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“So Fantastic!!”

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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
222
Reviewed June 30, 2005

We stayed here in may for 2 fabulous weeks!! We honestly cannot recommend this hotel highly enough i just cant understand anyone who goes here and comes back feeling anything negative!
Our room was immaculate and lovely with a great view of the gardens, our maid antonio was a darling! The food, oh my god!! I am just surprised i could fit into anything to travel home!! Our fav was d'italia however we loved jo jos for lunch and cocotal was always fab too.
The coctails are to die for especially banana banshee and miami vices made by julio at the tucanes pool bar!! We also loved the martini bar it was so nice going in there before dinner for a couple of chocolate martinis and a game of pool.

The staff were just lovely we could not find anything bad that could be said about the service it was amazing!

We did find the main pool a little crowded and noisy but thats just all about personal taste, we spent most days lazing by the tucanes pool.

We went on the trip to tullum which was well worth seeing and we went into playa del carmen one afternoon shopping, bartering was a bit much for me though!!

Everything about our holiday here was perfect (apart from having to leave!) If you have booked to go here please do not be put off by some of the other reviews, this is heaven on earth!!!!

  • Stayed: May 2005
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20  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Leeds, England
128
Reviewed June 30, 2005

i have just got back from the Eldorado Royale, we were there on honeymoon! i have read numerous review on this site so felt i should submit my own too!

Airport: this wasnt as bad as i thought it was going to be, however after a 10 hour night flight from the UK we were irritable so the mad rush to the carousel and the waiting did get to us but to be h onest i dont think it was any worse then other place i have been to! once you had collected your bags if you were from the UK you had to queue in order for them to pass your cases through the x-ray machine! once through you had to hand a visa card to an official who then prompted you to press a button on a traffic light if it went to green you could go through, if it went to red you we stopped and searched ( we got green!) by the way watch out for people thrusting trolleys in your direction - they will want money for them £1 and it isnt a long way to the coaches.

Arrival/Room: The journey to the hotel is about 20-25 mins and goes in no time, we went straight there, we turned off into a long winding road that was surrounded by jungle but soon opened up into a beautiful lobby area, we were ushered inside and offered a glass of champagne. checking in was quite straight forward although with it being night tme the staff werent as fluent at english as the day staff. anyway a golf cart came and took us to our room (900's) it was excellent very clean nice bathroom/jaquzzi etc.. overall impressed the air con was quiet and the control was by the bed. the mini bar was stocked up every day and my husband loved the hamock outside.

Restaurants: We loved the Italian, Cocotal and jo jo's, cocotal was the best for breakfast and we prefered the italian for evening meals. all good service you get a better service the later your meal is! as for reservations the above restaurants book up quick but are worth booking, we used to ring the desk as soon as we woke up to book the next nights meal.

Pools: we didnt really use the pools as the beach was so beautiful and was only a stones throw away the 'whales' dont look out of place and are definatley needed to break the waves. the water was lovely and clear also.

Trips: we went to Xal-ha which we thought was excellent although not enough hours in the day to visit everything! we swam with the dolphins which was out of this world and also did some snuba so could get up close to th fishes but you can do this without doing snuba too.
The ruins are something you have to see but dont need to spend a full day there. in general we found that there was loads to do if you wanted to but we wanted a relaxing holiday!

Journey home : the airport does have a dominos pizza and a burger king and a bar so killing time is easy. do make sure you pay your departure tax before queuing to check in as they will send you back to pay at the other desk. all suitcases are checked by hand before check in although this is a very brief check. make sure you retain the bottom half of your visa card that you gave in on arrival as they will need that. also when arriving in england bear in mind that customs checks are stringent and that there were approx 6 checking desks which were all full as we walked through!

all in all i have got to say that it was the best place i have ever visited. The staff were friendly they couldnt do enough for you and the beach was a stones throw away it was truely paradise!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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28  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2005

My husband and I just returned (as in 3 hours ago) from our second visit to the El Dorado Royale. Last summer we stayed a week and this time we visited for 5 days. Being a nightly reader of reviews for the two months leading up to each trip, I thought I should add my own since I didn't last summer. Regardless of two days of rain, a few smelly mangrove whiffs, and some funny twinges in my stomach mid-trip, I couldn't be happier or more relaxed!
I could write paragraphs on lots of topics, but I'll do what was most helpful to me and hit on the things not to miss:
1. Adult-Only - If this is important to you (and you might not realize it is until you're at a resort that allows kids), El Dorado Royale is the place to go. It's quiet and peaceful...as a school principal I say let the kids come back tomorrow..I'm now ready for them! And like others say, when this resort is sold out, you can feel like you're the only one there. That never ceases to amaze me!
2. Food - Dining does take longer than normal, but that was one thing that relaxed me. I didn't want to maintain my hectic pace. We are big eaters and were never left hungry...order all the courses and enjoy! Not to be missed: Calamari at Jo-Jos for lunch, pizza and burgers at the grill, cream of crab soup & chocolate mousse at the Italian, eel sushi and fried ice cream at the Oriental, the Mexican seafood cocktail at La Isla for lunch (best I've ever had, and I've had lots), any martinis at the Lobby bar, and mango margaritas at any bar.
3. Beach - Snag a beach bed. The breeze makes it wonderful, and we went out as late at 10:30 and were able to get one. I don't know how the wave breaks bother people! If you can't see past them for how calm they keep the beach...also, I swam every day not bothered by rocks. No aqua shoes for me, and all was fine! Take a cheap inflatable float for the pool or beach. Take an insulated mug; keeps beer and drinks cold on the beach and the bartenders love them. We've given ours to our favorite bartender each year when we left. It was like we had given them a hundred dollars!
4. Casitas - We think they are worth the extra money. We've stayed in both and liked the bigger room and the close proximity to the smaller, less busy pools. This time we stayed in the newest ones in the 2900s and I have to say it was quite a hike to the lobby. We were able to catch rides about 85% of the time! Clean, cool temperature, great amenities.
5. Service - The staff really wants to please you, and we've seen no difference in service whether we tipped or not. We tipped more last summer and this trip I think our service was the same or even better. You just want to tip when you see how hard the service staff works and you find out how much they are paid ($6 a day - bartenders). Last year our room wasn't ready and we didn't get our casita until the second day. I felt like the front desk staff was rude and did whatever they felt like to guests. This year we got into our casita at 9 a.m. (check-in is 3 p.m.) and they were as professional as any I've encountered. We all have bad days, I think!
Overall, I'd get back on a plane tomorrow to return to the El Dorado Royale. As a consumer, I think it's our responsibility to find out all we can about something before we purchase it. That's why I read these reviews weeks before I booked. I felt like I knew what I was getting, and I made sure that the things that were important to me were (or weren't) present. And finally, I was determined not to spend all my relaxing time looking for things that weren't right....Relax and enjoy!

  • Stayed: June 2005
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31  Thank SA-Jackie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Virginia, USA
122
Reviewed June 29, 2005

We enjoyed 5 nights at the EDR (June 20 - 25, 2005) for our honeymoon. My husband and I had a wonderful time. I was shocked to return and read some reviews that were less favorable. Our trip was perfect from start to finish.

ROOM: We had an oceanview room. It was very clean and quiet. There was some construction going on behind our building, but we were never disturbed by any noise. Our room was cleaned around 10am each day. Our minibar was restocked each afternoon. We

BEACH: We spent a lot of time at the beach and always found chairs or palapas. We brought our own masks and snorkels and enjoyed snorkeling around the rocks and in the saltwater pool. We saw some colorful fish, crabs, and lobsters. The sandbags do detract from the beauty of the beach, but they serve a purpose. Be sure to use the kayaks and paddle boats (both free).

POOLS/BARS/ACTIVITIES: The main pool is very active... music, dance classes, scuba lessons, and games. We painted pottery one afternoon. You do have to purchase the pottery. The pieces ran between 10 and 25 USD. We enjoyed several swim-up bars as well as the bar at Jo-Jo's. Our favorite drink was the Guacamaya. My husband has been working on his own version since we have been home. We also suggest a shot of Don Julio blanco... the smoothest tequila we've ever tasted. There are nightly activities at the swing bar. We loved the circus.

FOOD: Fantastic! The breakfast buffet at Cocotal was a great way to start the day (waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, hashbrowns, pastries, assorted fruit, yogurt, bagels, and cereal on the buffet, or you could order from the menu). We ate at the burger-pizza place for lunch most days. We tried each of the other restaurants for dinner. My husband and I agree on our top three favorites: Cocotal, D'Italia, and Kampai. We made our reservations three nights in advance (when we checked in). We wanted to eat around 7:00 each night, and we were able to do so 4 out of 5 nights. You can look at the menus on the Karisma hotel's website. I was impressed with the variety and the quality of the food. Everything that we ordered was well-prepared. Our courses were served promptly. La Isla was the only restaurant that had slower service.

SERVICES: We did not sign up for any spa treatments. I thought they were too expensive. Several travel agency representatives are located in a room near the lobby. We met with a rep to discuss excursions, but we didn't sign up for them either. Trips to Xel-ha/Tulum were 10 hours, and we didn't want to commit that much time. The hotel offers free shuttle service to Playa del Carmen. You have to schedule that through guest services. I have read other reviews that mention being hassled by time share reps. We were never contacted by phone or in person by anyone. We found the concierge to be quite helpful.

STAFF: Very friendly! Be prepared to hear, "HOLA!" from every person you pass. I read a review that mentioned the staff members' lack of fluency in English. I did not expect them to be fluent English speakers. After all, I am a guest in their country. We never had any problems communicating with the staff anyway. Tipping is discouraged at EDR, but we occasionally left tips for some servers and our maid. We received the same excellent service whether we tipped or not. It is certainly not expected.

PACKING LIST: Bring film and lots of sunscreen. It is expensive to purchase at the hotel. Also bring bug spray (we are still scratching a couple of bites from our trip). Don't forget water shoes since the beach is kind of rocky in places. We brought our own snorkeling equipment and underwater cameras. I wish I had remembered to bring insulated mugs. Drinks get hot quickly. We brought some antibiotics with us in case we got sick, but we didn't need them. We were nervous about drinking the water in the restaurants until we noticed huge bottles of water and bags of ice behind a bar. We didn't hear of anyone getting sick at the resort. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry when you are travelling.

We were SO happy with our trip to the El Dorado Royale. It was just what we were looking for... a relaxing, beautiful honeymoon in a tropical location. If you are considering a trip to the Riviera Maya, I would definitely encourage you to stay at the EDR!

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
san antonio
124
Reviewed June 29, 2005

AFter mixed reviews I was nervous to see what EDR was all about. Immediatly upon checking in we made our dinner reservations. We did not find it to be an inconvinience at all. I noticed some people that were leaving and asked how their trip had gone. She described her tears of sadness for having to leave. They had only great things to say. It was encouraging.

We are in our early 30's and left behind a couple of kids with the grandparents. Teh people there were everything from young honeymooners to older retirees (not many but some.)

Marble Floors - yes they are slippery, but we never slipped despite two days of rain and they are so beautiful!

Rooms - ample, jacuzzi tub. Don't expect to see a lot of the ocean from an ocean front suite because of the coconut trees, but the proximity to the beach and bars was well worth it. We had bottled water every day, plenty of towels. We did have to ask for our robes. I read that they are removed from teh room the day before checkout I guess to keep you from packing them and we worried we'd be charged if we didn't have them to begin with.

Service - Great! friendly, helpful, always offering more drinks and more food.

Food - Great! We live in TX so we didn't bother with the Mexican place or the hamburger / hot dog place. Jo Jo's for lunch had good food and great view. La Isla was probably our favorite with mediterranean dishes, Kampai was good, watered down Asian, but enjoyable. D-Italia, also great. Coctal, the menu changes daily, so you never quite know what you'll be offered, but it was all wonderful.

Mosquitoes - they are there. Bring OFF. They do spray, but it's like they are just barely holding the line of the battle back and away. Had I brought off, I would have used it. However, I didn't come back with any welts, so it wasn't that bad.

Beach - it has both sandy areas and rocky areas. both are fun. It was neat to see the sealife. It gave you more to snorkel around. The "whales' are keeping the beach there for you to enjoy and keeping the waves back from beating down on you. I didn't mind them at all. We always found chairs and putting them in the surf so that you never got hot was the cause of my sunburn!

Oh, calling cards...the hotel charges $4.00/connection to your calling card. The payphone charges 10 pesos ($1.00) but not all calling card works from there. Supposedly Funjet sells calling cards that will work, but we had brought one from Costco. If you need to be calling the states to check on your kids on something, be prepared for the $4.00 connection. Tip: Don't hang up..you can continue to make calls off your card provided the other jparty hangs up. Your calling card service comes back on and allows you to keep placing calls.

By the way: We ate everything and never got sick. As a child and teenager I traveled to Mexico a lot and was always warned to stay away from lettuce, strawberries, etc. EDR has a certificate or award for food cleanliness and it was obvious. Even my husband, who won't go on Cruise ships anymore after serious food poisoning, was impressed.

The rain was the only downer and this was no fault of the resort, however they should offer complimentary umbrellas so you can get to dinner and whereever, rather than having to use towels. so, pack and umbrella.

This was a wonderful, quiet, romantic getaway. I would recommend it to anyone.

Enjoy!

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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24  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
New York
131
Reviewed June 28, 2005

I would first like to start off by saying that before I went to the El Dorado Royale I read at least 1,000 reviews and became weary of going because of all the negative comments. If anyone can write negative comments about this beautiful resort then they have no clue what true paradise is.

My husband and I stayed at this resort for our honeymoon, June 6-20, 2005. Two weeks of absolute bliss. We kayaked and snorkeled and swam in the "pools" every day. The food was absolutely amazing and I wish I could bring all of their chefs home to cook for me every day and night.

Let me start off with the restaurants:

The Cocotal: One of the most beautiful restaurants I have seen, amazing food for breakfast and dinner, very attentive staff, and just a very romantic atmosphere. On the weekends they have a brunch buffet and that is the best.

Jo Jo's: I loved Jo Jo's! In my opinion the food was the best here. Lunch and dinner were all amazing and the waiters there were the most fun and relaxed. For dinner there was a gentlemen playing the saxaphone and it was very romantic.

D'Italia: Everyone has talked about how wonderful this place is to eat. In all honesty I felt that it wasn't all that great. Don't get me wrong the food was great but to me I liked Jo Jo's and the Cocotal better and it was much easier getting a reservation for those places as opposed to D'Italia.

La Carreterra: This place was very cool. A Mexican decor filled the restaurant and it was so nice. They give you their traditional drink as you sit down for your dinner and then you start with your food. If you want your picture taken there they give you sombreros to put on and it is very cute.

Kampei: I am not an Oriental food fan, but we tried it anway. I thought it was ok for what the food was, like I said I am not a fan of this kind of cuisine but it was pretty good. The best thing though, the fried ice cream dish. DELICIOUS!

Candlelit Dinner: This was the most romantic thing my husband and I have done in a long time. It is so beautiful how they light up these tables on the beach and give you such an amazing atmosphere to dine in. Our waiter was the best and he brought us everything we wanted. We had our picture taken for us by the resort and we drank wine and just had the best dinner, I recommend that everyone does this.

Room Service: AWESOME! They had a decent selection of food that you could order and they brought it right away, set everything up for you, and came back promptly to get your dishes. We were there for two weeks so we took a couple of nights to relax and enjoy room service.

The pools and the bars and everything else on this resort is amazing. I loved every minute of my trip and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. We have already planned to go there for our 5 year anniversary and we know it will be just as special as this past time. So don't believe those negative reviews, because like I said if you can't have fun at this place, you won't be able to anywhere.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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31  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Detroit, MI
112
Reviewed June 28, 2005

Outdoor shower leaked into room, no cold water, only hot water in shower, large lizard in room, shower broke on 2nd day, both my friend and I had intestinal bug for 3 days (food?), rained first 3 days, pictures of room looked much better than actual, mangroves were being sprayed while we were eating in the outdoor restaurant, the wait for food at restaurants and room service makes you not want to wait for seconds or even a 2nd bottle of water. I can go on and on.

Terrible !!

  • Stayed: June 2000
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12  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

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 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $321 - $1,130 (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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