My Stay at El Dorado Royale
At the top of the New Year I decided to just get away. With so many other plans for 2020 being canceled I decided to take advantage of the amazing prices to book a tropical weekend escape. My mom is a member at El Dorado Royale which means she gets discount prices that she can let anyone use. After receiving a negative COVID test I hopped on a plan across the ocean to take in the sun, sand, and delicious all you can eat gourmet food. If you’ve been curious about traveling during the pandemic or staying at the El Dorado Royale all inclusive resort I put together everything you need to know!
Traveling to Mexico During COVID
Currently you can to travel to Mexico and back to the US without getting tested HOWEVER I urge you to get tested before you go! Also in Mexico masks are required in public spaces at all times.
To get to Mexico I took a direct flight from Detroit into Cancun. From there the resort arranged to have a shuttle drive me from the airport to El Dorado Royale. I chose to fly Delta because they aren’t booking middle seats to help maintain social distancing.
Returning back to the US the Cancun airports has you scan and fill out a survey before going through security. If you’re able to fill it out beforehand it will save you tons of time because most people were crowded by the security entrance trying to fill the form out last minute.
About The El Dorado Royale Resort
The El Dorado Resort by Karsima is an adult only luxury all inclusive resort located in Riviera Maya. El Dorado is actually 3 different resorts in one:
- Seaside- the kid friendly resort which has additional restaurants
- Casitas- the adult only side which has a more spacious room layouts and private pools with swim up bars
- Royale- also on the adult only side with more traditional layouts
This means tons of options for eating and also plenty of room to social distance in peace.
Both times I’ve stayed at here I’ve chosen the Junior Luxury Suite. It’s a beautiful and functional room with a luxurious bathroom featuring Jack and Jill sinks, a spacious jet tub that I used every night of my stay, and separate shower. The room also came with a king size bed, small dining area and lounge area. Since resorts have been seeing a huge down swing in tourists El Dorado graciously upgraded my room to a swim up! While this was a nice feature for photos I rarely spent time in the swim up. Honestly it was a little awkward because the pool area is shared with your neighbors meaning there’s very little privacy out there. Plus I didn’t fly all the way to Mexico to sit in a pool, I wanted to be in the ocean. If you’re planning travel with a larger group then getting rooms next to one another with the swim up option would definitely be the move! All rooms come with a mini bar, inclusive room service and a concierge to help arrange meals or excursions.
Things You Can Do
Even with COVID the resort had a lot of activities to offer. You could also sign up to go on excursions outside the resort as well for an additional cost. If you’re looking to do more than just lay out on the beach here’s what I’d recommend:
- Yoga. Their gym is open, with a sign up sheet and temperature check, but I personally decided to take a break from my usual workout routine to stretch my body. The class is taught outside and the instructor has a really relaxing flow.
- Sea Kayaking. A fun way to enjoy the ocean especially on the cooler days is sea kayaking. There’s a booth right on the beach where you can rent one for free. If you head towards the Seaside resort you’ll come across an area with tons of seaweed, coral and thousands of fish!
- Snorkeling. The resort is actively working to grow coral making it the perfect place to snorkel. They have large cement blocks that break up the waves where a lot of the fish like to hang out.
- Tequila Tasting. El Dorado hosts their very own tequila tasting on site. They share how tequila is made plus samples of a variety of different flavors the make themselves.
- Spa Day. For an additional cost, or by listening to one of their membership pitches, you can enjoy a relaxing massage complete with a sauna experience. You can either get that massage inside or beach side!
- Hunt for Seashells. On cloudier days or just after a storm you can walk the beach looking for cool shells. I was able to find conch shells, baby tiger shells and even the shell of an albino crab!
- Watch the Evening Shows. The shows get pretty crowded and while El Dorado spaces seating out for social distancing not all guests will respect your personal space. I personally wore a mask to the shows but since it’s outdoors it isn’t required. That being said the evening shows are definitely worth checking out. They have a different show every night but my favorites were the Michael Jackson act and Risque Circus show.
What the Gourmet All Inclusive Food Is Like
I really cannot say enough amazing things about the food at the El Dorado Royale restaurants. Besides laying in the sand and sun, the food was definitely a major reason I was excited to be back! One thing I really love is that majority of the fruits and vegetables used in their dishes comes from their very own greenhouse. They have a large variety of options from Italian, Indian, Mexican and even healthier options. Keep in mind that the food is gourmet that means smaller serving sizes than most of us Americans are used to, think small plates. That being said don’t be afraid to order more food if you feel like it won’t be enough. Or use it as an excuse to have second lunch or dinner!
There are two things I will warn you about when it comes to the food. For a resort right on the ocean I wasn’t really blow away by their seafood. The soups and ceviche are good but the few times I tried octopus it was definitely not cooked correctly. If you have a sweet tooth like me then don’t expect the desserts to be like what we have in the states. Most aren’t as sweet as we’re used to and sometimes they are something entirely different than what you’d expect. I ordered brownie but what I got didn’t look, taste, or the have the texture I was expecting it to have. Some places have good desserts but some are just different so you might wanna peep at other people’s desserts before ordering.
My Fave Restaurants at the Resort
A note with COVID is that restaurant availability changes weekly so be sure to speak with the front desk or your conceirge to download the app that tells you when each place is open.
–La Isla. Truthfully all the breakfast places offer the same menu, but for some reason breakfast tasted the best at La Isla. I personallly recommend the banana pancakes! They’re also open for lunch and I couldn’t get enough of the the mushroom flatbread and their peanut butter chocolate tart.
–Health Bar. After eating a carb heavy breakfast and lounging in the sun I was craving something light in for lunch. Not only does the health bar have tons of smoothie options that you can add protein to but they have wraps and salads as well!
–Haab. This is the resorts Indian restaurant and is actually located at the Seaside Resort but you can easily take a shuttle over. I literally did not have one bad thing! I tried the Chicken Tikka, a goat dish, and the garlic naan. Everything was insanely delish, better than any place I can find by my house.
–Sante Fe. Described as more steakhouse style, I love the food from here. I usually get the short rib which is so tender. They also has some flavorful side dishes like truffled potatoes.
–D’Italia Casitas. For my pasta lovers this place is for you! Pretty much every appetizer was delicious especially the calamari, caprese and bruschetta. I also recommend the rissoto which was cooked to perfection!
–Fuentes. While it costs an extra $10 to eat here, the dinner theater is really fun. They not only serve a 5 course meal but show you how it was cooked and provide some music as well! The only downside is the menu is fixed so whatever the chef makes is what you get.
What the Weather is Like in January & What to Pack
On the sunny days you can plan to soak up the sand on the beach in your swim suit. For lunch beach cover ups or maxi dresses are perfect for the restaurants. During the evenings and for dinner grab a cardigan to layer over you evening outfit. Here’s my suggested packing list:
- Swim Suits
- Beach Coverups
- Sunglasses or Hat, or both
- Cardigan for the cooler days
- Dresses for lunch or dinner
- Matching Knit Set for cool evenings
Shop the Post
Curious about where else I’ve been, check out all my travel posts here. You can also watch my travel videos too! I’m hoping that travel will open back up soon because there are so many more places on my bucket list I’d love to visit like Bali and Ireland. In the meantime save this post for the next time you plan to head to Mexico!
Keep an eye open as I share more post this week on everything I wore in Mexico and my swimsuit shopping guide. For those who have traveled I’d love to hear about your experiences below! If you’ve been to Mexico please share some things worth checking out.
Don't Miss a Look! Get Every Outfit Delivered Straight to your Inbox by Clicking the Button Below!