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“Paradise !”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 22 February 2008

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.

  • Stayed: February 2008
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26  Thank LSUC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8,337 - 8,343 of 10,071 reviews

Reviewed 22 February 2008

Oh my what can I say, this was the best holiday we have ever been on. The service here is great, the staff is very happy & helpful. The beach is not great but we are not ocean swimmers so we did not mind. Our Butlers were the highlight of the trip. Daniele, Julio, all of them. If you go you must try the spa, we loved the massages. The food is great also. All the rooms are romantic and this is a wonderful resort. Can't wait to go back!!

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled with friends
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5  Thank bouchard01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2008

The staff was very friendly and always smiled. Beach was awesome and the rooms were very nice. We stayed in a Casita with an ocean view. Very Romantic Place. Food was okay, but all of the all-incl. are prettymuch the same. Did not care for the time share people, but once you let them know you were not interested they left us alone.

  • Stayed: March 2004, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank warrenmark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 February 2008

We stayed at this hotel for our 50th anniversary and were very dissappointed with the service provided food was not at a standard that you would expect from a 5 star hotel. Staf were polite but were poorly trained and response to requests for help did not happen. Be aware that if you take up the offer of the hotel promotion to visit their caseta suites or presidential suites you should be prepared for a hard sell exposure from the sales personnel of their Exotic holiday club a company jointly owned by Karisma hotels, What hotel would deliberately expose their guests to this type of experience. It is like the bad old days of time share selling. Buyer beware is what I say. My best advice is to stay away and go to the nearby Iberostar group of hotels where you will not be dissappointed.
Happy holidays Stan Walker

Stayed: February 2008
6  Thank jjoystan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 February 2008

My husband & I just returned from El Dorado Royale and had a outstanding experience there. We had originally booked an Ocenview Jr. Suite and when we got there we upgraded to an Oceanfront Casita. We are so glad we did! Our Casita was #2618 and the location couldn't be beat! The room was big and just beautiful. We were steps from the pool and the beach. The service was top-notch. The restaurants were truly gourmet. Our favorite was Kampai. If you love sushi you can't go wrong there. Our concierge, Cecilia, was the best. Always there for anything you need. We love to walk and there is alot of walking there. If you don't like to walk this may not be the place for you. Although they do have shuttles that run all the time. I don't understand any of the negative reviews. I am a pretty fusy traveler and I would go back to this hotel in a second! Great for couples celebrating anniversaries, honeymoons or just getting away together. Definitely not for the young and wild set. This was a much more mature crowd. Glad it wasn't the crazy all-inclusive type that we've been to before. Try it....You'll love it!!

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

Me and my g/f stayed at the El Dorado Royale for one week from 2/9-2/16. First i just want to say that everything about the trip was amazing!!! i'll break the review down into every different part of the trip, i'll be very detailed and the only reason i'm doing this is because it's terrible to see the dumb things that people complain about in previous reviews. we also upgraded halfway through our stay to an infiniti casita. with that being said you DO NOT get better service when staying in the casita!! you have different services offered to you, but it makes sense because your paying A LOT extra for the bigger room so you will get some added features that i'll talk about later in the review. before i start, i'll just make you aware that i did study hospitality and tourism management and had worked in a USA triple AAA 4 diamond hotel. with that being said i write the following review. first, airport to resort transportation;this was somewhat of a zoo, but i didn't expect anything different, you have thousands of people arriving at one airport and going in a thousand different directions, even in the states this process wouldn't go smooth. we found lomas travel which is who we booked our ground transportation through and they got us on the road pretty quickly, did a shared van which was with a few other couples which i recommend only because you know your not going to stop at a bunch of hotels. got to the resort and they gave us a cool towel and a glass of champagne, awesome!! checking into hotel; now first to explain, we booked through a couple that are members of the exotic club which i highly recommend because we were there as friends of the members. so when you get to the resort they bring you into a completely separate room to check in aside from everyone else, you sit down on a comfortable couch and it's a very smooth process and they walk you through everything. now before you start thinking that maybe the service is better for the friends of the members then just the resort guests it's not because we became friends with a very nice couple who were there for the 3rd time and everytime they love it. so check in was very simple and within a half an hour they brought us to the room. first 4 nights we stayed in ocean front jr suite;the room was amazing, everything from the bathroom, bed, jacuzzi to the porch. power did go out one night for about 2 seconds due to a thunderstorm and we did have some problems with our air conditioner but they always fixed it very quickly. maid service was unbelievable, always cleaned every inch of the room. the beach;the beach is what it is, they need to protect the beach front and by doing so they need to use sand bags. erosion can not be fixed, someone wrote that in an earlier review and i kind of laughed. the water is beautiful, you can definately swim, but you may need to walk a little depending upon where your room is to find the areas where you can swim. if your going on vacation purely for the beach then this isn't your place. me and my g/f would go into the water usually once a day but we'd typically grab a couple chairs by the pool in the casita section and relax there and if we wanted to go to the beach we would just walk down there. if you go to el dorado and are surprised by what the beach looks like then you obviously haven't done much research in determining where to go on vacation. lunch;we usually went to either jo jos or the the little pizzaria/burger place across from the candle light dinner area, both were awesome!! for me and my g/f it wasn't a big deal at all to leave the pool and grab some food, it was actually very nice to get a little break from the pool and the sun and to relax in shade. both were very very very good!!dinner;we ate at ALLLL of the restaurants and i can honestly say that there wasn't a bad meal, we ate everything!!!! every course was amazing, appetizers, soups, main course and desert. the service at the restaurants was amazing!!!! also, when going to eat they ask you your room number, we couldn't quite figure out why they do this, i'm thinking for historical data, who knows. but back to the point, whether your staying in a jr. suite or casita you don't get any different treatment in the restaurants. also, i do typically enjoy eating at the better restaurants in the states and this food was every bit as good if not better than anything ive ever had in the US, this included some of the best steakhouses in boston and seafood. we never had a problem with waiting, however we did typically go to dinner right around 6 which is when they started service for dinner. nightly entertainment;me and my g/f had read a number of reviews before staying at the resort so we new exactly what to expect. the entertainment was pretty good for the most part, the music was great and so was the dancing. the cover bands were very good and played popular songs that everyone knows. usually were at guacamayas for this which was a really cool bar with lots of areas to sit or to sit on the swings or at tables. they also have the beach bar which is an awesome bar to usually grab a drink and relax a bit or we usually grabbed one drink there and took it for the walk back to our room. 3 nights in casita 3135;let me say this, we were absolutely pleased with our jr suite, my g/f didn't even want me to ask for an upgrade but i just wanted to stay in one sooooo bad so i asked. we paid 100 extra a night to stay in an infiniti pool second story casita!! the room was un-believable!!!!!! now, the very few extra things that the casita guests do get that the jr suite guests don't are; you can make reservations to the restaurants, they provide you beach towels daily in the rooms, you can have a limited breakfast delivered to your room for your selected time (this isn't really much different from just having breakfast delivered via room serivce to the jr. suites) you also have an outdoor shower and that is really it. both rooms were extremely clean!! casitas also have the outside beds on your patio which is nice. those are really the only differences. and the reason that the casitas are separated from the jr suites is because they do plan on making it a separate resort, different area for checkin/checkout etc. but honestly, for the most part you are not going to get any better service depending on where you stay. tipping;me and my g/f always tipped, we do it because that's how i show my appreciation to the workers for their service. we always tip in boston or any other restaurants we ever go to so i didn't expect any different when i went to el dorado, some people make a big deal on tipping and honestly if you don't tip i would consider that an insult to the workers that you don't appreciate the service they provide. for the most part, they don't get paid well so a couple extra dollars here and there isn't going to hurt you, it is however going to make a difference to the workers. i didn't see it anywhere but i guess it says a non-tipping resort, i didn't really care about that, i tip for good service, it's as easy as that, and if you don't tip then i think thats rude. none of the workers ever expected it or waited for it. i would usually tip 10 dollars at dinner, 5 for lunch and usually 1 or 2 dollars for drinks. or usually i'd just give a 5 once i got to the pool and that would be it. either way though the service was great. SPA;AMAZING, that's all i have to say about that. our ONLY complaint would be that there is no ATM at the resort, so if we needed any money we would just need to take a taxi ride about 5 minutes away and then return to the resort. that and of course that we didn't stay longer. the only complaint i have of the entire resort. on a final note, i read a lot of reviews prior to going to the resort and many of them i disregarded because the complaints were so foolish, many of them actually made me laugh. the service is amazing, the rooms awesome, food is the best and the grounds/property is unbelievable. please feel free to contact me if you have any questions

  • Stayed: February 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
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43  Thank ec17kenny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
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    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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11  Thank Brooke1011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: £222 - £699 (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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