Secrets Playa Mujeres - Should You Stay or Should You Go?
2023 has been the year of travel for me! And I can't wait to share more of my adventures with you as we bring the year to a close. But in the recent news of a major renovation coming to Secrets Playa Mujeres, an adults-only resort in the Cancun area of Mexico, my trip there this past summer has come to mind. And you might be wondering? Should I visit this resort right now?
We visited in July of 2023 as part of a friend's 40th birthday party group. My husband and I as well as 5 other couples decided to get away from the kids and celebrate our dear friend's special day in gorgeous Playa Mujeres. Just 35 minutes north of Cancun airport, this resort is on an amazing stretch of beach. And I mean amazing! While sargassum can take over the best beaches in the Riviera Maya area, this privileged location north of Cancun doesn't typically see the invasion of seaweed. Or at least it is not as common. When choosing a vacation destination in Mexico, the many resorts along this stretch of Playa Mujeres should be top of your list if beaches are your thing.
The resort is set back a ways from the beach and it does require steps and walking to reach the ocean. This may be somewhat of a con for you beach lovers out there but I have to say, the view from the pool area that overlooks the beach is just breathtaking. Because the beach is completely private (and relatively free of sargassum), this resort is a great option for beach lovers. We did not encounter any beach vendors or soliciting while visiting the serene waters in Playa Mujeres. At the time of year that we visited, we felt it was super quiet and definitely not overcrowded. Should you wish to make your way down to the beach instead of hanging by the pool, you will be happy to discover that there is also a tiki bar on the beach that has a full bar for all of your adult beverage needs. It was July in Mexico, so we barely left the pool if I am being quite honest. We found that this resort had a very nice and large pool area with plenty of chairs and a swim-up bar at the center. Throughout the day, there would be lots of entertainment such as dancers, live music, pool games and more making it a very lively place to be. But not so constant or loud, that you couldn't find a spot in the shade and relax with a book. It was the perfect mix of chill and fun!
When staying at Secrets Playa Mujeres, you also have the privilege of visiting Dreams Playa Mujeres which is the resort next door and you are able to take advantage of their bars, restaurants, snack locations, water park, and more. Dreams is the family-friendly side of the resort while Secrets is the adults-only side. The resort has golf carts running between the two resorts for the ease of guests who don't wish to walk. However, the walk along the beach to the Dreams side is quite lovely. The Dreams side is much newer and even though it is a family resort, the grounds, pool area, and rooms were all much nicer. I wouldn't hesitate to send clients to this resort if they are looking for family-friendly. Since I have mentioned some of the things I really loved about Secrets Playa Mujeres, I do have to mention some of the not-so-great things and the reasons why I might shy away from sending guests to this resort (at least, at this current time).
We found the room to be just fine. It was nothing to write home about, but it was clean. Definitely a bit tired and it was fairly evident that they hadn't revamped the rooms in quite some time. Some of the latticework above the bed was broken and the couch looked worn. It wasn't enough for a complaint on its own but when we arrived, we arrived to a room with no air conditioning. Several months prior to the trip the Facebook Groups were all in a tizzy that this resort's AC system was lacking. Many people were posting that they had no AC in their rooms and they were sleeping in temps over 80 degrees at night. When they addressed it with the hotel, they would say there was no problem. It became such a thing, however, that Hyatt eventually had to issue a statement that they were aware of the issue and that it was only happening in one building. They were adamant that the other buildings had been fixed and it was isolated to one building that wasn't currently housing guests. Since our room felt quite warm when we arrived, we called down to maintenance.
We wanted to make sure that if it couldn't be resolved, we were moved to a new room. We changed into swimsuits, left the room, and headed to the pool. When we arrived back in the room that evening, the temp was much cooler. Throughout our stay, I would say it wasn't as cool as I would have liked it. But it was doable and it appeared they had adjusted it to at least be comfortable. I was just glad that the other 5 rooms in my group did not experience any AC issues during their stay. Keeping with the AC theme, however, the biggest disappointment from the entire trip was the temperature in ALL of the fine dining restaurants. They were HOT. They were MISERABLY HOT. We even had a few waitstaff apologize to us for the temps. And we were hot just sitting there drinking wine. I can't imagine how these employees must feel who have to rush around and do their jobs. Don't even get me started on Himitsu which is their hibachi restaurant. Nothing like sitting at a table of fire in a restaurant with no AC. Even the buffet restaurant in the mornings was miserable. This really detracted from the entire experience. Dining is one of my favorite things to do while on vacation and it made it very hard to enjoy our meals. Again it was mentioned to the hotel staff and they dismissed it as a non-issue. YES YES, I know...I went to Mexico in July... It's my own fault, right? Wrong. They definitely needed to address their air conditioning issues. The food was decent but again, nothing to write home about. I think out of all of the food we tried including even fine dining, we enjoyed the bites at the pool bar the most. They had great nachos, tacos, and burgers. Another thing that we didn't love was the location of the lobby and nightclub in relation to the guest rooms. You did have to take a golf cart up quite a long path to the main lobby area. In the area was also the nightclub and two restaurants. The walk in my opinion is too far. While we did see people walking, the temps outside could not have made that easy. The accessibility of some things and how spread out things were is one of the cons of this resort.
With all of that being said, it was recently announced that Secrets Playa Mujeres will be closing next year from April 15th to December 15th for some much-needed renovations. Renovations will include:
New design, infrastructure, and furniture in guest rooms
Refresh of public areas, including all pools
Relocation of the front desk
All-new Preferred Club lounge, including a beach club and rooftop
Redesign of Desires Night Club
Relocation of Rendezvous lobby bar
Enhancements to Portofino restaurant
Enhancements to Coco Cafe
Bordeaux will be rebranded to be an Amazonian-inspired restaurant, now including a Chef’s Table
Throughout the duration of this project, Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf & Spa Resort will implement a full resort closure. Having just recently stayed here, I am thrilled with this renovations list and I cannot wait to hear the feedback once it is complete and they welcome their first guests back. It sounds like relocating some areas may remove a few things from my cons list and the revamp of rooms is much needed. Let's just hope that AC is also included in this list, even if they didn't outright say it! I have a feeling it is. With these renovations coming, you would think there might be some deals to be had in their remaining months being open. But sadly, this resort is still one of the higher-priced Secrets in the area. If you are considering a trip to Playa Mujeres, my recommendation would be to skip this one until the renovations are complete. But once they are done, it is SO on! I think the location is so stellar, they have the potential to be GREAT!
Thanks for reading and as always, reach out to your favorite travel advisor when you are ready to book that next vacation! We keep up on all of these important renovations across a wide variety of brands so that you don't have to and so that we can fit you to your perfect vacation destination.
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