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“Lovely resort - but beware the scams!”

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Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun
Ranked #6 of 28 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 28 October 2010

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).

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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12  Thank Arnrock
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
info_sesrc, General Manager at Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun, responded to this reviewResponded 2 November 2010

Dear Arnrock,

We appreciate you have taken the time to write such a detailed overview about us. I behalf of Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun General Management and Staff we regret any inconveniences that you have experienced during your stay with us.

We are glad to know that despite the incidents you have enjoyed your stay and recommend our resort. We take our guests comments seriously as feedback in our commitment to improve our service levels.
Vacation Club is a new addition to our AMResorts family. With the launch of Unlimited Vacation Club, participants will be rewarded for their loyalty to AMResorts with preferred promotions, recognition and benefits at all of the AMResorts brands – Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets Resorts & Spas, Dreams Resorts & Spas and Now Resorts & Spas.
The team is working everyday to improve their approach to make this more friendly and clear so our guests do not feel overwhelmed or mislead by their offer. We want to assure that our goal is to not being aggressive or having “hard sell” tactics in the Unlimited Vacation Club as it is not in line with our standards of excellence or business model.

For many years, AMResorts has received inquiries from repeat clientele who wish to be recognized and we are now happy to tell them that the Unlimited Vacation Club will do just that.

We appreciate you have pointed out points of improvement in both Vacation Club and Front Desk department. Please, be certain that we will take the proper measures to prevent re-occurrences on this matter in the future. We learn from situations like this and take our guest’s comments as feedback, always looking for possibilities to improve and make sure your next visit will exceed your expectations.
Best regards,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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9,418 - 9,422 of 11,207 reviews

Reviewed 27 October 2010

My husband and I really enjoyed one week stay in this hotel, but we were very disappointed with the beach, you cannot swim there. We wanted to do some swimming and snorkeling. If you are expecting swim on the beach i would not recommend this place other then that everything was great! Service is great, staff is very nice and friendly. You can tell they want you to be 100% satisfied.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LiyaNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2010

My Hubby & I stayed 5nts in a Junior Suite with swim-out and whirlpool tub. The room was fantastic even if there was a little baby 1" gecko in the closet who seemed to really enjoy the space as much as we did.
the hotel was only 2 years old and everything first class. That's why i was a bit surprised by the wild party goer types who stayed at the property. If you watched the show " A minute to win it" that's the type of fun young pool party types that were vacationing at this property.
We felt there must be some bargain rooms at this all-inclusive property. the pool staff were excellent and i never felt that i was given less service at this all-inclusive property. There's a swim-up bar, nightlife, fantastic pools, excellent food, & beautiful rooms. No kids at the property - yeah but it's an adult playland with a daily scheduled activities program & some of the best fun pool staff I've ever encountered.
The beach and water isn't as turqoise in color as in Cancun but the restaurants, rooms, staff, spa are all 5 star.
Cab rides from Cancun are approx. $40. It's an out-of-the way spot, secluded and very secure with exclusive feel & trendy open area like a W Hotel.

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank Bcr8tve
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2010

Arrived at Secrets Silversands on a Sunday and were immediately greated with a cool towel and a glass of champagne. We had booked a Preferred Club Swim Out Suite and were taken to the Preferred Club to check-in. Check-in process was very quick. Room was beautiful with rose petals on the bed...a bottle of champagne...fruit and fresh flowers.

Housekeeping was great. Are room was cleaned every day and the mini bar re-stocked.

Food was very good! Our favorite was the Bordeaux (for dinner) and the Seaside Grill (for lunch). The buffet breakfast was all we could have wanted and more!

The staff were very attentive and I must say that Gustavo at the the Seaside Grill was our favorite waiter. He did a Great job every time we went in to dine. He knew what we liked to drink and it was on our table witin minutes of our arriva.

Let me also say that I travel to Cancun-Riviera Maya 2 to 3 times a year and have stayed at some very nice resorts. What made the Silversands stand out in my mind is outstanding service coupled with the fact that it is adults only.

Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
5  Thank luvtotrvl64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 October 2010

We just came back from 6 nights at SSS last week. A little bit of a disclaimer, we stayed at Secrets Maroma last September. Even though we tried not to compare, we couldn't help ourselves. Overall, we would return to SSS before considering SMB. However, both had some pros and cons. Both times were for our anniversary.

Starting out with the good stuff:

1. Food was amazing, we thought it was much more gourmet than SMB. Portions were smaller so that you can have 4 course meal and not feel sick from over-eating. The only restaurant we didn't not get a chance to try was El Patio. We went to Ratatouille twice for dinner.

2. No mosquitoes! this is a huge plus from SMB. we were eaten alive at SMB the first few nights and learned to cover ourselves with bug spray every day. At SSS, no bugs in the morning or at night. It was such a big plus to be able to walk out and see the sunrise or walk to dinner without getting bitten. The other thing that helped was the entrance to all of the restaurants at the main building were inside the actual building. At SMB, a few of the restaurants had doors that opened to the outside, and mosquitoes were able to get into the restaurant and continue to feed on the guests.

3. The entertainment team do a really good job. we got much more involved because of them compared to SMB. The pool table and pingpong table at SMB were in such sad shape that we never used it. At SSS, they are at the theater, right next to the main building, and we stopped by almost daily.

4. We really like the modern architecture. Although the main lobby of SSS is much smaller than SMB, and the resort in general is much smaller that SMB, we felt that the layout was much better. It wasn't really a far walk from any part of the resort to the main building where most of the restaurants are.

5. We had absolutely no problem with the AC, anywhere in the resort. Our rooms was always around 20C, which is way too cold for me, but my husband was in heaven. The main building and all of the restaurants had great AC as well. This was one thing SMB lacked. Because the lobby of SMB was so "grand", the AC in that main building was also non-existent.

Now the bad:
1. Horrible Smell: we ended up in building 5. I would say definitely try to avoid building 5-6. the smell is so bad every day that i didn't want to go back to the room in the middle of the day if i forgot something. We concluded that it's probably from the water treatment plant at the resort nextdoor (Azul). The generator noise from Azul is also very loud and we hear a constant hum from our room. It was especially annoying at night when we are trying to sleep. It's amazing that the smell is no where to be found anywhere else in the resort, only the left side of the main building when facing the ocean.

2. We had to go find our room (no bellboy helping), the signage to building 5 is non-existent, so we got really lost and there was no one to help but other guests. We actually started with a room in building 2, but we asked for a change because of a few issues with the room. We called the bellboy to help us move our luggage. We were told he'll be there in 10-15 minutes. After waiting 1/2 hour. we decided to move ourselves because we didn't want to sit around inside when it was absolutely gorgeous outside.

3. Food: no grilled fish this whole week, we were really looking forward to it according to other reviews. There was very little pool side food service during lunch, compared to SMB, which had taco carts, platters of food, and ice cream carts being pushed around the pool. Lunch selection was also very limited. World cafe lunch buffet was nothing compared to SMB. We only had choices of Seaside grill and Oceana by the pool, and Oceana was rarely open for lunch. We missed the seafood paella at SMB. For BBQ, they really only had hamburger and hot dog.

4. Use of business center (internet access) was limited to 15 mins/day/room. you have to go to concierge desk every time to get a passcode. The logistics of the whole thing was not even worked out when we first got there. The slip of paper we first got said 1 hour access for $10! There's wifi in the room, but you have to pay quite a bit to get it.

5. We love the infinity edge pool and jumped right in our first day there. we never returned after day 1. because of the layout of the resort, that pool almost never sees the sun. Therefore, the water is always extremely cold. I can imagine it's nice when its 100F out and you want to stay in the shade and be in the water.

  • Stayed: October 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Bing S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun

Address: Bahia de Petempich SM 12, Mz 31, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#1 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 Green Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#6 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#6 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range: $374 - $947 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun 4.5*
Number of rooms: 441
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

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