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“An Excellent Honeymoon”

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Excellence Playa Mujeres
Ranked #2 of 7 Hotels in Playa Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 27, 2008

We stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres for 5 nights from July 21st until July 26th and loved every minute of it. We would return in a heartbeat as the resort was everything we wanted. We booked through quickrooms.com and had a standard non-excellence club room in block 7 – room 7202.

(Damage control) While I will mention all of the little things we did not like, I assure you that they were minor to us. I only choose to mention them here for the benefit of others who may want to know about it. The resort is not perfect, but in our minds, it was excellent and we would definitely return.

The drive – 35 minutes through poor areas of Cancun and past a lot of new construction. Through 3 entry gates, the last one verifies your name before allowing entry.

Check-in – Moist scented towels, a glass of champagne and a total of 5 minutes at the front desk. The bell person takes your bags and politely asks if they may show you around on your way to the room. Although anxious to get to our room, this small tour proved helpful.

Property – Absolutely clean. There are workers everywhere making sure the property is kept in top condition. Yes, we saw the cracked tiles others have talked about but probably would not have noticed otherwise. We think that the landscaping is beautiful, even though still young. It appears that a lot of effort was made in this area.

Room – A banner on our door stating it is our honeymoon, towel art and rose petals on the bed, a bottle of champagne and three apples on the coffee table. We immediately noticed the musty smell upon entrance. Typical Cancun. This smell was prevalent on our first and last day but not so bad in between. As most of you have already seen from the photos and other reviews, it is very nicely appointed. Marble tile flooring, flat screen TV, stocked mini-fridge, Jacuzzi tub, leather sectional couch, desk, small table with chairs, a separate closet with safe and additional drawer space. The air conditioning kept the room very cool – but we also chose to keep the drapes closed most of the time to prevent the sun from heating the room. The balcony was very large and contained a table and chairs and also a sun bed. We ordered room service a few times and ate breakfast on our balcony in the mornings before it got too hot. This was a nice treat. The only complaint about the room was that we were not impressed with the quality of the mattress. We felt this is an area they should upgrade. The room safe was large and fit my laptop, wife’s purse, jewelry, passports, cell phones, cash, etc. all at once. It is a breeze to use and we had no issues with theft.

Bathroom – Dual bowl sinks and ample cabinet space below. The mirrors above the sink were too high for my wife. She was able to use the make-up mirror with ease as it is lower to the ground. The infamous toilet room – a semi-frosted glass door is your only privacy here. Since there is no door to the bathroom, and an open area between it and the bed, everything can be heard from within. This is the least desirable part of the room and should probably be changed. The best part of the bathroom is the shower. No exaggeration, it is larger than the elevator you will ride on your way to the room. It has a clear glass entrance door and marble tile throughout the interior. There is a clear glass window that looks into the bedroom. There is a rainfall showerhead hanging down from the ceiling on one side. The other side has a hand held type showerhead that is attached to a bar on the wall. This bar is adjustable and you can slide the showerhead up and down to your desired height. There is a bench if you choose to sit in the shower and three shelves for towels and toiletries. The shower also has a wall hook for hanging towels, washcloths or a pouf. Finally, there is one of those clotheslines that you can pull out.

Housekeeping – They have cards (similar to your room key) that can be placed in the door to notify housekeeping. We did not have one and after two calls to our block’s concierge, one was delivered. We kept the “do not disturb” sign on our door all of the time except when we changed it to request maid service. Our room was cleaned every day while we were out, with the exception of the last day before we left. It was 4pm and the maid was working on the room next to ours when we returned. Maid service was pretty much standard – fresh towels, replenish toiletries, change the sheets, make the bed, clean up any clutter, etc. Since we kept the do not disturb sign up most times, we did not receive turn down service. Other guests told us that they did and received additional towel art, chocolates on the pillow and more.

Room Service – We ordered room service three times, twice for lunch and once for breakfast. Two of those times, we asked that it be delivered to the x-box. My wife liked this as she was in her pajamas and did not want someone to walk in to see her. Lunch arrived within 40 minutes each time, breakfast took over an hour. The only thing I did not like was the Philly cheesesteak. They have no idea what a cheesesteak is. Then again, I grew up 30 minutes outside of Philadelphia and not many places outside of our area has a clue. When we were finished, we always placed our dishes in the x-box and they were removed within a few hours. The mini-fridge was stocked every day with soda, water, beer, peanuts and candy bars. I left a note and tip inside with our preferences and we got what we wanted.

Dining – Every night we went to dinner we were seated immediately. We had a waiter within seconds taking a drink order. Our appetizers were brought within 5 minutes and our meal followed immediately after – EVERY RESTAURANT. I do not think we spent more than an hour in any of the restaurants. Service was amazing. For breakfast, we ate the buffet at Barcelona four times. It is a huge buffet and there is a lot of different things to choose from. While the menu was similar each day, it was never exactly the same. For lunch, we had food delivered to us at the Blue Bar (swim-up bar at the main pool) from the grill (hamburgers, chips and salsa, chicken, steak) and buffet lunch at Barcelona (just about anything you can imagine). For dinner, we ate at Chez Isabelle (French), Agave (Mexican), Spice (Asian), Lobster House (Lobster), and Toscana (Italian). Our favorite meal was at Toscana and we loved the Mayan Coffee (see photos of our waiter, Ivan, with this review). I expected the restaurants to be lower quality after reading other reviews. We were absolutely amazed with our dining experiences. The food quality was very good and we did not once feel as if we were eating at an all-inclusive resort. We always ate inside and did not notice anyone smoking inside. This was a big plus for us as we are non-smokers.

Bars – What can I say about these? They are everywhere. I never once waited in line or for service at the bar. We had everything from beer and margaritas at the Blue Bar, martinis and mixed drinks at the Martini bar, the drink of the day at any outside bar, coco-locos (see photos) at the Sol Bar, drink service on the beach and around the main pool. Believe me, you should never have an empty glass. The drinks are always flowing.

Entertainment – We attended the Mexican show at the Stars theatre on our last night. It was an okay show. In passing, we saw singers and dancing at the Kafe Café, however, we never attended it as it was too humid outside for us while dressed up for dinner. We went to the nightclub one night and it was packed. Others told us that they went the night prior for karaoke and there were only a handful of people there. We also enjoyed drinks from the couches at the Martini bar at various times throughout the day. There is an area for off-property excursions, however, we were never pestered by anyone to try them. We only left one day to go to Wet N Wild to swim with the dolphins. Cab ride is $35 USC each way. We also did the bike tour, which was pretty cool.

Beach – We only spent one day on the beach and it was nice. There is plenty of chairs and beds available. I did not notice any sea grass that day. The sand is powdery white. Drink service came through about every 20 minutes.

Pools – We were at the main pool and sat at the Blue Bar for drinks most of the afternoon while talking to another couple. This was our only day there as that pool’s water was green the next few days. I saw maintenance working on this every day, but it did not stop everyone from still using that pool. We instead utilized the lazy river below our room as there is plenty of chairs, a bar, a Jacuzzi and water hammocks. We spent an hour at the private pool behind block 7 and we were the only people there.

Service – Not once did we come across a bad employee. Every employee, from managers to the maintenance workers, would greet us – even if simply walking past them in a hallway. We never waited in line for anything.

Opinions/Notes – I am glad that the business office has 4 computers as my laptop did not get a sufficient signal from my room. My wife liked that book sharing was available there. I think she left one of her books when she finished it. We do not think the swim-up rooms would be worth the extra money. They do not seem very private and get all of the main hallway noise since it is on the ground level. We only saw a few using the chairs outside of their swim-up. We are also glad that we did not pay extra for excellence club status. There did not seem to be any real benefit. Block 7 facing the spa was a great location for non-EC. It was close enough to everything, yet far enough away from the noise. Construction noise was a non-factor inside of the room. I think blocks 4-5-6 are a little bit out of the way and am glad we did not have that. Coco-locos are brought out to the Sol Bar at noon and go quickly. There is no need to bring your own pool float as they are everywhere. The gift shop is expensive for sunblock lotion, bring as much as you need for your stay. Tee shirts are $16 USC and only $37 if you buy three of them. The cigar shop has Cuban and Dominican cigars, but a limited selection and very expensive – approximately $18 to $47 per cigar. There is no need to bring your own shampoo, conditioner, body soap and lotion as they provide plenty of it in the room each day.

Even though this is too long of a review, I am sure I forgot to mention something. If you have a question, feel free to message me and I will answer what I can.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
18  Thank Vaison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11,833 - 11,839 of 12,506 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2008

My wife and I stayed at Excellence Playa Mujeres from July 13th - July 20th for our Honeymoon. From the moment we arrived at the resort we were greeted with friendly faces and a nice glass of champagne. We stayed in the Excellence club roof top terrace with an ocean view. This was located in building nine (9166). My wife and I were in paradise. It was the most beautiful view in the entire resort. We could not believe the service we received and the attention to detail that was displayed throughout the resort. Everyone at the resort was hard working and friendly to say the least.

I read many reviews on tripadvisor from other people leading up to my stay at Excellence and I have to disagree with some complaints that have been posted: 1) complaints about the slow bar service at the pool - the bartenders make so many frozen (vacation) drinks and smoothies that it requires a blender to make one drink. It is very difficult for any bartender to keep pace with as many frozen drinks as they had to make. What is the rush anyway?...you're on vacation. 2) complaints about the resort and their five star rating - the food is very good, but it is not American food. You are in a different country and you must appreciate their culture and their style of living. If you compare a five star resort in America to this resort you will be disappointed. But it is one of the best resorts in Mexico for COUPLES. My wife is a very picky eater and she loved all the restaurants (Barcelona in the morning, buffet for lunch - salads, and Tuscany or Agave for dinner). Room service was great as well. 3)Sea grass - there is sea grass in the ocean that floats to the shore during heavy winds or rocky waters. The hotel did everything they could to clean the beach with a tractor. I saw them out there four times a day when it was windy, but overall it was non factor in determing if we would get in or not. It depends on personal preference. 4)complaints about the floats in the main pool - for 7 days we never had an issue with floats. We had one every day at the pool. If someone isn't using it, then just ask them. Everyone was very friendly and passed them on everyday we were there. We did not have an issue. 5)people saying that excellence club isn't worth it - let me ask those people if they had a couples massage at the spa, dinner for two on the beach (lobster and filet), a hydraspa tub on the roof top terrace overlooking the turquoise waters, and a private check in (we drank grey goose and tonic)? Also, we rented as many DVD's as we wanted. This was all included in our package. There were no additional fees for any of these amenities. We loved the Excellence Club for our Honeymoon.

That leads me to my next point: We booked our travels with Melissa from Berman Travels and she took care of us. She booked our flights and arranged our transportation to and from the resort. It was very helpful and nonstressful knowing we had transportation to the resort. If we had any questions leading up to the trip or during, she made herself accessible at any time of the day. She was very knowledgeable of the resort and provided many pictures for our viewing. Thanks!

Overall, the things I enjoyed most about the resort are: crystal clear ocean water, the rain shower in the hotel room, the hydraspa on the rooftop terrace, the view from our balcony, the pleasant staff, multiple restaurants to choose from, not waiting for a table at dinner, room service in the "X" box, beautiful sandy beach, the mariachi band in Agave, fresh cigars at the cigar shop, the Spa, and the theme night that the resort put together every night we were there.

We had an amazing time and I recommend Honeymooners and Couples only to this resort. There are very few single people at the resort and there isn't much of a night life there. You create your own night life. Excellence Playa Mujeres is an amazing resort and I would recommend it. Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
14  Thank OhioCincy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2008

Let me preface this by saying that we stayed at Excellence Riviera Cancun two years ago for our honeymoon while it was still being managed by Secrets. When we decided to take our two-year anniversary trip, we considered returning to ERC, but decided to give EPM a chance.

We were not disappointed.

As stated in previous posts, we were greeted nicely and warmly with moist towels and champagne. There was no problem in getting our anniversary package although we were 4 months past the date (I had emailed and corresponded with someone at EPM about the situation, and had a copy of the email on hand just in case...).

Our room was 8006, a swim-out room. PERFECT. We love the swim-up room because we can relax on the patio, have our lunch, take a nap, etc. while the other is swimming nearby. Our room was on the edge of the row of rooms, so we loved being right near a walkway and bridge. We faced Kafe Cafe, and never were bothered by noise. I don't understand how people have an issue with the bathroom. My husband is VERY private and usually when he was taking care of business I was watching TV. I didn't hear/smell/etc. anything at all! If you are sitting directly facing the clear door, yes, it might be weird... but I would think it is weird if you were sitting there in the first place, clear door or not!

The bed was very comfortable and we had regular turn down service. I think people have problems with regular maid and turn down service because the maid may come by while you have the do not disturb sign on... they have many rooms to clean, so it may take hours for them to come by again. They put CLEAN SHEETS on every day, and windex and squegee (forgive spelling) every piece of glass. Hardworkers and very nice if we happened to come back while they were working.

Food, I have to admit, was better at ERC. Our favorite was Agave, we went back twice. Get the Mayan Coffee!! Great show and very yummy. We also ordered room service several times, and went to Chez Izabelle. Not my favorite food, but my husband enjoyed his meal. It just wasn't my style... which is fine. Everyone has different tastes! Food was good, just not AS GREAT as ERC.

For breakfast each day we did the buffet, which was wonderful. Omlets, french toast, potatoes... yum! For lunch we ate at the Grill one day (wonderful!) out by the pool where they were BBQing (wonderful!) and the buffet (wonderful!). Our favorite bar was the martini bar and the swim-up bar. We had so much fun just laughing and talking and meeting people. The bartenders are so nice and friendly and very willing to make you fun new drinks and just chat the afternoon away.

We had excellent, prompt service at all restaurants, bars, and with room service. These people work hard for, YES, VERY LITTLE PAY!!! Take a hundred or so dollar bills. Don't be chincy, just because it is all-inclusive DOES NOT MEAN that they don't deserve the extra tip for their hard work!!!

The ocean was warm and very nice. A bit of sea grass, but not enough to bother us. We always had prompt bar service on the sand. The pools were SO warm and nice, we floated for hours some days. Never had a problem getting a float, and the resort was at 75% capacity while we were there (even though it felt like it was empty!).

We had an excellent time... romantic, peaceful, and fun. We met two nice couples while we were there, Martin and Van from Orange County, CA and Eric and Kim from Georgia (who actually knew where our hometown is!!!). It was fun to chat with them at the swim-up bar and get to know other people we had seen floating around throughout the week.

Some of the complaints I have read on here are just ridiculous. The place is very clean, they are constantly working on it to make the gardens and grass beautiful. The rooms are gorgeous and clean. Same with the restaurants. Everyone is friendly and willing to help you. Do they yield to all your demands? NO! Of course not, they are still running a business. While we were checking out I overheard a couple who was there with 5 other couple friends. They were complaining and arguing that their friends weren't all upgraded to RTT rooms like they had been. The manager explained that since they were there for their 25th anniversary, the resort had decided to upgrade them to that room complimentary. The woman was demanding that all her friends be upgraded so that they could be in the same building. The manager said if the guest preferred, she could move back with her friends and give up the complimentary room. She refused and said there was no way she was giving up the room, that they would HAVE to give her friends the same deal. I was shocked and quite embarassed for her. Seriously... this is a nice place, not a Motel 6, and in my family, we are taught to accept gifts with a gracious "thank you" and to be grateful for what you get! I am saddened that the group was grumbling about leaving bad reviews about the resort because of that incident... such a pity!

If I had to decide between ERC and EPM, I would go to EPM again in a heartbeat. Although the food at ERC was better, every single other aspect of EPM surpassed the Riviera Cancun location!!! WONDERFUL, WONDERFUL TRIP!!!

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
12  Thank teachergirl01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2008

I am a mid 30's traveler who has stayed at the entire spectrum of hotels from 700+ per night to 39 per night. This review is for Cancun only. In the last 3 years we have stayed at Moon Palace (2 1weeks), Excellence Rivera Maya (2 5 days) and Excellence PM (1 5day). We have also stayed at the Sandals in Jamaica. Sandals is not in the same class as any of the others, on any level. Moon palace is top notch. The golf package is expensive but the course will rank with the top courses anywhere and my standards are a little spoiled in this area. We go there when we have someones kids with us. I never feel cheated. The Excellence resorts are one small notch better than Moon Palace. No Kids and the nicer things that come with that is the main difference. Both Excellence resorts are THE SAME. To say one is better than the other really is silly. The restaurants are named the same and have the same food. The rooms look very similar, the bars are the same, the staff is trained the same way, the lobby looks very simliar, the landscaping at PM is not as mature as RM but I think that will change with a little time. They are designed to be the exact same experience. They are both close to the airport but RM is about 10 min closer (book transportation before you arrive).
So, in order...either Excellence, Moon Palace if kids are involved, then a FAR distant 3rd is Sandals.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
5  Thank twotigers2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2008

I tried to be mindful of many of the questions that are often asked on the forum so this is a rather long review, that I hope you will find helpful. I have also posted 50 photos before getting the review up so unfortunately they are not linked here.

My wife and I enjoyed or stay at the EPM from June 14 through the 18th to celebrate our 1st anniversary. We spent our honeymoon at the Excellence Riviera Cancun last year in an Excellence Club suite. Having already experienced an Excellence resort, our expectations this time were very high. We were not disappointed.

Our flight was fine from New York and we used Best Day as our transfer. We were greeted by a representative holding a sign with our name. He was very easy to spot. Our private van arrived a few minutes later. While we waited he worked out the details of our return pick-up. We also received a confirmation call from them the day before departure. The ride to and from the EPM was smooth. Cost $85 U.S. round trip.

All in all, The resort was beautiful, well manicured and clean. The food and drink were high quality. The staff worked hard and were very friendly. The resort has a little way to go to catch up their sister resorts the ERC and EPC in some areas, however this should not be held against them and would only be noticeable if you have stayed at one of these other resorts.

Check-in:
Great. Not to be redundant, but it is such a nice touch it is worth repeating, we were greeted with champagne and cold scented towels. That is when you know you have arrived and your vacation has begun. We did not book the Excellence Club this time so we checked in at the lobby. No waiting, nor issues. We used Quickrooms.com to book our stay and saved hundreds off other quotes that I received. I had previously e-mailed the resort to request a particular building after much research here, in it I let them know, as far as location was concerned, what was important to me and what wasn’t. They acknowledged my requests at check in without having to ask. We arrived at 12:00 noon on a Saturday, so were a little early for check-in and our room was not ready. A member of the concierge spent a few minutes with us to explain the resort layout and to answer any questions that we had. We went to lunch with the pager, explored a bit and had some drinks. About an hour and ½ later our room was ready.

Room:
We were given the location that I had requested and it was exactly what I wanted. Room 8403, a rooftop terrace room in the non-excellence club section of building 8. Even though you have scene pictures of the rooms and the grounds, they do not do this resort justice, you will be amazed when you enter the room. We arrived to find a anniversary banner on our door, a bottle of champagne waiting, towel art, pleasant music, just awesome. The location, I would highly recommend. Building 8 has 3 sections to it. Two sections are excellence club suites, with a direct ocean view. The section that we stayed in was not a part of the excellence club, but was still in the prime location afforded to the excellence club guests. The only difference was that we did not have the direct ocean view. Our direct view was of the Kafe Bar and the theater. However, we had a surprisingly great view of the ocean. We had to look to our right, so it was a partial view but it was far better that I could have expected. The ocean view and the prime location (closer to the beach, bars and main pool than any other non-ec suites) were definite pros. Another pro is that the section was sheltered from the construction behind us. The entire resort is surrounded by construction it is unbelievable how much work is happening there. I only heard construction noise when I went to the fence to view it. If you look on the resort map and find block 8 there is one section that faces the beach, one section that seems to face inward (ours) and one that faces the opposite direction of ours towards the Excellence Club pool. It has an ocean view but overlooks the construction. That section blocked our building of any noise or dust from the construction site. The same probably holds true for block 7 that is set up the same way, but in 7 you will not have the ocean view and the proximity to the beach and main pool that 8 offers. The only con (and it was not an issue to me but may be to some that like to turn in early) was that it is a little noisy at night. You are facing the theater and can hear the music from the shows as well as the music from the Kafe Bar afterwards. This usually ends around 11:00 the latest. Our rooftop was the best part, this feature truly sets this resort apart from all others. We were on the highest floor of our building and could not be overlooked from any direction, no problem with privacy. The water in the hydro-tub was perfect, not to warm or cold. The roof has two beds one up front, with an umbrella, that had a nice view of the ocean and the other in the rear near the shower. Our rooftop had a good amount of sun. Especially afternoon to late day sun, towards the front of the roof. That is when the umbrella came in nice. The sun set directly in front of us over the main building. The rooftop was also a great place to leave your bathing-suits to dry. The beds were firm. I have a firm bed at home so I am used to it. It was our anniversary so a firm bed came in handy! The linens were new and soft. The TV was great, however the channel selections were not as good as they were at the ERC. (Hardly worth mentioning) and yes they do have the “excellent channels” here. There is a docking station for an i-pod, however if you have a portable one at home I would bring it for the rooftop, it was nice to have music up there as well. The wireless service was good in the room and on the patio. Last but not least the bathroom area. Now my wife and I are not shy, but there are something’s that require a little privacy. Expect to spend some time on the balcony when your significant other has to use the facility. Also bring some air-freshener as well as the courtesy flush and vent only go so far after all that food. The duel shower was incredible and I caught some laughs with the shower window when we were not together.

Food, Drinks, Service:
I would rate all great to very good. We ate at the breakfast buffet everyday. A wide variety of choices, all fresh, and available. We never had to wait for something to be replenished as with other buffets. It was bright and lively in the morning with a piano player in the background, newspapers available, service was great, you could dine inside or out, just the perfect start to any day. Casual dress (swimsuits, t-shirts, flip-flops) are fine in the a.m. and for lunch. For lunch there is a BBQ at the main pool (burgers, fish, pork chop? chips and salsa) lasts for hours. There is also the lunch buffet, again very good, loved the steak and chicken fajitas, salads, all great. The Grill was my favorite. It is an open air restaurant (along with the Lobster House) that sits on top of the main pool, with views of the beach and pool area. Very good hot wings and sandwiches there (you can even get a steak if you are that hungry). For dinner we ate a Spice, Chez Isabelle, Agave and the Grill. We never had to wait for a table. All obviously vary and were very good, the choice really comes down to the mood that you are in. The portions were decent, maybe a little small for someone with a big appetite, though all come with four courses or more. I am a fussy eater (hold this and don’t add that pain in the a** I am) and I loved every meal. The setting in Spice was quiet, or you have the option to sit at the hibachi with others. The hibachi is the exception to the no reservation rule at EPM. You do have to put your name on a list for a particular seating since space is limited. Chez Isabelle was my least favorite of where we ate. It was my favorite at the ERC much nicer set up there. We chose to have our anniversary dinner there based upon our experience at the ERC and were a little disappointed. We were given probably the worst table in the house which was mostly empty (by the door and the kitchen as opposed to candle lite on the patio or in the rear. The special decorations were 3 balloons that drooped to the floor. Also the music that was playing was primarily Christmas music (we stayed in June) not the romantic evening that we pictured. Agave was awesome if you are more in the mood for fun. We had a blast there. The food was very good, and the service was the best anywhere (ask for Ivan). Great spot for taking pictures and interacting. A mariachi band roams table to table and the waiter puts on a cool show when you order the flaming Mayan Coffee (so good). The Grill was also great, food and service. After being a little disappointed in our “special dinner” that the resort gives to guests celebrating, honeymoons anniversaries etc, we were afforded to opportunity to do it again. We chose the Grill this time, it was truly special and more than what we expected. A table off on its own decorated with rose petals and candles. We had a view of the sunset on one side and a full moon on the other. They gave us a complementary bottle of champagne, which we never had to touch, constantly poured for us, the service was so good and a special dessert at the end. Just perfect.

Drinks:
All around were great, especially for an all-inclusive. Top-shelf liquor, very creative in the mixed or frozen drink department. Beer, I don’t recall all the brands, I stuck to Sol (Corona like as no Corona there) and Dos XX. Also had Tecante. I thought that I saw cans of Coors light, but don’t care for it much so didn’t really take notice. They have a wine list at the restaurants, I didn’t purchase any wine but had some of the house white which I really enjoyed.

Service:
All around very good. The only issue was the wait at some of the bars, when they were not crowded and around the pools. They could use another person or two for this IMO. Had I not visited the Excellence Riviera Cancun, which had unbelievable service (Annabel) I would rate this higher. This is not a knock, everyone was very friendly with a smile and a “hola” and worked hard regardless of whether or not you tip (I always did as I appreciate their efforts and could not come close myself in their position). The service in the restaurants as mentioned was very good (did not order room service). We always had our room cleaned while we were out in the late morning, early afternoon. They always left something for us in the room (towel art ect.). The same with the turndown service. To address the concerns of some, theft was not an issue. Granted I did not leave real valuables out, but you did not have that feeling. I left certain things out without issue. My laptop was in my suitcase as it did not fit in the safe (17" screen) all you had to do was open the suitcase and it was right there. I tipped $4 for the person who cleaned the room, $2 for the turndown and $1 for the person who restocks the mini-bar. The concierge was outstanding, I cannot say enough. Take advantage of this service. Our concierge in building 8 was Donovan and Cindy. They often checked in with us to see how our stay was going and if we needed anything. They arranged for our second “special dinner” at the Grill and while we were out they decorated our room for our return. What a nice surprise to come back to. Candles everywhere, towel art swans on the bed that cast a heart-shaped shadow on the curtains, more champagne on ice and a rose petal bath. An amazing evening.

Activities, Nightlife:
Undoubtedly the weakest point of the resort. If you are looking for a romantic, relaxing getaway where you can have a little fun, this is it. However if nightlife and action is what you are looking for, well not the best for it sorry to say. There are several activities and plenty to do so don’t get me wrong, it’s just not a high energy place. I would recommend the bike tour that goes out every morning at 9:00. It’s a good place to meet people and see what is around the resort (golf course, zoo, the new development that is being built). There are points where you get off the bikes to view different animals and climb a tower that has a great aerial view of the area. Lasts about an hour to an hour and ½, the guide lets you take all the time you want with pictures etc. They have an entertainment staff that goes around to recruit for water polo & water volleyball, water aerobics, horseshoes and soccer on the beach. There are a few Texas hold-em games a day around the main pool. They have hobbiecats and kayaks to take out as well. AquaWorld has a location on site if you want to do any excursions ($). AquaWorld also has para-sailing right in front on certain days, so you don’t have to leave the resort for that. They also provide snorkel equipment without charge to swim off the beach with. However they are pretty limited and I could not get one my whole trip. You may wish to bring your own if it interests you. Not much to see right off shore though. They offer classes like dance, cooking and towel art. I would have liked to try the golf course but I did not. The gym was decent, plenty of machines. Did not have to wait for a treadmill for once. There is also an indoor billiards room and an outdoor billiards table.

Nightlife:
I enjoyed the shows. Was it Broadway - no, but was I entertained one way or the other yes. There is a different type of show each night, some end with audience participation that is always good for a laugh. The nightclub was small and real loud, just couldn’t get into it. I have been to enough clubs in my day, I could do without it. The entertainment staff runs trips to the clubs in Cancun as well if you really want to go clubbing. On the other end of the spectrum is the X-Lounge, which is like an outdoor living room on the beach, with drink service. Ambient music and the ocean set the tone. There are beds and sofas facing the ocean, very relaxing.

Pools / Beach:
Loved the pools. Spent most of our time at the main pool with the swim up bar. Anywhere along the lazy river is more laid back. The pool was a little too warm, but it did help you cool off. The saltwater in the pool is barley noticeable. Anyway if you get splashed it won’t ruin your margarita. There were topless women around the pool, 2 that I noticed and several more on the beach. As for “Float Hogs” they are always present. The Resort can certainly use more floats, though I did not have a problem getting one. The majority of guests used them and then let them go. There were a few guests that guarded them by their chair while they were not using them. Please don’t do this you will stand out and look like a selfish child. Seating by the main pool was not bad. We usually went to the pool after 10 or in the afternoon if we went to the beach first and always found a seat. The same holds true for the beach never had a problem. The beach was nice. The sea grass is not a big deal I don’t get it. Our first day it was thick, but it is only the first foot or two into the ocean after that it is clear. The staff spent the entire day going back and forth with the tractor to clean it up. That was more annoying than the actual grass. The rest of our stay there was hardly any in the water.

Guests:
I know that the Resort doesn’t have much control over this but it has been brought up on the forum. I was told that they were operating at 70% capacity. It did not seem crowded at all. I thought that most guests pretty much kept to themselves, but you can find conversation at the main pool on the tours or in group activities. People were drinking, myself included, but it was laid back and rowdiness was not an issue when we were there. I only observed one guy who passed the line. I saw him mouthing off to a few people, then he stumbled and fall hard on the stairs on the way to his room.

Things I would change:
The nightlife could use a little help. Maybe more things that the guest can participate it like games or kareokie (if they had this I didn’t notice). The music around the pool could be better as well, it’s a pool not a club. Only minor things.

Things that I would bring:
As to essentials (sun-screen, toothpaste, hair products, Tums, tampons, etc) they have a convenience store on site in case you forget something, but it is a bit expensive. They also have souvenirs there as well. I mentioned that I brought an i-pod deck for the rooftop. If you will be upset not having a float, you can bring your own, many people including myself did this. I brought a small collapsible soft cooler to pack ice in for the rooftop and to keep drinks cold at the beach. Some sort of air freshener for the room. We also brought dvds. Small bills for tipping.

I would absolutely recommend this resort and would love to return one day. I hope that this and the photos help (it took a great deal of time), if so then well worth it as I owe finding both the ERC and EPM, where we have celebrated special moments, to Trip Advisor. If you have any questions send me a message I am happy to help.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
38  Thank Rob_from_LI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2008

We stayed at EPM for our honeymoon from July 4-11th. We went all out with the Excellence Club OV terrace room and Excellence honeymoon package. We read all the reviews before we went too so I’ll try to add just helpful info. We’ve traveled a lot and stayed a several all inclusive resorting including others in the Cancun area.
Many Thanks to Jennifer at Berman Travel. She had toured the resort recently and knew it well, even though it was a brand new resort.. She made sure everything was perfect before we arrived including requesting a great room, an upgraded honeymoon package - even making sure our spa appointments were right and our beach dinner booked without us even asking! She asked them to take special care of use and they truly did!

GETTING THERE: We rented a car at airport. I had emailed resort for directions before we left so getting there was not difficult, the road pretty much runs right into the resort area. No Excellence sign (just Play Mujeres) on the outer of 3 gates but if it looks like a resort, you’re at the right place. There were very few rental car so valet was super fast in and out!

CHECKIN/OUT: Excellence club private check-in and checkout was efficient – though how much more efficient from the normal check-in/checkout is questionable but was seated with a drink. We arrived a little early (2:00) and our room was ready. Our resort guide was very cute and funny – the brief tour he conducted was nice/useful though many of the details we were at a loss to remember. There are simply too many different events and places to pick-up on a 5 minute tour on the way to check-in. We charged the spa treatments to our room and other than having to asking for our spa credit the bill was correct.

ROOM: The reviews said our room was great, and the staff kept telling us room 9458 was the best room in the resort (but don’t they always?) – in this case, it really really was. A corner room with an amazing view of the multicolored ocean, and a direct view of the main pool and associated areas. Stay in building 9 if you can, it’s the highest and no one over looks your terrace (or obstructs your view). We thought we’d use the terrace more than we did but it was really nice to have and the view was unbelievable. The balcony alone was wonderful - we probably wouldn’t get it again, but for a honeymoon trip it was spot-on for the best honeymoon imagionable.
The flowers in the room were beautiful – but the ‘exotic’ fruit was just apples (as per other reviews) - but at least they told us that during checkin.
We didn’t have our honeymoon champagne in our room when we arrived, so we told the building concierge but didn’t feel the message would be delivered. When we went for dinner later we spoke with the lobby concierge and he asked when we would like it – promising - and it was delivered at 9.00 in the morning as requested. We were duly impressed.
Room cleaning time varied (note tipping, below) - it was usually early, shortly after noon, but occasionally it was late and it would have been nice (esp. on honeymoon) to know when the room would be cleaned. We got interrupted twice by cleaning or mini-bar staff but we rolled with it.
We had turndown service every night but two –And the ‘petit four’ were just Ande’s mints – nothing special (of course, after multiple days of free-flowing food, finding even more on the bed was hardly something we took note of)
We asked for special pillows and it took a couple of tries (again, first with the local concierge, then again with the lobby concierge. The lobby concierge only made a brief note on a sticky but within the same day we did get them.
We had a couple of maintenance issues with our terrace plunge pool but they were quickly resolved the following morning. Beware that the plunge pool jets are timed and don’t work at night. Several people said it was cold but ours was warm and they said it was temperature controlled. If yours is cold ask maintenance to warm it up for you.
There was no complimentary Lovers Live CD by Sade but we never asked about it either.
We never heard any construction noise - anywhere – throughout the resort (oh so wonderfully nice!)

FOOD: Overall the food was good and the service was great with few exceptions. Would the food compare with your favorite 5 star restaurant at home? No – but we found it pleasant and very palatable.
We ordered room service every morning and had the most wonderful breakfast on our balcony; egg dishes (Rancho and Egg Benedict), pastries (choc croissant!), juices, kahlua and coffee along with champagne (as many glasses as requested). The bagel with Lox is a must try and I’m not even a smoked salmon fan. They did a great job at getting our order right but if something wasn’t right they quickly and happily fixed it! (well, honestly, not always happily but with slight encouragement, they fixed it proper). We had our honeymoon ‘breakfast in bed’ one morning and it was ordered from a limited, printed menu we filled out and gave to our concierge. The order was wrong and just not that special. It just wasn’t as nice as the regular room service experience. The only positive ‘special-ness’ was it was ordered in advance and delivered at a specific time + a rose was included (I’d gotten several with my other breakfast deliveries, so it wasn’t really special). My advice - skip the ‘special breakfast’ and just call and order exactly what you want. Delivery takes 30 to 45 minutes (note tipping, below) so plan appropriately and you won’t be disappointed.
Xbox is cool and was cleaned often, we had no problems.
We ate lunch almost everyday at The Grill, it over looks the ocean and they had nice lunch choices. Barcelona had a buffet at breakfast and lunch, we looked it over, tons of choices but we preferred food cooked to order. We did have breakfast there one morning early (it’s the only place open before 9) before leaving on Chichen Itza adventure. We had a rental car but it was still an all day trip.
We had lunch one day at Lobster house and that was the worst experience, the staff was grumpy and slow (and the place was pretty empty) and the food the not very good.
We ate dinner at all the restaurants except Flavor Market, we’re not crazy about tapas and after we read other people having gotten sick we gave it a pass. We really liked Spice (ate there twice) and Agave. A must do is the Mayan coffee at Agave - go when it’s darker to get all the effect of the “show”. We went twice just for the coffee show. Chez Isabelle was our least favorite, food was just ok and service was lacking compared to other restaurants. Lobster House was ok, my lobster was tough and Chipotle sauce was flavorless but my husband’s was tender and tarragon sauce was very tasty.
The house red wine was very disappointing and we gave up having any with dinner (we gave it an honest college try – three times at least – it was just wasn’t up to our minimum standards, which quite frankly are an $8 bottle of Ravenwood Zin). The house chardonnay was pretty good and we drank a fair amount of that. The ½ bottles of wine (red and white) in the room (mini-bar) were awful – I mean like truly truly headache causing aweful!
We had the honeymoon private dinner on the beach and it was amazing - highly recommended. We got rained out of our first beach dinner but rescheduling it was no problem. They also decorated our room that night and the hot tub was filled with bubbles!
DRINKS: Order what you want, ask for specific brand alcohol and how you want it made. If it seems light in alcohol, ask them to add more. If the same bartender makes you multiple drinks and you are asking for stronger drinks, they will get stronger without have to ask again. There are lots of exotic drinks to try, drink of the day is usually good but typically pretty sweet. There was this one drink in a pineapple with a face on the pineapple – it looked cool but I didn’t try one.
TIPPING: Yes, it’s all inclusive and tipping is NOT required – but it did seem to be expected. We did gave dollar tips fairly frequently, at bars and restaurants for the most part, but also in the xbox (emptied every day after breakfast), everyday for the maid, and for the mini-bar guy (he was SO great and took such good care of us, we drank a ton of water everyday and he always left us extra – again, at our request). We got great service and I know the tips were not required – but some of the great service had to be related to the tips. I mean, the tips were small and only amounted to a few percent (total) of the total vacation cost. But we know they were appreciated and the staff showed their appreciation – perhaps not in a way that was different than the smiles they gave every guest – but to us it felt more genuine. The staff was very friendly and after a couple of days many people greeted up by name. Our building concierge staff went out of their way to make us feel at home.
GROUND/POOL/BEACH: The ground, the pools and the beach were immaculate. Always lots of chairs and floats if you wanted them while we were there. Some camping out of chairs but very few were taken before 9 or so while we were there. Resort was pretty dead before 10.
GYM: Used the gym one morning about 8, not crowded and very nice equipment.
SPA; We arrived on Friday and wanted to make sure had massages over the weekend so I booked them in advance via email. We emailed back and forth several times with changes but our reservations and schedule were correct when we arrived. We did massages the first 4 days we were there. The marine circuit was the best part, do go an hour early to enjoy it. The cold towel and scalp massage at the end by Laura was wonderful!
To be clear, I’ve been to 4 nice spas over the last year. Each was different but all were nicer then EPM. There were also less ‘special’ extras with these treatment. Since the prices were the same or even more than at home where I did get little ‘extras’ it was a big disappointment.
The massages were ok, we did High Tides (deep tissue), Excellence, Reflexology and Honeymoon Aurum Couples Treatment massages. The good part was we did all couples massages and we were always in the same room together…very nice. We had two main issues: 1) the linens on the massage tables and 2) the staff/therapist communication problems. The massage tables were covered with rough towels and with a waffle cotton sheet over you. Both are very rough. The other spas I’d been to used 600-1000 count sheets, which are much nicer. Second, we filled out a sheet for every treatment describing what body parts to focus on, and then even talked to therapist before the treatment. They just didn’t understand our requests (or ignored them) and especially did ask about muscle/body injuries. They did ask about ‘medical problems’, which we took to be heart/bone/handicap problems. Perhaps they were really asking about any special need, but again the poor language skills of the staff prevented acceptable communication.
Every massages was done exactly by the book, NO variation based on needs like stiff neck or sore back. The Excellence massage included ‘stretching’ and they jerked and pulled very hard on my arm socket and hurt my healing separated shoulder. I didn’t think that stretching would include really hard joint pulling.
Even though we asked for focus on neck, shoulders and back they still spent way too much time on legs and arms, even after asking repeatedly. The deep tissue and reflexology massages weren’t hard enough (or hard on areas where not needed). The Aurum was just Swedish massage but I found it very relaxing.
CONCEIRGE STAFF: Concierge staff was great. We visited/used all 3, concierge in our building, the Excellence club and in the main lobby. My suggestions for in resort issues (maintenance, room needs, etc.) work with the lobby concierge. If that fails use the Excellence club. If you have external issues (driving directions, suggestions where to buy things, etc.) use concierge in the main lobby. Our best luck at getting things you needed was by talking with main lobby concierge.
EXCELLENCE CLUB: If it hadn’t been for getting the terrace OV room with the required Excellence club, we wouldn’t have done it. There’s just not that much extra you get with Excellence Club. Private checkin/out was nice but the club bar didn’t have many other higher end alcohol choices, no _especially_ no nicer wines. The most annoying part was that it always took a very very long time to get any drink/refill even though the place would be empty! The club pool/bar was fine (always empty and seemingly with access to anyone – the alcohol was the same but the service was quicker). Since the resort wasn’t full the beach and main pool were more interesting and fun.
ACTIVITIES: We really didn’t participate in any activities but they seemed very well organized and easily available. The most we did was sailing, which if you haven’t ever done it (or have a very miserable experience from childhood) was the best thing ever. The folks who manage the catamarans would hold a brief training session on the beach, ride out onto the waves with you for 10 minutes and then let you go (if they thought you were capable – no test or anything but lets face it, a catamaran is very forgiving and it’s easy to stay close to shore). Since it didn’t cost anything it was easy to justify putting dollars in their tip jar, and it was one of the highlights of our vacation.
-Safe travels, friends from Austin, TX

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
13  Thank ptw-austin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2008

We were there for our Honeymoon from July 7 to 14. We had high expectations and they were exceeded pretty much across the board. We are a 30ish couple. Of course, an experience at a resort in greatly influenced by the other guests that happen to be there at the time. We were fortunate in that there were several couples there that had also just got married and had similar personalities. Lets all stay in touch!! - John and Sara.

Here is some input that may help future guests to this resort....

Airport/transportation - I would recommend that you have transportation to and from the airport and hotel as part of your package. If you don't, you roll the dice with all the junior capitalists that are swarming the airport to "take care of you."

Rooms - Kick [----]. Beware the bathroom has no divider from the rest of the room. It takes a little getting used to, but even though I will never completely warm up to this idea, it is really not that bad. The rooms are extremely nice and the flat panel tv is well equipped with entertainment for all - we mostly appreciated channels 49 and 50!!

CLOTHING/DRESS CODE - The restaurants enforce dress codes for dinner. It is essential that men have a few pair of long pants as well as a pair of nice looking sandals - not flip flops. I got bit by this one. In the evenings, everyone is wearing nice clothes - you need plenty of collared shirts.

SHOPPING - Don't forget to pack everything you need!! Here is an example of prices at the hotel store....
Sunscreen $25.
Disp. camera $25
cigarettes $6.50
They also have Viagra for $40/pill !!

TIPS - Bring some cash. I know it is supposed to be included, but you will need to have some cash to improve your experience. We went to Sandals in Jamaica and the employees absolutely would not take a dollar from us. That is not the case here. Its not a bid deal though - you don't need more that $75 for an entire week. A buck or two gets it done. That couple dollars will get you exponentially better service than we had at Sandals where they wouldn't take a tip.

NIGHTLIFE - Not a lot of it here. I would suggest you take part in all this place had to offer while the sun is up and then you won't have the energy or desire for bar hopping. We still managed a few late nights and enjoyed the disco bar. It is kind of hit and miss.

FOOD - The food is really good. Definitely take advantage of the breakfast and lunch buffets. We enjoyed the French and Italian places the most.

Excursions - Make sure to bring your wallet!! Once you leave the compound, Mexico aint all-inclusive!! Thanks to Tom for carrying my dumbass. We did the Carnival night excursion. It was pretty good, not great. It was good to get out and see some of the locals anyway and the show was very entertaining.

POOLS - Absolutely beautiful and plentiful. Unfortunately the pool bars close at 4 and 5 oclock - even if they are busy at the time.

This is a great place for couples to have a care free and pampered vacation. We hope to make it back to this resort sooner than later

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
8  Thank SaraandJohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Excellence Playa Mujeres

Address: Prolongacion Bonampak, S/N | Lote Terrenos 001 MZ. 001 Sm. 003, Zona Continental, Playa Mujeres 77400, Mexico
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:
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Mujeres
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Mujeres
Price Range: $412 - $743 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Excellence Playa Mujeres 5*
Number of rooms: 450
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Luxury adults-only resort nestled among seven swimming pools on a powdery white sand beach, in a community that boasts a spectacular Greg Norman signature golf course. This jewel of Cancun sets a new standard of luxury for all-inclusives with finely tuned amenities such as one-of-a-kind accommodations including two-story rooftop terrace suites with a private Plunge pool, meticulous service, gourmet cuisine, an exquisite spa and the signature Excellence Club. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Excellence Playa Mujeres Hotel Playa Mujeres
Excellence Hotel Playa Mujeres
Playa Mujeres Excellence Hotel
Excellence Playa Mujeres Cancun

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