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El Cid: The Cancun, Mexico All-Inclusive Resort El Cid. A great Vacation Resort in Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico

Traveling to an all-inclusive in Cancun, Mexico, is a bit different kind of travel than Carrie and I normally go on.

Actually, an all-inclusive vacation package, in Mexico or anywhere else, is sort of the antithesis of a lot of the kinds of travel we’ve done.

But we spent 7 days at the El Cid Riviera Maya, near Cancun, Mexico, and it was all that an all-inclusive should be. Primarily, relaxing.

13 years ago, the six of us (Mom, Dad, Brian, Adam, Deanna, and I) all went to Mexico for a family vacation, before my brother Brian’s senior year of high school.

This upcoming year will be Deanna’s senior year, and in celebration of that, as well as to get everyone together, the now 9 of us (each of the brothers now has a wife or soon to be wife – hi Laura!) as well as Grandma and aunt Gail and Uncle Joe, all took some time off to head to a resort near Cancun called the El Cid.

This seven days was an awesome and relaxing time.


We didn’t really see Cancun, but we did see a town in-between Cancun and Playa Del Carmen called Puerto Morales, which looks as though it will become a recognized tourist spot 5-10 years from now.

In any case, Carrie and I recorded an audio in the Cancun airport on our way to Washington D.C. before we left, and I set some pictures and music (Thanks Kevin MacLeod over at Incompetech) to the audio to make a video review of the El Cid resort there at the Riviera Maya.

(We flew through D.C. to avoid buying an additional plane ticket from Denver to Pittsburgh for the Pre-Paid Legal convention there – but I’ll explain more about that in another video/post.)

The El Cid Riviera Maya Hotel is an all inclusive beach resort where you can get kayaks, lay on the beach, snorkel, swim, hang in your hotel room, eat, drink, and be merry.  If you decide to own a time share, there are a few sites where you can learn more about the El Cid Vacations Club, as well as the opportunities for ownership there.

This is our review of the El Cid Riviera Maya Hotel and Vacation spot in Cancun, Mexico.

Sandals optional.

Hotel Marina El Cid
Riviera Maya, Mexico
We stayed at the Hotel Marina El Cid in the Riviera Maya for a week. What a blissful week it was. The hotel is an all inclusive resort. You can however, get it without the all inclusive plan, but why would you?

We really enjoyed our stay. There are three restaurants to choose from, but we never really got bored (except with the buffet as that’s the only one open for breakfast and lunch). But Alcazar is amazing. They have a wide ranging menu. They also have a Mexican restaurant that is pretty good. Overall the only thing lacking in the food area was vegetarian dishes. Most dishes had some form of meat in them (beef, chicken, pork, or fish). This made it a bit difficult for the vegetarians in the group.

We do recommend that you skip the one per stay “fancy” dinner you get at the marina restaurant. The food wasn’t all that good, and the mosquitoes were horrendous.

Their alcohol selection wasn’t fantastic, but it wasn’t bad. They made a different version of a mojito, and it was pretty good. Their margaritas, however, left something to be desired.

We upgraded to the Platinum Club. No specific reason really, just that we wanted the bigger room. We loved our room. It was absolutely perfect. It was always cleaned and the mini bar restocked. If we needed anything, all we had to do was ask. We were even offered a pillow menu. It was fun to get to order what kind of pillows you prefer.

The only thing about the Hotel Marina El Cid was that we did have a teeny tiny issue. They offer an aroma therapy option. We ordered it three nights, and we never received it. This made us a bit disappointed, but it was something that we wouldn’t have even wanted had they not offered it in the first place.

The hotel also has a selection of free water sports. You can check out kayaks for free, as well as boogie boards. The staff will also take you out on a Hobie Cat if you made a reservation. The ride would last for about an hour.

The beaches were nice, and private. There are no hotels close by, so “beach crashing” was not a problem. The sand in the ocean, however, is very rocky. We recommend that you buy some water shoes (before you go – we got ours at Wal-Mart for $5/each) for when you go to the ocean. The pool was nice and clean. It also had a water slide and a cliff diving area. Adults, watch out on that slide. You go fast!

Also, go into the little town (Puerto Morelos/Morales?) to go snorkeling. You’ll get a cheaper rate, and more time in the water. The water by the hotel is also home to the second largest coral reef in the world. It’s absolutely worth a snorkel trip (probably two). If you took your own snorkel equipment, you could probably even rent a kayak and kayak out to where the snorkeling is awesome.

We highly recommend that you stay here. In case you are interested in time shares, that opportunity also exists there. We didn’t do one, but we have a couple of family members who have bought into time shares at the Hotel Marina El Cid in Riviera Maya, Mexico, which (they have told us) also gives you access to some of the other El Cid locations around the world.

We loved our stay here, and will happily return.

13 thoughts on “El Cid: The Cancun, Mexico All-Inclusive Resort El Cid. A great Vacation Resort in Riviera Maya, Cancun, Mexico

  1. Greg Anliker

    Ahhh, I stayed at the Mayan last February, almost drowned, got the worst jock itch in the world because of all the fricken walking in a wet swimming suit, and then ended up in the hospital when I got home with Pnumonia! Dang I hate Cancun. I’m more the Cabo loving kind of guy.
    Hey Johnathan, call me, I know you tried a month ago, but do it again when you get back to civilization.
    Greg

  2. Renee

    You havn’t been keeping up with the crime against tourists in Mexico the last 8 yrs??? I had one UofTex. Law Student,that had gone to our comm. college, killed in Mex. on Spring Break just walking out of a club to get a taxi to GO TO SLEEP EARLIER than the rest–a car load of Mex. snatched him off the street & his body wasn’t found for 3 yrs!! HE DID NOT DO DRUGS!! I don’t want my current good friends dead. STAY OUT OF MEXICO!! I won’t even go there any more & I’ve been all over Mex. when younger. Even the US govn’t gives warnings. Even the police & the cab drivers rob & kill. It’s just too risky I think. Like walking in downtown Houston at night!!HA!

  3. Mom

    What a cool video and this was a dream vacation to have my family relaxing together and to be at such a special place!!! Everytime I need a smile-fix, I’ll click on this video!!!

  4. Jonathan

    @Greg: sorry to hear about your itching. 🙂 Let’s plan a trip to Cabo some time!
    @ Renee: There aren’t that many kidnappings/killings. Even statistically, Mexico’s murder rate per 100,000 is only about double that of the US. If I was the fearful type, I’d be more concerned about getting in my car in the US. More than 14,ooo people a year are killed by drunk drivers.
    You can become a number wherever you are. But here’s what’s crazy. The news reports on a few murders, but doesn’t report on the millions of people who travel every year and have amazing life-changing experiences.
    We think that the only way crime rates against tourists will drop is by good people traveling and offering people in other countries positive experiences with good people who travel there. In fact, John (who also commented on this post) is now a good friend of ours from Tanzania, because we spent some time getting to know him when we traveled there 2 years ago.
    So, being cautious is good, but being frightened into submission is not good for our personal health, the health of the planet, or the health of humanity as a whole.
    @ John: We hope to have the opportunity to experience great things with you in Africa again!
    @ Mom: Thank-you for organizing a great trip. It was a wonderful time! And thanks for the feedback on the video as well.

  5. Anu

    Nice greetings from rainy Finland!! 😉
    That video looked great… Just dreaming to go there………. 🙂
    Anu

  6. mike

    Thanks for your el cid video, we are going there on vacation in november and it was very helpful to see/hear the tips.
    Congrats on your wedding 🙂

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  10. Desire'e

    We have been to Puerto Adventuras 7 times and would like to try somewhere new. I am wondering how the snorkeling is in front of the El Cid?? We are avid snorkelers and prefer staying somewhere with good snorkeling. The hotel in Puerto Aventuras has turtles and and many reefs. I am hoping its similar..

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