My husband and I had a lovely vacation together staying here from November 8-15. We had a good flight in from St. Louis and no trouble getting through customs or the airport. I even got a green light this time! The time share people have gotten numerous inside the airport but we just passed them by. You do need to be prepared to go all the way outside and look for your tour company's color of shirts. it is easy to get waylaid by one of the timeshare guys.
We opted for the mass transportaion this trip instead of the private due to EDR being so close to the airport. We only waited about 20 minutes to get loaded up and out and the EDR was the first stop.
We decided due to suggestions posted here at Trip Advisor to reserve a regular room and try for an upgrade to a casita. We found the resort to be full and no upgrades available for any type rooms. We had however, reserved an ocean view room and were told there were no rooms available in our reservation type and that they had an upgrade for us at no charge. A swim-up room! I immediately declined it and pointed out that to me this is a demotion in room type, that I wanted to see the ocean, not the swim up. The check-in girl was adament that there was no other room available and we had to take the swim-up. She tried to point out we would be getting a savings and then made me write on the check in form that I was getting an upgrade to a swim-up from an ocean-view before she would go on with the check-in! She said we could most likely upgrade to a Casita on Friday, so we signed the form and were escorted to our room. We opened the door to a room that was nice, but smaller than the standard rooms at the Eldorado Seaside Suites, and looked out the patio door to...........red and yellow contruction plastic!!!! A ten foot wall of red/yellow plastic in every direction. Now I was terribly upset. Not only did I not get the room type i reserved, but I had construction to view.
We decided to live with it and hope for Friday's upgrade. We went to find our conceige and make dinner reservations, only one restaurant was available, even at 11:30 a.m. but she said we could go at 8:00 p.m. We tried to make more reservations but were told we would have to wait until the afternoon.
We came back hours later and were given a confirmation card that said 6:00 p.m. My husband was very firm and reminded her she offered us 8:00. Larry, the conceirge, said too bad, everyone has issues. My husband said no, that's not acceptable since we were offered 8, for you to change it, and then refuse to make any more reservations for the week. Eventually we got dinner reservations for the next three nights, but Larry would not give us the cards to confirm, he made us come back every day to get that night;s card, mostly so he could try to get us to do the timeshare presentation.
The grounds are nice, but the beautiful flowers are few and far between. The place was full, but we always found a pool chair or beach lounger.
We tried to scuba demonstration in the pool, enjoyed it and then did an op en water ocean dive with the instructor. That was amazingly cool. and scary, considering we really didn't know what we were doing. Upon arrival back at the resort on Thursday evening, my husband stopped and asked if we could get an upgrade confirmation for Friday and the man working said, "i can upgrade you right now!" We were very excited, paid him the money and went to our room to pack. He said to give him 30 minutes and call for the bell boy. We hurried, repacked all our luggage, called and the bellboy was sent. Then the phone rang, and they were very sorry, but the casita they said we could have had an electrical problem, and we could not move. Please tell the bellboy. We were so deflated!!!! We also saw most everyone assigned to building 44__,leave for different rooms. Who wants to look at construction and plastic?
Long story short, we did get to upgrade on Saturday and there IS a big difference in the two sides.
We didn't get treated any different in the restaurants or by any of the general staff, just the conceirges,
Our new conceirge, Buzzo, was very fluent in english and loved his job. He was very helpful and took very good care of us.
The casitas are very roomy and comfortable, but why not have a couch to sit on? The standard rooms at EDSS have couches, plus a small table and chairs. It is lovely to sit out on your lanai and see the ocean and read or eat.
We enjoyed all the food, but Fuentes is mainly banquet style food with a presentation on a large screen. La Carretta is laarger and better at EDSS, JoJo's was nice, Kampai was my husband's favorite, and lunch and breakfast there are awesome. D'Italia was just ok, and not worth the two plus hours it takes to eat there, when most of that time is just waiting. Our candlelight dinner on the beach was FABULOUS, I highly reccomment this. We upgraded to the lobster, and it is worth every penny. The setting, the service, the saxophone player, the presentation, all excellant.
We have decided that unless we book into the casita section we would not return to EDR. The Eldorado Seaside Suites is nicer and not as crowded if it's just a villa type vacation.
I think I have to agree with others, this is not a 5 star resort, I've stayed at the Four Seasons before, they are 5 star, this is 3 1/2 0r 4 stars. We had a great vacation together, and enjoy going to Mexico. This is a good place for couples, and a good place to just relax. We enjoyed seeing so many beach side weddings, and the weather was really good. Only rained one night/ afternoon. An excellant choice to vacation.