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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
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Reviews (11,322)
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Reviewed January 21, 2013

This is a lovely hotel. Staff and food are wonderful. Loved El Ricon's food the best and manager Daniel couldn't have gone out of his way for us more; without us asking for anything! Alfredo was wonderful too. Kampai was also very nice and open for all 3 meals. The brunch at Cocotal is amazing. Our room had not been upgraded yet, but it was fine, although lighting is poor in the bathroom. The grounds are amazing. Beach is rocky/coral in some area so you should bring waterproof shoes. Yeah, lots of carts driving around but who cares; watch where you're going or grab one to your next destination. This is a big complex between the casitas and the royale side. We enjoyed walking everywhere and exploring it. I have nothing bad to say, just some constructive criticism. Pools on the royale side were always quite crowded and you could always rely on rude people to "save" loungers or beds from the crack of dawn all thru the day even when not using. Would have been nice to be able to use the pools and beach on the casita side as they were always empty :( They could use some extra staff on the beach and do better at cleaning up the debris each day. I didn't care for the hard sell on joining the exotic club you get from the concierge either. This is my 2nd visit to an El Dorado resort and I would definitely go back and reccommend them.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank SusyBearWI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

Overall this resort was very nice. They had several resturants to chose from but they give you super small portions. The entertainment staff was great. Luiz, Daniel & Manuel made the experience that much more enjoyable. Since we went in January the water was a bit cool. The activities pool was super cold but had a great swim up bar. The alcohol choices are great as well. The maid service was great and every day we came home we had special towel animals to great us. They also have food 24/7. Several of us found we were having 2 dinners due to small food portions. But hey - it's vacation!! They are very environmental friendly also. New AC units and they grow their own produce on site.

Room Tip: This resort is spread out and has 2 different sections. "The Villas" and "Kasitas". Kasitas is the fancy side. To walk from one end of this resort to the other will take you 40 minutes. They have shuttles that go all day so it's helpful to get around to places.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank kcook1226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

I feel bad for people that got food poisoning, and that couldn't get a sunbed. This was not my experience, although my tummy always gets weird when I go abroad, but no vomiting or diarrheoa, and the food was great. We were warned on the coach not to drink tap water at all, which was fine as there was plenty of bottled water supplied.

So how would I summarise my holiday? Paradise.

ROOM
The room was great - we asked for ground floor and got a room very close to the beach and main pool, which had a pool right outside the balcony. The room had a faint odour (as previous reviews have mentioned, albeit more negatively) which was slightly dampish, but not unpleasant and I put it down to it being a foreign country with different plumbing systems. The room was very big with huge TV, free minibar, huge shower, huge jacuzzi. The toilet has frosted door so we used a beachtowel on the door for modesty

BEACH
The beach was beautiful. The artificial reefs look like smoothed rocks and because of them, you can snorkel and see hundreds of fish which gather around them. Our neighbour saw a barricuda! A lovely lady called Isobel did the rounds, collecting drinks orders and delivering them to our sunbed, by the beach or pool. Beers, pina colada's etc. We were up very early, thanks to our bodyclocks, and saw the 6:10am sunrise each morning, on a deserted beach. Then we had our beds for the day.

FOOD
Breakfast at Cocatal was amazing. Extensive menu, beautiful food, Bloody Marys and Mimosa'a available. Never got bored (we were there for a week). The waiter called Eduardo really spoiled us - for example folding our napkins again each time we returned to the buffet!
Lunches and diners were amazing. Our least favourite was the Italian at the Casitas. It was okay but overrich and the atmosphere was stuffy. The wait was ridiculous too. The other Italian was better and my partner had the best filet mignon he'd had in years. WARNING - they overcook meat so ask for rare if you like medium rare.
Kampai oriental was amazing for lunch and for dinner. Loved the octopus ceviche. Sushi was decent but no chopsticks!
Jo Jo's on the beach was great - cold seafood buffet appetisers and a 3 or 4 course great menu. We particularly liked the waiter Samuel there.
La Islas was decent - went there when we were less organised and didn't have time to wait for a place. Because we had come from GMT timezone, we were okay with going out to eat at 6pm. The couple of times we went out later there were long waits - 45 mins to an hour and a half so it makes sense to bear that in mind.

TIPPING
Beforehand I read all sorts about what to do about tipping - some people saying that they shouldn't have to tip at all inclusive or even that they couldn't afford it. We took about £150 for tipping. We tipped generously. Not because we wanted to pay for better service, but because the staff are on very low wages and work very, very hard. They have great attiutude and really make the holiday. A waiter gets about a dollar an hour (US dollar). Leaving a 50-100 peso tip (around £5) for a fabulous dinner seems a little price to pay to show appreciation. I figured that if we can afford a holiday like that we can afford to be generous with the tips. It makes me feel better to know that some of the tourist money coming to the area can go straight into the pockets of the locals rather than the hotel chain. We are well below average UK earnings by the way. Affordability is relative.

WONDERFUL STAFF
I can't remember all of the staff's names but Isobel, Eduardo and Samuel (mentioned above) were great and Gregorio, Humberto, Martin were all great. All the staff were great, but those names stood out. Also, the omelette man at breakfast - I tipped him, but don't think he gets tipped very often, but there he stands for 5 hours making omelettes to order, smiling away.

DOWNSIDES
We didn't like being at the pool at La Isla. This is the main pool with swim up bar. AT 6 in the morning, it's beautiful. By munchtime there were a lot of loud and drunk people in and around there. My partner is American, so I don't think I'm stereotyping, it's just that the majority of holiday makers there are American and there seemed to be a lack of the realisation of the impact of their shouting and whooping. Much the same way as some of us Brits can be rowdy in the European resorts. It was hard to get a sunbed by that pool, but that was okay, as there were other quieter and nicer pools. People would be drinking in the pool at La Isla for hours at a time and must have been peeing in there. Unless they have bladder extensions? It was a shame that people were leaving cigarette and cigar stubs in the sand on the beach too. Most of the people that used the beach were quiet, but on the last day a group of people shattered the peace by being very loud.

Also, for some frustrating reason the management of the hotel had a Target store built and opened during the week we were there. It wasn't a disturbance whilst it was being built, but finished, it is an eyesore. The aesthetics of the resort of one of it's strengths - lots of palms, greenery, natural materials used. Then there is a glass box of monstrosity of a Target store by the La Isla pool with a load of bright red beachy crap for sale. Please, management, get rid of it! For those in the UK Target is a bit like Asda or Tesco homewares.

Highly recommend this place. Hope you have a great a time as we did.

Room Tip: Ask ground floor and in the centre of the complex. Higher floors have better sea views though.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Brian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

We went here in June 2012 for our honeymoon, and couldn't fault it at all. We were upgraded to a sea front room right at the entrance of Casitas. as we were honeymooners we got free extra's such as 1 hour of water therapy plus body Massage, Candlelit beach dinner, free wif plus breakfast in bed.
Our concierge was fantastic...really couldn't do enough for us...they would ring and ask every other day if everything was okay and did we require anything, to be honest i am glad we didn't pay the extra to stay in the Casitas as most people from there spent the daytime in our part of the hotel as we had most of the best pools and daytime restaurants.

Yes the accommodation looked better but how often are you in the room plus we had everything we need...a hammock on the balcony, a double jacuzzi in the room, the biggest comfiest bed we have ever slept in, a well stocked fridge thst was stocked every day.
All the restaurants were fab....i can only describe it as master chef food....

the Italian Resturants are lovely (in both hotels) if i had to choose i would go to the one at the Cassitas as its a little posher.

The Japanese is just gorgeous at the Cassitas and we loved the Mexican in the Royale.

Honestly if anyone complains about the food there's something wrong with them.....
The hotel itself is quite big...but don't fear there are golf carts flying around and will pick u up and drop you at any restaurant or bar....

The drinks are to die for, all proper english brands, the martini bar is a must in the Royale.
The beach is very relaxing too, u never need to move off you sunbed if you don't want as waiters walk up and down the beach bringing you drinks all day.

We had such a lovely time and wish we could go back every year :0

O, just a tip, beware of the airport on departing as they will charge you even if your case is slightly over your allowance..

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank GigglingGertie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

I went here for a friend's wedding and had a great time. The resort is huge and has a good variety of restaurants. They did a great job with the wedding and overall made sure our needs were met. The only downside was the service was a bit slow at the restaurants and front desk.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Brian R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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