In November, we flew to Mexico with 13 friends to celebrate WC’s 40th birthday at the Excellence Playa Mujeres! It was my fourth time at an Excellence resort and WC’s third. All of our experiences at Excellence properties have been top-notch with easy check-in, well-maintained rooms, delicious food and drinks, and friendly staff. However, there are a few differences between the Playa Mujeres and its sister property the Excellence Riviera Cancun. So here’s a recap of what we liked and how it compares!
What We Like About the Excellence Playa Mujeres:
- Adults-only! Just like the other Excellence resorts, the Excellence Playa Mujeres is 100% adults only.
- Restaurant options. All of the Excellence resorts have a great selection of restaurants. Options include a buffet, Mexican, Asian, French, Indian, Italian, Seafood, French, and a steakhouse. You won’t have any trouble finding something you like.
- Selection of pools. There are plenty of pools at the Excellence Playa Mujeres. Some rooms have private swim-ups and there is a good amount of space around the main pool with the swim-up bar. Additionally, there is a small lazy river. The pools are kept clean. Probably my favorite thing about the Playa Mujeres are the over-water hammocks (some are pictured above) – SO relaxing! While we don’t have many complaints about the pool set-up, in the next section we’ve shared why we prefer the Riviera Cancun’s pool set-up.
- Free airport transfers. If you book more than three nights directly through the resort, your reservation comes with a free airport transfer both ways.
- Variety of rooms and price points. There are rooms with simple pool views, rooms with swim-up pool access, rooms with private plunge pools on the roof, and more. The resort also has the “Excellence Club” which is an upgrade that gives you access to an exclusive area with a private pool and restaurant, and some other upgraded services.
How Excellence Playa Mujeres Compares to the Excellence Riviera Cancun:
- Price point. While the resorts are pretty closely matched, we personally prefer the Excellence Riviera Cancun when you take into account price point. The rooms at the Riviera Cancun are more affordable than the Playa Mujeres.
- Pools. We have a couple areas where we think the pools at Riviera Cancun exceed those at Playa Mujeres. 1) The lazy river at the Riviera is a larger, longer loop. 2) When sitting at the main pool at the Playa Mujeres, there is a big fountain running the length of the pool between the pool chairs and the pool itself. (We included a photo below so you can see what we mean.) The fountain makes it impossible to just hop in the pool from your chair or read a book on the side of the pool with your drink.
- Larger Property. Some of the rooms at the Playa Mujeres are a bit of a walk from the beach, pools, and restaurants. This wasn’t an issue we dealt with as our room was in building 1, but if you have trouble walking long distances you may prefer the smaller property at the Riviera Cancun. (Or ask to be placed in building 1!)
- Distance from Cancun airport. The Excellence Playa Mujeres is farther from the airport than the Riviera Cancun. It’s probably only about 20 minutes longer but it’s something to take into consideration.
- Lighting in the Rooms. The lighting in the bathroom at the Playa Mujeres was very low which made it difficult to do hair and makeup. We also know it wasn’t just our room as a lot of our girlfriends who were on the trip with us had the same complaint.
- Excellence Collection Rewards. We’re not sure if this is an Excellence Playa Mujeres issue or the Excellence Collection in general, but we are gold status which is supposed to come with a few upgrades. Those include a bottle of wine, flower arrangement, and cheese board in your room. I notified in advance of our stay to ensure our rewards number was connected with our room but we did not receive the rewards upon check-in. We went back to the concierge multiple times during our stay and still never received the flower arrangement. Though it’s not a major deal, it is frustrating they advertise the loyalty program and then do not provide the promised rewards.
Despite the minor differences, both resorts are excellence choices. We just love the Riviera Cancun so it’s hard to compare! We’ve already booked a trip for next year as well.
Are you thinking about trying Excellence resorts but not going to Mexico? We’ve also reviewed the Excellence El Carmen in the Dominican Republic.
Need more Mexico inspiration?
Check out these blog posts to help you plan your trip:
- Mexican Getaway to the Excellence Riviera Cancun
- A Day at the Cozumel, Mexico Cruise Port
- What You Need to Know Before Renting a Car at the Cozumel Cruise Port(s)
- Where to Get Married in Cozumel, Mexico