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excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

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gloucestershire
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excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Am thinking of booking one of these for next summer, so would be interested in hearing from anybody who has been to both, about any differences/advantages/disadvantages. Also - is it worth upgrading to the Club rooms?

Many thanks.

Victoria, Canada
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1. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

We have spent the last three days trying to sort the same question out and we have been to both twice !

We chose EPM this time because it is a more remote location than ERC and the lounging beds on all the balconies at EPM are such a unique ammenity. We have sacrificed being close to Playa del Carmen and other sites this time around.

We opted to pay for the upgrade this time around as we wanted to experience the club again as we are celebrating a special occassion. It is such an individual thing to decide whether it is worth it. Good luck on both decisions....

We stayed at EPM for one week then ERC for the following week in summer of 2008 because I could not decide on which resort. From our experience I put together this list of differences or similarities.

Given the time span since we were at ERC last some of the info could have changed by now such as shuttles offered as policies do get adjusted according to demand.

EPM vs ERC

Restaurants:

Primarily there seemed to be subtle differences in the restaurants between the two resorts.

EPM has the noon to 3 pm BBQ set up by the Sol Bar main pool (although we were there again in late Oct and it was too windy and rainy – the outside BBQ was set up only once during our 10 day stay)

Having this open allows you to wander up in your wet swimsuit and get burgers, chicken, chorizo, pork, nachos, guacamole, salsa and all the fixings for midday snack or meal. It was great in July

ERC does not do that

ERC has an Pizzaria Style restaurant “Oregano” (outdoor bistro) set up just off the Barcelona grill (EPM does not have this type of restaurant). It has great small pizzas and you can go inside to the buffet to get a plate of anything you want before your pizza if you want a touch of antipasto or salads.

EPM has the “Flavor Market” restaurant open from 6pm to midnight. An extra restaurant that ERC does not have.

It is a wine bar style set up with a great selection of smaller appetizers. Gives you an opportunity to try a few things. Great for a late evening stop off before going home to have something lighter with a glass of wine or bubbly.

EPM food seemed to be a bit better in some aspects but it just may be our experiences. For an example we had plump buffalos wings with a rich blue cheese dip and a wonderful shrimp cocktail presented in half coconut shell at the Grill Restaurant for lunch at EPM and the ERC version was disappointing. The wings were dried out the sauce was runny and the shrimp cocktail was in a bowl with very chunky sauce. Soggy tempura at the Asian restaurant – disappointing Pasta dish at the Barcelona.

I did not mention that in my ERC review because those experiences could just be a one of a kind and seemed fairly petty in the big scheme of things. I had talked to another guest at ERC that had fabulous crispy tempura the night before I did…. and then another guest had the same pasta dish that I did and theirs was perfect for them.

The steaks, lobster, everything else was so good at both resorts. (except the ribeye steak at Chez Isabelle in late October at EPM was the worst we have ever had – we did have some hit and miss at EPM for example, the best fish ever at Agave Restaurant and then we went back at the end of our stay for the fish again and NOT even close to being as good as the first time – Out of the 40 dinner entres between the four of us for the 10 day stay there were about 5 that were duds at EPM)

I am glad we did not discover that dessert bar at the Barcelona buffet at ERC until the last day! We never did the buffet lunch dessert at EPM but thought we should give it a shot at ERC while we were waiting for our airport transfer to go back home. The differences in the buffets of both resorts are so subtle but not worth basing any decisions upon. The selection of ice creams at both is fabulous. I believe they resembled European style gelatos more than actual ice cream.

Floaties

ERC- are not managed well at it was kind of embarrassing watching people taking the floats back to their rooms or hiding them under their lounger towels on the beach and rolling them up under their chairs! We are not pool goers but it was an issue for some.

EPM – Floaties not an issue. They have a discreet sentence in their daily newsletter that requests guests “keep harmony” and leave the floats in the pool when not in use. Seems to work well.

Landscaping:

- ERC grounds are very mature with more developed palm trees but both have all the unique plants and interesting landscaping. Seems to offer more landscaping privacy between the swim ups at ERC because of the age and size of the plants for hedging

- EPM has lots of interesting plants, very well maintained grounds too with very modern artwork and sculptures dotting the grounds. The palm trees have a little catching up to do to match ERC but that is minimal….

Bathrooms:

ERC – more privacy. Has a solid door that is about 15 feet away from the bed on the other side of the Jacuzzi tub.

EPM – bathroom (toilet) is about 10 feet away from the head of the bed and is a glass door that is partially etched. Easily overlooked by a discreet trip to the balcony while the other person is using the bathroom during the day but nighttime trips are “audible”…..

Balconies:

EPM has large round lounger beds with lots of pillows on all the guest balconies.

ERC has a bench lounger

Location:

EPM more remote

ERC busier area with lots of resorts around it. But then you are closer to Playa del Carmen, Puerto Moreles and lots of other sites and activities located in that area

Internet Access:

- ERC has a business centre. Located in the main reception building. I included pics with my review. They charge $3 per half hour. We did not actually use that centre as this trip was Excellence Club Class for us.

- EPM currently has complementary internet access for all guests. Also located in the main reception building on a floor level up from the Martini Bar.

Service:

Everything else was the same. Wonderful staff, fantastic service, great rooms.

In July ERC had a weekly complimentary shuttle to Cancun for shopping and stopped off at 3 malls or such. EMP does not provide that. Who knows. By now, ERC may not still be offering that.

Yeesh, thanks for bearing with me. Based on our experience and opinion only... my "isclaimer" !

Edited: 30 November 2009, 20:18
gloucestershire
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2. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Thank you so much for all that information!

Chester, United...
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3. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Having visited all four Excellence Group Resorts I would say that all four resorts are very similar but different if that makes any sense. To a certain extent it is like trying to compare a pineapple, a kiwi fruit and a mango – they are all great tropical delights but they each have there own flavours and appeals. What is easy to recognise is that the same person has been the designer and architect – his attention to detail is amazing.

As far as comparing EPM & ERC goes I would suggest a good starting point, if you have not already done so, would be to look at my reviews and photographs of the two resorts - we have now been to both twice:

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g1229340-d…

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g240327-d4…

Also check out the slideshows of both resorts on:

community.webshots.com/user/flipflop_man

As I have said at the outset it all depend what you are looking for – EPM is not yet two years old and is ultra modern. To a certain extent it has the “marmite factor” in that you will either love it or hate it – we loved it and so do most people who go there. ERC is about five years old now and does seem a bit dated in comparison but again it has great reviews, has a lot of repeat trade and is the #1 adult only resort in the Puerto Morelos area.

As far as the accommodation and restaurant layout and internal décor goes EPM wins hands down as you would expect it to as it is brand new and the designer has raised the bar even further as far as Excellence standards goes. However, EPM has an even more open plan room design than ERC with the bathroom area directly behind the head board of the bed – this will not suit all people.

The toilet has a frosted glass door and does have an open space at the top. The shower is huge and again has glass door glass and an upper half glass panel into the bedroom area – you will find photos of these features attached to my review of EPM.

None of these features were a problem to us and the majority of people we talked to.

The Rooftop Terrace Suites at EPM beat just about anything that ERC and most other resorts in Cancun have to offer.

As far as the restaurants go the food is very much the same high standard at both resorts but as I have said the surroundings are a bit better at EPM. The bars and service is again on a par although the reception area and Martini Bar is again more impressive at EPM

As far as the pools and spa go whilst EPM has more pools I would say that ERC has a better spa and the lazy river around the spa area is much more peaceful as the building around the spa at EPM can be a bit oppressive – both resorts are great and offer activities and chill out areas – there is something for everyone.

The grounds at ERC are obviously more mature but the grounds at EPM will be more spectacular as time progresses and they continue with their planting plan and we certainly noticed a big difference on our recent repeat trip.

We rated the beach and the ocean more at EPM than ERC simply because it is more secluded than ERC and the beach was cleaner when we were there. At both properties the amount of seagrass broken off in the water and on the shoreline in party seasonal and weather dependent as the move waves action you get the more “bits” and sand there is likely to be in the water. At ERC you have properties on either side where as at EPM although you have the La Amada Hotel, La Amada Residences and Marina to the left you can for walk for miles in the other direction without seeing another resort. The La Amada Hotel, La Amada Residences and Marina in case you are not aware are also owned by Excellence Group – see link to the relevant website below:

http://www.laamada.com/our-vision.php

Many people have asked me which we like best and all I can say is that EPC and ERC are to a certain extent like stepping into your cherished vintage car and taking it for a drive as you instantly feel at home and the quality and craftsmanship just oozes out at you – they both have a touch of magic hidden away under the bonnet. Whereas EPM and La Amada are the fresh new models on the drive with all the modern gizmos and that sports button which offers that little extra touch of excitement. The thing they all have in common is the emblem on the front grill.

Basically, you cannot go wrong with either resort but it very much depends on what you want in a holiday.

One thing for certain is that we will be going back to both resorts again next year

You may want to check www.caribbeanwarehouse.co.uk for a price - great company who know Excellence well - ask for Kevin if he is in

Happy to assist further if you need it

Edited: 30 November 2009, 23:54
Murfreesboro...
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4. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Thanks so much for both detailed comparisons of ERC & EPM. We stayed at EPC a couple of years ago and loved it and are considering ERC and EPM for future trips. Love TripAdvisor and all the helpful members!

Cancun, Mexico
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5. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Janny, have you considered going to both?

Chester, United...
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6. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Certainly when we go back next year we have booked 7 nights at ERC followed by 14 at EPM and La Amada

gloucestershire
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7. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Thank you for all your advice.

We went to Excellence in Punta Cana this year and found all your comments and photos helpful before booking that too!

Ojai, California
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8. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

We went to EPM last year and loved it. We took a tour of La Amada and was impressed with the layout. The question I have, is where do you eat when staying at La Amada? There does not appear to be anything close outside of the "compound." Are there restaurants at La Amada? Price ranges?

Thanks

Chester, United...
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9. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Carl

La Amada does have its own restaurants and if you drop me an e_mail with your e_mail address I will send you a copy of the menus that I have

Waterloo, Canada
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10. Re: excellence playa mujeres or excellence riviera cancun?

Just wanted to say thanks to Victoriabound & FFman for their detailed answers here. We were trying to decide between these two properties as well, and this information was definitely helpful.

While I'm sure they're both great, we have decided on EPM for this trip. If it goes as well as I expect it to, I'm sure we'll consider other Excellence properties in the future, too!