We just returned today from a week at SMB with two other couples. We did the same trip a couple of years ago at Secrets Capri, and loved it, but chose SMB this time because of several reviews and comparisons on here. We were not disappointed.
As with SC, the service, food, beverages, etc. are impeccable. The staff especially deserves much kudos - they are excellent - always helpful and smiling. They are truly the strength of the place.
Basic layout/asthetics. Truthfully, I liked the looks and smaller size of SC better, but that's just a personal preference thing. While SC is smaller and is basically done in traditional yellows and terra cotta, SMB is larger and is done in a more minimalist style in whites. The grounds are much bigger, but are done very tastefully. In short, SMB is a very, very nice place.
Rooms. The rooms themselves are spectacular. My only complaint (which is a common one in the area) is that our A/C didn't cool very well the first 2 nights, but after we called, they were up there in 15 minutes to take a look at it, and it was nice and cool the rest of the time. (The A/C in a couple of the restaurants and in the main lobby was lacking, too). The location of the rooms - they reserve the 3 buildings closest to the ocean on each side for their premiium club members, but the view from the other buildings is fine as long as you are not in the 3-4 rooms furthest from the center, then your view is a bit limited. Not sure if the lower level rooms with the swim-up pools are worth the extra money (the pools are separate for each building, and are not connected to the main pool). Although we were not in one, I would guess that the 4th floor (upper floor) would be the best option if you're not in the preferred club.
Food. The food is wonderful. Oceana and the Japanese restaurant were our favorites, but all were good. They brought a lot of things around the pool (in addition to the grill and snackbar that was out every afternoon), including an afternoon round with ice cream (the coconut ice cream was amazing). My only complaint here is that the selection is more limited than I remember at SC, e.g., you had to pay extra for lobster tail, where when we went to SC a few years ago, it was included. Don't know if they've changed that at SC now, too, but it was a bit disappointing.
Activities. We're not the activity types, but there is always plenty to do - tennis, mountain bikes, batting cage, archery, etc. The tequila tasting was excellent. The wife did yoga a couple of days. The nightly entertainment was kind of hit and miss, and the nightclub was never busy. Beach is awesome. Mosquitos are vicious. They arranged 2 rounds of golf at El Chameleon (where they play the PGA's Mayakoba Classic), and that was excellent (especially for the $50 we paid). The $200 "resort credit" is a little misleading - you're limited on how it can be used. For instance, only $40 can be applied to a spa treatment.
All in all, I guess the most telling about our opinion is that as we sat on the balcony with our group the last night, we all decided we're going to return next year. It's a fantastic place and you won't be disappointed.
- 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