I am starting to settle back in to real life after our almost week on the beach in Mexico(and currently staring at snow our my window…), and I thought I would write down a blog post all about our time there, give you guys my honest thoughts about the resort and give some recommendations in case you are planning a getaway yourself! This post is going to focus more on our hotel and the things we did, but this post here will give you all the details on outfits and what to pack for a trip!
This post contains affiliate links. That means I will receive a commission from items purchased through these links. Read my full disclosure policy here. Our stay at Secrets Maroma was not in any way comped for this post. We paid for it and are not working with them in any way.
We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach in Riviera Maya which is just south of Cancun. We specifically wanted to be away from the hotel zone in Cancun for this trip since it was our first big vacation just the two of us in a long time. We stayed at an all inclusive for our honeymoon in St. Lucia (we stayed at the Grande St. Lucian) and knew that we wanted that same kind of pay for it all upfront experience. It’s nice to not have to think about dinners and drinks when you are there because it’s already paid for! We had heard great things about Secrets and went back and forth between two of the resorts and ultimately settled on Maroma because they had an ocean view room available within our price range. Long story short, we loved our trip and had a fabulous time. BUT here’s the long story with some pros and cons!
The Resort and Beach are Beautiful.
The water is just unreal in this area how beautiful it is. If an expansive white sandy beach with turquoise water is your thing than this is your place! You can also walk from the hotel to Playa del Carmen! Not that you would ever walk this far, but I love that you can walk the beach for forever! And I don’t know how, but the sand was never hot and the water was a perfect temperature! Also, the decor in the resort is gorgeous. I loved all of the furniture and finishes. The grounds are also beautifully landscaped and clean. There are 2 pools which are right next to each other. One pool is larger and has the swim up bar and also pool volleyball and is a little rowdier. The other pool is smaller, infinity edge up to the beach, and quieter (keeping in mind the pools are right next to each other). We loved to snag chairs at this pool because then we had ocean view at the pool.
Chairs can be a bit hard to come by at the pool, so if you are planning a pool day I would try to get your chair reserved with towels and books or something pretty early. Or just get a cabana bed! We got one of these on the beach one of the days and it was nice to have, except the day we chose was crazy windy so just being on the beach was kind of not fun. They were nice enough to not charge us for the day because of this though!
Like I said before it was beautifully styled and furnished! We had an ocean view room which could see the ocean, but it was out there and through the trees a bit. The room had a private balcony with a built in sofa and a table and chairs which was really nice to just sit and soak in the warm ocean air! I do kind of wish we had gotten a room with a mini pool on the balcony because that would have been so so nice! The room itself was spacious and had a little living space in addition to the king bed(which was nothing to write home about. Comfortable, but nothing special). There was a huge jacuzzi tub (I’m not typically a bath person, but I even took a bath on this trip!) with led candles on the wall around it, and there were also shutters the you could open to see your ocean view from the bath( our room not as much, but if you were a little closer this would have been amazing!) The rooms have a mini fridge that was stocked with sodas, juice, and a few beers (but no water, which I thought was kind of weird). They restocked the beers throughout our trip though! There is a Nespresso machine for coffee which was nice to have, but none of these got restocked unless we called and asked for them. The other cool thing about the room was the secret box for room service. So basically you flip a switch and if you order room service they will place your items in the box instead of you having to answer your door. We definitely took advantage of this a few times. You have room service 24 hours, but it did take 45-60 min to arrive, even for just coffee and fruit. So tip – if you are wanting to do breakfast in your room, call your order in the day before for a specific time! I don’t have photos of the room, but it was pretty accurate to the hotel website photos.
Everything we had was so so good. (Granted Daniel got sick with we think e coli upon returning home, but I think that’s always a risk when you travel and we also ate in the airport so really we don’t know what could have caused it) I don’t think there was anything we had that we did not like. There are 8 restaurants to choose from (not all dinner), and 2 of them we didn’t get to try. They have Mexican, Italian, French(didn’t try), Seafood (didn’t try), steakhouse, a buffet, a coffee and dessert shop, a pizza stand, and another lunch/pool food stand. We aren’t super picky eaters, but all of it was good. Our favorite was the buffet for breakfast and also the theme nights they did there! I also loved that while you could most definitely indulge there, they also had plenty of options to eat healthy while on vacation.
The things I didn’t like about the restaurant options were the hours, locations, and dress code. None of the restaurants had a great ocean view. One had a little view, but it was through the pools and trees. The other restaurants were way back by the lobby and had no view at all. The beach and ocean here are beautiful and I would have loved if they would have designed the resort around the water more. Your options are also kind of limited until dinner, and then there’s no casual spot to get dinner at. 4 of the restaurants don’t open until 6:30pm. And they all have a dress code. Even the breakfast buffet made Daniel go back to the room and change his tank top to a t-shirt. Because that is soooo much better. Sorry for the sarcasm, but it’s a breakfast buffet. On our way to the beach.
I am all for a fruity cocktail and spicy margs and they did not disappoint! Plus they have tons of fun drinks to choose from! I love a high maintenance drink, what can I say? Haha! All the drinks were good, but the best cocktails were at the bar in the lobby! The only negatives with the drinks were that the wine was not that great, but I didn’t really want wine on this trip anyway. The champagne was way too sweet for me, but was good in mimosas!! Major downfall – no straws! Like nowhere on the resort can you find a dang straw except for $9 in the gift shop (and I didn’t know this until the last day or I would have purchased it!). My teeth are so sensitive to cold so this kiiind of sucked. So bring your own reusable straw!
Scattered around the resort are games like giant chess, a basketball sort of thing, a mini mini golf course, and a few other things. The resort also does a show every night, and they were actually really good!
We also chose to do 2 off the resort activities.
These were easily booked through AMstar in the lobby of the hotel, and they were able to explain all the different things to do and find ones that fit. The first one we did was Chichen Itza. I love learning history and culture as part of traveling and so this one was really cool. It was a 2.5 hour drive each way, and hot, but worth it to see one of the 7 wonders of the world. The tour guide company we went with is Cancun Adventures and they were awesome. The van was air conditioned, they provided plenty of waters to take and snacks. They also had cold beers waiting when we left the park! Our tour guide provided so much information prior to arriving and he had tons of books and photos to go with it. I definitely wouldn’t recommend doing this one without a tour guide! The times for this tour were 6am to 3pm.
The other activity we did was swimming in a cenote cave and them snorkeling with sea turtles. A cenote is a fresh water sinkhole and they are all over this area of Mexico. Such a cool experience! There were tons of stalagmites and stalactites and the water was crystal clear (but COLD!). The cave was way bigger than I thought it would be and they take you through it all. A word of caution here though – if you are claustrophobic, I might find a different cenote to explore. There were some tight spots and it was definitely a cave. But amazing if you don’t have issues with that! Also the drive to the cenote is ROUGH.
I have no pictures from this because I didn’t have a water proof camera! Cancun Adventures does have a whole set up here with lights and people taking pictures for purchase. After the cenote, we went to the bay of Akumal and snorkeled with sea turtles! We have done this on our own in Hawaii, and to be perfectly honest liked that better, but this was still magical as ever to be that close to those beautiful animals! After snorkeling, they took us to the beach club that they own for lunch and time to relax and enjoy the water. The beach club itself was beautiful and peaceful. The times for this were 7am to 2 pm.
You do not need a test to go to Mexico, you just have to fill out an online questionnaire basically saying you aren’t sick. Masks only are required at check in at the resort and then whenever you are entering a restaurant on property where they also take your temperature. You are required to get a COVID test prior to returning to the US, and the resort provides and schedules this on site. Like I mentioned before everything was very clean. The rooms are sanitized before you get there as well and they give you a bottle of hand sanitizer to use throughout your stay. Also – if you were to test positive for COVID the resort also covers your quarantine stay which is sort of a little peace of mind going into your trip.
Service. The service overall was pretty good. A little slow on the beach, but with the distance they have to cover, its kind of to be expected. Everyone was so kind and friendly. I do believe it says tips are included but we tipped throughout our stay, and I would recommend doing the same. We typically tipped like a dollar a drink if we were sitting on the beach or at the pool especially, and then also a few dollars at meals.
Bring plenty of sunscreen – it was $30 at the resort and you don’t want to go without.
Bring a straw! I also saw tons of people with reusable insulated cups which would have been also really smart! A large pack from Amazon like this one or this one would be nice because you wouldn’t have to clean them every 6 seconds!
Don’t forget to bring cash for tip money – US is fine, but if you want to exchange do it at the airport before you leave because you will get a better exchange rate.
Save your chairs early.
Call in your coffee/breakfast the night before.
Be kind! We had one server tell us that we were friendly, like this was not the norm. We are friendly, but not anymore than any other person should be!
Okay, if you made it this far, that’s my review of Secrets Maroma Beach! Overall we had a wonderful trip! I will say, I am not rushing to plan a return trip to this particular resort. We snorkeled at Akumal bay where there is another Secrets, and I loved the feel and vibe of that area more, so I would love to visit there. Daniel did say her preferred the beach at Maroma because he loves things a little more perfect where I love the more natural and imperfect. If that makes any sense at all lol! We felt very safe in this area of Mexico and would feel fine about bringing our kids here.
Let me know if you have any questions or what your thoughts are if you have stayed in this area! Also be sure to check out this post about what I wore and brought to the beach!
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