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“Wonderful Place, Great Vacation” 5 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 #4 of 23 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
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“Wonderful Place, Great Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2005

What a great place. We will definately be going back. This was our best trip ever. We've been to Sandals St. lucia, Bahamas & Jamaica. This place blows Sandals away. We thought we had to accept less because of going all inclusive. Secrets goes above and beyond to make your trip a pleasure. The food was wonderful. I didn't have anything there that I didn't like. Since going here, my husband will never go back to Sandals again. Try the shrimp cocktail by the pool and the coco loco drinks. People complained about the beach, but we're pool people, so it didn''t bother us. I really didn't think the seaweed was bad.
We can't wait to go back, it is more beautiful than the pictures shown.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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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Calgary
1 review
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2005

We just returned from a great trip to Secrets Excellence. We were the first drop off from the airport which was nice as the airport was a zoo and the flight long. We were greeted with the fresh scented cool cloth and escorted to the beautfiul lobby and check-in counter. The first impression of the place is stunning. As we were being checked in we were offered a cookie and then a glass of champagne. We were then taken to our room which was a regular spa view room on the first floor (above ground). Along the way our guide pointed out different features of the resort. At first the resort seems huge but you easily figure out your way around and it is very well layed out. I would say they thought of everything, there are no ugly wristbands to wear, no standing in line at 7am to make a dinner reservations, no limit to the restaurants etc. - you just show up and eat. We were told there was a 1 hour wait at the French restaurant which was fine with us, we just had a few drinks at the lobby bar every other night we just walked in. We did tip some of the staff and they were always greatful but at the same time were equally willing to take care of you without the tip.

The pools were pleasantly warm and refreshing, we were able to get our favorite chairs everyday no matter what time we showed up there. There also was never a shortage of pool floats.

There were a few mosquitos out the night of the Mexican buffet but that really was it for bugs.

There is alot of sea grass in the ocean but it really isn't a problem. We also encountered millions of laval jelly fish when we were out on the hobie one day but they weren't there the day before so they must move around. They really weren't an issue for us but they may be a problem if they get caught inbetween your skin and your bathing suit. I also think they around mid April - May.

We walked into Puerto Morelas and booked a snorkelilng trip with DivePuertoMorelas and they came and picked us up right on time on our beach and took us on a guided snorkel tour.

Every single staff member was absolulely pleasant and so willing to help/assist you. As you walked around the resort all the staff would say Hola, hello, good morning etc. all with a smile. You constantly saw staff busily keeping the place sparkling clean.

The room was well apointed and very clean.

The place is truly awesome, I loved the no-kid policy as I left my kids at home and didn't want to go somewhere and have to listen to other peoples screaming kids. I also appreciated the free highspeed internet they have at the business centre so that I was able to keep in contact with home. There is no shortage of bars and the drinks were all made with quality ingredients. The mini bar was filled daily with 2 kinds of beer, 4 types of pop, 2bottles of orange juice and multiple bottles of water.

My only small complaint is that the morning buffet sometimes was a little cold. I surmised that they made the food ahead of time and then put it in the serving containers over the heaters but they weren't strong enough to really heat the food up well so it was just luke warm. But then other items were really hot - so it was hit and miss - but hey you are on holidays! They also had condensed versions of the Miami Herald available everyday so you could keep up with the real world while enjoying your morning coffee.

Stayed April 2005
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minnesota
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
134 helpful votes 134 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2005

BACKGROUND: We are a mid forties couple from Minnesota. We went to Barcelo Riviera Maya with another couple, and our kids, for a week in February and wanted to go back for a vacation for us to celebrate our anniversary. (Wink) After much research we decided on SERC.

ARRIVAL: We arranged for Private transportation from the airport to SERC as our flight was scheduled to arrive at 7:40 PM, and we didn’t want to waste any time getting to the resort. We got off the plane, got our baggage, went though customs, and came out side to the transport company. This took a total of 55 minutes, then a 15 minute ride to SERC. 70 minutes touch down to front lobby, simply amazing! Upon arrival at SERC we were given a mini tour of the facilities on the way to the Excellence Club, where the concierge took over check in. We were given a welcome glass of Champaign and offered a form where you could specify your preferences for morning room service breakfast menu, and maid service time preference. In minutes we were brought to our room and given a fantastic description of all the amenities and services available to us for our stay. My wife noticed she did not have enough hangers in the room and they had more delivered to us in minutes.

ROOM: We were in building 7A, room 7053, which is a swim out in the Excellence Club building, on a small tier of the main pool side. This is not the heated pool as we had requested in our email to SERC. The room was beautiful with a Jacuzzi inside and another out on the patio. We had a beautiful view of the ocean over the small tier of the pool. There were rose pedals sprinkled on the bed, two towel swans kissing, fresh fruit basket, fresh bouquet of flowers, and a bottle of Champaign on ice, welcome letter form the manager with a 15% discount for spa services,. The marble floors, huge marble shower, duel vanities, sitting area with a table and seating for two, king size canopy bed, all added to the overwhelming feeling that we had just arrived in paradise. My wife loved some of the extra’s like the makeup mirror, huge assortment of lotions, sun screen (spf 8), soaps, shampoo, incense and many various toiletries, that were provided. Each room has every standard item you would expect in a hotel of this caliber including, hair dryers, iron, ironing board, 27” TV, DVD/CD player, alarm clock, electronic safe, high speed internet connection, mini bar, robes, slippers, ect. Water pressure and quality was great. We were told that the hotel has a state of the art water purification system, we even brushed our teeth with tap water which we would not normally do in Mexico. The patio was larger than most in our building with a love seat, table, chair, hammock, Jacuzzi, and two private lounge chairs on the grass just off the patio. The patio offers shade while the area where the loungers are offered full sun until 2:30 or so. The marble is slippery when wet, so be careful when coming from the pool. We liked this building better than 7B and 8 as we could swim under the walkway bridge and be at the swim up bar and the main pool activities. Since the temps were about 90, the Excellence club pool was to warm to really cool off in. The pool temp in this main pool was just right. Since all three pool bars close at 6:00 PM, it was very private in the evening and rarely did we even see anyone between our room and the ocean after 6:30PM. The swim out rooms are great as your already where you want to be at the pool and have your own bathroom in your room too. Even though this building was not my first choice, we both agreed it was perfect for us and were happy we did not get our request for a room on the excellence club pool side.

POOLS: There are so many pools to choose from at SERC. Lounge chairs are available at any time of the day, even though the resort was nearly at capacity. Towels are put out on the loungers every morning with a abundance of extra’s folded in towel bins for your use. No towel cards and you can use as many as you like, what a refreshing change from most resorts.

The excellence club pool, (in front of buildings (7b and 8), is heated and I would imagine it is the place to be in the winter. It is very quiet at that pool and the water temp was really to warm to cool us off in April. This pool offers great ocean views from your lounger.

The spa pools are very private, as they are more like a river that winds around the spa view rooms. This too is very quiet and relaxing with the serine music from the spa in the background.
We preferred the main pool area as it is the only one with a swim up bar and day time activities. The water temp was perfect given the 90 degree days in April. It did feel a bit chilly on the one cloudy, and very windy day, we had in our weeks stay. I enjoyed our patio, occasionally even watching the sun rise over the ocean in the morning, and I saw the pool guy out every day checking chemicals and netting any debris that may have accumulated overnight. Pools seemed very clean and also offered a wonderful ambiance after dark as they are lighted all night.

SPA: We toured the spa and it looked fantastic. Unfortunately, we never had the chance to use it. Several people we talked to did and said the hydrotherapy circuit and massages were particularly good.

GROUNDS AND BUILDING: The buildings at this resort are simply awe inspiring. So much marble and glass! The architects designed it with a Spanish motif, while Capri was designed with a Italian flare. The masonry work in many of the 40 foot ceilings, including the lobby bar area, really made you wonder how it was accomplished. There is art work built into many of the building designs and the grounds are very clean and well designed. There are thousands of plants and tree’s planted just last fall and with time these will become even more lush, adding to the tropical feeling with time. There are statues, ponds, and art work everywhere. The woods used in many of the restaurants and desires disco, is a very rich looking deep cherry. Appointments though out the property are excellent. The buildings, both inside and out, are one area that I could not imagine be improved upon. In our travels, we have never seen better.
The layout of the buildings is also well designed with everything very close, with the exception of the spa area by building 3, which is at the back of the property. I would guess that building and the adjoining ones would still be no more than a five minute walk to the lobby area, main pool and restaurants. Buildings 6, 7, and 8 are very centrally located and it was a minute or two to walk anywhere 6A or 6C would be my first choice in a ocean view room category. . I think building 9 would be also be considered an ocean view category of rooms and would personally be my least favorite choice. It is centrally located, but it adjoins the property next door. There are electric lines, a chain link fence with barb wire top, and neighboring building visible from this building and the view to the south was not very aesthetically pleasing. Excellence club buildings are 7A, 7B, and 8. Building 8 gets the least sun in front of the patio’s, till about 12:00PM. All of these buildings provide a great ocean view.

EXCELLENCE CLUB: This offers private check in and check out, expanded room service menu, oceanfront rooms, and access to the excellence club area. The club area offers high speed internet and we never had to wait for a terminal. Even though we brought our laptop, I would occasionally go down there in the morning to check email and have a cappuccino. It was the only place I could find one early morning. They also have pastries, appetizers and high end liquors at different times of the day. I watched a little of the Masters in the club lounge Sunday, where they have beautiful leather furniture and a very nice large screen plasma TV. Over all for us though, the excellence club is just a bonus you get when you pay for the ocean front rooms. The thing that you get of real value in the excellence club is location, location, location. In that regard, it was worth the price to us, but that’s just a personal decision. It’s funny that most who wrote reviews and did not choose to pay extra for excellence club were glad they didn’t, while most who did were glad they did. I think that’s a testament to the fact you will enjoy which ever accommodations you choose.

BEECH: In starting I will point out that we were spoiled by the beech at the Barcelo earlier in February, which is rated one of the best beeches on the entire Mayan Riviera coast. I will also prerequisite by making it clear that neither myself, nor my wife, enjoy swimming in the ocean from the beech. We like to snorkel, scuba dive, sail, but don’t particularly care for walking out in the water on the ocean floor. With that said, we thought the actual sand area of the beech was great. Very wide and plenty of room for all any activity. The water is exactly as described by others as some sea grass is on the water line of the beech. It is blue rather than turquoise in most areas, due to the sea grass on the ocean floor. They do a great job of cleaning it up several times per day, and it does not affect the sandy area of the beach, just the water line. We enjoy waking down the beach and did this at SERC too. Walking north to the end of the Paridisius property was nice, but I would not recommend going any further north. Beyond that it is undeveloped and the sea grass is piled up with a fair amount of garbage mixed in. Not very attractive at all and we did a 180 a few blocks past Paridisius. Walking south to Ceiba del Mar is much better and we enjoyed it. There will still be some areas with sea grass on the water line, but we did not see any garbage going south. It is not like Cancun where the resort properties are lined up next to each other and every inch of beech is being cleaned and maintained daily. Like the pool area, you will have no trouble getting lounge chairs and even the Palapa’s are available until late morning. Hobby Cats, Kayaks and wind surfers are available to use free. There was a volleyball game going most afternoons.

ENTERTAINMENT: The theater looks fantastic but we never made it to a single show. Stayed at the pool swim up bar till closing at 6:00PM most evenings. After a little relax time on the patio, showers, a few more before dinner drinks, dinner, and then after dinner drinks, (there seems to be a theme here), the shows were over or ending. Some people we talked to liked them for the most part but my experience with entertainment in this area would say not to expect Vegas style entertainment. Maybe other reviews can help shed some light on the entertainment scene.

FOOD:
Breakfasts: The buffet, where DeMario’s and Portofino are, combined into one restaurant. They have the standard cereals, juices and coffee. I was disappointed that you could not get a latté, or cappuccino there. They had a very good assortment of pastries and breads that included bagels and english muffins. They have a specialty toaster that allows for toasting anything to your exact liking. There were also two cooks that would make eggs and omelets to order. In addition several egg casserole dishes, sausage, bacon, ham, and a huge selection of fruits was offered. You can start your day outside with your breakfast on the Damario side patio with a ocean view!
We also ate breakfast once at Oceana. It was very good with the main difference being it is sit down service vs. buffet. They do not open for breakfast until 10:00AM.
We ordered room service most mornings, fruit plate, bagels and cream cheese, and a pot of coffee, even though there are coffee makers in the room. (We were really were lazy) Everything was delivered in approximately 20 minutes or at the time we had asked for it on the order sheets. They were happy to set everything up in your sitting area, or on your patio, depending on your preference. You can also have room service deliver to your secrets box, which they access from your hallway.

Lunch:
DeMario’s was one of our favorites for their custom made pizza’s. This is the casual Italian restaurant that is also open for dinner. They have a great assortment of pizza’s that are pre-configured, but if you don’t see one that appeals to you, just ask as they will leave items off or add some to make the exact combination you want. All of the pizza’s are made fresh to order. A few of us thought the seasoned fried calamari was the best we have ever had.
Sea Side Grill is the casual restaurant above the swim up bar and our favorites there were the steak fajitas and the salsa/guacamole and chips. Great with corona’s in the tall glasses with lime!
Oceana is the casual restaurant open for late breakfast and lunch and dinner. We had both dinner and lunch there and all the meals were excellent. The blackened Mahi mahi was spicy and my favorite and the Tilapia was my wife’s.
Beech Grill sets up a couple times per week in front of the two building 7’s. Great spot to get lunch and don’t miss the seasoned dry rub pork ribs. They are really great and my wife was disappointed they didn’t set this up every day.
Don’t miss the Shrimp cocktails at Oceana, Sea Side Grill, and the sugar reef bar. They are each a little different and in a light and sweet cocktail sauce, with little melon balls in them. Really great and a can’t miss.

DINNER:
Himitsu is the Japanese restaurant and was our least favorite. We waited about a half hour for a table, and then at least a half hour for a chef in one of the separate rooms. The Shrimp was very good but several that had the beef were disappointed. There really was not much of a show in preparing the food at your table either. Maybe I was expecting to much form the Japanese restaurants we have been to at home. It was also a heavy adult beverage day for us, and our newly acquired friends Gene and Robin, so our judgment my have been clouded a bit. We heard in a tour of Capri that this restaurant will be getting the chef from Himitsu Capri in the near future. This may simply be part of the growing pains. Others really liked this restaurant and went back more than once.

Bordeaux is the French restaurant with a extremely intimate and elegant décor. We ate here with Gene and Robin twice and were our favorite. The Chateaubriand, ordered medium rare, was absolutely fantastic. It was so good I had to have it again on the second trip back. The onion soap was very good and the only thing I could pronounce on the salad menu was the “green salad”, so I had that…. Excellent. The house Chardonnay was really pretty good too. I do recall the Gene saying the lamb was just ok.

El Patio is the Mexican restaurant and very good to excellent as well. We sat outdoors as it had cooled off by the time we got to dinner hour. We started with salsa and chips, and the salsa was so good they had to bring more in minutes. The dinner recommendation was for a shrimp appetizer, soup of the day, and lobster entrée. I would recommend all three and truly enjoyed the meal there.
Portifino is the Italian restaurant. To show you how accommodating they are at SERC, several of us could not decide between the pasta entrées and the sea food or steak entrées. Our waiter said no problemo, and ordered smaller portion pasta’s to accompany the other entrée of choice. We had a excellent meal followed by the Flaming Mayan Coffee, which is fun to watch them prepare.

We missed the Mexican theme night buffet on purpose. That was the night we went back to Bordeaux. Very difficult to choose a Mexican buffet when you have a restaurant like that waiting for you. The staff spent a lot of time setting this up though, and it looked quite festive.
Great nacho’s, salsa and chips at the Bar Racuda and Sugar Reef. Many people were having fish or burgers for lunch there but we never had more than a snack at these pool bars.

BARS AND BEVERAGES: The bar service was very good and only once do I recall receiving a different drink than ordered. They had a wide selection of Vodka’s which is my favorite, even Finlandia Cranberry that can be difficult to find and home and by the way is excellent with tonic. The only category we found lacking was the Canadian Whisky. I would consider VO, CC, or Crown Royal to be considered premium brands, but they only had Canadian Mist. Our new friend Gene, who is a Crown Royal drinker, took it like a trooper and drank the CM without complaint. The frozen drinks were very good with my favorite being the Miami Vice.
Given the fact that there were over 800 guests at this resort, we were truly surprised at how it never felt crowded. It was almost shocking given the number of people here that the desires Disco never had more than 20 people in it after 11:00PM, and most nights it was more like a dozen or so. Same with the bars around the resort after 11:00 PM , they just emptied out. The people that did want a later night at the bars were a lot of fun, so this did not keep us from continuing the party. I guess all that day time drinking has it’s effect.
Important note, they will make all drinks with the rail brand, but are more than happy to use your call brand if you ask. We quickly adapted by asking for everything with the call brand we wanted, IE: Absolute Bloody Mary, Cuervo margarita, ect. Also ask the bartender for his suggestion for a shooter, frozen drink, ect. Some of the best cocktails we had were found by just asking the bartender for a new drink suggestion.

IMPROVMENTS: Almost all of these were very minor items to us, and I feel a littleguilty even bringing them up, as overall the service was so good.

1. Service was a little slow between courses at Bordeaux one night.

2. No towels were provided on the lounge chairs in front of building 7A all week. (There were ample supplies by the pool and we just got them there.)

3. Missed cleaning out the dirty dishes in the secrets box on two nights. (Again, didn't matter to us as they are out of site anyway.)

4. Drink service at the main pool could be spotty at times. (We just walked the few steps to the pool bar and ordered there a couple days.)

5. They need a Cappuccino/latte bar that opens early in the morning.

SUMMARY: We had the best vacation to date. Our travels have included several Westin Resorts, Marriott Resorts, Acapulco Princess, Fairmount Properties, Embassy Resort Hawaii, Barcelo Mayan Riviera, and Biltmore Phoenix, just for a point of reference, and this property compares favorably to them all. The fact that we met our new friends Robino and Gene added substantially to the fun, and to be fair may have created somewhat of a bias for this property, due to all the great times we had. The wide age range from late 20’s to 50’s just added to the diversity of people, and no one ever felt out of place. We like trying different properties for our vacations, but this is one we will consider a return visit to. Also would like to try Secrets Capri, as it too looked to be a first class resort, when we took the tour of that property during our stay. Last word of advice, go and enjoy a wonderful vacation at Secrets Excellence, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
157 helpful votes 157 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2005

Well here goes… We have been home 4 days and how fast the memories start to slip away. Life goes on at home and you have to catch up on a week left behind. We still try to reflect on a fun filled week at SERC and ask ourselves several times “if we had to choose to go back to one resort, this instance, which would it be?” Our answer would be Capri. With that said, let me try to review one of the best vacations of our lives.

We arrived at the Cancun airport (our third visit) and for the first time, there was absolutely no line. I mean we walked directly up to immigrations and were through in minutes, waited for our luggage for about 10 minutes, met our van outside (Apple Tours) and were at SERC in 12 minutes at 10.55 a.m. We packed our swimsuits knowing check-in was at 3:00 pm. You can change at the spa or gym (we chose the spa), and we were in vacation mode instantly. At 1:00 pm we went to check on our room and they told us we would be in Building 3 (this building is furthest from everything and you view the flowing drapes at the spa, this is too relaxing for us – I promptly spoke up and said “that will not work for us” and “didn’t they know we are returning guests to Secrets Resorts” and she (the check-in gal) did not even blink and put us in Building 6. Note: do not think you will get much more than this for an upgrade, however, we were closer to things and our view was beautiful (BTW I did send in a Building/room request that was completely ignored). While I have your attention about buildings, of course, it is what you are looking for, but my favorite building would be Building 7, Excellence Club. That is just this author’s preference.

Three weeks before our trip we booked a spa/pool room mainly because that was all that was available at our last minute decision to go on this vacation. I feverously hit all the forums trying to get information, when I get a response from MnDan. He tells me he and his wife Robin (and, of course, my name is Robin, too (Robino is my Mexican name LOL) will be at the resort the same time we will be there. I was skeptical at first, but after several e-mails and he changing his e-mail address a couple of times, we decided to give him a call upon arrival. He had given me his last name and when I called the desk to ask to be transferred to his room, I was surprised they actually gave me his room number. In the states that is what I call a security leak. After calling and having a brief conversation with him, we decided the 4 of us would meet for a drink at the Seaside Grill. I told Gene, my husband, that this was a formality that “we” internet people do, but we would kindly ditch them as soon as we finished our Margaritas, never to speak again. Well, as you will tell from our photos, we became instant friends and are already planning our next year’s reunion. If anyone out there has read MnDan’s postings, you probably have been laughing like we were.

We met Dan and his wife Robin and decided to go to the Over 30’s Club in Cancun for a internet reunion where we had a blast. Right behind the Over 30’s Club is the “G” Spot, and all night we saw 18-23 yr olds going into, so Gene approached the door man and told him we just wanted to see inside and did not want to pay the $35 pp cover and the bouncer escorted us in to a front row seat and said we probably wouldn’t get wet here. Did he say “wet”??, yep the rain came from the ceiling and up from the floor, it was so much fun to watch, but being up almost 24 hours, it was time to go back to SERC, which we almost didn’t make back because our cab driver was falling asleep. Anyway, we are safe and enough said.

The next day we really got to check out the resort and it is beautiful. We met up with our new found friends and spent the day at the “EXCELLENCE CLUB” rooms. Now you have to say, Excellence Club with a little pompous accent like we did all week. I know that Dan and Robin agreed with us that paying the extra for the Excellence Club is well worth it for location, location, location. We all loved the location. So those of you out there with spa/pool views, the key is to hook up with the Excellence Club people.

We are late night eaters. We would make the best of the day, swimming, drinking, eating, drinking, water aerobics, drinking and before we knew it, it was time to get ready for dinner. The longest we waited for dinner was a half hour, but it was never a problem. We love fine dining and that is what we experienced every night. There was never a disappointing meal or dining experience.

Food: Breakfast: Buffet or off the menu (good eggs Benedict) at Portofinos or we would order a lite breakfast from room service. Breakfast at Capri might rate a little higher.

Lunch: Our favorite lunch time spot was Seaside Grill above the swim-up bar. They had a great shrimp cocktail with these little melon balls in the cocktail sauce. We had this dish several times during the week. Also a favorite spot was Da Mario’s for their calamari and brick oven pizzas. I heard people say they got tired of the lunch menus, but some people do not move out of their comfort zone and explore the other menus offered on the . The food was great. I think SERC beats Capri for lunch.

Dinner: We ate at all of the restaurants starting with El Patio (Mexican), which I think would be the one restaurant that gets missed because it is in a courtyard all by itself. Everyone had the lobster, except me, chicken fajaitas. The Himitsu is better a Capri and I missed the Capri Italian restaurant at Capri. But most of the food was equally as good.

Drinks: Both resorts had great drinks, no complaints or problems here, you can have anything you desire, now I did hear that Capri has Crown Royal (Gene’s drink) and Bombay Sapphire Gin (my dinner drink).

I think my only complaint about SERC is that it is more corporate than Capri. I find the check-in/check-out people a little more rigid (corporate), for example: when we checked in, they told us if we needed a late check-out that we should request it the day of check-out. Check out is noon, and we were not being picked up until 4:20 pm. We requested late check out at 8:00 am and they told us they could give us only a 1:00 pm check-out and late check-out is only available upon availability (boy is that a scripted response if I ever heard one). I knew from the day I checked in that was going to be their response. So me in my authoritarian way, said “NO, we will check out at 4:00 pm” and I stormed off (that was my only misbehaving moment). Well, Gene stayed there and arranged a hospitality suite to shower and change in. They will give you a half hour reservation if so requested, but please know that they did not offer that to other people on our same flight; they were told they could change/shower in the gym or spa (it must have been my misbehaving, or maybe they knew just who I was LOL).

One fact I neglected to share was that we took Robin and Dan to visit Capri, and I must say I was a little disappointed in my memories of the lobby. I remembered it a little more grand, but after SERC it looked quite different. I will say SERC has a beautiful lobby, but nobody uses it, not like at Capri it was a more social area at Capri. We would always meet for drinks and a little entertainment before dinner. What SERC needs is for a bar at the lobby area, the lobby bar is down the grand stairs. There were many nights that we did not see anyone at the lobby bar. Our tour guide at Capri was Reuben, he was gracious and showed us all around the resort including the Himutsu (whose chef is being transferred to SERC next week) and our favorite, Capri. The beach at Capri has improved in a year and is more inviting than SERC. Reuben told us that the ratio of staff to guest is 1 staff to every 4 guests.

I think you should experience both resorts. If possible start at Capri, experience the intimacy. I loved the class of the doorbells on your rooms, and the privacy lights and the sound system piped into your bathroom. At SERC, I loved the Secrets Box (room service will leave you request or pick up your empty glasses or dishes) and the 2-person Jacuzzi. I am not sure how Robin and Dan feel about Capri after seeing the grandeur of SERC, but we hopefully will be planning a return visit to a Secrets in the near future.

Bottom line is both resorts are wonderful, you make your own vacation – don’t sweat the small stuff. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Next review – Iberostar Paraiso Lindo – July 2-9, 2005

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Coral, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2005

I had the opportunity to stay one night at excellence because of a mix up at secrets Capri, they put me in one of there ocean view jr. suites and let me just tell you it was awesome, I highly recommend upgrading. I have stayed at many resorts and for the short time I was there it was just perfect. I tried to switch resorts and stay the rest of my time at excellence.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 20, 2005

We've been all over, to many different resorts but none have come close to the Secrets Excellence.

This is a very new resort, which may help to explain some of the problems mentioned by other reviewers. All the kinks were fully worked out when we stayed.

The food was fantastic. Some of the best food we've ever had. And not just at a resort. Ever. There are many al la carte restaurants (seven, I think). The best was Bordeaux. We were there for the special Valentine's dinner of shrimp, red caviar and steak. When we returned to our room, rose petals were arranged on the bed in a heart shape. We scooped them up (after taking a picture) and had a bath with them in the Jacuzzi. Very romantic.

All the food at all the restaurants was great, but the lobster we had at El Patio was especially good. The champagne breakfast each day was also wonderful. My only minor issue with the restaurants, is that portions tended to be quite small. We took to ordering one of everything on the menu so we could taste everything.

The resort itself was beautiful. Very lush and green. The numerous pools were sparkling clean, as was the beach. An important point here is that there were always plenty of loungers for everyone and the resort never felt crowded.

I can't say enough good things about the staff either. Everyone was very friendly and accommodating. They responded to our every desire with a huge smile. Food and drink service at the beach and pools was fast and frequent. Although we tipped now and then, we never felt obligated.

We stayed in a basic suite, but it was quite nice. We were going to go for the swimout room, but were glad we didn't once we got there. We had imagined "swimout" to mean "steps down into the pool right outside your door". This, sadly, was not the case. It was more like, "pool access nearby across a small grassy area right outside your door". Nonetheless, the room was nice, with a king size bed, Jacuzzi tub and a large shower. Although we didn't watch much TV, they had about 40 channels coming in.

We did a spa day one of the days, which was a lot of fun. The marine circuit was quite an experience. It's an 18-step circuit around the spa with various showers, saunas and pools. Highly recommended.

On our last day, we stopped by the front desk to find out how much it would cost to stay longer. Unfortunately, the resort was already at 100% capacity, which we found amazing considering how few people there seemed to be around.

What a wonderful experience. We can't wait to go back next year.

Email me if you have any questions!

  • Stayed February 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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new jersey
1 review
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2005

Here is the truth, and believe you me I was nervous with all the negative reviews.. we staued april 13-17th

Food: no complaints, japanese was very good. french very good, portofino pretty good as well. Da Maria was OK... Breakfast buffett to me, had ample selections..Shrimp cocktail is a must for lunch at seaside grill fantastic. mango daquari's awesome as well..You must get the mayan coffee at portofinos really cool show. desserts were a little lame...

just a note..last night there I got comletely nauseaus, bad stomach u name it..do not know what it was from.

Pools are real nice, never saw any trash. Think thats a bunch of B.S to tell you the truth..Pools everywhere..

Room is real nice jacuzzi is awesome. The one outside did not work, which was disappointing. Maid service was just fine..left $2 bucks everyday.

service: very friendly and always seemed to go out of there way for you..never felt like i needed to tip..even though i did here and there..

Phone: do not use one in your room unless you are prepared to spend 6-8$ a minute..we did one night and a 5 minute call cost me $30 ouchhhh

excellence club: im not sure if my room would have been different if i did not stay in excellence club, like location and stuff. to be honest i did not feel like a vip stayin in excellence club, others may have but i did not. walk up pool room is real nice you have your own private chairs so you do not have to look for any, not that there was a shortage of chairs..so im not sure the benefits of excellence club...

beach..im not a beach body definitely saw sea grass, not sure what water was like , because i do not go in ocean...most of the beach i thought was just fine...

didnt take any trips...one day did go into cancun...shopping was lame and make sure you have $25 for cabbie, for he will not have change...

spa-services were fantastic...but they are very unorganized so make sure you double confirm your appointments..they messed mine up twice..

my wife and I did nothing..we just relaxed..all in all we did just that, place to me was very nice, food very good..we never had any security problems..people prob..forgot to close there safes properly....if your looking to eat well, drink well, and do nothing i would reccommend this place..all the negative reviews to me are very overstated...anyway hope that helps...its brutally honest...

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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
Amenities:
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
#4 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#4 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#4 Top resorts 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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