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Denver, CO
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21 posts
70 reviews
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Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

Any thoughts on how these resorts stack up against each other? Beach (not just to walk on but to swim, how crowded), pools (how crowded, ease of finding a chair and shade), food, drinks, room quality, type of people. My husband and I are in our late 30s and early 40s and we're looking more for quiet luxury than a party pool scene. But....we do want to have some options for a late-night lounge or place to hang out. Thanks in advance!

Texas
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3,721 posts
34 reviews
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1. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

While I've only been to one resort on your list (Royal PDC) I'll have to be honest and say I don't think it's exactly what you're looking for. It's our favorite AI to-date because of the service and great in-town location but it is on a smaller footprint which means the beach is smaller and more crowded and the space around the pools is also smaller. We've never had an issue finding a chair and their loungers have built in shade screens for the top half of your body so that's all a plus. And the location can't be beat as far as exploring the town (which we love) but it's not for everyone.

For the best beach I'm natrually inclined to suggest Secrets Maroma Beach since it's advertised as the best beach in the area.

I would think all options have similiar food and service as well as some included evening activities. I know the least about LeBlanc but if the vivid blue waters of Cancun are what you're after you'll definitely get it at LeBlanc.

Another resort you could look into would be the Valentin Imperial Maya. It's adults only and has beautiful grounds with a great beach. I mention this resort because it's usually a great valie and they have a privilege package that you can book that guarantees you a reserved pool or beach bed. Most resorts. The Royal PDC also has a few room categories that guarantee a private reserved beach bed, perhaps Secrets and Excellence do as well...not 100% sure.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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16,067 posts
72 reviews
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2. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

I have stayed 5x at Le Blanc, 1x at EPM (that was a one and done for us), visited SMB several times on day passes, visited RPDC and ERC.

LB has an uncrowded and very nice beach with great service; well appointed rooms; good to very good food; consistently great service; good selection of top shelf alcohol and included wines; a great spa; great location. They have live entertainment before dinner in the evenings and after dinner in the 3rd floor lounge. It is a long time favorite of ours.

When we visited the Royal, it reminded us of a beached cruise ship: busy, end to end chairs at pool and crowded beach. We decided we would not want to stay there.

SMB has a lovely beach but we have never been able to get excited about staying there. We are big fans of El Dorado Maroma and prefer the size, uncrowded beach and pools, privacy and overall ambiance of EDM to SMB.

ERC did not appeal to us due to beach and the fact that it was looking dated and worn several years ago; and then we stayed at Excellence PM and decided no more Excellence resorts for us.

Edited: 17 June 2014, 18:54
3. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

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Sellersburg, Indiana
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235 posts
15 reviews
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4. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

I have been to LeBlanc and SMB. I would choose Leblanc over SMB. Although Maroma Beach is beautiful, I don't care for the 4 chairs per palapa setup. I also don't care for special "club levels", where you pay more for better alcohol or special areas by the pool or beach. Have you looked at The Royal Hideaway? I am going in September, reviews have been great,people love the food and beach.

Floyds Knobs...
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810 posts
30 reviews
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5. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

Royal Hideaway hits almost all your wants but I am super partial to it. The food and the beach ARE amazing. It is quiet but so close to town that I never mind.

B.C. Canada
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8,806 posts
18 reviews
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6. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

I love initials that I have no idea what they stand for. Here's an old thread giving come clarity. Might be an idea to have similar in the "top questions" area. tripadvisor.ca/…29715128

Savannah,GA
Destination Expert
for Savannah
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4,278 posts
91 reviews
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7. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

Throe Hyatt Zilara in the mix. Best beach, bluest water, all ocean view with balcony and great service & food.

Sellersburg, Indiana
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235 posts
15 reviews
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8. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

Zilara is a good suggestion, I stayed when it was The Royal. I enjoyed it very much...great rooms, pools, food and beach.

Denver, CO
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21 posts
70 reviews
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9. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

Thank you all!! I am looking into the Zilara and the Royal Hideaway and crossing the Royal PDC off of my list. I don't think it will have the ambiance that we are looking for. Wow, I had no idea there were 4 chair set-ups at SMB. That would take away from the romance for me :) I love meeting other people but don't want to have to share space with them at all times.

What was it about Excellence properties that was a negative? I like the overall aspects of Excellence and Secrets but seem to find that Secrets draws a younger, more party-geared crowd (at least from reviews) than what we're looking for.

This is all so hard to decide! Every time I make a decision I read more reviews and it's analysis paralysis. Thanks everyone!

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Destination Expert
for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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16,067 posts
72 reviews
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10. Re: Royal PDC vs. SMB vs. ERC vs. Le Blanc vs. EPM?

<What was it about Excellence properties that was a negative? >

Mediocre food, lousy house wine, no top shelf except in Club Level, hard beds, cheap linens, crummy beach and frat house at main pool.

We are trying Zilara in August. We visited while at LeBlanc in March and it looked very nice and worth a try.

Edited: 17 June 2014, 23:11