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“Fabulous All Inclusive Adults only resort in Riviera Maya”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 2, 2014

Back from another wonderful vacation at the El Dorado Royale resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. As a member of the Exotic travel club for the past five years we have now completed our sixth vacation at this beautiful resort. This latest trip was spent in the newly renovated building 7, room 724 (garden view Jr suite. Our stay was from December 15-26, 2013.

The new renovations over the past couple years are wonderful. The room sofa, new furnishings (including wide screen LG TV and furniture) and placement of the Jacuzzi are excellent. The glass partition between the bathroom and main bedroom makes the room appear larger.

Other significant improvements observed since our last trip include:
1) Almost double the number of shaded areas on the beach and by the many pools at the villas and Casitas
2) The new and beautiful Sante Fe Restaurant and Bellini’s Lounge in the Casita area
3) The transformation of the Las Fuentes restaurant into a Cuisine Theatre
4) The addition of two new eating areas in the Sensi Mar portion of the resort
5) New bikes in the sports area
6) Many additional beautiful greenery
7) Repair and beautification of the pier next to Jo Jo’s restaurant by the water
8) Very fast delivery of food orders for room service!

Of course, the food remains truly gourmet as the name GI (gourmet inclusive) applies. The large variety of restaurants offerings provides many choices of cuisine for all. Although the Italian restaurants are two of our favorites, they are all equally excellent (Kampai, Cocotal, Fuentes, Sante Fe, La Isla)! And we can’t forget the Health Bar located at building one which we frequented daily during our wonderful resort walks.

The El Dorado Royale resort is special because of its employees. This is where the resort excels. The employees (restaurant service, member’s desk concierge, individual building concierge, maids, tennis instructor and others) couldn’t do enough to make our visit enjoyable. We give recognition to employees who made that special difference for us:
-Tennis instructor at Monday, Wednesday, Friday clinics (Victor) – EXCELLENT (skilled, friendly and great tennis tips)
-Concierge for Building 7: Angel, Vucko, Daniel-EXCELLENT (always informative, very friendly, helpful and with a smile)
-Members desk concierge: Christian, Mayra-EXCELLENT (enormously helpful with everything, always pleasant)
-Exotic coordinator: Alex-EXCELLENT (coordinated catamaran ride to Maroma and fantastic Maya show and dinner at Sante Fe restaurant for members; very personable!)
-Health bar: Luz-always pleasant server
-Cocotal breakfast server: Alexandro-always friendly to us and helpful
-Room maid for building 7: Matlene-loved the towel art
-All room service food delivery people: friendly, courteous at all times

We look forward to our next vacation at the beautiful El Dorado Royale!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank cmjm321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,106 - 5,112 of 10,351 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2014

This was our third trip to an all-inclusive resort in Riveria Maya over the past few years. El Dorado Royale exceeded all previous resort experiences. The food was fantastic at every restaurant at the resort. We particularly enjoyed our dinner at the Italian restaurant, lunch at the Japanese/Pacific Rim restaurant, lunch at the Mexican restaurant and the beachfront dinner (go for the lobster upgrade).

The resort is large and there are multi-seat golf-cart style shuttles that are available, but we chose to walk everywhere to burn off some of the exceptional food. The beach was beautiful and there were plenty of beach chairs/huts so no need to stake out a spot at sunrise. Bars are plentiful and serve premium liquor. Service was friendly and prompt throughout the resort.

Overall we highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: We didn't spent much time in the room so we didn't do an upgrade, but some of the swim-up su...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank MNtraveler34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

I can't say enough about how wonderful our experience was here. From the moment we arrived, our taxi door was held open, luggage taken care of and we were handed a glass of champagne to enjoy while we checked in. The staff goes out of their way to be kind and will do anything they can to enhance your vacation. All staff members that we interacted with spoke English. We had no trouble getting day beds (free) or beach chairs. Snorkeling, bicycles and kayaks are all included. There is beachside drink service at no additional charge. We loved the food; the portion sizes are small compared to American standards but this allows you to have soup/salad, an appetizer, dinner and dessert. Or five appetizers and dessert, they will get you whatever you want. There is also free room service, the food isn't nearly as good but it was great for lunch on a rainy day. Every part of the resort was very clean and well maintained. We can't wait to go back.

Room Tip: We attended a timeshare presentation to upgrade our room, it was worth it.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We are still here at el dorado in room 1105 having told Thomson rep and staff that the room smells of damp and is musty. A few gestures have been offered in the form of spa treatments which we haven't used because we are not feeling well enough due to infected mosquito bites and free Internet.
Having left the air conditioning on all day as instructed to eliminate the smell I rang reception to explain the smell was still there
She promised to ring me back but as I have learnt they do not
This is a lovely resort with poor service and definitely not 5 star

  • Stayed: December 2013
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7  Thank maria j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KarismaHotelsResorts, General Manager at El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, responded to this reviewResponded January 2, 2014

Dear Maria

Thank you for your review of your recent stay , I understand that you checked out of the hotel on the 1.1.14. It was a pleasure to host your family holiday however we are truly very sorry that the room fell short of expectations. After reviewing your reservation I found you were upgraded to one of our New Luxury suites , as mentioned 1105. Within all our rooms we have new inverter air conditioning units that have a ION function. This function helps to elimate all excess moist in the room, present due to our high humidity levels. When this unit is switched off the excess moisture from our climate can accumulate within the room however whenever our guests ask for a change of room , for whatever reason, we do oblige and offer a selection of other rooms , depending on availability.

Again we are truly very sorry for your experiences, please feel free to contact me or our Head of Customer services, customerservices@karismamexico.com, with more details of your experiences

Best Regards

Francisco Jorge
General Manager
El Dorado Royale

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2013

My hubby Jack and I stayed here for Christmas vacation from December 22 - 29th. At first we were unfavourably comparing it to Secrets Maroma resort where we stayed last year, but as the week progressed, El Dorado quickly outstripped it for a number of reasons and here's why:

1. THE FOOD - is soooo good. El Dorado advertises that it is a GI - Gourmet Inclusive and you can go to their website and actually download their menus - which is what I did, so the expectations were high. El Dorado did not disappoint! Extremely knowledgeable servers explained the choices, food was well presented and tasted delicious. This is not buffet fare but a la carte with enough offerings for even the pickiest of eaters. Some stand-out meals include: La Fuentes Theatre with Chef Julio who cooked in front of us (large screens for those not in front) and the food melted in your mouth. He even spent time with us after the show to explain a recipe of his that I want to try at home. Thank you Chef! At Fuentes, you have the choice to pair the food with wine samplings (4 glasses) which we did for $70 USD and it really complimented the overall experience. Definitely, go to Kampai restaurant as we did on two occasions, lunch and dinner, and just loved it. Try the chicken curry and fragrant rice! For Christmas dinner, we went to Cocotal and were happy with the traditional turkey and Mexican side dishes that are part of their Christmas traditions plus the desserts were plentiful and decadent. We would like to thank our server, Whilbert who kept our glasses full and made our Christmas dinner merry! Our last meal was on the beach with candle light service that was unexpected as it usually costs $140. but free as we mentioned to our Concierge Luis that it was close to our Anniversary and he booked it for us without charge. On the beach, our server Jesus, recommended the beef tenderloin and it was tender and flavourful. So definitely speak with your Concierge as they can be very helpful. Note that I was doubtful at first - as last year at Secrets, that Concierge seemed to offer nothing else but a time share pitch to the point where we avoided any interaction with him at all. At Eldorado Royale, we received a flyer inviting us to tour the presidential suites and a phone call but we ignored both and weren't hassled in any way as we recognized what it was.

2. OUR ROOM - was updated and lovely - we upgraded to the Casitas side of the resort and loved the swim-up pool that leads to the pool bar. A typical morning was spent sunning outside our room in pool chairs then jumping into the lazy river and paddling up to the pool bar for a drink and then back to our chairs for more sun. Inside the room was chalet style with vaulted ceilings, king bed with duvet plus a pillow menu to choose from. There are 2 showers, one is a rain forest and the other opens up to the sky, so pretty darn romantic! We used the Jacuzzi tub several times and liked that the hotel provided bath salts and bubble bath. The mini bar has beer, both local and Heineken, juices, Coke, water as well and chocolate and spicy chips. I would have liked a selection of alcohol as we are not big beer drinkers, so some vodka and rye would have been nice. But no real worries here as off I'd paddle to the pool bar for my Grey Goose. Our room was made-up directly each day and cute towel animals left on our bed. We did tip our housekeepers a few dollars a day as we were happy with the timeliness and cleanliness of our room. Also, this resort has room service and we ordered breakfast everyday - eggs, bacon, pancakes, baker's basket of yummy pastries, coffee before hitting the pool to wear it off lol!

3. THE BOOZE - They seem to have all the top-shelf choices here, Bombay, Crown Royal, Havana Club, Johnny Walker, etc... There are so many pools with swim-up bars and bars along the beach that your glass need never be empty. All of the bars also offer a cocktail list and I enjoyed trying a number of them! We never made it to Bellini's, off the main lobby but other travellers told us that the chocolate martinis there were amazing. For wine lovers, El Dorado offers an extensive wine list - fairly pricy - although we did purchase some nice California wines that we can't get here at home. We did not like their house wines at all and tried all 3 reds, pinot, merlot and cabernet but couldn't develop a taste for any of them - so this is certainly one area where the hotel could improve.

4. THE STAFF!! My hubby and I can't say enough good things about the Mayans. Every request was met with "My Pleasure" or "It's a Privilege" All the servers we had in the restaurants explained the food, asked about any food allergies and seemed to genuinely care about the experience you were having - they showed pride in their work. We want to say a special gracias to: Edoardo, Enrique and Roger in Santa Fe, Whilbert (again) in Cocotal and Rambo, our beach butler. Did we tip them - you betcha - although I don't believe that it would have made a difference if we hadn't - but c'mon people - we are so rich (and it was Christmas!) compared to them and it pained me to see other travellers (Brits) be so cheap - if you can afford this resort, you can afford to tip a bit.

5. GOOD THINGS TO KNOW: We ran out of sunscreen and in the boutique shops on site, sunscreen cost $26! However, one savvy traveler told us to go the travel agents room off the lobby and there they have a hutch with 3 drawers full of half-used sun screen and after-sun lotion that you can help yourself to. Magazines and books are also available and your Concierge has some too plus movies as each room comes equipped with a DVD player. Also, bring your iPod as your alarm clock has a docking station. It rained one day and your room should have a large umbrella and if not, your Concierge will have one delivered.

Summing up, this is now our favourite resort and we will be back next year for all the reasons as mentioned above. For now we just have to make it through another Canadian winter!

Room Tip: Upgrade to a swim-up casita suite - you will love it!
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13  Thank Kim51960
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2013

We stayed here in the last fortnight of September 2013 as a late honeymoon. Following the long flight and slight delay leaving the airport, the champagne and superb service the moment we arrived at the hotel was very welcome! Excellent service continued throughout our stay. All areas of the hotel were spotlessly clean, the food was delicious and the spa service totally luxurious. It was so lovely to stay in a very high class hotel with such a high level of service without feeling uncomfortable in a starchy atmosphere as we have experienced in the UK. We can't wait to return and would thoroughly recommend El Dorado Royale to anyone looking for a luxury holiday in a relaxed and fun hotel.

Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
2  Thank Kerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Like many other reviews here, I would very highly recommend El Dorado especially the Casitas end of the resort. There is very little to criticise in general but if the resort wishes to get that 5th Diamond (it currently has 5 Stars and 4 Diamonds) then I would only make this comment on how the hotel tried to comp us after a very bad meal experience.

Just to lay the groundwork, the hotel sells very much on its "Gourmet experience" and overall it's restaurants are varied and the food and service very good although I would not say they were gourmet (whatever that may mean to you, the food served here would not match a top UK restaurant). On one night of our one week stay, we went to one of the Italian restaurants called D'Italia (not the Casitas one) and 3 of us had a particularly bad meal - the food was just badly prepared, cooked and presented. Furthermore, for about the 3rd night in a row, they could not provide us with one of 3 choices of wine from their own extensive list. Frankly there is little point in having a fantastic wine list if half of it is never available! Anyway, we complained to the manager who was sympathetic but that's about all.

I spoke to the Thomson rep the next day and in due course the hotel management came to discuss the matter. I had an entirely agreeable conversation about the meal and wine and the manageress said that tonight we would be "taken care of". And of of course we were! We had the most amazing meal experience at the Casitas D'Italia restaurant and were personally looked after by the manager Giovanni for whom nothing was too much trouble. A personal thank you to him and his team for such a great evening. So where's the issue? Well, on returning to our room we discovered a free bottle of wine as another gesture of goodwill. This was most welcome untill we tried to drink it the next night at the Kampai restaurant. It was absolutely rubbish and the restaurant would not change it for a different bottle other than the average house Merlot.

This may all sound rather petty and to some degree it is, but the moral of the story is, if you are A) trying to be the best of the best and B) trying to comp someone who has made a genuine and heartfelt complaint, don't compound the issue by giving them a free bottle of rubbish wine. It just comes across as a going through the motions without much thought. A decent bottle of wine would cost the hotel nothing in real terms but would have made all the difference to us. It's all about the small details when the margins between good and great are at stake.

But please Don't Get Me Wrong: El Dorado is Gorgeous and I would recommend it in a heartbeat!

Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Skinboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Dorado Royale, by Karisma

Address: Carretera Cancun - Tulum Km. 45, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Royale)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $324 - $1,105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Royale, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 639
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

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