My husband and I just returned from our 10 day stay at Secrets Marquis. This was our first time to Cabo. We normally travel to the Riviera Maya for most of our trips, so this was a welcomed change of location. We have stayed at Royal Hideaway, Secrets Maroma, Excellence Playa Mujeres, and Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita all within the last 3 years. All of these resorts are beautiful, but we especially love the Secrets Brand as we are both adults with no kids and like the adults only atmosphere. Below is my review of the Secrets Marquis:
The hotel is located only about a 25 minute ride from San Jose Del Cabo Airport. Cabo itself is a well kept area therefore the ride is smooth and picturesque. A word about the airport, it is a small airport and you generally deplane out on the tarmac. As you walk out of the airport you will get hit with all of the people who claim to know where your ride is. They are very slick at making themselves seem legit so please just ignore them and walk straight out to the exterior of the airport. The transportation reps will be waiting right outside the doors and will have signs that advertise which Company/Resort they are with.
Rooms are beautiful and spacious. We had a slight problem our first day. The resort was at 100% capacity the week before we arrived (Thanksgiving week) so they put us in a room with two doubles instead of a king as we had booked. Then they moved us to a room on the side of the hotel with a king bed, but the view was slightly obstructed. They moved us the next day once others had checked out, and we had a perfect room. Bed is not too bad, not too soft and not too hard. You might want some extra pillows. The TV is a tube TV and there is no iPod docking station, just a CD player so don’t bring your iPod. All of the rooms are pretty much ocean view/front, but the best views are at the very front of the hotel on the higher floors. This way you can see the sun rise and set all from your balcony. The higher up you are as well the better view of the ocean you have which increases your chances of seeing the Whales when they are in season. Each morning they drop off 4 pastries and a small plate of fruit with coffee. Very nice, but unnecessary if you prefer the breakfast buffet or al a carte options. The in-room minibar has sodas, water and beer – no wine or other liquors. There are some Pringles, nuts and M&M’s for your snacking needs.
The beach is absolutely stunning here. My husband and I prefer this beach over many in Riviera Maya. Yes there are waves and you definitely have to use caution going into the water in front of the hotel, but right in front of the Hilton which is about a 15 minute walk to the left of the resort is the perfect cove for swimming. You still get some smaller waves but it makes it fun. The water is a bluish green color, but so crystal clear. There was not an ounce of seaweed on the sand or in the water during our stay. The beach is extremely clean – no garbage or debris whatsoever. The hotels are not combing the beach at all either so this must be a natural cleanliness to the beach. You can walk for miles in either direction of the hotel. George Clooney and Cindy Crawford have houses to the left of the resort. The houses are not extraordinary by any means, but their location is to die for.
The food during our first day was concerning. We arrived on a Saturday and chose to do the Mexican Buffet. I found the options minimal and somewhat tasteless. Especially compared to the food at Secrets Maroma. For the rest of the trip however we were very pleased. Overall the buffet at breakfast has decent, but limited options, they serve nachos and refried beans etc with breakfast which I have a hard time imagining eating so early in the morning, but the hash browns and fruit/cheese stations are excellent. On a couple of days they also had an omelets station which was pretty good. They also offer an a la carte option for breakfast which we did not try. The options looked ok.
The Grille and Vista Bellenas has excellent food at night. The French restaurant was good, but again their options were not to my liking. We never tried Dos Mares it was mostly seafood, and Spice was good but did not exceed my expectations. All of the sushi has some form of cream cheese in it, I did not mind, but my husband did not like it. The hibachi table was ok, mostly a meat/fish and some vedge. No rice with your meal so it really is not overly filling for those with large appetites. Our favorite was Vista Bellenas which is the breakfast place on mornings. Their menu is a combination of Italian and International options and had the most variety to choose from. The food was consistently good too. We ate there on four of the nights. The only thing I noticed is that some of the waiters were good at taking your orders but as soon as you asked them for anything specific, they did not seem to understand. I do believe some of them know the bare minimum English – they know the menu, coffee tea and some of the basics. This was just a few of the waiters not the majority by any means.
Oh lunches were excellent – try the chicken tacos, chicken quesadillas, or pretty much anything. The food was very good at lunch as well.
Beautiful pools – the one to the left of the hotel is heated and the one to the right is cold/colder. The pool chairs fill up very quickly so if you have a select location you like, get out there early. My husband and I tried to get one of 4 favorite spots one morning and 6:30 a.m. and they were ALL reserved. Everyone is big on reserving their chairs there, then getting breakfast, so expect it and do as everyone does if you want the best spots. There is no pool bar and honestly I don’t think I saw a single person go in the main pool in the center of the resort. Everyone hangs out at the infinity pools which are beach front. Oh – there are 5-6 vendors that hang out daily at the area in front of the infinity pool. They will whistle at you to get your attention to buy their wares, but overall they are not pushy. They will sell wooden trinkets, jewelry, cover-ups, dishes, and hats. They are carrying everything in their arms so their selections are limited. I feel bad for them standing out there all day, but hey they must make a profit so they keep doing it. Oh a little advice for the women, I hear the silver is not good quality from them, that you must go into town to get good silver if you want it. The hotel does not have vendors come on site like some others do, so you do need to go to town if you are looking for a better selection. Town BTW is about 20 minutes in either direction for Cabo, or San Jose. About $20-25 bucks each way. The pool service is excellent, and frequent. Gerardo is one of our favorite pool boys, funny, and on the ball with everything. If you are not careful, he will get you liquored up.
This was one area that my husband and I felt could use improvement. Keeping in mind that we are comparing this resort to their sister resorts – Secrets Maroma and Zoetry, as well as some of the others, the bar selections were minimal. We expected a lot more liquor selections than was present, but overall they did have the basics, Bacardi, Tequila – 1800, Herradura, etc., Rum, Baileys, Pucker, Liquor 49, etc. Their sister hotels have a lot more selections. The other issue we noticed is that some of the repeat drinks we ordered were not made consistently – Bloody Mary’s (or Bloody Ceasars), Long Island Iced Teas, Mai Tais etc. All very different based upon who was making it. I would definitely suggest that this hotel have some recipes that their bartenders can stick to when making drinks. (Sorry – my husband is a bartender, we could not help but notice). The house wine is an Antares from Chile. The white and the red are very acidic and I found myself having acid reflux on a couple of nights. You can get better selections if you ask, but you might have to pay for it. While this is probably the most negative part of my review, overall it would not stop me from going back. They try very hard and will do whatever to please you so if you want something different, stronger, or bigger, they will make it.
Overall the hotel is extremely clean. Although this hotel was acquired by Secrets it does not look OLD by any means. The staff does an exceptional job keeping the grounds clean and well manicured. There was a problem with the main bathrooms by the pool on a couple of days, but they eventually got everything back in order.
As mentioned above, the staff does an excellent job to accommodate. They remember your names too which I found very impressive considering all of the guests they must come into contact with. Elias at Vista Bellenas was wonderful and Ricardo at the front desk. We heard that many of the locals who work here have monthly contracts so they rely on the feedback from guests to get their contracts extended and to get small bonuses. So please say a good word for your favorite people when you are checking out. It goes a long way.
OMG what can I say about the weather! PERFECT, CLOUDLESS, RAINLESS DAYS. Slight breeze, 85 during the day, 70 at night (Bring a light sweater). My husband was so impressed with the weather we are actually considering moving there in the next 3 years or so. The sunrises and sunsets are beautiful. We took an early morning walk 6:00 a.m. and watched the sun rise on the beach. There was a slight chill in the air, but the ocean was perfectly warm. LOVED IT – DEFINITELY OUR FAVORITE LOCATION!
Flights from Newark were reasonable – 4.5 to 5 hours long. Price wise they are higher than expected, but if you are flexible on your travel dates you can find cheaper prices. I managed to get flights at $1100 for both of us round trip direct vs. $1600 that was posted on line for specific dates.
The Resort overall had a lot of 30 something’s and up. Not the place for 20 something’s. They might be bored out of their minds. There is not a ton of activities at this resort either, especially with no pool bar, casino, or night club. The staff definitely tries, but I would say this Resort is best if you are looking for a low key vacation, which we were.
The only other mentionable was the overall temperament of the guests here. A lot of Canadians, Chicago, California guests. No offense to my east coast family, but people were so much friendlier than what we have encountered before in Riviera Maya and Cancun.
One more item – we met quite a few people that have stayed at the Marquis de los Cabos before it was acquired by Secrets. Overall they found that the quality and service was still very good to excellent. So Secrets does not appear to be a step in the wrong direction for those of you who are curious about the transition.
So anyway, in closing. I highly recommend this resort. We will be back again in April. This has definitely confirmed that Cabo is a prime location for us, but that Secrets continues to be one of our favorites. Feel free to write me if you have any specific questions about our stay.