We stayed at the El Cid for 5 days in November. For the price that it cost to stay there, it was an amazing experience. If you have the option to upgrade to the Platinum Club, I highly recommend it. We are in our late 20s and were there celebrating our wedding anniversary and did not take our child with us. This resort is kid friendly but there were no complaints from us staying without children. Around the pool slide and cliff jump (which is great by the way) they tend to crowd but not too terrible when we were there. We upgraded prior to our arrival and the experience was great. The bellboys held our bags and took us in to the Platinum Lounge for private check in. There are time share reps at the resort but we met with one for 5 minutes to explain the layout of the resort and we were never pressured to take a tour or buy anything. We stayed in building 14 and our view could not have been better. It overlooked the ocean and the adult Jacuzzi. The staff at this resort was amazing. They went above and beyond my expectations of this resort for the amount it cost to stay there. Anything that we requested, they took care of immediately. In the afternoons/evenings, make sure that you see Francisco at the pool bar. He makes the best drinks on the whole resort. They have different theme restaurants (thai Mediterranean, Seafood, Mexican, and the buffet). We ate at the seafood restaurant and were pleased with the selection. The buffet changed their menu daily and on Mexican night, I suggest that you eat at the buffet as opposed to the Mexican restaurant because their menu is more expansive. They have different activities planned for each night as well. We attended the fire show and the Mexican show. The fire show was our favorite of the entire trip. Other activities that were available such as windsurfing or kayaking are on the beach. When we saw the reps, they asked us once and never asked again. I never felt pressured by them at all. They allow different local merchants on the property on certain days to sell their gifts. You can barter with them for a better price and they are a little pushy but nowhere near the time share reps. From what I saw with the time share reps, they will take you on a tour of the WHOLE resort and can eat up a few hours of your time, from what I was told. The beach does collect seaweed but the staff is out there every morning cleaning it up. The ocean is VERY rocky! I didn’t take warning to the previous posts and went swimming in the ocean and the rocks are pretty bad. If you plan to go past knee deep, BRING WATERSHOES! All in all for the value that we paid for this, we were EXTREMELY happy with the trip. We wished we stayed longer. Do not let the price of this resort think you are getting cheated because we would stay there again in a heartbeat!
Hotel itself was nice. Family friendly. Open concept bathroom a little odd at first but overall accomodations were nice. Some ants along sink counter but I guess that's expected being so close to outdoors. Very pleasant and helpfulf staff with one exception. Watch out for time share pitch. Lady was super ambitious and neglected to tell us more about the hotel--some info which would have been more helpful (Wednesday night show, spa packages, shopping, etc.). She told us it was a breakfast pitch and we found out later that it was really a five hour pitch. Who wants to give up a day of vacation to do a 5 hour time share pitch which includes going to the site? When we told her we basically wouldn't have been able to given our schedule, she remained civil but then took her time returning our deposit. (We had fallen for the hook--a small deposit and hearing the "Breakfast Pitch" was supposed to provide (2) deeply discounted tickets that could be used at any of the sought after theme parks, which were normally $129-$149 US dollars, a huge saving. She didn't tell us it would take 5 hrs and she told us we could back out at any time and our money would be returned). She took her sweet time returning our deposit even after finding out when we needed to board the shuttle to the airport, to the extent that we had to leave without it. We left instructions that it be given to the bell boy because he deserved it.
Beautiful, Fun, and can't wait to go back. We just loved this place. One of the best "Bang-for-the-buck" vacation's we ever had. Great place for singles, pairs. or if you have children. Everything is close by, and easy to find. The food no matter where we ate was outstanding, and the service was excellent as far as we were concerned. We always felt safe no matter where we walked. All-in-all it was a very relaxing vacation. Cheap Caribbean took excellent care of us on the trip down and back. Thank You Cheap Caribbean!!!! Thank You Hotel Marina El Cid for making our stay so enjoyable!. We will tell our family and friends how highly recommended you are. WE WILL BE BACK!.
Relax is not the word for El Cid. 1st off customer service just isnt there. I had contacted Cheap Caribbean to ask for requests for adjoining rooms (2 adults and 3 children) and rooms away from building 19 (has a bug problem). Cheap Caribbean did just that...in SEPTEMBER! The first thing the front desk told me was that we were in building 19 and not adjoining. I asked how? "We dont have to honor requests!" Was the response. That really just starts the customer service for the week. PLEASE PLEASE dont let anyone pull you over at the airport to talk about tours!!! They are trying to get you to sign up for the El CId "Vacation Club"! We didnt know better and wasted Mon and Tuesday trying to stay away from the front staff who constantly tracked us down at the front of the building when we came up to the desk, or to eat. THEY EVEN CALLED OUR ROOM! Because NO ONE would help tell me how to set up dinners at the restuarants (reservation only) with out attending the "Vacation Club" deal, we went. They promised 1 hour and 1/2. AND specials on tours!! What a racket...4 hours later, I told them I had to go, my 3 children had had enough and THEN after 3 more sales men asking for $79,900 from us, they gave us the tours....the bargain tours!!! PLEASE make sure if you do this you ask for the tour to Xichen and VALLADOLID (this tour is from 8 till 5 pm) the tour we got was the bargain one, NO Valladolid and TERRIBLE lunch and we were gone from 7 am to 10 pm (you have to drop everyone off first, since ElCid is away from EVERYTHING!) Just dont even do it! PLEASE The walls are paper thin, I MEAN paper thin. You can hear EVERYTHING your neighbor says and does! The front desk was rude when I called about the refrigerators not filled each day. OH, remember NO ADJOINING ROOMS! PLUS, they gave us 2 rooms with 1 king size bed EACH room. So, my 16, 13 and 1 had to sleep in 1 bed! for 7 days. I asked for a cot and they never showed up...we searched the building and found one and got it to our room, NO PILLOWS, NO Blanket. Had to call twice to get those to show up! This is my 3rd trip with Cheap Caribbean. We have been to St Kitts, and St Lucia and I was SO Disappointed with this place. PLEASE DONT WASTE Your money. Until they can separate the Vacation Club from the hotel experience and stop pressuring people to buy (really $79,900 asked from us!) and figure out a way to provide some customer service and OH YES< THE FOOD IS AWFUL! El Cid just isnt any good. ALSO< we purchased our package with the Mega Bonus from Cheap Caribbean. El Cid NEVER provided the items to us nor offered too. I dont know what vendors you had on your sheet, but their information is NOT being provided to El Cid customers. Cheal Caribbean might want to ask about that!
This was our second trip to the Riviera Maja. We expected a level of service, diining, and entertainment that this resort appeared unable to provide. When we arrived, the person at the front desk was courteous and asked whether we wanted a drink. It was a good start, but it went downhill from there. We were assigned to building 19. (Note: At the end of the trip, my wife and I discoved some bug bites. Another reviewer indicated that buiilding 19 has a bug problem. We are not sure of the cause of our bites; it could have been mosquitos or other bugs in the general area.) After expediously checking us in, we were requested to talk to another person about the facility. She did that quickly and then began her sales pitch. We showed no interest. I asked how the a la carte restaurants worked and was directed to the concierge. She made our reservations for the four nights. No other information other than building locations and dining options was provided. The room itself was large and the view from the fourth floor was very nice. There were problems encountered during our stay--a malfunctioning phone and an issue with the toilet--but they were promptly fixed. The walls, however, are paper thin. The resort is somewhat remote--about 38 km from either Cancun or Playa del Carmen. Nothing noteworthy seemed to be in the nearby area. With the exception of the seafood restaurant La Marina, the a la carte dining was subpar. The deserts, in particular, were dismal. Although we ordered two different deserts the first night there, they tasted the same--like rubber. The buffet has an array of food, but too much of it has been under the lights for too long-- that is, very dry--or tough and perhaps stringy in the case of the meats. Our advice is to eat at La Marina as often as possible duing your stay and to order your buffet food cooked to order. The resort seemed to cater to families. It has a club house and things to do for the children. The entertainment was disappointing. The resort had karaoke--which was poorly attended and deteriorated into a sing-along by following the on-screen words--and a fire show. Another night featured the right side of the audience against the left side in some silly games; the host was assisted by two cartoon characters. The beach is sandy--a real plus--but the water has lots of rocks. The one pool is large and has a swim-up bar. It also has a mountain with a slide, which is nice for the children. We noticed that the resort has some things that you may wish to try, but they were never mentioned to us. For example, it has a variety of pillows you may wish to try. It also has a bike ride around the resort and into the town of Puerto Morelos. It may even have some water items, such as kayaking, that are included. Be sure to ask about them! Overall, this resort was a major disappointment compared to our first Riviera Maja resort. We will not stay there again.
Marina El Cid was everything we expected and more. The staff was outstanding with no exceptions. The pool area with the cliff jumping was phenomonal. Our room was top notch (One bedroom suite). The buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch were outstanding with a wide variety of choices with a nod to the Mexican restaurant by the pool. For dinner, the Mexican restaurant by the pool was so so, the Mediterranean restaurant was good and the Seafood restaurant was very good. One suggestion I would have would be to make the Mexican restaurant buffet at dinner so that there are 2 non reservation choices. The beach was great but there were a lot of rocks in the water so make sure you bring your water shoes. It was our first trip to Mexico. We will definitely go back. It will definitely be to the Riviera Maya again and it will definitely be to Marina El Cid. I wouldn't dare take a chance on a different resort when we've found a place so special. An extra special kudos to the activity staff. They went the extra mile and made this vacation one my kids will never forget. I won't try to mention names because I know I'll forget someone.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this resort to any one looking for a getaway. Make sure you skip the vacation club salespeople-- they will try and lure you in. But simply, and politely say I am not interested. Also, skip the upgrade to Platinum Club. You get a few extra amenities, and free wifi but those are not worth the extra cost. Turn off the cell phone and forget about email/ internet for a few days and savor the flavor of the resort. The beaches and cabanas are definitely a Corona moment. Oh, and that's what's on tap too! Top shelf liquors including some Cuban Rum that is taboo here in the States! Mucho gusto! The pool is great, the beach leaves a lot to be desired, but you can walk a kilometer south, and find public, pristine beach you can have all to yourself. If you want to play in the water, the activities staff will give you plenty to do. What a lively group of young recreational staff! I didn't use the jacuzzi, but my husband did and said it wasn't a 'hot' tub. It was just a lukewarm tub. I heard others complaining about that too. However, the area around the jacuzzi is the quiet zone for adults only, and I highly recommend hanging out there. There's a nice deck, and a bar right there. Vincente, the bartender will keep your drink topped up and he makes his rounds regularly to make sure you never go dry. Food in the Hacienda Arrecife, the Mexican restaurant, was outstanding! I loved the pulled pork and the marinated duck tacos! The Marina Restaurant was excellent, but don't believe the TV ad for it... they had no lobster. (maybe it wasn't in season when we were there?) I had the tuna steak and my husband had shrimp. With the appetizers, soup and dessert, we didn't leave hungry. The buffet was, well a buffet, but every night had a different theme, and the food was very good. If you can't find something to eat at the buffet, there's something wrong with you. Great salad bar at the buffet, and if you are a cheese lover, you will absolutely adore the variety and mountain of cheese, fruit and other accompaniments. Desserts included traditional 'flan' and varieties of cheesecake, torts and other cakes and pastries. And oh, the coconut ice cream!!! There was always a grill station, carving station, or pasta station with a chef ready to make you something special. What's to complain about? I don't know what other folks had to complain about for breakfast, but you could have a cold, continental style breakfast, traditional Mexican breakfast, or waffles, crepes, and/ or freshly made omelets. Numerous varieties of freshly squeezes juices were available every morning, and plenty of coffee and tea. I am not a breakfast lover, but I always found something to fill the void so the endless drinks that followed did not go straight to my head! Lunches were buffet style and served in the main building and in the Mexican restaurant down by the pool. Hot food lines, cold cuts, and freshly grilled burgers and steaks. The guacamole was exceptional, and I am still going through withdrawals. (this and warm tortillas was my lunch everyday) If you've got kids, Marina El Cid has a fabulous group of enthusiastic young folks who will entertain them day and night. I don't know if there's an additional charge for that, but it looks like it would be worth it for parents to get a little adult time. Spend a week there and enroll your kid in the Kids Club-- you will be sending them to camp while on vacation and giving them a great multi-cultural experience at the same time. The rooms were very nice. Beautifully appointed and each had its own balcony. However, the beds are really hard. Of course, if you drink enough Corona, who cares! You are only there for a few nights anyway. They do offer a "pillow menu" for those who may have some orthopedic issues. Interesting, but I guess that may be part of the spa. I didn't use the spa services, and you get a 'teaser' five minute massage free of charge. The spa itself looks impressive and is a large separate building right one the beach. There is also a state of the art fitness center on the grounds as well. We drank only bottled water, but an acquaintance we met while there said he was drinking the tap water. I haven't heard that he had any repercussions from it, but I won't cross that line. We did have drinks with ice, and had no gastrointestinal issues during or after our stay. This is great for Mexican tourism. What an improvement over my experiences there in the 1980's! So go ahead, and take the plunge. Visit Marina El Cid Resort and Spa in Riviera Maya... I am thinking of checking out their property in Mazatlan next.
Very clean property. The dining optons are limited. The beach is full of coral and the kids were not able to swim easily. They pushed their "time share option" for future visits. We would not visit El Cid again.
The hotel is beautiful, awsome service, supper yummy food but terrible beach. We can't even enjoy the beach at El Cid, too much seeweed, and there are lots of rock. We affraid to get in the water deeper than my waist line because of the rocks. I am a beach lover, just because of their rocky beach I will not go back to this hotel!
1st off avoid everyone at the airport once you go thru the doors after customs. Go straight outside & find you shuttle-our was included in our package w/Olympus tours & they are outside the doors waiting on you. Alll the people at the counters b/w customs & the door are trying to get you to come here a sales pitch @ a different Hotel. They will even tell you to come w/them & they will help you find your shuttle-there is no need they are right outside the door with a sign & bright orange shirts. This was our 2nd year in a row at El Cid. That says a lot in itself, repeat visitor. The staff members that were still there from last year remembered us & treated us like family. Francisco & Reuben @ the pool bar, for example made both of our trips memorable. No one hounds you for tips or treats you any different if you dont tip. We usually do our tipping @ the end of our trip, as we dont carry $ to the pool/beach everyday. 24 hour room service is amazing, especially if you dont want to get out of the pool to get ready for dinner, sometimes we enjoy the chicken & potatoes from room service better than the meals in the restaurant. The pool is huge & gorgeous, the beach is really nice. The ony negative thing I can say about the place is it would be nice if there were less rocks in the water.. The beds on the beach are really nice to relax on. There is a stocked fridge in the room, although we hardly use it, it was a nice convenience. You can order what you want it to be stocked with once you arrive. The pillow menu is an amazing amenity, I never travel w/o my pillow, but here I can, b/c the ones you get from the menu are soo soft. Breakfast buffet is amazing, they have an array of food already out, in addition they make your eggs, omelets, waffles, pancakes to your specifications. You will be asked to tour the property, it is a sales pitch, its is pricey to be a member there, but they do give you nice gifts for listening. They tell you it will be 1 1/2 hours over breakfast, but it turns into 4, even tho we said no the whole time. We didnt listen the 1st year, but this year we wanted to do some excursions. With the discounts we received, we figured we were paid $25 an hour to listen:) For the most part everyone understands English extremely well. Shopping in Play de Carmen was a disappointment b/c every1 hounds you to come in there store, therefore you can enjoy shopping for what you really want-take a Taxi if you do go shopping, instead of the tour shuttle, you only get 4 hrs & a min of 4 has to go $19.99each, with the taxi you can enjoy lunch & stay as long as you want. Or you can take a taxi to the bus stop on the highway & then a taxi into Playa-that is the cheapest way to go-ask at the Hotel they will give you details. Puerto Morales is the local town & is very safe, you can go there for closer shopping by taxi $10 or they have a free bike tour that goes there everyday at 10am & 4pm, I believe. Shop here b4 you go to a bigger city to see if they have what you need, plus, you can compare the prices. Bldg 16 is the best, beach and pool views, bldg 17 is great too. We requested the same bldg as our 1st stay & got it.