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 .
- 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