We had a week in a Casita at the start of March, just my wife and I.
We had a lovely holiday in a very nice room, just a hop from a pool and swim up bar.
Food was generally of a good standard at all restaurants, with the notable exception of dinner at La Isla; which conversely is the best place for breakfast.
If you're European you may find the cocktails a disappointment; the juices used in them are not fresh and give them an artificial taste. I travel to the US and Canada regularly and I have always noticed that fresh ingredients only ever seem to be used in high end cocktail bars at great expense. This is not always so in the UK or Europe, so we found many of the cocktails you would have during the day poor. Evening mojito's martinis and straight forward rum and coke style drinks were fine. The house (inclusive) wine was a perfectly drinkable chilean Chardonnay and the house "champagne" (mexican cava) is pleasant too. The beer is decent and very refreshing; they keep it cool and go through it quickly so it was rarely flat or dull.
There are a few things (other than cheap cocktails) that show this resort lacks the real class which it would need to truly be 5 star, whilst putting on a decent facade that fools most guests.
While enjoying your holiday you will be dealt a continuous sales pitch, but it is all done in a rather vulgar way not befitting 5 star service and style. A message from your "Casita personal concierge" for example promising a free gift; turning out to be a perfume sample, a T shirt and an undignified attempt to send you to a time share presentation in exchange for 50, no wait $100 off your final bill. Then there are the constant reminders for non Casita guests that they are not Casita guests with long restaurant waiting times and lack of sun loungers, people trying to sell beach massages not understanding what "No" means, a woman with a monkey for photo sales, and the most vulgar thing of all; a camera being shoved in your wifes face as you try to enjoy a nice civilised dinner together and another sales push.
I understand people need to work and make money but there are more subtle ways of selling these services and most importantly no guest should ever have to say NO more than once.
I may sound harsh but I only go into so much detail because the hotel seems to have a very high opinion of itself, and promotes a super high class image which in reality is fairly thin.
In reality it is a beautiful 4 star resort with excellent standards of service, plenty of dining options, and superb facilities to both lounge and get busy. The only real complaint I could have that isn't nit picking would be the "shuttle" service for Casita guests. It is woefully inadequate because it will only drop you at the main lobby, which isn't much good for the main entertainment bars and 3 of the restaurants.
The staff are some of the best we've come across on our holidays, the only place we could think of that was better is the Iberostar Varadero in Cuba. Gardeners work constantly to keep the grounds a spotless lush tropical landscape. Maid service is efficient and thorough with some intricate towel sculptures thrown in if you leave a dollar for the maid each day. Despite being busy, bar service is quick and friendly with plenty of staff on hand to make sure you aren't hanging around for ages; if you've been on All Inclusives to certain parts of Antigua and Barbados you'll really appreciate this. All but a couple of our waiters at the restaurants were friendly and efficient and deserving of their tips. The reception staff and concierges (when they stop selling their time shares!) are excellent and work as quickly as the guests who accost them will allow!
Wrt Casitas; we felt it was worth the upgrade purely because the extra lounging and beach bed facilities make for a more intimate holiday without the hassle and bustle of fighting around the main pools and beach areas for space. Non-casita guests can use the pools and bars in the Casita blocks, but not the beach beds or loungers. Most don't bother because of the walk, but I would recommend using them if you just want a break from the busy main areas. After about 1pm you will be able to sit at the pool bars there without being directly in the sun.
All in all, a lovely holiday and a very nice resort. We may consider a return, but it's not so spectacular that we would dismiss the idea of trying somewhere else first.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- A Conde Nast Traveler Readers’Top 100 Hotels in the world and a AAA Four Diamond Resort, El Dorado Royale is an adults-only destination that provides the ultimate in service in the ultimate setting.With more than a mile of sandy beach in Mexico's Riviera Maya, El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort, by Karisma offers an escape which no other destination can match. All the luxuries you can dream of, combined with an emphasis on personal attention to your every whim, make this an ideal location for a getaway. Travelers join us from around the world for romantic outdoor beach weddings or ceremonies in our intimate beachfront chapel, relaxing honeymoons, anniversary celebrations, or just much needed time off. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Dorado Royale Hotel Riviera Maya
- El Dorado Royale Mexico
- El Dorado Royale Cancun
- El Dorado Royale Spa Resort
- El Dorado Royale Resort
- Eldorado Royale
- El Dorado Royale, By Karisma Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico