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“romantic and relaxing honeymoon site”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Indianapolis, Indiana
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“romantic and relaxing honeymoon site”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We did our honeymoon at the El Dorado Royale after being referred by Jayne Revell with Beach Bum vacations. We had a great time. Everything was beautiful and very clean. Overall the food and drinks were good (but not excellent) and there was a lot of variety. Things occasionally took awhile, but the all inclusive piece was convenient. One thing we noticed, though, is it is definitely designed to be spa-like. There is very little Mexican culture influence. If you want to relax and enjoy beaches and convenience I'd say it's a great fit.

Room Tip: the swim up rooms look nice
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank L E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Lynbrook, New York
Level Contributor
39 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

I traveled with my boyfriend from July 16 to the 23rd. This was our second time together to an all inclusive and my third time to Mexico. I had been to Cancun in 2012 and loved it but was looking for something more quiet and romantic this time around. My travel agent recommended the El Dorado Royale and we couldn't have been happier!

First off let me say that the grounds and the hotel are beautiful. It is a huge beachfront property, so big that you have to take their little tram service (really a golf cart driven by one of their many cheerful employees who were happy to pick us up even when there wasn't an official stop) to get to a couple of the restaurants which are on the Casitas side. The Casitas side was nice but for the additional cost we didn't want to do it (they wanted another $600 plus per night for the infinity pool suites!

The staff was wonderful, especially our concierge in front of the 4100 buildings and our waiter Sammy who we dubbed "smiling Sammy" at Cocotal because he was always in a great mood and bent over backwards to make us happy. The best meals we had were at D'Italia (and we weren't going to eat there because my boyfriend is Italian and cooks all the time but we are SOOOOO glad we did!) and the dinner at Fuentes that you need a reservation for. It is worth it!

The pools and the beach are beautiful. There are two main pools....one is quiet and one is not so quiet. We actually went to a third pool next to La Isla, made friends with the bartender and enjoyed the smaller crowd instead of the volleyball game at the big pool. If you want to get a bed in the shade you have to get down early and put your towels on a chair. This was a little disappointing because half the time there were towels on beds and no one using them while we were stuck in the sun. We went in July so it was blazing hot but if you stay in the water you don't feel it. Wear your sunblock or you will be a crispy critter in two days!

We didn't really have to wait more than 20 minutes to eat dinner except for one night at Kampai the Asian fusion restaurant. We went back there for lunch a couple of days later, got seated right away and had an amazing lunch that we enjoyed more than the dinner. Jo Jo's was great for lunch as was La Isla and the pizzeria as well. Cocotal has a great buffet breakfast every day but Santa Fe has a nice menu and is a beautifully decorated venue with great views of the ocean. I had a bagel with smoked salmon and omelets every morning and we were drinking the drink of the day by ten am every day! What a marvelous time! We would definitely go back sometime in the future.

By the way, our room was also lovely and they turned down our bed and made us animals and lovebirds out of our towels almost every night. :)

Room Tip: If you want to spend the $ the rooms on the Casitas side have outdoor showers and are a little bigge...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Helene K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

When we first arrived on property we were in awe of the gorgeous beach and the lush plant life on this gigantic property. Check in was pretty easy, however, someone in our group had to wait over five hours for their room to be ready. We were taken via golfcart to our room on the second floor. This was fine for us, but note- NO ELEVATORS. So, this would have been difficult for handicapped or elderly guests. Our room was spacious and had a lovely view. Our mini bar was stocked with beer, soda and water, however, their "snacks" only included two small bags of plantain chips. We put up our belongings and went quickly to the pool area to scope out the property and get some food. This is when things started going south. Every food place is a sit-down venue. If you are wanting to swim or enjoy other activities you have to take nearly two hours out of your day to get anything to eat. The hosts at all the restaurants are incredibly rude and unaccommodating. We had a group of 4-6 for every meal (since we were there for a wedding with a large party) and had to wait 30-90 minutes every time. Plus, if we wanted to sit a group of six we were often told "no, we cannot do that," even when we saw other tables of six. We had to argue with the hosts until they finally gave in and reluctantly agreed to put us together. Our last night at the property we waited almost two hours for a table while were told it would be 30 minutes. You cannot make reservations to most of the places and when you arrive they ask if we had a reservation- even when we were told we couldn't make them. No one who works here knows what is going on. We would ask for help to find things and most often were told "I don't know" or "We don't have that" (even when they did). Asking them to go above and beyond the very basic needs was like asking them to give us the moon. WE would often sit at a casual poolside restaurant and wait for 30 minutes for someone to take our order. We would miss hours of fun play time waiting for food. Most lunches took over an hour. Our second day, at 11:15 a.m., we went to a place that was supposed to open at 11, and were told they weren't open yet and to come back later.
The bar service was so much better than any other service. The bartenders and shuttle drivers were the nicest people at the resort.Like I said, we were there for a wedding, and the wedding planner and supposed "personal bridal concierge" seemed to have no idea what was going on. I was with the bride in her suite as we were getting ready when the bridal concierge came in, and said "I am here to take care of all your needs," well, we asked if we could get a bucket of ice for the champagne and plates for the food set up in the room and she said "didn't the food come on plates?" and then argued with us for a few minutes before finally calling room service, as if it was the most terrible thing we could have asked her. We asked her if she could bring the music to the ceremony DJ, and she said "I don;t do that." We dropped a champagne glass and she said she was going to get someone to help clean it up, she left and a guy came about ten minutes later who did not speak English and had no idea why he was there. He left and someone else came back later with a broom and dustpan. She argued that she couldn't arrange shuttles for the bridesmaids to get to the ceremony and caused a TON of confusion for everyone involved. It was a mess and caused a lot of unnecessary stress for the bride.
At the ceremony site, all the guests were standing around the pathway milling around, while the "wedding coordinator" was just standing there. She didn't even know how to help the guys pin on their boutonnieres. I had to help the guys and then also tell the guests to go to their seat (5 minutes before the ceremony, which I would have thought would be her job).
On the good side- the bartenders and DJ's at the wedding were a blast- they made everything fun and go smoothly.
We didn't get the chance to experience any of the fun shows or entertainment because we were busy with wedding activities, which is disappointing. I did get to work out in the gym, which was very nice. The 5K looked like fun and my friends loved yoga on the pier.
The jacuzzi tub in the room is HUGE and nice, but make sure you fill up the tub completely before you turn the jets on. We sprayed our room and soaked the walls!! HAhaha!
Get a swim up room- it is nice to take the little swim up river to our friends rooms and to the pools. Bring your own floats and sunblock (sunblock is around $25). Bring snacks- there is no place for free snacks and the late night menu only has a salad. This place would be much better if you could hang out in a cabana and order food and have better pool side service. We would have to plan the days around taking time out to go eat, and by the time you left lunch it was time to start getting ready for dinner. Food service is SLOW. Entrees are small, so order two. I did get to try some new things and enjoyed the food, but the meal pacing is incredibly slow. At dinner, we would spend 3-4 hours by the time we arrived at the restaurant and left. By then we would be sleepy and bored. This may be good for some people, but I get ancy sitting down for long periods of time. This place would be better for couples who want a slow paced, very laid back vacation. I would not recommend it for groups at all.
Also- WiFI is VERY spotty and rarely works. The sign on is difficult and most of my friends who purchased the wifi had to go to the front desk several times to fix their log in.

Room Tip: Stay in the German area- the Sensi Mar section. Rooms are much nicer and the rooms are closer to com...
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank DustyRThomas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary
Level Contributor
15 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Spent a week at the El Dorado Royale Lovely resort would go back. Beaches were great and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Food very good at most of the restaurants
Accomodations were great and very convenient

Room Tip: we had a corner suite. great view of pool and easy access to the beach
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank wheelie54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

Excellent resort! Exceeded my expectations! I would recommend this resort to anyone. I can't wait to go back. The staff was awesome and I felt so relaxed the entire trip. The only complaint is that I didn't stay longer. If you plan on going to Mexico please stay at this resort, it is worth the money!

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Adam M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2014

Naturally, my husband and I were very excited about our honeymoon, neither of us had travelled to Mexico before and we were still on a high following our wedding a few days earlier. We had read some great reviews of the hotel and of Mexico too. We had also read some warnings about a lot of sales people too but that didn't put us off.
In the first week we weren't disappointed as the Mexican people (in and out of the hotel) were lovely, honest and friendly. The hotel was great and we were treated well. The staff were fantastic and the cleaners had very high standards....in the first week. However, despite tipping whenever possible, we noticed the cleaning standard dropped quite a bit as the days passed.
We also noticed that our massive bed was giving us back and shoulder problems. We hadn't really noticed this at first, it was only into the second week that we discussed the aches and pains we both had and realised it must be the bed. We didn't complain as we didn't have many days left and didn't fancy packing all of our items and unpacking again! It wasn't ideal but we just made do. (We don't like to complain and make a fuss - more fool us!).
We noticed how the concierge staff liked to keep in communication with us which at first we thought was sweet until we received a message from one of them at the end of our first week, asking us to visit them in their office to collect a ‘gift’ they had for us! Immediately we were suspicious as we knew this was a lame attempt to lure us into the office. We couldn’t avoid them as we had to walk past their office to get to and from our room. Rather than try and avoid them for the remainder of our honeymoon, we decided to just go in and see them.
Low and behold we were given some little travel liquid things as a ‘gift’ and rapidly invited to have ‘cheaper holidays’ and to enable us to get this we would need to meet with the Exotic Club and that it would take a maximum of 90 minutes of our time. Being promised that there would be no pressure at all, we agreed to go ahead with this and booked for the meeting. Naturally we were curious. We were met by a lovely guy called Raul and low and behold this ‘opportunity’ was something similar to a timeshare but more complicated! After being shown around various rooms/suites at the resort we went back to their office. All chauffeured around on the buggies of course!
Shortly after sitting down at a little desk, Raul began talking figures and details. We stupidly wanted to find out the details and how this scheme worked – believing the FAKE promise that we wouldn’t be bullied into anything. We were so very wrong. A jumped up English salesman, Lester Brownbridge came to speak to us (rather talk down to us). We were really unhappy with the way that we were treated by Lester Brownbridge for the following reasons: The presentation ended up taking 3 hours – NOT 90 minutes as previously promised! We felt like prisoners and were told by Lester that we couldn't go away to discuss joining the Exotic club despite it costing us thousands of pounds! If we wanted it we had to sign and pay for it then and there!
Despite us saying that we were hungry and thirsty, he actually told us that we could think about it for just 5 minutes to have a cigarette. He seemed to be bullying Raul his co-worker and made him look very small. Lester kept asking us lots of personal questions about out our finances and advising us to apply government unemployment benefits that we could we receive in the UK, he was even asking what we received as wedding presents (gifted money?) as we were on honeymoon and he asked what credit cards we were carrying. Whenever we tried to ask questions he seemed to brush them off. Generally he was very rude (he even swore a number of times), we felt very bullied and intimidated by him. He purposely set out to make us feel inadequate. This horrible experience has left a very bad taste in our mouths to think that the hotel would be working alongside such people. This ruined the last week of our holiday and to be honest, I just wanted to go home as EVERYTHING felt like a dirty sales tactic.
We made a verbal and written complaint to the hotel. Someone spoke to us, barely apologised but wiped off our $80 room service bill. That was it. Despite receiving promises that I would receive a proper written response, I haven’t heard anything from the hotel or from El Dorado Royale.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Holly Louise H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2014

I stayed in the El Dorado Royale last week and it was awesome. The food is AMAZING. All the staff that I encountered were extremely friendly and helpful. I feel I got exactly what I paid for. I was treated like royalty and the attention to detail and ensuring that my stay was pleasant did not go unnoticed. I highly recommend this resort and I will be staying there again! We booked out travel with Mindy Sly at Beach Bum Vacation and I love their work. Mindy sent out places to visit, things to remember, and even worked out deals to accommodate my large group (10 ppl total). Worth every penny!!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
17 Thank 2mekab
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

Property: 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 (Based on Average Rates): £££
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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