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“Great, great place...not perfect, but as good as it gets”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Reviewed October 11, 2009

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.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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9  Thank JayhawkIke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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10,467 - 10,473 of 12,343 reviews

Reviewed October 11, 2009

We went there to celebrate my husbands 50th birthday day and couldn't have picked a better resort. Read alot of reviews on this hotel and we did not have any complaints. Beach, food, service and room were all wonderful. I can't see how anyone can complain about this resort. This was one of our best vacations. Thanks to Sue and Steve for going with us.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank livetotravel35
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2009

I really would like to rate this higher than a four...but there is no way on TA to do so. Truly, the service is fantastic..."my pleasure" was the response we heard over and over...smiles and hola greetings were used by everyone on the staff. This friendly attitude greatly enhanced our stay. The extras that Secrets Maroma provided also made our stay special. Every day at the pool servers would come around with fantastic tacos, chicken and beef on skewers, pizza, fruit sticks, homemade ice cream, popsicles and great little pastry all on elegant platters. The restaurants were all good and again great service was provided. Our only complaint with the resort was relatively minor...but it caused us to not be able to say the stay was perfect. The landscaping in the main building was lovely...however, the middle of the resort was the poorest I have seen in the Riviera Maya. Weeds as tall as three feet were along the walkways and there was little effort to make the ground covering attractive with color. Unlike other resorts that I have visited in the Maya, I never saw groundkeepers working in any of the gardens...just by the beach where they were planting palms. It is very odd that so much care would be spent in making the rooms so lovely, then not bothering to do basic landscaping. The size and the amount of weeds showed months of neglect. The other area that we felt was lacking at SM is the pool. Bridges between the two pools would have made the area flow smoothly. As it was, folks were getting out of the main pool and walking the 20 feet over to the infinity pool to go swimming. We have been to other resorts where the pools were connected and it worked well. Would we go back to SM? Yes! We had a fantastic time, met some great people and were treated like kings!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Nashna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 11, 2009

We went to Mexico in September, our third time in the Cancun area and had a week here before moving for our second week to the Excellence Playa Mujeres.

I fell in love with the Excellence Playa Mujeres, but I must admit the Secrets Maroma beach is also lovely. Rooms are spacious, very nicely decorated and all have a Jacuzzi bath, coffee maker, mini bar and balcony.

We loved the tables at the outside bar where you can sit and have a few drinks in the evening, with your feet in the water (see photo). If you go, say hi to Alejandro the barman who was really friendly and provided excellent service.

The beach is lovely, pretty wide with lovely white sand and very clear water. There is an excellent beach drinks service and additionally sometimes they came around with ice lollies and food nibbles for you to try. Plenty of choice in restaurants for both lunch and dinner. There was even a daily beach / pool BBQ so you didn’t have to leave your sunbed.

It’s a really nice hotel and well worth a visit.

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Hels_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2009

Secrets Maroma Beach is paradise. My husband and I went to the resort in August to celebrate our fifth anniversary. We had read the reviews and were expecting to have a wonderful time. It was perfect... beyond our expectations.

The service was outstanding. There are so many waiters and waitresses out by the pool and on the beach that we never went without anything that we wanted or needed. By the pool we could only sit for an hour without having someone come by offering a taste of fruit, chicken, bread, sushi or ice cream.

We chose the swim out room, and we loved it. The pool behind our room was a perfect place to wind down after enjoying our day out by the main pool and the beautiful beach. We enjoyed the privacy and the fact that there was no "closing time."

We took a taxi into Playa del Carmen to shop one evening. It was easy and quick. The location of this resort is perfect. Not too far from the airport, and not to far from a great town.

Breakfast was the only buffet that we saw, and "buffet" is an understatement. There were breakfast stations set up that included an omlette station, a crepe station, a bread station, and I can't forget the bloody mary/mimosa station! It was great! We loved Himutsu restaurant, and would also recommend Oceana for a romantic dinner outside.

I can't say enough nice things about Secrets Maroma. I would recommend it without hesitation. As far as "upscale" all-inclusives, it's top-notch. I can't think of anything to complain about. We can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank ksbechtol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

We stayed here for 7 days - absolutely beautiful. Serivce was outstanding. We loved the Italian Restaurant and ate there a couple of times. Our room was georgous. The only thing I would change would be - a little more privacy in the bathroom. The glass door would not have been to bad, but it didn't go to the floor or ceiling. Love the secret door. Everything was great. Beach was one of the most beautiful beache I have been to.

  • Stayed: April 2009, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Janinern
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2009

Normally a budget, boutique hotel traveler and very familiar with the area, I wanted a luxurious experience for our honeymoon. We married on the beach in Tulum, stayed in a high-end cabana right on the water and topped off our luna de miel with 3 nights at SMB. This was not my first nice hotel but it was my first All Inclusive stay. We chose this resort for the reputation of Maroma Beach, no wrist bands and no reservations required for dinner, the upscale environment and level of service.

We arrived in a taxi and were whisked away in a golf cart. I was grinning from ear to ear because I knew what that meant and I was thrilled to be there. We had booked a swim out suite for a great rate through a discount site but they upgraded us for free to the Preferred Club in building 25 (Most people are celebrating a special occasion so book the desired room, don't depend on an upgrade). Check in was quick, a welcome drink and a cool towel later we were off to our room with our resort discount vouchers. The honeymooners banner, welcome letter offering spa discounts and a champagne breakfast in bed along with a rose and white lily arrangement and champagne and fruit plate were nice touches included with the free honeymooners package. Ipod docking stations in the clock radio (not so great), jacuzzi (ours was hot and had fine pressure), wireless internet, robes and slippers, faux candle lamps, incense and a mini-bar stocked with glass bottles of coca-cola, beer, water and three little bottles of alcohol. Ask the concierge for M&M's and other treats. We loved having a swim out room and felt it worth the extra $30 a night. Second from the end we were not really bothered by people walking by.
Turn down service left a note in the door when our do not disturb light was on. One night the towels were picked up, ironing board put away and the safe shut with a note to call security as we had left in open. We appreciated the procedure and prompt arrival of someone to open our safe.

The Preferred Club offers a continental breakfast spread including yogurt, pastries, bagels, fruit and fresh banana bread starting at 7am. Sandwiches, sweets like tuxedo strawberries and kiwis in the afternoon, hot items like Mahi Mahi or calamari skewers for happy hour and it closes at 11pm. The A/C works great and the three computers have internet and printers. The staff is friendly, efficient and does a fancy set up for limes along with Don Julio tequila. Nice not to have to walk to the lobby for a drink or order room service but I don't know how much extra I would pay for it. There are computers in the main lobby.

Daily Activities seem to be 10 am stretching, 10:30 am Spanish Lessons, 11am Kayak tour, 11:30 am Beach Volleyball, 12 pm Pool Aerobics, 12:30pm Water Volleyball, 3 pm Pool Card games for prizes and 4:30pm dance lessons. Other options vary by day like kitchen tour, bungee trampoline, and Rifle Shooting.
Theme Nights
Monday: Circus Show, Stargazing Party
Tuesday: Mexican fiesta, Silent Comedy Show
Wednesday: Idol Experience, Disco Night
Thursday: Grease Show, Night out to Coco Bongo (extra $)
Friday: Drums & Fire, Live Rock Band
Saturday: Ieal Couple game, Night Clun
Sunday: Magical Entertainer, Karoke Night

We skipped all the nightly activities in favor of our pool and jacuzzi.
BEACH:
No problem getting an oceanfront palapa late afternoon during low season mid- September. The beach staff hustles to serve drinks, tip them well please. A beach side food menu is available, just ask. We never walked along the soft sand but did take a kayak out. Calm waters and plenty of space but the beach was not as spectacular as I was expecting, still very nice.
POOL:
Gets loud and crowded, I can't imagine when the occupancy is higher. Some people hog the floating rafts and others of us shared very well. A staff member did approach a woman who had her shoes on a raft while sitting in her chair smoking after she would not give it to me. I said I would just ask someone else. We avoided the swim up bar and volleybar areas but it looked like they had fun the one afternoon we hung out at the pool. Staff comes around the pool and beach with platters of food around lunchtime. We saw beer battered cauliflower, pork and pineapple skewer, beef tacos, shrimp pizza and ice cream bars being offered up along with a poolside buffet at 12:30pm. The food was decent for lunch and better than I expected all around.
TIPS & FAVORITES:
Coconut and Chocolate Ice Cream from 24 hour room service was the tops!
Sea bass special, creamed spinach and scallop appetizers at Oceana, Mango Tangos and Purple Rains (like an adult lemonade) were delicious. The menu of drinks at the lobby bar look interesting and fruity. I forgot to have a real Cuba Libre with Havana Club Rum as I mostly drink good tequila.
Different flavors of Chilaquiles at breakfast, hot chocolate and Tikin Xic Mayan fish were the highlights of the World Cafe buffet.
El Patio:
Inventive and interesting menu including a salad with tasty fried panella cheese and a lemony grasshopper dressing. Lobster Tacos, creative filet mignon and pork entrees, jalapeno bread and “Tres Leche Deconstructed” and Chocolate Ganache with vanilla ice cream desserts were superb. Don Julio tequila is included but one of my other favorites, Coralejo, is extra.
Himitsu teppanyaki tables require a reservation, we did not dine there.
Room Service:
Phone staff were extremely polite, especially Fransico, “Mrs Wanderer” this and that. I absolutely loved it! Delivery took about 45 minutes as promised all 3 times we ordered. We used the Secrets Box without issue everytime and tipped. On our last night, I wrote a personalized card from the wedding printed with a starfish and Muchas Gracias to thank them for their superior, friendly service along with a starfish favor and a nice tip. We did not hear them and the person who called was very gracious. I really appreciated the service from everyone we encountered or talked with on the phone.
SPA:
Booked seperate massages at the Pevonia Spa through our concierge for our last morning. We arrived 45 minutes early, enjoyed the hydro therapy circuit and had massages in the same room. They allowed us to use 2 resort vouchers for $40 off each. Enjoyed the showers and products, nuts to snack on and fruit flavored water while lounging around after the massage. I have a spa price menu so message me for information.
Issues from past guests:
Thought the grounds of SMB were lush with flowers and trees, the buildings have some decorations making them not all white concrete blocks. The air conditioning in the main lobby was lacking, not intolerable but not cool like it should be. We were fine in El Patio and Bordeaux. I was told they are looking into upgrading. Our room air conditioner worked like a charm. We kept the window slats closed and the patio door shut to keep the air running. Mosquitos were not a problem mid- September but we did spray before going out of the room at night. We enjoyed dressing for dinner and appreciated the dress code. Jeans are allowed but looked out of place in my opinion and the person seemed to be very hot. El Patio is haute cuisine with a Mexican influence. Playa del Carmen is a safe, fun place to stay or go for dinner and explore the non-touristy areas as well as 5th Avenue.
My Issues:
Broken shot glass in swim up pool, reported to PC check in. Someone only moved it from where I had put it and never cleaned up the remaining glass, we did it ourselves. Lucky we did not get a nasty gash on the bottom of our feet as I had been walking around in that area and then my new husband found it with his feet.
Lax dress code in Bordeaux, woman allowed to enter wearing a printed tee-shirt, capri pants and flip flops.
Tank tops and loud crowd in PC bar, we were dressed for dinner after 8pm.
The sauna and steam room were not working but we forgot to inform the Spa staff.
Steak from the Sea Side restaurant was mediocre.
Taxi Info:
Quoted 180 MXP from the ADO bus station in Playa del Carmen, only about $15. I had read it was $20 so gave him that plus a tip as it seemed far and off the highway.
Back to the airport, 300 MXP plus tip (about $23+ tip)

Along with Horseback Riding next door at Rancho Baaxal we have fantastic memories of our short stay. It was a perfect length for us as we did enough and relaxed enough. Overall we had a lovely honeymoon splurge!

  • Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank coloradowanderer
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 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range: $395 - $875 (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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