In September 2008, I was fortunate enough to be invited on a “FAM” (familiarization) trip to the brand new Secrets Maroma Beach resort on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. This five-star, adults-only all-inclusive resort sits on what I think is the best stretch of beach in the area, and is going to be a very popular destination for couples of all ages.
We flew into Cancun, and were met by a private car and driver for the short (30 minute) drive south to the resort. The road from the highway into the resort is a narrow, one-lane road cut through a mangrove swamp, but it’s worth the bumps and twists to know that it will always have this feeling of privacy – the government has protected the land surrounding the resort, and it will never be developed.
Our check-in was painless. We were met at the door with cool towels and were directed to one of several desks in the front lobby, checked in, and escorted to our room by a bellman. We were fortunate enough to be given a fourth floor oceanview room in one of the “preferred club” buildings just steps from the pool and the beach. Our spacious room had a marble bath with Jacuzzi for two, a stocked minibar, a flat screen TV, a balcony with a private oceanview Jacuzzi, and comfy beds. We tried out the buffet lunch (which was just okay) and laid low until the travel agent reception that evening.
Our first full day at the resort started with a great cooked-to-order breakfast at the open-air Seaside restaurant, and then we grabbed lounge chairs (and an umbrella) next to the beachfront infinity pool (good thing we staked out a spot early, as they went fast!) We spent the morning reading, floating in the pool, and trying out various frozen concoctions brought by the poolside waitresses – who also came by to spritz us with cool water and refresh us with fruit skewers. After a nice al fresco lunch at the same restaurant, we took a walk on the beach. Maroma Beach is a great stretch of white sand, which shows none of the erosion you see elsewhere in the Mayan Riviera and – despite the wind/waves from the hurricane that had just passed to our north – the water was warm and blue.
Dinner that evening was at Portofino, the Italian restaurant which, like all restaurants at this resort, requires no reservations. We just strolled in at our convenience and were treated to a fantastic meal and attentive service. The after-dinner entertainment that evening was a “fire show” by the pool, with Caribbean music and dancing, and then we were in bed early after our long day in the sun.
The next day, Saturday, we had a quick (and quite good) buffet breakfast before heading out to tour the other two Secrets properties in the area. Secrets Capri, a few miles south of Secrets Maroma Beach, is a smaller, more “boutique” resort with a European décor and a beautiful spa. Secrets Silversands, a few miles north of Maroma Beach (closer to the Cancun airport), had just opened the same week as our resort, and provided a totally different kind of vibe – very white, modern and “South Beach” in feeling. It had a great pool (better than ours), but not much of a beach.
On Saturday evening we ate in Oceania, the seafood restaurant, and enjoyed another fantastic meal. The after-dinner entertainment was a dance revue in the main theater, and I have to admit it was pretty amateurish, but we stayed through the whole thing. We had a quick drink in the disco, and then it was back to the room for some sleep.
Sunday morning came too fast, and it was time to pack up and check out. We had one last breakfast at Seaside (I needed another omelet fix, as it had been so good the first time!) and our driver picked us up at about 10:30 am to bring us back to the Cancun airport.
Overall, the high points of this resort were:
- room décor/amenities (they even provided sunscreen and bug spray)
- restaurants (good food, no reservations)
- free internet access (on three computers for guests’ use) in the business center
The only faults I could find are ones that I am sure will be addressed in the future — the resort is, after all, only a month old. They need more pool chairs/umbrellas, they need to make sure the card keys work (ours was flukey, worked some times, and not others), and they need to make sure they have adequate water supplies (one day, there were no showers working in any rooms from about 4p – 6p). That being said, I would go back there again in a minute!