After spending 8 nights at the El Cid I can definitely say this was one of the best family vacations we have had. Our family of 4 (12 year old boy and 14 year daughter) had such a great time - and the El Cid was a great hotel. Now I won't say the hotel was perfect, but if you compare this to other upper / middle level FAMILY resorts it really would be hard to beat. One of the best features of the hotel was the 1 bedroom suite we had. This suite was just HUGE and for our family of 4 the small extra cost of this room was well worth it. The suite is basically the size of two standard rooms (literally) and had to be over 800 sq ft. We had 2 large bathrooms, a kitchenette (don't know why you would want a stove but you have one), dining table with 4 chairs, a king size bed in the bedroom, a queen size murphy bed with a real queen mattress (very nice), and couch which we actually turned into a twin size bed for our daughter since the kids didn't want to share a bed. On top of this you get a large balcony with 4 chairs and since we were on the 4th floor in building#10 we had a great view of everything (note we did NOT upgrade to platinum)
Other great features of the hotel were the pool which my son would never leave, the entertainment staff and activities (bike tour, shooting, and who can forget crazy hour), and the shows (first time I have ever said this for a all inclusive) especially Mexico dancing night. These were real shows! And finally, since we spent everyday at the beach in the shade of one of the huts I really have to say that was great also.
Of course, the beach and shade were one of the areas which some may consider one of the problems of the resort. While the beach out of the water was beautiful and well maintained, once you go more than 5 - 10 feet into the water you better have water shoes on. I have seen reviews saying you need shoes and some that say you don't so let me be clear - yes you can walk in without shoes, but there are lots of rocks and unevenness so if you want to walk out without worrying about your step wear water shoes. Also, if you want to leave the property while walking on the beach - especially towards town - it gets rough and you will want something on your feet.
As far as shade goes, if you are happy at the beach than you should have no problem - we had the same hut everyday - but if you want to be at the pool you are out of luck. All they have at the pool is a couple tables with umbrellas.
Restaurants were good and the Mexican restaurant was the family favorite - make sure to ask for the appetizer sampler platter. We never had problems getting reservations even though the hotel was 80 % full, but I did make reservations 2 days in advance so this might be the reason. Seafood though was only marginal and never had a seafood dish which I would want to have again.
As I said before, the entertainment staff was great and my son had a great time participating in volleyball games, bingo, and wacky activities. This was a area though of weakness for my daughter since there were minimal activities for young teenagers and there were few activities for individuals. Would be great if the resort could add a couple of the activities for those who don't like the pool - basketball please!!
With all these positives, how can anyone not give this resort perfect marks?? Well, there were things which some have mentioned in reviews which could be annoying.
* Once you get out a little bit in the ocean it can definitely be a rough bottom. No worse than others near Puerto Morelos, but nothing like the smooth bottoms you find other places.
* This resort is somewhat isolated so walking the beach is nowhere near as nice as the resorts on the other side of town. I would NOT try to walk into town unless it was cool and you don't mind a adventure.
* It is a family resort - especially extended family. Saw lots of grand parents and larger family groups. If you are looking for something romantic you are going the wrong place.
* It is a upper / middle level resort. This is not a 5 star resort. Yes it has many nice extras such as room service and drink service on the beach, but if you compare this to the Excellence it is not the same.
* Finally, the resort is bilingual (spanish first / english second) and caters to Mexican tourists as much as it caters to Americans. Like hotels in America, they hold local weddings, graduation parties, dances, and weekend outings for large family / friend groups. This can make the pool crowded on weekends with groups of kids all speaking spanish who are not interested in interacting with the American tourists. We really didn't find this a issue, but some who are use to these resorts being islands of Americans may not like this.
All in all though, if you are a family looking for a all inclusive resort I would place this one at the top of your list.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Retreat to a 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 & Platinym 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 • 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