El Cid Review (2)
This was our second visit to El Cid this year, having been for two weeks in February and now, for a week in December. It is a measure of how much we enjoyed our first visit that, despite staying at many all inclusives, this is the first time we have ever returned to one. I reviewed our first trip on Trip Advisor earlier this year and so will mainly compare this time to last.
A number of people commented re: the state of the road. There was nothing to be concerned about in our trip. The roads are good up to the turnoff by Puerto Morelos and the 3km or so from there did involve slowing from time to time to allow one way traffic around a few rough or water filled areas, but nothing drastic. I doubt whether it added more than 5 minutes to our trip time.
On arrival, around 7pm, we were efficiently checked in. No upgrade was offered and we didn't ask for one as we wanted to experience “a regular room”. Unlike last time, we were not directed to the timeshare people and they did not phone our room during our stay.
We were allocated a room in building 18, overlooking the lagoon. The room was quite spacious and contained two double beds and a murphy bed which we didn't need, being only the two of us. The room had a more contemporary feel to it than our previous ocean front room, having features such as double raised sinks. We also experienced the frosted glass doors on the toilet and shower which I had read about, but hadn't experienced before. The toilet area was smaller and the shower area much smaller than building 17, though adequate for their function. The glass doors permitted a hazy image of the occupant and the approximate 1-2” gap between the door side and the jam took a little getting used to. Since we are an older married couple, this was not a large issue, but I would imagine some family groups may be troubled by the amount of intimacy it affords. The room was clean, had excellent maid service, not so hit and miss with towels as previously, and had occasional turn down service. The fridge was well stocked and restocked with soft drinks, beer and water.
Some people have mentioned a “smell” in buildings 18 and 19. It was true that, occasionally, there was a swampy smell when nearing the buildings. However, it was not strong and was intermittent. There was no smell in the rooms. We actually enjoyed our balcony view over the lagoon. It was private and we enjoyed watching the wildlife. Quite often a great blue heron came and hunted right in front of the room and, one morning, we saw an American bittern stalking through the waterside vegetation.
On the discussion of wildlife, if you want to see the areas crocodile (Fred), he appears to have taken up a sunning station on some rocks on the side of the lagoon in front on building 19. (Down from first large white pole from the bridge). He was there consistently in the mornings 8:30- 9:30ish. He seems to be about 5-6 feet in length.
There is fairly extensive building on going at the north end of the resort. However, we would have been unaware of it, if we hadn't known it was there and gone to look. I am unsure as to whether that would be the case for occupants of buildings 11 or 12 which are much closer. The majority of the resort is completely unaffected.
The resort seemed far less full than when we were there in February and, though I commented before regarding having no issues finding loungers or palapas, this time we were literally spoilt for choice at any time of day and we moved around frequently as the sun moved or we just wanted a change.
The food was again good with plenty of variety in the main buffet. The restaurants were easy to book. We just went to the concierge in the lobby and asked for what we wanted the next day and were quickly accommodated. The Marina was much as described last time, but we found we enjoyed the Alcazar much more then previous and went two times. I can confirm that the menu of the Alcazar, and probably the other restaurants, changes daily, being on a 7-8 day cycle. Be aware that the menu shown in front of the Alcazar is not always that of the day of display. The staff, and perhaps the concierge, will be able to show you that of the night you are interested in.
The bars have a number of international brands of liquor. However, if you don't ask for it by name you will probably get some inferior brand. E.g. There is a big difference between that taste of a rum punch made with Bacardi and just a rum punch, which often gets some brand that is not on display. The bar staff will willing give you what you ask for. The music is the lobby bar was good. The saxophonist was excellent and the band and vocalist seemed to have moderated the volume slightly from our last visit.
We did have two issues on our vacation this time. My previous review stated how impressed I was when I reported a maintenance issue to the front desk. This time however, the response to our request was horrendous. Our issue was one common to many resorts and hotels, the key cards to our room stopped working. I will provide the management of the hotel with the details in a private email, but briefly, resolving it involved 4 separate trips up to the front desk and back. If you know El Cid and the steps etc involved, you will know that is no mean undertaking, especially when approaching 70 years of age. We finally had to become a little irate with the front desk staff, which is not my style, to get the matter resolved, after spending two hours walking, explaining and waiting. The rest of the staff were the usual helpful, happy people which we had experienced before and appeared better trained in their roles than many other resorts.
The other issue involved Best Day Travel who provided our transportation to and from the airport and whom I complimented last time. Travel from the airport to the hotel was fine, but when it came time for pick up, it did not arrive. Despite myself and other passengers going to the rep. on site once it was 15 minutes late, and then in increasing frequency thereafter, we were fobbed off with “no problem” and also no checking. After it was over an hour late, we commandeered a BT van who was dropping off, but not meant to pick us up. The rep suddenly appeared cell phone in hand saying, “I don't know what happened to your pick up”. The van quickly took us to the airport and we were met and hustled to the check in which had been kept open for us, though whether this was Best Days or WestJets doing we neither knew or cared. However, it all turned out well, but the stress was unnecessary.
Despite these two problems, we once again had a great relaxing holiday at El Cid. I thoroughly recommend it for families with young children and couples wanting a quiet spell of sun and sand without the party atmosphere. Will we go back? We did once. I would again. My wife however, has still to change her initial reaction to the room key fiasco of “never again!”
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retreat to a paradise of turquoise Caribbean waters, soothing breezes, Mayan cultural sites and beautiful, aromatic flora and fauna. Situated near the charming bohemian fishing village of Puerto Morelos, overlooking the world's second largest coral reef park, this family oriented, all-inclusive beach resort offers a quiet alternative to the larger hotels in Riviera Maya. Enjoy amazing snorkeling, diving, sailing and sport fishing directly from our shores. With a selection of diverse restaurants, fabulous pools, adults-only Jacuzzi, Mayan-oriented spa, complete fitness center, full-service marina and more -- there is everything to do or nothing at all. • Family & Eco friendly Ocean Front Resort. • Exclusive large suites. • Great All-inclusive Resort. • Four tantalizing restaurants featuring a la carte and delicious buffets • Macondo Ocean Deck Bar with infinity pool • 22,000-square-foot pool • Beautiful landscaping, expansive sandy beach, hammocks. • Convention Center. • Ocean Front El Cocay Spa. • Full-service Marina 120-slip marina • WIFI Internet Access • Kids Club Center • Fitness center with the latest cardio equipment, free weights and a spinning class area • Pronatours Tour Desk • Half hour from Cancun/Riviera Maya International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Cancun/Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Puerto Morelos
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa And Beach Resort
- Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
- Hotel Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
- El Cid Riviera Maya
- Hotel Marina El Cid Beach
- El Cid Puerto Morelos
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos