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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“To each their own!”
Reviewed October 19, 2004

Well to start off, I found this site the day before we ventured to Mexico for our first vacation in years (Oct 2- 9). I ended up reading the few negative reports instead of all the positive one's and it had me thinking, what were those people speaking of? However you cannot please everyone, and each person looks for different things from the EDR.

We had a great time! We were in the slums, as a couple people have referred, but enjoyed every minute. The staff was great, always saying Hi and smiling, the pools were clean and not crowded (not even the main pool). The food was touch and go for my tastes, but that's me... If you want a place to relax, enjoy the sun, water and all the interesting people you can meet, EDR is a wonderful place.. Is it the best? I don't know, but we came home happy we went!

I also wish to say hi to all those from Kansas City and Calgary that we met, stay in touch!

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 19, 2004

My husband and I honeymooned at the El Dorado Royale from October 10 - October 16, 2004. WE decided to go here after our travel agent ranted and raved about it (she had just been there to be able to sell it better.)

We splurged on the casita suite, it was our honeymoon after all. When we got there at about 1:30 we had to wait about an hour or so for our room which was fine because check in is at 3:00. They greeted us with champagne and when we got to our room there was a pretty towel arrangement and fresh flowers on our bed. These arrangements continued through the week which was nice and pleasant to come back to after a day on the beach. The first full day we had there, our room did not get cleaned until about 5 at night. That was a bit disappointing but the rest of the week was fine.

Our one big problem with the room was the ants. We never left any food out or anything yet they were everywhere....all over the bathroom sink, crawling up the walls next to the bed, on the bedside tables, and our other table. That was really just frusturating and nasty. It was hard to sleep at night knowing there were ants crawling all over you!!! We also noticed a lizard on our ceiling one night but whatever, we decided to forget about him and never saw him again. We did call about the ants once because they were so bad. They sent someone down to "spray" but that only took care of them for the night. Other than that the room was great. Having a jacuzzi in the room was nice.

We loved the food. One night I did get sick but I think it was the shellfish on the top of my salad at our moonlight dinner. Other than that we had no problem. The food was presented wonderfully and you got 4 or 5 courses, whatever tickled your fancy. Our favorite places to eat were Cocotal and D'Italia for dinner, and Jo-Jo's for lunch. We got the room service breakfast twice and really liked that all you had to do was fill out the card and hang it on your door overnight. We had NO problem making reservations for dinner, they treat you really well when you book a casita.

We spent most of our time on the beach we both love it and my husband was like a pig in poop snorkeling around. We rented snorkel equipment for two hours and that satisfied us usually for the day. The sandbags/beached whales were a sight, but actually we liked to swim out to them and sit on them and look out, and a lot of really cool fish hung out around them. It was the rainy season so it rained just about every day we were there but most of the time it didn't last and you could get back out on the beach and never know the difference. When it was raining we would call the casita shuttle and they would come take us where we had to go because it is quite a walk everywhere from the casitas. The one night we called for them and waited and waited and no one came and we were late for dinner...and that was our candlelight dinner (which was supposed to be on the beach but was at la isla because of the rain)and we were a bit ticked about that.

Everyone was so friendly and greeted you with a smile and an Hola! when we went by. We enjoyed them. Yes there is quite a smell. It is especially noticeable when it is rainy and really humid and our casita was 2614 right next to the smell, but we just walked around the other way closer to the ocean and didn't really have an issue with it. You only had an issue if you CHOSE to.

My only biff with the spa was I went and got a manicure and a pedicure and it wasn't even like spa treatment ....they stuck my feet in a home foot bath you can buy at somewhere like wal-mart or target and did not even turn it on. 70 bucks for nothing really.

The point is, we are not big drinkers so we obviously had a bad chocie of judgement ...because that is what there is to do mostly. But we still drank a little and had a good time despite that. You have to remember its Mexico and it is different...but still really nice.

We won't go back just because we want to explore other places and other resorts. EDR was friendly, service and food were great........really a nice place to get away for your honeymoon.

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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 19, 2004

The El Dorado Royale was the best week I have ever had in my life. The food was outstanding, the service was phenominal, and the whole place was just incredible. Me and my wife are already planning a trip back next year. We reserved a room in the garden view junoir suites. We are a young couple so we didn't spend much time in the room, but it was outstanding and the location was perfect. Right in the middle of the resort you could get to everything fast. The cleaning people did an outstanding job everyday, we felt very safe and comfortable. I highly recommend the El Dorado Royale to anyone of age, sex, or race. I can't think of one bad thing to say about the place, and that is the very truth!

  • Stayed October 2004
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Katy, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed October 18, 2004

Wow!! We just got back from the El Dorado Royale from the 14th to the 17th of October. We stayed in the oceanfront room and frankly were only there to sleep and change clothes. What a beautiful place! We have been married for 8 years and have two kids and needed a little R&R. We were at the main pool after breakfast and had a blast. We had no problems with theft, nor cleanliness. We spent about $200.00 on tips. Hello to Chicago, Colorado, Oklahoma and Alabama. Do the ATV/speed boat tour. We signed up for it on a day when it was raining, boy was I muddy, but fun. We made it to all of the restaurants, no problems with reservations. I actually made them on line before we arrived, and had the tickets under our door when we got there. Have the calamari at Jo-Jo's-one of my favorites. Hello to Dan and Stefanie....Good Luck!!!!!!! When we arrived at the lobby with our champagne we were in AWWWW!! What a beautiful place!! We are planning on going back!

1 Thank teresa n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 16, 2004

My husband and I vacationed at the El Dorado Royale, for our honeymoon. We were expecting to have a great time, but it was truly fabulous, and 10 times greater than what we expected.
The staff there are so wonderful. They seemed truly happy to be working there. No matter where you are from in the world, they treat you like family. If you speak a little spanish, they are so willing to be patient with you and honor your effort. Dahlia, is one of the entertainment staff there. She was amazing and a great instructor. I did not get a chance to tell her thank you for being so wonderful, and helpful.
The accomidations are perfect for the location. Simple, yet enough to make you comfortable and feel at home.
The food was spectacular! My husband is a chef who attended the Culinary Institute of America, and he stated that the food was presented gloriously, and it is riveled by the 5 star restaurants of the United States. We thourghly enjoyed everything from Jo Jo's to D'Italia. To sum the restaurants and food up in one word, we would have to simply say, scrumptious!
The entertainment was a blast! From my own experience and anyone that was there, we all know that they welcome amateur talent. They allowed me to sing to my husband and the crowd was so sweet, because they knew that I sang like a strangled canary, but everyone was so responsive and they asked that I sing again, and again on karoke night.
One thing to keep in mind is that the people working at the resort, make in a week what we make in a day or a few hours. So remember to tip them, b/c 1 US dollars equals at the least 10 of theirs.
So, to finally end this long winded review. Do not listen to the negative reviews and do not base everything on the good reviews. Go with an open mind, and the thought of just having a great experience in the Rivera Maya.

7 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 14, 2004

My husband and I just returned from the EDR. We were there from Oct. 9th thru the 13th. We were part of the riff-raff at the sub-standard section of this resort (quoting from the last poster). Just kidding.... I became hooked on reading these reviews prior to our trip and I know that everyone has a different slant on what is important. My slant obviously differs from hers. I first will point out that my husband and I were not honeymooning. We have been married a good number of years and have traveled extensively throughout those years. When we booked our excursion to the EDR we were looking for a pleasant get away and a new experience. We had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort prior to this trip and were eager to try this concept.

I would like to say that our overall experience at the EDR was very favorable. There were a few minor glitches, but nothing that we felt made this resort sub-standard, in our opinion. We did find a few things that were not what we would have expected from a five-star resort.

The previous poster stated that there was only one pool for those unfortunate enough to not be residing in the casitas. I believe I remember seeing four pools in the main section and four in the casita secton. I only mention this because I do not want anyone to think that life would be harsh and sub-standard if one does not opt for the casitas. Life was definitely good in the non-casita section.

My husband and I booked a gardenview suite and were given a free upgrade to a oceanview on arrival. Our room (602) was in building 6. We found building 6 to be a perfect location for us. We were just a few yards from the beach, the pool, and all the restaurants and other public areas. We had breakfast at La Isle every morning and did not feel the need to call for transportation or room service! Our room, though smaller than the casita's was very nice. We greatly enjoyed the large jacuzzi tub and the bubble bath (I said we have been married a number of years, but we are not dead yet...) The only complaint I can think of was that the maid service was slower than I would have liked. The maids did a outstanding job, but were a tad on the slow side. They did provide towel designs with flower adornments each day on our bed which was a very nice touch. I had read posts concerning first floor doors that did not lock properly. I can definitely say that our room was very easy to secure. I managed to lock myself out twice on the first day. The staff was very nice and quickly came to my rescue. Our patio door (on the pool side) locked whenever it was completely closed. Being a good Texas girl (and used to the heat), I just automatically pull that door closed behind me when I went out for any reason. I learned and I am sure that the staff had a good laugh at my expense! On the second day of our stay I realized that I had left my wedding ring in the room after having been at the pool for a couple of hours and went rushing back to retrieve it. I had read the previous posts concerning thefts from rooms so I went rushing back to the room expecting it to be gone. The housekeeping staff was cleaning our room when I arrived, and my rings were lying just were I had layed them while putting on sunscreen.

We had no trouble getting dining reservations. We stood in no lines and obtained reservations for all restaurants upon our arrival. It was quick and it was easy. Our favorite restaurant was the italian one, we also enjoyed the Saturday brunch at the Cocotel.

We also discovered the Martini lounge. I am not a martini drinker, but fell in love with the El Dorado Martini. Try it, I was hooked after just one.

We both felt that the EDR is lacking in the area of entertainment. My husband and I couldn't help but look around and see the possibilities for improving this resort when it comes to entertainment. We would have loved a place to dance. It wouldn't have to be live music, just a DJ and records for a romantic hour or so after dinner. One guy and a guitar or a piano. That shouldn't be a lot to ask for. There were a few pool games during the day, but there are so many other entertaining things that just a few staff members could do that would greatly enhance the vacation experience.

Although we had heard all about the "beached whales", I don't think that I really expected a beach like we saw. What an appropriate name for those things! Those whales did bother me some, and in all honesty I will probably look for a nicer beach next time.

On a postive note, I don't think I have ever seen a more beautiful site than the view from the lobby looking down on the main pool and resort area. It is simply breathtaking. In closing, go and I know you will enjoy this resort.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed October 13, 2004

We loved this resort. There are small pools throughout the casita area and the other areas. We counted about 6 small pools. There is one central, large pool, but we only spent some time there when eating at La Isla. We loved the food, found the drinks VERY strong. A comment about watered down drinks.. I personally drank Jack and Cokes throughout our stay, and I saw firsthand the bartenders opening the bottles of JD--without ever watering them down. Premium liquors were everywhere, including Barcardi Superior, Jack Daniels, etc. No expense was spared and we never had any watered-down drinks. We stayed in Building #1, loved it. We then got upgraded to a Casita--for free!--through my work. We loved the Casita, but.. still used the beach in front of Building #18 (past the chapel). We wish we could of stayed in Building #18, but read of loud noise from the nightclub. A bellboy stated he moves 80+% of all Building 18's people within 2 nights of their stays.. must be loud, as another review claims. The Casita section is your ticket to paradise, I concur, but would not really be worth anything extra. From Building #1, we always called for dinner reservations and never once did we have a problem. Ironically, after being upgraded to a Casita, we had problems getting dinner reservations--just packed that night everywhere. Ate @ 9:30 PM that evening. The food was great. Minibars have Coke, Diet Coke, beer, water. All rooms have jacuzzis, cable.. not much more to tell. The Casita was sort of private, but we were barraged with pool noise at all hours of the night, especially from the "swim-up" casitas. Very annoying. We could have had the same issue with Building #1, as there's a pool right there. We enjoyed meeting people from all over the world. We're amazed how many people went topless on the beach (yes, we spent ALL of our time in the ocean, and on the beach, which defeated the purpose of moving to a casita).. does everyone have tattoos nowadays?? No big deal, but "be original--do NOT have a tattoo," I tell my kids that every so often. In a nutshell, we would not return to this resort because we've already been there. The food and service were impressive, drinks strong.. we tired of the radio/pool noise from the casita area ("Yupp___" we called those specific people at night acting like they were on "Casita Spring Break"). We found the resort to be quite sophisticated for the price, but I have to be honest: after moving, we were awoken nightly to people in the pools.. likely just two couples who made all the noise. We're divided. The resort is great, but it was just a bit crowded for our taste. If you want real class, go to a Four Seasons or something similar.. that's sort of what we were looking for.. I guess we're snobby, but we just want peace and quiet. EDR did not deliver in this regard. And yes, there was too much construction nearby. We tipped everywhere and anywhere we went and think other people should do the same. We gave Raul at Jo Jo's $10. We gave Sergio in the Oriental Steakhouse the same. They deserved it every bit. Wonderful food. We checked out the nightlife one night and that was fun! But loud! We recommend staying at this resort for 3-4 nights, in an upper floor casita--if you're a pool person. If you want the beach/swimming in the ocean, we recommend upper floor building #1, 19, or #3. We found ourselves walking a LOT after we moved to the casita section, largely because we wanted a protected swimming area and beach. It appears the ocean, for the casita area, is an afterthought. Fewer places to sit, fewer umbrellas, rockier beach. The saltwater pool was quite disgusting as well.. At night the resort is a different place, very elegant. Were it not for the people below us in the swim-up area (at 2 AM and later), we'd have had a much better time. There were two types of people there: those who've travelled, those who've not. It appeared those who've not travelled were loud, obnoxious, and complained in the restaurants, and loudly. Sorry to judge. Just be laid back and realize you're in Mexico. The service in Europe would be far worse, or in the US for that matter. Tipping went a long way. We blew $300 singles in 4 nights; we tipped the maid service even. Heard one theft complaint, but with a safe in your room.. just use the safe, frankly, and you won't have problems. People making $20 weekly will take things; it's simple. I guess our review is mixed: we loved the place, but won't return.

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Additional Information about El Dorado Royale, by Karisma

Property: El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Address: Carretera Cancun - Tulum Km. 45, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Royale)
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 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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