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“Nice New Resort...With "Growing Pains"” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa

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Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Boulevard Kukulcan Km 14.5 Mza.13 Retorno del Rey Lote 38 & 38B, Cancun 77500, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #4 of 179 Hotels in Cancun
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4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Nice New Resort...With "Growing Pains"”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Secrets The Vine Cancun is a fairly new resort as of the time of this review. The level of service is good, but not consistent from staff member to staff member. Pre-arranged pick-up at the airport was worth it. They were on-time and courteous and assisted us in meeting our private van. Nice greeting at the resort when we arrived, with cold towels, welcome drink, and a friendly personalized full tour of the resort.

Our check-in (on the preferred level) was a terrible experience. We had a printed confirmation for a suite with a King bed, but the resort was insisting that they do not guarantee bedding and wanted us to accept a room with two beds. It appeared that they held King beds for people who said it was their honeymoon or special anniversary. We had to speak with many managers and be very insistent before they agreed to provide a room with a king bed on a preferred level floor (as we had reserved). It was a bad way to start the vacation.

Food offerings were plentiful. Service in the Asian restaurant was particularly poor. They did not serve our courses at the same time and appetizers came after main courses. The menu at the Mediterranean restaurant was eclectic, but some guests seemed to like it. Music in many restaurants was too loud. Overall, the Italian restaurant was surprisingly good for a Mexican resort. Steakhouse was good as well. Liked the breakfast and lunch offerings. The coffee bar in the lobby is a great touch for light snacks. There are wine tastings at different times of the day (either free or modestly priced.) Business Center had good internet, but closed too early. Wi-fi throughout resort was generally OK, but did go down sometimes. You can make free outgoing calls from your cell phone once you master the link to the resort's wi-fi system.

Lots of activities during the day and every night. Shows were good and varied. "Casino night" around the pool was fun. The entertainment staff did a nice job.

Preferred level is worth the extra price, especially with the private rooftop pool-- less hectic than the beach level pools and a nice poolside restaurant and bar. The spa is big and modern, but misses the mark. The steam room and hydrotherapy pool were not working when we used the spa. They allowed too many guests to use cell phones in the common spa lounging areas. Also, we would have preferred separate steam rooms, saunas, and hot tubs for men and women since co-ed requires bathing suits and this is uncomfortable when using these spa services. Massage treatments were excellent and therapists were very professional.

They followed up a few times about taking a time-share tour, but we declined and there was no real hard-sell. That was handled very nicely.

The resort asked many questions and made us very uncomfortable about checking out a day early, which we did as a major hurricane approached our area back home; a good move because no flights got out to our home area on our scheduled departure day. They did not show concern about the widely-publicized storm in the U.S. We had to provide written reasons and sign a form for early departure.

The suite was spacious and modern, with nice amenities and toiletries. Shower is excellent. Housekeeping kept the room very clean (although we needed to ask for extra towels a few times). Excellent cable TV was offered (many channels and US stations) and the resort had many free movies to play in the room. A daily printed news summary was provided along with a schedule of daily resort activities. The lighting system in the suite is a bit confusing. Air conditioning did not work for a few hours each night in the room or some restaurants. They explained that there are still a few problems with the A/C system. Room service is no extra charge with all-inclusive, and breakfast (or any other meal) on the balcony is a very nice alternative. They replenished snacks and drinks and water as needed.

The hallways are a bit noisy because there is marble and no carpet to buffer the sound. So you may be disturbed by luggage carts, room service, or housekeeping carts from time to time. The departure waiting area in the lower level of the resort is a bit disorganized and no managers were there to help match guests to their taxis, vans, or cars. The resort credit that was offered has stipulations. Only allowed to use in certain dollar denominations for specific services. Can't use all at once and not honored for store purchases or for customized spa treatments.

Overall, once the "growing pains" are worked out, we think the resort will be a nice addition to the Secrets brand.

Room Tip: All views are excellent. We preferred side with sunset vs. sunrise-- it was more comfortable to hav...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
2 Thank randrplease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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280 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 165 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We arrived at Cancun Airport and went to get our Best Day shuttle. For $23.00 return per person it is good value and convenient. Some people take a taxi which can be far more expensive but the thing to do is NEGOTIATE!!!! If the taxi knows you can take Best Day or another shuttle service for $23.00 return you should be able to get a better price. Arrived at the hotel and were greeted by Raphael and our luggage was removed from the van and taken to a storage spot. I think we arrived around 1 PM so did not expect the room to be ready, bit it WAS!!!! We were whisked up to the 24th floor rather than the regular lobby check-in and found we had been upgraded to a junior suite. Our personal butler was introduced to us and told us a bit about the resort. Although a butler was available 24/7 we never took advantage of the service. The room really was large and spacious with a lovely balcony and a superb view of both the lagoon and the ocean. Of Course we heard some music from the adjacent Sandos Cancun hotel but it really never bothered us. And, because of the height of our room we could look down on the much smaller hotel and see their air conditioners on the roof. Some people mentioned that, but really, get a life!!!!! Looking past that tiny situation you could see for miles and the evening view was spectacular.

We met Zu, who many people have talked about and she was delightful. We complemented her on the staffing of the hotel as every staff member was a pleasure. We were there for 10 days from Nov 7-17th and there was not a bad moment for us.

We tried almost all the restaurants and found the food to be tasty and attractively presented. I read one comment about the size of the meals being inadequate. Well, those people just don't get it. For a normal person the food was good and the thing is, you want more........ order MORE!!!!!! There is no limit on how many meals you can have. Rather than serve huge portions which many people would not eat I think the idea is good to have smaller portions and order more if you want. You're on vacation and so slow down and enjoy and don't worry how long it takes to eat! You have someplace else to go??? I think we enjoyed Nebbiolo the best, with Sea Salt second for full evening meals. A shout out goes to one of the nicest guys in Nebbiolo, Jesus Fonseca, a truley lovely young man who was polite and made miracles happen for us at the table. Not enough shrimp with the seafood soup? Just ask Jesus and miraculously a huge plate of shrimp appeared cooked as we liked. Needed anything else?? Just ask Jesus. What a great young man. The hotel is lucky to have him. Luis at Sea Salt was also fabulous for our first few days and then we found out he left for another job. What a shame, he was an asset to the hotel.

Getting back to the bedroom, the bed was clean, comfortable and the sheets nicely done. We had maid service each and EVERY day, turn down service each and EVERY day and the maid, at least for my room did a wonderful job. We tipped 20 pesos morning and evening. These people work hard and deserve some recognition and that is the best way to reward them for hard work. If you don't think so, you go and do 10 or 15 rooms twice a day and see how you like it! Loved the huge shower with two shower heads and plenty of hot water. Sometimes it would be a little cool part way through the shower but we never ran out of enough hot water.

Oh, yes, The Market Cafe for brekkie was excellent. I loved their bacon, and scrammbled eggs. There was ample fresh fruit and there must have been 6 or 8 different kinds of fresh juices. Cheeses, and a good deal of Mexican type food which I really didn't get into much. I am sure I am missing a few things except they need to call me to learn how to make porridge!!!!!! It was too soupy.

Pools were great although they didn't seem heated until part way through our visit but the temperature was certainly fine midway through the trip.

The beach was good although there seemed to be a shortage of staff to get food and drinks but that sometimes takes time to balance out staffing and wasn't a big deal.

Swimming in the ocean?? We did it every day. I don't think there was anything but yellow or red flags up but people, just use your heads!! Don't do anything stupid. One thing I liked was that their swimming area was roped off which I didn't notice at any of the other nearby hotel beaches.

Their shrimp cocktail at Sea Salt was awesome and I had a couple every day and their hamburgers were HUGE and veery tasty. Wanted to try the hotdogs which looked like foot longs but just never got the chance.

Took the bus several times and found it excellent. Very inespensive to go shopping at La Isla and you could even walk if you felt you wanted to take the 20 minutes or so it would take. Shopping in the party district where Coco Bongo is was fun as well and bartering with the merchants in the flea market nearby was fun too. You have to bargain HARD and be prepared to walk away. I think I paid too much for a couple of items but the one that sood out in my mind was the leather goods stall. They had what purported to be original farmed alligator leather belts and the price they were asking was $140 USD. I told the guy that I only pay $40 CDN for my belts back home and so he stared to come down in price. $120, $95, $75, $60, and finally $40 at which point I walked away because that made me wonder what I was really getting and the buckle was flimsy.

Went to Isla Mujeres ( woman's island ) and was a bit disappointed with the sales pitches there. Could hardly walk a foot before they were on you to rent a golf cart or buy this or that. Spent less than two hours there. I would recommend the snorkelling tour which would have elminianted a lot of that problem so next time I think I will do that.

I didn't bother using the coupons we got. Not really worth it in my opinion as you could never get full value. For instance if you were buying a bottle of wine the couple was only worth $10 so on a $40 or $60 bottle of wine it was pointless. I just didn't buy wine.

Would I go back? I absolutely think so depending on the price. We got an excellent price for our ten days and in speaking with people who were there for 5 days who paid almost as much as we did made me feel badly for them. But, you have to look around and I always start with Expedia and find in general you get the best value from them.

I am sure I have missed some things but in general there really wasn't anything really negative I have to say except the noise from the halls. You know where the main problem is there??? The inconsiderate poeple yelling and talking loudly in the halls, knowing that their voices (oh wait, they are dummys, they didn't care ) would carry and slamming their doors instead of closing them gently as we did instead of letting them slam. So, don't blame the hotel too much for that although they could do a little more to keep the sound from the room, perhaps door sweeps at the bottom of the doors?

Anyway, a hotel to go to at least once more or maybe even more often because on balance it was a great vacation!

Room Tip: Xel Ha and Xcaret ro two tours you should take. Both around $120 per person, but maybe less if you t...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
8 Thank AdvisorOntario
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

* Don't forget to click helpful if this review helped your decisions in any way. Thank you for reading*

Since the first review was posted, I have followed and read nearly all of them. My 10 nights stay at the Vine was nothing short of spectacular minus a few miscues that I hope the organization decides to look into prior to my return.

There is an ample amount of information here so I will try to categorize every thing for purposes of easy reading.

Greeted with champagne. Escorted to floor 24 for check-in. Danae at the concierge desk was attentive, pleasant, and made sure everything was okay with our stay every time we bumped into each other. We booked a preferred ocean view room and were “upgraded” to a Preferred Junior Suite. All suites 21 and up are Junior suites or larger – no need for the resort to disguise as an upgrade. Our upgrade cost was minimal relative to the whole cost, but it guarantees a room that is 1/3 larger than the regular rooms on lower floors.

Aesthetically pleasing and contemporary décor. Use of simple and modern lines. If you are a fan of design, this is the place to soak up the sun while enjoying modern architecture and interior design. Nice furniture pieces throughout the resort.

Loved the wooden elements in the room. Chaise was comfortable for a nap. Floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors, when open, erases the boundary between room and oversized balcony. View (north) was breathtaking. Balcony screens are see-through installations so privacy between you and your neighbours is difficult to come by. Bed was very comfortable but pillows could have been firmer. Separate toilet and shower stalls were amazing. Loved to shower while looking through the glass at the ocean. Dual shower head (rain shower) a huge plus.

In order of restaurant preference:
1. Nebbiolo – Seafood soup, lobster salad, osso buco, lamb chops, fettuccine bolognese, Brioche bread dessert. Ask for Jesus Fonseca (waiter) to provide excellent and attention service. Friendly younger guy who works hard to make all patrons happy.
2. Sea Salt – Shrimp cocktail, flank steak, shrimp tacos, salmon steak.
3. Room Service – Cream of mushroom soup, Buffalo wings, flank steak, spaghetti scallops, three milk cake. However, eggs benedict were not so good.
4. Bluewater Grill – Potpie, Parmesan scallops, razor clam cream soup. Don’t bother with grilled artichokes (side dish) and olives cream soup. Steaks were typically thinner (and not aged) than at steakhouses, such as Ruths’ Chris.
5. Market Café – wide selection of breakfast items such as scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, fruit smoothies made to order, smoked salmon, large selection of pastries.
6. Sugar Reef – Sit in front of the ocean and eat a juicy Angus burger from this walk-up bar.
7. Red Dragon, Olio, and Half-time Bar, wouldn’t be missed if the resort replaced them with something else.

Premium liquor such as Grey Goose and Crown Royal on the preferred areas. Mini-bar in room had 3 types of liquor, but nothing to die for and is replenished every day.

Nightly entertainment was lacking. Evening dancing and singing shows were boring. Dueling Pianos night was a complete disaster – did not showcase the pianists but instead was overwhelmed by 2 singers, 1 drummer, and loud speakers, which took over the show. Food provided at this event was average. Afternoon poker games were a form of mild entertainment.

Daily pool entertainment showcased pool exercises, fairly loud music from time to time (mostly pop), chefs with appetizers at 1pm, and one synchronized swimming performance (in the span of 10 days).

4 pools + 1 hot tub. For the first week of my stay, the full-length pool and preferred level pool were not heated. Preferred pool area was fairly quiet but not exclusive. Infinity pool and ‘waterfall’ (for purposes of identification) pool are high-activity areas and usually crowded. Full-length pool was nice to swim in once the heater was on with more room to relax and navigate.

State of the art gym equipment overlooking the beach and ocean. It can become quite hot from the morning sun if you are on the treadmill or elliptical machines. Excellent service with cold towel presented to me after my treadmill run.

Maids - Not always on time, but they make a huge effort. If the room wasn’t made up by mid-afternoon, I simply made one call and they came in 10 minutes. Turn down service was on-time, between 5:30 to 8 pm.
Room Service – 30 to 45 minutes. Food always hot.
Pool Service – Fairly frequent.
Beach Service – Infrequent. Had to get my own drinks, which was totally fine. However, my compliments for the towel/chair/umbrella guys who worked hard to find us a place to sit and locate umbrellas at request.
Concierge – Always glad to be of help and service.
Overall Service – Excellent.

1. Loud Hallways. No matter if you are at the very end of the hall, you will hear the heavy wooden doors slam at night and people laughing, talking, and heels clanking. This is all due to very INCONSIDERATE guests. However, the resort should look into door dampeners so they close softly or soundboards on the hallway walls to absorb sound. It would make a huge difference. When the balcony door is left open, the air pressure will automatically pull the room door to a close. Please make this a more comfortable and enjoyable environment for everyone by holding onto the handle to close it softly!
2. Thin Walls. I could often hear the tv next door (if it is turned up to a decent volume), water pipes, and hammering (only during the hours between 9am to 4pm) as they finish floors 27 & 28.
3. Hot Water. It takes a bit of time during peak usage hours to get a hot steamy shower, especially on a higher floor.
4. Preferred lounge and pool. If I am paying for this upgrade, then it should be exclusive to preferred members.
5. Smoking. Pool sign says no smoking near pool areas, so why are inconsiderate guests smoking cigs and cigars? Hotel needs to enforce this.
6. Limited Pool Chairs. Nov 7 to Nov 12 the hotel was at 90% capacity. Pool chairs were limited after 9am. This lack of seating resulted in guests electing to reserve the chair (with a towel and personal belongings) for the whole day. The hotel needs to implement a system so chairs are not allowed to be reserved for more than 15 to 30 minutes. If a guest wants to have breakfast or lunch, then find another chair after the meal. Don’t deprive other guests the privilege of enjoying the pool area while selfishly reserving the chair with a magazine or bottle of sun tan lotion. After Nov. 12, the hotel was at 82% capacity, which freed up ‘some’ pool chairs.

On a personal note, I would not get married here. The beach is smaller and crowded so I felt bad for the couple who decided to have a wedding at the resort. Hundreds of eyes in swimming shorts and bikinis could watch the wedding as close as 20 feet away, which negates the entire purpose of a romantic and exclusive wedding.

I would consider staying here again if the resort resolves some of these issues/suggestions. This is a chic resort that can often get loud with various activities around the pool and beach areas. If you like human interaction and a hankering for modern design with great food, then by all means don’t let any of the negative reviews stop you. But if peace, quiet, and privacy are your ideas of a vacation, then you won’t enjoy this resort. At the end of the day, it’s what you decide to make of it. I did not let any of the negative occurrences effect the overall enjoyment of my trip. The pros certainly outweighed the cons at Secrets The Vine.

Overall Rating: A-

Room Tip: North-side quieter. The higher up the better (of course). Away from the elevators to limit hallway n...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
11 Thank aclj21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I am not sure what people expectations are but I have travelled all over the world for both business and pleasure and this is one of the best run facilities I have been to.

The are idosyncracies (like the non private balcony or the bewildering room lighting system ) but the service, attention to detail, and the staff which is always there to assist. is second to none.

If you don't get what you want then ask and trust me it will happen.

If your looking for a truly " Mexican experience " this isn't it, but for a holiday - especially if you like food - this cannot be beat.

Here is an example that just sums it all up.

We were sitting at the bar in Nebiolo prior to eating and getting to know the staff a bit ( great idea by the way - see tips below ).

The chef by the pizza oven was making a thin crisps out of cormmeal - photo.

He then basted it, then sprinkled on something and handed it to us as a " nibble " which was delicious.

I asked the manager Franscesco what it was and he stated that they basted it with olive oil infused with herbs and then sprinkled on Hawaiin pink salt.

When I inquired why they bothered since there was no mention of this on the menu his reply summed up the week.

" Because that is what is required to make it taste the best we can."

Nothing else needs to be said.

Now for the Thanks- and some tips

TIP - Take in the Mayan Cultural talk as it is very informatative without being boring and if possible meet Vivian who's background in Mayan Horoscopes can be quite interesting.

Animation team - Jose, you're leading a great team and thank you Sandy - all your stretching lasted about 2 days back home,

Pool Bar - Marcos, every time I see a Pacifico I think of you
Lobby Bar - Carlos, anybody who knows how to make a Negroni is a great man !

Arturo, when you recommended that Osso Bucco you made the evening
Chef Mary - Jo, I hope you finally got home and had a Happy Birthday. Lovely talking with you and when we couldn't make our mind up the sampler of the lamb was most appreciated.

Front Desk
Umberto, I don't know why but everytime I had a question you were always there.
Joanna, the explanations were concise, accurate and helpful

Food Demo
Carlos, my first reaction when I heard that ceviche was the cooking demo was to run.
Very glad I didn't.

Sea Salt
Jose Antonio, you talked us into trying the restaurant and very glad we did.
Oscar, thanks for your patience and the special dessert platter

TIP - ask Jose Antonio about what is available " off menu "

Blue Water
Ana I'm not sure who's idea was it to pick out the Spanish white Lagar de Cervera Albarino but what a winner. Thank you putting up with all the questions.

Erick ( thats him pouring the soup in the photo ) again for all the questions which you managed to find time to answer .

if there was one criticism is the phrase " crispy species " rather than crispy peices on the menu.


Franscesco - mgr
Jairo - bartender
Victor - waiter
Ana - sommelier
Pizza Chef - sorry but cannot read my writing - Jairo's fault

You made each of our visits more special than the one before and that is saying a lot.

TIP - ask Fransesco about a tasting menu - well worth the "effort".

Special Tip

Get to know the staff, If you can go a little early go and talk to them. Not just about the menu etc but about themselves.

It makes a difference and it's neat to learn that one of the front restaurant staff was finishing her degree in Hotel management while another was finishing a graphic art course and how they balance the two ( not easy ).

They see thousands of faces a week and its nice to recognize some of them as freinds.

Final Tip

The Executive Sous Chef led a tour of the kitchens as well as the " parade " of goodies at 1 pm every day by the pool- see photo.

That man loves his job and I have the photo to prove it - attached.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
6 Thank gtrmottawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I visited Secrets the Vine Oct 22-25 for our anniversary. We have stayed at many Amstar resorts , Royal PDC, both Excellence resorts in Cancun and many "five star" AI's in Jamica. This resort was beatiful, clean and pretty much what I expected from a Secrets property. I will not repeat what has been said over and over in past reviews. I would say the food was above average and service was average. The bars had excellent drinks and service.
There are few things I did not care for. The preferred lounge is very small and unappealing. Both Now resorts have much nicer lounges! The preferred pool area is nice ,but small. We were only there a couple of times later in the afternoon. We were never approached by a waiter, we always had to get our own drinks. Found this a little strange!
The entertainment and staff were non existent during our stay. A band at the pool one afternoon, karaoke one night and a band in piano bar was it! Definitely room for improvement.
I contacted the hotel re: our anniversary. We had a banner on the door and that was about it. We have had nice extras at other resorts.
We were upgraded to a junior suite upon arrival on the preferred floor which we booked. The room was very spacious. The lights are hard to control, but not a big deal. We never saw the butler again after the first day! He was never at the desk when we walked by. The timeshare pitch was the most aggresive I have experienced at an Amstar resort. When we were ready to check out we were sent down to the front desk, because the preferred check out was too busy. Not a big deal, but odd! We were also told at check in we were going to get a letter about the managers dinner because we were repeat customers...still waiting!
I don't mean for this to be negative, we had a great trip! The sports bar is fun, with a great bartender! The view from the pool is phenomenal! The waiters coming with appetizers to the pool was beyond cool! We also had no problem with loud music at the pool or noise in the hallways. The price I paid for this trip was well woth it! I'm not sure I would pay more, and I know the prices have already gone up. I probably would visit another property before returning to this one.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
4 Thank traveljenChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We stay at secrets the vine 7 days and was ok!! Except for the noise! The 27 floor is under construction, and they start early!! 8 am every moorning. So saad! Special thanks to blanca, (waitres) ismal ( bartender) and Luis (butler) for always smiling !!restarants serve great food, and they are so friendly!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
1 Thank soonys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

We were at Secrets the Vine for 10 days at the beginning of November. This was our fourth vacation in Mexico; we have been to Ceiba del Mar, Excellence Riviera, and Live Aqua. While Secrets is a beautiful hotel, there were too many negatives for us to consider returning. The hotel is nice, new, and clean. The room was nice enough, but not over-the-top nice. The food was excellent and beautifully presented. The servers in the restaurants and at the pool and beach work really hard and provide great service.

Every hotel gives you a cool towel and a drink on arrival. At Secrets they give you the towel as soon as you step out of the van, while you still have your carry-on bags, then you walk up the stairs and they hand you a drink. It is all very awkward, and would be more appreciated when sitting down.

We arrived early, and I did not expect our room to be ready. Our check-in was not in the preferred lounge, it was on a higher floor with about 8 other couples. We were told our room would be ready in 45 minutes, so we went down to get something to eat. Then we went to get our "Resort Coupons" in the preferred lounge, which by the way, is not labeled in the elevator. The coupons are useless, and just a way for them to try to get you to do the timeshare presentation. At this point we didn't remember what floor to go back to for check-in. The employees in the lounge checked and told us the room would be ready in another 45 minutes. We decided to go out to the pool, but first we had to go back to the entrance to get things from our luggage. There is no place to change on this level, so we had to walk back up the stairs to change, and then go to the pool carrying the clothes and shoes we had changed out of. We had left our home at 4:45am, and we were pretty frazzled by this point. We huddled under an umbrella by the pool [suntan lotion was in the luggage] had a drink, and started to relax. I have to say it was the worst, most confusing check-in we have ever experienced.

Many people question if it is worth it to upgrade to preferred. It is only worth it if you want a better room. We did not enjoy the preferred pool or "lounge". The preferred pool was not heated and was quite cool. There are no stairs for entry, you have to jump in or use a ladder to get in and out. I thought this was strange, and it was difficult for some people. This pool is on a rooftop and you can see the beach and ocean, but you are totally removed from it. The first day we went to the preferred pool and there were chairs available, but when I asked for an umbrella, I was told there weren't any left. I have paid a premium for a preferred room and you can't find an umbrella for me? The next day I was there early and I was very happy to get 2 chairs and an umbrella. Turns out the chairs are so close together, our umbrella provided shade to our neighbors, but not to us! The chairs are packed so tightly into a small area that you cannot move them around. Others have raved about the lunch grill at the preferred pool. I asked the chef for fish, and he told me to come back in 20 minutes. I wasn't sure why, but I left and came back in 20 minutes. This time he told me to come back in 15 minutes......it was starting to feel like a Seinfeld episode.......Someone else came along and asked for fish, and he took it out and cooked it.

We only went back to the preferred pool later in the week when it was too windy at the beach. At this point the regular pools were heated, but the preferred was not, so it was not crowded.

The preferred "lounge" is a room with a small buffet, a bar, and some tables and chairs. It looks more like a business center than a lounge. The food always looked like it had been there for a long time. The wine that was available was the same brand that was everywhere else in the hotel. I don't know what time it closed, but it was always closed when we returned to our room around 10pm. I seriously don't understand the point of having it, or know when or why anyone would use it. Do people sit inside so they can drink premium alcohol? There is plenty of food and drinks everywhere! The coffee bar in the lobby is fabulous, I would rather go there for coffee.

I don't know what the occupancy rate was when we were there, but it seemed that the breakfast buffet and pool areas were very crowded. Some mornings the desirable chairs were all taken by 8am. By taken, I mean that people would spread a towel out and leave something on it to claim it. The chairs at all of the pools are packed closely together. The attendants at the beach would move chairs wherever you wanted, and we spent most of our time there.

The food in all of the restaurants was excellent. Some of the restaurants have outdoor seating, but none of them are near the beach. I really missed that. There is a bar on the beach, but it is a service bar, no seats.

The stairs are treacherous! A large staircase is obvious, but there are random single steps that are very easy to overlook. Every day we saw people trip on the deck in front of Sea Salt Grill. Not once or twice, but every single day!

The entertainment was usually at 8pm when we were at dinner, so we missed most of it. Also, this is a couples resort ~ I want to dance, preferably under the stars! ~ not watch other people dance!

This is supposed to be a wine themed resort. They don't even give you a bottle of wine in your room. You can order it by the glass from room service, or go to the preferred lounge and help yourself. I would have liked it in my room instead of the soda and tiny bottles of liquor that we didn't use.

Overall, it just didn't have a feeling of luxury; and I didn't feel pampered. It was better than average, but I certainly would not consider this a 5 star hotel.

I enjoyed our stay at Excellence Riviera better. I felt preferred was worth it for the quiet pool that was almost on the beach, the full bottles of wine and whatever liquor you wanted in your room, Bulgari toiletries, and a nice lounge. I also liked that Excellence had music and dancing outside, and restaurants near the beach.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
7 Thank KBB95
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa

Address: Boulevard Kukulcan Km 14.5 Mza.13 Retorno del Rey Lote 38 & 38B, Cancun 77500, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cancun
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 179 Hotels in Cancun
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets The Vine Cancun Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 495
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secrets The Vine Cancun will debut as the first Secrets Resort & Spa in Cancun. This brand new adults-only resort is situated along a powder-white beach with crystal-clear views of the Caribbean Sea. Offering an adults-only Unlimited-Luxury® experience with gourmet dining options, daily activities, nightly performances, elite services and superior amenities; Secrets The Vine features a massive Secrets Spa by Pevonia inspired by cave-like structures and the natural cenotes of the area. All of this and more is within reach and only 10 minutes from Cancun's International Airport.Each of the Secrets The Vine's 495 guest rooms provide a private and romantic retreat of beauty and splendor with deluxe appointments including Italian porcelain floors, the finest luxury linens and much more.The signature element of Secrets The Vine Cancun is the extensive selection of fine wines stored in an on-site Wine Cellar or "Enoteca" which provides wine tasting and pairings for the most exquisite of tastes. ... more   less 
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