerous Bali beds and beach chairs lining the thin strip of beach (it seems like each couple reserves 2 loungers and 1 Bali bed which leaves others without anything...small issue & not the resorts fault!). Off the shore, there are many areas with coral and a certain area where walking out is possible without water shoes. There are also the large sandbag "whales" all along the beach which are serving as artificial coral. These are breakers to protect the beach from erosion. They are not pretty and mar the view off the beach. The waterfront area with the wall is much worse looking than the far south of the beach, but from every area, those sandbags are very visible. For that reason...if you want unblemished beach views and pictures, this place may disappoint. Just a warning. These didn't bother us, but we have definitely stayed at resorts in the area with beautiful wide beaches & ocean views without sandbags.

Entertainment & bars
We generally kept to ourselves during the day, enjoying our private loungers and the close proximity to our pool bar. We tried all the daytime slushy drinks, although mostly stuck to Bahama mamas and Dirty Monkeys. Even the pool bars have brand name spirits like CM spiced rum, Smirnoff, JD, Bacardi, various tequilas, baileys, etc. All you have to ask for what you want! The pool bar usually got busier later in the afternoon which turned into a small pool party until closing (6pm) At night, Guacamayas is the place to be. It is the main swing bar on the beach. It is a gorgeous setting, both day and night. It does get a little crowded with limited bar stools at the busiest times. Service was quick and the bartenders learn what you are drinking quickly. I don't think we ever had an empty glass. They have a live band most nights around 9:30 with a quiet Dj afterwards. They also did a big beach party with buffet one evening. The one thing we noticed was, regardless of band or Dj, everyone seemed to play the same list of about 20 songs. And most of those songs were pretty old "Play that funky music" has been stuck in my head since getting back! It would be nice if they changed things up a bit. It also died down quite early for an Adults only resort. By 10:30 the bar was fairly empty and pretty quiet. Maybe we were there on a quieter week?! We wished there was a lobby bar or somewhere else to go at night and that some different music was played occasionally. We went to the Piccadilly theatre 3 times and saw some ok shows. The best shows were the Mayan ritual one done by an external company and performed on the beach as well as the fire show. They also set up the Super Bowl in the theatre with a buffet and the game playing on the big screen with Spanish announcers which was fun!

All things considered, we had a lovely time. The resort was perfect for what we wanted on this vacation. The grounds were incredibly lush, the service was top notch and the smaller size lent to the resort feeling more intimate. It is a very popular resort for weddings - and from what we heard, the spa and wedding coordinators did an excellent job! With the smaller size of the resort, it seemed to enable wedding groups to interact with each other a lot and make their own fun as a group, which I think was a nice touch to their vacations.

We would consider coming back and would recommend to friends looking for R&R and good AI food...as long as the beach views would not bother them. We do like to try different resorts, but this one was so great we might be back sooner vs later. I understand why there are so many repeat guests. Thanks to all the staff for making our vacation so wonderful!

Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,293)
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English first
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 15, 2014

We booked through First Choice and flew with Thomsons, (same company), not dreamliner im afraid, couldnt fault the plane or the cabin crew, quite a new plane, couldnt say the same flying back to UK, plane was showing its age. Nothing too much trouble for the cabin crew but then again we did fly premium which i would reccommend for a flight of that length.
We landed in Cancun it took approx one and half hrs to clear immogration, loads of flights landing at same. We booked a private transfer through Canada Transfers, im glad we did, we were at the hotel approx 2 hrs before the tour bus arrived at hotel, i have done a seperate review for Canada Transfers, who were outstanding value. We found the transfer guy, taken to bus, met with cool towels and cold water, trip to hotel was uneventful.
We arrived at hotel, luggage looked after by the bell boys, glass of champagne whilst checking in, which was painless, once checked in we were taken to our roof on a golf cart and bell boy carried cases up 3 flights of stairs. We were in room 4121, top floor which was great, good views all around, Jaccuzi in room, robes to hand, fridge full of beers, soft drinks and watwer, also snacks, you can tailor the contents of your fridge if you so want, the room was right across from the new theatre Picadilly Circus and next to new premium block, dont really see what all the negative feedback ref premium block, we didnt find it obtrusive at all, once we had settled in we went for a walk to try and suss things out.
The beach area was good, the drinks service on the beach was second to none, well done the beach staff, snorkels and kayaks free hire if you want them. The only complaint i am going to write about is the bgeach bed situation, if you are not up and down by 0700 hrs at the latest you have no chance, some selfish people actually had a beach bed and 2 sun loungers, not nice, i spoke to the concierge about this and she said if the people are not back within an hour remove towels from beds, easier sadi than done, that is the only moan from me.
We also spent a bit of time at the Premium pool, most people are under the impression that it is for premium visitors only, not true, the staff there were brilliant, Graciella and Miquel take a bow, service brilliant, 2 more devil insides please, you can also get light lunches there, which are superb.
Restaurants
Our two favourites were Kalay Talay and Mia Casa, the food was outstanding, oriental and Italian, Vida garden grill was also first class, Mexican was good, a lot of people who reviewed it didnt like it but no complaints here. The gourmet pub was a bit out of sorts, only ate there once, food was ok but the menu was confusing, if they go ala carte it would be a bit easier to understand. The Sandwichere was ggod for lunch, gourmet burgers mmmmm, BBQ on the beach for lunch was superb, great choice every day. My favourite place for breakfast was Ariciffes, you had a choice of buffet or menu, try the eggs benidict, to die for, the staff were outstanding, thanks goes to Aaron the manager and my fav 2 waiters Fernando and Gabriel, champagne or mimosa for breakfast without asking, take a bow guys.
The bars were pretty good, the main bar is Guacamayas but there are other bars dotted around the place, every pool has a swim up bar so no lack of choice.
It was our anniversery whilst we acroos so we booked a romantis dinner on the beach, we had it in the white gazebo, your own private waiter for the evening, food was grewat, there were a few add ons with the package like bottle of champers in the room, breakfast in bed the following day and a good deal on wifi, my wife and i were dancing around the gazebo to Lady in Red sung by the live band at the bar, people must have thought we were nuts.
Tips
We were not to sure about the tipping protocol, if you think you recieved good service tip them, at the bars tips of $1 dollar or 20 pesos were about average for drinks, i must stress that the staff were not expecting tips but were very grateful for them.
We met some good people on this holiday from all over, so hello to Sharrie and Rob from Millet Alberta also Jeff and Sue from England.
The best thing about this hotel was the staff and the welcome we got, would we go back again, yes we would without a doubt.
If you are thinking about booking it, dont hesitate, book it.

Room Tip: If you want a bed get up early. if you want a bit of piece and quiet use the premiun pool.
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LaPorte, Indiana
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

We were pleasantly surprised by how much we liked this resort. The property was beautiful with tons of palm tree gardens. They even use coconuts as borders for there gardens which eventually sprout and begin to grow into trees. ( I had no idea that coconuts were seeds!) The resort was quieter than we are used too. The activity pool had pool volleyball and water aerobics which is a great way to cool off from the sun. The pools are smaller than most resorts and poolside seating is limited and normally reserved early before breakfast. But the beach has plenty of clean, soft sand and beach chairs. They have break walls about 100' out in the ocean that break up waves and prevent sea weed and debris from floating ashore and also leave you with pristine clear Caribbean water and spectacular snorkeling.
The staff was flawless. From the grounds crew up to the management, everyone treated you like family. Like most commercialized resorts, most of the staff was fluent in English. The bartenders quickly became your best friends. William and Abraham always had our drinks ready for us as soon as the bar opened or if they saw us getting in the pool! The entertainment staff was Excellente! Alex, Cesar, Edgar and Lu Lu were always there to entertain! Housekeeping did a wonderful job on cleaning the room and making towel animals.
We stayed in a swim up suite which had great afternoon sun. The view from the patio looked out across the pool into a garden of palm trees and flowering bushes. Not many rooms had ocean views from what I could tell except for some of the higher level premium suites.
There were quite a few choices for breakfast and dinner everyday. Only a few were open for lunch and two of those were outdoors. You only needed reservations for one restaurant ( the Gourmet Pub). The food was quite nice and we'll prepared.
So here is our list of pros and cons:
Pros: beautifully landscaped, quiet, great staff, excellent nightly entertainment, adult only, awesome beach with clear, calm waters and plenty of beach seating.
Cons: small pools, no locks for safe deposit box at time of visit, no turn down service at night, swim up rooms in shade till afternoon, limited seating by pools, no room service box in the room.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakville, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2014

Service, quality, good food and friendly staff made this holiday a memorable event. The property, less than one hour from Cancun airport meets all your expectations from start to finish. I can't say enough about the special treatment you receive from the friendly staff. When they greet you with "Welcome home!" You really feel that they mean it and are genuinely happy to see you again.

Room Tip: I don't care for the high rise section which is fairly new. All the rest of the rooms are terrif...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billings, Montana
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

2nd time there. Met us at the front door with champagne and a wet scented hand towel. Arranged our activities quickly, and pick-up for airport at end of trip arranged right away. Checked us in quickly. Junior suite is way to go...small bungalow in the shade of coconut trees. Looked remodeled, solid furniture, patio view green with ocean in background. Gorgeous well kept grounds with iguanas wandering around. Mexican people as always extremely good natured and pleasant. Tip them well and they go out of their way further...one reason why I like Mexico vacations. Restaurants very good, room service acceptable. Pools, grounds, room service timing, room quality, all excellent.
You can rent a "hidden beach" (nude beach) room or standard. None of this resort is for children. Usually destination weddings there, fun people. Mostly young (30's-40's) but enough our age (50's & older) to be comfortable.
Went to Indiana Joes, which is worth it to zip line and swim in caves. Snorkeled. This is not on site but they transport you. Problem is one van was bad (picked us up with check-engine light on and barely made it back) and we had this happen to us on our first visit...the main problem with this visit. Looks like they are getting new vans but shouldn't take you out if van is limping. Activities such as para-sailing, fishing etc are at a different hotel, not far but just a little inconvenient. You can rent small boats/canoes at seaside. Also, it is about 75 minutes from airport...not as bad as all that since they have cervesa in the transport van, can arrive a little drunk already.
Beach is pretty. Sand is a little gritty for bare feet, shallow, and some rocks. Stays shallow for quite a distance.
The quaint beauty of this resort is hard to beat. There are many beach hotels but most seem "generic" hotels...this is unique and meant for romantic trips. Grounds are impeccable and shaded completely by coconut trees.

Room Tip: Junior suites are fine. There is a hotel but not as quaint. Some suites have swim outs, their own...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2014

From start to finish an excellent holiday. The flights there and back on the Dreamliner were very comfortable and didn't feel like long haul flights. The Premium Suite room was fantastic with huge comfortable bed, jacuzzi and a free mini bar! The rooms were kept very clean and linen could be changed daily if required. The food in the restaurants was excellent and the service was first class with very personable waiters. We spent most of our days at the pool by the Premium Suites (Garcitas), which had fantastic bar staff Fredy, Anna & Margarita. They provided lovely salads and sandwiches at lunch, but if you required something more substantial the Sandwicherie had equally good food. Can't fault anything about this hotel and would love to go back someday.

Room Tip: From discussions with other guests, all room types were excellent.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2014

I came to this resort for my cousin's wedding along with about 40 others in the group. The food was amazing! The entertainment was Excellente! Accommodations were fantastic Loved the Cali King bed! The staff was always very friendly, always acknowledging each guest with a smile and Hola! It was apparent that this resort really takes care of their employees, because they all seemed very happy and willing to provide amazing service.

Only downfall that I saw was the servers on the beach were somewhat slow and quite often missing in action.

This is probably not the greatest resort if all you want to do is sleep and read in peace. Tons of activities day and night. Live music, shows, and even karaoke! I don't think I've ever danced, smiled or laughed so much in my lifetime!

Highly recommend this resort for anyone that wants to have fun!

Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma

Address: Km 95 Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 378
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Seaside Hotel
El Dorado Seaside Suites Mexico
El Dorado Resort Spa
Hotel El Dorado Seaside
El Dorado Seaside Resort
El Dorado Spa
El Dorado Seaside Mexico
Eldorado Seaside Suites
Eldorado Resort
El Dorado Seaside Suites, By Karisma Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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