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“Wonderful week at SMB”

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Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun
Ranked #2 of 5 Hotels in Playa Maroma
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
New Jersey
Level Contributor
24 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Wonderful week at SMB”
Reviewed 24 November 2009

Arrived at Secrets Maroma on 11/14 and was promptly greeted with a "Welcome Home" by the bellboy. Escorted inside where we were seated at one of the check in desks and given a cool towel (although it wasn't particularly hot when we arrived) and a glass of champagne. Check in was relatively quick and easy, and we were given room 1518 - a first floor swim out suite. Our concierge was Elizabeth, and although we never really used her, she was super friendly and always asking how we were and if we needed anything.

We arrived at our room and I must say I was very impressed. Our previous trip to Mexico, we stayed at EDR, and while I was impressed with their rooms, I felt the rooms at SMB were even better! The beds are wonderfully comfortable and there were extra pillows in our closet. The TV was a good size, and was on a shelf you could pull out and slide and tilt left or right. I found it was great when I was soaking in the jacuzzi tub. Another neat perk was the speaker in the bathroom connected to the TV so you could hear it over the jets!

Water pressure in the shower was adequate, however one small problem I had was the temperature of the water. I found it had 3 degrees - a) boiling hot, b) scalding hot, c) Need-a-skin-graft hot. If you wanted water that was bearable, you just had to keep the knob setting almost at cold. I'm not sure if this was a problem in all the rooms or just mine. But the shower was fine, it just took getting used to getting at the right setting.

The swim out looked wonderful, but again I found an issue with it. The entire time we were at the resort, I rarely saw anyone in the swim outs, and then one afternoon I figured it out. The water is freezing cold. I mean, even when it was hot, I would get into the water and be covered in goosebumps. I had heard a rumor from another guest that SMB was planning on heating them next year, and if this is true, then bravo. But everyone else I spoke with that had a swim out had the same complaint.

The room also had a refrigerator stocked with plenty of water, Coke, Coke Light, Fanta orange, Sprite and a few bottles of Coronitas. All were replenished each day.
Every evening around 6 or 7ish, housekeeping would come by and ask for turndown service, and although we never used it, the lady was also very friendly and asked us if we needed towels or anything. She would also give us our copy of the "Sundial" - the daily newsletter that let you know what was going on at the resort.

We dined at almost all the restaurants - World Cafe (breakfast), Himitsu (Pan Asian), Bordeaux (French), Portofino (Italian), Oceana (seafood). We did not try the Steakhouse nor El Patio (Mexican). I loved not having to make reservations at any restaurants (other than for hibachi at Hitmitsu), and we didn't have to wait to be seated in any of the restaurants. Breakfast was wonderful, and there was everything from corn tamales wrapped in banana leaves to crepes to omelette stations. Margarita, the young lady at the omelette station was wonderful and always greeted us with a friendly "hola!" every morning. I must say we had wonderful experiences at *almost* all the restaurants and was particularly impressed with Himitsu and Oceana. The only bad experience we had was at Portofino. Speaking with other guests, it seemed hit or miss. Some would say they loved it, others hated it. We just found the food was not good there. Now, living in the NY metro area, we are spoiled with great italian food, but the food at Portofino was just not good. I wasn't particularly hungry, so I just ended up with a Minestrone soup. It was overly salty and they put spaghetti in the soup. Imagine trying to eat spaghetti with a spoon. I just gave up trying. My husband ordered a chicken dish and was not happy with it at all.

I booked a massage at the spa and had the most wonderful deep tissue massage. The price was high for a 50 minute massage, but luckily I had a $40 off voucher which made the price a little more manageable . The whole spa is wonderful and I took advantage of using the whirlpool, steam room and sauna. One other complaint we had, was that they charge for use of their sauna. Every resort we have stayed at, lets all guests use their sauna and steam room free of charge. However, SMB charges a $55 day pass, or a $200 weekly pass to use them! I found this incredible since the most you are in the sauna or steam room is 15 minutes and I felt the cost was too high.

The pools were ample sized with lots of chairs around, but here as in other places I visited, I found that people were out there at 8am (or earlier) reserving their chairs. There were plenty to go around at the beach and poolside, but the best ones were taken early. SMB had stated in one of their newsletters that they would remove towels from any beach chair that was unoccupied after 30 minutes, but I never saw anyone do this. The water in the infinity pool was really cold, while the main pool was a warmer temp. The bartenders at the pool bar were attentive, although I can't say all too friendly. However the wait staff that walked around the pool getting drink and food orders (another huge plus!) were extremely friendly and cheerful.

I only did one excursion with my husband - we booked a snorkeling tour with Mayan Adventure. We visited 2 cenotes - one open water, another cave cenote, and a third snorkeling spot in Akumal where the freshwater lagoon meets with the ocean. Each spot was unique and wonderful, the cave was particularly interesting, and the ocean snorkeling was neat as I got to see a barracuda, stingray and multiple sea turtles, as well as many brightly colored fish. My husband booked a scuba trip with Aqua World - the local dive shop with a booth at SMB - and he also had a great experience with them.

The beach at Maroma is really nice. The sand is powdery white and the water warm. In fact I felt the ocean water temp was higher than the temp in the main pool. Plenty of chairs and palapas on the beach and there were also wait staff who would come by for drink orders.

All in all, I'd say we had a really incredible week at Secrets, and would definitely recommend it to anyone. We are hoping to return next year and visit either Capri or Silversands.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank Spanisheyes00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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montreal,quebec
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2009

Typical mexican hotel in luxury and amazing service and great staff . Rooms are really nice,clean and warm atmosphere. Beach is amazing, no rocks corals or anything... You can walk a long way on the beach, All activities included, kayaking, catamaran, trampoline etc..!

Big pools, very clean. Entertainment was great, volleyball, activities around the pool and disco (quiet though).. They empty the outdoor jacuzzis at night which is the only thing I DIDN'T like ! A little bit quiet at times but good for older couples, or 35 and up....

FOOD is incredible, most of the retaurants decoration is breathtaking, italian and frech WOW! One of the best resort in riviera maya along with the ROYAL playa del carmen* and then I will say that these 2 are a little bit under but still pretty good: Secrets Silversands and the Imperial valentin !

Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank mymy4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bloomfield Township, Michigan
Level Contributor
203 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 November 2009

Secrets Maroma Beach is all it is cracked up to be and more. As a reference, here are some of the other resorts that I have stayed at: Aventura Spa Palace, Excellence Playa Mujerus, Occidental Grand Flamenco XCaret in Riviera Maya and Excellence, Majestic Colonial and Ocean Blue in Punta Cana, DR.

SMB tops them all. It is the service that puts this resort at the top of my list. They very literally wait on you hand and foot. I am a big user of my Bubba Keg, but I was not able to use it on this trip. They simply did not let my drink get to the point of being empty before I had another one waiting for me….even if I just came from a walk on the beach and was chugging my beer. I guess the thing that really stands out for me is that about noon every day eight to twelve staff members come out of nowhere with carts of food and swing by your lounger asking what you would like. Every day we had fresh sushi, freshly carve pork and chicken tacos, shish-kabob, chicken and fish on a stick and ice cream. One day we asked if our pool side waitress could get us some of the delicious calamari from the Oceana Restaurant next to the pool….”it would be my pleasure” was her response.

Of course, “it is my pleasure” is the staff’s standard reply to any request, but there is nothing standard about it. I believe that they truly mean it. Now, we do tip well, but they treated a few couples around us that did not tip just like they treated us. The service is so good that we did not make it to dinner twice on this trip and that has never happened before. It was not a problem though, because when we did need to eat on those nights room service was at our door with out order in a very short time. The room service food is just as good as the restaurants. We did not feel cheated getting the room service food at all. In fact, one time we ordered eight shots of Don Julio and 8 beers without food and that order was in our private box in about five minutes….WOW.

I have to say that the breakfast buffet was the worst one that we have been to, but we were still always able to find something to eat. In fact, I asked for a jar of peanut butter for our bagels on the first morning and each morning after that, they just brought it to us. Another example of exemplary service.

This resort is definitely on the small side, but I think that added to our trip. We did not have to spend half an hour walking to anything. Ever forget something in your room and regret it because of the walk back? Not at this place.

The pools were the perfect temperature – cool enough to be refreshing, but no where near cold. The beach is perfect as you have read. The food in all of the restaurants was very good. Drinks were all top shelf liquor, but you did have to ask for it – they do not keep the Grey Goose or the Don Julio out in the open, but it is at every bar. The mini-bar in the room is well stocked every day. Make sure you have the orange juice – it was out of this world (weird I know, but it was so good I felt that I had to mention it).

Feel free to private message me if you have any direct questions about SMB. I would be happy to answer them. I have not been back to the same resort twice yet, but something tells me that SMB will be our first repeat visit.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
12 Thank JeffB32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
edinburgh
Level Contributor
142 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 80 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 November 2009

Stayed at SMB from 12th of October for a week with my husband. We needed a well deserved break without the kids and that's certainly what we got. When we arrived, check in was very quick - we were greeted with cold towels (no champagne, though!) and shown to our room. There was no ipod docking station, which was a problem as we didn't bring a charger with us, but once I pointed this out to the concierge, the docking station was sent to our room within 5 minutes.

Service certainly exceeded our expectations the whole week, especially in the restaurants and on the beach/pool. Alejandro on the beach worked so hard and always remembered our drinks, even bringing us bottles of water in between just to keep us going!

Food was excellent, no complaints whatsoever.

We went to the beach party one night and we really loved that, other than that we didn't take part in any of the entertainment.

To sum this place up, if you are looking for a relaxing break in the sun in beautiful surroundings and to feel pampered, this is very highly recommended!

  • Stayed October 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank karenpEdinburgh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wilmington DE
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 November 2009

Bringing all inclusives into a new class, Secrets Maroma Beach is the one to look up to, Unsurpassed dining, service and surroundings. Lush landscaping, indigo blue waters and sugar sand beach - the best in the area. Staff isamazing and are trained to perfection but always seem to care for you personally. No request is too big or small. The spa is pure bliss. When you need to get away from everything with that special someone - this is heaven on earth.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Gabriella002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2009

We stayed at Secrets Maroma for our tenth anniv. for what was supposed to be eight days but turned into nine with tropical storm Ida. We had a few days of sun but a lot of overcast weather put a damper on the trip. The resort however was amazing. The staff is excellent and friendly and the consierges helped us with finding out our flight information after the cancellation from Westjet, so that we wouldn't have to spend extra on phone calls. We also got a reduced rate for our extra day as well. Pools were well tended and we never had a problem finding a place around one of them on the sunny days. Bartenders don't skimp on the drinks and during the bad weather they made sure anybody who wanted to get smashed had plenty of oppurtunity with many different shooter concoctions. The restaurants were very good and the waiter at the mexican let us order off the menu. We had the best burritos and quesa dillas ever made. The beach is exactly what it is built up to be. It's absolutely beautiful. The sand is amazing and the water is a blast to play in if you like that sort of thing. Being from a landlocked province, I love to splash around in the waves every chance I get and it was a ton of fun. Best I've ever experienced including anywhere on the Mexican Riviera or Cancun. We will be going bach to Secrets Maroma asap.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank sobeysshipper
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Savannah, GA USA
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2009

Room - We were greated with a banner on the door, rose petals on the bed, and a letter congratulating us that could be used for a 15% discount at the spa. We were in room 1106 which is an Ocean View room with a great view in the main building on the 3rd floor above the lobby. We thought it was a great location because we were close to the bar, resturaunts, internet, etc in the main building. The bed was very comfortable, jacuzzi was great, and the huge tub on the balcony was awesome.

Food - I thought the food was great! All of the resturaunts at night go for a high end ambiance and presentation. I didn't really have a down and dirty casual meal at night at any of them which would have been nice one night. Breakfast at the World Cafe every morning was delicious. Huge selection of all sorts of foods as well as Mimosas and Bloody Marys each morning. My favorite meal was Surf and Turf at Oceana. The sushi at the Japanese resturaunt was very good as well. My wife and I gained a combined 10 lbs during our 7-day stay.

Beach - The beach is truly amazing. This is where we spent most of our time each day. The sand was soft and white, but not soft and fluffy...it was like walking on a tempupedic mattress...amazing! The beach bar opened at 1030 every morning and the service was very good. They would occassionally come by with different appetizers around lunch. I played beach volleyball everyday at 11:00am which was a blast.

Excursion - We paid $130 each to go to Tulum and Xio ha (Shell-Hi). Tulum is a Mayan city from 1000ad to 1500ad. It was very interesting and there is also an amazing beach at the bottom of the cliff where we went swimming. Xio ha is an outdoor eco-friendly natural park. Here you can snorkle, float down the river on a tube, jump off cliffs, ride bike trails, swim in a small cave, etc. The food and drinks are also included with your entrance.

Overall I would recommend this resort to anyone. You can really make it what you want to be. Whether you want to relax, want action, watersports, great food/drinks, etc....you can really do whatever you are craving at any moment. It was a truly great experience and I would definiately recommend to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank tcogz
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 Luxury Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Romantic Hotel in Playa Maroma
#2 Top resorts 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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Also Known As:
Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun Hotel Playa Del Carmen

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