Excellence Riviera Cancun
28 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
What a wonderful place
"What a wonderful place. Just returned from a week at this resort. I will start with all that was great. This resort understands what service is all about. The staff treat you like you are royalty. The food is excellent (except for the seaside grill and the oceanic, I will get to that later). The grounds and rooms are amazing. This is a first class resort. I cannot say enough good things about this resort. After reading some reviews I was worried about this resort not being ready and being sub-par. This was not at all the case. If you are booked at this resort. Relax and enjoy yourself. You will be glad you booked this resort.
Now for just a fews drawbacks. The beachs are not what you would think and not what you see in the pictures. The week we were their the seaweed was bad and the beach had to be raked all the time. The water is nice but not the clear blue seas you think of for it's location. I would say the beaches their are like any of the beaches in the Carolinas. Not bad just, not what you would except. The pools however are awesome and more the make up for it. Take a walk on the beach and then hang out at the pool. It's the best wayt to go. The food is excellent the only exception is the seaside grill and the oceanic, both are beside each other. Service from these seems slow compared to the other restaurants and the food is not on the same level. The good news here is there are plenty of other restaurants on the resort and they are out of this world!!!!!!
Once again go and enjoy yourself, we sure did!!!"
- Travel date: Tue 9th of November 2004
"I don't even know where to start! We just arrived home within the last 2 hours and I am already on the website to see what other people had to say.
We were there for our honeymoon. From the time the van dropped us off at the hotel to our departure today, it was complete heaven!!
The entire exprerience starts with the van picking you up at the airport, they have a little brochure for you, with your name on it and take you to the van (i'm guessing that as it gets more popular it will be huge busloads...but there was only 8 of us on our flight going there that night).
When we pulled up to the resort, I couldn't believe my eyes. Everything is sooo beautiful, granite, wood, marble....big fancy doors that open for you. There is much security on site too but they don't really look intimidating. We were greated with champagne. When we got to our room, there were rose petals all over our bed and our towels were shapped like swans. There was also a bouquet of flowers and a little letter congratulating us on our wedding. They also offered us 15% off at the spa (which unfortunately we didn't get to use because we were too busy doing other stuff). There is no such thing as a bad room in this resort. Once I get my pics developed I will definitely be posting some because the website does it no justice.
The restaurants are mouth watering...all 7 of them!! There is Italian, Asian, American, French and of course Mexican. They are allllll delish. At the French restaurant, we ordered the Chateaubriand but my husband was curious about the duck in Grand Marnier so he asked the waiter if it was good and the waiter brought him the duck dish to taste! We went to the Italian restaurant just for coffee one night. They make this coffee called "Mayan coffee". It takes about 5 minutes just to make. They make it in front of you and they set it on fire and stuff. It's amazing!
There is theatre everynight and the sports and entertainment group is absolutely fabulous (Luis Miguel and Sergio are a hooooot!) There were 7 different shows the 7 nights that we were there and they were all good!
The pools are amazing ... they're everywhere! There is water all over that resort! The staff is extremely friendly and they remember people.
I know that we will definitely be going back to this resort. I also know that between this week and the next time we go there will be some glicthes in their service. We experienced a few but that's all part of being a new resort and you can't let it ruin your vacation.
When we got there the hotel was only at 20% capacity if that. I think that is why the service was sooooo phenominal. As the week wore on, the resort really started to fill up and that's when we had a couple of problems, nothing major but noticeable when things were so great for the first 4 days. We ended up having to wait to eat at one of the restaurants then the diner took over an hour and a half and we didn't even get to desert at that point. But, like I said, once they figure out how to deal with larger volumes of people, it will work itself out.
All in all, people, you have to go there and experience it. Everyone we talked to (which is a lot of people), said this is the best resort they have ever been to. I have no where to compare it to but I will guarantee that we have definitely set our standards very high."
- Travel date: Sun 7th of November 2004
Excellence was Excellent!
"Just returned from a week stay at Secrets Excellence with my Mom, and the place is awesome! From a cool towel and glass of champagne when you first arrive, to them holding my plate for me in the buffet line, we were definately pampered!! The pools are gorgeous, as they wrap around the entire resort. They had a few jacuzzi's but they were all cold, except for the ones by the spa. The spa is a full service salon, from manicures, hot stone massages, facials to seaweed wraps and massages on the beach, but they are a bit pricey. The rooms were beautiful, with maid service twice daily, and once at night to turn down your bed. I agree with the other post regarding AquaWorld, as I thought them to be a bit pushy. It's probably better to book your tour through the agents such as Apple, etc.. The food was awesome, but also did not care for the French Restaurant. There are always activities going on, and plenty of bars to stay busy. They have entertainment each night, which was also very good. The staff were just awesome, and catered to your every need. When we arrived the place was only 25% filled, but filling up very fast. I heard they were already booked up for December, and that the price may even double later on. I would definately recommend this resort, and feel free to email me, and I would be happy to answer any other questions."
- Travel date: Sat 6th of November 2004
Words can't describe....
"I could write a book about this resort after having spent my Anniversary there, and also some time at Secrets Punta Cana last year. I now can compare the two. Let me just say everything was"off the chain".
I have alot to say, but if anyone has specific questions feel free to email me. I spent alot of tiime with the Chief Concierge, and the Reservations Manager at whom I can refer you too personally . They will make your stay extra comfortable, and answer any questions you may have.
" This may be the BEST resort in the Riveria Maya right now""
- Travel date: Fri 5th of November 2004
SCUBA at Secrets Excellence - Don't waste your time with AQUAWORLD
"Let me cut to the chase then I will explain about the dives. Don't waste your time of money with AQUAWORLD. Contact Mystic Dive and use them. After signing up and paying our money we went for a walk down the beach and discovered an independent dive shop located at the Paradisus next door. We immediatley knew we had screwed up. Mystic Dive does scuba and snorkeling on the reef in front of the hotels - as well as off-site locations. They have boats that leave daily from the beach and return you right there. Although the dive was not to the famous Cozmel, I'm sure the diving was better than what we saw. Not to mention you were not gone ALL DAY.
Secrets Excellence has contracted with AQUAWORLD to provide it's guests with off-site water activities (ie Scuba, Snorkel, etc). As certified divers we were looking foward to some diving in Cozmel. We were intrigued by the pictures of HUGE fish and beautiful wall and reef dives that we were shown. So we signed up - 2 tank dive at Cozmel and 2 tank cavern dive for $220.00/person.
The Cozmel dive trip consisted of a bus pickup from the hotel to Playa del Carmen where you caught the ferry to Cozmel after a hike from the parking lot. You then got on a dive boat - after another hike from the ferry dock to a public dock - and were taken to the AQUAWORLD beach club (fancy name - not much there). After checking in you then waited for everyone to be broken up into activity groups. Finally after leaving for your dive site we were taken for our wall dive. OK site, but nothing spectacular like they showed in the pictures. Be careful and use your own judgement, upon our ascent the dive master was going up the wall so quickly my computer alarm sounded for too quick an ascent rate. The second dive was a reef dive. There definitely was not much to see here - what was there was scared away by the other AQUAWORLD groups that were down there at the same time. I was VERY disappointed with this dive. After both dives you returned for a paltry lunch at the beach club. Your quick lunch was followed by a ride back to downtown where you had "shopping" time. What you were really doing was waiting for the ferry to take you back to PDC. The last thing I was interested in after 2 dives was hauling my dive equipment around "shopping". I just wanted to get back to the hotel.
The cavern dive was interesting. I was not impressed but my husband loved it. I'm glad I did it once, but probably won't do it again. It was just like swimming through a cave with very poor light. There was not much to see. You could definitely tell this was a well used cavern that had seen it share of abuse.
It appears that AQUAWORLD is very limited on where it is able to take it's patrons due to the volume of people they shlep through on a daily basis. Everything had a very "used" look to it. You difinitely were not diving virgin reefs."
- Travel date: Tue 2nd of November 2004
Excellence is Excellent
"This hotel certain lives up to it's name...Excellence. This was our 5th trip to the Cancun area. Secrets Excellence was the best service as well as the best food we have experienced at an all-inclusive resort. The staff bent over backwards to make our week amazing.
Touchs like top shelve drinks in large stemware and always garnished with pineapple, limes wedge etc. In the Italian restaurant, Spanish coffee prepared tableside with flaming finishing.
Waiter with Fruit kabobs delivering to your lounge chair on the beach in late morning. Free internet use in the business center, and if you have your own laptop, free internet in your suite. Towels on each chair by the pool. Constantly being restocked if you change locations.
Extensive wine list. If you want champaign by the pool they bring a bottle in a stand with ice.
No reservations necessary in the restaurants.
The fluffiest robes ever in your suite with shampoos, sunscreen, and shower lotion in 8 ounce bottles.
I was truly impressed."
- Travel date: Sat 30th of October 2004
A lot of young couples & single guys
"Overall, I was very impressed by the resort. My wife and I stayed for one week. There is some construction, but management should hopefully wrap everything up soon. The resort seemed to be many young couples and single males. Because of this, I encourage management to make the "atmosphere" a little more lively. I suggest more beach parties, more group dinners, music around the pool area, and nightly activities. It was relaxing, but almost too relaxing. Service was very good. Did not have to tip too often. Food was pretty good. Liquor was top shelf, but could have had more beer choices. Specifically, Miller Lite.
In summary, I would go back. Price was good, and we had fun. I would suggest a more lively atmosphere for us younger couples and single people."
- Travel date: Fri 29th of October 2004
Best place I have ever stayed....
"We just got back from the resort after spending our honeymoon there from Oct 20-25 and no matter what I write here it can't put justice to what it was really like.
We arrived at the resort and our at the front desk were offered hand towels and champagne within 5 minutes of talking to the staff. All of the people there spoke good english to good enough, never had any issues. While doing the paperwork you can't help but notice the details of the place. Incredible tile, artwork, statues, everything about the place is top notch. There were a couple fountains there that weren't working when we arrived (most were when we left) but other then that everything was up and running.
Our room was incredible. Two jacuzzi tubs, one in the room and one on our balcony, a huge bed, hammock, swim out access to the pool, great view of the ocean and since I did the VIP thing we got robes, slippers (way to small for my feet but my wife loved them), special room service menu, and our pool had a private bar, not to mention a private consigneir and room with high speed internet (room had it also but you have to supply the computer). Like I said that still doens't do the room justice.
Now all inclusive people think all you can eat and drink and then think of buffet lines, and liquor from some brand you have never heard of in a plastic jug. Not here. The meals are like going to a restaurant. You order a salad, appetizer, soups, main course, all off a menu and to say the food was incredible is yet another understatement. Not only was it the best vacation food I ever had but it was better then a lot of the food I have had in San Francisco, London or Paris...I know, who would have thought. Lobster, streaks, salads all the best. You could even get pizza, stuffed potatoes and burritos and don't even get me started on the Asian food they had there. We go to sushi a lot and the stuff they had was as good or better then we get in San Fran. 7 restaurants and room service. Feel like a piece of chocolate cake at 10pm, they bring it, club sandwhich call em and it gets there fast. All of it was top notch and not once, I repeat not ONCE did we have to wait in any line. Walk up and seated that fast.
As for the alcohol...you wouldn't believe. Absolute vodkas, tanquery, sapphire, malibu rum, midori, all top of the line stuff. As much as you want!!! I can't tell you how many incredible drinks I had from Amaretto sours and baileys and coffee to long island ice teas and champagne....as much as you want!!!
Now our room had swim out access and I recommend this to anyone. Get out of bed walk outside and lay in the sun then walk a couple feet and get in the huge pools that go all around the resort. There is a swim up bar you can go to as well. The beach is also great. The sand is really fine so walking on it actually feels good instead of sand that is made of little rocks.
All the staff is REALLY nice. We tipped from time to time but didn't have a lot of money to burn. No matter if we tipped or not though the staff was VERY attentive. They would see my pina colada was a little low and they would come get it and give me a new one without me even asking.
We ran in to a lot of people from other resorts when we were there and the comments went from, this place blows ours away to my resort put us up here for the night and we are going to ditch our family and spend the whole time here. That's how great this place is folks.
I talked to some people that had been there a week or so before we arrived and they said there were power outages and some issues with some huge group that came along. Apparently we hit the place a couple days later and from that point on the place clicked. To the person that asked if there was any topless going on at the beach, none that I saw but we didn't venture far from the resort, why would we want to! On the second day there I already had it in my head that we would be coming back and I never go back to the same place so I can try new things. As I told my wife. How could I come to Cancun and stay at an outhouse after being in the penthouse!
I didn't talk about the spa we did there, the candle light dinner we had on the beach, or the other activities that go on at night. I don't think I need to. ANYONE that wants a place to remember go here, my honeymoon couldn't have been better and this place is a large reason why.
Originally I wasn't going to write anything because I didn't want the place to become popular so the next time we go it wouldn't be packed but that wouldn't be fair to anyone out there wondering about the place. Anyone that wants more info can email me, and I can answer what I can. How many times do you get back from a vacation and are so happy with them you agree to do that!
When we first got there and my wife saw the place she nearly started to cry it was so nice. When we were leaving we saw two other couples come in and the women had the same look on their faces. Thanks Secrets....."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of October 2004
Honeymoon was amazing!
"We arrived Oct 3, 2004 for our honeymoon. The resort is absolutley beautiful. This was only the 3rd or fourth day the resort had been opened. Some services were not yet available...but overall...that did not present any problems.
Our room was amazing. Rose petals all over the floor and bed....champagne...fruit basket....bath robes and slippers...ocean view....
The indoor/outdoor jacuzzi was an added bonus.
Restaurants were mouth-watering. No complaints what-so-ever. No reservations, good service, and great tasting food. We tried them all. 24 hour room service was also an extra bonus, for late midnight snacks....a little slow at times.
Staff was very friendly, aiming to please. Tips were very much appreciated.
My only complaint.... the beach was not what I expected.
We are planning on returing again next year."
- Travel date: Wed 27th of October 2004
Awesome!! Highly recommend this paradise!!!
"We were there from October 19 - 26. The resort had just been opened for 3 weeks and was absolutely beautiful. We have been to 2 different Sandals and I have to say that Secrets Excellence was one of my favorite places that I have been.
1) The food was out of this world. There are plenty of choices with the many restaurants, not to mention pretty impressive menu selections. Their food was the best resort all inclusive food that I have had in my vacation history. I am already missing their meals my 1st day back.
2) The rooms and pools were just amazing. Rooms were very spacious with all of the amentities that you could need - and this was for the basic / lowest cost room. There were plenty of huge pools spread throughout the hotel.
3) The staff was so friendly and caring about trying to make our vacation one of the best. They were there to make sure we were happy and they did an outstanding job of it. One person who really made our trip was a Sports & Activities employee named Eduardo - A.K.A "Lalo". He seriously made our days with his great personality and humor.
4) The beach is OK. The size of the beach is pretty big for a resort and the sand is white and clean, but the water is not crystal clear like how it is in Playa del Carmen or Cancun. It is sandier with seaweed in it and it has a greenish tint to it.
The resort as a whole is huge with lots of options. It is one of those places that is just beautifull to walk around and look at. Definitely a higher / upper scale looking resort.
Overall I would highly recommend this hotel for honeymooners or vacationers looking for a romantic get away where they can relax and enjoy themselves...."
- Travel date: Tue 26th of October 2004
Marvelous hotel , fantastic holiday , ruined by Thomas Cook !
"This is an outstanding hotel . We were there for 2 weeks in May 2015 . The standard of food , drink and service is exceptional , the staff could not be any more helpful or friendly . The room was beautiful with a big Jacuzzi in the middle of the room and a lovely wet room with shower plus a fully stocked fridge with juice , beers and sweets , and a cupboard full of spirits . Booking 1 of the 11 restaurants could not be easier and was truly 5 star A La Cart .
The whole fantastic experience was let down by Thomas Cook failing to pick us up for the airport return . The hotel concierge ordered us a taxi which cost us $90 cash . On arrival at the airport , the boarding gate had closed , but we were lucky to speak to an airport official who rushed us through a different gate and we made the flight with seconds to spare. As we are both in our late fifties we were totally stressed and exhausted due to our situation .I complained to Thomas Cook when we arrived home as we had not received an apology or explanation from them , we were offered a Â£60 travel voucher , take it , or leave it ! No more Thomas Cook for us , they don't give a damn ."
- Travel date: Wed 24th of June 2015
Mexico winter break
"Traveled 14-28th January 2014, .the hotel or "resort" is an adults only and is all inclusive. You can further upgrade from a junior suite to swim up suites; beach fronts or the "excellence club" which has its own dedicated pool, concierge and beach area.
Check in - took a whole due to other arrivals..... no cool towel as advertised but plenty of fizzy water or soft drinks to get you in the holiday mood. we had requested twin beds but a room wasn't available foe a further hour and a half so we took what was offered due to fatigued following an 11 hour flight!... didn't need to worry the bed was huge and comfortable! Check out took ages in a queue even though we had nothing on our account but had to ensure our credit card link was cleared...... more front desk staff needed! the bell boys were excellent and contacted us the night before to ask us to contact them when we were leaving for them to collect our cases,
Room - we stayed in a junior suite in block 7. there was a damp smell or arrival that went once the windows were opened.... the weather had been quite cool previous to our arrival and it had rained a lot... the atmosphere quite humid and we found some of our clothes to feel damp for the first days until the weather improved!. Central for all the facilities but could be noisy early evening when the groups were playing or the theaters show was on - usually till about 11:00 when it went quieter.
The room had its own safe with space for lap top etc and its own mini bar and named brand spirits including named vodka, rum and tequila and red wine. We didn't use any of the spirits as we had had plenty of "all inclusive" at all the bars and restaurants!
TV in each room but the main channel we watched was BBC world news. no other UK programs ; plenty of Mexican and USA programs as most of the clientele come from North America.
Large spa pool in the bedroom and double separate shower room; double wash basin and separate bathroom with its own phone! (Why?.. do people order room service on the toilet?)
plenty of wardrobe space and sofa and coffee table, desk to use if you intend to take a laptop. Balcony with on chair and built in seat, ours overlooked the pool with a very partial sea view if you hung over the balcony.
some of the light bulbs didn't work but we couldn't be bothered to inform staff. Room was kept clean by a daily maid service. however, she often didn't arrive till late afternoon, despite us always leaving the card in the door when we left each morning! and them we would feel embarrassed sitting out on the balcony until she had finished. Most nights the staff returned to turn down the beds, leave the side lights on and put the TV back on with the excellence hotel advert! chocolate were left with a copy of the following days entertainment itinerary and a different voucher fro money of spa treatments.
Food: we have stayed at 2 other all inclusive in Egypt and Cape Verde but the standard of food here was much better. Whilst in resort we did over hear an north American complain of "no hot dogs" but this isn't that type of resort.
The breakfast buffet in the Barcelona is wonderful and on the most the service is good..... especially if you arrive earlier before a lot of the noisier north American patrons appear. Each day you have to check in and they take your room number and are escorted to a table by a member of staff, seated at your chair and napkin placed on your lap. A lovely touch for the first few visits but by the end of the holidays It did irritate me slightly, especially as there was often a queue to get into the Barcelona for breakfast later on!
The choice of fresh fruits, fresh juices and hot and cold food was excellent and the standard maintained throughout our 14 night stay. MY only fault was the quality of the tea - but i would request and additional tea bag and after a few requests our regular waiter knew my requirements. We would like to make reference to Reyes and Geronimo T whose service was personal and friendly and professional without being overly intimate.
WE ate at all the restaurants - no reservations were required but if there was a wait we were supplied with a pager and went for a cocktail until contacted. all the restaurants served excellence food, though eat menu was limited to its traditional theme. The best meal was had in Chez Isabelle. We also found ourselves eating later and later s the holiday progressed due to the all inclusive ethos, having had plenty of drinks and snack all day. Indian food - Bismati was good but not as good as some Indian restaurants that i eat at in the UK; the agave Mexican was consistently good, but as the weather was quite cool at night, it was sometimes chilly sitting outdoors in the court yard. the Toscana - Italian was good but could get busy, we had pizza/Italian in their courtyard at lunch time overlooking the beach and ocean and service was always good and relaxed. The spice - Japanese eastern fusion meal was lovely but spoil by several groups of North Americans - young and old . so loud that we couldn't hear the waiter or vice versa. the manager requested if we had enjoyed our meal as we informed yes except for the noise - that wasn't in keeping with the usually "Zen like" relaxed and peaceful atmosphere of Japanese restaurants i have eaten in before. He was apologetic and informed me that the other patrons had also complained and the groups had been asked to reduce the amount of shouting but to no avail! At lunch we did eat at the lobster pot but mostly at the grill overlooking the pool and beach and ocean where we had wonderful service from Reyes and Toms and more than an adequate size lunchtime snack.
MY only fault is a lack of SOUP SPOONS!.... a know its a small thing, but it is difficult lifting hot liquids from plate to mouth from a shallow desert spoon.... Come Excellence hotels..... you do rate yourselves as 5 star resort!
We had room service on morning before we went out all day on a trip. We ordered the night before and spot on with timing was the knock on the door with exactly what we had ordered...... wonderful service!
Facilities: the spa treatment was excellent i had a full body wrap treatment and massage following a spa treatment - sauna, jacuzzi showering etc.. tho it was expensive. I had my nails painted by the resident beautician but had to wait over 30 minutes.... she got my name wrong, was quite surly as I brought my own nail color - not that I was charged less for the service and continued to speak Spanish to her colleague ... spoiling what should have been a lovely pampering experience!
the pools are all cleaned some are warmer than others and some have linked jacuzzi s these again varied in temperature. the main pool by the beach had a swim up bar but tended to be over crowded and full of alcohol fueled young North Americans on long week end breaks!
the beach has lovely sand ... yes there is sea weed from the nearby reef and this is collected at least twice a day!.... the sea water was quite murky due to the windy weather making the waves stronger! as the weather improved it did clear slightly!
equip t for sea sports are available if prior booked and is limited in numbers and also reliant on the weather!
the bars were always clean and tidy and the staff worked very hard to placate impatient North American patrons and continued to smile! we have no complaints!.... the theater shows start at 9.00 pm but we missed many of them as we preferred to eat later. also, as the weather was cold some nights it wasn't conducive to sitting outside without a jacket (that I hadn't brought with me!)...but people who watched the shows all expressed satisfaction with the quality of the entrainment. Various bands played in various locations throughout the site all day keeping people sat around the bars etc. we never got around to getting to the night club so we are unable to comment about it.
What we didn't like: Around weekends the hotel tended to get an influx of younger North Americans on long weekends - i enjoy watching people enjoying themselves but the amount of alcohol often fueled unacceptable behavior e.g. interfering with theater shows, shouting and verbal abuse which we ourselves were subjected too,.. However after i had words with one young man who called us a pair of "Manchester Wankers" he soon quietened. It would be nicer if there was a little more viability from security staff in the evening and maybe a few notices placed about verbal abuse and behavior not being acceptable. As it was many of the bar staff had to endure insults from a minority of guests!
What we liked: the consistency standard and quality of service from he staff. All the employees from the cleaners to the gardeners and bar and waiters was exemplary! well done the excellence.... the quality of food and alcohol was good as they used known branded drinks.... please do not change this!.
.... the beach was well maintained... but more sunbeds and umbrellas especially were needed on the beach and round the main beach pool!
would we recommend to others: YES..... would we return... yes but maybe go to the excellence to compare.
- Travel date: Sat 1st of February 2014