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“Pure Heaven, an amazing holiday” 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
London
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Pure Heaven, an amazing holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2010

This holiday was amazing...
Firstly greeted with a glass of champagne and a cold towel to wipe away the sweat of a 10 hour journey.
Taken to the room by a golf caddy while your bags are taken for you. The room was lovely, a massive comfortable bed, a big jacuzzi, cold drinks, coffee machine and a lovely shower. The room was in the Tulum block with faces the sea, a lovely view in the morning as the sun is rising.
The quiet pool was very nice, we never ventured to the activity pool as it was a little loud for us, we wanted pure relaxation and we got that at the quiet pool. The amazing bar lady who brought us drinks and lovely cocktails unexpected and even lunch-she was fantastic!
The beach was so pretty, yeah it has sandbanks but its purely to protect the beach and unless you get a bed near the spa area you can't really see them and its too nice to even be bothered by them. There were ladies that served you drinks all day too on the beach and lunch served there was good, with BBQ's, paella and baked potatoes.
The bar staff were amazing, a huge range of cocktails and such a wide rage of nice drinks to have, even healthy cocktails and shakes.

The main part to our holiday being so amazing was sue to how good the food was. I mean yeah the Mexican wasn't as great as we had hoped for being a lover for hot food however I think people are used to the taste of commerical mexican food that we buy from supermarkets-however it was still nice.
Our favourite was Mia Casa, it was amazing. Never packed out which always surprised us as it was the best place to eat. The waiters make you feel special and just simply great! Klay talay was lovely, gets very busy and Vida grill was very nice. All was lovely and I couldn't wait till my dinner each night.
Never had to book or wait for anywhere, everyone was really polite.
The evening had good shows and a dj played music afterwards, but were tired from jetlag so opted for a few drinks and watched a film in bed :)

The trips we went on were great! Booked through our holiday operator though.

A few tips:
Avoid the spa staff unless you want treatments, I found one the guys a little in your face and I noticed he bugged all the new looking people.

You can have champagne at breakfast, lunch and dinner-just ask its free. (We thought it was extra so avoided it at first)

Avoid the wine list unless wanted, its so expensive but if you ask for glasses of house wine you can get it all night

You can get bitten quite a bit due to the area, so take strong insect spray.

All the forecast I read before I went and even shown on TV while away mentioned storms, rain etc however it rained once in the afternoon while we were there and was nice and hot the rest of the time.

The hotel was amazing, truely wonderful- would definately come back!

Please don't listen to the bad reviews- you really have to be a big moaner and grump to moan about anything at this hotel it was fantastic!

Try the cheese risotto at vida grill -yum :)

  • Stayed August 2010, 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.
KarismaHotelsResorts, EDS Representative at El Dorado Seaside Suites, by Karisma, responded to this review, September 8, 2010
Dear Valued Guest,

I’d like to thank you for your positive feedback regarding your stay at our resort. I am thrilled to hear you enjoyed your stay with us and that you received the upscale quality in service and treatment that El Dorado Seaside Suites is so well known for.

I specifically enjoyed reading about your experiences in dining with us, as we take pride in our gourmet inclusive restaurants and are well known for our worldy cuisines served á la carte.

Mia Casa offers 5-star service and is considered to be the resort’s most romantic restaurant; we are happy to hear that your experience was parallel to the restaurant's repuatation for outstanding cuisine.

On behalf of El Dorado Seaside Suites, we’d like to thank you for choosing to stay with us.

All the best!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Exeter, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2010

Both my husband and I had to be dragged kicking and screaming from this beautiful and stress free hotel. If they could have accommodated us for a third week, we would have grabbed it. Everything was just so right, from the immaculate manicured gardens down to the wonderful beach waiters that looked after our drink requirements as we soaked up 5 hours of glorious sun each day. All the staff were always genuinely happy and courteous, they took such a pride in their work and enjoyed opportunities to learn more English, as did we learning Spanish. The restaurants offer a huge variety of around the world A la Carte food where you don't have to make reservations. They give you a bleeper if there isn't a table available to let you know when you can be seated. Even the outside morning restaurant manager shows you to a table and places a napkin in your lap. Beach toilets are air conditioned with wrapped up cotton hand towels to dry your hands. If I started on the bedrooms there's a risk I could go on for ever! In one word I will just say 'Perfect'. So so romantic, we hope whoever reads this and books to stay will enjoy it as much as we did. Oh and don't forget to try the Tequila!!! Mr & Mrs S, Devon England

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Fishers, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2010

We had no hot water and rude management. We will never go to another Karisma hotel. HORRIBLE! The food was awful, even though they claim to be gourmet.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Stourbridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2010

Myself & My Husband stayed here for 2 weeks from the 17th July 2010 - 3rd August 2010 for our Honeymoon.
We flew from Manchester Airport with Thomson/First choice, flight was delayed for 2 hours but these things happen.
We arrived at Cancun airport, which I must say we got through very quickly & straight onto the coach transfer to our hotel, on the coach we were given cold water, or you could also purchase a cold beer if you liked which we did.

When we arrived at the El derado seaside suites we were greeted in the reception by a glass of sparkling wine, superb start to the holiday, we were then taken to our room by our bellboy on a golf cart.

We stayed in a garden view room (4011) which was situated above the swim up suites, the hotel was only 60% full while we were there so no noisy guest as previous reviews have said. Our room itself was great, Jaquzzi was fab and bed was huge. Rooms were cleaned everyday, along with towels changed everday.

We were here at the time the guests in a previous review were robbed of £500, which I agree is terrible, however they left there safe key in their room????. We left money lying around on several ocassions, and nothing was ever taken. I also left my mobile phone & ipod on bed & again nothing was taken.

Anyway, resort itself was fantastic the staff can not do enough for you, the bar staff in the main bar are brilliant, the food at the resort was also very good the beef tendorloin in the Garden Grill is amazing. I had this a few times and it was always superb.
Breakfast at the sandwiere is very good, plenty of choice and the omelettes are great.
We also ordrered room service for bereakfast one day & late on an evening, takes about 30 mins to arrive but again food was very good.
We also had dinner on the beach as it was our honeymoon & this meal was fantastic, really enjoyed it.

We spent most of our days on the beach, pleanty of sunbeds everyday we were ther.e.
The sea is crystal clear and the snorkling is brilliant, There are waitress's on beach as well who will fetch drinks for you, nice touch i thought.

We went on a few trips, swam with dolphins brilliant experience, visted coba, and a snorkling trip all very good trips.

Overall we had a fantastic honeymoon and would recommend this hotel to others. We thought it was fantastic and I can not understand what some of the people on here who have left negative reviews expect. They must be use to very high class hotels.

So if your looking for total relaxtion, no children, in a fantcstic hotel then book today I will hopefully be returning.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
Stockport, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
101 reviews 101 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
149 helpful votes 149 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2010

Stayed from 28th July to 10th August in an ocean front suite - they are NOT ocean front - nowhere is on this resort. I had requested ground floor which we got.

First impressions really good, check in excellent and very personal sat at a desk drinking champagne (cava!), getting information - no queue at a desk like most places.

Taken to room on a buggy, which was about 2 minutes walk we realised. Our room was near to reception so handy for lots of stuff. Unfortunately the beach at this side of resort is not really a beach, due to erosion from sea it is a sea wall and large sandbags which are not pretty, but effective in controlling nature. A 5 minute walk up the front or 2 minutes through gardens leads you to a lovely beach though.

Room was lovely, clean and spacious. plenty of storage space, air con, fans, patio, jacuzzi and very large bed, which was a little high for me being short so required a jump up! There was a bar within 100 yards which was handy, this was a quiet bar that closed at 10.30pm so no noise at night.

The resort itself has wonderful beach beds, canopied on the beach, in the gardens, by the main pool, by the swim up room pools, plenty for everyone while we were there, but hotel only 45% full so not sure how this would be fully occupied. Some selfish people would put towels on a beach bed and a pool bed though, and often never use one. A few times somebody from staff must have been watching beds not occupied as I saw them remove some towels at times. This I thought was a good move. Towels are available at all pools, on the beach and at the nautical centre. Some parts of beach have red flag flying, this is to stop you using this part as it is dangerous, the main part of beach is protected and fine but beach shoes needed as some rocks on sea floor.

Nautical centre on beach offer snorkle tours with K team staff daily, jet ski (fee), kayaaks, and diving (fee) with free trial dives in pool if requested.

Towel art in room was varied, had swans, hearts, hippo, eskimo, elephant to name but a few. I did leave a small tip each day, dont know if thats why we got so many. Room kept clean, used do not disturb in late afternoon for a sleep as they would bring new towels round then.

Fridge in room kept stocked, you could request what you wanted in it. I asked for milk each day to make a drink, coffee machine in room but a kettle for tea needs to be requested, this took 3 days though as they didnt seem to understand what I wanted.

Food is high standard, though very small portions, you can ask for more though and not once did we become ill through eating, the standards are high, you are offered sanitising gel before eating in restaurants. No need to book, just turn up. The restaurants were Vida (very nice) Italian (our favourite) Mexican (did not try as dont like spicy food but others said it was the worst of them all!, Asian, lots liked this, we found it did not offer a good range if you didnt like sushi and my husbands mahi mahi was the most weird concoction, battered in a bread roll! Room service is 24 hours and excellent from a reduced menu, but were told you could request other things. The Arrecife restaurant was not open at night during our stay except for 2 nights so cannot comment. Sandwicherie for lunch and breakfast suited us, though service at breakfast second week was slower, plenty of choice but Arrecife open at these times. You can sit at main bar or swim up bars and order from sandwicherie menu, which was handy. Barbecue on beach daily for lunch also.

Bars, 3 swim ups, one at each swim up room and one at main activity pool, plus one near reception and one in each restaurant, but after 10.30pm, only one open is main bar, where entertainment is held (not our cup of tea it was very oriented to the American tourist), but a lot enjoyed it. Ask for a coconut, they are delicious. All drinks branded which is a plus and bartenders very good with cocktail knowledge.

Concierges are great. Any problems they deal with them, even obtaining medication for us from local pharmacy with a phone call and delivery - excellent service. All staff very friendly and helpful and all say Hola whenever they see you, gardens kept immaculate, always working on them.

Lomas travel in reception very good, we booked our trips through them as they were there more than First Choice rep. Recommend dolphin experience from Puerto Aventuras, a 100 peso taxi ride away,that was excellent and we swam with dolphins, manatee and stingrays. We booked a catamaran trip with lobster, catamaran was nice, food was good but for the price with only 4 hours at sea, with one snorkel stop, this was very bad value. Comparing this to other countries for half the price with twice the time and more swim stops etc, it is a rip off. Very disappointed in this trip. Also went to Cozumel on the day tour, which was from 8.30 pick up, back at 7.30pm, didnt actually get to Cozumel until 11am, left at 6pm. Taken on tour of island on a big open bus, which most of time was spent being knocked about on a pot holed road in full heat to see a lighthouse, for lunch which was a buffet which was ok but plagued by wasps, to see some crocodiles in the wild, a ruined mayan temple which was a tiny roped off thing. First you go to an ecological park to snorkel, we saw more fish off our hotel reef! Dont bother with this trip, its long, tiring, hot and uncomfortable. This trip is new and they were asking for feedback, told them to cancel the pot holed road trip, book another restaurant and give more swim stops. We spent hours passing people swimming from beaches and sighed wishing it was us!

Outstanding service from staff one night. My husband was trying to open the door with the card, which sometimes took a while as doesnt always work, I had felt ill, too much sun, suddenly I fainted hitting my head very hard on concrete. Within seconds I was surrounded by 4 staff, including a first aider. First aid was given and I was ok, except for a sore head and they were very solicitous, offering a doctor, which we refused as my husband is a first aider and kept his eye on me. They phoned to check I was ok next day, and enquired every time they saw me after.

The sea has a fair bit of sealife in it close to beach. Can get a bit choppy after the sandbags and reef though, but you see all sorts, including the resident barracuda who roams about, scaring some people but hes harmless. Whilst we were there a turtle nest was ready and we were allowed to help them into the sea under direction from specialists. Later than night we had to rescue 4 baby turtles who had lost their way and were meandering up the pathway, I felt very honoured to put those little guys back into the water.

Went into Playa del Carmen one evening for shopping and a meal out. Can recommend La Pirella for an excellent steak. Mariachi bands roam the streets, come into restaurant, its a lovely experience and one we would recommend you try. Enjoyed a change, shopped, ate and tried a couple of bars, taxi from hotel is 200 peso each way. Bell boy on front will get you a taxi, and there is a board of charges to stop you getting ripped off. Please note if you pay in dollars for a taxi you will be over charged, it was 20 dollars or 200 pesos, work it out!!!!

Did not use spa so cannot comment but they were not very busy and always trying to find customers. At the prices quoted I can understand why. They did not hassle you though, a simple no thankyou was enough.

The acitivity pool was fun, and the K team worked hard to keep everybody entertained, the quiz bingo was different, and I still say one of answers was wrong lol! Pool volleyball was fun and quite competitive in a fun way. Every time something was disputed in games, the answer was always MEXICAN RULES lol. Special thanks to Tanya, Dan and the rest of the team but Tanya made us laugh the most, always up for something, and even set up Jenga at the swim up bar with Tequilla shots if you lost lol.

The negatives

Romantic Meal on Beach - dont bother if its not free, ours was. Its dark, on a slope, you cant see what you are eating, plagued by mozzies, it was not romantic except for a single candle and a dressed table. Food was from restaurant menu, I got salmon on a bed of mushy peas!!!! you could order fondue though, but lobster was extra


It took them a whole week and 3 reports to get the jacuzzi cleaned. I had tried to use it, but awful black gunk came out of the filter, it could have been old skin, all I know is I was not bathing in that! Eventually saw a manager and suddenly it got sorted, with many apologies. Came back that evening to find curtains closed on bed, beautiful extra towel art with flowers, chilled drinks, the jacuzzi full with candles around it.

.

Bars at night - well after 10.30 you have no choice but to sit in main bar which can be very busy and noisy. The hotel is lacking in a quiet place to sit and have a drink on a comfortable seat without entertainment, and loud behaviour from some tourists hell bent on drinking themselves senseless. They were in a minority, but the whole ethos of this hotel is supposed to be romance, and many honeymooning couples there, it just was not romantic at all after 10.30pm. The swings are fun, but only place to sit comfortably in air conditioning is in hotel lobby, which has no bar! One night 2 tourists almost came to blows they were that drunk, shouting, one took off his shirt to fight, and the bar staff should have sent for security as this spoiled the ambiance totally.

This resort was more oriented to the American market, I would say 70% of guests were from USA or Canada, the rest UK, and 95% of these guests were well behaved. We met some lovely people from Texas and mid west USA, and the badly behaved ones were in a minority, but not enough was done to stop them spoiling others holidays.

Do not let your patio doors shut when you are outside or you are locked out. One couple did not know and closed door to keep heat out and ended up stranded on balcony one night, nobody around to help, no access to phone, he simply took the door off its sliding mechanism!

Construction work is going on around the main activity pool. They were constantly banging behind us making the pottery shop larger which spoiled relaxation totally. This was not mentioned when booking, and no apologies were forthcoming. They then in the second week moved onto building a little hut at the side of the Arrecife on the pool side, which again was a man hammering for hours right behind you. This is not on, it should be done before 10am and after 4pm as it spoils the day!

All in all this was a good holiday, a lovely resort but I can not give it 5 stars, maybe 4 at a push but they could easily bring this up to 5 with a few tweaks and providing a quiet romantic comfortable bar at night to relax in without all the noise. No wonder some people go off to bed early.

Be aware to keep your head covered, several people didnt and suffered. It actually was hotter than all reports and I show a photo of thermometer, which one day went off the top scale which was 50oC!

Happy to answer any questions.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Nottingham
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

My husband and I stayed at this hotel/resort for 2 weeks in August 2009.

We had an AMAZING time, we went just after swine flu struck the world & especially Mexico, and for this reason (we assume), we got a last min holiday for a very good price, and the resort was at a maximum of 30% occupancy for our whole stay - I am sure that this probably contributed to our amazing holiday.

The food was lovely, service very good, snorkeling brill - a highlight of our holiday, beach very good. Rooms a little small but perfectly adequate.

We had a swim up room & we were glad that we did, although had the resort have been busier the pool bar directly outside our room may have been a little noisey.

We would go back there tomorrow - only problem is that we now have a baby and despite our best efforts, we havent managed to persuade grandparents to have him for 2 weeks!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2010

Excerpted from below:

The reception clerk referred me to the concierge in the lobby to find an alternate resolution (all the while, I kept thinking, I just want a bed sheet).

The concierge asked, Is there something else we can do for you? How about a free meal?

I said, This is an all-inclusive resort. Why would I want a free meal? They’re already included.

He said, Then, a nice meal?

I thought, that’s funny. Isn’t this supposed to be a gourmet, all-inclusive? I dismissed the suggestion.

Please read on:


My girlfriend and I stayed at El Dorado Seaside Suites (part of Karisma Hotel & Resorts) in February and, we must regretfully confess, we wouldn’t go back. I had planned to post this review shortly after we returned, but I found myself going on at greater length than I anticipated and thought I would return to it at a later date for the purposes of editing it down. However, as I return to it now, I realize that reporting the full series of frustrations we endured is instrumental in conveying the extent of our dissatisfaction.

I think now, tellingly, the words of these next two sentences already seem outdated (as the negative reviews seem to be growing in number); I wrote them just after our return. Like so many visitors to the TripAdvisor website, we reviewed with enthusiasm all of the positive reviews before booking our trip. The positive reviews were so much more abundant than the negative ones that we felt we couldn’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, we were, and some of the reasons could easily have been avoided had the resort’s management and concierge services been responsive and effective at their jobs. In the end, the chronic nature of the problem and lack of a prompt and satisfactory resolution to it suggested to me that the problem goes far deeper than the behaviour of one or two people and made me question the integrity of the resort organization itself.

Let me first stress that I’m not referring to the staff in general. Most of the staff members (servers, hostesses, bartenders, gardeners, etc.) were great: warm, friendly and gracious; no complaints. In addition, generally speaking, the setting and layout of the resort were lovely and relaxing, although I would agree that the shoreline for half of the resort is as ugly as hell.

Nevertheless, the food was very inconsistent and most of it we would not classify as gourmet. We had one or two good meals. The best were at the Mexican restaurant; that was encouraging, since this was Mexico. However, we were disgusted by the Asian restaurant. The sushi was horrible and we believed the sushi was not made with the proper sushi-grade fish that it should.

Enough about the food though. The more troubling problems we experienced involved our room, a third-floor garden view room. I awoke the first morning to find myself lying on the bare mattress of the bed. That seemed kind of weird. What had happened to the sheet? I inspected the mattress and discovered that the bottom sheet didn't actually fit the mattress; it was too small, much too small. It was a king-size bed and the sheet definitely wasn't. Not only didn't it tuck under the mattress at the sides of the bed, it didn't even go over the foot of the mattress. It was about six inches shy of the end and, on the sides, it simply hung loosely, also not enough to tuck in. I thought it had felt funny to my toes when I climbed in the night before. I suspect that as I rolled over in the night, it just scootched itself up under my body each time so that by morning I was sleeping on the bare mattress. Not exactly hygienic either for the hotel or for me.

Not a big deal, easily fixed, we thought. So we visited the local concierge (there are ones near some of the buildings as well as a central one in the main lobby). The concierge knew exactly what we were talking about. He put his hand to his face and chuckled with exasperation. He said, And so you ended up in the morning lying on the bare mattress? Yup, I understand. You see, we purchased some new mattresses last year, but we ordered the wrong sheets. The sheets we bought were too small to fit. Fine, we said. For tonight, can we have the proper-sized sheet? He said he'd take care of it. My girlfriend tipped him accordingly. That night, we discovered they still hadn't given us a proper sheet and the next day I awoke on top of the bare mattress again. When we left the room, I proceeded to the concierge office near our building and showed the same concierge a photo of the sheet and mattress. I asked again, in an uncompromising tone, for a proper bed sheet. Thankfully, that night they provided us with one and I woke up the next day on top of the sheet and not the mattress. All was right.

Unfortunately, the next night it was back to a too-small-sheet again. So, on the third day when I woke up, I found myself on the bare mattress again. I picked up the phone to call the central concierge (we'd given up on the nearby concierge). I pressed the 'Concierge' button and discovered silence and then a beeping sound. I tried calling the reception desk. Same sound. I tried calling numerous times. The phone didn't work. This would mean that every time we wanted to speak to someone we would have to traipse across the sprawling resort to speak to the main concierge in person. To top it off, I noticed the room number identified on the phone was incorrect. It indicated a room somewhere else on the resort; I don’t think it was even in the same building. I couldn't help but think that had there been an emergency, and I couldn’t remember what room I was in, this wouldn't exactly be a safe situation. The phone wouldn't work and, even if it did, I would likely have directed them to the wrong room. Another issue....

Anyway, I went to speak to someone in the hotel lobby. I was directed to the concierge. He was less friendly, more officious, but quickly noted the problems, said he'd leave a message for the manager of housekeeping and get back to me. He didn't. I returned the next day and asked for an update. He said he was still looking into it. I left frustrated. I was thinking, how complicated is it to find a proper sheet to put on the bed?

Finally, with two days left in our stay, I went to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. I wasn't given the option to speak to him. Instead I was asked to explain to the clerk at the desk what the problem was. I did. She excused herself and slipped through the door behind her. She quickly returned and spread a map of the resort in front of me, saying, “We'll upgrade you to a swim-up room. This will satisfy all your needs,” and pointed to the new room. Huh? Satisfy all my needs? This encounter seemed a little strange. I would have been content with simply a proper sheet on my bed. Why the offer to upgrade us to another room?

We decided, with two days left, it was more of a hassle than a privilege as we would have to move all of our belongings to the new room two floors down. And besides, all we wanted was a proper sheet and an operational phone. How difficult is that to remedy? I kept thinking, we want a sheet. Why is this such a hassle? The only reason we felt the need for a phone was to request the sheet for gosh sakes. I returned to the lobby right away and turned down the upgrade and reiterated our request. At this point I was thinking I’m going to a lot of trouble for a proper sheet and a functioning phone. But, in a sense, I guess it really comes down to the principle of the thing. You pay a good chunk of money for your stay at a resort that claims to be five-star, or any-star for that matter; the least they can do is give you a proper bed sheet. Plus, once you start the complaint process, it's hard to stop until you receive a satisfactory resolution.

The reception clerk referred me to the concierge in the lobby to find an alternate resolution (all the while, I kept thinking, I just want a bed sheet).

The concierge asked, Is there something else we can do for you? How about a free meal?

I said, This is an all-inclusive resort. Why would I want a free meal; they’re already included.

He said, Then a nice meal.

I thought, that’s funny. Isn’t this supposed to be a gourmet, all-inclusive? I dismissed the suggestion.

He suggested a nice bottle of wine.

I said, My girlfriend doesn’t really drink.

He said, A massage on the beach? Something else?

I said, We’d been thinking of taking a short trip into Playa del Carmen. How about covering the fare there and back (an established fare for the region of $40 return)?

He said he wasn’t sure and would have to have to get back to me.

Well, he never got back to us.

Finally, we went to speak to the Signature Vacations representative. We filled him in and he said he’d get back to us. I commented that we didn't have a functioning phone. He said, Well, I’ll try lo leave a message for you. Hopefully, you’ll get it. That night, I noticed a light blinking on the secondary phone in the washroom. There weren’t any buttons on this phone, so when I picked up the receiver, there was no way of retrieving any message.

We were preparing ourselves for dinner at the time, so we went out of our way to visit the resort lobby to try to retrieve the message. We thought it was probably from the Signature rep, but it also could have been an emergency call from back home. We didn’t know.

We went to the concierge in the lobby. He said he’d try to retrieve the message. He started pressing buttons on his phone and didn’t say anything. Then the phone rang and he started talking to someone, dealing with another problem. The calls kept coming in and he kept answering them while we sat there patiently. He seemed to have forgotten our problem. Finally, I spoke up, saying, Please just give us the message. Eventually, he admitted he couldn’t retrieve it. He said he’d have to contact the technical team because he couldn’t access the message without a code that he didn’t have. Needless to say, we were flabbergasted at this point. So we went to dinner as originally planned.

The next morning, we went to speak to the manager, this time insisting that it was the manager we wanted to speak to. He accepted our complaint and countered with, So, what do you want? His tone wasn't really apologetic; it was just dutiful, in an exhausted kind of way, like he goes through this kind of exchange everyday. He reiterated the same list of compensation-offerings as the concierge a couple of days earlier. They really ‘talk their book’. Suffice it to say that we asked for both a massage on the beach and a candlelight dinner on the beach. Both of these were fine, a good massage and a good meal (although, when they say "dinner on the beach", they actually put you in a canvas enclosure near a break wall without a view of the ocean and immediately adjacent to a series of other canvas pens containing several other couples; it wasn't exactly the romantic image we envisaged, nor what seemed to be portrayed in their promotional material). The meal would be classified (we felt) as gourmet. And it came from the kitchen of the Mexican restaurant, the same one where we’d had our one other good meal. I don’t think this was a coincidence. It was the only good restaurant at the resort. I wish all the meals at the resort had been of this quality. However, had it not been comped, there would have been an additional charge of (if I recall correctly) US$150 for this meal. Given the way the resort markets itself, this was the kind of food we had expected all-round with the fee for our trip, not as a special, surcharge meal.

In the end, what a hassle for a proper bed sheet that was never provided, an apparently chronic problem everyone appeared to be completely aware of ahead of time. Yup, here we go again, seemed to be the look on the faces of the management. In the end, we were both required to sign an agreement stating that we wouldn't make any further claim for compensation against the company. Ahh, so civilized, such personal treatment. We signed it begrudgingly.

What does this behaviour say about the resort and the broader umbrella organization that, rather than providing the most basic item one would expect at a hotel (a proper bed sheet), they ignored both the continued complaints and the unresolved problem that caused it? Even our simple request for compensation, reimbursement of a taxi-ride into town, was balked at. Instead, we were asked to accept in compensation something we neither asked for, nor really wanted, but accepted more out of a desire for management to feel the impact of our dissatisfaction. I don't believe they felt a thing. Needless to say, we would never go back and would discourage others from doing business with them also. There are so many other great resorts out there and, no doubt, ones that are much more worthy of your money and patronage.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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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 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 On the Beach 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
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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