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“Wonderful Place!!!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of El Dorado Royale, by Karisma

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
Brandon, Manitoba
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Wonderful Place!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2005

We stayed here March 12-19/05. I really don't know what people have to complain about with this resort. We have previously stayed at the Bahia Principe & the Kantenah Grand Palladium. Although the other resorts were nice, the El Dorado Royale is just that much nicer. The rooms were big and we enjoyed the jaccuzi tub in the room. The food was outstanding...lots of choice and you could have as much as you wanted. I loved the fact that there was only a buffet for breakfast and that you could order off a menu for the rest of the meals. You could get Smirnoff, Barcardi or any other name brand liquor at any of the bars. The only thing I did not really care for was the white wine, but after a glass it was fine too. The people were very friendly and eager to please. Many of them have a great sense of humour!! This is not by any means a resort for rowdy party goers. It is for couples that want to enjoy a quiet, romantic getaway. As far as the beach, it was very calm because of the so called beached whales. We didn't find them an eye sore at all. The pools were well maintained and crystal clear!!!! We had a great time and would recommend this resort to anyone who wants to get away and relax!!!!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
28 Thank kbdel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Winnipeg, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2005

We stayed at the EDR from March 5-12/2005. The big draw for us was the childfree aspect, which we thoroughly enjoyed (no screaming kids at restaurants, bars or the beach!!!). We stayed in a casita, which was absolutely fabulous; we were on a second floor swim-up casita (we had requested a stand-alone or first floor casita), but in retrospect, I am glad we were on the second floor as the view was absolutely breathtaking!!! We enjoyed sitting on the balcony late at nite in our jammies with a bubbly watching the ocean liners out in the caribbean. We met some people from Cape Cod and they were staying in a junior ocean front suite so we asked to see their room for future reference; it was nice (the balcony was quite a bit smaller) but the casita is the way to go. If we go back, we will definitely spend the extra & stay in the casita section. Plus every little casita section has it's own little swim-up bar, so it seems very private!!!

The beach was okay; it is very, very, very windy there everyday, it seems. We did not have one green flag day on the beach, and usually around three it started to cool off so we headed to our casita bar. There was alot of rocky patches with slime & crud (algae?) on it along the beach, not very appealing and towards the end of the casita section the beach really narrowed out and sloped down to the ocean at quite an angle. And there also was that sulphur smell from the mangroves that everyone complains about, although I noticed they put some literature in the rooms regarding the odour.

I went to the spa for a facial, sport massage & foot aroma-reflexology, and we also did a moonlight massage on the beach.....I was not impressed and it was very expensive!!!!! I don't think I would use the spa services again, although I did use the gym after I went jogging in the a.m.

They also try to hit you up with the time share presentation, which we attended & collected our $150 & 2 tees. It is only supposed to take one & half hours but took three hours of our time (cut into beach bathing). It is very hard sell, and quite expensive unless you consider montly payments for the casita plan of $1572.00 cheap (personally, I don't). We escaped no problem, but another couple we talked to had said their presentor was very rude and told them if they could not afford to buy into the time share they had no business staying in this calibre of a hotel!!!! So, heads up!!!

The biggest problem we had with this place was the food. It was terrible!! The menus are not very diversified, and the portions were absolutely tiny. It seems they want to try & cater to the very rich with their fancy presentations on huge plates and little portions of food. My husband ordered an appetizer of beef at D'Italia and it looked like a teeny piece of steak he would cut off & throw to our dog!!!! In order to be sated, you must order something from every course. My husband was really looking forward to a big, juicy steak & lobster and they offer nothing of the kind. The one lobster dish he had was nothing more than a big crayfish (with eyes looking at you, and hubby said the antennae were bigger than the "lobster"). Everything is so-called "fine dining", and it is okay to have a few restaurants like that, but every single one is like that here. Too eclectic for us. I was looking forward to D'Italia & when I think Italian, I think breads, pastas, pizzas, minestrones, etc. and there was nothing remotely like that on the menu. Plus, if you are a vegetarian, as I am, BEWARE!!!! This is not a veggie friendly place!!! I do not eat meat, fish or chicken, but do eat eggs & dairy. I complained to concierge and they sent me a menu of all the restaurants and told me they could cook whatever I would like. We went to the Kampei one night & I had requested just some plain, fried rice with a spicy thai noodle & oriental veggies. I was rest assured I could be accommodated, and was looking forward to dinner, but what I got was veggie sushi & curried veggies with tofu (yech!!!!! I hate curry and I don't even eat tofu!!) The salads are tiny; I ordered caesar salad at JoJo's and it was three lettuce leaves drizzled with a small amount of dressing. At the burger & pizza joint, my husbands burger came right away with a very dry bun, and my cheese pizza came 20 minutes later (his burger was cold by then), altho I should not complain as we were warned by others that the service was terrible there. I would like to see at least one restaurant here with a substantial menu that would please everyone.....big, juicy steaks; hearty caesar & greek salads; lobster; pastas (without seafood & chicken in everyone single one,....please, how about some cheese & spinach/asparagus manicotti), even some hearty appetizers to snack on, a basket of rings or wings, or some hearty pizzas or even a tray of natchos would have been nice. Every restarant is too "mucky-muck"! Room service was terrible; ordered it one night, hubby got a burger and naturally, nil for vegetarians except penne in tomato sauce & fries. I ordered fries but asked if they could make me a grilled cheese sandwich to go with it.......my answer, definitely NO. And breakfeat room service was a disaster, I ordered one omelet with ham, cheese & tomatoes in it, a side of bacon, 2 juice & 1 order of pancakes. They brought us coffee & cranberry juice. Then the waiter realized it was the wrong order so brought our order which consisted of one plate with a ham & cheese omelet, hash browns, salsa, refried beans; one plate with a omelet filled with just tomatoes, & hash browns, salsa & refried beans; a huge plate of toast; a huge plate of bacon & 2 orders of pancakes. My husband asked for syrup & the waiter assured we had syrup & pointed to some jars which turned out to be marmalade. I phoned & complained & it took them 1/2 hour to deliver syrup, by which time our food was cold & it was time to take off for our 7:15 a.m. pick-up to playacar. I would say the only dining we really both enjoyed was the breakfast buffet at La Cocotal, it had everything for everyone, from fruit, cereals & yogurt to scramble eggs, beans, french toast, belgian waffles, bacon, sausage, english muffins, & pastries....fantastic! And all in a restaurant setting, not a buffet setting like some of the ones I have seen resembling huge banquet halls.

Overall, we liked the childfree policy, we liked the fact they were beachfront & the casitas are heaven. Would we go back....I don't know, there are very few childfree places around. If they would add more variety to their menus & add a casual restaurant or two with good hearty food & portions, it would be perfect!

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank TrainChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 18, 2005

If you cannot enjoy yourself here, you will not enjoy yourself anywhere. Went here on my honeymoon. Food was great. How many all-inclusive places serve actual Mexican (not Tex-Mex) meals? None, except El Dorado Royale. They also offer Mexican wines, some of which are very good. The casitas exceeded our expectations.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
21 Thank David R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 16, 2005

We stayed at the El Dorado Royale from March 3 - March 10, 2005 for our honeymoon. The hotel was absolutely wonderful from start to finish. I read these reviews for month's before we went so I thought I would add my opinion.


The Airport - be prepared for extreme humidity when you step off the plane. And mass confusion after that, we followed the rest of the people from our plane but it is not very well posted to know where you need to be. You have to show them your luggage tags in order to take your bags. When we were leaving Cancun we went to the line with people we recognized from the flight down because we could not see it posted anywhere where we needed to be.

The rooms - We chose a garden view room for our stay and enjoyed it very much. We had an obstructed view of the garden's because of a building that was in front of our balcony but it didnt bother us. We went into this holiday with the attitude that we were not going to sweat the small stuff. We were hardly in our room but the bed was comfy, the jacuzzi is a nice touch and the shower was great. We have our room picked out for our next stay it is a swim up casita right near the ocean.

The Food - The food was excellent. Our favorite was the Italian restaraunt for supper (try the king crab soup) and cocotal's buffet for breakfast. Our lunch time favorite were the pizza's by the pool. We always tipped because the service was excellent everywhere we went.

Entertainment - This is the only downfall of the resort. They put on a show every night at the swing bar and they try hard to impress you and although some of the show's are great other's need work. They need a bigger stage so that more than just the first two rows of seats can see the performance. The band that play's every night is all right but there power cut out on numerous occasion's they allso need a bigger area it seemed so crowded if people were trying to dance.

Activities - There was plenty to do at the resort. My favorite was sitting on the beach sunbathing with a drink in my hand. My husband and I went snorkeling almost every day (they have free gear for you to use) We allso went kayaking which was included. They have horseshoe, board games a bike tour that we didnt get a chance to go on (too busy sunbathing)and beach volleyball we got in on one night.
We went into playa del carmen one day and could not wait to get out of there. It was kinda scary, it's our first time out of canada alone (culture shock) It cost us 26usd for cab to sam's then 5th ave 18usd back to resort. We allso visited Xcaret which wasnt that great we wished we would have just stayed at the resort.
The one thing I regret not doing is going on the altournative coba tour. Oh well next time (it is highly recommended)

My husband had an allergic reaction on the 8th and we did not get the chance to enjoy our holiday for the last couple day's. The Doctor they have at the spa did all she could do although it didnt help much. He is recovering now after seeing many doctor's in Calgary upon our arrival home. Not exactly stress free holiday but nothing to do with the resort.

We had a great time and met some great people. Hello Forest and Whitney, Dan and Janelle and Chris & Heather.
I would recommend this resort for anyone looking for a beautiful relaxing resort with not too much night life.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
23 Thank questionaire_77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 15, 2005

We were at EDR Feb. 21, 2005 through Feb. 27, 2005. This was our second trip to this resort. We were there last January, 2004. The place is still very nice. Grounds are clean and beautiful. Food is excellent. However, it is growing at a rapid rate and is losing its quaintness. It is getting too big. We stayed in the newest building on the premises and the rooms are wonderful. The ocean-view room is a gamble. Some of the o/v rooms would require you stand on one foot on the balcony rail and lean as far to the right as you possibly could. The resort is still growing. We could see a big difference between last year and this year. Although the service is still excellent, the staff is obviously over worked and they couldn't spend the time entertaining as they did our last visit. e.g. the bartenders didn't have time to entertain and amuse. We heard that soon the resort will be separated between the casita section and the rest of the resort. When that happens I will not return, because if you are not a casita guest you will not have access to the entire resort, which means there would only be the main swim up bar and maybe one other small pool. Don't get me wrong, this is still a wonderful place, but I think we will try something different next time.Whatever we try it will be adult only and all inclusive. The oceanfront rooms are the best except building 18 and 19, they are too close to the party bar. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer.

Helpful?
15 Thank abc89
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kitchener, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 13, 2005

We spent March 03 - March 10 at El Dorado Royale. It was everything we hoped it would be, and more. Beautiful quiet beach, fabulous rooms, excellent restaurants. Quiet evenings, but that is what we wanted. Thank you to Signature Vacations for watching out for us and recommending excellent day trips. (Hi Catherine D!)
Here are a couple of little suggestions to make your stay even better.
1) The restaurant reservation system is a bit of a pain. If your flight arrives in Cancun in the evening (ours was 7:30) the front desk at El Dorado will make the first three supper reservations for you in advance. Just email them a couple of days ahead of arrival and they will look after the first three nights before you arrive. (Thank you Santiago!) We arrived at the resort at about 8:55 and were enjoying our first supper by 9:30. Then, to avoid disappointment later in our week, we strolled to the reservation desk every afternoon and set up the supper for three days later. worked great!
2) There is a problem with the maid service. We would be out of our room by 8:30ish for breakfast, put the sign on our door and enjoy the morning. . . Several days we wandered back to our room around 3:00 for a nap, and the room was still not made up. I called on a couple of occassions and was told that it would be done by 5. Once it was later than that. The receptionist told me simply to request an a.m. make-up. We did this and it did NOT make a difference. We felt like we needed to remain out of our room until it was cleaned, so we wouldn't be in the maid's way, but often that meant we were out at 8:45 and not back until 5:00 or later. We did not like this part! Perhaps the maids were overworked. Tipping did not help this problem either
3) We are MasterCardMosaik people. Lots of trouble here! This surprised us, since we had used the same card in the D.R. a year earlier and had no difficulty at all. Over and over again the transaction was declined. Our signiture Vacations rep was also frustrated. When we called Mastercard in Toronto, they were less than courteous (they were plain rude!) and less than helpful. I was annoyed. Why do we have this card if it is no more user-friendly than this?? $25 U.S. later and about 90 minutes total of international phone calls and everything was ok. Perhaps the lesson here is to tell MasterCard what we are up to before we leave Canada.

Would we go back to EDR? In a second! We loved it!

Travellers from Southern Ontario

Helpful?
21 Thank AW1703
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 12, 2005

After reading through more than half of these reviews, I am shocked that there are so many 3,4 and 5 star ratings. EDR is a trap. A smelly, unhealthy trap. Unless you enjoy the smell of putrid sewage, PLEASE DO NOT BOOK YOUR VACATION HERE.

FOOD: You will be completely irritated by the "reservation" system they use for dinners. It is a major headache, which would be endurable, if the food were of decent quality. It is not. This resort has a talent of making lovely presentations out of bland, mass-produced dishes. The “moonlight” dinner on the beach was a joke. We paid extra for this service, and received a rubbery lobster while listening to an amateur saxophonist playing against canned karaoke muzak. Ridiculous.

ROOMS: You cannot imagine the revolting stench wafting through the air at this 5-star resort. As soon as we opened our door in the morning, we immediately pinched our noses as to not vomit. "5-star"...

BEACH: This "beach" is a cesspool with the most god-awful looking albatrosses planted throughout. These sandbags are 25-foot rotting, slimy beasts that completely ruin any sort of natural beach view, not to mention any snorkeling.

As with most of the "all inclusive hotels" in the area, there is a tremendous sense of entrapment. The resort is completely isolated, which would be nice if you weren't miserable. You cannot simply jet into town. You need to take a 40-minute taxi in order to see any sort of civilization.

Oh and yes, even after carefully avoiding the tap water, we both became extremely ill after our fourth day there.

  • Stayed July 2004
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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

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
Amenities:
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 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family 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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