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“Wonderful Experience- Highly Recommend!” 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   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Long Island. NY
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
13 hotel reviews
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Wonderful Experience- Highly Recommend!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

We recently had the pleasure of spending four nights and five days at the El Dorado Royale Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. This resort is a 5 star All Inclusive Adult Only Spa resort with a Gourmet Inclusive theme. And gourmet inclusive it was! Our stay was just wonderful! Here are some observations and grades based on our A - F rating system.

Check in - A. Upon arrival, we were greeted in the lobby with cool cloths and a glass of champagne. We arrived at noon and our rooms were ready. Check in took 5 minutes with a very courteous staff. We were given a lock for our in room safe and room keys and we were ready to go.

The hotel resort is a very large property. It took 6 minutes to walk from the lobby to our room, but this was not a problem because there are trams that will take you all over the property that run about every 10 - 20 minutes. Since God only knows I need to lose weight, I tried to walk it as much as I could, even in the heat. Near each group of buildings is a tram stop. When walking out of the lobby in the back of the building, to the left are the Casita suites and to the right are the jr. jacuzzi suites. The resort is deceptively large.

Room: A After checking in, we took a tram to our room, a jr. jacuzzi in building 54.suite the back . Upon entering, immediately to the left is the bathroom. There is a double sink, a large marble shower and a separate toilet. The amenity package int he bathroom was great. There was shampoo, lotion, soap, a toothbrush, shoe shine kit, razor and shower cap. Additional amenities in the jacuzzi tub were shampoo, shower gel and a candle and matches.

Outside the bathroom is a desk and the bed. This room had a large super comfortable king size four poster bed. Across from the bed was a bureau that opened to reveal drawers, shelves, a t.v. and refrigerator.

There is a large closet with the safe in it,shelves and plenty of hanging space. On the other side of the bed is the jacuzzi, large enough for two people and placed so you can look out on the balcony. On the balcony were two chairs, a table and a hammock. My view overlooked the beach and the activity pool. There was also a table and two chairs inside the room to enjoy room service at.

The room and bath were spotless and were kept that way during my entire stay.

Food: A+ The food in this resort was outstanding. There are many restaurants, but not all were opened while I was there. All food is ordered off menus but there is a breakfast buffet area at Cocotels (later on that).

The food is artfully presented and everything was delicious. The restaurants do not accept reservations, it is first come, first served. I find that preferable to having to make reservations every day. There were no waits in any restaurants while I was there.

Cocotels: Cocotels is located in the main building . I ate breakfast here two days. You can order off a menu or choose buffet food (or both). I chose the buffet and was satisfied with the available choices.

La Isla - this is an open air restaurant by the main pool. We had lunch there our first day and they had great choices of fresh fish and meats. I had a surf and turf meal (all kabobs) that were very good.

D'Italia - a beautiful Italian restaurant in the main building. I did not eat here, but others staying at the resort said the food was excellent.

JoJo's - this is a beach side restaurant with seafood, beef and chicken dishes. I ate here twice ordering steak once and a pasta dish the second time and was not disappointed. Also very pretty to look at the beach as you are enjoying a meal.

Kampai: This is an Asian restaurant in the Casitas area. Believe it or not, we had breakfast here and who'd believe Asian inspired fare for breakfast was outstanding? I had coconut macadamia crusted pancakes that were out of this world. One of my friend enjoyed cream cheese stuffed French Toast with mango sauce and another had the most beautifully presented Eggs Benedict I've ever seen!

La Fuentes: this is a beautiful restaurant that gives a live culinary show. You order your meal and then can watch as a chef prepares it on huge screens inside the restaurant. Unfortunately, the restaurant wasn't open when we were at the resort but it is a unique concept and I would imagine quite popular.

Pizza Cabana: This is outside the main pool and you can order pizza and hamburgers.

Health Bar: In the Casitas area, there are fresh fruits, juices and healthy options.

It was also my understanding there was a Fondue bar beach side, but I didn't see this and am not certain it is still there.

There are 13 bars, including swim up bars and a Martini Bar (where we spent most nights). The bartenders were excellent at every bar we went to.

Entertainment and Activities: B+ The pool closest to my room was the Activity pool where games were played throughout the day. You will find a board that tells you what activities are going on during the day near the pool. There were the usual games, like water polo, kayak races, pool bingo and pool volleyball plus some other fun games during the day. There was a water aerobics class I took with the lovely Paola which is held at noon. There are also lots of bicycles you can use to ride around the property.

The evening entertainment did not seem to have too many people in attendance late at night. There is entertainment at Las Guayanas (near the second spa and gift shop on the way to the activity pool) nightly and usually by 10 PM there were just a handful of people left. The last night we were there they had a Casino Night, where they gave you $3,000 in play money to play Blackjack and Roulette and at the end of the night, you could bid on items to purchase. It was extremely hot and I played Roulette for about a half hour and gave my money to a table mate and went back to the room. It was a lot of fun though!

My only complaint about the resorts are about internet access. I brought my laptop as I had to keep in contact with several clients. There was no wireless access unless you were in a Casita. You could purchase minutes to use the computers in the internet cafe. Out of three computers, only two worked and there was always a line to use them. Many people were posting to their Facebook account ( plenty of free publicity for the resort!!) or were checking in for their flights the next day.

I spoke to a rep. from the hotels who stated that management's philosophy was that they wanted people to be able to relax on vacation so they didn't offer wireless in all the rooms. However, in this day and age, you need Internet access, if only to check e-mails and to check in for your flight to make sure you have a seat. I think El Dorado needs to rethink this and offer wireless in every room. It makes no sense that they have it in Casitas but not in other rooms.

Spa: A There are two spas on this resort, one spa with a gym near the Activities Pool and the new Casitas Spa, on the Casita side of the resort. The Casitas Spa is beautiful, with welcoming incense burning in the lobby and a hydrotherapy room. The hydrotherapy is free to those staying in the Casitas who purchase a spa treatment but is charged to those who are not in the Casitas. When purchasing a massage you are given the choice of having a man or woman doing the massage and having it in the spa or on the beach (at no extra charge).

I had a 50 minute back and neck massage on the beach that felt like luxurious pampering to me. What a relaxing way to spend an hour! The spa treatments were very reasonably priced, especially compared to what you would pay on a cruise ship!

Overall rating: A
This resort was just beautiful. It is about a half hour drive from the airport. The staff were always courteous (my thanks to the Customer Service gals who helped me in the Internet cafe with the non-working computer and password!) The resort was clean and well kept.

This is an adult only resort (they have a sister resort, Azul that accepts families with kids). They offer wedding ceremonies and vow renewals. There are over 600 rooms at this resort, but they also have smaller resorts in the area - the El Dorado Seaside, with 282 rooms and the intimate El Dorado Maroma, with 72 rooms and the most spectacular Presidential Villas of all three resorts. (They also have Hidden Beach, which is the only all inclusive luxury "au naturele" resort in the Mexican Caribbean). El Dorado has something for everyone depending on the size of the resort you are comfortable with.

Every guest at the resort we spoke to loved the resort. Not a single complaint was heard.
I highly recommend any of the El Dorado resorts ( we did visit each one and have pictures and video if you'd like to see them).

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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
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English first
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

We arrived to the hotel and we thought that it was missing the wow factor when you walked in. We headed down to eat but had to talk to several peoeple before we were able to do so. We ate at one of the 8 restaurants there and the food was pretty good. The drinks were watered down and when we specified a certain brand of liquor we saw them give us the well liquors. We thought that the beach was so-so. The beach was super rocky and I cut my foot on the rock. We went snorkeling by the hotel but saw no fish probably due to the sand hills that they have out there. The room was not that nice at all. I must say that for the most part the service was pretty good. The food was good at most of the restaurants and we met a lot of nice couples but the beach and the rooms was not what you would see from a 5 star hotel. Maybe I was a little spoiled in the past but we heard 3 couples that felt the same way that we did. I wolud not go back because of the beach and because of the rooms. If you go to playa or cancun you should definately go snorkeling at maroma and we heard that Secrets Maroma was a great new hotel for the same price.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
Amarillo, Texas
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 1, 2009

My husband and I just got home to Texas from our 4 day anniversary trip Aug. 28 through 31. I can not say enough about our stay! For starters we arrived with a welcome glass of champagne and a breezy check-in. With the hotel staff being very friendly and helpful.

We stayed in a Garden view suite that was absolutely wonderful! We had talked about upgrading when we got there but decided from the other reviews that alot of people who did not upgrade were just as pleased. And let me tell you the view off the balcony of the pool and lush grounds were as much or more breathtaking than the view of the ocean. And I will also add that we saw several other friends rooms at different areas of the resort and they all looked identical to ours. We did take the time share tour and see the different presidential suites and those are incredible!! If you are able to spring for these do it! But otherwise the regular suites are really all you need. And on the subject of the time share, if you have time to do it you do get a 100 usd credit to use at the spa or a candle light dinner. It takes about 1 hr 45 and they are very nice and no pressure what so ever.

The grounds, pools, rooms, and any other area of the resort you could think of are kept so clean, immaculate, and beautiful! Every morning you will see workers buzzing around making sure the fountains, pools, and grounds are perfect.

The resort is huge so thank goodness for the shuttle golf carts that come around every 15 min. or so. Or you can call for one and they make it there very quick. If you tip them they are very appreciative and will cater to you for your stay. Which is pretty much standard for everything. In no way are they expecting it, but all the workers are greatful and you in turn gain the most awesome service so it's a win win. Juan Carlos is the shuttle driver who is awesome! He told us to call him at ext6000 and he would come in a flash whenever we needed him, and he did!

As for bars and bartenders. The main pool was our main drink hangout during the day. Be careful for Cesar who is pretty cool, but a little bit of a wise guy. And if he sees you are getting a little tipsy he may sneak some vodka in your beer, and throw you over the edge ;) Our favorite bartender was Roman at the bar beside Jojo's. Ask him for the shot that tastes like Tang, the orange shot. It is great! Speaking of getting great service. We tipped him at the beginning of the night and then sat down at a table by the beach and he would just periodically bring us the "Tang" shot and beers. It was great!

There is no shortage of things to do just on the resort. My husband got a massage, we snorkelled, we got a personal free massage lesson in the sky massage area by the beach. And if you are daring you can ask Moises the life guard to take you up the coastline a little to the area with more coral to see a nurse shark! No joke! And it was the highlight of my whole trip! I must say I am fascinated by shark. How he would know this I have no idea. He must have read my mind. Don't let me scare you though because these are said to be harmless and have no teeth. And you apparently won't see one enless you go to this one area. Apparently I'm the only one he showed this too because everyone I told about it was amazed. You can also see alot of black sea urchins ranging from small to about a foot in size.

I recommend the Cocotal for breakfast it is a great breakfast buffet. And Jojo's was my favorite for lunch and dinner. D'Italia was also really good for dinner. Kampai atmosphere was great but dinner was not all that good. And do not forget to order room service when you get in from a night out. It is just what the dr. orders.

Well I could go on and on about this resort, but I think I already have so if there is anyother inside info I'd be happy to share it so just ask! Don't pay attention to negative reviews, and go for it and enjoy your trip you won't regret it!!!

  • Stayed August 2009, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
austin, tx
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2009

This was my first all-inclusive experience and I must say; "two thumbs up". Now, having said that, the overall experience was somewhat in the back of my mind, a bit contrived. Depending on which restaurant you choose your opinion will differ. Look, I don't think you'll ever have 5 star food quality at an all-inclusive, but I don't think it could be any better than here. Stay with Isla, D'Italia and JoJo's, in my opinion. The health bar was great for smoothies and healthy, light lunch fare. Beyond the food, the grounds are immaculate. There are maintenance folks, landscapers, pool maintenance, general grounds cleaning happening all the time (not intrusive whatsoever) to the point that you say to yourself, "wow, this place is well kept". The room was great, zero negative; the A/C worked great. Drinks were never too far away and well done. Tip a couple bucks here and there and you'll be king for the day. You sometimes have to ask for premium liquor- if you ask for a vodka drink, you'll get Smirnoff. If you ask for Kettle, you'll get Kettle. The biggest standout for me was the service. It's like traveling anywhere, treat the staff with respect and tip a buck here and there and they'll be all over it- and with sincerity.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2009

My husband and I recently stayed at the El Dorado Royale Casitas for our honeymoon. I highly recommend this resort to newlyweds, couples, and adult group vacations. Both my husband and I were overwhelmed with the hospitality we received from the staff. They went above and beyond to ensure we had the best vacation. The food was amazing -it is very rich, so an upset stomach is not completely out-of the norm. It would be really reaching to find a complaint about this resort. We hope to return soon!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Williamsville, New York
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2009

My husband and I spent our 6th time at El Dorado Royale this past February and just booked a return visit for Feb of 2010. We have looked at other resorts but still can not find one as nice with all the amenities, especially all the pools! We have always stayed at the casitas for their privacy and great service. The outdoor showers in the casitas are really a nice touch. The food has been terrific - the bars are great - Abel is a wonderful bartender!!!! The "whale humps" in the ocean are not of concern to us at all - I don't know why people complain about them. This is our only "go to" resort for the next 10 years as well!

  • Stayed February 2009, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 27, 2009

We have just come back from our stay at the El Dorado Roayle and we had a great time. While we were there the hotel was running at between 30 and 40% occupancy due to the swine flu scares.

We stayed in a standard, garden view room, which is as basic as it comes. Our room was lovely. All rooms have a jacuzzi in them and a hammock and chairs on the balcony. The room was clean, well air conditioned and very comfortable. The shower was great - a magnificent marble affair!

The food was good. We had room service breakfasts every day - we were too lazy to get up and go to the buffet and they offer a good enough selection that we didn't get bored of it even though we were there for 14 days. The only disaster we had was when i tried to order soft boiled eggs and they arrived VERY soft boiled.

We had plenty of choices for lunch and dinner. I've read other reviews about food portions and all i can say is that they must be crazy. You could have a 5 course dinner everywhere you went, and if you wanted an extra starter, salad or even main course they are more than happy to bring it for you. The Italian and Oriental restraunts are particularly good, the oriental being by far and away my favourite.

The bars are also lovely - the bar staff are friendly and more than happy to make you anything you like. they run a tequila tasting one night which is interesting but a bit of a sales pitch - instead, we had our tequila tasting at the swim up bar with the bar man who really knew his stuff and let us try a wide range. All spirits are premium brands and they are generous with their measures. More than generous. for a G&T you basically get a quadruple gin. i had to ask for small measures, which is NOT something i usually have a problem with!! Try the daiquiris.

We spent most of our time at the Fuentes pool and had a great time - due to the low occupancy there was loads of spare beds and loungers round the pool and we got to know everyone really well - lots of chatting at the swim up pool etc. We also took part in the daily sports with the K team, who were AMAZING! Louis, Jamie and Elloy really made our holiday - they were funny, lively and entertaining. If you don't want to socialise, try the other pools.

We also had a moonlight massage while we were there. it cost $300 but was so worth it - they are utter pros and it was the best massage i've had. IF you go for a massage. make sure you can use the hydrotherm room first and try to go when your shoulders are sunburn-free to get the best out of it.

Finally, it turns out that they have sea turtle nests on their beaches and they hatch at this time of year so we got to help gather and release babay sea turtles. This only happens for a week or so and it is dependent on the mothers laying and the eggs hatching etc etc but it was such an amazing experience.

We had a great time and we're working on a plan to be able to live there full time :)

  • Stayed August 2009, 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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Romantic 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*
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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