My fiance were here Sept 13th to the 19th. We are in are early thirties and travel to this area of Mexico about twice a year. Some of the other resorts we have stayed at are Secrets Capri, Secrets Maroma and VIM. I will break my review into sections, it will be all over the place if not!
Transportation: We took USA transfers. Very nice drivers up and back. We stopped for beer on the way there and before my fiance could even finish 2 we were at the resort. Do not let the distance scare you. On the way down it took about 50min, way back, an hour.
Check in: Easy and fast. We arrived at 11:00am so our room was not ready. We hit the beach, had lunch, a few drinks, and it was ready. We felt that our luggage was secure. We were not offered a hot towel but did receive a cold fruit drink (non alacholic).
Room and maid: Our room was 5206, that is building 5 third floor. We had booked the regular room but were upgraded because we are Expedia VIP customers. While it was not the most luxurious room we have ever stayed (Secrets Maroma was) it was lovely with more than we needed. It had a king bed, flat screen T.V., was recently remodeled and had one of those showers that two could easily fit in. Our view was overlooking the jungle. The maid service was excellent and at least daily. The maids were very sweet. I brought some clothes and accesories I did not want anymore and the maid I gave them to seemed delighted, we also tipped daily.
Beach: Wonderful! We did not think this beach could even compare to Maromas, it does. White sand and crystal clear water. In fact besides some of the beaches we have seen in Eleuthera Bahamas this was one of the best. The first few days we were there water was calm with little to no waves. The end of our vaca it got a little choppy but it was fun playing in the waves. The beach club down to the right was a nice place to go and hang out for a few beers. It was like $3 a beer (Victoria). We also had an excellent couples massage here. $100 for both and it was over an hour. If you continue walking to the right you will come upon the old club Maeva (sp?). There were a few security guys hanging around and we asked them if we could walk around, as long as we had on shoes they said ok. Wow, that was really neat. This once mega resort just crumbling. We took pictures by the empty pool, in the theater and one of the rooms. We want to joke with people that this was the resort we stayed at! lol.
Food and resturants: Overall quite pleased. We ate at the Spanish, or Tapas and the Itallian. The Spanish had the most beautiful setting on the cenote with lounge type chairs. I would go there again for the atmosphere alone. I wish I could tell you excatly what we ordered but we kind of forget. The one thing I remember is the app in the puff pastry with mushrooms was yummy and my fiance like the chicken entree. The best dessert was the chocolate dish served in a small cup.
The Italian was just OK the first night. I believe they were understaffed because it was their Independence day. We did not receive bread and both dishes were just warm, however my pork scallopini was very tasty and that is why we gave it another chance. The second time was much smoother. Bread with olive oil and balsamic. The dishes were hot and service was better. My fiance liked the beef tenderloin. Lunch buffet was good, we liked the rosemary chicken and the seafood paella. Salad bar was good also. As for the sit down lunch by the pool the calamari was our favorite. We did not do the dinner buffet. We ordered room service for dinner a couple nights and it was alright, the tacos are fried, we did not expect that. My fiance liked his burger. When we come to AI's we kind of know what to expect food wise. CRT was almost as good as Maroma at half the price :) Drinks were good at all the bars, we mainly drank mojitos and they were well made. The lobby bar made the best.
Pool and jacuzzis: Pool was large and clean. As stated before no swim up bar but it was a 5 second walk to get a drink. Some people brought their own floats and we wished we had. The real star was the jacuzzis. There are 3, cold, warm and hot, and the hot was hot unlike many places we have stayed! They are all right next to each other but private with bushes around them. When you sit in them you overlook the ocean, it was kind of like the infinty pool concept. We are in love with the jacuzzis! We had a little crew that would meet there at 5pm, so fun. Hello from Mutt and Ski :)
Italians: I really can't believe people make an issue of this? They are people like you and I who speak another language. Period. We had no issue at all with them or any other nationality for that matter. The photographers asked us on several occasions to have our pic taken and we saw our English speaking friends playing horseshoes with them. It was not our scene but we in no way felt intimated or that they did not want us to join in. The Vera Club girls were nice and bubbly.
Spa: I only had my polished changed on my toes because of a chip. The polish was so old and gooey that it took 2 hours to dry. When it did dry it looked funny. I get pedis all the time and that polish mush have been 2 years old. The girl that did it was nice and did a good job but time to get new polish! I did not complain because I did not feel like getting it done again. I let the front desk know when we checked out though.
Conclusion: Really great trip. We always loved Secrets Maroma but it is so expensive. This resort is so nice I do not think we will even bother to blow our money there again. I would recomend and will return!!! One last thing, Our order for room service was messed up one night as in it did not come, we went to the Italian resturant instead. While we were waiting for our table the room service manager must have found out that we were the ones with the forgotten order and came over and explained that the man taking the room service order wrote our room number down wrong. They did not know who to deliever the food to till we called and said we could not wait anymore, it had been an hour and half. He was very sorry and offered us a special dinner at the Tapas, we declined but thought that was so nice! When we got back to our room there was a bottle of champagne waiting for us. Wow, nice touch!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.