North of mainland Cancún, this adults-only resort has redefined the all-inclusive concept. Gone are the days of wristbands and cheap alcohol, and in their place are two-story suites, each with a private terrace and hydro pool. Upon arrival, guests are greeted curbside with champagne and refreshing towels, fragranced with a hint of lavender. In the lobby, onyx pillars jet from two-toned marble floors, overshadowed only by a massive stained-glass ceiling illuminated from
above. Every room has a terrace and hot tub. Included in the nine international restaurants are a sushi bar, lobster house, and New York–style deli. Reminiscent of a Greek temple, the wellness spa features private relaxation rooms, heated waterbeds, and a 12-step hydrotherapy circuit. Dotting the seven swimming pools are hammocks and palapas, and a man-made river winds throughout the entire property. For those seeking a break from the sun, there are classes available in cooking, Spanish language, dancing, archery, and air-rifle shooting. Attached to the hotel grounds are an 18-hole golf course and a junglelike habitat housing local wildlife. As if that weren't enough, the hotel offers sunset excursions on its private yacht. Although Hotel Excellence bills itself as being in Playa Mujeres, it's actually in the town of Punta Sam. It's a 15-minute drive from Cancún's El Centro proper, and 30 minutes from the heart of the Zona Hotelera.