Vacationing at the El Dorado Maroma Resort in Mexico

What’s it’s like to stay along the Riviera Maya on the eastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula at the El Dorado Maroma Resort.

I took time away from blogging over the holidays to enjoy time with my family, like REALLY taking time off…they say one needs R & R to keep oneself good with the world and Ed and I decided, that this year, we would take that quite literally.

After taking an anniversary trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico last year, Ed and I enjoyed that trip so much that we wanted to be able to take our daughters there.

Getting to spend quality together time with them is hard since they live hours away in opposite directions and have jobs and school that keep them busy. We had to plan ahead to find a week when both of them had time off.  The only time was Christmas week so we booked the trip to the El Dorado Maroma earlier this year and flew south two days after Christmas.


We stayed at a resort slightly north of Playa de Carmen on the eastern shore of the Yucatan peninsula, called El Dorado Maroma. It was a beautiful, peaceful, and a very relaxing place.


The porch off of our room was one place that I spent a lot of time.  It even had an outdoor bed so you could sleep under the stars and moonlight. It was perfect – everything about our week, the resort, the food, the balmy breezes, and weather could not have been better.

The number one reason I DIY is as a way to express my creativity and personal style, but the second is to save money so that I can use those savings to get as many stamps in my passport as possible in my lifetime.   My house could use new carpeting and sofas.  We drive old model cars, and only buy what we truly need so that we can save, save, save and be able to take a trip like this.


In the early 80’s, before I met Ed, he bought a timeshare.  When he first told me about it,  I wasn’t impressed and didn’t think we would ever use it.  I was wrong; we have been using it for the past 31 years and have been able to go to some pretty extraordinary places on our budget.


We enjoyed the beach and crystal clear Caribbean every day.  If we had an extra $250 each we could have had a Sky Massage in one of these beach huts. Way out of our budget, but just the thought of one was relaxing. :-)

On-Vacation-in-Riveria Maya in Mexico

The best part of the trip was getting to enjoy it all with our daughters.  My oldest was on a semester break from medical school and my youngest had time off since she just finished a two year fellowship and didn’t start her new job until yesterday.


It was pretty nice getting to read on the beach while being served icy cold drinks and gourmet snacks all day long.

siteseeing-in-tulum mexico

We took a day trip to go rappelling and Zip-lining in the jungle – (Yes, I did both) and tour the ancient ruins of Tulum.   The views everywhere were breathtaking.


Taking a holiday break has definitely re-energized me. I’m feeling creative, rested, and ready for what’s to come

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  1. Good grief. I didn’t see the previous post concerning the font!

  2. I love the “Positive Life” font. Will you share the name of it?

  3. Hi! Just discovered your blog and enjoying it. Love the positive mantra too! Would you mind sharing what font you used with the “Positive Life”, etc. Loving it! Thank you!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Kimberly – I wish I knew the font, but I found the graphic on a fashion blog I follow and it didn’t have a credit to the site or font it came from. I know there is a font search website and I looked it up, but could not find it. The closest I could find was Joe Hand 2 at

  4. Loved reading about your family getaway. We have two sons and have not shared a Christmas together at home in many years. This year was amazing! Even more amazing, they both wanted to take their box of chilhood ornaments home with them. Huh, who knew? So glad you got to share that beautiful place with Ed and the girls. Happy New Year!

  5. Stephanie @ Casa Watkins says:

    Hi Diane, looks like a great vacation spot. I just started reading your blog. I absolutely love your home! I also just started my own blog taking the new year as my motivation. I like your new year’s mantra. Definitely need to keep that in mind for myself as well. Thank you for sharing!

  6. Thanks again for the giveaway! I am so excited!

  7. The Tusculum ruins were the hottest place in the universe when I was there! But it was worth the trip. Spent our time at Akumal, more Mexican and off the beaten path, less touristy, but also not nearly as beautiful as where you were.

  8. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    You have no idea how jealous I am. I wanted to go to the Riviera Maya in three weeks for my 40th birthday with our kiddos but I don’t see it happening with our budget right now. There is too much other stuff going on right now :( such a bummer. Looks like you guys had a wonderful family trip and it’s so worth it. So happy for you.

  9. I was so excited to see your pictures. My husband and I have a trip booked in April to the El Dorado Maroma. We can’t wait to go. So glad you had a wonderful time.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cindy – You are going to love the place. We stayed at El Dorado Royale Casitas over a year ago. We loved that, but Maroma has a beach and is much smaller which we liked even better. The staff is wonderful. It was very hard leaving. They are constructing Bali like huts(suites) over the water. They won’t be done for a year, but will be an amazing addition to the resort that we would like to stay in the future. We will be going back.

  10. How we all need times of rest and refreshment. So very glad for your family vacation.
    My joy is coming alongside others to encourage, help, listen and pray. This year I am giving this same gift to myself – times of reflecting on jobs well done, more quiet time alone with God to just be and bask in His presence, prioritizing on matters of the heart rather than an unending to-do list, truly listening to what my heart is feeling and my body is telling me. Aiming for contentment where I am at any moment and a grateful heart.
    A blessed New Year to you and yours…..

  11. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience!! I loved your last post about your timeshare exchange with your husband in Riviera Maya. I also have a timeshare and wanted to touch base with you to see…after your exchange did you also pay additional “all inclusive” fees per person per day through RCI? Thank you so much!! I love your blog..thanks for all your inspiration!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cynthia – Yes we paid the “all-inclusive” fee. It was worth it. We also did when we stayed at El Dorado Royale Casitas last year. The food and service at both resorts is exceptional. When our week was up and we went to the airport to go home, our flight was cancelled due to mechanical problems of the plane. The airline could not get us booked on another flight until the next day and put us up for the night in an “all-inclusive” hotel along the hotel zone in Cancun and told us we would love it. The resort was right on the water, a very nice place – but it was just awful. It was noisy, crowded, and dirty. We could not relax on the beach as vendors kept coming up to us to buy their goods. Jewelry to handbags, to food. It was like a carnival. We were spoiled by the gourmet food and the private exclusivity of El Dorado Maroma. It is not your average “all inclusive kind of resort. It is quiet, relaxing, immaculate, and private. Having to stay one night at the Cancun All-Inclusive resort opened our eyes to the differences that you can get with “all-inclusive. Maroma is truly upscale and gourmet and will cater to your every need 24/7.

      1. Thank you so very much for taking the time for such a wonderful response…I greatly appreciate all the information…. It definitely helped so much! Thanks again for your blog…your style is so inspiring!!

  12. Michelle James says:

    Oh my gosh that looks absolutely beautiful. I say that with our 6 degree temp outside. I am so very glad you got to spend quality time with your family and take some time off…although I missed your posts. Lol!! Welcome back!

  13. Your family trip looks like it was wonderful. How great that you and Ed could enjoy your girls in that beautiful atmosphere. Staying positive sounds like a good idea for all of us! Vikki in VA

  14. Love your Positive saying for 2015!

  15. Judy Graham King says:

    Wow! That trip must have been sooo relaxing! Looked like a beautiful place! Happy New Year!

  16. Melissa Leach says:

    How nice to have created these beautiful memories with Ed and the girls. One of my favorite vacations was a long Mother’s Day Weekend with my two daughters at Mrytle Beach, SC. My thought for the new year is to Choose Joy! Wishing you a happy and positive 2015.

  17. You not only have great projects but wonderful advice. I am looking forward to spending time on your site this year.

  18. Your Christmas Holidays sound wonderful!! Now that you are well rested and ready for new challenges. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for 2015!! Happy New Year Diane.