Excellence Playa Mujeres - Review
Finally getting around to writing my review for our stay at EPM February 15-22. Overall I will emphatically state that our visit was beyond our expectations and we will be most assuredly returning soon. I would like to preface that we had stayed at EPC in April 2013 (see my review on TA) and had a nice stay but because of one bad experience we were reluctant to go back to that resort. Instead we opted to give Excellence another chance and switched our destination to Playa Mujeres. I have to say that hands down, there was no comparison. From the second we stepped out of our shuttle the service was five star and never did we feel we did not get our money's worth. So here is my lengthy opinion on our stay...
Airport and Shuttle Service - We used Dream Days Tours and booked the Cadilac Escalade. We were met at the airport promptly despite our flight arriving a half hour early. We never check our luggage and getting through customs was a breeze. I must note, however that you need to be prepared that they may go through your luggage as they did ours. Despite the "search" however, from the moment we landed to our airport exit we spent no more than half an hour at the terminal. That experience alone trumped what it was like in Punta Cana! In PC we were delayed for more than two hours. (Herded into the terminal like cattle and inched along from one line to the next until we were finally free to enter the country. )
Our shuttle from Dream Days was driven by Harry who was extremely personable and had a lot of interesting tidbits about the area as we drove north to EPM. One of the perks of DD is that they include Coronas in the trip with the option of buying additional ones for $1 each. Nice start to our vacation!
Upon arriving at EPM we were escorted to the Excellence Club so we could check in. Since we arrived early (12:30) our room was not ready so we hung on the beach until we could get into our room at 3:00. We had reserved a rooftop suite in building 8 (room 8454). Our room had breathtaking views of the ocean and the main pool. It was also one of the higher rooms so we had absolute privacy throughout our stay.
Concierge - first and foremost, I need to give a shout out to Dala in the EC. Never have I encountered an individual who is solely driven to make your stay as comfortable as possible. No request was not taken seriously and her attention to detail was unprecedented. She is a class act and we look forward to seeing her again when we return. Also in the EC I would be remiss to not publicly praise Carolina. While sitting on the beach she made a point of introducing herself to us, greeting us by name as if we had known each other for years. She was anxious to help with our dinner plans and had great recommendations for us. I could not get over how courteous all the staff were and how they went the extra mile to get to know us, calling us by name and always attentive to our needs. Wow!! This was something that I did not witness at EPC and it was truly refreshing.
I don't want to get into the ins and outs of the resort because that has been done to death on this site. I will however comment about some of the more subtle (or not so subtle) things that we noticed, that may not have been discussed in detail before.
To go EC or not?? I am from the camp that paying the extra for EC privileges is money well spent. Any issues are dealt with immediately and you have a level of comfort that is beyond what I can describe in words. In the room we were given topshelf alcohol including Don Julio reposado tequila and Absolute vodka. The view from our room was breathtaking and was noise free in the hallway. Whether we were on the beach or at the EC pool we were treated as royalty. Concierge was so efficient in making up our sunbeds and changing our towels if they needed changing while we were swimming or going for a walk. Waiter service began promptly at 9:00 am and was never lacking. When we stayed at EPC we also did the EC upgrade but never saw this level of service at that site. At EPC the cabanas were always full of sand and beds were not made up for you unless you sepecifically asked. Not that this was a big deal at the time, but now that We have had the royal treatment at EPM we have gotten to appreciate it more. In EPM, the EC lounge was also a nice addition to our stay. Typically we would stop in after a day at the beach or pool to have a drink and some refreshments. As soon as we entered we were greeted by name and asked how our day has been. Very nice...
The Beach - so much has been written about the seaweed and it's negative impact on the shoreline. I just didn't see it. Yes, there is some seaweed, but it's a beach! We come from the northeast so seaweed is something we are used to, but the seaweed here was minimal at best and the resort was incredible diligent in cleaning it up each morning. Of course you cannot compare it to Playa Norte on Isla Mujeres, but in my opinion the seaweed was a non-issue.
Our favorite part of our day was mornings on the beach. Typically I got up just before sunrise to view the spectacular scenery. Sunrise was about 6:15 each morning and was well worth getting up for. I was able to secure a sunbed for us and spend the quietest part of the day relaxing to a good book on my Kindle. I would like to note that during our stay we never saw any real abuse of palapa "ownership". The sunbeds were always reserved early, but people typically occupied them from the start. Even at the height of the day there were always great spots under palapas still available. Granted, our stay was mainly on the EC side of the beach, but what I did view of the non-EC side appeared to be much of the same. This applied to the pools as well. I guess my only two cents to that is, if you want a primo beach/ pool spot, get up early and secure one. Don't complain if you sleep until midday and find that your desired location is not available. Anyway as I said, just my two cents...
Trip to Isla Mujeres...
Early in the week we decided to take an excursion to Isla Mujeres. We got up early and had the front desk call a cab for us. Round trip cab fare was ($140 pesos or about $25 USD) the cab ride was a bit longer than I expected, roughly close to half an hour. The other issue is that the cab was very uncomfortable for my husband who is 6'6". He had to sit sideways in the backseat in order to fit his legs in. We took the Ultramar ferry from Puerto Juárez. The ferry was clean and efficient and priced RT at $140 pesos or about $12 USD per person. We arrived on the island at about 10:00 am and easily found a nice spot on Playa Norte where we rented two chairs and an umbrella for about $300 pesos or $25 USD. The vendor that was renting the chairs also gave us drinks at a 2 for one price which was a nice perk. We left the beach about 2:00 and went to have a late lunch and do some shopping. When we were all done we walked back to the Ultramar ferry dock and waited in a very long line to get back on board. At this point we were absolutely exhausted and questioned whether it might have been an easier day if we just booked the excursion directly from the hotel. We were just not looking forward to another cramped cab ride back to the resort. I do have to note, however, that Playa Norte is absolutely stunning and definitely worthy of at least one day to visit.
Comparison to Beloved - I am not going to pretend that I have any real insight to the Beloved Resort next door but in my uneducated opinion I felt that at least aesthetically EPC was superior. I walked around the TBH on our last morning (around 7:00 am) and was genuinely shocked at how unkempt it was. There were still many empty drink glasses strewn about the resort and a number of abandoned towels left from the previous night. After walking throughout the resort I only viewed two hotel workers getting the resort ready for the day. This was a major contrast to EPC where you could not go ten feet without bumping into someone who was working hard on preparing the resort for the day. Employees were in the pool cleaning it, raking the beach, rolling towels, sweeping off sunbeds, watering gardens... The list goes on...
Overall our experience was marvelous and we will most certainly be returning. Our week was over much too soon and we cannot wait until we are able to come back "home".
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Luxury adults-only resort nestled among seven swimming pools on a powdery white sand beach, in a community that boasts a spectacular Greg Norman signature golf course. This jewel of Cancun sets a new standard of luxury for all-inclusives with finely tuned amenities such as one-of-a-kind accommodations including two-story rooftop terrace suites with a private Hydro-Spa pool, meticulous service, gourmet cuisine, an exquisite spa and the signature Excellence Club. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, BookIt.com, TripOnline SA, Excellence Group LLC, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Amex, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Jetsetter so you can book your Excellence Playa Mujeres reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Excellence Playa Mujeres Hotel Playa Mujeres
- Excellence Hotel Playa Mujeres
- Playa Mujeres Excellence Hotel
- Excellence Playa Mujeres Cancun