Geoff’s Review of Excellence Playa Mujeres in Cancun, Mexico

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I get not only the opportunity to read all of Jenn’s posts every week like everyone else, but I get the luxury of being married to her (whether she thinks it or not). So I decided a long time ago that I wanted to contribute in some way to her blog, and seeing as she got to write about all of our fun activities on our honeymoon, I decided to give an overall review of the resort that we stayed at: The Excellence Playa Mujeres (EPM). Now keep in mind, I became an engineer for a reason; I get to speak with charts, graphs and numbers all day long and don’t have the spontaneous and witty writing abilities of Jenn. So here goes nothing!

When looking for a great hotel, I look for four major things: atmosphere, food/drinks, service, and activities/entertainment. I am usually lucky to hit one or two of these when traveling so what we found at The Excellence Playa Mujeres was absolutely fantastic!

Atmosphere – Relax? I don’t know how to relax.

One of the best features of this resort was the atmosphere.  Not just the fact that it was 89 degrees and sunny (compared to 15 degrees and a foot of snow), but it takes a lot to get me to wind down and actually relax, and almost immediately after stepping through the doors of the resort I couldn’t care less about anything going on in the outside world.  For starters, EPM is an adults-only resort which is one of the reasons we chose it. The facilities are extremely well-kept; the grounds are beautiful and the pool areas are always clean. The only downside is that the water in front of the resort is not as beautiful as it is farther south. You don’t get all the light/turquoise blue colors right up to shore.

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But what about the rooms? Well they’re pretty awesome. Each room has a balcony (of course we wanted an ocean view) and a Jacuzzi between the room/balcony that you can block off if wanted. They are pretty spacious and every piece of furniture is comfortable. Everything in your room is taken care of during the day including fresh fruit, new toiletries, etc. It is extremely easy to relax in the giant glass-door shower with rainforest shower heads, however it was a little different having a bathroom with a semi-frosted glass door that didn’t cover the entire door opening, but I guess that style fit with the modern look and feel of the resort.

Food/Drinks – Why have one when you can have seven?

Being an all-inclusive resort you have access to pretty much anything which allows you to indulge and not feel guilty about having lobster every night or try new things you never thought you would. Jenn and I routinely made a point to try something new with each meal. The hotel offers 9 different restaurants for dinner with varying themes: Steakhouse, Seafood, Indian, Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, French, Italian, and Tapas as well as having three of them open for breakfast and lunch (one being a buffet). We did not get a chance to try them all, however the food at the French restaurant was by far our favorite. Overall the food at EPM was levels above the other all-inclusive that we’ve been to, however if you are a foodie looking for extremely rich flavors and something out of this world, you may be disappointed.

During the day there are 11 bars on-site to mix up any drink concoction you can think of. The hotel has their own specialty drinks such as the Excellence Martini (a bright pink mix of vodka and fruit juices) or the Banana Mama (pina colada mix with rum and fresh fruit) which tastes so good you may not realize that you drank 7 of them so quickly. Adding to the fun, all the liquor used for drinks was top-shelf, and since we stayed in the “excellence” suite, we had bottles of alcohol waiting for us in our room upon arrival that magically re-stocked themselves every morning if you had drank it all or stuffed it in your suitcase.

Service – Anyway you want it, that’s the way you need it.

I think Journey hit the nail on the head; in fact that song should be the theme song for this resort. There was never a moment where I wanted something, and could not get it; we even got to choose what top-shelf alcohol was in our room. Arriving at the resort we were greeted and escorted to our check-in and then completely taken care of for the rest of the week. The staff was impeccable in keeping the place clean, taking care of you at dinner, and making sure that you were just having a good time. Every morning we had fresh fruit delivered to our room, the room cleaned in the afternoon and turn-down service at night while we were at dinner. I think some of the hardest working people on site were the bartenders. I honestly don’t know how they kept up with the demand, let alone doing it with a smile on their face and still cracking jokes with the guests.

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As part of our trip, our building had a private concierge service that was staffed through the day and available 24/7 to make reservations, get you where you needed to be, or simply just let you steal lime flavored peanuts from their fridge. One of the defining moments of their service and hospitality was when they mixed-up our dinner on the beach; somehow our dinner order never made it to the kitchen. Immediately, the concierge sprung into action and got us a special table at the French restaurant with a fantastic bottle of wine (not part of the all-inclusive package) and a delicious specialty dessert plate in order to apologize for the mix-up. We were in no way expecting that, but we were very thankful.

Activities/Entertainment – Drinking IS an activity, right?

Since EPM is up the coast from downtown Cancun, there are not a lot of things to do around the resort without taking a 10 minute cab ride into town. The resort itself did a good job of keeping us entertained though while hanging out at the beach or drinking more than we should in the pool. Every night there was a different show at the theater whether it be a Michael Jackson tribute show or comedian we at least got to sit back, and have a drink. On Friday nights, they have a Mexican fiesta with traditional Mexican food and music under the stars.

During the day many activities went on such as rifle shooting, dance lessons, beach volleyball and special events such as wine tastings and tequila tastings. I think during most of the week, we made eating and drinking our primary activity at the resort. If you wanted to do anything like snorkeling, sailing, shopping or swim with dolphins, the hotel made excursions available though their concierge service as well as having many travel agencies on-site to take care of transportation and bookings.

The resort also has a great range of health/well-being options such as a spacious fitness center and a fantastic spa called Millé which, as part of our honeymoon package, we got to experience. The spa is very well run and was probably one of the more relaxing moments of our trip. We received a couples massage and hydrotherapy session; the massage was fantastic, however we were not fans of the hydrotherapy session. Getting blasted with water until your muscles hurt wasn’t our cup of tea.

The Bottom Line – Truth in Advertising

I think one of the best things was that we got exactly what we were expecting. Most places give you crazy camera angles of rooms and the facilities to make it seem more spacious or better looking than it actually is. That is definitely not the case with Excellence Resorts. Every photo on their website looks exactly like it does in person. This is probably why many of the guests we talked to at the resort have been there multiple times before and keep coming back. The pictures below show you how accurate their photos are; one if from our camera, the other is from the EPM website.

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Overall, we were extremely pleased with our stay at Excellence Playa Mujeres and would recommend it to any of our family and friends; in fact, we are looking into taking our families back in the coming years.

If you would like more information on Excellence Playa Mujeres, visit their website: www.excellence-resorts.com

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Posted on April 4, 2013, in Life, Misc. Topics (Life), Misc. Topics (Wedding), Travel, Wedding Planning Isn't For Sissies and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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