So many pros and cons, it's hard to know where to start. From the beginning, I guess....
We were there as Wyndham members. The first grouping of rooms they assigned to us were in the old original 4-story building. On the upside, those rooms are HUGE, and all have big balconies that look out to the ocean over one of the pools. On the downside, it smells old and very dank and mildewy.
We were moved to rooms in the tower. Elevators are fast and efficient. There is also a helipad on the roof. The tower rooms are much newer, and had no moldy smell. We were on the north side, quite high up, which gave us a great view of the water, beach, and coastline. We were very content with this placement, BUT, if we had had any small children, I would have been terrified! The concrete balcony railings are very low, and there is easily enough space underneath them as well for a toddler or small child to fall through! The locks for the balcony doors are high enough up, though, that it would be a challenge for a child, which helps. One of our rooms had wall-to-wall windows and no balcony, but also no screens, or anything else for that matter, to help keep kids in. Windows at the end of the hallway were the same, and the tower is over 20 stories tall.
Our rooms were all large and bright, and the air conditioning worked well in all of them. We had a total of 3 bathrooms. One of these was very poorly lit, one was just adequate, and one nice and bright. There was a rather funky assortment of tubs in these - one of which was the longest tub I have ever seen! My 6'4" husband could lie down in it and not touch either end!! The bathrooms and the units in general were all fairly clean, - but not exactly spotlessly so. It is best to not look too closely... All our rooms were the same in this regard, and could truly stand to be kept unused for one day for a truly thorough deep cleaning.
Our king bed was very hard. Beyond firm, to the point that it made us both ache quite a bit, and seriously detracted from the quality of our stay at El Cid El Moro. I understand cost-containment, but we have stayed at a lot of places in our timeshare travels, and I can say that I know from experience that resorts do not have to have beds this hard to achieve sufficent longevity to be cost-efficient. The queen beds were very firm, but not quite as hard as the king. On the upside, the linens were spotless, and fit the beds well.
The water at the resort is purified, so it is potable, and the taste was pleasant enough. The refrigerators in all our units worked very well. (One was old enough to have rust spots worn through the exterior paint on the sides, but was clean inside and nice and cold.) We didn't use any of the other appliances, but the stoves were small 2-burner affairs, and the microwaves were also small. There were enough dishes and flatware for 4 in each of our units. Several of the lamps were broken, and appeared to have been that way for a long time.
We only ate at the actual resort itself a few times, finding the food to be acceptable rather than excellent. The breakfast buffet was plentiful, but other than the made-to-order omelet and taco bars, not particularly tasty. We tend to not do all-inclusive plans, preferring to venture out. We were very glad that we did! There are many nearby restaurants well worth trying, within easy walking distance. The resort is located within the "Golden Zone", an area considered generally quite safe. There is also very frequent police presence on the street itself.
The nearby Senor Frog's restaurant was, unfortunately, also merely adequate. We actually ate there 3 different times - hope springs eternal, I guess, and it was handy - but were never overly impressed with any of the food we tried, although the atmosphere is fun and the waiters attentive.
An easy and relaxing walk north on the beach there are 3 restaurants right on the waterfront, all under one large roof. Choose the stairs up from the beach to the one you want to try.
On the far north end is Loco Locos. All our food was very good, but the pina coladas, well, sadly, not so much.
The middle one is called Tony's on the Beach. We actually ate there 3 times the food was so good, and the pina coladas were outstanding! The staff was delightful as well!
Closest of the 3 restaurants to the resort is Chili's Pepper (not a typo). We found the food there pleasant, and the pina coladas quite good as well.
You would likely be very pleased with any of them.
On the street itself, just north of the resort is a restaurant called La Casa Country. We loved it! They make their salsa and guacomole fresh at your table when you order it. Servings of everything were plentiful, and everyone enjoyed everything they tried there. There was also a seafood restaurant just north of the resort on the street that looked very good, but we didn't have a chance to try it.
While I think of it, if you like to shop for basics, the MEGA store is large and clean, with everything you might likely want, and the prices there are reasonable. It is a cheap ride by pulmonia (-the little white open air taxis) that are very plentiful on the street in front of the resort.
Back to the resort.... the beach is simply wonderful! Soft white sand that invites you to walk, mild waves, and gentle, very gradual deepening of the water. You can wade out a long way, and the water is quite warm. The beach vendors ply their wares, but will leave you alone for a gentle "No, gracias". We don't find them bothersome - we tend to think that they work long hard hours for very little money, and like to try to support them a bit.
The beach palapas at the resort are a different, and markedly non-customer-oriented issue altogether. There are only 20 of them. Unfortunately, one can not reserve them at all, they simply go to whoever gets there early enough to stake a claim with towels and a book. We have stayed at other resorts where one had to pay to reserve the palapas, but got that money back in food/drinks. That type of system works extremely well. As it was, at El Cid we saw some people actually hogging more than one of the palapas for the whole day while only actually using 2-3 chairs, so that they could be shaded at any time of day - with total disregard for anyone else. The other chairs sat empty, except for their towels. This is something that the resort could manage much better. And it would be a win/win for El Cid - along with keeping more guests happy if the resort would simply use a reservation system. It felt like a situation that they just didn't want to bother to deal with.
There are usually, but not always, enough beach chairs. If one can get these, one can also usually rent beach umbrellas. These don't appear to belong to the resort, but one vendor does seem to have the corner on them. The price on these is variable, and can be haggled. Don't just pay the first asking price - which is usually ludicrously high.
The pools were large and clean, and a comfortable temperature. Service around the pool or out on the beach was frequent, pleasant, and prompt. For our tastes, pool food was good, but not great.
Would we go back?? Maybe. The location on the beach and the daily temperatures were wonderful, the local food and people lovely, and the resort staff very pleasant overall. If the resort addressed some of the issues that bothered us the most, ie, hard beds, average-quality food at the buffet, reserving of palapas, improved cleanliness of the rooms/bathrooms, fixing broken fixtures, etc., then this answer would be a resounding "yes"!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.