We were at the El Cid from March 7-21st and had great time!
Our first week was very quiet and enjoyable. The second week got busier each day until there was at least double the # of guests (spring break). It was still enjoyable and there was never a problem with line-ups. Although the buffet seemed to be short-staffed at times.
This was our fourth visit to the Mayan Riviera and each time we have stayed at a different resort (always a 4 or 5 * and we enjoyed them all for different reasons). We loved the fact that this resort is close to the airport. We booked a private van through Cancun Shuttle for $80 for 4 return and it took 30 minutes max. Excellent service.
Food: Best buffet we have ever experienced at an all-inclusive. Very high quality good food. Because this is a smaller resort there are only 3 a la cartes to choose from but because we liked the buffet so much, we didn't mind. Waffles and omeletes are popular so sometimes get lined up at breakfast. Some of our favourites were the smoothies, waffles, omeletes, key lime pie, cheesecake, crepes and coconut ice cream. At lunch at the main buffet you can choose your meat, fish or shrimp and have them grill it for you. The shrimp with spicey sauce was very good. The menu at El Alcazar changes nightly so you can check the menus for that day and the next to see what they will be serving. We ate here 4 times; it was our favourite. We ate once at the Mexican and once at the Marina and they were fine, but not as good. Most of the steaks my husband and kids had were amazing and I enjoyed the fish and shrimp dishes I had. The creme brulee and Japanese cake were delicious.
The drinks were very good, not too strong. I found their pina colodas very sweet and asked them to blend them with milk for me. They thought this was a strange request but they tasted much better. They also made good cosmopolitan martinis at the lobby bar and restaurants.
Pool: Very nice and lots to do with the waterslide and dive cliff. Good music and activities around the pool. Good drink service around the pool. One thing we missed in the pool area was palapas or umbrellas to get out of the sun during the day. Only a few tables with umbrellas and those go pretty fast. The water is a little cold, but not hard to get used to on those hot days.
Beach: Beautiful beach area. Great place to go if you just want some peace and quiet. We took our water shoes but didn't need them. Even boogie boarding, we were fine without them. The sand was powder soft unless you went beyond the El Cid. We liked to go for long walks on the beach so sometimes we would take our shoes with us to make it easier in those spots. Definitely one of the nicer beaches along the coast. The bit of seaweed along the shore didn't bother us. Some areas in the water had a lot, but you just go somewhere else.
Rooms: The rooms were very nice and clean. Good size and the beds were great. The murphy bed wasn't as comfy, but still great sleep. We were in building #19 and did get woken up by the very noisy birds usually between (5 & 6am) and then fell back asleep. After 2 nights, we got used to them and slept right through. They are back between 5 & 6 pm to entertain you again each day! Our room had a beautiful view of the pool and ocean.
Shows: We enjoy going to these nightly shows, although some nights we are too exhausted. The fire show was the best and the circus and magic show were fun. Not as good as other resorts we have been to but still fun to see.
Spa/Fitness Room: The spa was beautiful and although we couldn't break away from our usual routine to go, we did try the free 5-10 min. massage and they were wonderful. The fitness room was really good and they had different types of exercise classes daily. Zumba, yoga/pilates as well as others everyday. Best selection I've seen at any resort.
There were usually chairs available most times of the day, except during our busy week. You did need to get your chairs earlier that week (usually around 7:00 am) or you had a tough time finding a few together.
To go to Playa del Carmen we took a collectivo for 5 pesos each from our resort to the highway and then you can either take a collectivo or a big bus to Playa for 20 pesos. The bus is direct and the collectivos stop along the way. We also went to XPLOR where they have underground swimming, rafting, ATV riding and lots of zip-lining. Your day pass is $99 (we purchased tickets at our hotel the day before) and this includes all your food, lockers, etc.. It was a fun way to spend the day and the food was excellent. You can book a tour which includes your bus ride for an extra $29 each or rent a car and drive yourself. We paid $40 in Puerto Muerelos and they came and picked us up at our hotel. We went snorkelling in Puerto Muerelos for $15 each and it was a great experience. Most places in town charge $25/person and at the resort they charge $45. They take you to the same spots to snorkel. It's a 20-30 minute walk along the beach to get there (you have to cut up along a path down the beach a ways and then walk part way on the road) or take a collectivo.
Overall, we loved this resort, although we like to try different places for a new experience. It also depends on the price available. We got a really good deal on this trip and found it amazing for what we paid. Remember, no place is perfect (even the most expensive places have complainers). Our expectations are quite high and we found this resort met or exceeded our expectations. This is a smaller resort than most we have been to, so it depends on what kind of atmosphere you prefer. All the buildings here are relatively close to everything - very convenient. Some of the much larger resorts offer more restaurants, pools etc. but you spend a lot more time getting around, depending on where your room is. There are pros and cons to both, so it really is a preference. If you're looking for "authentic" Mexican food, you should probably stay in a regular hotel or condo in one of the towns and go out to the different restaurants around. The all-inclusive resorts offer a wide variety of foods to satisfy many different tastes and most do an excellent job of it. If you're considering this resort, go and be ready to have fun. It would be tough not to love this place!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retreat to a luxury paradise of turquoise Caribbean waters, soothing breezes, Mayan cultural sites and beautiful, aromatic flora and fauna. Situated near the charming bohemian fishing village of Puerto Morelos, overlooking the world's second largest coral reef park, this family oriented, all-inclusive beach resort offers a quiet alternative to the larger hotels in Riviera Maya. Enjoy amazing snorkeling, diving, sailing and sport fishing directly from our shores. With a selection of diverse restaurants, fabulous pools, adults-only Jacuzzi, Mayan-oriented spa, complete fitness center, full-service marina and more -- there is everything to do or nothing at all. • Family & Eco friendly Ocean Front Resort • Exclusive large suites • Great All Inclusive & Platinum All Inclusive meal plan options • Four tantalizing restaurants featuring a la carte and delicious buffets • Macondo Ocean Deck Bar with infinity pool • 22,000-square-foot pool • Beautiful landscaping, expansive sandy beach, hammocks. • Convention Center. • Ocean Front El Cocay Spa. • Full-service Marina 120-slip marina • WIFI Internet Access (fee) • Kids Club Center • Fitness center with the latest cardio equipment, free weights and a spinning class area • Pronatours Tour Desk • Half hour from Cancun/Riviera Maya International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Cancun/Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Puerto Morelos
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa And Beach Resort
- Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
- Hotel Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
- El Cid Riviera Maya
- Hotel Marina El Cid Beach
- El Cid Puerto Morelos
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos