Me and my wife just returned from 2 weeks at the Excellence Riviera Cancun and have mixed feelings.
The Hotel is massive! It's like a University Campus. There are 9 restaurants a massive foyer and central entertainment area and lots of pools. It is a little tatty in places and needs some touching up but its ok.. Some of it is very impressive but other things let it down like pools with fountains that also contained tacky statues and where all the pipes and cables were visible !
We had quite a lot of rain and this hotel isn't set up for rain... Everything leaks, the Martini Bar is always wet and because the floors everywhere are marble the whole resort becomes a death trap ! Another thing to consider is if the weather is bad the Grill and Lobster pot restaurants are pretty unusuable, they were not open a lot and when they are it's windy as hell and they leak !
The road leading to the hotel is a disaster zone... it is flanked on both sides by mangrove and just floods all the time.. also the water erodes the road and getting in and out of the hotel is like a 4X4 offroad experience.. I can not stress how bad it is, cars get stuck ! If you have any back problems or are frail do not come to this hotel you will get hurt driving in !
There are lots of pools but the main pool is pretty much off limits as it's like Spring Break. The US guys seem to holiday in large groups and take over any areas they settle in and are soooo loud.
We hid by the lazy river as our room was just by it, it winds around the spa and is a much more relaxing place to be.
The pools seem clean but note the Lazy River is salt water.
White Sand, Brown Water... Sums it up really.. if you are looking for turquoise seas then dont come here !!
The rooms are very overrated. The bathroom area is good and the shower room is very good, the shower is powerful and endless hot water. The toilet is in a tiny box room on it;s own and is very unpleasant.
The rooms are very dated in comparison to other hotels in the area, we requested a King size bed but we got twin beds pushed together with a king mattress thrown on top. It was probably one of the most uncomfortable beds i've ever experienced in a hotel. Getting home to memory foam was amazing !
We had a Swim Up Suite (4007) which is a complete con... It isn't a swim up it is a ground floor suite with a couple of sun beds on the grass (which is muddy and also had a concrete drain in the middle of it). There is no access tot he pool other then to jump in and then climb out. No steps.. If you want steps you have to go to the other side of the pool, get out then come back over the bridge to your room. Its an utter con ! DO NOT pay for a Swim Up !!!
The Staff rescue this resort they are utterly amazing without exception.
Buffet Breakfast is amazing, i've never been to a buffet with so much choice. We went here most days but that was mainly as the other options (Grill / Lobster Pot) don't open until 9am and also were usually flooded !
French restaurant is good, Grill is good, the rest i could give or take.. Being a brit i can confirm the Indian is not good... The food is ok but tastes nothing like it should. I tried a Madras and a Rogon Josh and they both tasted the same and also both had creamy sauces ??
It was very mediocre if I’m honest and I’m not particularily a “foodie”.. It all ends up tasting the same and I was desperate to get out and try some local restaurants but more about that later…
The Drink is endless and top shelf brands (if you request them, otherwise they use cheap substitutes). There are quite a few bars but you would be amazed how hard it is to get a drink at peak times. Also if youre a Brit as opposed to a tipping American you will also find it harder.
The entertainment is amazing but I say that with a caveat. They put a lot of effort in but it just wasn’t my cup of tea.. The whole experience was very much Cruise Ship and I’m just not interested in that.. Give me a beach bar with some chill out music any day of the week.. They do have one but as it rained a lot it didn’t open.. when we got some good weather we got excited but it still wasn’t open ? Disappointing !
Things to do
There are lots of daily activities but to be honest we spent most of our time chilling by the pool and diving. The diving company onsite were good and well organized. The biggest issue with this hotel is if you intend on sitting tight within resort for your whole holiday then fine but if you fancy getting out in the evenings or just seeing some of Mexico you are miles from anywhere and to be honest the whole of the Riviera Maya is just tourist central and isn’t real Mexico at all !
Chichen Itza was amazing as was some of the diving but other than that we were going stir crazy in the hotel..
I’d like to add a caveat before summarising, we had a lot of rain which probably showed the hotel in a less than perfect light but also showed some flaws others maybe don’t see. Also we have realized that large, out of town All Inclusive resorts just aren’t our cup of tea.
That said this place was a letdown given the amount of money we spent and the claims it makes on the website. The food isn’t the best which is annoying when you don’t have an option to just pop into town for a change. The rooms and hotel are a little dated. The Beach isn’t great and they also don’t have that many bars meaning getting a drink during peak times can be tough.
Another perfect example of why this isn’t a 5* is when we got back late one evening and decided to order room service. We asked if we could order something from one of the restaurants instead of the room service menu and were bluntly told no. Also I love Eggs Benedict, you can only get this on Room Service breakfast (and the eggs are hard boiled)… Asked in the restaurant at breakfast and was told it wasn’t available though the waiter did end up getting it from room service and bringing it to me!
Me and my wife have learnt a valuable lesson this holiday though... No more AI's and no more Carribean !!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This all-suite, all-adult Resort is set along Mexico's renowned Mayan Riviera, between Playa del Carmen and Cancun, on an immaculate white sand beach. Six meandering pools wind through their grounds. You have unlimited access to eight international restaurants and ten bars, plus such amenities as an expansive swim-in spa, a full-scale fitness and cardio-conditioning center and an unparalleled range of activities on land and sea. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Excellence Riviera Maya
- Excellence Riviera Cancun Hotel
- Excellence Riviera Cancun Puerto Morelos
- Excellence Cancun
- Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun
- Cancun Excellence Riviera
- Excellence Resort Cancun
- Excellence Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos