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“We loved it.” 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   |  
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Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“We loved it.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2004

We stayed at the El Dorado Royale from March 27 through April 3rd and loved it.

The grounds are beautiful. The food was excellent for an all-inclusive - particularly the breakfasts. I could not get enough of the eggs with mole sauce, and mimosas for breakfast! We liked the Mexican restaurant the best for dinner.

Staff are all incredibly friendly and went out of there way to be helpful.

We stayed in an OceanFront Junior Suite right next to the casitas, which I thought was the perfect location as we were only steps from the beach. I do wish however we'd had an upstairs room so we could have kept our curtains open. Unfortunately we had no privacy if we did, so if we were in the room it was dark. But the room was very nice and the housekeepers did a great job. I think my only complaint about the room was that the linens weren't very nice - sheets were scratchy, which isn't a good thing when you are sunburned! But we always had an endless supply of bottled water, beer in our fridge, etc. I loved the tile floors and the big jacuzzi tub.

I thought making dinner reservations would be a problem, but it wasn't.
We made them all the day we checked in and had reservations for 7:30 or 8 every night. Maybe we didn't have any trouble because we checked in very early on Saturday. Don' t know, but it wasn't an issue for us.

I agree with others that I wish that for lunch there was a buffet near the beach, or more variety at the snack bar. Only choices were mini pizzas, burgers (no sides) or hot dogs. I didn't like having to take an hour each day to sit down for lunch (and clean up). Even thought the food was really good...no complaints there. So that's the only negative I had regarding restaurants. There is a breakfast buffet in the main building if you are in a hurry in the morning, but we preferred eating outdoors at La Isla.

The beach is rocky - lots of hidden rocks you may not see. So just be careful when you are walking around! I tripped over a rock on the beach my first day and fell flat on my face. You just have to watch where you are going. And the ocean water is rocky as well - not terrible but if you had water shoes, which we did, it made a huge difference. The beach is much softer around the main pool, rockier by the natural pool.

The water in the swimming pools was REALLY cold. I wish they had them heated - or at least one pool heated. It's very windy that part of Mexico, which was great for sitting out on the beach, but you didn't really want to go swimming bc it made it a little chilly, especially when you got out of the water. If the pools were heated it would have made a difference. I would have spent time in the hot tub (there's only one) but it's not heated - it's just a cold jacuzzi. And the swim up bars are all under shade so we didn't take advantage of them bc it was too cold! Which reminds me - bring sweaters! I was not prepared for the chilly evenings and was really cold when I was there. Also the main restaurant, Italian restaurant and Martini bar are inside and they are absolutely freezing.

They do need more pool and beach chairs. We woke up on our own every morning around 7, and just went and put a towel on a chair. But unfortunately, you have to do this or you will not find a place to sit.
I had to wake up at 6am to get a beach bed, and I think I got the last one. Don't think there is anything the resort can do about this though, it's just the way it works. Except for put a few more chairs around the casita pools perhaps and a few more on the beach. But people will still wake up early to "reserve" them. One thing to note - you can't see the sunset from the resort, so it's worth waking up early to see the gorgeous sunrise anyway. It's so peaceful on the beach in the mornings..

We weren't there for entertainment so I didn't care about the lack of nightlife. We went over to the swing/entertainment bar a couple nights and there was a show and then a band. Plenty of people therre. But that wasn't really our thing. If you are looking for a lot of action go to Cancun or Playa. We found that we were tired from waking up early and spending days in the sun and were asleep before 10 every night anyway.

I would definitely recommend this resort for anyone looking for a quiet, relaxing all-inclusive vacation. If you can, I would get a casita (request upstairs), but if not definitely the oceanfront suite.

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  • 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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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2004

The folks from Ham Lake seem like nice people. I'm heading down to EDR in May and am just hoping to meet people who know how to appreciate things for what they are. I've read reviews on this site for months and am having a hard time understanding why they posted that last comment??
I was going to email the Ham Lake people but they didn't leave an address. I can't wait to get down there and meet nice folks like that!

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New Brunswick
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2004

We are going to the El dorado Royale in 2 weeks... thank goodness that the people from Ham Lake MN. were there before us.and not with us. What kind of poeple would rate a resort (low) by the quality of a Hamburger and because there were table cloths...You see I would call a low class hotel with checkered (red and white) table cloths... Maybe they eat in corner pubs .I hope that these people go to their next resort called Road Side Motel in MN...this they will enjoy.. we are sure.I can't believe it....... ah well "it takes all kind"

  • Stayed April 2004
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 30, 2004

We were there from March 22-28, 2004 for our honeymoon. I felt like I should put a more up-to-date review on this board. When I went out to look for reviews, I was scared to death to go here! But we loved it! It wasn't far from the airport and close to Playa Del Carmen where we took the ferry to Cozumel. Our Vacation Express contact was helpful in setting up other trips to Tulum and Xel-Ha. We had a garden view room at first and after three days, upgraded to a Casita - DEFINITELY GET THE CASITA!! It was awesome! The other room wasn't bad either - every room is close to a pool/bar, but the Casitas are nice and roomy and they pay a little extra attention to you there! The food was great, but the portion size was very small. My husband asked for two entrees one night and they told him NO! That wasn't a good thing, but with 24/7 room service, he just ordered from there. Drinks were good, but could use more liquor in them. I ended up drinking wine mostly because I knew they couldn't take the liquour out of that! Get up early and put your towel out on a chair - they fill up quickly. And I had also read that getting dinner reservations were a pain. The GETTING them wasn't bad (i.e. standing in line for a long time), but getting in the restaurant you wanted was - they were all filled up or you had to eat at 10 pm!!
We did eat at Jo-Jo's, the Carribean restaurant and enjoyed that a lot.
We ate at the Oriental restaurant another night and that took FOREVER.
But the chef himself came out and apologized - said he was learning a new menu. And the grouper I had was superb. Every soup we had was DELICIOUS!! The restaurant under the lobby (that you don't need a reservation for) was great and convienant as well - we ate there the most. They also have a great breakfast buffet there every morning. The people there were great service-wise. Everyone was helpful and friendly. We had signed up for the candle light dinner on the beach, but it was too windy on our night, so they set it up in our Casita - it was WONDERFUL! We had a waiter all to ourselves and he was really on the ball. There was wine and he got drinks for my husband and they left a bottle of champagne for us after they left. This was my first Mexico trip and first all-inclusive trip, so I really don't have anything to compare it too. BUT I can honestly say it wasn't near as bad as everyone has posted! OH - and the beach is NOT rocky! Around the salt water pool maybe a little, but not as bad as others have said. It was just so WINDY when we were there! It was great while laying out during the day, but in the evening after the sun went down, it got a little chilly. Also - go to the swing bar (next to the Mexican restaurant).
"Sexy Fernando" is a trip. They did some really funny adult games - I was crying from laughing so hard! We came back relaxed, tan and content. I think you will too if you try the El Dorado Royale!! xoxox

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Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2004

My wife and I stayed Feb 29-Mar7 and thoroughly enjoyed our vacation.
After reading reviews, we decided to upgrade to the Casita. No problem with the reservations at all and the one night we did order room service and it arrived in under 20 minutes. The food was good and the staff was very friendly. The pools by the Casitas are quieter than the main pool and the drinks are a little weak but a simple request and the barkeep will make them stronger. You do have to get up a little early (7:00-7:30) to "hold" a lounger at the pools or the beach. If you like to go in the ocean, I wouldn't recommend EDR. The surf was rough all week and there is a significant amount of rock on the bottom. The rooms were comfortable and the hammock on the balcony was a nice feature. Our jacuzzi tub did not work properly. The fridge was restocked daily but the timing was spotty. The shower had good H2O pressure but was a little awkward to get into. I think older couples might find it a little difficult stepping up into it. Nightly entertainment was better than any other resort that I have personally stayed at in the Caribbean. I had read about the smell before doing down but the week we were there we didn't notice anything. In my opintion the EDR is not a 5* resort if you are comparing it to CAN/US 5* but then 5* in the Caribbean is not the same as 5* in Canada/US. I think EDR was a great place to go to sit and relax, read a book and recharge. If you are looking for a party place, this is probably not the spot for you.

  • Stayed March 2004
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2004

I spent many hours reading reviews of the EDR prior to our visit the week of 3/14/04. All the reviews were very helpful. Here's our take on the resort... Overall: Probably the most beauriful resort we have visited. Impeccable grounds, immaculately clean suites and common areas, and outstanding service. Suite Selection: To maximize your vacation, go with the Casita's if possible. They have the advantage of being in the less noisy section of the grounds, plus, there's no dinner reservation hassle. We were in room 1812 (an ocean front suite) which is on the opposite end from the Casita's. Our room was beautiful and the view spectacular. We were only feet from the ocean and had an ocean breeze to die for. The 1800 and 1900 buildings are brand new (only a month open) and we couldn't have been happier.....until we returned to our room the first nite aroung 1:00am after hanging out in the disco right next door...well, duh!!! The disco goes until 2:00am and the music is loud and the crowd raucous! Our room was equally as loud. We boogied down for the next hour instead of sleeping. Now, if you close down the disco evety nite, this won't be a problem. We tried to change rooms the next day, but the only ocean front suite available didn't come close to matching ours. So we toughed it out. Food/Reservations: The reservations issue doesn't have to be a problem. Just be flexible.
We made reservations for five nites on Monday morning, most nites we had a 9:00 reservation. All were very good. Our favorite was the Italian, and least favorite was the Mexican. (but not due to the food) The Mexican rest. is located in the same building as the disco. So if you can get an early reservation before the disco cranks up, you'll probably enjoy it. Otherwise, the music is so loud that you can't hear a thing, including your waiter. Don't fret if you can't get a reservation; the main restaurant, located on the first floor of the lobby, El Cocotal is just as good and the menu changes nightly. The beach grill has pizza's, burgers and dogs that are great. And there's also a rolling cart along the beach that grills to order burgers, quesadillas, and chicken-ka-bobs. So, if you go hungry, it's your own fault!! Bar/Drinks: What can I say, you are never very far from a bar.
The bartenders are fabulous and do a gret job. Say hi to Abel in the Papagayos Bar, he's the greatest!! The drinks are real drinks, you can actually taste the alcohol. We took insulated mugs to use on the beach and the bartenders love to fill them up for you. They keep your drinks cooler longer and the ice lasts longer. Don't forget the new Martini bar in the lobby, it's also fantastic. Arturio was our favorite waiter.
We wanted to bring him home with us. Many have commented about the smell on the resort. It's something you can't ignore. Sometimes it's worse than others. If you have a sensitive nose, just beware. Our theory is that they are located in such a remote area that they are recycyling the gray water and using it to keep the grounds watered.
Kind of a sulfur smell. It wasn't a big problem for me, but others found it offensive. Beware of the concierge people. They are really time share selling. If they tell you to drop by to pick up your welcome gift, graciously decline. When they approached us and offered us $150.00 to hear their deal, my husband told them that he would give them $150.00 to leave us alone. I think they got the message. A true five star resort would not allow their guests being bothered like this.
However, if you are so inclined as to listen, we talked to a couple that did and the package deal started out at $55,000. and 25 lifetime vacations, and by the end was down to $6,500 and 100 lifetime vacations. So, don't leave money on the table so to speak!! Anyway, we loved the resort and it really is almost a five star resort. If they can overcome a few hurdles it will truly be a fabulous place. Adios, amigos!!

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A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2004

We have just returned from the El Dorado Royale after spending the week of March 13 there. We have travelled to many places but this was truly the nicest and most romantic. Just a few things you may want to consider to make your trip perfect. Spend the extra 700.00 dollars for the Casita if you can. It is the differnece between staying in a four star and five star room. There is an odor problem in some Eastern areas of the resort but the Casita area seems to be removed from this problem. The odor we bevieve comes from grey water tanks being released into the ocean and it sometimes causes a sulfer smell. We did not notice it very much at the West end of the resort. We would go back in a flash and found the staff to be so friendly. The time share people did not bother us because we were on the lookout for the free gimick offer after reading other people's reviews. We were offered a free Mayan calander and I simply said no thank you and that was that. As far as reservations go we did not make one at any of the restaurants. We did not want the time committment. Every night we dined at the main restaurant (no reservations required) and were always pleased. It was truly a remarkable time and we met lots of people that said they would be back!

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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
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 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury 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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