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SMB or VIM and why?

Buffalo, NY
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SMB or VIM and why?

If the price was the SAME for both resorts. Which would you go to and why? I have read lots of reviews basically saying SMB runs on it's advertising, is just average, is too expensive etc. If you could get SMB for the price of VIM which would you choose? TA peeps have me wondering if SMB is just hype and we should stick with VIM even with the price being the same.

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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1. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

I go with SMB simply because it IS usually a lot more expensive than the VIM.

I've walked Maroma Beach and it is gorgeous - no question about that. But there is (in my mind at least) a trade off in that there are other, kid friendly, resorts along Maroma Beach. At the VIM, the beach isn't as nice (although still perfectly lovely IMHO) and it's as private and kid free as you can get in Mexico as there are no other resorts in the immediate vicinity.

As far as a resort-to-resort show down goes, I understand that they're compable as far as food, drink, service and entertainment are concerned.

Edited: 28 March 2013, 17:55
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Mexico
Mexico
North America
Houston, Texas
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2. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

I haven't been to any of them. But I have done some research on the two, as they were recommended on this forum.

From my research on TA and watching youtube videos, SMB is not in the same leaque with VIM. SMB has far better rooms and beach . I would think the service and food quality is better there too. We hardly drink, so I don't care for drink quality. But SMB sure has really weird looking restaurants. The decor and overall ambiance of a resort's restaurants is important to me when I'm choosing a vacation.

For the same price or for $500 more, I'll take SMB over VIM. We've stayed at true five star resorts like Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and Mandarin Oriental. While I don't expect SMB to be on par with these resorts, I do think it's a quality place.

I also think VIM is a budget resort. Alteast from the pictures I've seen on TA.

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The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun
3,158 Reviews
Cancun, Mexico
Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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3. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

When I see the words "budget resort", I think of a Motel 6 with a beach. Whilst there are certainly nicer resorts than the VIM out there (most of which are at a significantly higher price point) and it definitely isn't in the same league as Four Seasons, etc. I wouldn't call it "budget".

Denver, CO
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4. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

We've not been to SM but have been multiple times to VIM. First VIM is not a "budget" hotel. You do get a great value for your money but it is definitely a great hotel on the same level as Secret Resorts.

We're fans of AM Resorts (Secrets parent) and have been to three different Secrets. Food, service, etc. are pretty comparable between VIM and Secrets. The Secrets resort I've gone to on the Gulf side (Secrets Capri and Secrets Silver Sands) have not had very good beaches which from what I've read is where Maroma shines. The beach at the Valentin is a great beach and very large, but again from reading it doesn't match SM.

If they were the same price, I would certainly try SM, but right now SM is about $1000 more per week than VIM.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

Excuse my definition of a ''budget resort''. I don't know, maybe I will stay at the VIM in the future. But for now, the rooms(floor tiles, furniture and general decor), ambiance of restaurants, food quality and presenation, as well as the size of the resort don't seem appealing to me at all. Honestly, I wouldn't call it a luxury resort.

And btw, Secrets Silversands is about $200 more than VIM on my travel dates from Houston. I think Secrets is a much better resort in terms of everything, except the beach. But the price point isn't ''significantly higher'' like you stated.

Now resorts like Grand Velas, Le Blanc and Rosewood are significantly higher in price points, and I would expect a lot more from them.

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Houston
Houston
Texas Gulf Coast, TX
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
3,548 Reviews
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Le Blanc Spa Resort
Le Blanc Spa Resort
6,323 Reviews
Cancun, Mexico
Berwick, Maine
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6. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

We have been to both resorts and enjoyed both very much . I would not consider VIM a budget resort actuall if the price was the same as you have asked the decision as to which resort I would pick would be difficult . The rooms at VIM are nicer , the beach and food I would definately give the edge to SMB , as far as service goes I would give the edge to VIM , I agree with what you have read , it seemed to us that SMB relies on it's reputation . Tough choice but if the prices were the same we are beach people so I would return to SMB .

One more point , I do not agree that Secrets is a much better resort in everything except the beach. Don't discount VIM it is a quality resort that I would highly recommend to anyone and would return myself.

Calgary
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Cancun
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7. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

@ Chirsjo - Secrets Silversands and the VIM are typically priced quite close together - the $200 you're seeing for your travel dates is a pretty standard differential.

However, the OP is asking about Secrets Maroma Beach, not Silversands. The price between SMB and VIM is usually $1000 a week, if not more ..... a LOT more.

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Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun
Secrets Silversands...
11,617 Reviews
Puerto Morelos, Mexico
WV
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8. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

Maybe Jeff will chime in soon. he has been to both too. Can't really help yet, but we got in on super deal on SMB (227 a night for two for an oceanview suite)-which is less than the VIM. We will see, but I am not expecting the usual price difference better.

Calgary
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9. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

Wow Muscles, that's a scorching deal - good for you!

U.S.
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10. Re: SMB or VIM and why?

I think we got in on the same deal, and that the OP is also considering!

I have been to neither of these resorts....

But SMB has def. been on my radar for quite a while!

I am a beach person, and a food person...

From what I have been reading:

The food, no reservations, no limits on a la carte restaurants...

And MAROMA beach would all dictate that I choose SMB.

Never has been a question there, in my mind.

Sure, SMB might not be perfect.

Some of the decor is 'different'.

The pool areas might seem a bit more limited.

I don't like the opening between the bathrrom and the bed, thru the jacuzzi.

But, for my priorities, beach, food, atmosphere (not too stuffy), etc..

SMB is my choice.

Edited: 28 March 2013, 22:28