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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
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9,362 - 9,367 of 11,143 reviews
Reviewed 18 February 2008

We just returned from EDR last week and overall, are happy with our stay. We were not asked to buy a timeshare once in the 5 days we were there, we received a note under the door from the concierge our first morning asking us to call them or something to that nature, we didn't, knowing it was for a time share presentation, and didn't hear one more thing about it, which was nice. A lot of reviews talk about being treated poorly because you weren't staying in a Casita- we didn't have that experience at all. It was a very nice resort, beautiful well kept grounds, but we definitely didn't leave with a feeling of "I have to go back". We were both very happy we spent our honeymoon at Ti Kaye in St. Lucia instead of this place...it just wan't that special feeling.

Room:
We stayed in 1712, a Garden View Jr Jacuzzi Suite right by La Isla. The rooms were nice, definitely not a typical hotel room by any means. Our air conditioner leaked....a lot...the top shelf in our closet was soaked. When we figured that out we called the front desk but were placed on hold for so long we hung up and didn't bother to say anything else until we left since we were checking out the next day. There was a long black hair on the vanity in the bathroom when we checked in, other than that the room was very clean. Again, we didn't feel looked down upon or anything like that because we weren't staying in a Casita, that was far from the case.

Pool:
We hung out at the main pool, La Isla the majority of the time. It is annoying that people reserve the pool beds and chairs so early but there isn't any way around that. We were lucky to wake up early everyday without an alarm so we'd go downstairs and leave our things by the pool, go to breakfast, and then return. Even at about 6:30 you are going to have very few options for the seating there, there were never more than 4 or so beds open when we went down in the morning. It was definitely more enjoyable having a bed and chairs so if you're an early rise I recommend taking a trip to La Isla to reserve a spot as soon as you get up. The pool is a decent size, clean, and the swim up bar is a huge plus, they even opened early for us one day (they normally open at 9 am but hey we were on vacation and needed an 8:30 am cocktail!). One morning we went to the Fuentes pool for about an hour- we didn't care for it as much as La Isla- the beds and chairs weren't as directly in the sun as La Isla and the overall atmosphere was quieter, at least when we were there.

Beach:
Don't come here if you like a nice beach. I knew there would be sandbags but didn't realize they were going to look like huge beached whales, it was very distracting.

Food:
Overall we were very happy with the food. I've only done 1 other All Inclusive resort and I was much younger so it's hard for me to give a comparison but other people we talked to who were staying at the resort said it was very good food for AI.
D'Italia- Our favorite by far, we ate there 2 of our 4 nights. They were the only restaurant we had to wait for but it was well worth it and you can sit in the Martini bar until your table is ready so that was a huge plus.
La Isla- We had breakfast here all but one morning because it was right by the building we stayed in and right next to the pool. They had a decent buffet spread and some things you could order off the menu. I had the fajitas for lunch one day and they were excellent, I am still craving them!
La Fondue- Our first night we had dinner here, nice outdoor atmosphere, I've never had fondue before and I thought for my first experience it was very good. I am not a fish person but the mahi mahi was excellent.
Fuentes: We had dinner here, again cool atmosphere, a chef comes out and talks about how they cook certain dishes and there are large TV screens so you can watch. My pasta dish was very good, my husband did not care for his beef, he thought most of the beef at the restaurant wasn't very good.
Cocotal- We had breakfast here the last morning and the buffet was to die for! Much larger and better than La Isla's, we highly recommend this as your main breakfast spot.

Overall we're happy with the trip but it wasn't anything that really blew us away. Nothing about the resort was terrible, it was very pretty, grounds well kept, but it just seemed to be missing something we can't put our finger on. We made friends with a couple who were staying next door at the I think it was called Valentina, and they did nothing but rave about it. We went over there one day and it did look very nice.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
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11  Thank Brooke1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

I felt compelled to write a brief review because I recall how helpful tripadvisor was for me when I was researching places for my honeymoon. Hopefully, this helps someone out.

First and foremost, the hotel was beautiful and we had an excellent time. We had an Ocean Front Room and wasn't dissapointed. We were at the very last building before the Casitas, which was fine with me since it was located toward the desolate, quiter section of the resort.

The food was great! All sit down a la carte style restaurants, some with stricter dress codes and reservations needed. I suggest booking your reservations for the fancier restaurants as soon as you get settlred. We waited, and although we were able to get seats at every place, the waiting time was longer than we anticipated for the nicer spots. This was also the case with trying to get onto the shuttle van to Playa de Carmen. (This is the reason my rating is a 4 instead of a 5) The vans booked days in advance and they didn;t even entertain the thought of setting up a spillover van. Not a huge deal though in hindsight. (Cab was about $20 usd each way)

The beach was amazing. Clean, spacious, plenty of chairs and those beds that are set up out there. The waiters were out there taking our drink orders and getting us our pina coladas before the sun melted them. The water was very shallow for the longest time, crystal clear and very inviting.

Pools were excellent, BUT pool side bars closed way too early, 6 pm. Bar always nearby though, so after that, you just have to get out of the pool and get a drink that way.

Enytertainment adequate. Dindn't blow my mind, but they had someone there playing music or performing every night and it was overall a good time.

Service was very good. 24 hr room service was great, restaurant servers were friendly. Tour guides in the lobby, although not affiliated with the hotel, offer good service on the tours. Tours were excellent and fairly priced. We recommend the Club Tour/Bar Hopper Tour!! We did it on a Thursday and it was the biggest party experience we've ever experienced in our lives! Basically hopped to 3 main bars/clubs out there, Senor Frogs, Coca Bongos and another one, with a group of people. GREAT TIME. We also did the Chichin Itza and it was way worth the long drive. The tour guide was funny and kept us entertained, nice bus, affordable. THIS IS WHERE YOU WANT TO BUY YOUR SOUVENIERS TOO. Bring small dollar demoninations to this place and you'll leave with tons of gifts. I repeat, THIS IS WHERE YOU SHOULD DO YOUR SOVENIER SHOPPING!. We did Xcarat waterpark, was great experience. STAY FOR THE LATE SHOW - IT'S WORTH IT! Then we did the ATV and Boat tour - this was a blast as well, close to the Resort and it was an adventurous bus ride on a very narrow path to the location - fun fun fun and cheap (MAKE SURE YOU HAVE YOUR OWN HANKERCHIEF FOR YOUR HEAD - THE HELMETS ARE GROSS AND SWEATY and the charge a lot for them at the site)

Overall, a memorable experience. Felt safe, food tasted good, room was clean and overall very friendly staff. Adults only, which was good, but we saw more hooneymooners than singles. May be a spot to bring your significant other, but not a spot to go as a single ready to mingle person.

Stayed: June 2007
18  Thank JayKwanza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 February 2008

Just came back from EDR, and couldn't wait to post a review, since the ones I read here before going were such a great help. Will try to keep it simple, but let me just say it upfront - it was our 10 years wedding anniversary, and we loved it. Of course there were issues here and there, but really nothing much. Definetly recomend it for great relaxation and romantic scape.

RESORT - It is huge, but very well kept. The distances didn't bother us one bit. Love to walk, and golf carts drive by all the time offering a ride, which we most of the times declined. The golf carts are more frequent at the back walkway, that is, behind the blocks of rooms/casitas, and not so much at the beach walkway. Beautiful gardens, water fountains, some peacocks and little iguanas - leave them alone, they are animals, not toys. We arrived 10 a.m. and couldn't get an early check-in, so just changed our clothes, had lunch at JoJo's, a couple of Margaritas (each) and spent the rest of the time reading and dozing on a beach bed - no reason to complain if you choose to have a good time. Be sure to pack everything you might need in a handbag - beach clothes, sunblock, toiletries and a book or Ipod and you will be fine. The pools are lovely - La Isla a bit more crowded and lively, but the others calm and relaxing, specially at Casitas area.

BEACH - Le me tell you, the beach IS rocky, the sandbags are more numerous than I expected, I didn't get into the ocean once - and still loved it! The sea has beautiful colours, the sand is clean and fine, I watched the sunrise every day and never had a problem finding an empty beach bed (early risers). If you expect to swim and enjoy the water, do not count on this beach.

ROOM - We stayed at Individual Casita # 2701. It is a stand alone Casita, just steps from the beach, and right beside Pelicano's pool and swim-up bar. Loved the room, and although it is not one of the newer (these are at sections 30 and 31) it was still well kept and clean, lots of storage space, comfortable bed, aromatherapy available, good showers indoor and outdoor, DVDs available for rainy days - the works. Loved the bed on the varanda! It is somewhat near the beach walkway, but foot traffic isn't heavy, and the white curtains provide some privacy. Careful with the balcony/varanda doors, they lock automatically. If the key is not with you, they will have to call Security to let you in. Mind you, the magnetic key is for the backdoor, the varanda's can only be opened from inside. What happened to us was we left by the front varanda, closed its door, took the key with us, BUT forgot the backdoor's security lock fastened (you know the one, the extra lock for the extra careful). That way YOU WILL ALSO BE LEFT OUTSIDE, the key will not work, Security must be called - happened to us twice, shame, shame, shame.

RESTAURANTS - Can't live without Cocotal's breakfast! It had everything, custom made omelets with the fillings of your choice, fruits, yogurts, cheeses and cold cuts, fresh salmon, cereals, breads, cakes, sweets and a chocolate fountain (my favorite). Lunch at JoJo's, dinner at Kampai. I was a little disapointed at the italian place. The bars were amazing, I am not much of a drinker, but my husband seemed to enjoy them only too much. No problem making reservations in the morning for that same day, maybe we had to accept the time available, sometimes 20h, sometimes 19h, fine by me, and if we were hungry before that we just went to the health bar and got a smoothie or a protein shake - delicious. Had the candle light dinner as part of the anniversary package, but found it way below the hotel's standards, I am sad to say it was our worst meal. Minor issue for me, didn't pay extra for it, and we actually laughed about it. The food is much better than what you usually find at All Inclusives, most of it is a la carte, and beautifully presented, but it is definetly not gourmet food. Wine service is disappointing in every aspect. The house wine part of the AI is no good, and the options on the wine list (available at a charge) are few and overpriced. But for those who are not wine enthusiasts this may not be a problem at all - many other drinks to choose from.

SERVICE - Very attentive staff, always friendly and funny. They are delighted if you speak some spanish, so if you know some words, do use them, it is a minor courtesy I try to observe anywhere I go to. Mexican people have a quality I find difficult to describe, it is more than warmth - maybe the right word would be joy. They work very hard, and still surprise you with an open and frank smile. We tip as a matter of course, but were very well treated even before tipping.

ATRACTIONS - There are plenty of options, but we chose to rent a car 2 days and go to Playa del Carmen and X-Caret. I was sad to find that 5th Av. at Playa was taken over by cheap souvenir stores, specially its southern part, near Juarez Avenue. I remembered it as it was 10 years ago, full of quaint articrat shops and restaurants. Anyway, the northern part is hyper and still nice to visit, and that is where the hotel's shuttle drops and picks up the guests (18h to 22h). Playa del Carmen beach is much nicer, comparing to the hotel's. X-Caret is still the same (thankfully), just beautiful. We swam with the dolphins there, at a venue called Delfinus. It was expensive, but really amazing and worh it.

This is getting way too long. I hope it is useful, and feel free to send any questions.

Stayed: February 2008
17  Thank marianadeoliveiraf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 February 2008

My husband and I just returned from a very relaxing 5-night stay at EDR. It was our first time in Mexico and we liked it so much that we are excited to try to return to the area as soon as we can! We stayed in one of the second-floor infinity casitas (#3127) and couldn't have imagined a more beautiful room and view. A side note: we took our chances and waited to upgrade to the casita until arrival. It turned out to be well worth it because the deal they gave us there was much better than the one we were offered when we booked the room.

The overall experience that we had at EDR was fantastic but it's not for everyone. It was perfect for us because we are the type to just want to relax at the pool or the beach on our vacation. We didn't leave the resort at all, so I can't comment on the excursions or the area outside the resort. They don't really offer a ton of activities at the resort, either, so if you crave constant activity, this might not be your top choice of destinations.

For us one of the best things about EDR was the room itself. It was very large, spotlessly clean, and beautifully decorated. The bed had a white canopy and the housekeeping staff decorates it each day with "towel art" animals and flowers. We had a huge closet and bathroom area. There is a very large indoor shower, an outdoor shower, an indoor jacuzzi tub, as well as a little individual splash pool right outside on the balcony (just big enough for us to float on our air mattresses and catch some rays with a couple of drinks in hand). The balcony also has a double bed with nice soft pillows and linens and a table and two chairs. There was a big flat-screen tv in the room (which only gets a few stations, but who needs more when you are on vacation?). The minibar is included in your all-inclusive price and is stocked with beer (Tecate, Dos Equis, and Sol), soda, and water. We had some construction noise from the new section that they are building just past this area, but you could really only hear it from the bathroom side of the room, not the bed area.

This section of casitas (3100's) is the farthest away from the main lobby area and it is a very long walk to the restaurants (it took about 20 minutes at a pretty good pace to get to the lobby from our room)! It was great for us because we love to walk but you could catch a golf cart ride if you wanted. They claim that the carts come around every 20 minutes but sometimes we'd see them every five minutes and one really rainy night we couldn't find one to save our lives (We just went back into the Martini bar and had a couple more drinks and nice conversation and waited the storm out).

The pools were beautiful and kept very clean. I think they were filled with salt water because that's what it felt and tasted like but we never asked the staff for the details. The casita pools were much less crowded than the main pools and the bartenders were always friendly and helpful and would make their rounds frequently to take your drink orders. They would even walk out to the beach to serve you, too.

Speaking of the beach, it's not one of the best beaches, to be honest. Very rocky. Very rough surf the whole time we were there (and we heard from others that the red flag signaling danger for swimmers is almost never taken down because it's virtually always rough surf). We really couldn't go in the water deeper than our knees due to the rocks and sandbags and saw hardly anyone else attempting to swim either. Also, despite the many workers raking and cleaning the beach daily, there was still a lot of yucky trash washing up. That said, we still had a nice time laying out on the chairs or palapa beds and listening to the waves and gazing at the turquoise water in the distance.

The one major complaint that we had about the pool and beach is that there are not enough beds and chairs! People get out of bed at the break of dawn to go "reserve" theirs for the day by throwing their towels on them and then they stay unoccupied for hours while the "owners" sleep in or do other things. Luckily, we awoke naturally early most days and were able to get space but we saw many frustrated people walking the mile-long beach looking for a spot. The main pool area was even worse. The casita pools usually seemed to have chairs available in the sun (which we like) but you cannot use them if you are not staying in the casitas.

We enjoyed getting dressed up nightly to go out to dinner. The food was pretty good. Honestly not superb, though, despite the resort marketing itself as "gourmet." The presentation was always beautiful and the decor and ambience in the restaurants is really lovely, but the actual food quality was probably more 3- or 4-star than 5-star-restaurant level. Nothing was awful but there was nothing that I'd really rave about either. We ate at Kampai, Cocotal, D'Italia, La Isla, the Health Bar, the little burger place by the main pool, and the little pool snack area in our casita section (don't know if it has a name!). The best food we had was the smoked duck sandwich at our casita pool area (Okay, maybe I will rave about that one. It was delicious!!!). Kampai was very good, too. Liked the sushi and the lamb there. D'Italia was a little disappointing given how much everyone had raved about it beforehand. (It really tasted like the lobster "bisque" at one restaurant, the lobster "marmite" at another, and the sauce on the lobster fettucine were all just dumped from the same can of lobster-flavored liquid.) The salads at the health bar were quite fresh and tasty and the burgers by the main pool were good, too. We usually ordered room service for breakfast and it was always good and arrived hot. I managed to gain a couple of pounds despite all that walking!

The few mixed drinks that we had were delicious. We aren't usually hard alcohol drinkers but it looked like they did have the "top shelf" brands. Beer selection was limited but they do have Dos Equis, so we were happy with that. The wine was a bit of a disappointment. They had two house wines. Red. White. Don't even know what type of grape they were pretending they came from but they were not very good. You can order a better bottle of wine with dinner there but it will cost you. A LOT. We drank the house wine anyways and by the end of the trip we just got used to it!

For nightlife they have two bars, the Martini lounge and Guacamayas (the "swing" bar--it has swings you can sit on around the perimeter). The Martini lounge is mellow and quiet and the other tourists were friendly and fun to chat with. Guacamayas has a band, a nightly show (the two we saw were small-scale Vegas-type dancing acts--kind of fun to watch), and then a DJ later in the night. Guacamayas was hopping one of the nights that we were there, I think mostly because there was a fairly large group there for a wedding. The other nights it was fairly quiet but we attempted to tear up the dance floor as best a middle-aged couple can!

The staff at El Dorado Royale were generally very friendly and helpful with few exceptions. We did tip them pretty well, even though it's supposed to be included. I was also grateful that almost everyone who works there speaks English and they were kind enough to use it with us when they realized how awful our attempts at Spanish were.

To sum up, for us this resort's best points were the truly beautiful grounds, the luxurious infinity casita, and the pools. The few minor downsides were the rocky beach, the daily "reserve-the-palapa" game, and the yucky house wines!

We were sad to leave El Dorado Royale and wished we'd had a few more days to enjoy the beauty there. I'm not sure if we'll go back because it's pretty pricey and we also have more exploring to do, but we'd recommend it to anyone who wants a romantic and relaxing escape to a gorgeous place.

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
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13  Thank whoneedssunscreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2008

Wow... the Perfect Honeymoon getaway!
My husband and I spent 7 days at EDR for our Honeymoon last November and are already trying to plan when we can return.
As it was our honeymoon we splurged and booked a Casita, and were placed in the 2600 rooms. How glad we were that we did. This put us in a separate section of the resort exclusive to Casita borders where we had our own pools and bars and private section of the beach with numerous available palapas. Waiters would come and take our drink orders and bring them to you, as well at lunch time a sandwich cart would come along and later on an ice cream cart. You have to try the ice cream... its AMAZING! and a nice refreshing treat while laying in the sun.
Every night there would be a new bottle of champagne and there is nightly turn down service if you like and a pillow breakfast menu. We ordered breakfast in a few times but if you go to the cocotal the buffet breakfast is phenomenal with all the fresh fruit and pastries you can dream of. Try and make your own egg burrito they do it for you right there! it's Delicious.
All the restaurants had great food and perfect presentation. The only one we didn't try was 'La Fondue" It was opened every night so we missed that one on our stay.
if you get the chance, Don't miss the little Mexican outdoor lunch place. They have great nachos you're gonna love em.
Our room was a dream everything we had hoped for. My personal favourite was the outdoor shower. It was so rustic and authentic I used it everyday. The air condition worked like a charm and we also had to turn it down so that we would freeze at night. Our Casita balcony had a great view of the ocean since we were on the second floor of our 'Quad" and you can hear the waves since it's so close by. We ate our breakfast our there a couple of mornings but be sure to not leave your dirty plates in your room as they will attract wee little ants. Just place them outside your door as soon as you are finished and someone will be by to pick them up later.
The water is heated by solar panels so if it happened to be a more overcast day, the water only stayed lukewarm but that rarely happened. We just stuck to showers then instead of using eh jacuzzi tub in the corner of the room.
Now there are shuttles we used them off and on, but the resort is lovely to walk through at night. But they are there for your convenience so do use them if you need them.
We were entitled to a dinner on the beach which was so romantic. There was a sax player walking in between the huts and the food was great, and the baked Alaskan dessert was my husband favourite and you can only get it at the dinner beach. If you get the chance it's a great experience give it a try.
I could go on and on and tell you all so much more... but you'll have to go and experience EDR for yourself, it's such a great time.
The staff is very friendly and very helpful. If ever we had a question or needed something. it was done in a flash, non of this waiting around for hours. We were very impressed.
It was only a couple months ago that we were there, but all we can think about is going back.
We recommend this hotel and resort strongly, your gonna love it.
I hope this review helped you in making a decision just like the other reviews helped us.
enjoy your holiday!!

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
15  Thank Hadassah_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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