The 291-room luxury Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is an adults-only, all-inclusive resort located halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Rooms are of moderate size, with elegant decor that includes four-poster canopy beds, furnished balconies or terraces, and jetted tubs. Guests at this outpost of the Secrets chain are granted Preferred status, with additional amenities and privileges that include premium liquor, concierge service in rooms, on the beach, and by the pool, free Wi-Fi, and free international calls. The property is stylish and upscale and resembles a Mediterranean villa, with lots of terraces, wrought iron, and marble. The spa has a full menu of treatments, including fish pedicures. On-site activities include water sports, games, language lessons, and beer tastings. The location in between two major cities makes it convenient for guests with a car, but there's nothing of interest within walking-distance.
Romantic Mediterranean-style villa for adults only
The Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is an
adults-only resort, aimed squarely at vacationers, most of whom are couples on romantic getaways. The resort is situated on 71 acres of lovely landscaped grounds on a long stretch of white-sand beach. The rooms and common areas resemble what one would find a Mediterranean villa; they're elegant, but not particularly cozy.
Guests at the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun are greeted with a welcome cocktail and a cool towel. The lobby is enormous, with vast expanses of
shiny marble floor, low ceilings, and thick columns. There are some pretty
sitting areas decorated with paintings, leather chairs, and fine
carpets, but for the most part, the lobby feels a bit like a luxury airport lounge rather than a cozy gathering place. There is a grand marble staircase with
wrought iron railings alongside a pretty rock pool with a resident gang of
tortoises. Some of the hallways surround courtyards
filled with plants; others have dozens of glass and
metal lanterns hanging from the ceilings, which are gorgeous after dark. The front desk is
a civilized series of tables and upholstered chairs, which adds to the upscale
vibe, and the entire ambience is far swankier than that of most other all-inclusive resorts in the area.
The resort's private white-sand beach is pristine,
with crystalline blue water and rows of sun beds and palapas, as well as a long jetty that extends out into
the surf. The beach is a bit narrow, but doesn’t feel crowded.
There is only one pool (with a swim-up bar), but it is enormous, ringed with a concrete deck with lounge chairs. The spa, set away
from the other resort buildings, feels like a destination unto itself, and offers a sauna, steam room, and lounge where guests
can hang all day and relax along with treatments. The food at the resort gets rave reviews, and while the menus change from restaurant to restaurant, there's not a lot of variation in decor. Romantic meals can be arranged on the beach or through room service.
Between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, on a long strip of white sand beach
Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is located north of Playa del Carmen, a 40-minute drive south of Cancun Airport. Playa del Carmen is a 15-minute drive from the resort; the upscale beach town is best known for its main drag, Fifth Avenue, home to bars, restaurants, upscale shops, and lots of people-watching opportunities. A ferry runs from Playa del Carmen to the offshore island of Cozumel, a popular scuba and snorkeling spot. Surfing and hiking/biking trails can be found close by. The Mayan ruins at Tulum are just under an hour away by road and the ruins at Coba take an hour and 45 minutes to reach. The resort concierge can arrange day trips for guests who don't have cars.
The resort is located off the highway, but the main lobby is a three-minute drive off the main road, and there is no traffic noise. The area immediately surrounding the resort is occupied by other hotels and resorts, and Secrets guests can visit and dine at many neighboring properties. Greens fees at the nearby Grand Coral Rivera Maya course are also waived for Secrets guests, although there is a charge for renting a golf cart.
Furnished balconies, jetted bathtubs, 24-hour room service, and canopy beds
Both rooms and suites are available at the Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun, all of which come with furnished private balconies
or terraces and jetted bathtubs. Some balconies have hammocks with pool or beach views, but ground-floor guests should note that the walls between terraces
don't go all the way up to the ceiling, making them feel less than private. Some
ground-floor rooms are right by the beach, and servers come by to take food
and drink orders throughout the day.
Room decor is elegant and subdued, and all come with either king canopy beds or two doubles. Beds have white sheets (hypoallergenic bedding is also available) accented by periwinkle blackout curtains and matching upholstered chairs. Minibars are restocked
daily with free juice, soft drinks, bottled water, and beer. Flat-screen TVs
have pay movies and DVD players, and there are iPod docks and speakers for
music as well as incense burners (although note that the whole resort is non-smoking). Ground-floor rooms and rooms on all levels near the late-night lounge and pool
area can be noisy; guests craving peace and quiet may prefer jungle-view rooms.
Ocean views are spectacular, and every room has some sort of ocean and beach
view, even standard guest rooms. Rooms come with large marble bathrooms with separate whirlpool tubs and walk-in showers as well as double sinks with plenty of counter space and free toiletries.
Beach and poolside cabanas, water sports, cooking classes, and a deluxe spa
Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun has dedicated concierges at the beach and by the pool, and servers make rounds throughout the day to take food and drink orders. Pool and beachside cabanas are free for guests to use and have comfortable double mattresses for lounging all
day. There are tons of free activities offered at the beach, including organized beach volleyball, windsurfing, parasailing, and snorkeling.
The pool is enormous and surrounded by a concrete deck, which, in turn, is flanked by grassy lawns and a row of palm trees. Most poolside lounge chairs are made of sturdy wood, and there's an array of half-submerged lounges for cooling off along with an assortment of rafts for guests who want to float. Aqua aerobics and scuba lessons are offered in the pool,
with off-site expeditions arranged for more experienced divers.
The resort also has a grass
tennis court, and lessons are offered. Cultural activities include cooking and
language classes and excursions to ruins and even a neighboring village. A resort shuttle takes guests to nearby shopping
destinations. FitClub, the resort fitness center, is large and equipped
with cardio machines, weights, and flat-screen TVs. Free yoga and spinning classes are offered frequently. The resort also has its own app that guests can use on their smartphones to book spa appointments, check activity schedules, or even make free international calls. Weddings and special events can be organized in the resort’s ballroom, on the terrace, in the garden gazebo, or right on the beach in a gorgeous rustic wood pavilion.
The gargantuan Secrets Spa has its own tropical garden and a mineral tub with
waterfalls shaded by a palapa. Treatments include massages, wraps with green coffee or chocolate, and even sunburn treatments. Beauty services include fish pedicures for the adventurous as well as regular mani-pedis in a lovely green and orange salon area with a picture window that opens out on the jungle. A steam room, sauna, and hot tubs are located in a thatch-roofed
area, surrounded by lounges with convenient plush blankets for guests who need
a nap after their pampering.
Similar decor throughout the restaurants, but the cuisine varies; fun lounge with live music also on-site
There are several a la carte restaurants and a buffet with crepes and other items cooked to order. Although the menus vary, the decor in most of the dining rooms is similar -- elegant and colonial-feeling -- but without a great deal of character and atmosphere. Outdoor dining has more of a Mexican feel, on pretty patios with lots of palm trees, flowers, tile, and wrought-iron railings. La Riviera, the buffet, is casual and decorated with paintings and Mexican handicrafts. The food here is good, but not always piping hot. The other restaurants include a steakhouse and the pan-Asian and hibachi Himitsu, complete with a zen rock garden. Coco Cafe is a charming coffee shop that looks like a patisserie, with lots of wood and marble, and fancy upholstered furniture. The Cactus Club serves excellent ceviche and tacos on a pretty wood deck by the pool. The resort's nightclub, Desires Music Lounge, has dancing and live music, red billiard tables, darts, and board games, as well as a full bar. Guests who want to get off the property can take a hotel shuttle to one of the neighboring resorts for dinner.
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