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“Great if you like BIG resorts” 4 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Doncaster, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
25 hotel reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
“Great if you like BIG resorts”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We stayed in the casitas sectioin in November 2012. There were some excellent features to our vacation like friendly staff, helpful concierges for all guests, and some outstanding restaurant greeters and waiters. The bar staff were also excellent in the casitas section but less friendly in the busy bars.

The room was serviced in an immaculate manner by our male member of staff but noticably less thorough by one of the female maids when he was off ill for 2 days.

There was plenty of choice for restaurants and those staying in Casitas could make reservations for the whole duration of their holiday through their concierge. Tips had been included in our holiday rate but a few dollars tip was appreciated.

As we found on a previous trip there is no need to take Mexican currency as US $ is accepted everywhere.

There were small downsides. The 670 reooms equals a very big resort and we found a previous trip staying at El Dorado Seaside Suites more to our taste, but getting about is no problem as golf carts are continually cruising the property. The other downsides were that our swim-up river was not heated for the first week ( Maximising profit is obviously important) and the noisy American wedding groups did seem to disturb some guests.. We were not adjacent to them so we only had a distant view! In the Casitas we had our own private patio but if you required a beach position bed it seemed that you had to dash out before breakfast to "Bag a bed". We used to blame the German visitors in Europe but now it has become an International Disease .I am ashamed to say it was all Brits at Seaside suites but here it was Americans too.

Overall a very enjoyable holiday but try and avoid the Vacation Club sales pitch as it will rob you of 2 hours of your holiday.

Room Tip: In the Casitas section the best rooms are for Vacation Club members but we were in Block 30 and it w...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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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6,763 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,826)
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English first
Hinckley, IL
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 27, 2012

We spent our honeymoon at the El Dorado Royale, and loved it. The resort was beautiful. We booked a swim up suite which we loved. My husband likes to sleep in and I get up early so it was a perfect place for me to go sit in the lazy river right outside our balcony and read a book in a lawn chair. Our room was recently renovated and it was very nice. Large room, with a big jacuzzi tub and separate shower. We also had a love seat and table & chairs for room service.

The resort was very large, but there were golf carts that were always cursing around and willing to pick you up if you would like. We enjoyed walking around everyday and finding new spots and pools to check out! The beach was a little rocky as we knew going into our stay but it still was very nice. My husband was able to snorkel and I was able to lay in a beach bed and watch!

The food was very good, the restaurants were very easy to get into we had no issues with waiting (however, it was August, which is slow season). We also had room service quite often. The drinks were great- make sure to try the Devil's Inside- we found the recipe and make them still at home!

The staff was wonderful and messages we got were very relaxing. The only complaint we had was since it was a slower time of year for the resort we were constantly asked if we would like to book a spa treatment. I don't mind be asked here and there but I would see the same women hour after hour and she would ask me the same question. Kind of annoying after a while.

We would go back again, or try another El Dorado. We had a great time! We also loved the Playa del Carmen area, we took the bus from the resort and had fun.

Room Tip: The Swim up rooms were great. I would NOT pay the extra money for a ocean view- as it's not a g...
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  • Stayed August 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
82 helpful votes 82 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary by taking our three adult children, one girlfriend, brother and friend, and a couple we are very good friends with to The resort the week of Dec. 15-22. This was the best possible time to stay, as the resort was only at about 40 % capacity. There were literally times when we saw no other people when on the beach or walking the pathways. We had booked regular junior suites, and after checking on how much to upgrade to the Casitas before leaving, ( an additional 1400) per couple, we took the chance upon arrival. This was good, because they offered the upgrade for only $600 per couple, and we all settled in to the Casita section, block 28. The rooms are large, with very high ceilings, lovely jetted tub, outside lanai with bed, and outdoor shower in addition to the regular tub/shower in the bathroom. The only thing that would be helpful is some counter/cabinet space in the bathroom. Very little place to put all your essentials, but this is minor.
We had room 2807. All of the 5 rooms were in the 28 section which made it nice to meet up. The pool for this group is the only heated pool, and we mostly had it to ourselves. Never had any trouble getting a beach bed or lounger, again, there were not many guests. The beach butlers and the bartenders all had little to do, so they were always quite ready to offer us a drink or anything we might need.
Our personal conceirge, Jose was helpful, and so were the ladies there, I can not remember all the names. Check in was relatively smooth, our rooms were not ready at 1:00, so we went down to JoJo's for lunch and rested while waiting. The resort had some beautiful Christmas trees, and lots of lights outside on the trees. It was fun riding on the golf carts at night just to see the lights. Weather was about perfect, 83 and sunny everyday but one.
The only real problem we had was that the resort is not used to groups and did not want to make accommodation for us to dine together at night. Yes, they are used to couples, but they also want to do weddings so this was annoying. The fact that they were at such low occupancy should have made it easy to push a couple of tables together but it gave them fits almost every night. Our concierge made us reservations for dinner at three of the restaurants, two insisted we come at 6:00 p.m. (no one wanted to go that early) and even then they never were ready and always told us the resort policy was no more than 8 in a group, but they would do it, just this once. The first night, we tried to go to Kampai, and the hostess, Lettie, was rude and unwaving, told us it would be an inconvenience and that she would not allow us to sit together. Even with half the restaurant empty. We ate there a few night later, but with one table of 4 and one table of 6, not next to each other either. When our children dined there one night, just the 4 of them, she was rude and made fun of them, referring to them as the party of 10. That is not the way to treat guests. We did not ask for anything other than to be seated together, if this resort doesn't want groups they need to make that clear in their literature.
The other restaurants were all friendly and the food was very good. I liked the Italian in the casitas the best, but everyone had a favorite. JoJo's was the groups choice for lunch, and everyone liked Cocotal for breakfast. Ephram made sure to greet us and he took very good care of us each day. The waiters there had no problem with 8 or so at a table for breakfast and lunch.
Our drivers, Jeffery and Eddy were very nice boys and we enjoyed getting to know them over the week. We used the spa, the massages were excellent and the service very attentive. We also found the pottery in the gift stores to be less expensive than even the little shops in Playa Del Carmen, which was a change from times past.
This is the place to go if you just want to relax by the ocean, eat wonderful food, and be waited on all day. I recommend El Dorado Royale highly.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
24 hotel reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

This is our 8th trip to the area and this property ranks in the top three. Staff and food are the best. Beautiful grounds make up for the beach. Allen, Francisco, Naybi, Karla, Gregario made it special.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2012

My husband and I spent a week here, Dec 16th-23rd. It was my second all inclusive experience but our first together. It is the standard that all our future trips will be measured by! It was recommended by mother who visited a few years ago and a friend that visited earlier this year.
Reception: We did get a complimentary glass of champagne while checking in. Our bags were taken care of upon arrival and we were shuttled to our room after check in. Everyone was tremendously friendly with the exception of the actual guy checking us in. He was on par with an average hotel reception desk experience. Not overly friendly, but not rude. Just average.
The room: We had room 514. We requested an ocean view villa. Not worth the upgraded price, as the palm trees do block most of the ocean view. All the villas offer a pretty view of the grounds. Spend the upgrade money on activities or something else while you are there. There is one villa building that offers supreme ocean views, but it is reserved for presidential club members. (We will be staying there on our next visit!)
The rooms are clean and lovely. We requested a king size bed and were given one. There is no bathroom privacy. The toilet door is frosted glass and about a 2/3 door. There is a glass wall separating the bathroom/sauna/shower/toilet from the bed room area. This is good to be aware of if you are traveling with someone that you may not be perfectly comfortable taking care of all your personal duties in front of. My husband and I have been married 25 years and still prefer a little privacy, so I found a spare blanket in the closet and hung it over the glass partition and the housekeeper left it there for the remainder of our stay. My husband would step out on to the balcony and vice versa so we could have a little bathroom privacy. No big deal, but again, something to be aware of if rooming with friends or family members.
The food: Very good! My husband loved the pizza/burger place. Breakfast at Cocotal was outstanding. Lunch at La Isla was fantastic. Our favorite dinners were at Kampai. The service was great everywhere. The only negative dining experience we had was at Fuentes. We arrived at 9:30pm. They close at 10. This may have been the problem, but the food wasn't looking so good by then and we literally waited 10 minutes before finally asking if we had a waiter. They assigned one to us, but we really couldn't get out of there fast enough.
All other meals were so fresh and delicious. The salads are fresh, the meat and flavors all so pleasing.
The bars: The Martini bar was such a pleasant place to have a drink. We didn't stop in until our last night there. I wish we had visited it sooner. Excellent chocolate martini.
The pool bars were great. My husband met many bartenders, but Julio and Cesar were the absolute best of the bunch!
My husband believes that tipping increased the drink potency.:) I have to agree.
Guacamayas at night was a hopping place! I enjoyed the shows more than my husband, but that goes without saying. I love all the costumes and dancing!
The pools: were cooler this time of year, so we didn't swim much, nor did many others. I think they may be slightly heated though. They were much warmer than my pool at home. We are from South Florida, so we are acclimated to warm weather. The cooler temps this time of year kept us out of the water.
The beach: I thought it was pretty in spite of the sandbags. The sandbags are an attempt to restore the beaches after hurricane Wilma, I believe. The ocean water was too cold for us anyway. There are better beaches elsewhere for swimming.
Dress code: Stick to it. Everyone does. My husband's wardrobe consists mostly of suits and casual beach wear. He should have gone shopping before the trip! Casual elegance is the norm and bermuda shorts/collared shirts come in handy for dining. He wore a nice shirt and tie for a few meals and I dressed up, and we never felt out of place. To each his own is pretty much the code.
Room service: Awesome. The friendliest people. Timely service. Nice menu options. 24 hours. Great for days that you just don't feel like getting dressed.
Concierge/Butler: We had Ceci for the first half of our trip and she was such a perfect concierge. She took care of us! We moved up to the casitas the second half and didn't have as good of butler service there. I made a few requests (make up mirror was missing from the room and I don't see well without one, missing coffee cups for self serve coffee in our room, and a refill of the vodka and wine in our casita) and none of our requests were honored. Would have been nice, but didn't spoil our stay.
Excursions/transfers: i booked online prior to arrival using Lomas. I love Lomas, but the rep at EDR needs to be replaced. I've never had a bad experience with Lomas (I used them during my last trip to Mexico). The rep at EDR just wasn't up to EDR standards.
We went to Tulum on Tuesday and it's a worthwhile trip.
We used Lomas for our transfers to and from the airport, and they make everything go very smoothly and the airport reps are super friendly.
Exotic Travel Club: We opted to hear what they had to say. Since we knew immediately that we were in love with EDR, we knew we would want to come back. We were promised it wouldn't be high pressure sales. Well, it wasn't too bad. Definitely a sales pitch, but not too much pressure. We ended up buying into the travel club and have no regrets. We plan to return at least twice next year. We feel we got a fair deal, and if we didn't, we don't know it! We spoke with others who participate in the program, some having been there, 7,10, and 12 times, and all are happy and considering additional purchases in the program. We got an upgrade to a presidential casita suite. It was an entirely different experience from the villas. We can't quite afford to stay in the casitas every time, but if you can...do it!
Casita accommodations: Casita 3219. A little slice of heaven on earth! Clean, special treatment, private pools, infinity pool on the second floor, better views of the ocean, though still a few palm trees to look through. We met Jesus on our last day there. Too bad, because he was so helpful and friendly. The casita pools have hot tubs near them. The beach is a little nicer,
The grounds: Stunning! Immense! So many places to enjoy around the resort. Exceptionally well kept and cleaned. Large enough for long leisurely walks. Bicycles are available for use. Shuttles are available to take you wherever you need to go.
Staff: 90% hit, 10% miss. Most go out of their way to be friendly and helpful. A few missed the mark. Overall, though, no real complaints. People are people.
Crowds: at this time 40% capacity. No crowds anywhere. Though, I talked with many people who all said that no matter when they've visited, the place is so spread out, it never seems crowded, even if it is.
Tips: We tipped...on everything - shuttle, room service, wait staff, bartenders, etc. We like to. It is in no way expected. You will be treated well regardless.
Travel hints:
1. If you travel in winter, bring a lightweight jacket and possibly some slacks. Especially if you are like us and live regularly in a warm climate.
2. Sunscreen. Bring it. We forgot some and had to buy it there. It's expensive, and you will need it, even in winter months.
3. Bring a beach bag, a backpack (if you plan on any day trips), and women might like to have a small handbag or purse for going to dinner and entertainment.
4. Bring lots of small bills for tipping. I think we ended up going through about $200 USD in tips. Only if you like to tip, of course. Again, it's not necessary if you don't have it.
5. I saw in another post the mention of some mild nudity (topless). It didn't bother me, but if it might bother you, be aware you may see it.
6. Smoking: not inside, but outside is fine. You can ask your room attendant for an ashtray to use on your balcony or patio. You can buy a decent cuban cigar in the stores. They have someone that hand rolls them once a week at Guacamayas. Though the hand rolled ones are mild and my husband prefers the bold. He brought plenty of his own and made a few friends just by sharing!:)
7. Ask for an umbrella if it rains. They will provide one. They even let me take mine to Tulum with me.
8. Internet: $52 for the week. Free in the casitas.

Conclusion: This is the place to go if you need to get away from it all! You will be treated special, you will enjoy great food and peaceful moments. We plan on making this our home away from home.

  • 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 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Suwanee, Georgia, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Do not second guess,this resort is amazing! The staff are attentive and accomodating, the wait staff are superb, the grounds are immaculate. You never see the staff cleaning, yet there isn't even a leaf or blade of grass floating in any of the pools or waterways. There are several restaurants to choose from and all of the food is unbelievable never a wait and amazing table service. The only buffets are optional and at breakfast. Our preference was the Asian restaurant for dinner and couldn't stay away from Jo Jo's with the awesome views of the beach for lunch.

The spa was an amazing experience - be sure to arrive early for the "Water Journey". Plenty of beach time, relaxing by the pool, or hanging out socializing. Whatever you enjoy, there is plenty to choose from. We have already booked our next trip back!!!

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hartlepool, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

We stayed here in November 2012 what a fantastic hotel the staff cant do enough for you .Rooms very nice and all the food is really nice so is the cocktails. Had a great time would go back again very nice holiday

  • Stayed November 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 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
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
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:
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Romantic 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*
Number of rooms: 639
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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