This was our 10th visit to an all-inclusive resort, our 2nd time to the Dominican Republic. We were celebrating my husbands 60th birthday. We had an awesome 9 days at Secrets even with a close call from Tropical Storm Chantal. The resort was gorgeous and immaculately clean.
When you arrive at the airport and a porter wants to take your bags from the carousel in luggage pick-up, by all means do it. He took our bags, by-passed customs and brought us out to the correct transfer van. It’s a big sea of vans/busses/cars in the transfer area and we would not have known which one was a VIP transfer. He was definitely worth the tip money. If you are like us, we can’t wait to arrive at the check-in desk. Oh, upon arrival if you don’t care for the glass of champagne (like us) don’t be afraid to request a cold Presidente beer or any other drink! Mmnnnn that beer sure tasted good after traveling all morning.
A big shout out to a fantastic entertainment staff including: Akon, New York, Usher, Mikey Wey, Cheveron and Fidel. Also our butler Jacky and Henry who restocked our mini-fridge daily and replenished our bottle of Brugal as needed. Ramon at Seaside Grill who was our fantastic waiter both times we ate there. Enrique and Flabia our Preferred bar/beach waiters were very attentive and fast in keeping us well hydrated. Kenia, our housekeeper, who made up our room daily, was great too.
My husband was in heaven with rum punches from the Sandbar and the Marlin bars. I enjoyed all the flavored Absolute Vodka’s they had to offer, especially the Ruby Red. The selection of liquor was more than adequate for our drinking pleasure.
The beach was gorgeous. Powdery white sand with lots of palapas and palm trees for shade. We enjoyed the crystal clear aqua colored water on our daily Hobie Cat sailing. We never had a problem finding a palapa anytime in the morning. We do wish they had drink tables under the palapas.
The only time we spent at the pool was to attend water aerobics with Akon everyday. If you are at the resort on Thursdays you HAVE to join the foam pool party in the afternoon. It was hilarious! We also enjoyed the lazy river each afternoon which was quiet and never really crowded. Wish the lazy river was a little wider though.
The nightly entertainment on the plaza was OK. Not the best we have experienced but certainly not the worst. Good variety with the bands and nightly shows. The entertainment staff did a good job talking with people and getting people up to dance. We did make it to the Manager’s Reception Party (by sheer luck in timing). It was definitely worth it. Yummy appetizers and a fantastic show. I believe it was called Showtender with the unbelievable main bartender. Don’t miss it!
Be prepared to use the complimentary hand sanitizer at all the restaurants. It’s to help prevent the norovirus. However, we both had to use the Cipro a few times during our stay . We liked all the restaurants on the Secrets side, especially the lobster/shrimp on Monday night at the buffet. The grill master was happy to warm up our lobster tails for us too. We did go over to the NOW side two times and ate at the Spice & Mecure Restaurants. Definitely not up to par with the Secrets side.
We did check out the casino and played the 5 cent slot machine. We moved to a 2nd 5 cent machine and it was not working correctly. We brought it to the attendants attention and she refused to reset it or refund our money, so we left.
The Seapro Sports Center on the beach was fantastic! We made sailing reservations daily. Contrary to what we had read there is no $10 insurance fee required for water sports (we were asked once by a Seapro worker if we bought the “insurance” and we said “no” and he said “OK”). We also went on the Banana Boat ride which was on my “bucket list” for a long time! It was great! Also, we received a free 5 minute massage on the beach which prompted us to book a “Couples Swedish Massage” at the Spa hut on the NOW side. It was fantastic and priced reasonably. I highly recommend one!
Our room was very comfortable except the lighting was horrible. I expected it to be bad from other reviews but it was REALLY bad. If you like to read in bed I highly suggest you bring a reading light and if you can ladies, bring a light-up makeup mirror.
When we booked our trip we were given $200 in free coupons. Upon arrival we found out that in order to get these coupons we had to talk with an Amstar representative. All we wanted to do was get to our room and begin our vacation. Instead we were scammed into listening to him trying to get us to go to a presentation about Amstar Resorts. Needless to say, we did not get our coupons because we never went back to see him the next day.
The best part of the whole trip was that we were upgraded to the “preferred” building for the 1st time. OMG! It was great. Perks included lobster tails for lunch everyday at the Seaside Grill, our own section of the beach, our preferred pool & bar and our own butler. Our building had free I Pads to use in our preferred little reception area with top shelf liquor and appetizers. We had our own concierge and a selection of pillows for the bed (you have to request the pillows from the concierge). We felt so pampered and special. Make sure you get the “romantic Jacuzzi night” from your butler! Very special !!!
If you have any other questions or comments about our amazing trip, please ask. I would be happy to write back to you.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.