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El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma
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Reviewed December 30, 2010

Let me preface this review by saying that Maroma never actually lost us to begin with. Our initial impressions of the resort were based on our previous stays at its sister resort, El Dorado Casitas Royale, which is a much larger property with more amenities.

We spent nine nights at EDM (Dec 15 - 24) after spending five nights in an infinity swim-up casita at EDR. We knew Maroma was small, but upon arrival, we were a little surprised by the quaintness of the resort. I guess we were just used to the more grand & spacious setting at EDR. But by our second night, we had grown accustomed to the cozy atmosphere. It was nice to be able to walk from the lobby to the beach in about a minute…and slightly longer if you stopped to chat with one of the many friendly staff. The resort was small enough that if you were waiting for some information from the front desk or concierge staff, they would send you on your way so you could go about your day. When they needed to talk to you again, they would simply take a stroll and come find you on the beach, in the restaurant or wherever you were. Despite the cozy confines, we never felt cramped or smothered.

Our Room:
We stayed in a 4th floor infinity pool suite in building #3. It wasn't as nice as our infinity casita at EDR, but was comfortable nonetheless, spacious, and had a spectacular view of the water. Just be aware that there are no elevators in any of the buildings so you pay a price for the view with all of the stair climbing you'll be doing. Just be glad you're not carrying your luggage! (Thanks Enrique!). The flat screen TV was a good size with plenty of movie channels including HBO. The TV also had various connections so you could hook up your camera, iPod, laptop, etc.

Dining:
Three main restaurants (Italian, Japanese, Mexican) which are open for dinner and two restaurants available for breakfast and lunch. During the week, the Mexican restaurant hosts theme nights which features a different cuisine. We enjoyed fresh made-to-order omelettes at Pepitos. The daily lunch/drink specials at Pepitos also provided good variety throughout the week. The paella was especially excellent! Despite there only being three restaurants for dinner, we found the menus offered enough choices so you didn't have to repeat an appy, entree or dessert (unless you wanted to of course). If nothing on the menu interested you, the staff was willing to make you anything you wanted as long as they had the ingredients on hand. We had ordered room service on two separate occasions (one lunch and one dinner) and the quality of the food was just as good as eating in the restaurants. We never waited more than 20 mins. Overall the food and beverages were excellent.

The Beach:
One word...AMAZING! The sand is of the white powder variety, always cool to the touch, and groomed daily. And yes, the beach isn’t 100% natural. You’ll see the staff maintaining eroded sections by pumping in sand from other areas. While this may seem fake to some, it’s also what gives you the picturesque, weed & rock free environment that made wading in the water so pleasurable. We enjoyed walking out 100 meters and still only being in water about waist high. We saw plenty of fish swimming around our ankles, including the occasional ray. We also enjoyed watching the pelicans feeding just meters away from us. Any seaweed that did wash ashore was cleaned up by the staff at least once, if not twice a day. The beach servers were very consistent with checking on your drinks every 20 mins or so. The concierge staff came around once a day with a small snack just before lunch. Daniel from the Spa came around with free 5 min massages almost daily. During our stay there was some construction at the south end of the beach (building a new Presidential section) but it never interfered with our relaxation.

There are plenty of beach chairs to go around, but beds are in limited supply. They are usually taken by the "early risers" who put their towels and other personal belongings out by 6:30 am. While this didn’t affect us, it’s kind of a pet peeve of ours to see the beds reserved but not used until mid to late morning. If this sounds like you, be courteous to your fellow guests and be happy with whatever is available when you finally get to the beach. :)

The Pools:
Both the larger pool by Sabores and the smaller pool in the Mi Hotelito section looked nice enough. The water was cool in both and the Mi Hotelito pool was surrounded by palm trees which provided shading to the seating during the day. We never did use either pool during our stay. With such a beautiful beach, using the pool never crossed our minds.

Activities:
The resort provided beach volleyball, snorkelling, kayak tours, yoga, and other activities you find at similar resorts, but no one ever pressured you into participating. You can be as active or as lazy as you want. With the exception of a couple of beachwear fashion shows, there wasn’t any annoying “oot-oot” club music blasting by the pool or beach. The marina next door was VERY convenient if you wanted to take a water related excursion like snorkelling, wave runners, fishing, scuba, parasailing, etc. There's nothing like waking up, having breakfast, and walking a couple of minutes to begin your excursion. And when your excursion is over, it’s even better to walk a few minutes and be back at your resort. There's a small, air-conditioned gym which had a few pieces of cardio equipment and free weights. Of the five times I used it, there was never more than one other person in there. The resort provided a complimentary shuttle to Playa del Carmen twice a week (reservations required). If you wanted to go any other time, it was only a short $25 (each way) cab ride.

Nightlife:
The entertainment was held in Rick's Bar and featured the typical resort style shows. We took in Karaoke on Tuesday (super fun), the live band on Thursday (a wonderful Cuban trio), and the Michael Jackson show on Friday (also excellent). The majority of the shows ended by 11pm after which most of the audience adjourned to their rooms even though the bar was open till 2am. Even though Rick's Bar is located right in the middle of the resort, we never found it noisy on nights we opted to stay in our room.

The Spa:
Although pricey compared to what you would be charged in Playa del Carmen, the masseuses were fantastic and provided as much or as little pressure as you wanted (thanks Jasmine and Daniel). Our only suggestion is that the spa supply you slippers with your bath robe during your treatment.

Special thanks & kudos go to:
Carmina (our concierge) – Knowledgeable and made us feel at home. Any minor issues we experienced were resolved efficiently and to our satisfaction.
Luis (Lomas Travel Rep) - great service and suggestions on excursions and tours
Diego (Beach Butler) - Made sure our electric lemonades were always topped up and brought us coco locos the moment they became available
Chef Kim (Pepitos) - for making us a special going-away lunch on our last day before we caught the shuttle to the airport...even though the restaurant didn't open for another 1/2 hour!
Kari (Activities) - Muchas gracias for the Latin dancing lessons!
Gabby & Elias (Mio) for the excellent service
Emilio (Rick's Bar) - great drinks, great service!
Israel/Aurelio/Humberto (Pepitos) - great service!
Enrique (Bellman) – Always willing to assist, not just with your luggage.

Oh, and we can’t forget the two servers at Kiyoko (sorry, we missed catching your names) that put on the impromptu Mayan coffee flambé show just for us on our last night.

Our primary goal was rest and relaxation so we didn’t take in everything the resort had to offer. But what we did experience, and have commented on, more than exceeded our expectations. And as with most things in Mexico, things aren't always perfect. However our experience left us with the feeling that the staff truly cared and always did their best to make us happy when things didn't go exactly according to plan. EDM may not be the biggest or grandest resort we have stayed at, but the high level of personalized service provided by staff made all the difference.

We'll definitely be back!

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Xander604
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2010

I was lucky enough to enjoy 7 wonderful days at the El Dorado Maroma. As a travel agent I get the opportunity to visit a wide variety of hotels all over the world and THIS property has topped the list for anything I have been to.
The location is great - the beach is perfect - the resort is the ultimate for relaxation! At first I though 7 days would be too long at a small property but after just 2 days we never wanted to leave the property for even a snorkel tour. We never had enough time to try all the wonderful meal choices and the meals we did have were fabulous!
The service was exceptional - every staff member was friendly and attentive. It was so nice to have someone offer you a drink or another towel while enjoying the shade of a beach bed : )
We were fortunate to have the "honeymoon suite" on the top floor with an incredible view but I also like the look of the Mi Hotelito section...right in front of the Bar "24" and pool.
I cannot wait to return to this property and many thanks to all the staff! Jackie was right - definitely "Maroma Magic" at this property!

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

I recently had a big bithday that wasn't settling well with me, so I wanted to get away and just have a "mexicoma" and that's exactly what I did. My husband and I went down and lied on the beach and did nothing but look at the water, read, and drink fantastic drinks on the beautiful Maroma beach. The beach is wonderfully soft, white powder that feels fabulous on your feet, and the water is gorgeous! Definitley one of the best beaches in Mexico. Maroma beach is also listed on the travel channel's top 10 beaches.
El Dorado Maroma provided great service. We checked in around 2:00 and our room was ready. We had booked a swim up, which was great. However, I will say that although it is just a few steps from the beach it is blocked by all the palm trees, so the infinity pool rooms provide better views.
Meals were great. We didn't like everything we tried, but could always find something we really liked. Room service was great and prompt. The food is definitely gourmet.
One rainy evening we borrowed a movie for our room, and they brought us popcorn to our room.
Beach service was fantastic, and we didn't tip. (we usually tip at the end of our stay because we dont' want to carry around money-the point of AI).
We had a couples massage in the sky massage and it was fantastic! Listening to the ocean and the views while you're getting massaged is wonderful! I thought the prices were way too high, but we did it anyway.
During our stay, they found us at one of the shows and told us they were upgrading us to the Presidential suite! It was the best place I have stayed in, and being a travel agent, i have stayed in a lot of places! You really couldn't ask for more. There were 4 patios, full kitchen, living area, bedroom and fully stocked bar, and my favorite, 4 types of Haagen Dazas ice cream. Yummy! It was really Unbelievable!
Overall, I thought this was a wonderful vacation. Now, it is a smaller boutique hotel without all the loud activities of many of the resorts, so know and understand what you are getting before booking this vacation. (this is where travel agents help their clients instead of using those online bookings, where you are picking without knowledge). If you are looking for a relaxing, full servcie all inclusive vacation with spectacular beach views, give El Dorado Maroma a try!

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

Greetings of "Welcome Home" was the start of our stay. We cannot add anything more positive that what previous reviews have stated, however, this resort went over the top for the Holiday. Food, drinks, housekeeping, music, the entire staff and Santa. I don't want to spoil it but look at some of the photos submitted.

This was a magical christmas. The kind that you had when you were a child. El Dorado Maroma made it happen and they do it year round.

Peace & Health

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KeyWestMind
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 23, 2010

Our 6 days at El Dorado Maroma were magnifico! This small, boutique little gem has grounds that are gorgeous and clean, beach is awesome and right there, steps away from your room. The swim-up suites are wonderful. Swim-up bars are fun. The staff is genuinely kind and everyone goes out of their way to serve with a smile (and a "welcome home" hug when you arrive!) All inclusive eat/drink with excellent gourmet meals served with empecable service. We did a couples massage, I had other spa services, and the concierge Carmina offered and arranged several special events, including theme dinners and a candlelight dinner on the beach. This vacation was a like a dream for us... we wanted for nothing the whole time we were there....we'd love to go back! Thank you all so much, especially Carmina, Cesar, Kary, Perla, Teofila, Daniel (and his magic hands), the rest of the spa staff, Enrique, Luis, Nick, Jacqueline, and Antonio. We enjoyed getting to know you all!
The Putnams

  • Stayed: December 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Patricia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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