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“Great family resort, not so great beach”

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Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort
Ranked #14 of 25 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Cranford, New Jersey
Level Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“Great family resort, not so great beach”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

Are you a young, childless, couple looking to party?
Are you looking for a 5 star resort?
Are you going on vacation to leave your kids (and kids in general) behind?

If any of these apply to you, you can stop reading now. El Cid is not the place for you.

My wife, 2 year old daughter and myself spent six nights at El Cid from Feb 24- March 1, 2012. I originally booked El Cid after settling on Puerto Morelos and looking for a kid friendly resort close to the town. With the spring deals El Cid were running, I booked a Honeymoon suite after the regular junior suites sold out on the dates I had wanted.

CHECK IN: We arrived after a 20 minute taxi ride from Cancun Airport. Having a Honeymoon Suite meant that we had 'Platinum' privileges.There has been some debate on the message board to whether platinum is worth the cost. Overall, I will say that it is not. Anyway, due to having the Honeymoon Suite, we checked in at the Platinum lounge around 2pm.

They did not have our room ready, but held our luggage and gave us our wristbands so that we could eat and enjoy the resort. We were led to one of the dreaded Timeshare people, but after she told us about the layout of the hotel and some possible excursions, she passively mentioned the timeshare element. After one 'I'm not interested' she said it wasn't a problem and wished that we enjoy our stay at the short. Pressure free and took no more than 5 minutes of my time. We returned for our room at 3:30 and it was ready.

ROOM: We were in 18-502. Building 18 seems to be a common destination for those booking the Honeymoon Suite. The building itself overlooks the pool and beach. There are only 5 floors, and luckily for us, room 502 gave us a nice view. Any room lower than the 4th floor and you probably saw not much else other than trees and mangroves.

The room itself was adequate. It seemed new and was clean. The bed was comfortable enough. Being the Honeymoon suite, it did have a hot tub in the room. The bathroom was the open, modern style that I don't understand. Sure, while it may be romantic to have a shower door that is glass, see through, and not sound proof, it's entirely another thing to have a door to the toilet be the same.

The only other issues with the room was that for two adults and a 2 year old, there was not nearly enough storage space for clothes. Otherwise, the fridge and safe worked, and the room served it's purpose.

HOTEL GROUNDS: Walking around the border of the hotel grounds you'll notice signs that say 'beware of crocodiles'. These are not a joke. El Cid is located on swamp land, and the property is fenced in to keep the reptiles out. I saw several crocs swimming just outside hotel grounds from the back of my 5th floor room. That being said, El Cid does a nice job incorporating the mangroves into the makeup of their resort. There's lush vegetation, small lizards running amock, beautiful flowers, and some loud (starting at 6am) birds. As others have stated, El Cid is a very clean resort, and the grounds are immaculate.

POOL: The best feature of El Cid is their huge pool that stretches a good portion of the resort grounds. They have cliff jumping and an 'adult' slide for the older kids and young at heart adults, as well as a zero gravity entrance to the kids pool with a toddler water slide. The kids portion of the pool was fantastic for my two year old, and she was able to meet and play with several other kids over the course of our stay.

The pool is definitely big enough for the adults who are looking for some quiet time to steer clear of the kids areas. They have a swim up bar where Rueben is happy to serve you a drink or three. My only issue with the the pool (and being the 'Platinum' level) is that people literally started saving seats at 6am. Walking around the pool no matter whether mid morning or afternoon, it was hard pressed to find seating. There was no reserved platinum pool seating, which would've been a nice benefit.

THE BEACH: Visually, the beach is pretty nice. The water is a lovely shade of turquoise, the sand is white and the beach is just wide enough. The hotel offers huts for platinum members (the ONE benefit to being Platinum IMO) and has a decent amount of beach hammocks. Waiter service was frequent, and with a smile. Now here's the bad: The beach has as much, if not more seaweed than advertised. Sure, the hotel hires people to rake up the seaweed, but they can't rake up the seaweed that's encompassing the water. Walking into the water felt like walking into a swamp with all the vegetation. Add in the rocky bottom and the random garbage in the water (mostly plastic cups) and the beach seemed more Jersey Shore than Mexican. If you like to swim in the ocean, I would not recommend El Cid or Puerto Morelos.

KIDS ACTIVITIES: My daughter is only 2, so she did not get to enjoy the abundance of activities the hotel has for kids up to high school age. She also missed out on the kids club (which starts at age 4) Despite that, it's easy to see that the hotel is very kid friendly and a place for families. My daughter did really enjoy the above mentioned pool, and the arts and crafts that they had by the pool daily. For older kids, there is a daily schedule full of activities.

FOOD: We ate breakfasts, lunches, and most dinners at the hotel. The food was okay. Breakfast was the biggest hit with our family. Lunch seemed a little light overall, and dinner was hit or miss depending on the night. I've done other all inclusives and I'd rank El Cid's food somewhere in the middle. No one got sick, there was always something to eat, it just wasn't very...impressive. We did do one night at the Mediterranean restaurant, which I must say was very good.

DRINKS: I'm mainly a beer drinker. Corona on draft. Modelo and a few others available if asked. Overall, mixed drinks were much better at the beach bar than in the lobby or pool bars.

ENTERTAINMENT: As others have said, there's not much going on at night as far as a party scene. For us, we didn't need it. My kid was falling asleep at dinner every night from her busy days. We'd usually find ourselves at the lobby bar where a lounge band played music until 9pm every night. At 9pm down by the pool was a nightly show, which we could hear and kind of see from our balcony. At the beach bar down by the marina it seemed like they had beach parties and karaoke events for the adults.

PUERTO MORELOS: I originally booked El Cid because it was close to town compared to some other AIs- but it really didn't matter. We ended up taking a taxi any time we wanted to go into Puerto Morelos. It was $10 each way. Walking along the beach to town with a two year old wasn't happening, and the road into town seemed to be just a little pedestrian unfriendly. The hotel is far enough away from town that I'd advise anyone considering El Cid due to it's proximity to give that consideration a little less weight.

Overall, El Cid satisfies. It's not a 5 star resort, and it is a smaller AI located along a quiet stretch of the Riveria Maya, so know that before you decide to book. El Cid isn't convenient to Cancun or PDC and doesn't have a disco or foam parties or any of the SB debauchery.

The hotel caters to families, and does it pretty well. So if you're looking for a quieter, family friendly place with a 3/4 star experience, El Cid is the place for you. I know it was for myself and my family.

Room Tip: Most buildings only face the pool or ocean.. but to be sure you get the view, ask for a room on a hi...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
13 Thank robmm22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardBustamante, Manager at Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
Dear family:
On behalf of all the staff of Hotel Marina El CId Spa & Beach Resort I would like to thank you for your nice review and for your stay with us.
We are so glad that you and your family enjoyed our resort and recommend us for families.
We are always improving our services and facilities and we try to offer something for everyone.
It will be so nice to host you and your family again in a near future:)
Many thanks amigos, esta es su casa!
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2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 March 2012

We're currently staying at the marina el CID with our two kids (age 3 and 4). We will have stayed 14 days in total. As our trip comes to an end, I thought I would share our feelings. First, the resort is very clean and well taken care of. The room is spacious and comfortable (one bedroom suite) and the gardens are gorgeous. Most of the waiters do an excellent job, special thanks to gamajiel who works at the restaurant near the pool. The place is great for kids, and the resort is pretty small which is wonderful with young children as nothing is more than 5 minutes away. The little pool and slide were a blessing for us, our girls spent lots of time playing there. 
The food is good, nothing extraordinary but certainly good enough to satisfy everyone. Our favorite restaurant is, by far, El Alcazar in the hobby. Yes, sometimes you have to wait more than 5 minutes for what you asked but aren't you on vacations! Also, sometimes a little word in Spanish is deserved and welcome. So modify your North American standards a little ( considering that it's a different country) and you'll be happy.

The only issue for us is the noise. We want to take the kids for a nap at the end of the day and yes, we go to bed no later than 10 at night after a long day. There's construction going on just outside our building which makes it very hard to nap before six. At 9, there's a loud show around the pool until 10 but the worst happened last night as there were a weeding outside with loud music on and people screaming in a microphone until 11. We understand that some people like to stay up late and that there was a wedding but we really felt it was too much when the sliding doors in our room were literally shaking. The kids didn't get to sleep until 11 and the only response we got from the reception was 'it's on their contract'. As a guest who paid to be here, I really felt like they didn't care. The weddings and other events should really take place elsewhere since its a good hotel for families.....who want to rest at night!

Other than that, we had a very good time but the noise has been a major irritant.

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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Wishkaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardBustamante, Manager at Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 5 March 2012
Dear friends:
On behalf of all the staff of Hotel Marina El CId Spa & Beach Resort I wish to thank you for your great review and for your preference.
We are so glad that you and your family enjoyed our resort excepting for the incident that you commented on your review.
We will share your review with all the involved areas.
We hope to serve you again in another opportunity and thank you again for sharing your comments with us and for your preference:)
Best wishes familia!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlantic City
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We recently returned from a week at Marina El Cid which we found on the internet searching for Riviera Maya resorts with water slides for the kids. First the positives: the resort is attractive, well maintained, and clean. The Kids' Club was absolutely fantastic and the young ladies who run it are angels. We had no idea that the club is open from 9am until 9pm. In all of our past trips, we were used to a 9-5 type of arrangement and even had to pick the kids up for lunch. Here they will take all of the kids to lunch and dinner as a group and my 8 and 6 yo boys loved the independence of going to meals with their friends. The website does not do this unbelievable amenity justice. Third, the spa is terrific with a great facility and super treatments.
The negatives: the food was just ok, some winners, but for the most part mediocre. The two buffets are laid out so poorly that you can expect to bang into people every time you go up. (Wouldn't you expect the milk to be near the breakfast cereal?) What was really bad was the quality of some of the drinks at the bars. It seems that anything that was from a mix was bad (pina colada, frozen dacquiri, margarita, bloody mary). The frozen drinks were not smooth and creamy but icy like a bad slurpy. My wife and I wound up drinking beer all week. Even the kids who love virgin strawberry dacquiris couldn't drink them. C'mon invest in good mix or a better machine!! The brands of alcohol were top shelf.
Reviewers who stated that the water slide wasn't "adult friendly" were right. The concrete slide is brutal on a grown up- I banged up my elbow and knee and was sore for 3 days. The beach is not in an attractive part of Riviera Maya and the resort is nestled between a container port and a jetty with large propane tanks on them. It is also very rocky in that area so wear protection when going out into the ocean. The beds are not very comfortable either. Finally, I question the value of the Platinum Club which they try to sell you. You get access to computers in their lounge(why they can't throw in wireless access in your room puzzles me) and a private bar area. What seemed most appealing to me was the private palapas on the beach. As it turns out, there are not enough for all of the Platinum Club members, so if you don't remember to reserve one by 8am the day BEFORE you want to use it, you're out of luck.
Overall it was a nice week and the kids loved it thanks to Kids Club and the pool with the slide and diving area. But I'm not sure yet if we would return next year. I need a good Pina Colada to kick the week off.

Room Tip: The higher floors offer the better views but otherwise I think they are the same. We upgraded to th...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
10 Thank acvisitorboss
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardBustamante, Manager at Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2012
Dear family:
On behalf of all the staff of Hotel Marina El CId Spa & Beach Resort I would like to thank you for your nice review and for your stay with us.
We are so glad that you and your family enjoyed our resort with the exceptions that you commented on your review.
We will share your review with our bar manager to improve the mixed drinks:)
We hope to serve you and your family again in a near future in our resort and thank you again for your feedback and for your preference.
Warm regards familia!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Medicine Hat, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

We were there the last week of February 2012. The ocean directly in front of the beach is full of rocks and holes- you could very easily hurt yourself. Water shoes are highly recommended. The beach itself is very good seaweed washes up on shore but staff are cleaning it up twice a day. Everything else about the resort is excellent. The recreation staff are great if you can't have fun with them- you can't have fun. The buffet is good something there for everyone, what can you say about buffet if you have had them before you know what they are. The pool is huge never seems crowded due to the vast size of it. Great pool for kids with the cliff jump and waterslide. The rooms are very nice, good size everything you need. If you are excpecting wireless internet it is $15.00 per day, seems to me this could be provided for guests free of charge. The staff are excellent never had any problems. The grounds are beautiful there is something for everyone: a gym, tennis courts, marina onsite, and people for booking tours for you. You can book tours cheaper in Puerto Morales but then there is always the hassle of how and when to be picked up the extra money booking at the resort is worth it. We tried both ways and booking from the resort a much better experience. The resort and rooms are very clean and staff very friendly. We would go again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank wings19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardBustamante, Manager at Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2012
Dear friends:
On behalf of all the staff of Hotel Marina El CId Spa & Beach Resort I wish to thank you for your fantastic review and for your preference.
We are so glad that you and your family had a great holiday with us and rated our resort five stars:)
We will share your comments with all our staff, as I commented always all the reviews of this site are reviewed with our staff and we take the best of all to improve our hotel.
We hope to see you all back and thank you again for sharing your review and for you comments.
Muchas muchas gracias amigos!
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New York, New York
Level Contributor
35 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2012

I was bit worried when I saw the reviews but then again somewhere from Canadians complaining about Americans (so that wasn’t my concern lol) and the other from Vegans ... which come on people it's Mexico people LOL ... I thought the hotel was very nice. I have been to better yes but this was amazing for the money. The pool was great. The staff was very nice (I agree the front desk people are not that great). I didn’t get bothered by time share people (maybe I have an unapproachable look lol) I didn’t see anyone else get bothered by them either ... The food was good. It wasn’t anything out of the world ... my favorite was breakfast. The restaurants where nice. The Mexican I didn’t really care for but the one in the lobby (Mediterranean) was very good and a very nice place. The hotel is very clean. Everyone there works very hard. We didn’t have any trouble getting anything we asked for. The gym was amazing! That view was so amazing to see every morning on the treadmill. There were a few rowdy groups but that has nothing to do with the resort they can’t control their guests. The entertainment people are awesome! A big shout out to the water aerobics people!!! This is a GREAT place if you have kids. We were just 4 girls going away for an R&R trip but I can see why people with kids would love it. There is so much for kids to do so it is a great choice. We took a cab one day to Playa del Carmen (5th Avenue) for shopping and dinner. That was 40 USD each way. Well worth it. We made the arrangements with guys when you first arrive at the hotel. All in all I had a great great time. My ONLY big complaint (and this is beyond the resorts control) is people wake up at 5-6am to put towels on chairs. That is INSANE TO ME. The resort cannot put out more chairs ... people are just nuts I guess LOL We had to wake up and put our things down there just to get a spot. The beach was beautiful. I dont care what people say. Yes there is seaweed (its the ocean people ... its nature) The people at the resort work very hard to clean it up and you will see that. The sand is sift and white and the water is blue and clear. The people on the beach bring you drinks and it is just breath taking. I would surely recommend this resort to other people. The things I didn’t like where outside of the hotels controls. I even got sick and had to use the resort Dr. which was expensive but he was very helpful and sweet. We tipped a few dollars at every meal or anytime they came to our room. A little goes a long way and I have nothing bad to say about this resort. So don’t hesitate based on the other reviews. Some people just expect caviar accommodations with beer money LOL and although this place is FAR from budget some people you just can’t please so don’t listen to them. I'm a picky New Yorker and I loved the pace. I would def go back again. We knew going there that there is no nightlife ... this is true but obviously being from NY if I wanted nightlife I would just stay home. I wanted to be relaxed and that is exactly what I got.

Room Tip: We had 1644 The room was amazing. Close to the beach. Worth the upgrade. Amazing view. The beds whe...
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  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ana_bella10543
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
RichardBustamante, Manager at Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort, responded to this review, 1 March 2012
Dear amigas:
On behalf of all the staff of Hotel Marina El CId Spa & Beach Resort I wish to thank you for your great review and for selecting our resort.
We are so glad that you and your friends had a great escape with us.
Thank you so much for your compliments and for recommend our resort on this site:)
It will be a pleasure to host you again in a near future and thank you again for choosing El Cid above the others.
Best wishes amigas, esta es su casa:)
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort

Property: Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort
Address: Boulevard El Cid Unidad 15, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#9 Family Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#10 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#14 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#14 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#14 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price range (per night): $247 - $755
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort 4*
Number of rooms: 428
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Retreat to a luxury paradise of turquoise Caribbean waters, soothing breezes, Mayan cultural sites and beautiful, aromatic flora and fauna. Situated near the charming bohemian fishing village of Puerto Morelos, overlooking the world's second largest coral reef park, this family oriented, all-inclusive beach resort offers a quiet alternative to the larger hotels in Riviera Maya. Enjoy amazing snorkeling, diving, sailing and sport fishing directly from our shores. With a selection of diverse restaurants, fabulous pools, adults-only Jacuzzi, Mayan-oriented spa, complete fitness center, full-service marina and more -- there is everything to do or nothing at all. • Family & Eco friendly Ocean Front Resort • Exclusive large suites • Great All Inclusive & Platinum All Inclusive meal plan options • Four tantalizing restaurants featuring a la carte and delicious buffets • Macondo Ocean Deck Bar with infinity pool • 22,000-square-foot pool • Beautiful landscaping, expansive sandy beach, hammocks. • Convention Center. • Ocean Front El Cocay Spa. • Full-service Marina 120-slip marina • WIFI Internet Access (fee) • Kids Club Center • Fitness center with the latest cardio equipment, free weights and a spinning class area • Pronatours Tour Desk • Half hour from Cancun/Riviera Maya International Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Cancun/Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa And Beach Resort
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Puerto Morelos
Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
Hotel Marina El Cid Riviera Maya
El Cid Riviera Maya
Hotel Marina El Cid Beach
El Cid Puerto Morelos
Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort Riviera Maya/Puerto Morelos, Mexico

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