We recently had the pleasure of staying at the beautiful El Dorado Seaside for a hot & sunny week. This was our 8th trip to the Mayan Riviera (our favourite AI vacation area). We have also visited Jamaica, DR & Cuba on various other AI trips. We've stayed at many of the larger resort chains (Iberostar, Palladium, RIU, Melia) and have stayed at both adults only and family resorts.
For this trip, we wanted a smaller resort with excellent food and service, lush grounds and the option to book a swim up room with lounge chairs in the pool out our room's back door. El Dorado Seaside fit the bill perfectly for the key aspects of what we were looking for. The grounds are mature, very well taken care of and very lush. The walkways are covered by palm tree canopies, beautiful bushes and flowers which just oozes with tropical charm. We loved marvelling at the Beaty of the landscape while walking throughout the resort. We also loved to small, quaint vibe this resort had - like we were at a resort on it's own private island. Very nice atmosphere to relax and enjoy.
The food was very good and all meals could be a-la-carte if that's what you wanted. There were also options around the resort at breakfast and lunch for buffet/BBQ if you'd like something more low key. And of course, there was the room service option we used a few times for snacks and lunch. Our favourite spots to eat were Vida for breakfast, Sandwicherie for lunch & Mia Casa for dinner. All the food we had was beautifully presented and most dishes were tasty as well. We never had to wait longer than 10 minutes to be seated for any meal - most of the time we were seated right away. Wine was not the best & I wish I had known to ask for the included wine list; some restaurants offered better house wines than others. You will be given the additional cost wine list and steak/lobster menu at every dinner - we did not feel the need or desire to spend more money. We did, however, genuinely want to tip at every meal because of the attentive service, great atmosphere and good food. There is no feeling that you necessarily need to tip, we just felt like we wanted to. Dress code was resort casual during the day and mixed at night. Some guests were extremely dressed up (like formal nights on cruises) and others were just in dressy tank tops/collared golf shirts and shorts. My feeling is, you're on vacation so wear what you want. The resort seems to agree with this too - we went as both very dressy or more casual and were never turned away from a dinner. Mini rant: The guests that are complaining about how others should dress need to chill out! Everyone is on vacation here, so enjoy who you are with instead of trying to dictate what everyone else is doing or not doing. For those going on vacation here, I'd suggest a few light pants and golf shorts as well as some button up shirts for guys and a couple nice sundresses, dressy tanks/blouses and shorts/capri's for girls.
We were extremely happy with our room choice. We booked a swim up room & emailed the resort 1 week before arrival to ask for a very sunny location. The general manager replied saying they would do their best to accommodate & they definitely did (thank you!). We were given a room in block 40, which had the sun on our lounge chairs all day & faced the large Giovatas swim up bar. We were celebrating a belated birthday, and upon arrival to the room we had balloons, music and a towel birthday cake to surprise. It was extremely cute & a very nice way to start off our stay. A bottle of chilled champagne was also delivered after we had settled into the room - awesome & the effort was very much appreciated! The rooms have been recently updated & the bed was very comfortable. All rooms have flat screens and DVD players as well as ample closet and drawer space. The safe was small and old - not digital, but lock & key so we had to carry around the key everywhere. No big deal, just not the standard of other resorts. The minibar has pop, crisps, water and beer (Tecate, Sol, Heineken, Coors light). At night, the rooms are a little dark, but the bathroom was bright enough to get ready for dinners (& has hair dryer + vanity mirror). We enjoyed having our own loungers in the pool and hardly ever went searching for chairs elsewhere until late afternoon. We heard the towel game was I full effect and all chairs + Bali beds were "reserved" with towels by 7am. That would have been frustrating, but luckily we did not have to partake in the game. We were able to find available beds on the beach in the afternoon when we did want to have a siesta in the ocean breeze...we just had to look for a few minutes to find the non-towel reserved ones.
If the #1 most important thing on your list is a beach that looks like it is from a Corona commercial, this is not the place. However, this is a good spot to try out snorkelling - we saw lots of people snorkelling & checking out the small fish off shore. The beach itself is typical of the area and is finely crushed coral. It is long & you can walk for quite awhile to the south of the resort (you will eventually get to the Grand Palladium). There are numerous Bali beds and beach chairs lining the thin strip of beach (it seems like each couple reserves 2 loungers and 1 Bali bed which leaves others without anything...small issue & not the resorts fault!). Off the shore, there are many areas with coral and a certain area where walking out is possible without water shoes. There are also the large sandbag "whales" all along the beach which are serving as artificial coral. These are breakers to protect the beach from erosion. They are not pretty and mar the view off the beach. The waterfront area with the wall is much worse looking than the far south of the beach, but from every area, those sandbags are very visible. For that reason...if you want unblemished beach views and pictures, this place may disappoint. Just a warning. These didn't bother us, but we have definitely stayed at resorts in the area with beautiful wide beaches & ocean views without sandbags.
Entertainment & bars
We generally kept to ourselves during the day, enjoying our private loungers and the close proximity to our pool bar. We tried all the daytime slushy drinks, although mostly stuck to Bahama mamas and Dirty Monkeys. Even the pool bars have brand name spirits like CM spiced rum, Smirnoff, JD, Bacardi, various tequilas, baileys, etc. All you have to ask for what you want! The pool bar usually got busier later in the afternoon which turned into a small pool party until closing (6pm) At night, Guacamayas is the place to be. It is the main swing bar on the beach. It is a gorgeous setting, both day and night. It does get a little crowded with limited bar stools at the busiest times. Service was quick and the bartenders learn what you are drinking quickly. I don't think we ever had an empty glass. They have a live band most nights around 9:30 with a quiet Dj afterwards. They also did a big beach party with buffet one evening. The one thing we noticed was, regardless of band or Dj, everyone seemed to play the same list of about 20 songs. And most of those songs were pretty old "Play that funky music" has been stuck in my head since getting back! It would be nice if they changed things up a bit. It also died down quite early for an Adults only resort. By 10:30 the bar was fairly empty and pretty quiet. Maybe we were there on a quieter week?! We wished there was a lobby bar or somewhere else to go at night and that some different music was played occasionally. We went to the Piccadilly theatre 3 times and saw some ok shows. The best shows were the Mayan ritual one done by an external company and performed on the beach as well as the fire show. They also set up the Super Bowl in the theatre with a buffet and the game playing on the big screen with Spanish announcers which was fun!
All things considered, we had a lovely time. The resort was perfect for what we wanted on this vacation. The grounds were incredibly lush, the service was top notch and the smaller size lent to the resort feeling more intimate. It is a very popular resort for weddings - and from what we heard, the spa and wedding coordinators did an excellent job! With the smaller size of the resort, it seemed to enable wedding groups to interact with each other a lot and make their own fun as a group, which I think was a nice touch to their vacations.
We would consider coming back and would recommend to friends looking for R&R and good AI food...as long as the beach views would not bother them. We do like to try different resorts, but this one was so great we might be back sooner vs later. I understand why there are so many repeat guests. Thanks to all the staff for making our vacation so wonderful!
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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