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“A Very Good Choice !!”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 6 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed November 14, 2012

My wife and I just returned from a wonderful stay at SMB from Oct 29 – Nov 7. We wanted a relaxing, peaceful vacation to rejuvenate and that's what we got. We have previously stayed at the Excellence resorts in Mexico (EPM twice, ERC once) and Dominican (EPC) and with Secrets (Wild Orchid) in Jamaica as well. This review will provide my thoughts on how SMB compares to the Excellence Playa Mujeres resort, which has been our past favorite.

Room : We loved the view we were provided from our 4th floor room at SMB. Without any upgrades we had a view overlooking the pool area with the beautiful ocean in the background. A room at Excellence with this type of view would require an upgrade to achieve. With the staggered configuration of the buildings just about every room at SMB will be pointed towards the ocean. If you are below the 3rd floor this view will likely be hampered by dense vegetation. A room on the 3rd and 4th floor will be golden. The swim out rooms looked nice but didn’t see them get a lot of sun, again because of the vegetation. The basic room itself was very nice with all the amenities. The balcony at EPM is preferable as it was much larger with a full sized day bed for some comfy lounging. The SMB balcony only provided a small seating area. The Jacuzzi tub at EPM also wins here as it was larger and situated at the doorway to the balcony with windows that could be opened to the fresh air while still maintaining privacy. The SMB tub was quite small and shallow and situated in the middle of the room, dividing the sleeping area from the bathroom area. The bathroom layout at SMB wins as there is a little more privacy than EPM if desired. (Bathroom and shower doors are completely frosted) At EPM the sinks were directly behind the headboard making it difficult to get ready in the morning if your significant other wanted to sleep in. Housekeeping was very good at both resorts and both had evening turndown service which tidied the room and replenished towels if needed. The mini bar fridge at EPM was stocked daily with a selection of snacks (M&M’s, Oreo’s, nuts, etc) … not so at SMB.

Food & Drinks: Overall the food at SMB was very good although we did have a few ‘misses’ along the way. The Italian (excellent), French and Oceana were all very good with a nice variety. The Mexican was probably our least favorite. AT EPM there was an excellent tapas restaurant and an Indian restaurant which was a nice change. Lobster served every day (no extra cost) at the EPM Lobster House. At SMB it appeared as though 3 or 4 of the restaurants utilized the same main kitchen so some of the dishes seemed to be more or less the same with a slight twist. We had a couple of instances at SMB of servers who were not the best but maybe they were just new to the job. The breakfast buffet at both SMB and EPM are excellent and both receive top marks. Great! At EPM they also served breakfast a la carte at the Lobster House over sitting the pool which was not available at SMB, and missed. The food at the beach is great at both resorts with SMB probably performing a little better here at the Barefoot Grill. Very good 24 hr room service at both! Overall, if I had to pick … at EPM the food and selection seemed to be of a little higher quality and we always had top notch service at all the restaurants.

Drinks at SMB were good and top shelf liquor could be obtained at some of the bars, if requested, but not at all, and sometimes the supply seemed limited. They would pour high end spirits if asked but seemed to monitor the amounts of the pour very closely. If you ordered a ‘high end’ drink from the beach it seemed as though you might get it one time then back to the generic stuff if you weren’t watching. At EPM they also have the high end spirits if asked. They seem to pour much more freely and after the first round they would keep the same quality/quantity coming without being reminded. The house wines at SMB were acceptable (2 red and 2 white) and there are a couple others you can ask for that don’t seem to be initially offered. Red (Tempranillo) and White (Mexican Blanco Blanco .. very good). I think the wines at SMB were better than EPM. I would however, give overall slight edge in beverages to EPM.

Beach: Hands down, SMB is the winner here!! A beautiful beach with powdery, white sand. Not a rock in sight for as far as you could walk into the water. There was a very wide stretch of sand and more than enough loungers for all. EPM is in a more isolated location and you can walk forever with no other resorts in sight, but the quality of beach does not compare.

Entertainment: The pre-dinner entertainment at both resorts would be comparable, and maybe a little better at SMB. Both have very good singers and musicians playing in the lounge areas each night before the dinner hour. Both resorts have a full schedule of evening shows. The theatre venue at EPM is much nicer and just looks higher end and in our opinion the shows at EPM were overall a little higher level/classier than at SMB.

Facilities: Both resorts are kept very clean and looking good. The landscaping at both is very good but we found the grounds of EPM to be kept manicured to a very high level and the statues/artwork spread throughout the grounds add an extra special touch. A little too much concrete in the main plaza area of SMB for our liking.

Service: From the moment we arrived the staff at SMB were excellent and could not do enough for us and accommodated any requests we had efficiently, and always with a smile. Special thanks to Romina, Gretel and Lilliana for being exceptional to us during our stay. Definitely on par or better than any service we have received at EPM.

OVERALL: I hope this review has not sounded too picky. I just wanted to provide an honest opinion of our thoughts and hopefully give a little insight into both resorts. While Secrets Maroma Beach is a very good resort and we had a great time, I would have to give EPM a slight edge overall due to the few things I have pointed out above. I would be happy to return to either resort anytime.

Room Tip: A room on the 3rd or 4th floor should provide an ocean view.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank CanadaOilGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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7,701 - 7,707 of 12,933 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

The perfect location, unbelievable staff and gorgeous food. A wide selection of drinks sourced locally and from around the world to make your way through! This was simply the most wonderful location for our honeymoon and the perfect place for a relaxing break.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank brynjar87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

If you are looking for a magnificently beautiful resort with THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BEACH I've ever been to, gorgeous room, wonderful restaurant choices with extremely varied menus, exquisite presentation of foods, attentive staff; I could go on & on! We have been to Secrets Capri previously [for 4 yrs. in a row] and we were also to Secrets Maroma last year, but didn't take the time to write a review. Don't miss this resort! A previous review of mine was Sandals Grande Antigua which was like-wise all-inclusive, but you had to pay a personal Butler to receive the kind of service you get at Secrets Maroma Beach. We had a Jr. Preferred Suite on the top floor with a beautiful view of both the ocean & the pool. If anyone wines about the food here, they are probably meatloaf & potato people and don't truly appreciate the gourmet menus offered by all the restaurants. If you're into fast food, the in-room menu is also excellent with good service [which we used one night only because of over beveraging that afternoon]!

All of their wait staff speaks adequate English & there were no issues trying to communicate. The beach is magnificent & you can walk for miles safely in either direction without any issues. For the best all-inclusive resort we have ever been to, don't miss SECRETS MAROMA BEACH!

Room Tip: We again chose the Jr. Preferred Suite & requested the top floor, again, of building 26. Magnif...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank luvs2trvl010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Hi all,

Just got back yesterday from S. Maroma Beach, and couldn't wait to post this review.
I'll do my best not to turn this into the Great Canadian Novel, LOL.

Here we go ...

DISTANCE FROM AIRPORT: Roughly 25 - 30 minutes, and we did not drop anybody off on our way there. (Playa del Carmen DOES have a rush hour, by the way!)

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The resort is very pristine looking. There's a gorgeous fountain/rock formation at the front, and it actually has a very minimalist look to it (very much like Silversands, if you have ever stayed there.) The bellman (?) are there, ready to take your luggage and get you settled in with the Concierge.

CHECK IN: Smooth, courteous, efficient. I'd requested a higher level room (something I always do via email) and we got it. The bellman took our luggage to the room with us, gave us the "lay of the land" and off we went to enjoy the week. Nothing bugs me more than a cool reception when you get there, and of course Secrets did not disappoint - we were warmly welcomed (you know, they actually care that you're there and want to make you feel welcome) ... it sets the tone and gives you an idea of what your week will be like. So that was great.

BONUS: It is nice, too, that Secrets resorts do NOT make people wear those cheap, annoying wristbands. :)

LOBBY: Really, really lovely! Fresh flowers, beautifully furnished, gleaming tiles. You'll have some great evening cocktails in the lobby bar.

THE ROOM: Looks just like it did in the website - we got a partial oceanview with a jacuzzi (they all have jacuzzis). The air conditioning worked perfectly, and we had lots of coffee (it was that Nespresso machine they had in the rooms rather than regular coffee makers ... it was nice, less mess.) Coffee, cold drinks in the fridge all replenished daily. The bed was very comfortable and we had lots of pillows in the room. (Hey, I need pillows, what can I say...important details!) The bathroom had the usual Secrets amenities - shower gels, lotion, soaps ... and again, all replenished daily.

NOTE: The hairdryer in the room was a very hot temperature ... it works great but man, is it ever hot!! SO, a hint for the ladies - if you like a cooler temperature for drying your hair (like I do, since my hair is pretty fine) you might want to just bring your own hairdryer.

THE RESORT LAYOUT: Very easy to navigate. Most of the restaurants are up at the front of the resort so they're easy to find. The Steakhouse and Oceana (seafood) are down by the beach, though. There are enough bars around to keep everyone happy!

POOLS, JACUZZIS: The pools are gorgeous, really clean and not overly cold. There is a small area with a jacuzzi just off the pool area. There are plenty of lounge chairs, you won't have difficulty finding a good spot to suntan.

BEACH: In a word, FANTASTIC! It's huge, the water is very shallow and you will love it. Beach bar is right there, and there is also waiter/waitress service. You can walk quite a distance in either direction. A couple of days we found there were only one or two waiters working the whole beach so please don't get frustrated with them if they take longer to get back to you for a drink order. They work so hard slugging away, it's just as easy to walk to the beach bar and pick up a couple of drinks. Most days, though, they had enough staff.

RESTAURANTS: Great selection, and we tried all except the Hitmisu (sp?) as we're not really into Japanese food. But it was busy so I assume the food was great! Anyway, lots to choose from - I highly recommend the enchilladas at El Patio and the sea bass at Oceana. Great service, too. The nice thing about Secrets is that there are NO reservations required - just go to whatever restaurants are open that night and decide what you want to eat. It's great, none of that standing in line for 20 minutes to make a reservation nonsense as they do at some resorts. My vacation time is precious - and expensive! I don't want to be standing in line in the lobby just to have someone say "Oh, sorry, that restaurant is full." No thanks! Give me Secrets for that reason any time. Ok, sorry, I digress. Back to the food thing.

NOTE: The breakfast buffet is The World Cafe, and here is something guys need to know - NO cut off shirts, not even for breakfast! So just bring a t-shirt or polo shirt and you'll be fine, but they don't allow cut offs at the morning buffet. They do allow cut off shirts at the lunchtime restaurant by the pool, but just not at World Cafe. Also, the a la cartes were the same way - they don't like flip flops @ dinner, and no shorts or cut off t's. For guys, just bring a pair of khakis and a polo shirt and you're good to go.

ROOM SERVICE: We didn't order any but they seemed to have a decent enough menu - sandwiches, burgers, fries, soups, that kind of thing.

HOUSEKEEPING: Each building has a concierge, so if there is something you need, just ask him/her and it'll be done. We asked for our room to be cleaned in between 11-1 each day and it was done, no problem.

ROVING GANGS: Ok, this is something you're going to love. The resort is very lush, and in the bush (jungle, really?) are these gorgeous little creatures called coatis. They're like a Mexicoan racoon, but tame! You can see them, they're everywhere. They come right up to you and beg for food. They are just the cutest things. People were feeding them, although there are signs saying 'please don't feed' ... guess it is hard to resist their cute little faces. They'll actually follow you around if they know you have food and sit up and beg. They are just so cute, so don't freak out if you see them .. they tend to roam in gangs LOL.

WINE, OTHER BOOZE: The resort has really nice house wine - from Chile. You can also purchase wine from their wine cellars during dinners, but we didn't bother. The resort has top shelf liquor, so when you're ordering ask what they have. My husband had a different vodka each night with his vodka tonics.

SHOPPING: There are a couple of shops on site (a beachwear shop, cigar shop, a general store with sundries, postcards, stuff like that), but as always I suggest that people go into Playa to get stuff. It's always so ridiculously overpriced in hotel stores.

SPA: The resort has a spa but I didn't use it. Looks quite gorgeous, though. I didn't see a list of services so I'm not sure how much things cost there. They don't push you to use the spa like they do at some resorts.

Ok, I think that about covers it. I hope this has been a helpful review and I wish you a great vacation. You'll love Maroma Beach, it's simply fantastic.

Room Tip: Just ask! As always, some rooms have better views than others. If you book a partial oceanview like...
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank TorontoSuzanne2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012 via mobile

Me and my husband stayed at Secrets Maroma in October 2010 on our honeymoon. This is the best all inclusive resort we've been to and would go back in a heartbeat.

The food is amazing, service incredible and size ogre resort is just right for us. Resort was filled with couples on their honeymoon. But everyone was really social and friendly. Great spot for couples or a group of friends.

Hoping to get back on our anniversary some year!!

  • Stayed: December 2011
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2  Thank NovaScotiaJulie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband and I stayed here October 22-29th for our honeymoon and we didn't want to leave. Everything was so awesome. We stayed in building 16 in a preferred club junior suite ocean view and had a beautiful view of the ocean. One of our favorite parts was our balcony, there was nothing like spending the day on the beach, eating a fabulous dinner, and relaxing afterwards on the balcony. Beach was beautiful, food was amazing, service was out of this world! The staff really knows how to accommodate your every want and desire and definitely make you feel at home. The best decision we made was reserving a beach bed (palafito). About one week before we traveled, I contacted the concierge via email and reserved bed #5 for 3 days, well, we loved it so much we added an additional day while we were there. You get a personal concierge on the beach who will bring you drinks/food/anything, they are at your service. I do suggest bringing singles to tip, the staff deserves it. Daniel was the beach concierge and we were so sad to leave him, he was the best! The only thing I will say is that I don't think the preferred club was really worth it, we were never actually in the preferred club, although the extras that came with the package were nice. We hope to return soon!

Room Tip: Room 1635...great view!!
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Samantha S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2012

We just got back from the most relaxing vacation we have ever taken. The grounds are beautiful and the most beautiful beach anywhere! We had a swim out room and it was great. Everything here was very clean and the staff was wonderful. Everyone was very helpful and friendly. The only negative I can say is that the food was a disappointment. The entertainment was great, I loved Elvis!! Carlos and JC were great at the games and entertainment. I will definitely go back.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Carolyn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Address: Carretera Federal Cancun - Puerto Juarez | Km 306.5 S/N Punta Maroma, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen CP 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $408 - $1,004 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun 5*
Number of rooms: 412
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

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