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“Beautiful but with issues”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
NH
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Beautiful but with issues”
Reviewed November 10, 2009

We were in a group of 20 so this review is based on everyone's opinions, rooms were compared Preferred club vs non preferred:

Hotel grounds are beautiful. Pool great.
Specialty restaurants are so-so: Mexican and French not good, Italian and Japanese good. Buffet pretty good.

Preferred Club not worth the extra money. Only differences: private check in (regular check in never had a wait), "upgraded" mini bar- we got a package of M&Ms and a Fanta orange soda (this was seriously the only difference). Alcohol in the mini bar included 2 coronas and 3 small 2 oz bottles of liquors. Private lounge: had snacks (yogurt, nuts) and bar- but never saw anyone there. The site says that PC guests get in first for dining and have a minimal wait if none- this was never followed as we did have to wait and did not seem to matter who you were.

Room: very nice. Little privacy- toilet only has a partial door and there is no main door to close to the bathroom, so dont stay here if you are shy about going to the toilet. Jacuzzi tub nice and standard in all rooms. Outdoor soaking tub- took 1.5 hours to fill, not worth the wait. All rooms are the same size, even if you pay hundreds more- so just get the cheapest ocean view.

Room service: good and fast

Wedding review: Very disorganized. Wedding coordinator awful. Got the wrong menu, then the wrong meals. Had to pay extra $500 for alcohol at the wedding....thought this was all-inclusive and everyone had paid for alcohol with their package? Violinist good. DJ good but only played for an hour. Mexican trio only played for half of cocktail hour then left. Officiant dressed in street clothes and difficult to understand what she was saying. Golf cart 30 mins late picking up bride. Salon- great with hair and makeup.

  • Stayed November 2009
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    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank cmkasaras
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Delaware
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed November 10, 2009

For the life of me I cannot understand why anyone would give this resort a low rating.

We were there between Oct 26 and Nov 4 and took advantage of a every 3rd day free promo. It was wonderful!

Lets start with Our Room: We booked a preferred room and asked for building 26 top floor. Because of a palm tree, It did not have a great view, so we asked to move over to building 16. They did this and the view was amazing. We could see the ocean from our bed. This is why we paid extra for the preferred package. I wouldn’t bother otherwise. Beds: Some people complained about a hard bed. Both rooms in building 26 and 16 had a pillow top. Maybe the other (non preferred) rooms do not.

Beach: The most beautiful we have ever seen. We would take long walks on the beach twice a day. The sand is so soft and it never gets hot (how is that?). We only had seaweed one day. The resort was out there is a jiffy to pick it out of the water. I was very impressed with that.

Food: All restaurants were very good. We found out that you could order off the menu at any restaurant—If they had it, they would make it for you. We did this mostly for lunch at the seaside. We wanted fish tacos that were not on the menu. We asked, we got it, and it was delicious. They also don’t advertise this, but they make a special lunch on the beach everyday around 1:00. So you must check this out first.

Staff: Always a pleasure. We loved Freddy at the Seaside Grill for lunch. He was trying to teach me to speak Spanish. It was funny. Everyone was so nice and eager to please.

The Resort: We thought it was top notch. Beautiful tile, furniture and architecture. It was only 1 year old so that helped.

QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

We had a lot of questions, being that this was our first trip in a long time. I tried to find answers on trip advisor, but it only confused some things further. So I hope the following helps:

Sun screen: We brought two 30’s, one 50 and one 15. My husband and I are both Italian and tan well (we also had a base tan). However the sun is very strong. We would use 30 on our entire body, re-applied mid day. On our backs and chest, that get the most sun, we used 50. We did not even touch the 15. Be careful. My husband (like most the men there) still burned his back because he did not respect the power of the sun.

Mosquitoes: YES there will be mosquitoes if there is no wind or after rain, so bring spray with you. The resort had wipes in the room and they did spray the grounds which helped. Because of this we never used out tub on the balcony.

Tipping: We tipped $2 each day for room service, $2 for breakfast and lunch and $5 for dinner. You don’t have to, but they do work really hard and give you anything you need. We could afford it, so we did. Give anything you can, you should tip.

Pesos vs. Dollars: We used dollars. Don’t get all hung up on that. I hear if you go t downtown Playa (we did not) it is best to change to Pesos for better deals.

Preferred Club: Other then the view, it did not seem like it was worth the extra money, The mini bar had some extras, but so what. And our paper never arrived early enough, so we just picked one up at breakfast. The preferred lounge didn’t really offer anything special. However, the faster check in was nice.

Snorkeling: You can get a guy to take you out at the resort. The fish were nice, but the reef was not colorful. We heard the best snorkeling was off of Cozumel. So I would take a day trip there. You can snorkel, shop and rent a jeep and cruse around the island.

Weather: If you look at the forecast and it says chance of shower, don’t believe it. It would be bright and sunny, then it would rain for a couple of minutes then the sun was back out. We only had one day that was a bit overcast, but it was still warm. The temps were 95 during the day, but the cool ocean breeze made if feel more like 75-80. Beautiful nights of 70. Brought a wrap just in case and never needed it. Pack light.

Clothing: Most restaurants require the men to have a collard shirt. For dinner, you should dress nice. But for men this could be a nice pair of pants, collard shirt and a nice pair of sandals/flip-flops.

Airport: Listen to your travel agent. The time share people are bad. They approached us inside the airport, right after customs. They said they NEEDED to check our travel arrangements. They were all dressed the same, so we thought it was official. It was not. Once you get through customs, don’t stop for anyone. Walk right outside. This is where your transportation will be.

Transportation: We had Olympus Tours take us to and from the airport. They will also tell you, you need to see them the next day at a certain time. They just want to sell you on their tour services. All you need to do, at your leisure, is give them your return flight info. This way then can tell you what time you need to be picked up the morning of your departure.
I would get my own, private, transportation the next time we go. I don’t want to spend time picking up and dropping off other people. We could have spent more time enjoying ourselves, than driving around in a shuttle.

Liquor: You can bring back 2 bottles each person. You will need to fit this in your checked luggage, cause you cannot carry it on. Unless you by it duty free at the airport. We bought a couple of bottles at the resort. Don’t do that. They were cheaper at the airport. And may have been cheaper in town, but we did not do that this trip.

Only Negative: Walking along the beach (outside of the resort areas) there was trash that had been washed up. Secrets and the other two resorts should get together and pick this up.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank foreversummer_pnj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

Well what can we say ...
Our honeymoon will never be forgotten...this hotel was above and beyond our expectations and hopes.Our experience began with a "welcome home" greeting, cold towel and champagne upon arrival.
The preferred club where we checked in was air conditioned and the service, snacks and drinks were always enjoyable. We spent a brief time checking in and then went to our room, Ocean view honeymoon suite.

The room:
Our room included a jacuzzi tub for two, and a soaking tub on our balcony that ran both hot and cold water. There was a flat screen TV with cable, however we did not spend any time watching TV. There was a safe, two closets, a fabulous california king size bed and small sofa to sit on for breakfast. We had turn down service every night who also dropped off the following days activity schedule.

The pool/ocean
The pool was fabulous. If you wanted a blue floating mat, you needed to get down to the pool relativly early (9-10 am) as there were only so many mats to go around. The pool was a great place to chill out at as the bartender would walk around and serve you drinks, and at lunch time servers/chefs from the hotel restaurants would come around with food samples from their restaurants. You never had to leave your lounge chair for food or drink (only for those occasional bathroom breaks).
The ocean is beautiful. The water is warm, there were always chairs available and again, there were servers that would walk around and take your drink orders so you wouldn't have to leave the beach front to visit the bar. You could also order food/lunch and they would serve it to you on the beach, I could't believe it. Also, if you don't mind swimming with the fish ...if you bring some bread/food into the ocean, there are schools of bright silver fish that will swarm around you looking for food. They practically eat the bread out of your fingers, it was very cool.

The food
The restaurants were very nice. We tried the italian the frist night we were there, the service and food were good. The atmosphere was very elegant and charming. We did the mexican buffet dinner two nights because of the entertainment the hotel was providing. There was the mexican fiesta and the drums and fire show. Both were very good, I would definitly recommend the drums and fire. They were excellent. The Himitsu japanese restaurant was our favorite restaurant by far. The tepenyaki shows were well worth making the reservation and the food was to die for. We went twice during the week we stayed.

The spa
What can I say about the spa ....Ahhhhhhhh. My husband and I had two couples treatments and I had a third treatment. The first treatment we had together was the moon and stars couples massage. This is a swedish massage for two in a private room with a private jacuzzi and two showers. You get the massage for 1 hour, then you get champage and chocolate covered strawberries to enjoy along with 30 minutes in the private room alone. Hmmm imagine the possibilities. We ended up scheduling our massage later in the day, to our dismay the mosquitoes drove us in at the end of our massage, but they let us take our champagne and strawberries to our room to enjoy. It was very nice. Our second treatment was our complimentary couples massage because of our honeymoon package. This was a deep tissue massage. It was rather nice as we decided to end our week with it, just to be sure we were extra relaxed before facing reality once again. The last treatment that I scheduled was a chocolate/mint body wrap. I had never even heard of a body wrap before visiting this spa. Regardless, how bad can it be being wrapped in chocolate? This treatment could only have been better if they allowed you to eat some chocolate while being envoloped by it :) Anyway, one of the more exciting parts about the spa was the hydrotherapy circut you could use before and after scheduling treatments. This circut included a steam and sauna rooms, cold/warm baths, waterfalls for massaging your shoulders/neck, hydrotherapy seats, hydrotherapy bed, and a jacuzzi. Everything you need to loosed just about every muscle in your body. Do not skip out on visiting the spa on your visit, you will not regret it!

Honeymoon package
We decided to pull out all the stops for our honeymoon. Our honeymoon package included fresh fruit and champagne in our room upon arrival, breakfast in bed one morning, complimentary couples massage in the spa, and dinner on the beach. There were two choices for dinner on the beach depending on which package you bought. We had purchased the silver package which came with a shrimp dinner. For $50.00 we could have upgraded to the platinum package for a lobster dinner. Being from maine, I love lobster, but I was guessing that caribbean lobster is not quite the same. We decided to stick with the shrimp. Little did we know that it was surf and turf and the shrimp sat upon the most delicious filet you have ever tasted in your life! The dinner on the beach was very elegant, romantic and one of a kind. The service was unbelievable.
Champagne was typically included with the dinner, when we asked for wine he allowed us to choose anything off the wine list and then he even let us have one bottle of house wine at no charge (since it was not included in the package deal, we were supposed to have been charged for it, he did not charge us :) I definitely recommend doing the dinner on the beach, there is nothing like it.

Overall, this hotel was above and beyond my wildest dreams. The only negative comment I have to make about this resort would be not being prepared for the mosquitoes. The were vicious, and next time I would do well to remember to bring bug spray just in case. I have been to the caribbean three times (Cancun, Dominican Republic and now Mayan Riviera) Each time before this trip I have always said that I would not mind going back to mexico, I just want to go somewhere different. After having visited Secrets, I would be VERY happy to return to this hotel to receive some R&R.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank rsnow5878
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Harrisburg, PA
Level 5 Contributor
33 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

We stayed in building 16, ocean view, October 31 - November 7th. It rained 4 of the 7 days, but was still very enjoyable. They upgraded us to the preferred building, as they were full.
Room: Great. Luxurious/big. We had a great view on the 4th floor.
Check-in: Fine. No drink or hot towel.
Service: Great. Including the room service. We had coffee early in the morning and a snack one afternoon. Always prompt and accurate.
Bugs: Bring deep-forest OFF and you won't have a problem.
Pool: Least favorite aspect of the week. Chairs are too close together, chairs are all taken by 8:30 a.m., but no on is in them. Not enough shade. Sunday was so loud! Don't expect a floatie. . . they are quickly snatched up and not shared.
Beach: We went to the beach everyday after the 2nd day. Beautiful. There are 4 chairs to a cabana. . . And yes, there are 4 people under them. You can reach out and touch the chair beside you. Not the greatest. We brought our own floats from home which we used in the ocean and pool.
Food: Breakfast was the best. If you sit by the pool, they bring you snacks throughout the day. The grilling down at the beach was great. We always sat outside at the restaurants for dinner.
Other guests: There was habitually a young crowd (>2) at the restaurants who were loud and rude. They swore and discussed completely inappropriate topics. Some of the other guests asked to be moved.
Dress code: Is not enforced. The younger guys wore shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops to all the restaurants. The women wore "cover-ups" to breakfast and lunch. One guy sat shirtless in the restaurant for lunch.. . so don't worry about the long pants and collared shirts.
Service: Housekeeping was great (we tipped). Turn down service was good too, except when they came at 5:00 p.m. (too early). Beach runners were great.
Overall impression: This is our 4th time to an all-inclusive in Riveria Maya. We liked Secrets Maroma. It was not as nice as the Excellence resorts, but does participate with Apple vacations, making the travel easier. Overall it was good and relaxing.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WOF8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

My husband and I came here the day after we got married. We stayed in one of the suites with a pool off the balcony. This was amazing because we were able to take a swim any time of day. The staff was unbelievable and they went out of their way for everything. You had your own concierge everyday and they decorated our room each night while we were at dinner to really make the honeymoon more romantic and special. We had massages everyday as well as food and drinks in the blink of an eye brought to you at the pool. I would definitely suggest this hotel to anyone wanting a relaxing getaway. We couldn't have gotten all the special treatment at such an insane deal without the help of our personal travel agent Dianne at www.thetravelmerchant.com. I strongly suggest contacting her if you want to have the trip of a lifetime!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank johnsonba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed November 9, 2009

My husband and I with our two friends have just returned from this amazing resort. As frequent travellers to 5 star luxury properties in Mexico the Secrets Maroma definitely counts amongst them! We booked our travel through Blue Bay Travel (Leighton) and once again they came up "trumps"! We had booked the Preferred Club, Oceanfront rooms for a two week stay and we were very lucky, and thanks to the help of our travel agent were upgraded to Honeymoon Suites in Block 27 with its own pool. It was an amazing stay. The beach was unbeliveable, the best we had experienced in the whole of the Caribbean - we are not pool lovers, we are always in search of the beach! As always the Mexicans made our stay just perfect, their kind words and assistance really added to our holiday experience (thank you Rosie, our special concierge). The food was excellent, and the buffet around the pool at lunch time was just "perfecto"! Just one small fault - a pity some of the guests do not know how to hold their drink or indeed know that a dress code means a "dress code". Thanks Secrets Maroma for giving us all a wonderful time

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Holidayolic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
Reviewed November 8, 2009

The other positive reviews say it all - staff is awesome, resort is paradise. We went for our anniversary and had an awesome time. Booked and received an ocean view junior suite room.

The pool is outrageous - clean, fun and beatiful. Food presentation was excellent and met expectations. Everyone's tastes are differnet, so it's tough to comment fairly - gotta say, tho, we LOVE chips and salsa for breakfast thanks to this trip!

For what it's worth, we learned some stuff about this resort and the area in general. These are our lessons from an awesome trip at a beautiful resort - Hope they're helpful:

1) Know what "Ocean View" really means - look at the pic we posted - that is from our room - yes, the ocean is there, but it's behind a HUGE building. The nice part is you can still hear the ocean from the balcony, so it was fine. I was expecting more ocean and less building...

2) Rooom was "loud" - the buildings are made with concrete and the rooms are all tiled, so sound is not muted at all. We tried "white noise" but the only form of white noise was the bathroom fan, which only worked with the bathroom light on. What's different with this resort's room layout is that there is only a see-thru sheet separating the bathroom from the main area (no wall - just window/sheet - see the other picture posted looking into the room from the balcony), so it was quite bright. You may want to bring white noise if you are easily woken up by normal hotel noise.

3) Bring bug spray and anti-itch cream - there are quite a bit of mosquitos in Mexico.

4) Hopefully it doesn't, but bring things to do in case of rain - it rained 3/5 days of our trip and we checked the weather up until we left (all said small chance of rain...they were wrong oh, and Hurricane Ida formed while we were there too). You never know...

Overall, staff was fantastic, resort lives up to 'paradise' standards and and we would return in the future.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Elmcityboy
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

Property: 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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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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