We recently returned from our honeymoon at this lovely place.
In terms of the resort itself, I was very impressed with the level of service provided, and with the quality of food and choice of amenities on offer. The staff go out of their way to maximise your comfort, and they are very accessible at all hours.
The restaurants, for an all-inclusive resort, were of high quality. Bordeaux and Portofino in particular stood out as positive experiences, which surprised me considering that our extensive travel through Italy last year provided a high benchmark for comparison.
The hotel was not at full occupancy, so I cannot comment on whether the hotel would have seemed crowded at peak season. However, during our October trip we felt that we had volumes of space within which to enjoy the beach and pools, without competing for loungers or waiting on drink orders.
Our room was excellent, although we did have one or two trivial issues that required the attention of maintenance staff (television, shower, patio door). These issues were all attended to swiftly and efficiently. The room was both modern and comfortable, and was extremely clean. Housekeeping returned several times throughout the day for cleaning, turn-down service and the provision/restocking of mini-bar, etc. The service in this respect was among the best I have received at a hotel.
Overall, an great resort which I would recommend to anyone looking for a honeymoon or other romantic getaway.
However:- beware the scams...
1. Timeshare 'presentations'. Immediately upon arrival, we were encouraged by a staff member at Concierge to visit with him, as there was resort information he wished to provide. He called us three times between our arrival at the room (4:30PM) and our return to Concierge for the ensuing chat (6PM). His odd sense of urgency should have been our first clue, but we misread it.
During our subsequent chat, we were offered the opportunity to visit a sister resort (Secrets Maroma) for a tour of the hotel and complimentary breakfast. As my wife and I were torn between these two resorts before booking, we jumped at the chance to see what we were missing. At no point did Concierge state that there was a timeshare presentation involved.
Once we arrived, it became clear that Concierge had misled us. We persevered in any event as we wanted to see the resort, but once the tour was over we were subjected to a pressured sales pitch by the salesman (Sergio), his manager (Jose) and a 'quality control' representative (Enrique). This pitch lasted for over an hour, and despite being in a room with many others in the same boat, neither my wife nor I felt that we were free to leave. Sergio held our transport pass back to our hotel, and it was abundantly clear that we had no access to it until the 'presentation' was over.
Jose in particular became hostile toward us when we confirmed (for the hundredth time) that we were not willing to pay US$10,000 - US$50,000 for a product that we simply did not want. He became confrontational, and at one point accused us of mismanaging our personal finances! When we were finally shown the door, I was shaking with anger and my wife was equally distressed.
This was a poor way to begin our honeymoon, and given that both our concierge and Maroma staff were aware that we were on such a special trip, it was appalling that we were subjected to this kind of treatment. Including travel time between hotels, we lost almost four hours. The individual at Concierge who had set this up clearly recognised the potential for problems upon our return, as from that moment forward he vanished every time we arrived at Concierge for further information or assistance.
2. Leisure Cash and/or Resort Credit. One silver lining from our timeshare experience was the fact that we were offered 'leisure cash' (a resort credit) for use at Silversands as part of that 'presentation'. It was scant consolation, but free cash is free cash! Further, most travellers to Secrets, regardless of their agent/travel company, are offered a resort credit as an enticement to book.
To minimise confusion, I recommend doing three minutes of research to determine where and how such credits can be used before you begin taking advantage of the services/goods on offer. For example, you cannot apply resort credits to promotion items such as a 'couples massage'. Credits can only be applied to non-discounted items. It seems a small thing, but if you book $250 worth of spa treatments believing that you can later apply a resort credit to offset those costs, you will get quite a surprise. None of this is explained until it comes time to pay.
3. Credit Card and Check-In. This sounds ridiculous, but make certain when you check in that front desk has applied your credit card against your room. If they do not complete this step, you cannot charge items such as bottles of wine to your room during your stay.
Why does this matter? If you have a resort credit, it can be used to offset costs like this at check-out. If you cannot charge the item to the room on the basis that your credit card has not been applied against your room number at check-in, you are left with no alternative but to pony up for it at the table. That bottle of wine, which could have been free, has now cost you $30-50.
This is a clever way for the resort to extract a few extra dollars from you during your first night or two (before you have the opportunity to take steps to put the matter right). We provided our credit card at check-in because we accepted a room upgrade, so it is ridiculous to think that, with the credit card in their possession, they did not take the logical step of applying it at that time.
Anyway, apologies for the long winded commentary. For those still reading, these are simply tips to minimise disruption and frustration, and keep your costs down. Aside from these pitfalls, the resort was excellent, and we would recommend it to anyone (with the above caveats reinforced).
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun is a chic, ultra modern all-suite adult-only unlimited-luxury resort featuring 433 suites, over 43,000 sq ft of pool areas and expansive manicured gardens, exceptional dining options, several bars ranging from elegant to swim-up. World class spa, a fitness center and two Jacuzzis ensure that guests are pampered and indulged. We are nestled on the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, 15 miles south of Cancun and only twenty minutes from the Cancun International Airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Hotel Puerto Morelos
- Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun Riviera Maya/Puerto Morelos, Mexico