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“Most wonderful vacation EVER”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 14 April 2011

My husband and I just spent a week there in an ocean front jacuzzi suite at the El Dorado royale. It was a long belated honeymoon. We can not say enough about the wonderful time we had there. The place was so immaculate, the food was good, the bars were great, and most of all what stood out most was the staff. We recieved the best hospitality ever. I can not say enough about how much fun we had snorkling, sitting by the water, and having a few drinks metting new couples at the evening entertainment. We for one have not stopped praising the place since we left and can not wait to plan another trip there. Top class resort with the BEST IN CLASS service

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank prfct18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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7,043 - 7,049 of 10,080 reviews

Reviewed 13 April 2011

Just returned from a 5 night stay at Royale. The resort is HUGE, the food is fabulous, the staff is awesome, wish we could have stayed longer! Not one complaint!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank MHuf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2011

My wife and I came back from a week here on honeymoon, and it was so good, we are already saving to go again - this time, for two weeks!

After our flight arrived late (not the hotel's fault, so I'm not going to mark it down - although others probably would), we were greeted on arrival with a flute of champagne with banana liquer, before checking in and being whisked off to our room for the week in a golf cart. We had read the reviews on here before (we'd booked the honeymoon in June 2010, and were reading this site most days since then), and were aware of the size of the resort. We still were taken back at just how huge this place was.

On our first night we were given a complimentary bottle of champagne, and after a long flight, that + the in-room jacuzzi were a real pleasure. Add the room service, which (unusually) was free, and we were in heaven.

We had booked with First Choice and had been upgraded on their honeymooner's deal, which meant that we got an ocean view room. The worst thing about this room was that it was on the furthest edge of the resort. The best thing: the first morning there, suffering from jet lag, we woke up to an amazing sun-rise from our top floor balcony. Before we left we were unsure of what the rooms were, but after visiting, it's quite simple:

Ocean View - not on the beach front, but you can see the ocean
Ocean Front - on the beach front, a stone's throw from the sea
Swim-Up - ground floor, you've got a "river" linking you from your room to the nearest pool
Jacuzzi Jr Suite - basic room with view of the resort, and possibly the sea too

In the week we were there, we tried pretty much every restaurant on site, but not so many of the bars. Unless you're in the pool every day, your choice of bar is pretty limited (the main one next to Jo-Jo's, unless you fancy a walk into the Casitas, or a martini in the main lobby)... and even then, if you're wanting to experiment with cocktails, then you'll need to be good at guessing, as the only menus on show were at the cocktail bars. Although, compared to every other all-inclusive resort we've been to, the alcohol here was top-brand stuff, as opposed to the generic local variant!

That aside, we couldn't fault a single thing about the restaurants. Our favourite evening spot, even though we only ate there once, was D'Italia, with Cocotal pushing it really close. All of the restaurants operate in the same way: you're greeted at the front of house, and taken to your table. Whilst you can reserve a spot, you don't need to (just be aware that you may need to queue at some of the more popular places). We never had an issue with "pushy waiters" trying to "force" wine on us - sure, they asked us once per visit, but once we said "no, thanks", that was it. Just like the "timeshare" presentation invites you get in your door; you don't have to go to those, so it's no problem.

A word to the wise though, a lot of the restaurants here don't serve up "standard" fare. If you're happy with burgers, and aren't sure about trying out other foods, then you'll be best off with room service. For breakfast, La Isla and Fuentes offered the best choice (Fuentes is a buffet, with the "culinary theatre" limited to four video screens that showed nothing of the chefs whilst we were there!), although be sure to make a trip over to Kampai in the morning for a pleasantly surprising breakfast.

Lunch is best served by the main pool's La Cabana Pizzeria, with the usual combination of pizza, burgers and nachos on hand. There is a health bar further down the beach for those who want smoothies and veggie wraps, whilst those wanting something more "authentic" can try the Rincon Mexicano. The only downside to Rincon was it's location - hidden behind Fuentes, it's not exposed to any breezes, so you get the full force of the sun sitting there! Great for sweating off the pounds you'll have put on at the great restaurants!

Evening dinner: D'Italia in the main hotel (not the Casitas) was the best restaurant we've been to home and away. If we had stayed there longer, we'd have eaten here every night of our second week... and when D'Italia was full, we'd have gone to Cocotal. Both restaurants offered a good variety of food, with none of it being so "out there" that you'd be scared to try it. The fondue restaurant (a tree-house restaurant!) was good, but felt slightly gimmicky, whilst Jo-Jo's Seaside Grill offered a good menu, but as you can have this for lunch too, it's not worth wasting an evening meal slot here.

Our honeymoon package also gave us a free candlelit dinner - although the idea of it was better than the reality. The menu was somewhat high class compared to the other restaurants, but at the end, I wouldn't have been thrilled if I'd paid the $150 asking price for this. Likewise, the massage lesson (also part of our package) was free, despite the hotel trying to upsell us... again, you can always say no, which we did.

There are several large swimming pools in the main (non-Casitas) resort, with each one serviced by a bar... only problem is, the sunbeds by the main La Isla pool disappear quick, whilst the pool at Fuentes is where the majority of the activities take place. Every day there's games of water polo, volleyball and aqua-aerobics. There's also table tennis nearby, and if you're not athletically inclined, they do tequila tasting several times a week. Elsewhere in the resort you can hire bikes free of charge (if you're sick of using the golf carts to get around!)... the resort is also able to hire out scuba masks for free if you want to go in the sea, but if you want to go deeper, more specialised equipment is available at a cost.

If you just want the sun, head down to the beach, where there were plenty of sun-beds, and a few "four-poster sunbeds", although you'd either have to be there before breakfast to reserve a bed... or just "borrow" a bed in the Casitas part. When we stayed, none of the Casitas four posters were being used, so this wasn't an issue although you weren't meant to use them.

Our favourite spot was near the health bar, by the beach - we managed to snag a four poster there most days, next to an artificially created lagoon. You can swim in there, and with the crystal clear waters, you can see plenty of fish swimming around you, and even the odd crab on the rocks by the side. While the "dead whale" sand bags aren't that attractive, with the rest of the resort in such top shape, who on earth is spending their time staring at sand bags?! Especially when their whole purpose is to help create the beach (after it was wrecked in a hurricane) and attract the wildlife to the area as well!

Service-wise, we tipped most of the waiters $1 or 50 pesos after every meal - although we'd been told by First Choice that US Dollars were effectively banned in Mexico, that is NOT the case! Almost everyone who dealt with us couldn't do enough for us, be it the golf cart drivers taking us to our room, or Alfredo, who (unfortunately for him) ended up running a good way down the beach to catch us after I'd left my glasses behind! The golf caddy drivers do a tour of the resort when they originally take you to your room, and if you don't get that, simply ask them to take you to a random restaurant at the opposite end of the resort - you'll get the guided tour on the way!

The only minor fault we had was that our room wasn't serviced on the first day; and we needed to make a few phone calls to get towels. Saying that though, this was the first hotel we'd been to where we'd get towels in the morning and in the evening too, as well as a turndown service, so one oversight didn't do any damage whatsoever.

We have had no problem recommending this hotel to our friends and co-workers - and as we say in the title, we're already saving up to go back here soon!

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank TheIanHamilton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2011

We have just got back from a 2 week holiday celebrating my wife's and her sisters birthday and the hotel and grounds exceeded our expectations. We would like to thank the 'K' Team Eloy, Jose (Cobra), Oscar and Hector and the rest of them for all their entertainment it was fantastic they work really hard. There was a full variety of activities if you wanted to join in during the day and good shows on the night. All staff are very friendly and helpful, food menu did not change in the two weeks but there was a good variety and the waiters could not do enough for you especially Alfredo/Alfredo but my wife would have liked more veg and potatoes. We went on The Pirate ship this is a must had an excellent night. Went swimming with the Turtles (well if you could see any!) do not do this unless you are a strong swimmer as you are snorkelling for about 1 hour and go out to sea. Horse riding at the Bonanza with Raul and Douglas was good the horses are very gentle. You trek through the jungle then come out at the most amazing sight of white sandy beach and blue sea. Would highly recommend. We met a lovely couple John and Pat and hope they got back home ok and congratulations on your MBE well deserved,(Tony made it back home in one piece). Would definately recommend this hotel.

  • Stayed: April 2011
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1  Thank tonyMiddlesbrough
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2011

We booked our holiday in Jan 2010, for Nov 2010 so had been reading the reviews for over 6 months leading up to it. From the moment we arrived to the end it was perfect. The things that stand out are the food...amazing food....drinks (there IS a cocktail menu just ask for one) and the waiter service who come around giving you shots 'its party hour' over and over! great!
We had the dinner on the beach after giving up around 1-2 hours on a cloudy morning to have the presentation that was offered to us by putting a flyer under our door..just out of sheer interest. We didnt have anyone come up to us hassling us about the timeshare at all. not once. It was interesting however only for the seriously rich and the candlelit dinner on the beach was amazing on our last night :)
Rooms were great, we had a standard villa room with balcony, did have to ask for a hammock but it came within 10mins. Mini bar stocked up, great cleaning and towel refreshments daily, turn down service couple of times in the 2 weeks we were there.
lots of pillows and beds are very comfy.
We got there around mid afternoon so went straight to beach bar and the sights are beautifull overlooking the sea with beautifull sunsets. Music softly playing in the background. perfect. We also had room service *only 24 hour if you are in a casita* and room service was great tho one time the food was abit cold and not so fresh, the chocolate brownies are amazing.
The food and restaurants in this place are amazing, we only had to wait about twice, and this was not due to the restaurants being crowded but due to some places being shortstaffed. We once waited an hour, went downstairs when our buzzer went off and there was loads of empty tables, this is clear it was staffing issues. However we just relaxed in the bar and there was no rush.
I have to say there IS a distinction between regular guests and casita guests which we found dissapointing. The casita pools were virtually empty however we were asked to move to 'our end' by the concierge one day when we were at one of the casita pools which we found a shame as we were just laying on one of the sunbeds but aparntly if you dont have a brown casita towel, you are not allowed. There were plenty of beds still free for the casita guests to use so we found the distinction unfair after all we are still paying customers, so the thing about using the casita facilitites isnt true, you cant. normal rooms have a blue towerl. Therefore i feel the 2 ends 'casita' end and normal end should just be totally seperate hotels. After that we felt we didnt even want to go down to the casita end, even take a stroll down there.
Also there were ALOT of noisy americans there who complained and complained and complainnnedddd. My god i cringed for them, they were so rude to the towel guys or the waiters for no reason. You can defintaely tell the americans between the english there, so maybe they could do us all a favour and quiten down and stop being so obnoxious.
There were also some wedding receptions going on at night which was beautiull to see as the grounds were decorated in fairy lights and music was loud which was nice to hear as we sat on the balcony.
The beach cabanas are for casita guests but there were so many spare we lay on them also and luckily werent told to move...
There were also coach trips however pre-book with your concierge as only so many allowed at one time and only so many allowed on the coach. But hey if you are american you can just attend at the pick up time at the front of the hotel and bully your way on to the coach and give the driver a tip. typical americans trying to get to the front when they hadnt even booked. unfair for everyone else.
The coach trip to cancun is only between certain hours and drops you off at an awkward place, this needs to be reviewed. Our coach was half an hour late taking us which is time we didnt get back.

we would defintely come back but as a casita guest...in a few years time once we have travelled some more.

yes the beach is rocky but this is due to nature, so do not blame the hotel.

RECOMMEND :)

have fun

  • Stayed: November 2010, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Ktapp86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2011

THE most gorgeous landscape and THE best cuisine in any Cancun resort we've visited. The chefs make every plate a work of art. Portions are not overwhelming, so it is possible to enjoy a multi-course meal without feeling wasteful. For the health-conscious the "Health Bar" provided an interesting lunch alternative, serving non-alcoholic fruit and veggie smoothies and healthy sandwiches made with fresh fruits, veggies, and lean meats--caloric values are listed on the menu.

Room: The white-on-white (basic) room is comfortable with a great tiled bathroom and a balcony. Our room was clean; we received turn-down service despite the fact that it wasn't included. The buildings nestle into (and are partly hidden by) well-maintained gardens with lush foliage. Bed lounges in the coconut groves beside pools are absolute heaven.

Fun: We enjoyed varied entertainment, music and dancing every night. The K-Team recreational/entertainment staff are friendly, fun and helpful.

Beach: It's prohibitively rocky in most areas and where it is not, the sandbag artificial reefs are unsettling (think beached whales) until you don a mask and snorkel for a look below the surface. There, you will be amazed by the assortment of plants, beautiful fish, and corals populating them. Sadly, the water around the reefs was littered with clear straw wrappers and other materials apparently carried by winds or guests into the ocean.

Fruit? The tropical fruity drinks in each of the restaurants and bars are made with "syrups" instead of real fruit (think koolade daiqueri) but their "Mudslide" (a creamy chocolatey concoction) thoroughly distracted me from any initial disappointment. Basic white and red house wines went down smoothly with meals and other options are offered from a wine list if you would like to pay extra for a special bottle.

We loved much, much more about this resort and had a wonderful time. We'd go straight back tomorrow!

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank TanNHappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2011

We went for a quick 4 day getaway with another couple. We travel alot and have been to many 5 star resort in Carribean, so have something to compare to.

The Pros: Good Service, hotel was 80% occupied, but did not feel crowded at all, plenty of cabanas available even for people like us who slept late and did not reserve, grounds are nice and well kept, decent pool area and towel service. DJ after 11pm was good. played contemporary music.

The Neutrals: Rooms were ok: Clean but a bit outdated. We went to one of their "membership" lectures to get free dinner on the beach - the rooms they showed us on that presentation was beautiful, especially the presidential suites, and the private villas. But our room and our friends room was outdated (our friends had to switch rooms upon arrival due to alot of mold). The restaurant style service was different for us as most of the all inclusive hotels we stayed at had open buffet, but we kind of liked it. They try to make it in gourmet style with hostest service.

The Cons: THE BEACH IS TERRIBLE!!! if you are a beach person, like we are, do not go to this resort. the sand is only in the shallow area blocked by the sand tunnels, but the other areas are very rocky and not the kind of beach i prefer when in Carribean. Food: quality of food was ok. some things were ok and some were not. Variety could be better (again no one was starving, but in comparison to other 5 star resorts). There was little seafood (lobster was additional $45) and it would be nice for that resort to have a steak house. The evening entertainment was not too great either. If we would not get the romantic dinner on the beach complimentary, i don't think it was worth the $120 per couple that they charge in addition. House wine was free, but any other kind you had to pay extra. Spa was ok, but priced higher then the quality.

Overall, we had a good time, but i would not go back.

  • Stayed: April 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank VacationLover78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
KarismaHotelsResorts, Guest Relations Manager at El Dorado Royale, by Karisma, responded to this reviewResponded 15 April 2011

Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for sharing your experiences with us on Trip Advisor. We were very happy to read that you experienced upscale service, which is all a part of our unique Gourmet Inclusive concept.

I’d like you to know that we take all feedback from our guests very seriously and that your feedback was shared with our hotel management. In response, we would like you to know that the renovations of our rooms are one of our future projects. Last year, we completed many improvements, such as the introduction of the Royale Suites and we have further plans to ensure our hotel always remains up to date with the most recent and modern amenities.

We are very disappointed to hear that our beach did not live up to your expectations. At our resort, we are passionate about the environment and have created artificial reefs, which have helped restore the natural balance to our reef systems. With special material, a submerged wave breaker has been formed, which controls beach erosion and encourages the attraction and repopulation of fish, which provides for an incredible snorkeling experience for our guests. We also take pride in the fact that our beaches are located on the 2nd largest coral reef in the world.

On behalf of El Dorado Royale, we’d like to thank you for your valued feedback.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Dorado Royale, by Karisma

Address: Carretera Cancun - Tulum Km. 45, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico (Formerly El Dorado Royale)
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury 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: £224 - £709 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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

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