Me (27) and my husband (29) stayed at SMB between 1st-11th June to celebrate our 1st wedding anniversary and what can I say about this resort - it's just fantastic!
We'd never been to Mexico before so used our instincts and booked SMB as it seemed to have excellent reviews overall and we liked the sound of the A La carte dining, adults only, all inclusive, branded drinks but most of all that beach.
We arrived on 1st June to rain and my first thought was "oh no" as we'd travelled 10.5 hours from Manchester UK where it rains a lot, so to see rain when we arrived wasn't welcome HOWEVER to blame the resort for the weather, well I've heard it all now. Yes, there was very heavy rainfall for 2/3 days which resulted in the grounds, swim up suites and drive flooding and I really did feel for those people who had booked those suites as they were unusable for a good few days, however there was plenty of indoor rainy day activities arranged and I could see the staff working tirelessly to try their best to deal with what was an awful lot of rainfall. It obviously wasn't expected in that quantity and the drainage systems simply couldn't cope. We sometimes have this back home. How anybody can blame the resort/staff for the weather I have no idea. I wouldn't have even mentioned the weather in this review but wanted to clear up that that kind of weather is very rare over there and we were just unlucky. Yes, we were all fed up as we wanted to sit out but there's nothing you can do so we made the best of it. Once it cleared up a few days later I didn't see a drop of rain after that.
FYI, they stopped the lift for safety reasons as the power would occasionally cut out during the storm, you would have something to complain about if you were stuck in a hot lift for hours. We were top floor and used the stairs no problem but know this may inconvenience those physically unable to use stairs. However, if you're just too lazy to use the stairs then I guess it's tough.
We had arranged a private transfer from Cancun airport and this was great as after a long flight, all we wanted to do was get to the hotel quickly. It took no more than 30 minutes.
The drive was long as someone has mentioned, however it was quite nice to be off the beaten track and what you get at the end is totally worth it. Someone mentioned the bumpy track, yes it's bumpy, but they are quite clearly paving the track to improve this so in the long term it will be better.
The lobby was impressive and felt cool and we were offered a cold towel and glass of fizz, much appreciated after our trip. We sat down at a desk and were checked in within 10 minutes. It was nice to see that my request of a higher floor room and great ocean view had been noted as we were given a 4th floor room. They had also noted that it was our anniversary so make sure you mention this if it's yours.
No-one tried to sell us the time share which I was pleased about, but after reading the reviews I felt prepared to say no to this. They gave us our vouchers anyway.
Our bags were taken to our rooms for us and they had put a 'Happy Anniversary' banner on our door and we had a bottle of sparkling wine on ice waiting for us - a nice touch.
We booked an ocean view room and were placed in building 24 (2446) which we thought was a great room. Cool, clean and large with an excellent view. We had a four poster king size bed and it really was very comfortable. There was a daily maid service and also a turn down service most nights. They also leave a sheet with the following days activities which was useful.
The rooms have everything you may need; iron and board, hairdryer, Nespresso coffee machine (the capsules are restocked when you use them), the fridge is restocked daily with water, Corona and soft drinks. Ladies, there is also a good magnifying mirror in the bathroom, I brought mine and didn't need to. Lots of toiletries (didn't see shower gel but brought my own and I'm sure if I'd asked they would have given us some). Rooms come complete with slippers and robes and even a hatch for room service if your 'do not disturb' is on. They bring extra hangers if you ask. Basically nothing is too much trouble and our building 24 concierge Jean was very helpful.
Room service menu was great and options plentiful, we ordered room service breakfast once and champagne breakfast on our anniversary and it was delivered within 30 minutes.
I'd read reviews about the lack of privacy in the bathroom. To clarify, there is a sheer curtain part way between the bathroom and bedroom so you'd be able to see through to the bath and sinks if you wanted to however there are separate rooms with doors on to the shower and toilet so it felt private. There is a jacuzzi bath, however I only used this once as it took too ages to fill so didn't bother again. It's a nice touch though.
There's free Wi-fi throughout the resort and it didn't apply to us but there's free calls through the Secrets app to America/Canada.
We really enjoyed the food. We don't consider ourselves 'fussy' eaters in that we'll eat most things, however we do have high standards when it comes to taste and quality and we were never disappointed. The food is superb.
There are 7 a la carte restaurants and you don't need to book any of them including the Japanese unless you want the Hibachi experience where they cook the food in front of you (I wish I'd known this as we would have tried the a la carte there). The hibachi you do need to book.
We thought the system was great, you get ready, turn up at the restaurant you want to eat at and if there's a wait they'll tell you how long and you get given a buzzer which will buzz and light up when your table's ready. We went for dinner between 7-8pm each night and only had to wait once for about 10 minutes. We just went to get a drink in the lobby bar.
World Cafe - (Buffet in the morning and lunch, a la carte in the evening). We didn't try this for dinner or lunch, only for breakfast. Breakfast choice was large and Sandra at the crepe station makes gorgeous crepes! I recommend and miss those. I saw an omelette station which we didn't use but it seemed that there was something for everyone.
Seaside Grill (Oceana and Steakhouse) - a la carte lunch and dinner. We tried the grill at lunch a couple of times and the food was delicious with a choice of wraps, fajitas, salads etc. Manuel aka Speedy Gonzalez was wonderful.
We also tried the Barefoot grill serving BBQ'd hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, fish, chips, nachos etc. This was also good and I had the cheeseburger a few times and each time it was perfectly cooked.
Another great thing we saw was the staff in Kayaks in the pool handing out mini burgers, hot dogs etc. This was fantastic & happened on the Friday. A brilliant touch and I'd never seen anything like it before.
We ate at the steak house restaurant once and the service there was fantastic, I wish I could remember our waiters name as he was great. The food wasn't quite as good as Bordeaux/Portofino/El Patio however was still nice and the setting was lovely as it was open at the sides with pool views so we could watch the sunset. We didn't try Oceana.
Himitsu (Japanese) - We booked the Hibachi table for our anniversary and the food was nice. It was cooked in front of us and seated about 12 people so was nice to chat with other guests. It probably didn't live up to our expectations/hype though and we've had as nice in the UK. Still lovely food though. I wish we'd known that you don't need to book the a la carte section of the restaurant as we'd have tried there. There is also a sushi bar that you don't need to book.
El Patio (Mexican) - Our third favourite restaurant and we found the food lovely. It was only our third choice as we enjoyed the Italian and French more.
Portofino (Italian) - Our close 2nd favourite. Absolutely delicious food, a nice choice of pastas, chicken, fish etc. There were no pizzas though but that didn't matter as everything was delicious.
Bordeaux (French) - Our personal favourite simply for that Filet Mignon. Wow! I'm not a big steak eater but my husband is and we both thought it was beautiful and perfectly cooked. The Pot au Feu soup was my favourite and on our last night I wanted to try another starter with that so Felix (another brilliant member of staff) brought me a small bowl of Pot au Feu with my other starter. Excellent service. The young man who serves the bread (I think his name is Gilberto), he was absolutely lovely and I wanted to bring him home with me (he didn't know this as I didn't want to scare him), he was very polite and a credit to the resort.
All restaurants were great and you won't struggle to find something you love. If you do, then I'm afraid you're too fussy and should consider staying at home I'm afraid. The portions aren't huge but we aren't big portion eaters anyway so they were perfect for us as we always left full. Besides, you can order as much as you want and can even go back & have 24/7 room service if you want!
Every single member of staff we experienced in the restaurants were polite, friendly and professional and really are a credit to Secrets Maroma - well done!
A great choice and quality of drinks served across the bars and the pool/beach waiter service was wonderful. Top branded drinks such as Baileys, Beefeater and Tanqueray gins (the list is endless) are served, if you want a specific liqueur ask for it and if they have it, you can have it.
I had too many cocktails but they were so good! My favourite was Seabreeze but there are so many to choose from. Go enjoy yourselves, drink and be merry!
We're not wine experts by any means but enjoy a nice glass and found the house wines, particularly the Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc as well as the house sparkling wine lovely so didn't feel the need to pay extra for wine as this was adequate for us.
THE BEACH AND POOLS
The pool was lovely and there were always beds available if you came down before 11am. The no reserving of beds rule was great as it meant guests couldn't come down in the early hours to park their towel down and disappear for hours. This applied to the beach and pool. Pool floats are available and were shared nicely between the guests. Only saw one couple 'hogging' 2 floats but the majority left them in the pool when they were done for others to use.
Pool bar was nice, and yes it was louder around the pool, but it was nice atmosphere, i.e people on holiday enjoying themselves. If you prefer it quieter go to the beach I'd say.
The beach = WOW. One of the nicest beaches I've ever come across and one of the main reasons we booked this resort. The water wasn't as clear as normal I was told due to the storms but the sand was powder soft and as white as they come (see my pics) and beautifully maintained. My husband was told that they spray something on the sand to keep it cool which is why it was so lovely and cool to walk on. They really do think of everything.
We booked a beach bed for $40 for our anniversary and Jean made sure we were front row. This was a fantastic treat as we received butler service between 9am-5pm and there is even a special lunch menu and they bring the food to you. My hubby burns so he loved being able keep out of the sun and there was an extra lounger for me to sunbathe.
Can I just mention the fantastic beach concierge Humberto and the wonderful Urbano. They looked after us all day and when we told them it was our anniversary when we arrived they brought Mimosa's! It was such a lovely day that we decided to book another beach bed for our last day. It really was the perfect anniversary so I'd recommend you rent a Palafito at least once. You can book this with your building concierge when you arrive.
One of our favourite and lasting memories of this hotel will be the entertainment and entertainment team at SMB. They work so hard day and night to keep the guests entertained and they really are lovely. We're now Facebook friends with a few and we were genuinely sad to leave. In particular Big Willy (Guillermo), Fermin (Ferminator) and Sasquatch (Fernando). The others were great too.
My husband loved the pool volleyball at midday and played daily along with beach volleyball and we took part in Big Willy's mini golf tournament. There was always something to do.
Night time entertainment was pretty special, the fire show and Rock show were superb, the Sensuality show was also impressive with the aerial/acrobat acts, although a couple of ladies were topless bar a bit of glitter coverage which we didn't think the show needed. Fair enough skimpy clothes as for the act you don't want anything getting caught. We're not prudes by any means but genuinely can't see how the topless aspect added to the show, although I think some guests liked it as they caught a few flies :-O
Please make sure you try and go to the shows as they are so well put together and professional and the theatre seats are comfortable so you can sit and enjoy a drink whilst watching the shows.
I had a 50 minute Swedish massage on my anniversary and it was great. The spa is lovely and very relaxing. There is a hydro-circuit that you can use an hour before your treatment which I didn't use but it looked nice. You can use your spa vouchers $40 per treatment depending on what it is. It was $109 after discount plus tips.
TIPS / STAFF
We're from the UK so don't have a set tipping culture, just tip when you receive good service and it's exactly the same at SMB. Tip when you receive good service or you want to. We never felt obligated to and still received fantastic service whether we did or not but we tipped quite a bit as we honestly were so happy with the professional and friendly service we received.
The staff work so hard and were so brilliant in every aspect, every request was responded with "it's my pleasure". Nothing was too much trouble, you want something you politely ask and it happens.
Overall, a wonderful resort and if you want a top quality resort with top quality food, drinks, service, beach, pool, entertainment and staff then this is the place for you.
I apologise for the lengthy review, however I wanted to give you a very honest and recent review while it's all still fresh in my mind. I chose this resort because of the reviews on Trip Advisor so I hope this review helps someone. If in doubt, just book it!
We'll definitely be back, thanks Secrets Maroma and staff for a memorable stay.
Hannah & Rob Jones
We stayed in an ocean view room in building 24 (2446). Nice view of the ocean and pretty central to...
See more room tips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.