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“What a steal!!!”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Cape Cod
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“What a steal!!!”
Reviewed 28 July 2009

My wife and I just returned from this beautiful resort after a great 7 days. We have been to places all over the Caribbean and several all inclusives including Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos and the Virgin Islands. After weeks of research, we decided to book Mexico for the first time based mostly on the reviews on this site and a great price via Orbitz.com. I was able to book this resort for exactly half the price of Couples Swept Away in Negril, which we visited last summer. Let's get the negatives out of the way first, because it won't take much time. I can confirm only two negative aspects of this resort thast have been previously addresed in past reviews;

1.) The resort is not very well air-conditioned. That's pretty much true across the board. From the lobby, to the restaurants, to the rooms themselves and generally everywhere you will not find a truly cold place anywhere. I am a hot person, and I found it uncomfortable at times, however I dressed as light as I could and was able to deal with it just fine. It is sort of a drag however, that men are required to wear pants at the majority of the restaurants, so it made for even warmer circumstances.

2.) The availability of pool floats was unnecessarily scarce. For a place that doesn't seem to skimp on many things at all they made it quite the project to attain a float for the pool. It literally got the point that people would frenzy like Pirahna for the coveted pool float when they were released at 9am or so. Again, just kind of crazy for a place that didn't skimp much on so many other things.

Those are the only two negatives that I can agree with from recent reviews. Now the positives.

Room- Unfortunately, we were not uprgraded to a swim-out suite like so many others have stated. It was actually pretty booked up this week, so we didn't expect the upgrade although it would have been nice, They were beautilful!
However, our room was very nice. In terms of what we have seen for all-inclusives these rooms were top notch. Marble, granite, LCD tv, nice lighting and design, speaker controls, i-pod dock. etc. Refrigerator stcoked with sodas, water, and beer. Hot tub was a nice touch and designed nicely in the room.

Pool- The pool was gorgeous althought we didn't spend much time in it, because we prefer the beach. However, it had a party side to it, and a more serene, laid-back side to it. It was really a pretty pool with lounge chairs sitting right in it in some spots and some cool inlets with double lounges. Hammocks all around the pool were a nice touch. Ofcourse a swim-up pool bar where people enjoyed themsevles thoroughly, especially in the late afternoons. The pool was definitely the more active area during the day. My wife and I are pretty laid back on vacation, so we spent 6 of our 7 days on the beach.

Beach- Very nice, however what is your interpretation of a great beach? I have my idea of what a great beach is, and this was very nice. However, and I was not as blown away as the majority of previous reviewers. But, I have my opinion of what a great beach is, and to me it does not inlcude waves. My wife and I prefer calm, glass-like water when it comes to beaches. Don't get me wrong this is a very nice beach. In terms of frontage this resort has an enormous beach and it is all beautiful white, powdery sand, which from what I have heard is rare in this part of Mexico. To the right of resort is virtually nothing. You can take a really nice walk down the beach and feel like you're on your own stretch of beach for at least a mile or so. The water itself was nice. However, we are spoiled by the beaches in Turks and Negril, which in my opinion were a different level. Again, I prefer no waves, so it is a matter of personal preference. I am not knocking this water at all, it was actually quite nice once you walked through the initial waves crashing.

SERVICE- Unmatched by any "all-inclusive" that we have been to. Language barrier was a non-issue. You were waited on hand and foot where ever you went. On the beach you could sit in your lounge chair all day if you desired, because drinks, food, fruit, desert, etc were being served to you by pleasant wait staff. For an all-inclusive this was top notch. Your pina colada was filled before it was empty. this is pretty cool for an AI. At the restaurants regardless of lucnh or dinner, the service was excellent. I keep stressing the fact that this is an all-inlusive and service of this level is RARE. Don't feel like leaving your room, take advantage of the 24 hour room service, which was quite good and quick.
Smiling faces everywhere and their slogan "it is my pleasure" being said to you everywhere, and it didn't seem forced.

Restaurants- We never attended the steak house or the seafood restaurant, which are located by the pool outdoors. We decided to go with the more elegant restaurants which inlclude Himitsu (Japanese), Portofino (Italian), and Bordeau (French). Service was outstanding at all three of these restaurants. Just far exceed expectations for an all-inclusive. As far as the food goes. Portofino was good. Coming from the northeast, however we have a pretty high standard for Italian food. It was good just not great. Bordeau and Himitsu are just great. The experience at Himitsu rivals that of authentic Japanese steak houses in New York and Boston. Rare for a Carribean AI. The show, the food, the SUSHI. All very good. Bordeau was great as well. I highly recommend the filet mignon or the veal chop. Good stuff people. Breakfast at the world cafe was good. It was pretty much the only thing that was buffet style. Crepes with bananas, chocolate, and banana cream were pretty ridiculous. All in all your basic breakfast buffet. Good service as well. Lunch by the pool was sit down style with great service as well. Loved the fajitas and the buffalo wings (although not your typical buffalo wings). There was an actual cart that circled the pool every day that prepared meats right not the spit for fajitas. Prok, beef, chicken, it was all fantastic and quite a nice touch. In additon to that for lunch there was food prepared directly on the beach which included, angus burgers, fajitas, seafoood paella, and more.

Entertainment- They were a small, but personable group. There were daily activites including beach volleyball, water polo, bungee trampoline, tequila tastings, etc. People were into it and participated daily. The shows at night were decent. Some better than others, but overall entertaining and gave you something to do after dinner.

It's getting late, so I am going to sum this up. Overall, this was one of our very favorite experiences, and we can't say enough about the service at this resort. The food was really good overall. The alcohol selection was plentiful and the rooms were beautiful. Considering the deals that can be had right now with the "swine flu" media scare this place is a DEAL!!! We would have paid double the price. Don't hesitate.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank cvaretimos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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mississippi
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2009

We had never stayed at an all-inclusive before, and chose this one based on price (we wanted something luxurious but not top-of-the-line), adults-only, and the beach. The hotel obviously increased in occupancy while we were there, as evidenced by short waits for restuarants and lack of palapas/loungers, but it wasn't what I would call crowded. It's a pretty quiet, laid-back, romantic place.

The good: the beach is truly beautiful and so wide compared to those in the Virgin Islands where we honeymooned. There are NO rocks in the water and very little seaweed. The rooms are nice and spacious. We did see a tiny scorpion in the second room we were in (ground level next to the beach), but that was the only in-room critter. Mini-bar and toiletries were much nicer in the second room than the first room (a lowly "partial ocean view" - see below). Breakfast buffet, particularly omelets, was great. We liked the pool-side buffet lunch. Drinks were delicious - esp. mojitos. Beach service was pretty good. Staff were all so polite and it seemed genuine. We tipped, and most other people seemed to as well, but I watched and didn't see those who didn't tip get treated any differently.

The OK: Most of the food was good but not great. We ate at Seaside, Oceana, the Mexican restaurant, and the Italian restuarant (plus the breakfast buffet). No wristbands or reservations. The only bad food we had was from room service - the only decent things we got from room service were a burger and caesar salads. Entertainment was not big productions like you might get at Sandals - we enjoyed two guitarists on the beach one night, and a fire show another night. Stuff like Grease and American Idol was too cheesy for us. We thought the resort overall was nice. The landscaping is young, so I don't fault them for it not feeling too lush yet. There are two main pools, which are warm and pretty big. The "infinity" pool doesn't really overlook the ocean like it does at some other resorts. Loungers around the pool get crowded by mid-morning. Palapas at the beach are GONE by mid- to late morning. Check-in and out was fairly easy. They didn't have our Expedia reservation, but didn't treat it like a big deal. We got there at 11:30, hours before check-in, and they told us to go eat and drink and come back at 2:00. We came back about 1:30 and they had our room ready. Bathrooms in the rooms are not very private. I'd say we're of average modesty, and it bothered us a little, though not enough to make us regret going there or anything like that.

The Not-So-Good: I am attaching pictures of the views from our two rooms. We started out in a "partial ocean view," which is supposed to be their lowest-level room. The picture I have attached is the view straight to the ocean from that room, and it should NOT be called a partial ocean view. It may be the lowest-level room, but it is still pricey! We observed that if you are there on your honeymoon or anniversary (not us), you were much more likely to get upgraded to a better room. Anyway, we were in room 2325 - second floor of the building next-to-closest to the main building. Maybe if you were on floor 3 or 4 you could see more. Floor 2 was a disappointment. We decided that if we couldn't have a view, we'd upgrade to a swim-out pool. They said the only room available with a SOP was in one of the two ocean-view buildings, so we took it. There is no ocean-view from that room either due to brush, but it was still an improvement. The swim-out pool was very cold (the only time either of us could tolerate it was in the middle of the day after baking in the sun!), but otherwise nice and fairly private.

Overall: Very nice place and we would consider going back. You cannot beat the beach. If you want a room with a real partial ocean view, you might have to pay for an upgrade.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank lawchick2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Maryland
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2009

The place was great and definitely exceeded my expectations. I don't see the point to fly all the way to mexico to sit by a pool when I could sit by a pool anywhere so my main focus was on beach. The beach was absolutely breath-taking. The water was crystal clear. There was very little seaweed and no jellyfish. The water was so warm, I could have stayed in for hours. The waves were not too rough, just gently came to shore so even the novice swimmer would have been comfortable in the ocean.

The pools were nice too. There was a lot of pool space at your disposal if you were on the ground floor of any of the buildings. Each building had a private pool for guests on the first level. While we didn't stay on the first level it would have been nice to have a pool directly off our terrace.

The resort is definitely geared towards couples. The added nice touches as "Honeymooners" & "Anniversary" Banners on the doors of some guests. Nearly everyone there was a couple. I didn't see any groups of just singles.

The food was amazing and plentiful. There was so much to choose from; Italian, mexican, japanese, french, buffet, seafood; everything you could want was there. There served top shelf liqour so the drinks were outsanding and there was always someone ready to refil you glass.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank kneegrow1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
connecticut
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

I would have to say that this is the best place that I have stayed so far. We stayed from July 1- 7. There are many good things to say and a few things that need improvement but none of which would not stop me from going again.

The food is mostly good but with so much variety we expected some things to be a hit or miss. Our favorite restaurant was the french restaurant. The rolls were good, the seafood soup and there was some chicken dish (I can't remember what it was called ) which was to die for. The service at most of the places was on time and good. The breakfast buffet was outstanding (and I am not usually a fan of buffets)I loved the lunch buffet they offer at the pool each day and the snacks offered on the beach..a huge plus.
The entertainment at night was good. They left a schedule in your secret box in your room each day so you could see what was coming up the next day. I liked the circus show.
THe rooms were soooo nice. We were lucky though and we were upgraded to a swim up room on arrival. They were clean, they had a nice mini bar and the bed was oh so comfy. I did read a ton of reviews before I left and the comments on the bathroom door are correct. (frosted glass and you hear and see more than you want to)
The lobby had a nice shop (kind of expensive but that is usually the case with any resort) and the internet room was a bonus.
The room service was good and when they said it would be ready - it was. Room service food was ok but not great. ( I expected that though) I didn't like the pizza at all.
The beach is wonderful and there is only small waves so it is perfect to swim in. The pool is nice to but it is very hard to find chairs in the shade or floating rafts. (and in that kind of heat and sun you really want to find a chair with a shade) The towels were always plentiful and that was a plus. If you don't like the party crowd- stay away from the swim up bar.
They threw the best 4th of July party. I wasn't expecting any kind of celebration since we were in Mexico for the 4th. We got our schedule the day before in our secret box and it said a BBQ on the beach...but when we went down to the beach they had hats/horns and special drinks as we arrived with nicely decorated tables. There was a huge buffet, stage set up, bar with ice sculptures and special apps. and a woman dressed up as the statue of liberty!!!! I walked around to find a band set up and the dessert table with an American flag and all kinds of 4th of July themed treats! It was the best 4th I have ever experience and we can't wait to hopefully go back next year.
The only things I thought could use improvement like air conditioning, dessert, pool chairs and the gym. The was minimal air-conditioning in the main lobby building and some of the restaurants. If I had to guess it was around 80-85 degrees in there which is better than the 93 outside but still too hot. It was uncomfortable to eat and be sweating (and I really felt bad for the waiters and cooks who were wearing long sleeves and vests!). They also need to improve the desserts. We had dessert every night and only a few things were good (carrot cake, coconut ice cream, chocolate cake with ice cream) the rest were not so good. Finally, they really need to get more chairs by the pool that have shades from the sun. They also could possibly expand the gym at the resort. I went to work out in the morning before pigging out on pastries at breakfast and it was hard to get a machine or stretch on the small floor.
one last note. The people that work there are hard workers. They go above and beyond to make your stay wonderful- Please tip the workers- they work so hard and anything you can give will be much appreciated.
I would recommend this place to anyone and I hope I can go back as soon.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank travelgrl515
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

I completely agree with on of the erlier review. "Read the bad rewies and listen"
We just came back from Secrets and it was not what we expected at all. The beach is unbelievable and the service is wonderfull, but the grounds are too bad looking, not maintained at all, dry grass, dry palm trees, dry plants all over the resort.
The aircondition in the main lobby is never below 80, and is the same inthe restaurants, disco, entertainment room. Guest, workers were sweating all the time. The only place you were able to cool down was in your room or in the water.

We walked over to the IBerostar Grand Paraiso and wow! those are grounds and also so spotless, not like at Secrets Maroma.
I suggest you listen to the bad reviews.

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank GTRR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London, UK
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2009

After reading so many great positive reviews we arrived to Secrets Maroma at last .

First thing I noticed when we walked in to the main reception area is a distinctive strong mixed smell of chlorine & some sort of sewerage. Walked a bit further & you can see half dead flowers in a big vase on a table….. ?! Not great first impression exactly .. but never mind – we are on holidays !
After quick check in – we were shown our room by pointing to the building from the main reception , something like “ You see that building over there ? that’s where you need to go to” .
Have anyone came across this 5 star service before? Well, we did not… . Even that was fine with us – that’s our holiday – nothing will ruin it!

The size of the room was good and generous. The design was ok. The air con – was not, keeping temp. at 25.5C. The chlorine smell again, what’s with that ?! This is not what you want in your bedroom.

Swimming pool : where is the perfection people praise here so much ?

Swimming pool is shallow and it gets really hot during the day. There is not much shade around it to provide relaxing day near swimming pool neither. The gardens and greenery in the hotel – not their best feature, which is a shame – as it could have contributed a bit more to general experience of the staying there.


There are a few bars around swimming pool , and staff were always out serving drinks & snacks. Minor complaint – when they say “ we provide freshly squeezed juices” they mean orange juice only.

“Infinity pool” – very poor version of it badly designed and maintained.

Food & Restaurants :

Breakfast – I guess the choice of breakfast was ok & acceptable for 5 stars – but the restaurant itself – which was “World Café” I personally did not enjoy – the design – dark, lot of red colours , hot inside – a bit heavy to take on first thing in the morning, not pleasant experience.

Lunch – choice of food was ok & basic nothing spectacular though.

Dinner – All were ok, Asian Restaurant was really good & enjoyable: both food & service.

Seafood restaurant did not have king prawns on their menu, why?

All menus from all restaurants seemed a bit similar – the same meat with different flavours I would say.

One thing to mention – none of restaurant staff did wear anything to on their heads to stop hair fall into the food, which was a common standard in other 5 star hotels.

Evening Entertainment: a lot and varied.

All were fun and good for hotel entertainment, one thing to avoid!_ - the “band” in the lobby.

Overall – for the price they charge we expected more. I would not go back.

Room – was ok but with the poor air con it was bad.

Hotel Facilities – swimming pool is too hot. No showers around swimming pool – you would have to go to the beach for the shower.. or not - which probably most of people did.

Not enough shade on the hotel area at all – which during the day seems a burning hell .
No character to the hotel theme either – white concrete everywhere.
Shame!
Outside Jacuzzi – seemed a bit dirty at a time.
Waiter Service – average waiting time 20 to 30 mins.
We did not have a turn down service for at least 3 nights out of 7 nights we stayed there.

Positives:

Beach was good, room size was good, evening entertainment was fun.

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Avory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 July 2009

We couldn't have been more impressed with this beautiful resort. The setting is stunning along the turquoise beach with beautifully landscaped grounds and buildings. Some grounds are newly planted, but well on their way to being full and plush...but it was all still lovely.The room was classy and comfortable in every way. We loved the pool areas, variety of restaurants and especially enjoyed the choices of nightly entertainment. We never left the resort and had so many great choices to do something or do nothing as we pleased.Staff was exceptional, friendly and helpful.Secrets is all adult and is perfect for romantic getaways.

We were at Secrets during the same time period as some previous reviewers commenting on the Texans at the pool. We are Texans, and sadly, we apologize that they didn't represent all of us well, and we don't all knock back beers all day or play loud country music. Their behavior doesn't remotely resemble ours, nor should it reflect on the resort in any way. But we understand the reviewer's mention of it. Actually one guy in a Cowboy hat who we assumed was from Texas...wasn't! We were relieved, but sorry any individuals would not use their best manners in a wonderful setting such as Secrets. We avoided their cluster and found plenty of quiet spots to relax.

We loved that Secrets was large with much to offer, but everything was easily accessible from all rooms. We picked up folks from a nearby resort who said there was a rumor the ocean was nearby and they had to be trolleyed here and there or walk very long distances to eat or enjoy the pools/beach.

We have visited all inclusives in Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta very recently and Secrets Maroma Beach is our favorite. We'll be back!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank db79
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 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Spa 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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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Hotel Playa Del Carmen

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