This has to do with managing ones own expectations. The wife and I stayed at Excellence during March last year and all I can say is the resort could possibly be renamed "Perfection", and easily get away with it. From the quality of the rooms, service, music, grounds, food and drinks it really is first class all the way. To Roberto and Carlos.......keep it up, I just wish I could afford to go again this year.
Having said that, we took our 3 kids (20,18,16) to Riu Merengue in August......and yes I know it is not on the same level, however it was chosen for the atmposhere of a fun family vacation, just as Excellence was chosen for a private romantic vacation. From an atmosphere point of view it did not disappoint. The kids had a great time (24 hour bar, activities/games, beach, pool and animation team)so once again it was the correct choice. However the rooms, food, entertainment and overall level of service left a lot to be desired in my opinion.
So the wife and I have decided that we need to live our life and travel more. We may need to retire a year later to afford it, but as she says I'd rather see her in a bikini now than 15 years from now when we retire!
While I would have loved to return to Excellence or one of their Mexican properties, it's just to far out of our financial range this year. After research we have chosen the Grand Palladium Palace, loft suites, which we got for less than 50% of the price we paid for Excellence last year (which was still worth every penny in my mind.) I know it is not an adult only property, and understand that the Royal Suites are, but the Tour Operator has no rooms left in the Royal section so we will try to upgrade at the desk once we arrive. I've tried to contact the resort in advance, but have received no response in my attempt to pay for the upgrade. This fact alone has me a little worried about service.
Now to the point.....how would you compare the 2 resorts...what will be missing from the Palace when compared to Excellence. How do you manage your own expectations when you have had the best and are now trying the rest? Are we doomed to feel jaded having lived the Excellence life and no other resort being able to live up to our past experience? I just have fears that rather than great ocean views I could end up looking over a construction site or staff quarters, eating chewy cold steak and drinking warm draft beer, chasing it down with a red colour liquid they keep calling wine. Help me manage my new expectations!