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Reviewed November 15, 2016

First visit to this resort. My wife and I went with another couple. I was a little concerned about food and drink at an all inclusive but this place was over the top good. Food always available, premium drinks, service fantastic from every aspect. Left the resort one time but didn't need to go anywhere because everything we needed was there. Great variety of restaurants. Will definitely go back.

Room Tip: We had a Deluxe Ocean View room located on the side of the hotel with beautiful views of the ocean and bay.
  • Stayed: November 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank LoveMySearay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2016

Would highly recommend seasalt grill for its ambience and good people .. First time here in Cancun and Secrets was the wise choice indeed .. Look for Wendoly (Hostess) and Cesar (waiter) at seasalt grill..they were excellent..Also kudos to Ricardo (manager of sea salt grill)… Would definitely miss them and looking forward seeing them again next year

  • Stayed: November 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Christian-Katri... G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2016

Yet another great trip for the fall! This is our 4th trip over 5 years to Secrets the Vine and our original reasons for booking this resort still hold true.
1. It is a vertical resort set on the beach with the building designed so you will hopelessly see water everywhere you look such as the well equipped gym on the ‘12th’ floor overlooking the beach. It is a 2 minute walk to the beach but you are visually engaged the entire time by the building design and of course passersby from all over the world. Yes, it is a small resort, aimed at couples and related events.
2. A la carte dinners without reservations. We eat before 7pm so wait times are unknown to us. Some of the a la carte menu items have been prepped ahead of time but for the most part you’ll find something you like even with consideration for dietary needs. All you have to do is ask – the staff worked extremely hard to ensure our experience was a good one.
3. Focus on relaxation: If you are looking for light distractions such as Spanish lessons, poolside games/trivia, water aerobics, volleyball, and a variety of an hour of evening entertainment (if we could ever make it that late), then The Vine is for you. On weekends you can enjoy being a witness to the wedding nuptials set out on the beach or patios. If you are looking for action then the clubs are just down the street.
4. And there are the little things, like no towel limitations, no required hospital bands on the wrist, deep wine lists with sommeliers and wine tastings, champagne at the entrance and quick check in, pool butlers to bring you food and drink at the pool, and my favorite the poolside paella on certain days.
Rooms
We’ve stayed at most all room types and I think we’ve settled on the preferred junior suite for its space and superior views for the price. We think it is the best value. Beachfront is nice but I’ll trade it for an extra week’s stay in the junior suite. Remember odd numbers are on the Hard Rock side and even numbers are on the former Sandos side. We stayed on the Hard Rock side this time and it is true, it is the noisier side due to the Hard Rock’s entertainment. But, we enjoyed the sunsets this time where sunrises would be enjoyed on the other side. We also enjoyed having coffee on the balcony in the mornings without the heat of the sun on us. If you are a light sleeper you should consider bringing earplugs; the hallways can get noisy from the echoes of voices, squeaky shoes, slamming doors, and even the employees banging around. The rooms (anything smaller than the Master Suite) are all beautifully designed to maximize space and natural light, but not sharing with folks you’re not intimately acquainted. It’s clear the resort’s rooms were intended for couples, not coworkers. This is the first time we were annoyed by the hallway noise at night. One night a person decided to chirp their feet so to intentionally make noise as they shuffled down the hallway.
Room service snafu – a service inconsistency occurred when we ordered room service one night and it never came. They explained to me they did not knock on the door because I had the “do not disturb” sign on the door. The “do not disturb” signs may do well to have an explanation that this also means no room service since it wasn’t a problem before (or after) the incident.
Food
Our opinion is the food is better than the resorts we’ve stayed in the Cancun area in years past. For some reason it seems the room service steak is better than the ribeye and other options at the restaurants. Each occasion I had a steak at the restaurant it was either too grisly to eat or it was overcooked. The evening of overcooked steak ended without a resolution and I didn’t seek one because they are simply too busy to handle the onslaught of traffic they receive. We found the octopus to be outstanding and we did our best to deplete the world population; if you have never tried octopus we recommend doing so (since you’ve already paid for it). The ceviche and fish tacos make for a great poolside lunch at Sea Salt.
I think they can improve on the items available at the Bloody Mary bar if I had to nitpick.
We arrive early at the restaurants and we perceive better service and hotter food is provided by doing so. I think, and it is my opinion, just like the pools they could do better by providing an expediter for the food service (or increase waitstaff)
Nebbiolo is our default restaurant as it is warm and inviting but it curiously has no hostess stand so we watch patrons come in with some confusion on what to do next. I don’t think it makes for a good first impression. The crudité/charcuterie could use some small bits of crackers or something else to associate with the morsels. We will bring our own balsamic vinegar next time for the bread, the vinegar they use is particularly bitter and unappealing to us. Jessica the hostess always greeted us with a warm smile and took care of us several nights. She is very professional.
Rudi (the waiter, not sommelier) did an excellent job preparing the strawberry flambe at Nebbiolo and attending to us. Sitting window side at Nebbiolo is far better in October/November when the climate is more temperate and the sun goes down earlier. We attempted this in May and simply melted in our chairs from the heat of the sun.
We finished the trip with a ‘romantic’ dinner which we officially hadn’t done before – the tableside Caesar was excellent as always with egg yolk and sardine dressing. It makes you avoid the store bought stuff!
Yes, the wine is priced high and is explained by exorbitant taxes on wine in Mexico. But, it’s our vacation and we’re going to enjoy what their list has to offer and the suggestions from the attentive sommeliers.
Pools
Mostly perfect – there’s no swim up bar as noted in other reviews so rest assured you’re less likely to be swimming in your neighbor’s recycled water, that’s ok by me. It takes folks a little while to figure out on the Manatee’s side there is a multistall bathroom under the catwalk so waiting for the one bathroom adjacent to the Manatee’s bar is unnecessary. It has been commented many times there is a film on the lee side of the manatee’s pool which is never addressed. The pools do need maintenance, they are showing their age.
We have yet to visit the ‘preferred’ pool since it sits so far away from everything but it is a reason we keep going back… one day we’ll get there…
Drinks watered down? – It’s a complaint I heard a lot for sure, but The Manatee Bar opens at 9am so I appreciate the dosing because I’ll get wrecked in the sun otherwise. Grab a tequila shot out of the room bar in the morning if you want a boost. Or, do like I do and make use of the duty free shopping stateside and grab a bottle of your favorite booze for the room.
We also bring little things from home like aloe vera for the obligatory burn, hot sauce, and fresh ground spices (nutmeg for margaritas, black pepper and other items for bloody marys). It also provides for some conversation with the staff.
People
The sommelier staff - Armando, Rudy, Martin, Ariel. We are particularly hard on these guys since we require an ample amount of wine to make it through the night. Armando and Martin are the serious types whom you can learn a lot of fun things about wine. Rudy complements the crew with his passion of wine and I’ll make a strong point of his time he took with his daughter to make us a gift for our 10th anniversary. It was truly touching and illustrates the class of staff that work here. We really enjoy the wine tastings with them, and it’s not about what you’re drinking but how you drink it.
Room butlers - Jemima and Dulce – our 25th floor butlers were fun to be around and discuss the goings on at the resort. Jemima has a particular gift of making us feel special and kudos to her balloon characters to keep us company in our room.
Pool butlers – Karla handled us for 95% of the trip since we are habitual creatures of sitting in the same spot every time. She eventually nailed down those habits and had a drink prepared for us every time we were threatening an empty. We had a lot of fun with Karla.
Entertainment staff Eduardo/Ali/Ana/David – The staff is tireless and have an unenviable job of trying to make everyone happy. They are true professionals at doing it too!
Halloween. This is our second trip during Halloween and we booked the trip essentially to capture this day at The Vine. The day starts with a pumpkin carving which we wield butcher knives to cut the guts out of pumpkins after consuming way too much alcohol. What could go wrong? Only one person cut himself this time. Then there is evening entertainment with costume contests. This year it also happened to be on the casino night which is a fun evening. We had a lot of fun this time but it was far less attended this time which was disappointing.
Il Divo weekly entertainment was good – very passionate singers and worth the show. We did not go to other shows as we find our dinner to be the center of attention.
Other tips and observations
We recommend binoculars next time, a pair for each of you.
There is a marked difference in product/time share sales this time and it is appreciated. We know how to dance around most of it by sheer practice but this time it was far less pressure. We even elected to ‘reserve’ a dinner at Nebbiolo for our last night, a first time for us in its official capacity. Order wine every night and they all become a romantic dinner. That’s ok with us.
I want to compliment the hostess Jessica at Nebiollo for sitting us on the opposite side of the restaurant where quieter since a large table was particularly noisy that evening. We didn’t ask for it, she simply did it.
Why is proper dress required for the restaurants? Because you’re an adult and it’s appreciated by others when you don’t look like a slob at an a la carte restaurant.
I wish the hint of a 5pm wine tasting is removed from the schedule since it rarely occurs. We’re typically the 3pm wine tasting bar flies that enjoy sitting at the table afterwards to watch passersby but we don’t like seeing people come in for the 5pm tasting and leave very disappointed to learn that the 5pm is by appointment only. Advertise only a 1pm and 3pm wine tasting on the Sundial and let the sommeliers create an invite list for the 5pm pairings please?
We perceive a decrease in pool staff since the first time we came 5 years ago.The food ordering during the middle of the day could be expedited by other staff rather than the pool butlers. Our trip in May at 93% occupancy painfully illustrated the rush of drink and food orders on one person serving multiple sections at the pool. So for those that drink on the heavier side, ask for a “professional” cup, and perhaps another for your second hand. Karla did an exceptional job in keeping us lubricated throughout the day.
Please, for folks booking at the hotel, be mindful of the noise you are making while walking the hallways and closing doors to your room – both to the balcony and hallways. The maids also make a racket at 7:30am, surely they know the noise they are making.
Fellow humans, leave your portable speakers in the room. They don’t belong at the pool.
Elevator videos could be better used to explain the happenings at the hotel rather than advertising.
That's it - thanks Secrets for making our 10th anniversary a memorable one and we'll see you again soon.

  • Stayed: October 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank 704El_Bueno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2016

Greeted with Champagne and nothing with warmness when we arrived.. I haven't one single negative review to give this paradise away from home. Ladies only trip (we decided to split this year's couples getaway). We felt like royalty. Relaxation and Fun all rolled into one!. David.. he was the best pool volleyball host.. Please tell him Alana said hello.. I hope I see him again next year.. (we are trying to make this a yearly event With our guys).. Teresa was like one of our sisters. She never left us without drinks.. We didn't have to ask, she just did it!. Love her! Ali was the best at beach volleyball.. I lost a nail.. but I would totally do it again, and again!! You would not be disappointed. Perfect vacation destination. All of the workers were pleasant and helpful. They all deserve a thumbs up... Actually 2 thumbs up.. Hope to see the same warm faces again next year!!!

Stayed: November 2016
1  Thank Alana D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2016

We returned to this hotel, our last stay was 2 years ago.
It was quite expensive but very good quality and we were not disappointed - you get what you pay for!

Smooth and efficient check-in, great room (1609, overlooking Hard Rock) lovely big bed and room spotlessly clean. Sunny balcony in the afternoons, comfy chairs and stocked mini bar.

We loved our stay here, food was lovely and didn't get boring or samey even after 2 weeks. The restaurants were great, we enjoyed dressing for dinner (or not depending on the restaurant we chose) and there was a great selection of high quality and well cooked food (good vegetarian choice too). Wide choice of branded spirits and good choice of cocktails.

I need a mention the staff, everyone happy to have a chat or just a simple good morning. The staff in the Market Cafe were excellent, they knew us by name, were friendly and gave us tips on trips, etc. Special mention to Teresa and Alberto for looking after us so well by the pool.

The entertainment was good, you could join in or not, no pressure. We particularly enjoyed the Mexican night and the Jersey Boys show. Also enjoyed the sports bar, ice cold beer and good selection of beers too. Good wifi coverage throughout the hotel.

The beach outside the hotel is beautiful, we saw baby turtles being released into the sea. Very safe to walk in the area surrounding the hotel, also to jump on the local bus, great value at $1 per person.

Lots of honeymoon couples were staying here. If you like to relax, get well looked after and treat yourself to a little luxury, this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: November 2016, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Willis family A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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