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Help choosing between these properties

Wisconsin
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529 posts
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Help choosing between these properties

Looking for help in deciding which resort this year. We’ve stayed at EDR Casitas in an individual casita and everything was just about perfect. Unfortunately, we probably won’t be able to duplicate that experience, plus we do enjoy going to different places. Our requirement/desires are as follows, not in any particular order except for the first one.

Room – must be large and spacious with an ocean view and a large patio/balcony. We realize that will be a $$ upgrade to the prices below.

Laid back, low key, boutique-y atmosphere

Breakfast – wide variety of healthy choices, ie; made to order omelets, etc. – buffet ok, actually preferred.

Lunch – wide variety of fresh, healthy choices – buffet ok, but an ala-carte option would be nice.

Dinner – several ala-carte choices that have a hassle free reservation system. I find it ridiculous having to make reservations prior to arrival to ensure getting one. No reservations would be ideal. Good food goes without saying. 

Several smaller pools, rather than one large one where everyone fights for the “best spot”. Cushy loungers, cabanas and beach beds. No towel games.

Nice beach for walking and sunning. Does not need to be swimmable, but that would be nice. We had no problem with the beach or whales at EDRc

No loud, thumping techno music. No bothersome activities crew pestering guests to participate in “games”

Available low key activity options such as wine/tequila tasting, Spanish lessons, cooking demos, bicycles, etc.

Nightly entertainment/shows would be a nice option. We usually attend 2-3 shows.

Decent wine, decent beer

Room Service

Wifi included

No high pressure timeshare sales tactics

The following are general prices for their standard room. If $$$ was all the same or no object, I guess Maroma would be first choice and Zoetry second, just based on what I’ve read on TA. ~ $1200+++ sure could buy some pretty sweet upgrades I’m thinking…

El Dorado Casita 5075- 5500

El Dorado Seaside 3600-3700

El Dorado Maroma 4630-4900

Excellence 4000-4300

Royal Hideaway 3800-3900

Zoetry - 4890-5900

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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16,067 posts
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1. Re: Help choosing between these properties

I have stayed in all of these except RH.

Excellence was a disappointment all the way around and we won't be returning. Food, beach, wine, beds, location, vibe were not what we enjoy.

Casitas is not our favorite as we are beach people and also prefer a smaller resort.

Zoetry had great food, service and top shelf but the beach was poor, there was zero in the way of nightlife, rooms were disappointing and now they allow kids.

EDSS is a resort we really enjoyed. Beach is adequate but can get crowded and busy. Loved the food, service, grounds, staff and personality of the resort.

EDM is our favorite of that list. The size of the resort is perfect for us, while still having ample dining options. There is some entertainment. Rooms are fresh and nicely appointed and we really enjoy the one bedroom suites with infinity pools. Staff is delightful, food is good. Beach is lovely: wide, clean, swimmable, uncrowded, quiet and very private. We are headed back in May for our 4th stay.

None of the El Dorados have free wifi, which is ridiculous these days, but would never impact our choice of resort.

Edited: 07 February 2014, 10:50
Choctaw, Oklahoma
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324 posts
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2. Re: Help choosing between these properties

I believe you can get much better rates for EDM. If you will send a PM to Akandal or suziq2Texas, they can refer you to a TA who is supposed to have the best rates for EDM.

America, The...
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3. Re: Help choosing between these properties

L'Net, if you are looking to go before June 30th, you can use the Promo Code CHEAP25 to save 25% at EDM this week (and many other resorts) for hotel only. Many travel agents will match that price if you prefer to book with an agent.

I agree with CG about EDM. It is lovely! We also had a wonderful stay at Royal Hideaway and highly recommend that as well. It's beach is even a bit nicer that EDM's, but much more crowded from neighboring resorts, so I like EDM's better in the end. Food and service are excellent at RH. Spa is better than at EDM. Rooms are nicer at EDM. The biggest issue for me with RH was that the techno-noise from neighboring resorts could be heard most of the day on RH's beach. I don't see a lot of people complaining about that, so it may be something I am particularly sensitive too.

Wisconsin
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529 posts
4 reviews
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4. Re: Help choosing between these properties

Will finally pull the trigger this week. It's still a toss up between EDR Individual Casita, El Dorado Maroma and maybe El Dorado SS.

Pricing is 100% AI for 2

$5185 EDR Individual Casita

$4361 EDR Maroma (Mi Hotelito Beachfront Suite)

+$372 for "honeymoon suite"

$3270 EDR SS (Jacuzzi Junior Suite)

+ $521 for Premium Jacuzzi Jr. Suite

+ $593 for Swim Up Jacuzzi Junior Suite

Since we've been to EDR Casita, we know what to expect. Being in an individual casita makes the resort feel small and botique-y with the close proximity to beach and small pools. It's nice to have the many restaurant options, private concierge, large patio, no stairs to suite and no shared walls/floor/ceiling.

Maroma room categories somewhat confusing. "Beachfront" sounds great, but is it really? People walking or beaching it in front of room ~ high traffic? If sitting on patio, would people sitting on balconies in adjacent buildings be looking at you? Honeymoon upgrade appears to be a larger, more contemporary room (updated?). Better view of water? Other room categories are not being sold for our dates. Only 3 restaurants and 1 large main pool is somewhat discouraging.

Same with SS ~ confusing. We could care less about a jacuzzi or "swim up". In fact, swim up is rather unappealing, especially the lack of privacy when sitting on patio. The beach looks very crowded with wall to wall chairs 3-4 deep. The only reason this is being considered is that it is a highly rated AO for the $$. The "top of the line" room category is not being sold for our dates, so we'd have to chance an on-site upgrade.

Wisconsin
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529 posts
4 reviews
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5. Re: Help choosing between these properties

Finally booked! Went with my gut and picked Zoetry even though most people seem to prefer EDM. The room size and view was the tipping point (~400 sq.ft. vs ~1200 sq.ft.). Although children being allowed at Zoetry is somewhat of a bummer, I'm not too worried because they are charged at the adult rate, so hopefully there will be few to none. The "quietness" of the resort isn't a worry since we usually retire around 10-11:00. As far as the rooms being "dated" or "tired", I watched several videos and they appear to have the Mexican character and ambiance we prefer (over the newer resorts which seem to be various tones of beige on beige). Other AI items that are appealing are:

Direct transportation to and from airport

Free Wifi

Catamaran sunset sail & shopping excursions

Free calls back to States

Complimentary laundry service

No check in or check out time (we arrive at 11 and depart at 4)

Dining options seem to be equal, however no competition from Generations for seating, and no reservations required

Total with insurance, taxes and everything = $4400.

Boston
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1,373 posts
41 reviews
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6. Re: Help choosing between these properties

We've stayed at some of the places mentioned. We really liked Zoetry (& got a great deal to go there) the rooms were very nice with great patio. The beach is nice but the water could be dirty & at times unswimmable. We did have a few kids but not a lot but it still was a breaking point for our annual AO Feb vacation. Also as mentioned, there is NO nightlife. While we too do not make it past 10 most nights, we still like the option. They have a nice room with a piano that is underutilized. There is only one pool to sit at ( no seats around spa pool) & while we are beach people, we did use it often due to windy days. The service was fantastic and we really liked the food. My DH loves the casitas and wants to go back a 3rd time next year but I like to try other places too. Please let us know what you think.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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7. Re: Help choosing between these properties

<The beach is nice but the water could be dirty & at times unswimmable.>

We never got in the ocean while at Zoetry as it was unpleasant. This was a real disappointment for us since we are on the beach and in the ocean most of the day, and one big reason (besides kids, lack of any nightlife, dated rooms) that we have never considered a return stay.

As for direct airport transfer, we always book a private, non stop.

And there is no actual check in or check out time at most resorts, as you are able to use the facilities until your room is ready.

There are no reservations required at EDM - nor are they accepted - and at Zoetry we did have to reserve for La Canoa, where we preferred to dine.

Edited: 13 March 2014, 09:57
Wisconsin
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529 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Help choosing between these properties

Most resorts DO have a check in and check out time (3/11-12) and while they don't deprive you of facility usage, I much prefer having a "home base" until it's time to leave. As long as my package includes direct transportation and it's not deductible, no sense in paying for it twice. We don't swim in the ocean, so no biggie. Reading and lounging in a chair with sunshine and the sound of the waves is enough. If it lives up to this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5wVkR56kNE we'll be more than happy.

9. Re: Help choosing between these properties

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