Quiet, Intimate, Romantic!
One of my favorite resorts is the El Dorado Maroma. From the moment you walk into the lobby and are seated with a glass of sparkling wine while your concierge takes care of your check-in, you start to appreciate the extraordinary ambience of this little gem. The staff (who will all remember your name the very next time they see you), the location (Playa Maroma - one of the Top Ten Beaches in the world), the lovely grounds and the beautiful suites - you have arrived!
This property is tailor made for those who enjoy seclusion and quiet – there’s no music blaring by the pools and the only “action” at night is the indoor club which features live music several nights a week. That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do though! We played volleyball, went out to the reef in sea kayaks with one of the activities staff and snorkeled, and I enjoyed morning yoga in a cabana over the ocean in the morning.
Did I mention the spa? Think couples massage in the serenity of a cabana over the water, or body treatments (indoors, of course!). Lovely! We had a late afternoon massage one day and followed it that evening with a private candlelight dinner on the beach, interrupted only by our server bringing more champagne!
Karisma resorts bill themselves as "Gourmet Inclusive", and the 3 restaurants at El Dorado Maroma are no exception. Sabor is what I think of as Nuevo Mexican/ International cuisine, and is open for all three meals. Evening meals are multi course, and let me indulge my liking for dressing up and lingering over remarkable food. The Italian (more formal) and Asian (more casual) restaurants serve evening meals only and it’s delicious. They are smaller, so if they’re full put your name on the list and go enjoy a cocktail by the little pool (about 30 steps away)! Everyday features a new offering for lunch in the beach palapa – grilled fresh-caught fish, tacos, barbeque – and we had most of our lunches there. Room service? Yes indeed! I think we had most of our breakfasts on the balcony of our suite, and enjoyed a great smoked salmon sandwich several times as a late afternoon sunset watching snack!
This property only has 78 suites, split into two locations. The classic "tropical island" design of Mi Hotelito is tucked away inside a border of palms and gardens, but is still only about 75 steps (yes, I did step it off!) from your room to the wide open white sand beach. In fact, I timed it - there really is no place on this resort that is further than a 2 minute amble from the ocean! The suites in Mi Hotelito are cozy, really more of a large room. They have been recently refurnished with new bedding and decor, and remind me of rooms from old tropical movies, with four post beds and mahogany furnishings. Each room has a small patio or balcony with a daybed and seating and a border of gauze curtains that can be tied closed for more privacy. They are arranged in two buildings, each with only two floors, that wrap halfway around the quiet pool. In the center of this space is a small terrace with tables, several of the famous king sized lounge beds and plenty of sun chaises. It’s great for some shade during the day or relaxing with a cocktail in the evening. Of course this pool also has a swim up bar, why not?
The rest of the suites are on the other side of the property (1 minute!) and border a large free form pool (with another swim up bar) and terrace. Every suite has a view of the ocean, undisturbed by trees! The bottom floor is all swim up suites, the next two floors have the infinity pool suites and the top is reserved for the honeymoon suites. All of them are large, more modern in decor, and feature balconies with the ever-popular daybed and seating, Jacuzzis-for-two, outdoor showers (indoor as well!) and huge 4 poster beds. I’ve stayed in an infinity suite and a honeymoon suite, and loved them both for different reasons. The four flights of stairs to the honeymoon suites aren’t really a big deal for me, I just had to remember to bring everything in my beach bag down the first time, after I made a couple of trips up for items I’d forgotten!
The entire property is studded with king-sized “beach beds” and loungers, so you don’t have to stake one out at the crack of dawn to be sure you get it. Some are in sun, some in shade, some on the beach, some by the pools – all are attended by wonderfully attentive and cheerful staff to be sure you lack for nothing. Fresh drinks, little fruit skewers, extra towels or even sunscreen if you forgot to bring enough – all can be brought to you in a twinkling! And, they remember your name and your beverage preferences!
What’s not to love?
This review appears on Riviera Maya.