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“Second time around, even better than we remembered! Long trip report!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 16 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Nova Scotia, Canada
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“Second time around, even better than we remembered! Long trip report!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2009

We spent 2 weeks here from March 28-April 11. It was our second visit to this resort, the first being in 2007. We booked with Selloff Vacations and flew Star Class with Signature. I would fly Star Class again, if only for the leg room, extra weight allowance and skipping line-ups. To us, it was well worth it for these reasons. The service on the way down was fine, lots of drinks offered. On the way back it was pretty well non-existant. Still good value however, for reasons listed above.
We arrived early, around 11:00 am and had a bite to eat and hit the beach while waiting for our room, which would be ready at 3pm. This is standard of all resorts. The resort is beautifully laid out, lengthwise along the beach instead of back, as most resorts go, ensuring you are never far from the beach, no matter what room you have. Beautifully landscaped, with small paths to lead you everywhere, low lighting, very romantic! We were in the back on the third floor, above the swim up suites and looked out onto one of the pool bars. This pool bar closed early, around 7 or so and was never a problem, noise wise. Our room was beautiful, large and roomy and very romantic with it's wonderfully draped king size bed and jacuzzi tub for two! The bathroom was also roomy, two sinks, a closed door toilet and a great shower easily big enough for two, all tiled and Mexican styled. We had no issues with the room, air con, no water problems at all and it was thoroughly cleaned everyday, with towel art and other lovely touches. The tips of our toilet paper rolls were folded into a point everyday, for God's sake!
We were very lucky to get to enjoy this resort for a second time and as returning guests we had his and hers golf shirts delivered to the room with a thank you note for returning, as well as little petite fours brought nightly for a bite of heavenly chocolate. The room also had a bottle of wine chilling when we checked in, but we do not drink wine so I can't tell you anything more about this, other than it was a nice thought! The soft robes were hanging in our room and we used these many times throughout our stay.
There were no mossies to be seen, thankfully, because we had had a bad time with these little buggers from another resort last year. Only sweet little salamanders (?) and cool iguanas hanging out sunning themselves. Pelicans fly overhead, graceful in the air and we had a ball watching them dive into the water and come up with fish.
Speaking of fish.....there are lots of cool fish that will happily come to you in three feet of water just off the beach, begging for pieces of banana or bread crumbs. Bring a slice or a banana from breakfast and they will nibble it right out of your hand. We never got tired of doing this! You can throw it and they will chase it like little pirahna!
The beach itself is something that is of a personal taste perhaps on whether you will love it or not. We adored it. It is much smaller in width than say, Bavaro in Punta Cana. The "sand" is a finely ground up mix of coral and shells, coarser than the powdery sand that others may have. In saying this I must point out here that we are avid snorkelers, and this is the type of beach we prefer. It is this way because there are lots of coral outcroppings in the water, therefore providing homes to the many different species of fish that we love to see while snorkeling! The water is shallow, perfect for beginners, maybe not so hot for swimmers. The sandbags that have been placed in the water, while not really attractive, make for excellent tidal pools, great for exploring and shell gathering. We found so many great shells, beautiful pieces of brain corals, lots of crabs...we were truly in our element. Another thing EDSS beach has going for it....PEACE. Other than the spa people and their offers of their "free" 5 minute massages, we were not bugged once! A simple no thank you and the spa kids left you alone. Walks down the l o n g beach were peaceful and wonderfully quiet. No timeshare people, no braid people, no souvenier people...it was awesome. No every 1/2 hour helicopters flying overhead, no light planes, no balloons nor flying boats and no party boats. No noise, no pollution....heaven. Let me point out here that I actually did see all of these things a few times...but at a good distance away, except for a small plane that buzzed over twice. Peace is what we wanted and peace is what we got.
Beach chairs and the beautiful beach swing beds were always readily available and we spent hours and hours doing nothing but relaxing and sleeping on them.
Hard working waitresses took our drink orders on the beach and brought us cold drinks on a steady basis. Friendly and prompt, as always.
As for the food, we ate most breakfasts at Arricefes and most lunches at the outdoor grill. We found we were able to get simpler food here, like bacon and eggs, english muffins, peanut butter, fresh fruit, etc. Lunches were chicken burgers, cheeseburgers, crispy burritos all accompanied by great waffle fries or plain french fries. Always served first were the mounds of picco de gallo (sp?) guac and chips. Delish! Dinners were at any of the 5 restaurants and I won't go into it, there has been plenty written on the subject, but they were all very good and it was always an experience! The sushi was yummy! Room service being included is truly the bomb, we used it a lot and it was always prompt, hot and fresh. The burgers were great.
We never went to see the personal concierge because we didn't have to but he called and left a couple of messages inviting us to visit him and say hi. We never did as I had heard it was a thinly disguised attempt at time share and after a truly horrific experince with these sharks a few year's back, we didn't want ANYTHING to do with that, even a hint of it would be too much. Are you starting to realize I like my privacy and value my time and peace? LOL. I didn't care if they offer free puppies, I tuck my tail and SCAT!
The drinks were delicious, top shelf liquor was available and I tried many different mixed, frozen type drinks, with the signature El Dorado being my fave pick. As I stated earlier, we are not big drinkers and wouldn't know top shelf liquor if it bit us, but I certainly enjoyed picking drinks off the menu and trying them.
The staff was, to say the least, incredible. We were not passed once in 2 weeks where a staff member didn't say "hola!" Friendly, personable and proud of their culture, always willing to try and share a story with you, even with a language barrier on our part. We tried our best to speak our pathetically broken spanish and were always met with a smile and laugh, and a try at the correct pronounciation. It is here I must mention Ignacio at Arricefe, who met us with a smile every morning and looked after our every need or want. He went above and beyond in service, and while we meet many wonderful people on vacation, he truly stood out and made us feel so welcome, and so glad to be back. Also, a note to Andy, at the V-Aquatics booth on the beach, we treasured our daily talks with you and hope our friendship continues into the future. Andy can book anything for you, from rides to and from the airport, all tours and also accompany you to see the "real" Mayan, on day long or days long trips. He is a contact that proved invaluable to us and his knowledge of local culture, history and services is unbeatable. Leaving these two people behind felt like leaving family behind. Very strange for me. My better half cannot say enough about the staff.
Regarding tipping...yes, it is included in your package and not mandatory, but please people, they work so hard for so little. It amazed us to see so few people leaving money behind to waiters and bartenders. If you can afford to go, you can afford $10 or $20 a day to spread around. Think about it and try and keep your money local if you have a choice.
I wish I could tell you about the evening entertainment but I am somewhat embarrased to tell you we didn't see ONE show! Our habit was awake at 5:30am, all day in the sun, a big dinner around 6:30 and back to the room, where we would spend an hour or two reading and/or enjoying each other's company, wow...who has time for that at home...imagine! and then we would be out like lights by 9:30/10pm. Probably considered boring by some, but pure heaven to us with our nightmare schedules at home. To spend time in each other's company every evening for 2 weeks....wonderfully reconnecting.
We did a few day trips this time, all on our own, with Andy's excellent advice. I think I will mention the colectivo here, which in my humble opinion, is one of the best mass transit systems I have ever used! White passenger vans cruise the main highways, from Cancun to Tulum and these provide safe, fast, efficient and cheap transportation to almost anywhere you might want to venture to. For 25 pesos, or $2.50 you just walk out the end of the driveway, a good 10 minute hike and wait 60 seconds and one will flash it's lights and pull over for you. So easy, go right to X-Caret-Playa Del Carmen-Cancun or cross the highway and go left for Xel-ha-Akumal-Tulum. Just tell the driver where you wish to go. Connect in PDC for Cancun. We bought Xel-Ha tickets from Andy and took the colectivo, saved $30.00 and it took all of 15 minutes to get there. You just have to be able to walk the driveways into each place, 10-15 minutes. Xel-Ha was great, good snorkeling, good food and drinks. Also they take good pics of you at strategic moments that you can of course, purchase on the way out.
We spent a day at the ruins in Tulum and walked to the incredible public beach, Paraiso, which was also very quiet and breathtaking. We took a taxi from a point down the beach to the town of Tulum, which is laid back with lots of stores for shopping. Very local, same stuff in each store, but some cool market stands to explore. Caught the colectivo from here right back to the resort.
We spent 2 days in Playa Del Carmen, which we love, eating, shopping and sitting on the beautiful beach. Do not miss an evening here to enjoy the many sidewalk cafe's and excellent shopping opportunities with everything from local stores to high end, pricey stores. MacDonald's, Subway , et al are available here for those of you with less adventurous tastes. The colectivo runs until about 9:30pm.
Not once did we ever feel threatened or worried or anything but safe and happy. The local people we ran into on our travels are helpful, warm and friendly.
I can honestly say that this was the best vacation we have ever had. I didn't think that we could recreate the first wonderful visit to EDSS, but we did. This time it was twice as better, because we got to stay twice as long. We highly recommend this resort and this area. We met many wonderful people, Paul and Doug, from across the Pond, you guys were awesome...please reconsider that camping trip to Africa next year! Join us! DebSouthampton, it was great to meet you...John and Hilary, from our own Halifax, it was a pleasure and we hope to hear from you soon. So many others....
We received a note from Ignacio and staff from Arricefe on our last day that we will treasure and keep in our album. We cannot wait to see you again. This small adults only resort, the Mayan and it's People is our new home away from home.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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English first
London, England
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2009

This was our second stay at the El Dorado and it was even better than we remembered.
The grounds are beautifully landscaped and are lovely to stroll around, the rooms are elegant and kept immaculately clean, all the staff are amazingly helpful and polite, this is just the best place to relax and unwind!
We stayed in an ocean front room very close to the swing bar, ok we couldn't see too much of the ocean because of the trees but the garden outside our terrace was gorgeous so we didn't mind at all! We were also visited by humming birds, an armadillo and a possum!
We tried all the restaurants and liked the Asian the best and the Mexican the least. Not once did we feel rushed to finish our meal and the hosts/hostesses and waiting staff were always welcoming and friendly. Everyday they cooked on the beach and I would recommend that you try this, very tasty!
We never had any difficulty getting a sun bed on the beach but then we weren't interested
in claiming a cabanos bed. The beach is small but once you're on it looking at the clear blue sky and the carribean sea and the pelicans diving for fish who cares. There were 3 three people working the beach (Ana, Estella and Angel he never stopped smiling) getting everyone drinks for those of us who were too lazy to do the couple of minutes walk to the nearest bar. At no point did we ever feel that we should tip but we did because everyone was working so hard to tr to make eveything perfect for our stay.
The downside to our stay is that we booked through First Choice and therefore had to fly Thomson. This has to be the worst airline in the world so if you can find another way of getting to Mexico I would recommend it.
We will dfinitely be returning to El Dorado to get another little taste of paradise!!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Edmonton, AB
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2009

Very simply a great destination if you are looking for a place that has excellent service, excellent food, is fairly quiet and does not have any children or teenagers. The place is relatively smal and personal for an all inclusive but there is still a lot of beach front. In fact, we were there during spring break for Edmonton, AB, Canada and there was lots of room. You never had a problem getting a spot on the beach as this place has a great beachfront to room ratio. All rooms are located within 150 meters of the beach, some having garden views but most having ocean view or being ocean front. Rooms were spaceous clean and well attended. Although the room service menue was relatively small, service was efficient and staff were friendly. The food was absolutely wonderful. El Dorado Seasides has 6 wonderful a la cart restaurants and no dinner buffet. You will never get that "we have this again" feeling that you can get at the buffets. The drinks were easily available from the hours of 10 am to 2 pm and were terrific. Basic water sports included snorkelling tours, snorkel equipment, and kayaks. If I had any complaints (an people can always find something to complain about) it would be the hard beach volleyball court that can chew you up if you are not careful, the fact that you are facing north and don't get a sunrise or sunset over the water, and that you must be careful wading in the swimming area (the bottom can be a litte rough in places). Other resorts have nicer sand bottowm but those are usually the mega resorts that I find have too many people. I would def inately go back to this resort if I was looking for a quiet, stress free couples getaway.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
nova scotia
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

My husband and I arrive on a Saturday morning, we did have to wait for our room, but we excepted that. It's normal when you have an early arrival at most resorts.
We were meeting friends who were not schedule to arrive until 2 days later.
The resort itself is cover in incredible amount of vegetation, coconut trees, banana trees. and many other type of plants. The local population of birds like to hang out down on the beach and at the 24 hr snack bar. They can be quiet funny to watch.
The staff is incredible, any time we needed anything it was taken care of within minutes.
The food was wonderful, if you want to be catered to and waited on this is the place for you.
The rooms are large and clean. From the kings size bed to the jacuzzi the the rooms,
The food and beverage staff at the bars and all the resturant where very friend and professional.
The evening entertainemnt is a little later than we are use to but we made it to 4 of the 7 night and they were all good.
The weather was hot, but it was windy, this made it a little hard for snorkelling, but that was mothers natures doing. The resort had daily Kayaking and snorkliing when the weather permitted. You will need water socks, unless you hang out at the far right side of the beach. We were perpared and got in a couple of dip in the ocean.
The swing bar is very active in the evening,
The days where filled with differant activities, if you want to join in on. The have spanish lesson and teach you how to make towel art, the have yoga in the morning and play volleyball atleast 3 times a day.. Or you can just lay on the beach on the beach beds or lounger, and do nothing all day but enough the sun.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2009

Really enjoyed the 5-star treatment , hadn't treated ourselves to one in the past ! Been to Cuba and Dominican previously 4 1/2* resorts , so this place was really a nice treat . Food absoloutely fabulous ( ALL A LA CARTE - NO RESERVATIONS REQUIRED ) , Beach a bit disappointing , good for snorkelling though if you get out there far enough ( there ias a nice sandy beach about a kIlometre down from resort ). Service was great , but concierges push the Exotic vacation club . Maid service was unreliable , many calls to service desk .

We would have liked some night life at times , which was non existant really ! Kinda packed things up usually by midnight . All in all enjoyed the stay ( 2 weeks ) but got a little repetative near the end . Room service was excellent , as well as a stocked Video library . ( it was actually kind of cool for about 4 days we were down there Jan.20 -Feb. 03, maybe 10-11degrees celsius in the evening )

I would go back ... but not for some time .

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Cleveland, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2009

My husband and I just returned from our third trip to this incredible property. Once again, we loved every moment of our time at the resort. The grounds seem to become more beautiful with every year. The staff is still the best in the world! The one drawback for us this year was how crowed the beach seemed to be. But, we still really loved our time on the swing beds. The food is extraordinary and the ambiance of the resort cannot be beat.
A special thanks to Lucy (beach butler). She was there last year and remembered us. She is one of the biggest assets of the Seaside resort. She remembers names, favorite drinks and goes out of her way to please all guests. She’s a gem and we hope she will be rewarded for all her hard work. Gabriel at the Lomas desk is great. Very knowledgeable, friendly and not pushy. And, Daniel on the entertainment crew is wonderful. Management, please, let your employees wear sunglasses. At least while playing volleyball in the pool. The beach massages are heavenly. We’ll definitely come back.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2009

This was my first trip to Mexico and to have had such an amzaing experience will definitely make me want to come back. The staff were all exceptional. Service was bar none. I couldn't have been made to feel more welcomed. I left relaxed, pampered and totally taken care of. A warm thank you to everyone at the El Dorado Seaside Suites !!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma

Address: Km 95 Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
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 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#4 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
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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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