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“Unexpected Luxury”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed September 23, 2009

We stayed at SMB for 6 nights in August for our honeymoon. Between the two of us, we have travelled to many all-inclusives in Mexico and were ready for the best and worst that all-inclusives tend to offer. We were pleasantly surprised with SMB, with everything from the atmosphere to the service to the food.

Arrival for us was late at night, and went fairly smoothly, but if we could have arrived earlier we definitely would have.

The property is beautiful, with gardeners working all day every day to keep everything manicured. There are two main pools for swimming, with a shallow pool also available for lounging. Swim-up rooms have their own pools attached. The pools are maintained very well and serviced each morning/evening. Lounge chairs are comfortable and fresh towels are always available. Chairs go fast so get to the pool early to get one.

The food choices here are superb for an all-inclusive. Breakfast is either continental in the lobby from 6am-8am or at the buffet restaurant until 11am. The breakfast buffet was our daily choice (we're late risers) and it never disappointed. The best for me was the mimosa station and the fresh fruit and cheese tray! Selection is very good - everything you can imagine, from regional dishes to traditional omelets, waffles and pancakes. Lunch at the pool can be sit-down at the pool-side restaurant (very good), from the beach menu, from the buffet restaurant, from the various chefs delivering items directly to your lounge chair, or from the poolside grill/buffet. Again, choices are definitely not limited and you don't get bored quickly. Dinner was the best part of the dining experience, with at least 5 restaurants to choose from each evening. All are fine dining and have extensive menus (3-5 courses available). Long pants required for men. The wine selection is wonderful if you're willing to spend a little extra on a bottle from their cellar - at the italian restaurant, this can land you a private dinner in the wine cellar. (The included house wines are excellent on their own - mostly wines from spain and chile, but all really good for an all-inclusive - I especially liked their house sauvignon blanc.)

Drinks are great - always a drink of the day listed on your daily resort newsletter if you want to try something new. Beer selection is good, top-shelf liquors are available - just ask. (No Patron on the resort, but if you do the fabulous and informative tequila tasting seminar with the in-house sommelier Fernando, you'll know why. Fernando is actually one of three sommeliers on property - they're a good resource!) The pool bars are always well-staffed so you hardly wait for a drink. The beach bar is great too - again, excellent service. The lobby bar at night is a wonderful, romantic spot to have a nightcap or a pre-dinner drink. The cigar lounge (adjacent to lobby) is surprisingly pretty empty, but a really cool place to just spend quiet time over drinks.

Activities: All good, though we didn't participate in everything. (1) The movies shown in the evenings are a well-kept secret I suppose, because we were nearly alone in the theater each time we went. There is a full bar available at the theater for movies/shows/plays. (2) The fire dancers that perform on property are impressive, and the resort invites vendors to set up shop poolside for the night's activities so you can shop and be entertained. (3) The tequila tasting and wine tasting events are not to be missed, even if you don't like tequila or wine. Fernando is very knowledgeable and a good teacher - you'll learn so much from him. (4) The entertainment staff is friendly and always encouraging a good time - cooking demos, pool & beach volleyball, etc. (5) Plenty of fitness activities every day - yoga is especially nice each morning on the pool deck overlooking the ocean.

Rooms: We had a swim-out room, which we loved. Housekeeping did a great job keeping our room clean, and our mini-bar stocked. Nightly turndown service only happened once in our six night stay but we didn't mind. We didn't experience poor air conditioning in our room like other guests have said they did, but we did notice a lack of A/C efficiency in the larger common areas like the lobby and the buffet restaurant.

Bug spray is supplied in your room - definitely use it if you're going to dine on the patio of any of the restaurants in the evening. Pack plenty of sunscreen.

SMB is a great place and a great value. We had a wonderful experience and plan to visit more Secrets properties opening toward the end of 2009 .

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
14  Thank redr8r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,344 - 10,350 of 12,158 reviews

Reviewed September 22, 2009

My husband and I stayed for 5 nights in the beginning of September. This was our first all inclusive. It will not be our last! I almost wish we had stayed at a crappier place. We will measure everything against this now and it's hard to beat.

It's so relaxing to have everything paid for. The overall vibe of the place is so mellow, It's primarily couples. There are no kids, no distractions, no stress. Everyone is carrying around a cocktail of some kind. Nice adult atmosphere.

It was fun to go out to eat every night. We would walk around the grounds, check out the entertainment, hang out on one of the patios or outside bars. You can dress up if you like, some people did more than others, whatever you feel like. Most women wore casual sundresses or skirts, but if you were up for heels and the whole 9 yards that works too.

The value was very good for the quality of food and entertainment. Gorgeous grounds. Perfect beach. We got a good deal being hurricane season with a lingering hint of swine flu hysteria. I didn't expect much a was really surprised.

The beach: FAB! We have stayed at tons of Marriotts in the caribbean with points. We have been to Aruba Stellaris, Cancun Casa Magna Marriott, Curacao Marriott and Grand Cayman twice. Cayman and Aruba were my favorite beaches. Secrets Maroma is right there with Cayman and Aruba. Soft, white sand, clear blue water. Add free drinks and Palapas, life is good. Beach service was very good, no waiting.

Building, rooms: We stayed in building 16. Ocean view, tub on patio. Nice. The rooms are gorgeous. Pretty tile work. Lots of artsy details, pretty mosaic tiles behind the huge tub in the bathroom. Double sinks. Full size toiletries. Bliss Spas. Quality building materials, pretty dark wood furniture. Sleek, sexy, but not cold decor.

Air condition was fine. I was never too hot in the room. You do take a few minutes to get used to the temp after a long walk outside, but it's fine. Keep your door shut though. The AC turns off if it's open. Bugs were not a problem for us and I always get eaten. I used off clean feel, no grease, no smell. Worked fine.

We did not have a swim up room, but they looked great. People DID use them. You sacrifice an ocean view though. Not sure I'd pay a lot more for it beacause you are in with plants instead of looking at the ocean. Privacy did not seem to be a problem if it appeals to you.

Pools: Very nice, great grill for lunch. Constant Food. Swim up bar did get busy. But, it's fun. A little wilder bunch, but a fun bunch. Nice place to talk. People do tend hang there for a while in the late afternoon, but who can blame them? It's shady and there are free drinks! There are quiet corners that you can go to if you want to read and be away from noise. Plenty of space if you are not there at a crowded time of the year.

There were lots of chairs available, but we were there in September. Floats were a problem, mostly because people hog them. It's pretty sad really. Be cool and set your float free if you are not using it! If everyone did this there would be constant floats in rotation rather than being parked. People are really possesive about the floats.

Restaurants: World Cafe for breakfast was great. Nice buffet. Plenty of fresh fruit, omelette and crepe station, meats. Crazy amount of food. Honestly overwhelming choices if you have not had a couple of cups of coffee. The pankakes are awesome with the toffee topping and nuts on top. Nuts are by the fruit. Sort of like a warm nutella. Try my invention. It's yummy!

P.S. Please remember to tip the egg maker and crepe maker, I think they are forgotten because people only expect to tip the table server at breakfast and often times don't have cash.

Poolside grill, always good. Salsa, guacamole, chips, burgers, hot dogs, fajita bar. Plenty to choose from.

Himitsu: Great atmosphere. Perfect service. Good food. High sodium though. Enjoyed our meal very much. Had Chicken and Steak Skewer with rice. We also had 2 appetizers. They are tiny everywhere. Order at least 1 per person. The ice cream sampler is good, ginger, green tea and something else.

Italian place: Ok, nice to eat on the patio with candlelight in the evening. I had the pork loin. It was not at all what I imagined based on reading the description. It was OK. Kind of breaded. The mashed potatoes were good. Things are just a little different than what you think you will get. Be flexible and you will be happy. Picky eaters might have a little more trouble. But, mashed potatoes should help the meal for even the picky.

Fiesta night buffet: The best meal of all in our opinion. Lots of great meat selections. High quality food and you can see it all before you order it. I'm not a buffet fan, but this was exceptional quality and people were chowing down. Lots of fresh food and not overloaded with carbs/filler food. Plenty of fruits and vegetables that were cooked perfectly, not mushy.

Overall above average food, especially for what I expected of an all inclusive. I know some people complained, but look around and you will see a lot of eating going on. I bet the average guest gains 5 pounds minium in a week.

Workout room: nice, plenty cool, a few treadmills, bikes and elipticals. 5 or so weight machines. I worked out in the late afternoon or early evening after nap and there were very few people in there. I heard the mornings are busier. Sort of a strange air freshener smell when you walk in, but it goes away after a few minutes of being in there.

Entertainment: Fire and Drums Show: Try to get an outside table at the fiesta buffet to watch the show. We didn't plan to arrive at show time, but it worked out wonderful. Dinner, wine, and a great seat. The Mariachi band sort of drove me crazy during dinner, but I'm just not into them ever.

Magic show: Stay away! So many people walked out. I wanted to stay out of pity, but couldn't take it any more. It sucks that so many people were leaving. He just needs to work on the act more. I really don't think this is opinion, It's sort of a fact. This show is not good. Be warned. If you do go, sit near an exit so you can slip out easily.

American Idol: So funny, very well done. Impressive theater, great live band. Mostly bad singers, but super fun. The guy that won the prize was good. The prize is a 3 or 4 night stay at Maroma, well worth the risk. You do have to sign up in the late afternoon and practice with the band before the show. It's NOT mpromtu after several cocktails. Probably a good thing.

Desires Night Club: Cheesy name, Sometimes not bad, sometimes ultra cheese. But, I had a great time there. Sometimes the music sounds better than it really is. I wonder why? Depending on the crowd it can be fun or dull.

Booze: Plenty of it. Decent quality. Some good stuff like Grey Goose if you ask for it. Otherwise it was Absolut, which I'm totally fine with. Beers include: Dos Equis, Pacifico, Corona. They can create tons of fruity drinks. Fabulous Mojitos. You will be taken care of.

Wine is not that bad in my opinion. I tried it all. Merlot, cab and chardonnay. No nasty sweet wines, nothing in the A category, but fine really. You can't expect expensive wine at an all inclusive or they would be broke in a hurry. The merlot was the better red in my opinion.

Tips: Share the Wealth! We are lucky to be the customer instead of the server. Tips can really improve the quality of life, especially with low wages. These people work long hours and serve with a smile. Show your appreciation for a job well done. I saw a lot of tipping and generally gracious guests. Bring a couple hundred in singles and lots of fives. You don't want to run out of singles or you can go broke fast. Service seems very sincere. You will want to tip.

Overall wonderful time. Lots of great memories. I really liked the style and size of this resort. It was not too large, easy to get around. There are a lot of special personal touches. Kind of artsy, boutique like. Romantic. Somewhat modern and clean lined, simple elegant. Much better than the Italian, Vegas look that some all inclusives consider "high end".

The concrete jungle problem that some complained of is lack of understanding the aesthetic. I think it's the intended style of the place. There are lots of curves with the pools, plenty of space to walk around. The outdoor/exterior color scheme is intentionally very simple and monochromatic. It's all tan and white, nice with a beach. I prefer it over big time bright spaces, especially when it's super hot. More soothing. Think Greece, but modern.

The main areas are very well landscaped and there are more flowers. They water the grounds. But it's not green to water the heck out of such a large property. It would NOT be very ecologically responsible. Look at the natural surroundings outside the property and you will see the effort that has gone into the landscaping. If you want mega lush greenery Somewhere that rains a lot is your best bet.

We will definately try more Secrets or Excellence resorts. I really like the style, value and service.

Have a great time!! Ignore anything bad that you have read. You will love it!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19  Thank lrkg1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2009

We just returned from a short weekend trip at SMB. I was one of those who researched and read tripadvisor everyday prior to our trip. It was fantastic! It was our first AI trip as well as first time near Cancun and SMB did not disappoint. We stayed in a swim out suite.

Service: Great! They were so friendly! We were greeted with scented cold towels and champagne. What a way to start your vacation. The only minus was our first night when we ordered beer and tortilla chips to our room. I called twice and it never arrived. I guess it was ok because we passed out anyway.

Ambiance: I'm not sure why people complained about the vegetation and concrete buildings. Maybe it's bc I'm from Chicago and don't have palm trees here, but I thought the plants looked just fine to me. The buildings looked clean and modern to me. The restaurants were romantic and nicely decorated. The pool areas/beach are just amazing! People have written that it looks just like the pictures on the website and I would have to agree.

Food: I was quite nervous about this. It's not bad, but not fantastic. That also depends on where you choose to dine. Room service is not very good (don't get the pizza), but the poolside meals are. Everyday they have a poolside bbq with different items like flank steak (yumm) , burgers (angus) , etc. They will also bring around items like shrimp tempura, ice cream, chicken kabobs while you tan. Order the calamari from Seaside Grill while you lay out~ As for the teppanyaki, the show was entertaining. The sushi is not very good. I would compare it to your local grocery store's. Breakfast at World Cafe is pretty good. They have a dozen fresh juices. The watermelon and tangerine were really good. The rest of the buffet will overwhelm you, in a good way!

Some people wrote that you can sit at one restaurant and order from any of the others. I was so excited about this, but when I tried to they looked very confused. It caused quite a commotion.

Drinks: They tend to be on the weak side so make sure you ask them to kick it up a notch. My favorite was a frozen peach one that they served in a pineapple. They do have grey goose, but they do not carry Patron.

The room: Gorgeous! I loved our swim out suite! But the mosquitos are very bad here. We took a quick dip as soon as we arrived and were attacked all over our heads. The privacy is fine because there are shutter doors behind the glass patio ones and you can adjust them accordingly. Bring conditioner! The AC was just fine and cold at times.

The cons: Mosquitos! We brought mosquito sunscreen and that helped a lot. The second night I forgot to reapply the repellant before dinner and ended up with 20 big bites. The AC in the main areas stinks. This includes restaurants and main lobby. If they would fix this, the resort would be perfect.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this place to friends/family and return!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
10  Thank bucktownjetsetter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2009

My husband and I have been to at least 8 all-inclusives in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, etc. We always keep coming back to Mexico for the beautiful beaches and decent prices. This was our first time at a Secrets resort. This hotel was amazing! We had no problems with our AC in our room. It was always a decent cool temperature, but I made sure to always leave the doors and shutters shut with the fan on full blast all week. It was always cool when we got back to our room. We had a swim-out suite which was great, but we only used it 3 of the 6 days we were there. You really didn't even need it, because of the two beautiful pools at the resort, but it was a nice extra! The beach was gorgeous, we always found a nice hut to lay under and they give you free snorkels to use for 2 hours, great for swimming with the awesome angelfish right off the beach. The pools were a little warm which I actually like. I hate getting into a cold pool. They were still very refreshing! And again, we could always find a spot to sit by the pools as well. The chefs walk around sporatically on the beach and around the pool with little snacks which were great! And the waitresses/waiters walk around to bring you drinks were awesome! The entire staff was SO friendly and welcoming. We were glad we brought $50 worth of singles to tip everyone, since they were excellent! The italian restaurant was our favorite. We went twice! The seaside grill for lunch was great also! My only complaint was the Mexican restuarant. We were there our first night hoping to get tacos or fajitas, but all they had was fancy & strange items on the menu, such as grasshopper salad and suckling pig. A big EW to us! We did go to the Spa, my husband loved his massage, but mine was just so-so. Other than that, the place was amazing and relaxing! We will defintily return!!! If your looking to relax and enjoy some sun, this place will not disapoint!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank NJKC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

Great vacation and I will try to make it easy to follow as I went a second time within 2 months (July and Sept):

1. Check-In / Check-Out
- very easy...took no more than a few mins
- they bring a nice cold towel to cool your face...very refreshing
- they also bring champagne

2. Rooms
- some of the partial ocean view rooms barely have any view of the ocean and they are pretty far back in the property...well worth an upgrade to a full ocean view
- I did not do a swim out room as wife prefers the view of the ocean
- 32 inch flat screen tv, good channels including #14 (you can see when you get there), decent mini bar, jacuzzi, open space between room and bathroom, although the shower and toilet have frosted glass doors
- keep screens closed on balcony otherwise mosquitos will get in and if it is not windy, they are out big time...they do provide a spray in the room
- they have 110 volt plugs, so no need to bring converters
- hair dryer included, but my wife still brings her heavy duty one
- bed is on the firm side which I like

3. Beach
- just gorgeous...the pictures say it all
- I have been to many resorts in Caribean (including Bahamas, St Lucia, Antigua, Hotel Zone, etc...) and this is the # 1 beach i have been to. If it is a little windy, there could be some small waves, but on a quiet day, go in the morning and you can see 15 ft down perfectly from the kayaks or snorkel
- Sand and coast line has to be from the Corona commercial...the sand never gets hot as it is almost white.
- they have plenty of palapas and no need to go super early to get one on the beach
- I did do a snorkel trip for $40 from the aqua sport place on the resort and it was the best $40 I ever spent...they brought us on a 7 to 10 min boat ride and where we dropped from the baot, thousands of fish were around us immediately...if you snorkel, this is a must do.

4. Pool
- I have to admit, I did get hooked on the volleyball and the great people I met while I was there also played alot and we did not even let the entertainement staff play (most times they have to motivate people to play, but not while i was there with that group).
- Two main pools, one quiet on the ocean side with a partial ocean view and one right adjacent to it with the pool bar and sports
- both pools were great..about 3ft deep, but refreshing
- sun is strong, so use some heavy duty protection...I was fairly dark already and I was using 55 the whole time...other people were burning pretty bad...you have to work to not get burned
- tranquil music was playing the whole time throughout the resort...think massage music, so no loud music anywhere which was great. I think we were loud a little only when playing volleyball, but we also provided free entertainment for everyone in the main pool :)

5. Service / Drinks
- Excellent service
- I must say that the volleyball crew was thirsty often and the staff took care of us. We were ordering 20 drinks at a time (mostly rum punches or shots)
- they do have top shelf which is included, you just need to ask for it...they will not volunteer it
- tiping a dollar here and a dollar there goes a long way...I brought 75 singles for 7 nights
- Concierge - Carlos in bldg 16 is the best and he helped me out on both trips...Thanks Carlos!

6. Restaurants / food
- All were very good and decor wise put most restaurants in NYC to shame
- Not sure where they get their ice cream, but it is damn good
- World Cafe - Buffet - good for breakfast and go for lunch only if you want the Sushi or a nice piece of grilled Seabass, salmon or Red Snapper...they grill it right there while you wait...totally exceeded my expectations
- Portofino (Italian) - Lamb is fantastic as is the seafood Risotto, great decor with 12 ft drapes
- Bordeaux (French) - Veal chop is a must, also beautiful with the barrels
- El Patio (Mexican) - this place will suprise you...try the lobster tacos
- Himitsu (Japanase) - Sushi Sushi Sushi...also, they have the Hibachi if you like that stuff...fun if you are with the right group
- Seaside / Oceana - these are by the pool and are ok, not like the other ones though
- Lunch time Poolside Buffet - burgers, dogs, rice, fruit, you can guess the rest...was ok for coming right out of the pool if you are hungry
- lunch time cocktails - waiters run around with different plates (sushi, fried bananas, chicken sticks, satays, tacos, frozen sticks, etc...) which are pretty good and very convenient...they even make it out to the beach, but by the pool they are abundant except for the Sushi which always ran out in 2 mins
- Beach side, they also have a large wok where they make paella
- We were there for the Mexican Independence Day which was Sept 16th and they had a special dinner and show...food was ok, show was so so

7. Entertainment
- Entertainment staff work really hard to get people involved and to make sure people are having a good time. Murcelo...you do a solid job and thanks for a great time (they work from morning till late night as they manage the night shows and in some cases are in the night show such as Grease
- Theater - very large theater which hosts the Secrets Idol, Grease show, Magic shows, etc...not big on this myself, but the Idol show was pretty good and entertaining.
- Beach - Hobbie cats if you like to sail are included, so are Kayaks.
- Volleyball - beach and pool
- Sports bar with ping pong tables, dart board, sitting area in a 1 ft pool, tv for games
- they have a schedule daily with a rainy day section as well in case it rains....i have been very lucky and for both my weeks, it did not ruin any days

All in all, this is a classy resort that requires men to wear slacks at the main restaurants and everyone dresses up at night, have relaxing music playing a low volume throughout the resort, with great food, good drinks if you ask for the right one, gorgeous beach, great pool and excellent staff.

Unless you nit pick on the little things, you will have a great time going there.

- ask for the top shelf like JW Black instead of Red
- your AC can get much stronger in the room...just call the main desk and they will get someone there is a jiffy to make it colder...my guess is they try to lower their electric bills by not having them pumped up all the way
- tip a dollar when you think you are getting really good service
- Lobby bar AC could be better...not much you can do there, but drinks are better
- go to the restaurant first and get a beeper and then go for a drink or two
- get the Sushi at himitsu...especially the tuna sashimi
- room service food is so so and should be ordered only if you absolutely do not want to go out of the room and you may wait for some time...oh you can order the ice cream to the room...again very good ice cream
- my wife and I did not use the spa at all, but we did hear it was great...a little expensive
- last tip is after dinner / drinks / shows, go to the beach, lie down on a lounge chair closer to the water with no palapas near you and watch the stars...very romantic :)

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
16  Thank chania98
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

This resort is Wonderful. I'm still unclear why one would complain about the grounds not being tropical enough or the food being below average. We ate far better than we expected, and the place is beautifuI. I mean, come on, this place was incrediable! I won't even try to describe the breathtaking ocean view because you just can not unerstand it until you've seen for yourself. The colors of the water and sky look more like a painting. I didn't think anything could really be That Picture Perfect. My husband, better known around the pool's swim-up bar as "Tuscaloosa" (Johnny) and our buddies Kandy and her husband "Alabama" (Richard) were pampered and spoiled from the time we were picked up from the airport until we were,sadly enough, delivered back there almost a week later. We had swim-out rooms that were fantastic! Really, I would have protested had they tried to upgrade us to anything else. Yes, the A/C are below par. We spent Very Little time in our room and we're always greated with little suprises when we returned...Roses, drawn bubble baths, turn down services. (and we were not even honeymooners or anything) Please, don't be one of those Non Tippers! REALLY, These people work way too hard for you to use the excuse that it's not required. Besides, You'll be surprised at the extra attention to detail you receive when you repect the people who are working so hard to please you. The spa is a must. My husband went kicking and screaming but now is checking for local spas around our home town so we can enjoy little weenend "pick me ups" Ha! The swim-up bar was a blast. The event staff was great at getting a willing, and usually tipsy gang to join in on the activities. I can't say enough about the pool volleyball. Although my back picked the worst weenend EVER to go out, I laughed more in two days just watching and listening to all the funny "smack" talk from the guest AND event staff. If you see Fernando at pool bar, ask him to introduce you to Don Julio. We give them (Don and Fernando) honerable mentions every time we talk of our vacation !!! Please remember to take a bottle of fresh water and a little extra bite of meat and share with the stray dog at the beach. She sometimes plays in the ocean after she's been fed. Look for the man on horseback a bit south down the beach. For tips, He does a few tricks on horseback and will let you take pictures of them or he will take pixs of you on the horse..Pretty cool for photo opp. Please tell Fernando that Diane and Tuscalosoa said hello.
And relax, you're gonna love it here!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank jdstrong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 19, 2009

We returned yesterday from our honeymoon to this amazing hotel. We had a fantastic time but hope we will give a review which gives both possitive and negative points. Do not be put of Mexico because of swine flu it is an amzing country with so much to offer. Also it was 34-38'C the whole time we were there with no rain, despite what the internet and weather forcast said!

We emailed ahead of time to let the hotel know it would be our honeymoon. When you arrive and check in at the front desk a waitress comes over with a glass of champagne. We checked in and walked to our room with the bellboy who was very imformative and spoke very good English. He showed us where everything was on the walk to our room and then gave us a quick tour of our room. We quickly got unpacked and headed out to the pool, it was 3 o'clock and there was still a resonable choice of beds by the pool and beach. We sat at the beach and the waiter came over and got us a drink, we later learned that waiting staff walk up and down the beach and around the pool all day getting you drinks. The beach is amazing, white sand and bright blue water, the waves were only big one day and the rest of the time they were still and calm.

There are three pools, one which is always empty as it is behing the seaside grill and oceana and is also a bit shallow. There is also the pool with the swim up bar inside it and this is where they play water volleyball and water aerobics through out the day at different times. We sat at the other pool which was a bit quieter, this pool is almost half circular and circles the louder pool. From both of these pools you can see the beach and sea. The pools are very clean and every morning the guys are there cleaning them. The beds are amazing, there is two types, one is a flat double which is very comfortable and the other is a sun lounger which is comfortable apart from if you try to lie on your front as there is a metal bar. The towel boy puts out the towels every morning and there is a fresh batch by the outside showers and at the scuba diving hut.

Every day from apart 12 o'clock chefs would bring round platters of food, each one would be different and this would continue till about 2 o'clock when the ice lolly/ ice cream lady would come round as would the dessert chefs. The food would include things like, sushi, tortilla wraps, tacos, chicken skewers, fish and the desserts would be things like, bananas covered in chocolate, cheesecake and other mini desserts. For lunch the seaside grill is open as is the world cafe and the hotel also has two buffet areas, one by the pool and one at the beach. The buffets would have a bbq where they would prepare burgers, hot dogs, chicken and fish and then you could pick, nachos, fries, calamari, salads and also cookies and fruit.

The food is all very good and in the evening there are a selection of the restaurants open with one or two being closed for the night. The asian restaurant was very good and offers you either a regular table or you can book to sit at the table where the chef cooks in front of you. We ate at both but if you have a regular table ask for the sushi menu as this is seperate! My wife found that the asian menu was very spicy as she does not like food too hot but many of the dishes contained curry.

The other restaurants were the french, italian, mexican, seafood and the grill. They were all good although if you want to eat at the seafood go early to get a table or expect a wait! The restuarants offered a nice menu but as we are from Europe and have eaten in these countries we found that the menus were not very authentic and had a lot of american influence. They were good, also some times the menu was written or translated wrongly as the veal chop in the french is a lamb shank and the sirloin in the seaside is actually lamb chop or beef. The menu much to our amusement by the end of the holiday contains things such as "rosemary dust" or "perfumed air", the words perfumed, dust and surprisingly mud appear a lot on all of the menus.

The rooms are lovely with a jacuzzi in the room and a massive king sized bed, the balcony has a couch and table and chairs and we watched the sunrise over the beach every morning from here. We had a lovely sea view room. The bathroom is lovely with a good shower. The hotel offers a turn down service but the first two days we did not recieve this and then the last few nights we either did get whilst we were out or the maid came at 5.30 or 6.00 and we were still getting ready. At turndown they give you clean towels, an activity sheet and chocolates but we only got the chocolates once. Also as it was our honeymoon we were supposed to have a honeymoon package which we did not get, we went to speak to our buildings concierge and we got the banner the same day and the champagne the next we did get a lovely welcome letter on arrival though.

The grounds are well kept and they are trying to build up a jungle look and so far it is looking good. The location is good about 30-40 minutes transfer from the airport. We were shocked upon entering the drive way as it looks very run down but then you realise it is a shared driveway. Once you get to the hotel gates it looks as though it will be an amazing hotel and it was.

The staff were all amazing, we liked Pablo at the pool, he is the pool concierge and would do anything for you, he comes by every morning and checks if there is anything you need, each two beds has an umbrella and he would put this up. He would also remember everyones names and be able to tell if you were new or not. We had a talk with him over the lemon and lime as in mexico a lemon is green and lime yellow, to show us which was which when he finished work one night he went to walmart and bought one of each for us to see and taste the difference.

The bar staff are fast but there is not any list of cocktails or drinks unless you are at the lobby bar so either know what you like or ask them to make something up. We would watch what other people had and ask what is was and then order one. The staff all speak good english. We are trying to improve our spanish and the staff were very helpful and would correct us. For instance an american lady we met went into plays del carmen for the day, it was hot and therfore she kept telling the shop keepers that she was hot, she would say estoy calentey, and the staff would laugh. When she got back to the hotel she asked Pablo why they were laughing and he said you say tengo not estoy as estoy calentey means you are horny!! Very funny.

There are lots of excursions that you can book and scuba diving. The hotel also offers activity's through out the day, we went to tequilla tasting which neither us really like tequilla but it was very interesting. We tried the dark and the white tequlla but also one which tasted of cherries, one of lime and one like a baileys! The man who took the class was very helpful and informative.

The activity team hand out the pool floats every morning and give one for every two beds. Some people would try to store them by the sun lounger but the Pablo was quick to sort this out, there really is no need to do this and there is also plenty in the pool and people share.

For us we found that sometimes the activities like water volleyball, or rather the people playing, could get very loud and even though we chose to sit at the quieter pool the two pools are very close together and therfore it could become very loud. Also, the activity team would play with the guests and sometimes would encourage the noise.

Where we liked to sit was the quietest place as it was on the end of the row but on one of the first days of us sitting there we asked to move as there was a wedding later that day, this was annoying as we liked those seats as it was quiet but we spent the afternoon at the beach. I felt sorry for the wedding party as the wedding venue is so close to the pool bar and water volleyball and as people are getting married there are drunk people playing and shouting at the volleyball net. I am unsure if the hotel offers an alternative but speaking as someone who considered getting married abroad, the venue is too close to the pool.

One day whilst we were doing the tequila tasting an american couple were in the pool and started to have sex, it was very obvious what was going on and the entertainment team when guests told them just laughed. At one point the woman put her legs up against the side of the pool and we just found it completly wrong. We are not prudes but it went on for about 30-45 minutes and in this time none of the staff did anything about it except laugh! There is a time and a place and this is not in a pool at 4 o'clock when other people are around!

This hotel also gets hot as not everywhere is air conditioned, the lobby bar was sooo hot. The best place is the toilets by the seaside grill as they are so cold! The toilets in the lobby are boiling hot!

One night there was a table magician in the lobby and he was amazing, he did some fantastic tricks including guessing names and cards which were quite often in the persons head not even written down! Great choice of entertainment! Just like the saxophone player and the fire breathing show which were both also fantastic!

Definatley 5* hotel, rooms immaculate, service wonderful and grounds kept very clean. We have tried to give an honest view mixing both the possitive and negatives and would be pleased to answer any questions you might have! This has been one of our best holidays, we normally go for 2 weeks and we only went for 1 and feel completly relaxed even after travelling so well. Secrets in one of the best personal hotels on the strip and is not massive and over bearing, it is just perfect.

Enjoy your trip!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12  Thank MVANDCV
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
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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $400 - $907 (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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