Excellence Playa Mujeres

Want to stay in a big beach resort but not feel like a number? You might want to look into staying in the luxury VIP section where you get more attention.

The “hotel within a hotel” concept is not new; it’s been happening for decades in destinations from Las Vegas to Miami to Buenos Aires. But does it make sense for you, the guest? Why would you choose to stay at one of these luxury hotels that’s part of something less luxurious, as opposed to just staying in a standalone luxury resort?

The argument for doing it is to get the best of both worlds. If you stay at Excellence Club in Playa Mujeres in Mexico, for example, you get access to the larger resort amenities, but you’re sequestered in a separate VIP section with additional service and amenities. This luxury resort in Cancun is adults-only and piles on the perks, plus the Excellence Club section has a higher staff-to-guest ratio than the regular section of the hotel.

When you book this hotel within a hotel, you get a long list of extra amenities that go with your suite that is truly “superior” instead of it just being a standard room that’s superior in name only. Your stay starts with a private check-in area that skips the lobby queue, early check-in if the room is ready, then fresh flowers and sparkling wine in your room to welcome you. There’s a private lounge with snacks and drinks all day, a separate swimming pool not available to regular guests, and upgraded Bvlgari toiletries in the bathroom.

suite at a hotel within a hotel

Then when you’re ready to leave the enclave, however, you’ve got a lot more restaurants and bars to choose from than you would with a luxury beach resort that only has the number of rooms that this VIP section has. At Finest Playa Mujeres for example, there are 12 all-inclusive restaurants to choose from and multiple places to grab a drink. Grab a snack from a food truck or dine by candlelight at their French restaurant.

JW Marriott Los Cabos adult swimming poolPlus the larger overall room count leads to a larger spa, a full fitness center, yoga classes, aerobics classes, tennis, paddleboards, kayaks, and on and on. You have a much wider variety of things to do–including 12 pools if you get tired of the VIP one.

We’ve reviewed several other resorts that have this hotel in a hotel concept. The most recent was the Griffin Club at JW Marriott Los Cabos. Follow that link for details and a video tour.

That’s also the case at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta, which has access to the Garza Blanca facilities, or at some of the Secrets and Now properties, where there’s a Preferred Club with VIP treatment, extra amenities, and a separate lounge.

You can also find resorts with this set-up in the Riviera Maya resort area stretching south from Cancun. Have you stayed in one of these enclaves that’s a hotel within a hotel? What did you think of the experience?