This is a travel recap I wanted to summarize before it gets too late and I forget! I can’t believe this was back in February. It feels like a lifetime ago! Here are my thoughts on our Mexican resort trip. Long post ahead!
First off, this is our view from our room. Not too shabby, right?! OMG! The ocean is just beyond the pool and you can see it in the distance. So gorgeous!
We went to Secrets Capri Riviera Feb. 2-10, 2014. We choose this resort on recommendation of a travel agent and online reviews. We really like to check out Trip Advisor for reviews. Naturally, you have to be a bit “neutral” because someone is going to give 5 stars or 1 star on false claims. You kind of have to go with the in between reviews to get real results in my opinion. We are a very laid back couple, it doesn’t take much to impress up. So if you are mad you didn’t get new towels every day and gave a resort 1 star, I will ignore your review. You can tell which reviews are honest and valid for the most point. That said, Trip Advisor gives this resort 4.5 out of 5 stars – pretty good!
The grand staircase from the rooms out to the pool area.
Our view looking away from the pool – the ocean is only steps away.
And our view the other way from the pool. This was a little area where you could play chess or mini putt putt.
Undoubtedly where we spent most of our time – the pool and the swim up bar. Note that it is never really BUSY, busy. We always could find a floaty or place to sit at the pool. This was not the case when we went to Jamaica so that scored points for sure in our mind.
Dressed up for dinner. There is a dress code for some restaurants but it isn’t anything major where you’d have to purchase new clothes. No jeans!
You can do as much research online as you want – want really matters is the experience you had there based on your own personal thoughts and preferences. I want to highlight some of my memories so I can look back on this one day when I book the next vacation there. Ha ha! Kidding!? Or maybe not. I would definitely return though. There is so much of the world to see but this was such an excellent vacation for many reasons.
One of them would be unlimited food and drinks. All inclusive is the way to go if you like to eat and drink. I had a million Pacificos and limes. No regrets!
Why we loved Secrets Capri
- Almost direct flight – we flew out of BIS to MSP and straight to Cancun. We were lucky with no delays.
- Same time zone – of course on the way there you don’t care about time but it was nice to return with no jet lag issues after a slice of paradise. The flight is about 4 hours from MSP to Cancun so by the time you have a drink, snack and watch a movie you are back and almost ready to get your flight home.
- Proximity to Cancun – the resort itself is not in Cancun but about a 30-35 minute shuttle ride away. We shared our shuttle with two lovely couples from Iowa. They were fun and our driver stopped at a roadside store so we could grab some brews. I liked being out of the city – our resort was one of many from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. I can’t imagine the money tourism brings to this area.
- Staff – the staff was simply amazing and whatever you wanted, you could get. They HUSTLED! We were in awe the whole time.
- Arrival – we were greeted by the staff with a warm towel and champagne. That towel was SO refreshing after travelling.
- Service – again, anything you wanted the staff would meet your needs. Barisio, Daniel, Aaron, Pasqual and the list goes on of great servers and bartenders.
- Food – there was a variety of options to choose for and we left still not trying many things. More on the food below.
- Entertainment – there was ALWAYS something going on. The entertainment staff was great and getting you involved and remembering you. EVERY night there was something going on.
- Bed – maybe it was the ocean breeze but I slept like a rock! The bed was huge and comfy. We don’t have a King at home so it felt like an extra perk.
- A/C – really? I had read some online complaints about the A/C. We did use it but not much. You are in Mexico people! The resort was primarily people for the Midwest, New England, Canada and England. It is snowing and cold in all those areas. Enjoy the heat people!
- Pool – the pool was huge and we spent a lot of time there.
- Beach – the beach was clean and well-kept. There were several lounge chairs always open to use. You can walk the beach as far as you want.
- Gym – I did use the gym a few times while there. It was nice to have that option. It was a little stinky as it was used quite a bit. My workouts weren’t the best there. The heat made it hard and my focus was on vacation!
- Drinks – you could get anything you wanted. I mostly drink beer but my husband tried a lot of the blended drinks and I always would have a sip. So tasty! They have top-shelf liquor if you are that type of drinker as well. I tried not to go too crazy with the mixed drinks but I really liked that Cabana which had like a half a banana in it so it was obviously health food.
- Adults only – this is a must for us. We don’t have kids and we don’t want to deal with them on vacation. I love kids but no.
- Bathroom – I loved our room and bathroom. I really would like a tiled bathroom and walk-in shower now.
- Sunsets – it’s pretty hard to beat a sunset on the ocean.
- All inclusive – a must for us. We love drinks and food.
- Spa – we didn’t use but it is nice to have that option.
- Golf – same as the spa. I do think it would be quite pricy to golf though.
- Sales – we were not hassled at all by people selling crap or drugs at our resort.
- Delta – Delta did us good with our travel and getting us where we needed to be.
Haha! One night they had this donkey, Pancho, at the resort. You could get a photo with him and printed for $10. Of course we did. How funny! P.S. I so miss my tan!!
We were so happy and relaxed our whole trip. Side note, the humidity and ocean air really made my hair out of control crazy! It was no big deal though as I was constantly dipping into the pool anyway!
- Italian – Portofino – this was our favorite restaurant. We went there two times.
- Steakhouse / Grill snacks – Seaside Grill
- Seafood – Oceana – I’m not much for seafood but of course I had to try every restaurant.
- Buffet – La Riviera, continental and breakfast buffet – we went there for breakfast almost every day. I felt the food was fresh and tasty.
- Hibachi – Himitsu, reservations required for the grill portion.
- Seaside – Cactus Club, Ceviche & Taco Bar – you could order food while at the pool and we got the pizza one day. It was great! I have to pinch myself that you can get service / food / drinks anywhere, anytime.
- Room service – as mentioned, anytime you want something, just call and they will bring it. We did have breakfast delivered room service one day and it was such a treat.
- Lobby Bar – we loved the lobby bar for drinks before we went to eat. They had a snack mix we loved!
- CoCo Café – you could get snacks and coffees here. They also had a few computers you could use to check news or email if you wanted to.
I only snapped a few pictures of food as to not be rude and only in the casual places. On the left are the fish tacos and above are pork tacos. Those pork ones were mine and were delicious!
On the left is the calamari and on the right is our view from the outdoor café. So close to the water and the ocean breeze felt wonderful.
Above were my staples. Every morning I started out with fruit and yogurt topped with their amazing granola. Each and every day I had their guacamole which was so fresh and amazing and I wanted to bathe in it!
We only had these for dessert one night. The portion sizes at meals are so much smaller than we are used to and this is a good thing. We could get a salad or appetizer and a meal and be full. I really enjoyed that and I’d rather have drinks for dessert most night. The darker photo is at the hibachi grill. The food was great!
- Manatees – swim up bar
- Desires bar – Entertainment, singers, comedian
- Rendezvous – lobby lounge, snack mix, martini’s
- Sugar Reef – beachside bar
The only martini of the trip. They go down way too quick for me!
- Use a travel agency – it’s nice to have their input and the fee isn’t that much. If something goes awry you will appreciate this tenfold.
- Snacks for later from buffet – I took an apple or something in case I got hungry. It was nice to have something healthy on hand.
- Use your room service – that ain’t something that happens on the regular at my house!
- Waterproof camera – I wrecked a camera on the trip. My next digital camera will be waterproof. Doh!
- More swimsuits – I brought 2 and think I would have liked a few more.
- Tips – leave your waiter a tip if he/she is working hard for you. They appreciate it and will treat you even better. We brought with a stack of $1 for this reason alone.
- Pace yourself – we hit it HARD the first few nights. It is hard not to be excited. But as time went on, you learn to pace yourself to make it through the day and do as much as possible.
- Ask others to take your photo – I kind of wish we had more pics of us.
Our off-site excursions
- Deep sea fishing
- Catamaran / snorkeling
- Shopping on 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen
The deep sea fishing was rough. It was breezy that day and it made me feel a little ill. We didn’t get any fish and I think I am my husband’s bad luck charm! Amazing sunset though!
This is Playa del Carmen, such a pretty town and only about 20-30 minutes away via cab. 5th Avenue is the tourist/shopping/bar/restaurant area. If you like to bargain and like cheap souvenirs, this is your place!
The catamaran / snorkeling / booze cruise was my favorite. Such a great day!
This was our view from our boat where we went swimming on that trip. The water is unbelievable!
Bad – I don’t have much bad to say as we loved this place but here are a few things you might want to consider if you ever go to this resort.
- Size – this is a smaller resort. We continually saw the same people over and that was nice, we made friends but it might turn off some people.
- Age of people – there were people our age at the resort, but I felt the medium age was more towards 55-60ish? This was fine with us as we aren’t a party in the club type of people and everyone was there to have fun anyway!
- Age of resort – this isn’t a new resort and I saw signs of wear and tear. Nothing major, but again, could be a factor for you.
- Hibachi chef – eh, I’ve seen better. It was fine, but nothing new or life changing.
- Check in – the only slight snafu we had was when we checked in. When we got to our room we had two double beds and not a great view. I am usually not one to speak up but we weren’t there to sleep in separate bed. We had requested a king and were bummed. Our concierge recommended we go talk to the front desk and I am so glad we did as our final room had the great view and bed.
In closing, this resort was a huge YES for us!