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“Wonderful!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun

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Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Bahia de Petempich SM 12, Mz 31, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #2 of 23 hotels in Puerto Morelos
Lake Ridge, Virginia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
“Wonderful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2010

This was my first experience at an all inclusive resort. The best way to describe it was like being on a cruise ship going nowhere. The room was spacious and extremely comfortable. All of the restaurants had excellent food. Service in all parts of the resort was first class. If you use the spa, request Armando for a massage. Had two massages with him - the hot rock massage was the best.

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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New York
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2010

Booked 9 nights in February specifically because of complimentary golf at El Camaleon. Since my booking they cancelled this arrangement. They are looking at a new arrangement but for now are not honoring what they advertised when I booked and I am looking at other resort options. Be very careful.

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fox Point, WI
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2010

My wife and I as well as another couple stayed at the resort located about 20 min north of Playa back in September. We received a wonderful room however our friends received a room overlooking a walkway. They asked to be moved and were given the typical Mexican runaround. We went to the front desk and asked to speak with the manager. She was extremely accommodating and moved our friends to another room the next day.

Overall, I would stay here again, but only if the price was right. I would not say the staff was the best I have ever seen, but I was not offended by any staff and everyone seemed to be working hard.

Order a few drinks when the pool drink girl comes around, they take 15-20 min from order to drink in hand. We would give a $20 tip right away in the morning and a few dollars here and there in the afternoon. Not sure if we received better service from tipping or not, but the drinks might have taken 45 min if we would not have tipped!

We went to the small town of Puerto Morelos located about a 10 min cab ride from the resort and went to eat at a fantastic restaurant called Pelicano’s. I have been to this restaurant several times over the last 15 years and time and time again the food (fish) is fantastic. Not much to do in Puerto Morelos, just a small city square, some drug stores, and a few restaurants. They do have a nice beach, but if you are staying at the all inclusive resort, it is useless.

Resorts sushi restaurant

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ohio
1 review
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2010

We had a terrific stay over 5 days around the 09/10 New Year's holiday. The room was gorgeous and extremely comfortable. Despite having a 4th floor "pool view" in the building furthest from the beach we could still hear the ocean as we slept. The food was delicious, particularly at the Asian, Mexican, and Italian venues, and portions were perfectly sized to enjoy multiple items without overeating.

We spent our entire visit relaxing at the hotel. The staff was incredibly attentive - keeping all the facilities in top shape throughout the day as well as ensuring we were never short of the "drink of the day". The spa was a particular treat. We enjoyed massages and the hydrotherapy circuit then spent several hours relaxing in the spa's private cabanas. The spa is an Oasis within an already idyllic environment - relaxing, beautiful, and peaceful.

Our only critique was the beach. It is relatively small and doesn't provide much space for walking or running. Given the strengths of the rest of the hotel this was a minor item. Overall we had a fantastic stay and would definitely consider staying at this hotel again.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ames, IA
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2010

This was our first trip to Mexico, and after extensive research we decided on the Secrets Silversands as our destination in part due to the deal offered through Apple Vacations. Our stay was Dec. 27, 2009 to Jan 1, 2010.

Arrival:

The flight from Minneapolis was shorter than expected (less than 4 hours) and the trip through customs/immigration fairly easy. One thing you notice immediately is that most of the service industry in Mexico is working (sometimes very hard) for tips. Even a trip to the airport bathroom resulted in some begging for a few bucks.

Since we booked through Apple, transportation to the hotel was covered. What we didn't expect was having to run the gauntlet to get outside the Cancun airport. A word to the wise: you will be greeted by a torrent of official-looking people in white shirts near small tables all gesturing to you, even if you have other arrangements. Unless you want to waste your time, keep moving until you get past the outer doors. This kind of solicitation is regulated in the US, but Mexico seems not to have this under control. Once we did find the Apple agents, it didn't take long to start our journey to the resort.

As many have noted, Secrets greets its guests with a cold towel and glass of champagne. This is a nice touch after a long trip. They will try to upsell you to a nicer room if you are in a junior suite, but it wasn't a high-pressure sales job or anything. The value of the upgrade wasn't great, so we declined.

A porter brings your luggage to the room and gives you a tour of the grounds and hotel areas. It helps to get your bearings even though the resort isn't overly large. We appreciated the introduction and found the porter to be very congenial and helpful.

The Room:

We had the junior suite which is the standard room. It has a jacuzzi tub, large shower, not-so-private toilet (see-through glass door), comfy king bed, LCD TV (about cable 40 channels, most in English), DVD player, couch, small table and chairs, and a nice balcony area with an outdoor lounge and pillows. Our room (1408) was on the fourth (top) floor and had a partial view of the ocean. An upgraded room would have been nice, but I don't think worth the money. It also turned out that the room was set away from the main pool area and theater, so we never heard a peep from the night activities as some have mentioned. For the most part the property was very quiet.

The Pools:

Secrets Silversands has numerous pools, but there is one main pool that is flanked by the Seaside Grill/Oceana restaurant. This pool is warm all the time, probably in part due to being heated artificially, but it also has better exposure to the sun than some of the others. During this time of year, the temps were about 80-85 F during the day and in the low 70s at night. If there were clouds, the temperature could get relatively "chilly" for beach weather especially with the ocean winds. For the most part, it was quite warm, to nearly hot even for late December. One thing to note, however, is that the pools (outside of the main one) are somewhat chilly (a good 10 degrees cooler than the main pool). We rarely saw anyone swimming in the satellite pools because of this. Overall, the pools are very nice and complement the property nicely. The only complaint was a lack of lounge chairs and floatation mats, but this is typical of many resorts. By 10:30 a.m., the main pool seating is pretty much occupied and a good part of the beach seating is taken. There is sufficient turnover, so keep an eye out. We estimated that the complex was at about 50% occupancy, so I can only imagine the dilemma when there are more people milling about.

The Beach:

The beach is very picturesque and beautiful, but as countless others have noted, it's not generally swimmable due to rocks. We saw no one in the water past their waist. There is also a fair amount of seaweed which is dutifully carried away from shore by the staff (using a variety of implements including rakes and a Bobcat). Seating is less of an issue on the beach, but it can still be a bit of a problem in the late morning to early afternoon. It's amazing how well things cleared out by 3 p.m. There are staff members roaming the entire beach to get drink orders which is great. The beach dimensions are limited in the front-to-back dimension (maybe 30-40 feet), but it does extend a good amount across the front of the property. It's not as tiny as others have suggested, but if you want an enormous swimming area, this is probably not your best bet.

The Food:

We read all kind of reviews about food here ranging from inedible to wonderful. Clearly this is the most difficult thing to pin down and has the widest range of opinion. While we are not foodies, we do know good food, and Secrets had very good food for a resort (especially and all-inclusive one). Some of the previous complaints I read here took aim at things like the breakfast buffet not having fresh pancakes or other pastries, but this was easily countered by things like a wide array of fresh fruit, fresh squeezed fruit juice, and an made-to-order omlette bar. Breakfast probably was the least impressive meal of the day only due to one restaurant option (World Cafe) and a similar menu each day, but I would strain to find a lot of fault in the numerous food options. They even have cold cereal should you want it (Cocoa Krispies, anyone? Hey, some people went for it.).

We managed to eat at Himitsu (asian), El Patio (Mexican), and Seaside Grill/Oceana (seafood). Overall, I would rate the food above average and better than I expected given the reviews here. The steaks were prepared a bit more done than requested, so keep that in mind when ordering. I had everything ranging from shimp and fish to chicken and steak. Everything was very tasty, hot, and on par with a good restaurant in the US (that is, much better than a chain). I never had any complaints about the food at any point, and am surprised that others did. Perhaps peoples' expectations are elevated, but it's ridiculous to suggest that the food is in any way "bad."

We also ordered room service one afternoon for lunch and had a very tasty meal served to us in our room. I enjoyed flank steak and a caesar salad which was just as good as if it was served in the restaurant. Room service is also an option for your meals, so keep it in mind. The menu is limited, but not bad.

Due to limited occupancy, some restaurants were closed around this time, so most days had three or for dinner options available. As a result we never did try Portofino (Italian), Ratatouille (Mediterranian), or Bordeaux (French). On New Years Eve we had the seafood buffet (at World Cafe/Portofino) which featured lobster tails, lobster bisque, sashimi, oysters, prawns, and many other tasty options. Everything was delicious. Although it is "all-inclusive," better wines must be purchased. You do have some credits towards this to use ($40), but be aware that only the house wine (a red and white option) are part of the package for wine.

The Drinks:

Never watered-down or weak, the drinks were great. Granted, we aren't huge drinkers or worried about ordering top shelf stuff, but I would be hard-pressed to believe that anyone would take issue with the drinks. I noticed a number of guests requesting Grey Goose vodka which was gladly honored and in abundance. Also, some requested doubles (or more) of alcohol which was never refused. Even standard drinks that we ordered (like the "drink of the day") were very good and usually erring on the side of stiff rather than weak. We usually tipped for every drink (a buck or so), but didn't notice any correlation between this and what we received. Overall I was impressed with the willingness of the bartenders to accommodate any drink request and did a great job of keeping everyone happy.

The Staff:

In a word, remarkable. As noted elsewhere and echoed here, this is the best aspect of Secrets Silversands. From check-in to check-out, the staff was so accommodating. As examples, I lost a watch which turned up in lost and found (a first for me) and left behind printouts of our boarding passes in our room past checkout which was quickly recovered and handed to us before we left for the airport. The staff was so friendly and helpful, it's very difficult to find any flaw here even if I wanted to. Nearly everyone greets you with "hola" and is willing to speak to you in either English or Spanish/Spanlish. The restaurant staff was especially terrific (and probably important since you spend most of your time interacting with them). We had a romantic dinner on the beach which was tended to by two staff members and is very highly recommended. There is nothing better than proposing to your future wife on a moonlit sandy beach with the ocean waves lapping at the shore. Just a perfect moment all around, and the staff helped to make that happen. We couldn't have asked for anything better. Special thanks to Daniel and Jose for making that happen.

Location:

Secrets Silversands is near Puerto Morelos which is a good 40 minute cab ride or so from Playa del Carmen. On the upside, it's a mere 15 minutes from the Cancun airport, so we were quickly transported to and from. We did take a cab into Playa del Carmen one day for a shopping trip. This ran us $40 each way. We were told at the desk that if we paid in pesos it would be the equivalent of $31, but the cab driver insisted on $40 US which irked us a little given that we purely got pesos for this leg of the trip. Regardless, Playa was little more than a shopping avenue with a pier at the end. We had lunch at Senor Frog's which was loud and somewhat uninspiring other than the great location near the beach. Prices in Playa were reasonable at the shops where you can haggle a bit. We found most prices were negotiable down to about 50% of their stated price. Larger stores had fixed prices that were similar to what you'd find in the US.

The location of Secrets Silversands might be considered a negative to some since it is somewhat isolated from Playa. We didn't venture into Puerto Morelos, but were advised that it is a nice town to visit. Next time we would probably take a day trip to Cozumel via ferry as well. If you haven't been to the Playa area, the resorts are set off the road a mile or two and require a short ride to get to the beach. This is much different than other places we've been to where you can see and evaluate everything from the road. It's clear that the Puerto Morelos area is much newer and has more virgin forest/swamp in the area. Venturing just off the property would be ill-advised. There are plenty of trees for as far as the eye can see. I assume there will be more development in this area, but the growth of this resort area isn't anything near that of Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

Overall:

Granted we don't have a basis of comparison in the Playa del Carmen area (or Mexico in general), but Secrets Silversands was a terrific resort and a great introduction to the area. We found every aspect to be enjoyable and would absolutely recommend it to others considering a romantic, relaxing vacation. Most everyone we saw was a couple in the range of 25-45. This is not a family or singles place.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, WI
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

I went to Secrets Silversands with my mother from Dec 5-9. The resort is very nice. The room was fabulous and everything at the hotel was new and beautiful. I was very excited about the restaurants because I have stayed at two Dreams resorts that had great food and Secrets offers the same restaurants. We were very disappointed with the food. The chips and guacamole were great but the restuarants were disappointing. We ate at the French, Asian and Italian restaurants for dinner. The Asian restaurant was delicious. The other two were not good. The buffet was just okay. All of the restuarants did have beautiful decor.

The service was fabulous. Everyone was always friendly and quick to help. We did not have hot water in our shower the first day and maintainance came right away and fixed it. Room service was very quick. I enjoyed having the box for room service so you don't have dirty dishes laying around and you don't have to worry about answering the door for it if you want to jump in the shower or something.

The music at the bar at night was very good. The shows were just okay. The beach was disappointing. One of the things I love about the Riviera Maya is the beautiful blue water. You don't get this here. We did walk along the beach both ways and if you go to the left, you will come upon better water, but it is quite far. Will probably choose another resort in the future.

  • Stayed December 2009
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, IL
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 31, 2009

We stayed for 10 days for our honeymoon. We couldn't have asked for a better place. The service was outstanding. Everyone spoke English, but enjoyed speaking Spanish with us. We were very comfortable drinking the water in the restaurants and in our room.
The rooms were big and comfortable. We had a great view of the ocean and of the resort. Loved the shower!
We could eat at any of the restaurants. The food was spectacular at every restaurant! We enjoyed El Patio and Portofino the best.
The resort was beautiful and had a pool for everyone. It was very clean. We always saw someone cleaning!
The spa was so relaxing. We had a great massage and enjoyed the amenities.
I would say that this resort is more for couples, then for singles. Every other couple we met were on their honeymoon or celebrating their Anniversary.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun

Address: Bahia de Petempich SM 12, Mz 31, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Amenities:
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Family Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#1 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#2 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#2 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#2 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun 4.5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is a chic, ultra modern all-suite adult-only unlimited-luxury resort featuring 433 suites, over 43,000 sq ft of pool areas and expansive manicured gardens, exceptional dining options, several bars ranging from elegant to swim-up. World class spa, a fitness center and two Jacuzzis ensure that guests are pampered and indulged. We are nestled on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, 15 miles south of Cancun and only twenty minutes from the Cancun International Airport. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Hotel Puerto Morelos
Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos

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