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“We could not have asked for anything more !”

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El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 6 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed November 30, 2010

We stayed at this all inclusive, adult resort 11/19-25/10 and found it to be exactly what we have been looking for over the past twelve years of vacation travel.

The resort had, we felt, the best beach we have been to in our travels, it was pristine, and well maintained daily, with constant daily butler service, lounge chairs, umbrellas and king size beach beds. The grounds were beautiful and well maintained. The entire staff were very friendly, outgoing and could not seem to do enough for you, The resturants food was excellent with regular theme nights and attentive waiters. There was nightly entertainment in Vic's bar, as well as wide screen sports, music videos and music. The Spa had Beach Massage huts were right next to a full service marina were you could go deep sea fishing, sailing, paragliding, snorkel trips or evening cruises with Dinner on the beach.

The room accomodations were excellant and maintained daily. If you like a peaceful, quiet and relaxing place for a vacation you can not go wrong with this resort. We are going back this coming March and wish it were sooner !!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Osure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed November 30, 2010

We arrived at the El Dorado Maroma on November 12th to a small reception area and were immediately greeted with a cool cloth and smiles. We were approached by Katriana. (spelling?) With a huge, genuine smile, Katriana welcomed us and upgraded us to a honeymoon suite. It was four flights up and every step was worth it. We were then introduced to Paola who helped us throughout our stay. Thanks Paola, you were great. You worked us hard and were kind even when we declined. Good job, it was nice chatting with you and thanks for the wonderful treats you brought us on the beach most days.
The room was not ready so we had about an hour to explore. We had a bite at the bbq lunch and took a stroll through the grounds. The staff found us when the room was ready and we walked into a large, impressive room, with a spectacular view. More was not necessary for us. The deck was fantastic, we enjoyed the outdoor bed and table for cards. The bathroom was generous in size with a spacious indoor shower and a fabulous outdoor shower. We absolutely loved showering outside. Eladio cleaned our room each day and left us fabulous towel art. The collection at the end of the week was great. Thanks for a job well done Eladio, we truly appreciated it.
We changed and ventured onto the bech for a bit and then got ready for supper. We are early risers so dinners for us were early and the restaurants were empty. We loved this as we were able to chat with all the wonderful staff who served us.
From the first dinner to the last it was spectacular food and service. We tried dishes we might not have normally and enjoyed the combinations. We experienced beyond perfect service at all the restaurants but our favorite was enjoying Gaby's smile at the italian restaurant. Gaby's kind and caring and we enjoyed getting to know her. Thanks for the great service and smiles, Gaby.
We met Luis on his sixth day of being the Japanese cook. Good luck Luis, you did great. He performed for only the two of us which was very kind of him.
We do believe in tipping for service and it was fun being generous to these hard working people. They work very hard for their money and a small thanks for their service seemed the right thing to do. We found everyone bent over backwards to be pleasant and help us. We also didn't see them give less service for the many that did not tip. It was just an extra skip in their step and maybe a more genuine smile that was the difference and we knew it was the right thing to do.
Each day we found a spot on the beach and enjoyed the 6am coffee and lots of walks. The shallow water does go on forever and is different. Agustin looked after us each day on the beach, we could not have asked for better service. We enjoyed getting to know you Agustin and wish you the best.
It was great meeting new friends on the beach, we enjoyed chatting throughout the week.
We would like to thank Daniel for working so diligently on Juan's shoulder. We enjoyed the sunrise massage over the water. It was a little rushed but wonderful none the less.
Walks were nice and there is an interesting driftwood art area a ways up the beach. Not sure who made it but there is a sailboat anchored nearby.
Breakfast at either restaurant was great. We pretty much stay with fruit and yogurt but the omlets did look good. Lunches were a new theme each day or the regular menu at the poolside restaurant. Both were great.
The Marina beside the hotel was busy but not that noisy and is nice for any excursions you might take. Or walking the docks and sneaking a peek at someone's sailfish catch of the day.
We truly enjoyed ourselves at this resort. We were looking for a very quiet, romantic, quality resort and the El Dorado Maroma exceeded our expectations.
If this level of servicve is not enough for someone, we would have to question your expectations. For us, we appreciateed the atmosphere the resort is working on creating while respecting they are a business as well.
So a bag thanks to all who were kind and went out of their way to accomodate us. We will return again without a doubt.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank funfishinandsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2010

The El Dorado Maroma is a spectacular resort on a more spectacular beach with the best staff that we have ever encountered. Our room ( a honeymoon suite on the 5th floor ) was one of the most beautiful rooms that we have ever stayed in. The resort is rather small - 72 rooms - so if you are looking for a relaxing vacation on a fabulous beach with gourmet food, immaculate rooms, and the most amazing staff ever - without the loud crowd - this is the resort for you. The spa is wonderful - the beach massages are excellent and the beachfront dinner is "out of this world". Rick's Bar had some great entertainment nightly. During the day, if you wanted to enjoy beach or pool games they were available, but no one was ever intrusive. By far ....the best, most relaxing vacation we have ever had. Can't wait to go back to "Paradise".

  • Stayed: October 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank wilson1179
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2010

This is my 3rd visit to this resort this year. We love to travel, and we have stayed at many resorts along the Mayan Riviera. We always choose resorts with ratings of 5 or higher as this is our preference. This resort, in our opinion, deserves ratings in the diamond range. Why do we come back to this resort? This resort is by far the best boutique resort I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. A true vacation is one where every need is met, every concern is acknowledged and repaired, a place where you can truly relax without being overwhelmed with crowds, a place where the food is delicious and served with pride. The staff at this resort are remarkable. They go beyond the call of duty to ensure that you are having the best time possible. The resort itself is absolutely beautiful and the beach is amazing. There are not a lot of places where you can snorkle without having to leave the resort. I just don't have enough words to express how wonderful our vacations have been there except to say that we are going back, yet again in 2010, for a fourth time to celebrate Christmas and New Year's at this resort, and why wouldn't we? This is our second "home" after all, with the staff members becoming more like our "family".

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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3  Thank NeikaAlbertaCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2010

This resort is in a great location and has a beautiful beach. However, we had several problems and I would not recommend going there, especially to get married.

My husband and I were there at the beginning of November and had a group of 16 guests with us for our wedding. During the specific weekend we were there, there were also two other wedding parties that were larger. To say the resort could not handle that many people would be an understatement. There was a ton of confusion about the rooms – we lost our infinity pool suite that we had booked and ended up in what they said was an “upgraded” honeymoon suite, which turned out to be the same room and balcony, but with chairs where the infinity pool should have been. I don’t see how this was an upgrade, but we preferred to be at the main pools with our friends and family anyway, so it didn’t matter too much. The good part of the room confusion was that several of our guests ended up getting bumped from Mi Hotelito rooms to the newer, bigger ones. (My husband and I did see the Mi Hotelito rooms because they originally put us in one when they didn’t have the Infinity pool suite, and it was cute, but much smaller than the other rooms).

The worst part of the experience was that my brother and his fiancée were robbed the first day they were there. We filed a report and an investigation was started, but nothing came of it. Two guests had prescription medication stolen – I understand locking up your passports and wallets, but really? Who knew Allegra and Zanax would have to be kept in the safe.

The rooms were not clean enough and I had to call several times for housekeeping to come back and clean sand off the floor that had been there for days, as well as dead bugs. One night, we came back to find tons of tiny little fruit fly-type bugs dead all over the place, including on our bed. It looked like they had sprayed for bugs, but not cleaned up – it was incredibly gross. I don’t think the bathroom was cleaned once while we were there. Dishes from room service could sit in the rooms and outside the rooms for days. One of my friends who was on the top floor got so sick of the dirty dishes that she barricaded the top of the stairs with them so that the housekeeping staff would have to clean them up. Even though we were the bride and groom, we only got room decorations (towel animals and flower petals) one night… also not a big deal, but weird because some of our friends got them every night, along with chocolates, which we never got. The minibar was only restocked a few times. About half our guests had Jacuzzis that didn’t work. I went to my friend’s room for a Jacuzzi and it was very nice – it’s just luck of the draw if yours works or not. The bathrobes, towels and slippers were soft and nice.

I was very happy with the food, when they got my order right. At the beginning of the week when my husband, brother-in-law and sister-in-law and I first got to the resort, we didn’t have problems getting food or getting a table at the restaurants, but as the week went on and the resort filled up, mealtime became almost impossible. If you had 4 people or more with you, none of the restaurants could accommodate you without waiting at least an hour. Once you were seated, it could take 30 minutes before you’d even see your appetizer – and the food never came out all together. The biggest issues I had with the service was that 1) my friend is pregnant and even when we asked for just a glass of water, it would take WAY too long and we’d have to ask several people many different times before anything would happen; and 2) one of my friends has a few common food allergies and would order special food – but they would always bring him the wrong thing anyway before getting it right – without fail, it happened EVERY time! I also wouldn’t bother with the special theme nights at Sabores that you book with the concierge– we went to the Maya night and were promised a mariachi band and the chance to take a picture with a “real, live Mayan,” but neither was there.

The room service also took a really long time and we’d often get the wrong orders. On the day of my wedding, I ordered lunch to my room while I was getting ready, and it took almost 2 hours to get there! Every time I called to ask, they told me the kitchens were all very busy and they were serving the people in the restaurants… what was I supposed to do, have my hair done in Sabores just so I didn’t have to walk down the aisle with my stomach growling? The bottle of champagne we ordered came 3.5 hours late – they were literally bringing it to me as my friends and I were leaving my room to go to the ceremony.

The ceremony itself was very nice and we were all happy with how it turned out. The decorations looked great, and the service was sweet. The wedding planner was doing another wedding at a different resort in the morning and I didn’t see her to get the flowers until a few hours before the ceremony, but it came together really well and she was very nice and helpful. I heard we almost didn’t have music though, and my brother-in-law had to go with his laptop and cables and hook things up at the last minute – so brides, make sure that’s double checked beforehand. The dinner reception was also very nice – the service was great, everyone got the right food, the timing was good and the meal was delicious. The only glitch was that we had been told my husband would have his own room in which to get ready on the day of the wedding, but then they told us the day of the wedding that the resort was too full and he’d be on his own to find a place to get ready. Luckily, one of his bachelor friends opened up his room and my husband got ready there.

Another problem was that there was constant confusion between my husband and myself, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law (who have the same last name as us). They would get phone calls to their room constantly asking about details for the wedding ceremony or the reception, and every time they would tell the caller that it was the wrong room and they were not the bride and groom. I can see how this would happen maybe once, but it was several times. You would think the staff would be used to having more than one room with the same last name, especially with weddings when families are there.

We had a sky massage, which was great. I’d definitely recommend it. The ladies in my group all got manicures or pedicures, and everyone was pleased with the service. I also did the yoga several days and really enjoyed it. We did the Jet Ski snorkel excursion, but the water was pretty rough thanks to some post-hurricane season winds and the cenote was so cloudy that you couldn’t even see any fish... don't bother with that if the water is rough at all. We had a candle-lit dinner on the beach, and it was very romantic and nice.

The weird thing is that each individual staff member was nice and courteous, including at the restaurants. I think the overall problem the resort has is with internal communication – you approach someone with a problem, they get on their walkie talkies, report the problem, and move on… and nothing happens… so you approach someone else and the cycle repeats. One time my key card stopped working and I was locked out for 20 minutes, trying to ask anyone who walked by if they could send someone up to open the door and give me a new card, and it wasn’t until one of my friends physically followed someone around and wouldn’t leave until the problem was resolved that I got into my room.

When the resort was empty in the middle of the week, we enjoyed ourselves. As it filled up though, it became apparent that the staff was really stuggling to stay on top of everything, and unfortunately we had several problems - enough that we are not going to go back.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank browniecurls
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 24, 2010

Paying for upgraded swim up suites and not being able to utilize the patio ruins this trip. Our evenings of trying to relax on our private patio were totally ruined by the smokers in suite 301. Smokers dominate the 24 hour bar in the evenings which is the only setting while waiting for dinner. EDM is fantasic resort, if your allergic to cigarette smoke or simply can not tolerate it stay away.
Wine list very limited for a California preference.
Pool water cold.
Service and staff are excellent.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Thank Puretexsun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 21, 2010

After spending nearly 2 weeks reviewing the various Cancun and Playa Del Carmen hotels on TripAdvisor, my boyfriend and I decided on the El Dorado Maroma after balancing (1) the reviews; (2) cost; (3) amenities; and (4) location.

PROS:
(a) Great beach. The beach is very clean, and the workers rake it and the inlet numerous times each day for seaweed. The beach is very important to me, so this is a huge factor in my rating.

(b) Beach amenities. There were always chairs, beach beds, and beach towels available. Again, because of the importance of the beach to me, this is a huge factor in my rating.

(c) Waitstaff. Generally, the waitstaff were wonderful and attentive. Only on a few occasions did it take a long time to get a drink, and only on one occasion did the waiter entirely forget. (And yes, we did tip -- more on that below.)

(d) Room service. The fact that you can get room service at any time of the day or night is a huge plus and great amenity.

CONS:
(a) Explorer Club. This is the Karisma group's version of a timeshare. We were convinced by our personal concierge to sit in on this presentation. We were told it was only 30 minutes. When we got to the presentation, we were told it was 1.5 hours. Granted, we are adults and should at that time said "no thank you" and left. However, we felt bad and stayed. Big mistake. First, in my opinion, there is very little benefit to this club and would take you years before you broke even. (I am happy to discuss specifics with anyone but do not want to take up space here, as this topic itself could be a post.) Second, the sales associate who gave us the presentation wouldn't directly answer any question. We had to repeat each question 3 or 4 times before he would give us a somewhat straight-forward answer.

(b) Reservation Process. We reserved through the Karisma website rather than through a travel agent or travel website. We found that the best deal was through Karisma. While it was fairly easy to reserve and pay, it was not so easy to receive any type of meaningful confirmation or check-in information. See (c) below for comments concerning check-in, an ordeal that could have been avoided had we received any meaningful information.

(c) Check-in. We arrived at the hotel after taking a red-eye around noon and were told that our room would not be ready until 3 pm. We have previously never had a problem checking into a hotel early. Perhaps this is something we should have confirmed beforehand, but did not think it would be a problem at a resort of this "caliber" and particularly when we were going in the slow-season. In fact, many rooms were empty during our stay. We ate lunch, took a nap on the beach, and then went back to reception at 3 pm. At that time, we were told that our room was still not ready and could we please wait another 15-20 minutes? That was quite annoying as we were very jet-lagged and ready to settle in. It would be helpful if check-in time was confirmed at the time of booking, or better yet if the information was available on the website.

(d) Check-out. The check-out process was equally as annoying. First, as we were carrying our bags as we were leaving our room, an associate approached us and asked if we needed help. We politely but firmly told her no -- that we would prefer to take our own bags. I had to run back to the room and left my boyfriend alone for 2 minutes when the bell captain came and grabbed the bags. The sales associate had radioed him. Again, perhaps it is our fault for not being more insistent. However, I found it annoying that we would have to say this more than once. Perhaps the associate was trying to be helpful, but we prefer that our requests were honored instead.

The check-out process itself took some time. We are used to either e-check-out (where you can do it from your room), or where you receive itemized charges the morning of, review it, and then check-out quickly at the front desk. Here, you do not receive an itemization until you check-out. Moreover, the itemization was in Spanish. I understand that we were in a Spanish-speaking country. However, with so many English-speaking guests, it would have been helpful to not only have the itemization before-hand but also in English. Also, it would have been helpful to have the itemization in dollars. Again, this would normally not be a complaint, but everything we purchased was provided to us in dollars -- the cost of the stay, the excursions, the spa. To suddenly present us the final bill in pesos was a bit disconcerting.

(d) Repairs. The only issue we had while at the hotel was that our porch light would not come on. We called and spoke to reception on two separate occasions on two separate days. It was not fixed. It was not until the third complaint that this issue was resolved.

(e) Wake-up calls. We asked for wake-up calls on each day we did an excursion. On each of these days the wake-up calls were 10-15 minutes late. We do not consider this to be on-time.

(f) Internet. You are changed $70 for a week of internet. Again, for a resort of this caliber we were disappointed that the resort would charge at all for internet.

NEUTRALS:

(a) Food. I know people rave about the food here, but in my opinion it was only so-so. Certain dishes were fairly good. Others were not good at all, including dishes made of beef, which I thought was of lower quality. Remember though that this is a matter of personal preference.

(b) Drinks. Like their food, some of the drinks were really good and others not good at all. I recommend their simple mixed drinks (rum+coke, bloody marys) but not their tropical drinks (pina colada, mojito), which I thought were way too sweet. Again, though this is a matter of personal preference.

(c) Lomas Travel. FYI, Lomas Travel is owned by the same family that owns the Karisma hotels. We booked a couple of excursions through Lomas. The first excursion was great. The second excursion was only so-so to downright not good. Be aware though that Lomas does not run their own excursions (at least not those we went on). They act as a travel agent. I later found out that for at least one of our tours, had we booked it on our own, it would have cost less. I supposed you pay for the service and convenience of a travel agent; however, I would recommend to others that (i) you book your own excursions through the internet; or (ii) rent a car from the airport (which is cheaper than the cost of 2 roundtrip airport transfers) and do the excursions yourself. For instance, an excursion to Coba is over $100, even though a ticket is $5. If you want a guide, you can hire one there for around $25.

(d) Room. We stayed in the basic room. The room was okay. The bed was generally comfortable. The mini-bar stocked each day. The room cleaned well. You don't spend very much time in the room, so I would not recommend the upgrade to an infinity or swim-up suite. When we arrived, I was a little disappointed that we hadn't gotten the swim-up suite (about $100 more per day). However, I soon realized that the pools and beach are so close that the swim-up suite is not worth it. What would make the room better is a flat screen tv and a chest of drawers. There were not drawers in our room.

TIPS:
This is supposedly an all-inclusive resort. However, you will soon learn that if you don't tip your food/drinks will come slower. You have to tip. We generally tipped $5 after each meal and $1 per drink. Just remember, if it were truly an all-inclusive resort, the staff would be directed not to accept ANY tips. There are resorts such as this.

Overall, we would recommend this to a friend but with the review above. It is a nice resort, and we feel like we generally got our money's worth in comparison to other hotels we've stayed at.

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank vandyalum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum Km 55.3, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Spa Resorts, by Karisma)
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $404 - $1,135 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma 5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on one of Travel Channels Top Ten Beaches in the World, El Dorado Maroma is an upscale, exclusive Caribbean resort for romantic couples and active vacationers alike. Intimate and beachfront. Rustic and luxurious at the same time. the hotel provides outstanding services and gourmet cuisine. Receive personalized butler and concierge service, arrive with style with a champagne check in. It is rustic, because it is not pretentious and was built using traditional materials and with the philosophy of embracing the bounty of the nature and the local environment. It lies directly on the beach of Maroma, considered to be one of the best beaches in the world by independent reviewers, including the Discovery Channel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
El Dorado Maroma Hotel
El Dorado Maroma Resort

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