Located 20 min. south of the airport, Excellence Riviera Cancun is an adults-only luxury beachfront resort which prides itself on its service, spa, and relaxed ambiance. Over the years it has garnered various awards including Condé Nast Travelers’ Choice Gold List (the “Best of the Best”), Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Top 25 Hotels for Romance in Mexico, and voted best Mexican spa by Spa Professionals Mexico. This resort has a fierce, loyal following with many guests returning each year.
Excellence Riviera Cancun makes an immediate impression with its large, automated wooden doors, magnificent two-story lobby with its stained glass ceiling panel, comfortable sofa groupings, beautifully carved wooden reception desk, and the very popular Martini lobby bar on the lower level. Guests are typically greeted with champagne, a cool towel, and a “welcome home”, then sent to their respective check-in depending on whether an Excellence Club guest room has been booked.
Grounds are beautifully landscaped and meticulously maintained; flora, palm trees, grassy areas, fountains, and sculptures are scattered throughout the property. Placement of guest room buildings and the pools surrounding them give a sense of cohesion and flow to the general layout–guests are fairly close to all amenities while at the same time feel a certain amount of privacy and seclusion, even when the resort is at full capacity.
The six pools gives guests plenty of choices of where to cool off or just “chill”. Those who enjoy a quieter venue with soft music can use the provided flotation mats and float all day around the spa (and even swim directly into the spa if they have an appointment); those who desire nothing but a quick dip and the opportunity to catch up on nap or reading time can venture over to guest room building nine; Excellence Club guests have a heated beachfront pool all to themselves; and those who enjoy a bit more action and daytime activities can use the other beachfront pool with the swim-up bar. There are Bali beds everywhere, even around most pool areas, as well as on the beach. Although pool lovers will adore all the swimming choices here, beach lovers may just give this resort’s beach an “average” rating–water can be murky at times due to the sea grass which is collected twice daily.
At the end of long, amenity-filled days, guests will be happy to retreat to their spacious suites ranging from Jr. Suites to Two-Story Rooftop Deck Suites. Swim-up rooms are so popular at this Excellence resort that overbookings may occur during peak travel times. No matter what the room choice, many have two Jacuzzis (bathroom and balcony), a spacious shower with a built-in ledge for seating, separate sitting room area, and in-room liquor.
Many areas of the resort have just been renovated or are in the process of finishing renovations. Excellence Club room renovations are complete, while all guest rooms are slated for renovations by the end of 2015. Many public spaces have undergone some type of transformation, while a new restaurant has been added (a tapas a la carte) along with the addition of a new coffee shop. (For a more complete list of public space renovations and additions along with pictures, check out this link).
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Service, two heated pools, spa, wheelchair accessible pool, no restaurant reservations or wristbands, complimentary WiFi.
Con: Water quality can be murky at times, sea grass at waters’ edge.
Best Suited For: Affluent couples ages 35-65, honeymooners, couples celebrating anniversaries.
No. of Rooms: 440 suites
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony or terrace, mini-bar, in-room liquor and wine, in-room safe, flat screen TV, sitting area with loveseat and coffee table, desk and chair, service box for room service, CD/DVD player, telephone, radio/alarm clock with iPod dock, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, pillow menu, hair dryer, marble bathroom with dbl sinks, separate shower, Jacuzzi tub, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of the non-Excellence Club guest rooms:
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds with a spa or pool view. The bathroom Jacuzzi is easily seen and accessible from the bedroom area. These rooms do not have a balcony Jacuzzi.
- Jr. Swim-Up Suite: King or two dbl beds, terrace Jacuzzi, two loungers, and hammock. Although this is a swim-up room, there is no direct access to a pool via the water; however, pool entry is only six to ten feet away from the terrace.
- Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed with an ocean view. The bathroom Jacuzzi is easily seen and accessible from the bedroom area. These rooms do not have a balcony Jacuzzi.
(Excellence Club Amenities)
- check-in/check-out in the Excellence Club Lounge
- early check-in/late check-out depending on availability
- guest rooms are located close to the ocean
- private pool, whirlpool, and beach area
- private concierge service (hotel and beach area)
- use of the Excellence Club Lounge with computer and printer access, buffet service including continental breakfast/snacks/desserts, premium liquors
- upgraded room service menu
- upgraded toiletries (Bvlgari)
- upgraded in-room premium liquor and wine bottle selection
- Nespresso coffee machine
- sparkling wine upon arrival
- fresh flowers upon arrival
- daily room delivery of fresh fruit
- daily newspaper
- shoeshine service
- beach bag use during stay
- Aqua Wellness Spa Treatment, one per person per stay
Here are the Excellence Club guest room categories:
- Jr. Suite Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, balcony Jacuzzi, Excellence Club amenities. The bathroom Jacuzzi is easily seen and accessible from the bedroom area.
- Jr. Swim-Up Suite Ocean View: King bed, terrace Jacuzzi and small sofa, two terrace loungers, hammock, Excellence Club amenities. Although these are swim-up rooms, there is no direct pool access via the water; rather, the pool can be accessed six to ten feet from the terrace.
- Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite Oceanfront: King bed, desk and chair, balcony Jacuzzi and small sofa, rainforest showerhead, upstairs deck area with HydroSpa pool, day bed, table and two chairs, Excellence Club amenities.
- Honeymoon Suite Oceanfront: One bedroom suite with king bed, living room with sofas, chairs, coffee table, separate area for massage tables, dbl balcony, balcony and bathroom Jacuzzis, rainforest showerhead, Express ironing (one outfit per person per stay), Excellence Club amenities.
- Honeymoon Suite with Rooftop Terrace: One bedroom suite with king bed and all amenities of the Honeymoon Suite Oceanfront. This suite also includes an upstairs deck with HydroSpa pool, day bed, table and two chairs, all with ocean view. There is only one suite like this.
- Imperial Suite Oceanfront: One bedroom suite with king bed, living room with leather sofa and loveseat, fully stocked bar, two flat screen TV’s, dining room table with six chairs, kitchen with full refrigerator (stocked with sodas, beer, juices, snacks, and wine), microwave, sink, cooktop, glassware, guest bathroom, extra large balcony with Jacuzzi, full loungers, table and chairs, with Excellence Club amenities. Additional amenities include complimentary use of laptop, iPad, cell phone, one private Wine Cellar dinner, barman service at the suite for one hour during the stay, day pass to other Excellence Resorts with transportation provided, unlimited access to Aqua Wellness Spa Circuit, select spa services provided in-suite, and Express ironing (one outfit per person per stay).
- NOTE: Swim-up suites which tend to get more overall sunlight are in buildings 1-3, 7a, and 8.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Six pools (one with swim-up bar, one for Excellence Club guests, two are heated), five Jacuzzis, spa, beauty salon, yoga classes, non-motorized water sports, dive center, fitness center, tennis courts and clinics, shooting range (archery range/air rifle shooting), bicycles and tours, shuffleboard, game room, jogging trails, theater, disco, shopping arcade, cigar lounge, concierge, pool and beach butlers, business center/internet room, tour desk, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: This resort offers eight a la cartes including Italian (Toscana), Mexican (Agave), Pan-Asian (Spice–teppanyaki show tables), French (Chez Isabelle), contemporary Indian (Basmati), seafood (The Lobster House, no A/C), steakhouse (The Grill), and the new a la carte serving a tapas menu (Flavor Market). Additional dining venues include casual Italian (Oregano), breakfast and lunch options at Barcelona Mediterranean Restaurant, and a poolside snack and grill (Las Olas). Theme beach BBQ lunches are served daily, and a new coffee and pastry shop has been added (Aroma). Spa cuisine and vegetarian options are available in all restaurants; reservations are not needed. Ten bars are located throughout the resort including three pool bars, one beach bar, a swim-up bar, lobby bar, disco bar, theater bar, cigar lounge, and an exclusive bar for Excellence Club guests. There is a juice bar by the spa, while the Alegria bar has been changed to a sports bar.
Entertainment: Nightly stage shows, poolside shows during the day, live music including singers, guitarists, harp players, and tableside mariachis.