This was our fourth visit to Excellence Riviera Cancun and, after an off year, we were very pleased with our experience and so glad we gave it another chance. The same excellent staff throughout the resort, (Daniella, Mariana, Betsy, Ana, Gustavo, Santiago, Guillermo, Luis, Roberto, Gabriella, Armando, Juan, Dionysis, Jennifer, Alfredo to mention only a few) close proximity to the airport, adult only, ala carte evening dining with no reservations required and beautiful grounds are our main reasons for choosing this resort.
The resort is back to the 4.5 star level we've enjoyed in the past and Jean Francois Girault has put his mark on the resort in a positive way with improved food quality and presentation. The breads and pastries are incredible. There were ample new pool floaties, the chaise lounge pads have been replaced and the new sun beds are very comfortable for relaxing and/or reading. The pool level made for perfect filtration, elevators are faster and the grounds pristine. We enjoyed the addition of the rain shower in our room; a nice touch.
We ate at Chez Isabelle 4 times, Toscana, Spice and The Grill 3 times and once at Agave. Chez Isabelle is currently under renovation to increase capacity. What dining in the temporary Barcelona location lacks in atmosphere is more than compensated for by the excellent staff, led by Manager Juan, a changing daily specialty menu and wonderful food. The menu at Toscana has changed so I was disappointed that my favourite chicken breast and cannoli dessert are no longer available. I regret the extra work I caused poor Guillermo. My husband says he’ll be off on stress leave and will run shouting “no mas!!!” when he sees me again. I admit to being a fussy eater; I like what I like; don’t eat “cute” animals or any type of seafood. The menu does not specify the cut of chicken but, since I only eat white meat, I assumed (hoped if you will) for a breast and it was, in fact, a leg. My next selection, beef with mozzarella, didn’t specify VEAL so, again, I wouldn’t eat it. Guillermo offered to get me a steak but I opted for dessert to save us both further dismay. In Spice, the Manager Roberto had a Thai Fried Rice prepared for me substituting cashews for the chicken. Although I still miss the spring rolls, the tempura vegetables (part of the Tendon entrée) are a great option. Our last experience at Spice was ruined by a large group (22) of extremely loud guests who, while having a great time, spoiled it for everyone else. Staff are so accommodating; if you make a special request in advance, the restaurant manager will do his best to deliver. If you like seafood, you’re in for a treat because it is fresh, expertly prepared and the portions generous. Our meal at Agave was our only disappointment. The food was lukewarm and unappealing and it was downright annoying to have wedding guests from the private function at Basmati walking through the tables for access to the washrooms. Having the guests from the private function access the washrooms through the front entrance would have made more sense.
The friendly staff, variety and quality at The Barcelona for breakfast and lunch was wonderful but they are seriously understaffed and the toaster kept blowing fuses. Thankfully the breads were so amazing I just gave up toasting. Fresh sushi and a pasta station are always an option. We ate lunch at The Grill once and, although tasty, the food was lukewarm so not enjoyable for me. We tried the totally under the radar wood oven pizza available poolside daily but you need to be very specific on EXACTLY what you want. A nice option. Revive, the smoothie bar, is once again alcohol-free.
There is ample seating available beachside and numerous pool options throughout the resort; something to suit everyone. Shade options are plentiful. We always opt for a quiet pool and don’t really care that the more “remote” pools lack frequent bar service. The lovely gardens are home to lots of beautiful birds, gorgeous blue butterflies, geckos and iguanas.
Our only negatives were the daily fluctuation in temperature/pressure in our room shower and the food overall being lukewarm UNLESS you made a special request for hot food. Thankfully the shower issue lasted for only about 30 seconds at a time and we are always careful to keep the showerhead turned away when not in use. Food should ALWAYS be hot, it shouldn’t have to be requested. The road from the main highway into the resort is a nightmare of giant potholes but that is beyond the control of the hotel.
We had a great time and are so glad we didn’t give up after our disappointing stay last year. We’ll definitely return next November and hope to get a week in this coming March.
- 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