Excellence Playa Mujeres

Excellence Playa Mujeres is a fairly new, all-inclusive hotel located approximately half way between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The resort is completely flawless, boasting eight different restaurants, several outdoor and indoor bars, free entertainment, unlimited drinks, 24 hour room-service, fully stocked inclusive in-room mini-bars, a private beach, and scheduled day and nighttime activities, all secluded in a fairly remote and undeveloped stretch of beach. We had to travel through two large security gates to get into the resort, both fully staffed with security double checking our names and room numbers every time we entered and exited, so there was a pretty decent feeling of security.

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The hotel lobby leading downstairs to the Martini Bar


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The Lobby

When people had asked us where we were going on our honeymoon, several frowned and said that they loved everything about Mexico but the endless solicitation they encountered on the beach, while eating, and pretty much anywhere they went. This wasn’t the case at all at the resort. Because, at least for now, it is so far away from other resort areas, so no one really has access to the hotel, restaurant and beach areas except hotel staff and guests. There are always plenty of cabanas open to lounge under, and at any time there were maybe only 20 other couples sharing the expanse of beach with us. The seclusion was bliss.

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seclusion on the beach

The food was really delicious. The only major complaint that I had were that all salads at all restaurants were consistently less-than-stellar. Main courses were wonderful, but the fresh greens never quite did it for me…the dressings were usually really heavy and a little strange. Vegetarians, beware. Meats were all wonderful, lobster and steak in particular, however, and despite the fact that it was an all-inclusive resort, they never skimped on quality when it came to food. Not surprisingly, the Mexican restaurant and cuisine was the best…the Asian restaurant, my least favorite. I know it sounds silly to eat Asian food in Mexico, but we were intent on eating at every restaurant on the resort at least once.

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Clockwise from top left: NY strip steak from The Steak House, Salad Nicoise at Chez Isabella, Lobster at Agave, Duck at Chez Isabella

The resort had an amazing day spa (circular building, below). None of the spa services are free, nor are any of the services cheap…the prices were pretty on par with spa services at a nice spa in the U.S. If you’re a honeymooner, you receive 15% off of any spa services before noon, so Mr. Penguin and I each got a massage. All spa treatments big and small come with a one hour “Marine Circuit” where they guide you through a series of rooms and pools with different stimulating water treatments…very cool! It was a wonderful experience, and if you go as a couple they put you in the same room. Seeing your new hubby in paper panties is quite the hilarious experience!


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The Mille Spa

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the water circuit **

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couples massage rooms**

The public pools are nice, but they’re pretty crowded, especially the one with the swim-up bar. The lazy river is quieter, and great if you just want to float around the resort.

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plenty of empty hammocks on the lazy river**

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the lazy river that circles the resort**

Our room was spacious and wonderful. Honestly, it was kind of hard to get me to leave. I could only take so much beaching, and reading on one of the three outdoor beds right outside of our room was really comfortable. However, there was obviously no one to make us slushy drinks in our room so we preferred to spend most days at the beach or at the pool. But honestly, if we had a blender or a freezer, we’d have probably stayed in a lot. Junior suites all have their own private rooftop pools, and it was pretty fun to have some alone time up in our own pool, however if I ever visited again, I don’t think I’d pay extra again for the private pool. It was fun to have for our honeymoon, but we didn’t use it every day, and it was just more of a novelty then something that really enhanced our experience. All rooms in the resort include a jacuzzi tub that opens up to the balcony. I really liked that!

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our room

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bathroom

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oversize jacuzzi tub

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rooftop private pool

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views on both ends on the roof

The property had some sort of leopards or jaguars or scary cats that I wasn’t to thrilled to check out. They looked scary and bitey. All I knew was that I was glad that we did not have a room on the ground floor in case they had gotten out of their habitats. There were some interesting large lizards too, none right on the grounds of the resort, but right outside, near the big cats.

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All-in-all, a great time, and a perfect honeymoon for the couple that really doesn’t want to do anything in particular but relax. As far as the “all-inclusive” aspect of the resort, they never failed to deliver. I’m a big skeptic of anything that’s all-inclusive, but Excellence does a beautiful job at providing a great all-inclusive experience. They carried decent, recognizable brands of liquor, and never limited us to how many restaurants or meals we could visit or have in one day.

We admit to visiting one restaurant for drinks and appetizers and then heading to the Lobster House for our main course. Even the nighttime entertainment was really fun. We went to a magic show, got entertained by mariachi bands, and every night there was beautiful live music filling the air. They set up horseshoe games on the beach, and had cooking demos and kitchen tours, even a woman walking through the gym with cold water and cold towels to give to you while you were working out. We could participate in as much or as little as we wanted. We never felt like we needed anything, because it was always right at our fingertips. We consistently tipped the wait staff, maids and bellhops, but we noticed that not too many people did so, and it’s not required. Also, we didn’t get treated differently than those who didn’t tip, which was a little disheartening sometimes when we got a bad table facing the kitchen and little things like that, but whatever. The staff is beyond professional and nice, and the comfort of not having to “watch your pennies” everyday was very relaxing, as Mr. Penguin and I don’t share bank accounts, and so usually we have to decide who pays for what when we go out to dinner…but since everything was paid for beforehand, it was great to just order whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted, and to not have to worry about our wallets.

**starred photos from the Excellence Playa Mujeres website

BLOGGER

Mrs. Penguin

Location:
Northern California
Wedding Date:
June 2008
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comments

  1. Guest Icon Guest
    octobergirl, Guest @ 9:58 am

    I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the resort!! We are going in October and also splurged for the rooftop suite. After seeing your pictures I’m wishing even more to be there already–swinging in the hammocks.
    Just a note though, since you mentioned it in both posts…isn’t the Playa Mujeres location north of Cancun and further away from Playa Del Carmen? Don’t want anyone to think they are further south than they are.

  2. Member
    penguin 3473 posts, Sugar bee @ 10:29 am

    @octobergirl: You’re so right! In my defense, I really had no idea where I was. Just lead me to the bar! :) Fixing it now :)

  3. Member
    pineapple 682 posts, Busy bee @ 10:30 am

    Awesome Peng. That private pool looks to die for!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Susannah, Guest @ 11:39 am

    Beautiful, but Ijut can’t do Cancun w/o thinking about how poverty stricken the it is.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Heather, Guest @ 11:50 am

    Lovely…. We just got back from our honeymoon at the Excellence in Punta Cana in the DR. It was fab as well, funny thing we had the same restaurant names.

    My hubby and I are interested in going to the other Excellence resorts as well.

    Also – total side note, we had a free porn channel (channel 21), i was alittle shocked that it was right after CNN and before HBO, weird huh? Did you have that as well?

  6. Member
    cherryblossom 727 posts, Busy bee @ 11:59 am

    Holy cowsers, you make me want to go there like now. Your suite looked effen amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Oh the stories, it would tell if the place could talk of you and Mr. Peng’s adventures it’d whisper.

  7. Member
    mspomegranate 961 posts, Busy bee @ 12:03 pm

    That sounds amazing! I love the idea of an all-inclusive but have heard mixed things about them. This sounds like like you got the best of them!!

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    leesuh1, Guest @ 12:06 pm

    Is there anymore information you can provide? What travel agency you went through and etc…i think i may have FI look into where you went. he wants the beach and i’d love to have the private pool. Looks FANTASTIC!!

  9. Member
    hbowar 547 posts, Busy bee @ 12:27 pm

    I was MOH for my best friend who got married on May 9th! The went to the same resort as you did and they also had wonderful things to say about it too! Thanks for the info!!!!

  10. Member
    KateMW 2704 posts, Sugar bee @ 12:28 pm

    Sounds great! Is it adults only? I love having a private pool when we travel with our daughter, because I can relax while she plays and I don’t have to worry about other people knocking her over, etc. and I don’t have to be in the pool with her at all times.

  11. Member
    rzblna 303 posts, Helper bee @ 12:30 pm

    That place looks fantastic. But mostly I love your word “bitey.”

  12. Member
    LeahB 428 posts, Helper bee @ 1:07 pm

    I agree with the “bitey” that made me laugh. And that private pool is to die for!!! Oh man! It looks awesome, and all the food looked DE-licious!! Thanks for the recap!

  13. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny Louwheeze, Guest @ 2:15 pm

    Ssssshhhhhhhllluppp! That’s me wiping the drool off my chin.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    jaime, Guest @ 4:52 pm

    what’s the price range?

  15. Member
    penguin 3473 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:03 pm

    @leesuh1: no agent, booked directly through their website and booked our flight independantly through Frontier Airlines! If you have any more questions, you can PM me or just ask me here!

    @Heather: Oh yeah. 2 channels of free porn. But ours was at the end of the dial. Haha

    @KateMW: it is unfortunately adults-only :(

    @jaime: June is somewhat of the off season, so I think we got 20% off of normal prices (booked through the resorts website). I believe we paid about $475 a night for the upgraded Jr. Suite.

  16. Member
    Cynthia 38 posts, Newbee @ 9:04 pm

    Yay, I was so excited when I saw your post! We are going on our honeymoon there the end of September for 5 days. We also got the rooftop suite. I am so glad you had such a great time, it makes it so much more exciting. TY for posting this!

    :o)

  17. Guest Icon Guest
    Rs0518, Guest @ 10:34 pm

    Paper panties!! lol!! That is so amazing! I love your balcony!!

  18. Member
    creampuff 227 posts, Helper bee @ 11:41 pm

    Oh Em Ef Gee!!! I LOVE your towel animals and got a huge kick out of that whole thing. You crack me up.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    kristeen, Guest @ 12:05 am

    we’re going in november – i can’t wait! we got the rooftop pool suite too!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    puffykins, Guest @ 1:40 am

    mss penguin, wanted to thank you for making that post. my fiance and i were hemming and hawing over where to go and after seeing your post, we decided to go with where you wrote about!!! we can’t wait!

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    thenewMrsT, Guest @ 4:39 pm

    Just got back from my honeymoon at the Excellence Punta Cana in the Dominican and LOVED it! Any brides-to-be looking for a honeymoon destination (that is very reasonably priced) should def check it out! I’ve heard all of the Excellence hotels are amazing. Thanks Mrs. Penguin for posting your review – looks like you and your hubby had a blast!

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Alexis, Guest @ 9:05 pm

    Does anyone know what the best rooms are to stay in? My husband and I are going at the end of august….

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Kelly Bredin, Guest @ 10:30 am

    We have booked our wedding at Excellence Playa Mujeres July 2008. 10 family members going. Bit nervous now reading trip advisor… also location-wise… we were told by our travel agent is isn’t too far from cancun nightclub/hotel zone – really confusing and I can’t find anything online?? Just 4 miles from Downtown Cancun…?? :-)

  24. Member
    penguin 3473 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:43 am

    @Kelly Bredin: Hi Kelly! Its definitely NOT super close to downtown Cancun…its very secluded. Its about a 15 minute drive to get to Cancun. We also heard that a lot of taxicabs don’t know where the resort is, so when we went to downtown Cancun, we hired a cab for the entire day. For $60, the guy picked us up at Excellence and basically just chauffered us around all day wherever we wanted to go and waited for us to take us around. At first we thought this was a horrible idea, we thought he wanted us to pay him up front, and we were afraid that he’d just take off! But he actually didnt take payment until we got back to the hotel (and it wasnt shady at all, he was really nice!). So thats something you want to consider.

    Excellence actually does a “club tour” or something like that a couple nights a week where they take you in their vans to nightclubs, around 10PM I believe but we never participated in that…so thats one route you can take if you want to do the nightlife thing in cancun.

    As far as Trip Advisor reviews…we read them as well. We didnt have any problems, whatsoever. We didnt bring anything valuable, but we definitely left our stuff (wallet, roomkeys, etc) just laying around by the pool or beach when we went swimming and there was no problem with theft whatsoever.

    I really have NOTHING but good things to say about Excellence…we couldnt have asked for a better honeymoon for the price! The staff was amazing and the resort was immaculate. If you have any specific questions, I’m happy to answer them!

    GL!

  25. Member
    iceprincess 1 posts, Wannabee @ 10:14 pm

    Hi Mrs.P! Your trip sounded amazing! We are also trying to decided where to go! Ice Prince (i love everyone’s nick names!!) realy has his eye set on PM … but we went to a travel agent and he was really pushing us to the caribean – Anguilla, T&C or BVI. Did you know you wanted Mexico or did you look at the Carribean as well? I love the taxi cab idea! Were there any other places you ventured off to? Any boat trips? Thanks so much for the help!!

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    gowies, Guest @ 4:01 pm

    Any comments on the beach, i have heard some people complain about the seaweed but that i was swept away everyday but others said they could not go in the water because of it…we would like to go here as well but just worried about that….thanks

  27. Member
    penguin 3473 posts, Sugar bee @ 9:56 pm

    @gowies: They’re pretty on top of it. The seagrass was not a problem because they rake it very very often! I heard they had that issue too earlier. But we found it not to be a problem, although I don’t know if maybe it’s worse in different seasons (we went in June, it was not a problem). It’s definitely present but not by any means a menace.

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    GD, Guest @ 8:10 am

    Hi, firstly thanks for all of the advise, we are currently lookng at booking this for our honeymoon, and it looks amazing, my only concern is we are going on June 9th, you mentioned this was off season, and i have heard it could be the wet season, does anyone have any experience of the weather in June?

  29. Member
    penguin 3473 posts, Sugar bee @ 11:41 am

    @GD: We went mid June and it did rain 25 percent of the time — hard. It didn’t put a damper on the vacation… it was still very warm and when it rained we still hung out outside on our balcony or in the outdoor restaurants.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Mags UK, Guest @ 5:31 pm

    Hi guys,
    I’ve never been in Mexico and will be goin in 5 months to Playa de Mujeres. Does any one know how’s shopping in Cancun??? Not that I’ll go for shopping only but would be nice to pop by to couples of stores to check what’s trendy in South America.

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Debbie, Guest @ 4:11 pm

    Hi,

    I am visiting Mexico for the first time in May for my 20th wedding anniversary…we will be staying at Excellence Playa Mujeres…any comments about this place…also how far is it to Playa del Carmen where I was told is some shopping…is there anything else I need to know about Mexico..

    Thanks

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Jackie, Guest @ 11:10 am

    Hey, I am considering going to the Excellence Playa Mujeres next June for my honeymoon. Did you book your room under the Excellence Club? Also, was your rooftop suite private or could you see other rooftops? This resort seems perfect for a honeymoon and I really appreciate your comments.

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    SStevens, Guest @ 2:31 pm

    Jackie, I’m have the same exact questions! :) We are planning our honeymoon for last week of May ’09 and seriously considering Excellence Playa Mujeres too.
    I’ve been reading on TA that some people say the upgrade to EC isn’t work it, but heck, it’s our honeymoon and only live once! So we are thinking about doing it.

    The rooftop suites I also hear are “stacked” kinda, so there are some rooftop suites that overlook down on others, so it all depends what building/unit your in.

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Mags UK, Guest @ 4:54 pm

    Hi guys,
    going to mexico for the 1st time. what currency should i take with me? usa $ or mex peso; or a bit of both??? please help! thank you

  35. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 1:55 pm

    Hi guys,
    I am hoping to plan my wedding at Excellence Playa de Mujeres next February. I was just there this past February and absolutely loved the resort. My question is has anyone had their wedding at the resort? I am hoping to have about 40 guests and would like to know if you could provide any feedback on what you did, the experience with the onsite wedding coordinator, etc. The wedding packages do not specify how many hours are included and how much for additional guests, over the 25 package limit.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks.
    Jenny

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    Jenny, Guest @ 1:59 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Congratulations! I noticed that you got married at Excellence Playa de Mujeres last July. If you could fill me in on any tips I would greatly appreciate it. I hope to plan my wedding there in Feb 2010 and have a lot of questions to ask the coordinator onsite, but would love to hear some feedback first hand.

    Thank you!
    Jenny

  37. Member
    butterflygirl 1 posts, Wannabee @ 2:57 pm

    Hi girls I have just joined this website. Really helpful reviews on Excellence p Mujeres, am getting married there on 11 th August 2009. Has anyone had a marriage there and can offer any advice? many thanks x

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    liz, Guest @ 11:02 pm

    came across this cause i will be going to this same resort in november – your post has made me even more excited than i already was!

  39. Member
    Patricija 2 posts, Wannabee @ 3:02 am

    Hi there … I’m getting married at this resort on April 10, 2010. If any bride that has already gotten married there would be willing to let me ask her some questions or tell me more about your wedding, I’d be INCREDIBLY grateful. Thanks!

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    Honeymoon Reveal! | Weddingbee, Guest @ 11:00 am

    [...] Excellence Playa Mujeres (Where Mrs. Penguin went on her honeymoon!): [...]

  41. Member
    magic 640 posts, Busy bee @ 6:27 pm

    Hey Pengy, went and talked to the travel agent today and this is what she recommended. So of course I did a WB search! Thanks for your recap, looks like y’all had an overall good time! :-)

  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Snapshot Sundays | Weddingbee, Guest @ 5:31 pm

    [...] Excellence Playa Mujeres, Riviera Maya, [...]

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    jessica, Guest @ 5:24 pm

    Did you go to isla mujeres at all?

  44. Guest Icon Guest
    Dave, Guest @ 3:01 pm

    Hi guys,

    My wife and I are going to excellence in November and would love to find a church to have a blessing for our marriage, just wondered if anyone could recommend somewhere to have his and any advice on booking it would be great?

    Thanks in advance
    Dave

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