We have used trip advisor to help make decisions on several trips over the last couple of years and thought it was time to give something back.
Wow! What a wonderful week. We spent the week of Feb 10 to 17 at EDR and were very happy with our choice of resort. We had a swim up junior in building 44.
Check-In: Arrived around supper-time on Sunday. Check-in was quick, the glasses of champagne were a nice touch and we were not pressured or even asked to upgrade. They took a swipe of a credit card and in return we got our room keys, towel cards and a lock for the safety deposit box in our room.
Room: Our room was perfect, very clean, with a nice towel sculpture and flower petals on the bed to greet us. Since we planned to spend as little time in the room as possible it was more than adequate. The “river” was right off the patio and had loungers for our use. There were several days where we spent too much time right off of our patio, the loungers, river, occasional drink service and room service provided everything we wanted. If you plan on using your swim up suite for sun worshipping ,40 to 44 are better than the 50 to 55 as they are in the sun all day long.
Pools: We ended up using the larger pools very little, more by choice than anything else. We were early risers and noticed that even at 8:00 spots were sometimes still available around the Fuentes pool. Chair saving is curse at all resorts and EDR is no different. The beach was a much bigger draw for us than the pools. Also while this was an adult-only resort, there were a number of larger “children” at the pools that made us wonder what were worse, small yelling whining children or loud obnoxious drunk adults (flip a coin I guess). We did use both the Fuentes and La Isla pools, however chose not to try the smaller Casitas pools, as we were not allowed to use the loungers around them.
Towels: Weren’t a problem at all. We swapped our cards for towels the first day and switched towels as frequently as we wanted until we left. We never saw our towel cards again till the final day when we returned our towels and they gave us a pair of cards back in return. We never worried about the towel cards once, since we never had them all week.
Beach: Sun, sand and surf, we loved it. While it is not the prettiest of beaches it still qualifies as a beach and we spent a lot of our time there. There was drink service on the beach, so we didn’t have to get our own drinks unless we wanted to. We were always able to find loungers, the palapas on the beach were normally full, but personally we weren’t really after them. We have never been at a resort with so many comatose people as on those beds, we personally preferred the loungers. The whales are a bit of distraction but without them the ocean would not be usable as the waves would have been breaking right on the beach.
Food and Drink: Excellent quality and presentation on both counts. We got drinks from most every bar on the resort at one time or another. We have a new favorite drink, the Tequila Mojito. We will be making more than a few of these at home this summer. The drinks were premium quality and there was no skimping on the amounts. From a drink perspective it was the best quality and service of any resort we have been to yet. We managed to eat everywhere as well, go figure. We enjoyed all of our meals and found little to complain about. If we had to pick a favorite, it would be Kampai, but all were good. The service was outstanding and genuine. My wife didn’t each much of an entrée one night and the rush to understand why and the concern shown was immediate (waiter, greeter, supervisor), with everyone looking to see if there was anything they could do or if she required anything else. Very satisfying experience overall. As for not making reservations for Dinner, we didn’t see that as a problem at all. Most days we ate early, so we were seated immediately (6:00-6:30), on one occasion we got a beeper and were beeped. We waited an hour but so what, more quality time with my lovely wife, a Tequila Mojito and the beach.
Tipping: We tipped as we saw fit. We were never made to feel we had to tip and were always thanked when we did tip. We never saw any real impact as a result of tipping since most services are tipped for after the fact.
Check Out: Quick and efficient again, we handed everything back and they handed us our credit card deposit receipt back. After check out we still had several hours to kill before our transfer to the airport and we were able to get food and drinks (several last Tequila Mojito’s) prior to our departure.
General Observations: You always have to take what people say with a grain of salt based on their likes and dislikes.
Wine: You don’t go to Mexico to drink wine, wine snob or not, it’s not what they do well. They do tequila and mixed drinks well. When as the last time you sought out a Mexican wine? Having said that, we found the wine at least drinkable and noticed that many other people did as well.
Beef: You don’t go to Mexico for the beef, it’s not what they do well. Chicken, fish, Mexican food would be your better bets. Have a sense of where in the world you are and set your expectations accordingly. Having said that, the burgers at the Pizza place were great.
English: You should be thankful that any staff speaks English at all, it is Mexico a Spanish speaking country. All reception staff, waiters and bartenders spoke English, housekeepers and maintenance staff didn’t really have much of a command of English.
Treatment: If Casitas guests were treated better than us, I can’t imagine how other than by what their dollars allowed them. We were treated graciously by all staff that we encountered, some better than others but all were wonderful.
Going to town: No one seems to promote public transit anymore, we took the public transportation to Playa Del Carmen right in front of the resort, instead of a taxi or tour bus. The bus only cost $3 for both of us one way and we had no problems at all versus the $22.00 for a cab one way. We have always used the buses on previous trips, it is user friendly and you get to meet people.
Boutique experience: If you want a boutique experience go to a small intimate boutique resort, if you go to a resort with 600+ rooms, 1,200 + guests, large number of staff at your beck and call, then expect there to be some activity, hustle and bustle to keep the resort functioning. Kind of makes sense if you think about it.
Negative Comments: There were a few things that we didn’t like or bugged us: The Mojitos were not always consistent, at every meal we were asked for our room number at least 2 times (at least 42 times in other words, we found it annoying), one of the burgers we got by the La Isla pool was raw and there was “no” self service of anything at the resort.
In closing we had a great time and loved the resort. We are likely not to go back to this resort since we like to try new experiences. We rarely return to the same place twice, no matter how good it is, there are just too many places in the world to try and so little time.
We would highly recommend EDR to anyone who wants a quality experience.
If anyone has any questions please ask we would be happy to answer you.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, 5viajes2012 S.L. and Cancelon so you can book your El Dorado Royale, by Karisma reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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