My husband and I just came back from a 6-day trip to the El Dorado Maroma for my 40th birthday with another couple. We chose this resort based on the beach and ocean, adults-only, and because it was not a huge resort atmosphere (we did not want noise, endless activities or 100s of people). It was our first time trying all-inclusive. If our criteria is the same as yours for a vacation: quiet, stress-free, easy-going, but still elegant casual with modern amenities and pampering without being surrounded by a crowd, El Dorado Maroma is for you!
First and foremost, El Dorado Maroma is amazing for its staff. We never met a hotel that had such an energetic, lovely, hard-working pleasant group of people. They remembered us from Day 1 and brought us our favorite drinks, made us special plates, chatted and laughed with us, and went out of their way to make this a relaxing, special trip. Kenneth, one of the "butlers", readily made rounds and true to his word, if you have an issue or complaint, raise it with one of the staff while you are there and they do their best to rectify it. They truly pride themselves on being available and well-received by their guests. So if something is wrong while you are there, speak up then to the staff and let them do their best to amend it for you.
Rooms: We originally booked the Oceanfront Jr. Jacuzzi Suite, which were newly built. We were upgraded in the same building to a one-bedroom suite with an infinity pool. I do agree with other reviews that we would have more use for our personal pool, as well as the other pools in the resort, if they had some sort of heating element. We just went into the pool bar at the heat of the day; otherwise, too cold. Our personal pool warmed up or a hot tub would have been heavenly to enjoy...
We loved our location. Because the resort is so intimate, we were not far from anything, but were away the more populated areas where other guests could look into your rooms if you were on the ground floor. Our building had 3 floors and we were the 2nd, with a beautiful view of the marina, ocean, and beach - a few feet from a 3rd pool in the resort that was right below us. Our view was only obstructed by a few palm trees - stunning! I never stayed in an "oceanfront" room actually so close to the beach. Our friends were above us and their view was breathtaking of the beach and water. I highly recommend the 1000s building if you want to enjoy your own piece of heaven away from the more "populated" pool and restaurant areas.
Rooms were very clean; modern with double sinks, jacuzzi tub, spacious shower, separate toilet room, flat-screen TVs, refrigerators, with a separate living area with sectional, another wide screen TV, powder room, and unused kitchen and dining area. Beds were heavenly and comfortable! Housekeeping service 2x a day was wonderful and they answered our requests for extra cervezas and bottled waters daily. We love the beds on our decks! Brilliant idea and perfect for naps or to look at the stars at night!
Food: We found the food to be excellent and exceeded our expectations for an all-inclusive. I think travelers should keep that in mind; you are not going to your favorite, specialty restaurant from home. We enjoyed breakfast at Papitos daily for the view of the beach and amazing, delicious quick buffet. We fell in love with the menu at Sabores for lunch after a few drinks at the connected pool bar. We ate there twice for dinner, enjoying the excellent Italian themed night and their regular Mexican flair menu (we opted out of the Mayan themed night after reviewing the menu). Even though we came in late, we were treated graciously by the staff. We enjoyed steaks at Papitos, but note, as it is when you travel, obviously their proteins and food (based in food intake and lack of chemicals given) will be different then what we are used to in the U.S. This in mind, with their sauces, it was still delicious! We enjoyed Kiyoka (the sushi not the best I ever had, but great for being in Mexico; the sashimi and other dishes, divine!) and were truly pleased by Mio, where our waiter had the chef put together a collective tasting plate from their entire menu based on our preferences! We had fun waiters throughout the week that put together tequila tastings, suggested cordials, and dessert plates. We were treated well!
We enjoyed our drinks and they were made well or the bartenders were open to our modifications. We only used room service for chips and salsa and guacamole (yum!) because we heard it could be slower and we preferred the atmosphere of the restaurants. Again, service at all was exceptional!
Beach: The beach is right within feet of the hotel; it is not surrounded by other resorts - nice for us! The sand and water was gorgeous and staff maintained them well. We never had to wake up early to secure spots in any of the lounge chairs or beach beds. You had excellent drink service all day, along with the staff to help us with towels. We did not mind the "whales" (sand bags) which created a nice inner beach area. Having traveled to Mexico before, I knew the ocean water usually only went up to your waist for quite a distance. Gorgeous!
Nightlife: If you are looking for a late, crazy nightlife, this is not the place, which was fine by us. We did go up to Rick's Bar after a later dinner each night and didn't take the entertainment or DJ song picks too seriously. We enjoyed meeting the other great guests staying at El Dorado. Maybe it is the clientele they attract or just the contagiousness of the easy-going, pleasant attitude of the staff, but everyone was friendly and relaxed.
On our 2nd to last night, the Hotel set up on the beach a beautiful Caribbean buffet. It was par to a wedding. The staff put such pride in the beautiful set-up, which began in the morning and went all day, and extensive buffet. Tables were beautifully set and there was an energetic, fire show. It was great to see the Hotel guests gathered together to enjoy this gorgeous night under the stars.
Each morning, I ran north along the beach and felt completely safe with people running or walking or doing water activities. I was able to clock over 3 miles round trip, stopping before reaching the other resorts.
Tipping: We were not sure how to go about this, but followed reviews and brought with us about $100 in $1 bills. Given how everyone went out of their way to take care of us way more than you would find in the States (where it is expected to tip for even mediocre service), we did not mind giving a few bucks after a day on the beach or when we left a bar or daily for housekeeping. Definitely at least $5 after dinner. Make sure you bring American cash with you! No ATM on site and there was none working in town.
Spa: My friend and I did a massage over the ocean and it was excellent! Highly recommend you treat yourself!
Activities: We heeded warnings about possible solicitation for activities and timeshares. Once on site, the gentleman, Luis, in the activities office introduced himself. Once we explained we were not interested in anything except staying on site and enjoying the beach, pool, and bar, we were never bothered and he remained friendly. We were not approached by any timeshare presentations.
My husband arranged before our arrival a fishing excursion. The staff helped him and our friend secure a cab to the dock and back. Other than that, we did not leave the premises once on-site.
Addressing complaints: Our only complaint was the inconsistency with the hot water in the tub and shower. However, after mentioning to Kenneth on staff, it was resolved immediately and we had plenty.
We were located diagonal from construction and we never heard it while we slept or from our deck or room. I only smelled briefly a sulfur smell upon arrival to the front office and never again our whole trip. Using stairs did not bother us at all and our bags were always carried by staff.
Because the El Dorado Mamora is surrounded by nature, you may find a critter or two -- an abundance? No. We found 2 bugs on our deck the whole time and our friends had one of those little lizards in their room.
Before we left, our friend could not find his iPad. We feared the worse and that our vacation may be marred by it being stolen. Soon after talking to the front desk, management tracked it down to the 24 Bar and it was safely returned (too much rum to blame for leaving it behind there). Like you do anywhere, use the pushpad safes provided in your room.
Overall, this was one of the most relaxing, peaceful vacations of my life. We lived it slow, soaked in the natural settings, enjoyed our beautiful room and the Hotel's amenities and learned how simple elegance mixed with a casual atmosphere and an accommodating staff can make for an amazing trip! We definitely hope to return!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC