Marina El Cid Riviera Maya

Marina El cid - Mazatlan - Sinaloa - Mexico
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The Hotel Marina El Cid Riviera Maya is one of several El Cid properties in Mexico, including two in Mazatlan and one on Cozumel.

The Riviera Maya offers many choices in all-inclusive resorts. The whole area is terrific for families, due to the many activities available outside the resort mini-worlds. Two trends to note: prices are highish in this area, and both new and newly-renovated resorts are trending toward "upscale" and "five-star".

Great Location

The Marina El Cid Riviera Maya sits on the beach just south of Puerto Morelos, halfway between Cancun with its 25-kilometer Hotel Zone and busy Playa del Carmen. The drive from the airport is less than half an hour. Guests can visit the town of Puerto Morelos, just a 5-minute taxi ride away. Proximity to coral reef is a major plus: Puerto Morelos is one of the best spots to visit the Barrier Reef National Park.

Also noteworthy:

  • The Marina El Cid Riviera Maya is an all-suites resort, from "junior suites" to 3-bedroom
  • This resort has its own marina, with sailing and snorkeling outings available.
  • The setting right next to mangroves will be a feature (as the mangroves recover from Hurricane Wilma)
  • Open-air seaside massage area is a lovely spot
  • "All-inclusive" includes room service
  • Platinum level of service adds guaranteed ocean-view, extra comfortable beds and linens, special check-in, butler service, fruit basket, and a few more perks
  • Guests can use a body board, kayak, Hobie cat, or windsurfer
  • Daily program of activities such as cooking class, and games; nightly entertainment

Since the time of this review, the resort has added 150 luxury suites, a Maya-inspired spa, and more. New junior suites have Murphy beds and kitchenettes.

Features for Families

  • kids club for ages 4 to 12 ( the "Friendly little kids club" type)
  • extra activities such as pottery painting (extra charge)
  • play zone in the pool -- with waterslides and cliff jump-- is a big hit with kids [l]a section of the pool for youngest kids has a small water slide
  • teens’ program includes kayaking tours, trips to the Maya ruins in Tulum, biking to Puerto Morelos, snorkeling inPuerto Morelos National Reef Park, windsurfing lessons, and more.
  • 24-hour room service can be a real convenience
  • large suites are available and suit extended-family travel, especially sought by Mexican families. (Depending on the time of year, much of the clientele at the El Cid Marina is Mexican.)

Of course what's available outside the resort is a huge plus too, for families: snorkeling on the barrier reef; outings to Xcaret eco-theme park, Mayan ruins at Tulum, the island of Cozumel, etc.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • though Puerto Morelos is only a twenty-minute walk away, the beach is interrupted by a container port
  • local residents long opposed resort development in this area, due to fears about impacts on the mangrove swamps. Obviously, a compromise was reached: a good one? Let's hope so!
  • reportedly there's a separate beach area for platinum guests
  • seasonal promotions can be very good
  • note that "junior suite", in hotel parlance, is typically a single room divided into two areas
  • guests report that tipping is appreciated (as is often the case at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico)

As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodation for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.

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