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Reviewed 25 May 2021

We recently returned from our first visit to Excellence Riviera Cancun and Excellence Playa Mujeres (5 nights at each). We wanted to try them both, back-to-back, to help decide which of them we might want to revisit in the future. We’ll review both here. This was our 15th trip to all-inclusive resorts in Riviera Maya. We’ve been to about 10 resorts there and the ones we’ve enjoyed the most in the past include VIM, El Dorado Maroma and Iberostar Grand. Short version: both ERC and EPM are outstanding resorts and we would recommend them both. For us, we give a slight edge to ERC over EPM but we’d return to either.

Rooms: ERC: 8/10. EPM: 7/10. At ERC we stayed in an EC swim-up suite. At EPM we stayed in an EC Oceanview suite. Both were great, but it is just so much nicer to be in a swim-up. Both had comfortable furniture/beds, good size TV (we were able to easily connect our Fire Stick for Netflix in the room), good liquor selection (red wine, Milagro reposado, Jack Daniels, Appleton, vodka), and very comfortable A/C. At ERC we liked the room layout slightly more (at EPM, bathroom felt a bit less private and blackout shades didn’t fully cover the windows), but it’s just a question of preference.

Food/Drinks: ERC: 9/10. EPM: 9/10. Both resorts have very good food. Not everything was perfect, and each resort beat the other in some areas. At ERC the buffet (for breakfast) was so much better than EPM that the comparison is almost unfair. At EPM you have Barcelona and Magna, neither of which is at ERC. Barcelona was one of our best meals of the trip. The filet mignon at Chez Isabelle at ERC was noticeably better than at EPM. Drink service was great everywhere, but especially at the EC bars and martini bars. We didn’t do room service for food (not our style) but we did order a pot of coffee, a bottle of bubbly, and a few glasses of OJ every morning delivered to the X-box and it was flawless every time.

Staff: ERC: 8/10. EPM: 9/10. Service was outstanding at both resorts, especially in the EC areas. We will specifically recognize some stand-outs below, but we didn’t have a bad experience with anyone. We felt that, overall, the staff was more warm and friendly at EPM than at ERC. But at ERC we hung out mostly at our swim-up patio and at EPM we were out at the EC pool and beach much more often, giving more of the EPM staff an opportunity to shine. Either resort offers some of the best service we’ve seen in 15 visits to the area. We got towel animals almost every day at ERC and only a towel “cake” on my birthday at EPM, if that is important to you.

Pools: ERC: 7/10. EPM: 5/10. At ERC we stayed almost entirely in the EC pool because we were in a swim-out room alongside the EC pool, which is nice but fairly small (with shaded areas all throughout the entire day). At ERC we also spent a little time in the main pool, and at the swim-up bar, and we liked it more than the main pool at EPM. At EPM we spent most of our time at the EC pool at Building 8, which is very small and boring/rectangular (and is entirely in the sun for much of the day). We prefer bigger pools where you can walk around from area to area, and I need shade at least some of the time. EC staff was stellar at both resorts – frequent drink refills, snacks throughout the day, sand art, friendly to chat with, setting up your chairs/beds, cleaning your sunglasses, etc.

Beach: ERC: 7/10. EPM: 8/10. Unfortunately, 2021 is another bad year for sargassum seaweed, which is more abundant at ERC than EPM. It seemed that no one was spending any time at the ERC beach while we were there (literally 2 or 3 chairs/beds were occupied). We spent a lot of time at the EC beach at EPM. EC service at EPM was outstanding, but we can’t compare it to ERC. Both resorts have plenty of seats, palapas, etc. and have perfect white, soft, powdery sand.

Overall: ERC: 7.8/10. EPM: 7.6/10. While we were there, we thought that EPM was going to be our winner. However, while looking back and organizing our thoughts to write this review, it gradually became clear that we actually preferred ERC (by a tiny margin). We would happily recommend either resort, and would be glad to return to either one.

Stand-out Staff Members – all of these folks are all-stars and made our trip better in their own way.
ERC: Mariana (EC pool server/EC lounge bartender); Edgar (EC pool concierge); Marcel (waiter at Agave); Amable (EC pool server).
EPM: Alan (waiter at Lobster House); Guadalupe (waiter at Toscana/The Grill); Martha (EC pool server); Emilio (EC pool concierge); Elgar (restocks room refrigerator); Francisco (bartender at lobby/martini bar); Rogelio (EC beach server/trainee); Antonio (waiter at Lobster House); Erick (EC pool concierge); Marlon (EC pool concierge); Diego (bartender at Sports Bar).

Room tip: EC was worth it for us, especially swim-up
Date of stay: May 2021
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank BeckinMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Excellence Collection, Other at Excellence Riviera Cancun, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2021

Dear guest,
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for your recent stay at Excellence Riviera Cancun and for taking the time to share your opinion with other travelers.
Thank you for adding very generous remarks of the positive sides of your vacation with us and mentioning the services that made your stay more comfortable. We really appreciate your detailed feedback. It means so much when it comes from our first-time guests. At Excellence Riviera Cancun, we strive to make every stay, as close to perfection as possible and we will continue working hard in this direction, in order to have happy clients with kind words for our work.
We appreciate all your comments that will certainly encourage other readers to stay with us. We look forward to welcoming you back in a heartbeat. Please, receive our warmest regards from The Excellence Collection.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2021

The team and location were perfect!
We were able to enjoy multiple restaurants and receive great service and delicious food. Thank you to the staff for making our stay so special and for the extra details that went above and beyond.

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
1  Thank Anali16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Excellence Collection, Other at Excellence Riviera Cancun, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2021

Dear guest,
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for choosing Excellence Riviera Cancun as your holiday destination and for taking the time to share your feedback with the TripAdvisor readers.
We are very delighted to read that you enjoyed every moment throughout your stay with us and we were able to surpass your expectations in all areas. We are passionate about paying attention to detail since our main goal is to provide unparalleled customer service and luxury to our guests along with delicious food experiences. We assure you that we will continue working hard in this direction to have more guests satisfied with the outstanding service our guests expect from us.
It has been a pleasure hosting you and we look forward to seeing you back soon. Please, receive our warmest regards from The Excellence Collection.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2021

I had a great time at the Excellence Riviera. The staff was amazing, the food was good, room service was nice and the views were amazing from my room. I wish I would have booked a longer vacation so I could enjoy the resort longer!

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank workbyru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2021

I can't say enough about how wonderful our trip was with the way the staff treats everyone. My husband and I loved every part of our trip. We would definitely stay at this resort again and recommend it to our friends and family. The staff is incredibly hard working and the extremely clean resort is proof of this. We took a couple excursions off the resort and we felt very safe with the transportation provided.

Date of stay: May 2021
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank slynn106
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
The Excellence Collection, Other at Excellence Riviera Cancun, responded to this reviewResponded 25 May 2021

Dear guest,
First and foremost, we would like to thank you for choosing Excellence Riviera Cancun as your holiday destination and for taking the time to share your feedback with the TripAdvisor readers.
We are very delighted to read that you loved every moment throughout your stay with us and we were able to surpass your expectations in all areas. At The Excellence Collection, we are passionate about paying attention to detail since our main goal is to provide unparalleled customer service and luxury to our guests. We assure you that we will continue working hard in this direction to have more guests satisfied with the outstanding service our guests expect from us.
It has been a pleasure hosting you and we look forward to seeing you back soon. Please, receive our warmest regards from The Excellence Collection.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 May 2021

My family and I have been traveling to all inclusive resorts and the Caribbean and in Mexico for 25 years and this hotel was the best experience yet. Everyone, and I mean everyone on their staff was friendly and helpful and professional. The food was delicious, some of the best we've ever had, and the accommodations were lovely. We opted for an Excellence Club Ocean View room and it just couldn't have been nicer. Comfy beds, fresh clean Linens and the room was in great condition. We even used the jetted tub on the balcony on the one rainy afternoon we had.

If you care about coffee you'll be happy to know that they have a Nespresso coffee maker in the room and they refresh the pods daily. Also top shelf liquor, and good quality brand name snacks, not that you'll ever need to snack in your room. It's just a cut above most all-inclusives. No wristband, no need to make reservations at one of the many restaurants with the exception I believe of the French restaurant. The Italian food is delicious, particularly osso buco which I had twice, and the breakfast buffets in the Kitchen Table offered anything and everything you could possibly want. Even the desserts at this Resort or delicious.

Staff members were always there to help but never hovering or invasive. No timeshare hawking either. Plenty of poolside lounge chairs, no towel cards to mess with. Lovely white sand beach and plenty of space around the pools.

Special shout-out to some of our favorite staff members... Felipe at the Italian place Oregano, and also at Los Olas, was wonderful. Juan and Neri in the Kitchen Table, Amable at the Excellence Club pool, and our housekeeping gem Marisol. Also, everyone we encountered at the front desk was exceptionally helpful and professional.

Having been to at least 15 different resorts in the area I can without hesitation say this was our favorite. I wish I were going back tomorrow! Thank you everyone at the Excellence Riviera! You made our vacation very special. We'll definitely be back. .

Date of stay: April 2021
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
Thank AlexisEasternNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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