Tripguy Travel: We booked our trip through Jen Toren at Tripguy Travel. Jen was amazing. She narrowed our options down to 5 great trips within my price range. She was extremely organized and handled everything with care. I am a very meticulous person so her attention to detail was much appreciated. I highly recommend using her for your next trip.
She booked our private transfers with American Express and both to and from were on time and smooth travels. It was about a 30 minute highway drive from Cancun. There was plenty of security between the highway and the hotel. When we arrived, we were taken by golf cart to the Preferred Club. Everyone says "Welcome Home" which is so nice to hear as you begin your stay. I just knew the service would be fantastic.
The Preferred Club: The club was located in building 26. It was across the property from our building but the property is manageable enough that it didn't matter where it was. They had snacks, a full bar with top shelf vodka (kettle one, grey goose), computers and a concierge. We enjoyed the club and used it for pre-dinner and post-dinner drinks and snacks throughout our trip. The club was always quiet so we were able to get plenty of attention by the bartender. They also had chess, checkers and backgammon to pass the time.
The room: We had book a preferred club ocean view swim up suite, but when we arrived they upgraded us for free to an Oceanfront Suite. Room 1730, Building 17. It was a (top floor) 3rd floor room right outside of the elevator at the farthest end of the building/resort. We were right on the beach and it had a magnificent view, so we found ourselves leaving the door slats open at night so we could wake up daily to the sunrise over the ocean. That alone made our trip worth it! The room was modern, well kept, cleaned 2-3 times a day and stocked with fruit juice and soda in the fridge, and pringles, m&ms and mini bottles of vodka (per my husband's request to our concierge Yannik - Yannik was awesome...couldn't be nicer or do more...he was always there ready to help us with anything we needed). We didn't use the jacuzzi tub in the bathroom or on the balcony, but there was a desk, couch area, large shower that could easily fit too, double sinks and a toilet behind a shaded glass door. When we arrived at our room there was a honeymoon banner on the door and they put rose petals and towels shaped like swans on our bed. We also had a plate of fruit and a bottle of champagne on ice.
The Beach and The Pool: We stayed 1 day out of 8 on the beach, because even though it was surely one of the most beautiful white sand beaches with an amazing ocean of baby blues that we've seen, it was a bit windy with overcast for a number of days and the pool was far more entertaining. For a more private stay, the beach is the way to go. You can get drinks on the beach without issue, but you would have to go to the pool for most of the food that comes around at lunch time.
We're in our 30s so we wanted to make friends and enjoy the pool activities. 7 days at the pool. My husband played pool volleyball daily at 12:00. The pool was heated and quite large which on those chilly low 70 days was a delight. There were floats that you could grab and float around. There was no saving floats so people were very courteous about sharing when not in use. Every 10-15 minutes or so someone would ask us if we needed anything. it was unreal. The drinks were flowing and Paulino was our favorite server. For chairs in the morning and assistance with anything all day, including constant laughter from great stories, Kevin and Paulo were exceptional staff members managing the pool. Especially Kevin. We didn't need to leave our seats.
I will say that the pool area fills up quickly so we went around 8:00/8:30 every day to ensure a prime seat. We'd grab a quick bite and my husband would go back to the pool while I played tennis with Oscar (the pro). Everyday at 9am he has a tennis clinic for beginners/intermediates. A private hour lesson with Oscar was $30, but I met a friend so we took a joint lesson for $20 each. Well worth it.
12:00 - 2:00 Lunch at the pool was a happening. 10 - 20 Waiters with trays of light bites, the bbq area with nachos, fries, veges, guacamole, bbq everything including whole snappers, and the best part of all, the carts. Being from NYC and eating sushi regularly, we did not care for their sushi so we avoided the sushi cart. However, the paella cart and the taco cart were irresistible. We had paella and shrimp tacos EVERY day.
The Restaurants: The World Cafe had an incredible buffet in the morning. Absolutely one of the best I've seen anywhere. We had that daily. We skipped Bordeaux, El Patio, and Seaside Grill at night because the reviews weren't very good for them and the food was heavy. We kept missing Oceana (which closed every other day), I wish I would have tried it there. One night we had our honeymoon dinner on the beach. We stuck with the "silver" plan so there was no charge and it was delicious. Filet and Shrimp, bottle of champagne, etc...loved it although I needed a hoody to keep warm.
One night we ordered room service for dinner, the menu was limited and not very good...However, a great trick...if you find things on the restaurant menus you like, all you have to do is ask and they will bring you anything from anywhere. It's hush hush, but they aim to please. Needless to say, once we realized that, we ordered room service from Himitsu and Portofino quite a bit and it was great.
There is usually a 30 - 45 minute wait for the restaurants between 7 and 8. They give you a beeper so we were able to hang at the bar until our table was called. No big deal at all.
Himitsu - Habachi as well their normal Asian menu was fantastic! Had it 3 or 4 times. Everything was good there, except for the sushi.
Portofino - Had great Filet and Chilean Seabass. Also their make your own pasta was wonderful. We didn't love the rest of the menu, but sticking with what we liked, it was perfect. No complaints. We often ordered a protein and then got a side of the make your own pasta. We loved that combo.
Tipping: We brought $200 in ones with us at $50 in fives. We pretty much used it all in the 8 days were there, not because anyone ever waited for a tip or acted like they expected it (they didn't, not once), but because the service was exceptional, they work extremely hard, and a $1 to us is 12 pesos to them. It was the right thing to do and extremely appreciated by everyone. We tipped a $1 for every drink, anytime someone helped us with anything and all meals. We watched and the service was amazing even for those who did not tip, but it was well worth it to do so.
Vouchers: We received $400 in vouchers, and for our honeymoon package a free 50 minute couples massage, a champagne breakfast in the room and the romantic dinner on the beach. The massage was amazing, use either Mindy or Lucy. Both were amazing. We tipped $10 each. The champagne breakfast is automatically continental so if you want eggs, just order extra items off the menu when scheduling it. The romantic dinner on the beach was lovely. We tipped $5 for that.
THOSE DAMN VOUCHERS SUCKED...what a waste. We were supposed to get $200 for the spa, well they were in $40 increments and you couldn't combine them so in order to use it, the least expensive service was a 25 minute massage for $80, $40 out of pocket, NOT EXPECTED. The $80 wine vouchers were in $10 increments...obviously no bottle was $10 so we never used them and just drank their house by the glass wines. We, along with everyone we met, very few if not any of their vouchers and felt that it was a total sham. Do not pick this hotel due to vouchers, you'll be disappointed. We never stayed at an all inclusive before so we didn't know this was how they were broken down till we got there.
Loyalty Club (Timeshare) - We did decide to do the 1 1/2 loyalty club (timeshare) meeting for a $200 voucher to be used at the spa in full. We did a 2nd 50 minute couples massage and paid the extra $60. Well worth the time it took, especially when you do it at 8am. It didn't interrupt our day at all.
I can't think of anything else off the top of my head. I hope this was helpful but don't hesitate to contact me if I can assist with anything else.
All in all, it was a wonderful vacation and I would highly recommend this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is tucked away on secluded Maroma Beach, voted the World's Best Beach by the Travel Channel four years in a row. This unlimited-luxury heaven provides opulence to the most discerning traveler with a pure white sand beach, stunning ocean views stretching as far as the eye can see, elegant suites providing 24-hour room service, daily refreshed mini-bars and several of them with swim-out access to twelve smaller pools plus a shimmering infinity pool, gourmet dining options and chic lounges. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Hotel Playa Del Carmen