Massive pool features a lively swim-up bar and a lazy river
Extensive dining options: 4 on-site restaurants, access to the restaurants at the Now next door, and 24-hour room service
Tranquil spa with a numerous treatment rooms and a sexy pool
Next door to the Now Larimar, so the beach isn't completely kid-free
Fee for Wi-Fi
The adults-only Secrets caters to honeymooners and couples, but of the more party-hearty variety: The resort offers numerous on-site bars as well as nightly entertainment. However, tranquility (and romance) can certainly be found in the kid-free restaurants, lazy river, and intimate spa, and all rooms feature balconies or terraces with large whirlpool tubs. Room decor is similar to, but a step above, that at the Now: Floral throws, bright furniture, accent walls, flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and large marble bathrooms all come together to make comfortable, if not particularly luxurious, accommodations. The resort lacks a golf course, but overall its a solid choice for couples looking to let loose -- and still enjoy a bit of romance.
A popular spot among honeymooners and party-hearty couples
This adults-only property is less of a tranquil, romantic spot and more of a party haven for couples and groups looking to spend their days by the swim-up bar. The massive pool is indeed the resort's highlight, with a lively scene by the bar and volleyball net. However, those looking for some R&R can certainly find it -- the pool also features a lazy river wrapping around the grounds, where I spotted plenty of guests napping or engrossed in novels.
While the Secrets features four on-site restaurants and numerous bars, amenities such as the fitness center, spa, and casino are located at the sister property, the Now Larimar, next door. However, its only a five-minute walk away and Secrets guests have access to all of the Now's facilities, including its restaurants. Now Larimar guests, however, must stay on the Now property.
The Secrets sits on a large stretch of beautiful beach with crystal-clear blue waters (though some seaweed debris does collect on the white sand throughout the day). It can get crowded during high season (and its proximity to the Now means screaming children can be heard at times), but there seemed to be plenty of lounge chairs for guests.
The Secrets is a 30-minute taxi ride from Punta Cana International Airport, and it's among 50-plus resorts piled on top of one another on a giant strip of white-sand beach. But there's not much here outside the resorts.
The Secrets Royal Beach, part of the long line of resorts that sit along the beaches of Punta Cana, is on the northern end of the stretch. It is located on Los Caroles beach, where the white sand and calm waters attract plenty of sunbathers and swimmers.
Its sister resort, Now Larimar, is located next door -- just a five-minute walk away. Secrets guests are granted free access to the Now property, including its restaurants, spa, and fitness center. Now Larimar guests, however, cannot access the Secrets.
Ten minutes away by foot is Plaza Dorado, where guests find a well-stocked supermarket and a bakery. For a Tommy Hilfiger fix, the Palma Real shopping mall is a 10-minute cab ride away.
The Punta Cana Airport is about a 30-minute taxi ride away.
On a large beach with plenty of water sports and lounge chairs
The Secrets is situated on a long stretch of sand, much larger than that at the nearby Barcelo (although arguably not quite as nice). As expected in the D.R., the white-sand beach leads to beautiful, crystal-clear water. Some seaweed debris collects during the day, and it can certainly get crowded, but there's still room for everyone and the section used by Secrets guests (versus that used by Now guests) is often less crowded. However, because the two resorts are right next door to each other, Secrets guests lounging on the beach will see plenty of kids and families roaming around on the sand.
Free non-motorized water sports are available at the beach, and the water is home to an ocean trampoline and an "inflatable iceberg." The beach also features a popular bar.
The fitness center, on the Now's property but shared by Secrets guests, is small but adequate. The space is divided into four sections: Two sections feature a total of nine cardio machines, including treadmills, bikes, and an elliptical; one has free weights and benches; and the fourth has mats and balls for stretching. There are no strength-training machines.
A trainer is available throughout the day and guests are provided with towels and fruit.
The spa is a highlight. Though small, it has a tranquil, intimate vibe: the salon, treatment rooms, and relaxation lounge feature warm shades of creams and browns, accented by beachy touches such as shells. But perhaps the key feature is the outdoor courtyard, with a small, sexy pool and a cabana with fresh fruit juices and snacks.
The spa is located on the Now's property next to the gym, but can be accessed by Secrets guests.