Exploring Playa Mujeres, Mexico with Excellence Resorts

Whenever people ask me what my favorite country to visit is, I almost always say there’s nowhere I’d rather be than Mexico.  I am completely in love with everything about this country — the beautiful and vibrant culture, the to-die-for food (seriously, does it get better than eating chips and guacamole for a week straight?), the stunning beaches, the laid-back-lifestyle, and, of course, the margaritas. There’s just nowhere like Mexico for a tropical getaway!

Which is why I was so excited to explore and review three of Cancún’s newest and most beautiful luxury all-inclusive resorts last week : Finest, Excellence, and Beloved.

Located on the sprawling, crystal-clear, white-sand beaches of Playa Mujeres, each of these resorts features its own vibe and clientele, and are all run by Excellence Group – a team of Spanish luxury hoteliers who have sought out to make all your luxury vacation dreams come true. For their Playa Mujeres’ properties, this means all-inclusive (five-star!!) food, alcohol, and activities, and an emphasis on service, disconnecting from the real world, and connecting with your loved ones.

Think: Oversized private Jacuzzis for two. Spacious private balconies for sipping champagne on. Lavish beds for the best vacation sleep.  A choice of many incredible restaurants for each and every meal. Sailing, paddle-boarding, water aerobics, a huge indoor gym, or beach volleyball to work off all the all-inclusive margaritas. Afternoon naps in the hammock outside your swim-up suite.

Excellence Group’s resorts are Mexican culture meets modern luxury. These resorts aren’t your average Mexico all-inclusives – they are a modern, luxurious take on the idea of an all-inclusive, and I was absolutely blown away by the quality of food, drinks, and service that came with staying with Excellence.

Deciding between Excellence, Finest, and Beloved. Which Playa Mujeres resort is right for your vacation?

Put simply, it depends on who you’re traveling with & what you’re looking for! Finest and Excellence are the larger resorts – with over 400 rooms, while Beloved is the smallest – a boutique resort with 80 rooms. Both Excellence and Beloved are adults-only and cater to a lot of Mexico honeymoons, destination weddings, and anniversary celebrations whereas Finest tends to cater to a family friendly, multi-generational sun-seeking audience.

Finest Resort

Who Finest is good for: Families, couples and groups looking for a mix between quiet relaxation, and fun in the sun

For families and multi-generational groups, Finest is the move – since it is the only all-inclusive luxury family friendly resort in greater Cancun, and the only one of the three resorts that isn’t adults-only.

It’s easy to see why young families are drawn to Finest – not only do they have the most expansive and beautiful kids club I’ve ever seen (waterslides, movies, round-the-clock activities, full-time nannies at no additional cost & the option to stay with your kids if you want to!), but the family-friendly atmosphere throughout the resort is one that will make every family want to come back year after year. Not to mention the relaxation that comes with not having to worry about keeping your kids occupied (or touching your wallet!!) the second you step foot onto Finest. It’s a vacation that pleases both kids and adults, with both aspects of relaxation and fun!  During my stay I also admired how many multi-generational families were traveling together and enjoying the resort together as a group, but still while doing their own things. I loved that Finest has something for everyone, so families and kids could do their own activities during the day, but meet up with their bigger groups for dinner at the end of the day.

There is also a beautiful exclusive VIP section of Finest – called Excellence Club – that is adults-only, and is a major draw for honeymooners, young romances, anniversaries and weddings. I spent my week staying in the Excellence Club, where I got to experience both Excellence Club’s Swim-up Suite, and their two-story rooftop terrace suite with a plunge pool.  I can’t decide which I preferred, since they were two of the nicest hotel rooms I’ve ever experienced! Both were stunning, spacious, and featured modern, clean decor and architecture that I just loved.

The Swim-up Suites at The Excellence Club at Finest

The Rooftop Terrace Suites of the Excellence Club at Finest

The food and restaurants at Finest

With more than 12 restaurants on the property, there are countless options for food at Finest, and a cuisine for whatever strikes your mood of that day! Each meal I had at the resort was so, so good. All of the dishes in each restaurant are made to order and, whenever possible, made from local ingredients. They also are extremely aware of food allergies (I’m allergic to nuts, and at every meal was asked when I checked in if I had any food allergies or restrictions!), and do everything they can to make your meal perfect. Healthy spa cuisine, vegetarian dishes and gluten-free options are on the menu at every restaurant, as well.

My favorite meals at Finest were daily room-service breakfast in my suite (room service is available 24 hours a day!),  Las Dunas Beach House (the casual Mexican restaurant) for lunch, and either Duke’s Lobster & Seafood or the French restaurant – Le Petit Plasir for dinner. In most all-inclusives, they’ll often charge you a premium for dinners like Duke’s Lobster or Le Petit Plasir – but not at Finest! Everything is included, even the nicest restaurants on the property.  For a more casual dinner, I absolutely loved the La Cocinita Food Truck – an adorable old colorful VW van turned into a mexican street food truck right on the property!

Having dinner on the beach at Finest

Sip champagne with a torch-lit romantic sunset dinner on the beach – something Finest sets up for all of its honeymooning couples and can organize for anyone during their stay. Just tell the concierge when you arrive that you want to and they will make it happen!

What activities are there to do at Finest?

Each morning of your stay, a guide to the daily activities, weather, and resort information is delivered to your suite. There are so many resort activities to choose from every day! Or you can spend your day relaxing (and often not even needing to leave your suite!) When I was feeling more active, I loved sailing, jet-skiing, water aerobics and beach volleyball. But when I was feeling a more relaxing day, I absolutely loved the Finest’s ONE Spa! Their massages are easily some of the best massages I have ever had, and ONE is one of the most relaxing spa atmospheres I’ve been in.

*Spa treatments are one of the only things not included in the all-inclusive rate, but they are well worth it.

As a bonus, for those of you traveling with kids, Finest even has a mini spa for kids! It was so cute and features kids-oriented mani/pedi stations, and even adorable kids massage tables to make your family spa day one to remember.

The Kids Club at Finest

The Spa isn’t the only place that Excellence Group prioritizes families – the kids club at Finest is absolutely incredible. It features an entire mini water park hidden within the resort! The club is open day and night and has constant activities to keep kids of all ages entertained, from movies to games to the waterslides. You can even stay with your kids within the Kids Club if you choose to! I was blown away by how thorough their kids programs were and how keeping kids happy – while keeping the adults happy – was such a priority for Finest.

Excellence Resort: Action-packed adults-only all-inclusive resort

If an adults-only resort with action-packed activities, nightlife options, nine all-inclusive restaurants, 11 bars (including swim-up, pool, and a disco bar), seven pools, and a full service Miilé spa, 450 artfully-designed rooms and suites (some with rooftop terraces, balconies, and jacuzzis), is what your after – Excellence is your adult vacation playground.

Who Excellence is good for:

Groups, weddings, and fun-loving couples looking for an activity-filled getaway.

What activities are there to do at Excellence?

At Excellence, you’ll have your choice of everything from complimentary bicycle tours, water aerobics, yoga, pilates, spanish dancing and cooking lessons, diving, snorkeling, ping pong, darts, tequila tasting, nightly entertainment, a state-of-the-art fitness center, the world-class Miilé Spa, and more. You’re also within walking distance of tennis courts and the Playa Mujeres Golf Club!

The rooms at Excellence Resort

You can choose from terrace suites, swim-up suites, two-floor private pool suites, junior suites and Excellence Club suites (Excellence Club Suites are located in the VIP section with a dedicated concierge, upgraded amenities and upgraded liquor in-room).

The food at Excellence

For fine dining in Cancun, Excellence offers ten international restaurants and eleven contemporary bars that each feature amazing cuisines from all over the world!

I highly recommend eating at Agave – Excellence’s authentic hacienda-style Mexican restaurant. It is such an amazing experience! They also feature tequila tasting – which is so fun. As a California girl and an avid wine-taster, it was so fun to hear all about the nuances of tequila and to taste all the different kinds. I feel like a tequila expert now!

Dont miss the tableside queso at Agave!

Beloved Resort: Romantic, relaxing adults-only all-inclusive boutique resort

Beloved is Excellence Group’s intimate all-inclusive boutique luxury resort of 109 rooms , four a la carte restaurants, a stunning white-sand beach, an incredible spa and three gorgeous pools.

Who Beloved is good for:

Romantic couples trips & honeymooners

The hydrotherapy pools at the Beloved Spa

The rooms at Beloved:

This clean, modern romantic resort features suites with enormous beds, separate sitting areas and outdoor daybeds, a well-stocked, all-inclusive bar. Fast WiFi, iHome docks, Nespresso machines, and 42-inch flat-screen TVs for all the modern comforts. Double vanity bathrooms, gigantic showers with multiple jets, and separate jacuzzis as well as lovely Bulgari amenities.

Check rates for your dates here

View from Room

What is there to do outside of the resorts in Cancún?

The Yucatan Peninsula where the resorts are located is a naturally stunning area of Mexico that separates the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico. While the resorts will keep you more than occupied during your stay, if it’s your first time to the Cancún area you may want to get out and explore everything the Yucatan Peninsula has to offer! I love diving in cenotes – natural underground limestone caves with crystal-blue waters, exploring history in the mayan temples of Tulum, or heading on a ferry over to Isla Mujeres – where you can swim with whale sharks! (whale shark season is May through August)

Is it safe to travel to Cancún?

While Mexico has gotten a bit of a bad rap lately for its safety concerns, it’s important to note that most of the recent violence has occurred outside tourist areas, and resorts have tightened security to bolster the safety of guests.  Excellence, Finest, and Beloved are located just 25 minutes from the Cancun airport (the resort provides airport transfers) in a gated-off section of Playa Mujeres that feels like a world all its own. Safety is a huge priority and you won’t feel unsafe at one moment during your stay! As I say with anywhere that the media tends to call “unsafe”, don’t let your fears stop you from seeing the world!


Check out my other blog posts!

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Excellence Oyster Bay

The best airbnbs in Tulum for groups

The best carry-ons, travel purses, & checked suitcases for travel

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The Ultimate Santorini Travel Guide

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Christina is a leading luxury lifestyle and travel blogger with over 2 million readers. Follow her on instagram @jetsetchristina.