El Dorado Casitas Royale by Karisma is an adults-only resort which shares beachfront property with its sister resorts, El Dorado Royale to the south (another adults-only all-inclusive resort) and Generations Riviera Maya to the north (a family-friendly all-inclusive resort which opened February 2014). All are located in the Punta Brava area of the Riviera Maya which is about a 25-min. drive south of the Cancun airport. The Casitas Royale is considered to be the more private and romantic resort of the three, and, as a result, attracts many honeymooners and couples celebrating special occasions. Apparently, many vacationers think this to be a special place since it was voted one of the Top 100 Hotels of the World by Condé Nast readers and is a recipient of AAA’s Four Diamond Award for amenities and level of service.
El Dorado Casitas Royale is probably most renowned for the following:
- unique accommodation section–guest rooms consist of “blocks” of stand-alone and/or two-story guest suite sections built in a horseshoe shape around a central pool and swim-up bar area
- unique room categories including 2nd story balcony plunge pools and swim-up casita suites
- complimentary Bali beds throughout the property, especially all along the beachfront
- “Aguas del Amor”, or roofless outdoor grotto shower in each suite
- access to 14 pools–eight on the Casitas property (all with swim-up bars), four at the adjoining El Dorado Royale, the main pool at Generations Riviera Maya, and a natural beachfront salt water pool right on the border between El Dorado Casitas Royale and El Dorado Royale
- heated poolside Jacuzzis in blocks #30-#32
- the resort has its own onsite spa in addition to the one at El Dorado Royale
- full access to El Dorado Royale and Generations Riviera Maya resort amenities
Additional perks for guests staying at El Dorado Casitas Royale include a private concierge for each “block” of casitas, and the ability to make restaurant reservations for all three resorts at premier times. The grounds of all three properties are beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained with waterfalls, bridges, a multitude of palm and coconut trees, various flora, and jade-green grass sections which create an atmosphere of tamed jungle opulence–it is what guests would expect to see in a five-star resort.
Since no resort is perfect, there are some drawbacks which would potentially include the following:
- Since it takes about 20-25 min. to walk from Casitas Royale to El Dorado Royale, there are golf carts which transport guests along prescribed routes. On some routes these carts only come along every 20 min.
- Somewhat narrow beach and limited ocean access due to Kan-Kanán, the man-made reef, which will greatly help with sand erosion as well as encourage new reef growth and attract sea life. This may not be a resort you would want to visit if you are a tremendous beach lover and would consider ocean swimming as an integral part of your vacation.
- There are three onsite restaurants and one “gourmet bite” station for lunch, the rest of the dining options are located at El Dorado Royale or Generations Riviera Maya.
- Entertainment options are located at the El Dorado Royale and Generations Riviera Maya but not at Casitas Royale.
Enjoy a few pictures of the rooms.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Stay at one play at three, plenty of beach cabanas and pools, special suite amenities, quiet and romantic ambiance, no wristband or towel card, free WiFi and international calls.
Con: Narrow beach, not a lot of room for ocean swimming, lots of walking if you don’t take a shuttle, non-digital room safe.
Best Suited For: Honeymooners, couples celebrating special occasions, those who enjoy a more peaceful, quiet vacation and don’t mind navigating a large resort or taking shuttles to get around more quickly. The typical age range for this resort is mid 30’s to mid 60’s–younger couples are typically honeymooners.
No. of Rooms: 205
Room Amenities: King bed, A/C, balcony/terrace with day bed and small table and chairs, mini-bar, non-digital safe, flat screen TV, DVD player, telephone, ceiling fan, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, robe and slippers, iron/ironing board, coffee maker, pillow menu, aromatherapy, hair dryer, dbl sink, outdoor grotto shower, indoor shower with rainforest showerhead, Jacuzzi tub, and toiletries. Room service is 24-hrs. a day; WiFi and international calls are complimentary. Here is a basic rundown of casita categories:
- Casita Suite: These are basic casitas in two-story blocks which include all above amenities along with a sitting room area. They are typically located closer to El Dorado Royale.
- Swim-Up Casita Suite: Ground floor casitas with a sitting room area and two full loungers with direct access to the lazy river which connects with the main block pool and swim-up bar.
- Individual Casita Suite: These stand-alone casitas are one-room buildings facing the sea and typically located on the ends of the horseshoe-shaped blocks. In addition to the above amenities, they include a sitting room area with small sofa, table, and chairs.
- Presidential Studio: There are two types of Presidential Studios–upstairs on the 2nd story with a private balcony plunge pool, and ground floor rooms with their own access to the lazy river which connects to the main pool and swim-up bar. Both types of rooms have a sitting area with sofa, butler service, welcome basket of fruit and bottle of champagne, upgraded mini-bar, in-room liquor dispensers, and use of bicycles during your stay.
- One Bedroom Presidential Casita Suite: Oceanfront one bedroom suite with separate bedroom/ living and dining room areas. Contains a sofa, table and six chairs, bar sink, two burner stovetop, two flat screen TV’s, touch screen computer, espresso coffee maker, microwave, blender, stocked bar, daily snacks, daily newspaper, board games, snorkel equipment provided, bicycle use, outdoor hammock, private pool, direct beach access, personal butler, and access to a private shuttle.
- Infinity Swim-Up Casita Suite: Ground floor casita with a large terrace, small private swimming pool, and easy access to the lazy river which directly connects to the block’s swimming pool.
- Infinity Pool Casita Suite: One of the most requested room categories at the resort, this suite is on the 2nd story and has its own private plunge pool on the balcony.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Not available
Resort Amenities: Fourteen pools (eight casita “block” pools at El Dorado Casitas Royale all with swim-up bar, four pools at El Dorado Royale–several with a swim-up bar, the main pool at Generations Riviera Maya with a swim-up bar, and one beachfront natural salt water pool), heated Jacuzzis by block pools #30-#32, spa, Temazcal hut, sauna and steam room, fitness center, beauty salon, motorized and non-motorized water sports, pool and beach wait service, hammocks, beach massages, internet café, business center, DVD library, shuttle service, concierge, gift shop, tour desk, car rental, medical services, and laundry. Amenities included at El Dorado Royale include tennis courts, horse stables, bicycles, air rifle shooting, archery, bocce ball, greenhouse tour, additional spa and fitness center, Starbucks, and complimentary shuttle service to both Playa del Carmen and Cancun. Generations Riviera Maya has a main pool with swim-up bar to enjoy along with food and drink options.
Restaurants/Bars: Typical of Karisma resorts, there are buffet opportunities for breakfast but not for lunch or dinner. Three onsite restaurants include Italian (D’Italia Casitas Royale), southwestern cuisine (Santa Fe Grill), and Pacific Rim cuisine including a separate sushi menu (Kampai); there is also a luncheon “gourmet bite corner” located in block #31. El Dorado Royale restaurants include the following: Italian (D’Italia Villas), Mexican (El Rincon), surf and turf (Jo Jo’s Seaside Grill), Mediterranean (La Isla), international fare (Cocotal), a new luncheon restaurant (Spot), and Fuentes Culinary Theater which offers guests an interactive cooking/dining experience. Fuentes Culinary Theater and Santa Fe Grill are the only restaurants which require reservations. (There are an additional five restaurants over at Generations Riviera Maya including Pan Asian, Mediterranean, Caribbean, international, and a wine pairing experience). There are other “gourmet bite corners” at El Dorado Royale along with a smoothie bar. El Dorado Casitas Royale bars include all the block pool swim-ups, Bellinis, and a beach bar. El Dorado Royale bars include the lobby Martini Bar, two swim-up bars, and two beach bars (one is open until 2 a.m.), while Generations Riviera Maya has an additional three bars.
Entertainment: There is really no onsite entertainment; however, there are movies, nightly shows, live music, DJ music, and karaoke night over at El Dorado Royale as well as entertainment over at Generations Riviera Maya.