El Dorado Royale Review: An Adults-Only All-Inclusive in Riviera Maya, Mexico

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Wanting to head to Mexico,  but not sure where to stay? For your next adults-only all-inclusive getaway consider a stay at the El Dorado Royale resort. This property, located in Riviera Maya, is perfect for those looking for a low-key, fun, Mexican-inspired resort. With its dinner theater restaurant, and Karisma Gourmet Inclusive Experience, this resort is also PERFECT for foodies! I visited this resort last week, had a great time, and I am so excited to share my full review with you.

El Dorado Royale, a spa Resort by Karisma in Riviera Maya Mexico

As a full-service Travel Agent, I am invited to stay and tour resort properties. As always, opinions are all my own.


El Dorado Royale Review: An Adults-Only All-Inclusive in Riviera Maya, Mexico

El Dorado Royale, a Spa Resort by Karisma is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located in Riviera Maya, Mexico. I was recently invited to come to Mexico and tour several Karisma resorts. Traveling to Mexico and the Caribbean during the pandemic was wonderful, as was flying during COVID.

At the time of my visit, Riviera Maya had just been hit by TWO hurricanes AND one was churning off-shore. So it was rainy and windy, and my pics aren’t the best. But I managed to have a great time at El Dorado Royale!


How Far is El Dorado Royale from Cancun International Airport?

El Dorado Royale is located in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which is about a 30 minute drive from the Cancun International Airport. If you are looking for an adults only resort in the hotel zone, check out the Hyatt Zilara Cancun or if you want to be down in Playa del Carmen, check out the Hilton Playa del Carmen (all are adults only all-inclusive resorts). Of course if you are with your kids, the Hard Rock Riviera Maya is a great option!

The El Dorado chain of resorts also includes the El Dorado Casitas (which is adjacent to the Royale), the El Dorado Seaside (located an hour south of the Cancun International Airport) and the El Dorado Maroma, which is where you will find the Palafitos Overwater Bungalows.

Of the four El Dorado resorts, Royale is the most budget friendly, but still offers the quality experience you would expect from the brand.

El Dorado Royale Review

Choosing an all-inclusive resort can be tough. Some are big, some are small, some are on the beach, some just near it. Some resorts have better food, more drink options, and more entertainment than others. Of course, there is your budget to consider as well!

For those reasons, it’s always best to consult with a travel professional to help find the perfect resort for you next vacation. And the best part? My services are free!

That’s right, you get full on, personalized, concierge vacation planning service, and it does not cost you a cent more! In fact, a package vacation with one of my preferred suppliers can often save you money on your trip!



What’s the difference Between El Dorado Royale and Casitas?

The El Dorado Royale is located adjacent to the El Dorado Casitas and Generations Riviera Maya Resorts. You can access Casitas or Generations by taking a golf cart shuttle or take a lovely walk along the beach.

Royale guests can use the restaurants at the other two resorts and some of the bars, as well as the entire stretch of beach.

El Dorado Casitas
View from a room at the Casitas

Rooms at El Dorado Royale

There are six types of rooms at the El Dorado Royale. On my recent visit, I stayed in a luxury junior suite in building 11. This area is closest to the main lobby, but furthest from the beach and pool. If you are on a budget and want to just getaway, this is a great room category.

Luxury Junior Suite at El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya Mexico

This adults only resort does offer some double bed rooms, although most are Kings.  I stayed in room 1111 which was well appointment with a lovely soaking tub.  The mini-bar was stocked with beer, soda and water. I loved sitting on the balcony. Check out my room tour:

Worth noting there are no elevators at El Dorado Royale, and there are two and three story buildings.

The views get better as you get closer to the ocean!

If you are looking for something a little extra special, consider a swim-out suite. These have balconies that open up into the lazy river.

El Dorado Royale Swim Up Suite

Restaurants at El Dorado Royale

El Dorado Royale is part of the Karisma brand of properties that boast a gourmet All-Inclusive Experience.

And friends, the food at the El Dorado Royale did NOT disappoint!

Honestly, I ate so well during my four day stay at el Dorado. During my November 2020 visit, not all restaurants were open (due to low occupancy because of the pandemic) but I enjoyed every meal.

Worth noting during the time of my visit, food displays (aka buffets) were not available due to health protocols.

Food at El Dorado Royale
From the top left: Lentil “meatballs,” veggie sushi, room service breakfast, chips and dips

Breakfast at El Dorado Royale

I loved both sit down breakfast and ordering room service in my suite. At the time of my visit, breakfast was being served at Cocotal (under the main lobby). I loved all the traditional Mexican offerings, but American breakfast items like waffles and pancakes were also available.

El Dorado Royale Breakfast MenuEl Dorado Royale Room Service Breakfast Menu








Two mornings, I ordered room service breakfast. You can order room service 24 hours a day, and through the app. You don’t even have to call anyone!

el Dorado Royale Room Service
All Inclusive Tip: Order ALL THE THINGS!

Lunch at El Dorado Royale

In busier times, the pizza restaurant and la Isla serve lunch right by the pool. At the time of my visit, the pizzeria (which also served salads, burgers and sandwiches) was moved to Villa d’Italia and Kampai was offering lunch at Cocotal. If you are visiting during the pandemic, be sure to ask for clarification as to what is offered where. Needless to say, we had some confusion with finding the restaurants!


Dinner at El Dorado Royale

When you arrive on property, you can make reservations for dinner. You can do this at the concierge hut. During the pandemic, it was necessary for crowd control, but having reservations will secure your spot

And remember, you can eat at Casitas as well, making dinner options:



Rincon Mexicano

d’Italia Villas

d’Italia Casitas

Fuentes – Culinary theater

JoJo’s Seaside Grill

Santa Fe Grill


The only up charge restaurant at El Dorado Royale is the dinner show, Fuentes (and it’s a nominal charge to secure the reservation).


Bars at El Dorado Royale

There are several bars at El Dorado Royale and the drinks were really great! I particularly loved the house wine they served – dangerously delicious!

Drinks at El Dorado Royale
from L to R: Mojito, chocolate martini, Chardonnay and a lemon drop martini

Each evening, we hung out at the Martini Bar, located in the main lobby. This bar offers many drinks, martinis of course, and be sure to try their signature chocolate martini!

During the day, there are two swim up bars by the main pool area, and servers to get you drinks if you are lounging in a Bali Bed.

If you go to the south end of the Royale property or walk north over to the Casitas, there are bars on the beach. Remember, the swim up bars in the Casitas enclave are reserved for guests of those rooms immediately in that area.


El Dorado Royale Activities

El Dorado Royale is a great resort for guests looking for a fun and relaxing pool area. I loved that the Bali Beds are available for all guests (on a first come, first serve basis).


Around the pool area you will find pool volleyball and ping pong. Other resort activities include: bike rentals, a full gym, and there is a schedule of daily activities on the el Dorado Royale app. Highlights include daily outdoor yoga and complimentary tequila tastings!

El Dorado Royale Beach

The beach at El Dorado Royale is small, and at the time of our visit, there was a hurricane churning off shore, making the water super rough.


Each evening there is a show (magic, circus, etc.) and a DJ or band for later night dancing. I liked that this resort wasn’t dead at night, but it wasn’t a big party either.

El Dorado Royale Pool

El Dorado Royale Honeymoons

As an adults only resort, with so many amenities, gourmet restaurants, and located in the perfect spot to explore the Yucatan Peninsula, the El Dorado Royale is a great resort for honeymoon couples!

Be sure to book your honeymoon with me, my honeymoon bookings may qualify for extra amenities!

Plus, with beautiful Bali beds and hammocks around the resort, there are some romantic spots to relax on your honeymoon!

El Dorado Royale Bali Beds

El Dorado Royale Destination Weddings

Looking to get married in paradise? When planning a destination wedding, I often hear brides and grooms (understandably) don’t want to pressure their friends and family into paying for an expensive resort. The El Dorado Royale has a great price point for four diamond luxury, your guests will be so excited to come celebrate with you.

Plus, with beautiful spots around the resort to have your ceremony and reception – el Dorado Royale is the perfect place for your wedding.

Inviting families to your wedding? No worries, they can stay at the adjacent Generations Riviera Maya, a family friendly property!

If you are interested in a destination wedding, be sure to reach out here.


El Dorado Royale Review

I visited for three nights in November 2020. At that time, Riviera Maya had just been hit by not one, but TWO hurricanes, and like the rest of the world was dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. It also rained most of the time I was there as yet ANOTHER hurricane churned offshore.

Despite all that, I still had a great time at El Dorado Royale!

With limited capacity, many facilities were closed and the beach had lots of debris from the storm. But, crews were working hard (when it wasn’t monsoon raining) to clean up from the hurricane.

Also, worth noting that all of the Karisma properties we visited were taking the highest level of precautions to provide guests a safe hotel stay during the pandemic.

I think this would be a super fun resort to visit with a group of fun-loving adults. With the Lomas Travel desk right in the lobby, it’s easy to book all the fun Mexico excursions such as Xcaret, Xel-ha (We visited Xel-ha in 2023 when staying at the Iberostar Selection Cancun),Swimming with Dolphins, visiting Mayan ruins, snorkeling trips, SCUBA or visiting a cenote.

I truly loved the food (and drinks!) on property and the service was great.


Do You Tip At El Dorado Royale?

Unlike my recent trips to Sandals Grenada and Sandals Antigua (which have a strict NO TIPPING policy) there were definitely opportunities to tip at El Dorado Royale.

Always tip your transfer drivers, as they are not employed by your resort. At El Dorado Royale I also tipped a few bucks to the bellhop, golf cart driver, bartenders, room service, and at meals.

PRO-TIP: Bring lots of small bills!


Overall, this resort is very affordable and is a great vacation experience in Mexico. I definitely recommend El Dorado Royale for your next adults only all-inclusive Mexican vacation!

Have you been to an El Dorado resort? What is your favorite all-inclusive in Mexico?


El Dorado Royale Riviera Maya Mexico

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34 Comments to “El Dorado Royale Review: An Adults-Only All-Inclusive in Riviera Maya, Mexico”

  1. tisha

    I need an adult only vacation with my girls…. This sounds heavenly, despite the hurricanes. The pictures were still gorgeous and I’m sure it was nice to just get away!

  2. I was just talking to my two besties about our next big trip, just the three of us. What a GORGEOUS resort! I have never been to El Dorado Royale but I have been to Cancun and I vowed to come back to Mexico as soon as I was able to. Thanks for the in depth tour as well. The room is lovely – love that bathroom too and the food is to die for. Love the view too! Thanks for the tips!

  3. Ashley

    We have booked a trip to the Casitas in June, 2021, so I loved reading your review! This is a dumb question, but is the drinking water on the resort property clean? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cocktail, but when I’m sweating it out at the pool, I really enjoy a glass of iced tea. Lol! It sounds like they are really cautious at all of the hotels in terms of cleaning protocols, which makes me feel much safer.

  4. John

    What rules were in place for guests sure to covid? Is mask usage and distancing enforced for staff and guests?

    We’re looking at a trip for the spring but want to be sure they’re being reasonable.

    1. harmskills Author

      no covid test required for visiting Mexico. We wore masks at on the plane, at the airport, and in the transfer. After that, was up to guests discretion around the resort. Staff wore masks. Lots of hand sanitizer and social distancing was easy because occupancy was so low. Chairs at pool, beach and in restaurants were spaced! hope this helps!

  5. C. Fountain

    Was just at this resort from 5/26 thru 6/3. We booked a year ago for a two queen bed swim up room. Get there we’re told they don’t have room but we would share King bed. Refused so they then said they’d bring in a roll away bed. Finally got a room with two queen beds not a swim up and they refused to refund the difference we paid for the original room. Are A/C was stuck for two days we froze TV had only Spanish channels they changed the TV then had only 1 channel. Manager said all provider offered but other 9 people we were with had other stations. Had to make several calls to rude front desk to even get water in mini bar. Calling travel agency (Delta Travel Vecations) to see about refund as our room was downgrad to a less expensive room and had nothing but problems from time of arrival. Would not recommend this resort. I’ve been to other resorts in Mexico and had a excellent time. This was the worst vacation in building 6 room 608. “THE BATES MOTEL’

    1. Ashley

      I am SO sorry you had this experience and they weren’t more accommodating! We are leaving next weekend and I’m crossing my fingers for a good experience. Definitely think you should get a refund – best of luck!

  6. Ashley

    My husband and I just returned from our trip to El Dorado Casitas Resort to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We cannot say enough about our concierges Emiliano and Emmanuel. They were fantastic, and there are not enough words to express the high-quality service provided by our bartender, Laybert. They all made a point to remember our names and take care of us in any way possible. The food was absolutely delicious and the nightly entertainment was high-quality as well!

    We arrived late the first night to the Casitas #25 and really only felt like unpacking and heading to bed. However, after a long day of flying, we decided to decompress in our casita’s whirlpool. Maintenance issue #1: the jet nozzles were rusted/corroded, broken, and missing, and the intake drain for the Jacuzzi was completely red with corrosion. The “fancy” tilework around the whirlpool was separated from the wall, missing grout, and many tiles were on the verge of falling off; safe to say it decreased the ambiance. Several days in, we were opening the curtains in the whirlpool area and noticed mouse droppings on the inside of the window. The bathroom was in similar shape and did not match the casita suite pictures on the website, as it had cracks in the sink,and corroded mirrors, and the toilet was completely cracked down the front of the base, all of which are signs of complete lack of inspection on Maintenance’s part. Perhaps the most disturbing maintenance issue , however, was the duct tape used to “repair” a missing slat in the front door to our room. The duct tape had obviously been there for quite some time, as it was developing a dried out, stiff texture.
    When we first arrived, we agreed to help our concierge out by going on the Exotic Vacations tour for an hour and in turn we received discounted prices for the spa and dinner on the beach. When we arrived for our appointment with Exotic Vacations, we were greeted by our tour guide and she asked how we liked our room. We shared our concerns and photos with her and she said that as a former concierge, this lack of maintenance was unacceptable. She told us to wait for just a second while she showed these pictures to the head of maintenance. The gentleman from maintenance came over to us and first asked why we didn’t just report these problems to the concierge. In my understanding, a concierge is there to take care of dinner reservations, getting pool floats, providing shuttle service, booking excursions, etc. Once we explained that these were neglected maintenance issues, the gentleman offered to move us to a different room. We really liked the location of our room; it was in the last set of casitas before the property crossed over to the El Dorado Royale. We asked if we could stay in the same set of casitas and he said, “No”. He said he would move us to an open room at a set of casitas way down toward the other end. We asked if we could just move to one of the stand-alone casitas that were in our same group and he said “No,” because those rooms are a “different category”. We agreed to stay where we were, as we were already unpacked and liked our location because we could walk to restaurants quickly between the storms of the tropical cyclone. The maintenance department did come into our room and replace the toilet seat and sealed one chip in the floor tile. Everything else could only be completed after we left. As we walked the grounds on subsequent days, I noticed a screen door on a first floor room at El Dorado Royale had come off of the “track”. The next day, we passed the building again, and the screen door was still dangling off the tracks; leads me to believe that there is more disrepair at the resort than just my room.

    The appearance of the beach is also misrepresented in both the photos and the description by the resort. It is described as a rocky beach and visitors were advised to wear water shoes. There are a few issues with this description. First, there is NO beach. There is a man-made area of sand above sea-level with some beach chairs. The ocean is NOT safe to enter or swim in, as it is dark and murky (not just due to the tropical cyclone) and extremely dangerous to navigate. Secondly, there are not only rocks along the bottom of the ocean floor, but there are large concrete barriers that appear to have been “dumped” with no rhyme or reason in order to divert the water flow. These barriers look similar to pieces of concrete used when making bridges for interstates in the US.

    As everyone at the resort, we spent A LOT of money to go on this vacation and romantic accommodations were completely misrepresented. Though this resort is in a less-developed country, it is owned by a first-rate hotel company that can more than pay for toilet replacements and new front doors. These are the types of maintenance issues I would expect to see at an older, independently-owned small motel. It befuddled my husband and myself when we saw the copious amounts of 4-Diamond awards hanging on the wall, earned by this resort. Maybe their representatives were shown the Presidential rooms because I’m not sure our room would even get one star in the United States. I’m attaching the pictures of our room and feel as if the Karisma resort company owes us at least a partial refund. I sincerely hope that no one else has the same experience!

    P.S. I’m happy to send pictures of our room so that other travellers may make an informed decision.

  7. TERRY

    I absolutely love this place,I also been to many sandels resorts,I feel this place is much better than sandels,my opinion,the food is amazing,just stay away from the time share people,all said chrissy an I loved it,seasond travelers intill the end!,we been to many resorts I haveyo say el dorada Is one of the best

  8. Cody

    My wife and I went here for our honeymoon last July. We had an incredible time. Everything that we took in was top notch. We did have to do a sit down with an agent as part of receiving some special accommodations, but even that was handled fairly well and not too pushy. It’s a great resort in Mexico so everything is not going to be exactly what you’d get in America. Food was amazing in all of the 10+ places we ate on the resort. As a ‘resident’ of el dorado royale, we had access to the neighboring two resort owned by the same company which was a huge bonus. All in all we had a great time and are heading back this Sunday for our one year anniversary. We would both highly recommend this place for its accommodations, service, dining, etc.

    There is a beach area that we were able to swim in, the water was clear but not the teal blue some might be expecting. We were there during a time that the seaweed was unusually bad, but it was blocked from the swimming area.


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