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“fourth visit”

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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
howell, new jersey
110
Reviewed January 29, 2006

we left this magnificent resort on 1/29/06 after seven nites, and felt the tug of our heart as we drove away. this was or fourth time there and will return in six months.service oriented to such a degree, that walking to another restaurant for a item this one did not have was a common act of kindness.if you go please look up at the nite sky, it will put your life in perspective and remind you where you fit in the scheme f thgs.

Stayed: January 2006
10  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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9,569 - 9,575 of 10,506 reviews

Reviewed January 28, 2006

We were greeted with a glass of champagne and the words "wellcome to paradise", the lovely lady was not lying!

The bellboy looked after our cases whilst we booked in
then he took us on a tour of the resort in a golf cart and then to our room. we booked a swim-up room in block 42.arriving at4.30pm with the words "please don't close patio doors without your key" still in my ears.

one hour later we are both on the patio with our free drinks minus key and locked out,
five minutes later a smiling security man let us in, this was the first of very many smiling and very helpfull mexicans we met on our two weeks in paradise.

We have never experienced service like this anywhere.
all the waiters, bar staff were excellent! it was a pleasure to meet them, yet i still heard the odd person complaining (get a life)

considering what happend to the area last october everyone has worked extemely hard to get the resort up and running so quickly,

the food in all 6 resteraunts was first class, the drinks are branded not local, even room service is free!!

The only bad thing was the thought of going home to england and the freezing weather,so go and have a great time in paradise.

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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54  Thank Saraj4550
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2006

This review is a little late, but I wanted to let people know what to expect. First, I would like to state that planning a destination wedding can be just as stressful as planning a regular wedding, and I found this website quite useful, so I thought I would repay the favor.

My husband and I got married at the EDR in June of 2005. We stayed June 8th - 18th and got married on the 13th. We did get "legally" married there. It was not difficult and all you had to have was a passport (which is now required for traveling anyway) and have a blood test (done right at the resort — painless). We stayed in a Casita suite, so the basic wedding stuff was included. We loved everything about this resort and had 18 other people who felt the same.

Arrival-
The lobby is fabulously beautiful with marble everywhere. We were taken into the Martini Lobby bar and had a drink while the representatives explained everything. Everyone is extremely friendly and very helpful.

The Reservation System-
I can see how some people have problems with the reservation system. If you are staying for a short time, it is hard to get in everywhere, but if you are staying for at least a week, it should be fairly easy to get to go almost everywhere. If not, the main resaurant, El Cocotal has a different menu every night, so you are not stuck eating the same food every night (this was one of our favorite resaurants. Say Hi to Wilberth- he is the best!). One MAJOR benefit of staying in a Casita is that you have a private concierge and it is MUCH easier to make reservations. and get in the restaurants that you want. Some people don't think that's fair, but you are paying more, so it's nice to have a little VIP treatment.

The Rooms-
The Casitas were super, we loved the outside shower and we had a resident lizard that liked to hang out there.
We always had a different towel animal or scene done, plus turn down service with chocolates on the pillow every night. I would definately recomend paying the extra for a Casita. The little extras are great. The night of our wedding the suite was decorated with flower petals everywhere and a bath in the jacuzzi tub drawn and waiting to be used. It was really romantic.

The Food-
We thought the food was fantastic. My brother lives in Downtown Chicago and goes out to eat all of the time. He raved about the food. Especially when you think about how much you pay to go out to eat. We ate and drank like Kings. The drinks are STRONG! They do not skimp on booze and there is premium stuff available. We didn't eat at the Mexican resaurant or the Japanese (heard mixed reviews from our party) All of the other were great. I really like El Coctal and D'Italia. The resident sommelier was a nice touch, and we ordered wine quite a few times -nice selection. Overall, I would give the food 4.5 stars. Even room service was good(it does take a little time, but what room service doesn't).

Service-
I will preface this by stating that I have been in the service industry for 10 years, so I may feel a little differently about this than some other people. I am a firm believer in tipping. Bring lots of singles and fives, if you are like me. These people make about 5 USD a day and a little tipping goes a long way. I also appreciate good service and the little extras, so I don't mind tipping for them, and in turn love the service that I continue to get for the rest of my trip.
Wilbert is amazing. We requested him everytime for our dinner at El Cocotal (even our wedding dinner, and he does not dissapoint). The second night we had dinner there, I didn't even have to ask for my drink. A Mango margarita (Fabulous, by the way) was ready for me shortly after I sat down. Again, I will state that I am not afraid to tip, so I'm sure that helps, but I did notice that all of the staff are extremely friendly and helpful to EVERYONE- not just those who tip.

The Wedding-
I did pay for some of the extras that are available
(about $1,000 USD), but it was worth every penny. We had a bit of a group, so I splurged for some extras. I had flowers for my bridesmaids and myself. A wedding cake and a coctail and appetizer hour on the beach before dinner. We got married on the beach at 3:00 p.m.
It was HOT. The wedding went smoothly and was short and sweet. Afterwards the rest of our guests were taken to the coctail hour, while we had our picture taken. We paid about $300 for the picture and they are fantastic. You get an album with all of the negatives and digital files. They took about 110 picures and they were reaady on Thursday(we got married on Monday)After the pictures, we joined our guests and hung out for a while utill our dinner reservation was ready at 5:00. Dinner is picked out beforehand by you, and there is a menu printed up for each guest. They get to choose from 2 different main courses. The service was spectacular as was the food. There was a special honemoon breakfast brought to your room the next morning. They forgot about ours, but I simply called and they just brought it the next morning. If this is the only thing that I could say went wrong with my wedding, then Halleliua!!!

Night Life-
We usually went to the Martini bar for some after dinner coctails. There is a pool table in the back and I loved the atmosphere. The outside bar with live entertainment every night was fun too. We didn't spend a lot of time there simply because it was soo hot and humid, and after a long day in the sun, we wanted some air conditioning! It is very romantic there adn definately more of a couples place. Not a wild and crazy party atmosphere, but still fun!

I think that I covered just about everything with the resort. I would highly recommend going here for any reason, whether it be for a vacation, an anniversary, or your wedding. We plan on going back in the winter of 2007 and can't wait. We wouldn't go anywhere else because we are afraid that we would be dissapointed and just wish we were at the EDR.

If anyone wants any more info, or would like to see pictures of our vacation or wedding, please feel free to contact me. I'll be happy to answer any questions.
Unless you are old and crotchety and like to complain about small things when you should be relaxing and enjoying the absolutely breathtaking surroundings, YOU SHOULD GO HERE!!! You won't regret it.

  • Stayed: June 2005
    • Value
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48  Thank Ava G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2006

My husband and I have just returned from the Eldorado Royale. We were there from January 14-21. Upon arrival, we were taken care of. Our bags were taken, tagged and we were escorted to the lobby. Our check in was swift, professionally handled and pleasant. We were directed to the bell-boy who took our bags and arranged our golf cart ride (complete with mini tour of the compound) to our room. Our bags were brought up and the amenities of the room were demonstrated. Having done our research, we found our consierge "Poncho" and made our dining reservations. These we subsequently changed as we booked excursions, etc. Be sure to book what you want when you want. All restaurants were available but some (Mexican) were only available at 9:30 p.m. Who cares. You are on holidays!

Natuarally, we tipped for good service at this resort and like other reviewers were very surprised by the lack of tipping. We tipped our chanber maid, bar tenders, waiters, etc. We didn't tip because we felt forced to. We tipped as we would in Canada: for good or exceptional service/treatment. It's just that it is more appreciated in places like Mexico.

The resort was beautiful: well manicured gardens, lawns (new) and well cared for beach. On the morning we left, I counted 15 workers raking the beach area in about a 30 foot radius. They never stopped working. They are continuing to complete repairs since the storm in October but we never heard "noise" from construction. They have really worked hard to bring the resort back from the hurricane.

Management was approachable and interested in what we had to say (we had some suggestions like enforcing the dress code at dinner!). We always felt respected by the staff and in turn, we respected our hosts.

Enjoy JoJo's at lunch time at the water's edge. There was excellent food all around and if you don't like someting at one restaurant there is always room service or another restaurant to go to. Tell Raphael that Carlos Y Susan said Hola.

Our room was clean, well kept, attractive and well stocked with beverages. Yes, the power went out one evening... how romantic! Yes, this is Mexico and it happens. Within no time, it was up and running (too bad)

Be sure to visit the Mayan ruins and Xel-Hal (worth the day's visit). Shopping in Playa del Carmen was interesting (sort of a Mexican Young Street)with lots of bagains to be had.

Enjoy the tranquility of the Eldorado Royale. This is not a party zone but there are things to do if you want activities (escorted bike rides, pottery painting, water aerobics, dance lessons, etc,) The Spanish lessons may be a good idea for those who want to "make an effort" to communicate with the workers. My husband speaks Spanish and while everyone spoke English, it certainly made for a more enriching trip.

Enjoy the Eldorado Royale. We will be back... next year

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
46  Thank mojitosue&carlos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Toronto, Ontario
122
Reviewed January 23, 2006

I’m a very picky person and considering I’m never satisfied, spending one week at this resort was very pleasing.
You're going to have the odd person complaining about the resort because they weren't happy with something for example: weather or service etc. People don’t realize it can happen anywhere you go. Don't listen to what they say, the resort is beautiful (clean) the service is great and the food is phenomenal.
Also, without good staff you won't have a good time. El Dorado Royal's staff is funny, friendly, courteous......I can go on how great they are.

The best time to probably go is Feb – May. The weather in December and January is windy, cloudy and it gets dark around 6:00pm.(That didn’t bother us we still had a lot of sun).
Make sure you bring a sweater at night.

If you have questions please send me an e-mail.

Enjoy your Holiday!

Irene

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Dallas, Texas
122
Reviewed January 23, 2006

My wife and I were married at the El Dorado Royale in May of 2005. We paid $3,800 (all prices quoted in USD) for the package which included seven nights stay at the resort (in a casita suite), airfare from Dallas/Fort Worth International airport, transport between the resort and the airport and the wedding itself. This would have been an expensive resort as Mexico is quite resonably priced. But considering the package included 7 nights in a casita suite and the wedding, I found the price to be quite reasonable. (Shop around! The price difference between various travel agents was as much as $2,000.)

We were married first in the USA by a preacher that is a friend of my wife's family. This allowed us to avoid any paperwork or restrictions in Mexico. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful - you couldn't have asked for anything better. Honestly, the priest in Mexico was better than the preacher in the United States. Although he was hispanic, his English was excellent.

The casita suites are very private and fantastic. Yes, they are far from the main lobby but I didn't have much business in that area anyways (phones work too). Since the casitas are further away from everything else, the beach in front of them is EXTREMELY quiet and peaceful. Sometimes my wife and I had the entire beach to ourselves. It was very easy to reserve beach chairs, umbrellas or those great beach beds. This was as close to a private beach as you can get without having Tiger Woods money to spend. Don't worry about the breakers - they're no big deal. The sand is pure white and the water is sparkling blue. I was extremely impressed by the accomodations (clean, everything worked, strong A/C system, plenty of towels, friendly staff, etc).

Extras: I paid $50 to have my wife's hair done at the hotel spa and $10 to have her wedding gown dry cleaned and pressed. I also paid $300 for the entire photo package - digital and print. The photos turned out extremely well and were ready in a leaf-bound book before our vacation was over. I thought that these charges were very reasonable. The wedding package itself is free if you stay a certain number of nights in a casita suite. The wedding included transport to the ceremony by golf cart, the ceremony itself (we chose the beach location) and a FANTASTIC candle-light dinner on the beach afterwards - prepared to be stuffed as this was the best food I've had in a long time anywhere.

Mangrove Funk: The odor from the mangroves was apparent at times (especially in the morning) but it wasn't bad. I can certainly understand why it would bother some people. And I do imagine that it could be quite strong after a bad storm where the mangroves were stirred up somewhat. It wasn't a factor for us but I do understand why some might object.

In general, the food at the resort was disappointing. I'm not sure that they understand Western tastes. The staff was extremely cordial and polite and did their best make sure that you were happy. I'm not a big drinker so the alcohol wasn't a huge factor for me (cannot comment on it).

In the end, I think that it was a fantastic place to get married due to the scenery, the romantic wedding, the overall price and the relative seclusion of the beach. I probably wouldn't go back except for an anniversary because it was rather expensive if taken as an average vacation in Mexico.

Hope that this review helps. I read a lot of these reviews before chosing this resort for my wedding.

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 22, 2006

Just got back Jan 21st- I seriously can't believe this -- about spraying for bugs, bad service etc etc --- I am not an all inclusive kind of guy, but travel a ton and this is a nice place:

Positives

- very nice- 4.5 star for sure (maybe 5 in Mexico)
- no kids and very couple oriented (hot tub in each room with king size beds)
- food- excellent- no buffets (well breakfast, but it is the best meal of the day)- all good restaurants except the Asian (Mexicans can't make sushi)- the Italian restaurant is the best outside of Italy and I am from a large Italian family
- atmosphere- very good, great pool, high end liquors and good night time entertainment- and YES, the bars and martini bar are open at night- if you want to party all night, go to a kids resort on March break
- nice rooms - very big and fully stocked fridges
- 24 hour room service- awesome feature with decent food and fast service
- AAA Service - if you have any issues at JoJo's for lunch or just want a better chair - just ask Dario, he exemplifies what service sb all over Mexico. Except for the bartenders, who seem to favour their "regulars" (ie the drunks at the bar)- the beach service is great. I tipped, but noticed many others did not.

Negatives

- beach is windy and there are big sand breakers in the water due to the waves- apparently since Wilma, the weather has changed in most places down there, including Cuba (my parents are there now and have the same issue) and Jamaica
- bed linen- I can't believe I noticed this, but I didn't like the feel of it - old and cheap (been said before)
- restaurant reservations- unless you stay in a Casita (private mini-house with your own pool and lazy river) you get poor time selections for dinner sometimes
- $20 cab ride to Playa Del Carmen- nearest city and well worth some time there
- had a power and water outage for 3 hours the first day there- hey that happens outside of the lucky walls we call the industrialized world

All in all, get a Casita if you can blow the extra $500, pure luxury and first in line for anything (walk out the front door into a pool and you get your own private beach cabana each day)- the resort is very relaxing and has been totally rebuilt since the hurricance (no issues). Puerto Morealos (sp?) is about 5 mins away and is a great beach if you want to spend a day there- they have horseback riding, ATV riding and speed boat riding (HIGHLY recommended fun!!!).

  • Stayed: January 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank GlenfromToronto
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 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury 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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