Our Arrival: We arrived somewhat early to the resort, around noon, and checked in. We were told at the time that the room was not ready and to go eat and to come back and check on the room status. So we did. We went to the Casa Bella buffet and were pleasantly surprised by the selection. Burgers outside and a wide selection of fruits, vegetables, and warm items inside. I had my first Presidente (domincan lager) of the trip and was very happy about that. After about 30 minutes or so we went to see if anything had changed. No, but told us it should be soon. Well, we ended up waiting in the lobby/bar area where servers keep you well lubricated so it was hard to get too upset about anything. Juan Jose kept bugging us trying to get us to sign up for their preferred program which sounded like some timeshare spiel but we hadn’t even seen our room yet so had no idea if we were even going to like the place. Well, after check in about every 30 minutes our room was ready at 3. When they gave us the map and other literature we noticed that the check-in time listed as 3. At that point we just though, ----, if they would have just told us that we could just put on suits and went to the beach and came back. Instead they kept telling us it was being processed and should be ready any minute. Anyway, not a big deal and in hindsight should have just asked when check-in was when we first got there.
Room: Our room was one of the Honeymoon Suites in the top floor of the Castle. Beautiful. It was what we expected and was large and nicely furnished. The patio was great with the great views and private pool. We were exhausted from the 12 hours or so of travel to get there so we just decided to change, hang out on our patio, and order room service. And it was our honeymoon after all. Well, to be honest, the room service food kind of sucked. We got the pork, pizza, soup, club sandwich, and a couple beverages (hey, it’s all included so why not go for a spread?). The club was the best thing, pork was over cooked and bland, pizza was bland, soup way over-salted. Luckily this food didn’t reflect what we were later to receive in the restaurants. The mini-fridge when got there was warm, and I was convinced it just didn’t work so I went to get a ton of ice for the bar. Turns out you need to keep a key in the slot next to the door to keep part of the room power on. It apparently was off before we got there. Also, the headboard on the beds moves a little. Didn’t bother us but might have bothered our neighbors.
Restaurants: Over the course of our week we ate at all the restaurants. The Steak House was probably our favorite place for dinner. The Blue Marlin is good for lunch and we also had our private romantic dinner there, which was great. I must have established a reputation by then because the server was bringing me 2 beers at a time. And speaking of, service and staff was spot on everywhere. Working as Secrets must be a good gig, everyone seemed genuinely happy to be there. But when you leave and go to the airport, everyone there seems pissed off and rude. Ok, back on track here. For the Wok restaurant, we needed reservations only to eat at the teppanyaki table, so we made them. When we got there we were two of four in the entire restaurant. Sushi app was good and the chicken, steak, and shrimp were good too. After reading reviews about the Saki we didn’t opt for it. The Italian was ok, but they really don’t do Italian that well. The Steak place was about the only one that was busy when we ate there.
- A couple things: The house wine is a little rough and the cheapest bottles are around $30. Not everyone tipped but we made a point to when we could. Brought a ton of 1’s & 5’s down with us but they go fast. Getting change for 20’s at the main desk was easy during day hours when a manger was there to get into the cash.
Pools & Beach: There are several pools, and most are empty except for the main pool which is where the bar is and all the activities take place. We figured there are pool people and beach people. We’re beach people (and the minority it seems) and spent about 90% of our outside time there. The beach isn’t that small and practically empty most the time so we loved spending our time there. There are leaping fish to watch and a large swim area to play in and cool down. Again, fantastic service so we never went thirsty. Yes, there is the large public empty beach next door. That was good for morning walks but couldn’t imagine really hanging out there.
General: The grounds, buildings, interior details and decorations, are all beautiful. The hotel is good in size but not huge like many of mega all-inclusives in Punta Cana. I stayed at Bahia Principe a couple years ago and this seemed tiny in comparison. The resort almost felt empty but was fairly fully booked. There were 5 stores when we were these but looks like a few more might be under construction. A designer shop with mainly Dior purses and shoes. A general clothing shop with flip-flops, sunglasses, shorts, etc. A convenience store of sorts with sunscreen, t-shirts, snacks, booze, etc. A Guess store, and souvenir shop that appears to be rented out by vendors. If you’re not a fan of haggling, stay out of that one. Spa: We did a couples facial and massage. It was weird for me because I don’t do that but it was nice and the facilities seemed to be top notch. Casino was closed, a little bummed about that one but they did provide a shuttle to another nearby casino. Entertainment: Not sure, we never made it to any of it. Also, this resort was mainly all couples and a very few groups.
Overall this was a great trip and was exactly what we were looking for. Laying on the beach, drinking, eating good food, relaxing, and no screaming kids. If that’s what you’re looking for, can’t go wrong with Secrets.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.