We ended up at Secrets the Vine resort because Tom was checking out Delta Vacations and found a great deal. Here is a great tip. When booking on Delta or any other site, check for "run of the house" prices. That means that you do not get to choose your room and you will get whatever they have available. It's a little risky if the rooms of the hotel are iffy or very different. But when Tom checked the rooms, they least expensive rooms were super duper nice so we took a chance. We saved a lot of money.
Another tip: Always check TripAdvisor. When we checked this place out, it had really high ratings which is unusual. It had so many good comments. It had bad comments but when I went to read them, some were really ridiculous. We made a great decision.
We arrived in Mexico around 11 am and we had transport for to the hotel. It is located on hotel row. There are a zillion hotels on hotel row. Besides Vegas, I had never seen so many hotels all bunched together. When we arrived at Secrets the Vine, we were greeted with a cool cloth and a glass of champagne. I knew then, I was going to love this place.
All the employees were friendly. We arrived super early so our room was not ready. But in the meantime, we went and had lunch at the seaside and poolside restaurant. It was delish. We had to wait in the lobby for awhile but it turned out to be fine. We had free wi-fi and really comfy sofas and unlimited drinks. They also had a coffee bar that was great!
We played bingo, listened to music and relaxed until our room was ready. Once the room was ready, we headed up to see what the "Run of the House" would get us. It got us a fantastic room on the upper floors with a view to die for. The room was really nice and had great amenities.
When we arrived there was a huge banner on our door that said Happy Anniversary. Believe it or not, December is our official anniversary of when we started going out. This year we marked 18 years!! That is a long time. We also had a bottle of wine awaiting us as well.
The bed was huge. We had a mini bar, coffee station and a flat screen TV. We had full size toiletries. Robes and a safe. The room had a balcony that had a view of both the ocean and lagoon area. It overlooked the hotel next door but we still had a great ocean view. You can check out my video blog of the room here.
The funkiness of the room was the shower and toilet. Both were in glass cubicles almost in the middle of the room. Now that didn't really bother us because we have been together for 18 years but I thought if you came here and have only been dating a short while or came with a friend and stayed in the same room, it might be a little awkward. It was not as private as a room with a door. The cubicles had doors but still not a lot of privacy.
Anyhow, the room was great. The first night it was weird because we did have noisy neighbors and the next day they were still there. We had to endure really bad music and them having very loud sex. Apparently, we also had to hear they just got engaged when she called her mom and announced. Then about 15 minutes later we had to hear them have their first post engagement fight. It was hilarious. We were on the balcony and they were fighting after just getting engaged. I wanted to yell, "don't go through with it" but resisted. Luckily, they were gone the next day.
We had dinner at the Asian restaurant on the property and it was delicious. We also walked around a bit but we were pooped from all the traveling so we headed to bed early.
The next few days became very routine as they will at an all-inclusive resort. You get up, have breakfast, head out to the pool, hang out, swim, drink, have snacks, swim, read, sleep, try to join in activities, eat lunch, swim, rest, read, get some sun, snack and then head up and get ready for dinner. the first day we actually did water aerobics but the whole class was filled with shenanigans and very little aerobics so we skipped it the next day and the next day and the day after that and never went back.
I read a lot. Got sun. And hopped in the pool. Tom actually went out to the ocean and frolicked. I don;t do the ocean because of my accident a few years ago when I was knocked over by a rouge wave and broke my back. It still freaks me our when I see a lot of waves. There were a lot of waves and a lot of wind.
Every morning we got up early and went and reserved a pool cabana. It was a godsend since neither of us like to get too much sun anymore. Plus, the wind did not allow umbrellas to be put up an we needed protection. We ended up with the same cabana every day we were there. It was great.
Now, we usually have stayed at more tropical and casual resorts when traveling. Tom loves those more tropical resorts where you can walk through beautiful landscaping but then stupid iguanas jump out at you. there are also bugs and bats at night and it is creepy. Me? I loved this resort because it was very concrete and nice. Sure there were a some palm trees and greenery but mainly it was cement and I did not see one bug. I saw a bee once and that was it. I was in heaven.
The whole resort was pretty amazing. It was wickedly clean and because it is only about 2 years old, it is still in great shape. Some resorts we have visited are nice but you can tell they are older and outdated. Not this one. The lobby was great. There were a lot of food choices. There was only one place for breakfast but it was a buffet so you could eat anything. I ate beans and bread every day. I also ate Mexican dishes for breakfast because they had some great one.
For lunch you could eat at the Sea Salt Grill that was in the pool area or the buffet. We ate at the buffet once and ended up taking our meals by the pool the other days. The service was amazing. They knew our names and room number. When Tom wanted shrimp ceviche instead of the fish ceviche on the menu, the chef made it for him. I once asked if they had watermelon juice and they didn't so I just had water. About 15 minutes later, Irving the host, came to our table with watermelon juice just for me. And it kept coming until we left.
For dinner we had several choices: Mexican, Asian, Middle eastern, Steak, Italian, and Seafood. We ate at almost every restaurant. Now they were all good but some missed. The Bluewater restaurant was a steakhouse but the food was not that great. The salads were ooky and there was no rib eye steak the night we went. I ordered short ribs and got one rib that was really fatty. Frankly, my short ribs are better. It was our least favorite place.
Dragons the Asian restaurant was great but the service was a little slow. The Middle Eastern, Olio, was hit and miss. The lamb meatballs were dry but they had some of the best tabbouleh I have ever had. And the lamb shawarma was AMAZING! The Mexican restaurant was really good and had more authentic Mexican food that you get here in the states. Our favorite was the Italian restaurant. It was so good. There was also a sports bar that we visited once but it was empty. But they served drinks and bar food. I will be posting pictures of the food we ate, so keep an eye out!
One of my favorite things at the resort was the coffee bar in the lobby. You could get coffee and snacks all day long. They also served Cafe Britt from Costa Rica. They had fancy coffee or plain. They had sandwiches, desserts, pastries and cookies. It was one of those special details that make the resort unique.
There were activities but we aren't big on activities. They had beach volleyball, pool volleyball, water aerobics, Spanish lessons, wine tastings, poker, blackjack, tequila tastings and every day around lunch time the resort chefs would come out to the pool area and have a parade. They also brought us appetizers, treats and drinks. It was pretty cool.
There were 3 pools and a hot tub plus access to a "private" beach. The resort had chairs and cabanas but the Cancun beach is public. They also had a few bars outside and also a mini buffet by one pool for lunch. One day they also had a BBQ in the afternoon and another day, they made paella. There was always food. My only complaint was the music they played by the pool area. It was bad muzak. When I heard Guns & Roses in muzak, I almost died. It was also very boring.
They really need to play a little more upbeat music because when the water aerobics started, you could see people perking up. This is definitely not a resort if you want lots of loud music and craziness. It is low key, which we loved. But there is plenty to do if you do not want to do nothing. I was happy laying around reading my books and doing nothing. So was Tom, which is strange because he always gets crazy when he is not running around.
They also had entertainment. During the day, I saw mariachis. They also had entertainers around the pool area during the day. There was nightly entertainment. We only caught one show and it was a little cheesy but people seemed to enjoy it. Overall, this is one of the best resorts I have ever been to. The staff was always friendly and helpful. The service was fantastic. The food was good. Drinks were delish. And the room was comfy and modern.
Our room was always ready when we came back in the late afternoon and they had a nightly turn down service that I miss desperately. Sigh.
I would definitely go back and would definitely recommend Secrets the Vine for anyone heading to Cancun and wanting to stay at an all-inclusive resort. It was a great vacation!