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IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

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IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Both these properties look terrific! I'm assuming the Grand is the newer of the 2 as it has fewer reports than the Excellence. Both have won traveller's awards. Are they close to each other on the beach? Any feedback on which one to choose??

Stowe, Vermont
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1. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

I was at the Grand in December and ERC in May. I'd choose The Grand, no hesitation, hands-down. But, it depends on what is important to you in a vacation. They are very different resorts - in style, tone, and caliber.

They are probably 15 minutes apart.

I am returning to the Grand in December. I would not return to ERC but I am in the minority, as people love the place. I didn't dislike it, but I liked the Grand better.

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2. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Thanks for the feedback. What is it that makes you prefer the Grand so much more?

New Jersey
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3. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

I am one of those people who love ERC. I haven't been to the Grand, but have been to all-inclusives and resorts in another destinations and definitely feel that ERC is by far the best we have stayed at.

I love not having to make reservations, not having to wear wristbands. The staff is the friendliest you will meet, the shower ROOMS are huge, the pools are beautiful and relaxing. The food and drinks are all yummy (this will vary from person to person, but MOST feel it is above the norm that you would experience at an AI). THe location is nice, not too far from Cancun but far enough that you feel like you are in a secluded private place all your own.

I could go on and on. We liked it so much we are returning in three short weeks. I'm sure you will have a great time no matter where you choose though...both look like exceptionally nice places to stay.

Ann

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4. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Thanks Ann! Did I see in some of the ERC pictures a tub on the balcony? What room category is that? How many room categories are available at this resort?

Stowe, Vermont
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5. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

It's not that ERC is not a nice place. It is. We didn't dislike it. It's just that it is not the same class of place as the Grand. I'd say ERC is a 4, and the Grand is a 5. And since the price is the same, I's rather stay at a 5.

It is nice at ERC that you don't need reservations for dinner, nor do your wear wristbands. The staff are friendly, the pools are very pretty... but.. in my opinion the Grand is a far more luxurious resort.

The rooms are uber luxurious, with plush mattresses and fine linens. The bed at ERC had an old, bouncy mattress and scratchy linens. The lighting in the room was horrid, and the balcony was not any place I'd choose to hang out on. The shower at ERC was huge - the one at the Grand wassmall. The rooms at ERC are showing their age.

Service at the Grand was top notch. ERC's employees were very friendly, too, and the service was fine. Here's one difference that I think illustrates the differences in the resort; at ERC there are large shelves that hold towels at the pool and on the beach, self serve. They would run out by 10 am and not be replaced. At the Grand, there were towels on a shelf, and the butlers also had towels in an armoire in the lobby of the building. They'd greet us by name in the morning, and remember that we (2 people) wanted three towels.

The two areas where the Grand outranked ERC by far were the beach and the food. The food at ERC was good, it just wasn't anything to rave about. Think Cheesecake Factory or Applebys for lunch. The food at the Grand was amazing, both in presentation and flavor. For lunch you can have lobster, giant prawns, beef filet cooked to order. At ERC, lunch was more run of the mill. It tasted fine but there was no "wow" factor.

Drinks were about the same at both places, except at the Grand they gave you a bottle if you ordered wine or champagne. They would bring it by the bottle to the tranquility pool and the beach; not so at ERC. Everything was by the glass.

The indoor spa pool at the Grand is really nice, with lots of water jets. It is free.

The Grand was more sedate when I was there during low season in December; very quiet. I was at ERC in May, and it had a fun atmosphere; bands in the courtyard, live music at night, etc... A fun place.

The beach at the Grand is way, way prettier and cleaner than ERC. ERC's beach, since it is on a reef, is calm, no waves, and lots of seagrass in the water and washes ashore. ERC does a great job of cleaning it up on the surf line, but if you swim in the ocean, you'll be swimming in sea grass. The water at the Grand is rougher, with waves. The chairs at the Grand, especially those in front of Bldg 70, are super comfortable wicker loungers with thick cushions.

ERC is, as Annie posted, above the norm of what you would experience at an AI. I totally agree. But the Grand is in a completely different class than ERC. It is, in a way, like comparing apples to oranges.

Again, though, it depends on what you are looking for in a vacation. ERC does a great job with its pools that meander around the grounds, and you can always find a nice, quiet place to hang out. The Grand's pool is larger, not as intimate, but beautifully designed. If you are beach lovers, you might be disappointed in the beach at ERC.

Good luck with your decision - it is such a fun one to make!

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6. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

WOW! thanks for all that info. Spotsmom. You did a great job comparing and focusing on the pros and cons of each property! It was really helpful! You're right, it depends on what you're looking for in a vacation and where you like to spend your time!

Stowe, Vermont
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7. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Sure, no problem! Yes, the Grand is newer than ERC.

BTW, there are jacuzzi's on the room balconies of the swim-up suites at ERC. There jacuzzies on the balconies of the oceanfront corner suites at the Grand.

As for room categories, ERC has several categories for regular rooms, and then more categories for Excellence Club. The Grand regular, oceanview, and oceanfront. The rooms are all the same - just the view is different. There are also honeymoon villas.

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8. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

Is it worth spending the money for the Excellence club at ERC?

New Jersey
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9. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

The room categories you can select are the standard room, the swim-up suite, the ocean view suite...then in the Excellence Club option you have Ocean View Suite, Swim-up Suite and Ocean Front Suite. You also have Honeymoon and Imperial Suite, which are the most expensive of the entire resort. With the exception of the Honeymoon and Imperial Suite all of the rooms are the same. The Excellence Club option gets you private check in, a mini-bar with full bottles of alcohol, a private area of the beach and a private pool to use, a lounge that has appetizers, snacks, top shelf liquor and free computer usage.

On our honeymoon we chose the Excellence Club Swim-Up and loved it. The convenience of having the pool AND the beach right outside your door was great. The private check-in was a nice perk, as was the internet access in the Excellence Club. That being said, because it is an extra $250 (give or take) over the normal room...we have opted for a swim-up suite for this trip...no Excellence Club option. We just felt that for the money, we could forgo the added perks. We will have to stand in line to check-in just like anyone else and will have to go to one of their many many bars for drinks instead of mixing our own in our room (who really wants to do that anyway). For the money, we would probably NOT pay for the Excellence Club option again for a normal trip, but we did like having the extra luxury for our honeymoon.

As far as the towels, the beach, atmosphere...we never had a problem getting a towel. Yes, they were on a rack (not a person handing them out) but there were points that I saw the rack with only a few remaining towels and they were promptly replenished (although I'm sure there are days it takes longer than others).

The beach is NOT the nice aqua water that you will see in Cancun. That being said, the beach is still VERY nice by any standards. The sand is so soft you feel like you are walking on flour. The water is clear enough to see to the bottom if you are standing in it(not aqua but definitely not murky). The sea grass is a bit of a problem sometimes, the storms in the area will churn up a bit more than usual but they do clear it off of the beach. As far as the grass in the water, unless you plan on only swimming in the ocean for the first 5-10 feet out, you will walk through the sea grass and after that the water clears up.

All in all, like I said...I think you will have a great time no matter where you choose. ERC isn't voted #1 in the area for nothing and no matter how nice the resort...if you go on vacation to find all of the flaws of a resort, you will definitely find something no matter where you go.

Vacation is what you make of it. I'm definitely NOT easy to please but put a drink in my hand on a hot sunny day on the beach in Mexico and how can you really find the energy to nit pick everything else?

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10. Re: IB Grand Paraiso or Excellence Riviera Cancun?

THanks Annnewjerz! That was a lot of great info!!I do like the idea of not wearing a bracelet and not having to make reservations for dinner. I guess the next thing I need to check into is the scuba diving facilities. Do both resorts offer diving and if so is it included? Are there dive shops at both properties?