Dec
09
2010

Secrets Capri – The Mayan Riviera’s Secrets is out…

My husband Tom and I have just returned from a wonderful vacation in the Mayan Riviera. We enjoyed our resort so much, I decided to put together a trip report to share with my clients (and add to Tripadvisor). I’m sure some of you are looking for that next great vacation spot, and I have to say, this might be just the place you’ve been searching for.

Gourmet, pampering, personalized service, tropical. If these words conjure up a relaxed getaway in a beautiful and lush land, read on to find out about Secrets Capri in the Mayan Riviera.

Deciding which all-inclusive to venture off to each year is always a tough decision for me and my husband. Well, really, it’s my decision, as I have all the resources in front of me. Trying to decide which location, then which resort can take months for us. We want to find just the right spot for our getaway, as many of you do also.


As most of you know, the Mayan Riviera was ravaged by Hurricane Wilma this past October. The Yucatan Peninsula has been hit before, but hasn’t been devastated like this in years. The clean up efforts were amazing. Travel Agents were kept in the loop over the past five months on the hotel openings and were sent photos documenting the repairs as they were on going. Secrets Capri did not escape this brutal storm.

Secrets Capri had mostly cosmetic damage, thankfully. Uprooted trees and plants, broken railings, and the beach landed in the pool. By working day and night, the staff was able to get the resort up and running in a very short time. And when we arrived there on March 22, you would never know a hurricane ever lingered over their hotel.

BEACH

Some resorts in the Mayan Riviera lost their beach in Hurricane Wilma, not Secrets Capri. They are sitting on a gorgeous stretch of white powder beach. There’s plenty of room here, lots of palapas to shade yourself, and tons of beach chairs. If you are feeling active, you can join in the daily game of American flag football or beach volleyball.

POOL

I tend to choose a resort based on the size of the pool, as well as the beach. I just like room to spread out. I’ve been to resorts that offer very small pool areas and they just aren’t as appealing as a nice, large pool. This one fits the bill. Plenty of seating around the pool, its zero entry, which means certain sections slope from the deck right into the pool. Please be careful of this, as it can get slippery (yes, I slipped right in). There are steps too, use these. Tons of floaty rafts too. Grab a Pina Colada and a raft and you’ll be set. Oh and if for some strange chance the Mayan Riviera gets a cold spell, they’ll heat the pool.

GAME AREA

Here you’ll find pool tables, chess, checkers, Jenga, backgammon and more. If you’ve had enough sun for the day, stop by for a quick game on your way to the bar.

BONUS FEATURES

We happened to arrive at the resort smack in the middle of March Madness. Being the huge college basketball fan that I am, I was thrilled to find out (prior to my trip) that Secrets Capri would be broadcasting all of the games on the big screen! They set up the disco for our viewing pleasure during all the games with waitress service, so we never had to leave our seats during the action, popcorn machine, candy bars and sandwiches. Even though my two favorite teams lost while we were there, it was still a great bonus!

Each morning you’ll wake up to find a newsletter under your door with all the day’s activities, special drink of the day, restaurant and tour information.

RESORT

The resort itself is comprised of 290 rooms, situated on 71 acres of lush foliage. The horseshoe design of the hotel makes everything easily accessible. The lobby is done in beautiful marbles and is very lavish. You’ll find early morning coffee here daily and a live band in the evenings. Off the lobby is the Grand Ballroom for wedding receptions and such with a lovely terrace for cocktail parties. You’ll also find a disco, five restaurants, games area and spa here.

ACCOMMODATIONS

We found our room to be quite lovely. The accommodations are very spacious, about double the size of a regular hotel room. Again, marble is the theme here. Four-poster beds, stocked in-room mini- bar, cable TV, two phones, large private balcony, and an exceptionally large bathroom. The bathroom offers a shower and Jacuzzi jetted tub. You’ll find robes and slippers in all rooms, twice daily maid service, private concierge and 24-hour room service.

STAFF

We found the staff to be exceptional. They take the time to get to know their guests and that means the world to me. We had the pleasure of having breakfast with Mr. Eric Freudenthaler, the resort’s General Manager on our last morning at Secrets. What a gentleman. He stopped to greet guests by their names and was interested to hear what they had to say about the resort. We gave him an idea or two about ways to make the resort better, from a guest’s point of view and he thought they were wonderful and planned to implement them. Eric checks on every one of my clients during their stay to make sure everything is to their liking. I know my clients appreciate this gesture immensely. If you have a problem with your room, someone will be sent up to assist right away. If you want to know what time the Flyers and Oilers play on ESPN that evening, stop at your concierge’s desk at the end of the hall on your way to the beach and he’ll find out for you. It’s these kinds of services that my clients expect and are so nice to receive with a smile.

The bartenders are more than happy to whip up a fruity concoction for you to try and the wait staff will be happy to bring you nachos and cheese as you lay by the pool.

RESTAURANTS

We found the restaurants to be exceptional. Each one was better than the last. Service was excellent and the menus, which changed daily, were very extensive.

Himitsu specializes in Pan-Asian fare. Lobster, sushi, scallops and beef on this menu. Beautiful setting as well.

Oceana is their seafood restaurant. This restaurant has a wonderful view of the ocean and is very romantic. Fresh seafood daily.

Portofino is the Italian specialty restaurant. If you have a love of fine Italian food, you’ll want to dine her nightly. Excellent wine list also.

La Riviera is the buffet restaurant for breakfast and lunch and Continental/Mexican cuisine for dinner. When you think buffet, you will not come remotely close to thinking of this one. Breakfast offered an egg station cooked to order, crepe station, breakfast sushi, every imaginable breakfast food, pastries and juices. Lunch was another event with sushi station, pasta station, antipasti and salad area, as well as many exciting lunch specialties. Dinner offered some great Continental options.

Seaside Grill serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is an a la carte restaurant featuring a steakhouse menu in the evening.

**Long pants and closed toe shoes are required for some restaurants for the gentlemen.

One note about the restaurants. They do not accept reservations. Restaurants open at 6:30pm. They tend to get busy between the peak period of 7:30pm- 8:30pm. The restaurants do have waits of 20 minutes to sometimes up to an hour on occasion, depending on the restaurant. Some restaurants are smaller than others. They will give you a beeper that works throughout the resort. So, after you get out of the hot tub on the pool deck at 6pm, stop by the Seaside Grill, pick up your beeper, get dressed for dinner and by the time you are ready, your beeper will be going off. We found some people to be put off by the waits, but once you plan for it, its fine. The lobby does a lovely happy hour with snacks and a band, so you’ll have somewhere for cocktails first.

BARS

There are several bars throughout the property including at the pool (and in the pool), beach, lobby and disco.

THEME NIGHTS

Every night is a different theme. Mexican, French, etc. They had a huge Mexican party one night where they brought in vendors and a donkey to get your picture taken with. They have a wonderful buffet set up around the pool and a show during dinner. Saturday night is star gazing on the beach to classic rock. Every night is something fun.

OVERALL

This resort is adults only, but not couples only. They are accepting of everyone over the age of 18, whether they are singles, a few friends traveling together, couples, honeymooners, gay or lesbian. Everyone is welcome and they promise you will have a good time. The resort is primarily Americans as they market mostly to the United States. We found the ages to range from very late 20s to 60s. Average age was 30s and 40s. Tips are included in your total cost, however, if you receive exemplary service from someone, you may offer them a tip. The staff in no way solicits tips, but will accept them. Please don’t ever feel this is required.

This is not a party style resort. It is laid back, with some music at the pool occasionally throughout the day. It’s the type of place where you can sit at the swim-up pool bar and chat with your neighbor or read a book on your beach chair or join in pool volleyball. It’s what you make of it. But, in our opinion, it was one of the most wonderful vacations we’ve taken.

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