El Dorado Generations is a new brand brought to you by the brilliant minds that created EL Dorado Seaside Suites, El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Maroma.
Now, these El Dorado Resorts are and always have been adults only. I love El Dorado resorts. For me, there are no other resorts on earth better than these.
Imagine my bliss when he owner decided that he would build a number of rooms right next to El Dorado Maroma where families could stay. The adults at this new family friendly place would have full privileges at El Dorado Maroma. Fantastic!
Imagine also how honored and excited I was when I learned that he decided to get the resort ready to open to the point that my family and I could check in during our family vacation and be the very first ones to check in and stay.
We did exactly that. We were the very first people to stay at the resort. We ate the first meal served in the restaurant. We cut the ribbon at the ribbon cutting. I feel like this is our resort, and I couldn’t be more proud.
Now we didn’t exactly have the full experience that guests will have once the resort is fully operational, but we know El Dorado Generations Maroma will not disappoint.
The children’s program will feature meaningful yet entertaining experiences for ages 4 – 12. The resort is right next door to one of the most popular activity marinas in the destination. Just steps away you can enjoy wave runners, ATVs, camel riding, snorkeling, deep sea fishing, speed boats and probably several other activities that I am not remembering. (Marina activities at an additional charge. The marina is a separate company, it just happens to be located next door.)
The rooms at Generations are HUGE! We had a two bedroom swim up suite and it was almost as big as our house. (We have a four bedroom house.) I found that I would forget about the kitchen / living room / dining room area because we had so much space (including another living area) in just our two bedrooms. There were no less than five TVs, each equipped not only with cable TV but also each had its own DVD player. We had three full bathrooms (not to mention four different showers including the outdoor shower).
The large dining room was the site of many matches of “Settlers of Catan” during our stay. I took this picture of one of them. The major difference between playing it at Generations and playing it at home is a) room service and b) champagne.
I understand that Generations will start accepting reservations late this month. Join me in being one of the first to experience it. Now there is no reason to accept second best just because you brought the kids.
On our recent trip to Cancun, we also took a quick trip down to a couple of our favorite resorts in the Riviera Maya. We were very excited to see the newly redesigned “MiHotelito Beachfront” room category at El Dorado Maroma.
I don’t know how they did it, but somehow the way they rearranged everything makes those rooms that used to feel so tiny, feel very roomy! I also love the Pineda Covalin scarves made into pillows for the bed. Each of those pillows probably costs hundreds of dollars.
The creamy yellow walls lend warmth and tie the whole room together. The beds are to die for, as usual. These rooms are the only ones in the whole El Dorado brand that don’t have in room Jacuzzis, but the private terrace and proximity to the pool, swim up bar and beach make these rooms a great choice.
Take a look:
While we were in Cancun this past weekend, we had the opportunity to do the ATVs through the jungle at Paradise Maroma. They gave us the choice between the ATVs and speedboats. Nicki and Erin decided on the ATVs.
I think the tour lasted an hour and a half. There were paths through the jungle where we followed the leader through the whole thing. Of course, Nicki was a wild person and was fishtailing whenever possible. I was the last one in the group, which was fine by me because I didn’t want to feel pressure to go faster than I was going. Much of the time I couldn’t even see the group because I was so far behind. They stopped every so often though to let me catch up.
The whole time I was riding I could only keep thinking, “It’s high season, I have no time to heal…”
They do provide a helmet, so I guess my brains would have been fine. Here are some pictures from our adventure.
This past Saturday, myself and a couple of our agents went to see hotels in Cancun as well as couple in the Riviera Maya. One of the ones we made time to see is Azul Beach Hotel. I’ve seen it a couple of times as the renovations have been in progress and, now that they’re almost complete, I must say I continue to be blown away. Let me show you what we saw:
This is a picture of one side of the new lounge area they’ve built right past the main lobby. It’s just beautiful and makes the lobby so much more open.
This is the view from inside the main lobby. See the ocean? Isn’t it pretty? The hotel is using this area as a “Plan B” venue for weddings in case of rain. Lots of brides are using this as their main choice of wedding venue, too!
Here are some restaurant pictures. Breathtaking, right?
Then here are pictures of a family suite. The honeymoon suite is the same, except for no trundle bed and the honeymoon suites are oceanview.
Azul Beach Hotel has always been a favorite. Now it’s better than ever.
“Bing!” The seat belt sign turned off and people scrambled to their feet. I grabbed my backpack and stood in line with others waiting to get off the plane - I couldn’t contain my excitement. Inside the airport we were immediately confronted by people selling time shares and random packages, but Cathi, Hannah, and I continued on and quickly reached the outdoors. There we met Lomas, the company providing our transfers. They guided us to our van right away and loaded our luggage. The service was courteous and prompt, mindful of the fact it had recently rained. The ground was damp and the air smelled of beautiful foliage and floral scents. I turned to Hannah (it being her first time in Mexico) and said “Welcome to the wonderful Riviera Maya!”
On the way to our resort, we stopped in Cancun to see a few hotels. Cancun was much like what I remembered and expected – absolutely stunning beaches and tourquoise water, but very compact. The resorts are right next to one another and are relatively enclosed compared to resorts in the Riviera Maya. A major plus, however, is the short distance to the airport…a quick 10-20 minutes!
After seeing a few spots in Cancun, we headed down to the Riviera Maya to go to our final destination, the El Dorado Royale (EDR). When we spotted the gates for the EDR, we turned off the highway and there, looming a good 20-30 feet above us, was a wall of rainforest. It was gorgeous and definitely added to the tropical feel of the destination. The “driveway” for the EDR is very long and windy, also giving a nice touch of exclusivity – like you’re entering an enchanted place. When we arrived at the lobby, we were greeted with smiles, a cold wet towel, and a beverage. I have to say – the cold towel was my saving grace that humid afternoon. During my stay at the EDR, I experienced phenomenal service, I ate great food, I enjoyed fun activities (like riding a camel), and I left feeling completely relaxed and rejuvenated.
Leigh-Ann stayed at the Grand Palladium for a wonderful seven night vacation recently. Here is her review.
The Grand Palladium is a multi-section resort about 1.5 hours from the Cancun International airport that is nestled inside a rain forest along Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This property is divided into 5 different sections. The Kantenah and Colonial were the first to be built in 2002. The rooms in both sections are all identical. The only difference is each one has it is own lobby to provide faster check-in and better service for visiting guests. This is the only section of the resort to have a standard room. Also, in an effort to conserve energy, the lights in these habitations can only be turned on when the room key is entered into a panel. Room categories here are the standard room, junior suite (similar to a standard room but with a seating area), and the Mayan Suites. These are the only Mayan suites in the complex that are clustered together in a building. The rest resemble bungalows. This is also considered the “budget” section of the resort as rooms here usually price out lower than the other areas. Next is the White Sand and Riviera sections. The lowest room category here is the junior suite which features a small seating area with a couch that pulls out into a bed. Guests can request two doubles or one king. These rooms also feature a Jacuzzi tub that can either be found inside the bathroom or the middle of the room. The suites are similar, but the bedroom is completely separated from the living area with a door. Connecting rooms are even available. In the Colonial section, specific junior suite rooms connect to other junior suites. In the White Sand and Riviera section, some junior suites connect with suites. The Mayan suites in this section are incredibly romantic and overlook the lagoon. Guests can request a canoe so they can paddle up right to their balcony or take a tour of the property via the lake. The rooms are circular with a king bed which faces a small couch. The bathroom is a huge hallway that features a sink/closet area which then leads into another section featuring a tub directly across from the toilet and bidet. There is no private door around the toilet. Directly beyond this is an outdoor, private shower where couples can enjoy a romantic interlude beneath the stars or under the sun. Mayan suites cater to couples and are adults only. Finally the Royal Section (where I stayed) is at the end of the property and is considered the premium, adults only section as it features additional amenities that aren’t available in the other areas such as a liquor bar which features full bottles of Rum, Vodka, Scotch, and Tequila as well as 24 hour room service. These guests also have access to a private beach and pool area, which again is adults only and has palapa beds which are ideal for lounging by the water with a frosty beverage. Guests in the Royal section also have their own private restaurant, Jardin, which is open for breakfast and features a dinner menu that changes daily and includes lobster at no extra charge.
Since this property is built within a forest, visitors will see all types of flora and fauna in its natural habitat. Grand Palladium does a great job of putting plagues throughout the resort that explain the different types of vegetation and animals indigenous to the area. There is a gymnasium inside the spa with a separate room for aerobics where a Zumba class is offered Monday-Friday at 5PM. The outside walls are floor to ceiling windows so you can see what’s happening in the woods while you’re shaking it. On the opposite side of the spa is a water circuit that is free for all guests over 18 years of age. It even includes a vapor steam room and a treatment where guests walk on a circular path of rocks to stimulate circulation.
Guests are allowed unlimited access to the various ala carte restaurants on the property which include Japanese, Asian, Brazilian, Mexican, Steak House, Italian, Mediterranean, and a restaurant for “Rib’s and more”. When I was there, the dinner crowd didn’t start until after 8PM. But when a line forms, guests are given a pager like those found in traditional restaurants that alert them when their table is ready.
Those staying at the Royal Suites are able to make reservations for 3 different nights during a week of stay. These are the only guests who can reserve a table in advance. There are also a few buffets that are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They feature grill and pasta sections for dishes that are made to order in addition to several buffet bars filled with various salads, soups, fruits, vegetable, cheeses, sauces, and other items. They are equipped to handle most dietary restrictions from gluten-free options to those with nut allergies. Visitors should alert their travel agent to any special dietary needs so they can give the concierge a heads up email prior to arrival. Guests requiring a special menu are given a color coded card specific to their particular need.
Entertainment on the resort comes in many different forms. They have two shows every evening. One starts around 9PM and other around 10:30PM. They have a weekly schedule of activities that includes things like Bingo, Salsa and Meringue lessons, rifle practice, archery, trivia, ping pong tournament, bartender lessons, and more! Free water sports can be found at the Scuba Caribe area on the beach right off the Kantenah section. There you can find paddle boats, kayaks, hobie cats, windsurfing, and scuba gear. Guests are limited to 30 minutes of use for each item per day. Instruction isn’t included. I had an amazing snorkeling experience during my visit. They had an area marked off for especially for snorkeling and I saw all sorts of fish right off the beach. The resort even has a disco that is open from 11PM-2AM each night. We were there for Mexico Independence Day so they played a lot of Latin Hits. We stopped in for retro night and heard a few tracks from the Grease Soundtrack before calling it a night. It is just like a little bar you’d see somewhere in downtown with strobe lights, a disco ball, a full bar, and all types of seating.
I really enjoyed my time at the Grand Palladium. I saw each room category available and there is something for everyone. Honeymoon couples can enjoy the romance at one of the Mayan Suites in the White Sand or Royal Suites areas. Families on a budget can find great pricing on a room in the Kantenah and Colonial areas. Families who’d like a larger suite can find accommodations in the Riviera and White Sands section. I spent 7 nights at the resort, and had plenty of things to do. The beds were pretty comfortable. The food was decent. As far as alcohol goes I remember seeing Skyy and Stolichnaya Vodka. The scenery was incredible! They had two very large family pools and each pool area had Greek columns denoting the Jacuzzi area. There were even tiled loungers built right into the pool. In addition to all of the beautiful plants and flowers, I found myself excited by all of the different creatures and insects that make their home here. It was a fun, exciting, informative, and relaxing vacation. I would return.
I am writing this post from the balcony of my oceanfront room at Iberostar Grand Paraiso in the beautiful Riviera Maya, Mexico. I have stayed at this resort two other times but this is the only time I’ve had an oceanfront room. (When traveling as an agent as a guest of the resort, one happily accepts the room one is assigned.)
I have spent many hours on this trip parked out under a palapa on a lounge chair having my hours of leisure reading interrupted by an occasional dip in the Caribbean Sea. The beach butler also intruded from time to time.
As I walk through the resort to find wireless signal to check on the office I have to walk past the main pool. There are many more people at the pool than at the beach. There are also countless more people actually in the pool than there are actually in the ocean. I would wager, however, that almost every person in and around the pool asked about the beach quality when choosing this resort.
Almost 100% of people we talk to ask about the beach itself when choosing a resort. Many of those same people barely spend any time there.
What makes so many more people spend their time at the pool when they’re in a beach destination? I would guess it has to do with proximity to the pool bar, lack of wildlife in the pool, and the fact that walking to and from the pool doesn’t involve getting all sandy. (Which is also ironic because getting ones toes in the sand is one of the thing people fantasize about when anticipating a vacation.)
Part of choosing the right vacation is knowing what kind of vacation you actually want. Are you pool centric or are you beach centric? Which is actually more important to you? Do you know?
If you’re one of the many many people who spend their vacation days at the pool rather than the beach, then stop agonizing over how long the beach is and how soft the sand it. Concentrate on the pool.
Where do you stand on the pool / beach issue? Tell me in the comments.
I visit Cancun and the Riviera Maya alot. I’ve stayed at most of the resorts in the area. Here are my four favorites.
I love the El Dorado Royale. It is an elegant, adults only resort where the food is fabulous, the rooms are beautiful and the staff is perfect. There is a two person jacuzzi in every suite. I especially love the beds in the suites in the Casita section. It is seriously like sleeping on a cloud. The food is legendary. I think my two favorite restaurants, if I have to choose, are JoJos and the Fondue Restaurant.
The Royal is a beautiful adults only resort located right along Fifth Avenue in lively Playa del Carmen. To start with, the lobby is arranged with a multitude of sofa arrangements so that there is always somewhere to sit and visit. The rooms and beds are luxurious. The food is fantastic. My favorite restaurant is Maria Marie. A great asset to this resort is the location. Many guests in the Riviera Maya take a taxi and spend an evening in Playa del Carmen. When you stay at the Royal you can take a stroll among the shops and nightlife of Playa del Carmen any time you’d like.
Azul Beach Hotel:
The best family vacation we ever had took place at the Azul Beach Hotel. It is a small boutique style resort. At the time we stayed there, my son was 7 years old. Because the resort is so small we were able to give him a great deal of freedom. He was able to run and play freely. My daughter and I were able to go out on a hobie cat with a guide which we love to do.
As far as I’m concerned, this hotel is the crown jewel of resorts. At any moment, if I were presented with the opportunity to be transported to El Dorado Maroma, I would take it. To me, El Dorado Maroma is the perfect place to be. There are only 72 rooms. It is a very quiet resort. The resort is located on world famous Maroma Beach. There is always somewhere to relax. And the food…oh the food! Chef Efrain is magic. The food is truly amazing. The staff is beyond thoughtful. They work hard every single minute to make sure you have what you want and need.
Of course, the perfect resort for me might not be the perfect resort for you. It’s our job to listen to you and help figure that out.
What about you? What’s the favorite resort you’ve visited? Let’s talk in the comments.
In early October we closed down our office for two days and took our whole company down to Mexico for our first ever all company trip. We stayed at the fabulous El Dorado Seaside Suites. When we got back, I asked everyone in the office to write down their impressions of the resort. Here is what they said:
Philip: I had a great time at El Dorado Seaside Suites. Our room was large, beautiful, and very comfortable. The grounds are tropical. It feels more like a Caribbean island than Mexico. I tried Mia Casa (Italian) and Klay Talay (Asian) for dinner and both were outstanding. In the evening, I really enjoyed the live music at La Guacamayas Bar. All in all, it was a great trip and a wonderful resort
Briana: El Dorado Seaside Suites is the “just right” sized resort. Not so small that you feel isolated, but not so large you feel lost in a swarm. Every staff member was polite and approachable. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, and immaculate. The soups are to die for. And the bartenders are generous. Its a wonderful property that’s just right for just about everyone.
Nicki: If you do not wish to ever be more than a few steps from the beach or if you like the convenience of a small property with the amenities of a larger property then the El Dorado Seaside Suites is perfect for you. Built across the beach and nestled south in the Riviera Maya, I love that El Dorado Seaside is small enough that the staff knows your name and preferences helping you to relax more easily. At the same time it is large enough that there is always something to do. It’s the perfect combination of liveliness and quiet which makes for a perfect vacation.
…And besides where else can you find a champagne cart?
Leah: El Dorado Seaside Suites. What can you really say about it? You have to experience it. You have to walk through the property and appreciate all the trees and foliage just as much as you appreciate the beach and the clear waters. You have to step into the room and feel like you’ve come home to your tropical palace.
Once you enter the property you have stepped into a jungle paradise with better food than you can possibly imagine. That kind of food probably doesn’t belong in the jungle, but it makes a world of difference.
You may have been to Mexico before. You may have even been to Paradise before. But, Paradise isn’t complete without El Dorado Seaside Suites.
Marty: El Dorado Seaside Suites still remains a favorite in my heart. Knowing most of the history and watching it grow, has only made my opinion of the hotel, quite strong. Now, having experienced it as a guest for the first time, I was not disappointed. The staff really went the extra distance to make my stay special. Food was amazing, as well as the ambiance of the resort.
Terrah: The El Dorado Seaside Suites is a little piece of paradise. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the renovated suites. They were absolutely beautiful. Guacamayas was also impressive. I now know that El Dorado Seaside Suites can party it up just like the peeps over at the El Dorado Royale. Laura (the general manager) is always truly a pleasure to visit with. She is always so professional and poised. The lady going around with a champagne cart was also impressive. That cart was a wonderful surprise. Lastly, the spa. Rumor has it that they are working on making the spa bigger and more elaborate. I am excited to see that happen because I believe it will be an excellent asset to the resort.