More about Excellence Riviera Cancun
Review of Secrets Excellence Riviera Cancun
A couple of days ago i returned from a wonderful week at Secrets Excellence Reviera.
Before deciding on this hotel I did the research that most people do on any destination. A lot of people had submitted questionable reviews about the hotel here on trip advisor, but in the end all the information is only subjective. I used to work in turism in the Canadian Rockies as well as the Western States, so my expectations are probably a little higher than most.
This was only my second all inclusive experience, the first was in the Canary Islands.
The hotel is new, the layout is very well thought out. The buildings are layed out in a circular format, with swimming pools meandering throughout the property directly in front of the buildings. The main pool at the front of the hotel has the "action", volleyball, floatation toys, basketball, etc... This is very easy to escape by walking a few steps the opposite direction to the other pool areas.
I have read that someone wrote that it is all young couples and single guys. We returned on November 7th, and it should be noted that 80 people checked in for a wedding on November 4th. When this group arrived, the atmosphere changed significantly, as did the noise level. As I mentioned earlier, this is easy to escape.
The hotel is very beautiful and meticulously kept. The staff is excellent times 10. The only rude people at the resort were some of the guests who lack the decency to understand that not everyone in the world speaks English. If you're looking for a destination where the only language is English, then perhaps consider going to Hawaii.
There are no bad rooms at this hotel. Some are just better than others. We had a spa / pool view and it was excellent ! On the last day we used a hospitality room to shower and get changed in before our jaunt back to Vancouver. It was a swim out room. The only difference of the swim out rooms is that they're on the ground floor, have an outside jacuzzi tub, and a hammock... but zero privacy. I'm glad I didn't pay more for a swim out room.
The food is amazing ! We mostly at at the French and Japanese restaurants. There's a lot to be said for 5 course a la carte dining at an all inclusive resort. We found a couple of times that meat was overdone, they're more than willing to re-cook it but we ate it anyways.
The drinks were all good and no additional charge for premium international brands.
24 free unlimited room service and is you ask nicely they'll bring a free bottle of sparkling wine with your order as an apertif.
The only downside is the beach. The sand is white and fine but does get a bit of sea weed that is cleaned up by a tractor a couple of times a day. There a little roped in swimming area that I ignored and chose to go for a real swim instead. There was zero undertow and very little current.
We went to the hotel next door and chartered a boat to take us snorkling on the reef in front of the hotels (close to a mile out). The cost was $70 USD for 2 people, including a guide and the boat. The trip lasted 2 hours, so not a bad deal.
There are people selling timeshare everywhere. One was for a place called something palace (I won't say the name). We were lied to to go there... But I negotiated a $200 USD deal if I went to the presentation. Personally I think I could have gotton more and perhaps a jeep rental too. 90 minutes - $200USD... not bad for a cloudy day, as longs as you know how to say NO !
I will definately go back to Secrets !
Nightly entertainment on stage
Unlimited hobie cat use
So so beach
Not 100% but pretty darn close !
5 Stars for Secrets Excellence RC
Husband and I went to Secrets Excellence RC for a 5 day vacation in November 2004, 6 weeks or so after the resort first opened. We were a little apprehensive about the newness of the place, but once we got there had a great time.
The good points: 7 or so restaurants to choose from including French, Italian, upscale Mexican, Japanese, pizza/calzone place, seafood grill, and sandwich place for lunch. Almost all required men to wear long pants for dinner (no tie or jacket needed, though). Personally, we liked the dress code and were happy not to see some guy in cut-off shorts and sleeveless tee while we enjoyed our dinner. The drinks were plentiful and the alcohol was top shelf. There were always waiters around to take a drink order, whether it was on the beach, by the pool, or in the restaurants (drunk people are generally happier and leave tips!) Tips, by the way, were inlcuded here, but we tipped some of the staff who were extra helpful or whom we saw more often by the end of our stay. Many people didn't tip and got the same level of service. The rooms were great and had a jacuzzi tub inside and on your patio. I enjoyed the bathrobe and slippers, particularly since our floors were polished marble or sandstone. We had a swim-out room, which meant we could walk right out our back sliding doors, over a small lawn, right to the pool (kind of like a private entrance/backyard). We really loved taking out the HobieCat catamaran and sailing around (take one of the guides if it gets really windy, though, trust me!) The food was wonderful each night (our favorites were the lamb tamale, rack of lamb, beef tenderloin, and mussels).
The bad points: The numerous pools were on the colder side, which was odd because the weather was in the mid to high 80s. One of the staff said the hotel was considering contracting with someone to heat the pools. It may be more tolerable when it gets warmer, I assume. The beach was fine, but the water was a bit murky from the floating kelp shreds at the surf line. If you're looking for crystal clear water, this is not the place. But once you get past the kelp line, the water was warm and very swimable. The power went out for a few minutes each night, but I assume this will be fixed as the kinks get worked out. The hotel does not yet have a shuttle to Cancun or Playa del Carmen (but does go to tiny Puerto Morelos for a couple of hours each night, apparently for those who wish to attend Mass at the local church). You may want to check if there will be conventions at the hotel during your stay, as we noticed that some of the conventioneers were a bit rowdy (we figured that they may be there for free or cheaper and perhaps didn't have as much respect for the place as those of us who paid big bucks, also folks tend to let loose at conventions.)
That's about all we can think of at this point. If people have questions, post them on the PDC forum and we'll do our best to answer. To answer some of the questions we've already seen posted: there were people of all sizes and shapes there, so don't worry about your figure and the beds were firm.
Have a great time!!
Greatest trip ever
Best vacation ever! No, it was even better than that.Having been to Cancun and Riviera Maya and staying in what was advertised as some of the very best resorts available, we were amazed at the overwhelming beauty, ambiance and level of service afforded at Secrets Excellence Cancun. Our 4 day stay started Oct. 31, 2004 and ended all to soon on Nov. 4, 2004. The resort is new and we expected some start up problems, but to our great surprise, there were none. Not only that, but just the opposite. Each day was more wonderful than the first. Exquisite accomodations, surroundings fit for a king, food that could have been found in 5 star restaurants, and service we haven't had like this ever before. We are already planning our next trip to Secrets Excellence Cancun becaue we know there can't be any other resort in the Riviera Maya that can compare to this one.
I'm going to keep this short & sweet, because I agree 100% with everyone who has posted a ***** review. Today my wife & I returned from a 7 night stay, and felt a need to post immediately. Not only does this resort offer the service and amenities that you would expect from an upscale resort, but this place has a personality too.
Food was great.....not five-star great, but the number of choices kept us more than satisfied. I would say that the quality of food at Himitsu was best....the tuna sushi was incredible. We went there one night just for a sushi boat appetizer, and then had dinner @ El Patio.
What else can I say that hasn't been said already? If you can't have a good time @ Secrets Excellence, than you can't have a good time anywhere.
PS- Please tip your servers & bartenders. I know gratuity is included, but a few bucks here & there go a long way and it's always greatly appreciated. These guys/gals really hustle, and do everything to make sure you really enjoy yourself.
Absolutely beautiful, we can't wait to go back!
My husband and I just returned from our honeymoon at Secrets Excellence and we're already saving to go back for our anniversary...it was that great! There was still some construction going on when we were there and not many people yet, even so the place was gorgeous. Staff was SO friendly, some of them called us by name and we got to know a few of them during our week there. We arrived to a champagne greeting while checking in and got to our room to find a bottle of champagne chilling, fruit and flowers. We had a standard room in the 9 block...ask for the 7 block if you want to be near everything. Even the standard rooms are huge and very elegant. That night, we returned to our room to find 2 towel swans on our bed sprinkled with roses...what a nice surprise! We tried a couples massage at the spa and were able to go through the hydrotherapy beforehand, very relaxing. As for the restaurants, El Patio (mexican) was ok, I guess we were expecting more mexican fare being in Mexico but the menu seemed to be mostly seafood. Portofino (italian) was also ok, mainly because I didn't get what I was expecting...apparently the pasta I ordered wasn't in yet so they just gave me the shrimp & lobster, they should've advised me of this when I ordered it though. Also, all-inclusive doesn't include all the wines. My husband asked for pinot grigio, expecting a glass, he ended up receiving a bottle which we were charged $45 for, again...should've advised us at time of order. We loved Himitsu (japanese), my husband tried the sushi and ended up ordering another serving. The main meal was very good too. Our favorite restaurant ended up being the one we didn't think we'd like, Bordeaux (french). Neither of us considers ourselves to be big french food fans, but we decided to go ahead and try it. Loved it and ended up going again the next night! Service and ambience was the best of all the restaurants. We tried the chateaubriand our first night...and may I say, EXCELLENT! Our waiters Jose & Juan fed of each other making us laugh. Definitely try the Mayan coffee, making it is a show in itself. Pools are everywhere...but don't expect much from the beach. The sand is nice but the water was very seaweedy. Bring small bills if you plan on tipping, USD change is hard to get. Everyone accepted USD. Not much to do in the immediate area, we took taxis the few times we left the resort. Not to worry, there's plenty to do in the surrounding areas. We recommend taking a taxi to Playa del Carmen to catch the ferry to Cozumel and go to Mr Sancho's. It's a beautiful little (free) beach with a cantina right on the sand serving great mexican food. The water there was crystal clear and very calm. There's also a few shops and a horseback riding tour. We wished we had given ourselves more time to spend there. I could go on and on about Secrets Excellence, but sufficed to say we absolutely loved it!
You Need To Go!
My wife and I spent a week at the Secrets Excellence resort earlier this month for our 20th anniversary. We had never travelled to Mexico or the Carribean, and had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort. It turned out to be a memorable trip of a lifetime! The resort is spectacular - beautiful buildings, well laid out, and gorgeous landscaping complete with colorful flowers everywhere. Everything is incredibly clean and fresh. It's nice just to walk around from time to time and take it all in.
Our room was fantastic. We liked the separate shower room and the nice sitting area near the balcony. Our third-floor room looked out onto the central plaza and the ocean - it was so beautiful, any time of the day or night. We loved getting up at first light (early there - about 5:45 or so), and taking in the view. Sometimes it was hard to believe we were there!
We enjoyed hanging out at the pools and sipping cocktails. People were very friendly and generally well behaved. The staff was fantastic - courteous, friendly, pleasant, and attentive. The waiters in the restaurants were professional and responsive. Even though we don't speak Spanish, and some of them speak limited English, we got along just fine.
We sampled every restaurant at least once. Eating at the Oceana was a challenge because the wind that day was howling off the ocean, but it was still a fun experience. Our favorite was PortoFino. Definitely make it a point to eat breakfast there - the omelette bar cannot be missed. They had everything and anything you'd want for breakfast. And for dinner, try the Mayan coffee - but don't forget to bring your camera ("Showtime!"). We did not have a single disappointing meal the whole week.
Don't worry about drinking the water at the resort. They provide ultrapurified bottled water for drinking, and their ice for drinks and cooking use this, we were told. We had no problems with the food or water at the resort. We did, however, suffer some mild discomfort after eating at one of our excursions. Nothing serious, but after that, we were extra cautious.
The beach sand is like powdered sugar. Virtually nobody used the beach for swimming - the waves were too active, and the water was pretty turbid. But to tell the truth, we weren't planning on swimming there anyway - that's what the pools are for. And they are very nice. Yes, a little on the cool side, but crystal clear and easy to get used to. Try taking a nap in the hammocks strung over the pool - we can't do that at home!
There's enough to do there - you never have to leave the resort if you don't want to. But we took three day trips - one to the Mayan ruins at Chichen-Itza (do not miss this!), another for snorkeling (our first time - not the placid aquamarine lagoons they show in the brochures, but plenty clear and beautiful, with a million fish), and the last one for horseback riding on the beach (the horses were not well behaved, so be careful - but it was worth it to go swimming with them in the ocean!). There are so many incredible things to do around there - try some of them!
A couple of cautions: it can get loud at night. A band was scheduled to play every evening from 10:30 to 11:20, and it sounded like they were set up on our balcony (probably because the room faced the plaza). It's a resort, people are there to have fun and it may get a little noisy. But it never ruined our experience. People we talked to that had rooms elsewhere didn't notice the noise at all.
Also: we had problems getting the front desk to respond to us. It seems strange for such a wonderful resort, but if we had a problem and called for assistance, they rarely sent someone to help. For instance, our Jacuzzi wasn't working right the second day (hot water but no cold, or cold water but no hot). It took three hours, two phone calls and a personal visit to the desk, and two tries by the maintenance guy to get it fixed. On our final day, I twice requested assistance to take our luggage to the main entrance (one visit to the desk, and a phone call when nobody showed at the appointed time) - and nobody ever showed. So I had to haul the bags myself so we wouldn't miss the bus. This problem almost caused us to downgrade our rating to four stars, but they made up for it with a nice fruit plate and champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, and rose petals on our bed with swans sculpted with two towels. Wow!
Without a doubt this was an incredible and relaxing getaway - a perfect way for us to celebrate our anniversary!
(Wife's note to the ladies: be sure to bring enough "feminine supplies" since they don't offer much to choose from at the only store on site!)
Service was great, room was great, food was good, I will return to this resort soon. Can't understand any negatives, as I have been to many resorts, and this rates at the top. Room was wonderful, stocked mini bar with plenty of evian, sodas and beer. Room service at 1 a.m. if you want it.
You literally don't have to leave your chair on the beach or pool to eat, and drink from morning to evening.
My only tip would involve snorkeling. In front of resort beach is the best reef for snorkeling, but excellence does not have its permit yet, so we used a local out of Puerto Morelos which picked us up on the beach. It was excellent for 35 us each, including two seperate locations to snorkel.
We can't wait to go back soon, and thanks to all the staff who made our trip enjoyable. The rose petals on the bed were a special touch my wife will not soon forget.
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
"The Mayan Riviera - Never a dull moment"
On one of our three-day jaunts down to Mexico, my husband and I picked the Yucatan peninsula. We didn't want to stay in crowded Cancun, so we opted for a small fishing village 20 minutes south of Cancun. The place we landed at was Puerto Morelos, a low-key, lazy village, which is also the location of the ferry crossing to Cozumel.
Our trip to Puerto Morelos was - well, interesting. We avoided a robbery, car-jacking or abduction (not sure which - thankfully, something we never had to discover), stayed near a place that was guarded by guys carrying AK-47s, pulled boa constrictors from our necks, bonded with the crocodiles, and ended up in a condominium complex that is now a nudist resort. Just your typical 3-day weekend.
We also visited some spectacular Mayan ruins, accomplished that spine-tingling climb up and down the Pyramid at Chichen Itza, had our own private guide for snorkeling and picked up conch shells bigger than grapefruit right off the beach.
Puerto Morelos Mexico
"Part 1 of Our 2005 Mayan Riviera Adventure"
Part 2 was in Playa del Carmen
Puerto Morelos is a "sleepy little fishing village", about half way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. After travelling the highway on this coast a number of times, it is hard for me to believe there is anywhere "off the beaten path" on this coast, but Puerto Morelos is just that.
"Puerto Morelos beach scene"
During our entire stay here, the weather was somewhat off. There were no clouds overhead, but they were off-shore. As a result, even though we were getting sunshine, there was a general darkness that affected the beach. We took this photo on our last day here, when the clouds finally cleared off, and we found that the beach was quite spectacular.
"Red-necks, Mexican style"
Around where we live, red-necks leave old junked cars at the side of the road. Here, it seemed to be boats. There were a number of them parked on the side streets (does the tide come in that high?)
"First time in Mexico"
For my first visit to Mexico ... we stayed in riviera maya... first impressions well wheres the hotels?? ... from the road side you cannot see anything but thick undergowth with a road cut into it leading to the hotel the drive takes approx five mins from the road along the drive ... upto seeing the hotel i have to be honest i felt a little let down ... everything just looked messy . The wait was well worth it though ... First impressions of our Hotel .. Excellence riviera Maya stunning... breathtaking ... amazing a true touch of class
"Excellence Riviera Maya"
Well this hotel was the best i have stayed in .. all inclusive means just that ... top class al a carte restaurants .. spice... grill... lobster House... in total eight international restaurants . we did pay extra and went in the excellence club ... was it worth it ? well yes i think so .. private area of beach and pool ... mini bar with beers .. wines... sodas.. choccies... and several full size bottles of branded spirits . plus many more extras named toiletries .. lol yes named toiletries means something to us ladies . All this and much more 24 hour room service and you can order most anything your heart desires ...
well i can go on and on the service was 100% the staff in the words of Tina turner "simply the best" .. they couldnt do enough for you bringing you drinks with a smile .. making sure your stay was perfect..
the pools and the beach are like a picture postcard ... the Entertainment could be better was pretty boring .. but maybe it just wasnt to my taste .. i prefer dancing to music and on one occassion the entertainment was some guy doing magic tricks on a big screen . That was my only gripe with the hotel apart from that it was spot on ..wow factor rooms with two jacuzzis one in the bedroom and one on the balcony .. two huge double beds a 42 inch plasma screen tv .
Cabanas around the adults only pool area
Walk out into the pool in certain rooms
Best place in Mexico for Scuba Diving?
A group of us are trying to plan a trip to Mexico to vacation and scuba. We went to Cozumel last year and had a blast. Just wondering if the Riviera, Cancun, Cabo or any other places in Mexico were better for a beautiful scenery, fun, relaxing getaway vacation?
Re: Best place in Mexico for Scuba Diving?
Have you considered Belize? It has the world's second largest barrier reef and I have heard that the diving is excellent there.
Re: Best place in Mexico for Scuba Diving?
Isla Mujeres as somebody else suggested was great.... we went to Cozumel first and loved it ... but it was lil too deep for me and Isla Mujeres was fabulous and more shallow.
Belize that somebody else suggested - everybody seems to love it but my husband and I were not impressed.
Tell me about Mexico!
My husband and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary this summer and would like to go somewhere special with sandy beaches, great food, friendly staff, spotless accommodations, and interesting sites to see in the area. Any advice from travelers familiar with Mexico would sure be appreciated! If we go in late June - early July, will be be in the middle of the rainy season? Thanks for your help!
Re: Tell me about Mexico!
We visited in September and stayed on the Maya Riviera, our hotel was called Aventura Spa Palace - it was spotless, staff were excellent, food fantatstic and it was adults only - a huge bonus!
There is no beach as such at the hotel, although the resort of Puerto Aventuras has a fab beach, but the pool areas are great and they have a manmade lagoon which was brilliant.
Its a fairly quiet hotel with live entertainment msot nights, we did however find that our evenings were spent wining and dining in one of the many restaurants that this resort has to offer.
We spent a further week at the Moon Palace near Cancun - a bigger, older hotel, loads of families and the service not so personalised as in the Spa Palace.
I would have no problems recc the Aventura Spa Palace to you, but I would be wary of the Moon Palace.
If you have any further questions on these hotels feel free to email me.
Enjoy your trip.
Re: Tell me about Mexico!
There are many places to visit with that characteristics, The caribean (Cancun, Riviera maya and Cozumel) are quite the most beatiful beaches in Mexico, but there are many others like Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Ixtapa, Puerto Escondido, Los Cabos in the pacific side, it depends on what you want, my sugestions is Riviera Maya or Huatulco.
There are many options incluiding transportation and hotels packages provided by Mexicana Airlines, visit www.mexicana.com for more information.
if need further information, reply me.
regards and have fun.