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“Gorgeous grounds, great food and very very friendly service.”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Calgary
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Gorgeous grounds, great food and very very friendly service.”
Reviewed June 30, 2010

My wife and I are fairly young (late 20s) but have traveled to 125 different cities and in a wide variety of accommodations. From 2 star chic in New York, to 5 star 2000 sqft villas on safari in Africa.

The El dorado royale was an absolutely fantastic experience and I would highly recommend it to most. We were there for a wedding, and stayed 7 nights in a garden view room.

The most important part of the resort is WHEN you go. I highly recommend a shoulder or low season. Our experience would have been a lot different if we were waiting in line everywhere. As it was, this was a rarity. I'd say the resort was at 60% capacity.

Room: So first off, the garden room was great. Very clean, huge modern bathroom, nice view (of said garden), hammock on the deck and a comfortable kingsize bed. Our friends were in an ocean view and I wouldn't say that's worth the extra money. If you DO upgrade though - do it when you check in, it's much cheaper to do so then. I would say the casita side would definitely be worth the money, although mainly if you were there with just your wife or g/f.

Pools: I didn't think I would be into the organized activiies, but I spent almost 2-3 hours everyday doing them once I started. Having a drink and then playing pool volleyball with other friendly people was awesome and a great way to burn off some of the amazing food. There are a ton of pools (bi/small/noisy/quiet) and we NEVER had problems getting a sun chair or sun bed. There are tons.

Food: On the most part, excellent. The new italian restaurant in the casita section was amazing and we went there twice. Excellent food and very polished service. The sushi place (kampai) was another favorite and in general the food ranged from 'good' to 'great!'.

Service: Very very friendly staff. We were selling our house while we were away and needed a few things (faxes etc..) done by the concierge. She was extremely quick and friendly about our requests, and I found that attitude applied for everyone there. My wife and I were taking a picture with the 'long arm technique' and a man on a golf kart skidded to a stop and took the picture for us. I'm sure he was rushing off somewhere to do something, but he wanted to make sure we had a good photo, excellent to see.

Resort: The grounds and amount/variety of seating areas in the resort were great, and we saw gardeners out at 1:00am watering plants an pruning. Very nice place to walk around. We only used the gold car system a couple times, as it was really nice just to stroll along the grounds. We borrowed a couple kayaks and they were in good condition and it was very easy to do.

Also used the gym, which was well equipped and had a nice view. That's a rarity and I was really glad for it.

So, overall - fantastic. We rarely had to wait for restaurants or drinks and enjoyed ourselves immensely. I'd say people should be wary of going when the resort is at capacity, but aside from that - GO!

A few things for management to consider:

- The swing bar was very very loud, and the stage beside it was very loud as well. Wasn't a great place to get a drink and catch up. The swings and seating indicated that's what is was for, but it wasn't somewhere we went twice

- Music, in some places wasn't great. The central stage at night often had a cover band blaring out 80's top tens and frankly that's not why I came to Mexico. A more local vibe with Central/South American music would be great. Some bars had malfunctioning speakers that crackled and popped with some of the more ambient music they played.

- There are big heavy curtains covering a window overlooking the jacuzzi. Taking this off (hard to do) made the room much more airy and light filled. Maybe a frosting on this glass would work better.

- The wireless ($15 a day) SUCKS. I had to leave my computer on all the time attempting to pull email overnight, and it would work once every 2-3 hours. The signal strength was good, but something isn't configured right on the server end. My friend's laptop in a different building had the same issues.

- The business center was pretty minimal. Internet wasn't free, no printers or fax machines available, unless you ask the concierge to do it for you.


These are pretty minor points though!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank funkmasterbrad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed June 30, 2010

After months of reading both pro and con reviews on this resort I was curious enought to take a chance and book this for a week from June 21-28. And to may surprise almost all the reviews I read, both pro and con were correct. With my own eyes I was able to see what was great about the hotel and what needed to e changed. First the bad. Nothing was really adaptable by the staff. For instance I had a major stomach virus and nowhere on the resort could I find Ginger ale. I was speaking a foreign langauage. Lol! Also one breakfast I wanted raisins with my cereal and no one could provide these even though I had been to restaurants everyday that had an abundant amount. There were restaurants that we wouldn't go to again for fact that the service was luxuary and the food was crap. Now the good. Beach, beautiful. Pools, beautiful. Front side view room, beautiful. No complaints there. Everything in the rooms worked. Hotel staff was on point everyday. Respected the signs on the door. Plenty of activities. Will try and go back for five year anniversary and this time I'll stay away from being sick!

  • Stayed June 2010
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Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2010

Took me a long time to write this review but here goes:

We went to El Dorado Royale for our 10th anniversary last October. We are travellers. We've been to many, many resorts around the world. We are used to Ritz Carlton type treatment. El Dorado did not disappoint. I will say that we stayed in the Casitas and I'm sure that made a huge difference. The room was huge, the outdoor shower wonderful, the smaller, more private pools with swim up bars were fabulous. If you are looking to party all night, stay in the regular rooms but if you want to be pampered, the Casitas are the place to be and well worth the money, in my opinion. Any time we passed by the big pooI, there were no chairs or outdoor beds and it was very crowded. Not so in the casitas. We never had a problem with having to save chairs at 6 am and always had a beach bed to lounge on. From the staff, service, casita pools, and food, it was all excellent. As for the complaints about not enough food? You are at an AI. Order as many entrees as you like! We never left dinner hungry. My only complaint, if I were to make one would be the beaches. If you are going here to swim in a crystal clear blue ocean, this isn't your place. The sand bags, while necessary, don't allow for a very nice looking ocean, or an easily accessible beach. But I'm not a beach person so it really didn't bother me at all. We will be returning to El Dorado Royale for sure!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank travelbum1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed June 28, 2010

My husband and I visited the resort for a week. Excellent value for the price that we paid. Check in was a breeze and we got an upgrade to an ocean view. We got Bldg 17, placing us right across from the main pool, next to the Spa, in front of La Isla & Jojo's restaurants, and the live entertainment. We were extremely happy with the location, although it was quite noisy until 2 am every day. We didn't mind cause we refused to live in the Casitas area where it felt like a graveyard almost any time of the day! We loved all the restaurants and ate dinners at a new place each night. Our fav breakfast was Cocotal cause it had a divine buffet. La Isla breakfast was also great. Gregario and Emmanuel are two servers who stand out when I think of La Isla. They took great care of us. Spa next to us was not very good so we went to the other Spa (Casita area) cause it has a hydro-therapy pool, hot tub, and has way more space. Kampai was my husband's fav dinner place. I loved the Italian restaurant as well. Didn't care for the Mexican restaurant. House wines everywhere were mediocre.. in fact the same three red and white. We were very disappointed over that. Margaritas were a huge disappointment for me but lived on the flavored margaritas, which were deeelisiousss!! We mostly hung out around the main pool area and under the beach palappas.

Beach SUCKED! Huge sandbags everywhere! Very unpleasant sight. If you are a beach lover, you would hate it. We still made the most out of it. Fish of all kinds are plenty even in the shallow water and the resort lent the snorkling googles for a couple of hours every day. Scarcity of beds and loungers around pools was quite annoying and the towel stand people were suffering from some attitude disorder. Concierge women had NO idea about the surrounding areas and kept on telling us to go to Tulum. Having been to Playa and Tulum already (we rented a car for the whole week), we felt frustrated with the lack of info. Ended up going to Canucun and Puerto Morelos. Playa beach is worth driving to.

Overall, we loved our stay. 99% of the staff was courteous and did their best to make our stay comfortable. The lack of splendid beach area was more than made up by the wonderful staff, excellent housekeeping, steady stream of drinks, quality restaurant choices, and pristine landscaping. Oh yes.. be prepared to gain a pound for each day of your stay cause they will feed you well!!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank H-Globetrotters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2010

This resort was great for couple and/or adults. The food was excellent at the Japanese restaurant, the burger/pizza bar was great for lunch and the Italian restaurant was good. 24 hour room service was a nice touch, but for a bottle of wine, you have to pay.

It was a short trip, but we made the most of it with the rain the entire time from Tropical Storm Alex. We left on a short 2 hour flight, except for the delays and mechanical problems with Aeromexico delaying us for 3 hours to arrive at 9:30 p.m. to the hotel. We were only staying 3 nights, so this gave us only 2 days to enjoy the extended weekend.

Do not upgrade to ocean front to only see palm trees. There was not an ocean view at the resort to my knowledge. I would spend the extra $$ on a casita or room with semi-private pool.

The resort is large, and there are shuttles constantly to get you where you need to go, which was nice with the downpours of rain for almost the entire stay. They did have activities inside all day, if interested during the rainy days.

We have been to about 30 resorts in beach destinations, and I would put this on my top 3 list for sure.

Marco at the pool bar had the best attitude ever!!!! The Martini Lounge in the main lobby is a great way to start your evening.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank AmyD29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

Wow, where to start? My husband and I travelled here for our honeymoon May 28-June 12 and it was amazing from start to finish. Our jaws dropped when we saw the main lobby and the fountains behind it. What a pleasure.
Our room was originally number 5305, a swim up suite near La Fuentas. We found the activity pool too loud and noisy so we changed rooms to 5107, what a difference! It was nice and quiet, but still close enough that we could get everywhere we needed to without too much difficulty.
The room was clean, spacious and we had turn down service every night. The jacuzzi worked perfectly and there were a few nights we had bubble bath EVERYWHERE in our room, it was so much fun.
Wifi in the room was $15 USD for 24 hours, or $8 for 30 min in the lobby.
Our mini fridge was well stocked, but we are Corona or Malibu Rum and Coke drinkers so we wrote a note and put it in our fridge and had Corona for the entire trip. Alex C was so great.
The restaurants were plentiful, we didnt have a hard time finding something new to eat over the two weeks we were there. In fact, at D'Italia, the server would quite often encourage us to try new dishes and had no problem serving 2 starters, a salad and 2 mains. Be prepared though, I think our quickest dinner service was jsut shy of 2 hours, give your self lots of time if you make plans afterwards. Kampai was delicious and was my favorite, I ordered more sushi instead of dessert.
Room service was meh, the bbq salad and nachos were ok, but make sure that if you order a burger, you specify well done.
The beach was red flagged every day we were there, we couldnt figure out why because the ocean was so calm. We were going to go on a snorkeling trip, but found out all you needed to do was 'rent' a mask and snorkel from the beach hut and bring a bun with you into the water. The fish are very tame and will surround you!
I dont know what else to say about the hotel. We would recommend it and I would love to go back!
Have fun, wear sunscreen and remember you are on vacation!

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Iamspontaneous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
Reviewed June 24, 2010

My husband and I stayed here for 10 nights and I dont write many reviews,lazy I suppose! ,but just browsing tonight I was shocked to see a bad review about this place and would just like to reasure people that this is a great resort.
Everyones opinion is always going to be based on what they have been used to at other hotels.If you have been to other GENUINE 5 star all inclusives then this one is slightly better,you will definately love it.If you have stayed in GENUINE 5star room only hotels where the drinks are about £15 each with nothing included yet the holiday was about twice the price you may be slightly disappointed.You cannot compare all inclusives with room onlys.If you can afford 5 star room onlys then go there but if you cant or wont pay it then you really will not do better than this hotel,all inclusives just dont get any better than this,it is fantastic.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank chrissyDerbyshire
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 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family 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 (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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