Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf and Spa Resort opened its doors Nov. 2014 on the more remote and natural beach area of Playa Mujeres. Not to be confused with Isla Mujeres (which can actually be seen across the bay from the resort), Playa Mujeres is located outside the Hotel Zone approximately 10 min. north of downtown Cancun in a private, gated community containing several other luxury resorts, a marina, and a Greg Norman-designed golf course (Playa Mujeres Golf Course). The resort lies two miles across the channel from Isla Mujeres, a popular vacation destination and great day excursion with the Puerto Juarez ferry being just a short cab ride away. Secrets Playa Mujeres 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. Although Secrets Playa Mujeres is not a mega-resort (it only has 424 suites), guests need to be comfortable with this type of layout and transportation issue to fully enjoy their vacation here. The following lists include the major amenities included in each resort section:
- reception for non-Preferred Club guests
- convention center/business center
- theater with adjoining bar
- Desires Sports Bar/disco
- spa/beauty salon
- wedding showroom
- fitness center
- bicycle center
- multipurpose sports courts
- tennis court (1)
- shops (gifts, sundries, jewelry)
- restaurants (Portofino, Bordeaux, Himitsu, Wine Cellar)
- Preferred Club Lounge (check-in for upgraded guests, bar, snacks/desserts, computer use)
- all guest room buildings
- heated main pool and infinity pool
- four Jacuzzis
- 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
The resort’s signature amenity is the beautiful heated freeform pool with its multitude of padded loungers, shade umbrellas, shade structures, natural shade, gradual pool entry, swim-up bar, and fire pits with surrounding seating areas. The much smaller beachfront infinity pool area doesn’t have as many shade opportunities, nor the enchanting ambiance, but it does have the ocean view. Guests claim prime view loungers as early as 6 a.m. at the infinity pool; however, staff as well as guests have been known to pull towels (but not personal items) off reserved loungers if they’ve been unoccupied for some time. There are a total of four poolside Jacuzzis in the entire pool area, and a unique row of translucent panes in a raised, shallow part of the infinity pool allowing swimmers a hazy glimpse into a guest building walkway below.
The beach has a natural, undisturbed look to it with scattered areas of native flora. Loungers, shade umbrellas, and large Bali beds dot the beach (Bali beds are for Preferred Club guests and are first-come first-served). Although guests can walk on the white sand for miles in either direction, ocean swimmers may be disappointed with the lack of water clarity. While Playa Mujeres’ ocean water is not the turquoise perfection of Hotel Zone waters, guests can still swim at this location and partake in water sports (check and see whether Flyboarding is still being offered). Be aware that this beach area lacks natural shade and a sufficient number of shade umbrellas; however, those who like a good beach bar will be overjoyed since this one has swings for seats. Food is not allowed on the beach.
Guest room buildings are all located closer to the beach with many ground floor rooms being swim-out suites. Although swim-outs are not connected to either of the resort’s pools and lack built-in tiled loungers, they do have the traditional terrace access to 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. Guest rooms are all suites with eight categories from which to choose; décor is warm and inviting with the use of dark wood, marble flooring, soothing off-white and tan accessories, and a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. All suites have a separate seating area and balcony/terrace; some room categories also have a balcony Jacuzzi.
Typical of Secrets resorts, wristbands and dinner reservations are not necessary (with the exception of private dinners at the Wine Cellar/romantic beach dinners/teppanyaki show tables at Himitsu). Since restaurants and bars are located in both resort sections, guests will need to take advantage of the provided onsite transportation or be prepared to walk in order to sample all this resort has to offer. Be aware that this resort does not have a lobby bar.
Since the opening of the adjacent Dreams Playa Mujeres in late 2016, adult guests at either resort have mutual exchange privileges with one another. With this perk, all Secrets Playa Mujeres guests have access to an additional 10 restaurants, 12 bars, a dolphinarium, multiple pool with swim-up bars, and another disco, while upgraded Preferred Club guests also have access to the lazy river over at Dreams Playa Mujeres. Guests can reach the Dreams resort via an easy beachfront walkway or take one of the convenient shuttles over to the lobby.
Secrets Playa Mujeres, although a lovely resort choice, is rather isolated from Cancun’s nightclub scene and popular shopping malls. It is a perfect location, however, for those who enjoy a more natural-looking resort setting as well as for golfers who enjoy a beautiful and challenging Greg Norman-designed golf course located nearby (guests can be at the golf course in two min. and pay only the cart fee-equipment fees are extra for those guests who didn’t bring their own clubs). 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.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Stay at one play at two, heated pool, beach bar with swings, free WiFi/calls to USA and Canada, 24-hr. shuttle service
Con: Beach can be windy, some oceanfront terrace views may be partially blocked by natural vegetation (this may become more of an issue with time), lots of mosquitos, resort is divided into two sections, tepid nightlife.
Best Suited For: Golfers who want luxury surroundings, those who don’t mind traversing between two separate resort sections, couples within the age range of 40-65 who enjoy a more sedate resort experience.
No. of Rooms: 424
Room Amenities: All 424 rooms are suites and include a king or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, separate seating area with sofa and ottoman, table and two chairs, desk and chair, ceiling fan, mini-bar, digital safe, room service delivery box, flat screen TV, telephone, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, iPad loaded with resort info, Nespresso coffee maker, robe and slippers, iron/ironing board, pillow menu, umbrella, 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 Garden View: King bed.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Out: King or two dbl beds, terrace access to swim-out pool. Garden or pool view.
- Jr. Suite Partial Ocean View: King bed.
- Jr. Suite Ocean View: King or two dbl beds.
- Premium Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed. Located on highest floors with ocean/partial ocean view.
(Preferred Club Amenities)
- private check-in/out
- private concierge
- 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 (guests can use the onsite Preferred Club Lounge in addition to the one at Dreams Playa Mujeres)
- upgraded mini-bar with small bottles of liquor and extra snacks
- access to separate beach area with Bali beds onside and at Dreams Playa Mujeres
- upgraded toiletries
- pillow menu
- daily newspaper
- breakfast at Oceana restaurant (onsite) and Maris restaurant over at Dreams Playa Mujeres
- complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit in the spa (once p/stay p/guest)
- 20% off spa treatments
- access to the Lazy River over at Dreams Playa Mujeres
(Preferred Club Rooms)
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed, balcony Jacuzzi.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Ocean View Swim-Out: King or two dbl beds, terrace access to swim-out pool. Ocean view may be partially blocked by natural flora.
- Preferred Club Jr. Suite Oceanfront: King or two dbl beds.
- Preferred Club Master Suite Ocean View: Separate bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV, bench, walk-in closet, balcony area with Jacuzzi tub off the bedroom, dbl rainforest showerheads, living room with spacious sofa, coffee table, flat screen TV, bar area and two bar stools, balcony area off the living room, half-bathroom. Ocean view.
- Preferred Club Master Suite Oceanfront: Separate bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV, bench, walk-in closet, balcony area with Jacuzzi tub off the bedroom, dbl rainforest showerheads, living room with spacious sofa, coffee table, flat screen TV, bar area and two bar stools, balcony area off the living room, half-bathroom. Oceanfront.
- Preferred Club Master Suite Oceanfront Private Pool: Separate bedroom with king bed, flat screen TV, bench, walk-in closet, large dbl shower with dual rainforest showerheads, living room with spacious sofa, coffee table, flat screen TV, bar area and two bar stools, half-bathroom, large balcony with two full loungers, table and two chairs, private plunge pool, and beach access. Natural flora may partially block ocean views.
- NOTE: Swim-out suites have a very small pool area. Also, be aware that some guests describe some of the Jr. Suite Swim-Outs as being in the “basement”–you may want to look at the room first prior to its acceptance.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available. This property presents some access issues for those with mobility problems.
Resort Amenities: Beachfront infinity pool, heated freeform pool (swim-up bar), multiple Jacuzzis, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis court, multipurpose sports courts, bicycles/bicycle tour, non-motorized water sports, Flyboarding, theater, disco/sports bar, poolside fire pits, pool and beach wait service, beach bar with swings, Bali beds for upgraded guests, beach massage tables, 24-hr. shuttle service, observation towers, concierge, tour desk, business center, wedding showroom, photo shop, gift shop, jewelry store, car rental, medical services, laundry, ATM, and complimentary greens fees at Playa Mujeres Golf Course.
Pool Closure: 8 p.m.
Restaurants/Bars: One buffet (Market Café), six a la cartes including seafood (Oceana), Italian (Portofino), French (Bordeaux), Mexican (El Patio), Pan-Asian (Himitsu–teppanyaki show 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 has approximately eight tables, and guests must be seated to order food–no “take out” allowed. A la cartes do not require advance reservations; however, private dining venues do (romantic beach dinners and the Wine Cellar both of which are an extra charge) in addition to teppanyaki tables at Himitsu. There are seven bars including the sports bar/disco bar, theater bar, swim-up bar, poolside bar, beach bar with swings, and piano lounge bar.
Entertainment: Sports bar, disco, theater with nightly shows, casino night, live music poolside and in the piano lounge. Guests are also free to see theater shows and visit the disco over at Dreams Playa Mujeres.