Excellence Playa Mujeres – Adults Only – All Inclusive
What We Love
- Two miles of white sand beach on one side, and a wetlands preserve on the other
- Some suites have rooftop terraces with private heated HydroSpa pools
- Free bicycle tours (and 14 other on site activities)
What To Know
- The beach gets its fair share of seaweed, which is cleaned up each morning
- Guests in building 7 can hear the nightly performances and watch them from their terraces—a plus or minus depending on your point of view
- The Playa Mujeres golf course is a few minutes ride, or a slightly longer walk, away
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Take nine all-inclusive restaurants (Agave for Mexican, Basmati for Indian, and The Lobster House for seafood, to name a third of the options.) Add 11 bars (including swim-up, pool, and disco). Throw in seven pools (four heated, five with whirlpools) and a full service Miilé spa. Multiply by 450 rooms and suites (some with rooftop terraces, balconies, and jacuzzis). The end result is an entire peninsula turned adult playground with the beautifully-designed resort at its heart.
In the Area
On the same peninsula as the resort—within walking distance—is the Playa Mujeres Golf Club, one of the top courses in Mexico. Nature-lovers will want to venture fifteen miles north of the property to Isla Contoy, a protected island that is a nature preserve, bird sanctuary, and nesting ground for endangered sea turtles. Guests can explore the Great Mayan Reef (also known as the Mesoamerican barrier reef) or hop the ferry to the floating fishing village of Isla Mujeres. But the most impressive excursion of all may be two hours south to the massive complex of Maya ruins at Chichén Itzá.
How to Get There
My boyfriend & I (both in our 30s) had an absolutely fantastic time here - the food, drinks & entertainment were all excellent. The employees were even more so - kind, friendly, selfless people who genuinely go above & beyond. It goes without saying that everything is immaculate - housekeeping, the army of cleaners & the people who look after the grounds do an incredible job.
We stayed for 11 nights in an Excellence Club pool view room. We’d requested a quiet room (we live in London so a bit of peace & quiet was what we wanted) & had done a bit of research beforehand - so had tentatively requested building 9 or building 7a. We ended up getting an end room in building 8 & were not at all disappointed, as we only had one room below us (a swim-up), one room beside us & a private terrace above us (so had very little room-to-room noise). Thank you, Vilma! :)
So, why not 5 stars?
Our major gripe is the number of groups that this place is attracting - particularly on the weekends - & the effect it is having on the noise levels & overall atmosphere. I had been led to believe that areas like the main pool/swim-up bar, main entertainment areas & Las Olas area of the beach were the places to be for music/partying, but it seems the bigger groups have their own idea. I had also been reassured that the policy was to shut down groups making lots of noise, playing their own personal speakers, etc. but I have to say I only saw that happen once or twice (& there were groups being disruptive on a daily basis).
I know that all of us have different ideas of what a vacation is - some people go away for quiet time as a couple, others for a more lively time in a bigger group of family/friends - so I thought that having the quieter areas & more lively areas seemed like a perfect solution. For example, we loved the swim-up bar with the live bands when we wanted a break from reading/being lazy. But the separation just doesn’t seem to work (or at least it didn’t when we were there in late Oct/early Nov 2018).
I just can’t understand how people think it is acceptable to float around the lazy river in a group of 10, screaming & blaring a bluetooth speaker in a ziploc bag (classy). Likewise, sitting in a group on a 1st floor balcony overlooking the spa where people are having hydrotherapy treatments - again, shouting, whooping & blasting music. And it seems that staff are, unfortunately, starting to turn a blind eye - most likely because groups are more lucrative to them than couples are.
One other example of where we were affected by this is when we went to the Grill one night at about 7.30pm & watched a group of six get seated right away, but a table for two was going to be a 30-minute wait. That said, we went to the Grill two nights later at about 9pm, got seated straight away at a lovely private table just over the pool & had a really great experience - so it all worked out in the end.
So, although we had an amazing time &
I am sure this resort exceeds many other all-inclusives in Cancun/the Riviera Maya (our only previous experience is the Sensimar Seaside Suites near Playa Del Carmen), I don’t think we would return unless EPM looks to revise its policy on groups.
But the good news is that it seems that the neighbouring Beloved - which is much smaller & has far fewer amenities, but is apparently just as lovely (if not more so) - will not be accepting weddings or groups from Jan 2019 (presumably pushing even more groups to EPM), in which case, Beloved could be the place for us!
And perhaps this is the company’s longer-term strategy: for the three Excellence hotels in the Playa Mujeres area to rebrand slightly - so Finest remains the family hotel, EPM becomes the place for groups & Beloved becomes the couples hotel. But, if this is the case, EPM better update its marketing, website, etc. pretty soon - or I fear lots of couples are going to be disappointed the way we were, by groups seemingly taking priority.
The best bits:
The XBox (room service compartment in every room) - just ask Room Service to put the order in the box & you don’t have to see anyone! Then put the dirty dishes in there when you finish & voila! they disappear as if by magic. I genuinely don’t understand why more hotels don’t use this system!
The employees - standouts for us were Diego at the Prelude Terrace Bar, Cesar at the Martini Bar, Nelson (the F&B Manager) who went out of his way to find us on a few occasions to make sure we were doing okay (particularly as I am vegetarian), Alan at Las Olas & the waiter at Basmati (unfortunately I didn’t catch his name) who looked after us two nights & introduced us to Bohemia Obscura beer.
The beach/water - the first day we got there, the water was a bit murky with quite a bit of seaweed, but it was beautiful the rest of the time - very little seaweed & clear, warm, calm water. And a day trip to Isla Mujeres kicks this up a notch - I have truly never seen such clear, beautiful, turquoise water!
The restaurant selection - the sheer number of varied restaurants & the fact that you don’t need to make reservations is incredible, as it means that you’ll always be in the mood for something & don’t need to be clock-watching in anticipation for a reservation. We tried pretty much every restaurant & everything was consistently great to excellent, with just a few food/service misses. My favourite though was definitely Las Olas - sitting there in your swimsuit with your toes in the sand looking out at the ocean while eating nachos or a dirty burger with a cold beer just can’t be beat!
The mixed bits:
Housekeeping - although housekeeping did a great job, service was sporadic - with our housekeeper coming early some days, late others & she didn’t come at all one day. This was inconvenient more than anything, as we’d sometimes want to relax in our room/on our balcony mid-afternoon & come back to find the room as we left it. However, the turndown person always came &, in addition to making the room lovely & inviting for bedtime, would empty the bins, refresh towels, etc. And the mini bar guy never forgot us - salud! ;)
The not-so-good bits:
The groups - I have already pretty much covered this, but I think it’s important to reiterate because it really would be the thing preventing us from coming back to EPM. But, as I say, Beloved could be the place for us (&, if you stay for 7 nights at Beloved, you are able to come to EPM for dinner one night, so it could just be a win-win!).
Excellence Playa Mujeres exceeded our expectations. The property is beautiful and clean, the food in all of the restaurants is superb, entertainment is of very high quality and the staff are just so helpful and truly nice. In particular, we received warm and friendly service each day at breakfast and lunch from Rosario, Iliana,Tabatha, Emily, Michelle and Aurelio.
We just returned from another amazing holiday at EPM. We do not do EC as we prefer to spend our time at the swimup bar (Oscar and Hugo are great!) and the lazy river (thank you to all the poolside servers!).
We absolutely feel like we are at home at this resort and it makes it so easy to slip into completely relaxed vacation mode as soon as we arrive.
The food, as always, was so good! Our favourite restaurant is Chez Isabelle and we ate there 3 times! Efrain was our waiter. He is truly a 5 star waiter and we hoped to be in his section each time we went back.
For easy, casual lunches we hit up Las Olas and always had a great meal. The Mongolian grill Is a new found favourite! Alan is super attentive and never stops moving, making sure everyone has drinks and clearing plates away. We had one rainy day so he moved his skills into the theatre and never missed a beat!
We decided to expand our horizons and tried Basmati this trip. We had no idea what to order so we told Efrain what we don’t like and left it in his capable hands. Boy, did he exceed our expectations! His choices were wonderful and we’ll definitely be back next trip!
The daily calendar let us know that date night was happening in Agave so we decided to go as we had not eaten there yet. Turns out that it was a set menu and not the regular menu so we’ll have to go again on a regular night but wow! it was wonderful!! Definitely one of the best meals that we had and the ambiance for date night was truly romantic. Well done EPM!
We started each day with coffee at Prelude and Angel was always ready with a Buenos Dias and called us by name. Such a small thing but really makes a person feel special!
Can’t forget to mention Angel from the sports bar! He not only works the sports bar but can be seen pitching in wherever help is needed and always with such focus and commitment!
We met Celio for the first time this trip. He was helping (the oh so awesome!) Diego with the mixology class and was so fun and entertaining! Every time we saw him after that day, usually at the Stars Bar, we got a high five and he remembered our names too. Amazing!
The entertainment staff - RL, Monica, and Victor especially - are enthusiastic balls of energy who work very long and very hard making sure that the guests are happy and having fun and with them around you can’t help but to do exactly that! The evening entertainment, from silent (and not so silent!) dancing to stage productions to musical groups, is really top notch and enjoyed by everyone.
Carolina from Guest Services surprised us (twice!) with extra little touches during our stay and truly made us feel special. She is a shining example of why this resort is so top tier and why we have been so many times and will continue to return year after year. Also Daniel, our concierge this trip, repeatedly, and sincerely, reached out to ensure that everything was perfect during our stay.
The aqua therapy session at the spa was a completely original and very relaxing experience. The head and neck massage at the end was an absolute treat! The spa staff are so good at what they do and contribute so much to the overall experience.
We want to give a special mention to the landscaping, maintenance and housekeeping staff. They are always around, in the background, making sure that everything is looking and running perfect, while being absolutely non-intrusive. A difficult job done very well.
And last, but absolutely, definitely, assuredly, not least, there are Diego, Cesear and Tonatiuh at the Martini Bar. These gentlemen are so much fun, and amazing bartenders, and have become friends over the years.
We look for them when we arrive and keep going back to see them night after night. Quite often I don’t even order drinks, I just tell them to surprise me and they produce the most delicious, original!, cocktails with flair and when they know what you like they always make sure to have it ready for you. Truly amazing!
The absolutely one and only less than positive thing from this trip was the coffee. We love coffee but this time it was really not good. Aroma was a bit better than the restaurants but still not great. Last year was a bit better and I just chalked it up to a cultural difference but I just can’t do that this year. I know that the resort takes guest feedback very seriously so I know that this won’t be an ongoing issue.
Our vacations at EPM are the most relaxing and enjoyable vacations that we have ever had. We will definitely be back next year, and they year after, and the year after...
Thanks again to all of the staff for making our “home” such a wonderful place!
I did my research before booking this hotel and I read how amazing it was. I didn't believe how mind blowing this hotel was but I do now! This hotel is the most amazing place. All of the staff work so hard to make sure you have the best time. Nothing is too much for them. The rooms and grounds are spotless and the ground staff and house keeping work 24/7 to ensure this.
The food is of a high standard in all of the restaurants. Our favourites were Basmati, lobster house and the grill.
On the subject of bed saving, I can honestly say we didn't see this at all. We were up at 7am and got a bed. On one occasion we slept in until 9am and we still managed to get a bed.
What sets this place apart is the staff. They are so generous and humble! We renewed our wedding vows on the beach and our every need was met. Our room was decorated with roses, champagne was brought to our room and we had a romantic meal. A big surprise was our wedding cake, it was home made and decorated with lovely roses.
The entertainment is great also, you can have as much of a loud/quiet night as you want! Highlights were Il Divo and the magic show! The daily entertainment poolside is brilliant.
If you are reading this and you are unsure of whether to book....don't be! BOOK NOW! 🏝🤗
Just returned from a week vacation and what a fantastic resort. The beach was one of the best we have ever experienced, the customer service was outstanding and a special shout out to Martha - Ceilo bar, Hugo Caesar at the Club beach section, Raquel at club section and Erik at the Club beach for their outstanding service , they are the best. Will definitely be back