My wife & I just came back from a week at the El Dorado Casitas Royale (Feb 12 - 19, 2013). This has to be the nicest resort we have ever been to, however, we cannot say that it was 'perfect' ... Here's why:
The Good: we had a swim up suite in the Casitas section 28 - very nice indeed !The room was attractive, comfortable bed, the balcony lead right to the lazy river, the heated pool was kept sparkling clean, grounds were immaculate, the scenery was stunning, and all the servants were friendly for the most part. There was 24 hr room service available, and a variety of gourmet restaurants with quality dishes to choose from. The two best restaurants (by popularity) are Kampai & D'Italia Casitas, which would not disappoint any food critic.
The Not So Good: the service & communication needs improvement ! This is the first place we have stayed, where the concierge (whom you have to work with in setting up your on/off site reservations) is also a Karisma resort timeshare agent ! (Of course, they do not call them timeshares, but rather, memberships). We advised that we were not interested in attending the timeshare seminar (just to get an extra perk), but after mingling with some of the other guests in our section, we learned that many of them were 'members', so we changed our minds and decided to book an appointment to see what all the fuss was about. As it turned out, we never did get to a seminar, due to the poor communication between the concierge staff.
Upon check in, our concierge told us that most popular reservation times available in the restaurants had already been taken for the next 7 days. We had just arrived - how could that be ! After showing disappointment at this news, we were given reservations in several of the restaurants, and told just to show up @ 6pm at Kampai (the most popular), as we would likely be accepted with/without a reservation. When we showed up at 6pm, the line up was around to the back of the building ! I've never been to a 5 star resort, chose to stay in an upgraded section, and still had to wait in line for 20 mins to get a table - that is 'not' considered 'royale' service in my book.
I guess that my negativity comes from the fact that we were expecting something special - a cut above - 'royal' treatment in the casitas section, and what we got was the regular service. Don't get me wrong - there is nothing wrong with the regular service treatment, as long as you are not paying 'extra' for it as we were! So, all we got for the extra money we paid, was a little nicer room ....
Just a few little things to note, but certainly not vacation busters:
if you felt like an after dinner cocktail in the privacy of your room, you were out of luck. The pool bars closed @ 5pm & room service does not deliver drinks to the room, and all you had was beer & water/soft drinks in your fridge. Thus, you would have to wander out to one of the lounge bars to find a drink.
whenever we would flush the toilet, a gush of water (at least we like to think it was just water) would shoot up from the drain in the sink (so we just left a face cloth over the drain).
the night maid would show up after 10 pm to turn down the bed (if at all) - sorry but too late for us - so most nights we turned the bed down ourselves.
the shuttle service shuts down after 11 pm, so if you are over at the other end of the resort trying to take in a show and a nightcap - don't miss the shuttle or be prepared to walk back to your room ...
the beach is great, but the ocean was generally too rough for safe swimming in this area
This was our fifth time to Mexico and the first to the EDR. This resort is beautiful and we still love Mexico. The point that I'm really trying to make here, is that if you signed up for an average stay at an average resort and all for a great deal - then no problem - who cares if the service is 'off' a bit ! In this case, we chose the EDR and specifically the Casitas section, to experience all those extra 'perks' you expect when paying more money than the regular EDR section guests - which we never got ...Last year, we stayed at Paradisius Varadero in Cuba and upgraded to the 'royal service' - what a difference that made ! They treated us like rock stars - private transportation to/from the airport - no line ups - 24hr room service with fancy cocktails - full bottle of rum in the room - gourmet restaurant (reserved only for royal service guests - with excellent food) - no waiting for shuttles - free golfing - no timeshare seminar pressure .. Now 'that' was an experience to remember, and here's the best part - it cost us $900 per person less !
- 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
- El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma Mexico/Riviera Maya