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“Honeymoon Or Romantic” 5 of 5 stars
Review of El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma

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El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 45 Carretera municipio de solidaridad, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #2 of 10 hotels in Playa Paraiso
Destin, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Or Romantic”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2011

We are world travellers and we like our vacations to be very comfortable and monies worth. This is a couples resort and it has the shebang for romance or couples / individule relaxation. The day & evening restaurants including beachside healthy foods are chart-toppers. Staff are very friendly, informative and of smart appearance. Our Concierge Alan & Liesa were very informative and excellent customer service. The complete resort maintenance is impeccable. They also have family resort too. Be sure to stay in a Casitas Suite, as its definitely worth the upgrade. We will returning to this resort with our friends and family.

Room Tip: All rooms are fantastic. You get what you paid for. Beware of Tour Advisors and other marketters at...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,411)
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English first
Norman, Oklahoma
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

Been to EDR several times and are Exotic members. While rooms and restaurants are still good, the quality wasn't as good as previous trips. Jo Jo's has really slipped compared to previous trips. Food wasn't up to Karisma's usually standards we thought. Waiters were slow to serve us and my wife had to track someone down to get a coffee refill. Her meal there was inedible while mine was okay. Cocotal for breakfast was great as always. La Fondue wait staff seemed tired and slow and almost surly. Food was good but we left before dessert because our waiter pretty much ignored us. Maybe it was just an off night for him. If someone from Karisma is reading this you can and have done much better. Beach got hit hard by hurricane (Dean I think) and bags are to rebuild it. Despite the occasional poor restaurant experience EDR is a great resort. Lot's of activities. Friendly and helpful staff. Beautiful, tropical landscaping. Great shows in the evening. Recommend to anyone wanting an adult only getaway.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Ames, Iowa, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

This resort has everything. Especially apprecaited Francisco and Alan, our personal concierge hooking us up during our stay. Very accomodating and very friendly. Overall, the resort is nice, but the food and service are great. Be sure to stay in a Casitas Suite, as its definitely worth the upgrade.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

This resort is not for everyone. Only stay here if you are a foodie with very high standards.
If you are like me, who wants to make the best of my vacation with the most time in the sun/beach/pool/doing activities then go somewhere else. I'll make a list of pros and cons to be more clear.

PROS:
- Food was delicious, great presentation, gourmet indeed
- Staff was okay, but our waiters at all the restaurants were great! Very friendly and sociable.
- This resort is very green! Air pressure toilets, green house, solar panels, recycling water, motion sensors on lights everywhere (even in your own room!), many other green initiatives.
- Staff knew any drink I could think of and was happy to make it; spoke great English.

CONS:
- BEACH - Awful! Sure, the beach bags make for some interesting fish, but the variety was very limited, I saw 3-4 different kinds at most. What they do instead is cause corals to grow everywhere on the bottom of the ocean, so you unless you are very very careful you can't walk without very painfully stepping on some. It's impossible to go past the second set of beach bags without going over some coral, and if you want anything deeper than your waist (ie to swim) you will have to do so.
- POOLS - perhaps it was the weather, but the water in the pools was really cold! Never once went in, just very unpleasant even in the hottest time of the day.
- ROOMS - we got a room on the ground floor in building 17 (close to everything, great location). Unfortunately it smelled extremely musty, to the point where we had to ask to have some of the bedding changed because of the smell. As a result all of our clothing, even unworn, smelled this way by the end of the trip. The air was damp and our bathing suits would never dry inside. Crown moldings were orange throughout (and not intentionally).
- FOOD - no buffets means a sit-down meal every time. This takes at least an hour, by the time your waiter takes your order, brings it, and you eat. In a place where the sun sets at 5pm and it's chilly by 4pm, that means a lot for every meal. It also means you can't snack throughout the day (unless of course you want to sit down to another meal). One of the restaurants had a pastry buffet in the breakfast, so we asked if we could just take some pastries back to our room, and we were told we can't - we have to sit down at a table and eat pastries there. The health bar will make you a smoothie with fresh fruit which is great, however you can never take it to go on the beach, yet again you have to sit down at a table just to drink it. The first time we went they let us take it to go in paper cups (meant originally for coffee), the following time was near closing time and they told us they have no plastic cups so we can't take it out. The third time it was right after opening and once again they had no plastic cups, but we saw some paper cups so we asked if we could just use the paper cups. We were told no, those are for coffee... We mentioned we had been given them just two days before, and the waiter just shrugged. When I read reviews that mention poor service such as this, I always think perhaps the guest was rude or impolite but now I see how easy it is for this to happen to anyone, even us who were always friendly and tipped well. In an expensive resort such as this, I assumed the staff would want to oblige in any reasonable way they can. This was a huge inconvenience and instead of eating my fill of all-inclusive gourmet food I ate strictly at breakfast/lunch/dinner, no snacks, extremely disappointing!! We had a friend staying at the Casitas so on the second day we caught on that we can order breakfast to be delivered to the room in the morning at a specific time, so we did that and that was the only way you can have a 15 minute breakfast and head out to the beach.

I guess I was spoiled by our last stay in Punta Cana, where the resort was not nearly as uptight with the food and we were allowed to take food to go as we wished (even provided with paper plates). This certainly did not result in the resort being dirty (which I can only assume is the only problem that could possibly occur as a result of taking food out of the restaurants), on the contrary it was quite clean and we never saw piles of plates or food litter anywhere. For me the point of an all-inclusive resort is to eat and drink your fill and soak in the sun, and I certainly didn't do the first or last of these (drinks were readily available everywhere).

To sum up, only go here if all you care about is food, and not so much to relax on the beach, swim in the ocean, and soak up as much sun as you can before you go back to being holed up in your office.

Room Tip: Ask for something close to the beach, the resort is huge.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011 via mobile

High standard all-inclusive with some minor issues, but still exceptional value. Restaurants are many and varied with creative menus and very good execution 90% of the time. All resorts have some items which are less than perfect so just to prevent surprises, here is a heads-up:
Beach is not suitable if you are looking for a beach-based vacation. However, the comfort of the shaded sectional sofas and beach beds (like outdoor four-posters) make watching and listening to the breakers quite idyllic. The pool areas are many and varied.
The jacuzzis in all rooms take up a lot of space. There is a desk and a dining table with two dining chairs but no easy chairs. Best is to bring the balcony wood slingback chairs into the room. Not perfect comfort and a bit cramped.
Air con remote control needs instruction on arrival and find your own way to avoid cold air blowing on you in bed (it is possible but would take too long to explain here!).
A small minority of the guests should have been at a 3-star resort.
We are retired and very picky travellers and were impressed with this place overall.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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New York City, New York
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
121 helpful votes 121 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2011

The El Dorado Royale certainly did meet all the requirements we look for and wowed us in many areas. We spent 8 days at the Villas side in a swim out suite in building 52. The room was lovely. Some of the Villas are more recently renovated I seen a few rooms and to my personal taste I like the room I had better. The bathroom was excellent, large with his and her sinks, a separate shower room and a separate room for the toilet. The room was very clean. The swim out was beautiful. Two chairs a table and a hammock on the patio. The decor of the room was charming and romantic.

Some of the negative reviews commented on the rooms being dated and that did scare me a bit because I am a big fan of modern and luxury rooms. But the room I had was lovely. If there is one complain about the room it would be that they should get new Televisions, or at least have better picture on the television. The TV we had did not have a quality picture. Additionally, a high end resort should really have a DVD player in all rooms. I believe this resort has them at the Casita side but not the villas. Personally I do not feel a dvd player in the room should be part of an upgrade. However, that would be my only complaint and it wasn't really a big deal because we do not watch much TV on vacation. We only turn it on while getting dressed in the AM or before dinner. Sometimes it's nice to watch a late night movie (DVD Player.) Other than that the room was superb. I feel like a darn fool for worrying about it so much.

The grounds are phenomenal, absolutely stunning and spotless. They take amazing care of this place, it was breathtaking. You will take 5000 pictures at this place. I took walks every day because each time you will notice something new. It's very lush and tropical with iguanas roaming around yet amazingly spotless. I do not know how they kept every inch of this HUGE resort so spotless.

Beach - if you research and look at the pictures you will know what type of beach to expect. However, it is a really beautiful beach even with the sand bags. There are some areas without the sand bags but I do not think those were swimmable areas. However, I must say that the sand bags do look worse in picture than in real life. I knew the situation about the beach and it wasn't a deal breaker for me. It is not the best beach in the world but it still is a lovely beach.

Spa - We did the sky massages at the Casitas side the spa was exceptional. The service was great and very professional. The ladies did a great job with the massages. The views from the sky massage huts were gorgeous.

Pools- So much fun at fuentes pool. I love the lush gardens around the pools and all the beds. It was wonderful. The K-team make the pool lots of fun and you will never be bored. So many activities at this resort,, free and some with an extra charge but totally worth every penny.

Food/Restaurants - the food was good to excellent depending on your tastes and likes. Nothing was bad. I live in NYC and am a food junkie and I will say that most of the restaurants where as good or better than most good NYC restaurants. I didn't love was the burgers but they were fine. The Italian at the Villas, La Isla and Kampai were our favorite.

Bars/drinks - Best quality alcohol I have ever seen at an AI. The martini bar makes some good and strong drinks. The alcohol here was my favorite out of all the AI resorts I visited. If you want your drink stronger you ask and they will not stop pouring until you say enough.

The service was one of the best out of all of the trips I have taken to Mexico. My last trip was this past May at the Excellence Playa Mujeres and I would say that the service at El Dorado Royale is far superior to the excellence. Also the grounds, food and activities were far nicer.


Staff and tipping -These guys are all great, they treat everyone great tip or no tip. I never noticed anyone being treated poorly because they didn't tip. We always tip, always. We tip everyone. Not in search of better service but in gratitude of excellent service and hospitality. I have gone to a bar and ordered drinks without tipping due to not having any singles on me and they treated me as always. I did go back later to take care of them. But people who say they tend better to tippers, not true - they treat everyone great. Everyone should tip. The staff works hard and a dollar, in Mexico, goes a long way.


I truly cannot comprehend what issues others experienced that merited so many negative reviews. I must say that the reviews gave me quite a scare and many frustrations prior to the trip. Thankfully, I decided to go with my gut and all the research I did on my own and was so fabulously thrilled that I ignored all the negative reviews. When I went to the resort I kept an eye out for all the negative comments and frankly I did not once notice any of them. I would like to address a few of the negative comments based my experience.

I read some reviews said that guest are treated better based on their room level. We were in the villas side and we were treated great. I never noticed differential treatment.

It was also mentioned that people get better treatment if they purchase wine... Not true. Here guest get great treatment all the time. We ate twice at the Italian, second visit we purchased a bottle and both times service and treatment were the same.

Another review mentioned housekeeping stealing from the room. I have to say this is one point I want to stress drastically. It saddens me that people write such reviews. I have never once worried about my personal belongings in my room at any trip in mexico. At the El Dorado Royale this was the least of my worries.

We brought our own i pod dock and left the ipod on the dock every day, I left my cell phone, watch and sometimes would forget money out and nothing ever went missing. Once I forgot my safe completely open with all our cash in there. Not a single thing ever went missing. I threw out a make up box and house keeping took it out of the garbage because she thought it fell in by mistake. I never worried about theft,, this time I managed to be a little forgetful with some items I usually lock up and we never had anything go missing.

With the exception of the TV in the room and the sand bags there is not a single thing wrong with this resort. These two are not worth getting worked up over. I have been to many other high end resorts in Mexico and this one is up there with all of them. There was just something about this place that was a little more special.. The building structures were gorgeous, the grounds are gorgeous and the people are very warm and truly happy to work and serve you. It is a spectacular place.

Read the reviews people for informative purposes. Such as finding out services they offer, types of activities they have etc.. The pictures are a good source but please take it from me.. Do not drive your selves crazy by paying too much attention to negative reviews especially if something stands out that you like about the resort.

I am glad I went here. We had the best time of our lives. Stunning time. Happy vacationing

  • Stayed December 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southwest
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2011

We visited the El Dorado when it first opened, needless to say the service, rooms, grounds and food were impeccable. There was a beautiful little walkway that led into the calm ocean...we'd take walks at night and during the day we'd jump off of it and do some snorkling. On our second visit, the walkway was a lot shorter and there were big black sand bags everwhere. This is what I didnt enjoy, the walls and sand bags take up most of the scenery. Our rooms were great, no problems there. The food was good and of course plenty of yummy Mexican beer! We've stayed at other places and in comparison this is pretty good for folks who dont want to party hard. We probably wont go back because of the beach, but if you dont mind the walls and sand bags I'm sure it'll be just fine. Take BUG SPRAY! Mosquitos!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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 Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma

Address: Km 45 Carretera municipio de solidaridad, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach 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 Playa Paraiso
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A Conde Nast Traveler Readers’Top 100 Hotels in the world and a AAA Four Diamond Resort, El Dorado Royale is an adults-only destination that provides the ultimate in service in the ultimate setting.With more than a mile of sandy beach in Mexico's Riviera Maya, El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort, by Karisma offers an escape which no other destination can match. All the luxuries you can dream of, combined with an emphasis on personal attention to your every whim, make this an ideal location for a getaway. Travelers join us from around the world for romantic outdoor beach weddings or ceremonies in our intimate beachfront chapel, relaxing honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, or just much needed time off. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Royale Hotel Riviera Maya
El Dorado Royale Mexico
El Dorado Royale Cancun
El Dorado Royale Spa Resort
El Dorado Royale Resort
Eldorado Royale
El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort By Karisma Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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