blue sky meets blue seaWhen can I go back? Five days in Cancun is far too short for a visit to this tropical paradise for tourists. Five weeks would be much better!
Cancun is fairly new to tourism, established in the 1970’s thanks to former Mexican President Echeverilla’s efforts to outdo even Acapulco by building a world-class resort on the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico.

Located on a deserted sand spit called “Snake’s Nest” or “Cancun” by Mayans, the resort city of Cancun was carved from the jungle on the eastern side overlooking the Mexican Caribbean sea.  Hard to believe it’s only been three decades since the now-bustling tourist mecca was inhabited only by Puerto Juarez, a tiny fishing village.#Excellence Riviera Cancun pool view

No doubt staying at two five-star resorts like Excellence Riviera Cancun and Finest Playa Mujeres was a major contributor to my enjoyment of Cancun.

Both resorts are operated by Excellence Groups, a company from Barcelona that specializes in creating all-inclusive resorts (also including Beloved Resorts) in exotic locales.

JoAnn with Mayan friends at Excellence Riviera CancunFrom the moment of entry into the gated Riviera Cancun, everyone is treated like a celebrity.  I loved ogling (and posing with) the delightful, playful Mayan art sculptures featured in the lobby of the Riviera Cancun.

Kids club water park

While the first resort was for adults only, the second and newest Finest Playa Mujeres resort, which opened last spring, welcomed families with such amenities as a Kids Club with their own theater and water park.

There were also plenty of planned activities, plus a Kiddy Spa where small tots ages 2 on up can get manicures and pedicures just like their parents.

Kids club spa room for pedicures I remember when my children were that age, they spent their time at the beach collecting shells or building sand castles.  Hope they didn’t realize they were deprived!

The all-inclusive resorts were both amazing.   Seemingly endless supplies of delicious International food and beverage choices, balanced with water wellness treatments, massages, and other spa experiences* (additional charges were assessed for massages, facials, and other beauty treatments), first class fitness facilities, and retail markets featuring exotic imported goods made staying indoors a lot more fun than expected.

So when a morning with cooler temperatures kept us away from the beach, no one complained.  beach view at Excellence Riviera

But as soon as the sun peeked out, the beautiful blue waters of the Mexican Caribbean beckoned everyone down to the beach.welcome basket at Finest Playa

Welcomed to the junior suites at Finest Playa Mujeres with champagne on ice, roses on the bed, pastries, flowers and fruit, guests also discovered premium brands of booze such as 1860 Tequila, Svedka Vodka,  and Tanqueray Gin in the cupboard along with a well-stocked refrigerator that contained chocolate bars, M&Ms, Oreo cookies, various soft drinks, juices, bottled water, wine, and a variety of beer.

 I found it hard to believe this was all included with the room.  Used to operating on a mini-bar mentality, I kept adding up the prices and feeling guilty if I used too much fruit juice or water.  From now on, I only want to travel to all-inclusive resorts!Premium brands stocked in Finest Playa Muerta suite

I was reminded of the song from the Broadway musical “Camelot,” where King Arthur sings “I wonder what the people are doing tonight” while the masses sing “I wonder what the King is doing tonight.”  In this instance, I felt more like a member of the royalty!  Mayan coffee made by Carlos at Barcelona

Both resorts had multiple restaurants  ranging from French to Indian to Asian to Spanish to Seafood and Steak Houses to a personal favorite, Agave.  This was an authentic Mexican restaurant where my group of fellow travelers were entertained our first night at the Excellence Riviera Cancun.  At Agave, a young man named Carlos provided a flaming encore to dinner (mine was expertly prepared chicken mole’) and desserts.

Carlos created a showstopping experience that entranced everyone waiting to try his spectacular Mayan coffee.

Both resorts also contained numerous pools where such activities as water polo or water aerobics could be enjoyed.  Iguanas sun by pool This pool at the Riviera Cancun was enticing to two Iguanas caught sunning on the deck.

outside couch and JacuzziThere were terrific in-room Jacuzzis (large enough for two with a view of the sky from the balcony) plus rain forest showers for those who preferred to soak indoors.

The family resort boasted 12 swimming pools plus hot water Jacuzzis, children’s pool/playground/indoor pavilions, world class spa facilities, and myriad activities such as an 18-hole golf club, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, tennis lessons, yachting excursions, a 3,500 square foot fitness center, and outdoor fitness trails.

These activities could be capped off by spending an evening dining at one of the numerous restaurants and then taking in nightly entertainment ranging from a Michael Jackson show in the theater to dancing to a DJ’s tunes in the Piano Bar.  JoAnn with pink Margarita at Liso's

Or not.  The choice is entirely up to you.

At these two Excellence and Finest resorts, the customer is always right…and always pampered.