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“Good, but not great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Excellence Riviera Cancun

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Excellence Riviera Cancun
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal-Puerto Juarez KM 324 -342 | Manzana 7, Lote 1, S.M. 11, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #3 of 25 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 68 helpful votes
“Good, but not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2008

First off I want to tell you that my wife and I consider ourselves to be seasoned travelers and have been to this particular part of Mexico three times now. We are down to earth with reasonable expectations.

The Good:
- check in was smooth and painless, no surprises here. Yes you get champagne and cold towels here, but that's pretty standard for any 'five star' in the area.
- staff everywhere was friendly and willing to help. Only once during our entire stay did we order a drink and not get it. No big deal, it was a really busy night during one of their nightly shows.
- speaking of nightly shows, these were among the best I've seen at any resort. Some were a little boring but a few were really quite something, very Vegas-like!
- the grounds of the hotel were always kept spotless.
- plenty of pools to choose from with plenty of space around each of them.
- excellent choice of restaurants, food was average to excellent (for an all inclusive).
- drinks were plentiful, a large number of bars meant you didn't have to go far for a nice cold drink.
- the resort itself is a great size, not overly large and not too small either.
- room service, while only used once, was very prompt.
- mini bar was stocked every other day and included candy bars. We were even asked if we would like more of any particular items, a nice touch.
- once the maid saw that we had used the incense provided, more was promptly left for us.
- the adults only aspect of the resort was fantastic.
- the buffet on the beach was a nice touch and as usual the food was pretty good.
- we happened to be there for Superbowl Sunday and they really dressed the place up and had fun games and activities throughout the day while the game was being shown on the large screen in the theatre.

The Bad:
- after checking in we were told that our luggage would be brought to our room. We were not escorted to our room or given a tour of the resort. We waited in the room for 30 minutes (couldn't leave as we wanted to tip the bell boy). We then called and were told they were on their way up. Another 30 minutes passed before the bags finally arrived. It took us all of five minutes to walk from the lobby to our room, so I have no idea why it took them 60 minutes.
- the room is a good size with a nice little seating area by the window. I found the furniture to be quite dated though, and the bed was on the more uncomfortable size. As others have mentioned, the pillows are unusually small but you can certainly call and get more. Our bedspread had a stain on it and even though we requested it to be changed, it never was.
- from the moment we checked in to the time we checked out, there were ants in our room. They are quite small, but they were everywhere (not confined to bathroom as is the case for some reviewers). We also found them in the bed twice after waking up in the morning. We thought that being on an upper floor would reduce the risk of this problem but it didn’t' help.
- as many others have mentioned, the rooms do have a musty smell, though not sure I'd call it mold, more humid. It never really bothered us but I could see it being a problem for some.
- we specifically requested a room in a quiet block and were given one in section Spa 3 opposite the spa. The room was anything but quiet as there is some sort of access road behind this block and the adjacent blocks where loud trucks drove by very frequently. What I couldn't figure out was why so many trucks were using this road late at night when we were trying to sleep. This complaint was confirmed by many other people we spoke to during our trip.
- we chose to sit at the spa pool (lazy river) as this appeared to be the quietest spot in the resort. Thankfully it was, but at the same time you could easily hear the jack hammers working at the construction site next door all day long. Eventually you just
tuned it out, but it was still a drag. This isn't really a fault of ERC, just an annoyance that will hopefully be over in a few months.
- there were other minor inconveniences like our room not coming with a room service menu. When we asked for one it was brought up promptly, but only contained pages for breakfast and desert, no lunch or dinner items.

I also just wanted to mention that we're not really beach people (prefer the pool scene). If you're looking for pristine beaches with crystal clear water this isn't the place for you. The water is cloudy and there is seaweed all along this part of Mexico. Alternatively the pools were really quite fantastic, though very cold.

All in all we had a good time, but I would not call this resort 'excellent' or give it five stars. Would I go back, probably not as there's no shortage of nice hotels to visit in the area. We've been to enough resorts to know this was nothing out of the ordinary, just an average five star resort. Would I recommend this resort, absolutely, but I would be sure to mention the problems we encountered.

If you're deciding between this or Moon Palace, both my wife and I agreed that we would select Moon Palace over the ERC for a variety of reasons.

Finally, if you do decide to go to ERC, I would save your money and skip the Excellence club as the added amenities are really nothing too special.

  • Liked — Good service, decent price
  • Disliked — Ants in room, freezing pools
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
20 Thank PSIVIC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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English first
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2008

This review has been a long time coming, but I promised some of the staff at Excellence that I wouldn't let them down. My husband and I stayed at Excellence Riviera Maya for our honeymoon from 09/24/07 to 10/5/07 and we had an amazing time. Now, I searched and searched for the "perfect honeymoon spot", and settled on Excellence. I had my hesitations after some of the reviews I read. I specifically had nightmares about the room we booked. We booked Ocean View Junior Suite, Excellence Club, but I had visions of Ocean View being a sliver of ocean in between two buildings and behind the palm trees. When we arrived at Excellence, we went to the check in desk, told them our names, and they immediately saw that we were Excellence Club and they asked us to have a sit. Within a minute, we were brought champagne and our bags were wisked away. From that moment on, we were treated so well. And when we got to the room, guess what? Ocean View means Ocean View!! It was such a breathtaking view, I couldn't have been happier. To make this review somewhat short, here's what we thought:

Food - Great! (Loved the 24 hour room service)
Beaches - OK (there is a lot of seaweed, but really, you're at the beach, who cares??)
Pools - Awesome
Service/Staff - EXCELLENT!!!
Rooms - Great! For those who say that the rooms smell musty, I have a suggestion....don't book a vacation at the beach if you don't want that smell. Its humid at the beach!!! What was musty to some people was beach smell to me. I didn't mind it one bit.
Grounds - Immaculate
What to book: I think the Excellence Club was worth it if its your honeymoon. It really guaranteed that you were treated well. I can't speak from experience if you don't book Excellence though. I could be just as good!
Honeymoon Package: Awesome--The dinner on the beach was perhaps the best night we had. We'll never forget it.

I hope this review helps those who are considering the resort. If I had to do it all over again, I would in a heart beat and wouldn't change a thing. Happy Travels!

  • Liked — Everything!
  • Disliked — The smoke alarm that went off and woke me up......if I HAVE to complain.
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
7 Thank mstover13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coopersburg, PA
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

My husband & I stayed here from Jan 15 - 20. This is our 2nd trip to Riviera Maya, as we stayed at the Barcelo properties last year (2006). We booked thru www.cheapcaribbean.com as we did last year & were very pleased with the booking process. Direct flight from Philadelphia to Cancun & I feel the price was a good deal for 5 days All-Inclusive. However, we paid far less to stay at the Barcelo Maya Caribe property & we liked it much better. In comparison, Excellence was more expensive, was not as "low key" & relaxed as Barcelo & the food was WAYYYYYYYY better at Barcelo. I feel that Excellence was a very nice place, but I like the relaxed atmosphere and buffet-style dining at Barcelo much more. It also seemed that the Excellence resort was somewhat empty & the beach was not as nice. Our room faced a construction site, which didn't bother me too much b/c we didn't spend a lot of time in the room. We did enjoy the room service at Excellence (beef fajitas & tacos were great), but I don't think we would have ordered much room service if we were happy with the food at the restaurants. Portions were SMALL & the wine was terrible. Go figure...we like the 3-star, less expensive joint rather than the fancy 5-star place with menus, waiters, sit-down meals & dress codes. We're chill like that.....

  • Liked — Sun, Booze, Food, Repeat
  • Disliked — Not worth the price
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
7 Thank Reviewer057
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
edmonton, alberta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 12, 2008

My wife and I stayed at the ERC for one week (Feb 3- 10) for our honeymoon. The arrival upon the resort was impressive, the bell boys were kind and spoke very good english. They offer you champagne as you walk in the front doors and check in. There were no problems with check in and again the people were kind and spoke very good english. The bell boy showed us around the resort on the way to our room and explained where everything was.

The room itself is where we ran into some issues. The room was nice and big. King size bed, jacuzzi tub, large stand up shower. The jacuzzi tub need to be caulked but not a big deal. Our room did have bugs in it. Not ants like other people have said but small fruit flys. They were in large numbers all along the sinks and on the walls around the closets and tv. We called the front desk and asked someone to come to the room and clean them up. After waiting 30 minutes we called again. A man showed up about 15 mins after the second called and sprayed the bathroom sink and all the walls with a pesticide. He then left, with chemicals running down the walls and along the sinks. We called the front desk and asked for a maid to come, none did. Being that it was our honeymoon we didn't want this to ruin our week. So we cleaned up a bit and hoped for a better day the next day. Unfortunately when we retuned to our room the next day after it had been cleaned some of the dead bugs were still there. The room also overlooked the ongoing construction next door. Needless to say we were not impressed with the room.

The food at the resort is very good. We did not have a bad meal the whole time we were there. The buffet breakfast is very good and offers lots of variety. All the lunches and dinners we had were very good as well. If food is important to your vacation then you won't be disappointed. The wait staff was kind and the service was satisfactory at the restaurants. It wasn't the best service I have had but for an all inclusive resort I would say it was above average. The drinks were very good and they had a wide selection. The bar staff was very good and would make anything you asked for.

The beach was not really that impressive. It was small and the area for swimming was not that great. The pool's were nice and we didn't have a problem finding chairs or towels. The farther you went from the main pool/bar the slower the service got, but again that wasn't really an issue for us.

Overall I would say we were disappointed in the resort. For the money we paid I had expected more. We were married at another resort the week before that was further down the coast and we liked that resort much better, and it was cheaper. We will definitely never go back to the ERC.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — Rooms/view/beach
  • Stayed February 2008
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
13 Thank Sun_Seeker56
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

I know this hotel has made a lot of best of lists -- that's why my wife and I booked it

The problem begins with the layout of the hotel -- if you don't pay for the "excellence" wing -- you are at the far ends of the hotel -- at the furthermost end of the hotel (to the far right of the property) There is a lovely CHAIN LINK BARB WIRE FENCE!!! - that seperates the property from the road and a construction site across the street. They are defintely still doing construction -- it has been posted here before and when we called the front desk they said the permits had been shut down on that adjoining property -- LIES!

At promptly 6:00 AM this morning, a giant wrecking ball attached to a crane started knocking down the final pieces of what looked like an old hotel -- in addition -- at 8:00am a mexican food truck with a LOUD SPEAKER- similar to the ones you see on US job sites, started yelling about coffee and fruit available (in spainish) for the work crew -

We immediately went to the front desk and this was the response:
"We cannot control what the property does next to us, but if you would like to pay an additional $250 dollars a night we can upgrade you to the excellence club oceanview -- but we don't have any more rooms available"

After going back and forth for well over 45 mins -- they agreed to drop it to $200 dollars a night extra !! Still completely unacceptable --

I will give them credit though, my wife speaks Spainish fluently and told them it was not going to happen and we wanted our reservation immediately cancelled -- whether it was becuase they were overbooked or not -- they immediately said fine - but get out by noon or we would be charged. (by the way as I am writing this my wife reminded me that construction is going on BOTH sides of the property)

The front desk people are very nice and polite -- but they have no authority to do anything -- the staff was very friendly, but the food was not good the meals we had, and the breakfast was unedible - DONT ORDER THE EGGS! --

Like others have said -- huge ant problems in the room, and the musty smell -- we were on the third floor, and we brought candles in anticipation of the problem and still could not mask the smell. The jacuzzi tub in the room is nice -- however it leaks everywhere and needs a good re-caulking job.

I would choose several other hotels before this one, in addition the sheets were sandpaper and the robes were scratchy and low quality --

I take Trip advisor very seriously -- I consult it before ever trip I have ever been on in the last five years -- THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THEY GOT IT WRONG!!!

Don't stay here -- for the price much better deals out there including Fiesta Americana and Ritz Carlton -- both of which we looked at this morning -- and as far as price we are currently at the Ritz Carlton (Feb. 11 2008) for a rate of $599 a night which includes breakfast and a $100 dollar credit per night -- The excellence was $599 a night -

If you really need to eat 24/7 and drink 24/7 maybe Excellence would be better for you if you got a excellence room and you don't mind the ants, construction, and a little mold. The hotel itself was rebuilt and refurbished, not new construction as they lead you to believe.

By the way, if you happen to be a "conservative" person -- a couple channels may offend you on the TV -- I am not but still was shocked to see PORN on the regular channels.

The people are absolutely friendly and nice and helpful -- but they can only do so much and it will not change the quality of the hotel itself. By the way, the hotel is located in the middle of nowhere surrounded by a fairly rundown section between cancun and playa de carmen and not close to playa mujeres - no secluded beach here!

  • Liked — Friendly staff
  • Disliked — The location and room issues
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
16 Thank simba8318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

I booked this place for my 40th Birthday treat to myself and wife.

All the reports on trip adviser were so good, I had a feeling that when I got there it would all be terrible and we would have problems all the time.

How wrong was I?

This is the best place I have stayed at, all the staff are friendly, specially the entertainment staff, Ulysses, Fernanda, Leticia and the rest who made catered for fun even when the sun did not shine. (Could do with a new set of bows and arrows for the archery, as the ones there are a bit worse for wear)

The food is wonderful and so much of it, so you need to either up your fitness or watch you meals or you will find that the clothes you took wont fit you by the end of the holiday.

Only downside is that no one told us about the mosquitoes, my wife and I got bitten quite a bit, especially in the theatre bar area, but as everything else was so good we soon forgot about them.

I have recommended to anyone and everyone who will listen to me go on about my holiday and will one day go back to this truly Excellent resort!

Stayed January 2008
11 Thank Nealgolf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2008

My fiance surprised me with this trip for Christmas and it was hands down, the best gift ever. Anyone who complains and says this resort is anything less than amazing, needs to travel more to see how many dumpy resorts there are in the Caribbean that are trying to pass themselves off as 5 stars. This resort is not for someone who wants a wild holiday - the resort is mostly honeymooners and couples celebrating anniversaries.

Let me explain in more detail.....

1. The service is first class. Staff are very friendly and attentive. We used all of our money on tips - the staff work hard and deserve it!

2. Grounds are spotless and the pools are gorgeous. The beach is combed and cleaned daily.

3. Food was awesome. I think I gained about 10 pounds on this trip - lobster, lasagna, sushi, fajitas, nachos, steak, the list goes on and on! We only had to wait one night for a table, but we just chilled by the bar, no biggie! Our favourite restaurant was Spice and the breakfast buffet. If you go to Spice at 6pm you can make a reservation to be at one of the grilling tables...this is the only reservation you need to make and you are pretty much gauranteed a seat b/c there are 3 sittings per night. The room service menu is crazy - anything you want, you can get! Hot dogs, seafood and pasta, cheesecake, etc.... LOL

4. The rooms are very spacious - the shower is bigger than the elevator! If you are contemplating paying extra for the Excellence Club, I wouldn't bother because their private pools are exactly the same as the others and it's a very quiet resort so extra privacy really isn't an issue. And from what we learned from other guests, the rooms are exactly the same except for specialty toiletries.

5. If you like to drink - you'll be in paradise! Bartenders are excellent - mango mojitos, cosmos, mimosas, the list goes on and on.

6. Room service was on time. I hate it when I'm on holidays and I come back to the room at 4pm and the room is still untouched.

7. Recommend going into Playa del Carmen - it's about a 30min cab ride and around $30 for the cab.

8. THE SPA!!!!!! OMG wonderful! We both had massages and my fiance had a facial. Faciliites are just as clean and professional as in Canada.

The only "issues" we had were:

1. Pillows are teeny tiny! But we requested more and within 10min we had 6 more at our door! LOL

2. Shower knob kept snapping off, was fixed but not properly. Didn't affect our ability to shower but it was annoying and the drain needed to be declogged.

People in other reviews mentioned little ants in their bathroom area. We saw a few on our first day but that was it. It's so humid that I think this is just something you have to put up with.

  • Liked — Food, Service, and Atmosphere
  • Disliked — Tiny pillows and shower handle kept breaking off
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
37 Thank Canada_is_Home123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excellence Riviera Cancun

Address: Carretera Federal 307 Chetumal-Puerto Juarez KM 324 -342 | Manzana 7, Lote 1, S.M. 11, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#3 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#3 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Excellence Riviera Cancun 4.5*
Number of rooms: 440
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
This all-suite, all-adult Resort is set along Mexico's renowned Mayan Riviera, between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, on an immaculate white sand beach. Six meandering pools wind through their grounds. You have unlimited access to eight international restaurants and ten bars, plus such amenities as an expansive swim-in spa, a full-scale fitness and cardio-conditioning center and an unparalleled range of activities on land and sea. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excellence Riviera Maya
Excellence Riviera Cancun Hotel
Excellence Riviera Cancun Puerto Morelos
Excellence Cancun
Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun
Cancun Excellence Riviera
Excellence Resort Cancun
Excellence Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos

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