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“exceded my expections in many ways”

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Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort
Ranked #16 of 29 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 13 January 2008

Booked this trip through a travel agent for a NW Airlines package.
I wanted to fly a non-stop, scheduled flight, so was willing to pay the few extra dollars to arrive in the early afternoon. As has been reported here earlier, the road into the resort leaves something to be desired, but I certainly wouldn't let that be the deciding factor in choosing where to spend your vacation. I've been on much worse closer to home. Stop whining!

Check-in was very quickly accomplished. Front desk help was very pleasant, and they up-graded me to a junior suite with no prompting from me. Suite was nicely appointed with a great view of the pool and ocean beyond. After staying in this suite for the first night, I noticed that this room had previously broken into and would not lock properly. after a short time of language difficulties (my problem, not theirs) I was moved to another suite. All in all, I'd say that they handled this situation pretty well, no complaints from me! Every room has a well stocked, if small, refridgerator. If you ask they will change the stock to whatever you prefer, I.E. all beer, all coke, all water, whatever. This is all included in the all inclusive package, no extra charge.

Bathroom is interesting-two sinks in the main room, seperate shower room and seperate toilet room. No bath tub-could be difficult for families with young children.

Food was much better than other all inclusives I've been to. Breakfast was very good at both buffet restaurants, and reservations at the two ala carte spots were easy to obtain.

Entertainment was mediocre at best. Not much in the way of nightlife here. Young couples and singles beware, this place is almost dead after 10PM.

check-out was quick and easy. Every staff member I had the priviledge to meet was excedingly nice and eager to be of help.I would definately recommend this place to anyone wanting a quiet, relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank scottinm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,087 - 6,091 of 6,938 reviews

Reviewed 7 January 2008

We just came home from the airport. I could not wait to get home and leave El Cid. Where should I start....My list is long and I also have lists from many of the other people who were there as well...

Food: It was ok...it did not come back up. The choice was awfull and the quality was sub standard. Think they could not mess up breakfast...yes THEY CAN!

Service in the dining rooms...Since they are understaffed, they only allow a few tables in every half hour. When you call for reservations they thell you they are full..when you walk in the are less than a 1/4 full. I think the staff needs to go to waiter school and the chef needs to go to culinary school 101 because it was a terriable experience...not to mention the food.Don't have the beef...just don't were terriable too. I kept going around looking what to take an nothing looked go...nor was it good. You are not allowed to take any food out to the pool or to the beach. I hid some guaccomole and chips in my bag...but there was another girl who got caught and they ran after her to the beach!! Room service menu...only a sandwich and coffee and a salad are offered with some drinks. Breakfast...wanted it in the room...only continental. No knives to spread butter?? Not just once..three times. Pathetic..the entire experience.

The pool...yes it was cold, really cold. The pool has regular polished tiles in it...so be prepaired to slip when in it. The large adult jacuzzi..any age can use it because it was not enforced..was cold and the jets did not work. Instead of the hotel management worrying about weather the mini bar guy comes in your room at 5:00pm or not...they should concentrate on things that are not working properly or not working at all. Such as the slid in the pool being made out of cement!! You give your towel card to the towel desk to get a towel...thats ok..but when you come back to get your card...you have to wait on line for the towel girl to find where she had written your room number and the amount of towels that she had given you. She was very frustrated, and agreed that the system was not working for the resort. Needless to say the towels are the same in the room as they are at the pool.

Plantinum Club - we did it cause we thought that since the resort would be 100% full that having the services of the butler and specaial attention would enhance our trip. We were celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary...what a dissapointment. The difference is that we wore platinum bracelets and we were offered a butler. THERE ARE ONLY 4 BUTLERS IN THE ENTIRE RESORT! All the people who worked there were very nice, but they all understood my complaints. In fact many of the guests were talking about how horriable the food, and service was. In platinum club one is supposed to get more services such as free internet...everyone gets it. Preferential treatment with getting reservation to eat...they don't care who you are...unless you hand someone a $10.00 bill to get the time you want. You get dress for dinner atthe restaurant..and for what..it's mostly empty. You can get anthing you want buy tipping someone to do whatever you need...much cheeper than paying the extra $90 per day as we did!! This was the biggest rip off!!! We were supposed to get a beach bag, and umbrella...never got it..never was in the room.

If you are a tennis player..this is not the place for you. The tennis courts are on the roof next to exhaust fans..and are not resort quality.

The rooms - that was the best part of it. No more construction and the 1 bedrm apartment we had was great with 2 bathrooms and a beautiful view with a huge terrace. The lighting is too dark, but that it something that could be found in many resorts. The mini bar guy come in around 5:00, the a/c guy comes in around the same time...too many people coming into the room to check your filter and the including turndown service come in every night. Too much in and out of too many people.

No one got too far with selling us a timeshare. I put my foot down with that from the begining...but I did see people sitting at breakfast with "hospitatlity staff" asking them to sign contracts that had been filled out in their names. Heard a few stories from other guests as well.

They are trying to be everything and offer services they can not provide or provide inferior quality and service. Better if they don't try to be something that they are not and concentrate on fixing their problems. The staf knows that the guest sit on the beach and the pool and complain about it all...they hear it and agree. The bottom line is the staff...ALL STAFF is overwhelmed and can't handel the amout of people that need to be serviced..and it shows.

I'm sure my husband will put his opinions in, but as I finish this review...I'm still shaking myhead about this experience we had and can't beleive that this resort is getting away with this.

  • Stayed: January 2008, travelled with family
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7  Thank simbenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 January 2008

El Cid Riviera Maya is located about 5kms out of Puerto Morelos, about 20minutes south of Cancun airport.

It is majestic, new, beautifully kept and has great evening entertainment. The Reception and Activities staff are fabulous and very welcoming.

It is a self sufficient resort and not within walking distance of any restaurants other than those in-site. Many travellers do opt for the all inclusive option as it is easiest and the restaurants are good.
The other option is buy groceries at Cancun and bring them with you (Puerto Morelos' supermarket is very limited). There is also restaurant at the Marina alongside the hotel is pay as you go and Puerto Morelos is a cab ride away and has some great little restaurants.


If you're keen to explore the only way to get around outside the resort is to hire a car (which you can organise at the resort's Budget outlet) or pay for taxis into nearby Puerto Morelos or to the Bus stop for Cancun or Playa Del Carmen.

Otherwise if you're happy to stay put and relax, the resort is well equipped. There's massage, a great pool, outdoor jacuzzi, evening entertainment, swim up bar, kids club and an entertainment team who organises all sorts of activities from water aerobics through to spanish lessons.

Of the evening entertainment the folkelore dancing is held weekely and is a must see. The dancers are highly skilled and put on a wonderful show illustrating many traditional types of dancing from across Mexico.

It is aIt's true that many resorts such as El Cid wouldn't exist without timeshare, however we found the persistance of the sales people ( who will only reduce the hefty all inclusive meal rate if you attend a seminar) really tarnished our experience. Three hours and three sales people later, we were finally able to enjoy what this well equipped resort has to offer.

Therefore, if you're keen to avoid the time share selling and paying a rack rate of $85 per person per day (it's $50 or so if you attend a seminar) bring a bit of food with you and make use of the restaurants in Puert Morelos and The Marina.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank TerriandTim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2007

My husband just returned from Iraq and I decided to take a romantic vacation with him. After reading the many positive reviews on TA I chose Marina El Cid Riviera Maya. Before I go further let me say, I would recommend the hotel to others and I would pay another visit to the hotel, but with a different expectation.

I used the reviews on TA regarding the Platinum Club to determine whether I would spend the extra money to pay for the upgrade and I did. I regret that decision because in the end it was not worth it. Many of the services I thought were unique to upgrading were services everyone receives. We were suppose to get robes and slippers, but did not get them until the last night of our vacation and after complaining. We did not receive the welcome fruit basket and wine until after complaining, but in the hotel's defense we did check in late...but still we had to complain about receiving the items in order to get them. We only received hor’deurvs one night during our stay, but I thought it was suppose to be served every night. We only received aromotherapy one day during our stay, but I guess because we did not complain about it we did not get it during the rest of the stay. We were charged $50.00 per person for each night of our stay to upgrade to Platinum and it seemed unless we complained we did not receive the benefits of paying the additional money. In the end it was not worth it and I would not recommend it.

The hotel itself was beautiful and the regular staff (not platinum staff) was wonderful. We enjoyed the beach and the activities they had to offer. The pool and jacuzzi were nice. We enjoyed the beds by the beach. The massage by the ocean was very relaxing and I would recommend getting this done if you take a visit. The food was good, except the last night of our stay I ate something that caused me to get very sick. I stayed up all night with a trash can by the bed and it was horrible. My husband was sick as well so it was definitely something we ate. I think it was a seafood dish so I would avoid eatting any seafood no matter how tempting.

I would also recommend exchanging your money at the airport. The exchange rate at the hotel was $10.10, the airport was $10.44 and in the city it was 10.50. We exchanged at the hotel not knowing the airport was closer to the actual exchange rate.

Overall, although this review may not reflect it, we enjoyed ourselves and the regular staff was excellent. The hotel was beautiful and I would go again...just with a different expectation.

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank Jeanette97
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 December 2007

We stayed at El Cid Nov 22 – 29. First, many thanks to the helpful folks on TA who answered our questions and provided trip reports. The resort was at 100% occupancy for a few days of our week and by the fourth day it was probably at at 30%. If you want a resort right on the beach, El Cid is the place. Not many AIs in the Mayan Riviera run parallel to the beach like this. This, along with the smaller size of the whole property, appealed to us a great deal.

We booked a Funjet AI package, Luxury room category. Upon arrival, we received a third floor room in Bldg 17 which overlooked the construction area by the marina. Not only was the view horrible, the construction vehicles were very noisy. Needless to say we asked to be moved and the front desk did accommodate us the next day with no fuss. Our new room was 1505….a few steps away from the adult pool area and beach…we loved it! The maid service was excellent. She always came back in the evening to see if we needed more towels, bed turn down, etc. Fridge was always stocked.

Never a problem finding a chair by the pools or on the beach….even on those 100% days…no towel games here. The pool was cool but refreshing…had fun jumping off the “cliff”. Did not try the slide…saw too many bruises and scrapes from other brave (or crazy) people. Kids really enjoyed this area. Music is always played at the pool during the day. The adult Jacuzzi area is quiet…no real shade there though. Please be aware there are large rocks in the ocean…Mgmt. should post a sign! The water was clear blue and calm some days, and other days there were waves to play in and seaweed. Not much beach to walk on, when you head north it’s just coral/rock, and washed-up garbage unfortunately. Again resort beach not ever crowded…the palapas are spread apart and an empty beach bed or hammock could always be found. Very relaxing and nice to be close to your room when you needed to get something.

We never needed a reservation for the ala carte restaurants….most of the time we decided in the evening where to eat and just showed up….no problems. The (Mexican) restaurant by the pool was open on some days for breakfast and lunch (buffet) and for dinner al a carte. We ate there most of the time…the buffet in the lobby very noisy to us. We enjoyed the fusion restaurant a few evenings…entre’s were pretty good, salad bar , fresh bread, and soup were excellent. We had our “lobster” dinner at the marina…we were by ourselves for most of the dinner. Lobster was okay, it was nice to eat somewhere different….the mosquitos were bad though that evening. I’m not sure why, but the mosquitos did not affect us the first 4 days at all….then it rained hard one night and bugs were terrible. Make sure to bring bug spray.

In the evening we usually started off in the Adult-pool Jacuzzi….it was actually heated (I heard it was not heated the week before we arrived). We had “happy hour drinks” there with some guests…then dressed for evening (you can be casual or dressy) went to lobby for a drink and then dinner. There was entertainment in the lobby some nights, like casino night.. We saw a professional-type show one night near the pool….dance troupe was very good showing “dances of Mexico”. The most fun was at the Scaramanga bar at the beach. Very romantic and/or fun place to hang out at night. I don’t think many people realized this place existed. There was mood lighting music playing, full bar is set up with beach waiters. Just plop down on some large cushions under a palapa or on a beach bed and party under the stars. It was an awesome experience….especially with the full moon!!

Excursions…we walked to Puerto Morelos cause we wanted some exercise…I would not recommend this…beach and road not very scenic. Did the bike tour from the resort – it would have been nice to take more time in the village rather than fast ride thru. Did the ATV with Prontotours....rode the ATVs from the resort into town and then to the jungle area (about 12 miles on a paved road) where they do the zip lines, cenote’, cave…this was a fun trip. Also did the snorkel trip from Marina…great guide (Mario) swam with us and dove down to pick up starfish and pointed out other interesting creatures. One of the best reefs I’ve seen. Had an excellent massage…have it on the point, rather than by the pool.

This is a beautiful new resort. Right now, the resort size was perfect for us, when the new buildings are occupied it could get crowded?? One last point, we were most impressed with the friendly, polite, and courteous staff (ALL, servers - note some are trainees, bartenders , front desk, etc.). Everyone did their best to make sure our needs were met and that we were having a good time. We had a WONDERFUL TIME, and enjoyed our vacation with some GREAT PEOPLE. Happy Holidays from Tim and Celia, Ohio. Any questions, just PM me.

  • Stayed: November 2007, travelled as a couple
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25  Thank derekmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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:
#3 Green Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#10 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#10 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#16 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#16 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#16 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#16 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range: $275 - $711 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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 & 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

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