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Excellence Playa Mujeres
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Reviewed 28 November 2011

My husband and I just returned from a 7 night stay at EPM. Last year we stayed at ERM and this year decided to try EPM. Our stay was excellent. The hotel is incredibly clean and well maintained, the staff tries really hard to please and surprise, the food was great for the most part (our favorite was Lobster House and Spice (asian-fusion)). Prior to our trip, I e-mailed customer service and asked for room 7323 or 7322. These are junior suites not in the club, but in one of the club building that have ocean view. We were assigned 7323, which is at the end of the hall on the quiet side. We were so happy with the room. Building 7 is close to everything, but quiet. If you want a quiet room or like to go to sleep early, make sure to ask for a quiet room as some face the areas for entertainment. We mostly stayed by the pool - try to stay in the area where Maria serves drinks, etc. She is excellent and will make you feel like you are the only ones she is working for. My husband and I travel a lot and have been to many all inclusives in the Carribean - we are pretty picky and had a hard time finding fault with Excellence PM. The only suggestion we would have is to put rubber wheels on carts that are used to cart around towels around the pool so that they don't make that much noise. This is so small (and not that annoying) in the grand scheme of things. The hotel is wonderful and we will certainly be back.

Room Tip: Request building 7
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Yuliya A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 November 2011

Recently returned from a 7 night stay at the EPM, I relied heavily on trip advisor when making a decision on where to go and wanted to provide others with a prompt and accurate review. Sorry if this is long.... First, a bit of background. My husband and I are in our late twenties and were celebrating our five year wedding anniversary. We travelled from Calgary, Alberta for the week of Nov. 12 to 19th. Booked on Redtag.ca, travelled with a Sunquest package, flying on a WestJet flight. Confusing but all very well organized and seamless. We were picked up for a private transfer from the airport which we did not pay any extra for (note there is a lot of construction in Cancun right now and you do have to take some detours to get to the hotel, so don't panic when your cabbie takes you down a shady alleyway en route to the resort!) and had a comfortable 30 - 40 minute ride. The resort is far from the tourist areas and deep in the jungles, you have to go through three security gates to get in so you feel very safe. We were greeted by name at the hotel with a glass of champagne, cool cloth and a "Welcome Home". No wristbands required at this resort which is a huge plus in my book. Our check-in was easy, no line up and very quick, our room was ready and a butler immediately arrived to escort us there. A quick tour was given on our way to the room. I had made a brief mention of this being our anniversary when I booked and sure enough there was an "Excellence Anniversary" banner on our door and a single long stem red rose on the bed. Our room was in the 500 block which was a good location, farther from the main pool so quiet and private compared to some other buildings. It seemed as though the 700 block would have been quite noisy all day and night where as we could hardly hear a peep. The room itself was BEAUTIFUL. Spacious and clean, lots of lighting options, flat screen TV and sectional sofa. As others have commented, the bed was firm but you could request a mattress topper from the front desk to soften it if desired. The bathroom doesn't allow for much privacy but this is really a couples resort so I would think for most it's not a huge issue. The shower was amazing, big enough for six people with two separate shower heads, one a rain shower that felt amazing. Toilet blocked by a glass door, not sound proof but suck it up people, send your spouse outside if you need to! We didn't get any towel art but our friends did, maybe you get this for honeymoons only? Honeymooners do get a spa discount and special dinner we did not. We had a Jr. Swim up Suite and looked out onto the lazy river and the spa. The outside of the room was gorgeous, a huge sun bed, table and chairs and two loungers. We were happy we didn't upgrade to a higher room as the views didn't look to be great from most rooms (trees or buildings in the way) and for the amount of time we spent in our room, it wouldn't have been worth it. One thing we noticed immediately and never changed throughout the trip was how incredibly friendly ever staff member was. Everyone said 'hola' and smiled, you were always treated like royalty and no request seemed to be a bother to anyone. We tried most of the restaurants while we there, here's a quick run down - Italian was amazing, french was to die for, Japanese was not my favourite but my husband enjoyed and the live cooking show was amazing, do request this!! Tappas were very good, The Grill was excellent, did not have the lobster house for dinner but lunch was really good, I loved the Mexican but my husband wasn't as impressed (he's more of an Old El Paso kind of guy!) We are not foodies by any means and didn't try some of the more exotic dishes, but the food we did try was good. Portion sizes are smaller but this is very rich food a lot of the time and if you're still hungry... just order more! We only waited once for dinner and they did provide a beeper, this was right during prime dinner time, if you go a bit early or later it was a lot quieter. Loved not having to make reservations as we sometimes ate a lot later than we planned or changed our mind on what we wanted last minute. For breakfast we tried the lobster house for a sit down meal our first day, then tried the buffet at the Italian restaurant our second day and never looked back. The buffet was really good, especially the omelette stations and the french toast. We never ordered room service breakfast but heard it was good. We did order room service in the evenings but weren't very impressed with it. Perhaps due to location of our room we were at the end of their delivery route and the food was a bit soggy... we requested the food to come separately to avoid this (ie. nachos with cheese on the side) but then it came on top anyways... this was our only real food disappointment and didn't cause too much concern! The main pool did get busy so if you wanted a good seat, you should get up early. There were, however, always seats free by one of the pools and down on the beach. There were beautiful shaded beds around and hammocks over the pool, we loved the liveliness of the main pool (and the swim up bar!) and spent most time there. This is mostly a couples resort and we met a ton of amazing people while we there (luv u tommy & susanna, cindy & steve, steve & katie, etc...) wouldn't recommend for singles looking to meet someone. Most people there appeared to be our age into the thirties and forties, a couple older couples, mostly US and Canadians we met but a few from the UK/ Europe as well. If you wanted to be social, you could be, otherwise there were lots of spaces around to have some privacy. Most people we met were very friendly and except for a rowdy group from New Jersey that arrived late in the week, they were all very polite as well. Sam at the swim up bar was great and would customize drinks you wanted, Paola provided amazing pool side service and we were thrilled to discover you could order food and eat by (or in!) the pool. The buffalo wings were a huge hit. We found the service excellent whether you tipped or not, although people were very appreciative when you did tip. I also did notice that they show all the top shelf liquors around the bar then give you the cheap stuff from below the bar when they pour a drink, just ask if you want a name brand and they're happy to oblige. Drinks were delicious, and we never got sick all week, did see them using bagged ice in everything and although signs said all water was purified, we didn't drink anything other than bottled water all week. There were always lots of floaties around in the pool although some people did try to hog them and would float around on two or three. The towel game does take place here, as it does everywhere else, and we did see a couple chairs with towels that sat empty all day. I would just steal them personally if nobody had belongings there. The scheduled pool activities took place about 50% of the time but when they did, they were lots of fun (name that tune and bingo were favourites) and make sure you visit the beach bar on Wednesdays for Pineapple drinks that look like monkeys. We didn't spend a ton of time on the beach but did find it very pretty. There was a lot of seaweed that would wash up on store due to recent storms but a machine cleared it away every morning except one. Beach BBQ was phenomenal, burgers and chicken and steak and tacos, fresh salsa and chips.... so good! We did rent a seadoo one day and also went parasailing, this was a blast but not sure I'd pay to do it again, do rent through the guys on the beach as you can negotiate down the price. We took a ferry across to the island one day and this is a MUST. We would recommend taking a cab to the "speed" ferries and going across this way, it is much quicker and worth the cab fare($15USD each way) ferries were only $22USD for the two of us round trip. We rented golf carts on the island and toured around, it was a blast, found some neat places to stop and have cheap beers, ate at Jax and lunch was amazing, don't bother with appys AND main dishes unless you a really, really hungry, we were starving and couldn't get through half the food but what we did eat was delicious. This day was one of the best of our trip, the market provided some shopping as there is really nowhere to shop around the hotel, but be warned the vendors are very pushy. They are also very desperate to sell and you can negotiate in price A LOT. Offer them what you want to pay and threaten to walk out, more often than not, it will be yours. The weather was beautiful, only a touch of rain during this one day and otherwise was a couple brief showers in the evenings. I read lots of warnings about mosquitos but this wasn't an issue for us, had a few bites from something my last night there but again, you're in the jungle so i guess it's unavoidable! Evenings were a highlight for us, they played live music every night and people gathered by the Cafe Cafe bar and listened as they got ready for, or settled after, dinner. This was right next to the large theatre where they did their evening shows. Most shows were typical mexican resort cheese but the fire show and circus shows were good and the Michael Jackson show was AMAZING. Michael is alive and hiding out at the EPM! Cafe Cafe was a great place to hang out at night, alone or with friends and the service at that bar was awesome. Juan and Danny were our favourite bartenders, we miss them! I did also convince my husband to join me at the spa our last day there and this was a great experience, we did the couple's mayan ritual which included a seaweed wrap, facial and massage. All were great, we both fell asleep in the wrap. We also took advantage of the one hour hydrotherapy routine you get for free and this was an awesome, albeit sometimes odd, experience! All in all, this was an amazing trip, we were sad to be leaving and would return in a heart beat... just need to find someone willing to watch our kids for a week again!

Room Tip: Swim up suites are perfect, the 500 block was nice and quiet.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank MeShelley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

I have to start with a disclaimer that I am usually the type to avoid all-inclusives for their being a tourist trap, in my opinion. However, our stay at Playa Mujeres turned out to be an unexpectedly relaxing experience. The staff are great, from bell boys to waiters and bartenders, and everyone whom we encountered on other path. They really made us feel very welcome and taken care of, always cheerful and smiling, willing to go out of their way for you at all times. The hotel itself is all marble, not unhandsome, but very slippery, we were constantly worried about slipping on the stairs or in the room and injuring ourselves, and we are not even middle aged yet. Both the premises and the room were sparkly clean, the pools seemed clean despite being rather crowded in the main swim-up bar area. Amazing gardens. We had a regular swim-up room, on the ground level, and it was nice and spacious enough, with a terrace and steps from the "lazy river" that felt like a private pool. The room had a great shower for two, and, as many people have already mentioned, bathroom is practically part of the room, so you have to be very comfortable with each other not to freak out from such openness. Slippery marble throughout, I had constant fear of one of us slipping and cracking our skulls open. I wonder if such accidents are frequent, they must be, because we caught ourselves slipping not on a single occasion. We had to through towels on the bathroom floor to be able to walk.
The bed was a disappointment, too hard, with lumpy, rock-hard pillows that I just couldn't get a knack of adjusting - one was too flat, two were too high. We didn't have good sleep and were happy to get out of that bed with the rising sun. Perhaps the beds are better in the club area, but we didn't want to upgrade for another $130 a day, having already been paying almost $500/day.
The food... was very good! I read many reviews saying that it was mediocre at best, and I was prepared for the worst, especially being a vegan. To my utter amazement every restaurant had a huge vegetarian/vegan menu that was way better and bigger than most New York restaurants offer! The waiters were so gracious, just happy to accommodate my every wish, and the chefs always offered to alter every dish to be vegan. Everything was super fresh, pure and clean, just as I like my food to be. I actually miss their food here in NYC! We tipped everybody always because we always do, but the service simply couldn't be better, regardless of tipping.
The beach was beautiful, no seeweed, drinks were brought promptly and always with a smile. There was plenty of delicious local food for lunch at the grill place, and live mexican singers at the taco festival on the beach were a joy.
We made a friend there, a local calico kitty cat. She was so sweet and it was heartbreaking to leave her. She was very skinny but had fresh sutures from being spayed, so, please, if you see her, don't shoo her away, feed her, there's so much food at the hotel...
One thing I would definitely get rid of at the hotel was a cage with two parrots outside. Why on earth would you want to keep the poor birds by a noisy bar with loud live music at night? This is bordering on animal cruelty. It was an eye sore, being a cheesy attraction for an adult hotel (there aren't even kids at the hotel, what the heck??) and brought tears to my eyes every time I had to pass these two miserable creatures in a cage.
But, all in all, we had a good time. Olympic tours were super reliable, smooth transfers and excursions with very pleasant guides and drivers. We didn't care for the night entertainment at the hotel, but if you are into this kind of thing, there was plenty. I do recommend Excellence if you are looking for a relaxing all-inclusive vacation.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank Frogaboutglobe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

My wife and I went to EPM for a 4 night stay just before Thanksgiving for our 10th anniversary. I can say it was a PERFECT stay. We did not sign up for the Excellence Club and opted for a room on the quiet side of the resort near the spa - 5208 - and it was great. We went looking to relax and get some peace and quiet and we sure got it. The room was beautiful and kept very clean - the patio jacuzzi was to die for.

We spent most of our days lounging by the pool and on the beach catching up on our reading, having cocktails and lots of lounging around. The premises are amazing - very, very clean and very beautiful. I thought the service near the pool area for drinks was great and every time we asked for top shelf liquor, we got it. My only complaint (very small) is that they should have piped in music going on all the time near the pool - it was not consistent.

There have been some mixed reviews on the food on this site. My wife and I are foodies who grew up around NY so we are definitely picky in this department. We both agreed that we didn't have one bad meal the entire stay - all three meals/day. For dinner, we tried Flavor Market (tapas), Agave (Mexican), Spice (Asian/Fusion), and Barcelona (Mediterranean). All the meals were good and the service was great. Of the four, we liked Agave and Spice the best. For breakfast we alternated with going to Toscana for the buffet and doing room service. They were both great - no complaints. For lunch we tried the Grill twice, the Lobster House once, and did the beach buffet once. They were all good and gave good variety. We went to both the Lobster House and Grill with our bathing suits/t-shirts/cover ups on with no problem. For nighttime, men need to wear pants to most of the restaurants, so pack accordingly!

We also tried the spa and were also pleasantly surprised - the service was great and we agreed it was the best couples massage we've ever done.

The nighttime entertainment was OK - I thought the best options were the musical performances - there was a guy single cover songs in both English and Spanish on an acoustic guitar - he was great. The shows were a bit cheesy so my only advice to the hotel staff would be to emphasize more live music and less shows.

Overall a 5 star stay at a 5 star resort. We would definitely go back!

Room Tip: Ask for a corner unit - you will have a bit more privacy on your balcony. Also don't be afraid to ask for things from the staff - they are very accommodating.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Probie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 November 2011

My husband and I celebrated our 20 year anniversary at this awesome resort from Nov 5 thru Nov 9th. I am already planning on going back next year. We were part of the Excellence Club and were extremely happy with the resort, I cant say enough about the service. The staff went above and beyone to make you happy. We have stayed at many 5 star resorts and I have to say I have never met so many genuinely nice people working in one resort, if you wanted quiet and peacefull, you could find a place away from all the activity at the pool, if you wanted to be part of beach volley ball, pool games, name that tune etc, all you had to do was go to the main part of the pool. Our room was super romantic, loved the bed out on the balony and the jacuzzi in the room, restaurants were great. I can't say enough great things about this resort, we will definitely be back next year to celebrate out 21st.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank pamela m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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