El Dorado Maroma, by Karisma
10 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"I wish that I had good things to say about El Dorado Maroma, but the things that happened to us dwarf any of the good aspects of the resort. Unfortunately, our nightmare began as soon as we arrived. Once exiting the van that brought us to the resort one of our two bags fell on the bellboyâs foot. The bellboy stated that he would take our bags and ânot to worry.â He put our bags next to his podium and escorted us inside where we were given the typical sparkling white wine. The front desk staff was pleasant as they gave us the keys to our room and safe and told us that the cost to use the internet would be $3.50/half hour and $6.00/hour.
Next, we were taken around the grounds which were nice, albeit under construction. We passed by a concierge booth (which later we found out is used only to solicit you to purchase a timeshare), a spa (where I obtained a deep tissue massage that resulted in my back being bruised) and then shown to our room. Prior to being able to enjoy our room we received a phone call from the front desk asking us how many bags we brought. We told them that we had two bags and they responded, âare you sure that you didnât bring just one bag.â They advised us that they would call us back. After waiting 45 minutes they brought only my bag to the room. My wife, sitting in 80+ degree weather with pants and a shirt, began to panic. I went up to the front desk where I was informed that they remember us having two bags but that my wifeâs bag was missing. In short, my wifeâs bag with over $2,000 of her clothes and shoes, our golf shoes, her under garments and all of our toiletry supplies had been stolen.
Late the next morning, a woman from the front desk took my wife and me to El Dorado Royal to get some clothes and toiletries. My wife was able to get a few shirts (all of which had the El Dorado logo), two pairs of shorts, one pair of sandals and a $22 bottle of suntan lotion. Upon checkout the cashier included a pack of cigarettes that was given to the woman that brought us there, which we thought was odd since we are not smokers. The total for the few items purchased came to a whopping $400 USD, which surprisingly the hotel paid. Needless to say, anyone that has been to a hotel store in Mexico knows that the mark-up on goods is ridiculous. At this point we were surprised at the steps that the resort was taking to make everything right.
Unfortunately, it would quickly deteriorate from there on out.
Over the course of the next two days we asked about our bag and what steps would be taken to reimburse us for our stolen goods. The hotel said that they would provide us with an answer in two hours. This would continue until the day before we left.
In addition to all that, two days after the theft of our bag and five days prior to leaving we had money taken from our room. When we advised the hotel of the theft of money from our room they only remarked that âso what you are saying is that the money was not in your safeâ; as if that makes it any less a theft. We learned from others staying at the hotel that they had come back to their rooms after dinner or from sun bathing to find an employee in their room that would give no reason for being there and would quickly leave. We also learned from one of the employees that they have been having a theft problem. From this point on we let no one, including cleaning staff, into the room for fear of additional thefts.
When we had to leave the room for any length of time we tried to make it look like there was still someone in the room. This, however, as we learned was of no use. The hotel tracks your every move. We were surprised by how often we would be leaving dinner and then an employee near our room would say âhow was the Italian dinner tonight Mr. and Mrs. X.â Most of the employees wear intercoms and will ask you your room number when they see you. They have employees watching the front and back of the rooms at all times taking room numbers of guest coming and going. We couldnât tell if they were trying to make it seem personal, but to us it was just creepy.
The remaining four days were spent inquiring about our bag and how we were going to be compensated. Three days later we were informed that the hotel had submitted the theft to their insurance company and that they were willing to settle the matter for $1335 USD. When I advised the hotel that this was unacceptable they put the alleged insurance company on the phone. The alleged insurance agent said that the only way we could get full price was for us to leave Mexico, get receipts for everything we paid and to submit them from the U.S.
The next day was our departure day and I requested that the manager be present. The manager and I began arguing for at least 30 minutes regarding the stolen bag, the theft from the room, and the amount of time that was taken from our vacation to deal with this mess. He apologized, said that they already paid $400 USD to get my wife clothes (which she would never have bought and will never wear again and which also included a pack of cigarettes given to the employee that took us to get the clothes) said that the goods in the U.S. are too expensive and that he would not give us anything more for the stolen bag other than what the alleged insurance company offered. I asked him to make up the difference on our final bill, which he refused. When I told him that I didnât understand a hotel that was willing to deduct $250 off my bill for listening to a 90 minute timeshare pitch (it started at $150 but they eventually offered $250 for us to listen to the pitch so hold out), but nothing for the two days spent dealing with a theft of a bag they had control of, he just looked away. Lastly, he said he would take $128 off our final bill but that was all he was willing to do for us. The van was coming and we knew we were out of time. We accepted the settlement, which they paid in cash (which makes us further think the insurance company was a farce) and put us in a van by ourselves even though others were going to the airport as well. We surmised that they didnât want us talking to others about our experience. Needless to say we will not be going back."
- Travel date: Thu 13th of March 2008
A Perfect Vacation!!
"If you're looking for peace and relaxation this is the place.
My husband and I stayed 5 days in late february and loved every minute. This is a very beautiful hotel, but very quiet. If your looking for spring break type action go someplace else.
They have a great staff at Maroma, especially the waiters and bartenders. They get to know your name on the first day and remember it your whole stay. They really go out of their way to please you.
The food at Maroma is definitely the best hotel/resort food we've
ever had. They have three restaurants, Italian, Asian and Mexican/American. All three were fantastic especially Sabores
the Mexican restaurant.
The only issues we had were having to wait 2 hours for our room to be ready also a couple small issues with the room that were taken care of very quickly.Be careful when you book to make sure you are as close to the ocean as possible. Our room was a infinity pool suite on the second floor but half way back on the new building and it was not quite the view i was expecting but overall the room was beautiful! In fact the entire hotel is amazing it is super clean and beautiful.
I highly recomend this Hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 12th of March 2008
Lovey Resort, But Some Issues
"We just returned from staying at El Dorado Maroma from March 2 through March 6. Most of what everyone has been saying about the resort is true--it's a lovely little boutique resort, but there are some service issues and other things that need to be worked out for EDM to be the truly first-class resort they advertise it to be.
We'd booked a swim-up suite through Hobbit Travel/Funjet Vacations. Like another reviewer here, we were instead taken to a different room, room 842. It was a fourth floor room that looked like it was possibly meant to be an infinity pool suite but there was no pool, just a large balcony. True, it had a lounge bed on it, but the floorboards covering up where the pool would have been were cracked and slightly dangerous looking. There was a nice ocean view, but also a rather ugly view of the room of one of the restaurants and a mangrove swamp that had been partially destroyed by a hurricane. We were VERY disappointed. The front desk staff told us that the swim up suites were overbooked and that they would contact us when one became available later on. We never heard from them, either a yes or a no. True, we could have pushed the issue, but we got a bit lazy as one does on vacation.
The rest of the room was very nice. Very big, comfy bed, nice flat screen TV, lovely jacuzzi tub big enough for two and heavenly for soaking after a day at the beach. The only downer was that there was no toilet paper rack in the toilet room.
The beach is very nice, but on days with a lot of wind the water gets very murky-looking. There are some weeds, but it didn't bother us much. The side of the resort closest to Maroma Marina has some really nice beach beds that are inside a palapa. It was like being in a tree house. They could use a few more beach loungers, though. There are two pools with swim-up bars. The larger pool is gorgeous but we preferred the quieter smaller pool.
Food was, in general, very good. Breakfast and lunch at Sabores was excellent. I was pleased to see that they had Mexican breakfast items and highly recommend that chilaquiles and huevos divorciados. They had buffet items for both meals but we mostly ordered a la carte because the menu was so good. The seafood cocktail for lunch was so yummy that I ordered it every day. I also recommend the shrimp and mushroom quesadillas and the grilled fish.
Mio, the Italian restaurant, was excellent. Risotto to die for and a great squid stuffed with seafood dish. Probably our best meal at dinner was Sabores, which features a modern take on Mexican food. Usually steak in Latin American countries is rather tough, but the arrachera was tender and extremely flavorful. Presentation and service at Sabores were amazing and polished. Don't miss the flan for dessert. (I do wish they'd offered tres leches cake, though, it's my favorite Latin American sweet.)
However, Kiyoko, the Asian restaurant, was a comedy of errors worthy of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares TV show. First of all, there only seemed to be one, poor overworked waiter working the room. Half of our drinks order and our sushi order were completely forgotten (perhaps that was for the best because when it did finally arrive, it tasted like supermarket sushi). My vegetable stir-fry came without rice and my husband's tempura was cold and tough. We like a leisurely meal, but three hours for this dinner was ridiculous.
We ordered room service twice, once for dinner (hubby had a cold) and once for breakfast. Although the menu is VERY limited for lunch/dinner (there's a nice breakfast selection), the food was tasty and service was extremely fast.
The bartenders and beach servers worked very hard and were very pleasant, especially Arturo at the small pool bar. Like most all inclusives, the drinks were rather weak, but we liked that because we could drink more and not get plastered. The mango margaritas were amazing. Wish I had one right now!
The whole resort sort of gives off a vibe of not quite being finished yet. There were workmen everywhere installing fountains and such. As someone else mentioned, I do wish that EDM would get its grounds staff on a schedule of maintenance and gardening a bit earlier in the day so that someone isn't coming round with a sprinkler during prime beach time or cleaning the pool at 10:30 a.m. when you're ready for your first dip after being on the beach for an hour.
Would we stay at El Dorado Maroma again? I loved how small it was and how relaxed but I don't think we'd book there again unless we were assured that the issues I mentioned, especially the overbooking, were addressed."
- Travel date: Fri 7th of March 2008
Overall thumbs up
"Just back from a week at the new El Dorado Maroma (remodeled Mi Hotelito). Overall this destination ranks high if you are looking for a quiet beach vacation.
We booked an infinity pool suite in the new portion of the resort. The room was beautiful and included a jacuzzi tub, outdoor shower (good for washing the sand off after a day at the beach but not for actual showering), king size bed (very comfortable), sitting area with flat screen plasma TV, eating area, mini bar and large outdoor patio. However, we were surprised to find that the inifinity pool suites do not necessarily contain an infinity pool. The rooms on the third and fourth floors generally do not have pools just large decks. After speaking to several guests who did have the pools we decided we prefered the decks since many complained of thatch and debris being in the pools. We also found we emensely enjoyed being able to sit out on the two deck chairs or outside bed and order rooms service with our great view of the ocean. Since the rooms are so new (I think we were the first guests to stay in our room) we found that not all the construction mess had been cleaned up. There was still tape on the trim from when they had painted the bathroom along with excess grout on the floor and indoor shower tiles, written measurements on the tile from construction, and blackmarks on the tiles from the construction. These were minor and did not detract from the function or overall appeal of the rooms.
The beach is a very nice fine grained white sand. The hotel and next door marina maintain the beach in front of those areas quite well -raking and cleaning the beach each morning. The hotel also provides security for the beach so there are no solicitors or disruptive people interuppting the peace and quite. There are beach beds and lounge chairs but you need to get up early (before 9am) to ensure you get one since most guests stake out/reserve their chairs with towels and beach bags by that point and there are often more guests than chairs. There is drink service on the beach but it is often hit or miss. If you are in a rush for a drink the pool bars are only a hundred feet or so away. There are breakers around the beach and marina area so the water is very calm. The ocean bottom is sandy or covered with sea grass.
Overall the service at this resort is good if you keep in mind that you are on "Mexico/Caribbean time" - everything moves a bit slower than standard American service. The resort is new and as a result some of the staff is inexperienced although the hotel has brought a few employees from the El Dorado Royal who seem to be more in tune with the speed at which most Americans want to be served. Every staff member we encountered was exceptionally friendly and willing to go out of their way to assist us. Make sure to bring small bills for tipping as getting change is difficult at the resort. We found the concierge to be a bit pushy and more interested in having us book another vacation rather than provide us with the service for this one - more like marketing/sales than a concierge.
For breakfast and lunch there is just one restaurant which serves a general menu. The food was excellent but we wished there were more outside tables (only three) so that we could enjoy the sun and oceans views. Room service is available from 6am to 10pm and was also excellent. For dinner there are three gourmet restaurant choices - mexican, italian and asian. We were not impressed with the dinners. Menu's were hard to read (not clear what was the appetizer course, salad course and entree course). Portions were very small although presented beautifully. The food at the mexican resturant was good but we were not happy with our meals at either the italian or asian theme resturants. With the proximity to the ocean we were very dissapointed in the lack of seafood options. I expected fresh fish, lobster, shrimp and seafood to dominate the menus but we were hard pressed to find even one dish per meal that even incorporated seafood. If you have simpler tastes in food (as we did) the extreme gourmet style dinners will likely leave you very dissapointed. Dress code for dinner is casual-formal - closed toed sandles, dress shorts and button down or polo style shirts for men and summer dresses, skirts or dress capris for women. Room service is an option and we were very happy with that menu.
We highly recommend using the hotel transportation (private car or van service) rather than an offsite service or cab. The entrance to the hotel is under construction and about a mile from the actual resort location. Many locals do not even know it is there and getting lost is common. The road in to the hotel and marina is pretty rough and scary but once you get to the hotel everything is beautiful."
- Travel date: Thu 6th of March 2008
Best kept secret
"Sadly my husband and I transfered from Eldorado Royale for the last 3 days of our holidays, to experience a new environment. We just didn't have enough time to experience how wonderful this boutique hotel really is. Staff are extremely warm, friendly, helpful and doing their best to make everyone welcome. This is the kind of place that you can really relax and take in all the beauty of the beach, warm breezes, spectacular sunsets and meet people who really are friendly and some who really like to party. So don't be swayed by the reviews. If you like people then it's up to you to go introduce yourselves and make a party happen. That's what happened to us from the moment we arrived. Hi Mike and Connie, Marcus and Tracey. We love you guys. You made our trip worthwhile. You see it really can be that much fun at Maroma. Food is sooooo good, service is excellent, even the room service. The only negative about that part is maybe they need someone who understands English a little more as sometimes the meal wasn't exactly as ordered. The dining rooms are all quite different (3) in total and you will never get bored with only those choices. It's true that it seems remote but really unless you are a shopper (Playa del Carmen), 20 minutes away, you really want to stay on property to just chill or in Mexico's case sunbathe. Aren't we there to relax, rejuvenate, fill up the tank? There are plenty of pictures from the other reviews to get a very good idea of what to expect. By the way the bartender's are superb. They really know how to mix and actually get a party in motion. Best pedicure I ever had at the spa. Let's put it this way, you just won't be disappointed with a week at this lovely resort. Oh and if you are an Exotic member they are offering 50% till the end of the year. Go and get some gas in your tank (so to speak)."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of March 2008
Some Issues Yet
"Everything you read about this hotel is true, from food to drinks and to the intimacy. Maybe we were the unlucky ones, but we had some issues.
We booked our travel through Lomas Travel. Before booking we had gone back and forth regarding our needs of the first floor due to knee problems. With that in mind we booked the swim up Jacuzzi Suite.
On arrival as everyone states you receive a wonderful welcome, class of champagne, and than are excorted to your room. When we arrived to the new buildings to my surprise she began to climb the stairs. We informed her that we had paid for a swim up first floor and so we returned to the front desk. Two or three people discussing in Spanish the problem, and than we were informed that they had over booked and that there was nothing available on the first floor new or old building. After much discussion we had decided that we would be put on the 2nd floor until tomorrow and promised the swim up by noon. (only can imagine what floor we were heading for)
Now we had to wait for a second floor room who they had given a late check out. The pool has scum, so no way am I using it and they leave a bucket with and open bottle of champagne in the room, yuk.
So we arrive at 3pm and by 5:30pm we drag ourselves to the second floor.
Day 2 went to breakfast and than to the front desk to confirm our room at noon. Paris who is a very accomomdating, yes your room will be ready by noon. So instead of going up and down, we do not unpack, put our suits on and hang at one of the wonderful beds. Paris comes by about 10:30am and points to our room 402, and as soon as it is ready he will let us know. The folks stayed on the beach until 11:30, went into the room and the maid was in by noon cleaning. By 12:45 she was in 401, so we thought ready, set go. We go to the front and someone else tells my husband, "oh no you are not in 402 you are in 401 and it is not ready for another hour. So I go up and speak to them and Paris comes in to his surprise they do not tell him that they have changed us to 401. So now it's almost 2pm, and I tell them enough is enough, please give us our room so we can get settled in. So we sit on the deck while the maid completes the room. They have her in tears, because now they are blaming her, cause she was cleaning two rooms at a time, going back and forth and not completing the one. Not her fault.
We complain to Lisa, the manager, she said it was the Travel Agents fault for not telling them about our knee problems, huh?
She offered us free massages, but we were not interested, or dinner on the beach, so we settled for a bottle of wine, which arrived without a bottle opener.
It was the small things that were irratating, but we made the best.
We heard at least 6 couples sitting waiting for rooms, or not getting the rooms they requested.
One day we decided to eat in, so we ordered, room service, it took them 10 minutes to answer the phone to place the order, than they only brought one meal, so by the time the second one arrived the first was cold.
We found the servers were the best and that the problem was at the front desk with communication.
While checking out we had heard of another problem with a couple, that they were trying to straighten out between this hotel and a sister hotel, and they had to fax over some info, and the guest had to pay a $4.00 fax fee to them. The guest was outraged, Did not sound good.
Over all a wonderful place, with issues I am sure they will have solved within the year. Would I go back, yes with hope that all is resolved, but if the same things happened again it would be my last, since this place is not cheap."
- Travel date: Tue 4th of March 2008
"We just returned from a too short stay in paradise, the El Dorado Maroma is such a relaxing, caring, satisfying and pleasurable location. The staff couldn't be more helpful, from the friendly Buenos dios that you are greeted with in the morning as you get your breakfast of choice, to the delicious drinks ordered and served to you as you relax by the warm, soothing waters, to the gourmet dinners. A different menu every night. The place is incredibly clean and well kept, in fact for the first few days of our stay it felt like there were more staff than guests. The Marina next door didn't prove to be noisy as we feared, but did offer some fun activities (as a break from the intoxification of sun, drink and ocean) We went on a snorkeling adventure and saw the most amazing fish and other sea life as well as beautiful coral. The pools (2) both have swim up to bars, and the beach has plenty of lounges and beds with canopies.
My only criticism of the El Dorado Maroma would be that the staff in charge of physical maintenance were a little too active, thus noisy, keeping everything in tip top shape, but a little less hammering would have been appreciated.
I began by saying our stay was too short. I suppose one could overstay (hard to imagine) but because of flight cancellations, and delays our trip was shortened to only four nights. I'd recommend, if possible, a longer stay. I'm going to try and make sure our next visit is."
- Travel date: Sat 1st of March 2008
"You will love this resort. I know there have been many questions about this resort on Trip Advisor. I can sum them all up by saying that the place is fabulous.(We traveled the 18th through the 25th of Feb.) It had just the right amounts of everything. Small enough for peace and quite. Enough activities to spice things up. A small resort with a much bigger resort feel without losing that personal touch much associated with the mega-resorts.
First of all the staff is very friendly with warm smiles. By the end of your stay everyone knows what you like, your favorite beverage, what you like for breakfast, eggs fried or scrambled.
The food is excellent! Gourmet style. No army style buffets here!
The meals are served real fancy with squiqley lines and all! Delicious! There were times we ate and only two or three other couples were in site.
Both pools are excellent, the original smaller and the newer pool, larger which is next to the newer rooms are fully stocked all spirits and have sit in pool bars. The beach is wonderful with palapas to relax in. Our room (215) in the original Mi Hotelito part, was very nice. Water was hot and AC was cold. View is great.
We only encountered technical problems of our key card losing its' magnetism. The fridge in this room was a bit cooler than accustomed to. And my only suggestion is to have nacho/chips bar in front of the original pool bar. Several guests seemed to anticipate that in this area you would be able to order chips & salsa. (The bartender was kind to bring us some every time!)
We enjoyed Rick's Bar & Nightclub. Different shows everynight. Sevice before you sit down! Pool table, enjoyable bands and dancers, piano player, videos and dj. Open till 2am if you dare.
The was a fish cookout on the beach. The catch of the day came right onto shore with your choice fish. Another day there was a Spanish Pia-a grilled and served on the beach. A few other activities included cooking lessons & cocktail lessons.
Overall this resort is wonderful from the hard wood cushioned pool chairs to friendly, memorable staff!"
- Travel date: Fri 29th of February 2008
Best All Inclusive Boutique Resort in Mexico
"What a lovely, quiet adult only resort located on a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach overlooking the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Food was gourmet, service amazing and even live cooking on the beach! One of the beach cooking days was "Fresh Catch Day". The fishing boat pulls up, you pick the fish you want, they clean it and cook it for you right there!! The other day was paella which was fabulous. They have 3 ala carte restaurants, one Asian, one Italian and one general faire. They have 3 room categories, Mi Hotelito rooms with oceanviews and an extra bed on the deck, Jr Suite Jacuzzi swim up rooms (so cool) and above those rooms are the infinite pool jr suite rooms with a pool on your deck! Most of these are oceanview. This is a tiny resort with only 72 rooms, so it is very quiet. The road from the main road is one lane and partially not paved (will be done by April). This really is a gem if you want a romantic destination. Email me if you want more info. Being a travel agent, I have seen or stayed at most resorts in this area of Mexico."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of February 2008
Had a great time
"Recently returned from a stay at El Dorado Aroma (Feb. 10-14). We stayed in a room in the older/original section, not the new section with swim up pools.
Don't let the drive to the resort scare you. The road to the hotel off the highway is mostly a winding, dirt road. Once you arrive, it is all worth it.
El Dorado Aroma (EDM) is an intimate and small hotel that is very isolated. There are no other hotels nearby. The only other thing around is a very small marina that has boats for the various companies that run excursions.
The room was fine. The decor is very clean and romantic with dark wood furniture. There is a TV and DVD player, which came in handy during the few rainy days we had (get free DVDs at the front desk). The bed was very comfortable as well.
The food was incredible. I only had one mediocre meal. Every meal was presented impeccably and tasted wonderful. The servers were very hard working and answered questioned without trouble. My only minor complaint was the margarita mix they used. My wife and I didn't like it - made for an un-authentic margarita.
The beach was clean and uncrowded. Only other folks on the beach are from the hotel and since it is so small, no worries finding space. The pools aren't big, nor do they need to be. I didn't spend anytime in the pool, it was quite cold.
We took a trip into playa del carmen. The cab ride is $20 and took 20-25 minutes. It costs so much because there are no cabs waiting at the hotel. They have to call for one from town, which takes 20-25 minutes.
Overall, EDM allowed us a very relaxing 4 days and a fantastic dining experience. I would love to go back"
- Travel date: Wed 20th of February 2008