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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
Reviewed 10 December 2007

My husband and I spent 8 days at Marina El Cid. Here's what we think:
1. We booked our trip through Jet Blue Getaways online and we took the Platinum Club. There was a special for $100 extra per person for the week we went ($40/night extra if you upgrade once you're there). This included special check in priveleges which includes a fresh aromatherapy face towel and welcome drinks, sit down check in, a bottle of wine and fresh fruit in your room, guaranteed oceanfront room, a personal butler, robe and slippers, beach bag (a loaner), umbrella, a snorkel trip, aromatherapy in your room and a pillow menu. You also get to use the Platinum Club room which includes internet, dvd rentals (included for free)--comes with popcorn!, and a library--which was key, because I finished my 400 page book at the end of the first day. The library seems to be best sellers left behind by other guests, so feel free to drop off something you've read in exchange for another book.
2. I don't know if its in writing, but if you go platinum, it seems it also comes with a guarantee that everyone of the staff members will kiss your butt and make you feel like royalty. Definitely go platinum if you can!! "The club Platinum staff were unbelievably attentive to my every beck and call, actually memorizing my name and remembering how I like my coffee; the housekeeping were unbelievable and the animation staff was outgoing and pleasant. I wanted to take everyone home with me!" -My husband
3. We saw some people doing time share breakfasts; no one bothered us at all. We think it may be bc we were platinum?

Next: Room:
The hotel is spotless. We got a room on the top floor (I had requested this in my reservation); it had a giant king sized bed (if giant king is a size) and a murphy pull down (which we didn't need) with a couch in front of it. TV was not a flat screen (which surprised us but really didn't matter). Also had a kitchenette, balcony, amazing view of jacuzzi and ocean, and roomy marble bathroom, roomy closet with safe. I'm usually a pain when it comes to getting my room but this room was spacious and had a good view and made me happy right away. Air condition was brrr, excellent.

Next: Pool:
The pool is gorgeous. Free form with a rock formation, waterfalls, a water slide, a kiddie area, and a water hole for jumping in from the top of the rock. Animation team was doing activities, playing some tunes...The water was warm. We didn't go in for a swim tho...we go away for the BEACH...

Next: Jacuzzi:
There is a "quiet" area for adults only with a warm jacuzzi (not hot). We went in ...there are fancy lounge chairs there on a deck that overlooks the beach. Nice.

Next: Beach:
There are these fabulous mattress huts everywhere (copy and paste this link into your browser to see video). http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=23686030
Also, they have regular palapas (tiki huts) with regular beach chairs, hammocks, etc.
If you are a long walk on the beach type...this is not a beach for you...the hotel is pretty much in the middle of nowhere...sort of. Puerto Morelos is nearby but it is a one horse town...if you are a secluded and quiet beach type...this beach is perfect. We were looking for a small quiet hotel with a quiet beach and we got it. It is sectioned off by some rocky dividers, very scenic, very pretty.
So our first day, we plop down on a mattress and I attempted to go in the water. It was FULL OF SEAWEED. And there was some crap washing up from the ocean...wood, etc. This made me very sad. I thought we had booked a place with a crappy beach. Guys were coming by to pick up the seaweed, they did a fabulous job cleaning it off the beach. Really, the whole place is spotless. But...the water was still LOADED with seaweed. Keep reading tho!
The next day I woke up and looked out expecting to see seaweed...and there was none...?!!! Yep. And there was no one cleaning up... I got down there and the water was crystal clear. Have a looksie: http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&VideoID=23686268
I guess it depends how the tides are going or something...I dunno...but for 85% of our stay I was able to play in the water, which was crystal clear...some of the time there was seaweed in pockets but you could easily see where it was and swim around it....this did not bother me and I'm pretty squeamish.
The beach is also very rocky. We bring water shoes where ever we go, so this is not a problem for us. Some snorkel gear also made us aware that there were FISH posing as ROCKS right up near the shoreline!!! Watershoes are key!!!! Don't want to step on one of those guys!! There were conches right up near the shore, schools of little fishies...sea grass growin'...and the water was deeeelicious! Very few people were on the beach. . . we like it that way. :D There are plenty of shady places to sit, but if the hotel is crowded, your butler will come down early and RESERVE you one. ;)

Things to Do:
There's activities all day. You can also use kayaks, paddle boats, or the dude with the catamaran will take you on the catamaran. We did a rusty bike ride through the town. Good exercise, nice way to check out the town. We actually went twice. My husband's bike fell apart on the way back the second time, but this added to the charm of the tour. :D

We got massages on the bluff. That was nice.

I used the gym. Small but no one was in it.

There's typical stuff to do all day , spanish lessons, pool aerobics, etc. I don't know how the staff stays so happy!! Doing that day after day would make me nuts!

Nite time:
Every night at nine there's an activity for an hour. Casino night, bingo, music trivia. The STAFF is a lot of fun and make the events a good time. They give away prizes too, which is nice, gets everyone competing...and...they have a 3 piece band that's pretty good after the activity, they hang out for an hour.
After the main activity you can buy a trip to the clubs in cancun...eh. We've been there done that...but if you need to party you can go...it's about $50 and includes ride, admission and open bar.

Outside of the animation staff, there's basically NOTHING to do. Two nights they have dance shows, which were pretty neat, people eating fire, throwing fire, etc. We liked the peace and quiet. I read four books and relaxed all week.

Food:
The food is good. There's a buffet in the lobby that does bfast, lunch and dinner. There's a variety of stuff, but most importantly, there's a crepe bar. :D There's a lunch buffet by the pool--also with a crepe bar!!! There's a restaurant in the marina you can go to for seafood if you stay more than five days (eh. skip it. lobster is not native to cancun). The buffet by the pool becomes a mexican restaurant at night. That was good. And there's some sort of fusion restaurant in the lobby too. Also good. This is a small resort. If you can't stand small, then go somewhere big. :D We felt we were able to switch it up enough so that we weren't bored. They change the food every night too, so that keeps it interesting. Neither of us got sick from anything we ate, altho I started to feel sick from eating too many crepes and had to cut down. ;)

They are adding buildings to the resort. There is construction going on to add rooms but it was away from the building we were in (stayed in 15). I only noticed it bc there were dudes working on slanty roof tops with no gear. Gutsy Mexican construction dudes!

The spa is also being built, should be done mid-Dec. All spa services are available on the beach until then.

All in all, if you like a smaller hotel away from the action, where the staff helps to make the experience, Marina El Cid is the place to be. It's very low key and cozy. Everything there is new and sparkling and we loved our vacation. The weather was great too!

  • Stayed: December 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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25  Thank SheClix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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