Excellence Riviera Final Review (vs the Grand)

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I find myself with a few minutes on the night before I leave for my birthday trip to Mexico. It appears the bad weather has moved out, for the time being at least. If there’s anything I’ve learned in 51 years is that everything is temporary. Things can change in a heartbeat and if you’re having a good moment, or a sunny day, you better enjoy every second of it. You just never know how long it will last.

I was in a rush to get my post done last night. It felt important to complete THAT trip report before I started the next trip. Didn’t want that bad trip juju hanging over me. However, I realized I never did a summary of ERC or a direct comparison with the Grand. For people who want the nitty-gritty, without all the verbiage, this post is for you.

Overall facility and grounds: ERC is a nice facility with beautiful, spread out grounds. It’s big, but not mega-big. It’s a totally different vibe than the Grand, so you can’t really say one is better than the other. Both are beautiful and well maintained. The Grand is more luxurious and ERC has more of what I think most people consider to be a “Mexican” feel.

Wristbands: The Grand requires them (they are clear). ERC does not. I don’t know of anyone that would prefer a wristband. While they are not a big deal to me personally, ERC gets this one.

Classism: Somebody made reference to this on one of the forums and I didn’t understand what they meant. Having been to ERC, I now understand and I prefer the Grand in this aspect. Everyone is equal at the Grand. Even if you stay in the Presidential suite, you still can use all the bars and sit anywhere on the beach and use all the pools. At ERC, if you pony up and pay extra money for Club Excellence, you get a special area reserved on the beach with better loungers and an exclusive bar and liquor in your room. There’s more, I’m sure. If I’m paying extra, I’m staying at the Grand.

Speaking of loungers, the Grand wins this one, hands down. Those loungers they have at ERC should be illegal. Enough said.

Food – a huge disappointment. When we arrived we were very excited to have eight whole new restaurants to try.

Breakfast buffet had extensive selection, but mediocre quality.

Lunch buffet was the same. I like the option of being able to order ala carte if I want to for both meals. The Grand has filet and loser for lunch as well.

Dinner restaurants had no stars at ERC. They ranged from bad to decent.

Lobster House – we ate here first and the lobster was mushy and overall it felt like cafeteria food.

We did not eat at the Grill because we had not heard or read good things about it.

The Italian was decent. We ate here twice.

The Asian was decent. We ate here twice. In the main dining room was better than the Hibachi rooms.

The Indian was decent, but the air conditioning was not working and it was stifling. We almost left as soon as we walked in, it was that uncomfortable.

The Gourmet/French was sub-par.

We did not eat at the pizza place.

Room service was mediocre.

The rooms need updating. They are dark and there were a number of things that needed repair in our room and there was a very off smell. They brought a room freshener but it only helped for about a day. The rooms just look tired. The bed is hard as a rock. If you like a hard as a rock bed, you’ll be fine, otherwise ask for some padding. The shower is huge and very nice.

The shows are so-so. Not bad, but the Grand has a higher quality of show. We enjoyed the fire show. The bars are fine, but the lobby bar gets very crowded.

The service was for the most part, very, very good.

That’s all I can think of. I’m happy to answer any questions.

The Mexican was mediocre.


This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your trips with us! It’s fun to live through you.

    We’ve been to five different resorts in the Riviera Maya (Secrets Maroma being the nicest and most recent) and went to Huatulco for out last vacation. We haven’t tried the Grand yet, but you sure do make it tempting!

  2. I for one really enjoy all your trip reports. Have a wonderful trip to the Grand and I can’t wait till you post a report and pictures.

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