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.
- 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