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“A wonderful hotel with the best staff i have met on my travels”

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El Dorado Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #3 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Lowestoft, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A wonderful hotel with the best staff i have met on my travels”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 May 2009

The hotel is really beautiful, well managed and manintained. We had 11 nights in a garden view room which over looked one of the pools. The room was large and spacious with two double beds. It had a large bathroom as well as the hot tub bath in the bedroom. We were on the ground floor which was great because we could sit out till late in the afternoon on the patio or in the hammock getting the last of the sun. The pools were great but you would have to get up early if you wanted a bed overlooking the pool. I loved the beach, even though the sand bags at first seemed ugly you got used to them and they did provide you with lagoons to swim in and to see the fish. We saw plenty of fish. We visited all but one resturant which was the fondue, not a great lover of fondue! Our favorite was the Asian and the Italian but all of them were good i could not find fault, its down to your own taste what you decide to have. The staff were excellent and so friendly, they love the people from the uk. They work so hard and i think help to make this hotel one of the best i have visted.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank pakefield
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • Rooms
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  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
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  • Cleanliness
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Burnley, England
Level Contributor
20 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2009

My wife and I have just returned from our 4th visit to El Dorado Royale, and I have to say this was the best trip yet !!

We first travelled there in 2004 and the biggest change has been the quality of the food which, whilst always good has now reached new heights !!

We stayed in the Casita's section ( 3006 ) and the suite was wonderful, twin sink bathroom, outdoor shower, bath, hot tub, king size bed, and all you could wish for !

Staff were superb, nothing was too much trouble and despite dealing with the scare surrounding the supposed Swine flu, were always professional and helpful.

Restaurants: Cocatal and La Isla were excellent ( If you fancy a late night, then skip breakfast and take lunch at one of these two ) , and the Italian, Fuentes and Kampai were, if anything, better !! Fondue restaurant, we'll leave you to judge.. it's set back from the front near the trees and we were both bitten by insects repeatedly...the food was fine, if Fondue is your thing...but the evening was made by the young American lady who was overheard to say " Ah don't care for cheese, does the Mushroom Fondue come with cheese ? ".

Small tips and a polite manner also go a long way in this resort, it's a personal observation, but I noticed that a small minority of our fellow guests treated the staff appallingly and were then surprised that the service they received was not what they demanded !!

Minor irritations: Waitress in Cocktail bar more interested in texting on her Mobile than serving customers, Barman at swim up pool bar allowing a guest to hook up his I-Pod to the music system and blasting all other guests with Gangster Rap ( Dear God !! ) ...this was soon stopped !!

Overall a great two weeks !! All best wishes to Honey-Mooners Jules and Dan, and Silver Wedding Celebrants Lee and Michelle... I just know we'll be back !!

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Rawson19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2009

My husband and I stayed at El Dorado from 4/27-5/1/09 (4 nights). First a little about us - we are from Cape Cod MA, USA - both 39 years old, and typically take a vacation every year. Some of the places we've stayed include: Grand Wailea - Maui, Couples - Jamaica, Radisson - Aruba, Iberostar Tucan - Riviera Maya Mexico. We like nice hotels and are somewhat picky (but not over the top picky!)

The Saturday before we left for El Dorado - The Swine Flu hit the news - ugh! We called the airlines and Orbitz (who we booked thru) and, at that point, the CDC was NOT advising against travel to the Riviera Maya region of Mexico. If we wanted to postpone or cancel it would have cost us about $1,000 extra- so we decided to go (armed with lots of hand sanitizer and two 10-day prescriptions for Tamiflu - which we began taking before we left, and the entire time we were there).

We booked private round trip transportation to/from the airport online before we left (for about $72) - worth it! They were there waiting with a sign when we arrived ,and picked us promptly to go back. About a 20-25 minute ride from the airport.

We had booked an Ocean View room and upgraded to Ocean Front upon check-in. We stayed in building 55 (Room 5526) - one of the newer buildings at the far end of the resort. What a view! Perfect. Although the resort is very large and getting to the restaurants, etc was a distance - we enjoyed the walking (about 10-15 minutes to the center of resort near JoJos and LaIsla Pool). Lots of shuttle carts go by and offer you rides as well - though we usually declined. The grounds here are beautiful. (Although I would probably not recommend this resort to anyone who has any physical limitations getting around - it is huge).

Housekeeping (Bety) was great - room always spotless and towel art everyday - we left $3 tip daily. NO problems with room being made up late, as others have complained about. Because my husband wanted Coronas we also left a $3 tip in minibar with note, and got Coronas! Bathroom really nice - all marble - large vanity with double sinks, doored off toilet,large marble shower with glass door - always hot water. Lots of bottled water in room (although we never had any stomach issues at the resort). Large jacuzzi tub in room near slider - never got a chance to try in out though. Marble tile floors. Large king bed - that I found to be too soft and saggy. Table and chairs in room and on balcony, as well as a hammock.

Our favorite spot during the day was La Isla Pool, located across from JoJo's restaurant. There is a shallow end that you can put your beach chairs in to stay cool. Pool bars in every pool - any drink you can think of. (Although they only serve keg Dos Equis Beer at the bars). Pools were very warm - may depend on what time of year you go - as others have stated the pools were cold. We thought they could have been cooler actually. I did get up early (6:30) the first day to reserve a beach bed - this is common practice at this resort. Everyone reserves their spot with a towel - so dont be afraid to do it! The 1st day - there were lots of spots reserved by 6:30 -however as the week went on we had no trouble getting a pool or beach bed anytime of day - I believe due to the Swine Flu issue. The resort seemed emptier everyday - apparently with less guests arriving daily due to the flu scare.

Food at this all-inclusive resort is FANTASTIC. Beats any all-inclusive we've been to by far. The only buffets you'll find are at breakfast - Cocotal was our favorite. We ate lunch at JoJo's (casual beachfront, outdoor), La Cabana (outdoors - pizza/burgers type menu), and the Healthy Bar (great smoothies and lighter sandwiches, etc) They also had a Taco stand which we wanted to try, but never got a chance. We ate dinner at La Fondue, Fuentes - dinner theatre/Mexican fusion, and Kampai (thai/sushi) twice - that was our favorite - fantastic California rolls! Usually we went to dinner late and did have to wait 2 nites - but didnt mind. Fuentes was our least favorite - very 'fu fu' fancy presentation - but food just ok. (We did not eat dinner at JoJo's, Cocotal,D'Italia, or LaIsla - so many choices - too little time!) There is also a Mexican restaurant that serves lunch. Room service is available 24 hours/day with a limited menu - but good! One day we called and had a bucket of ice (for the Coronas!) and chips/salsa delivered. Another day we had breakfast delivered. Great service!

There is a daily activities schedule that the 'K-team' organizes. We didnt do any activities - but they're there if you want them (volleyball, horseshoes, games, etc). There are bikes and snorkel equipment available free of charge as well.

The beach does have sandbags (see my photos) - they look like huge rocks or whales in the water which do spoil the view somewhat - but not that big a deal. I believe the resort has a one mile span of beachfront - most of it is very ROUGH surf and rocky, but beautiful. The main beach area near JoJo's is nice (soft white sand and lots of thatch roof beach cabanas for shade). The sandbags actually make the water swimmable - otherwise it would be too rough. And we saw lots of fish - bring a piece of bread from breakfast - you dont even need the snorkel gear!

The staff at El Dorado were all great. They all work so hard and are super friendly. We brought $100.00 in $1 bills and always tipped. One day we had no money with us at lunch and felt terrible not leaving a tip (sorry Ceci!) - Service was always great and with a smile! We had a couples massage at the spa - we loved it!

Although we typically went to bed after dinner - we did pop into Guacamales Bar to catch part of a show one night. It was pretty good - although not spectacular, as one might expect. Fun bar with swings and beds!

Definately go to downtown Playa Del Carmen for shopping. The resort offers a free shuttle (6-10pm) - that you must reserve ahead of time. We took our own cab ($22 each way). They will drop you off at '5th avenue' - blocks and blocks of stores, vendors, restaurants, etc. We didnt know what to expect and were pleasantly surprised. The vendors can be somewhat pushy - just barter, barter, barter. Fun!

Overall we loved our stay and would recommend this resort to anyone. Have fun - hope this helps with your plans. Adios! :)

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Jennifer P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2009

We spent a week at the El Dorado Royale for our wedding, with a group of 22.

We were upgraded to a Swim-up Casita and have nothing but fantastic things to report. The personal concierge service was amazing, the Casita room was outstanding with a king size bed and outdoor shower. Always clean rooms (the tub did have some scuff marks and water stains but that is to be expected in hotels with high volume. Can't expect them to replace the tubs every 6 months), and everything we requested was brought to us promptly. The staff will do almost anything to make your stay perfect! The service in the casita section was incredible. They came by our beach beds in the morning asking if we wanted a news paper, magazine, water, etc. They would deliver lunches in coolers if you were at the swim-up bar, ice cream came around at 3pm, it was fantastic!!!

We have read many reviews on this site and realized that the people who had nothing but complaints were the ones who spent their vacation looking for problems rather than enjoy the beautiful resort! One morning at breakfast, the table next to us had the chef come out with the restaurant manager to complain for almost 10 minutes about the toaster not toasting their bagels enough! Come on, that is beyond ridiculous... however, we happened to be walking through the restaurant around lunch and they had the toaster taken apart! So rest assured the resort does listen to your complaints, petty or not.

Premium booze was great, clean pools at perfect temperature, and always plenty of beach and pool side beds available.

The food was outstanding at every restaurant. I suspect a little over indulgence on sugar filled booze and food would and did cause some a little stomach upset after the first couple of days, but I had no problems. We tried all of the restaurants, and loved every one. I found the fish dishes to be my favourites, particularly the beach BBQ mahi-mahi!

The purpose of this trip was for our wedding, and despite a few scares in the months preceding the trip (Resort change, wedding coordinator change) everything went perfectly. The Presidential gazebo was a stunning location, with a great ceremony performed by the Minister. The after dinner reception was great, although we had only paid until 10:30pm and they shut it down and cut the music not a minute later (despite our offering of money to stick around for another hour). The party just moved over to Guacamaya's bar and carried on until almost 2:30am.

The service here was outstanding. Of course with a staff as large as El Dorado Royale has, there is bound to be a few bad apples, but over the 7 days we spent there only 2 or 3 employees seemed to be in a bad mood. Everyone else went above and beyond our expectations and always greeted and served us with a smile.

This was a fantastic trip, and of course with a group of 22 people over 7 days there were a few hiccups along the way, but none worthy of reporting here. A great trip, great resort, and highly recommended.

  • Stayed April 2009
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tilgreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, England
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2009

We went to the El Dorado Royale for our honeymoon on 6th April for two weeks. We really couldn't have asked for a better hotel. From the moment we got there we were treated like kings. We were welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine and then escorted to our room on a mini shuttle. We stayed in a standard room, which we found to be absolutely
fine. I loved the dark antique style furniture and the bed was really comfortable. The bathroom was very grand with large walk in shower that was almost like a separate room. The jacuzzi bath was great and very relaxing after a hard day at the beach. Our balcony overlooked the beautiful gardens and was very private.

We absolutely adored the food all restaurants were fantastic, but our favourites had to be Kampai, D'Italia and Jo Jo's (for the evening meals). The service was excellent and all the staff were very attentive. The food really was out of this world, it was all presented to a high standard and most importantly it was very tasty. For breakfast we found la Cocotal to have the best buffet, with almost everything you could want. For those who love a full english there were no beans, fried tomatos or black puddings. Saying that you can only ever get good full englishes in England. There was so much choice that this didn't matter, we often had smoked salmon, eggs cooked however we wanted and the breads and pastries were all delicious, there was even a chocolate fountain. For lunch you must definately try all the different offerings, the health bar had beautiful sandwiches and nutritious shakes, Jo Jo's had a great barbecue once a week and the burger place had great hot dogs and burgers.

We loved the beach, yes there are sandbags but these don't detract in anyway. The sands were soft and white and the sunbeds and shelters were excellent. I would definately recommend hiring a free snorkel, the fish are worth seeing. There are some lovely yellow and black striped ones. In the shallow parts there are some places you can just see all the fish without going under water. We often took some soft cheese from breakfast and fed the fish. This was fun, it attracts all the fish and they follow you round for a bit after.

The swimming pools were all lovely, we used to have one of the smaller ones to ourselves after 17.00. The only bad thing is at the main pools there are sometimes a few americans shouting their heads off getting drunk, but you can easily ignore this. The swim up bars are great and as you don't need to pay for drinks you can go to one anytime you like.

The choice of activities provided for at the hotel are brilliant. I would definately recommend the bike tour, we saw a crocodile and monkeys and a beautiful fresh water natural pool in the jungle. The gym is great, it looks out onto the sea. We really got into table tennis and there are couple of places you can play this. It was too hot to play real tennis though. There are many more activities offered but we didn't have chance to do all that many.

The evening entertainment was great at the main bar, and this was always followed by live bands. We had lots of fun in there especially watching some of the people dancing. A good place to try is the Martini lounge, very posh and there is a free pool table.

If you go on any trips book through the concierge people at the hotel direct. We flew with Thomas Cook and there trips were always a lot more expensive for exactly the same.

The El Dorado Royale is the best hotel we have ever been too. It made our honeymoon all the more perfect. All the staff are very friendly and everyone says hola. The maid was brilliant and made us different animals each day out of towels. The food was absolutely beautiful we really miss that. You could drink anything you wanted and the alcohol was all the top brands. The beach was great and the choice of pools fantastic. The only bad part was when we had to leave to come home. I would strongly recommend this hotel to anyone. For those who have rated this hotel as a one star you must be the ultimate snobs, as if this is a one star hotel I would love to see what an earth they could rate as five stars. Oh and the fact that there were no kids made this hotel all the more perfect. We would hope to come back in ten years time for our wedding anniversary.

  • Stayed April 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LauraB12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
USA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2009

Just a warning: My wife and I stayed here to celebrate our anniversary. Kinda hard to do when you're camped out in the bathroom with a 102 degree fever, cramps, chills and you know what else . Doesn't happen to everybody, but if you pay attention, you'll see a steady stream of sick guests at the hotel clinic. They charged us 10x what the meds would have cost and for the clinic visit saying that I must have gotten sick somewhere else! Refused to compensate or defray the cost of our vacation in any way. Service and experience was marginal anyway...thin veneer of hospitality and friendliness evaporated instantly and saw a much darker side of the staff that must become tired and jaded of dealing with guests.

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank dudesweet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Erie,Pa
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 April 2009

I read about 100 reviews on EDR and I was a bit concerned about the pool and restaurant situation. NO NEED! My wife and I went in September for our honeymoon and we were 100% satisfied and are planning a trip back with friends in a few years. The location was great, only about 15-20 mins from the cancun airport. The check-in took only a few minutes but we had to wait for our room. Simple enough tho as the gave us a beeper and we went and had lunch at JoJo's which was our favorite for lunch. As far as restaurants go, i was very satisfied with everything but the asian was my personal favorite. The Fondu and the pizza and burger lunch place weren't that great in my opinion. The italian rest was very fancy almost too much for me but a nice change. The bars were very good, martini bar in main lobby was great. We were there in the off season so the pools were almost empty so we had a palapa bed every day, although one day we waited til about 12 to go to the pool and had to wait a while to get one, but other than that no problem. We spent every day but 1 at La Isla pool which was closest to our room. Except the fact that they had one pool closed that was a little closer for retiling ( it was the off season).

The only complaint that we had was the first night we had a first floor room and you could hear the jacuzzi above us whenever they turned it on and the plumbiong made a gurgling sound. We asked the front desk for a transfer and the moved all of our stuff the next day to a second floor room and there were no problems other than that. All the staff seemed very friendly and we tipped all the staff accordingly. That is the best thing to do though is to tip the bartenders and waiters, even though it's all inclusive you get super service for a few bucks a meal or bar trip. Also if you ask for extra strong drinks, they WILL accomidate.

I know this review kinda jumps around but it covers about everything. We will definately be going back here as soon as possible and probably around the same time of year. I didn't mention the beach cuz all we did was walk down it one time for about 5 mins as we preferred the pools. They weren't very scenic though I will say that. If you are on the fence and are planning on going anytime but Dec or Jan just do it, we were so glad we did.

  • Stayed September 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank sstuttle16509
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 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#2 Spa 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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