I just returned home from our family vacation in Mexico and we stayed at the El Cid Marina & Spa in Puerto Morelos!
First off I have to say we had an amazing time despite some things that were not so great!! I will start with the PROS!
-I want to start off by commending the staff at El Cid for a BEAUTIFUL resort. I travel to Mexico on a regular basis for work and this is one of the most beautiful resorts I have stayed at by far! The landscaping and gardens are just breath-taking and the mote with crocodiles and sea turtles was amazing for the kids to see as well!
-The resort has a great atmosphere for children! The children's area in the swimming pool was absolutely wonderful and my boys (aged 11, 9 & 8) all enjoyed diving off the cliff and using the waterfalls to play from.
-The pool in general was great. It wasn't over saturated with chlorine which my kids noticed right away as it wasn't burning their eyes (as so many pools do!). It was deep enough to have fun, but not too deep that adults like my mom who can't swim were not able to walk with ease to enjoy the water and go to the walk up mini bar.
-The staff was amazing! Very friendly and willing to help with anything you needed.
-The activities provided at pool side were really diverse and fun! They had both activities for adults and children and my mom and I even participated in a Salsa making activity where we got to see them make fresh salsa in front of us!
-Although we did not utilize the free kids club it was nice to know that it was there and see the kids in the club appearing to have such a great time.
-Check in time was a breeze! We had a lovely lady sit down with us to show us a map of the resort and she DID try to talk us into giving up our time the following morning to show us around a different time share portion of the resort but when we declined was more than polite and kind about it.
-The SPA!! My mom and I got a spa treatment of deep tissue massage with hydrotherapy and it was one of the best spa treatments I have ever had!! We were both in heaven and the service was great!
Now for the CONS!
-The food! Although I see a lot of positive comments on the food, it's hard to believe as I found the food to be okay at best. It was my mom's first time at a resort and my boys and none of them enjoyed the food either. The Mexican cuisine was really terrible and it's something we were all looking forward to. The Americanized food was also not great and a lot of dishes were heavily saturated with salt. My oldest son loves seafood and was expecting a better variety of seafood every day. They had themed nights and the best of those nights was probably the Asian and Fisherman, which is bizarre because I really don't care for either of those types of foods. If anything the fried chicken was good, and some of the chicken dishes were really good. The sweet breads, the breakfast with pancakes and omelettes were really good. A big gripe for my mom and most likely most people who are watching their health would be that they only had margarine with their wide selection of sweet breads and breads, NO butter.
-The room service food. The room service food was quite bad. We ordered spaghetti and it came to us ice cold, along with extra sauce that was also ice cold. My son said he quite enjoyed the burger but mainly for the chips that came on the side. The things that were great from the room service were the cheesecake, the house salad and the hot chocolate.
-The Restaurant food! I know! I am talking a lot of the food, however my kids and my mom had great expectations about Mexican food as I have been many times before and have talked about how delicious it can be! We tried the Mexican, the Italian and the Seafood restaurants. First off, if you like seafood I would highly recommend the Italian NOT the Seafood for good seafood. My son had the Swordfish at the Italian and it was really quite delicious. Out of all the restaurants the Italian was probably the best however not a huge selection of dishes. The service was also really good at the Italian. The seafood place was the worst of all three. My son had the lobster and pasta dish and both my mom and him said that the buffet dish that was similar had been by far better. My mom said the shrimp dish was just OKAY. Since I am not a seafood lover I can not comment on the seafood dishes myself but the spaghetti was mediocre at best. The service was definitely slower at this place as well. The Mexican was not very good. We had pretty high expectations for this place since well... we are in Mexico! The menu was packed full of seafood dishes and for someone who doesn't like seafood I was disappointed. I had a cheese and sausage dish that was not too bad but quite salty and rich, and the steak was pretty flavorable as well although not a Mexican dish at all. It would have been nice to see some chicken or pork tacos on the menu as that's what we were all craving was a traditional Mexican taco!
-The SLIDE!! The slide at the pool in the kids area would NOT meet Canada's safety regulations!! It was frighteningly fast. I didn't believe it at first so I had to see for myself but there were an obscene amount of blood splattering and smearing on a couple parts of the white concrete slide. Pretty scary. I wouldn't let my kids on it after we all tried it once, and while we were there a child was badly injured on it as well as he cracked his head on the side.
-CHECK YOUR DECK LOCK! Our deck lock did not work when we arrived at our room and our neighbors could easily come over onto our deck so we wanted it to work. The maintenance guy did come very promptly, worked at it for 20 minutes and had to come back with more tools. Overall we were trapped in our room for about an hour when we first arrived so it could be fixed. Once it was fixed it was difficult to latch and later in the week it quit working again and we had to have maintenance come once again.
-We stayed in the family room. At first glance the room was really beautiful! At second glance, our bathroom door knob constantly fell off and could not be locked unless you wanted to be trapped inside. Small things that showed a lack of care in cleaning such as an old drink ring on the bedside table that I was able to scratch off showed that the room was actually quite dirty. The toilet had mold spots on it, the floor was stained with brown spots in the bathroom and one of the beds had a leg that was missing making it noisy whenever you moved around on it. Overall the room was nice, but for the amount of money you are paying I expect a higher standard.
-The beach. The beach was breath-taking and beautiful, however my boys had a hard time enjoying themselves to swim in it because of all of the seaweed constantly washing up. NOT the resorts fault, but a bad part of the beach and most typically it was almost completely empty.
-The location. Don't expect to do much 5th avenue shopping in Playa unless you are prepared to PAY!!! I was expecting to be close to Playa so I did most of my research in that area. We were really disappointed to find that they were trying to charge us $90 per way which is pretty unacceptable. In hindsight had I known we would be closer to Cancun I might have tried a trip there. We did go into Puerto Morelos and it's a great little town with not too much to see but has a sufficient enough market that you can shop for those souvenirs you are wanting. I was just disappointed as I had wanted to show my boys a more authentic experience and to show them how and where people really live, not just the giant bubble wrapped package they try to serve you.
OVERALL this is a great place for families! Most people would probably think it was just great but I have definitely become more observatory given the amount of resorts I have been to for work and this would definitely not rank anywhere close to the top. The room security issues and cleanliness was definitely the most disheartening followed by the food. They should also definitely be removing that slide or making it safer.
We had a great time and in the end that's all I can ask for with my family!
- 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
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa And Beach Resort
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Puerto Morelos
- 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