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Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya Resort Review

Updated: 4 days ago


Last September the Travel Queen team ventured to Mexico for a travel advisor familiarization trip that brought us to ten of the most prestigious resorts in the Cancun region. We definitely discovered a few new favorites among the hotels we toured, both for clients and ourselves!


One of the most memorable resorts during our tour was Secrets Akumal, a name derived from the Mayan word that means 'place of turtles.' In our journeys, we've consistently discovered that Secrets Resorts provides outstanding accommodations, and this property certainly upheld that standard. Located a considerable distance from the energetic city of Cancun, Akumal offers a refuge of blissful seclusion. Its U-shaped bay and surrounding coral reef create the perfect habitat for young sea turtles, making it a marine sanctuary. The bay also presents an exceptional spot for ocean swimming due to its unusually calm waters.


We fell in love with this adults-only haven, and we couldn't wait to share it with all of you!


Quick Facts About Secrets Akumal

  • Available To: Adults-Only

  • Rooms: 434 Suites

  • Restaurants: 9 Dining Options

  • Bars: 7 Bars & Lounges

  • Pools: 3 Main Pools, 1 Spa Pool, and building swim-out pools.

  • Location: About 20 minutes from Playa del Carmen or an hour and a half from the Cancun International Airport. We recommend booking private transport from the airport so you aren’t waiting at the mercy of the hotel shuttle. 

  • When to Go: The best time to visit Secrets Akumal is between August and April, when the weather is warm and dry. Plan to time your visit between August and early October to witness the sea turtles hatching!


All photos were taken by the Travel Queen social media team during our visit in September 2023


Atmosphere

Secrets Akumal artfully balances social spaces and quiet retreats within its mid-sized property. Guests can choose to mingle at one of the lively pool areas or find solace within the beautifully expansive spa. Here, it's easy to tailor your experience to match your mood at any given moment. Whether you're in the spirit of socialization or just looking to decompress, the resort offers plenty of perfect spots to suit your needs.


If you are a fan of anything nature, you'll be captivated by the little ecosystems that thrive around the property. The lush greenery, vibrant flowers, and quiet nooks dotted throughout the property make it feel as though you've stepped into the garden of Eden. Beautifully manicured paths meander from one area to another, making you feel as if each spot is a hidden oasis within a jungle. This romantic atmosphere is further enhanced by Secrets Akumal's contemporary design, which seamlessly complements the natural beauty that is central to the resort.


Furthermore, a commitment to high standards of luxury is embedded in every experience at Secrets Akumal. The food is top-notch, and the staff consistently go out of their way to ensure guests are at ease and satisfied. Every member of staff we encountered greeted us with a smile and exuded a genuine sense of pride in their work. Anniversaries and milestone celebrations clearly do not go unnoticed here, as you'll see plenty of banners on suite doors indicating a guest’s special occasion.


Overall, we think Secrets Akumal is suited for adults and couples who appreciate a blend of luxury, relaxation, and subtle adventure. It is a place that speaks to those who relish a getaway where they can disconnect to reconnect. Whether celebrating a milestone, seeking a restorative escape, or simply indulging in a holiday, Secrets Akumal is a true gem.


Accommodations

The property has a total of 434 rooms with Preferred suites in the buildings nearest the beach. Buildings one and two are poised at the edge of the beach and house the privileged beachfront suites. These buildings have only three floors and are highly coveted. For those booking a regular room category, building eight is your accommodation choice closest to the ocean.


All rooms are suite-style, with expansive living spaces adorned with huge bathrooms featuring jetted tubs. For those who cherish privacy and nature, the swim-out suites are a harmonious blend of both, surrounded by lush foliage. Each room is also equipped with a bedside tablet, serving as your personal digital concierge. This innovative touch allows guests to effortlessly access a wealth of information about daily activities, restaurant menus, and even the television guide, all from the comfort of their suite. Those seeking a digital detox will appreciate the thoughtful design allowing the TV to stow away in the cabinet at the end of the bed, ensuring that the option for an unplugged vacation is always within reach. Of course, we love the resort's commitment to guest privacy and comfort with their signature “Secrets Box”. This ingenious addition allows room service to be discreetly delivered without having to enter your suite!


Complementing the accommodations, each building boasts its own concierge available from 9 am to 5 pm. They are there to assist guests with inquiries, book activities or tours, and address any concerns, ensuring a seamless and worry-free stay.


Advantages of Booking Preferred Club

Elevating your stay to a Preferred Club suite opens the doors to an array of exclusive benefits designed to pamper and please. This exclusive room category provides a lavish experience with personalized services and premium amenities, including:


  • Superior Room Locations: All the Preferred Club suites are positioned closer to the ocean, in buildings 1-6 guaranteeing incredible views and quick access to the beach.

  • Dedicated Beach Area: Reserved for club members, this private beach area features plush loungers, superior service, and ample space.

  • Exclusive Lounge Access: Located in building 4, the lounge is your all-day sanctuary with premium liquors, a diverse food menu, and a serene ambiance from dawn to dusk.

  • Extra Breakfast Location: Begin your day with a gourmet breakfast by the pool at Seaside, open for club members only.

  • Expanded In-Room Dining: Enjoy an expanded room service menu with gourmet offerings like cheese and meat trays.


Service

From the moment you set foot in Secrets Akumal, the welcome is nothing short of warm and genuine. We were handed a guava margarita (which we highly recommend) and a cool towel which was a nice touch after a long day of travel. Nicte Ha was the staff member who accompanied us throughout the property, and we couldn't have asked for a better guide. Her tour was brimming with knowledge and passion, exuding a clear love for her job. Plus, at the end of the tour, she gifted us with a hand-painted turtle magnet, which was a lovely memento of our visit.


Looking deeper at the resort's level of service, one quickly realizes that the staff has wholly embraced a standard of excellence that defines the Secrets brand. Having visited several Secrets properties, I’ve come to expect a high standard of service, but Akumal stood out. Each staff member, irrespective of their role, presented an aura of friendliness and approachability. At this resort, they are committed to a culture of anticipatory service, clearly striving to meet guest needs often before they even recognize them themselves.

The consistent excellence in service, and the feeling of being valued and understood, immensely contributed to the allure of this resort. From the first welcome to the final farewell, the Secrets Akumal team ensures that every moment of your stay is a memorable one.


Amenities & Experiences

The Beach

For those who revel in the luxury of relaxation under the sun, the resort offers the indulgent option of Bali Beach Beds. Available at three different price points:$175, $100, and $75 (based on our visit in 2023), based on their locations. The first two tiers include the added luxury of a bottle of champagne! Booking a private beach bed elevates your beach day experience with the attentive service of butlers who cater to your every need. They'll help you secure towels and loungers as well as deliver food and drinks directly to you. Make sure to grab an ice cream when the cart makes their rounds after lunch!


Pro Tip: To secure this slice of paradise, early reservations through the hotel concierge are strongly advised due to their popularity.


But the real magic of Secrets Akumal's beach is its bay, teeming with an impressive array of marine life. The waters are exceptionally clear, making it an ideal spot for snorkeling. Notably, the bay serves as a sanctuary for numerous sea turtles. And depending on the time of year you may even be able to see them hatch!


The Spa

Pampering at Secrets Akumal extends well beyond the natural wonders of the beach. The spa at this resort is nothing short of a masterpiece, spanning an incredible 18,000 square feet devoted to wellness. Here, guests indulge in an extensive hydrotherapy circuit, alongside a sauna and a steam room. Whether you prefer the privacy of an indoor treatment or the calm embrace of the outdoors, the option for singles or couples massages ensures that the path to relaxation is tailored to your personal preference.


Shows & Activities

When the sun sets, the energy at Secrets Akumal shifts, and the pool area comes alive with a daily show and dinner. It's the perfect mix of entertainment and al fresco dining. This resort also understands the allure of local culture and shopping. Thus, once a week, the resort transforms one of its outdoor paths into a vibrant marketplace, letting guests peruse and purchase unique local crafts. Furthermore, at this resort, the lobby area isn't just a place to pass through, it also plays host to live performances as well as karaoke nights! At Secrets Akumal, you are never far away from a good time.



Food & Drink

With nine unique dining venues, including six gourmet à la carte restaurants, a buffet, a café, and a grill, the choices seem endless. Whether you're in the mood for Mediterranean flavors, traditional Mexican cuisine, or something Asian-inspired, there’s a spot just waiting to delight you. Plus with round-the-clock room service, there will always be something ready to satisfy your cravings!


Restaurants

Barefoot Grill | Light lunch specialties

Bordeaux | Fine French cuisine

Coco Café | Premium coffees and pastries open 24/7

El Patio | Traditional Mexican cuisine

Himitsu | Gourmet Pan-Asian fare

Market Café | International buffet

Oceana | Fresh seafood specialties

Portofino | Gourmet Italian cuisine

Seaside Grill | Grilled specialties served poolside as well as host to a preferred club members-only breakfast.



Bars

Barracuda | Beach Bar

Desires | Music Lounge

Halftime Bar | Poolside Sports Bar

Manatees | Swim-Up Bar

Rendezvous | Lobby Bar

Showtime | Theater Bar

Sugar Reef | Pool Bar


Weddings


Secrets Akumal is a fantastic destination wedding location for couples who seek an adult-only celebration. We think it's a great choice for couples who want to get away from it all and enjoy a romantic, secluded vacation. The resort features a variety of contemporary venues perfectly suited for mid-sized weddings. For those who dream of a beachfront ceremony, the Beach Pergola is an exceptional choice. Or, for grand-scale receptions, the Ballroom can host up to 250 guests. As of our visit in September 2023, the resort's policy was to only schedule two weddings per day. This careful attention to scheduling underscores its commitment to providing a personalized and intimate experience for every couple.


Keep in mind that it's a distance away from the Cancun airport, so you'll have to ensure proper transportation for your guests.


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Secrets Akumal has exceeded our expectations. The resort's seamless blend of elegant design, exceptional service, and first-rate amenities creates a vacation experience that is second to none. Our time spent at Secrets Akumal was truly remarkable, and we are eager to recommend this destination to our clients. We also look forward to returning ourselves, to fully experience everything this stunning resort has to offer!


 


Looking to plan your romantic Secrets Akumal getaway? Reach out to the expert planners at Travel Queen LLC! As experts in all-inclusive romance, we know what it takes to create the ultimate vacation for you and your sweetheart. So let us help create your most memorable getaway yet!


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