Checking In: Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun in Mexico

Secrets beachWith 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.

Secrets Capri Cancun BeachNestled 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.

Secrets Capri Cancun tequilla tastingI’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.

Secrets Capri Cancun tequilaThe 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.

Secrets Capri Cancun food taco

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.

Secrets Capri Cancun Food

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.

Location, Location:

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.


  1. Jody Ruble says

    Hubby and I will be taking our first trip to Mexico since going vegan in August, so I was thrilled to find your review! Did you let them know in advance or at each meal that you were vegan? Or were the vegan options easily available? Are certain restaurants better than others on vegan menu items? You’ve got me much more excited about our trip! Thank you!

    • says

      Hi Jody! You and your husband will have no trouble at all. I didn’t call in advance, but we were never in a rush to get anywhere either. If you’re pressed for time, you might want to call ahead. Mexican food is so easy to vegan-ize. Fresh veggies, tortillas, beans, guacamole, salsa, etc. And other types of food are often readily available at resorts too – Italian and Japanese for example. The one meal I struggled with a little bit was breakfast – only one cafe at our had soy milk for special coffees, but the other major restaurants did not. If you have a fridge in your room, you may wish to store some soy/almond milk there so you can broaden your horizons with cereal, coffee refills, etc. ENJOY your trip!!!

  2. Jeff weaver says

    My wife and i are here now, we’ve been here a couple times, and smoking has just about been eliminated. This place us still amazing, a must come to resort.

Leave a Reply