Excellence Playa Mujeres is a luxury 5* adults-only resort, all-inclusive, and part of the Excellence Resorts group.
Located in a gated community of luxury hotels about a 35-minute drive from Cancun airport and a 22-minute drive from downtown Cancun. The entire complex is new, and they are still working on some hotels in that area; although any construction happening didn’t encroach at all, we could not see or hear it.
The area is across from the Isla Mujeres, a lovely day trip by boat.
- Amazing staff
- Beautiful grounds
- Great Spa
- Very loud music or entertainment constantly
- Average food experience
- Weird room layout with no privacy
Our room was a Junior Suite, with a spacious walk-in closet, flat-screen TV, jacuzzi for two, stocked minibar, coffee/tea area, and a private balcony with a lounge bed for two.
Hotels built over the past few years in Cancun have a similar room configuration that gives you zero privacy.
A divider between the bedroom and the sink area houses two mirrors with the remaining space open. The rainfall shower is lovely, large, and has a small seating area where you can put your towels, toiletries, and swimsuits. A glass wall divides the shower from the bedroom.
Here's the significant part – the toilet is opposite the sinks against the wall. It has a large glass door frosted in the middle, but there is no frosting around the edges.
So, if you are on the toilet, whoever walks around the corner may not see everything but can see enough. No matter where they are in the room, they will hear you. They might as well have left the door off.
Bear with me; this might be a long section.
I would love to chat with the person who designed these rooms. I would try to respectfully ask (however, my face is saying WTF?) – why did you create the spaces like this? What were you thinking?
I get the whole thing of oh, you can see your partner showering, and it's sexy, and yes, that is true. But I would rather have a closed-in private shower, and if I want to bring him in, I will. It's not super sexy seeing absolutely everything your other half is doing. Some of it should be left to the imagination or unknown.
I read quite a few reviews of this hotel before I went, and everyone loved the rooms. I didn't find any that mentioned what I did above, so I'm putting this down to being highly sensitive and wanting privacy.
Visually it looks gorgeous, but there are so many things that, in theory, are brilliant, but when you try them…
When booking, you can upgrade to the Excellence Club, which is not a long-term contract; it’s for the duration of your trip. The rooms are the same whether you buy the club membership or not. I did not choose to pay extra for the club membership.
Here are the upgrades you receive:
- Private check-in & check-out / Late check-out & early check-in (subject to availability)
- Private concierge desk on every floor (7:00 am to 11:00 pm)
- Access to private Excellence Club lounge (7:00 am to 11:00 pm) with concierge service, smart buffets, and bar service
- Access to Excellence Club’s Magna Restaurant and Cielo Bar
- Access to two private pools (heated in winter) and two independent jacuzzies in the pool area
Access to a private beach area with upgraded loungers
- Bvlgari toiletries
Upgraded room service menu
- Upgraded in-suite premium liquor and wine bottle selection
- Nespresso machine
- Complimentary beach bag for use during your stay
- Shoeshine service
- Daily fruit and petit fours in-suite
- Fresh flowers and sparkling wine in suite upon arrival
- One Aqua hydrotherapy treatment per person per stay
On arrival, download the Excellence Resorts App. The app has menus for all restaurants and various activities in the hotel and is very helpful. Twelve restaurants offer different cuisines, but some were closed when I stayed there.
Breakfast was my favorite; the dining room is open and inviting, with indoor and outdoor tables. They have various items to choose from, especially the cake area. I wanted to cry because I am gluten intolerant, and nine times out of ten, the gluten cake options are not the best, which was the case here. The regular cakes looked lovely.
When you check in to the hotel, the reception staff take a copy of your passport. Because of this, they knew it would be my husband's birthday while we were there. We never mentioned it; we both hate stuff like that. But, on the morning of his birthday, when we finished our breakfast, two staff came over with a lovely small cake with a candle and wished him a happy birthday. It was low-key and such a sweet gesture.
The evening options were not great, and I was surprised by this. I love Mexican food, and I've always thought Mexican chefs can cook anything wonderfully. I always have good food in Mexico. That was not the case here, which was odd for a five-star hotel, especially how the standard of everything else was so high.
The French restaurant, Chez Isabelle, was elegant and sophisticated. I had high hopes when we went there for dinner. The restaurant was only half full, and we had to wait about 30 minutes between each course. The food was ok, but it was three hours from beginning to end.
It was not so comfortable and cozy that we didn't mind sitting there for three hours; we were annoyed by the end. It wasn't enjoyable, and other couples we chatted with said the same thing when they went on different nights.
We liked Spice and Toscana; the food was better but not at a five-star level. The food is served beautifully in all the restaurants and looks great but tastes average. Room Service was basic and not very good.
We also liked a small coffee shop that served coffee, tea, ice cream, and pastries.
The spa is beautiful and very relaxing. We booked a couples massage; you checked in with reception, and a staff member escorted us to the changing rooms. You put on your swimsuit and go on a guided tour of their open-air hydrotherapy circuit.
The circuit is so lovely, and the pool area is gorgeous. I loved the swan and waterfall high-pressure water hoses; it felt so good. I skipped the bubble massage lounger and cold plunge pool: Swedish saunas, ice-treatment room, sensations shower, tropical rain shower, and steam bath. After the water treatment, you relax for ten minutes with a scalp massage. I could have stayed with that for hours.
While this area is beautiful, you cannot stay there. A staff member guides you through each section, but I felt it was great, and we had plenty of time to do each. It makes sense to keep everyone moving; if they didn’t seriously, we would have gone back after the massage and stayed all day.
Service & Facilities
Pool | Beach Area
The hotel has seven pools and three for Excellence Club members only. The general pool area looks great, with a swim-up bar and a lovely restaurant where you could have lunch and gaze out at the sea.
The beach area for non-Excellence members was basic, with insufficient loungers/beds for everyone. It didn’t have that wow effect that other hotels in Cancun have.
Another issue with the pool/beach area is that people would arrive at 7 am, put their belongings on the loungers, and then go to breakfast. By 8 am, there were none left. I would never do that; I thought it was so rude. Most of the time, we had difficulty finding loungers, which is nuts when you think; that’s why you are there.
The crazy thing is that the hotel was only half full, so what happens when it’s full? We couldn’t find anything one day and walked the entire area twice. Any loungers that didn’t have people in them had belongings. We ended up going back to the room and sitting on our balcony.
The staff and service were excellent. Everyone was so friendly and accommodated us with whatever we needed.
I can’t say enough about the level of service. It was no problem to change our room, and as requested, putting us as far away from the entertainment as possible. I especially liked all the staff in the breakfast restaurant.
The gardens were gorgeous. For the past few years, especially during the Covid lockdown, I have tried to work on our garden. It’s getting there, but no matter what I do, I can’t get it to be that glorious – .i.e., a designer did it – kind of look.
The gardens were immaculate, there was not one leaf out of place, and I saw gardeners one time which amazed me. To keep it that amazing, they must work on it every day.
The landscape design and plants they picked were unusual and quirky.
The gym was small but well equipped. The trainer in the gym the entire time was very helpful and happy to help you with whatever you needed. You could get bottled water with towels at the entrance before you start your workout.
Location & Sound
When we checked in, our initial room was located near the front of the property, near the restaurants, and closer to the beach. The room looked lovely.
Our first night there was insane. A band was playing in the theater area, and it was so loud that it felt like they were in the room with us; it was ear-splitting. The following day we asked to change rooms and were put in the farthest corner of the hotel, entirely away from the entertainment area. It was a bit of a walk to get to everything, but we were fine with that.
We wanted zen, relaxing, reset holiday, and peace and quiet. I was amazed when we could still hear the band in the new room the next night.
I had a major problem with the main pool and beach area. I am unsure if all highly sensitive people have misophonia (sound sensitivity), but I do. Like the evening entertainment, they had dance music blaring at the pool all day. I tried to block it and read my book, but it was so loud I couldn’t.
We then would go to the beach area, and we were lucky that we nearly always got the beds there. However, and this is what ruined the trip for me – I could still hear the blasting dance music. I couldn’t get away from it. One day it stopped for over an hour, and I thought, oh, thank God! Hopefully, it’s broken or something. I was so happy.
Ten minutes into my bliss, someone on the lounger two over from us took out their portable stereo, put it on the loudest volume possible, and started playing country music. This is something I have “always” thought was beyond rude; no one wants to hear your music, put earphones in. In my head, I’m *^*&%&^%.
Being highly sensitive is somewhat annoying in this instance. I’m overly considerate of the people around me, and it saddens me when everyone else doesn’t seem to care.
I traveled in April of 2021; all staff wore masks without exception. None of the guests wore masks.
We had to take a Covid test before being allowed back into the US, and the hotel made this process simple. We booked our test through reception, went to an office on the lower floor, and took the test. The whole thing took about 20 minutes, with a few people ahead of us. After about an hour, we received an email with the results, and we were good to go. Outstanding service and much appreciated.
This review is for people with high sensitivity; I would not recommend this hotel due to the noise level you literally can hear at every part of the complex. It’s not just loud; it’s hurt your ears loud. The food was average, and I still couldn’t get my head around that one. Mexico is usually one of the places you know you will get great food.
One of the other things that blew my mind is the number of reviews the hotel has gotten and the number of people that gave it five-star all around. There is something off there; how can 22k people have given any hotel five-star?
By the pool, the staff asked people to fill in reviews right in front of them daily. They have quotas they must fulfill for their jobs, which might explain so many good reviews. Plus, it’s hard to review a place when you are there; the person is standing in front of you and will read everything you wrote. It was not the staff’s fault as it was part of their jobs.
TripAdvisor 5* 23,781
Google 4.9* 6,691
In the future, I think I will avoid all-inclusive hotels. Although I book them for the ease of paying everything upfront, I feel they will always be noisy. They must put entertainment in place by nature because you are buying a complete package. Because this was an adult-only hotel, I thought it would not be as bad for some reason, but I was wrong.
Excellence Playa Mujeres
- Adults Only
- The room includes a Sitting Room with a Work Desk
- Private Balcony with Beds
- Excellent Spa
- Seven Pools
- Private Beach
- Coffee Shop
- Fitness Center | Outdoor Tennis
- Free Wi-Fi
- People who don't care about constant loud music
- Isla Mujeres All Inclusive Luxury Catamaran & Snorkel
- Cancun Luxury Sailing & Snorkeling
- Chichen Itza, Cenote and Valladolid All-Inclusive Tour
- Tulum Ruins, Reef Snorkeling, Cenote & Caves
- Xcaret Park & Night Show
- Cirque du Soleil JOYÀ
- La Isla Shopping Center
Cancun International Airport is a 50-minute drive from the hotel. The hotel can arrange free transfers, but it's also easy to get a taxi outside the main terminal.
You don't need a rental car but you can hire a car for the day through the hotel. There are many tours you can take by booking through the hotel or hiring a taxi for the day.
Best Time to Visit
Off-season and Shoulder-season a great times to visit Cancun. The summer months, or when the kids are off school, tend to be very busy.
Spanish & English.
Cash | Cards
Cards are accepted everywhere but always carry some cash.
In Mexico, the power plugs are type A and B – Voltage 127. If traveling from the U.S., you won't need an adapter.
The Nationwide Emergency Number is 911 for any medical emergency, police, or fireman assistance.
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