A pina-colada or a margarita? Those were the two drinks I couldn’t decide on while I was staying at the Ventus at Marina El Cid Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. If you want to know what drink I finally decided to get, then you will have to wait until the end of this post to find out the answer.
All inclusive resorts are in my opinion, the best option to go with when you are staying somewhere like Riviera Maya. Everything is right there 24/7 waiting for you, everything is included and everything is great. This post will tell you about my experience while staying at this amazing all-inclusive resort and why I would go back there again and again.
Before I start I will give you some background information on this resort. The Ventus resort is composed of five buildings that is connected to the original Marina El Cid Resort. With its new white buildings and big pools you can see the difference between the Ventus side and Marina side. The Ventus opened in November of 2017. All guests staying at the Marina or Ventus have access to both resorts. In my opinion I would rather stay in the Ventus then in the Marina because it is more quiet. I will explain why when I talk about the pool.
The lobby at the resort can take your breath away, and it will. Once you pass the security post you will notice the modern welcoming of the stairs leading up to the doors of the resort. Employees are standing there to welcome you and assist you with your bags. When you walk into the hotel for the first time you go straight to the front desk to check in and get your key card and of course your welcome drink. After you got your drink someone from the concierge will take you to a private area to and show you a map in order to familiarize you with the resort grounds. They will also explain your dining options and make your dinner reservations. Once you are done you can begin to explore the resort and start your vacation. The lobby is amazing, once your done checking in you take a look at the white couches and wooden paneling and white lit ceilings with a peace of art looking like its floating in mid-air. Once you take a seat in the lobby you will see a wide range of different coffee table books on topics like photography, travel and architecture books. The lobby of the Ventus is also home to a business center, a bar that in the evening has a live band playing music and after eleven PM doubles as a nightclub. There is also the French restaurant and morning buffet, a luxury jewelry store, and the gift shop. This might sound weird to some but I love going to use the restrooms in the lobby, they are so clean and nice with private stalls with dim lighting. You don’t feel like you are in a public restroom but rather in an exclusive suite.
My guest room was in one of buildings that were right next to the lobby so that was great. Some of the buildings on the Ventus side of the resort have guest rooms on the first floor with swim up pools so all those rooms have their own private pool. I did not book one of those rooms for my stay, instead I booked a Junior King Suite which comes with a Murphy bed in the room as well. Once you walk into the room you immediately notice the fresh linen smell of the bed sheets and the bright light filling the room from the floor to ceilings windows that lead out to your own private balcony which faces the pool and ocean. The beds in the room were very comfortable and it should be noted that the resort provided you with plenty of extra pillows and blankets. The decor of the guest room is amazing with white walls and green art pieces and matching brown leaf ceiling fans. The two sinks and huge mirror made it perfect for a couple to get ready for dinner with out getting in each other’s way. The bathroom is its own room with a walk in shower and toilet you will feel like a king. There was plenty of closet and shelf space far everyone’s clothing and luggage. There was an electronic room safe for your valuables and a mini fridge stocked with soda, water and beer. Unlike a regular hotel where you are charged for any item taken from the mini fridge, here it was all included and the staff came by each day to see if you needed the fridge to be restocked. Want to relax before you hit the pool, then enjoy the flat screen smart tv while ordering from the 24 hour room service menu. Trust me I did it every night, and the food was delicious. This room was amazing, I did not get a chance to view the other room types but if my room was any indication, I am sure that they were spactacular.
Disclaimer: My opinions on the food is based solely on appearance and presentation. This resort has five different dining options:
There is a French restaurant called Íle De France which is located in the main lobby. It is open for breakfast where they serve a breakfast buffet and for dinner. This is the only restaurant where the dress code for dinner is more formal. I have seen them turn people away even though they had reservations because they were not dressed properly. The breakfast buffet had everything one would want with everything from hot and cold cereal, fresh fruits and yogurts, fresh breads and pastries, a made to order omelets station and other hot food items that varied from day to day. My favorite area was the fresh juice station where they had all sorts of fresh squeezed juice like orange, cantaloupe, watermelon and papaya. The dinner menu had an ample selection to choose from and the presentation was beautiful. This restaurant was the newest one on the resort and appeared to be a favorite among many of the guests.
Mercado de Dolores is the name of the buffet at the Ventus Resort. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is perfect when you just want a quick bite or don’t want to tie yourself down to a specific time to eat. All of the other restaurants on the resort require reservations for dinner so this is the perfect spot if you are not sure what kind of food you are in the mood for. There are enough options that everyone in the family will find something they will enjoy. They have the following stations for you to choose:
*Italian Station with choices of pizza and varying pasta dishes like ravioli, lasagna and fettuccini. *Seafood Station. *Mexican Station with all the items to make your own tacos as well as a grill area for steaks, chicken and burgers. There were varying other Mexican favorites like enchiladas and empanadas. *Asian Station with favorites like General Tsao’s Chiken, eggrolls, Mongolian Beef etc. *Salad Station with made fresh made to order salads. *Crepe Station with made to order savory or sweet crepes. *Aromas Cafeteria, this was the place to go for the best coffee and deserts from all sorts of pastries to fruit cups and ice cream.
The other dining choices were in the Marina portion of the resort and the included:
La Trattoria di Gulio which is the Italian restaurant. The décor is nice the menu on the smallish side but everyone agreed that the food was excellent.
La Marina is obviously the seafood restaurant. Now I do not eat seafood but from what I heard from other guests is that while the seafood that was offered on the menu was tasty and elegantly displayed, the menu options were very limited and did not offer the variety that many were expecting. The location of the restaurant was just outside of the main resort as one would expect by the name it was located in the actual marina. The décor was very nice giving one the effect that you were in a open hut on a resort island.
Hacienda Arrecife appeared to be a Mexican themed buffet with similar offerings as the Mercado de Dolores but in an older looking building that was not as bright and as open as the the buffet in the Ventus side.
The La Alhambra buffet is located in the main lobby of the Marina El Cid Resort and is now only open for breakfast and a Saturday night Mexican buffet. I did not get to see the Mexican buffet but I did go to see the breakfast buffet. If you are a breakfast fan then this is the place you want to go. This was a much larger breakfast buffet than what was offered at the French and Italian restaurant. The stations were larger which meant the choices offered were lager as well but the part that I liked best was the smoothie station that was only located at this breakfast buffet.
The final restaurant at this resort was the El Alcazar which is also located in the Marina El Cid lobby. This restaurant describes itself as Asian-Mediterranean. I did not see either Asian nor Mediterranean dishes on the menu. It was a small menu with standard dishes like steak and chicken which did not appear to be anything special. Most of the guests that I surveyed agreed that this was their least favorite of all the restaurants on the resort.
As stated earlier all the restaurants except for the Mercado de Dolores buffet require a reservation for dinner and except for the French restraint the dress code is casual. Reservation can be made up to three days in advance with the concierge in the lobby of the resorts.
This resort offers many amenities. There is a kids and teens club so if you want to drop your little ones off for the day and not be worried about them. Your child will be supervised and entertained by the resort’s kids club staff who will be leading them through different activates all day. If a teen wants to spend some time with other teens away from their parents they too can enjoy their own club as well. There are two infinitey pools in this resort, each one paired with two large hot tubs. Both these areas are for listed as adults only and they are both facing the ocean. The infinity pool in the Marina side was heated and therefore much more crowded and it appeared that no one was enforcing the adults only rule as the area was full of children. The infinity pool on the Ventus side of the resort however was quieter and there were no children. The resort has two large and expansive pools for anyone to use, one is in the Ventus side and the other is in the Marina side the Ventus side agin is more quiet and newer. The pool in the Marina side is louder and geared more towards the entertainment of the children. There is a cliff area where you can jump off into the pool as well as a water slide. For the adults there is a swim up bar on the Marina Side of the resort.
All the pool areas have bars and plenty of room to find a seat to relax. There are waiters waking around and taking your drink orders so you don’t have to move from your seat. It should be noted that there is no food served by the pool areas, only drinks. My only issue is that the pools by the Ventus are not heated so depending on the weather they can be quite chilly. The one heated pool is the infinity pool on the Marina side of the resort and that appears to be the reason why is the most crowded pool and also full of children. If you don’t want to go swimming you can play life-size chess or get a drink at one of the bars scattered around the resort. If you’re a beach person then I recommend you check that out. If you like the salt water then the resort offers paddle boats and other activites for you to do in the ocean. the resort also has a spa that has many diffrent options. The spa options are not included with your stay and are offered for an additional fee. I didn’t see many people using the spa services but I think it would be nice to get a body rub on the beach during the sunset.
There is nightly entertainment and the shows that they put on are fantastic. One night they performed songs and dances from various Broadway shows and the cast was amazing, the dance routines were well choreographed and the singers had amazing voices. Another night they featured acrobats and there was even a fire show that wowed the audience. The only thing was that the indoor venue was being removated so all of the nightly shows were performed on outdoor states. If there was even a slight drizzle they would cancel the shows.
In any resort in a destination like Riviera Maya attention to detail is sign of a good resort. At the Ventus attention to detail is very important. Every morning when you wake up to go to breakfast you will see a person dedicated just to washing the floors outside making sure that it is spotless. You will see random people with paint cans doing touch ups on areas that are dirty. There is a person whose job is to make sure that the ashcans are free of cigarette butts and to ensure that resort logo is perfect in the sand of the ashcans (see photo below)l. Every morning before the guests are even awake there is a team of workers cleaning the seaweed off the beach. I watched the maids cleaning the rooms and they don’t do a cursory cleaning job, they really clean those rooms, washing the windows and climbing up to wipe dust off the ceiling fans and high moldings. This just shows that the resort cares about detail.
All of this is included in the price you paid when you booked this resort. that is why it is called all-inclusive, there is no extra charges at all the only thing you would have to pay extra for is the spa and that is optional. If you compare this resort to others in the area you will see many others that are larger and have more dining options, etc. I happen to love this resort exactly for the reason that it is not a huge resort. Because of its size it is not hard to get around and if you don’t want to walk to the other end of the resort then you can call for a golf cart to pick you up and take you to where you need to be. The staff is amazing, the amenities are great and the guest rooms are luxurious. If you’re looking for a place to go and your looking in Riviera Maya then look into this resort. I recommend it 100% Oh do you want to know the answer of what drinks I would pick? I would pick both! after all it is all inclusive.
Thanks for reading- The Hotel Fanatic
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