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“Excellent Vacation” 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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Ranked #10 of 353 Hotels in Riviera Maya
Wayne, NJ
1 review
“Excellent Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2010

Having never been to Mexico before, I wasn't sure what to expect, especially from an all inclusive resort. Boy, I was blown away! A luxurious resort, the most friendly service around, great food...I was very pleasently surprised. We upgraded to a Casita...great move-nice size rooms, a pool right outside our room, swim up bar, lots of privacy. If you are looking for a relaxing vacation with great amenities...this is your place.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
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1,858 reviews from our community

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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
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Austin
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2010

My wife and I spent 7 days in the Casitas section of the El Dorado Royale. We offer a very mixed review. Sorry for the length but we wanted to be thorough. In a nutshell, we would not select this resort again because of the service and size of the resort despite the beauty of the resort and rooms. However, read our pros and cons and make the call yourself.

Pros: The casitas room was amazing. Lots of space. Comfortable bed. Upgraded pillows. We got the swim up casita so we could have direct access to the pool. The outdoor shower was neat; although, I had to have maintenance fix the shower head because it shot directly into the wall at first. The resort was absolutely beautiful. The architecture and landscaping surpassed my expectations even after having researched their website ahead of time. Almost all of the restuarants were great (7 in total). Most meals are 4-5 courses and proportioned accordingly. There were plenty of pools, depending on what atmosphere we were looking for. There were plenty of beach and pool cabanas- great for reading or sleeping in the shade. The resort provided lots of activities that I enjoyed like water volleyball, water polo, bike riding and more. And the casitas spa was very nice. We enjoyed all the services we got and found the hydro therapy pool very nice.

Cons: The service was non-existent to poor. We payed more to be in the casitas section and expected very good service. However, I don't believe you get any better service, only a nicer room. I believe almost any section has a personal concierge. We discovered our concierge was incented to get us to attend a 2 hour "membership" presentation (basically we were tipped off that its a prepaid lifetime vacation package). She put the sales pressure on every time we walked in her office. Huge turnoff for us. Also, the casitas section is located on the very north section of the property. Most of the restaurants, bars, and pools/ activities are located on the south side. While they provide shuttle service, it only runs every 20 minutes and it stops at 11pm. Thus we did a lot of walking. I'm guessing a one-way walk was around 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile. Good exercise after stuffing your face but it got old after the 4th day. Because this resort is all-inclusive, we found that a large number of the folks decided to get their money's worth of alcohol. Don't get me wrong, we liked the bottomless beers and drank our fair share. Just understand that with a resort this large, it will be hard to avoid obnoxious behavior (at any pool). Our casitas pool was over-run with a group of 8 that hung out all day (8 hrs a day) and their voices only got louder with more consumption. We even discovered they were reported twice but that did not deter them from getting their money's worth. Other small things included the fact that our daughter never got the postcard we dropped off at the front desk. The "beach butler" service at the casitas only happens 3x per day. Rarely did anyone come get our drink order at any of the pools. We almost always went to the swim up bar. They charge everyone $15/day for Internet service.

In the end, we just decided we fit better in a smaller, european plan resort. If we did go again, we definitely wouldn't pay more for the casitas section- definitely not worth the extra money. We're getting too old to get our money's worth of food and alcohol. Hard to keep a good buzz anyhow with all the walking :-)

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 1 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
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, California
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

My husband and I came three years ago for our honeymoon and brought our friends back for a get away. The new inifinity casita swim-ups are amazing and worked out perfect as a hang out with our friends in between trips down the lazy river to the swim up bar. It seems the restaurant service has improved as did the entertainment options at Guacamayas Bar. We saw the mayan dancers the fire dancers and the jazz night and enjoyed each one.
We had our first spa treatments since going and did an 80 minute massage and 25 minute facial, both amazingly enjoyable. The water journey was not worth arriving early for, I would save time and just do the sauna and steam room.
We will surely be back again.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Austin Texas
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2010

I spent hours pouring through reviews and forums searching for the perfect place to spend on my vacation in the Rivera Maya and I am pleased to say I made the right choice!! It definitely helped that my former boss, who just layed me off, allowed me to use his discounted rate that he purchased during his recent stay.

First and foremost, i would suggest to not buy into the limo service offered by Loomas Travel. The limo was old and a little dirty. The shuttle service is much cheaper and you will save a ton of money.

We arrived at the hotel and the wait to check in was slow but the Champeigne helped with the wait. Our room 2931 was on the second floor and we had a great view of the ocean from our windows. I wanted to get the room with a small pool on the balcony but passed in order to save money. The jetted tub in the corner of the room with a window that looked out over the ocean was just as amazing in my opinion. I didnt notice anyone using their personal pools anyway. We loved the outdoor shower and never used the inside shower during our stay.

Our days were mostly spent exploring the grounds, drinking at our casitas pool and soaking up the sun on the beach. I would recomend renting bikes every morning to help you get around because the hotel is really spread out. The bikes are free but you have to return them to the oppiste end of the hotel around 4:30pm everyday.

The sushi resturaunt is in walking distance from the Casitas but the acclaimed Itallian resturaunt is pretty far and for my girlfriend, walking in heals was a pain. The shuttles are slow but if you want to avoid showing up to dinner sweaty as can be the wait is worth it. The Itallian was our favorite and the Choclate Suprise dessert was delicious!!

To sum it all up I would stay here a hundred more times and I would definitely choose the Casitas over the main hotel if the price is right. This place spoils you and if you are looking for a young party atmosphere this place might not be for you, but if you are looking to impress your lady with class and a romantic atmosphere this is the place for you.

We did stay in Playa for the second leg of our trip and would do it the other way around next time. Loved Playa De Carmen but going from riches to rags was a bad idea. Rough it and take in the Culture @ PDC first then let the Casitas pamper you when you have had enough of the busy city.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montgomery, Texas
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2010

Service was great, food was wonderful, staff was perfect, hotel and rooms perfect!

  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

We spent a week in a swim-up casita at the El Dorado Casitas Royale for our honeymoon and the entire trip was amazing. I have been to all-inclusive resorts before, but my husband has not, and we were very happy with the decision we made to stay at the Casitas. I feel it’s definitely worth it to pay the extra money to stay in the Casitas section, as there are additional perks, like being able to make dinner reservations, there’s the Italian restaurant just for Casitas guests, the pools and swim-up bars tend to be more quiet and seem more private, and there are beach beds reserved just for guests staying in the Casitas.

Our casita was great – I recommend booking a swim-up as the outside patio has a small pool area that you share with the next door casita, and then the lazy river connects you right to the swim-up bar. You never have to leave the water to get a drink. The room itself is very romantic with the king-size bed, jetted Jacuzzi tub, outdoor open-air shower, etc. I loved the bed outside on the patio and took a couple naps there in the afternoon. The only issue we had with the room was that it poured heavily the first couple nights we were there and the closet started to flood in a couple spots. We put towels down on the floor and left a few shirts to dry out that were sitting on the top shelf. We reported the issue to our concierge the next morning and they had staff fixing the issue that same day. They did offer to pay for laundry service and also offered to move us if it continued to happen but when it rained a few days later, there were no flooding issues.

Every meal we had at the El Dorado Royale was delicious and well-prepared. We had filet mignon our first night at the Italian restaurant and it was the best filet I have ever tasted. I liked how they had other options besides just ordering pasta. We also loved the Japanese restaurant – Kampai. We had breakfast and dinner there twice and also had lunch there once. La Isla was our favorite place to go for lunch and Cocotal was the best place to go for breakfast - they had many options to choose from and we never ate the same thing twice. We also enjoyed the 24 hour room service and had nachos and desserts after dinner quite a few nights.

Our honeymoon package included a candelight dinner on the beach, so we decided to do that our last night of the trip. It was very romantic and our server was so friendly and attentive. All of the staff at the El Dorado are great – they are incredibly welcoming, always asking how your stay is going, where you are from, etc. We did tip the bartender at the swim-up bar in our section as he was delivering drinks right to us when we sat outside on our patio, and we tipped a few other servers who gave us exceptional service, but there’s really no need to tip anyone as all of the staff are trained very well and give excellent service no matter what.

We had a couples’ morning massage on the beach early on in our trip and we loved it – it was very private by doing the massage early in the morning (we scheduled it for 9AM) and it was a unique experience having the massage right on the beach. Again, gratuities are optional, but we left a tip and they were able to charge everything right to the room and we paid for it when we checked out.

I think the only negative at the El Dorado Royale is the lack of a good beach. This was not a big deal to us, but if you are looking for a good beach with a lot of area to walk on, you may want to consider another Karisma resort. There are many sand bags in the water, as they are trying to slow down the process of the beach being completely eroded away. However, the sandbags actually help to make some sections of the ocean more swimmable as the waves tend to be very rough.

Overall, our stay was beyond anything we were expecting and I would highly recommend the Casitas to any of my friends and family. Everyone treated us so nicely, the food was absolutely amazing, and we had a very relaxing vacation. We didn’t want to leave our last day! We can’t wait to come back for a first anniversary trip.

  • Stayed May 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
    • 4 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.
Houston, Texas
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

My husband and I have gone to El Dorado Royale twice now - once for our honeymoon, and again for our first anniversary. Both trips were fantastic, we are already looking forward to coming back!

Rooms: We have stayed in the casitas both times and would do so every trip...they are far superior. The beds were very clean and comfy. You can pick an aromatherapy scent that will be used to freshen your room every evening. The spa bath and out door shower are very relaxing and romantic!

Amenities: We stayed in a swim-up style room which was very convenient. We'd have breakfast on our balcony and then just step from our balcony directly into a lazy river that would connect to the pool & swim-up bar. There were palapas on the beach that were great for napping, but we hardly made it out there because the pool area had everything we needed! Lounge chairs by the pool are covered with a fresh towel every day. Around 1pm, a nice man will come by with a cart loaded with little coolers filled with lunch! Each cooler had sandwiches, fruit, and juice/water. He'd come back around later in the afternoon with ice cream.

I'd definitely recommend the spa services! The "sky massages" are done in a little hut over the water. The massage was very good, but hard to not fall asleep listening to the waves crashing right beneath you.

There are tons of other activities: snorkeling, jet skis, bicycles, volleyball, tennis, pottery painting, evening shows (circus, dance, comedy, contests, etc), life size chess boards, etc.

Before visiting, I read a lot of complaints about the beach and sand bags. The beach itself is fine! Very easy to find your own spot, not crowded. I'd recommend bringing flip flops with you (I didn't mind the rough spots, because I got to do some shell hunting!). And the sand bags are not a big deal at all. In fact, if you're interested in snorkeling, the fish seem to crowd around the sand bags because the water is calmer there!

Food: Casitas guests are able to make dinner reservations, which can be very beneficial during busier months. There were 8 or 9 restaurants all featuring different styles of food with highly gourmet menus. My favorites were the sushi and fondue restaurants for dinner and JoJo's (an outdoor restaurant on the water) for lunch. Sometimes you can tell that your plate may have been under a heat lamp for a few minutes (which should be expected at any all inclusive), but overall everything was delicious!

Service: Again, far superior in the casitas. Room service was usually very quick, maids did a very good job. The guy who refilled our fridge every day was awesome and would bring us whatever we wanted - we don't drink a lot of soda, so we took that out and he filled our fridge with water and brought us some buckets of ice to make a cold drink. Casitas guests also have their own personal concierge who will book all of your dinner and spa reservations. They are very helpful for anything else you'd like to do as well.

Overall - I highly recommend this resort!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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 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:
#6 Spa Hotel in Riviera Maya
#7 Luxury Hotel in Riviera Maya
#10 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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