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“Now this is an upmarket boutique resort!!!!”

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Beloved Playa Mujeres
Ranked #1 of 7 Hotels in Playa Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 11, 2011

Whilst on a recent 21 night trip to Mexico we spent 3 nights at La Amada between 22nd – 25th June before moving onto Excellence Playa Mujeres

This was our 27th trip to the Caribbean and our 6th trip to Mexico having stayed previously at Occidental Grand Xcaret [Royal Club], El Dorado Royale Casitas, Excellence Riviera Cancun, Excellence Playa Mujeres and Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita. In addition on this trip we had a full day out at both Secrets Maroma Beach and Secrets Silversands so we like to think that we have a fairly good well calibrated holiday measuring stick

Can I preface this review by saying that we have stayed at all three Excellence Resorts multiple occasions and have spent some time at La Amada on our previous trips to Excellence Playa Mujeres. So on this occasion that we decided we must spend some proper time at the resort to enjoy the full experience

As many regular readers of TripAdvisor will know we just love how Excellence treat their guests and how they run things – they are our sort of people and are far better than many Sandals Resorts we have stayed at. Going back to Excellence just feels like we are returning home as we are lucky enough to have built up a relationship with many of the management and staff at their three resorts, now four if you include La Amada and we feel like part of the family

We actually arrived at La Amada 2 days ahead of schedule as we had curtailed our stay at Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita [see review for the reasoning behind the earlier than planned move]. We made the decision 3 days into our stay at Zoetry and thanks to the great company we book through, Caribbean Warehouse here in the UK and the understanding of the Zoetry management, this was very plain sailing indeed with our options being made available after 12 hours with everything being repackaged within 24 hours

Our transfer from Zoetry to La Amada was trouble free and courtesy of Zoetry as they include transfers as part of their “Endless Privilege” package. On arrival at La Amada at around midday we were greeted by Jean François the GM whom we had met previously on tours of the property and we had a chat about what had happened over the past 12 months. When we first met Jean François just after the resort had opened he was talking about maximum occupancies of around 16% whereas now they have had occupancy as high as 75% and already have a large amount of repeat guests

At check in we were blown away to find that we had been upgraded to a Penthouse Suite. As I have said many times before such sizeable upgrades do not influence what I write or comment upon as my integrity over the years on TripAdvisor has been built on being honest and unbiased

The suite as you would expect and as you will see from my photos is just stunning. Our Penthouse [#241] is one of two that sit on the roof of Building #2 and has great view across the resort toward EPM and also the ocean. As you enter the suite you have a well equipped kitchen & cloakroom on the left. A bar countertop acts as a buffer between this area and a large lounge area with large white leather suite – the room also has a dining table, work station and large flat screen TV.

Through a large archway which has two large sliding doors you have access to a large bedroom area with it’s own seating area and another flat screen TV. Behind the headrest of the bed as at EPM you have an open plan bathroom area with a huge wet-room/shower and large walk in clothes closet

One of the best attributes of the suite is the wrap around, L shaped balcony/terrace, accessible by three large patio doors, which has a large day bed, table and chairs on the forward facing part and then it opens out onto the side elevation of the suite where you have another two large beds and your hydropool - totally mind blowing

As it was such a great afternoon and as the suite had anything one would want we opted to order off the “in room dining” menu and have lunch on our balcony and soak up the feel for the place. I must admit it did seem rather odd to be sitting on a balcony at La Amada looking at EPM rather than the other way round

La Amada is a very different resort to EPM as it is Boutique Resort with 109 suites so it is less than 25% of the size of Excellence Playa Mujeres. Accordingly, the dining options are far fewer but in my opinion more than adequate for the size of the property. When you view the property from EPM you may feel it is very similar is style, actually it has very many subtle differences. Although it has the same clean lines there is very little colour to it and the designer has purposely used a very limited colour palate of white, shades of grey and sand. Most of the interior furnishings which are all lavish and elegant are in shades of white with pools of colour being provided by lighting and/or soft furnishings and artwork

During out short stay we experienced all the dining options available

For breakfast you have the choice of in room dining or the Aroma Restaurant. As you will see from my photos the buffet breakfast is a totally different experience to that at the other Excellence Resorts and many other AI Resorts. The presentation is world class with many “taster” dishes where different yoghurts, muesli dishes, etc are presented in shot glasses and in very small bowls to allow you to sample many different foods. Many of the items available at La Amada we have never seen on offer at any other resort we have stayed at in Mexico – the chefs try wherever possible to provide authentic Mexican dishes and this layered with your more traditional international foods gives the place its’ unique appeal

It is small things that make the difference - like the fact that all the preserved fruits, jams, pickles are all made by the chefs and not just bought in. All the coffee is proper perked coffee served to your table in individual cafetieres

For lunch you have three options – in room dining, the Isla Grill or the Beach Pizza-Grill which allows you to experience barefoot dining either in the shade on the beach or by the pool or on your lounger if you want to maximise the rays and views

We experienced all three options and the choices on the excellent menus and the food was first class. In the Isla Grill itself you have a great selection of hot and cold entrees, main course and sweets. All the food is beautifully presented and cooked to perfection. The chefs will also cook for you off menu items at your request if they have the ingredients to hand

At the Beach Pizza-Grill you have a more limited menu but a very diverse range of pizzas that are cooked in an authentic brick built, wood burning pizza oven and as I have said you can either have this served to you on shaded tables on the beach looking out at Isla Mujeres or wherever your chosen spot for the day happens to be

In the evenings you again have in room dining available and the choice of either two of the three hotel restaurants as they close one on a rota basis – as the resort becoms even more popular and occupancy increases they aim to open all three in the evening.

The Isla Grill which offers a la carte Mexican & Caribbean dishes

Lupita Restaurant which offers traditional ancestral cuisine with an urban contemporary kick to it – the food we ate there was the best Mexican food we have ever eaten and all those that we talked with said likewise. Remember and ask for Mexican wine as it is very good indeed

Aroma Restaurant which offers a la carte Mediterranean cuisine

You also have the option of the sushi & ceviche bar in the Lupita Lounge should you either not be all that hungry or just want to have a bedtime snack

The food and dining experience at La Amada as you would expect with it being a boutique resort is much more refined that at other Excellence Resorts and will not suit everyone. The food on offer at the Isla Grill is akin to what would be served in Chez Isabelle

In the evening you can sit in the Lupita Lounge which although open air does have a large “sail” floating over it to offer shade during the day and also some protection should in rain. There is nightly entertainment in the form of a sax player, singer, etc – all very low key and laid back and more as background music than entertainment. The Lupita Lounge is just a great place to sit and relax and just be together or to meet and talk with people. The seating is mixture of traditional chairs and settees blended in with beds where you can lie down and chill out. Lupita is a great lounge with well thought out planting and lightings – not to mention some of the very unusual artwork/sculptures

The service at La Amada is as you would expect is a very high standard indeed with all the staff being immaculately dressed in white and grey. They offer a very personalised service and try to get to know each guest from day one of their stay and the ambiance is much more composed than that at EPM– nothing is too much trouble

The beach at La Amada has a diverse range of beach loungers and has a lot of natural planting which provides some privacy should you wish it. There is more than adequate shade for those that want it and they also have a few more luxurious cabanas that are available by reservation and rent through the concierge desk. We found the beach and pool service to be very good indeed and again those fellow guests we talked with felt likewise

Although La Amada is a “family resort” we found all the children very well behaved indeed and it certainly would not put us off booking to return. They have a tremendous kid’s club and play area where the children can play happily away either being looked after by their parents or left in the care of dedicated resort staff. Seemingly the ground floor Casitas with their own pools are very popular with people with children as they are self-contained. Some people with larger families have even been known to book more than one Casita to offer flexibility

La Amada is a fabulous upmarket boutique resort that has so much style and is certainly the best boutique resort that we have stayed at so far on our travels. It is a modern, chic resort that has so much elegance. Is better than Excellence Playa Mujeres??? – Yes in my opinion as in many respects it is a notch up with regards to service and even better food. However, it does have far less pools, bars and restaurants that does limit the number of nights “WE” could stay there. At EPM we can quite easily stay for 14 nights whereas at La Amada I think we would start to get bored after 7 nights.

We did meet two couples who were booked to stay at La Amada for 14 nights and one couple were having a great trip whereas the other couple were already thinking they had made a mistake as the restaurants may not be varied enough for them. As luck would have it they had booked through a Travel Agent here in the UK that we know very well and we were able to assist them repackaging their trip with them spending the 2nd week of their trip at ERC

At La Amada you do have a 26,000 sq foot Spa which has everything you would ever need in a Spa. People staying at La Amada also have full use of the water sports facilities that are on offer through AquaWorld at EPM

During our short stay at La Amada we had perfect weather and we had no problem with mosquitoes

Finally, having visited all of Excellence Group Resorts multiple times I would say that they are very similar but different if that makes any sense. To a certain extent it is like trying to compare a pineapple, a kiwi fruit and a mango – they are all great tropical delights but they each have their own flavours and appeals. What is easy to recognise is that the same person has been the designer and architect – his attention to detail is amazing.

Many people have asked me which we like best and all I can say is that EPC and ERC are to a certain extent like stepping into your cherished vintage car and taking it for a drive as you instantly feel at home and the quality and craftsmanship just oozes out at you – they both have a touch of magic hidden away under the bonnet. Whereas La Amada and EPM are the fresh new models on the drive with all the modern gizmos and that sports button which offers that little extra touch of excitement. The thing they all have in common is the emblem on the front grill.

All in all we had a wonderful 3 nights at La Amada and could easily have stayed a bit longer. This stay of got us back on track for the final stop of our trip – 9 nights at EPM. A very big THANK YOU to all those that looked after us and made sure we had a great trip

On the flipflop_man 360 holiday scoring matrix which measures 14 different parameters which are important to us La Amada scored 328

Should you be interested in seeing some photos of our day out please click on the link below:

http://travel.webshots.com/album/580489920JfviTJ

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For photos and videos of other trips we have made feel free to check out

http://community.webshots.com/user/flipflop_man

Please note that any time you enter the happy world of flipflop_man’s magic moments and memories it is always wise to have a drink in hand as there are always a lot of them to see – we are very lucky people.

As always I am happy to answer any questions

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank flipflop_man
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2011

We stayed at La Amada in the middle of June for 6 nights. La Amada is family friendly, but we figured we’d risk it with the resort size being so small. We are glad we did since we had no issues with kids. Yes, we heard some cry every now and then, but really it wasn’t a big deal.

We arrived a little after 2 and had no problem getting our room early. We booked a 2 story beach front casita and ended up in the Carinosa building. The view was good and can’t really complain. We expected the view to be farther set back due to the resort layout. The room is beautiful and the plunge pool was wonderful. We used it daily and will definatly stay in this room type again. As all other reviews have said the bathroom is a part of the room so not much privacy there. Not a big deal just good to be informed about it.

Food was wonderful. We never had the breakfast buffet as I would rather have eggs so we ordered room service every morning. It was good and normally arrived within 30 mins. For lunch we mostly ate on the beach. You could order anything you wanted. I was literally told “if there is something you want not on the menu, you just let us know and we’ll make it for you”. Now that’s the service we’ve been looking for in our past trips. It sometimes took a long time for beach service in the beginning of the day but once you ordered your first drink they kept up. Since this resort is not all inclusive you have to sign a bill after you order something. When you’re on the beach they run a tab and then give it to you at the end of the day. I actually enjoyed this since I wouldn’t tip $1 to $2 a round, but I waited until the final bill and then did one large tip.With that said I tipped like I normally would at other all inclusives and we received excellent service every time. I never felt like they gave me a bill so I would tip 20%. They are transitioning to all inclusive so I would expect this comes with the transition. Reservations were never a big problem. This was our first resort that needed reservations and it was a nice stepping stone. We could call the same day to book for dinner and we didn’t need to plan out our entire stay when we got there.

Lupita Lounge is wonderful and they had some great performers there. The resort has a lobby bar, but they did not have it open. I never asked but would be interested to know why? It looks like a lovely area in the lobby and we for sure would have gone there for drinks.

My #1 complaint is the dress code. I asked the resort prior to leaving if my husband could wear shorts to any of the restaurants at night. My answer back was “The dress code in the restaurants is casual. (No sandals, No shorts) only for dinner.” Well, unfortunately they never enforced this and my poor husband was left sweating in pants all night while more than 80% of the other men wore shorts. He seemed to be alright with it, but at the beginning of each night I couldn’t help but get worked up about it. It was my idea to go to Mexico in June and I was the one who picked a resort that he couldn’t wear shorts to dinner so I felt partially responsible for him being so hot in pants. Either enforce the dress code or tell us we can wear shorts so we can pack appropriatly.

With all that said we hope to come back. We had a wonderful time and it will stay on my short list of potential vacation resorts.

Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
2  Thank dreamy90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2011

My husband and I visited the La Amada resort for our honeymoon and were very pleased with our choice. This was a great decision for us because it was a close destination that allowed us to fly in from the east coast and fly back to the west coast without the stress of an entire day of travel. The hotel doesn't seem to be at full capacity yet because it's very new, but that was great for us. You never have to fight for a private bed by the pool and there is probably more staff than guests.
The food was fabulous and the breakfast was included in our package. We opted out of the all inclusive choice, but would recommend if you like your cocktails and wine that you go all inclusive. We did not come out on top regarding the choice.
We chose the romantic dinner on the beach one evening and it was AMAZING! We had our own saxophone player for an hour, two personal staff members, a private cabana with candles, and a lounge bed for dessert that looked out over the water. They even grilled up our left over surf & turf the next day by the pool for lunch.
The accomodations were on point. We chose the Beach side casita with pool. The shower is the size of a walk in closet and the room actually comes with a walk in closet so your mess stays out of the main lving space. It's a great value when you consider what the private pool suites cost in some of the bigger resorts(this was a lot higher quality too).
I would recommend to anyone that goes that you at least try out the signature water treatment at the spa. It's something very unique and lasts an hour. It's included in any spa package you chose. The spa is definitely one of the best and the gym next to it has top of the line equipment.
We felt extremely safe and comfortable here. You had to go through two guarded gates just to get to the resort. I left my Ipod on the stereo all week and never felt like anything was going to be taken.
La Amada is about twenty minutes past the main strip of Playa Del Carmen so if you are planning to leave everynight and are looking for a big night life this may not be the place for you. But, there is nothing bad we have to say about the resort. We left happy, full, made new friends, and felt recovered from the chaos that goes into a wedding week. We are definitely planning to go back!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank KCG242
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

Well, wife and I just returned from a very eventful 5 day 4 night trip to La Amada. We arrived on a Sunday and even though we specified a certain Casita location well in advance (and even e-mailed regarding such), they did not even look at our request or e-mails. Front desk was helpful in finding us one that was to our liking after a few minutes. Rooms are very nice, modern, but as others have said, "what's up with the glass half doors on the commode area?"
If you think the Casita is worth the extra $$ (in some cases) think again. Most are not at all very private, as one deck looks down upon the next. Also, the bottom ones are right on the edge of the wlakways in most cases so the "plunge pools" are not even close to private. We rented a two story Casita, definetly in my opinion not the way to go! Stairs leading up to the rooftop deck are downright TREACHEROUS! There is NO RAIL for the last 5 steps and the steps are tiled, so if your feet are wet (which there is a good chance of sinece that is where your pool is) watch out! I fell down 5-6 steps, bruises everywhere, but thank my luck I did not break anything! Had to ice everything down for days! When I mentioned this to the GM, he really did not seem all that concerned (though one of the Manager's underneath him did) and said he would "mention" it to the owners! What kinda response is that!
Food, was real good, but redundant. Actually lunch probably was the best part with Mexican and wood fired pizzas out on the beach. We hit a couple of days of rain and believe me not much of anything to do here when that occurs. Beach was nice, not sure what all the complaining about seaweed is about!

Spa okay, Aqua Viva, definetly something different. If you are planning a trip here with your kids, better think twice as there is a small kids area and club, but not much else for them to do! Kids all looked bored and did not want to sit for the 1.5-2 hour dinners!

If you want to still go stay in the main building, upgrade to the suites and try to get a corner one as it offers more privacy.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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1  Thank BigTex86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

This was our first time in an all inclusive resort and we didn't expect wonderful things....we were wrong! This place is just amazing. My husband and I went for 5 days in a state of exhaustion with our 3 month old baby and stayed in one of the two storey ocean view cabanas. The room was very elegant with super comfy firm matress, iPod dock, robes, excellent bathroom products. The balcony on the bedroom floor had a huge soft sun bed for chilling and upstairs the same bed on the deck. The private pool upstairs was small and there is no shade up there at all but the view to the ocean was fantastic. I think if we return we would opt for a one storey cabana with private pool as we didn't spend much time on our second floor as the hot for our baby. The 3 restaurants were completely different in both design layout and menu, we were able to order anything and were never disappointed. I am vegetarian, so my options were limited, but the chef did make me a special dish one evening which wa delicious. We could also order anytime from room service, which was great for us as we ended up spending lots of time in the room. The spa is out of this world! The staff were fantastic and so accommodating with our little baby tow! One improvement I would like to see is with the tipping system it would be much better if there was an option to tip at the end of the stay and have this shared amongst the staff, instead we had to carry cash around and was never really sure how it worked out.

  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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1  Thank Jojojo555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2011

just got back after a 14 night trip were do i start my husband and i are very well travelled and have stayed at many all inclusives this hotel completely blew us away the rooms were gorgeous the nicest we ever had the staff were wonderfull and the food was amazing we felt truly spoilt a special thanks to pablo guillermo and carlos who are a credit to the hotel infact all the staff we came accross were wonderfull the service was exceptional we certainly didnt want to leave this hotel isa real gem

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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1  Thank ann m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2011

First time visiting Canun area. this hotel is way off the beaten track - but if you want to get away, this is the place. the food was excellent, the service was oustanding, and the spa was one of the best, if not the best, ever. I highly suggest visiting and I will return.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank bblvr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Beloved Playa Mujeres

Address: Condominio Playa Mujeres, Playa Mujeres 77400, Mexico (Formerly La Amada Hotel)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Playa Mujeres
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:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#1 Spa Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Mujeres
Price Range: $352 - $680 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Beloved Playa Mujeres 5*
Number of rooms: 109
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Beloved Hotel Playa Mujeres combines luxury and comfort with the convenience of the 'boutique style' Adults only all-inclusive Hotel, in the perfect setting poised for pleasure and relaxation. Here you'll have a comfortable home base of contemporary luxury. Stylish hotel architecture and decor, generous suites, spotless service, deluxe facilities, and of course, our secluded beachfront setting, all enable you to let your days happen naturally. At this intimate beachfront community you'll enjoy personalized spa and wellness programs, fine dining, seaside golf, boating and fishing from our inland marina, and a host of other activities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
La Amada Resort
La Amada Playa Mujeres

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