El Dorado Maroma, Mexico

I always get an itch to know where and when our next trip will be as I approach each of my travels.  Steve and I thought it would be fun to go to an all inclusive resort in Mexico for my birthday weekend to get out of Chicago winter and since he had never been.  We knew we wanted an adults only resort, good food, and great views.  I had been to Mexico in high school, so I knew I wanted to be closer to Playa del Carmen than Cancun.  The Playa del Carmen area is a little bit nicer, meaning that it tends to be a little less busy.  We also weren’t traveling during spring break, which meant we shouldn’t have big crowds.  Anyways, we literally booked our all-inclusive 4 day vacation at the airport on our way to Charleston for Christmas.  We had done so much research that Steve just said, let’s go for it!! 

Let me say that this is the second trip that we booked with Costco Travel, and it is seriously SO easy and convenient.  They have tons of different vacation packages, and you can book everything in one place—flights, transportation, hotel, and even activities.  We booked our Hawaii trip (which I’ll be sharing all about soon!!) with them as well, and we had such an incredible experience.  They have great customer service, and it’s really easy to change things after booking if you need to.  

So, we ended up staying at El Dorado Maroma, which is an all-inclusive resort, about 40 minutes south of Cancun and 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen.  It was recommended by my sister’s friends, and their evaluation was spot on.  Let me fill you in.

GREAT

  • SIZE: The resort only had 98 rooms, and we could DEFINITELY tell.  Admittedly, we probably weren’t there during peak season, but it seriously felt like barely any people were there. Also, because the resort is so small, you can walk everywhere easily.
  • WEATHER: We had absolutely perfect weather the whole trip.  Low 80s during the day and mid 70s at night with no rain.  We had some clouds and wind, but it was not noticeable.
  • CABANAS: Steve and I were obsessed with the cabanas (pretty much a covered bed on the beach), and they were seriously everywhere.  They were lining the pools and the beach, with a second row slightly elevated behind them.  Other beach resorts that I’ve been to may have had a few cabanas, but they were few and far between and it seriously seemed like the people that got them must have camped out there.  Not here!! We would grab one on the way to breakfast every morning and happily be there throughout the whole day.
  • CLEAN: The resort was incredibly clean everywhere we went. 
  • STAFF: They took such good care of us, checking in to see if we needed anything.  
  • WIFI: The WiFi was really, really good.  It didn’t cut in and out as you walk around, and we even had great coverage when we were on the beach.  I know this doesn’t matter to everyone when you’re on vacation, but it really was noticeably good, so I thought I’d mention it.
  • RESTAURANT VIEWS: The two breakfast/lunch restaurants had incredible ocean views, which was really special.

GOOD

  • FOOD: Overall, the food was definitely good. Everything was fresh, good quality, and there was always a good variety. There were a few things that were great, but overall, we weren’t blown away. You can read a full review on the food in the restaurants section below.
  • FITNESS CENTER: We were super happy that they had a fitness center since we were taking full advantage of the all-inclusive food situation. It wasn’t huge, but they had a good selection of machines. It was also located in the spa building, which meant really, really nice showers that we got to use after our workouts.
  • ACTIVITIES: They offered tons of activities throughout the day like yoga, beach volleyball, trivia, and so much more. They had free boat options like kayaks and paddle boards that you could use. There was also nightly entertainment like a fire show, live music, and we even got to experience the Super Bowl on the beach, which was super fun!
  • ROOM: We were in a HUGE suite, which could have easily fit 4-6 people. It was the least expensive option when I was booking the trip, so I was super surprised when we arrived. It had a huge jacuzzi tub, nice balcony, and an outdoor shower.

NEUTRAL

  • BEACH: We didn’t quite get the pristine beach we were imagining. Unfortunately, Riveria Maya and many parts of Mexico are getting swamped by seaweed right now and I learned that it’s actually been going on for some time. Luckily, many resorts, like ours, are doing a good job at keeping it under control. You can see the beach at our resort on the left is much more tame than the unkept part of the beach about 1/2 a mile down.
  • SELLING: Workers come around and ask if you want to learn about spa services, which got a little bit annoying, but they were very kind and don’t bother you after you say no.

EH

  • NO HOT TUB: … but it is Mexico. There were a few times with the breeze and clouds, I was ready for a dip in a hot tub, alas, there wasn’t one.
  • ODD SMELLS: Not going to lie, there were a few parts of the resort that just had really weird smells. Luckily, it wasn’t near our room or the restaurants or anything–just in a few of the little alleyways.
  • Honestly, that’s about it.

RESTAURANTS REVIEW

Since Steve and I were only there for three nights, we unfortunately didn’t have a chance to try all of the different restaurant options. In fact, we only got to try two of the dinner options since one of the nights we were enjoying dinner on the beach during the Super Bowl!

Here’s the scoop on the places we did try!

BREAKFAST & LUNCH

  • PAPITOS: International Cuisine, Buffet Style
    • Breakfast Highlights: Omelettes, pastries, fresh fruit, fresh juice, coffee, tons of fun jams, honeys, and spreads. I tried the kiwi jam and toasted strawberry jam on french toast.
    • Lunch Highlights: Chicken tacos, grilled veggies,
  • LIMA LIMON: Peruvian Cuisine, Sit-down
    • Breakfast Highlights: Create your own omelettes and eggs with lots of veggie and meat options, delicious green juice (pineapple, celery, spinach) and coffee
    • Lunch Highlights: Shrimp and Octopus Ceviche, Fresh Mahi Mahi, Chips & Guac

DINNER

  • KIYOKO: Asian Cuisine
    • Highlights: Seared Duck Breast, Sesame Chicken Bites, Fresh Premium Sushi, and a delicious dessert fruit sushi roll
  • CARIBBEAN GRILL: Can you guess what cuisine?
    • Highlights: Lobster Fritters, Crabcakes, Coconut Shrimp, Beets with Goat Cheese and Lemon Oil
  • LIMA LIMON: Peruvian Cuisine
  • MIO: Italian Cuisine
  • SABORES: Mexican Cuisine

We didn’t get to try the last three for dinner, but if they’re the same quality as the two we had, I’m sure we wouldn’t have been disappointed.

OVERALL

  • Recommended Length: 3-5 days
  • Ratings
    • Affordability: 8/10
    • Adventure: 2/10
    • Food: 6.5/10
    • Relaxation: 9/10

We had such a great experience, and it truly was the perfect oasis from Chicago winter. El Dorado Maroma is a beautiful resort in an absolutely beautiful setting. Mexico is definitely one of the least expensive places that you can travel in the Caribbean, so if you’re looking for a retreat without having to spend a fortune, look no further!

To learn more about the resort, you can visit their website.


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