• Sidney Pease
  • My new favorite resort - El Dorado Casitas Royale
  • , 4 January 2012, 01:47
  • in Hotel Reviews
  • My new favorite resort - El Dorado Casitas Royale LOVED LOVED LOVED this resort! My BFF, Diane, and I took our annual girlfriend getaway trip to the Riviera Maya in early December and treated ourselves to the adults only El Dorado Casitas Royale for 4 days of self-indulgent rejuvenation! It was JUST AMAZING - a truly fabulous resort unlike anything I've experienced on the Riviera Maya. As we entered the property (just a short 25 minutes from the airport) – we were immediately wowed by the lushness of the tropical grounds as we entered a seemingly 'other world' - an astoundingly long and winding entrance way held the promise of wonderful surprises at its end. And wonderful surprises there were many!
  • Built on 450 acres of tropical jungle and spread out among hundreds of soaring palm trees, this tropical all-inclusive paradise is like no other I’ve seen. Fantastic gourmet dining experiences were just as advertised (their Gourmet Inclusive® moniker is certainly a most accurate designation); 24 hour room service and a fully stocked mini-bar are included if you care to partake; and super spacious, unique casita accommodations (with high ceilings, thatched roofs, the most comfortable bed with luxurious linens ever; and a comfy day bed on an oversized ocean view balcony; an ocean view in-suite Jacuzzi tucked away in a private alcove; and a huge private, roofless outdoor shower off the well-appointed bathroom that was just to die for – showering under the stars and the moon – REALLY!!?? I am now officially spoiled rotten!).
  • There’s a mile of picturesque, private beachfront at the El Dorado Royale Resort with shade palapas on the villas side and wonderfully comfortable Bali beds lined up under shady palm trees at the Casitas section, a salt-water pool in the sea plus a dozen other pools located throughout the majestic property; and SKY massage areas overlooking the beach (or there are two elegant indoor spas on the property - one at the Villas and one at the Casitas. Diane spent our first morning at the Casitas Spa and treated herself to one of the exotic Mexican rituals treatments – which garnered rave reviews from my spa connoisseur friend - if she was raving it must have been fantabulous!)
  • The El Dorado Royale Resort itself features 639 villa suites and the beachfront Casitas Royale Resort (located within the El Dorado Royale) offers 169 casita suites. The El Dorado Casitas Royale is comprised of 8 blocks of casitas with two-story casita buildings of 4 thatched-roof suites in each building. Each block of Casitas has its own pool with swim-up bar, really comfy lounge chairs and plenty of deck space and cozy lounging areas. The Casitas Royale features several different categories – including Casita Suites, Swim-up Casita Suites, Individual (stand-alone) Casita Suites, Infinity Pool Casita Suites (some swim-up) and Presidential One Bedroom Casitas (the ultimate indulgence I’m sure!). We were in a Casitas Suite on the second story, affording nice views of the beach and sea and wonderful sea breezes throughout the day and night.
  • Guests can find plenty of privacy at this super expansive resort - it’s just perfect for couples. As a matter of fact there are a number of wedding gazebos on the property plus a beautiful beachfront wedding chapel, and I can report first-hand that weddings here are something one only dreams about – we saw a beautiful wedding at sunset at one of the beach gazebos – plus saw another wedding party celebrating at a private dinner reception in one of the Italian restaurants. The professional wedding coordinators at El Dorado handle all the details, and a number of extraordinary wedding packages are available
  • But I digress…there is also plenty to keep you busy every hour of the day and night if that’s what you want. They have a ton of activities right on-property: tennis, horseback riding, a camel safari (yep! you read that right!), bicycles, dancing and cooking classes, Yoga, crafts, water activities galore – and great entertainment options at night - I could go on and on – but suffice it to say there is plenty to do for everyone. (Or you can do nothing at all and just enjoy a gourmet meal with an excellent wine recommended to you by a master sommelier and then take in the beauty of the place with a moonlight stroll. The grounds and gardens are immaculate and quite spectacular. Perhaps top off your evening at the sophisticated Royale’s Martini Bar up at the main building – then stroll back to your casita or hitch a ride on one of the shuttle trams that run throughout the property.)
  • There are seven gourmet restaurants and thirteen bars and lounges PLUS an assortment of more casual-type spots (they call them “Gourmet Corners”) where you can grab a quick pizza or burger or salad or some chips and guacamole - there’s even a wonderful Healthy Bar serving a variety of healthy options for breakfast and lunch including shakes, coffees, smoothies, salads and wraps. One of my favorites! I especially loved that their onsite Greenhouse provides much of the produce and fresh herbs used in the restaurants. We dined at 6 of the venues – and each was outstanding. Unfortunately, “Las Fuentes” (the Mexican culinary theatre restaurant with open kitchens (think Food Network’s Kitchen Stadium!!) was closed for the week for regular maintenance – my son and his wife visited El Dorado Royale last spring and this was their favorite dining spot! Next time I guess.
  • The staff just couldn't do enough for the guests – I was especially taken with the beach service offering homemade popsicles (choose from hibiscus; banana; kiwi; mango; strawberry – just to name a few); a roving hamburger chef and grill every afternoon; cooler/lunch box delivery w/light snack (gourmet croissant mini-sandwich; fruit; juice) in the afternoon on the beach; and your beach butler showing up with a fresh bottle of water at just the perfect moment or with a lending book basket – the list just goes on and on ...they have thought of absolutely everything – I honestly couldn’t think of one other thing we could possibly have needed/wanted. It’s like they anticipated every possible thing guests could want and incorporated it into their regular service. Amazing! Truly!
  • As I've never visited a Karisma resort, I knew I really needed to see for myself what I knew from others to be exceptional properties. AND I was not disappointed. I was so impressed with everything – the suites were beautifully appointed and well-equipped, the facilities were superb, and the service in particular was above and beyond exceptional on every level - not just the concierge staff (and they were terrific) but the efficient and discreet housekeeping staff, the friendly wait staff on the beach and in the various bar and dining venues - everyone has clearly been trained in the art of taking care of guests – and NO ONE does it better in my humble opinion! Kudos to the Karisma Hotels & Resorts team for demanding and achieving such high standards! Very impressive indeed!
  • My only regret ... we only had 4 days! Next time (and there will definitely be a next time) I’ll take my husband and we’ll spend a week – at least!
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