A Review of El Dorado Royale
Another beautiful destination wedding at the El Dorado Royale, A Gourmet All-Inclusive, in Riviera Maya, Mexico. The bride and groom are blissfully enjoying their honeymoon as husband and wife and their guests are returning from an epic vacation filled with love, sun and tequila. A successful destination wedding, from their perspective….
Travel Agent Perspective:
The Good: El Dorado Royale is a beautiful resort located in Riviera Maya, between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, approximately 30 minutes from the Cancun Airport. As you arrive, Starbucks coffee provides a familiar welcome. The lobby is grand and you are greeted with champagne and smiles. The staff is eager to assist and very accommodating. The grounds are meticulously maintained, and although there were many guests, it never felt crowded and you could always your own piece of paradise. Lounge chairs a plenty and hardly any lines at the bar. Also, this is an adults only resort, but right next door is a sister property, Generations Riviera Maya, which is family friendly and have exchange privileges so families travelling in a group can easily be accommodated.
The Rooms: *** The rooms at El Dorado Royale vary from your typical double bed with Jacuzzi suite to the Casitas on the other end of the resort which are individual palapas or suites with a swim up pool right outside your door. They are extremely clean and comfortable. A stocked mini bar is also included as well as fresh fruit.
The Food: *** Labeling a resort as “Gourmet All-Inclusive”, sets the gastronomic bar pretty high, however in my opinion El Dorado Royale may have fell slightly short. Although the food was good - high quality and decent variety - it was in no way memorable in taste or presentation, at least compared to other all-inclusive resorts in Mexico.
The Beach: ** El Dorado Royale is located directly on the beach. Beautiful sand and turquoise waters. There are plenty of lounge chairs and palapas for shade and relaxation. There are also several pools to relax and unwind. However, to break the waves there are large cement blocks which line nearly the entire beach and is honestly an awkward eye sore. But once you see beyond that, it is an beautiful beach in Mexico.
The Location: ** El Dorado Royale is about 30 minutes from Cancun and 30 minutes from Playa Del Carmen. A taxi to either area is about $40 one way, not the easiest location if you want to go into town for shopping, etc. The resort does provide a shuttle, but there is limited availability and only departs and arrives on certain day/time of the week, so you must plan it right. Be sure to set up a ride with your personal concierge.
Destination Wedding Planner Perspective:
El Dorado Royale is beautiful. The staff is great and there are many areas to escape for an intimate walk on the beach or a romantic dinner for two overlooking the ocean. The bridal suites that can be rented at the Casita Salon are beautiful and the salon professionals are amazing. The waiters and servers are rockstars and are right there with anything you need. El Dorado Royale provides several beautiful venues, on the beach or under a beautiful palapa, for your destination wedding ceremony and reception.
However, there are definitely issues with communication with the wedding department. We became involved after the couple reserved the rooms for all 97 guests (through another travel agent) and nearly 3 months before the wedding, they realized that they had nothing confirmed or discussed for their wedding day. They panicked and were considering cancelling the wedding, until we stepped in to make their dream destination wedding come true. The wedding department works extremely hard, too hard, but they are overworked and have many destination weddings to deal with. They also have a bifurcated system in which you do not meet or speak with the onsite coordinator until the couple arrives in Mexico. To be honest, there were a lot of potential issues which could have happened on the day of the wedding if we were not there. Fortunately, we knew all the details, drafted a detailed timeline and were onsite from beginning to end, to ensure the details were perfect for the wedding day, and the wedding couple has no idea what could have been!
The only other complaint I have is the shuttle system and the layout of the property. El Dorado is very large with many areas, taking over 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other, in the hot Mexico sun. Although they have shuttles, they are sporadic, especially the days with several events. The bridal party, bride and groom’s room, guest rooms, ceremony location and reception location were all spread out throughout the entire property, which made for difficult communication and frustrations with timing. It really was not conducive for a destination wedding of 97 guests, perhaps a smaller wedding would have been just fine.
My advice would be to dedicate one shuttle driver specifically for the bride/groom and parents for the entire day of the event. Also, if you are working with a different travel agent than us, be sure to request that the guests be located in a central area, close to the Bride and Groom and close to the ceremony site. A few extra moments dealing with logistics beforehand could save a lot of time and frustrations on the wedding day.
Overall, El Dorado Royale is an amazing resort to plan your destination wedding, but it is important to understand some of the logistical and communication issues beforehand and to ensure all goes as planned, be prepared to call several times per day and to check everything thoroughly and designate a “point” person to ensure your destination wedding is just as you envision it….OR you could always hire a wedding planner and travel agent to deal with the logistics, so you and your family simply don’t have to J
Planning a destination wedding? As travel agents AND destination wedding planners, we are with you every step of the way. Contact us to find the perfect venue for your destination wedding.
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