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El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma
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Reviewed July 18, 2013

We initially booked to stay at the Royale, but knew that we were going to upgrade to Casitas on arrival. This was a bit of a gamble as they only had three rooms left, but we managed to get one and at a cheaper rate than if we had booked in advance.

We were in block 30 which was located right in front of the spa building and internet room, between Kampai and the Italian and close to the casitas reception. Ideal for everything really. Our block had a massive hot tub beside the pool which was great – I don’t think the other blocks have that. I would recommend this one.

Our room was on the upper level with nice big vaulted ceilings. It was lovely and spacious with huge big bed, a dining table and chairs, a massive bath and shower in the bathroom, and another massive Jacuzzi in the corner of the bedroom. You could almost swim in the tubs ha. The outdoor shower was amazing – so glad we had that. There was a daybed on the balcony.

We found the servicing of our room to be a bit off at times even though we tipped. We only had towel art once, no decorated baths with candles etc, which was disappointing as we received lots of this at El Dorado Seaside Suites yet we paid way way more to stay here. Some days we came back and there were no towels in the bathroom at all. On a couple of occasions we had no water whatsoever. But a quick phonecall to reception had this sorted within 5 minutes. Its not a deal breaker, but for these prices you expect better. The girls in our concierge were lovely, if you needed anything they would sort it, and there was no sales pressure.

The buggys which run around the resort are great. They run very frequently so you never have to wait long, and the guys are really friendly and chatty. Geoffrey was such a lovely guy. You might think you wont use them, but trust me if your room is located at the far end, you will. This resort is at least a mile long, and in that heat it feels longer. The buggys stop at 11pm, so be prepared to walk back to the Casitas if you stay out late.

We had breakfast at Kampai every morning, and the staff there were amazing. Peter was hilarious, and would always come out with my favourite juice just as we were being seated. You never had to ask for a top up of coffee or juice etc as they just kept it coming. The most relaxing holiday breakfast set-up we have ever experienced.

Our favourite restaurants for lunch were JoJo’s and La Isla as they were open air. Kampai was nice for lunch too but we preferred to be outside. For dinner our favourites were Kampai (amazing food here) and the Casitas Italian, then La Isla and JoJo’s. We thought Cocotal was ok but nothing exciting. We were really disappointed with the Mexican restaurant which was a shame as we had been looking forward to this as the Mexican at El Dorado Seaside was so good. Perhaps it was just an off night. We never made it to Fuentes but most people we spoke to loved it. Staying in the Casitas allows you to make dinner reservations whereas the other resort guests cant. They are currently building a steakhouse close to the Casitas Italian, so that will be a great addition.

The best thing about the Casitas is not having to fight for a sun bed. (The beach and pools at the Royale were horrendously busy). At Casitas you could always find a bed available either on the beach or by the pool. It never felt crowded, the beach especially felt lovely and private, and it was so blissfully quiet. It’s worth paying for the upgrade for this alone. There were beach butlers who would bring round bottles of water and ice creams and popsicles, and they were lovely guys.

In our block there was a good mix of Americans and British, and at 4pm also known as drink o’clock everyone would head to the pool bar and socialise for a few hours before sun down. It never got rowdy, just fun. We met some really lovely people there.

At the Casitas reception you can change larger Mexican notes for 20’s for tipping. Staff dont look to be tipped but definitely appreciate it, and they work so hard that they deserve to be tipped.

All in all I have to say this is definitely the best holiday we have had, and we have travelled to numerous Caribbean and Indian Ocean destinations. I would highly recommend it. Wish I was there right now.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank JoLoAberdeen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2013

This resort was five stars all the way!!! The service was amazing, the drinks were plentiful and the food was fantastic!!!! A perfect place for a romantic getaway! There are plenty of cabanas, pools, and sunchairs for everyone, never needing to worry about getting up early to save one. There's privacy if you decide to spend time alone as a couple and lots of great main pools and bars if you want to meet other couples.we had such an amazing time on the resort that we never left it all week. We stayed in a casita swim up with an ocean view, it was beautiful, my favorite part was the outdoor shower. Next time we wouldn't get a swim up because we never used it. We enjoyed being around the action and opted for spending our time at the main pool and swim up bar. Our favorite restaurant was kan pai ( the Asian restaurant) the sushi was so good we ate there most nights. We also enjoyed the Italian restaurant on the casita side , they had a great fillet. Our favorite bar was the one on the beach on the casita side. Miguel the bartender went out of his way each night to make our experience great. He would come to his shift with two martini glasses in hand just to make sure he had one for when I requested my dirty martini. We made sure to take care of all the members of staff that provided great service to us and we brought two hundred in singles to make sure we always had cash to tip. The workers otherwise only make 5 dollars a day so they appreciate but never expect a tip. The only negative experience was at the martini bar which was in the main lobby, the bartender and waitress were rude to us both times we were there... They made fun of us in Spanish thinking we didn't understand what they were saying, needless to say we didn't tip them, we didn't go back there and we did leave a complaint about them..overall, they still earn five stars, we are planning to go back possibly in April ..

  • Stayed: June 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
3  Thank Lora B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Stayed for 5 nights with the fiance. We were happy we stayed on the casitas side. Was more like your own little hut than a hotel room. We took the swim up well worth it. Loved the outdoor shower! Food was served in small portians so order more than one plate at any restaurant. Beach was beautiful but unswimmable due to hurricane :( still would go back based on room privacy pools hot tubs spa service and beautiful walks. A wonderful resort.

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank GinaBaron
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

This was the first time either my husband and I stayed a resort like this, and it blew our minds. The level of service is outstanding, and the food was amazing. Can't say much about the cost/value, since the honeymoon was a gift from our relatives, but we certainly felt more pampered than we ever had in our lives. We are recommending everyone we know to come here at some point! We would definitely come again, and would like to bring some friends with us next time. Almost everyone we met was on a honeymoon or celebrating an anniversary.
We started out with a 2nd floor casita, which was amazing. The balcony was surrounded by palm trees, and what it lacked in view it made up in privacy (and on a honeymoon, isn't that a priority? ;) However, we were offered a free upgrade to a standalone casita (for going to the membership sales presentation), and unfortunately we didn't like it as much as our first room. The layout was awkward (tiny bathroom, and lots of empty space in the rest of the room), and it was right on the main path, which would have been nice if we wanted to go out more, but we really did spend more than half the vacation in our room. We ended up switching back to a different 2nd floor room which wasn't as great as the first one, but still better for us than the standalone. Moral of the story is, choose your room location according to your own vacation priorities!
We did three excursions: Chichen Itza, scuba diving, and zip-lining. All were great to do once, and we would definitely go diving again. We were both beginners, and the instructor was incredibly patient and helped us both to get over some significant fear. If you want to spend a decent amount of time at Chichen Itza, stay somewhere else, because the resort is 3 hours away, and the tour guide has to rush you through in order to get you back on time.
Again, the level of service was amazing, every employee does an incredible of job of making you feel comfortable and happy. I only wish I spoke even some basic Spanish, because most employees only know enough English to that is absolutely vital to there jobs. For example, when we checked out the concierge had a hard time explaining the breakdown of our costs, which caused a lot of unnecessary confusion. However, that was probably the worst case of of the language barrier we experienced.

Room Tip: Upper floor rooms have the most privacy, even compared to the standalone casitas. 1st floor and standalone rooms are better if you want easy access to pools, beach, restaurants, etc.
  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
2  Thank violet999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2013

We stayed in the oceanfront individual casitas for a week in the beginning of July and it was absolutely amazing. Not only was the resort spectacular but the food and drinks were really good with a lot to choose from. Our concierges, Gaby and Christian, helped us out with anything that we needed and the customer service was excellent. We loved everything about the resort and we were so happy that we decided to come here for our honeymoon. We cannot wait to go back to visit soon!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Leah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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