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“Too much money for average” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun

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Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Super Manzana 11 Manzana 9 Lote 10, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #11 of 23 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Laurel, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Too much money for average”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

We stayed for three nights on the back end of a vacation to meet up with family. Here's the breakdown:

Pros:
A. It's beautiful. I mean gorgeous. The resort, the rooms, the beach property.
B. It's all inclusive, how can you not love that?
C. Good customer service overall.

Cons:
A. The food is lame. Not disgusting but not that great either. The restaurants are limited, meaning they list several but fail to mention that one is a buffet (ok, that's a given in the all-inclusive experience), one is for their special preferred club members, and one is closed every night (they rotate which one is closed). Oh, and because that doesn't leave much the rest saw nightly wait times around 90 minutes. Yes I said 90 minutes. We're not talking Fogo de Chao people. We gave up and went buffet on all but one occasion. Room service consisted of burgers and fries and similar cuisine, I was pretty unimpressed. They have steaks on the menu but only for our preferred friends: )
B. The preferred club. When I pay that much for a resort stay I like to feel like a special guest. They make it clear that to receive that treatment you have to pay *surprise* extra for their preferred club. Forget free Wi-Fi as a typical American hotel amenity. Either pay the extra $40/night to be preferred or $11/hour for use of their computer in the business center.

Personally I found the resort to be stupidly large and disliked doing that much walking to eat, etc. It has 13 buildings for lodging which rivals my first apartment. PS I'm in my 20s and in good shape, it just took a little relaxation out of it. May not matter to you. In the same regard I had someone who works at the salon get quite snippy with me and avoided it based on that customer service, but I hate reviewers who base a review on an isolated incident... it may have been just that.

Overall, I wouldn't stay there again. The little hotel Posada El Moro we stayed in the days before was so much better on the whole. We didn't leave NOW unhappy, but it's hard to be unhappy in paradise: )

Room Tip: Spring for a suite if you have the bucks! We didn't but a family member did and it was awesome...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,145)
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English first
Orlando, Florida
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2013

My wife, daughter (age 6), and I vacationed at Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun from March 22 thru 27, 2013. Just some background, this was our first trip to a family (non-adult only) resort, so I don't have a similar resort to compare it to. However, we have vacationed at several adult-only all-inclusives and consider ourselves to be somewhat knoweledgable on all-inclusive resorts. Other resorts that we have vacationed include: Sandals Whitehouse, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Excellence Playa Mujeres, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Iberostar Grand Bavaro, and Secrets Wild Orchid.

Flight and Arrival

Our flight was a quick 90 minutes from Orlando, FL to Cancun on JetBlue. The transfer to the resort, provided by Olympus Tours, took approximately 20 minutes and was uneventful. We arrived at the resort and were greeted with a cool towel & check-in beverage. We then proceeded to the front desk for check-in. I’d contacted the resort via email beforehand and requested building 14 which is closer to the main pool, lobby, and restaurants. They were unable to grant our request, but it was really no big deal. We were placed in building 7, room 726 with a decent view of the interior of the resort. We even had a sliver of an ocean view looking to the right off our balcony.

Room

We booked a non-preferred tropical view room with double beds. The room was clean and fairly spacious; not extraordinary, but very functional. Beds were comfortable and the maid service was good. Air conditioning worked great as well. However, the one negative was that we did not receive turn-down service on any of the five nights. This was not a deal-breaker of course, but just an oversight that I thought deserved mentioning.

Our minibar included a fridge stocked with 2 each of Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Orange Fanta, Modelo beer, and 4 bottles of water. I found it pretty funny that when I asked for 2 additional cans of beer to replace the 2 Diet Cokes, I was told by the person that restocks the mini bar that, “it was impossible” to get additional beer. LOL Once again, not a big deal but kind of an odd response.

Pool & Beach

Towel Game, Towel Game, Towel Game. The “towel game” is in full effect at this resort, and it was quite noticeable upon our early morning arrival, as we were unable to find a lounge chair by the main pool or beach at 9:00 am. According to the disclaimer on the daily Sundial activities sheet the resort does not allow reserving of lounges by the pool or on the beach, but they do little to curb or prohibit the practice. We watched as hours and hours passed as seats went unclaimed by guests that had placed an article of clothing or a towel on the lounge chair to reserve a seat. Guests actually take towels to their rooms the night before so they can wake up early the following morning, as early as 5:00 am before the towel hut opens, to claim their lounge chairs and go back to bed. Since so many prime locations are already reserved for the preferred guests, the “towel game” makes the seating for non-preferred guests quite limited during peak season. The resort needs to do something to curtail this behavior.

As for the main pool, it is gorgeous and by far the largest that I have personally experienced at any resort. Although the temp of the water was cool and took some getting used to, the pool provided for a refreshing dip. Additionally, the pool and pool area were kept clean and free of debris. Shout out to Antonio and Cesar for the great service and patience at the swim-up bar.

Restaurants & Room Service

We visited Fresco’s (Mexican), Paramour (French), Lemongrass (Asian), Bluewater Grill for lunch, and the Market Café (buffet) for breakfast and lunch. The food was slightly above average with my favorite being Paramour and the least favorite being Lemongrass. The beef filet and shrimp were outstanding at Paramour, and the flank steak and tequila lime shrimp were excellent at Frescos. We did the hibachi tables at Lemongrass and it just didn’t hit the mark with us. The beef, chicken, and fish were rather bland and left a lot to be desired. The best part of the Lemongrass meal was the fried ice cream. The Market Café was very good for breakfast and lunch. The made-to-order omelet and quesadilla stations were right on. The non-preferred room service menu was quite subpar. There were limited selections, and quite frankly the food was just not good.

Kids Club

My daughter thoroughly enjoyed the Explorers Club and made a number of friends. The staff seemed to be very friendly and capable. She usually attended in the afternoons after spending the morning with us at the main pool. Her favorite activity was the bungee trampoline. I think she did it 3 of the 5 days of our trip.

Overall

Now Sapphire is a good choice for families looking for a moderately priced all-inclusive beach vacation. While the hotel does many things well, it falls short on others (mainly the reserving of all the preferred club lounges and the allowance of the “towel game”). However, I would probably return to Now Sapphire in the future as my daughter had a wonderful time (just not in peak season).

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

Had a wonderful stay in Preferred club room....service of Ivan at both the beach and adult pool was exemplary. Nothing was too much trouble. Jose at Cibu restaraunt was a delight,...witty, warm and professional. F and B service was very good, with service staff always pleasant and engaging. Would recommend the hotel update their seating in the common lounge, very tired and in need of repair. The preferred club lounge was a welcome addition, though the attendant could lighten up.... The hotel " entertainment" in the evenings was amateurish and unneeded.
Overall, a very lovely experience ,thanks to the friendly staff and superb beach. I would recommend this establishment to those looking for an all inclusive at a resonable cost,and will return in the future

Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Barnhartvale
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We stayed here March 13-27 2103. Thank goodness the hotel had a great location on a warm sandy beach. The food was terrific and served b excellent staff. Especially Lizbeth and Ishmael in the Market Cafe and Irene in the lobby bar.

What we didn't like is that the hotel recognizes two types of guests. Regular guests (which we were) and preferred guests. The whole time we felt we were second class guests. Preferred guests get the better suite, they can reserve beach chairs, and they get special restaurants and lounges.

We wil likely ever go back.

Room Tip: Be sure to tip so you get excellent service. Also ask for brand name liquor when ordering drinks or...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Roslyn Heights, New York, United States
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We just finished a 6 night stay at the Now Sapphire.First the positive....The people were friendly and helpful. Now the critque....The Now Sapphire is worn and a tad weathered. We stayed in two different rooms (we upgraded to the Preffered member). Both rooms had issues, from malfunctioning toilets to VOD not working properly. The food was at best tasteless.,The free connectivity advertized on the NOW website did not work and the front desk told us that application (free) was not available at this resort. Then why advertze it? When we upgraded we were told the application was available for Preffered members. So we were entitled to it. Unfortunatley when we called the front desk to have it turned on we were told it would cost us $48 for the week. Of course after taliking to the Front Desk manager the $48 was waived. But why should we have had to even ask for this? An additional item of irratation was being invited to a presentation to join the Preffered members club. We came to relax and enjoy but we were approached the second after we checked in. Not a way to start a happy relaxing vacation. As an experienced travaler I would rate 2.5 stars out of 5. The benefit here goes to the wonderful employees who tried hard to appease and were both professional and polite.

Room Tip: Ask for an upgrade to the ocean front view. The breeze is terrific and the view is much better than...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Winnipeg, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Being our first time to Mexico we did not know what to expect. We are a family of 5, so we booked two garden view rooms and stayed in Bld 7. Bld 7 is at the far end of the resort next to the gym. We did not mind the walk to the restaurants and pool, but other might want to book closer if they have mobility issues.

We chose this hotel due to proximity to airport 15 mins as well as having booked last minute., so it was great to be the first off the bus when we left the airport.

The food was pretty good over all and acceptable for a 4 star resort. Our three kids did not complain about any of the food or drink offered and loved the fact that there was room service.

We went to all the restaurants and we were generally pleased with the excellent level of service and food quality. The adults only restaurant Paramour was a bit of a disappointment as we waited about 10 min for a drink and the place was empty. The waiter did pick it up after the fact and I am sure that had we gone another night it would have been different as he was probably distracted by something

One of the only other complaints I would have is the minute you check in they whisk you off for a small meeting with the goal of getting you to commit to the 1.5 hour time share speech. We were dressed for Canadian winter so it was very uncomfortable sitting there listening to the person speaking when you are sweating bullets in 85 degree temperature. My advice to management would be to let the families get settled in or at least change before doing the orientation.

Overall we were impressed with the level of service from the hard working staff and would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

Upon arrival to the Now-Sapphire we were greeted with smiles and Blue Curacao cocktails on a silver platter! There is shuttle service around the resort available all hours of the day, spa, gym, pool, bars everywhere, and the dinner shows are phenomenal! We stayed for 7 days and I did not want to leave. The only downfall is that the sea water on this side of mexico has brown seaweed so, I stayed poolside much of the time. Go to playa del carmen for the beach or take a trip in to cancun for the crystal blue sea water. The spa at the Now is excellent, try the hydrotherapy circuit. One more reason I gave the Now 4 out of 5 stars, is the strict policies on dining attire for certain restaurants not fair for men at all, they require long slacks to the ankles for dinner and my friend only packed capris and cargo shorts, this is Mexico right?? It's a humid 80-90 degrees at night??Not fair at all. I would definitely go back to the Now-Sapphire though, the staff here are friendly, entertaining, and very helpful.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun

Address: Super Manzana 11 Manzana 9 Lote 10, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#9 Family Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#9 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#10 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#11 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun 4*
Number of rooms: 496
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun. A tropical landscape of evergreen trees, sugar white sand, and sparkling azure sea, Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun offers all the exclusive benefits of Unlimited-Luxury(R). This collection of amenities, led by unlimited gourmet food and premium beverages in five reservation-free, gourmet restaurants and seven stylish bars and lounges, pool and beach wait service, and 24-hour room and concierge service, comes without the wristband many resorts require. Guests will find 496 airy suites boasting such comforts as daily refreshed mini bar, plush robes and slippers, Jacuzzi for two, and private furnished balcony or terrace. Stepping outside means endless activities including Hobie cats, kayaking, windsurfing and nightly entertainment beginning with theme parties and movies on the beach. Plus, there's oversized swimming pools, a fitness center and - for an extra fee - deep sea fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling and golf. A 6,800 yard, par 72 dream course: that is Gran Coral Riviera Maya. From tee time, there's the Spa, offering indigenous treatments ranging from a full body massage to a soothing hydrotherapy. For even more magical moments, the resort has wedding, honeymoon and anniversary packages, where couples enjoy champagne breakfast in bed, special turndown, private beachfront dinner with rose petal path and candlelight, and more. Add in 15,000 square feet of meeting/conference space and the privileges of Preferred Club, including terrace soaking tubs and a 24-hour private concierge, and guests have the best of everything. It's all of this, and more. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun Hotel Puerto Morelos
Paradisus Puerto Morelos
Paradisus Hotel Puerto Morelos
Paradisus Riviera Maya
Paradisus Riviera Cancun Hotel
Paradisus Riviera Cancun Resort
Paradisus Cancun
Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos

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