My husband and I wanted a relaxing vacation and after doing extensive research, decided to spend 1 week in Mexico at Secrects Maroma Beach. We had pretty high expectations based on all the positive reviews and I was somewhat expecting to be disappointed in some way. I've never posted a review of ANYTHING but I really wanted people to know about this place.
The resort is beautiful, clean, well manicured, and very relaxing! We literally spent hours on the beach just staring at the amazingly turquois water with the powdery sand beneath our feet. The pool area is fantastic as well. Its not so big that you feel lost but not so small where you have to hunt for a good spot--perfect size. Beach side and pool side service is the best!
We ate at all of the restaurants, even the lunch buffet at World Cafe, and Coco Cafe (coffee shop) as well as ordered room service several times. We enjoy fine dining and do so regularly back home so we did not know what to expect from an AI as this was our first time at an AI.
Overall, We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food, the abundance of options, and presentation. To be perfectly honest, not all dishes were 5 star caliber but most, particluarly the grilled seafood dishes, were excellent and deserving of 4-5 stars every time. The only disappointment was the Asian restaurant (Himitsu) as the sushi and other various asian dishes were below average. However, we didn't really expect Asian food to be excellent in Mexico (plus we are Asian and have had the best of the best in Asian food in the US and Asia so it would be unfair to compare). The guests around us enjoyed their food though so it's just a matter of taste for each person. Even the food served poolside and Barefoot Buffet was tasty. Room service food was great as well (better than room service in most non AI hotels I've been to)--go ahead and try it--you've already paid for it :)
The portions are smaller but that's because its common to order appetizer, soup and/or salad, entree, and dessert. I prefer the smaller portions in order to try more items!
We're not big drinkers so can't comment too much in this area. I usually had wine with my dinners (the house wines are good, bottle service available for additional charge) and some frozen drinks by the pool/beach. My husdand drank Coronas. Its true the mixed drinks are not strong (I can tell and I'm a light weight) but you can alwasy ask them for a double or premium liquor. Keep in mind they have to try to please every palette so be reasonable with your expectations.
I really enjoyed the adults only atmospehere--no kids crying, making a mess, and no frustrated parents yelling at them! I love kids but I don't want to worry about them on vacation. Vast majority of the guests were couples --I don't think I saw any non-couples such as groups of girls or guys. This type of place isn't geared towards non-couples so I wouldn't go here w/o a significant other. From the softly lit grounds to the daily turn-down service, this place was meant for relaxation and romance.
The most memorable part of our trip was the exceptional service we received from everyone. From the minute we walked in to the minute we left, we alwasy felt taken care of. We brought $200 in ones for tips but ended up using about $150. I know tips are included but what does it hurt to show some appreciation for people who work so hard and try their best? Plus, the few dollars means a lot more to the staff then it did to us--total in tips costs less then a 50 minute couple's massage but means so much more to them. Also, I did not notice a difference in service from the staff for those who tipped and those who did not. I'd say about 1/2 of the guests tipped.
We spent 1/2 a day the the spa--its beuatiful and the hyro pools and suanas were relaxing. Our couples massage cost $195 and was not great--still nice and relaxing but it felt more like a nice rub down then a massage. I don't think my massuese got any of the knots out (or even knew how to feel for knots?). I guess it just depends on who you get. Spa staff was very nice though.
We did 1 excursion, the Jungle Tour by Aquaworld who has a representative on the resort so you can book there. For about $70/person (including taxes of 11%, and park & dock fees), we were provided transport service to Cancun where we spen about 20 minutes on individual wave runners going througn mangroves and channels to our snorkeling destination. We snorkeled about 45 minutes (lots of fish and our guide "caught" a small octopus and lobster) then rode the wave runners back through a differecnt route. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it if you want to leave the resort.
We watched only one show--Grease and it was ok. Don't expect Vegas or Broadway but they really try so its endearing. What was fun was when they set up a huge TV on the beach with grill and full bar on the beach for Game 1 of the World Series. All this made watching the Rangers lose more bearable. We meet a couple of knew and hangs out with Cliff Lee persoanlly so my husband got a kick out of that.
Other than the excursion, we did not leave the resort at all. There was no need too--doing nothing but relaxing with a loved one was amazing and much needed!
As advised by previous reviewers, we declined the time-share tour of the hotel even though they offered $100 in resort credit. I heard from those that did get sucked into going that the time share is $60,000--not sure on price OR what the terms are so don't rely on this too much!
Our hotel room was very clean, comfortable, and luxurious. We did not have any issues with bugs or temperature control or the bed (it was just right--not too soft, not too hard). Just a note for those who don't know, the water system is different in Mexico (differs from city to city in the US much less in another country) and sometimes it appears to have a faint copper-ish colored tint. I didn't use the jacuzzi tub in our room just to be safe but hubby did and he's fine.
I hope this review helps you decide. Don't worry aboout the weather this time of year--we stayed the last week in October and all the reports said it would rain the entire week but it only rained for a few hours our first day (and in the middle of the night a few times but you're sleeping). Rain moves quickly in this tropical paradise so don't worry about it!
We can't wait to go back and defeinitely recommend this resort!!
- 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