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Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

Los Angeles...
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Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

I hope I am in the right forum (I also posted under Cancun), please forgive me if not! Sorry, this is kind of long...but I need your help!

My fiance and I have been researching honeymoons extensively and he likes the Caribbean (Turks & Caicos, Nevis, Grand Cayman--for the beaches mostly and to stay at the Ritz or Four Seasons). We agree that we both want to be on the beach and to be somewhere warm.

Before researching, we kind of said no to Mexico, the DR, Jamaica...maybe because they seemed so popular? I think he wants a place with exclusivity and since it's our honeymoon, wants a very special place. There's not a set budget, but I don't want anything exorbitant, either (hence no Bora Bora). We're 29 & 31, and don't want a party atmosphere, just want romantic and a place we can remember years from now. He doesn't want overly crowded, either, and would like to spend most of the time at the resort.

After doing my own research though, I think AI places in Mexico might fit the bill of what I'm thinking of: luxurious, friendly staff, ease of dining, good food, beautiful rooms, little alcoves to hang out in around the pool, being pampered, not getting bored of the resort too easily (which I fear would happen at a smaller resort). The thing that might be off-putting for him is the size of the resorts...

I would love to hear pros and cons of both SMB and EPM, though. They both look so great to me. We'll be going the first week of November. Which would you pick and why? Do you think staying at both resorts (one for 3 days and the other for 4) would be a good idea? I personally like the idea of trying both resorts, because I feel like we'd get to experience 2 beautiful places. I read SMB has a better beach, so I think I'd want to book that for the latter part of our stay. I initially thought I really wanted snorkeling, so that would be great if it was a possibility, but just being able to swim in the ocean would be nice.

Thoughts? Please help! We're trying to make a decision within the next few days. Thank you!!

Boardman, Ohio
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1. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

If budget is no concern, I would suggest looking at LeBlanc in Cancun's Hotel Zone.

Akron, Ohio
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2. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

I agree about LeBlanc, but it seems like the OP doesnt want somewhere in the hotel zone (Because its so crowded). I would say that Secrets Maroma definitely has the best beach you could find anywhere. I havent stayed at either hotel but the look of Secrets Maroma appeals to me so much more! Service might be about the same (great!) because both hotel chains are top rated. If you are beach people, definitely pick Secrets Maroma unless there is something extremely outstanding that you see at EPM.

Chester, United...
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3. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?


We have been to both and love doing multi-resort trips but for 7 nights I would not bother

SMB certainly has the better beach

Overall we prefer EPM as it has more dining options, pools and for us a better resort layout. The thing you need to take into account about EPM is that at present Excellence Group are building a new property of the LHS as you look at the ocean so there will be construction work going on in November as property is due to open in April 2015

If it helps check out my reviews as they have links to large photo albums for the resorts which should give you a good feel for them

North Carolina
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4. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

Been to both multiple times and you can't go wrong with either resort...Both great for honeymooners....

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

Not sure about for your dates but every time we have looked, SMB is quite a bit more expensive and it seems to be for one reason only - the beach!

There are so many great AI options in the Cancun\Riviera Maya and they are generally much cheaper than other places in the Caribbean. We went to many islands before we had kids and always stayed non-AI. Eventually we got sick of paying 400+ per night and then another few hundred a day on drinks and meals. Was the food better at these places, yes, but you pay through the @#$ for it. Paying 16$ for a mediocre frozen drink got really old and if you each have a handful of drinks per day it really adds up.

Other AI places to consider, each seems to have some pros and some cons when comparing them all side by side:

Iberostar Grand

Paradisus La Perla

Blue Diamond

Royal Hideaway

Toronto, Canada
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6. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

Without knowing you two it is hard, but IMO neither EPM or SMB (and I've only stayed at EPM) would be comparable to a Ritz / Four Seasons experience on one of the islands you mention - that's not to say they are bad choices, but they are two different concepts and one may not be happy with the other's choice, given they are quite different.

I wouldn't split a 7 day trip - you basically lose one of your days to travel - we are splitting next month, but that's a 2 week trip.

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7. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

I don't think you should rule out Le Blanc just because it is in the hotel zone. Le Blanc is a small, intimate resort but being in the hotel zone gives many options if you chose to leave the property. Also consider the resort credits to be used in the spa, romantic and chef's dinners as well as some excursions. It really is a great place for a Honeymoon.

America, The...
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8. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?


I would add Grand Velas and Essencia (with an AI package) to your list, and also really like Le Blanc. If you don't want to limit yourself to Mexico and have a larger budget, there are some really special AIs in other spots in the Caribbean as well. While EPM and SMB are fine, the latter with the much nicer beach, if you do have a larger budget and want something truly special, I don't think of them as the kinds of places you will will remember for years to come as you said. Here are a few that come to mind that you might want to take a look at:

Palm Island Resort

Jumby Bay (pricey, but incredible)

Guana Island (you might have the entire Island almost to yourselves in November for about 6k for a week)

Curtain Bluff in Antigua

Spice Island Beach Resort in Grenada

Bucuti and Tara in Aruba (with dining package)

Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios (with dining package)--I know you said no Jamaica, but it's very special

Peter Island Resort

Little Dix Bay

Happy planning and congratulations on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon!

Edited: 28 April 2014, 13:38
America, The...
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9. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

If you are staying with Mexico, you can also add El Dorado Maroma to your list, which I would prefer for a honeymoon as well to the two you started with, but again, for the truly special factor, I'd still go with others on my list above.

Oxford, Michigan
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10. Re: Nov. Honeymoon: Secrets Maroma or Excellence Playa Mujeres?

The Beach at SMB is amazing and just love kicking back and soaking it all up. The Reef area is also nice to sail out to. Past two years at SMB have been amazing in May; the month of November the weather has been nice also. Did that back in 2012 and really enjoyed it with our kids in Cancun.

Going to EMP this year to try out something different, but would go back to SMB in a heart beat...great service, food, spa, entertainment and so much more. Sure did like the morning Yoga Class by the Pool/Beach area...what a great way to start the day!

Hotel zone...not my choice, but that's just my opinion. Others love the the High Rise and Party zone area and I can understand why; but just not for use on our vacations. We just enjoy kicking back and vegging out pool/beach side with great service.