Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf and Spa Resort opened its doors Nov. 2014 on the more remote and natural beach area of Playa Mujeres which is outside of the Hotel Zone just north of downtown Cancun. Not to be confused with Isla Mujeres (which can actually be seen across the bay from the resort), Playa Mujeres lies in a gated community containing several other luxury resorts, a marina, and a Greg Norman-designed golf course (Playa Mujeres Golf Course). This new Secrets resort is built on a nature preserve with two observation towers, acres of preserved mangroves, and a beachscape which was left relatively intact with its native flora.
The property layout is a new twist for the Secrets brand. Arriving guests will find that the resort is separated into two distinct areas, inland and beachfront, separated by natural vegetation and a rather narrow winding road which connects the two. Golf carts and pedestrians share the road (there is no dedicated walkway) and the ride between the two sections only takes a couple of minutes; walking takes less than ten minutes. Golf carts run 24-hrs. a day.
The following lists include the major amenities included in each resort section:
(Arriving guests/inland general lobby section)
- reception for non-Preferred Club guests
- convention center/business center
- theater with adjoining bar
- Desires Sports Bar/disco
- spa/beauty salon
- fitness center
- bicycle center
- multipurpose sports courts
- tennis court (1)
- archery range
- shops (gifts, sundries, jewelry)
- restaurants (Portofino, Bordeaux, Himitsu, Wine Cellar)
- wedding showroom
- reception for Preferred Club guests
- Preferred Club Lounge
- all guest room buildings
- heated main pool and infinity pool
- restaurants (Market Café, El Patio, Oceana, Seaside Grill, Barefoot Grill, Coco Café)
- bars (Rendezvous, Piano Bar, Sugar Reef, Barracuda Beach bar, swim-up bar)
- water sports center
- wedding gazebo
- bicycle center
- sundries store
Arguably, the resort’s signature amenity is the beautiful heated freeform pool with its multitude of loungers, umbrellas, natural shade, gradual entries, and fire pits with surrounding seating areas. The beachfront infinity pool doesn’t have as many shade opportunities, nor the enchanting ambiance, but it does have the ocean view. (There is still some question as to whether the infinity pool is heated as well since the resort’s winter guests describe it as freezing).
The beach has a natural and undisturbed look to it with its scattered areas of native flora. Loungers, shade umbrellas, and large Bali beds dot the beach (Bali beds have no privacy, though). Although guests can walk on the white sand for miles in either direction, ocean swimmers may be disappointed due to the prevalence of sea grass which is diligently collected by resort staff. Like a beach bar with swings for seats? There’s one here.
Guest rooms are located in the resort’s beachfront section in four general guest room buildings–many ground floor rooms have swim-out suites. Although swim-outs are not connected to either of the resort’s main pools and lack built-in loungers, they do have terrace access to the private pools which traverse guest room buildings. Private plunge pools and expansive terraces with separate beach access are reserved primarily for those staying in Preferred Club Master Suite Oceanfront rooms.
Typical of Secrets resorts, there are a multitude of dining options including six a la cartes (no reservations necessary), a buffet, a café, a poolside lunch grill, and a private dining venue (the Wine Cellar which is an extra charge). Seven bars are scattered throughout both sections of the resort, while entertainment options can be found in the theater, poolside, and in the piano lounge. Those looking for additional partying opportunities should be prepared to pay cab fare to the Plaza Forum since the resort is located approximately 20 min. from there. While partying off-site may not be feasible for some, golfers will find this location a gold mine since it is incredibly accessible to Playa Mujeres Golf Course.
Since this Secrets resort just recently opened, there are a few items worth noting–there are always a few “bugs” which need to be ironed out at a resort’s opening. Firstly, irons have been ordered and will soon be a part of every guest room–rooms were initially equipped with clothes steamers which did not work too well. Secondly, and this may not be so easy a fix, there are tripping hazards in many areas of the resort along with accessibility issues for those with mobility problems. Until these issues are addressed, this property may not be suitable for those who have difficulty moving about with ease.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Beautiful new resort, heated pool, no dining reservations needed, Secrets app allows free phone calls to the USA, Canada, limited local calls, and WiFi access.
Con: Sea grass problem for ocean swimmers, beach can be windy, tripping hazards, some oceanfront terrace views may be partially blocked by natural vegetation (this may become more of an issue with time), lots of mosquitos.
Best Suited For: Golfers who want luxury surroundings, pool lovers who like a somewhat rowdy pool atmosphere, those who don’t mind traversing between two separate resort sections, and those without mobility problems.
No. of Rooms: 424
Room Amenities: All rooms are suites and include a king or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, ceiling fan, separate seating area with sofa and ottoman, table and two chairs, bedside wall light fixtures for exterior room access (do not disturb/housekeeping lights), mini-bar, in-room safe, room service delivery box, flat screen TV, DVD player, telephone, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, Nespresso coffee maker, robe and slippers, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, dbl vessel sinks, Jacuzzi tub, separate shower with rainforest showerhead, toiletries, and 24-hr. room service. Downloading the Secrets app allows guests to call the USA, Canada, make limited local calls, access WiFi for free, make spa reservations and room service requests. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds.
- Premium Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, located on upper floors with ocean or partial ocean view.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Out: King or two dbl beds, terrace access to private pool.
(Preferred Club Amenities)
This is an upgraded service; there are specific guest room categories with Preferred Club status which also include the following amenities:
- private check-in/out
- premium guest room building location
- access to the Preferred Club Lounge with continental breakfast, afternoon hors d’oeuvres, desserts, premium liquor, and complimentary computer use
- upgraded mini-bar with small bottles of liquor and extra snacks
- upgraded toiletries
- pillow menu
- daily newspaper
- complimentary in-suite WiFi
- breakfast at Oceana restaurant
Preferred Club guest room categories include the following:
- Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed, balcony Jacuzzi.
- Jr. Suite Oceanfront: There are only four suites in this category. Three of them are on the ground floor with a small private plunge pool, two dbl beds, and beach access, while the fourth is on a higher floor with a king bed and no private plunge pool.
- Master Suite: King bed in a separate bedroom, living room with spacious sofa, coffee table, flat screen TV, bar area and two bar stools. NOTE: There are two types of Master Suites, Ocean View and Oceanfront. Ocean View Master Suites are located on upper floors and have a balcony Jacuzzi, while Oceanfront Master Suites are located on the ground floor and have a private plunge pool and beach access. Since both are listed under the same room category on the Secrets website, the resort has the right to assign either one to guests despite one’s preference. Make sure to bring any paperwork which states specificity of room type in your reservation.
- Presidential Suite: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sectional sofa, coffee table, armchair, flat screen TV, dining area with table and six chairs, bar and kitchenette, expansive terrace with private pool, full loungers, wicker armchairs, private beach access. Oceanfront.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available. This property presents some access issues for those with mobility problems; there are also multiple tripping hazards.
Resort Amenities: Beachfront infinity pool, heated freeform pool (swim-up bar), multiple Jacuzzis, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis court, multipurpose sports courts, archery, bicycles, non-motorized water sports, opportunity to try Flyboarding, theater, disco/sports bar, poolside fire pits, pool and beach wait service, beach bar with swings, multiple concierges, tour desk, business center, wedding showroom, gift shop, jewelry store, car rental, ATM, and complimentary greens fees at Playa Mujeres Golf Course.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet (Market Café), six a la cartes including seafood (Oceana), Italian (Portofino), French (Bordeaux), Mexican (El Patio), Pan-Asian (Himitsu–teppanyaki tables), grilled specialties (Seaside Grill), along with a café for pastries and coffees (Coco Café), and a poolside lunch grill (Barefoot Grill). The Barefoot Grill only has approximately eight tables, and guests must be seated to order food–no “take out” allowed since the resort doesn’t allow food poolside or on the beach. A la cartes do not require advance reservations; however, private dining at the Wine Cellar is an extra charge and does require a reservation. There are seven bars including the sports bar/disco, theater bar, swim-up bar, poolside bar, beach bar, lobby bar, and piano lounge bar.
Entertainment: Sports bar, disco, theater with nightly shows, live music poolside and in the piano lounge.