Lavish, All-Inclusive Suites on the Beach
A fresh breeze sails inland, ruffling sunbathers’ hair as they lounge on the beach. Steps away, the sunshine-yellow stucco of the Hotel Marina El Cid Spa & Beach Resort rises up to greet visitors, with palm trees standing like pillars of a tropical kingdom. Once inside the sophisticated lobby, travelers check into three days of all-inclusive extravagance, leaving their worries to vanish under the cerulean sky above Riviera Maya.
In an airy junior suite platinum, coral- and cream-colored tiles lead to a spacious balcony that overlooks an oceanfront or ocean-view scene. A welcome fruit and wine basket accents the citrus-hued, tropical-weight linens atop each king-size bed, and petit fours and hors d'oeuvres are served in-room every night. Platinum-level service is rounded out by complimentary 24-hour room service and butler service, and a mini bar re-creates nightlife with complimentary beer, soda, and fun-size napkins.
Water centers the experience at the resort—the 2,200-square-foot pool steals attention from the shimmering sea, its waters traversable by boogie boards and paddle boats and awash with water slides, rock jumping, and separate kids' areas. Platinum-level vacationers can bask in blissful privacy with palapa-hut reservations by the beach. On the included catamaran and snorkeling tour, two adults will depart on a 5.5-hour sail to snorkel at Puerto Morelos National Reef Park; enjoy lunch with the captain, tour guide, and mate; and sip drinks at the domestic open bar.
Sunset views and luxurious yachts sit on display at La Marina, one of four on-site restaurants. El Alcazar serves Asian-Mediterranean fusion fare in an intimate setting.
Puerto Morelos: Natural Splendor with Ancient Culture
Hotel Marina El Cid settles itself amid the small fishing village of Puerto Morelos, which overlooks the Puerto Morelos National Reef Park and rests between Cancun's Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. Stalactites and stalagmites jut from surfaces of Aktun Chen, an underground cave where adventurers can snorkel through an ancient natural well. The ancient Mayan culture comes into full view at the Tulum ruins, where crowds flock to see an impeccably well-preserved walled city overlooking the turquoise Caribbean. Gentle, trained horses are available for small-group rides through the Mexican jungle, and huge wildlife and conservation parks nearby allow explorers to check out their reflection in underground rivers and bat eyelashes seductively at attractive native butterflies.