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“A fine place for a holiday....” 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
Kent, England
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
48 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
“A fine place for a holiday....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

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.
Restaurants
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.

Room Tip: Block 2 is refurbished and is central.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 (1,388)
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NE England
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

We have recently returned from a 2 week holiday. My first impression of the hotel and lobby was that the hotel didn't have the wow factor that we have experienced at other hotels (Excellence,Secrets) and my overall view is that it is not quite of the same standard. I largely agree with previous review and will summarise the areas which were important to us

Our room was very nice but had a small balcony with little view. Again it didn't feel very luxurious and we did have a refurbished room.

Other than the Mexican restaurant, the meals were very good and we didn't mind the wait, just get a drink at a bar! Drinks were top shelf although service could be slow, particularly in the bar next to Kampai. I would have liked the choice of a buffet at lunch and dinner.

The martini bar was lacking in atmosphere and felt a bit clinical although the chocolate martinis were delicious!

The pools were quite busy so we spent time at the beach and could always find a lounger and shade. I didn't feel the sandbags detracted from the beach and we enjoyed being able to walk for quite some distance along the beach.

Nighttime entertainment was not impressive! 2 old guys playing guitars singing c&w songs was a particular low point!

Staff were almost without exception very polite and helpful. The shuttle bus into Cancun was excellent. The hotel is Eco friendly and the bike tour was very interesting in learning more about this.

We didn't feel there was much difference between the Royale and Casitas and I am glad we did not pay the extra. It was very quiet in the casitas end of the complex.

Whilst I would not return to this hotel, we enjoyed our holiday and I would recommend it. Any questions please do not hesitate to ask

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013 via mobile

Having read some of reviews on here, particularly from American tourists, I cannot believe they stayed at same place. This was fab resort, staff couldn't have been nicer and food was excellent. Cannot recommend highly enough. To address some of negative comments:
Restaurants - the Italian, Asian and jojo's beach restaurant were the best and if you strolled down at 7.30 expected to be seated straight away you might be disappointed. But the answer was simple enough. We generally ate at 6 .30 ish and never had problem. If we had wanted to eat later we would have turned up at same time, simply grabbed a pager and gone for a lovely drink at one of many excellent nearby bars......the food was top draw and much better than you'd expect at most other all inclusive hotels.
Staff- I have never come across better, more attentive and happy staff.....could not fault resort one iota in this regard.
Beach - I see some have criticised beach, but it is clean and there are loads of fish even at ankle depth in the water. Yes the are sandbags placed in water to prevent erosion, but that seems harsh to criticise such an important conservation effort. No it is not the most beautiful beach I have ever been on, but it was lovely nonetheless.
We will definitely return.

Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cincinnati, Ohio
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We just got back from this resort after spending ALOT of money for what we thought was Gourmet INCLUSIVE. We found a lot of extra charges, and food that was average AT BEST. If you don't go to dinner early - be prepared to wait up to 1 1/2 hours - and trust me none of the food we had was worth that kind of wait. The food also got to be very predictable / monotonous - the same limited menu is offered every day for lunch and dinner. One would think if you are making the same thing every day - it ought to be perfected - some of the food was actually not edible.

About the INCLUSIVE part of the hotel - it depends on where you stay what is included and what isn't. We felt nickeled and dimed. Having to pay for Internet access (separate charges for each device) infuriated my husband after what we paid to stay at this resort. Having only light beer in the room and only (2) cans allotted per day (of a brand that someone might actually drink) was also annoying have stayed at many all inclusive resorts that did not cost as much as this - that would restock the bar at request and provided free internet acces.

The staff was very inconsistent - had a couple of good waiters at La Isla - but often experienced RUDE staff members - it drove us nuts when we asked for help or needed something and they were rude (laughing with other staff at the front desk at your request - or a concierge who argues with you - telling you we shouldn't have waited until the last minute - after being told the previous day to come back because he couldn't help us the previous day and when we showed up SCOLDING us). Quite frankly we just don't need to pay that kind of money for the attitudes.

Trust us you can get a much better experience at other all inclusive resorts for less money!

Room Tip: Book it at another all inclusive
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hook
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Don't hesitate. Book this hotel
Just returned from second visit to El dorado Royale. Fabulous fabulous hotel with excellent accomodation. Rooms lovely, staff fantastic, gardens fabulous and the food was unbelievable. Although you would call the evening meals fine dining you cannot fault the quality of each meal and to be fair you can always add extra courses in if you so require (two desserts, an extra pasta dish in the italian etc etc). All meals throughout the day are waiter served with the exception of the breakfast buffet. How decadent is that. Lovely.
Beach is not the best in the world but it would not stop me returning. It is sandy, you can walk along it both ways and you can swim in the sea. Sand banks have been added but now they are becoming established and much sealife can be found swimming around them. So bring your snorkel equipment and enjoy.
Our only concern is the fact that people plpace towels on beach beds very early in the morning and I mean very early. Even at 6.30am towels are being placed onto beds and then you don't see anyone using them until about 11.00am. I just wish that the hotel woud just go along at 8.00 and remove them all. If this became the hotels policy then we could all remove towels once a bed had been vacated for say 20 mins (except lunchtimes). Problem would then be solved.
This was not enough to spoil the holiday - just a minor irritation.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
Saskatoon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

We were on holidays for two weeks, staying at its sister property, El Dorado Seaside Suites (amazing property, too). I went on a site inspection of the El Dorado Royale. This place is absolutely gorgeous! From the beautiful lobby, to the amazing grounds with tropical flowers, lush and gorgeous & meticulous cared for gardens - to the lovely rooms, each with an oversized jacuzzi - the place is dreamy!
So many restaurants to choose from and all with a Gourmet Inclusive menu, you couldn't get any better than this...really, you just cannot get better than this! Unlike many resorts on this coast that build away from the beach, this resort was built along the beach. Yes, the property is big, but its all relative since the buildings are a close walk to the beach, the many pools, restaurants and facilities. If you don't feel like it or can't walk, the shuttles run every few minutes, so not a big deal.
A common expression by the staff is " it is my pleasure". You heard this after you asked about anything or when you received a great meal and you said thank you...."it is my pleasure". The service is top notch here and I have travelled and stayed at dozens of all inclusive resorts. I don't hand out compliments and a five star rating unless they deserve it and this place definitely deserves it!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 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 5
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Wis.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2013

Just got back from the El Dorado Royale, had a very good time. This resort would have easily recieved a five star rating from me but that won't happen because of issues I had with the resort.

Positve:
Restaurants, All of the restaurants were outstanding, food was excellent, service was fantastic, I would avoid the mexican (Rincon) it was a pit. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes to get a table. Room service was fairly fast and the food pretty good.

Drinks, All of the bars had top shelf liquor, just ask for it. The Martini Bar was outstanding, beach service was also very good.

Cleanliness of property, The property was well maintained, the staff were always busy cleaning and maintaining the grounds. The maid service was excellent. The restrooms by the pools were very clean. The beach area was only OK.

Beach, Never had a problem getting a lounger or bed on the beach, towel were easy to get. The actual beach area was not impressive, the reef whales were not a problem. I have seen better beaches at 3-star properties.

Not So Good,

The resort is very big, for most guests it is not a issue but if you are in the 5100-5400 buildings like I was (5100) you have a long walk to the beach and a longer walk to the nearest bar. Forget about the shuttle buses they are never around when you need one and walking on the paths can be a adventure because of the service vehicles.

Your personal concierge is really a joke, his main goal is to deliver you to the time share sharks that work out of the Casitas area of the resort so be aware!

For a property this big the evening entertainment should have been much better than it was.

I understand the need for a dress code for evening dining, but during the day you have only one option to eat if you are at the pool or on the beach (pizza/burger bar) so bring extra clothes and do not wear a hat for any other restaurants.

My complaints are fairly minor but because of the distance of my room to the beach/bars and my negative interaction with the concierge service I will not be returning to this property.

Room Tip: Because of all the palm trees do not expect a view of the ocean from your room anywhere on the prope...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury 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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