Excellence Playa Mujeres is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located about 15 miles north of the Cancun airport. It’s not part of they typical Cancun hotel district, but rather it’s located in a secluded community with a few other resorts. With almost 20,000 5-star reviews on TripAdvisor, you know this place is a must-visit. Excellence properties are known for their luxurious accommodations, delicious restaurants, and elaborate properties. From impressive two-story rooftop terrace suites with private plunge pools, to swim up suites, you’re sure to find an option that suits you.
After postponing our May wedding and cancelling our original honeymoon to Fiji, we finally had our wedding on August 8. We originally were not going to go on a honeymoon due to wedding craziness and craziness of moving to Chicago at the same time. However, we realized how special this time is and how nice it’d be to get away for a bit, so we booked! With Mexico being one of the few places open to US citizens, we looked to all-inclusives for the most relaxing time possible. We’re so excited we chose Excellence Playa Mujeres and recommend it to all of our friends and family.
Choosing & Booking a Room
When first looking at resort options, we liked that Excellence offered no penalty cancellations up until 24 hours before the arrival time. This made us feel better about choosing it and gave us reassurance that we’d be covered if something went wrong (like God forbid one of us had gotten Covid just before the trip!) and we weren’t able to travel as anticipated.
One of the other things that drew us to Excellence Playa Mujeres was the vast room selection. We thought long and hard about if we wanted a swim-up suite, if we wanted to be a part of the Excellence Club, if we wanted an ocean or pool view, etc. Originally, we booked a junior suite with pool view within the Excellence Club but with further thought, we decided we wanted to save the ~$1,000 and not be in the Excellence Club. With the resort capacity at only 30% due to Mexican law but with staff at regular numbers, we knew service wouldn’t be a problem. While private pools and bars seem nice, we decided we wanted to be in the middle of the action rather than secluded. Perhaps on another trip we’ll choose Excellence Club, but we enjoyed our stay as regular customers!
We originally booked in Excellence Club through the Excellence website. The website is easy to navigate, and the confirmation emails were prompt and clear. After we decided against Excellence Club, we cancelled our existing reservation with the resort. Since I have the Citi Prestige credit card which offers 1 free night with a 4 night stay, I decided to take advantage of this benefit so we booked through the Citi portal. We are happy that we did this to save some money, and it didn’t affect our check in or stay one bit. However, the first booking was charged to our other credit card and we are still waiting on a refund (over 30 days after the cancellation), which is a bit frustrating. After calling the resort they acknowledged their no-penalty cancellation policy and said we will be issued a refund. Luckily, we booked using our Chase Sapphire Reserve card and fully trust that Chase will make it right even if the resort doesn’t… more to come!
We traveled from the Cancun airport to the resort via USA Transfers. I booked USA Transfers less than 12 hours before our arrival, and I’m so glad I did that versus finding a ride at the airport. USA Transfers staff were waiting on us in the arrivals area and were extremely hospitable when greeting us and driving us. They even had complimentary beer for us on the ride to the resort! Somehow for both from the airport and back to the airport we were upgraded to black SUVs which was a nice touch for our honeymoon.
Once we arrived at the resort, we were greeted with champagne by welcoming and hospitable staff. The check-in process was a breeze and the staff was friendly and competent. They took note of our marriage certificate and ensured we were given special treatment for our honeymoon. Our room wasn’t quite ready when we arrived at 1:00 PM (check-in is technically 3:00 PM), but we were able to have lunch at one of the outdoor restaurants, Lobster House. After lunch, our room was ready and we were shown to our suite. We were extremely pleased by how kind and welcoming everyone was upon arrival, and the hospitality definitely continued for the duration of our stay!
Food & Drinks
For starters, all rooms come fully stocked with alcohol, mixers and snacks. The staff was amazing at noticing what we liked (Oreos and M&Ms duh!) and restocked those frequently. Additionally, there were always at least 4 water bottles in the fridge waiting on us after long days in the sun. The room service menu (ok, specifically the cheese sticks) came in really handy for munching on as an appetizer while we got ready for dinner.
Because it was our honeymoon, we had a few extra perks at no cost to us! We had a special bottle of champagne waiting on us in our room when we arrived, and we also had a special breakfast in bed delivered. It was really easy to coordinate with the concierge and it was delicious!
Our days started with breakfast at either the buffet (Toscana) or outdoor restaurant (Lobster House). If we wanted something quick and easy, we’d go to the buffet. During Covid, they had staff members controlling the entry points and staff serving rather than guests serving themselves. We found the pastries and omelets to be delicious, and the Mexican dishes were to die for. Occasionally, we’d choose to eat at one of the outdoor restaurants. Service was a bit slower but the views and morning breeze were always nice. Plus, they had my favorite dish (eggs Benedict) at the restaurants but not the buffet 🙂
After breakfast, we’d continue drinking mimosas (and mango tangos!) on the beach and soak in the sun and sand. Typically, we’d stay and order lunch on the beach but occasionally we’d go to one of the casual outdoor restaurants nearby. The food on the beach was always quick, and we didn’t even have to leave our chair to order, which was amazing! Whenever we got tired of the beach (ok, we’re never tired of the beach — just needed a change in scenery), we’d head towards the pool area and find a seat. We usually didn’t spend much time lounging by the pool, but instead we’d hop in the heated water and head straight for the pool bar. The pool bar was always hopping at any time of day so it’d typically take a bit longer to get a drink. But, there’s also a bar outside of the pool that was quick and easy so we’d use that one too. That bar also has a pizza oven, so we’d order delicious pizzas for snacks later in the day. Typically, each day there’d be water activities like pool volleyball and pool poker tournaments, and there’d be a live band. If we ever needed a break from the action, we’d swim around to the other side and relax without the noise or people around. We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoons at the pool!
Around 5:00, we’d head up to our room. If we were feeling drowsy, we’d stop by the Aroma Café and order an espresso or other coffee drink. They’d make anything from lattes to frappachinos, and more! Kevin’s go to order involved Oreos even! Once back at the room, we’d typically order a room service snack like cheese sticks or chicken nuggets, yum! This would hold us over until dinner.
Around dinner time, we’d head towards our choice of restaurant for the evening and we’d put our name in. We typically had about an hour wait, but that didn’t bother us since we had a snack and could sit by our favorite bar, Martini Bar. Once it was our turn, we’d sit down for an amazing dinner with impeccable service! Our favorite restaurants were the Indian (Basmati) and Mexican (Agave) ones. But we loved the French (Chez Isabel), tapas (Flavor Market) and Italian (Toscana) ones too! We loved that we didn’t need reservations. The only thing you needed reservations for the entire trip were the hibachi restaurant, Spice, since only 8 people sat at the table and the spa.
After dinner, we’d sit by the live entertainment area and grab some nightcap drinks from Prelude Bar before calling it a night! It’s safe to say we ate a TON and got our money’s worth out of the food and drinks. We were so impressed with how delicious the food and drinks were! Each restaurant and bar had a different theme and all were so good. We loved trying classic cocktails and sipping fruity things by the beach. You really can’t go wrong with Excellence Playa Mujeres as a foodie!
Besides the beach that’s extremely close by with rows of chairs that are first-come first-serve, there are seven pools at the resort. Four are heated during the winter months to ensure you can enjoy the pools during any season. We took advantage of many of the included activities, but there was still plenty we could have done had we wanted to! We made sure to participate in the themed nights (hello, white night!) and the poker games. We loved the evening live music and late night shows in the large outdoor area. The late night activities featured karaoke, a silent disco, and a contemporary show with performers from the area. The highlight of the trip was Mexico night where the staff went all out with decorations and the activities were themed too. We didn’t join in the pool or beach volleyball but we had fun watching from the sidelines. They also had daily tennis matches, archery, and property tours, but we were too preoccupied relaxing to partake.
In addition to the free activities, there were several paid activities offered at and nearby the resort. The resort partners with services that offer snorkeling trips, jet skis and other water toys, and day trips to nearby islands. We spoke with the on-site representative and were impressed with the reasonable prices, but we decided to save our money and put it towards the spa. Speaking of the spa, it was the one activity we paid extra for while at Excellence Playa Mujeres — and boy were we glad we did! We booked a couple’s massage and had an hour and a half of pure bliss. Perhaps the coolest part was the beginning where we experienced Excellence’s hydrotherapy treatment, which involved many different water features that are meant for healing muscles. It consisted of a guided rotation of steam showers, cold plunge pools, saunas, and whirlpools. It sounded cheesy from the brochure, but boy was it nice in reality! From there, we proceeded to our massage room and were met with extremely professional staff for the massage portion. We’re so glad we did the spa! We recommend doing the spa earlier in the trip to 1. relax after your big day and 2. avoid having the massage after a sunburn.
Excellence Playa Mujeres didn’t leave anything to be desired from the activity standpoint, and we were so pleased with all of the options!
We were also so impressed with Excellence Playa Mujeres’ service! After reading reviews, we weren’t one-hundred percent sure it would live up to the hype, but we’re so excited to report that it was just as good as everyone else said. The amazing service began at check in where we were given welcome drinks and our bags were taken to be held until our room was ready. We had our next experience of wonderful service at the restaurant where we grabbed lunch before being shown to our room. The servers are quick to learn what you’re drinking and eating and will refill your drink before you’ve even finished. The room staff did an impeccable job each day and restocked our fridge with our favorite liquor, cold waters, and snacks each day. The pool and beach staff was equally as good, with servers checking on us frequently and refilling our drinks without being asked. Our wait staff for meals was always knowledgeable about the menu and quick to offer recommendations. Perhaps our favorite staff were the bartenders at Martini Bar. They were constantly pleasing the many guests there each night and were quick to provide suggestions and let us try new amazing drinks, and a few shots here and there!
Overall, (as if I need to say it again) we LOVED Excellence Playa Mujeres. It was the absolute perfect place to spend our honeymoon. Although we initially thought of it as our second choice after having to change plans due to the pandemic, we are happy to call it our honeymoon destination and are so thankful we booked it! We can’t wait to try out other Excellence properties, and we’re already eying it for a spring break trip in March. We’d recommend Excellence Resorts to all of our friends and family, and we’re happy to answer any questions you may have! Let us know your thoughts, questions and comments below.