Written By: Geoff Millar, Owner – Playa Resorts Jamaica, Ultimate All Inclusive Travel
This month we are going to start our review of AM Resorts Adult only Resort chain, Secrets Resorts. There are 20 resorts throughout the world. Most of them are located in Mexico and the Caribbean but they are expanding to Europe with 2 new Secrets Resorts. Secrets Resorts are true adult only resorts not couples resorts. Rather than only having King beds as the couples-only resorts, Secrets has both king bed accommodations and 2 double bed accommodations. The only rule is that all guests must be 18 years old and older. At a later date we will review AM Resorts family resort chains.
It is important to understand that AM Resorts does not own any of the resorts. They are all owned by independent owners and AM Resorts has the management contracts for them. When an investor wants to own an AM Resort, they work with AM Resorts to determine where it will be located and must be built to a set of AM Resort standards to maintain continuity throughout the resort chain. This is similar to chains like Marriott where the majority of Marriott hotels and resorts are independently owned, and owners must maintain a certain set of standards and they pay Marriott a fee to use the Marriott name. It differs a little from AM Resorts in that Marriott does not manage the independently owned hotels, but the independent owners must maintain a certain set of standards in order to use the Marriott name. Two versions of a classic franchise situation. This is common among most of the large hotel and resort chains.
The first areas we are going to look at is the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica. There are 2 Secrets located in the Dominican Republic and one in Costa Rica.
The first Secrets Resort we will look at is the Secrets Papagayo Costa Rica. This resort is located in the Guanacaste area of Costa Rica. This area is in the northwest corner of Costa Rica. This is where the majority of the all inclusive resorts are located. It is located on the Papagayo Peninsula just 20 minutes from the Liberia airport. The resort is located on a beautiful, serene beach surrounded by the jungle. With only 202 rooms, this resort is a smaller resort giving it a quiet romantic feel.
The accommodations at the resort consist of the Standard Tropical View with king bed or 2 double beds and a garden view, Standard Panoramic View with King bed and a great ocean view. The next rooms are all in the Preferred Club level. The preferred Club is the resorts concierge level including concierge service, Preferred Club lounge, private check-in, daily newspaper, rooms are in a premier location, upgraded minibar, and upgraded amenities. They start with the Preferred Club Ocean View Bungalow room with king bed, the Preferred Club Ocean Front Bungalow room with King bed, the Preferred Club Ocean Front Jr Suite, the Preferred Club Ocean Front Jr Suite with Plunge pool, the Preferred Club Honeymoon Jr Suite, and the 2 bedroom Presidential Suite with hot tub and a fantastic Ocean View. All accommodations come with 24 hr room service, a tablet to use for all room functions and connecting with the depts of the resort, free WIFI, and minibar refreshed daily. The standard rooms come with either a King bed or 2 Double Beds. They Preferred Club level comes with all King beds.
Dining includes 4 A La Carte restaurants, a grill, a buffet, and a coffee bar, The A La Carte restaurants are made up of Asian, Italian, a healthy item restaurant, and grilled items. There is an informal grill with hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches by the pool. There is also a coffee bar with snacks and 24 hr room service. As far as drinks there is a swim-up bar, 2 beach and pool bars, a lobby bar, and a spa bar.
Activities are varied and include both water and land activities. We will start with the 2 swimming pools. On land there are the themed nights such as Costa Rica night, dance lesson night, managers cocktail party, as well as nightly entertainment. There are tennis, games, cooking lessons, bocce ball, wine tasting, hiking, yoga as well as a full workout center. Nearby there is golf and a casino. In the water there are non-motorized watersports such as sailing paddleboards, kayaks, and a snorkeling tour. If this is too much there is just plain relaxing by the pool on the beach, or in your room. I would be remis if I did not mention the off-site tours available as Costa Rica is a nature lovers paradise with jungles, volcanos, crocodiles, fishing, monkeys, and of course shopping and these things must be experienced to really get the full Costa Rica Experience.
This resort is a great resort for romantic vacations, Destination Weddings, Honeymoons, and experiencing everything Costa Rica has to offer at a reasonable price. I would rate this resort 4 stars.
We are now going to move from Costa Rica to the Dominican Republic where AM Resorts has 2 Secrets Resorts, one in the Punta Cana area and the other in the Cap Cana area. As we know the Dominican has a reputation of having some of the best beaches in the Caribbean and these two resorts do not disappoint, they are flat with white sand and are great for walking as they go on forever. The Secrets in Cap Cana sits on one of the most picturesque beaches I have ever seen.
First, we will look at the Secrets Royal Beach located in Punta Cana. This resort sits in a complex with two other AM Resorts, the Dreams Royal Beach and an unnamed section. Now this may be confusing but stay with me. In the last year, the whole complex has ben switched around. What used to be the Secrets Royal Beach is now the Dreams Royal Beach and what used to be the NOW Royal Beach is the new Secrets Royal Beach and the small section that sat behind these resorts is going to be something new but has not been announced yet. During the COVID period of 2020 it was being used as employee housing. So, right now there is a Secrets Royal Beach and a Dreams Royal Beach in the compound. I hope this is somewhat clear.
At the Secrets Royal Beach accommodations are made up of 641 Jr Suites divided into 2 sections, regular and preferred club, Secret’s concierge level. In the regular level we begin with the Jr. Suite Tropical/Garden View, we then have the Jr Suite Pool View, the Jr Suite Swim-up, the Jr Suite partial Ocean View, and the Jr Suite with private pool. Next, we have the Preferred Club level consisting of, the Preferred Club Jr Suite Tropical/Garden View, Preferred Club Jr Suite Pool View, Preferred Club Jr Suite Partial Ocean View, Preferred Club Jr Suite Swim-up, Preferred Club Jr Suite with Private Pool, Preferred Club Master Suite Tropical/Garden View, and Preferred Club Master Suite Ocean Front. All accommodations contain king bed or 2 double beds except the Master Suite level which only have King beds. All accommodations have 24 hr room service, free WIFI, upgraded amenities, and daily stocked mini bars.
Dining at the resort is a little different because it is in a compound with other resorts. Some of the restaurants are shared between the Secrets Resort and the Dreams Resort. The Secrets Resort sits closest to the main dining areas. At the Secrets Resort there are 7 dining options, 5 A La Carte restaurants, 1 Buffet, 24 hr room service, and an outdoor grill. Secrets Resort Guests also have access to the Dreams Resort Restaurants. The A La Carte choices are, French, Asian, Mexican, Mediterranean, and a more formal grilled items restaurant. As far as drinks there are a wide variety of choices, 11 to be exact. These are, 2 beachside bars, a Preferred Club only Lazy River Bar, 2 Swim-up Bars, a Night Club Bar, a Preferred Club lounge bar, a Preferred Club swim-up Bar, a Lobby Bar, and a main Plaza Bar. Plenty of places to get your drink on.
Activities at the resort offer a wide variety of both land and water activities. On land there is Tennis, Basketball, Paddleball, dance and Spanish lessons, Beach Volleyball, and greens fees included at the local golf club. There is also just relaxing on one of the 5, 2 level Bali beds on the beach including butler service, towels, 5 minute massages, and breakfast and lunch service. There is an extra charge for this. In the water there are the usual non-motorized water sports such as sailing, kayaks, wind surfing, and snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach. The beach here is very flat as well as long, excellent for walking. As with many locations, beaches are public, so you will encounter vendors on the beach. A polite no will turn them away.
This resort is great for clients that are looking for a fantastic beach, many activities, great shopping, or just relaxing. A perfect place for destination weddings, especially if clients have both adults and children with the adult only Secrets as well as the family friendly Dreams Resorts next to each other. This resort is reasonably priced, and I would rate it 4 stars.
Next, we will move down the coast to the Secrets Cap Cana. Cap Cana is one of the most upscale areas of the Dominican Republic. A number of wealthy entertainment people own houses in the Cap Cana area. This resort sits on one of the nicest and prettiest beaches I have ever seen. It sits next to the Hyatt Ziva and Zilara.
Accommodations at the resort consist of Standard Rooms and Preferred Club Rooms, Secrets Concierge level. All Accommodations are Jr Suite or higher levels. They start with Jr Suite Tropical/Garden View, Jr Suite Pool View, Jr Suite Partial Ocean View, Jr Suite Ocean View, Jr Suite Swim-out. All Standard Jr Suites come with either a king bed or 2 double beds. We next go to the Preferred Club Level starting with the Preferred Club Tropical/Garden View Jr Suite, then the Preferred Club Ocean View Jr Suite, The Preferred Club Swim-out Jr Suite, the larger Preferred Club Bungalow Pool View Jr Suite, Preferred Club Bungalow Swim-out Jr Suite, Preferred Club Bungalow Pool View Master Suite, Preferred Club Bungalow Ocean Front Master Suite, Preferred Club Bungalow Ocean Front Swim-out, Preferred Club Master Ocean Front Suite, Preferred Club Ocean Front Master Suite with Plunge Pool, Preferred Club Swim-out Ocean Front Master Suite, the 1400 sq ft Bungalow Presidential Suite, and finally the 2100 sq ft Presidential Suite. I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted after all those room categories. All Preferred Club Jr Suites and Suites come with only a King Bed. All accommodations come with 24 hr room service, free WIFI, upgraded amenities and daily stocked minibar.
Dining offers 7 A La Carte Restaurants, a Buffet, a Grill, and a Coffee Bar. The 7 A La Carte dining choices are, French, Mexican, Pan Asian, Seafood, Italian, Private Preferred Club restaurant, a grilled specialties restaurant, and a light lunch specialties restaurant. As far as drinks there is a wide selection including, 2 Beach and Pool Bars, a Music Lounge, a Swim-up Bar, a Lobby Bar, a Theater Bar. All bars serve top shelf alcoholic drinks.
Activities cover both land and water. On land you have Yoga, a great fitness center, dance lessons, weekly resort staff cocktail party, weekly theme parties, nightly entertainment, movies on the beach, the resort is very close to 3 of the top golf courses in the area. Shopping in the area is some of the best. In the water you have the non-motorized water sports such as sailing, kayaks wake boarding, snorkeling, or just relaxing on one of the nicest beaches I have ever seen. This is a great resort for honeymoons and Destination weddings with a fantastic wedding Dept.
This resort is great for those that want a nice relaxing and fun experience in one of the top areas of the Dominican Republic. It is also reasonably priced for what you get. I would rate this resort 4.5 stars.
This concludes our tour of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. Next month we will continue with a look at Jamaica. Until then good selling and safe travels.