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“Beautiful property....11 days was too long” 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
United States
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Beautiful property....11 days was too long”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

My husband I spent 11 days at the El Dorado Royale for our honeymoon. We were there from 11/30-12/10. I would like the say that if you're planning your honeymoon here...you will love it. This is definitely a good place for honeymooners. Me personally anything over 7 days just got to be too much for us. At about 7 days we were ready to go home and we love to travel. We just got a bit stressed out with constantly being asked to get a massage when we were relaxing on the beach. I counted one afternoon and I was approached 4 times by the same guy while trying to relax on the beach. I am not easy to irritate but after days and days of being asked it got to be much. It wasn't just the spa staff that was overzealous in selling it was also the companies located near the beach and main pool that offer parasailing and tours...my gosh how many times did I take a different route to avoid some of the guys there....TOO MUCH PRESSURE! I also received two spa treatments and I wasn't impressed. I didn't feel like I got much out of those services. The lady was very sweet but I work in a spa and I was hoping to learn something to take back with me and it was par for the course. Okay now to what we enjoyed!! The property is very beautiful...very much enjoyed the landscape and the folks that worked there. The food was delicious. I can honestly say that I haven't had food that good in all of my life. My husband and I have become so fond of soup since our trip. This resort had some of the finest soups that either of us have ever tried. We recommend the Portabello mushroom soup at D'Italia as well as the Garlic Cream and Leek Oil soup at Cocotal. Try all of the soups!!! We were never let down. Also the Fettucinne Alfredo at La Isla was delicious!! All of the food was 5 stars! I will say I wasn't as impressed with Konpaii...it still wasn't bad though...just not amazing. One night I ate at Fondue and asked the waiter to get me a drink like the lady next to me and it was called,"The Devil Inside". It was yummy and boy does it give you a buzz...oh my!! Overall it was a fun experience....I was able to relax and have quality time with my husband and we found ourselves really enjoying the evening entertainment. Take time to look at the stars at night...truely beautiful. I will say that I think 11 days anywhere is a bit long for us because we like to travel around so maybe we just felt kind of antsy. If you're going for longer than 7 days I recommend tours otherwise you might go a bit stir crazy. Thanks for taking the time to read. This is all true from our hearts...everyone is different...we personally would not go back...we feel we've seen it and we're ready for our next adventure. Everyone should see it once though... :) Peace :)

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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5 reviews 5 reviews
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8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

We just returned from a long weekend stay (3 nights) at El Dorado. Let me give you a little background on where I am coming from with this review. Typically, my husband and I travel to see destinations - Italy, Paris, big cities, etc. We have a fantastic time but come home exhausted. I booked this resort to force us to relax. Since this resort is not directly in a city and it takes some effort to leave, I thought it would force us have some downtime. So, from that perspective some of the things I didn't like you might not have a problem with.
Arrival - if you arrive before three most likely you will have to wait to check in. If you are coming from a cold destination and have more clothes on than necessary, make sure you have access to some beach wear so you can change when you arrive. We arrived at 1 and did not get our room until 3. We did not change so we had to walk around the resort for two hours and it got pretty warm. We did find a beach bed in the shade and we took a nap. We called at three from a phone near our bed and they came and picked us up and took us to our room.
Resort - the grounds are immaculate and beautiful. Pools, beach beds, lounge chairs abound through out the resort at the pools and on the beach. Due to economy, etc I assume their business is down. It was not uncommon to see a whole pool completely empty. If you like privacy I don't think you have any trouble finding some. The entire resort is very large and the shuttles are helpful if you can catch one. Beware though, they are pretty fast and move around corners quickly - we almost got run down a few times.
Rooms- we stayed in a gardenview room near the main pool. This was mostly to save money but we were really pleased because these rooms are at the heart of the resort and I would say we did less walking than most guests. Casitas, swim up and oceanview rooms are much further away from the main pool, lobby, etc. The room was very clean but did smell a little bit musty when you entered. I did not notice it after that though. I could hear the people next to us taking a shower but that only happened once.
Restaurants - We ate somewhere different every meal and ate at all the restaurants that were open. They were all fabulous and we liked them all. Since we were not in the Casitas, we could not make reservations. We went to dinner about 7 - 7:30 every night and had to wait from 20 minutes to 75 minutes for our table. For this reason, my husband said he did not like the resort. To me, the wait was worth the money we saved by not staying in the Casitas. If you had gone to dinner earlier (around 6) you would not have to wait.
Beach-the MAJOR draw back of this place. You can read all the reviews about the awful sandbags on the beach. We knew they would be there but we didn't think they would be that bad. They were BAD and made swimming in the ocean pretty impossible. For this reason, I would not go back. Next time I will try another Karisma resort with a better beach.
All in all it was a wonderful resort, but after one day of sitting around the resort we got kind of bored. We did book an excursion to Xel Ha since we could not swim in the ocean or snorkel very well at El Dorado. This made a our second day better.

If you are looking for a great relaxing resort with no plans to travel or see other things then this is the place for you. The service is great and you will enjoy it. If you want a beautiful ocean to swim in then I would not recommend it. Rates are pretty low right now and considering how much we ate and drank, we got a steal of a price. If I had paid closer to their regular rates, I think I would have been more disappointed.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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.
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

It was my first time to Mexico and to an all inclusive in general and now I am spoiled!

El Dorado Royale was fabulous. Arrived and was offered a cold towel and was directed to a special check in room (I am a travel agent and was there for "business") Was offered a cold glass of champagne and checked in painlessly.

A golf cart took us and our bags to our room (located in little villas scattered around the resort) which was beautiful! large modern washroom with a huge shower and seperate toilet room, 4 poster canopy bed, seating area, huge jacuzzi with a candle, a bottle of chilled champagne-the workings!

The service at the hotel really stood out to me-everyone went out of their way to make sure you were happy-they could not do enough for you (and they don't expect tips!)
Each cluster of villas has their own concierge villa located right across from them. My concierge David (by building 2) was so helpful! He knew my key didn't work and before I could run downstairs to tell him, he was already on his way up to fix the problem!

The food was excellent at the resort-because of my limited time I only was able to eat at a few restaurants, but I enjoyed everything-really GOURMET food!
The breakfast buffer at Cocotal was incredible! Sit down breakfast at La Isla was excellent and has a gorgeous setting overlooking one of the main pools. There were no line ups anywhere! Dinner at Jojo's was excellent and the service was incredible. The healthbar is great for lunch or smoothies!
Another great thing is that the resort actually has a greenhouse on property and they grow most of the vegetables you will be eating!

The resort is large but is all built right along the beachfront so everything is easy to find! If you don't want to walk, there are always golf carts available to take you wherever you want to go.

I did the parasailing excursions which was amazing (and a good price!) and also went horseback riding which was quite an experience!

El Dorado Royale is a truly amazing resort and I would/do recommend it to friends and clients and I cannot wait to go back!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 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.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
43 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

My husband specifically chose this resort for our recent vacation because our experience in January 2007 was outstanding...we stayed in a Casita Suite both times so feel we can compare apples to apples.

We were disappointed with our most recent experience for these reasons:
* Food was not the quality it was last time
* Amenities were not first class (shampoo, conditioner, soaps etc)
* Table linens we experienced last time were mostly absent at dinner
* Orange juice was mostly water - small detail but clearly a budget saving measure
* Service at most restaurants was okay but not great
* Concierge service not as attentive and seemed distracted

* Internet is now available in rooms for those of us who work while on vacation
* Resort is kept very clean and well-maintained
* New Spa on property is lovely

Now that we have been back a second time we will not return a third - if the experience was as wonderful as in 2007 we would return but clearly the property managers are cutting costs every chance they get and it's starting to affect guest experience.

I would continue to recommend the property to people who have never experienced it before. But not to those who have been there.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 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.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2009

I stayed at the Jacuzzi Junior Suite Bldg.9 garden for 7 nights..is in no where , some where about 45 mins. to hotel strips in downtown Cancun and 30 mins. to the airport. The resort is huge and still never have a chance to visit the main pool. FOODS are gourmet and NO Buffets and all of the 7 Restaurants are great , The Kampai Restaurant is a Asian Food and everyone give a very high rate but I think is just ok.. For food lover, you will love El Dorado Royale..
It is a couple, single and adult only resort and we love it BUT it is too quiet and not much of action because of the resort is too big from point A to point B...They don't have enough Entertainment Team cover every spots..
Everyone are so Sweet and helpful, landscapes are well kept ...
My favorite is Martini bar at the Lobby and please try Chocolate Martini is the best...
My favorite breakfast is Cocotel.
My best lunch is JOJO.
The resort have a free shuttle bus to Cancun every Thurs and Friday and to Playa De Carmen is every Wed. and Friday. Only thing that made me upset is ..I arrived on Monday afternoon and try to make a reservation to Playa De Carmen either Wed or Friday but it is FULL and they don't want to add more bus to make their customer happy, they told me to take a taxi about $ 50 round trip ...WHY I have to pay when the resort is supply the free shuttle. Suggestion is reserve on line before you go...
Thank you for a nice services from Gavy at the VIP to every waiters and waitresses , K Teams and all the sweet Hostess at every restaurants ....Have a Happy Holidays!!!!

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2009

We have just arrived home after two wonderful weeks staying at El Dorado Royale for our honeymoon, this place was amazing. Champayne reception on arrival then taken to our swim up room by golf buggy, the staff at El Dorado are wonderful they cannot do enough for you. We made a good friend of Edwardo one of the waiters in the Martini Bar.

The grounds are spotlessly clean and the food was all fantastic expecially the Kampai which was truly an amazing experience, the Cocotal was the best place to have breakfast although La Isla was great too.

We went to Playa del Carmen and Cancun on the free excursion buses.Also not to be missed is the day out to Xcaret the most amazing day ,where we swam with dolphins and went snorkelling. Another one not to be missed is the Nightclub Coco Bongo, it is a show so different from anything we have ever seen before well worth a visit.

Whilst we we,re there we had Champayne and flowers delivered to our room as it was our honeymoon.

We would highly recommend the El Dorado Royale they made our whole honeymoon experience one we will never ever forget, and will be going back in the future.

  • Stayed November 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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Vancouver, Canada
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2009

PERSPECTIVE: Let me start by saying that my husband & I stayed at Sandals Royal Bahamian in October...it was nice, but it just didn't have the "wow" factor that I experienced at El Dorado Royale. I'm not writing this to slam Sandals - it's just that everyone worldwide seems to have them on a pedestal and if you figure that's a top resort, then you'll be doubly impressed by El Dorado.

ROOMS: Check in was fast & easy and we were greeted with a fresh towel & glass of champagne to kick it off. Then escorted to our room which was very big, with a jacuzzi tub, large bathroom, upscale amenities (toothbrush kit, bubble bath, sewing kit, etc), 2 comfortable beds, closet with lots of hangars, and a lovely view of the healthbar pool & ocean beyond. Plasma TV & DVD player (can borrow DVD's at concierge desk & order hot buttered popcorn to go with it!) and iPod docking station.

FOOD: While we were there, we ate at the fondue restaurant (& had fresh seafood - yum!), cocotal (buffet), and ordered room service. We were duly impressed that each time we ordered room service, it either arrived before they said it would or on time and was hot. We ordered a room service menu item once - all other times we just asked if it was possible to get ___ (ie. grilled cheese sandwich, bacon & french toast, etc). It was never a problem. I don't eat big portions, so I always asked for "muy poquito" portions and they always accommodated me.

GROUNDS: are large, but easy to navigate with their constantly running golf carts. Never used the bikes, but that would have been a good way to do it too. I preferred to walk & get the exercise.

BEACH: is best at south (villas) and north (casitas) sections where you could actually enter the ocean but honestly, this is more of a pool swimming resort & consequently, the pool areas are very nice. Casitas section has one pool & swim up bar for each 16 units. Villa section has three main pools (2 with swim up bars) and tons of comfortable loungers & pool beds to relax on.

BARS/NIGHTLIFE: Most people would gather at Jojo's bar (overlooking the ocean) for a drink before heading back to the room to get ready for dinner. Premium liquors are standard here and they even had some posh brands for those who like that kind of thing. The Martini bar in the lobby was another great gathering place and then for those who want to dance or are on "West Coast time", Guacamaya's bar has live bands, dj music, swings to sit on and flowing drinks.

STAFF: This impresses me most. Compared to other resorts I've stayed at (Riu, Melia, Sandals, Sheraton, Fairmont, etc) the staff at El Dorado are the best. I saw a few vacationers who were super high maintenance and even then, the staff did their best to help them out & make them happy.

WIFI: They've just installed this throughout the resort and it sure makes keeping in contact easier. I'm self-employed, so going away & checking email is not an option & it's sure great to grab your laptop & check messages while waiting for your travel companion to get ready or while relaxing on the balcony.

Anyway, lots of info, but if you have any questions on things I haven't covered, just let me know.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled on business
    • 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 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
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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 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*
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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