Winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award for ten consecutive years, Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is nestled within 71 acres of mangrove forest in the Riviera Maya approximately 35 min. south of the Cancun airport. The architecture at this Secrets resort is a combination of Mediterranean villa and Mexican Hacienda styles with its large columns, ornate wrought iron chandeliers and railings, charming courtyard areas, fountains, archways, and Italian marble floors throughout. There are exposed wood beam ceilings and a large, three-tiered marble water feature in the lobby area, while a grand double staircase leads down to the lower lobby level with its turtle pond, restaurants, and Desires Lounge for game night or late night entertainment and dancing. Check out the “hall of lights” in the main building on the 5th floor during evening hours; there are several dozen hanging lanterns/light fixtures which, when lit, create a mysterious yet calming ambiance.
The grounds at Secrets Capri are meticulously maintained with manicured shrubs, grassy areas, flowers, and palm trees–sculptures and fountains also adorn many of the outdoor areas. Yellow-orange building with terra cotta-colored roofs fit in nicely with their surroundings; many guest rooms have “tropical views”, or views of indigenous trees and flora. Iguanas and coatis are common visitors–don’t be surprised if one or more coatis decide to visit guests on ground floor terraces. Monkeys have also been sighted in the trees by the highly regarded Pevonia Spa.
This is a compact resort–guests don’t need shuttles to easily access amenities. The heated figure-eight shaped pool is at the heart of Secrets Capri and is partially surrounded by guest room buildings and the main building which houses a majority of the resort’s amenities. The pool and its surrounding area offers a swim-up bar, padded loungers, Bali beds (USD $50), shade umbrellas, and a nearby Jacuzzi. There is a very wide section of shelving all along the sides of the pool along with several head rests (not complete tiled loungers though). During the evening most of the poolside area is covered with dining tables which have a front row seat to the shows which are put on nightly–guests may purchase a dinner/show package once at the resort or buy a bottle of wine at one of the nearby restaurants to secure an outside table. While this is a great opportunity for select diners, other guests are at a disadvantage in terms of a viewing area to see evening entertainment.
Although the pool is not quite beachfront, one only has to walk past the small lawn area to enjoy the white sand and swimmable ocean water. Shade palapas, loungers, and several Bali beds (USD $70 with hammock) are set up along most of the shoreline, while natural shade is at a minimum. Beach hammocks are set up for all guests to enjoy, while the water sports check-out desk sits on the northern edge of the property. Sea grass accumulation is normal along this stretch of beach, but staff does their best to remove any build-up, sometimes several times per day. For those guests wanting a unique beach experience, walk approximately ten min. north to the lagoon adjacent to the Hacienda Tres Rios resort–the cooled water is crystal clear and refreshing due to ocean and river water coming together.
Guests looking for variety in room categories will find there are no less than eight from which to choose; all are classified as “Preferred Club” rooms with Preferred Club privileges common to the resort chain. Décor is nicely done with marble floors and shower area, four poster king beds with drapery panels in some rooms, darker colored woods, and blue drapes with matching sofa and armchair fabric. All bathrooms are large with a Jacuzzi tub, while most include dbl sinks and a separate shower as well. Bathroom privacy can be a challenge for some suites since the Jacuzzi tub is separated from the rest of the room by a wooden shutter, and the toilet area is not totally enclosed either. Balconies are a decent size with wrought iron railings and a small table with two cushioned chairs. There are oceanfront rooms available, but most guest rooms have either ocean or tropical views.
Dining well is the order of the day when staying at a Secrets resort. Secrets Capri offers four a la carte restaurants, a ceviche and taco restaurant, one buffet, and a 24-hr. café which serves snacks, pastries, and coffee/teas. Guests may eat their lunch poolside or on the beach, while dinner reservations are not required unless dining at the teppanyaki show tables at Himitsu restaurant, or having a special dinner for two.
Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun was first opened in 2003 and is one of the older Secrets resorts in Mexico. In many ways it resembles a very good, older hotel in the states rather than a tropical resort in Mexico. This resort tends to attract middle age guests (ages 40-65) who are celebrating birthdays or anniversaries, and honeymooners looking for a more sedate, upscale resort experience.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Free WiFi/unlimited calls to USA, Canada, and Mexico with the Secrets app, compact luxury resort, heated pool
Con: Narrow beach, lack of bathroom privacy, dinner/show packages
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, table and two chairs, mini-bar, snacks and mini-bottles of alcohol, digital safe, flat screen TV, DVD player, telephone, coffee maker, alarm clock with iPod dock, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, Jacuzzi tub, shower, toiletries, and 24-hr. room service. WiFi as well as calls to the US, Canada, and Mexico 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, sofa, coffee table, desk and chair.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Ocean View: King or two dbl beds, sofa, coffee table, desk and chair.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds, sofa, coffee table, desk and chair–ground floor suites have a daybed, table and two padded chairs, and are very close to the beach.
- Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite Tropical View: Separate bedroom with king bed, his ‘n hers closets, flat screen TV, table and two chairs, desk and chair, separate living room with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs, flat screen TV, adjoining dining area with table and four chairs, wet bar, breakfast bar, bathroom with bidet, balcony Jacuzzi and daybed.
- Preferred Club Honeymoon Suite Oceanfront: Separate bedroom with king bed, his ‘n hers closets, flat screen TV, table and two chairs, desk and chair, separate living room with sofa, coffee table, two armchairs, flat screen TV, adjoining dining area with table and four chairs, wet bar, breakfast bar, bathroom with bidet, balcony Jacuzzi and daybed.
- Preferred Club 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, 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, dive shop, pool and beach wait service, pool flotation mats, beach hammocks, Bali beds, giant chess/checkers, shuffleboard, archery, air rifle shooting, 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/sports bar, art gallery, concierge on each guest room floor, gift shop, photo shop, tour desk, car rental, medical services, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: This resort offers a buffet restaurant (La Riviera), four a la cartes including Italian (Portofino), Pan Asian (Himitsu–teppanyaki show tables), seafood (Oceana), and the steakhouse (Seaside Grill). There is also a beachfront ceviche and taco bar (Cactus Club), a daily poolside BBQ, and the Coco Café which serves coffee, tea, snacks, and pastries 24-hrs. a day. Guests wanting a special snack will enjoy the dessert buffet in the lobby area on Thursdays at 7 p.m. 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 at Himitsu and at the Wine Cellar. There are dinner/show packages for guests who want a front row seat to evening entertainment. There are four bars including a swim-up bar, lobby bar, Desires Lounge/sports bar, and beach bar. Also, there is a specialty coffee cart in the lobby.
Entertainment: DJ hosted music lounge, sporting events shown on poolside projection screen, theme nights, beach parties, movies shown on the beach, fire show, karaoke, casino night, and evening poolside show.