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.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Puerto Morelos
- Hotel Marina El Cid Spa And Beach Resort
- 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