El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma, Gourmet Inclusive
What We Love
- Seven restaurants and 13 swimming pools
- The dance 'til dawn disco and live entertainment every evening
- 20,000 square foot Spa Royale
What To Know
- The resort is spread out; grab an electric golf cart shuttle at Reception if you don’t want to walk too far
- If you like to turn in early, ask for rooms far from the entertainment area
- WiFi costs $12 a day or $52 a week
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This 639-room resort is as vast and fun-filled as a theme park, only with one major element missing: there are no kids allowed. There are thirteen different swimming pools (complete with swim-up bars), a private, mile-long white sand beach, shows, dance clubs, and nine different restaurants including sushi (Kampai), Italian (D’Italia Casitas), plus a five-course gastronomic journey every evening at Fuentes Culinary Theater. And along with the fun come the games: beach volleyball, tennis, and aqua-aerobics. Just don’t tell the kids what they’re missing.
In the Area
The resort is set on the Caribbean sea amid 450 acres of tropical jungle, but it’s only fifteen minutes away from the shops and cafés of Calle Corazon and Quinta Avenida in Playa del Carmen. Golfers make the twenty minute trip to the Golf Club at Playacar and snorkelers head to Puerto Morelos to check out the Mesoamerican barrier reef. Of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to the Riviera Maya without a visit to a Mayan archaeological site; guests choose from a half day jaunt to ruins of Tulum or a full day trip to Chichén Itzá.
How to Get There
We stayed at El Dorado Casitas in early March for our destination wedding. Bringing 65 people along for the ride was a bit nerve-racking since we had never been to the resort and relied on family and friend recommendations...boy did we luck out!
Room and Pool: Our Honeymoon Suite (3112) at the Casitas was beautiful. Our swim-up pool, outdoor shower, amazingly comfortable bed, and overall clean room was a perfect addition to what would be the best vacation ever!
The privacy and quiet ambiance of the Casitas was nice as well, we loved getting up and walking to our pool's bar for a coffee with kahlua! Though we wandered over to the villas to hang with our group at the main pool most days, we did spend a few days at the 3100 pool and 2700 pool and LOVED having them all to ourselves!
The housekeepers were also amazing. Every day our room was cleaned and sheets turned down. Mini-bar stocked and mints on our pillows. Because of the honeymoon suite and our wedding, we received a lot of complimentary deserts, champagne, rose petals, and beautiful flowers!
Food and Entertainment: The food and drinks were awesome, Santa Fe was great for breakfast! The only issue we had was dinner reservations (make sure you make them far in advance and don't worry about going through concierge, just call the restaurant yourself!). My husband and I usually experience some sort of stomach issue after a few days of eating and drinking out of our normal routine, but this never happened!
We went to the Mexican Fiesta at Guacamayas, saw the Fire and Circus shows, and went to the Culinary theater at Fuentes...they were all wonderfully entertaining!
Gaviotas and Jojos were our go-to bars. The bartenders, namely Elroy at Gaviatos and Pedro at Jojos were the BEST! My husband gave Pedro a leftover cigar from the cigar rollers at our wedding and he was so grateful...the only regret is that my husband didn't have one more to share a cigar moment with him!
There's so much more to say about this amazing place. The staff is so friendly, the grounds are beautiful, oh and there's a Cat Cafe (which was right outside of our room)! Though we never saw the kitties hang out there, I loved the concept and we experienced the resort's resident felines hanging out by Jojos on a nightly basis!
Coordinators: Jimena, Diana and Vale were THE BEST! They were so sweet and attentive and made sure everything was on point and taken care of the day of our wedding. I was nervous about the small details but they took immaculate care of us and our guests...I was so carefree on our wedding day because of them!
Wedding Preparations: The girls got ready at the Naay Spa at the Casitas. I had a trial for hair and makeup the day before with Rafeala, she was AMAZING! The day of the wedding she and the other artists took great care of us and made sure a mimosa was never empty and the girls looked BEAUTIFUL!
The guys got ready in our room and we had to coordinate them leaving, our room being cleaned and the girls arriving within minutes of each other. This was done without a hitch and the housekeeping staff even restocked our food and drinks!
Ceremony and Reception: We had our ceremony at Gazebo 55. The music was done perfectly (we brought our own), the sound system was great, the cocktail hour with Mexican Trio music was outstanding...I was in awe the entire time!
Our reception was Tucanes Bar. First, I can't say how many of our guests were so excited upon arrival merely due to the wondrous smell coming from the food being made on site! DJ Maxx was outstanding; he accommodated all of our special requests and gauged the crowd to make sure he was playing music we'd all enjoy. There was a never a time the dance floor wasn't packed! The waitstaff was amazingly attentive...we had a personal attendant (or so it felt!) that literally watched us all night to make sure we had all we wanted; at one point in the night the string to bustle my dress broke and before I could even find my MOH to help, he was there with pins to fix it! And to top it all off, we all jumped in the pool at the end of the reception, which was totally fine with and recommended by the staff!
Again, there is much more I could say about this amazing place. Thank you El Dorado Royale and Karisma for making the wedding of our dreams come true and for providing a vacation for our family and friends that we'll remember for a lifetime!
Let me just start by saying this is not our first visit to an Karisma resort but will defiantly be our last, we had previously stayed at El Dorado Seaside Suites some 2½ years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it so decided to return to a hotel from the same chain.
We stayed in a Luxury Junior Suite, a more accurate description would have been a very tired Luxury Junior Suite (room 824). We had cracked tiles on the bathroom floor, cracked sink, a worn out mattress with a topper put on it to try and hide it and a broken shower riser. In fairness I did report the broken shower riser and it was replaced within a few hours. But this is a 5* Luxury Junior Suit and I don’t feel I should be on my holiday doing quite blatant snagging for them!
The Hotel is located on Playa Paraiso (Paradise Beach), trust me it’s far from paradise! The staff are working tirelessly to try and make it look nice but it’s not a nice place to try and relax. Men and women are pushing wheelbarrows 8hrs a day to try and clear seaweed, we had a group of men out in the sea trying to pump sand back onto the beach to cover all the jagged rocks so you could enter the sea without getting your feet cut to shreds. I appreciate the hotel cannot be held to account for nature and the erosion of the beach but feel it is worth mentioning.
If you don’t like sleep this is the place for you! We had to be on the beach by 6am to try and get a Bali Bed as all the normal sun beds are absolutely worn out, by 7am all the Bali Beds are gone, by 7:30am the best of a bad bunch normal sun loungers have been dragged around so by 8am it’s going to be like sleeping on a park bench for you! We did point this out to our personal concierge a lady in the office outside block 9, she got very obnoxious with us saying “so all the beds are broken, I’ve got it, look I’m writing it down!” we tried to say “no just worn out” but she just kept closing us down! The gentleman concierge on the desk next to her could see thing weren’t going well so offered to book us the culinary theatre seats (something they won’t normally do unless you buy the expensive wine package).
Good luck, most people are taking multiple towels out to pad out the beds!
Very hit and miss, had some lovely lunches at JoJo’s, had exactly the same meal in the evening and was massively over salted and inedible! We found the food to be very sporadic in portion sizes and quality. You won’t starve here if you don’t mind leaving what you don’t like and ordering something else, we just hate to waste food.
If you’re staying in the Royale you can’t book with the exception of the Fuentes Culinary Theatre and D’Italia Casitas which you have to! However, this hotel is in a complex of three Karisma hotels and restaurants we were told couldn’t be booked but were being booked by other guests in either the Casitas or Generations. Both in Kampai (on the Casitas) and Jade (on Generations) we had to wait over an hour for a table while the people booking them didn’t show up!
The grounds are beautiful and well kept, however if you want to stroll around them with your partner be aware you’ll have to do it in single file as there are golf carts whizzing around all the time and they can’t get past you if you walk side by side. There are two roads in the complex one on the beach and one behind the blocks, maybe keep the beach one a pedestrian only one perhaps?
I did report my concerns on our last day to a very nice Duty Manager (Ivan Fernandez) who was very sympathetic and accepted my complaints, maybe if I had gone to him sooner things may have been different but in fairness I had aired my concerns politely to concierge staff and the waiting staff but to no avail!
I have just summed up some of the bad points and on the whole it’s by far not a bad place it’s just in our opinion not 5* maybe just under 4* but I guess people expect different things out of their holiday as some people rate this hotel highly! My wife and I will never return to a Karisma resort as we feel it’s not worth the risk of an unsatisfactory holiday.
Had an amazing week at the el dorado Royale! The grounds of this resort are beautiful! The meals where deliscous! Fredy from entertainment went out of his way to make sure we were having a great time and made all our games possible! He was so nice!! Gucci from the k team was a great ping pong partner! Haxby was also a joy to talk too! Definitely coming back! Thanks el dorado!!
What a brilliant resort. We have just had the most wonderful holiday at El Dorado.
Set in beautiful gardens this s a amazing hotel. The food was of the highest standard at any of the nine restaurants and only one buffet and that is for breakfast.
Everywhere was so clean from the room to the beach but the best thing about this resort is the staff.
I have never been anywhere were the staff are helpful and friendly....everyone is always smiling all the time!
Special mention to our concierges Jacqui and Reine who are the most helpful friendly people you could never wish to meet.
We will be definitely we going back to the El Dorado
We visited Eldorado Royale for a week long stay with two other couples. This resort has incredible grounds everywhere you look. The staff are constantly working to make sure every single area is clean and looking top notch. The food is fantastic, and every worker we came across was super friendly. Special shout out to the k team - especially Fredy and Gucci! This resort is definitely more laid back vs party central - but Fredy worked overtime making sure we still had a great time! Thanks for catering to all our crazy requests, Fredy and keeping our good times coming!
Also thanks to Keki at the pizzaria and Gerardo at Isla for giving us exceptional service every time we stopped by.
The resort band needs a special shout out all on their own! Very talented and always entertaining. Goustav can SING and Carlos knows how to rock the keys. The drummer and guitar player go hard every song - so, so good. We could had listened to them play every night. Just incredible!
Overall - pools are gorgeous. Food is delicious. Everything is always clean. Drinks are flowing. For me personally, I would had loved a little more music and fun games during the day. The quiet pools were great and relaxing like they should be, but the “party pool” wasn’t always much of a party. That’s a personal preference I guess though! Either way - you won’t be disappointed spending your vacation here.