With an inevitable case of the “Februarys” upon us, and in dire need of a vacation, my former university roommates and I decided to head south for a little R&R. Student housing, complete with our resident rat “Squeakums”, was somehow suitable for us 20 years ago, but nowadays we were seeking a bit more luxury in our living conditions.
When I told my husband where we’d booked – “Secrets,” a luxe adults-only resort – he looked at me with a blank stare. Turns out he thought I was referring to “Hedonism,” a sexually liberal “naturist” resort. With that awkward misunderstanding behind us, I packed my suitcase full of clothing to Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun in Mexico.
Nestled on 71 oceanfront acres in the Mayan Rivera, Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun is pure luxury. From the moment we arrived and were handed warm face cloths to freshen up, we knew we’d landed the perfect spot for a getaway. Although the Secrets chain (there are 10 throughout Mexico, and others in Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama) primarily caters to couples, it’s also perfect for singles and groups of friends looking to spend time together and reconnect.
A huge selling feature of this beachfront resort is that kids are not allowed. Because the vibe leans towards the mellow end of the spectrum, you’re also not going to run into spring breakers who pee in the pool. That’s not to say things can’t get rowdy – I’m still feeling guilty for ruining more than one romantic dinner the evening we started doing shots of “tequila boom boom” during our meal and reminiscing about university relationships gone wrong.
I’d arranged for a few upgrades in advance. When we approached the pool area, a sign hung on a private cabana that read, “Miss Lawless” (when I snapped a pic of the sign and sent it to my hubby, he reminded me that it’s actually “Mrs”, presumably still jaded from the whole “Hedonism” incident). The cabana was our home base for the next few days, and facilitated epic gossip sessions, daily naps, and a general feeling of VIP.
The concierge treated our group to a private tequila tasting during sunset one evening. We were seated on a pier jutting out into the ocean, and provided with blankets and warm appetizers to keep us cozy in the breeze. The selection of mescal and tequila was exquisite, and our host spent nearly an hour with us discussing origins, species, production methods, and the “worm” at the bottom of certain bottles.
Despite the late nights, a solid sleep in a black-out room meant that we were up at a decent hour. We were treated to yoga sessions on the ocean led by a Vancouverite on a “working vacation” (note to self: find special skill and offer it to a resort in exchange for a great rate). We also walked for hours each day on the beach – checking out the other resorts and making up inaccurate stories about random guests.
We spent one afternoon in the resort’s award-winning Pevonia spa for a detoxifying Hydrotherapy circuit session. It was beyond relaxing, apart from a few surprises – intense waterfall pressure treatments in the pool that attempted to mimic shiatsu massage, and buckets hanging from the ceiling filled with ice water. Fortunately the steam room, Swedish sauna, and multiple relaxation rooms offered some yin to the yang.
Most of us had studied Spanish at University, but our skills were beyond rusty at this point. As a vegan, I was worried that I might end up a bit hungry. Thankfully, there were countless symbols on the menus indicating if an item was gluten-free, vegetarian, high protein, high fibre, or contained common allergens. I discovered a cafe in the lobby that happily prepared soy milk lattes for me each morning. And a restaurant that perfected vegan rancheros for breakfast and mushroom ceviche for lunch.
This is a hotel ideal for:
I would recommend this resort to anyone looking get away from it all for a mini-holiday. 24 hour room service, high quality nightly entertainment, a la carte dining with no reservations required, unlimited top shelf drinks, state of the art gym, activities throughout the day (aerobics, dancing, Spanish lessons), and friendly staff make this a destination worth checking out.
If I could change one thing:
Can I say too many smokers? I know it seems crazy but it was seriously gross at times. We’d be relaxing and a couple of ladies would plant it by our cabana, and start chain smoking all day and gassing us out. With the new outdoor smoking laws in Canada, perhaps the hotel could think about designating some areas smoke-free.
This resort is beyond easy to get to: 4 hours from Toronto, 30 minutes from the airport, and suddenly there’s a pina colada in your hand. The price tag was excellent too: $1475 (CAD) for a five day trip, including all taxes and transfers. On our second-to-last night, we made a 5 year plan to return. On our last night, we bumped it to 4 years. We’d been spoiled enough to fancy ourselves as worth it.
The writer travelled at her own cost. The hotel did not review or approve this article.