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Excellence Playa Mujeres – A Comprehensive Review

Grade – 4.3 stars out of 5 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Located a short hop from Cancun. Excellence Playa Mujeres is one of the best adults only all-inclusive options near the Cancun area. Our review of the Excellence Playa Mujeres is based on our visit to the resort at the end of 2019.

Overview 

Opened in 2007 the Excellence is a solid option if you are looking for resort outside of the main area of Cancun.. If you just look at the reviews on all of the major review sites they have consistently high ratings across the board.  Our experience of this resort did not disappoint and we can see why the resort garners such impressive feedback. 

The resort is a part of the excellence collection chain of resorts which include the Finest, Beloved, and Excellence brands. There are three separate hotels in the compound of resorts and each of them caters to a slightly different experience.

The excellence is another adults-only offering, so if you are bringing the kids along your best choice is the Finest Playa Mujeres which also sits in the compound. See our comprehensive review of the Finest and the Beloved Playa Mujeres.


Top Tips 

  • Room and building selection can be very important choices when it comes to these sprawling resorts. Although the Excellence isn’t a huge resort compared to a lot of the other resorts in the Cancun area it is important to pick the optimal room location. Ideally, you want to be far enough away from the entertainment that you don’t hear it at night and close to the beach so that you get a lovely view. The best options are building 8 and 9 for this criteria. They are closest to the beach and not too far away from the bars and restaurants. So, perfectly positioned for a cracking vacation.
  • The Wi-Fi in the resort is pretty weak, so if you need to join any conference calls or do some serious work you may have to sit in reception to get a strong enough signal to get by. There is a business center that is very rarely busy,  so if you need some privacy, check it out. 
  • For those of you that are planning on getting married at the Excellence, make sure to request the use of the X Lounge as a place to hold your cocktail hour. Its idyllic views and live music are the perfect spots for your wedding interlude. 
  • There are some really great historical sites within driving distance of the Cancun area.  If you can get out there and see the Chichen Itza or experience a typically Mexican village. 

Check-In

Photo by Excellence Playa Mujeres

All of the finest and Excellence resorts have a very similar design to them. A very impressive entryway,  a stunning bar sitting at the base of an impressive staircase. It really is an experience when you first arrive at the resort. You will be greeted by a bellhop on arrival who will whisk your bags away to your room and you will be led to check-in. At check-in, you will be greeted with a cold towel and a glass of bubbly. How else would you want to start your weekend? 


Location

The Excellence is located in the Playa Mujeres region of Cancun. It’s conveniently located a very reasonable 25-minute drive to the center of Cancun, so you’re far enough away from the hustle and bustle of the nightlife to have a relaxing vacation while having the ability to hop in a taxi to dance the night away. 

How far is Excellence Playa Mujeres from airport?

It’s also just a 35-minute drive to Cancun International airport, so there are no long treks needed once your plane has touched down. The resort is located right on a nice sandy beach which is perfect for both relaxing dips in the ocean and a multitude of water activities offered by the resort.


Is the Excellence Playa Mujeres a family friendly offering?

The Excellence is an adults only offering, so if you are looking for an adults only offering. This is not the resort for you. Luckily there are a ton of options in the Playa Mujeres and Cancun area. Literally right next door and part of the same chain of resorts. Is the Finest Playa Mujeres. In our opinion the best family friendly all-inclusive option in the are. Check out our full review here.


Amenities 

Pools + Jacuzzis

There are 4 pools, 2 hot tubs on the resort that are accessible to all guests. There are also 5 integrated whirlpools throughout the network of pools. A further 3 more pools and 2 hot tubs are available for Excellence Club members. Although that may not sound like a lot of pools and hot tubs for a 450 room resort, it is actually more than enough as the pool sizes are pretty large.  So you’ll never have an issue getting a nice secluded spot if that’s your vibe.  

Activities

There are a wide range of activities that are offered at the Excellence each day there are various activities put on such as Yoga, pilates, multiple other group fitness classes, cooking classes. The Sushi making was great fun, make sure you give that a try. 

There are a number of water-based activities that are also available for free. Kayaking, paddleboards, and snorkeling gear can be used without an additional cost.  There are a few activities that are available but require an extra cost. These are Jet skis, scuba diving, and yacht hire.  

The evening entertainment was hit and miss, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. The star of the show was the silent disco which is always great fun. They offer the typical slate of evening events such as casino night, Mexican night, and a few tribute acts sprinkled in. The Excellence does make a pretty big event when it comes to entertainment and activities.  

Gym 

The fitness facilities at the Excellence are very good. There is a wide range of equipment with a solid mix of free weights, machine weights, a good amount of cardio equipment, and studio space for stretching and group workout classes. Sometimes in larger resorts gym space can be an issue and while there were one or two days where the gym was a little busy it was never too overcrowded. 

Golf 

The Playa Mujeres golf course is located within the resort compound. It’s a par 72, Greg Norman-designed course that is perfect for all levels of golfers. Be sure to double-check to see if the resort is offering free rounds of golf before you book.  A lot of resorts offer this as an incentive to book directly through their websites, so it’s worth checking out if you plan on golfing. Be aware though it’s quite pricey to rent clubs and carts at the Playa Mujeres course, so if you plan on golfing multiple times throughout your stay it’s worth bringing your own clubs.


Beach 

This is a perfectly acceptable beach, you’re not going to get the piercing turquoise oceans of Turks and Caicos, but this beach is a great place to soak up the sun. The Isla Mujeres island offers this beach a level of protection compared to the somewhat choppy beaches in the Cancun tourist zone. Sometimes some seaweed deposits show up on the beach, but the staff runs tractors a few times a day to clear it up. 

You’ll never have an issue getting a place at this resort as the capacity is super limited. The beach is the busiest area of the Beloved during the day, but don’t worry as there is more than enough space for everyone. There is a drinks service on the beach and it was always on point when we were there. What more does a person want. Sun, sea sand, and a long island iced tea. 

If you want to splash the cash there are private cabanas that are available for rental. They cost $50 (USD) a day. 


Spa 

The Mile Spa at the Excellence is the perfect place to really relax.  The facilities are a really high standard. You will feel relaxed the second you walk into this serene location. There is an open-air hydrotherapy circuit, where you can plunge into ice-cold waters. There is a typical range of treatments on offer here such as couples massages, facials, body treatments, and beauty treatments. All of the services at the Mile spa come at an additional cost. 


The Service  

Like all of the resorts in the Excellence and Finests collections, service is the standout feature and the Excellence is no different. Friendly is an understatement when it comes to the people that we dealt with. 

No request seemed too daunting and the staff was always on hand to make the stay as tranquil and relaxing as possible. From bartenders and waiters remembering our drinks orders to meeting the same staff at breakfast every morning.

You really got to know the staff that we’re interacting with you which gave the stay a very personal touch. Cesar from Martini Bar deserves a specific shout-out as he has some serious skills when it comes to making cocktails. 


Cleanliness

In the current world we live in, cleanliness is of the highest importance and while we didn’t stay in the resort during COVID times, we can see from the feedback the resort has gotten since it reopened that it is a top priority.  

Overall the cleanliness of the resort was impeccable when we stayed. Our room was cleaned twice a day and it was literally spotless each time we came back. There was never any rubbish or empty glasses left around the resort.  The staff was always on hand to keep the place clean and tidy.  

We typically set up camp by the pool nearest our room, where the service was great and the pool was pretty quiet. Literally, anytime that we had an empty glass or dish the attentive staff would be on hand to get us a refill or tidy away our plates. 


Price Range + Packages 

The Excellence Playa Mujeres would be in the middle in terms of the pricing of the three resorts in this compound. With the Beloved being the premium option and the Finest be the best value.  To put the overall cost of these resorts in perspective they are definitely on the premium side for resorts in the Cancun area, but in our opinion are well worth the money.

What’s included in the all-inclusive package 

All food and the majority of drinks are included in your package. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, coffee, and pastries. You name it and they will have it. Also included is 24/7 room service, which is a great option if you get the midnight munchies.  

Also included in the package is a very well-stocked mini-bar.  Packed full of goodies of the sweet and alcoholic variant you will never be too far away from a snack or drink. The mini-bar includes bottles of liquor. When we stayed there was rum, vodka, gin, and tequila in the suite. 

The only additional cost that you may have to incur for drinks is if you want a specific wine or champagne with a meal.  There are house wines and proseccos that are included in your package, but if you want a specific bottle you may need to pay extra for that.


Food + Restaurant Options 

Food is always a hot topic when it comes to all-inclusive and for us, at InspoVacay it’s what separates the good from the great resorts. Our experience of the food at the Excellence was pretty good. Being seasoned all-inclusive visitors we know that you will not be getting a 5 star culinary experience at these resorts, but what was put out at the excellence was overall pretty decent.  

With 12 restaurants on-site you will never be short of variety in your stay. From Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Indian to Asian there is literally something for everyone’s tastes. Of course with all-inclusive, there is always a buffet option which tends to provide a mix of all of the above cuisines.  

In addition to the 12 twelve restaurants, there is also room service which is available. Reservations are also required at a number of restaurants throughout the resort. So make sure to double-check availability.

Ranking the Top 4 Restaurants

1. Basmati

Definitely the best culinary experience at the Excellence. This Indian restaurant puts out some seriously good dishes.  Even if Indian cuisine isn’t your favorite you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the delicious food on offer. The staff at Basmati are top notch too and we definitely got the best service of our stay here. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations or an overview of the spice level of dishes. 

2. Chez Isabelle

This French style eatery does all of the classic French dishes.  The standard of food here was actually pretty decent and the service was impeccable too. Make sure you try the grilled sea bass, it’s a treat. For starters the French onion soup is also particularly good.

3. Magna (Excellence members restaurant) 

This would probably have been our top choice, but considering you need to be staying in the excellence club to go to this restaurant, we didn’t think it was fair to give Magan our top spot. Magna has an international menu and is basically a fusion of a lot of the best dishes from the other restaurants. The tuna steak was top notch and we highly recommend giving it a try. Open for breakfast and dinner, it’s a great option.

4. Barcelona

This Mediterranean-style restaurant brings you to the cobbled streets of Barcelona and back over the course of a few hours. Only open for dinner, this is one of the better restaurants in the resort. Although the menu options didn’t fully align with the Mediterranean theme. The pork suckling and braised short ribs were of really high quality.  We must shout Antonio for his stellar service and great banter. 


Bars and Drinks Offering

With 7 main bars throughout the resort,  a coffee shop, a cigar lounge, and the Revive juice you will never be too far away from a drink. The main bar in the lobby is the Martini bar which takes center stage at the resort. When you walk in the door as you first arrive you will see this beautiful wood-framed bar sitting under a gold sculpture at the bottom of the stairs from the lobby.  It’s a very grandiose view. 

Photo by Excellence Playa Mujeres

Martini was our favorite spot. There was a nice hustle and bustle of people going throughout the resort and it really is the heart of the resort where lots of nights begin and end. Caesar, working in the Martini bar, also deserves a shout-out. Every night before dinner we would pull up a stool at the bar and as if it was like magic Caesar would be whipping up our favorite concoctions with nothing more than a nod to ask for a drink.  

For the morning times, the coffee shop Aroma delivered us the sweet nectar of coffee to get us on the way for the day.  They serve every type of coffee imaginable, pastries,  ice cream, and some light lunch and breakfast options. It’s the perfect place to pick up some caffeine and a snack. Their iced Irish coffees are the perfect morning wake-up from a late night, the night before.  

The Xlounge was also a standout spot for us.  Located right at the beach, the ocean views were the perfect accompaniment to a stiff pina colada. A really romantic spot, there is live music that is scheduled daily.  This is also the perfect spot for an after-dinner drink. The moon reflecting across the water, the sound of the waves coming in, and the salt in the air from the ocean make this a special spot. 

There are two additional bars for Excellence club guests. The excellence club lounge and the Cielo bar. The biggest benefit of both these bars is the availability of top-shelf liquor such as Grey Goose and Hendricks Gin. Food is also available in the Excellence lounge, but the selection is pretty limited. 


Rooms Types

There is a range of different room sizes on offer here, so no matter what your budget you will find something that caters to you. The suites are broken into the following categories with the option to add admission to the Excellence club which comes with a number of benefits that we will talk through later on. Most of these rooms are also available with ocean views and swim-up suites. 

Junior Suite 

Honeymoon Suite with Private Pool 

Two Storey Honeymoon Suite with Private Pool 

Imperial Suite with Two Storey Rooftop Terrace with Plunge Pool

Terrace Suite with Plunge Pool

All room sizes are adequate especially as this is an adults-only resort, so there won’t be any cots needed in the room or kids sleeping in pull-out beds. The smallest room at the Excellence is 807 sq feet, so space will never be an issue. 


Conclusion 

The Excellence Playa Mujeres is one of the premium all-inclusive resorts in the Cancun region.  You really can’t go wrong with any of the hotels in this compound. When we break down each of the hotels. The Finest is really a family resort as it is the only one that allows kids.

If you’re looking for an adults-only option then the Beloved and the Excellence should be viewed as two tiers.  The Beloved is the best overall resort in the Cancun region, so if you’re willing to pay the premium goes to the Beloved you will not be disappointed. From a value perspective, the Excellence is definitely the better option as it’s a very solid offering and is typically around 20-25% cheaper than the Beloved.  

The Excellence food, service, and facilities are a very strong offering in the Cancun region. If your looking for an adults-only option at a competitive price then this is a great option for you.


FAQ’s

Q. Does the Excellence Playa Mujeres offer a shuttle service from the Airport 

A. Yes, a shuttle service from the airport can be requested. They do advise that you ring before your trip to check availability.

Q. Is parking available at the resort 

A. Yes, parking is available for guest and it is complimentary 

Q. Is Wi-Fi included

A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort. Wi-Fi is complimentary. Guests also have free calls to the USA & Canada through the phone in their room.

Q. What local attractions are there?

A. There are multiple tours in the local area. You can book tours online or through the travel excursions desk that is located on the ground floor of the main building opposite the Tapas restaurant. Some of the available tours are fishing trips, cruises, tours of the Tulum Mayan Ruins, and Xel-Ha Natural Park.