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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
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Reviews (11,308)
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Reviewed March 7, 2006

We stayed at the EDR from March 2-7 in a Junior Jacuzzi Suite - Gardenview. Here is a summary of our stay.

We travel each year with a group of couples and choose a different adults only all inclusive. This year we chose the EDR.

What a beautiful resort. We arrived by air conditioned van and were greeted by a bellmen and wisked inside to the beautiful lobby and handed a glass of champagne and proceeded to check in. Checkin isn't until 3:00 p.m. We arrived around 11:30 and did the initial check-in. We were offered an ocean front upgrade but declined. I think the price was originally $92 additional per night and they offered it to us for $50. As with our previous trips we are the type to be out of our room all day and thought that the additional expense was not necessary. We were told to enjoy the property (restaurants, bars or change in the spa) and check back around 2:00 pm. We made our way to JoJo's and had a wonderful lunch. The waiter's were outstanding, friendly and just made our trip (Marcos and Dario you are the best!!!)

Our friends were due to arrive around 2:00 p.m. We had a great lunch and checked back at the front desk and were given our room keys and were then taken on a tour of the hotel. At this point and time the two resorts (Casitas and EDR) have NOT split. There is a sign between the resorts that says "You are welcome to use the pools and bars in the Casita section, but the beds and loungers are for Casita guests only" Not a problem, because there are many chairs and loungers around the pools and beaches for the non-casita guests.

All of the good things you have read about the resort are absolutely true. Here is my synopsis of a few things:

FOOD - The food at all the restaurants are excellent. The presentation is wonderful and the portions are fine. If you are ordering an appetizer, soup, salad and entree plus dessert you will not go hungry.

RESERVATIONS: This is a little deceiving. We had made reservations for all our nights the morning after we arrived. We could only get reservations in the 8:30 - 9:00 time frame. By the end of the week, we would go to the Martini bar have a few drinks and then show up at the restaurant 45 min to an hour prior to our reservation and did not have a problem. Each night when we arrived earlier than our reservations, the restaurant was not even full. My suggestion is to take whatever reservation they give you and turn up when you want and they will seat you, just as long as your room number/name is in the reservation book for that night.

ROOMS - the rooms were great - we had a gardenview junior jacuzzi room (825 - third floor) and it as perfect. It was very clean. Couldn't ask for anyting more.

We just had a wonderful time, Marcos and Dario (Cocotal (breakfast) and JoJo's (lunch) made our trip perfect. They are the two friendliest people at the resort. We couldn't have asked for anything more.

If you are hestating about going, my only comment is Don't Hesitate Just Go!!!! I was addicted to this site months and months prior to leaving, I can't thank you all enough for the comments. If I can answer any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
48  Thank travelprincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Chicago, Illinois
17
Reviewed March 6, 2006

We went down to El Dorado Royale with another couple for a week. On the third day of our trip three out of the four in our party got VERY sick. This is an all inclusive resort - so all your meals are from this resort. All three ate the same meal at dinner the night before. The remainder of the trip was ruined- there was never a bathroom close enough to wander too far off. Two of the three people in our party started to feel better just as we were leaving- 4 days later. The last one continued to be sick after arriving back home. A bacteria cutlure was taken and confirmed why they were all sick.
We will never go back.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 6, 2006

Stayed 2-28 to 3-5
Oceanfront 511

Let me start by saying that I have read hundreds of reviews before going. I'll try to be brief and give the readers some insite into a few items not covered in other reviews.

Restaurants (all great)
Don't worry about dress codes at breakfast and lunch at the pool area restaurants.

The Staff
They truley enjoy their jobs and love to talk and help you as much as they can.

The Maid
Ours was Trinadad who was quick and smiling and always had our room done by 1pm

The Pool and Entertainment Staff,
They are the same people (they live on the resort)
During the day they help everybody have fun at the pool and at night in the swing bar. Watching them dance is alot of fun.

Jungle Bike Tour
Not very much riding. You do see some croc's in a pond and travel down maintenance roads. The fun part is you get to go to the unimproved beach North of the resort and see where the new casita building is going on.

The Resort
It's expanding both North and South. On the South end they have a new pool as large as the main pool and a restaurant almost ready to open. They are building new suite type buildings with swim ups. Right now it's very quiet there.

On the North they are expanding the casita's. The casita area was open to everybody. There is a sign as you enter the area asking noncasita people not to use the beach beds and pool furniture.

Overall
We love it. As a couple 50 years old we had a great combination of peace and quiet and fun activties. We can't wait to go back next year.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
35  Thank whymetwo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Bellevue, Washington
140
Reviewed March 6, 2006

We were at El Dorado Royale from 2/18 until 2/24. We are a 40-ish married couple with kids who stayed home thank you very much.

First, don't let the entrance and curvy/bumpy drive in to the place fool you: you'll be greeted with smiles, champagne, and a nice open lobby dripping with marble and a central pool. Check-in was a breeze and they give you a tour of the premises on a golf cart before showing you to your room (also very nice).

We were on the extreme south end of the sprawling grounds, which suited us fine. Construction was ongoing behind a fence for some future buildings but we didn't consider it a nuisance. This south end area was ideal for privacy, and we spent most days there near the water or by the pool with the smim-up bar. In the morning we would set our towels at a preferred spot and go to breakfast. Go to the buffet at the restaurant near the lobby: EXCELLENT choices, no waiting, made our day every day.

The place never felt crowded, but if you wanted to hobnob with folks, the center of the resort near the beach was active with the staff/crew, folks doing the scuba training thing, playing in the pool, et al. We preferred the relative solitude of the south end near our room. Peaceful with poolside or beachside drink service. You don't need to tip but we did occassionally.

Restaurants and food: You've probably already read much about this, and mostly it is true. The reservations situation for certain restaurants [--], no doubt. We had one 10pm reservation for the Mexican place and I had to drag my wife out of a nice evening nap to go there. We didn't have that good of a time eating that late, let's just leave it at that. The last night, we had a 9:30 and just cancelled to order the quite good room service, available 24/7. GOOD burgers and nachos are a highlight, a welcome break from the gourmet atmosphere of the restaurants. The food overall gets 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. Frankly, they try too hard for the "presentation" thing. At some point you'll just want that cheeseburger.

The beach itself was, I suppose, acceptable. Yes, there are big sand-filled whale bags around a protected swimming area, and yes they are ugly as hell. But the weather and service and water temperature overrode that, and it was actually quite nice to swim in a protected area. Not many fish, but a good group does hang out around the pier for you snorkelers. I recommend the $52 afternoon trip (takes you on a bus to a rec area) to snorkel in a protected reef from a catamaran. GREAT deal, and free beer afterward!

We went to Playa del Carmen one day, but my wife is pregnant and had bad shoes and complained the whole time (sorry, honey). AWESOME shopping, and I got to break away at the great Tequila Barrel for a shot. Take a stroll on the beach (topless women) to see the nice restaurants and (topless women) hotels and scuba companies (topless women) operating there. Did I mention... yeah, I did. Sorry again, honey.

Overall, nice resort recovering very well from the hurricane. We'd go there again. Except we promised the kids.... damn.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
40  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Surrey, UK
133
Reviewed March 5, 2006

I read a lot of reviews on trip advisor before leaving for hols at the EDR and found a lot of useful information. We had a great stay and it was useful to have some of the info, e.g. about dinner bookings, up front.

We got checked in quickly - the man at reception tried to get us to upgrade to an ocean front room from a garden view room. Luckily, we said we'd see what our allocated room was like before deciding. We're pleased we didn't upgrade as the rooms are great anyway and our block - 10 - was near the lobby, martini bar, El Cocotal and a short walk from the pools. We had a really relaxing time - the resort is made for couples and romance, with twinkly lights wrapped around the palm trees and dinners on the beach (for an extra charge; romance is obviously not free!). The activities team were friendly but not pushy and all staff are eager to please and really polite. We tipped alot because people really did deserve it. I overheard one beach bartender saying they earn US$4 a day and work 6 days a week. Although, I don't doubt they get a good bonus in tips and I hope they do!

The dinner booking system is a bit of an odd one. You have to speak to your personal concierge rather than any concierge (they are situated all around the resort). The Italian and Mexican get booked up quickly unless you want to eat late or early. We stayed two weeks so it wasn't really a problem although I can see it would be frustrating for people staying for a shorter time. The only complaint we had with the food was that it wasn't always hot as it was quite often obviosuly pre-prepared and kept 'warm'. However, the atmosphere and staff make-up for it and you just have to go with the flow! They are keen for feedback and you can fill out resort questionnaires so they do want to improve.

The beach sandbags are a strange sight but didn't really bother us too much as we stayed by the pool a lot. The 'healthy bar' has the quietest pool and the comfy sun beds!

Rooms are great - especially the jacuzzi! Mattress is hard but we were so tired out by all that sunbathing, we feel fast asleep :)!

Go to Xel-ha - it's magical. Playa del carmen is a nice little town to wander through of an evening; browse in the shops and enjoy a cocktail in one of the many bars. Cancun has been spoilt for us; not only by the hurricane but just because it is dirty and so commercial. The shop prices are extortionate - more for branded clothes/cosmetics than we pay in the UK and the UK is usually the worst for getting ripped off!!

EDR does free shuttles to Playa every night 6pm - 10pm and Cancun a few times a week 12 - 5pm. Remember to book these through your concierge otherwise you may not get on.

You can arrange a taxi through the concierge to take you on a shopping trip around Cancun if you want to - they'll drop you off and pick you up to take you to the next centre and so on. It's about 4 hours and $80. Although you may only come back with a fridge magnet and a poncho.... If La isla shopping centre is open when you go, I would say that's probably the only place in Cancun worth visiting.

Anyway, we've stayed at the Fiesta Americana Condesa, Rui Tequila and the Barcelo Maya before. El Dorado Royale is the nicest hotel in comparison and although the nightly entertainment show is a bit lacking - it improves after a few cocktails. The staff are extremely friendly. It's in a great (but quiet) location and if you want to spend some quality time with your loved one or even relax with the girls, this is a great place to do it.

Enjoy.

  • Stayed: February 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
33  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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