El Dorado Maroma By Karisma All Inclusive
What We Love
- Romantic nooks abound, from private Jacuzzis in the suites to oceanfront infinity pools
- The pristine beach, which is groomed daily
- You can order up a cool tequila drink without having to leave the pool
- Its luxurious overwater bungalows, the first in Mexico (call 1-884-622-0800 to book if not available online)
What To Know
- WiFi is available for $10 per day
- Pets are not allowed
- If you’re looking for action off-site, you’ll have to drive to Playa del Carmen or Cancún
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Modern minimalism abounds at this beachfront resort just north of Playa del Carmen. Each of the 72 suites and villas overlooks the ocean and features expansive living areas, elegantly appointed marble bathrooms and outdoor terraces with private plunge pools. Presidential villas come with their own private butler who arranges everything from tequila tastings to an aromatherapy treatment in one of the spa’s overwater bungalows to a moonlit dinner for two on the beach. Foodies will love the on-site market, where you can select fresh-caught fish and have it grilled right in front of you. You can laze by one of the two pools or gear up for world-class snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking and sailing in the clear-blue Caribbean. There are four onsite restaurants, but we prefer the Mexican cuisine at Sabores, which has live opera music each week.
In the Area
On a quiet stretch of sand just 25 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, the resort is a great base for exploring Playa’s buzzing downtown and happening breach scenes. Don’t miss the shrimp tacos with the spicy verde sauce at La Floresta (between Constituentes and Juarez streets) on the southbound service road just underneath the Highway 307 bypass. For traditional Mexican, try Carboncitos (4 Norte, between 5th and 10th avenues), where the people-watching is as good as the flank steak burrito and $6 jumbo margaritas. Must-orders at the Italian-owned Piola (Calle 38 between 5th and 1st avenues) include the wood-oven pizzas and basil martinis, served in an intimate garden two blocks from the beach. A trip to the Riviera Maya is not complete without seeing the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, the seaside structures of Tulum and the jungle-fringed peaks of Coba. Need to escape from the sun? Book an afternoon with Protec Diving for a tour of Quintana Roo’s majestic cenotes, underwater cave systems that reach 100 to 200 feet in depth.
How to Get There
Although we have been to the El Dorado chain many times, this is our first time staying at the Maroma. The Concierge staff (Rodrigo, Cecilia, and Bruno) provided a thorough review of our accommodations.
Room 1251 exceeded all of our expectations and was beautifully managed by Dominicio each day. It was a corner suite on the top floor with magnificent views of the Maroma Adventures park activities and the cruise ships coming and going to the island of Cozumel.
We were warmly greeted by Luis and Ivan and then we met Lizzeth on our 2nd day. They went above and beyond our expectations of welcoming us to the resort and providing us with everything we needed to enjoy our stay. Luis and Lizzeth made sure we had everything we needed, that our dinner reservations were arranged, and our fridge was constantly stocked with ice. We were spoiled with many delicious treats and wonderful decorations after our anniversary dinner.
Oscar greeted us each day with a huge smile, great conversation, and super food at Bar 24 for breakfast and lunch. For a couple of days, we were greeted by Carlos who was quite the comic. As always, the food was fantastic no matter where we ate (Kiyoko, Lima Limon (where I had a fantastic Mayan coffee), Mio (Italian), and Mexico Lindo).
We can’t forget the wonderful massages from Yazmin and Isabel at the Naay Spa.
Last but not least, thank you to Raul Santiago and Fredy Santiago at Lomas Travel for our transportation between resorts and to the airport.
Beautiful beach, rooms, restaurants, delicious food, excellent staff that keeps the place running, they are very attentive and helpful at all times. Special mention to Wendy in the aqua zumba, she always smiles and is energetic, also to the staff in charge of activities and entertainment: Wendy, Alex, Cuauhtémoc, Omar, Oscar, DJ Juan and Manuel, Ele, Enrique of the beach, and Maria from the reception.
Thanks for the good memories.
First and foremost, we will never return to this resort, ever again! This was supposed to be a special birthday trip for my SO...
We had a very long travel day from Houston to Mexico- started traveling on a Thursday at 3 am and arrived at the resort around 4 pm after going through a nightmarish customs experience.
During check-in, we asked about our honeymoon suite to double check to ensure it had a swim-out area... the resort clerk said, “no, I do not show that on your reservation...” So, we argued that we paid for a swim-out through our “Book-it” reservation - she said, “you can upgrade if you like for $115 per night.” (Um, NO, we’ve already paid over 3k for a 5 day stay) Why would we upgrade when that’s what we already paid for? She stated we would have to call “Book-It” because our reservation states “Honeymoon Suite” with no other description and they have several types of Honeymoon Suites (obviously a “Book-It” problem as well.) Fine, I’m tired, irritable, hungry - just take us to our room.
Bell hop grabs our luggage and we walk about 100 feet, “we are here,” he says. We start walking up the stairs... and walking... and walking... and walking... the bellman is obviously struggling with our luggage. I asked, “Where are the elevators?” In reply the bellman says, “I wonder that too!” We climbed 7 flights of stairs- our room was on the top floor! Huge problem!
We finally get to “our room” and there is a cute “Happy Honeymoon” banner on the door. I thought, “Awww, what a nice gesture after what we’ve just been through regarding our room...” The bellman tries to open the door but the key would not read- he tries and tries again. Notta. He decides to use the master key and says he will run down to the main office afterwards to replace ours- he opens the door, I walk in but my SO is yelling at me and saying, “Babe! Babe! There are other people’s clothes and shoes in there...” We can also hear the shower running! Imagine our shock! Imagine THEIR shock knowing that strangers just entered their room! We are mortified!
The bellman apologizes and turns to the room next to it and states, “THIS is your room.” (No cute banner on door.) He lets us in and “WOW, what a disappointment!” No swim out. No mini bar. No special amenities- not even a bath towel animal. No chocolates. No wine or champagne. Just a plain, bland, boring suite. Zero frills. We expressed our dislike to the bellman- he apologized to us. Not his fault. We are physically & mentally exhausted.
I immediately tried to call “Book-It” - tried to reason with the agent- he was rude, pompous, kept putting me on hold and ignoring my questions- which upset me even more...he basically said, “You reserved a Honeymoon Suite and you got a Honeymoon Suite.” I asked, “Do you realize there were several honeymoon suite options on your site, when we booked 6 months ago, and one was with a swim-out (photos included) and we purchased that option?”
The agent continued his rudeness and patronization- would not transfer me to a supervisor, gave me a fictitious name and “badge/agent number” that I requested...I ended up hanging up on him. Told my SO, “this is IT, this is what we get for 3k, no one can do anything about it!”
We decided to go speak to our concierge- we expressed our displeasure with everything- he notified his manager and he suggested we go eat while he handles the situation. He gave us a restaurant map and options on food. (It’s now around 7 pm) We received 2 choices for places to eat... TWO! We opted for the Caribbean Grill.
Staff was super friendly upon entering, the place was dead, maybe 3 couples in the whole place... the waitress takes our food/drink orders, comes back to pour my water and a huge fly comes out of the pitcher. Gross. She’s obviously embarrassed, apologizes and removes my glass from the table. She comes back a second time, still apologizing from the first go around, pours my water and ANOTHER huge fly goes into my glass. (I can’t make this stuff up people!) My SO and I are BEYOND disgusted, yet, we stayed because there was really nowhere else to eat.
My SO’s steak was awful- he ordered medium rare- it was completely raw inside and tough like leather. My pork tenderloin was small, paper-thin pieces that were also like leather. I guess this is the prelude of things to come...
Forget about getting dressed up to go out to eat, not happening. I brought a couple of special, sexy dresses for dinner- nowhere worthy of wearing those.
It was just a horrible experience- Omar did make our next few days “bearable” and we are thankful for him. My SO and I could have FUN in a paper sack, so we made the best of it and remained positive as to not ruin our trip.
1. We learned this is a huge timeshare property, if you’re not a member, and you are paying out of pocket through a travel agent, forget about getting a nice room- you won’t! Their “members” get TOP priority and the nicest rooms with upgrades.
2. By day 2, my SO was so irritated that he got up early to go speak to the the new assigned concierge (the previous agent did NOTHING for us, even after contacting his manager.) Omar upgraded our room to a suite with a patio pool on the 2nd floor in a different villa. We had to pack up and move but it was worth it so we didn’t have to climb 7 flights of stairs all day, every day for the remainder of our trip. I will give big kudos to Omar- he had the room service staff add rose petals and special perks to our room- a “Happy Birthday” banner was added to our door for my SO.
3. Forget multiple restaurants and night life... this resort is SUPER limited on places/times to eat and the food is sub-par. I’ve been to several resorts in Mexico and had AMAZING food experiences and wonderful resort amenities- this is supposed to be 4-5 stars, I don’t understand how... they do have theme nights and put on various shows/events in the evening, but if you want a variety of food choices and night life- this isn’t the resort to visit. (I prefer not to be on a schedule while I’m on vacation.)
4. Forget about getting in the water- so much seaweed, the water was brown... barricades in the water, everywhere- Not particularly the best view. Main pool was our mainstay... besides our patio pool.
5. We ate breakfast at Papitos Restaurant EVERY morning because it seemed to be the freshest and “safest bet” on food choices.
Take my advice: Go somewhere else...plenty of beautiful, all-inclusive, all-adult resorts in Cancun/Playa del Carmen with a variety of restaurants and will treat you like royalty. And as for “Book-it.com,” be forewarned- what you see, may not be what YOU get! Get the DETAILED room description UP FRONT and hold their feet to the fire for what they show and offer you on their site, or go through a legit travel agent to ensure you get what you pay for...