Grade 4 Star out of 5
This adults-only 5-star all-inclusive resort is located in the gated community of Playa Mujeres. It’s a really great option in the Cancun area and the resorts in the Playa Mujeres area are some of the top-ranked resorts in this part of Mexico.
The resort was only built-in 2014, so it has all of the amenities and luxuries you would expect from a newly built complex. The resort has been kept in great condition throughout and it really does feel like it was built within the last few years.
The aesthetic of this resort is really lovely. It’s got a traditional Mexican Hacienda vibe to it. The resort is sprawling with 424 rooms in the resort. It’s so big that there is a golf cart shuttle service that runs throughout the resort.
Located in the popular vacation destination of Playa Mujeres it’s just a 20-minute drive from the main area of Cancun and a 30-minute drive from Cancun International Airport. You’re close enough to Cancun that you can just hop in a taxi and be right in the thick of the action, but you’re far enough away that you’re not in the center of the party district.
The resorts in Playa Mujeres are also a lot more spacious than those located in the main hotel zone of Cancun, so the resorts in Playa Mujeres feel a lot more spacious.
- The resort is very spaced out. There are two main areas of the resort. The main area is where most of the restaurants, the main lobby, the fitness center, and a range of bars are. Then there is the main bulk of the rooms which are located right in front of the beach. It is a little bit inconvenient having the rooms so far away from a lot of the action, but being close to the beach helps to make up for that inconvenience. As we mentioned there is a golf cart shuttle service that runs between the two areas and they are very frequent.
- If you are staying in a Preferred Club room make sure to make use of the concierge that you get with these rooms. Whether it’s booking into restaurants or reserving a cabana on the beach with an unobstructed view they are there to make your trip run smoother.
- If wine is your drink of choice. You may run into some issues at this resort. The house wine isn’t particularly good and the bottles of wine that you can purchase at the restaurants are quite pricey. The cheapest bottle is around $60 USD. So, it may be worth buying your own bottles with you.
- In all of the rooms, there are tablets that have the slate of information you will need for your vacation. From the list of activities that are happening throughout the day, menus for all of the restaurants, and the ability to order room service from the tablet. It really does it all.
You are met with a hot towel and a glass of bubbly. The process was relatively smooth. We were staying in a reserve room, so there is a separate check-in area for reserve guests. This definitely sped up the process. We walked past the main check-in area and there seemed to be quite a queue to get checked in.
The whole process for us probably took around 20 minutes. The check-in staff was great at outlining where everything was located in the resort as well as the additional benefits we had as reserve guests.
Is this a child-friendly resort?
It’s an adults-only all-inclusive resort, but like most Secrets chain of resorts, there is a family-friendly offering that is located right next door to the Secrets. The family-friendly resort is the Dreams and is located a short walk away. There is a path connecting the two resorts and guests staying in the Secrets can use the amenities, eat in the restaurants, and drink in the bars of the sister resort next door.
Guests of the Dreams can also do the same, but as the Secrets is an adults-only offering and a lot of the people staying at the Dreams will have kids with them, the footfall into the Secrets side isn’t that large.
There are loads of things to do and see at the Secrets. With basketball, tennis courts, skeet shooting, and archery to name a few of the activities.
As the Secrets Playa Mujeres is basically surrounded by a jungle-type area there is a lot of interesting wildlife around. There is actually an area that has been sectioned off as a nature reserve where there are loads of informational signs about the types of vegetation and wildlife that grow in the local area. There are also a number of towers throughout this area where you can get stunning views of the surrounding nature and the beach.
There are three pools in the main pool area. They almost feel like one giant pool as they look to be connected throughout, but they are separated by walkways.
The main pool area of the resort is located within the horseshoe of buildings that make up the main area of the resort. It gives a very traditional hacienda feel to the resort. This pool is not heated, but the other pools in the main area are heated.
The middle pool and the infinity pool are heated and this is where the swim-up bar is located. This is definitely the busier area of the pool and is where there will be the biggest party atmosphere during the day.
There are loads of sun loungers and cabanas surrounding the main pool area. When we visited we had no issues finding a secluded spot where we could sink a few Pina Coladas and read a book. There is drinks service all around the pool area which is integral.
Does Secrets Playa Mujeres include golf?
Within the Playa Mujeres estate, there is a golf course that is located here. It’s a wonderfully designed Greg Norman course and is known as one of the best Golf courses in the Cancun area.
On the Secrets website, it’s advertised that guests “enjoy complimentary greens fees” throughout your stay, but honestly, this is not 100% true as there is a mandatory cart fee that must be paid for playing on the course. That fee ranges from $89 USD in the low season to $103 USD in the high season.
There is an unlimited golf option that gives you complete access to the course for a week. That costs $511 USD for the low season and the high season price isn’t listed. The resort does provide free transportation to the course.
The gym here is very well equipped. The equipment is very new and it’s more than big enough for the size of the resort. There are loads of cardio machines, a free weights area, a machine weights area, and a great spot for stretching and classes. We went at times we considered peak times and it was never too busy. So you should have no issues getting some solid workouts in if that’s your thing.
Things to do during the day
The entertainment team at the Secrets put on loads of activities throughout the day. Some of our highlights were the Yoga classes which we did every day. The Sushi cooking class, which was very educational and tasty, and the cigar rolling class.
Things to do during the night
Like the daytime entertainment, the complete evening line-up can be viewed from the tablet in your room as well as a number of boards throughout the resort. Our favorite night was definitely the beach party that had a Mexican theme to it. It had a Mariachi band, Mexican food, and had a great atmosphere. They also have all of the usual themed shows and nights such as retro nights, tribute acts, and a silent disco. The fire show was really impressive too.
The beach here is very expansive and has a lovely private vibe to it. There are loads of sun loungers and areas to relax. The beach never really felt overcrowded.
The waters at the Playa Mujeres beach are a little less choppy compared to those at the main hotel zone in Cancun. All of the beach is swimmable and it’s the perfect place for a dip. It also means that water activities such as paddle boarding and kayaking are very doable at this beach.
Another reason why the Playa Mujeres beach is one of the best in the area is that unlike many beaches around Cancun this specific beach isn’t really affected by seaweed.
The spa at the Secrets is one of the nicest experiences we have had at an all-inclusive resort. There is a full spa menu as well as a great hydrotherapy area. The whole vibe of the spa is very zen. There are indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms that are the perfect place to read a book and zone out before or after your treatment or hydrotherapy run. You can get juices or herbal teas in this area. When we visited we went for a couples massages. The masseuses we both got were really good and the price wasn’t too steep either.
As this is one of the Secrets best-established resorts we had very high expectations for the service before our stay. These expectations were definitely met and the service throughout our stay was top quality.
From the moment we arrived, we had that feeling of luxury. Being greeted with a glass of bubbly and have a smooth check-in process made us feel at ease. You walk through the resort and you can feel it running smoothly, it’s very much a well-oiled machine at this stage. We got the feeling that this was a resort that has worked out the kinks that a lot of resorts have trouble with and are in cruise control mode to provide a luxury 5-star experience.
There also felt like there was a high ratio of staff to guests when we visited. It always felt like there was someone on hand to offer you help and to make sure your vacation was running smoothly.
The concierge here deserves a specific shoutout, they were great at fulfilling all of our requests, and if you are staying in a preferred club room make sure to make use of your personal concierge.
The resort was very clean throughout. We did have one small issue with the housekeeping where the bathroom in our room wasn’t cleaned on two occasions, but other than that the resort was extremely well kept. The staff was great at clearing away empty plates and glasses very promptly.
Booking during Covid
There are a number of precautions and additional benefits that are taken by the Secrets chain of resorts to make your stay as relaxing and enjoyable as possible. Below is an overview of the elements.
- Free Onsite Testing
Before you depart your vacation if you need to get an antigen for your arrival back into your country. You can avail of a free antigen test before you depart.
- Quarantine Reassurance
If for any reason you contract COVID-19 and need to quarantine for a time period. You will be able to do so at the resort for no extra cost. This is available for up to 14 days if needed.
- Enhanced Cleaning
At AM Resorts, which the Secret’s chain is a part of. They have the CleanComplete Verification™. This is a fancy way of saying they have increased measures to make sure everything is kept sanitized throughout the resort.
The room offering here is a little more condensed compared to some of the secrets of other offerings. They basically have two types of rooms. A Junior Suite and a Master suite. For each of these rooms, there is a range of different options such as ocean view, garden view, and swim-up. When we visited we were staying in a Preferred Club Junior suite with an ocean view (All of the Preferred club rooms have an ocean view).
We were very happy with our room. In keeping with the aesthetic of the resort, the rooms are designed with a traditional Mexican feel. All of the rooms come equipped with a mini-bar, Nespresso machine, and a handy pass-through at the door where your food is delivered and your empty plates and glasses can be left.
The rooms have a lot of nice little touches such as the incense in the bathroom and things like the washbag they provide you with things like sunscreen and bug repellent. You don’t get that at many resorts so props to the Secrets for thinking of everything.
These rooms are well sized at 602 sq. ft. They come with a king-sized bed, a nice lounge area, and a well-sized balcony to take the lovely ocean or garden views. These rooms are also available as swim-up suites too.
These suites come in at a sprawling 1,162 sq. ft. so they are super spacious. They come with a completely separate living room and a super cool bar area. The balcony in these suites is also large and there is a jacuzzi and lovely seating area there.
What’s included in the all-inclusive package
The majority of the drinks and food are included in the all-inclusive package. There are a few caveats to this, but for the most part, everything food and drink-related is included. Things like select bottles of wine come at an additional cost. You can get bottles of the house wine for free though.
All rooms also include a well-stocked mini-bar that has beers, sodas, water, and snacks. There is also an extensive room service menu that is available most of the day.
Food + Restaurant Options
If you have stayed in a Secrets resort before you will be familiar with the restaurant offering at the resort. In total there are 8 restaurants at the Secrets as well as the Coco Cafe where you can get caffeinated treats as well as snacks throughout the day. You can also frequent the restaurants at the Dreams resorts, so you won’t be stuck for places to eat.
One important thing to note is that not all of the restaurants are open every night. So, if there are particular restaurants you really want to try. Be sure to double-check their opening hours at the start of your stay.
Ranking the Restaurants
This was our favorite restaurant in the resort. This Mexican offering had the best food and atmosphere in the resort. The staff here were also great. We have to give a shout-out to Carlos who served us there, he was great fun.
The food here is also authentically Mexican. Our favorite dishes were definitely the poblano chili cream soup which was packed full of flavor and the dessert dish of tres leches pie.
This is one of the better restaurants in the resort. An Italian offering that serves up pizzas, pastas, and a wide selection of wines. The bottles of wine do come at a surcharge, but you’re on your holidays, treat yourself. Our favorite dish was definitely the seafood risotto.
This is the only restaurant in the resort that you actually need a booking for. We highly recommend that you book into this restaurant as soon as you arrive as it can be difficult to get a booking.
We really liked the outdoor seating area here, it’s surrounded by some lovely pools and the atmosphere is very zen. Serving up pan Asian cuisine. The food here was very good. The sushi in particular was top quality.
This is a French-style restaurant that serves all of the classic dishes you would associate with France as well as a number of Mexican and American dishes. There is French-style decor throughout this restaurant with white linen tablecloths and plush finishings throughout. The mussels here were our favorite dish.
If there is availability we highly recommend booking a table in the wine cellar. It’s a really lovely room and takes you to a chateau in Bordeaux and back in the space of night. It’s a great place to have a romantic dinner.
This is the main buffet of the resort and was our go-to spot for breakfast. Like any all-inclusive buffet, there is a really wide range of choices. From omelet stations in the morning to burger and grilling stations in the afternoon.
You will find something you like here at the Market Cafe. The food standard here was pretty consistent. The produce that was being used was fresh and good quality, so no complaint about the Market cafe.
This was our go-to spot for lunch. Serving up all of your favorite poolside treats, like burgers, grilled meats, nachos, and hot dogs this casual spot was the perfect place for a quick bite to eat. The fish tacos here were delicious.
Open for lunch and dinner. The was a decent enough spot. The steaks here were actually pretty good. The location of the Seaside grill was also great. The staff was also really good here too.
Open 24/7 this is a lovely little coffee shop that serves up sweet treats and some decent coffee. We frequented this spot every morning for coffee and loved going back here in the evenings to grab some Ice cream for dessert. We also really enjoyed the boozy coffees that can be ordered on request.
Bars and Drinks Offering
There are 8 bars in this resort and they vary from swim-up, poolside, reception bars, and music bars, so you shouldn’t have any issues getting a drink. Our favorite spot was definitely the piano bar where you could sip on a cocktail while listening to some great live music.
The premium drinks offering is a little limited here. You can only really get the top-shelf offerings in the Preferred Club lounge. They serve Johnny Walker Black, Ciroc, Hennesy, and Grey Goose to name a few. The normal bars had an ok selection, but not as wide-ranging as some of the other all-inclusive we have visited.
Is the Preferred Club Worth it?
For any premium status at an all-inclusive resort, the biggest area that these add ons can add real value are the private beach and pool areas and premium clubs that give you access to top-shelf liquor.
Private Beach and Pool Area
Although this is undoubtedly a large resort. The beach at the Secrets Playa Mujeres is more than big enough to cater to everyone at the resort. There are two sections of the beach. One side of it is open to all guests and the other is only available to Preferred Club guests. There are Cabanas in the preferred area while there are none on the other side.
We did notice that neither side of the beach was overly busy throughout the day. So there shouldn’t be any issues getting a sun lounger on the beach if you’re staying in a standard room, so the benefit here to Preferred guests is minimal.
Access to the Reserve Lounge
The lounge here is a really nice spot for some pre-dinner drinks or to grab a quick snack during the day. The biggest benefit of the Reserve lounge is the expanded drinks menu. The resort in general doesn’t have a great selection of premium drinks options, but in the preferred lounge, they have the likes of Hendricks Gin, Ciroc, Johnny Walker Black label.
Access to the Hydrotherapy Circuit at the Spa
This is one of the benefits that we find a lot of the preferred guests don’t utilize and it’s really a great amenity that you should miss out on. The spa area is super relaxing and doing the hot, cold pools and steam rooms is the perfect way to rejuvenate your body after one too many drinks the night before.
Overall at the Secrets, we felt like the preferred club access didn’t add enough value to warrant the additional cost. On average you are paying around 15% premium compared to standard rooms and we felt the benefits did not outweigh the costs.
For every all-inclusive trip that we take, we always account for tips in the cost of our vacation. We tend to allocate around $50 a day for tipping. Usually, we tip $1 – $2 per drink and between $5 – $10 per meal depending on the meal and the quality of service. We also leave a tip daily for the housekeeping staff. If there is something particular we want in the mini-bar we would leave a tip there too. The staff here work hard for tips and provide a great level of service that makes your vacation so much more enjoyable.
Overall the Secrets Playa Mujeres is a very solid offering. The resort is in great condition, the food on offer was decent, the beach area was very nice and the experience we had was very enjoyable. The Playa Mujeres area is one of the most competitive spots for top-quality all-inclusive resorts at the moment. With the three Excellence resorts, the Grand Palladium, the Atelier, and the TRS Coral there’s a huge amount of choice.
The areas that we were disappointed with at the Secrets was the design of the resort, the drinks offering wasn’t as robust as we are used to and the food was good, but not great.
The premium resort in the area for an adult-only offering is definitely the Beloved Playa Mujeres. This boutique resort hits on every aspect we look for in a top-quality all-inclusive. It is about 20% more expensive, but it’s definitely worth the slight premium.
Q. Does the offer a shuttle service from the Airport
A. Yes, there is a shuttle that is provided by the hotel, but it does come at an additional cost.
Q. Is parking available at the resort
A. Yes, parking is available for guests and it is complimentary
Q. Is Wi-Fi included
A. Yes, Wi-Fi is available to you in your suite as well as throughout the resort.
Q. What local attractions are there?
A. There is a huge amount to see and do in the Cancun area. The area is steeped in culture and areas of natural beauty.