Great experience Probably Wont Be Back For a While
We were at the Royale, not the Casitas. Check in was swift and fun with champagne flowing. We learned where we could and could not go right away on a map, so the Casitas-Only pools were not a surprise... and TBH it doesn't affect your stay at all (unlike other reviews). Bellhop was quick and lively so the overall first impression was nice.
Room was big and clean and we had a nice view of the middle fountain grounds from our balcony. I love the open window concept of the tub to the bedroom/tv (we ate room service and watched tv in the tub a few times). But why do so many hotels opt for swinging glass between the toilet/water closet and the rest of the bathroom! Drives me nuts. You can hear everything lol!
Our Personal Concierge Cesar was awesome and really planned out our days well. We set up our excursions with the counter beside the front desk with the very happy Beth (I believe) and, although we were misinformed about a few things, the trips were fun.
The golf carts to shuttle you around the property were always near by and if they were going your direction they'd stop and see if you needed a ride. We never waited at the shuttle 'stops', we just started walking the way we needed and within a few minutes someone drove past. It was very accessible for us.
We were never asked about timeshares once (albeit we were a younger couple), never sneakily upsold on wine or drinks, and the charges on the room at check out were exactly what we had accounted for - even our discounts on massages from their Monday deal. I was nervous reading so many negative reviews relating to the above, but that was not our experience at all.
The beach was hilariously bad. Our travel agent gave us a heads up about the barriers and sandbags, but the triangle Landmine looking things right at the shore must be new. I'm laughing just thinking about the absurdity of it. We are going to DR in a month so we weren't that upset because we know we have a better beach waiting. But if anyone is coming for the beach I am so sorry! Go to Akumal on a day trip if you want a beautiful Mexican beach :)
The service was awesome. Probably the highlight. We tipped all our waiters, bartenders, and maids simply because they all seemed to go the extra mile! The food itself was great at Santa Fey, Rincon Mexicana, and Kampai. Also room service food was good. Everywhere else was underwhelming, especially d'Italia. Reso at 9, seated at 9:20, our tiny portions were cold and when we tried to order more the kitchen was closed. Just fell flat. Fuentes is fun for the extra 25USD and food tasted great! We both fell ill soon after though, so we ended our stay on a lousy note. I'm just assuming it was related but who knows.
We were close to the main lobby so we just wheeled our bags to the lobby for check out, but our concierge did pop out and try to order us a golf cart which was nice. I thought it would take too long and I was anal about the time so I declined. Little did I know our shuttle would be over an hour late and our tour rep was NEVER at the hotel (took us 4 days to track him down to schedule our shuttle) so I had no one to ask for help. A nice Front Desk man tried to help, but ended up just passing the front desk phone to me and I had to make multiple calls and was passed around with no resolution. Really stressful and was NOT something a guest is supposed to be doing. But, alas, the shuttle finally showed up and all was well. Maybe I am too neurotic, but that really did annoy me...
Overall the stay was pleasurable, the workers were awesome, the room was decent, and the weather was fantastic. Food was not the be all end all I was expecting and although the grounds were immaculate, the resort itself just seemed unpolished. I kind of categorize it as the 'More-Expensive Cheap Option" for an all-inclusive resort. We may have been the wrong demographic, so I don't think we will be back for a while.
Thank you El Dorado for a fun first trip to Mexico!