MEXICO, Riviera Maya - El Dorado Royale January 2015
We had quite the trip! We really enjoyed our time there and loved getting to soak in some warm sun rays. We are definitely hoping to head that direction at least annually. :)
First, our room situations. When we arrived it seemed like something was a little different (but we assumed it was the lack of honeymoon brain). The receptionist gave us our room number so we could go and get food. When we returned at 3:00 to go to our room, they gave us a different number because the first one was not ready. No worries because now we were located on the 2nd floor instead of the original 1st floor by a busy walkway. Then we quickly realized that the AC in that room wasn't working. So they moved us to a different room. It was located by the newly busiest, entertainment pool. Halfway through our stay we received a flier in our door advertising an "upgrade" to their newer family resort Generations Riviera Maya (complete with $300 hotel credit for dinner upgrades and spa services). We toured the room and were quite smitten by the huge room and amazing ocean views. Also, there were hardly any kids so the room was much quieter than our current situation. So we said "why not?" and moved to Generations. They were at 24% occupancy so there was not much whatsoever going on at Generations. We were able to walk back and forth between Royale and Generations so we did that a lot. It's pretty safe to say we spent just about all of our time at Royale and just slept at Generations. We didn't mind that too much it was nice to get the exercise and have some quiet at nighttime.
Secondly, the circumstances. Something we really enjoyed about our previous trip was talking to and getting to know the employees. Like I previously said something seemed different. As we talked to employees more and more we learned there was a change in hotel management and everything began to click. All the changes here and there made much more sense. The former manager was a Mexican and the new manager is a German. The area we were in last year (Sensi Mar) is being converted into an area just for Germans. The former entertainment pool which was Sensi Mar "moved" in order to make that surrounding area of the resort more quiet. The employees didn't seem quite as happy as the previous year. We found out that they were getting paid the same amount, but being asked to work more hours. Last year we didn't hear about people considering looking elsewhere for work because they were very content at Royale. This year it seemed like people were open to the idea of changing resorts for employment. Another situation that didn't come up last year, was that this year there was a substantially sized company conference that was occurring at the resort. A bunch of people walking around in business apparel kind of took away from the vacation feel of the resort. We were told that the former management probably would not have allowed a conference. (This was also the reason that we were given the option of the "upgrade". There were so many people for this conference they were looking for space.)
We have agreed that since we like Royale so much we are willing to give it another year. We are somewhat hesitant because of what it may become under the new management. One of the biggest issues we ran into was the busy-ness of it and the noise that we had in the morning. Due to that, we have decided that for next year we would like to save up in order to stay in the Casitas. We think it would be well worth it to have more quiet when we want it and easy pool/bar access. We think it would be safer to stay in Casitas in case Royale is experiencing similar circumstances to this past time.
I'm including a few photo shots. The first image is from Royale the others are from Generations.