Finest Playa Mujeres

(I stayed at this resort July 2015–if you want to read my review and see the photo gallery, follow this link).

Finest Playa Mujeres is the first resort in the Excellence Group’s new line of luxury all-inclusive properties for families.  The Finest resorts are meant to appeal to vacationers of all ages with onsite amenities geared towards the same.  Although this seems like a tall order, Finest Playa Mujeres has pulled it off with adults-only sections, family-friendly sections, children’s water parks, tween and teen space, along with ten restaurants, 19 bars, and multiple pools.  Oh, and did I mention the special spa menu for children and families, or the yummy gelato ice cream and iced coffee drinks at the Sweet Corner?  Finest Playa Mujeres is ready to accommodate and entertain couples, families with children ages 0-15, destination weddings, family reunions, and host business meetings or executive retreats.

Finest Playa Mujeres aerial view

Aerial view of the resort, courtesy Excellence Group Luxury Resorts

The resort is located in the Playa Mujeres area, a private gated community north of downtown Cancun.  There are only a handful of resorts here including its sister resort, the adults-only Excellence Playa Mujeres, which is just south of the property.  Although the location is off the beaten path of Cancun’s Hotel Zone, security is not an issue here since guests must pass through several gates just to reach the front entrance.  Partiers will find that this location is quite a cab ride to the Hotel Zone’s Plaza Forum where most of the well-known clubs are situated.  The one amenity which Finest Playa Mujeres does not have is a disco, so take that into consideration if late night partying is important.

The resort’s décor is best described as “modern minimalist”–those who love contemporary  styling will appreciate the furniture choices and unique designs used throughout guest rooms and public spaces.  Regardless of one’s style preference, it’s not difficult to like the stunning bar located a flight of stairs below the lobby.  Borrowing from its adults-only Excellence sister resorts, the Golden Bar area enjoys resort views from floor-to-ceiling multi-paned windows with multiple seating groups–perfect for pre/post dinner drinks and a chance to make new friends or catch up on travel news with existing ones.  Another bar worth mentioning is the Sky Bar which is located above the main pool.  This is a hidden gem with an ocean view, padded adjustable double loungers, sail shades, and specializes in “molecular cocktails”.

Finest Playa Mujeres lobby bar

Lobby bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sky Bar view

Sky Bar view

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parents who bring their children to vacation at Finest Playa Mujeres will find many child-friendly activities and supervised specialty areas including the Mini Club (ages 0-6), Maxi Club (ages 7-11), and the Teen Club (ages 12-15).  There are two children’s water parks and splash zones (one in the Mini Club and one in the Maxi Club), an outdoor games area, children’s theater, tennis courts, archery range, paddleboards, kayaks, mini-spa services for children, and special food and beverage stations at just the right height for young diners.  There is also supposed to be a zipline and climbing wall at the Teen Club; children’s and teen’s facilities are fairly well hidden from prying eyes so these amenities are not readily apparent.  Children are welcome at all areas of the resort with the exception of the Excellence Club facilities including their two private pools and Jacuzzis, the Bistro and Le Petit Plaisir restaurants which are adults-only, and the fitness center.

In addition to the upgrades available for adults, families may upgrade to the Finest Club.  The Finest Club offers many of the same amenities as the Excellence Club including suites closer to the main pool and beach, two smaller pools, a Jacuzzi, a private lounge, and private beachfront bar.

Here is a brief description of Finest Playa Mujeres’ pools:

  • Each of the six guest room buildings has multiple pool areas with the Finest Club and Excellence Club buildings having two pools each which are located in the swim-up suites sections.  Club pools are heated in winter.
  • There is one main pool (not heated) with two swim-up bars, two a la carte restaurants above, with the Sky Bar on top.  The main pool is presently divided into adults-only and family-friendly sections, each with its own swim-up bar.
  • There is a second pool by buildings 1 and 2 at the back of the resort–perfect for guests who want more privacy and don’t want to walk to the beachfront main pool.
  • A total of 13 Jacuzzis, two of which are located at the Excellence Club pool area, and one at the Finest Club pool area.  All Jacuzzis can be heated.
  • Swim-up suite pools do not connect with the main pool, nor do they have built-in loungers.
  • There is both a Mini Club and Maxi Club water park/pool combination.

Although Cancun is known for its turquoise-hued ocean water and soft white sand, the Playa Mujeres beach area is a bit different with courser sand, short sand dunes with natural grasses and flora, and somewhat cloudier aqua-colored ocean water.  Due to certain weather conditions, sea grass can be a problem, but the staff collects it twice a day when necessary (divers were also used to uproot ocean bottom flora to make a more swimmable area).  Sand spurs don’t seem to be a problem anymore, but small coral pieces present in the sand may prompt some to bring water shoes.  There are three lounging areas on the beach–the Finest Club is located on the north side of the property, loungers for non-Club guests in the middle, and the Excellence Club is located on the south side.  All areas include full loungers and shade palapas, while padded double loungers with shade partitions serve as Bali beds–these are first come-first served.  There is a beach bar and snack grill open until 5 p.m. which is oceanfront and has a wonderful ocean view.

Excellence Club beach area

Excellence Club beach area

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter what time of the day or night, there is always something to eat somewhere at Finest Playa Mujeres.  Here’s what’s open at each mealtime:

  • Breakfast:  The Market Kitchen, Duke’s Lobster and Seafood, and Bistro restaurants
  • Lunch:  The Market Kitchen, Duke’s Lobster and Seafood, Insieme Trattoria, Las Dunas Beach House, and Bistro restaurants
  • Dinner:  The Market Kitchen, eight a la cartes including Brass Steakhouse, Duke’s Lobster and Seafood, Insieme Trattoria, Lizo, Shoji, Tinto and Tapas, Bistro and le Petit Plaisir for adults-only.  The resort recently added a new a la carte, Surf & Turf, which serves grilled lobster, chicken, shrimp, and steaks.  Legends Sports Bar offers appetizers, salads, and wraps/sandwiches until 1 a.m.
  • Snacks:  Las Dunas Beach House, Legends Sports Bar, and the Sweet Corner.
  • NOTE:  As is common for Cancun all-inclusives, some of these restaurants may be closed several nights per week during non-peak travel periods.  Check with the Concierge or look at the current daily list of activities for restaurant closures.
Finest Playa Mujeres The Market Kitchen

The Market Kitchen, courtesy Excellence Group Luxury Resorts

When it’s time to retire for the evening, guests can enjoy one of the 450 suites available in one of three categories–Finest Suites, Finest Club Suites, or Excellence Club Suites.  All three room categories include basic Jr. Suites, Swim-Up Suites, and Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suites with Plunge Pool.  Family Suites with an extra adjoining bedroom can be found in Finest Suites and Finest Club Suite categories.  All guest rooms include the following unique amenities (in addition to standard room amenities):  46″ flat screen Smart TV, Jacuzzi tub (entered from within the room but part of it is on the balcony/terrace), balcony/terrace lounge bed, sofa bed, large shower with rainforest showerhead, dual sinks, free-standing bathroom towel rack, complimentary calls to the USA and Canada, free resort WiFi, USB charge ports built in to the nightstands, room service box, and several bottles of liquor along with a welcome bottle of wine (upgraded guests can switch out their liquor bottles for different brands with their Club concierge).  Although there is a room category to fit most travelers’ needs, families or friends sharing a suite may experience privacy issues when it comes to the bathroom–there is no bathroom door, no shower door, and the toilet area is only closed off by a frosted glass door.

Finest Playa Mujeres swim-up suite terrace

Swim Up Suite terrace, courtesy Excellence Group Luxury Resorts

 

Finest Playa Mujeres guest room interior

Typical guest room interior, courtesy Excellence Group Resorts

 

Finest Playa Mujeres pool suites

Pool Suite terrace, courtesy Excellence Group Luxury Resorts

To summarize, this is a brand new, family-friendly resort which has sectioned off a small part for adults who may wish to take a break from vacationing around children.  Expect to see many families here–there will be children frolicking in the main pool, at the swim-up bars, wandering into bar areas at night with their parents, at the spa, and at a majority of the restaurants.  Those who want an adults-only vacation experience with the Excellence brand should look into Excellence Playa Mujeres or Excellence Riviera Cancun resorts.

 

Type of Resort:  Family-friendly

Pro:  Several heated pools, no restaurant reservations (except teppanyaki show tables), and complimentary WiFi

Con:  Isolated location, lack of bathroom privacy, pricey

Best Suited For:  Families with children ages 4-12, small groups

No. of Rooms:  450

Room Amenities:  King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace with lounge bed, double Jacuzzi, sofa bed, coffee table, full-length mirror, room service box, mini-bar, bottles of liquor and welcome bottle of wine, in-room safe, flat screen Smart TV, telephone with free calls to the USA and Canada, nightstand charging ports, radio alarm clock, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, double sinks, two-person shower with rainforest showerhead, toiletries, pillow menu, concierge service, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi.  Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories.

(Finest Suites)

  • Jr. Suite (Spa or Pool view):  King or two dbl beds.
  • Swim-Up Jr. Suite:  King bed, terrace with access to a private pool, two full terrace loungers, hammock, swan massage pool jet.
  • Pool Jr. Suite:  King bed, private pool (can be heated in winter) and garden area, two full loungers, hammock.
  • Family Suite:  King bed in one room, two single beds in adjoining bedr.
  • Pool Family Suite:  King bed in one room, two single beds in adjoining bedroom, private pool (can be heated in winter) and garden area, two full loungers, hammock.
  • Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool:  King bed, rooftop terrace with private plunge pool (can be heated in winter) and furniture (sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, lamp, and dbl lounger).  Pool view.

(Finest Club Amenities)

  • private check-in/out
  • late check-out/early check-in depending on availability
  • private lounge with concierge service, light buffet, bar service, and computer use
  • private beachfront bar
  • separate beach area
  • upgraded in-room services including mini-bar, Nespresso machine, room service menu, in-room liquor choices, and toiletries
  • daily newspaper
  • complimentary beach bag use
  • shoe shine service
  • daily fruit and petit fours delivered to the room
  • fresh flower(s) and welcome bottle of sparkling wine
  • access to the two private Finest Club pools and one private Jacuzzi
  • one Aqua Wellness treatment per person per stay (age 13+)
  • adults have access to the Bistro restaurant

(Finest Club Suites)

  • Jr. Suite Oceanfront:  King or two dbl beds, Finest Club amenities.  NOTE:  Although this is an oceanfront category, many of these rooms have an ocean view at best.
  • Swim-Up Jr. Suite:  King bed, terrace with access to a private pool (heated in winter), two full terrace loungers, hammock, swan massage pool jet, and Finest Club amenities.
  • Family Suite:  King bed in one room, two single beds in adjoining bedroom, and Finest Club amenities.
  • Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool:  King bed, rooftop terrace with private plunge pool (heated in winter) and furniture (sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, lamp, dbl lounger), and Finest Club amenities.
  • Imperial Suite with Pool:  King bed in separate bedroom, living room with large sofa and armchair, bar area, private pool (heated in winter) and garden area, two full loungers, hammock, and Finest Club amenities.  Additional amenities includes private check-in/out in the suite, use of an iPad during the stay, one barman service at the suite (must be arranged with the concierge 24-hrs. in advance), express ironing service (one outfit per person per stay), unlimited access to the spa hydrotherapy circuit, and private dinner.
  • Imperial Suite Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool:  King bed in separate bedroom, living room with large sofa and armchair, bar area, rooftop terrace with private plunge pool (heated in winter) and furniture (sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, lamp, dbl lounger), and Finest Club amenities.  Additional amenities includes private check-in/out in the suite, us of an iPad during the stay, one barman service at the suite (must be arranged with the concierge 24-hrs. in advance), express ironing service (one outfit per person per stay), unlimited access to the spa hydrotherapy circuit, and private dinner.

(Excellence Club Amenities)

  • private check-in/out
  • late check-out/early check-in depending on availability
  • private lounge with concierge, light buffet, bar service, and computer use
  • private beachfront bar
  • separate beach area
  • upgraded in-room services including mini-bar, Nespresso machine, room service menu, in-room liquor choices, and toiletries
  • daily newspaper
  • complimentary beach bag use
  • shoe shine service
  • daily fruit and petit fours delivered to the room
  • fresh flower(s) and welcome bottle of sparkling wine
  • access to the two private Excellence Club pools and two Jacuzzis
  • one Aqua Wellness treatment per person per stay (age 13+)

(Excellence Club Suites)

  • Jr. Suite Oceanfront:  King or two dbl beds, in-room Jacuzzi, and Excellence Club amenities.  NOTE:  Although this is an oceanfront category, many of these rooms have an ocean view at best.
  • Swim-Up Jr. Suite:  King bed, terrace with access to a private pool (heated in winter), two full terrace loungers, hammock, swan massage pool jet, and Excellence Club amenities.
  • Two-Story Rooftop Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool:  King bed, rooftop terrace with plunge pool (heated in winter) and furniture (sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, lamp, dbl lounger), and Excellence Club amenities.
  • Imperial Suite with Pool:  King bed in separate bedroom, living room with large sofa and armchair, bar area, private pool (heated in winter) and gardens, two full loungers, hammock, and Excellence Club amenities.  Additional amenities includes private check-in/out in the suite, use of an iPad during the stay, one barman service at the suite (must be arranged with the concierge 24-hrs. in advance), express ironing service (one outfit per person per stay), unlimited access to the spa hydrotherapy circuit, and private dinner.
  • Imperial Suite Two-Story Rooftop Terrace with Plunge Pool:  King bed in separate bedroom, living room with large sofa and armchair, bar area, rooftop terrace with private plunge pool (heated in winter) and furniture (sofa, two armchairs, coffee table, lamp, dbl lounger), and Excellence Club amenities.  Additional amenities includes private check-in/out in the suite, use of an iPad during the stay, one barman service in the suite (must be arranged with the concierge 24-hrs. in advance), express ironing service (one outfit per person per stay), unlimited access to the spa hydrotherapy circuit, and private dinner.

Physically Challenged Rooms:  Available

Resort Amenities:  One main beachfront pool (two swim-up bars), secondary pool near buildings #1 and #2, two Finest Club pools (heated), two Excellence Club pools (heated), multiple additional pools including one pool/water park combination at the Mini Club (ages 0-6) and one at the Maxi Club (ages 7-11), Teen Club (ages 12-15), 13 Jacuzzis, spa (children’s spa services available), beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts and clinics, bicycle tours, archery and air rifle shooting ranges, paddleboards, kayaks, outdoor games area, jogging trails, pool and beach wait service, theater, children’s theater, cigar lounge, sports bar, concierge, tour desk, gift shops, car rental, and ATM.

Restaurants/Bars:  One buffet (The Market Kitchen), nine a la cartes including a steakhouse (Brass), lobster/seafood (Duke’s), Italian (Insieme Trattoria), Mexican (Lizo), French (Le Petit Plaisir–adults only), Pan-Asian (Shoji–teppanyaki show tables and sushi), tapas (Tinto), and a private restaurant for upgraded adult guests (Bistro). The resort recently added a new a la carte, Surf & Turf.  Reservations are needed at the teppanyaki show tables.  There are three snack areas including the beach grill, Legends Sports Bar (try the onion rings), and the Sweet Corner.  Bars that all guests can enjoy include the lobby bar, two swim-up bars, beach bar, sports bar, theater bar, sake bar, tequila bar, piano/cigar bar, Sky Bar, Central Plaza bar, and juice bar.  Finest and Excellence Club guests each have their own private lounge bar and beachfront bar.

Entertainment:  Nightly stage shows, children’s stage shows, live music (piano, sax, beach band), live afternoon performances around the resort, pirate themed beach party and “White Night” beach party (both with buffet), casino night, trivia, magic show, fire show, and sports bar.

Websitehttp://www.finestresorts.com/

 

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