We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

ERC tips for newbies?

Which Puerto Morelos hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Calgary, Canada
posts: 14
ERC tips for newbies?

Hi there, my wife and I are planning a 10 day holiday at Excellence Riviera Cancun at the end of July and would love to hear from those of you who vacationed at this AI. This is our first time at this particular resort - two years ago we visited Majestic Colonial Punta Cana in the Dominican and this is our only reference point. So far I understand that we can request a mattress topper for our bed which we'd be interested in given that the bed at Majestic was certainly quite uncomfortable. Are there any other tips that the seasoned travellers can offer us? We looked at upgrading to club junior suite but given the price differential vs basic junior suite spa or pool view think we'll stick to the basic room - which brings me to another question: any recommendations for the building floor etc we should try to get? I understand that spa view rooms are more quiet. Wireless Internet access from the room would be a plus. We'll likely buy a trip to the Mayan ruins once we're at the hotel. Is the private return transport from the airport worth it? Appreciate any insight and tips you can offer. We're certainly due for a relaxing vacation so we want to make it a fantastic or excellent experience lol

Thank you in advance,

Lisior

48 replies to this topic
St. Louis, MO
posts: 737
reviews: 24
1. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

First of all, congratulations on your choice. It's a great resort.

You've been to an AI before so you have a good idea what to expect, but I always tell folks that they will maximize their experience if they adjust their schedule to the resort, the resort won't change for you. Basically that means starting and ending the day earlier than you might on a non AI vacation. Usually the folks that complain in the reviews get a late start. Down to the beach at 11:00, no breakfast and the chairs are scarce. The pools close down around 5... Then they have to wait for a table for dinner, miss the show, and then wonder where everyone went as the place gets quiet after 11pm.

Welikr tthe top floor in either building 2 or 3. It's quite serene and tranquil back there and you can get a far away glimpse of the ocean from the balcony.

Remember you can order as much as you want and whatever you want as the portions are small.

Bring a thermal mug as drink do melt quickly! They will wash it out and fill it up for you at the bars.

Order at least a Pot of coffee for room service by specifying the time the night before.

Those are a few, what do you like to do on vacation? beach or pool? lots of stuff or nothing?

Calgary, Canada
posts: 14
2. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

Chief58 thank you for your feedback. We still have our oversized mugs that we took to the Dominican and we'll bring them along this time as well. Appreciate your tip re: room. So tooyfloo top floor of 2 or 3 it is. We should also request a king size bed instead of two doubles lol. We'll likely buy one excursion to the Mayan ruins but other than that I just want to relax at the beach or by the pool, with Corona or some other beverage and book in my hand. It's meant to be rest and relaxation type of vacation. Any restaurants better than others? Curious if they can make me a Caesar or at least a Bloody Mary ;-)

Thanks

Boston...
posts: 78
reviews: 8
3. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

We just returned yesterday, which simply means that I am grumpy today to not be there any longer! We did not stay in the EC area and after speaking with people about it, we wouldn't bother to do so the next time (and yes, there will be a next time). There are always places to sit either on the beach or at many locations around the pool. As Chief58 mentioned, if you don't get to the a location until 11am, the "prime spots" will be gone but that did not change much for us.

I requested the highest floor possible and got one below. I don't remember what building I requested, maybe 7 but we got six, which I liked. Our area was very quiet and less of a walk, if that matters to you, than being on the other side of the SPA.

As Chief58 mentioned, some of the portions are smaller but we ordered multiple apps and whatever we wanted, simply so we could try them. For the majority of our week, we ate breakfast at the Lobster House since we appreciated being waited on and sitting outdoors. The breakfast buffet was outstanding, though. We enjoyed the French restaurant the most and with the exception of our mediocre meal at the Italian restaurant, we were more than pleased. I didn't have a bloody mary (stuck with mimosas) but I saw them and there was ceasar salad on the grill menu but didn't have that either.

I booked our airport transfer through Canada Transfers: http://www.canadatransfers.com/ which was $64 total for 2 and it was private. There are several transfer companies that people rave about on this site and I choose Canada Transfers because we could pay an extra $2 to have 2 coronas chilling for us in the van. Also, I highly recommend the private transfer. You will just want to be at the resort, which is only 20-25 mins away and if you are not private, you may be stalled waiting for someone else to arrive or get through customs or you will be dropped off last. The small difference in price was definitely worth it.

Also, next time, I would pack less (this is for your wife). We spent our days at the beach, so only needed bathing suits and cover-ups and then dresses at night. Not sure why I also packed a mid-day outfit. I also packed more shoes than I needed. We packed a ton of sunscreen but didn't even come close to using it all because we spent so much time under the palapas, which was great. I heard sunscreen was $38 a bottle at the resort and also had a guy next to us at breakfast receive his fedex package from home, with 3 bottles of sunscreen. Guess it was cheaper to ship it than buy it.

We've used our thermal mugs at other places. I'm on the fence on whether I would bother at ERC since the service was pretty on top of things. Only a few times did I get up from the beach to get a drink. You will have a fantastic time!

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 206
reviews: 12
4. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

You are going to have a great vacation! We are headed back for our second visit to ERC next month and can hardly wait.

We think the private transfers from and to the airport are absolutely worth it. We have used Cancun Transfers for 5 years now and have been completely satisfied. It's so nice not to have to wait for a van or bus to fill up, then drop people off all over the place before getting to the resort. We like to get the the resort ASAP and get our vacation on! :)

Have a great trip!

Calgary, Canada
posts: 14
5. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

alissaks and JillandJoe thank you both for your feedback, much appreciated. Sounds like this resort is a step up from the Majestic!

St. Louis, MO
posts: 737
reviews: 24
6. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

No reservations at the restaurants is something we love. In fact they all have their menus outside on a pedestal so you can kind of go around and peruse the menus before deciding where to eat that night. Usually there is a wait of 15-30 minutes, which gives you time for a nice cocktail at the Martini Bar. In fact I hope for a wait time!

The only thing you need a reservation for is the Teppenyaki (hibachi) table in the japanese restaurant. For us this is a lot of fun as you are sitting with other 2 or 3 other couples and get to know them and chat. You sjhould be there when they open at 5:30 to get your spot as there are three seatings, 6:00, 7:30 and 9:00. We first order off menu some sushi apps and a cocktail, which throws off their routine but so what.

If you want real quiet there is a pool behind 6B that NOBODY uses. A couple of times we have had the pool to ourselves. Track down a drinks server, tip them, and then ask that they come around. They'll do it.

there's a self-serve ice cream machine by Cafe Kafe, there's a tip!

Oh, get a smoothie from the Revive bar as they use all fresh fruits, no mixes. It will be non-alcoholic but it is not against the law to add your own from your room! Fill your thermal so high with your poison of choice, go down to revive and get a smoothie, then pour that into your thermal. Magic.

Oh, one more thing. They do make things for you off menu if you ask. Here's a quirk. You can get a filet to be added to your lobster order at the Lobster House, but you can't get a lobster to be added to your steak at the grill. Probably something about shellfish allergies. If you are still hungry ask for more. My wife ate three lobster tails one time. she would not be happy if she knew I told someone that.

Edited: 6:13 pm, April 28, 2014
Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Punta Cana
posts: 7,327
reviews: 7
7. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

I've ordered lobster while in The Grill multiple times, at ERC and just this past December at Excellence Punta Cana. I think someone was telling you a fib.

Mark

Cleveland, Ohio
posts: 206
reviews: 12
8. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

Like Chief said, the smoothie/juice bar near the lazy river has fresh, whole-food smoothies. We had smoothies made there and took them to any other bar where they added whatever alcohol we wanted.

Fairless Hills...
posts: 127
reviews: 38
9. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

I'm glad I came across this feed since I'll be a newbie traveling at the end of August. Great tips! Hope you enjoy your stay!

St. Louis, MO
posts: 737
reviews: 24
10. Re: ERC tips for newbies?

Another tip: They have great activities for people to do, like dance lessons, bicycle trips to Puerto Morelos, guacamole, Texas Hold 'em poker, etc. But time gets away from you. If you want to do something check the board and make sure you do something early in your trip. Otherwise before you know it it is your last day and then you are sad.

Reply to: ERC tips for newbies?
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted