I have never written a review on tripadvisor before but I was so put off by all the bad reviews I felt compelled to put one up. I think a little information about myself is important first because we all try to size up the reviewer to see how we align. I put up my travel information in a broad way on my map. The important information that is not included is that I studied at the University of Belgrano in Buenos Aires for a year as an undergraduate. I've worked in Paraguay for 2 months and done two seperate business trips of 2 months each in Mexico and vacationed there for probably ten individual weeks total. Also I've been to Paris at least six times and spent six month in South Western France. This information isn't put here to brag - it's to say that I have lived abroad under various conditions and have probably a higher tolerance than say a honeymooner leaving the US for the first time. The rest of my review will be about the Mayan Riviera and the problems that people perceive:
Arrival/Departure: Cancun Airport: it's gotten a lot better but still expect stress (most of it is actually unwarranted - you will get to your hotel). However if you get up at 3:30 A.M. on the East Coast after sleeping for 2 hours as I did New Year's - I was a total bear. I factored this in. One way to alleviate stress is to fly first class (I used miles) and arrange private transfer. I like USA Excursions. However I have probably used most of the companies. They are all fine. Leaving Cancun is also a hassle because the system is set up for you to spend money and time in Cancun airport. Factor this in and have a few drinks and you will be fine. The lines are a lot shorter now. The chaos of the aiport colors peoples impressions. Personally I hate the aiport but I go back every year because the overall experience is worth it.
Secrets Silversands: this particular hotel clearly had some problems. I'm not here to dismiss other reviewers. However I have stayed at 4 Riu Palaces, Excellence Riviera Cancun (four nights on this very trip), Secrets Capri, Hotel Basico and various other hotels all over Mexico. First the large scale problems at Silversands have been solved. The General Manager and all the other Department Managers are all available. Look for white shirts. But a good place to start is with the waiter or bartender - if you can speak Spanish and you are polite you can get anything you want. If you cannot speak Spanish just be polite and friendly in English. This will also get you anything you want. Alvarino - he does set up and break down at the two restaurants at the main pool that serve lunch is a great guy. Be very polite and friendly to him. He will make you anything you want - within the menu - for example you just want shrimp cocktail - hold the oysters - you want it spicy - not sweet and so on. How about just rice, fish and vegetables? So what I am trying to say is you can tailor the food and beverage experience. I drink tequila with a little lime juice - I find margaritas too sweet. For example if all you do is load up on greasy food and drink candy drinks all day - you will be sick - this is not the problem of the resort. You have done this to yourself. If you are deathly ill and running a fever this is food poisioning.
As far as tipping - I tip a lot. People find this objectional but in traditional Mexico at the bus station you tip the attendant in the bathroom for keeping it clean. It's a form of respect but also it breaks down the barrier between you and the staff. It puts them at ease. The economy is slow down there - take a walk down to Azul Blue - left on the beach - past Desire's - nude resort. You will see some sleepy hotels as you go. Also this particular stretch - puerto moreles - is sleepy period - Excellence Riviera Cancun is visible to the right. You need the hotel zone or Playa del Carmen - my aforementioned Hotel Basico is a great place to blow yourself up on all night action.
Odors/Tap Water/Infrastructure: These problems are common to all these hotels. The sulfur smell in the water is part of the decontamination process. It is safe to drink but drink the bottled water. Bring some sort of bath salts for the tub. The waste water plant is on site so if the wind blows the wrong way - you will get a whiff at many hotels. The plumbing ventilation process has problems at most hotels. Some places in Cabo burn coal. Take all this in stride. Are you really going to Mexico to evaluate infrastructure?
This particular beach is hard packed and great for running and walking. Plenty of guests spent the day on it. However if you are a hardcore beach person go to Maroma or Tulum. Do your research. I was in Playacar back when there was a beach and it was obviously beautiful. We returned years later and the beach was full of those giant bags of black sand. We had a ton of fun jumping off them and getting knocked off them with people by the waves. A bad beach vacation was in fact very fun and memorable.
The positives on Silversands: We had a great time. Our room was upgraded to an ocean front swim out. I loved the rooms, the internet acess and the design of the place. The pools were beautiful. I did not find them cold. It was like having our own boutique hotel for four nights. The staff that runs Barracuda - Amanda - hola muneca- , Javier, Pedro - sorry guys if you read this - I can't remember all your names but you were a ton of fun. The Entertainment guys are hilarious.
I hope this puts your mind at ease abut this hotel and taking a vacation to the Cancun area.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is a chic, ultra modern all-suite adult-only unlimited-luxury resort featuring 433 suites, over 43,000 sq ft of pool areas and expansive manicured gardens, exceptional dining options, several bars ranging from elegant to swim-up. World class spa, a fitness center and two Jacuzzis ensure that guests are pampered and indulged. We are nestled on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, 15 miles south of Cancun and only twenty minutes from the Cancun International Airport. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Hotel Puerto Morelos
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya, Mexico