Old Reviews – El Dorado Seaside Suites

  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Lynne ~ Mississauga Canada

November 2009

Arrival: August 2008
We have been to El Dorado Royal Spa which is one of the resorts in the Kasisma chain, so we decided to visit the El Dorado Seaside last August. We loved it so much that we are now members of teh Exotic Club and are retuning tomorrow Saturday 31st October 2009, and again in January 2010. I agree that the beach is rocky and not the best, but the service and food you cannot complain about. We stayed in the swim up room and the staff catered to our every need. On this return trip my husband has a broken leg and they have supplied him with an electric wheelchair the duration of our stay. I cant say enough good things about this resort. Will let you know how this trip goes when I get back November 12th 2009…

Rooms are fantastic

Restaurants and Bars:
Love not having the buffett, and the presenation is beautiful

beautiful grounds

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Was not looking for loud music, so it was great and relaxing

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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Doug ~ Lethbridge

May 2009

Arrival: April 5-19 2006 April 5-12 2009
Both times we arrived in the early AM from Calgary and no problems and the only people you see are there to get you to your resort.

The best, oceanfront both times once ground level and second time 2nd floor both have alot to offer !

Restaurants and Bars:
High end food they can make a grilled cheeze look exotic .The bars are great! good service to all.

Small beach but great snorkling there is a reef right there and saw some great stuff and can go out a 1/4 mile and still stand up . saw rays and barracutas and lots of others alittle smaller than the waterparks !!!

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Coba which was great and very interesting and Xha Ha / tulum and both worth the price .

Other Comments:
Some things have changed for the better lunch searved on the beach each day , no wristbands has been always good ,didn’t have to book for supper but at Easter the place was only 65% full so it was pure heaven both times . All good no Bad and don’t get caught naked on your balcony as the doors lock when closed behind you !!!!


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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Jerry ~ Michigan

April 2009

The trip from the airport took about 1.5 hours. Upon arriving at the resort we were a bit dissapointed. The main lobby is small in size and not very grand like may resorts. It offers the impression of an older resort. The staff was nice but offer virtually no information on the resort and activities. You were more or less left on your own.

The rooms were very nice and very comfortable. We were on an upper level. The only change I would suggest is some trimming of the vegetation located just outside the balcony. It blocks views of the ocean.

Restaurants and Bars
Great. The food was very good and the staff couldn’t have been more accomodating.

Beach/Pools/Grounds The beach is fine but not one of the best. The sand was mixed with rocks. However, it was fun to feed the fish that about near the shore. If you are interested in a topless beach there were only a few women doing so.

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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Jerry ~ Michigan

March 2009

It’s a rather long trip from the Cancun airport, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. However, it goes fast watching the countryside. I was a bit disappointed upon entering the reception area. I’ve been to at least nine other all-inclusive resorts and this one was the least impressive. It was nice but very conservative with no open or commanding views to the ocean, the resort pools, or the grounds. Also, the staff provided very little information on resort facilities.

The room was beautiful. We were on the second floor facing the ocean. The furnishings were very nice. Things were perfect!

Restaurants and Bars
The restaurants were very nice. I enjoyed dining off a menu instead of the more typical buffets. The meal presentations were very well done and the food was excellent. The staff was superb.

We spent most of our time on the beach. By 6:30 am or thereabouts most or all of the beach beds were reserved. We didn’t use them so it didn’t matter but I found it interesting. In a number of cases reserved beds were seldom occupied during the day. People seemed to want to claim their turf and keep it regardless of use. Too bad? The beach sand is a bit rocky but not too bad. The water is quite shallow. We enjoyed wading and watching the tropical fish, small sting rays, etc. There were very few topless sunbathers. If you want to sunbath topless you can but you may feel a bit awkard. All in all the beach was very nice.

Other Comments The staff was great. The restaurants and facilities were in close proximity. It’s a good place to unwind, relax, and read a book or two while enjoying the ocean. It’s very laid back and quiet resort and not a place to party. I enjoyed the resort but would probably not return.

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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Jeff ~ St louis, Mo

March 2009

Arrival: October 2008
We arrive on time, but then had to wait 3 hours for the room.

Nice if you like the sound of construction

Restaurants and Bars
no buffets and you had to be in long pants no shorts and no flip flops.

Get you towels early or you wont get any

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
we left the resort for fun activities.

Other Comments The place in not very nice at all. I would not go there again. If you had any problem the hotel staff didn’t really. Air conditioner was crappy. Beach was rocky. Beach beds were rotting and filthy.

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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Karen ~ Kingston, Ontario

February 2009

Arrival: Jan 23 – 30
We arrived two hours late with Skyservice due to maintenance issues but otherwise the flight was fine. The return flight was 5 hours delayed for the same reason, sitting around the airport for 7 hours wasn’t much fun.

There were four of us on this trip and we all booked oceanview rooms, these are located on the third floor of the new swim-up block of rooms. I recommend booking gardenview, the view was as good or better than oceanview.

Restaurants and Bars:
I’ve never been to a resort that didn’t have any buffets, all restaurants were a la carte. It was a very nice change, no heaping plates of food and all the food is gourmet! We really enjoyed the Vida Garden Grill for breakfast, wonderful atmosphere and very good service. Our other favourites were the Sandwicherie for lunch, all open air, with lovely palm trees. The Italian and Japanese were our other favourites for dinner. No reservations required at any restaurant which was a nice touch. We really enjoyed this way of dining. There were several bars, two of which have swings. The two lazy river areas also had swim-up bars and nice beds for lazing around.

The grounds at this resort are beautiful and well manicured. Lovely pathways for walking with lots of nice flowers. We never spent any time at the pools but they do have an activities pool and a quiet spa pool area. Everything about this resort is peaceful, tranquil and very relaxing. The spa services were extensive, although we didn’t partake of any this time. As others have said the beach is somewhat grainy but not at all hard to walk on. There was an area to the left of the rock wall for swimming and lots of great areas for snorkelling. There were the most amazing beach beds all along the beach and scattered throughout the property but you had to be up early to reserve the ones on the beach. We spent all our days lounging on these beds. The Palladium resort is about a 25 minute walk down the beach.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
We went into Playa del Carmen one rainy day. We took the collectivos that stop for you on the highway, $2.50 US and seemed very safe. A taxi would cost $22.00 US. I love this little town, we spent 4 hours there and didn’t see all of it.

Other Comments:
I would highly recommend this hotel for couples looking for a very quiet and peaceful holiday. There isn’t much nightlife, they do put on shows each evening but we never made it to any of them so I can’t comment on how they were.

The staff were the nicest, friendliest and genuinely happy we’ve ever encountered!

We will definitely be returning to this resort.

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  El Dorado Seaside Suites   Mary ~ Portland, OR USA

January 2008

Arrival – We were checked in right away. This would be the upside to traveling all day and arriving at nearly 6 pm. We were served champagne upon arrival which was a welcome touch. IO had read people who complained about this feature as they felt the champagne was not of the quality they were used to/not chilled enough. WOW, that’s just plain UNGRATEFUL!

Rooms – Our ocean front room was beautiul and could not have been more inviting/relaxing and romantic. Since we were being married at EDSS our room was part of our wedding package.

Restaurants – We enjoyed having the variety of resturants during the course of our stay and (considering other AI’s we’ve been to). We felt the service to be outstounding and tremendously accomodating. We never felt rushed and enjoyyed the relaxed pace of the dinner. I must address several complaints I have read regarding the pace of meals: If you consider 1.5 hrs spent dinning while enjoying the company of your significant other/family/friends w/out the usual distractions(kids–need I say more?)to be a significant detractor from your stay; may I suggest Disnyland next year? Seriously.

Bars – Service was always gracious and with a smile. They offered "your usual" or an invite to mix it up a bit with something you may have yet to try. I never ahd an issues with any of my selections. Beer was cold, margs tasty, wine was satisfactory (we did’nt expect it to be the smae wine we drink at home–were in Mexico not Bordeaux)

Beach and Pools – The ocean on this part of beach was not rough and provided outstanding snorkling opportunities (better direct access than any place we have previously stayed). It was not a good swimming beach directly in front of the resort but down the beach was much better.

Grounds – Gorgeous. Well taken care of, beautiful flowers. They spend a lot of time and effort to make this a point of difference.

Activities – We enjoyed the activities so much than I did which he enjoyed. The activities staff were in my opinion the best I have seen. They work VERY hard to make everyone feel welcome and to join in. They were our favorites amoung the entire staff at EDSS.

Tours – We wnet to Playa the day before we got married and it really rained hard that day so we certainly missed soem of the fun. But we sound ourselves anxious to get back to the resort as we had everything we wnated right there. We also took the colectivo to Tulum to tour the ruins, which was a great 1/2 day trip.

Conclusion – I made reservations yesterday to return for our 2nd anniversary in May. We knew the day we left EDSS we would return. We rotate our trips between "working vacations" where we are touring each day with trips to places like EDSS where we can relax and unwind.

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June 2007

This is a tough review because we went to the hotel for a large wedding so we have our experiences and the experiences of others to draw from. There were many highs and many lows. Additionally, it was our first all-inclusive experience, so we didn’t know what to expect. The hotel is definitely beautiful and perfect for a specific type of travel. If you want to do nothing, lay on the beach, drink a beer, and be with your significant other or another couple it’s perfect. But, if you wish to explore or have a cultural experience, it’s not for you.

The Wedding:
The couple getting married had SO much trouble with the hotel!!! I would definitely NOT recommend it if you want a hassle free wedding. I cannot stress how many problems they had–constantly over the entire six-eight months. There were 4-5 weddings in the 4 days we were there. Nothing was personalized. In the end it was beautiful, but getting there wasn’t easy. I got married 6 mo ago in Mexico and our hotel made everything happen without extra charges and without hassle. EDSS was the opposite. Everything came with an extra charge–even if they didn’t need it. They tried to charge them for a minister, even though they had brought their own. There was very bad communication with the wedding coordinator. I think the hotel really took advantage of having everyone there and charging for everything, even though it was an all inclusive. Our friends actually considered changing hotels about 2 mo before, but because it was a holiday weekend everything was already booked in the area and they had around 80 guests.

The location of the actual ceremony was lovely. The photographer was great. The mariachis were fun! They had a donkey that said "Just Married" around his neck. The reception on the beach was nice. The setting was perfect.

FYI–There is a nude beach next door and many at our hotel went topless. That’s fine, except when during the ceremony the guests have to stare at large ladies and their large breasts sitting 20 feet away. Luckily the photographer avoided them. It was a tad tacky on the guests behalf.

One particular, but by no means only, story of the hotel–the hotel is 18 and over. The groom has a sister who is 16. Of course they got the sister cleared way in advance otherwise they wouldn’t have booked the hotel. The family got rerouted and then stuck in Mexico City for a day and a half. When his parents, siblings, and grandma got to EDSS late the nigth before the wedding, they were told that they’d have to find somewhere else to stay. By tthis point they had already missed the rehearsal dinner. The family had been traveling for 2 days and wearing the same clothes. They were frustrated and told they had to go somewhere else–the groom’s family! After some serious "discussions" it was resolved, but their room was downgraded. Things like that just shouldn’t happen!

The Hotel:
Beautiful grounds and ocean! Rooms were lovely. But, had cheap sheets and uncomfortable beds (too soft for me). I actually woke up with a back cramp for 2 days. They gave us water and soda in our rooms every day. The tubs were awesome as was the room service! The restaurants overall were great, but the inability to get reservations was frustrating. Go to Vida, it is good and it’s the only place where dinner reservations aren’t necessary a month in advance. I’d seriously considering booking in advance or be ok with eating at 9:30 pm.

If you don’t get up and on the beach by 8 am you can forget getting one of the lovely beach beds. I went at 830 and they were already gone. People claim them all day but spend a maximum of two hours there.

The hotel employees were overall quite friendly and helpful, especially when they bring you room service for breakfast that you can order the night before.

The activities that the hotel offers are not very serious. I went to yoga and it was about 30 minutes of stretching your arms. We tried to go snorkeling but the guide never showed up. That was it for us. Some of the people we were with did the water aerobics and thought it was fun.

The hotel also isn’t very good about giving guests information. One couple wanted to go to Tulum on a Sunday. The hotel said they couldn’t do it on Sundays. But, they didn’t tell them that they could take a cab or get a collectivo for $2 and $4 for entry. Once they found out, they were quite frustrated.

We grew to like the hotel, but there were definite frustrations.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Todd and Lisa ~ Whitby, Canada

September 2006

After reading the previous review I must admit that the review by the disappointed couple must have been the usual rude vacationer we often come across as we had an excellent time at this resort and were catered to like royalty! I guess you get treated like you treat others…

We were at El Dorado Seaside September 11 to 18 for our honeymoon and had a blast. We booked our trip through Selloffvacations.com and got an awesome deal for 2K total for two people ocean front Jacuzzi suite. We spoke with some other guests and found out they paid almost 3.5K for their trip through an agent…crazy!!!

Awesome! Four restaurants a la carte and everything was excellent! Hard pressed to pick a fave! Had romantic dinner right on the beach Saturday night…lobster was yummy!!! There is an Italian, Mexican, Japanese and international restaurants to choose from.

3 pools – main pool where the activities happen (didn’t go there at all), a lap pool and Jacuzzi near the spa (great for night swim), and what they call a lazy river pool, though it is a long swimup room pool where the groun floor suites open right out to it and you have a submerged deck to laze in… at the end is a swim up bar!

after a long day we were always back in our room by 9pm to relax and watch some tv, usually out cold by 10-11pm. we are morning folks and usually up with the sun.

2 swim up and 2 outdoor.

We booked a standard garden suite and then upgraded at the resort for next to nothing and were moved to a second floor ocean front suite. Big, clean, great view from our room 3111. Two person Jacuzzi, large 2 person shower, king poster bed, stocked minibar (pop, water, beer) plasma tv, AC and two ceiling fans. A HAMMOCK ON EVERY DECK!!!! 24 hour room service!

Nice beach, though not the kind you find in Varadero, Cancun, etc. Since the hurricane last year the bottom of the surf is rocky in some spots, but with watershoes it was fine… though great for snorkeling off the beach as it is shallow out for about 100m. Lots of fish! All along the beach are open huts with king beds, some hanging on ropes to swing in the breeze off the ocean. At this time of the year the resort is half full and so never a problem for finding a place to lay for the day. The staff place beach towels on all beds and loungers so no need to get towel cards, etc… and the serve you cocktails!! MANGO MARGARITAS!!!! BTW… THE BEACH IS TOPLESS. And if you feel adventurous you can spend the day for $45US next door at the nudie resort!

What can I say… I had two massages and we both had a midnight massage on the beach for two! Lisa got her nails done…

We shy away from the tours and do our own thing. We took the local collectivo* at the entrance to our resort and got to Tulum for 20 pesos a piece, the paid the entrance fee of 45 pesos each. The tours will charge you $35US each to go on a guided tour, and we spent $13US total and could stay as long as we wanted on our time and spent a while on the beach that is there. The Tulum ruins beach is a must!!!! And it is also topless if you dare.

We also took the collectivo to Xel-ha for a day of food and snorkeling, and again since we went on our own, we saved a ton of $$ instead of going on the standard tour offered at the resort. Going on our own also added a touch of adventure because you get to see the parts od mexico you don’t on the big bus.

* – the collectivo is a passenger van that travels along the main highway from Cancun to Tulum and passes through the main towns like Playa del Carmen. It is A/C and the locals take them to work. It cost us each 20 pesos from the resort to Playa del Carmen ($2US) where the taxi costs $20US, and the collectivo stops just north of 5th avenue where the shopping is. There is a fantasic shoe/boot store right at the corner of the stop where they park and you pass it on your way to the shopping area. Great deals on leather boots!!!!

The staff is attentive and does a great job. Though we did note that some people complained about their service, but these were rude germans that were ignorant and treated the staff like slave-servants. Like I said, treat people as you wish to be treated and they bend over backwards for you. I also believe in tipping, even here at home, and when you tip down there it goes a long way. They don’t make much and leaving $2US (20 pesos) after our meals made us feel good and made them feel appreciated. Our meal in the Italian restaurant was perfect and we gave the chef and our waiter a $20US tip (they deserved it!) and from that point on we had extra special treats added to all our meals. I also tip well at home when I am at, say, the Keg and if my steak is worthy I go back and thank the chef for a job well done.

SUMMARY: We would definitely go back!!!!!!!!!

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El Dorado Seaside Suites CH ~ Canada

October 2006

Sorry to say I was not impressed with the Resort.
We had arrived late at night, (not resorts fault) via Skyservice, never again. VERY close seats, food was cold, not many drinks left the last flight before us, pretty much cleaned them out??

The driver in our van stopped along the road & asked if we wanted to go in & buy beer?? Why would we if we are going to an all inclusive resort?

When we arrived at the resort, the front desk was not very friendly. They were over booked. We did not get what we requested,

We had asked for adjoining rooms with the friends we travelled with, we ended up in 2 separate buildings with 3 buildings between us,

We requested upstairs rooms, ours was upstairs & the friends we travelled had a ground floor. We requested king bed & got two doubles? It smelt like sewer all the time outside our rooms. Our airconditioner did not work, when it did work, it was very very loud & spit water on us, The ceiling fan did not work at all, very hot & stuffy in our room.

The airconditioner leaked water inside the ceiling which came out above the sink light & dripped down, not too good for the electric??

We requested repairs in our room, they did come by & checked but it did not work any better. We tried to get locks for our room safe & none were available. Salamanders in our room & we were on the 2nd floor.

A lot of construction was happending while our stay, which is nice to see they are improving but, I was not impressed with all the noise & obstacles to walk through while I was trying to relax. Not sure why they did not do this during the off season?

The beach was was nice, but the water was all coral, definitely a need for water shoes, the sand was very course, could not swim at the beach, too much coral.

The food was pretty good, nice restaurants, The buffet restaurant, had cats wandering about all the time, lucky we are cat lovers.

The bar service was good, a nice variety of mixed drinks, but the beer was not great.
Any time we went to the front desk for info or help they just looked at us, not to helpful.

Sorry to say, but my view of Mexico was not great. Maybe try it again in future, but definitely at another resort.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Ivona and Bob ~ Ottawa

September 2006

Country: Mexico
Area: Mayan Riviera
Hotel: El Dorado Seaside Suites (EDSS)
Rating: 4.5 to 5 stars
Meal Plan: Gourmet All Inclusive
Tour Operator: Conquest Vacations
Airline: Air Canada
Date of Visit: September 2006

About us:
We are a couple in our 40’s and 50’s who love to travel to warm sunny locations 3 or 4 times a year. We stay anywhere from basic 3 star family-run hotels all the way through to the more upscale 5 star plus full-service resorts. We are normally drawn to quiet, laid back resorts; even in areas not necessarily associated with ‘quiet’, such as Puerto Vallarta or isla San Andres. We have come to learn that a hotel’s star designation does not always reflect the quality of the resort, nor guarantee the overall quality of the vacation. We have visited close to 30 resorts now in various countries and we wish to thank websites such as this one that enable us to properly research the numerous possibilities. We often wonder what people did before internet!

Flight and Tour Operator:
We flew with Air Canada and I highly recommend that if you have a choice of carriers, go with Air Canada. Not only are the seats more comfy, the service is better (you actually get more than one measly glass of water!), you receive ‘real’ food and not some cold bun in a box and free on-board movies. You almost always get the option of upgrading to business class, and have more choices with connecting flights. Our tour operator was Conquest. Conquest subcontracts Lomas Travel for their ground services. Our rep’s services were available to us all day every day at our hotel; happily we did not require his assistance during our stay because everything was just perfect!

The Resort and Clientele:
The resort is located approximately half-way between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum, about 90 minutes from the Cancun airport. Most of the popular tourist attractions such as the cenotes, parks, caves, and archaeological sites are close by. The nearest ATM is located in Akumal, inside the Super Chomak general store (more on this great store under ‘Shopping’).

This resort used to be under 200 rooms in size. It is currently expanding and once finished, will have approximately 300 rooms. These new rooms are located at the back of the property (hence, no oceanview) in 3 storey blocks. Since we stayed one night in one of them, I can say that even though they are garden view, they are very lovely. The bottom rooms of these new blocks are the swim out rooms, and they look great! You can swim right out of your own patio down to the swim-up bar at the end! Brilliant!

Anyone who has seen this Spanish mission style resort before Karisma took over will see that it has undergone a major facelift. The buildings, which used to be different colours, have been painted white and cream. The rooms have been updated and I believe the plan is to have a Jacuzzi in every room. The gorgeous lobby looks brand new. Each block of rooms has its own concierge. This is a wonderful concept! Unlike other resorts where you have to line up bright and early every morning to book your evening meal, or line up at guest services just to ask a question, at the EDSS the concierge is available all day long to book evening meals, provide information, take care of problems, etc. In fact, on our first morning at the resort, Paula, our concierge called our room to make sure everything was satisfactory, and we were able to book our supper with her over the phone. How civilized! The grounds were lush, green and meticulously clean and well kept. Some reviewers have complained about the sulphur odour. This phenomenon is actually explained in a pamphlet in the room. This odour comes from the mangroves that are on the property. Our room was very close to the mangroves, but I did not find the odour particularly strong or bothersome.

During our stay, the clientele was mostly made up of couples from Britain and the USA. The atmosphere was quiet and relaxed since there were no large groups present.

The Room:
I had booked and paid for an oceanview room. Upon arrival, they gave us a 2nd storey room in the new building at the back of the property, right next to the construction. I must say that the new rooms are very beautiful; marble floor throughout, double sinks in bathroom, beautiful wrought iron light fixtures, Jacuzzi bathtub, lots of (lit) closet and drawer space, lovely dark wood furnishings, large flat-screen TV, DVD/CD player and a gloriously comfy bed! As nice as the room was, since I had paid for oceanview, we decided to speak with the front desk. Gisel was on duty at the time, and she was extremely efficient and accommodating. The cause of the mix up turned out to be with our tour operator (Conquest) and their room ‘interpretation’ on our room voucher. We checked our travel agent’s invoice and that was in order. I urge everyone to check their room vouchers carefully. This was not the first time a tour operator has made a mistake with our room booking.

We were moved the following morning to a ground floor room steps away from the beach. While this room was one of the older, original rooms, we were nonetheless very pleased with it. We still had the same big comfy bed, Jacuzzi, DVD/CD player, coffee maker, flat screen TV, patio with hammock and two rocking chairs, stocked mini-fridge (no extra charge), iron and ironing board, safe (no extra charge), a great makeup mirror, hair dryer, toiletries, bathrobes and more towels than we could possibly use, but with the added bonus of being just a hop and a skip from the beach. The A/C units in both rooms appeared to be quite new and were very quiet and efficient. I kept turning it off since I found it too cold on most occasions, even though we had it set to 25 degrees Celsius.

A few things in our room needed fixing (i.e.: lights, light switches, drippy faucet). We mentioned this to our concierge Paula who took care of it right away.

Beach and Ocean: The beach runs the length of the resort, and for the resort’s current size, is more than adequate. Of course our visit was during low season so I cannot comment on how busy the beach might get during peak season. We always found a great beach bed to hang out in. The beach beds do get occupied early in the day, but there were always plenty of ‘regular’ beach lounges under palapas available throughout the day. Beach towels are laid out early on by the hotel staff, but should you need extra towels, or want to exchange your soiled or wet towels, this can be done throughout the day at the pool or at the beach activities centre. Compared to most resorts we have stayed at where they limit each guest to one towel, or limit the exchange to only certain times of day, at the EDSS there are no limits on how many towels you take or how often you exchange them. Be aware that most of the sea at this hotel is not swimmable. The best area to swim is at the south end of the resort, close to the breakwater. I would still recommend water shoes because this particular area has lots of critters living in the sea and you never know what you may be stepping on! On the other hand, the snorkelling is fantastic (no need to go on expensive snorkelling tours). The reef is very close to the shore and the calm water makes it easy to get to. We saw lots of colourful fish and corals, sting rays, puffers, huge rays, flounder, nautilus, barracuda, lobster, crab, and the piece de resistance was the nurse (reef) shark! We took some terrific pictures underwater with my new digital camera. For people who love snorkelling, you cannot beat this hotel!

NOTE: during our stay, the pier was still under repair.

There are two medium sized pools; the activities pool (has a swim-up bar) and the ‘quiet’ lap pool. We hung out at the beach most of the time, so we never made it to the lap pool, but we did spend some time at the activities pool. The swim-up bar always had a fun bartender keeping the drinks flowing. During our stay neither pool was very busy, and the water was nice and warm. I seem to recall seeing an outdoor Jacuzzi near the Spa area, but we did not check it out. Most rooms now have Jacuzzis.

As frequent travellers to all-inclusives, I can honestly say that the EDSS exceeds in this department. We did not have a single bad meal. I loved the a là carte dining; so much more relaxing and upscale than having to line up cafeteria-style at buffets. The resort offers 4 restaurants for the evening meal; International, Mexican, Asian and Italian. Since we love eating Mexican food when in Mexico (well, ‘d’uh’!) we ate there most often. We did try all the others, once. The Italian has the most upscale décor and a surprisingly varied menu. The grouper was truly memorable. We almost didn’t bother with this restaurant since we are not big fans of pasta. But we were pleasantly surprised to find out that pasta dishes were simply a sampling of their appetizers; not main courses. Book your supper reservations directly with your concierge. S/he will also have a book with all the menus of the restaurants if you are not sure where to book.

We ate all our lunches outside at the ‘Sandwicherie’ where we found the a là carte offerings of thin-crusted oven pizzas, guacamole and chips, quesadillas and salads more than sufficient for our needs.

Be warned that when requesting hot sauce (‘salsa picante’), you will be given their home-made concoction of chopped onions, habaneros and lime. While doing a good job in the heat department, this did not work for me since I cannot eat raw onions. I ended up requesting Tabasco after a few failed attempts. For future reference, I would carry around my own small bottle of heat.

As far as drinks went, Bob enjoyed his Sol beer, I loved the frozen margaritas and we both enjoyed sampling and tasting the various brands and types of tequila. This resort actually stocks several brands, so take the time to savour each one of the country’s national treasures! We also loved to sip on Xtabentun after supper at one of the two swing bars, but on some nights the resort would ran out (horrors!). The white and red wines offered at meal times were acceptable. (Rosé was not available).

For approximately 75 dollars US per person, you can book a romantic dinner right on the beach. The menu and booking is available through the concierge. We did not particularly like the menu offerings at the time, so we did not partake in this.

The only criticisms I have of the restaurants is that they are for the most part closed-in (only the Asian and Italian have outdoor tables, and these were not always available) and very cold! The A/C was on very high and I found the temperatures freezing, especially considering the fact I was dressed lightly for the warm evenings. It became a running joke with the staff every evening; they would see me and immediately know that I’d be asking them to lower the A/C. I must add however, that the staff were extremely accommodating in this matter. But, it would still be a better idea if the resort offered additional seating outside for those people like me who actually enjoy al fresco dining in warm weather!

The Staff:
I cannot say enough about the hard working and friendly staff at this resort. I cannot think of anyone who was not friendly or helpful during our stay. I think the resort could hire additional wait staff to help out during peak meal times, as it was quite apparent that during lunch and supper the existing staff was over-loaded and over-worked. Until this is rectified, be prepared to dine at a ‘leisurely’ pace!

Things to Do:
The EDSS caters to adults mostly looking to relax and ‘re-charge their batteries’ on their holidays. Hence the types of activities offered at this resort reflect this quiet and low-key atmosphere. The daily activities are posted on the board by the activities pool; some examples are water and beach volleyball, nature walks, fish feeding at the pier, snorkelling tours, cooking lessons, Spanish lessons and so on. Since the reef is so very close to the shore at this hotel, our preferred daily activity was snorkelling. Every day we explored a different section of the reef, and each day brought its own surprises underwater. Other than that, we both found the comfy beach beds too difficult to leave!

Along the same lines, this resort has a full-service spa on premises. We did not sample any of its services, but the seaside sunset couples massage looked interesting!

The low key nightly shows comprised of live bands and audience participation activities such as karaoke and casino night. Since we dined late every night, we usually missed the shows anyways, instead preferring to sip our tequilas or Xtabentuns at the outdoor swing bar while enjoying the warm starry nights.

Since all rooms include TV’s and DVD players, you can sign out movies at the front desk. I believe the movies are free of charge as long as you return the DVD.

Internet access is also available and is very cheap. I seem to recall that for one half hour the charge was approximately $3.50US. The PC’s are located in the lobby and this is arranged at the front desk.

For activities outside the resort, I do not think I need to provide a laundry list of the numerous tourist attractions that dot the Mayan coast. Since this has been our 6th visit to this area, we feel very comfortable and safe here and prefer to do our own sightseeing. The EDSS conveniently has a car rental desk right on site, so we were able to rent a small air-conditioned car for about 75 dollars US (including all taxes and insurance) a day. Our regular Canadian (provincially issued) drivers’ license was sufficient; no need for a special international nor Mexican drivers’ license. A car is the best and cheapest way to explore the many parks and attractions in this area; its convenience cannot be beat when doing extensive shopping.

NOTE: Exercise great caution when purchasing gasoline. Try to pay with exact change whenever possible. If you must pay with larger notes, keep an eye on the attendant at all times. We had a gas attendant attempt to trick us by a quick slight of hand ‘magically’ turning the 500 peso note Bob gave him into a 50 peso note. Since Bob was on the ball, and we are quite familiar with the Mexican currency, the guy didn’t get away with it. I’m sure they zero in on the tourists figuring most gringos can’t tell the difference between a 50 and a 500.

Since our stay this time was for only one week’s duration, we decided to visit only one attraction, have lunch in Tulum (where you will find additional ATM’s) and shop the rest of the day. We visited Hidden Worlds Park. I highly recommend this wonderful attraction to anyone who is interested in cave snorkelling and/or diving. We spent approximately 2.5 hours here and enjoyed every minute. A guide takes you to two underground caves and cenotes, and I guarantee you will find the experience exhilarating (yes, the water is much cooler than the sea!) and unforgettable. The underground system of rivers, cenotes and caves is very unique to the Yucatan peninsula and experiencing it should not be missed!

Shopping opportunities can be found everywhere! The resort has a couple of shops where you can find hotel logo items (golf shirts, T-shirts, mugs, etc) and sundries. For shopping of a more serious nature, you will find artisan kiosks all along the highway between Cancun and Tulum, in Playa del Carmen, in Tulum, around Puerto Aventuras (marina area) and Akumal. My favourite shop, the Super Chomak is located in Akumal and is a terrific general store selling groceries (including ice cream), coffee from Chiapas, all sorts of inexpensive but nice resort wear, logo T-shirts, hot sauces, spices, tequilas and various other liquors, soft drinks and chocolates. This store also has an ATM which is the closest to the resort. If it’s down, then the next closest would be in Tulum where you will find several major banks along the main street. We avoided Playa del Carmen this time, since we have visited this town before, and we find the prices better elsewhere.

The refurbished Cancun airport now offers quite a large selection of shops, so if you forgot to purchase an item, or want some last minute souvenirs, you may find it there. The tequila selection at the duty free is quite extensive, as are the perfumes and cigars. Other items on sale at the airport are silver jewellery (although the selection is rather limited and prices aren’t as good as on the Pacific coast), Mexican pottery, Huichol art, T-shirts, hot sauces, snacks, and other souvenir knick-knacks, and Mexican coffee.

Barring any hurricane activity, September is one of my favourite times to go south, especially to the Yucatan. Why? Because at this time of year, you are guaranteed hot weather, a warm sea and pools, less crowds, fewer kids, and of course, cut-rate prices. We had hot (in the 90’s) sunny weather every day. Most days were blessed with on-shore breezes which kept us very comfortable.

The insect population is kept to a minimum by the resort’s numerous birds and lizards. We saw a few mosquitoes but these were minimal. We did not experience any sand fleas or other such ‘no-see-ums’. You will need insect repellent if you venture out into the bush or cenotes. The mozzies at Hidden Worlds park were numerous, and very hungry!

Nice Touches: – Check-in paperwork handed out in van, thus speeding up the check-in process. – Concierge services. – No wristbands. – Sparkling wine available at all meals. – A là carte dining. – Unlimited beach towels available throughout the day at multiple beach towel ‘stations’, as well as rolled up on the lounge chairs in the mornings. – Those amazing beach beds!! – His and hers bathrobes. – Jacuzzis in rooms. – Coffee maker in room, with coffee and water replenished daily. – Room service available for all meals at no extra charge. – Hammocks on balconies/patios.

– CD/DVD Players in all the rooms.

In Conclusion: We had one of our best vacations ever thanks to the marvellous staff and management of the El Dorado. This is a great choice for adults looking to kick-back, relax and de-stress.

My only concern is with regards to the resorts’ expansion. One of the key selling features of this resort has always been its small, manageable size. Smaller, more intimate resorts are becoming a rarity along the Mayan Riviera as large resorts are expanding to become even larger. It appears that behemoth resort complexes are becoming the norm there (i.e.: the Iberostars, the Barcelos, the Palladiums, and the Bahia Principes). This resort used to have approximately 177 suites. With the expansion, this will almost double. It will be interesting to read future reviews to see if and how the resorts’ amenities, particularly the beach and restaurants, are able to accommodate the extra guests. Would I return? Absolutely, but only during low season since I am not a big fan of crowds.

If you still have questions, email me at: Ivona_Lancaster@hotmail.com

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El Dorado Seaside Suites LaDonna

June 2006

My husband and I just returned from our trip to the ElDorado Seaside Suites on June 1, 2006. I have to honestly say we were highly dissapointed. The service was very slow. We had to wait atleast 1hr every time we had a dinner reservation. One time we ordered room service and it took 2 hrs. It was like we were there to serve them and not the other way around. Our room was nice but there was a couple down from us that had major trouble. Their air conditioning went out. After two days of not having it fixed and them not getting shipped to a sister hotel (there were no other room available at the resort) they left 3 days early. I would not advise anyone to go to this resort. The only thing I can say I actually enjoyed was talking to the bell boys. Gilberto and Victor we loved you guys! I would not recommend anyone go to this resort. Any questions email me @ poorfarm@ezclick.net

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Rick ~ Ontario, Canada

February 2006

We travel every year, and prefer Mexico, but have travelled to the Dominican a couple of times. As a way of comparison of the kind of resorts we are used to staying at, here is a list of where we have stayed;

Riu Yukatan Barcello Maya Beach Resort (would not return) Occidental Grand Xcaret Occidental Grand Cozumel Riu Bambu (Punta Cana) Riu Mambo (Puerto Plata)

We stayed at the El Dorado from Feb 10 thru the 17th. I would have to say I was disappointed in our overall experience with the EDSS. Briefly, here is a list of things I found to be below the level of service I have come to expect at 4+ to 5* resorts.

All meals are terribly slow! This is an average of the wait times once your order has been taken; Breakfast (a la carte) – 30 mins Lunch Outside – 30 Mins Lunch Inside – 1 hour Dinner – 2 1/2 hours, with a couple of dinners lasting over 3 hours The drink service became increasingly slower throughout the week. I assume this has something to do with Tipping. IE: if you were recognized as a tipper, the bartenders were all over you.

When I travel, when it comes to the bar staff, I wait until the last day to tip those who provided outstanding service. At all the above mentioned resorts, with the exception of the Barcello, I tipped a couple of bartenders $20, and one occasion, spent $80, as 4 of them were wonderful. Needless to say, I saved myself this expense at the EDSS. As well, the resort advertises International Brand Liquors. This is not the case. While the bottles may indicate that, IE: Canadian Club Rye, J & B Scotch, I can assure you that is not what is in the bottles. Being a Scotch and Rye on the rocks drinker, it was easy to tell these were not the actual brands when the taste is not hidden by pop or juices. Even the Kaluha was not the real thing.

The rooms were lovely. Ours had a 2 person Jacuzzi, comfortable king sized bed, and off the porch, a pool that ran the entire length of the building complex. However, there were 2 days when we had no hot water, and on one of the days, no water at all. This was a common theme for buildings 35 thru 37 throughout the week.

Disappointing. The damage from the hurricane is quite evident, with huge chunks of concrete littering the shallow water, and lots of broken coral and rocks mixed into the sand. Walk south towards the Palladium for a much nicer beach. Also, there was not enough loungers to accommodate the guests. I found out quickly that if you had not saved a lounger before 8:30, you were out of luck. Not a problem as I was up running by 6:30 every morning, but saw quite a few disgruntled guests each day. I think this problem arises from the fact the guests are saving both loungers and the beach beds.

FOOD While good most of the time, there were times the quality was not there. My wife ordered BBQ’d shrimp one night, and what came was some cocktail size shrimp doused in BBQ sauce. Another member of our group had ordered this our first night, and they received Jumbo shrimp done on the grill. However, this was a night we had booked late (8:30) so I assume they ran out, and tried to pawn this off. None in our group (4 couples) enjoyed the Asian Restaurant. Mexican was probably my favourite, although others in the group did prefer the International, where one page on the menu changed each day. Before heading away, I must admit I was excited about 100% a la carte, but after a few days, I found I missed the varried selections offered via an excellent buffet.

While breakfast is always my most favourite meal when travelling, I was disappointed in the very small buffet offered by the EDSS. (Note this is the only meal a buffet is offered) An omelette bar, some fruit and yogurt, and that was it. No pastries or sweet rolls. For the European influence, no cheeses or meats or breads. Bacon or sausage was only available at the buffet 3 days out of 7, although I think you could ask for it and they would bring some out of the kitchen. You could order a la carte, but as mentioned earlier, the wait was 30 minutes minimum. Watch out for the wine list at dinner! House wine is free, but you can order off a wine menu. I almost made the mistake of ordering a bottle of a Volpicelli that I thought was 75 Pesos (about $7.50 US), but then noticed in small print at the bottom the prices were in US dollars!

POOLS Very cold! I would say on our last day, the pool may have warmed up to 75.

As well, I think they use bleach instead of chlorine or bromine. You could taste and smell it in the water, and you could feel it on your fingers (slippery).

They are currently building another section, and everyone I talked to felt they should be repairing what they have first. IE: The dock is gone due to the hurricane, and should be re-built ASAP, as without it, swimming is difficult. It appears there will be another restaurant, and Italian, opening soon, but was not available when we were there.

I could not recommend this resort for the price the are charging.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Carol

March 2005

We just came back from a 4 day trip to this resort. All I wanted was some quiet time and maybe a little snorkeling at Xelha. Well we arrived from Minnesota and found our ground transportation to the resort which was a 1 ½ hour trip with 3 stops on the way to drop other vacations at other resorts. When we arrived we were greeted with our room was not available because they were having trouble with the water and it wouldn’t be fixed for 2 days. We were then placed in a taxi with some promises for our return to the resort. We then went back to Cancun to the Omni hotel. This hotel was great but wasn’t what I had intended when I booked the vacation. We then went back to the El Dorado seaside suites and then began another round of bait and switch.

When we left we were told we would have a Jacuzzi suite, tickets to Xelha and a massage for me. The manager said our room wasn’t ready and it would be just the oceanside suite that we originally had even though he promised us the jacuzzi room. We ate lunch and I did get my massage but that is all we did get. All the other employees had to work doubly hard which they did to make up for my disappointment. The food was exceptional and the waiters were very attentive. Our jacuzzi room that we eventually did get was very nice and we were at the quieter end of the resort. I’m sure if you stayed closer the bar area it may have been pretty noisy.

I’m not sure that I would go back to that resort again just based on our experience in the beginning. Would like to hear fromothers and I know there are because we spoke to them and their experiences.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Debi ~ Canada

February 2005

WARNING: The consumption of tequila shots may cause you to think you can sing! Here is my run down of the el dorado seaside….

First off Cancun airport can be over whelming there are many helpful people to get you to where you need to go. Keep your passport or I.D. out, plus you well need your ticket stub to show once you have picked up your suitcase. Bus ride was great they offer you corona $3.00

At the resort internet is $6.00 for 20 minutes. connects right away not dial up.

Service everywhere very good, all rooms face the ocean. The grounds are well kept.

ROOMS- are very nice, large, clean, bed is huge, coffee maker (never used just had coffee at restaurant). iron and iron board, dvd player, you might want to take along some cds as t.v. is very poor cnn and one english speaking channel. Safety deposit box is free, if you lose key $100. Shower is enormous inside is a dryer to hang your bathsuits, right under towel bar. Girl comes around at 6:30 to see if you need more towels. Showers have very poor pressure let water run for at least three minutes to get hot water. and drains very very slowly. Our screen door broke I called it was fixed within the hour. They restock bar at 4:30 daily.

RESTAURANTS- no dress code for breakfast or lunch. You have to make reservations for supper men can wear dress shorts and sandals, shirts are suppose to have collars, but saw men with t-shirts.
there is 24 hour room service part of all inclusive. We never tried the Asian restaurant, Mexican was good, Italian okay, personally we’ve had better food. The buffet for breakfast and lunch were good. Still the international restaurant was not opened. BAR- they make any drink you want served in tall glasses no need for thermal cups (our never had time to get warm). beer on tap very good, and we are beer drinkers. The swing bar have great bartenders Marco and Josa, the love their jobs and it shows, and We loved them!!!!!!!!

Fun crew walk around trying to get you involved and make your stay more enjoyable, the are great! there is lots of day time activity to do, the swing bar fun place to be, also every night at 9:30 there is something going on in the lounge, fun stuff. At the end of the pier go see feeding of the fish everyday at 11:30, that is pretty neat.

Huge beach towels for the beach, we just go get ours and put them on our chairs before we headed for breakfast, could never get a bed.

If you are leaving the resort the guy out front of the lobby will call you a taxi to come in and get you.

There is a gym with 2 treadmills, 4 bikes and weights. Water at restaurants save to drink it is purified I drank lots, no problems.

Everyday windy off the sea don’t waste $65.00 for romantic dinner, can’t image that being nice as your lettuce runs down the beach. Red flags on beach everyday which means there is no snorkeling or use of kayaks.

We went to xeh ha great time, taxi there $16.00 back $18.00 gate $29.00 each that includes tubes and life jackets. lockers $2.00 towels $3.00 snorkeling $10.00 pictures $9.00 all inclusive $56. each. Beach at resort pretty much sucks, there is so much large coral reef, to hard to swim and walk. PLEASE PLEASE, be very patient with the waiters and maids, they work so hard and try to speak english (remember you are in their country), they do the best they can, working hard to try and please you. We did tip to show our appreciation. The staff is so worth it.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites from Wisconsin

February 2005

My wife and I just stay at the El Dorado Seaside Suites late Jan 05 along with 3 other couples My wife and I have been at 4 other resort in the Mayan Riviera area before we pick this place cause are travel agent recommend it and the price was right .

It is very lay back hotel you never feel crowded the wait staff was great big glass no need to bring a bigger cup like some of the resort to drink from.

At first I didn’t like some of the resort feature’s the no buffet mean dinner could last between 1.5 to 2.75 hour to have all 5 course but as my wife say as American we eat to fast don’t enjoy the food and the company the food was fantastic !!! Breakfast there is kinda buffet but you can order breakfast if you like also. Lunch you can order burger & fries or lots of think don’t forget too ask for the Ice cream that was very good !!!! and then go in side and get salad . There a more fancy lunch you can get inside the Blacken swordfish was great! .

Big thing you need to bring is aqua shoe’s the beach is made of ground coral not soft sand that we have had at other resorts like the Copacabana or the resort’s in Play da Carmen the beach is much better to ride surf or sail, swim in surf there in play da Carmen but more people too . But not at the El Dorado

the beach at El Dorado Seaside Suites has a small swim area with no braking waves because the reef about 200 yards out the snorkeling is great for reason and you can feed the 300 fish off the pier . the pools in January where very cold I think none of resort’s heats there pool in 3 months of are winter there way to cold to enjoy !!!!

There a great bar on south end of the resort with swing all round it that was the hang out they have these little hut with queen size beds on the beech that was the place to relax your vacation away Out of the 4 couple’s 2 them had plumbing problem in there room they fix by change rooms I recommend the Jacuzzi room! I will get up go layout on hammock in sun or walk 50ft to ocean , that was great treat too! over other resort To be that close to the water . People ask if I go back? I don’t know what to say I missed being able to swim & jump in the surf right in front of hotel on soft sand . But not have crowds of people and no kids has it plus and the good staff too. and the great food I may be back !!

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February 2005

My husband and I stayed at the El Dorado Seaside Suites from January 7 -21, 2005. I am writing this review because I had a hard time finding reviews that gave this resort the justice that it needs.

We will DEFINITELY RETURN to this wonderful resort! It touched our hearts and we had the best time!

The food is well prepared and presentation excellent at all three restaurants. My Husband liked the Mexican best, my favorite was the Asian (but all were great)! Sometimes the portions can be small – so don’t feel guilty to order a lot. Make sure to order the Philadelphia rolls at the Asian – so good! When eating at the Mexican, order a Mexican coffee – the waiter used fire to make it – very cool! Plus . .if you like desserts, eat the tequila honey pyramid at the Mexican, definitely try the cheesecake – and don’t forget to order some vanilla or chocolate ice cream (it’s worth it)! A little secret for you . . .order the ice cream even if it’s not on the menu . . do the same with bacon at the breakfast buffet. Make sure to eat lunch at the sandwich place by the swing bar, the mediterainian vegetable pizza was my favorite – and DON”T FEEL GUILTY about feeding the cats! (It’s the only time when it’ll be acceptable).

Our room was beautiful! Tip the housekeepers for the towel critters, don’t use the air conditioner (if you don’t have to) and sleep with just the screen door shut – the breeze and ocean sounds are great. Make sure to let the hot water run for a bit (it will get hot) and enjoy your Jacuzzi tub! We loved the hammock as well! Awesome king sized bed with plenty of pillows! I had no problems sleeping! The gardens around the resort are beautiful was well – take many walks and enjoy them! If you can, catch a gecko for me – I always tried, just so I could hold one, but they’re quick!

The beach was also beautiful! The sand was soft and there were plenty of beach chairs to go around. Make sure to bring water shoes because of the coral reef (it’ll hurt if you don’t) and be prepared to snorkel! The water does not get real deep – but it was warm and full of fish! My hubby and I strolled along the beach many times! The day beds are a nice feature as well! In fact, we spent so much time at the beach, we didn’t need the pools (except for my hubbies morning laps). Maybe I’d have used them if it was a different time of year.

The entertainment is better than I had expected. I read so many posts about how boring this resort is – and I didn’t think it was. I mean sure, there was no drinking and partying until four a.m. – but the people staying there weren’t big partiers! We were all past that stage in our lives (I’m 29 and my husband’s 31). The main hub was the swing bar which we stayed at many of nights until 1:00 a.m. All the guests staying there mingled with each other and even danced in large circles – it was like one big party. Just remember, most are couples. We met some awesome people whom we hope to keep in contact with. Oh, and order a Mama Sita (sp) drink at the bar- not on the menu but very yummy! Yes – shoot that tequila!!

There’s plenty if activities as well – from volleyball to boche ball, to swing lessons, pool aerobics, Spanish lessons, etc. You could definitely stay busy! The animation crew was awesome in getting people involved and getting real personal with the guests. They felt like buddies you’d had for years! These young people work really hard at what they do & I can not say enough positive things about them.

Finally, the staff. The staff was so amazing I was literally holding back tears when we left. These people did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable. They are incredibly friendly, helpful and will treat you like a king! Also, because the resort is smaller, you’ll get to know quite a few of the staff which really adds to that feeling of “home”. This resort is TOPS in that category!

Remember . . . .you are in Mexico so you can expect some glitches here and there. Your on holidays though, just relax and go with the flow – nothing’s that bad! Have fun!

DO TIP THE STAFF!!!! They deserve it! Plus, you’ll be amazed at how much harder they’ll work (even though they don’t have to). If you can, bring some things from home (sports caps, crayons, care packages, etc). The staff loves stuff that they can’t get in Mexico.

ENJOY YOUR TRIP to this resort! We can’t wait to go back!

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January 2005

Just got back from spending New Year’s Eve holiday at the El Dorado Seaside Suites. The resort is about an hour’s drive south of Cancun. I didn’t think this sounded bad at all in terms of time and liked the idea of seclusion, but I have to admit that I was very jealous as the other people in our vehicle were getting out after 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. and we were the absolute last ones to finally get out. And of course, we had a very early morning to get back to the airport for our 10:30 am flight.

The resort however, was very beautiful once we arrived. The buildings looked very classy and well decorated and the landscaping is very nice and well maintained. We had a "junior jacuzzi suite" that had been remodeled and it exceeded my expectations. The floors were marble tile. There was a beautiful 4 poster bed. The room did have a mini bar with water, soda and beer, although we were very disappointed to find they did not give us coffee for the coffee maker until we finally asked for it on the 3rd day and then there was no cream or sugar. The room had a jacuzzi as promised as well as a large marble tiled shower. We were on the second floor and overlooked the beach with a nice view, and the hammock on the balcony was very relaxing.

As stated in other reviews, this resort is about slow pace and relaxation as opposed to a festive party atmosphere. Although there were supposed to be entertainment at night, it was non-existent except for New Year’s Eve when they did have a live band that played primarily disco at the main bar. The bars and drinks were very nice and the bartenders were professional. All of the restaurants were very beautifully decorated and the ambience is wonderful. The food however, was very average in my opinion. Even exotic dishes like lobster and sushi that were beautifully presented were not fresh at all.

My main gripe is that the service was very slow and inattentive. Although it did not bother my girlfriend because she said she didn’t get full as fast, I personally did not like the ala carte style at all. I had stayed at a different resort where almost every meal was buffet style, or you could at least get a QUICK meal even if it was just a burger somewhere at any given time. Here, the only meal that was buffet style was breakfast and even then the best part – fresh made omelets, eggs or pancakes – had to be ordered. Otherwise ANY time you went to any other restaurant, you had to sit down, wait for a waiter (which sometimes was 10 minutes or more), then order, then wait again for sometimes as long as 20 minutes for your order to come, or in the case of dinner, your FIRST course, then there would be another terrific delay for your other 2 or three courses. In my opinion, this was not relaxing at all, but more like poor service and wasted time. For example, if you were enjoying laying on the beach and just wanted a hamburger, it was usually about an hour by the time you finally got a waiter, ordered and then waited for your order to get there. Even if you’re just waiting to get back to your beach chair, this seemed very excessive for a simple meal to me. Also for the evening dinner, you had to make reservations. I didn’t like this because I didn’t like having to look at my watch to make sure we would make dinner on time. In my opinion, when you’re paying extra for all-inclusive, you should never have to worry about meeting a schedule like you do when you’re NOT on vacation.

We did pay extra to use the spa. My girlfriend got a facial and I got a massage which we both thoroughly enjoyed and felt it was worth the extra expense.

The beach was beautiful and the reef is stunning! I thoroughly enjoyed the snorkeling. I will say that some sort of footwear is essential because there is coral everywhere! That makes for great snorkeling because the wildlife is amazing, but it is hard on the feet. On the beach itself the white sand if beautiful. There were plenty of beach chairs and gazebos and "beach beds". Very nice large beach towels were provided. All of these amenities were exceptionally nice. There were actual waiters on the beach occasionally, but again they were overworked and very slow. We even had one who actually never even came back with our order.

My last remark is regarding the swimming pools. Granted it was January, and there was always a breeze coming off the ocean, but the water in the swimming pools was so cold that NO ONE would get in them. I was really looking forward to the swim up bar, but could never convince myself that it could possibly be worth braving that frigid water. It would get down in the 60s at night and I guess the water just never warmed up in the daytime. I really wished that the water would have been heated. Then there would have been a lot more people enjoying the water. The other problem this led to was that the hot tub was always full. Glad we had a jacuzzi in the room, but it would have been better to enjoy the hot water with a bar tender near by.

Bottom line: Overall I had a good time during my stay at the El Dorado Seaside Suites, but the next all-inclusive I choose will at least have buffets available, and hopefully better entertainment. Also, I will pick a time of year when I know the water will be comfortable.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Karla

October 2004

Just came back from El Dorado Resort soon to be El Dorado Seaside Suites October 9 thru October 16, 2004. My sister, friend and I spent seven days at this 4.5 star resort and would be willing to answer questions if requested. The resort is very small and intimate. If you are a couple looking for relaxation you will find it here. On the other hand if you are looking for excitement you will not get it! The front bar open up at 10:00 am and close at 6:00 pm. The main bar opens at 10:00 am and closes at 1:00 am. If you are an early bird this place is made for you, but again if you like to party stay at home, the bars stay open later!! The entertainment is almost void. If you want to play pool volleyball for shots of tequila, it is available and is the MOST excitement you will get. Twice a week they have shows that are so-so and after that they have a Disco (never saw a DJ). They played music until 11:30 but could never seem to clear the chairs s! et up for the shows from the dance floor so there was no place to dance! They scheduled Bingo one night for entertainment but the man with the cards never showed up so they rescheduled it for the following evening for $5.00 US for each card and only played one game. I have been to many resorts and have NEVER had to pay for entertainment. Paddle boats are offered free of charge and if you get one you will know why. The backs were all broken, we were told that they were sorry but that the boat we received was the best that they have, whenever you leaned back it slipped out of position (I weigh 130 lbs). You can snorkel (great) but you need to keep a watch on the time otherwise you will have to pay a $12 US charge as a late fee after 2 hours.

The bartenders and waiters were great, we cannot say enough about them (top notch), but the drinks were watered down. In all seven days we never saw anyone drunk (thats a positive) and some people were drinking all day and night! The food and presentation were exquisite, that of a 5-6 star resort!

LODGING- look out! We researched this resort before we made reservations and everything you read states that all rooms have a mini-bar stocked daily, DVD player, and roll away beds at an additional charge. No mini-bar, no DVD player, and no roll away beds. We were in an unremodeled room (no problem) but, the tiles were falling off of the walls, the lighting was so low that we were unable to see ourselves good enough to apply makeup, the ceiling fan wobbled noisily, and the room smelled very bad (perfume we were told). When I took my first shower the shower head broke off on my head! When we asked to be moved to another room we were told that they had none, we asked to be moved to another hotel and were told that we would have to pay the additional charge (no problem) but, we would also have to pay for our taxi fare to another resort!!! Again, I am a seasoned traveler and have NEVER been so disappointed. We heard mixed reviews from oth! er vacationers and it seems that if you pay for the upgraded rooms with Jacuzzi the rooms are grand. Oh yeah, just a word of advice, when you leave Mexico please make sure that your suitcase/bag does not weigh more than 44 lbs. Take 2 if you have to, otherwise you will be charged $25 US per suitcase to get out of the country.

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El Dorado Seaside Suites Laure

September 2004

Came back two weeks ago from a relaxing week from El Dorado Seaside Suites in the Mayan Riviera with my boyfriend. We went 7 times to Cuba and decided that it ws time for us to try somthing different.

Pros: It is a small hotel. There is NOT much to do. If you are looking for entertainment this is definitely not the place to be. That was ok for us because we were 3-4 times busy in all day in excursions. The food was gopod for our standards. It is definitely much better than in Cuban hotels. Plate presentations is really nice and food is tasty. Therre is no buffet except in the morning which is a good thing because there is no waste adn you try a different thing every day. The Italian and Mexican restaurants wer good. The service in the hotel in general was excellent, the staff was very efficient and friendly.

Snorkeling was absolutely worth it. The beach is not that great compared to Cuban beaches beacuse of the fact that there is coral, but it brings in more species and fishes around. I definitely recommend having water shoes. You never know what you step on. Excursions were all worth worht it. We went to Tulum for half a day. We took the collectivos for about 1-3$ US each. Taxis there are expensive. The collectivos are usually mini vans that are air conditionned and are as safe as taxis. We went to Chichen Itza- it was so worth it. We went to Playa del Carmen for two half days to do some shopping. The silver is worth it but you have to bargain.

Cons: The hotel was previously named El Dorado. A little more than half of the hotel has been renovated. We were not in a renovated room but the room was still spacious and clean. The door handle from the bathroom was broken. The shower definitely sucks; there was not a time that the shower stayed at the same temperature for the whole shower. And of course the pressure is non-existent; it took me about 5-10 minutes to rinse off my long hair. We heard that the renovated rooms were beautiful and most of them have a jaccuzi in the bathroom or on the balcony (Of course at an extra cost). They did charge us an extra $24US for the week for the safety box, which was supposed to be included in the price.

To summarize, we really enjoyed our time in Mexico. It went by so quickly. I do not really understand people who say that the hotel is terrible. It is a good small relaxing hotel. I just wish that we had a renovated room. Service was very good.

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