This resort had been on my list for 3 years. We were planning on getting married here, but had to cancel because of the transition from Secrets to a non-all inclusive property. I was pleased to see however that this property was now offering both an all inclusive and non inclusive option. We tend to do 10 day trips and normally this hotel would have cost us 7500 for that many days. I managed to get a group on deal for the trip which cost us 4100 including round trip airfare. Had to jump on this deal, I had never seen the price so low.
Airport - Punta Cana International:
Check in was a breeze. It’s an outdoor airport setting so it can be a little hot whilst you wait in line, but they have large ceiling fans that do a good job in cooling the arrival area. Once you pick up your baggage, walk straight outside. People will try to stop you along the way to ask what Company you are looking for. If you have private transport like we did, the driver will have your name on a card as you walk out so they should be easy to find.
Hotel Check In:
Check in appeared to be a breeze at first but a couple of things are worth mentioning:
Hector at the front desk must have been in a bad mood that day, he was not the most warm and friendly person. Not a big deal, but definitely noticeable.
We arrived at the hotel for check in around 1:00 but our room was not ready until 3:00, no big deal, we went to have lunch, scoped out the hotel and beach, got some drinks and waited patiently. By 3:00 p.m. we checked in with the front desk, room still not ready, checked back at 3:30 and still nothing, by 4:00 after 3 hours of sweating in our travel attire, we checked in again, still nothing. Long story short, room was not ready until 4:45 which was then proceeded by another 1 hour wait to get our luggage. Apparently there was some miscommunication – we were told the bags would be sent to our room, when instead we needed to give the bell boy a ticket in order to get our bags. My husband and I are not the type of people to get upset easily, but by this time we were really upset. I proceeded to get my own luggage which was met with resistance because I was told the bell boy would get in trouble for letting a guest carry their own luggage. Fine – I let them handle it, but was beyond annoyed by then.
A little tip for travelers, if there is a chance your room will not be ready, go prepared, dress comfortably, and get changed when you get to the hotel before they whisk away your luggage.
We had a beach front junior suite. Its set a bit back from the actual beach but when you walk out of your patio, the sand is right there. We found this room very convenient because we could go to the bathroom, or for room service at any time during the day. The beachfront villas are right on the beach or water and they have gorgeous views. I did not get to see the inside of one, but unless you plan on spending your day on your personal deck, vs. the beach, then it might not be worth the extra money.
Room was good otherwise, spacious, clean, cool, and no musty smell at all. Bed was comfortable and housekeeping did a really good job. We left them a dollar or two every day so I am sure that helped. The fridge did not seem that cold and there was no beer in the fridge originally so we had to call to get some.
We had no issues at all with theft, and actually whilst we were there we found out that this other couple who were guests at the hotel stole an Iphone 5 from another guest. The beach waiters observed everything that happened and worked with Security later that night to catch the thief red handed. The guy who stole the Iphone had it in his safe locked away. I was so happy to see how they handled everything and the care and concern they had over ensuring the perception was not that the staff stole it.
Food was good to great. The only complaints were the limited variety available at the pool bar or beach. My husband and I resorted to ordering off the room service lunch menu and bringing our food out to the beach. Pool menu consisted on Grouper burger, regular burger, fries, club sandwich etc. No nachos, guacamole or chips and salsa. Room service is very good and some of these additional options are on there. A word about the nachos – a little inconsistent. Sometimes it came with real cheese and sometimes it came with squeeze cheese, but overall they were good.
The restaurants were all very good. There was a steak house which my husband loved, and the Italian place which was pretty good too. Only a select few restaurants are open each night so check the schedules to make sure you know what is open when. There are no reservations or wrist bands either so it feels very much like an all inclusive resort.
Breakfast was good. There is a fruit and cheese station, omlette station and smoothie bar. Otherwise, there were buffet hot plates with eggs, sausage, pancakes etc. The breakfast options were the same every day.
Drinks were so so. The guys at the pool bar will do whatever you like so if you want more alcohol, just ask for it. Bloody mary’s are good, but salty and spicy. Good in small doses.
Be prepared, you need to give your room number for everything you get and will have to sign a bill at the end of the night. We heard rumors that if you tip with cash, you will still end up with tips magically written into the bill. This did not happen to us. There were no surprises at check out. I would get into the habit of checking your bill the night before you leave just to make sure that there are no surprises.
Overall I am not sure how they manage the whole all inc/non inc thing. There is no way to really prove who is all inc and who is not unless they constantly check room numbers which I never saw them do. We also had one situation where a couple did not pay their bill and the waiter asked us to sign for it since we were all inc. I think they get into a lot of trouble for this so we helped him out.
Immaculate, and beautiful. I have never seen so many different varieties of trees and flowers in one location. No bugs and no wildlife except for a few crabs at the waterfall pond. The hotel really does a good job of maintaining the property as well. The pool was beautiful and the buildings are truly beautifully designed.
Vendors were limited, they were there most days, selling paintings and jewelry, but nothing overly impressive. There are stores at the hotel, but besides the cigar shop that had some items you could buy and bring home, there was one other small store. There are definitely a couple of more high end stores, but they were never open when we walked by. Not sure why.
Limited entertainment. There was aerobics in the morning. Music was blasted out over a loud speaker at the pool which was a bit too loud for our comfort. The music is loud club music, which is totally what I listen to, but it was the same songs EVERY DAY!! Omg I thought I was going to shoot myself. Participation was limited as well. There were a few games in the pool, but overall nothing on the beach.
Just ok. It’s a short beach and quite rocky. There are rocks in the water too, both my husband and I fell during our trip and my husband really cut his foot on some coral. Be careful walking in. Once you are in though, you will be fine. The water is truly a gorgeous blue (the photos are not enhanced in any way). There are only about 5-6 beach beds on the beach so if you are determined to get one, make sure you get up early. My husband and I went out every morning at about 6:00 a.m. to reserve one. Some people hate this, but there are only a few coconut trees on the beach and shade is limited. There was an older couple that we gave our bed to because he was suffering in the sun.
There are two longer beaches on either side of the resort. If you are looking out to the ocean, the beach to the right of the resort (trunk bay) is beautiful, white sands, and a nice (but short) walk. The water is clear, but there are quite a few rays (not sure if they are sting rays or manta rays) hanging out off the shore to the end of the beach. The few days we were there we saw at least 20 of them.
The second beach to the left of the resort (if you are looking out at the ocean) is Playa Juanillo. It is long, and beautiful – perfect for walking. On a morning if you get out there early, the water is totally calm, like a piece of glass. During the day, the winds pick up a little, but by no means is it choppy or windy to the point of discomfort. There is a public bar on that beach that will have events once in a while with live music. It’s great, but the drinks are not included so you will have to decide what works for you.
Guests overall are a good mix of older and younger couples. Everyone was well behaved, no loud drunken groups to speak of. It’s really a hotel catered to couples.
No surprises at checkout. As mentioned above, check out the night before so that you can deal with any issues then. We had also heard rumors that you would be charged for the food as if you were not under the all inclusive plan. This was not the case at all.
In closing, this is really one of the prettiest hotels I have ever been to, and the Dominican Republic definitely has some of the bluest waters I have ever seen. I am not quite sure if I would return to this hotel, primarily because of the beach. We are such big beach people and it left something to be desired for us. I was thankful in the end we chose Secrets Maroma for our wedding. I would not discourage anyone from visiting this resort however. Just don’t pay full price, you may be disappointed.
Next for us is the new Secrets Puerto Los Cabos opening in Dec. We have our trip planned for April so I will follow up on a review shortly thereafter!
Choose a beach front junior suite. They are nicely located without having to pay the price for a vil...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.