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Stirring Pot- SMB

Buffalo, NY
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6,593 posts
13 reviews
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Stirring Pot- SMB

It seems that SMB has been getting a lot of negative opinions on the board lately. I have not been yet so I really can't comment on the resort. All I do know is that it has many many glowing reviews.

With that said- why do you think SMB is getting such negative attention on TA lately? What if SMB was priced in line with ERC or VIM? Would that make the negative opinions not as negative?

What if it dropped a few slots and was not one of the #1 resorts per TA anymore? Is it just a question of it being at the top and 'things at the top must be knocked down'?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion for sure- but it just seems like SMB gets a lot more negative 'press' on the forum than other resorts similarly rated like the IB Grand or LeBlanc or Excellence properties. I'm trying to figure out what makes this so.

Northern US
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for Playa Paraiso
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1. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

I've only seen some comment they think it's overpriced and wonder why it's billed as a romantic couples resort when it expects people to share a palapa. I don't see that as negative at all. Or are you referring to something else?

>> but it just seems like SMB gets a lot more negative 'press' on the forum than other resorts <<

If that is really true, than it's probably warranted don't you think? As many people comment about reviews, if many people different complain about the same thing then there probably is a problem.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 19:10
Buffalo, NY
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6,593 posts
13 reviews
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2. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

Just in general- over the past 6 months it seems like SMB is taking a lot of heat while other resorts that are expensive and highly rated are not. I'm trying to figure out why that is. SMBs rankings haven't changed at all in a very long time- and yet you'd think - given info on TA- that the place was becoming a low end pit.

Northern US
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for Playa Paraiso
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3. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

>>given info on TA- that the place was becoming a low end pit.<<

I don't think anyone would come to that conclusion but perhaps it is overrated. I'd imagine it's probably popular with newly weds and most people on their honeymoon would be happy at a Motel 6 with a dirty pool, so imagine how they'd view SMB.

Buffalo, NY
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4. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

hahahahaha!!! I can't wait to go in January and form my own opinion. I'm glad I only paid 283 for a swimup as I don't feel any AI is worth 500/night no matter how good the service :)

U.S.
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3,306 posts
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5. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

Asmit, I am in the same boat as you.

I have researched and researched!

I think might have come up with an answer.

Yes, SECRETS does a lot of things right!!!!

And, of course, SECRETS misses the mark, big time, on a lot of things.

Things such as FORCED sharing of palapas (Yes, they will actually move chairs up under your palapa and force you to share. NOT okay, under any circumstances. Not an issue of seating xxx number of guest in xxx amount of space.

Things such as a great reputation for room service, and NO small table and chairs in the suites to dine, or have your morning coffee, etc... NOT okay. Many Holiday Inn hotels have mini tables and chairs. Just no excuse.

But, here is my huge revelation, after looking at many photos and videos....

Secrets Maroma Beach just has a split identity.

They just do NOT know, or have an adequately defined view of, what type of resort they are.

And, due to that, on either end of the argument, there will be many confused and disappointed guests....

If one is there for a couples getaway with their loved one, and their nice, (and possibly expensive extra cost) dinner, is inundated by the blasting thumping music from the 'EVENT', whether it be a wedding, incentive event, etc... Well....

The resort seems ready and willing to take any business, any way that they can get it, from any demographic of visitors. Therefore, you end up with a mix of Le Blanc and a Carnival Cruise at one small semi-compact resort.

We considered the recent great deals at both resorts.

My husband hemmed-and-hawed about locking in Le Blanc.

Watching videos of Le Blanc just kept reinforcing my fear that it would be just so stark and stiff that we would not be comfortable relaxing and enjoy any bit of kicking-back there, at all. (Not to mention the airline travelers from heck seated beside and in front of us on our last flight, who were obviously headed for Le Blanc...) We never did lock in that price.

Anyhow, It all comes up to the guests expectations.

And, when a resort tries to cover too broad of a base, I think it will leave some disappointment, as they will be unable to deliver any point on the spectrum as well as they possible could/should.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 21:19
Buffalo, NY
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6,593 posts
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6. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

Good point of view! We also did not pull the trigger on LeBlanc. No matter how nice the place is- I can't get over the 'no party, be quiet' nature of the place. I want to kick back, have some drinks and laugh with other guests too.

The tables and chairs thing will be a PIA because we are huge room service fans but we'll make due.

You are perhaps right though- they haven't really defined themselves and their pricing is generally very very high which creates unattainable expectations for some. Given that I only paid 283 for a swimup- I think my expectations will be lower than if I paid 450 a night.

U.S.
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7. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

"Just in general- over the past 6 months it seems like SMB is taking a lot of heat while other resorts that are expensive and highly rated are not. I'm trying to figure out why that is. SMBs rankings haven't changed at all in a very long time- and yet you'd think - given info on TA- that the place was becoming a low end pit."

I feel like when I see the reviews, I see a common element there.

Resort swamped with INCENTIVE GROUPS.

Traveler trying to make comparisons with a completely different type of place, such a five star Ritz in Paris.

Unrealistic expectations, that would clearly not exist if the guest had done ten minutes of research on a place like TA, instead of coming on here after the fact to complain.

Things like "No open view of the beach"

Well, hello, there are now laws and policies and guidelines in place to protect the dunes and the ecosystem. Maybe older resorts bulldozed their way in. But that is no longer the case.

Things like that.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 21:27
U.S.
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8. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

Yes, I agree, I wouldn't want to pay that much a night either!

I am just really hoping and praying for some halfway decent weather.

That time of year can be 'iffy'.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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9. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

We booked for that great January deal as we thought we would give it a try at that price.

After two weeks, we cancelled the reservation and decided to go to Barbados instead.

We just have no interest in staying at SMB. No reason to pay for flights and use precious vacation time if we are disinterested so we opted out. And the weather in Cancun and water temps are very likely not going to be warm enough for us.

After 4 stays at LeBlanc, IMO it is not a "no party, be quiet" resort; nor it is a raucous frat house at the swim up bar, which is something we have experienced at other resorts that are highly rated on TA. And that is something we dislike tremendously.

For us, LeBlanc is just about perfect and if we want Maroma beach we book EDM.

Edited: 17 May 2013, 22:03
Buffalo, NY
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13 reviews
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10. Re: Stirring Pot- SMB

I admit that we booked SMB only because of the great rate and out of pure curiosity. It's one of those places that has such interesting views from people. Some swear the place is amazing and they wait on you hand and foot. While others say the place is packed like sardines and service is better at VIM. It's almost comical!

For 283 swimup- curiosity killed the cat! I'll of course share my experience and feelings on the place and discuss comparisons when we return. I do however find it unlikely that the place is worth full price at 450 a night....it would have to be twice as nice as VIM to pay that kind of rate and i just can't imagine.