(Closed) Rivera Maya Secrets Maroma vs. Excellence Rivera

posted 7 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
6339 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

I’ve been to the Excellence but not the Secrets. Here are my thoughts on the different ‘key’ aspects:

Rooms: this is where the resort let’s itself down IMO. They are large and clean, and all come equipped with jacuzzi tubs, but, they are quite dated In My Humble Opinion and the bed’s weren’t the most comfortable, and the linen wasn’t great quality, etc. However, they do look nice, and like I said are clean and large, and quite impressive.

Layout/size/location: the resort is a nice size IMO, and nicely laid out; the grounds are beautiful and very well-kept, and the resort is fairly compact, without being too small. It’s approx 30 mins from down-town Cancun, 15-20 mins from the airport, 30 mins from Playa del Carmen, and 5-10 mins from Puerto Morelos, so it’s pretty central.

Pools: really good. The two main pools are a large main  pool with music, swim-up bar and activities, and a big lazy river pool which goes round the spa. The lazy river was our favourite as the loungers weren’t too close together so it felt quite private/intimate, and it was very peaceful and quiet; perfect for reading and relaxing. There are a couple of other pools too.

There is waiter/waitress service at all pools, and we found it frequent and efficient; they will also bring snacks to your lounger if you like (like burgers, chips and salsa/guacamole, etc)

Beach: OK, but nothing great; Maroma beach is MUCH nicer. There’s a fair bit of seaweed at the Excellence, and a few rocks.

Food: we found the food ranged from poor-very good for an AI. Mostly, it was average to good for an AI, but we did not rate the food as much as others have. Breakfast was excellent with a large selection and literally anything you could want at the main buffet; lunch was OK, there’s the indoor buffet, a pizza/pasta restaurant, or the Lobster/Grill restaurant which serves simple a la carte dishes. We mostly had room service for lunch, which was pretty good: decent choice, and arrived hot.

Dinner is what let it down IMO. It’s great that you don’t need to make reservations, and a la carte dining is unlimited. But we found the food really varied at dinner; some meals were really good, others were quite poor (eg lots of rich sauces that drowned the flavours of the food; overseasoning; under-seasoning; veg over or under cooked, etc). But nowhere have we found great food at an AI, mostly it’s OK, so this isn’t just the Excellence.

Drinks: they claim to have top-shelf but in reality you need to upgrade to Excellence Club to get the true top shelf. But they have a good selection of international brands as standard, and house wine and ‘champagne’ is included. Cocktails were good.

Service: ranged from below average to excellent, but on the whole it was very good. We always had great service at dinner and at the pool, and the room service guys were good. Service at breakfast and lunch was very spotty, esp at the buffet; sometimes staff would stand around ignoring guests (at lunch, no drinks are self-service, so you rely on wait staff for drinks).Maid service came quite late a few times which was annoying, and we only received turn-down a couple of times, and not much effort went into it IMPO.

On the whole it’s a very good resort, and SMB also gets very good reviews. Trip Advisor is really very useful, as if you post there, some members might be able to do a comparison for you.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Post # 4
46 posts
  • Wedding: November 2011


we actually stayed at the Excellence Riviera in July of this year and here’s what I thought of the whole thing. 

The atmosphere was very condusive to relaxation, although the main pool was a little louder, if you stayed in the lazy river pools, it was so quiet and relaxing. there was pool waiter service too, so that was very nice. 

The service was amazing. They all tried very hard to please. However, english was a problem. we found that very few waiters spoke any english and it was hard to communicate preferences sometimes. 

There was a wide variety of restaurants at night and the breakfasts/lunches were rather more formal than the usual all-inclusive buffet fair. breakfast buffet had a smaller selection than i’ve seen at all inclusive in the past. however, the food was quite good and I loved the individual fruit cups served in little glass shotglasses. made to order stations were always available. For dinner there were always a few different a la carte restaurants available. the service was pretty quick and the food yummy. we really loved the indian and went there for two nights! quite yummy. All the waiters dressed up for each theme. ie. indian outfits for the indian restaurant. 

The pools were also lots of fun and the actually sandy part of the beach was wonderful. Towels were readily available. Take as many as you need. 

My main issue, and the reason I can’t recommend this place to any beach person like me, is the fact the water was very murky and filled with seaweed. Furthermore, there were jellyfish everywhere!!!! We couldn’t stay in the water because we constatly get stung by them. It was a horrible stinging sensation all over!! like you nicked your legs shaving everywhere and then poured salt water or vingery stuff all over. not pleasant. 

I am not sure if it was the season or what, but I was SOOO dissapointed as the beach is the most important for me. I am not a pool person and I was forced to become one. 🙁

Furthermore, the hotel did NOT clean the seaweed the entire 10 days I was there. So there was always seaweed in the water. 

However, the spa was amazing. And I am not a spa person at all. They had this entire crazy spa experience set up on the main floor of the spa with a variety of massage jets in the pools, hot and dry saunas, ice room (awesomely fun!) and the like. and you get an hour through this level with every massage. we did a couples thing and it was so much fun. 

room service was timely and good. and you get the most adorable little glass jars of ketchup/mustard with every lunch/dinner order and adorable tiny jars of jam for breakfast. 


hope this helps your decision. let me know if you have any other questions. 


Post # 5
377 posts
Helper bee

We stayed at secrets maroma in June and it was incredible. I’m typing on my phone so this will be short but the beach was amazingly soft powdery sand, the food was the best weVe ever had, literally! The rooms were beautiful and everything was immaculate and the staff were truly concerned about ensuring we were happy. They would do anything to help. I would do anything to go back to this resort and hopefully one day we can 🙂 if you want to know more feel free to pm me!

Post # 6
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach in June as well and it was AMAZING!  I would recommend it to anybody.  The accomodations, grounds, beach, service, food, etc. far exceeded our expectations.  I want to go back there soo bad!

If it is too expensive, I found my cousins a good deal at Excellence Playa Mujeres..it looks beautiful as well!

Post # 7
746 posts
Busy bee

They’re both great resorts. I’ve been to both. If you’re considering Excellence, I would go with Playa Mujeres.

My favorite in the Riviera Maya is El Dorado Royale. Their beach isn’t at nice as the beach at Secrets Maroma, but the food and servce are over the top.

You can find tons of photos of many of the resorts on our Facebook page if you need more info.


Post # 8
521 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2012 - Salvage One, Chicago

I went to a differnt Maroma resort, El Dorado Maroma, in late July and it was fantastic.  it was ‘gourmet inclusive’ and we went with a bunch of friends for a Destination Wedding who had done several other all-inclusive resorts in Mexico before- they said it was the best food they had had yet!  The service was above and beyond, the grounds were clean, posh, and there were plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas, etc.  They had sunscreen to use, free floaties, 2 swim up bars 3 different restaurants with different cuisines…we had a great time and I would recommend any of their hotels.

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