My wife and I traveled to Secret's Silversands from July 14th to the 25th. The vacation was planned as a “mystery vacation” by our very trusted travel agent who had visited the hotel on a few occasions. With this in mind, I was pleased to find that they were listed as one of the top hotels in the area. As seasoned travelers we had high expectations for our first trip to Mexico considering the various ratings. However, after visiting the resort we have some deep concerns that need to be addressed.
Upon arrival at the resort we were brought down to the Preferred Club for check-in where we were promptly told that our room was to be upgraded. I immediately had concerns, as I am aware that room upgrades are generally for undesirable locations or problematic rooms. My concerns were realized as we entered the room that smelled of mold and mildew. I am acutely aware of the presence of mold, as I am highly allergic. We spent the day trying to air out the smell by running the air conditioning and burning incense. During that time, my breathing became more and more affected. I decided to step out for a dip in the pool. I found it odd that there were no guests in that pool. As I swam the distance of the pool, I realized why. There was human feces that had been scooped from the water and laid on the filter grid. I was absolutely disgusted. I spent the rest of the evening awake as my breathing became more labored and thinking of the days events.
In the morning, we threw the covers of f the bed only to find mold growing on the sheets. This was day one, beginning of day two. We went back to Preferred Club and asked for a room change. We were accommodated, but told that we would have to wait until 4:30 to move into the new room unless we did not want it cleaned. When we arrived at the new room at 6 pm after our tequila tasting, there was a slight smell of mildew in the new room, towels from the previous guests had been left, a used coffee filter was still in the machine and the exterior tub remained uncleaned for the entire stay. We suspected that the room had been hastily cleaned. We were optimistic that things would get better, however they did not.
We began unpacking only to find that our clothes smelled of mildew. Before going to dinner, I took a shower, in water that smelled of sewage. As I ran water into the sink, I noticed the deep yellow color and intense sewage smell. Shortly after that, I developed severe stomach cramping that lasted the entire trip. I was afraid to leave the resort as I thought I may have contracted a case of “Montezuma’s Revenge.” Coincidence? I think not. Fearing the worst, I was tethered to the idea of a nearby bathroom. My fears were realized as I was sick for the following 7 days. The only place we were able to go was Xcaret, which we postponed until the following Monday when the cramping eased and so did my fear of not being close to a restroom.
At this point I will not belabor the moment to moment, so I will list our issues:
The pool overlooking the beach was filthy dirty. Algae was growing in the grout, and the water was extremely cloudy. I don't think the filter ever ran the entire time we were there. One night, I observed the attendant vacuuming the pool with a portable pump, indicating that the filter was not running. The guests referred to it as one of the “pee pools.” Those were the two pools that all the drunk and belligerent guests spent their entire day screaming and yelling. So much for our relaxing beach/pool front vacation. We instead chose to use a pool in another location where the water was cleaner and the atmosphere more sedate.
On July 19th, our anniversary, the staff screwed up our romantic dinner on the beach reservations which had been reserved since mid June. We showed up at 8:30 to find that they had no record of us, even though they took our menu requests and charged the room for the experience. The manager ran around for 20 minutes trying to figure out what happened. He told us that the desk....not sure which one....never gave him our names.
We were escorted; like criminals; to the Preferred Club desk where they tried to straighten it out, but they gave us a refund because my wife didn't want to celebrate our anniversary another day. Karla was very sweet and could tell we were upset. She said she would send a bottle of wine to the room, which never arrived. We left the desk and went to Rataouille to try to salvage what was left of the night. After being seated, Karla came in and said that they could set up a table for us on the beach. It was getting late and my wife said no. Karla spoke to the manager of the restaurant and they gave us a special menu. They suggested a $52 bottle of wine, and charged us for it at the end of the dinner. At this point, I didn't care.
By the 20th, I suggested to my wife that we leave the resort. In the many years of traveling to destinations all over the world, I had never made such a suggestion like that. I would have preferred to lose the money at this resort and incur the additional expenses to salvage our vacation. She convinced me to stay. We spent nearly $6000 to stay at this resort including our airfare. I am sad to say it was an absolute waste of money.
I have never seen such a highly rated resort take so little concern with cleanliness and attention to detail. Aside from all I have mentioned, we personally observed staff handling food barehanded, the wiping tables with used guest napkins, found hairs in my wife’s pork tacos at El Patio on our last night, and watched staff conduct sewer maintenance during dinner at the Oceana. It seemed as if we could never get a break. I have attached photos as proof of my allegations. The resort staff should be ashamed at the lack of concern for the well being of their guests. They put health at risk and left bad memories that will never be undone.
Upon return home, I immediately wrote to the resort, AM Resorts and GoGo vacations. After nearly 35 emails, the resort offered us $2000 back from the vacation costs. I accepted, but they failed to send the money until GoGo vacations got involved. The process took nearly 2 months to get a refund and the resort is still giving GoGo vacations and our travel agent the run around. It was never about the money. It was about the loss of our vacation. I would never book with Secrets or any other AM Resorts property. One last word of caution. Our credit was stolen while we were at the resort. Be careful when handing out your credit card. Don't let them take it out of your sight. Good luck if you do book Secret's Silversands; you’re taking a big risk with them.
With great displeasure,
- 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