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“Excellent 5 Star Resort - strictly for Couples” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa

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Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Km 95 Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Seaside Suites)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #2 of 17 Hotels in Puerto Aventuras
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Ottawa
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent 5 Star Resort - strictly for Couples”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Let me start off by saying that EDSS has topped our list of vacation destinations thus far. If you are comparing Mexico to Cuba -- forget Cuba. This resort provided us with premium drinks and meals via a la carte. The country itself is more globalized, developed and not sheltered by the downfalls of communism. Therefore, you will not be disappointed by cheap liquor and mediocre food.

My fiance and I had arrived later in the night at the Cancun International Airport (8:30 pm) and did not experience the turmoil and struggle that most reviewers here had endured. You will however, be swamped with baggage handlers expecting a tip - feel free to refuse if you do not feel like paying. The ride from the airport to the resort lasted about 1.5 hours, we were immediately greeted with a glass of champagne. We were prompted to sign papers disclosing our information, photocopy passports, etc. This is where it got interesting -- we were also provided with a promotion to make a swap to the sister Karisma Resort, El Dorado Royale, includes ocean front room + $200 USD credit. We did not choose to take advantage of the offer because we simply did not do enough research on the hotel. However, we later learned that this hotel apparently tops EDSS in terms of the size, amenities, activities and beach quality. I would take advantage of the promo if I could have went back in time. Nevertheless EDSS was an excellent resort!

Food:
You have the option of choosing from several a la carte. There are no buffet options other than salad bars, breakfast @ Arrecifes and beach BBQ. You will not find lamb, seems to have been discontinued though it appears on their online menus. Best quality steak will be found @ Mia Casa, others will serve Flank. Mia Casa is definitely the best a la carte you will find on this resort in terms of quality and variety. We were disappointed with Klay Talay -- truly not authentic asian food, with exception of Sushi. I would recommend trying this one out on your first night and save the best for later.

Beach:
Do not book this resort if you are all for the beach. Consists of crushed coral, damaged reef and can be very difficult to walk through once in waters. However, the shore spreads across beautiful palm trees and cabanas, beach beds which brings out the attractiveness. The beach from the shore looks great, but once stepped in, you have to be careful about where you place your feet. Snorkeling from what we hear isn't all that great considering the after affects of Hurricane Wilma.

Service:
I echo the comments of reviewers here -- service is Excellente!! You are greeted with an "Hola" from ever staff member that crosses your path. The only part that lacked was the wait times for room service, most probably because we were situated towards the end of the beach (block 32).

Make sure to check in with your personal concierge on your first day. They will provide you with discounted specials, offers on activities and spa treatment. Beware: we took on the tour of suites presented by our concierge of the premium suites and were misled in to thinking that we would be provided with reward benefits as return customers, however this is not the case. After the tour we were led to a timeshare rep on site who tried to haggle us to join the timeshare program. My advice: DO NOT SIGN UP! The yearly fees and transportation outweigh the benefits. We met a couple on resort who signed up with the time share and confirmed this with us. We could not believe that this type of service was instilled on the resort, what a turn F*@$J TURN OFF! Nevertheless, we were provided with a $50 credit :) but did not think it was worth a 1.5 hour tour on our last night!

Rooms:
We stayed at the oceanfront room. Our view was slightly blocked by palm trees. However, the location which we had stayed at (block 32) provided us extremely easy access to the beach + beach bar. Your room is cleaned after every day, presented with origami towel figures on bed, fridge re-stalked. Jacuzzi is standard in every room, double sink, stand up shower. Downside is my fiancee had to hear me take a dump since there was no closed off doors -- a running faucet had to solve the problem.

Pools:
There aren't many varieties for pools. We mainly stayed at the Gaviota which is adjacent to the swim up rooms on the resort. Provides a relaxing atmosphere and swim up bar. Lorenzo makes a damn good drink and is very friendly!

Spa:
Spa treatment is amazing. We took advantage of the 1 hour full body couples massage @ $185 USD. Check with your personal concierge as the offers are subjected to change every day. If you decide to take advantage of it, do it at their new facility NÁAY SPA. Extremely luxurious and was worthwhile considering the massage and aroma therapy was 1 of a kind.

Activities outside Resort:
We decided to make a visit to Xel-Ha, world's largest outdoor aquarium. This was a great experience which will last you the whole day. We had gone snorkelling (free) and were able to see different types of salt water fish. If you decide to go here, make sure you go the lunch buffet on time. We went a bit later and some of the food just sits there and gets spoiled.

We heard good things about 5th avenue in Playa del Carmen which is apparently great for shopping and relaxing on the beach. Also, the restaurant Carmencitas is a must from what we heard as well.

Overall:
This is 1 long review - but all in all, we had an excellent time. We definitely recommend this resort to couples who want a nice quiet, and relaxing time with great food, drinks, and service. If you are going with a group of friends, you probably want to stay away from resorts on the Mayan Riviera and head to Cancun -- just my honest opinion. We will definitely visit a Karisma resort again!

Room Tip: Higher floors provide more privacy and relaxation if you prefer to hang out on the patio.
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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
Helpful?
12 Thank on_dat_TravelTIP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2012

Third year running we have been to this hotel over Easter. It is truly amazing and improves every year.
Restaurants are all fantastic and it is really nice you have No buffet and do not need reservations. Our favourite is still the Italian. For Breakfast and Lunch we ate at the Sanwicherie, different menu from last year but still great.
When we were on the beach Lucy fetched drinks and food for us and seemed really happy to help you enjoy your holiday.
Hope to be there next year or the year after for our 4th time.

Room Tip: All rooms excellent. Restaurants spread across the complex so always near to one.
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank br0wn66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelsall, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

This is a lovely hotel and relatively small in comparison to most others along the riviera. We had a lovely time here and if you are travelling to this part of Mexico I would highly recommend it. So here is the most useful information I can think of to help you enjoy your trip.
It will take about 45 mins to get through immigration and the about 1.5 hour transfer by coach to the resort. Whilst this is a long journey if you are looking for a smaller beachfront hotel you need to travel.
The Hotel is part if a chain of 4 hotels by the same company on the Mayan Riviera. This is the smallest and very popular during our stay we learned that the hotel was overbooked and the staff were offering people big incentives to go to one of the larger ones. I would recommend you book through a travel agent so you don't get turned away (we went with Thompson). We had a beachside villa which was lovely, you can't always see the beach from your window because of the palm trees but we were very happy. I recommend requesting the higher number blocks as they are further away from the music at night (we were in block 32 which was fine). The whole hotel is all inclusive and that includes your minibar. The minibar can be set to your preference if you visit the concierge so you can increase the amount of larger spirits etc. There are 4 restaurants Italian, Mexican, Oriental and a Grill all except the Mexican have a vegetarian option. There is an outdoor 'sandwicherie' which serves burgers and burritos it is lovely eating under the palm trees again a couple of veggie options. There are various events and live music through the week and i would recommend the Mayan evening once a week on the beach included.
The beach is lovely and you will see people's reviews mentioning the sun loungers, we never had a problem finding a lounger but beach beds are all reserved by 7.30am. If you want one get up early!
Snorkeling - one of the reasons we chose mexico was because we love to snorkel. You can snorkel from the hotel beach however much of the coral was destroyed in hurricane Wilma so we were a little disappointed. You will see fish but not the tropical variety or number we had seen in the Maldives last year. If you are a keen snorkelled then take your own gear. You can borrow it from the diving place but they won't lend it out when it's choppy. In fact while we were there they only had the yellow flag out for one day because currents in this area can be strong. We booked a snorkelling tour to the reef at Porto Morelos, again the currents are reasonably strong and whilst we saw more it wasn't a patch on the Maldives. My husband took a diving trip at cozumel and having dived previously he was comfortable, but he didn't rate the instructor his view was if you are a first time diver this might be an intimidating experience.
We booked an excursion to Chichen Itza through Thompson before we left and I would recommend it. You can book excursions through the hotel or through your rep when you arrive. I would recommend the booking through you holiday company rep because the quality of transport etc tends to be better, given its 3 hours each way you will appreciate it! The trip included a stop at a cenote which you can swim in a Mayan restaurant for lunch and then a couple of hours at Chichen itza with a guide. In honesty we could have spent much longer there but the cenote was a great experience. There are loads of other excursions and Playa Del Carmen is only 30 minutes away if you want a night out. Expect to pay £12 each way in a cab. There is a very cheap shuttle bus for locals you can use but reviews from reps were mixed.
Money and Tipping - before I went I found it hard to find good advice so here you go: Take Mexican Pesos, US Dollars will be accepted but you will pay more for everything and will get your change at an unfavourable rate in Pesos. Take as many small bills as you can, ask your travel agent to give you lots of 20 pesos notes (20 Pesos is £1). Tipping is expected especially for bus drivers, excursions, dinner and beach waiters. Tip little and often, it will improve the service you receive. You should expect to feel obliged to tip the wages are low and they will tell you this! We tipped 20 pesos each time leaving money on the bed for housekeeping. Bar staff we tended to tip ad hoc as they made cocktails especially for us etc. If you only have large notes then reception can change them for you. This is a lovely hotel and you will have a lovely holiday.

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 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
Helpful?
17 Thank Chillipepperlou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cheltenham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2012

Amazing hotel with fabulous staff and phenomenal food! The bed was the most comfortable bed ever, as were the four poster beds on the beach. Ridiculous luxury that I could easily get used to, I recommend this hotel whole heartedly.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
Helpful?
8 Thank AlwaysHungry87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baldock, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2012

Amazing gourmet inclusive, fantastic service, 4 poster beds on the beach all create one of the most relaxing holidays you could wish for. The weather was a disappointment for the 1st week, but didn't spoil it, also the beach the hotel sits alongside isn't the best ever.

  • Stayed January 2012, 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
Helpful?
4 Thank Dan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vermontville, Michigan, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 12, 2012

This trip was to celebrate our 20th Anniversary. We couldn't have been happier with our choice! The resort is a little over an hour from the Cancun airport. This was our first trip to Mexico and we were not sure what to expect.

Staff: The staff were exceptional! Everyone was friendly and they always seemed to have smiles on their faces. I don't think we passed one staff member who did not say "hola". Be sure to take advantage of your personal concierge - they are a wealth of information from spa and dinner information to changing your pillow if you don't like the ones you have. They also have books available to read in their offices.

Food: Excellent! There were 5 choices to choose from for dinner (Italian, Asian, Mexican, International, Grill). We were at dinner every night by 6:30-7pm and NEVER had to wait for a table. Plan on eating a lot of food with dessert at each meal as well. Again, the staff in the restaurants were great. Our waiter in the Italian restaurant made us a special "going away" dessert on our last night...very thoughtful.

Room: We had a swim-up room and wouldn't do it any other way. We sat on our deck every day, jumped in the water and swam to the swim up bar for a drink with Jesus every day. It was so nice having the pool right outside our room. I highly recommend it!!

Beach: Tons of beach beds and loungers. We never had trouble getting a bed - even late in the morning. I would recommend water shoes if you plan on swimming - it is a little rocky. Unfortunately, the week were there it was so windy we could not snorkel or kayak. I would strongly suggest bringing your own equipment so that you can snorkel even if it is windy.

Towels: You get two cards for towels when you arrive. Turn these in to your concierge or the towel hut on the beach. They will give you towels. You can bring the dirty towels back each day and get new ones. Before you leave you must return the towels and get the cards back. You need them when you check out.

Excursions: We went to Xel-ha for our first trip...I highly recommend it. It was about 20-30 min shuttle ride. There was tubing, snorkling, ziplining, swimming with dolphins (extra cost), and many other activities. Plan to spend the entire day here. They take pictures of you throughout the resort so if you are interested in buying them, save some time at the end of the day to view them (where you came in). They are reasonably priced ($12.00 each). We also did the Dolphin Excursion. It was only about 10 minutes away and was great!

We met different people at the swim up bar each day. Some shared that they have stayed at numerous other resorts in the area but none compare to this one. Don't listen to the bad reviews....that simply aren't true. This was the best anniversary ever! We plan on going back to this same resort next year.

Room Tip: We had the swim up room #3606. It was excellent - quiet and romantic. We did say that next time we...
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  • Stayed April 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank KW0214
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2012

You know when you look at a brochure and think this place is too good to be true, well on this occasion the brochure was right and possibly didn't do this hotel it's full justice.
Set at the end of a half mile drive and with natural jungle on each side a warm welcome is guaranteed as soon as you roll up outside the lobby, no queuing at reception you are taken to a small room and served champagne and canapes whilst you go through the formality of checking in and then whisked to your room by golf buggy.
All the rooms, villas and suites are painted in the same colour and connected by a series of pathways, don't be surprised that for the first couple of days you end up getting slightly lost getting back to your room especially at night - I did.
The gardens are extensive full of tropical plants and are kept immaculate.
You will more than likely come across Iguanas and Racoons on your walks and the bird life is spectacular.

ROOMS - We stayed in a Junior Suite with a beach location. The room was large and incorporated a king size four poster bed, bath with jaccuzzi,shower,WC,2 wash basins,TV and DVD,minibar. The room was spotless and was kept that way by our maid. The minibar was restocked each day with water, soft drinks and local beer

RESTAURANTS - 5 A LA CARTE restaurants on site serving Mexican, Italian, Oriental, International and Grill cuisine. In addition there is a Sandwicherie serving pizza, burgers and burritos at lunchtime. There is no booking system for the restaurants, it is on a first come first served basis, they can be quite busy between 1800 and 1930 but are open until 2200. Didn't have a complaint regarding the food it was all to a high standard in each of the restaurants.
Room service is available 24 hours

BARS - Seven bars located within the complex, the Guacamaya is open until 0200. In addition there are two more located on the beach- drinks can be ordered from your sun bed up until about 1600. A good selection of spirits, cocktails and beers are available, all international brands are available.

BEACH - a long and narrow sandy beach is located from the centre of the complex up until the right hand side boundary, to the left of the complex there is no beach as the coral reef extends up to the shoreline. As a natural coral reef is located here it is advisable to wear some form of footwear when swimming although not essential as there are large patches of sand.
Sunbeds and four poster beds line the beach, however not all sunbeds have shade and there is a 0700 rush to put towels on the best ones - yes I hold my hands up I did this.
The beach is constantly swept and kept free of seaweed throughout the day.

POOLS - if you don't fancy a dip in the sea there are two large pools and in addition some rooms have swim up pools.Sports and activities are centered around the activities pool.

SPA - there is a spa within the hotel complex where you can get a wide range of massages etcetera. There is an additional charge for these but the price can be negotiated beforehand.

SHOPS - three gift shops located on site one offers jewellery. These can be a little expensive so If you are looking to buy souvenirs then a taxi trip to Fifth Avenue in Playa del Carmen is worthwhile - cost about $10.
A warning, if you are going to use a taxi let the Concierge book it for you, the price is fixed, if you go on you own the price can be expensive and not guaranteed at the end of your journey

ENTERTAINMENT - this is where possibly the hotel lets itself down slightly, there are nightly shows and live bands playing in the Guacamayas Lounge. Some of the shows are well presented but a couple during my stay were poor. In addition Karaoke and a sort of Mr and Mrs quiz was also presented which are definitely not my cup of tea

TRIPS - I'm not usually one that takes advantage of these as I usually find them overpriced but I did take two and I can recommend both to you. The first was organised by Thomsons and took us to a Mayan Village, the temples at Coba, a Mayan market and finally to a splash pool in the jungle for a refreshing swim. The second was organised by the Hotel's own tour firm (located in he lobby) and was a Jeep Safari to Sian Ka'an nature reserve, this involves an hour and a half drive through the reserve to Punta Allan, here you will then have a snack and board a speedboat which takes you through the mangroves and then into open water where yo can spot dolphins and turtles and then spend time snorkelling, then it is back to Punta Allan for lunch.

STAFF - I don't think I have met such friendly, helpful and dedicated staff anywhere else on my travels, everyone had a smile on their faces and greeted you with Hola - expect to say that at least 50 times a day.

SUMMARY - Stunning location, first class hotel, wonderful staff, amazing holiday. It was probably the best holiday I have had and would have no hesitation in recommending this to anyone. See you next year

Room Tip: Rooms near the Mangroves tend to suffer a slight smell from them (south side of the complex), howeve...
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  • Stayed March 2012, 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
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
19 Thank keith H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa

Address: Km 95 Carretera Cancun-Tulum, Puerto Aventuras 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Seaside Suites)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Aventuras
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection 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 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
#6 Business Hotel in Puerto Aventuras
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 378
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Seaside Hotel
El Dorado Seaside Suites Mexico
El Dorado Resort Spa
Hotel El Dorado Seaside
El Dorado Seaside Resort
El Dorado Spa
El Dorado Seaside Mexico
Eldorado Seaside Suites
Eldorado Resort
Sensimar Seaside Suites & Spa Riviera Maya/Puerto Aventuras, Mexico

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