Excellence Resort, Cancun/Mayan Riviera

My time in Cancun was extremely relaxing. It was great time to escape the cold in Ottawa, and it was amazing how being immersed in warm, sunny weather took away the stresses from every day life.

I met my friends M and JL at the airport, and straight away, it started out with chaos. I landed in a different terminal than my two friends, and not realizing that, we had made a point to meet at the Hertz rental counter. Unfortunately, there was a Hertz rental counter at every terminal. M and JL went ahead to book a car while they waited for me.

While trying to locate M and JL, I got a text messaging saying that they had run out of cars, so they got three mopeds instead. That was an ok plan for them because their luggage never made it, but I thought to myself, great...how on earth am I going to moped 20km with my 2 pieces of luggage, plus my purse?

Luckily, when we all finally found each other, they had a van available. Off we went to Excellence Resort in Cancun, which is technically on the Mayan Riviera.
The resort was stunning. We arrived to refreshing wet towels, and champagne waiting for us. Our check in was a breeze, and we decided to meet for lunch at The Grill restaurant. The Excellence resort offered 8 international a la carte restaurants, which meant NO BUFFETS..woo hoo! They had a breakfast and lunch buffet at their Mediterranean restaurant, Barcelona, but that was it. The rest had to be ordered off menus.

Most of their portions were small to moderate, and it was evident that they catered to healthy eaters. Because their portions were not that big, I was able to order an appetizer, salad, soup, main, and dessert for most dinners. I was a little bit stuffed at times, but not the belly aching, roll on the ground type of full.

With so much to eat, here were just some of my meal highlights:

BREAKFAST: I am very particular about my breakfasts. I always need my cereal in the mornings so I stuck to the breakfast buffet at Barcelona restaurant. Here is what one of my typical breakfasts would look like:

All Bran flakes with eggs, yogourt, fresh fruit, and fruit juice.

They had a lot of egg white choices at Excellence resort. Some days I would have a hard boiled egg white, while other days, I would have an egg white omelette. Ahh..life is tough.

If you wanted a Mexican breakfast, they had red chilaquiles. If cheese is your thing, they offered panela, hokoke, and tofu cheese. If you need your healthy juice fix for the morning, there was a counter of colorful juices that matched all the colors of the rainbow: red, pink, orange, yellow, green, you name it. They also offered neat garnishes such as lime rind and cinammon sticks.

LUNCH: Here were some of my favorites. You'll see that The Grill restaurant was my favorite place for lunch. This was mainly because the restaurant was outdoors, and their meals were casual, and light.

Ceviche at The Grill restaurant.

Chicken quesadilla at The Grill restaurant...this was one of my favorites. So simple, but so good.

Grilled mahi mahi at The Grill restaurant.

One thing I grew to really like was the Mexican cactus salad. It was refreshing, and the texture was crunchy.

Their lunch desserts were also very good. My most memorable were: flan with fresh fig, cinnamon ice cream, and amaretto ice cream...mmm, I'm drooling as I type.

DINNER: Here are some of my dinner highlights. The Asian restaurant, Spice, won hands down. This, I did not expect at all. I thought they would totally butcher the Asian dishes, but to their credit, they did a good job.

Lobster at Agave Mexican restaurant.

Lobster cocktail with lemon, papaya, avocado, and coctail sauce at the Lobster House.

Grouper with a chipotle garlic sauce at Agave Mexican restaurant.

Grilled grouper with a spicy chili-basil sauce at Spice asian restaurant.

Coquilles St. Jaques et crevettes at the French restaurant, Chez Isabelle.

Triple spicy duck and vegetables in a spicy basil sauce at Spice asian restaurant.

Thai beef salad at Spice asian restaurant.

Deep fried ice cream at Spice asian restaurant.

ROOM SERVICE: I decided to be lazy one day, and ordered room service. I enjoyed my meal on my comfy couch while watching TV. I ordered the spa mixed salad, a tortilla soup, and a miile spa wrap. The wrap was a spinach roll with yogourt, Lebanese cream, and veggies. The meal was great, and when you've finished, they had a neat system to take away your dishes. There was a cupboard in the room, called an "xbox", and it opened from both inside and outside of your room. When there is something for the staff to take away, you place it in the "xbox", and they remove your dishes from the outside, without ever having to disturb you.

Earlier on in the week, JL, M, and I headed to the Cancun Wal-Mart to buy some clothes and toiletries to replace some of the essentials that never made it. Driving in Cancun was a mess, there were no lanes, and the roads were not marked clearly. M had to use the GPS on his blackberry to get us out of Cancun. We were stuck there for about 4 hours circling around.

At the Wal-Mart, they sold fresh tacos al pastor...the way we sell shawarmas in Ottawa.

They also had boxes of camaron seco (dried whole shrimp), and pre-made pescadillos ready to eat. I bought myself a bag of cured serrano ham flavored chips to bring back to the resort. These came in handy a few times!

That pretty much sums up my trip. I was really hoping to check out some of the Mayan Ruin sites like Tulum or Chichen Itza, but I was moving to San Diego (temporarily) the day after I got back from Mexico, and the apartment I had secured bailed on me. Needless to say, I spent my free time house hunting.

I am back from Mexico, living in a hotel in San Diego sick with the flu, BUT finally found a place to live! I'll be moving into the new pad later on this week, and I'll provide updates when I can.


those are AMAZING photos. the first (of the beach) and the third one (of the pool/deck) are SO pretty. Sounds like you had an amazing time. :D

The food looks super yummy too. Especially the Thai Beef Salad. So pretty! The deep fried ice cream looks super good too. I REALLy want to try the ceviche too. I love seafood.

LOVE Excellence Cancun! Did you not try the Basmati Restaurant? You missed out!! That was our favorite, we ate there 3 nights. Spice was out next favorite. I wish I could live at that resort :)