Our trip got off to a rocky start - our room wasn't ready, we found the check in process to be frustrating with a lot of attempts at upselling, we were shuttled to the wrong place several times and when our room was finally ready, the keys didn't work and we had to wait another 45 minutes for security to help. (We also had a frustrating experience with Olympus Tours, which was unrelated to the resort, but it still added to our moods). After a long travel day, we were ready to just relax, so it was a frustrating start to the trip. (Our travel agent contacted the sales manager, who offered to send us a bottle of wine at dinner or comp something, with which they did not actually follow through).
Once everything was resolved, our trip improved quickly. Everyone who works here is extremely friendly, happy and courteous. We had an infinity swim up casita suite (3112) and the private infinity pool was definitely worth the extra money. Each block of casitas has their own pool bar and our bartender (Isac) came and checked on us every hour to bring us drinks. The casita side of the resort was much quieter than the main part of the resort. There was no worry about having to reserve chairs by the pool or beach cabana though the main pool was much more crowded and active.
Food - We've been to several all-inclusives in the past and have never been impressed by the food. Even after reading many reviews for El Dorado Royale, we were still skeptical. Our expectations were exceeded. Every dinner we had was very good. We noticed some comments regarding portion sizes being small. We did not see this as an issue at all. Dinners are set up as 3-4 course meals, which was more than enough food for both of us. We had the best dinners at Kampai, Rincon Mexicano and Santa Fe. The only meal we felt really didn't stack up was at La Isla - just ok.
Food Allergies - This resort is extremely conscious of food allergies. Whenever you go to any restaurant the second question after asking for your room number is "do you have any food allergies?" I have a gluten allergy and they were extremely accommodating. Each waiter knew exactly which dishes were gluten free or could easily be adjusted. Every restaurant also had gluten free rolls/bread which I found quite delicious and didn't feel left out while my husband noshed on bread during meals. They also had gluten free flatbread for pizzas at the pool-side pizza/burger spot, but it was thick and it wasn't that good. I felt there was plenty I could eat, left every meal very satisfied and didn't get sick!
Spa - We also have never had great expectations of resort spas as we've had some poor treatments in the past at other resorts. However, the massages we got here (I had a prenatal with Mary and my husband a combination with Yasmin) were wonderful! The spa was beautiful, the facilities were great - sauna, spa pools, steam room, etc and the staff was very friendly. (Tip - the gym at casitas is not as nice as the main gym, if you're looking for more equipment).
Resort size/accessibility - This resort is very large and spread out. However, we are active 30-somethings who are used to city-living and we never used the shuttles. It didn't take us more then 10-15 minutes to walk from one end to the other; and we enjoyed the excuse for a stroll. We were lucky with good weather but I could see how it would be difficult if it were raining or very very hot.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. The good things definitely outweighed the bad and we would go back and recommend to friends.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- El dorado casitas royale, one of conde nast traveler readers’ top 100 hotels in the world and a AAA four diamond resort, is the pinnacle of romantic seaside luxury.Nestled along the beach in a separate, secluded area within El Dorado Royale on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults only resort designed for romance. A superb array of amenities and services makes this an unrivaled destination for romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma Hotel Riviera Maya