Resort Review: Secrets Capri Riviera Maya

Secrets Capri Riviera MayaHad a very nice stay at Secrets Capri, and we would definitely go back, however we may want to try Silversands and Maroma Beach also, mostly because we like to try different places.  This was our first time at Secrets Capri, although not to Mexico.

Upon arrival in Cancun, getting through immigration and customs took 55 minutes; we learned from our transfer driver this process can take as long as two hours on Saturdays.  Our transfer from airport to resort worked perfectly with USA Transfers.  They provide very clear and detailed instructions on their confirmations, so we easily found Manuel waiting for us just outside the airport.  Waited just a few minutes for our private van and we were off to Secrets.  Both of our USA drivers (both from and back to airport) were courteous and asked us if the air conditioning setting was appropriate, but the driver on the arrival transfer stopped to get gas which delayed us a few minutes.

Upon arrival at 2:00 p.m., we were greeted with an enthusiastic “welcome home,” a cold towel, and champagne.  Room was not ready, so we had lunch at the buffet.  We checked back at 2:45 p.m.–still not ready.  I got the feeling that when they say your room will not be ready till 3, they mean it will not be ready till 3.  Check in at 3:00 p.m. took only a few minutes and we were escorted to our third floor room, a deluxe ocean view; great pool and ocean view with balcony.  A plate of fresh fruit, welcome letter, and bottle of champagne were waiting for us.  The bellman showed us how everything in the room worked, including the AC, light switches, and laptop-sized programmable safe.  Others have mentioned problems with their room AC, but ours was fine and got the room as cold as you wanted it.  Mini bar had three mini bottles of Corona, Coke, Coke light, orange juice.  On top of the mini bar was the coffee maker, three small bottles of liquor, small can of Pringles, and peanut M & M’s.  We did have to ask about robes (provided in every room), which were promptly delivered after mentioning it to the concierge for our wing of the resort; she also brought us some flowers for the room (nice touch).

Dinner first night at the Oceana (seafood) restaurant.  We sat outside and our server, Richardson, was great.  The salmon was wonderful.

Breakfast two of the days was at the Seaside Grill, outside table overlooking beach.  Great breakfast and excellent service by Jesus.  Had breakfast and lunch at the buffet two days, which was good and offered many choices.  There was a waffle/pancake and omelet station during breakfast.

Dinner second night at the Portifino (Italian) restaurant, which was very good.  We did have to wait about ½ hr to be seated.

Had lunch two days at The Cactus Club on the beach, which was fantastic – great fish tacos, pico de gallo, and hamburgers.  We highly recommend making a reservation at Himitsu for the hibachi grill – the chef was fantastic and very entertaining – this was the best meal we had at the resort and wished we had come here more than once.  Although the entire meal was excellent, the fried rice deserves special mention—best I’ve ever had at any hibachi grill type of restaurant.

  Secrets Capri Riviera Maya Cactus Club

Last day–lunch buffet by the pool.  They were making ceviche, fried fish, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and drinks that were put in either coconuts or pineapples—not sure what the drink was.

Secrets Capri Riviera Maya Pool View

Couples massage–$99 per person with coupon.  Upon check in, we had not been provided these coupons (in retrospect, I believe this might have been because our stay was only four nights), so the spa reservationist suggested we ask the concierge.  He promptly gave us some coupons, which saved us $80.  The spa is in a separate building and staff takes you there by golf cart.  Once there, they show you where the lockers and showers are and you change into a robe and then as you wait for your massage you can lay down on comfy loungers.  The massages by Corrina and Sara were fabulous and afterwards we went through the hydrotherapy treatments, which was so relaxing.

Oscar was one of the pool servers and deserves special mention – always coming around asking if we needed drinks.  The drinks were a little watered down but if you asked for extra shots you got them.  I think the drinks served at the lobby bar were better.  There was a room just off the main lobby called The Lounge, where appetizers were offered the late afternoon/early evening.

The beach was very nice—there are plenty of chairs and umbrellas.  Yes, the water in this area is not the deep clear blue you might find in Cancun, but green and nice and warm.  There is a lot of seaweed but the staff works diligently every day to keep it clean–always raking and sweeping. 

Pool chairs–while there always seemed to be chairs available, the ones with umbrellas were reserved by 7:00 a.m.  So if you must have a pool chair under a palapa, plan on being down there at 6:30 am or so.  There is no sort of “towel card” system–towels are already neatly rolled up on the chair, so if the towel has not been unrolled, you know it is still
available.  However this towel system results in many guests leaving their used towels on their chair and not turning them back in to the Water Sports desk or putting them in one of the baskets/containers, so by afternoon it is really difficult to tell which chairs are still in use.  I wish more guests would have the courtesy to take their towels off the chairs when they’re done for the day.  A suggestion would be for Secrets pool staff to routinely walk around the pool and remove used towels when there are no other associated personal effects such as flip flops, books, sunscreen, etc.

Pool floats–yes, as indicated in some other reviews of this resort, the number of floats is limited, but we rarely saw them all in use at one time.  We usually had no trouble getting a float when we wanted one.  Some rude guests would take them with them back to their chairs and try to save them.  People…the floats stay in the pool. They are not your personal “float for the day.”

If you’d like some professional photos taken, be sure to schedule a complimentary photo session (coupon provided upon check in for the session and one free 8”X 6” print).  Unlike other all inclusive resorts we’ve been to, they don’t have photographers taking candid shots at restaurants or other areas on the property.  For another option, they would
bring out various animals to the pool area and you could get your picture taken (squirrel monkey, macaw, iguana).

All staff members we encountered were very polite and always smiling and saying “My pleasure.” Everything at the resort seemed very clean—rooms were serviced twice a day.  Housekeeping does arrive quite early to service your room, e.g., around 8 am for the morning service and around 6pm for the evening turn down service, so be sure to activate your “do not disturb” light as appropriate.  There’s lots of marble, which means you need to be careful not to slip.  This goes for the pool area as well—tiles can be very slippery.  

Trip to Playa del Carmen:  Only 14 seats on Secrets’ free shuttle to Playa Del Carmen.  If you want to be sure you get a seat on this shuttle, set your alarm for 7:00 a.m. that day and call the concierge to make your reservation; this fills up very quickly.  Reservations can be made only on the day of the shuttle.  It leaves promptly at 6:30 p.m. and returns at 11:00 p.m.  The driver dropped us off in front of Coco Bongo, just one block over from 5th Avenue (no vehicles allowed on 5th avenue).  Be advised if you plan on visiting Playa and walking up 5th Avenue, the availability of public restrooms is very limited, unless of course you are dining in one of the restaurants.  There are many shops, restaurants, boutique hotels, and interesting sites to see.

Playa del Carmen

Overall, we loved Secrets Capri and would not hesitate to return.

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