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“Great Stay in Casitas Royale April 11-18, 2012”

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El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma
Ranked #26 of 395 Hotels in Riviera Maya
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 23 April 2012

We've been to a couple of resorts in Mexico but this one was by far the biggest and quietest we've stayed at. We stayed in the Casitas section and felt like royalty with our own swim up pool, deck chairs, bed on the deck, and King Size bed in our room with Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. It was amazing!

The staff here work very hard to keep the grounds clean and tidy, and beach butlers and bar tenders are aplenty. Each casita section has it's own pool and bar so it never seemed crowded even though the resort was at 100% capacity. The only busy pool was the Fuentes Pool, but even then it wasn't overwhelming

There is a bicycle tour, camel rides, horseback riding and more. Nightly entertainment is quite well done with singing, dancing and a variety of shows.

The beach is nice over in the Casitas area but rocky/shells/seaweed towards the Royale end of the resort. The wind was quite strong everyday so it made swimming impossible, but wading was nice. There are tons of beach beds and loungers so you never have to look far for one.
Blue towels come from the Royale Side, Brown towels from the Casita side and you are supposed to stick to your own loungers in your own areas, though the Casita guests can go anywhere on the resort.

The restaurants were fantastic, with bottomless amounts of pretty gourmet food. The wine is even pretty good! D'Italia Casitas and Kampai were the best restaurants for supper, while Cocotal is the best for breakfast. Lunch is good at Jo Jo's and La Isla. We never had to reserve for supper as we always went between 6 and 7. There were plenty of tables, but if you went after 7 the places really filled up so you might want to reserve ahead with your concierge. Leisey and Fernando in Casitas section 28 (we stayed in 2812) were excellent and very helpful! See Leisey, I told you I'd give you two well deserved praise!

If you feel lazy and want to stay by your pool for lunch, the beach butlers bring you sandwiches, ice cream, popsicles and drinks. There is also a travelling hot dog/hamburger cart and they are made fresh and delicious!

My hubby and friends took a deep sea fishing trip out of the Maroma resort and caught 12 fish that day. It was a fantastic trip for him!

No real negatives to report. I did have one cockroach run up my arm at night in the bathroom, but it quickly went out the door with my shrieks! I didn't see anymore after that. There were a lot of lizards and gheckos around which I love to watch.

We were with a large group of people. Some experienced no hot water in their rooms on the Royale side, and there is lots of construction going on right now but it is all necessary stuff. Hurricane Wilma really did some damage to this place and they have their hands full with a big place but they try to make it as quiet as possible, and hidden behind tasteful barricades. If you have a lot of walking to do and need to catch the shuttles, they run every 20 minutes from assigned areas. I'd recommend the back path behind the Casitas/Royale side as the best place to catch them, as they don't run as frequently on the beach side paths. Also, watch out for the red golf carts as they are taking people on the "timeshare tours" and don't slow down for anyone!!

Any questions? I'd be happy to answer them. Just drop me a line.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Swim Up Casitas and would defintely stay here again. We were in section 28, but 29...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank seifert1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 22 April 2012

The food and the staff were excellent. The grounds are beautifully maintained.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank BlissfulTraveler96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We just returned from our second trip to El Dorado Royale and we had a fabulous time. This time we traveled with two other couples to the resort and everyone gave it a thumbs up.

A little background... I am 32 and my husband is 44. We have traveled to Mexico together several times and love it there. Other adult resorts we have stayed at are Dreams Cancun (average) and Excellence Rivera Maya (above average). We have also stayed at El Cid which is a family resort (above average). This resort is by far our favorite.

We traveled in April and it was sunny and 84 the whole week. The weather could not have been better.

THE ROOMS:
We stayed in the Casitas both times so I don't know much about the rooms in the regular part of the resort but the Casitas are amazing. The hotel did its best to locate our party as close together as possible and everyone was happy with the rooms. I will say the first time we came we negotiated a very low upgrade charge to move us to the casitas. This time we just booked it but some friends of ours came the next week and were upgraded for free so it never hurts to try to get the upgrade. The bed was fine. We had no problems with it but that is probably different for everyone. This time our casita was a swim up with a sliding door straight to the back deck area with a table and an outdoor bed which is great for napping and getting out of the sun for a bit. The room was fairly large. It had a jacuzzi tub, a regular tub with shower, and a private outdoor shower (my favorite!). When you stay in the Casitas they also offer you the ability to make reservations at the restaurants which comes in handy when the resort is busy. It wasn't very busy when we were there but we did have some occasional waits when we didn't have reservations. The rooms do feature a mini bar that is restocked daily as well as a turn down service.

THE GROUNDS:
First off, the grounds are BEAUTIFUL. They are very well kept and clean.The resort is on the beach and spans one mile from one end to the other. They offer a golf cart transportation shuttle that runs every 15 minutes but we were happy to find it to run much quicker than that on most occasions.

THE BEACH:
If you are a person who desires immaculate beaches you might be disappointed in the beach here. It does have seaweed and the water is not a blue as some resorts like Maroma Beach. It also has the large sand barriers to protect the beach from erosion. We saw several people snorkeling out there. They didn't bother us but we rarely spend any time in the ocean as we prefer the pool. There was an abundance of chairs and we never had to get up early to "claim" them as you do at some resorts. They also had several of the beachfront beds in the casita area.

THE POOLS:
If you stay on the casita side it has private pools for casita guests. These pools were salt water pools which I didn't think I would like. Surprisingly I found them great and much easier on the skin and hair than chlorinated pools. Each casita is located in a group of about 16-20 rooms. Each of these groups has its own pool. Its much more intimate and you get to know people easily in this area. Its also pretty quiet. There are two larger main pools in the other part of the resort. One is located in the middle of the resort (its chlorinated instead of salt water) and is fairly relaxed. The other is located on the South side of the resort and is the activity/party pool. It has music and games going on daily to keep you busy and entertained.

THE SERVICE:
We found the service to be adequate. They were attentive without being overbearing. We went with several couples so we enjoyed a nice leisurely dinner. Some staff went the extra mile to earn it and some did not. Generally the wait staff in the restaurants were very good. At the pool we mostly had to wait on ourselves as they didn't have many pool waiters running around. Our pool bartender Maximiliano was excellent.

THE FOOD:
Overall the food was MUCH better than the average all-inclusive. They claim to be a gourmet all inclusive and I would have to agree. For breakfast we liked to eat at Kampai or CoCotel. Kampai is more relaxed and quiet and features a menu to order from (if you don't like it as it is on the menu just tell them what you want and they will make it for you) and Cocotel is a busier buffet breakfast with an omelet bar. We really didn't eat breakfast anywhere else. For lunch we liked JoJo's but also did some easy options like just ordering room service or going to the Pizza and Burger place by the main pool. For dinner, we loved Kampai, D'Italia, and La Isla. For dinner most places offered a house wine at no charge... which was great. Something to note is that the portion sizes in the restaurants is smaller than we Americans are used to but I actually liked that because it allows you to try more things. You can always order multiple entrees or a second portion if you are still hungry.

BARS/NIGHTLIFE
This resort is very peaceful and there is not a ton going on at night. They do offer live music, dj music, some shows, and etc at the swing bar until 2am but the crowd dwindles as the night goes on. Overall this resort has a more relaxed feel. We loved the beach side bar in the Casita area just in front of Kampai. I believe its called Gaviotas. Juan was our bartender and he was great. He kept the drinks flowing. The lobby bar is very cosmopolitan. We had a great time there.

ACTIVITIES:
I will be honest and say that laying by the pool was my biggest desire while on vacation. One day a friend and I did take a bike ride. The resort offers the bikes for no charge. That was fun. We also used the workout facility once. Its small but adequate during non-peak times. There are plenty of excursions that you can book for a charge. The hotel also offers a complimentary shopping trip to Cancun or Playa del Carmen on selected days. They fill up quickly so I would recommend booking them ahead of time if you know you want to go. For shopping I prefer Playa... Its a little smaller but offers everything you need for shopping and is less commercialized than Cancun.

THE SPA:
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.... is all I can say here. The spa was AMAZING. I highly recommend it. (Book early in your stay in case of sunburn). My husband and I did the couples outdoor massage on the beach and it was wonderful. I went back with a friend and had an individual massage. I liked that one better but only because it was quite and I was able to relax a little more than when I was on the beach where you can hear people. Both massage therapists I had were amazing. If you do book a massage I recommend going one hour early for the complimentary aquatic therapy. It has a hot tub, an ice cold dipping pool, and a pool with several jets that massage different areas on your body. There is also a steam room and a sauna in the dressing area. If you have a late departure time on your last day and want to get in some extra beach or pool time you can use the showers in the spa area before you leave.

Overall, you will have the kind of vacation that you want at this resort. If you want to be outgoing and meet people to hang out with... you can. If you want to stick to yourself and relax in peace and quiet... you can. In my opinion the resort is excellent... its not perfect and there are always naysayers who cannot be pleased... but after two times at this resort I would recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: I recommend the Casita upgrade!
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank lovethesun0413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

If you're already locked into your trip, don't bother reading this review...it will just bum you out. If you are still in decision making mode, read on...

This wasn't a terrible place by any means, it was just very average. The casita was great, probably one of my favorite rooms that I have stayed in (other than the crack in the door which let in biting gnats all week long). My husband and I were very excited about the individual pools for each block except that we barely got to use ours all week because the people from the other side of the resort kept coming over and taking all of the chairs. The bartender is supposed to say something to them, but he didn't. They used our pool, and the beach butler service, and we were forced to find a spot down at one of the other pools. The pools themselves were pretty dirty. They had a really visible layer of sunscreen on top of the water, and were full of clumps of hair and leaves. We didn't see them cleaned once during the whole week.

Don't go here if you want an ocean view. There are no ocean views other than if you are in the presidential casita. You will get a glimpse of the ocean through the trees, off in the distance, but there are no ocean front rooms. This was a disappointment.

This is the first all inclusive that we've stayed at where there was a clear expectation of tipping. We like to tip, but there are certain times when you don't want to carry money with you. I never felt like I could do this. This was something that was a topic with every guest that you got into a conversation with.

When we arrived, we met some couples in one of the outdoor bars, and they were pretty negative about the resort as a whole. At that point, we were excited to be there, the room was beautiful, the drinks were cold, and we were on vacation....we thought these people just had to be a bunch of buzzkills! By the end of our trip, we understand what they were talking about. Nothing was great at this place, it was just disappointing.

The beach is terrible. We went in the water once, which is something we normally love to do. If you are a beach person, definitely pick another venue. The food is good, but not great, and pretty heavy. There weren't a lot of fresh veggies and fruit on this trip, which is what we have come to expect when we travel to a tropical place. Room service was good, and the people who staffed it were nice.

My husband and I like to mix in a little fitness on our trips. I was really disappointed with the class offerings. There was a pilates class in the morning that was held on the stage of the bar. That was it....and the ambiance really left something to be desired.

If you want to call home (to the US) from your room, they are really boggled by this and aren't able to offer you much help other than to tell you to schlep all the way to the lobby across the resort. I finally figured out that I can get a calling card in their gift shop (not the international one that I brought), and pay a $6 connection fee to the hotel each time I wanted to call out.

We asked that the outside bed on our porch be made up with sheets. We asked every single day....and on the last day, right before we left for the airport, they made it up.

The spa was nice. We got the couples massage, twice, and that was great. There isn't a whole lot to do at this resort, and that was really evident by the fact that my husband went to the spa with me twice.

My husband and I love to travel together, and we enjoy just getting away, but by the end of this trip we were ready to go home. Again, it wasn't horrible, just very, very average, and disappointing for what you pay.

Room Tip: Top floor casita has the most privacy.
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Baraboofamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 April 2012

We stayed at the Casitas for our honeymoon. Enjoyed everything about the holiday, those were two weeks in heaven.
Food was over the top, especially Italian and Asian restaurants.
Service was quick and a huge variety of drinks were offered.
Room was cleaned twice a day and room service was a nice touch when we were too lazy to go anywhere.
Time share sales weren't bothering us, we just said no firmly once and that was enough.

We had no issues with the hotel. It is a wrong place to go if you are looking for a nice beach but it is an amazing hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank kirunchik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma

Address: Km 45, Carretera Cancun-Tulum, 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#15 Spa Hotel in Riviera Maya
#17 Luxury Hotel in Riviera Maya
#23 On the Beach Hotel in Riviera Maya
#27 Green Hotel in Riviera Maya
Price Range: ₹ 21,917 - ₹ 81,453 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — El Dorado Casitas Royale, by Karisma 4.5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
El dorado casitas royale, one of conde nast traveler readers’ top 100 hotels in the world and a AAA four diamond resort, is the pinnacle of romantic seaside luxury.Nestled along the beach in a separate, secluded area within El Dorado Royale on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults only resort designed for romance. A superb array of amenities and services makes this an unrivaled destination for romantic getaways, weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma Hotel Riviera Maya

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