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“Great Escape! A few minor issues, but hey it's vacation!”

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El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 20 January 2009

I read the last two horrible reviews and thought either they stayed in a different resort or maybe standards are different! So I thought I'd share our recent times at El Dorado Maroma. My husband and I traveled there for a 5 day escape after the holidays and had a great time! We were looking for peace, quiet and relaxing--and that is exactly what we got! Sure there were some issues, but nothing that ruined our time, and if your standards are the Ritz and the Four Seasons, both of which my husband and I frequent, then you may be slightly disappointed, but if you want the Ritz or Four Seasons, go pay those prices and ditch the all inclusive aspect!!!
When we first checked in at 2:45 our room wasn't ready....which when check in is at 3:00 is a bit surprising, but they showed us to lunch and we had a late lunch and they came and got us when our room was ready. Seriously just keep remembering...I'm on vacation...relax. They upgraded us to a infinity pool room, which was very nice, but I just had ankle reconstruction so climbing 5 flights of stairs wasn't top on my list of things to do, and there was no actual infinity pool, it was boarded over, but the views were fantastic!!!! When asked if we could move to another room they informed us they were booked solid.....soooo my ankle was going to have to suffer! It could recoup on the beach ;-). Oh well it was vacation.

The rooms were beautiful, the views stunning, the only little issue was the plumbing smelled a bit of sewage, but light the aromatherapy they give you and you are none the wiser. The bed was like a little slice of heaven--don't forget that you can order whatever kind of pillows you like! The beds on the balcony are awesome and great for a nap and the jacuzzi tubs are heaven sent. One morning our phone didn't work, so we just ran down stairs to let them know and it was fixed by the afternoon.

The beach is fantastic and sooo private and the water is so gentle. I also loved the marina next door....it's really nice to see the boats leave and it sort of lends a bit of ambiance to your trip!! Plus you have options of things to do if you want to rent jet skis, go diving etc. Let me state that the entire resort is soooo peaceful and quiet. It was sold out when we were there, but you could hear a pin drop. We would lounge on our beach beds, read, take walks on the gorgeous deserted beach and feel like we were the only people in the world. The beach/pool waitresses were perfectly timed in asking if they could get you anything and loved the little touches like bringing around appetizers to your beds/loungers. The pool was a bit chilly....that's a fair statement!!

The food....we were not disappointed by the food at all and we're sort of snobs (totally honestly). It's not 4/5 star restaurant food, but ladies and gentleman we are at an all inclusive resort!!! It was solid good food and not once were we disappointed! Much better than any other all inclusive! They are smaller portions yes, but my husband and I found that to be fun so we could order more variety at different courses without feeling like we were going to split our pants open! And if you loved something just order more of it! We found the waiters at the restaurants impeccible serving at dinner (Breakfast and lunch was a bit of a different story) they seemed a little slower then. As for small shrimp etc., you really just need to know what to order...we ordered jumbo shrimp at the japanese restaurant and the shrimp were HUGE! True they aren't on the menu, but we just asked. Just ask...whats the worst they can say---we don't have that??? Alcohol, we were actually pleasently surprised at the level of alcohol they had!! Sky vodka, top shelf tequila, Black label Johnny Walker etc. etc. Again just ask for it and hey guess what you get it!

A couple of things we were really disappointed in were the spa services....holy cow were they expensive, so we skipped our $250 massage! I think they'd get more takers if they lowered their prices a bit. Also, the maid service was a little inconsistent. We ran out of shampoos etc they weren't replenished so we had to call down to get them replenished....turn down service was spotty etc. etc. We also had an odd experience when someone walked into our room at 10:00 p.m. we don't know who it was to this day, but when they heard us they left. Also the high pressure hit to even go to their "el dorado" speech left me with a bad taste in my mouth. We were really uncomfortable with our "private concierge" when she wouldn't stop the hard core press. Almost felt like you didn't want to go ask for anything for fear of more pressure!

Is this a Ritz, Four Seasons, Peter Island etc. No of course it isn't...it's a luxury ALL INCLUSIVE in Mexico and it's gorgeous. You can't spend $2900 for flights, all inclusive etc and expect the Ritz/ peter island etc, but all in all it was a fanstastic luxury experience for the price we paid. We were sooo pleasently surprised and relaxed and in heaven. We didn't want to leave, and by the time we did I had to rack my brain for what made me a little "irritated".

Another bit of advice, seriously if you want lively go go go type of trip....go elsewhere this is all about being with your spouse or friends and relaxing. We are people that like going out etc and we were in bed every night by 11 and up by 7. Just by the nature of the resort it oozes romance and relaxation....not party party party! We tipped and it was really appreciated!

  • Stayed: January 2009
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8  Thank new2grmy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 January 2009

We stay in El Dorado Maroma in July 2008 and I have only one thing to say: Total Perfection!!! We booked one suite in Mi Hotelito, the old part of the property, in the ground level and we have the pool and the beach just ten steps away. The room was super clean and they have aromatherapy in the bathroom. The pools are great and this side of Maroma Beach is quiet. The gourmet inclusive menu was incredible, and the staff is so friendly and and kind, you can see they like their job (Very important).
Call a cab (200 pesos) and in 15 min you are in Playa del Carmen where you can buy from $5 souvenirs to top brand merchandise, or take the ferry to Cozumel.
You have Maroma Paradise just next door so if you want you can rent all kind of water activities, catamaran, scuba diving, snorkeling, motor boats, waverunners, etc.
If you go for a romantic vacation or honeymoon (as I was) don't forget to reserve a romantic candlelight dinner, is just surreal.
Recomended: Grab a bottle of water, a hat, put some sunblock and walk north along Maroma Beach to se the real paradise of white sand and emerald crystal waters of Riviera Maya.
GO GO GO
I Can't wait to return

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank fgizquier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 January 2009

Our experience at this resort was dissapointing. The first room they tried to put us in had no view of the beach or ocean (they advertise that all rooms do). We asked to be moved and ended up in a room with a partial view of the beach. After a heavy rain that night we woke up to water running down the walls and a flooded floor. After realizing that there was no poolside (community) hot tub and a leaky room they said we could upgrade to the newer building with a room that had a jacuzzi tub,so we moved again (for an extra 60 dollars a night). The new room was very spacious with a great view but we quickly discovered that the toilet didnt flush and the phone and dvd player didnt work. After a few phone calls (from the bathroom phone) those problems were fixed. We then discovered what I felt was the biggest annoyance of all, THIS RESORT IS STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION !!!!! Right next to the large pool and the only restaurant where you can eat breakfast and lunch they are building the Presidential Suites building.From 7am to 5pm it was constant construction noise. All of the balconies in the new building overlook this area. It was impossible to nap or read or just relax unless you were in your room with the patio door closed. The pool is very cold (we never saw anyone in it) with a max depth of 3.5 feet ! The food was not very good ,room service food was beyond bad. I would stay away from this place at least untill the construction is completed

Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
6  Thank axelMinnesota
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 January 2009

We recently stayed at El Dorado Maroma in January and were disappointed with our experience. The property itself is pretty and so is the ocean view, but in no way is this a 5 star resort, and for the price (on par with a Ritz or Four Seasons) we expected alot better. We requested early check, both through our travel agent and directly from the hotel and when we arrived, we were told our room was not ready. We took a cab into Playa del Carmen to do some shopping and upon return our swim up suite was ready.

Rooms: The rooms were fine. Bland with cheap prints on the wall. The furniture had water rings all over it. From the pictures it looks like expensive designer furniture but up close you will see that it really is just dark painted wood with defects everywhere. The bed was extremely comfortable. As stated before we had a swim up suite. The floor is polished marble and very slippery. There were no area rugs, mats, etc near the patio where the swim up area was. So our floor was littered with towels to keep from slipping. Maid service was inconsistent. Every morning at 7am we would put our sign on our door to have our room made up. It never occurred before 2pm and twice I had to call and ask to have the room made up. Also turn down service only occured once during our stay. The jacuzzi sprayed water everywhere soaking the bathroom and the shower door also leaked covering our bathroom with water. Sugar ants were everywhere in the bathroom. Living in Florida we are used to this, and we also know that it is an easy thing to remedy without using pesticides.

FOOD: The food was by far the biggest disappointment of the the stay. Gourmet? Laughable. Tiny portions of pre-prepard/frozen food does not equal gourmet. The first evening we ate in the asian restaurant. This meal took two hours. There was a large group of travel agents who were clearly catered to while the regular guests were left waiting and waiting for their food. To wait 2 hours for worse than mediocre food is unacceptable. Every night we ate in any of the restaurants we ordered alot of food because of the minute portions and every time one or two plates of food were simply forgotten. This happened every evening. When travelling to Mexico, we have fresh seafood in mind. Dont expect that when ordering at the Italian restaurant. The shrimp dish were tiny frozen rock shrimp served with wallpaper paste (soft polenta). We waited 1 hour 45 minutes for that meal. Dont order the filet of beef either. I asked for salt and pepper and was told "this is an italian restaurant, we dont have salt." And so went our dining experience at this resort. In order to get the fresh seafood we craved we left the resort on the third night and ate at a very upscale restaurant in Playa where we dined on all fresh ingredients from the sea. This was by far the best meal of the vacation. I did inform the concierge of the horrible food and service and the resort did try to make it better but there is no fixing what is broke unless there is a complete menu overhaul focusing on FRESH ingredients. We know great food and it was not to be found in this resort. In the end, we just ordered simple things we know couldnt be screwed up such as hamburgers, salsa, guacamole, fresh fruit.

Dont be fooled into thinking that the resort serves top shelf liquor. Cuervo and Smirnoff are the best you are going to get here. To not even have Patron tequila or something on that level is shameful. We are good tippers so we received decent bar service but if you dont tip, you wont. That goes for any service at the resort.

Maintenance occurred all day every day in this resort. To the point of nuisance. At 8 am one day they decided to change the drapes on my patio while was sitting there. Hello? I understand upkeep but there are ways to do this during times of the day when it isnt in front of the guests. I dont want to sit on my patio listening to lawn mowers, weed whackers, drills, etc. I dont want to see it.

We requested late check out since we had a late flight both through the travel agent and again through reception. Reception told us that if there room was free we would be able to get a late check out. The night before we asked if our room was free if we decided to extend and they told us it was. So we had the knowledge that the room wasn't going to be prepared for the next guest immediately. When my husband requested the late check out of 2pm we were told we would be charged $10 per person per hour. We said no way, we were not informed of this by our travel agent or the resort and refused. They immediately acquiesced.

We will not stay at this resort again. It simply was a giant rip off. If we pay those prices, we expect the service and food to match. Next time we will stay at a Ritz or Four Seasons, etc.

******NOTE********
I do want to point out that there was one employee at this resort who went out of her way to help us. Caterina. She is the shining star of this resort. Her warmth, friendliness and stellar customer service skills are by far the biggest asset there. We enjoyed her so much. We wish her much success in her career, she will go very far! Caterina, we hope Nacho's foot is getting better!!!

  • Stayed: January 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank kitkatdaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 January 2009

We enjoyed this lovely little place from Dec 11-18th. (and are ready to go back) While we had not seen many current reviews or forums about it, we knew it being a Karisma Resort, it had to be worth a try - and it was definitely worth it.

We booked a Mi Hotelito room, the older side, we ask for and got the exact room we requested - 215. One minor detail - they were renovating the room next to it! I do think they could have saved us all some time and told us that up front! However, we took the room, thinking we could live with the pounding next door - because the room and the view was amazing. Once the work is complete, this would be a great room - the most comfortable bed I've ever slept in! After one day, we decided - the noise was just too much - they did offer to make them stop - but we decided to just move - this time to a honeymoon suite - Room 642 in the new side. Ok, I just thought the old side had a great view! This room was on the fourth floor, with a hot tub, 2 couches, flat screen tv, dining table, the netting around the bed and many many pillows. You could just lift your head from the bed and look out across the room, the balcony and into the beautiful torquoise water. There was also a queen size bed and 2 comfy chairs on the huge balcony. (some rooms have the infinity pool, but we wanted one with a bed outside) The outside bed is wonderful for afternoon naps. This room was very quite, we were overlooking the pool, swimup bar and restaurant and you couldn't hear a peep from down there.

The area has one of the most beautiful beaches. However, directly in front of the resort, there is alot of seaweed. If you go just past the marina you will find an amazing beach - the hues in the water are mesmerizing - it's not that far, I highly recommend you take a towel, a bottle of water and go down there and spend an hour or so. The water is great, no seaweed! You will also pass an enormous home being built!
If you are interested in snorkeling - this is the place to go! You can go out (quite a ways and watch out for boats!) to the reef from here and see all kinds of life, sea turtles, eels, and many many fish.

The food was very good, they do go out of their way to please, not just with food - but in all aspects! The emphasis is on gourmet in the restaurants, which is not my taste, but you can get almost anything - even things not on the menu. And I for sure never went hungry. They have a grill down by the beach and have fresh fish, chicken, bbq etc 2 or 3 days a week and it is very good. And the margarita pizza at Sabors is yummy - cooked in a brick oven. You must try the ceasar salad - beautiful and tasty! Oh, and try room service - food is great - you can get a burger or a club or a hot dog and fries (among other things) and breakfast is wonderful and it's all there within 30 minutes!

Being such a small resort, 72 rooms, chances are you will meet some very nice people and we did. Hopefully some lifelong friends we can meet up with again! You can lounge on the beach, and someone will come by every few minutes and ask if you need anything else -be sure to tip! Catarina will even come by and fix your towel on your chair, fluff you up, etc - she is a hoot, and very helpful!

Activities are not pushed as hard here as they are at Sea Side, which makes them much more fun, Ivan and Medium are great activity people. They have vollyball and bacchi ball(?) and I'm sure there were others. Ivan takes people out in kayaks to snorkel also.

I can't say enough about the staff - everyone is very friendly, helpful and work very hard. You seldom even have to ask for anything, they seem to anticipate your every need! The ladies that do the massages are also very good!

We would definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank LovemyGSDBoone
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 December 2008

The El Dorado Maroma is one of the best kept secrets in the Cancun/Playa Del Carmen area for adults wanting a quiet, but convenient getaway. The hotel boasts wonderful rooms, fantastic staff, beautiful beaches, and gourmet all-inclusive meals.

The location is great because it's about half way between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen so a trip into town for shopping is very easy. The hotel offers complementary bus transfers to Playa Del Carmen on certain days of the week. Just check with the Lomas Travel Desk at the hotel for days and times.

The rooms at El Dorado Maroma are large and spacious. I was quite surprised at the large living area, and bedroom section with a wonderful king bed surrounded by romantic wispy drapes, and the famous towel characters nightly wrapped in flower petals on the bed was lovely. The bath was oversized with great lighting, a huge jacuzzi tub, and a large shower that had a glass door at one end that opened outside to a rainforest shower. It was incredible!

I cannot say enough about the staff. My favorite was Catarina who was buzzing around everywhere with a large smile, asking if everything was ok. All the guests warmed to her. She would also show up on the beach to offer all natural pineapple and papaya drinks to guests. Delicious!

One evening, when she found out we preferred vegetarian meals, she contacted the Asian Restaurant and the staff had a wonderful dinner prepared for us, all vegetarian. Fresh and delicious. If you eat in the Italian Restaurant, you must have the dessert that looks like chocolate ravoli. I had it almost every night. Also, if you want something that's not on the menu, just ask the waitperson and most likely they will make it for you. Also the drinks are a higher quality than other all-inclusives, which only adds to the continued gourmet level at this hotel.

This resort is very romantic with beach beds everywhere (no problem getting one like other resorts), a bed on the outside room deck and of course a king-sized very comfortable bed inside. Very romantic and special for couples wanting a great getaway.

Also, the resort is right next door to Maroma Paradise which offers, snorkeling, catamaran rides with sails you can ride, fishing, horseback riding, and speedboats. So if you are tired of relaxing, and want a bit of adventure in the Caribbean, just walk next door! And during the day and in the evening, the beach stretches a long way, and it's great for a walk, or morning run.

Overall, I cannot think of one thing I would want to change at this hotel. It was a perfect vacation, one that I will never forget!

  • Stayed: December 2008, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Packyourbags08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2008

Wow, just returned from a wonderful visit to the El Dorado Maroma. This is your place if you like a well-managed luxury resort, with relaxation and seclusion, gourmet food, beautiful facilities, and the best service. The staff was absolutely outstanding, eager to help with anything, always smiling, always ready with a greeting.

It is a short drive south of the Cancun airport, and then a mile or so through the dense jungle on the entrance road. Once you stay on the Riveria Maya, I doubt you will want Cancun proper again (well, maybe if you are a college student on break).

This area has been recognized as one of the best beaches in the world, and I can see why - beautiful white sand, meticulously cared for. A reef protects the beach from rough surf too. All you have to do is relax.

The Jacuzzi suite rooms are huge, very clean, well appointed, and include balconies that alone are the size of many hotel rooms!. There are three gourmet restaurants - Asian, Italian, and Mexican - so you won't get bored with the food. Just stay here - you won't regret it - life is short!

  • Stayed: December 2008
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6  Thank frequenttraveler7750
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun-Tulum Km 55.3, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Spa Resorts, by Karisma)
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: £327 - £790 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 99
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on one of Travel Channels Top Ten Beaches in the World, El Dorado Maroma is an upscale, exclusive Caribbean resort for romantic couples and active vacationers alike. Intimate and beachfront. Rustic and luxurious at the same time. the hotel provides outstanding services and gourmet cuisine. Receive personalized butler and concierge service, arrive with style with a champagne check in. It is rustic, because it is not pretentious and was built using traditional materials and with the philosophy of embracing the bounty of the nature and the local environment. It lies directly on the beach of Maroma, considered to be one of the best beaches in the world by independent reviewers, including the Discovery Channel. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Maroma, a Beachfront Resort, By Karisma Hotel Playa Del Carmen
El Dorado Maroma Hotel
El Dorado Maroma Resort

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