I’ve traveled all over the world and stayed at a number of fantastic properties. However, there’s only one property in the world I’ve traveled to five times. I have not visited this beautiful resort since launching Golden Life Musings so naturally, I just had to blog about the reasons why I love the El Dorado Spa Resorts by Karisma and why you should too!
- The accommodations
First, let me share that the AAA Four Diamond award-winning, adults-only El Dorado Spa Resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico consist of El Dorado Royale, El Dorado Casitas Royale, El Dorado Seaside Suites and El Dorado Maroma. The Karisma brand also includes Generations, the family friendly resort that is connected to the El Dorado property. During my previous visits I stayed at the El Dorado Royale and the El Dorado Seaside Suites, which is a little further away in Tulum. However, on this stay I decided to try something new and explore the El Dorado Casitas Royale. My casita, which means “little house” in Spanish, was everything I thought it would be AND more!
One of the things I love about these resorts is the spaciousness of all of the accommodations, including the lead-in category room, which they call their standard room, but is anything close to standard. The casita, however, boasted even more space and came complete with its own expansive indoor and outdoor shower stalls and an indoor alcove for a private spa jacuzzi. Depending on which category of casita you select – I opted for the oceanfront casita – you have either an outside deck that expands into a swim-out pool or an outside deck or balcony that leads out to the ocean. In either category you also have a private pool and swim-up bar for you and your neighbors to enjoy. So, you have options – either a pool or the ocean is your backyard…decisions, decisions!
Something to Note: The casitas really only work if you are traveling solo or you are a romantic couple. As is the case with most adults-only resorts, there are limited or no options for double beds. Therefore, if you want to travel with your bestie, your best bet is for each of you to get your own casita or stay at the El Dorado Royale or Generations (the family resort next door) if you want to room together.
- The culinary experience
If this is your first time reading Golden Life Musings let me just share with you now that I’m a foodie. That means any review that I do is going to talk about food and how much I love it. That being said, this resort had me at “gourmet-inclusive.” That means this is not your typical all-inclusive resort. These properties specialize in culinary arts and aim to give you the full palate-pleasing experience. In fact, on their web site it says, “it’s not just cuisine. This is a culinary journey.” Hello!
What does that mean exactly, you ask? Well, let me just share with you some of the amenities. There are more than 12 restaurants on the property (including the Royale, Casitas, and Generations) serving an array of gourmet options, there is 24-hour complimentary room service, and the kicker – the El Dorado Royale has a 76,000 sq. ft. greenhouse on the property where fresh vegetables and spices are grown.
Additionally, this time I opted to partake in a unique feature of the El Dorado brand – Fuentes, a Culinary Theatre. This five-course culinary experience features a full cooking show where the resort’s Head Chef and Sommelier prepare a demonstration of each course using some of the finest ingredients from their greenhouse and pair them with a premier selection of wines. It was truly an experience, and not to mention delicious!
Something to Note: This is one restaurant where you definitely need to have a reservation. There is only one sitting each night, which begins at 7 pm with a welcome cocktail and 7:30 show and dinner.
- The service
Having stayed at this property on more than one occasion, I can say with confidence that this resort is one of the best I’ve experienced in customer service. The staff is not only super-friendly and cordial, they are extremely helpful and do what they can to make you feel like a rock star. During this stay, because I was a Casitas Royale guest, I was able to experience the convenience of having a personal concierge. This person was there to essentially take care of whatever I needed from booking my massage and restaurant reservations to finding me a toothbrush if I needed one. When you experience service like that, well it’s hard to go back to anything else!
Something to Note: There is a complimentary shuttle service that runs every 20 minutes to take you anywhere you want to go on the property. This service ends at 11 pm so if you plan on enjoying the many restaurants or bars after 10 pm, know that you will have to get yourself back to your accommodations on your own.
- The spa
As it is one of my duties as a travel consultant to fully inspect a property for my clients, I had to do my due-diligence, of course, in experiencing the spa (smile). There are two spas on the resort and this time, since I was a Casitas guest, I opted for the Casita Spa. Both have an ancient Mayan-themed motif and are designed to “soothe, refresh, and rejuvenate your entire being.” And that it did!
I elected to indulge in what they call “The Sky” massage, which is conducted in an open-air cabana right on the beach where you can hear the sound of the waves crashing in the background and feel the warm Caribbean breeze graze your skin as you get rubbed down. It was so magnificent, in fact, I had to go back for a second visit a couple of days later…for research purposes of course (smile).
Something to Note: Try your hand at the 80-minute Kukulkan massage, which infuses different massage techniques using natural oils derived from the benefits of Mexican herbal therapy and massage accessories that include native dried gourds and bamboo. They also use a combination of various techniques including Lomi-Lomi, Reflexology, Shiatsu and Swedish, which will have you in the deepest state of relaxation and serenity you ever thought possible.
- The vibe
This might be the hardest part of the resort to describe, but probably one of the most important parts of a vacation for me. Every time I visit a new destination, I am keenly aware of the feeling I get when I experience all of the aforementioned amenities. It is an intangible, yet very real part of the experience, and that is the vibe.
Most of the times I visited this resort, I have been with a large group of people and with those large groups, sometimes it is hard for a resort to maintain the essence of what makes its brand shine and the quality of service that it provides. Not here. From the convention group services to our private foam party and swim-up bar service, each staff member served us with excellence and made us feel like we were right at home. And that’s why the El Dorado will see me again.