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“Fifth Visit in 5 years. What to Know Before You Go...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma

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El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   Km 45, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, 77710, Mexico   |  
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40% off room rate
Ranked #9 of 353 Hotels in Riviera Maya
Columbia, Missouri
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
180 helpful votes 180 helpful votes
“Fifth Visit in 5 years. What to Know Before You Go...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2013

This is what you should know:

Before you go:
Bring some 2 dollar bills. They love them and believe they are good luck. Book ONLY your ONE way transportation to hotel.

Transportation:
(Airport to Hotel Transfer)
Don't book "shared" transfers from airport to the hotel through your travel agency. There are much less expensive and very efficient options available on the web. Try USA Transfers to the hotel but do not book a round trip. Simply get a cab for the return trip 20-25 usd. Collectively we (2pp) paid 40 usd and saved so much time and money. So many persons stated they opted with the agency transfer package deal (50-100 usd pp) and it took them forever to get to the hotel due to the multiple stops at other hotels. Our driver stopped by our request at a gas station to pick up a 6 pack and was at the hotel in 20-25 minutes. The return trip is cheaper due to the airport restriction on who can do business from the airport.

(Renting a Car/Jeep using Taxi)
Safe, good roads and reputable national chains at your disposal. Parking is free at the EDR. We elected not to rent the jeep we had intended to use throughout our stay when we realized they offer free shuttle transportaion to PDC. If ya just want to get lost in Mexico, rent a jeep but there really is no need unless you go to Cozumel to explore the island... or Isla Mujeres (golf cart rental) of which I strongly reccomend!!!!

Checking In:
1) Check in on a Mon-Thur. Room options are much better.
2) Ask for an upgrade on-premise versus doing it on-line... cheaper!
3) If you stay in the non-casita section, the beds are good but could be a slight better.
4) Reservations at the many restaurants are meaningless. Just show up. They won't refuse you. :)
Where to go:
(Playa Del Carmen)
Definately have to go dowtown and do some shopping. SHOP AROUND! Please don't see an item for the first time and think that due to your excellent negaotiations skill you got them down by 40%. Walk around the corner and the price you just paid will be the starting price elsewhere. Trust me I know! :)
At the far north end of 5th Avenue it becomes a bit more sparse. That's actually good for prices. There is a hotel/restaruant named "Los Tulipos". They have a Cenote' in the restaurant/bar area. Have a seat next to the cenote and have a great strawberry marg.

(Cozumel)
Great day trip! Take the ferry RT for 24 usd pp. Don't get trapped in the towns center. Rent a jeep for 50-65 usd and travel around the island. You won't regret it! The absolute best part of our trip! There is only one road that will take you around the island. It is absolutely amazing. Waves crashing against the coral/limestone cliffs. Breathing hole where the water explodes up and out. the water is beautiful. There is little to no development on the south/eastern coast of Cozumel. What is ther is a guy selling cold coconuts that he chops with a machete and hands to you. When you are done he extracts the coconut and give you a lime and chili powder... amazing. There is a restaraunt called Senor Iguanas. One of only a few but certainly worth the wait! they have a seafood platter that will feed a family of 10 for 18 usd. Looked amazing!

Back to the hotel: The hotel was booked to capacity but you couldn't tell by the looks of it! All of the food varieties were great. Beach was beautiful and plentiful seating. The pools were great. It was nice to see normal people. It was no hardbody show... there were a few but mostly normal folks who go to work everyday. Made us feel comfortable not being 21 anymore! :)

I have so little to be negative about. I been to many 5 star resorts and this one measures up. The non-casita rooms are more than what anyone needs in a Riviera Maya. Not the Ritz Carlton/Four Seasons Honeymoon room but more than adequate for anyone... anyone! The only improvement I would reccommend would be to either have more wait staff around the pool bar or hand out larger drinks! :) This is a great place. Have a wondeful time!




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  • Stayed August 2012, 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 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (841)
Date | Rating
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English first
Emerson, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Ari from groups is great. Food is great. Rooms are clean and beautiful... Outside showers are awesome. Ask for Ari, Gerardo, Erik, Fernando, David, Eduardo, Gabriela, Leo, anyone their awesome... D'Italia is the best restaurant. Only two complaints are that the resort is huge and transportation is a little difficult to get when you need it and they just cannot cook beef properly. Every piece of beef we had was tough and overcooked.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

We just spent a week at the El Dorado Casitas Royale from December 26 to January 3. Loved the room which was a swim up suite, the private pools, the bike tour (thanks Luis - you're the best) and particularly the food which was so fresh. In their on site greenhouse they grow tomatoes, mint, basil, habanero chiles and more. So you get great mojitos, fantastic salads and more.

We will be back

Room Tip: Next time I will try the Infiniti pool suite in section 31 or 32.
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jersey, CI
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We visited in October 2009. You couldn't really ask for more. Although expensive, it was incredible for what you paid. The room had its own infinity pool (more for show than something you will use!), jacuzzi, and inside and outside showers.

All of the restaurants provided genuine 5* food and service, and we simply couldn't fault it. The beach was fantastic, with wonderful beds for relaxing; all of the pools were lovely, with swim-up bars everywhere.
In addition, the 24 hour room service was fantastic and we had breakfast in the room several times.

The only thing I'd recommend - bring mosquito spray, as the place has been built on the edge of a mangrove swamp, and you risk being bitten to death.

  • Stayed February 2012, 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 2
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
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

We stayed here for our honeymoon and was not disappointed , we stayed for 2 weeks over the new year 2012-2013. The room was good and was a good size, the cleaners were there every day but was irregular with time periods but don't hold this against them as they have there work cut out for them, the pool was magic but thought there should be a current in the lazy river as we had to swim to the pool so the river ain't really a lazy one(maybe just me) all service from bar staff to beach butlers was excellent , leynart from Bellini bar and martini bar was absolutely a star ! Kept our glasses full and gave us different cocktails and shots to try!! Jesus the beach butler was also good! We stayed at 3002 at casitas. Only bad thing was the time it took to be served meals as the normal wait took about 20 to 30 minutes in between courses, this gives you more drinking time though!!!!

The beach is rocky with artificial reefs but there is a sea pool and loads of swimming pools so it didn't really bother us!

All in all this is a great resort with the most friendly people ! Thanks to all and to Claudia, Karen and David our concierges !! They made our stay so special!! Thank you!!

We did not want to leave !

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
83 helpful votes 83 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We had traveled to El Dorado casitas for our honeymoon and we returned to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We booked with Nancy Finn through Island Getaways. It was a wonderful trip. We had a swim up casita in the 28 section. Last time we stayed in a standard casita on the second floor in the 29 section. If you are debating between the two, here is what I feel the major differences are:

There are a lot of steps up to the second floor casitas they are slippery and they get hot. It can be a bit of a pain if you have to use the restroom as there are no public restrooms in the casita sections. The swim up casita is on the ground floor and you can access your room a little bit more quickly.

The second floor casitas have more privacy on the balcony. I took many naps on our balcony bed during our honeymoon. The swim-up casitas have less privacy and you can hear the music and noise from the swim up bar in the pool area. However, you do have direct access to the pool and easier access to the bar. You also have a more private area to sit by the pool if you don't want to go to the main area. We got lucky and did not have any next-door neighbors when we went but if you do, you will be sharing the swim-up area with them and there isn't much space between the rooms. It is a chance you take, but everyone we met at the resort was nice and I wouldn't imagine that you would have issues with neighbors. If you are a very private person, I would suggest going for the standard casita upstairs. There also isn't much of a view from the first floor so if you want to be able to see the ocean, definitely opt for a second floor room.

Other than the outdoor features, the rooms are identical. If we go back, it will definitely be a swim up room again. I loved being able to just jump into the water after the long-ish walk back from lunch each day.

(The resort is huge and the shuttles run on schedule but only every 20 minutes. Plan on walking a lot as most of the restaurants are a good 5-10 minute walk from the casita section)

Other amenities:
We always were able to get a beach bed and the beach butlers were awesome. They came by at least once an hour offering drinks. In the afternoons they go around offering guests popsicles or coconut ice cream.
The pool bartender is someone that you definitely want to tip early on. If you do, they will take care of you. Our bartender would even leave the bar to come offer us drinks when we were on the beach or lounging on our porch. Some bartenders are fun and will help create a party atmosphere. Some are more laid back and just let you come and go.

Concierge:
We had two different concierges. One was fabulous and so sweet. The other was just ok. Both always had a smile and were always helpful. The only thing that bothered me was that since we were return guests, they kept hounding us to attend the time-share presentation.

Welcome Back:
We signed up for the "Welcome Back" program online before we left and we had several treats when we arrived: Sparkling wine and fresh flowers in the room, romantic room decorations one night, a spa product gift (3 sample sizes of hand sanitizer, insect repellent, and aloe) and we returned to our room one night to find a plate of mini desserts.

Restaurants:
Dinner: We ate at Fuentes, D'Italia Casitas 2x, Rincon, Kampai 2x, and Cocotal. The best meal was at Kampai. Fuentes is supposed to be the dinner "show" but it wasn't very impressive. It was a buffett meal with mexican food. They have a chef cooking on a big screen on the wall. It was ok. They did have excellent desserts! Cocotal wasn't very good. They seem to be trying to hard with that restaurant. There were some items that didn't seem to go together very well (ravioli with citrus sauce did not work.) D'Italia was mostly good. I ordered lobster bisque and it wasn't very good. It didn't have a creamy consistency at all. I would suggest skipping it. My husband had filet and was impressed with the cut of meat and it was cooked perfectly. Get the chocolate surprise dessert with bailey's ice cream! At Kampai, everything was good. My husband said the sushi was some of the best he has had. Room service was good each time we ordered it.

Last time we were there, I was sad that there wasn't anywhere to get guacamole and chips. Well, they have fixed that! There is guacamole and chips at most restaurants, even at breakfast. You can also order Nachos at most of the lunch places and through room service.

We ate breakfast at Kampai or at Cocotal. Cocotal is a buffett and Kampai is table service. They have similar offerings but Kampai has some dishes with an asian spin.

Lunch was good at Jojo's, and we often ate at the pizza restaurant because it was a little faster. La Isla wasn't impressive for lunch or breakfast.

Fun Stuff:
Did you know that there are crocodiles on the resort? Ask one of the bartenders and they will tell you where to find them. We had fun watching them one morning!

I found myself wishing that I had taken the bike tour. Everyone that we talked to that did it said it was great.

Drinks:
We often opted for beer during the day. I believe that they only have regular Dos Equis. It was fine by me, but my husband found himself wishing they at least had Dos Equis amber. The mini-bar in your room has tecate and other types of beer. The frozen drinks are good, but are very sweet. The bartenders will make you anything you can come up with though!

I can't recommend this resort enough. The staff is so nice and personable and the grounds are immaculate. No, the beach perfect. It is rocky and they have the sand bags to prevent the beach from washing away. If you need a Corona commercial beach, this isn't your resort but they have other locations.

This was a wonderful vacation and hopefully we will return to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary!

  • Stayed December 2012, 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 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ontario
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

We just returned from a week in the 30 section, Swim-Up Casitas.
Our room was beautiful and clean. The outdoor shower was amazing, we used it every day. I had a surprise bubble bath with flowers everyday with a bottle of champagne or wine and most amazing deserts left by the turndown service.

The grounds are the most immaculate I have ever seen. There are no bugs, just iguanas and geckos everywhere.

The restaurants in the casitas section are incredible. The Kampai makes the best breakfasts. All restaurants are good, except the cocotal buffet breakfast...not much to choose from but I think that is becasue they are a la carte as well.

Room service is excellente and FAST! The longest we waited was 30 minutes. They were usually around 15 - 20. Their nachos are awesome. Make sure to get the filet mignon at the italian. And the fried ice cream at the kampai.

Pools are clean. We only used our pool in section 30.

Our only problem was they kept making the room up for 1 person. We had only 1 coffee mug, BIG DEAL. I asked for another and they brought it right away, and many many apologies.

The Casitas is terrific. Much better than the other side of the resort. We intend to return but stay in the 31 section with the swim up infinite suites. There is a "gourmet corner" there with tables and service so you don't have to leave your section to get lunch!

TIP: if you stay in a swim up suite, pack light! We did not wear half of the clothes we brought!

Room Tip: 31 section has its own lunch restaurant. 30 section is good. section 25 is closest to the main resor...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma

Address: Km 45, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya
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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Riviera Maya
#6 Luxury Hotel in Riviera Maya
#9 On the Beach Hotel in Riviera Maya
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El dorado casitas royale, one of conde nast traveler readers’ top 100 hotels in the world and a AAA four diamond resort, is the pinnacle of romantic seaside luxury.Nestled along the beach in a separate, secluded area within El Dorado Royale on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults only resort designed for romance. A superb array of amenities and services makes this an unrivaled destination for romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma Hotel Riviera Maya

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