It is surprising this resort gets mixed reviews; it ticked the boxes for us…
We flew with Thomson Airways – we used the premium cabin which is well worth the extra you pay.
One of the benefits of the premium cabin is priority disembarkation which helped us reach the passport queue quite quickly. Customs was a bit of a joke but within 40 mins of landing we were on the coach, 15 minutes or so later our fellow passengers were on and we were on our way!
The initial impression when we reached reception was great! We were greeted with “champagne cocktail” and within a few minutes we were checked in and on the buggy and on the way to our room. The room 212 was a wow moment a spotlessly clean & refurbished room overlooking the health bar pool and a clear sea view. Nestling by our Jacuzzi was a bottle of champagne on ice – this was quickly opened! Whilst we were unpacking there was a knock at the door….flowers were delivered. So first impressions were A1. This is good practice because if things go wrong later in the stay human nature is to make excuses for them. A bad first impression tends to get you looking for problems.
I will look at various areas individually rather than bore you with a day by day account!
The Beach – we are used to Seven Mile beach Negril – so the beach was not one of the best we’ve seen but we knew that when we booked. The sandbags do look odd but they do the job of keeping the beach intact. It was windy during our first few days & the sandbags acted as a breakwater enabling us to swim. They also had quite a few fish swimming near them adding to snorkelling fun! Sunbeds were plentiful as were the beach beds.
The Pools – The main pool was usually pretty full as was the sportier one. However towel wars did not exist elsewhere! We also found sun beds loungers and beds by the main pool in the afternoon.
Bars / Drinks – There was usually a bit of a wait at the beach bar but rarely more than a couple of minutes. The Martini bar was quiet as a rule this resulted in immediate service. Bellini’s above the Italian in the Casitas was a champagne bar that had all of the top quality spirits etc. The other bars around the resort were fine. I was not a big fan of the beer and I felt that a menu of the cocktails available would have been useful. The mini bar was limited to beer, soft drinks & water service was patchy – they missed us twice in the last week – one of the days it took 3 calls to get water! There was a good beach / pool waiter service although we often wandered a few yards if we needed a drink.
Overall standards of food and service were high. It was very unusual to have an empty wine glass. Sometimes you had to wait for a table, usually at peak times 7:30 – 8:00 the longest wait was just over an hour. Were the waits a problem? – Only if you make them! Seriously if you go out to eat at home you will normally go for a drink first! It’s not a big deal!
Cocotal Restaurant – was excellent for breakfast the service and choice was amazing. We eat there one in the evening (our first night) the food was good.
D'Italia – We ate there twice the food was enjoyable and well cooked. Service was a tad slow but nothing too bad.
Fuentes-Culinary Theatre – as experience! The food was very good, the show was underwhelming. We upgraded to the wine to go with each course ($35 each) – only the wine waiter forgot us on the first two courses and we had the wrong list. The wine waiter made excuses but we spoke to the manager at the end and we were refunded the charge. The right thing was done!
JoJo's Seaside Grill – good food, good service and good fun
Kampai (oriental) – Very pleasant, the food was actually better at lunchtime!
La Isla – One of our favourites for all meals.
Rincon Mexicano – very good ,especially at lunchtime when more authentic food was served. The first time we went there in the evening the service started slowly but a quiet word got things moving. After that great service all round with some very friendly staff.
D'Italia Casitas – The most popular restaurant - I think and for good reason! The steak was good quality and properly cooked. Service was good and the place had the feel of a high end restaurant. Coupled with the bar above it a visit made a great evening (which we enjoyed 3 times during our stay).
There were 3 Gourmet corners (not sure that is an accurate description!) of which La Cabaña Pizzeria was best.
Tipping – we tipped but not massively, I do not think it was expected but it was appreciated.
Other comments – a big place (the beach was about a mile long) There are golf carts to ease the walking – we rarely used them! For a big resort it was surprisingly social. We did not see much of the entertainment so I won’t comment.
To us it felt more Mediterranean than Caribbean not a big deal just a comment. It is professionally run by friendly can do staff – we encountered no rudeness. We would recommend it to others.
- 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