This adult-only, 440-room all-inclusive resort lives up to the Excellence name. It offers the level of features you'd expect from this luxury chain, including six attractive pools, numerous dining options, dozens of activities, and extensive spa facilities with beachside treatment huts and lovely treatment pools. Food is especially good for an all-inclusive resort (no reservations are required), as is entertainment. There's also a gorgeous stretch of beach, though seaweed is sometimes an issue. Suites feature elegant contemporary decor, private furnished balconies, and marble bathrooms with separate showers and jetted tubs. There are even big duplex suites with private rooftop plunge pools. Note that Wi-Fi, though free, can be a bit unreliable. This is easily one of the best all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Morelos. Travelers with kids might want to check out the family-friendly Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa, which offers comparable amenities, though rooms aren't as stylish.
Luxury beachfront resort with an adult-only policy
Set on beautiful beachfront grounds full of lush plants and tall palm trees, this luxury all-inclusive resort offers a tropical vacation teeming with activities, dining options, and pools. An adult-only policy means that there are no kids running around and the clientele is made up mainly of couples. Guests are greeted with a welcome drink in the bright and airy, elegant lobby, where gleaming marble floors are paired with sofas padded with white cushions sitting on Oriental-style rugs. The lobby bar occupies a grand high-ceilinged space full of natural light streaming through beautiful arched floor-to-ceiling windows. Guests spend most of their time outdoors, however, and there are plenty of spots to relax in, be it sprawled on a daybed by one of the several pools, swinging on a hammock right above the water, or under a palapa on the beach. Those looking to socialize typically congregate around the swim-up bar during the day, and at the sports bar at night (it's the only spot open after the entertainment ends around 11 p.m. or so).
Excellence Riviera Cancun is one of the best large all-inclusive resorts in the area. Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is probably its closest competitor; it is also an adult-only all-inclusive, with about the same number of rooms. They're both excellent options, so it's worth comparing rates. Grand Residences Riviera Cancun is another excellent luxury option, but its all-inclusive plan is optional and it's much smaller, with 103 rooms (many with full kitchens) and one restaurant. The 90-room, wellness-oriented Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita is the area's most luxurious option but it's also the most expensive; its all-inclusive food is all cooked to order, so there's no chowing down at the buffet.
On a white-sand beach north of Puerto Morelos and close to the airport
The Excellence Riviera Cancun sits on a pretty stretch of sand off Highway 307. There’s little within walking distance, but Puerto Morelos’ attractions and Cancun International Airport are just a quick drive away, and proximity to the main road means easy access to major sights, shopping, and nightlife.
Puerto Morelos is a former fishing village located halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The area serves as a perfect compromise for anyone who wants to enjoy Cancun's stunning beaches but doesn't want them to be overrun by hordes of tourists. The impressive reefs just offshore attract a fair share of divers, and many come to take a dip in the inland cenotes (massive sinkholes filled with crystal clear groundwater). Note that there can be a lot of seaweed on the beach and in the water, despite the hotel regularly raking the shore, and it could pose an issue for some guests. The laid-back vibe of the area makes it great for spending a day lounging or exploring, and unwinding with dinner at a beachfront restaurant, all without the fear of having to deal with packs of rowdy spring breakers.
11-minute drive to Puerto Morelos' shopping and dining
18-minute drive to Cancun International Airport
35-minute drive to Playa del Carmen
35-minute drive to downtown Cancun (Ciudad Cancun)
Elegant, contemporary suites with marble bathrooms, private balconies, and array of modern amenities
The hotel's spacious suites feature elegant contemporary decor awash in soft neutral hues paired with sleek wooden furniture. Architectural details like columns and archways are a charming touch to the bright and airy spaces. Large beds are topped with bright white linens and framed by padded gray headboards, and all rooms have elegant writing desks and seating areas accented by blue velour pillows that match the patterned curtains. Glass doors slide open onto private furnished balconies or patios, while the Two Story Rooftop Terrace Suite has a large terrace with a lovely private plunge pool, outdoor shower, daybed, and outdoor seating with views over the beach. Swim-up suites are also available.
Standard amenities include air-conditioning, 42-inch flat-screen TVs, CD/DVD players, radio/alarm clocks with iPod connections, electronic safes, coffee- and tea-making facilities, minibars, and free Wi-Fi -- though some guests complain that it's unreliable. Marble bathrooms are large and have separate jetted tubs and showers, as well as double vanities, magnifying mirrors, hairdryers, toiletries, and separate toilet rooms. Excellence Club-level suites have indoor and outdoor whirlpool tubs, Nespresso machines, Bulgari toiletries, upgraded minibars and room service menus, and other perks like access to a private lounge and to a private beach area.
Six pools and five hot tubs, 10 restaurants and 11 bars, extensive spa facilities, and a modern fitness center
With six outdoor pools as well as a lovely stretch of white-sanded beach, there are plenty of spots to relax in and soak up the sun. Padded loungers shaded by palapas as well as comfy daybeds surround the pools, and many have sunbeds in the water as well. The main pool has a swim-up bar and there are five hot tubs on the property. A variety of water sports are available on the beach, including kayaking, snorkeling, sailing, scuba diving, and deep sea fishing. There can sometimes be a lot of seaweed in the water, however, which can limit swimming. Those who upgrade to the Excellence Club get access to private pool and beach areas, which means not having to worry about reserving a lounger, but there are usually enough loungers in the main areas to go around regardless.
The hotel's Miilé Spa offers a variety of treatments, as well as beauty services such as manicures, pedicures, and haircuts. Besides 10 indoor treatment rooms, outdoor beachfront rooms are also available, and the spa offers a beautiful hydrotherapy pool, a sweet water treatment pool with swim-in access, a variety of showers including sensation, Scottish, and tropical rain showers, steam rooms, saunas, and an ice treatment room. There's also a 1900-square-foot fitness center that's well equipped with modern machines, as well as a scenic running route for those who prefer working out outdoors. The resort offers plenty of fitness activities as well, such as aerobics, water polo, beach volleyball, beach soccer, tennis, archery, and yoga.
The hotel offers 19,695 square feet of meeting and event space, including a grand ballroom and outdoor venues. Other amenities offered include a business center, laundry services, and airport transfers. Wi-Fi is free throughout, though guests remark that it can be a bit unreliable.
Excellent all-inclusive dining and no reservations required
There are plenty of dining options on-site. The 10 restaurants serve a variety of cuisines, including Italian, Mexican, Asian, French, Indian, and there are also snack bars, take-away pizza, and a crepe station. Guests don't have to make reservations for the a la carte restaurants -- a major upside (some resorts require guests to queue early in the morning to book their dinner spots). The breakfast and lunch buffets also impress; expect hot food (with cooked-to-order options, such as omelets) and incredible variety. There are 11 bars as well, including pool and beach bars, a cigar bar, coffeeshop, and a juice bar at the spa. The all-inclusive rates cover all meals and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, as well as 24/7 room service.
Nightly entertainment is good, and options may include a fire show, a Michael Jackson show, a Madonna show, circus show, or a White Party (where there's a special outside buffet set up and everyone wears white). Note that the theater is open-air, with no AC, and can get a bit hot. After the shows end, guests still looking to socialize can head to the sports bar, which is open late (usually until around 1 a.m.) and serves pub fare.
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