This just in – a live (well, a few days old) report from the Excellence Playa Mujeres project!
Your own private pool on your roof,
are you kidding me??
We’re back from the site of the soon-to-open Excellence Playa Mujeres Resort, and all we can say is wow! We were given unbelievable access to the construction site, met the architect and the very proud General Manager, and saw firsthand over 2000 workers feverishly hauling, nailing, and tiling away to make their November 1st deadline.
It’s amazing to look at the bare concrete walls and empty pools and know that in barely two months (they are planning on a mid-October “soft opening”) it will be complete. When you see one construction worker laying hallway tiles by hand, it’s hard to believe they can complete it – until you realize that there are dozens of people around the site doing the same thing. Two thousand people can make serious progress in just a matter of days!
We stayed at Excellence Riviera Cancun, one of our top-rated luxury resorts. We tried hard to figure out what aspect of the resort could possibly be improved, but what we found were amazing rooms, top notch service, and gourmet dining. So to see their newest resort being built, we wondered what they could possibly do to exceed what they already have at the Excellence Riviera Cancun resort. To our surprise, they did!
The layout is remarkably similar to Excellence Riviera Cancun, with the standard Junior Suite buildings fronting the large pool that surrounds the spa, two outdoor restaurants set over the main pool, and the Excellence Club buildings facing the ocean with a Club-only pool and bar. All the Suites have a jacuzzi tub, stocked minibar, and 24 hr room service, as with the other Excellence resorts. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
What the new resort does have is an all-new room layout – a simple change that makes a huge difference in space and atmosphere. All of the Junior Suites now have the beds facing the terrace/balcony, so rooms with oceanview will be even more impressive when waking up in the morning! The bathroom area has been enlarged (larger shower with a new ‘rain shower’ in addition to the spa showerhead), and now the vanity area is directly behind the bed headboard, meaning it faces outside as well. The in-room jacuzzi tub has now been ‘combined’ with the jacuzzi on the balcony in a unique corner area that offers access from inside the room and outside. By combining them into one (and now it’s round in shape, more comfortable for two!) it frees up so much space in the room, they replaced the standard small couch and table with an impressive L-shaped sofa with huge pillows – also facing outside. The terrace now has a large cushioned lounger instead of the usual couch or chairs. Two tech upgrades from Excellence Riviera Cancun are new 42 inch flat screen televisions, and CD/clock radios with iPod connections – plus all rooms and common areas will have wireless Internet connections.
Oh, and one other improvement – the Rooftop Terrace rooms! Incredible – the five story buildings all have rooftop areas (sort of a sixth floor) for this amazing new room category, of which the resort will have 87. Same Junior Suite layout, with the addition of a staircase that takes you to your private rooftop terrace, complete with a pool (it’s too large to call a hot tub – about 6 ft by 8 ft!) and seating on a deck. Plus it has a backdoor entrance for room service to deliver right to your terrace without having to go through your room (so no need to go downstairs to answer the door!) Many have oceanviews, and the view of Isla Mujeres in the distance is something to write home about. If you’re looking for a unique room, this is truly the one.
The lobby is now a three story area containing several of the restaurants (with a much-expanded Spice Oriental restaurant, with 150 person seating capacity, including outdoor), with the top floor having a cigar bar and quiet game room (the General Manager is having a billiards pro pick out the two pool tables for them!) A new addition to this resort is the Flavor Market restaurant which will offer small portions, pairing gourmet foods with wines, and doing ‘show cooking’ in the center of the restaurant.
The location makes all the difference – this resort is about 5 minutes north of the Cancun downtown area (or 25 minutes from the airport) but not in the Hotel Zone. It’s an all-new destination, like the Riviera Maya was a decade ago. Unspoiled and uncluttered, with natural protection from waves and heavy weather afforded by Isla Mujeres, the Playa Mujeres area is so set-apart from anything else it has a feel of a private island. The beach, once cleared, will be a very long, very white stretch of ‘almost private’ beach with gorgeous light blue water. And adjacent to the resort, barely two minutes away by car, is the Playa Mujeres Golf Club, a 7,260 yard course designed by Greg Norman, and by all accounts one of the top two golf courses (along with the new Mayakoba course) on the Yucatan Peninsula. We toured the course, and it’s absolutely beautiful with some of the best maintained fairways and greens I’ve seen (and all that in 95+ heat and sun!)
All in all, an amazing experience, and we feel very privileged to have been able to see it before it opens. We toured Excellence Riviera Cancun several months prior to opening and saw its progress all the way through opening, and Excellence Playa Mujeres looks to be the next jewel in the Excellence crown. November 1st is solid at this point; they fully expect the resort to be completed at the beginning of October to iron out last minute kinks, then do the soft-opening by mid-October. We’ve posted the construction pictures online, so take a look – then ask your Travel Consultant to put together a package for your next luxury vacation and see it in person!