Today, I’m sharing about another fantastic resort my husband and I recently traveled to to celebrate our 11 year wedding anniversary! Secrets Akumal Resort is located in Tulum, Mexico, about 1 ½ hours away from the Cancun International Airport. We loved our stay at this incredibly beautiful and well-appointed adults-only, all-inclusive resort. This time, we traveled in mid-November. I’ll be sharing my honest review, room tips and all about the food and location!
Great Location & Amazing Weather!
Mid to late November is a great time to travel to Mexico! During our stay, the weather remained in the mid 80’s the entire time. The weather was very warm and very humid but an occasional rain shower helped cool things down and made it much more enjoyable. Make sure to bring lots of sunscreen and aloe vera!
Secrets Akumal is located in a beautiful and green part of the Yucatan Peninsula. We were blown away with the beautifully maintained grounds at this resort! Every pathway was lined with gorgeous jungle plants, trees and flowers. The resort is situated along a stretch of coast that is a protected sea turtle environment. The beach was stunning, clean and free of seaweed during our stay. We loved the soft, white sand that stretched the entire span of the resort.
Activities at Secrets Akumal
There’s so much to do for everyone as this adults-only, all-inclusive hotel! Here are some of the things we tried or saw during our stay.
- Snorkeling: this resort has the best snorkeling right in front so you don’t have to travel anywhere! By far, the best snorkeling at a hotel that we’ve seen in Mexico. I went diving every day and saw plenty of stingrays, sea turtles, lots of different fish big and small, and beautiful coral reefs. I recommend bringing your own mask. We love this full-face snorkeling mask (Amazon Affiliate Link).
- Swimming with the turtles: swimming with the turtles requires a reservation that you can make with the hotel, on the beach. The turtles live in a protected section of the beach, which is just a short 3-minute walk from the resort. The tour costs $30 per person and is refundable if you don’t see any turtles.
- Secrets Spa: Secrets resorts are known for their large spa facilities and this resort is no different! The spa is massive and offers all the best services such as massages, manicures, facials and more! Preferred Club bookings also include a free water circuit session!
- Daily Pool Activities: the pools were busy all day with various activities, from exercises in the morning to pool volleyball in the afternoon.
- Relaxing Beach Time: we loved spending time at the relaxing beach. The views are amazing and there are plenty of palapas and beach beds for everyone!
- Pools: this resort had sooo many pools!! There are 4 main pools, then there are the building swim-out pools. Plus, a spa pool! The main pools have music and lots of people during the day. However, there is also a quiet pool where there is no music and it’s a more relaxed environment.
- Outside Activities: there are tons of things you can do outside the resort, too! We loved visiting the Tulum Aztec ruins, which are just 20 minutes away. There are also several adventure parks and cenotes in close proximity.
- Night Time Activities: there was always something going on in the evening at the resort! There was a daily show and dinner at the pool area. Some of the shows were better than others. The light show seemed to be the most popular with everyone! We also enjoyed the activities at the main lobby. They usually had live performances or karaoke night!
A Special Note About the Beach
Secrets Akumal is located in a protected bay area, specially protected for the sea turtles that live in the waters off the coast. This means there are lots of tourists arriving to snorkel with the turtles and in the surrounding coral reefs. Beaches are public land and the resort beach can get quite busy at peak times of the day. Occasionally, people not from the resort will set up camp right in front of the resort loungers, crowding the beach. During our stay, this didn’t bother us too much but I can imagine it gets even busier during the peak months of February through April!
Must-Tries at this Resort!
We loved our experience here at Secrets Akumal thanks to a few extra things we booked with the resort. Here are my recommendations.
- Bali Beach Beds: if you love to enjoy the beach all day like we do, I highly recommend booking a private beach bed for the day. A bed in the front row was $75usd a day and included a private butler. The butlers are very nice and will take care of towels, loungers, chairs and anything else you might need! Make sure to book these well in advance with the hotel concierge as they are very popular and book quickly! You can also enjoy food and drinks, delivered right to you!
- Private Wine Cellar Dinner: we loved this special dinner! It was inside of the resort wine cellar, which we had all to ourselves. The food pairing was way above and beyond what the resort restaurants typically serve. The resort offers many different private dining experiences, including private beach dinners.
- Buy the Wine: if you want to experience a higher level of service and a better menu, talk with the main sommelier at the resort, Alberto, and arrange to purchase a bottle of wine at your dinner. This way, you don’t have to wait for a table (wait times can be up to an hour!), and you can request a special chef’s menu!
Food at Secrets Akumal
We had some great and some not so great food at this resort. Let’s talk about all the food and restaurants! Typical wait time for dinner was 30 minutes to an hour; we had longer wait times if we came to dinner later around 7 or 8 pm.
- Private Dinners: our wine cellar dinner was incredible! The food was so delicious and well prepared. We highly recommend booking this experience! Just keep in mind – the initial $200 fee goes towards your wine purchase. The sommelier will offer you wine based on your budget but be prepared to spend $400 to $700 on wine for this evening.
- Italian (Portofino), French (Bordeaux) & Asian (Himitsu): these were our favorite a la carte restaurants! The food was always really delicious and all the restaurants had a large menu selection.
- Seaside: we did not like this steak restaurant! The steak was not up to par! We spoke with other guests and everyone said the same thing. We’ve been to other Mexican resorts that serve incredible steak but not at Secrets. I think this is definitely an area that they can improve on.
- Oceana, Mexican (El Patio), Café: these are the restaurants we didn’t get to try during our stay. We decided to go back to some of the other locations since we enjoyed them.
- Lunchtime Pizza: we LOVED the outdoor pizza oven, which was open every other day next to the main pool area. You can create your own pizza, choosing your toppings. The pizza was actually quite good!
- Lunchtime Options: during our stay, we had lunch at our private bali bed every day. However, the resort does offer a large lunch buffet and a different food station at the main pool every day. There was also an ice cream cart that made rounds at the beach every day after lunch.
- In-Room Dining: we did in-room breakfast a few times during our stay and really enjoyed it! The breakfast options are great and you can also call into room service to request something extra that’s not on the menu. Their mid-day and late night snacks were also great. I loved ordering a tray of meat and cheese while getting ready for dinner.
- Breakfast Buffet: I was pleasantly surprised with the options at this breakfast buffet! They had a very large variety of fresh items, an omelet bar, sweet breakfast, lots of fruit and more. The only downside to this buffet was the service. We received very poor service each time we came here and eventually stopped coming and went to the Preferred Club a la carte breakfast instead.
- Breakfast at Seaside: available only for preferred club members. This restaurant had so many delicious choices and incredible service!
Our Oceanfront Suite at Akumal
One of the most important aspects for us during any vacation is the view! For this reason, I love to book an oceanfront room during our stays. Our suite was huge and very well appointed! It had tons of closet and drawer space for all our clothes and other items. The bathroom was also quite spacious. The bathroom isn’t super private but this wasn’t a concern for us.
This resort is an all-suite resort, meaning every room is about the same size, except for the Honeymoon, Master and Presidential suites. They also have beautiful swim-out suites and every building has its own fairly large pool. Every room comes with a little balcony, which includes chairs, a little table and a large hot tub. The tubs also has hot water and fills very quickly! The balconies are fairly private! The top floor rooms don’t have a solid roof so we couldn’t leave any items to dry, as it rained often over night. The mini room bar was restocked daily with drinks, water and snacks.
We loved the quick, easy and smooth check in process! We booked a room in the preferred club area so we were brought around to the club to check in. They offer a refreshing towel, snacks and drinks as soon as you arrive and the paper work goes really quickly! We had our luggage in the room right away, too! And the main lobby is huge and gorgeous!
The only reason we weren’t completely satisfied with our check-in and room was the location of the room we got. While we booked oceanfront, we got more of an ocean view/pool view room. We felt a little cheated, like we weren’t getting what we paid for. We haven’t had this issue before at other resorts in the area. After speaking with the supervisor and several other managers at the resort, we found out they have very few actual oceanfront rooms! They also didn’t have any other rooms available for us to switch to, so we were stuck with the one we got. Our room ended up having A/C issues on the first night (it wouldn’t turn off and room was ice cold) and we were up till 12 waiting for it to be fixed! If the room type is very important to you, I recommend emailing the resort concierge in advance to ensure you get the room you’re looking for!
Advantages of Booking Preferred Club
We love the Preferred Club option at Secrets resorts. When you book a higher level room, this option is automatically included. Here are some of the perks:
- Separate, a-la carte breakfast: enjoy a delicious breakfast by the pool at this club-only breakfast restaurant.
- Preferred Club: located in building 4 at this resort, the club is open from early morning to late evening. You can find top-shelf liquors and wine at the club bar. There is also always food and a changing menu – breakfast, lunch and dinner snacks. We loved to stop by here for a quick bite!
- Better room location: all the preferred club rooms are closer to the ocean and offer better views, if you book a room with a view.
- Separate Beach Area: club members have a separate beach area, which includes nicer beach loungers, better service and more space between each palapa.
- Additional In-Room Dining Menu: get an expanded dining menu, which includes items such as cheese and meat trays and other small snacks!
You can book directly with the hotel through their website here.
- Book Ahead of Time: The Secrets Akumal resort is a very popular choice for Mexico travelers! For this reason, I recommend booking this resort well in advance! The rooms get booked out quickly, especially the nicer ones! We booked our oceanfront suite 8 months in advance, directly through the hotel website.
- Want to a get a great deal? We never pay full price for our resorts! To get the best deals and sales, simply sign up for the resort newsletter and watch your emails. Secrets (and other resorts) will usually have great deals around major holidays!
- Bali Beach Beds: if you love to enjoy the beach all day like we do, I highly recommend booking a private beach bed for the day. A bed in the front row was $75usd a day and included a private butler. The butlers are very nice and will take care of towels, loungers, chairs and anything else you might need! Make sure to book these well in advance with the hotel concierge as they are very popular and book quickly!
Getting To & From the Airport
Book your airport transportation directly with the hotel, if you’re booking through the hotel website. The resort uses AmStar Transportation. Their deluxe, private ride to and from the hotel was extra luxurious! We felt completely spoiled in their brand-new SUVs. We brought 6 suitcases with us and they all fit perfectly into the large car. The ride from the airport took 2 hours due to traffic. There is currently a lot of construction on the main highway running through the peninsula. Although the ride back to the airport was only 1 hour and 15 minutes!
- When you arrive at the airport, pick up your luggage and head straight through the main doors. Don’t stop for any of the pesky tour guides or taxi drivers! Your AmStar representatives will be waiting outside for you with your name!
You Won’t Regret Booking Here
What makes this resort especially great is the people! We were blown away with all the incredibly nice and attentive workers here! Everyone went above and beyond to make our stay extra special! Our building concierge was super helpful; our private beach butlers always took care of our needs; the servers and managers at the restaurants are so nice, too! They really make this resort what it is.
If you’re looking for a relaxing, enjoyable beach vacation, we recommend this place for you! It’s an unbeatable, adults-only, luxury all-inclusive option for those looking to get away!