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“Outstanding Vacation!” 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
Rochester, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Outstanding Vacation!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2013

This was our 3rd stay at the El Dorado Royale. Our main concern was the walking but they now have shuttle buses! However they only run every 15 minutes so it still involves A LOT of walking.

First, they upgraded us to a lazy river room which was spectacular. Unfortunately because I have bad knees and cannot walk distances we asked our 2nd day for a room more centrally located which they accommodated immediately. Our room was equally as nice and moments from the lobby, pools and restaurants.(1500's)

The pools were awesome, warm and plenty of chairs. But as always if you want a bed or certain location you need to reserve it early. The bar staff was great and all the drinks were made properly.

The food for an all exclusive was very good. There is a buffet for breakfast and also a full menu. Lunch is available in several locations and we found dinner to have a great variety to choose from. Our favorites were the Italian by the lobby, (there are 2) the international and the Oriental. We tried several choices like the lobster lasagna at the Italian, beef tenderloin at the Cocotal (International) and the spectacular spring rolls with dipping sauces and chicken and duck entrees at the Oriental. But get there early or be prepared to wait.

The grounds were impeccable and the staff very accommodating. We didn't make the entertainment but found ourselves up a few nights after going to bed early from too much sun. The only bar open after 11:00 is the beach bar which closes at 2:00 The room service was adequate (burgers, and such) but no alcohol is available.

In short ignore any bad reviews! This was our 12th year at an all inclusive and one of our best vacations so far. And FYI check with a travel agent. There are certain weeks you can book at a very discounted price. The only hitch is you don't know which El Dorado resort you will stay at until the week before.But they are all equally as nice so who cares!

Room Tip: Rooms such as 1200 - 1500's are centrally located.
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
    • 4 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
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English first
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Just returned from 2 weeks at this resort. Do not take any notice to the bad reviews, I really do think some people expect way too much!! The resort is beautiful, spotless, wonderful food and polite staff. We stayed in a refurbished suite which was huge, in an ideal spot too. I didn't feel it was worth paying more for Casitas unless you spend a lot of time indoors??! We were barely in ours. Cocotal was our favourite for breakfast, so much choice. Every restaurant had really nice lunch menus so try them all. Evening menus very nice too although I think i preferred lunchtime menus. Only down side for me was the beach due to the sandbags and it is pretty rocky but its fine, did not ruin our holiday at all. We have been to the Maldives past 2 years so you cant compare with that. There are 2 large main pools, one pretty relaxed and the other has quite a few daily activities so something for everyone.
Would recommend getting a taxi to puerto Morelos 10 mins away if you want to go out snorkelling, works out much cheaper, the reefs were alive and full of fish. We didn't see turtles there but we did see 3 at Akumal, this trip included a visit to some Cenotes. The Akumal/Cenotes trip was around $75 for half day.
I would recommend this resort to friends and family. We did tip a small amount at each meal so take plenty of $ bills! Pretty much everything is quoted in dollars and I think it worked out better then pesos. We had several timeshare leaflets posted under our door and a couple of messages left on our phone which got a little annoying.. We have no interest in this so just ignored them! Also, don't forget your £90 departure tax... Enjoy!

Room Tip: We stayed in the 800 block, pretty central
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

The Pros:
Excellent sit down dining for every meal with multiple restaurants to choose from. Food is of the highest quality and well worth the time to prepare it.
Fruits and vegetables produced on the property organically.
Great variety of entertainment shows nightly at the theater bar.
Very friendly staff.
Even the lowest priced villas with garden view were very nice and well kept.
Good variety of sports, classes, and activities that are included in the price.

The Cons:
The low-mid grade alcohol/beer/wine doesn't measure up to the high food quality. I'd be willing to pay extra for the all-inclusive in order to have premium beverage options to better match with the superior food quality.
The room safe boxes require a key to open that you have to carry around with you the entire time, and if you lose it, you pay a $150 fee. Such a high class resort should have electronic safe boxes so you don't have to bother with such an annoyance.
There were tiny micro-sized ants that swarmed on any type of food item in the room. They left nice candies for us in the room, but they were covered with these little ants within an hour.
Anything in the resort that is not a part of the all-inclusive package is very expensive.

Room Tip: The suites on the Casitas side were very nice, but the Casitas side of the resort is also very quiet...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Recently stayed in the El Dorado Royale on honeymoon and had an excellent stay.

We had a very long day traveling to get to EDR, but it was well worth it. We used Lomas Travel for transfers between Cancun airport and El Dorado Royale, and they were also excellent. (Used the Lomas rep within the hotel to book our excursions with a good discount too)

But the hotel - on arrival there's a very impressive lobby, and with a champagne reception it's very welcoming. After check-in we enjoyed being driven with our luggage to our room in one of the golf-karts. Thought this was a very nice touch.

The room. We had a Jacuzzi Jnr Suite, (though were upgraded to what was described as a "nicer room" on arrival - which I think may have been a Premium Jacuzzi Jnr Suite ) which was on the top floor, and it was brilliant. The bed was huge and very comfy, jacuzzi & shower great, good selection of multi-language tv on a massive flat-screen etc. etc. We only used the room service a couple of times, but the service was great and always much faster than the expected times that were given. The cleaning maids were also really good, and would somehow always manage to fit in your room when you didn't have the do-not disturb sign out. The only slight criticism we could have with the room was the motion sensitive lights in the toilet/bathroom. The sensors didn't seem to be pointing in entirely the correct direction, and you have to move around quite a lot to get them to turn back on again after they've gone off quite quickly.

The food. Everywhere in the resort we ate, we really enjoyed the food. All the different restaurants were great, (Though Kempai for dinner and the health bar at lunch were probably our favourites) and the service was fantastic. All the waiting staff were friendly and chatty whilst being very efficient. They don't expect it by any means but seemed to be very grateful for a few dollar tip whenever we gave it. We only had to wait for a seat once, and we just sat on the swings having a drink at a neighbouring bar while we waited. Unfortunately we didn't find out till our penultimate night when we wandered up and asked for a table that you have to book in advance through your concierge for the Fuentes restaurant - so didn't get to visit that one. But we weren't particularly upset by this as we had fantastic meals everywhere else.

Around the resort. The evening entertainment was good, and you could happily just wander up to it if you fancied seeing that days show. I really enjoyed playing the beach volleyball in the morning. Everything around the resort was great, with lovely beaches, great pools, comfy beach-beds, golf-kart shuttle busses to take you round the resort if you didn't fancy walking......
We really enjoyed the beach-waiters who would wander up the beach periodically taking orders & bringing you drinks.

We had booked the hotel through Diamond Resorts, but they were quite unhelpful when it came to finding out any information in advance about the hotel. Before we went I managed to find out that through its affiliation, you're essentially booking through Exotic Travelers - but using the DiamondResorts points to pay for the room cost. This means you can easily pay your Gourmet Inclusive fee in advance by phoning the Exotic Travelers bookings team if you're in the same situation. Everyone at Exotic Travelers we spoke to (who in addition have an office in the corner of the hotel lobby) was very helpful and friendly - so would recommend them, in particular Joaquin their transfers/excursions man in the hotel.

So to sum up - fantastic Resort with great staff and very good food. Would recommend to anyone for a relaxing break!

Room Tip: Unless you're going to spend ages in your room rather than actually on the beach - we didn't...
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  • Stayed April 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TN
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

We have stayed @ several all inclusives in the area (Secrets Capri ,VIM , RIU , Zoetry) & the EDR gets our vote for best overall. The property is beautiful , clean & large with amazing food and service. We have never returned to the same resort but we may return to EDR.

We did not stay in the Castitis area. The differences I saw were they had brown towels & we had blue. We could use all their pools & bars but not their chairs. They have several small pools each with a game (Jenga, Connect 4, & chess) & a swim up bar ,some have hot tubs. We had 3 large pools. They could make reservations to eat while we were 1st come 1st served but it was not an issue. We ate around 1830. They had beds on the patio while we had hammocks. Not worth the extra $600 - $1000 more for me...

The air conditioner in the room was great. I had to use a blanket at night. They supplied lotion , shower gel , shampoo & conditioner. The bottles were a bit of a challenge they were small & round and hard to get out of the bottle it created an air lock and if you squeezed too hard the bottle busted. The light in the shower was on a motion sensor if you get up in the night the light comes on. There was a clock at the bedside.

If you like to work out there is a good sized gym with treadmills , bikes, elicpitial , free weights & weight machines. They provide towels & water as well as a worker for questions. There are also flat walkways all throughout the property for running or walking.

There are many options for relaxing @ the beach lounge chairs , palapas , sectional couches under cover & beds under cover. Gloria will come around asking you to get a massage. Haggle with her she started out @ $90 for 50 minutes. We got it for $75 each with hydrotherapy for the entire week. Love the cold plunge pool !!!

The drinks were much better than we have had @ other resorts.

The only suggestions for improvement would be more receptive hostess' @ the resturaurants they frown upon parties of more than 4 & refuse to sit you together. The entertainment could be better. It put me to sleep most evenings. I did enjoy the Friday night show. It took 2.5 hours for lunch @ the Mexican which was a waste of my day.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2013

Well another one to cross off on my bucket list. Have always wanted to have a massage beachside, while listening to the ocean waves.

Recently while attending a Travel Conference with my Travel Company - Pro Travel Network
at the El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma; I took the opportunity during my freetime period to have a 50 min Deep Tissue Massage.

My first contact with the Spa was a highly informed Host Masseus - Jonathon Guerro who very carefully listened to what I was asking for and provided 5-Star+ Service in selecting my Spa Product and spent a lot of time explaining very clearly and succinctly the many different products and processes.

My Masseus' name was Sam.

I must tell you he did such a great job from head to toe and while listening to the ocean waves roll in and feel the ocean breeze caress my skin - I was in total bliss and felt like I was floating in Heaven leaving all my worldy concerns behind - not a thought in my head - just total bliss!!!
And on top of that it felt more like a 120 min massage rather than a 50 minute massage.

Totally Loved This Spa and the Quality of Products being sold there.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

I was immediately impressed by the resort grounds and warm reception. We were placed in the 1700 block of rooms which was situated near the main pool and La Isla which was best for breakfast. I didn't spend a lot of time in the room, but found that it was somewhat dated despite being built in 2001. Television (which I didn't turn on all week) was in need of replacement as we're the safes which operate by a key which, if lost, costs $150 to replace.

On to the pool. The water is almost hot and not at all refreshing. While there are 13 pools in total, there are really only three within this resort. One is a tepid salt pool and the remaining eight are part of the sister resort, La Casitas, which you also have full access to. I spent all my time at La Isla pool which is closest to JoJo's which, in my opinion, is best for lunch as it is right on the water.

On to the restaurants. It's my understanding that restaurants will consider reservations for large parties, but it was never made clear. We tried Rincon Mexicano and were told they could not accommodate a party of twelve at all. We were sent to D'Italia Villas where they were equally unable to seat us. Finally, we were dumped at Cocotal where they seated us reluctantly. Service was slow at most restaurants as was seating when open tables were abundant. Bartenders were sorely lacking at JoJo's bar which was by far the most popular. I think they purposefully understaffed so that us Chicagoans didn't drink them out of business. Entrees were very small, so order two at a minimum. D'Italia Casitas was terrific and modern. Would have liked to have tried Kampai, but we were told there is a 2 hour wait.

There were plenty of activities on the big board. Daily beach volleyball was a great way to meet people. Golf carts are dangerously everywhere and will take you wherever within the very spacious grounds. Personal concierges for each block of rooms is also a nice feature.

I didn't use the spa, but was not impressed. The stream and sauna were no larger than the local YMCA. No cold plunge either. Massage was appropriately priced.

Yes the gift shop. Don't forget suntan lotion or you're looking at a minimum of $25 for generic lotion. Actually, don't forget anything. Everything is marked up at least 500% because you're a captive customer. Take a shuttle to Playa and get your supplies there.

All in all, I would prefer to try other resorts before returning but would recommend it to friends and family.

Room Tip: Depends on what you are looking for, but blocks 1-5 are along the water. 6-17 are to the left and ri...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Family 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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