Luxury Resort Review

One of my valued guests, Kelli Marks, has just returned from a stay at the luxury resort, NH Riviera Cancun, so I’m welcoming her as my guest blogger today to offer you a review of her visit to Puerto Morelos, Cancun, and her stay at NH Riviera Cancun.  To read more about her trip, see more pictures, or just get to know Kelli more, please visit her blog, Marks the Spot.  And, you can find her daily on Twitter, @KelliMarks. 

NH Riviera Cancun Resort Review

Puerto Morelos, Cancun

Puerto Morelos is a small fishing town about 20 minutes south of Cancun.  So while having a close proximity to the shopping and excitement of Cancun, as well as the convenience of the airport, it provides a much more laid back vacation experience. 

The reef that runs down the coast of Mexico is the second largest in the world and cuts in the closest to Puerto Morelos, offering beautiful snorkeling opportunities. During our snorkeling trip, visibility was estimated at around 15 feet, but we were told that it can be as much as 90 feet.  I had no idea how many different types of coral formations there were.  And the fish were far more colorful than I had expected.  This was the snorkeling I had been looking for!  We snorkeled in Jamaica and that was nothing compared to this.

NH Riviera Cancun Resort

NHRivieraCancunWe stayed at NH Riviera Cancun, in Puerto Morelos (at Judy’s suggestion), and it was an amazing resort.  The facilities were very modern, in both décor and functionality.  Everywhere you look, you see thick slabs of beautiful tile, travertine and onyx.  An infinity edge fountain in the lobby was surrounded by onyx that was backlit at night.  Everything was immaculately cleaned, even the ashtrays were cleaned of waste and stamped with intricate designs! 

The pool is a large irregular shape, with several different heights and areas that spill into each other, with the final ring being an infinity edge that spills in a reserve area right on the beach.  I got a nice little sunburn sitting in the pool staring at the beach the first day!  The pool details include raised beds that are built into the pool, bridges that span across several sections and a volleyball net.  I even did a very relaxing yoga session under a covered area raised in the center of the pool.  The sound of the crashing waves made the experience all the more soothing.

We visited during the off-season, so some of the aspects of the visit may be affected by this.  One was the food andNHPool availability of the restaurants.  Each night, only two of the five restaurants were open.  One required a reservation while the other was walk-in. “Senses” was described as ‘romantic dining,’ serving mostly steak and chicken.  They offered an ‘upgrade meal’ of lobster and steak for an additional $30.  As it was supposed to be all-inclusive, I found this confusing.  We ordered off the regular menu.  “Asian” was delicious.  The food was even pretty!  But I warn, do not sit outside! We asked to sit in the open-air pergola and after being eaten by mosquitoes, we asked to move inside.  “El Mortero” is Mexican; there is an appetizer buffet and a menu to order from.  Another couple we met didn’t like it and cautioned us from going, but we did and it was delicious.  The Friday night we were there, they set out a buffet around the pool and had a show.  The food was great, and the entertainment (although later moved indoors because of a small rain shower) was amazing.  Of course, we might have enjoyed it so much because of our waiter, Julio, who kept our drinks coming!  Every day at lunch, we ate at “Olas,” an open-air restaurant right off the pool, which offered a wonderful assortment of food.  We usually ate from the buffet, with choices of fish, potatoes, huge salads and fresh fruit.  You could also order burgers, fries and such from a menu.  Breakfast every day was a “Festival Buffet,” with everything imaginable!  Brad ate whole kiwi every morning, while I had peaches, watermelon and even dragon fruit. 

Paradise Club

We chose to upgrade to the “Paradise Club” portion of our resort.  It is the adults-only side, with a private pool, swim-up bar, private dining – Pure, and a private lounge.  We ate at Pure one night.  It was a 7-course meal.  The food was good and beautifully prepared, but sitting for two hours was not comfortable for my husband.  I’ll go ahead and say it, he didn’t like it.  But it was an experience.  Upgrading cost us about four hundred dollars more.  I don’t know that I saw the value in it that I had hoped.  Personally, as someone without children, I can do without them.  If it had been a busier season and I had needed the adult side to escape the screaming, I might have found it worth the cost.  Also, I believe our rooms were slightly different.

ATV/Cenotes Tour

ATV CenotesOn Sunday, our last full day, we took an ATV tour.  Although we weren’t really sure what to expect, another couple we met said they had done something similar and that it was fun.  A bus took us about 30 minutes away, where we hopped on ATVs.  (We chose to ride together, mostly so I could take pictures! The other couple rode separately.)  We drove for another 20 minutes through the jungle, finally arriving at a small camp.  They took us out to an opening in the trees where there was a hole in the ground.  “Jump in if you like” our guide said. Ha! It was nothing but blackness!  He took us to another hole where a platform led us down into a huge opening – an underground cave filled with the bluest water.  They said it was about 125 meters deep.  The water was the coldest I have ever been in and was crystal clear. 

We went to two more cenotes after that. One was open and filled with tiny fish.  The other was much smaller and FILLED with bats.  Needless to say, we did not get in that water. 

This tour was arranged through our resort and cost $130 ($65 per person when you share an ATV or $80 per person if you ride separately).  Our guide told us that it would have only cost $40 per person if we had taken the bus (2 pesos) to Puerto Morelos and booked directly with them. 

Take away

It was an amazing experience.  I would go back in a heartbeat.  The people were friendly, the service was great, the beach was beautiful, the weather cooperated!  I miss it already. And we never would have found this place had it not been for Judy!  She was very helpful and made great recommendations.

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