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“A WOW experience @ Secrets in Cancun”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Surprise, AZ
Level Contributor
23 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“A WOW experience @ Secrets in Cancun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

In May we went to Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera and had a absolutely awesome experience! We opted for the Preferred Club Junior Suite Swim-out on the first floor facing the ocean. Absolutely breathtaking. We loved facing the beach area, and being so close to the Barracuda Bar and Barefoot Grill. We stayed a week and was able to take full advantage of all the restaurants on property. Highlights were the Portofino and the Bordeaux Restaurants. A 5-star experience! We also joined the Perferred Club for a few dollars more and got preferred EVERYTHING....check-in/out; personal concierge; preferred club lounge (fabulous!)....definitely a plus for our trip. We also indulged and got the beach-side lobster/steak private dinner for two...delicious! And we indulged in a day at the spa....WORLD CLASS for sure!!! We did attend the presentation to "buy" their timeshare-type program which was very informative, though we did not buy...we did think twice about it because we were so in love with this property. A HIGH recommendation from 2 retired folks living in Surprise, AZ. BTW....May weather was perfect!

Room Tip: We opted for the junior deluxe suite with the SwimOut on the first floor facing the ocean. We loved...
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  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank KaysKreations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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Jeannette, Pennsylvania, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

My husband and I came here for our honeymoon and it was more than we could have ever dreamed of! The staff is so friendly and courteous and can't seem to do enough to make sure you are happy and enjoying yourself at all times. You really can't get much better than this property. The beach is incredible, crystal clear blue water and super soft sand! The pools were also beautifully maintained and VERY popular. We got out of our room early in the morning to make sure we secured a nice spot every morning. We met some awesome people and had an overally spectacular time. The food was awesome and we were suprised because people warned us that the food in mexico was not that great. We were seriously blown away by everything! Planning our next trip to the exact same spot next year! Wooooooooo hooooooooo :) you would be INSANE not to want to vacation here!

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
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3 Thank Heather S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
olathe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

Best vacation ever!! Went there for our 15th anniversary and so happy we chose this. Staff was amazing!! Tips are included per brochure so was worried service might only be adequate, but it was the best ever!! We did tip here and there for our favorite servers. Activity staff got everyone involved in games and activities. Only thing.... says snorkeling is included - it was not...extra $ but we had enough to do without that. Took a Catamaran ride and kayaks. Spa was wonderful and worth the $$$ Can't wait to book our next trip there!!!

Room Tip: We had ocean view and it was wonderful - don't think it'd we worth the extra $$ to be ocean...
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  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank heather p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aberdeen, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

I have nothing negative to say about our holiday at SMB, it was wonderful despite the terrible weather we had, which can't be helped. In summary, The SPA is worth every penny (use your vouchers). The food was fantastic if you avoid the beach burgers (if your from UK you will be impressed by the food, Americans have much higher standards than us). The staff were brilliant, use your concierge they are extremely helpful. The cocktails are to die for and the house wine (white, rose and red) were all a good enough standard, with the mini bar as an excellent plus. Best of all was the beach, beautiful, with wildlife everywhere if you look. You will enjoy :) its expensive and a long way to go for us Scots, so doubt I will be back :(

  • Stayed October 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lana A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
kent
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2011

If you are looking for superb food, served in the best restauants by excellent staff, look no further. The beach is beautiful, the water clean and crystal clear, plenty of beach beds to go around, and pool beds. The food is of the best quality, plenty of choice. Rooms are all clean and very well maintained. We have been twice now, and quite frankly, the second time was as good as we remembered it and we will be going back again next year, we have found our "holiday home".

Room Tip: The preffered rooms are probably a little quiter as away from the pool but this isn't a problem...
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  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank patricia s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

For our honeymoon we stayed at 5 days at Secrets Maroma Beach and 5 days at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso. We picked these two based on the great review they got on TripAdvisor…#7 and #1 Worlds Best All-Inclusive Resorts.

Secrets Maroma Beach (SMB)
5 nights: Sep 25th – Sep 30th
Room: Preferred Club Junior Suite Ocean View, RM# 2537
Occupancy Level: 75%
No wrist bands needed.

Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso (IBER)
5 nights: Sep 30th – Oct 5th
Room: Standard Junior Suite. They upgraded us to partial ocean view.
Occupancy Level: 35%
Have to wear wrist band.

Travel Agent:
We used Unforgettable Honeymoons which I think is a sub company of GOGO. They got us cheaper rate than if we booked the rooms ourselves, and we didn’t have to worry about a taxi from the Airport. GOGO uses Olympus Tours for their shuttle to and from the Airport. Everything went very smoothly.

Flights:
We booked ours flight 6 months in advance, $1100 for two roundtrip flights from CLT to CUN. I checked the price again at 6 weeks out….we could have saved $450 if we waited. Sep/Oct is an off season for traveling to that area. I would recommend waiting about a month out to book flights at this time of year. Our flight had plenty of seats open.

The Resorts:
*SMB
This place is more like a resort than IBER, in a good way. Walk into your room from outside, not a hallway in building. At dinner, you have to walk outside to get to the restaurants; weather wasn’t an issue for us. It’s much more romantic to walk to dinner along lighted pools with the ocean sound.

*IBER
It reminded me more of a grand hotel. All the rooms are in the main building (unless your ocean front building), sort of like a hotel… smelled like a hotel too. At dinner, you never have to go outside to get to the restaurants, which is nice if it’s rainy.

Hard to compare because they both have completely different feels.

Rooms:
*SMB
The Jacuzzi had an opening to the rest of the room from the bathroom. So the bathroom isn’t as private. But the toilet is behind opaque glass.
Our AC in the room worked awesome during the day; but at night it seemed to quit.
Hot water is warm at best. We thought this was how Mexico was, until we went to IBER.
The view was amazing, much better than our view at IBER.
Definitly get the preferred club. You’ll get better seating at dinner, better rooms, check-in and checkout is better, and your private club house with awesome bartenders.

*IBER
Bathroom is more private here. But the toilet is behind clear glass.
The AC in the room worked better here than at SMB, which gave me better sleep.
Hot Water!
Rooms are too far from the ocean to have a sort of view.

I liked the room at IBER better than SMB. View goes to SMB.

Exchange Rate:
Yahoo Finance had the rate at around 13.50 from USD to MXN for the time period we were there.
At SMB you got 10.50 peso for every dollar that you converted. At IBER you got 12 (better rate).
We didn’t convert any money at SMB because the shops take USD and give you pesos back…the rate they give us back was 13.89…so just buy something cheap with a large bill if you want pesos.

We did convert money at IBER to take the taxi, and because they had a sign that claimed the resort only took pesos. Not sure this is true, Jet Skies took cash USD.

I had $9,734 MXN on my bill at SMB when we left. We had been getting 13.89 exchange rate the whole time we were there. But at check out it was 13.44. So instead of paying $700 USD, it was $725. Seemed fishy to me. I recommend paying as you go so you don’t owe more.

Service:
The service at both is excellent. We did have to wait a little longer for service on the beach or by the pool at SMB, probably because the occupancy level was higher. But there are more bars at SMB, so we didn’t mind getting our own drinks.

Food:
*SMB
Restaurants in order that we like them….
Bordeaux (French), Portofino (Italian), Himitsu (Pan-Asian). Also El Patio (Mexican) but we didn’t try it.
No reservations needed, except for Himitsu.

*IBER
Restaurants in order that we like them….
Toni’s (surf and turf), L’Atelier (Gourmet), Venecia (Italian). Also Haiku (Japanese) but we didn’t try it.
You will need reservations at all of them. Get your reservations as soon as you get there. I think during a busier season, many people recommend calling before you arrive to get a reservation.

*Comparison
Food at both is amazing. Dinner at IBER is a little better taste wise, but SMB is much more romantic. And no reservations are needed.
Lunch at SMB is much better. You order from a menu. At IBER its buffet and it gets old quick.
Breakfast is about the same, maybe edge to IBER.

Both resorts are great. Some of the best meals I have ever had. I give it a tie between them. My wife liked SMB.

Bars:
At SMB you have a bar on the beach, two by the pools, one in the pool, and a couple in the lobby. At IBER you have one in the pool, one in the lobby, and one in a music lounge. Definitely more options at SMB.

Nightly Show:
The theater at IBER is much nicer, and the shows are better. The magic show and “Ladies First” are great.
Shows were ok at SMB. The rock show was great. IBER was definitely better.

Beach:
Both beaches are great, but SMB is amazing. From the beach, you can see the other hotel. So it’s weird that the beach would be nicer. IBER has rock and vegetation in the water...and the beach is a little eroded. SMB is perfect.

Excursions:
*SMB
- At SMB you can book excursions from your resort through your travel agent (GOGO/Olympus Tours) or the resorts agent (Amstar). Both options are same price. I would use Amstar b/c their taxi vehicles are more comfortable.
- We did XPLOR ($129pp). I would recommend this.
- We did horseback riding with Rancho Baaxal ($67pp). We booked this online on my wife’s smart phone from our room on Monday for a Wednesday morning trip. You can walk (10min) there from SMB (or take a $7 taxi). I loved this.
- We did the romantic dinner for two on the beach ($250 but we had $100 coupon). 5 course meal with lobster and fillet. Fillet was good, everything else sucked. Don’t waste your money on this crap.
- We got the 50min couples massages ($200 after coupons). These were great.

*IBER
-IBER doesn’t have a travel agent (like Amstar at SMB). You have to book through your travel agent.
-The resort has a shuttle service to Playa Del Carmen for $50 pesos pp one way. We did this with hopes to take the ferry to Cozumel, then rent motor cycles to find somewhere to snorkel…but it was raining that day.
-We did rent a Wave Runner ($80 USD for 30min) for 30min, which was long enough. Great time! (SMB offers this for $75)
- On the beach, you can sign up for a snorkeling excursion ($40pp). They take you half mile off shore to the coral reef. Sounded like fun. The weather wasn’t looking good so we didn’t go. I think SMB offers this too, but not sure.

Weather:
Weather sites called for rain and thunderstorms the entire 10 days we were there. Our first 7 days were perfect weather. Then one day of rain and two cloudy days. Don’t pay too much attention to weather reports.

Tips:
- Bring bugs spray
-Bring lots of small bills $1 & $5. We tipped at the meals, and for some drinks. About $10 per day (not sure if that’s low).
-Bring dress clothes. I brought only one pair of slacks. Guys, you will need slacks and shirt if you want to eat at the restaurants there.


All in all, both of us liked SMB a little more than IBER.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
26 Thank RaleighCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2011

This resort was the best time ever. Employees were awesome and very accommodating. We will absolutely ne back and would recommend it to anyone!

  • Stayed October 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mattmay42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun

Property: Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Address: Carretera Federal Cancun - Puerto Juarez | Km 306.5 S/N Punta Maroma, Playa Maroma, Playa del Carmen CP 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Maroma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#4 Green Hotel in Playa Maroma
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun 5*
Number of rooms: 412
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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Holiday Gems, Traveltool, S.L.U., Southall Travel, TripOnline SA and HotelQuickly so you can book your Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Hotel Playa Del Carmen

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