Winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award for seven consecutive years, Secrets Capri is nestled within 71 acres in the Riviera Maya approximately 35 min. south of the Cancun airport. It touts itself as being an “unlimited luxury, concierge-style, Preferred Club experience”, meaning that all guests have access to amenities and services that are only provided to Premium/Privilege Club upgraded guests at other resorts. There are no different colored wristbands (in fact, there are no wristbands at all) to denote higher paying guests–everyone is given the same access to resort amenities, rooms, food, and beverages. Expecting to pay extra for private check-in? No need, check-in is done at smaller tables for everyone, and there are floor concierges in guest room buildings designated to handle guests’ needs.
This is a smaller Secrets resort with 291 rooms and suites. The resort layout is compact making it very easy to maneuver around and find different amenities, or get to the beach from one’s room. Resort buildings, in general, are grouped around the central heated pool, while the beach is only a short distance from the sundeck. The pool is shaped like a figure “8” and is divided in half by a bridge walkway. Padded loungers and a few umbrellas are available poolside along with several Bali beds/cabanas which can be reserved for a fee; the Jacuzzi is nearby. There is a very wide section of shelving all along the sides of the pool along with several head rests (not complete in-pool loungers) so that guests may lie partially submerged while working on their tan. NOTE: The gradual entry area of the pool has been notoriously slippery in the past; however, the resort has provided mats in this area so be sure to use them.
A small lawn area lies between the pool and the beach, so it is not difficult to move between the two during the day. Palapas, loungers, and several Bali beds/cabanas are set up along the shoreline (except for the north end of the property), and there is some natural shade–be sure to look for a reservation sign on the Bali beds to see if one is available. A section of beach hammocks is also available along with a water sports desk for non-motorized water sports check-out. Sea grass accumulation along the shoreline is normal along this stretch of beach, but staff does their best to remove any build-up, sometimes several times a day. Despite the sea grass, this is a swimmable section.
The resort’s architecture is a combination of Mediterranean and Mexican Hacienda with large columns, ornate wrought iron chandeliers, charming courtyard areas with fountains, and Italian marble throughout. There is a lovely double staircase off the lobby which leads down to the lower lobby level where a large pond with turtles will greet you on your way to several of the restaurants and the Desires Lounge. Be sure to check out the “hall of lights” on the 5th floor of the main building during evening hours; there are several dozen hanging lanterns/light fixtures down this hallway which creates a mysterious yet calming ambiance. NOTE: The Desires Lounge has experienced some water damage over time which has resulted in a rather unpleasant odor. Although this is a great space to hang out (it doubles as both a sports bar and a music/dance lounge), it may be difficult for some to tolerate the musty odor over a period of time. Let’s hope AMResorts sees fit to fix this very soon!
Guests looking for a variety in room categories will find there are no less than eight to choose from. Décor is nicely done with marble floors and shower area, four-poster king beds with drapery panels, darker colored woods, and blue drapes with matching sofa and armchair fabric. All bathrooms are large with Jacuzzi tubs, while most include double sinks and separate showers. Bathrooms have the option of being entirely closed off from the bedroom area, or there is a large window-sized opening over the Jacuzzi tub which can be left open.
Dining well is the order of the day when staying at a Secrets resort. Secrets Capri offers five different restaurants including one buffet, a tasty ceviche and taco bar for lunch, four a la cartes, and a café. Guests are free to eat poolside or at the beach during the day, while dinner reservations are not required unless dining at the teppanyaki show tables at Himitsu restaurant, or having a special dinner at the Wine Cellar. The restaurants do shut down at least one night per week so that guests may enjoy the Cirque de Soleil-type acrobatic show which occurs over the main pool; diners are served poolside instead, while those who purchase a separate bottle of wine are placed closer to the action or have a much sought after table for two.
Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun was first opened in 2003 and renovated in 2009. Despite the fact that some of the lobby and guest room furniture needs to be replaced again and that the Desires Lounge needs a renovation, this is still a lovely, more intimate setting for couples looking for a smaller resort with great service and good food. In many ways, Secrets Capri resembles a very good, older hotel in the states rather than a tropical resort in Mexico. This resort tends to attract middle age guests who are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, and honeymooners looking for a more sedate, upscale resort.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Upgraded amenities for all guests, heated pool, easy to get around, no dinner reservations or wristbands, free WiFi with the Secrets app.
Con: Resort needs some updating in several areas, have to purchase a bottle of wine to get preferred seating at shows
Best Suited For: Middle-age couples celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, honeymooners looking for a more sedate and upscale resort, destination weddings, those who like more intimate resort settings
No. of Rooms: 291
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, mini-bar, in-room safe, flat screen TV, telephone, CD/DVD player, coffee maker, alarm clock with iPod dock, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, Jacuzzi tub, shower/tub combo and stand-alone shower, toiletries, and 24-hr room service. WiFi as well as calls to the US, Canada, and local calls are complimentary if you download the Secrets app. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Preferred Club Deluxe Tropical View: King or two dbl beds.
- Preferred Club Deluxe Ocean View: King or two dbl beds.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Tropical View: King or two dbl beds, separate sitting area with sofa, coffee table, table and two chairs, dbl sinks.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Ocean View: King or two dbl beds, separate sitting area with sofa, coffee table, table and two chairs, dbl sinks.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, separate sitting area with sofa, coffee table, desk and chair, dbl sinks–ground floor suites have a daybed, table and two padded chairs.
- Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite Tropical View: Separate bedroom with king bed, two closets, table and two chairs, desk and chair, separate living room area with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs, adjoining dining area with table and four chairs, wet bar, bathroom with bidet, dbl sinks, balcony Jacuzzi and daybed.
- Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite Oceanfront: Separate bedroom with king bed, two closets, table and two chairs, desk and chair, separate living room with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs, adjoining dining area with table and four chairs, wet bar, bathroom with bidet, dbl sinks, balcony Jacuzzi and daybed.
- Preferred Cub One Bedroom Presidential Suite: Separate bedroom with king bed, table and two chairs, desk and chair, walk-in closet, separate living room area with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs, adjoining dining area with table and four chairs, wet bar, full refrigerator, bathroom with bidet, dbl sinks, expansive balcony with two full loungers, table and chairs, and Jacuzzi.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Heated pool (swim-up bar), Jacuzzi, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis court, jogging trail, motorized and non-motorized water sports, on-site dive shop, pool and beach wait service, pool flotation mats, beach hammocks, giant chess/checkers, complimentary shopping shuttle to Playa del Carmen (10 a.m. until 2 p.m.), complimentary greens fees at Grand Coral Riviera Maya Golf Course, disco and sports bar, concierge on each guest room floor, gift shop, photo shop, tour desk, car rental, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: This resort offers one buffet (La Riviera), four a la cartes including Italian (Portofino), Pan Asian (Himitsu–teppanyaki show tables), seafood (Oceana), and the steakhouse (Seaside Grill–no A/C). There is also a beachfront ceviche and taco bar (Cactus Club), a poolside BBQ, and the Coco Café which serves coffee, tea, and pastries. The Wine Cellar dining area (adjacent to Portofino) is an additional charge–guests choose a bottle of wine above USD $70 and the multiple course meal is chosen with this in mind (food is no additional charge). The only meal reservations that need to be made are for the teppanyaki show tables and Wine Cellar. There are five bars including a swim-up bar, lobby bar, lounge bar, pool bar, and disco bar.
Entertainment: DJ hosted music lounge, sporting events shown on poolside projection screen, theme nights, beach parties, fire show, and poolside acrobatic show.