Excellence Riviera Cancun
What We Love
- Direct beach access
- Bulgari toiletries in all guest rooms
- An on-site jogging trail
- Private rooftop plunge pools in the duplex suites
What To Know
- None of the resort’s restaurants accept reservations
- The menu at the Miile Spa includes a traditional Mayan Temezcal steam bath
- The property offers 24-hour in-room dining
- Adventure options here include introductory scuba classes
- Adults Only
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Sprawling Mediterranean-style, adults-only all-inclusive with eight restaurants, ten bars, six pools, and romance aplenty
Unlike its peers, this sprawling Caribbean getaway—an elegant blend of stucco, tile, and marble—is unapologetically kid-free. Swim-up suites are especially lavish, with four-poster beds and furnished patios, but for a truly VIP experience, upgrade to the Excellence Club, whose benefits include express check-in, a premium in-room minibar, and fresh fruit and flower delivery. However, you’re doing something very wrong if you spend most of your time holed up at this seafront paradise, where the extensive on-site activities includes snorkeling, kayaking, water polo, and even Spanish language classes. If you’re seeking a more epicurean experience, be sure to restaurant-hop between its ten very diverse choices including Basmati (contemporary Indian), The Lobster House (a beachfront option), and Agave, where the Mexican plates are often accompanied by a live mariachi band. Because it caters solely to grownups, the property also boasts an array of watering holes, which range from poolside umbrella cocktails to more sophisticated options such as a cigar bar, a Parisian lounge, and a tapas joint.
In the Area
The resort is just a 20-minute ride from Cancun International Airport. With the beach at your doorstep, you most likely won’t be traveling too far once you’re here. For a change of scene, head to My Paradise Beach Club in Puerto Morelos (ten minutes by car), a laidback tropical hangout that draws crowds for its imaginative cocktails and tasty Mexican-Carib accompaniments. If you’re feeling especially ambitious, ask the resort to help organize a jungle tour: you’ll steer your own two-person speedboat while zipping through the nearby Nuchupte Lagoon and have the option to snorkel through the world’s second largest coral reef.
How to Get There
This was our first visit to this hotel. I found that all the staff from the gardeners to the waiters and the girls on reception were all so friendly and made our stay so enjoyable. The food was great and the Lobster House was superb.
Our stay at the Excellence Riviera has exceeded every expectation. Upon our arrival my wife and I walked into our room to find swan towels in the shape of a heart along with a banner on our door that says it’s our honeymoon. Every staff member at this resort greets us with a smile, and always remembers our names. Giovanna showed us aqua aerobics and made it a lot of fun! David and Armando kept our buzz at the pool with no waiting between drinks. Jose the bellman helped us with all of our bags and informed us on how to navigate the resort. We will absolutely be back! We love this place and are so glad we chose this resort to spend our honeymoon! Thank you Excellence!!
A group of 7 of us spent 6 days at ERC during the first week of September. That is the beginning of their low season, so mileage may vary on some aspects of my review.
Having a group of 7 (3 couples and a single) gives a larger sample size that just one couple, or a single traveler and this review will reflect that. We all stayed in swim out, non Excellence Club rooms.
Pros: The resort is very nice and clean and the folks that work there are friendly, hard working, and great. The pool attendants are quick with your drink orders and always have a smile on their faces. Shout out to Fredi, the server for our pool who was awesome and very attentive to our wants! He rocks! The various pools around the resort are plentiful and spacious. The hotel wasn't anywhere near capacity, but I have a hard time believing that even at 100% full, the pools would have been crowded in any way. The pools are clean, and warm as your bath water. The main square of the resort is spacious and lively every night with various activities. The entertainment staff is fantastic.
The rooms are just spacious enough with a nice bed and sitting area. Double sinks and a nice, large shower with a nice rainfall shower head go along with an enclosed water closet. The swim outs had a nice little deck with a sunbed. The AC was nice and cold make the rooms comfortable all day and night long. Housekeeping was fantastic and very thorough.
This resort has a number of different restaurants and all the ones we tried had good to very good food. With all-inclusive resorts, you have to take food quality with a slight grain of salt. With these types of resorts, I don't know that you'll ever get truly "great" food at any of them. For anyone from the US reading this, don't expect the food portions to be like the ones here in the states. They are all on the smaller side, but you can always order 2 entrees (I did once as did others in my group). The coffee shop up by the main resort desk is a nice little touch. You can get all the kinds of coffee drinks you're used to plus some little pastries, desserts, or sandwiches. The room service menu is extensive. Like impressively extensive.
A few food and drink tips: The Indian restaurant is fantastic. Get the mushroom crepes (or 2) as your appetizer at the French restaurant. Be sure they steam and do not grill your lobster tail on the Surf and Turf plate at Lobster House. The steak is thin so if you like it medium, order it medium rare. It will come out medium. Get yourself a pizza from the brick oven one day for lunch. It's pretty good.
The ladies in our group really liked the mango colada drink. I drank margaritas (on the rocks with salt) mostly and the quality was fairly consistent, occasionally being too sour or too strong. Club guests have access to a cream tequila called "1921". It's really good. If you don't have a club room, don't despair. Ask a server for it and tip them extra if they bring you some shots. The desserts here are hit or miss, mostly miss. The small tarts they have are great and Barcelona (their buffet area) has a fantastic caramel flavored ice cream. Also, there's a little soft serve ice cream machine in the main square right next to the big bar. That ice cream was much better than the usual soft serve you get in the states. There was a good half-sphere shaped chocolate cake with a black berry on top that my wife quite enjoyed. All the other desserts were "meh" for me. I think they should take look at that part of their menus for a possible enhancement.
Cons/Problems: Among the 7 of us, we had 4 rooms. 2 of the 4 rooms lacked hot water. After alerting the front desk, eventually only 1 of the 2 rooms had their hot water fixed. The single in our group never had hers fixed. Turn down service came too late a couple of times. 10:30 at night is a little late. Although they did start coming earlier as the week went on. Perhaps being down season, they were short staffed. The mini fridge in our room was JUST barely cold enough, while the fridge in the couple's room right next to ours was not cold at all and had to be fixed.
That leads to the next con: the food preparation in the restaurants is slow. The French restaurant was slow the first dinner we ate and that set the tone for the rest of the week. On Wednesday nights a good singer (Claudia Trevino) sings so we decided to have some tapas appetizers before her show and then eat dinner after the show. The tapas came out so slowly, we eventually had to get up an leave without having our last tapas order (they bring them out in waves) and were late for the show. They don't pace the dinners very well as you're left looking at an empty plate (or place mat) for a while waiting for your next course to come out. Perhaps they were short staffed in their kitchens because of the down season? As mentioned above, their dessert quality isn't all that great. But that's not necessarily a deal breaker because the rest of their food is good.
The last big con: the beach. I name it a con, but it's not the resort's fault. The entire area has a sargassum seaweed problem. During the summer months it washes ashore in droves. Like front loading "backhoes and trailer" droves. While we were there is wasn't as bad as that, more like "shovels and wheelbarrels" bad. The workers work very hard at clearing it, but there's only so much they can do. It makes the water just off the beach murky and on days without much wind, the beach smells like a sweaty armpit. Even now in mid September they're still having enough of the stuff washing up on shore that it takes away from the enjoyment of the beach area. But other than that the beach area was spacious with plenty of areas to sit and lay.
Also the beach area had too many docks, or remnants of docks. They should at least think about taking down the wooden pylons from an old dock still showing on their beach.
Overall, I liked our stay with a few caveats. I would definitely look at this resort chain again for a vacation, just maybe not this location. Their Punta Cana and Jamaica resorts look nice.