Secrets Maroma is a really great adults only resort option if you're planning on staying in the Riviera Maya. I made this resort my home base for four nights while visiting the area to do several resort site inspections. This was my first visit to the resort and I was extremely happy with what I experienced. I must say I have a little sweet spot for Secrets Resorts and the AMResorts brand (which includes Zoetry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now and Sunscape resorts) as a whole. I've had the privilege to stay at several AMResort properties and visit many others. Okay so on to my review and because it is so long I will break it up into two posts, this being the first and I will wrap it up in the next post so stay tuned and enjoy!
The Secrets resort is located on Maroma beach, a world renowned beach (named as one of the world's best beaches by the Travel Channel). It sits almost smack dab in the middle of the Riviera Maya, approximately 30 minutes north of the Cancun airport and then Playa del Carmen is another 25 minutes north from the resort. Once you turn off the main highway you will travel along a one lane cobblestone type road through dense mangroves that will lead to the resort. I had to travel this road twice a day and it was definitely an experience for me. The road had these little turn outs every so often so that if there happened to be two vehicles on the road at the same time one could pull over and wait for the other to pass. Hey what can I say it's Mexico.... it's always gonna be an adventure!
If you're not familiar with Secrets resorts, the check in process is a little more upscale than many of your average all-inclusive resorts. Depending on the size of the resorts lobby there is usually about six or more stations set up where you have your own personal check in. So generally you are escorted to a station seated and then the check in process begins. If you are booked in a preferred club room, again depending on the resort you may be taken to a separate check in area only for preferred guests.
Now I know this may if fact sound cheesy but I really like this, it makes you feel like royalty, like you're someone special (and who wouldn't want to feel like that right?) and of course no more waiting in those cattle lines, like anyone really likes those! Above is the Secrets Maroma's lobby, the interior picture taken from the entrance towards the resort, to the left you will find the lobby bar (oh ya time for a refreshing drink since the bellman has taken your bags to your room), to the right there are various little stores for shopping and at the end of the lobby will be an open air patio over looking the resort. The lobby was actually built on a hill that overlooks the resort and to access the restaurants, rooms, pools etc you will need to go down to the second level.
This was my junior suite garden view room, I will add more room pics at the end of the post. The rooms at Secrets are very spacious and contemporary. I found the beds to be very comfortable. The bathroom is a good size however it has no main door, there is only frosted doors on the shower and toilet areas. There is also a curtain partition between the bathroom and the bedroom area, so if an open air bathroom is a deal breaker I would not suggest this resort for you as most rooms will be like this. As you can see above the balconies are quite spacious with decent comfortable seating and I love love the wall of sliding glass doors especially if you have an ocean view! Room service comes twice daily with the later being turn down service, they bring you the “Sundial” newsletter every day and this will list the next days activities, shows weather etc and they also provide more towels if needed.
So somehow this was the only picture I got of food at the resort (my room service fish taco........mmmm it was awesome). I guess since I was touring other resorts from 8am unitl 5pm daily that I simply forgot I had not taken any pictures of the Secrets restaurants and in all honesty I did not have the opportunity to try all the restaurants at this particular property either. But believe me you will not go hungry at this resort, with six a la carte restaurants, one buffet, and a café plus, 24-hour dining options allow guests to enjoy late night bites at Coco Café. Coco Café is located off the lobby bar and has excellent fresh pastries, cookies, soft pretzels, hot lattes, espressos, cappuccinos and also sandwiches (sandwiches are after 1:00 pm). This café is like a Starbucks. Or stay in and order room service, it’s all available at any hour day or night (and the food is good).
And what's even better no reservations required for the a la carte (with the exception of Himitsu, if you want to enjoy the grill show, make your reservations the first or second day of your trip. They seem to book up quickly. You won’t need a reservation if you just want to sit at a regular table). Oh and did I mention that most rooms will have a "secrets" box (or a dumb waiter).... what's this you ask? Well most rooms have a little box by the room door that can be accessed from both sides. So when your room service is delivered it can be put into the box without having to disturb you, when your done you put your dishes back in the box to be taken away (another cool feature of Secrets resorts), so no mess and no odor in your lovely room.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review this resort is situated on one the theee best beaches. It is soft, powdery, wide, and stretches in both directions for a while. An ideal beach and very swimmable. The cabanas on the beach (not the grass huts-palapas) cost approximately $50US/day and you get your private beach butler for the day – I recommend it a least once and request a front row cabana, but you can enjoy the Palapas just as well at no charge.
There are several different pools to choose from to keep you cool. There are pool concierges that will set up your umbrella, get you extra towels, etc. Most times there is no saving chairs here but if you leave for a short time to go to breakfast/lunch or take a walk that seems to be fine – just tell your pool concierge you will be back. If you are on the beach under a Palapa, there are beach concierges to get you extra towels, tables, etc… There are excellent waiters and waitresses on the beach and at the pools. They will get you anything to drink and you can also order food if you just ask to see a menu.
So I'll wrap it up for now, stay tuned for part two in the next post. Until then I have added a few more resort pictures below.
Read Secrets Maroma, Riviera Maya - My Review Part 2, here.