If you slavishly follow this blog . . . as all the glitterati do, or course . . . you will know that it is hardly a secret that I love Secrets Resorts brought to you by the friendly folks at AMResorts. By my last count, there are now sixteen Secrets Resorts in five destinations (Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and Panama) with more to come very soon. I have stayed at several of these properties and written blog posts about my experience which you can read here. Thus you will understand why my heart went all “a twitter” (as we were wont to say long before the advent of the social media site of the same name) when I realized I would be visiting Secrets Akumal.
Secrets Akumal is located in . . . well . . . Akumal (a Mayan word meaning “place of the turtle”). If that doesn’t seem all that helpful let’s start with Mexico (think south), then Riviera Maya (think south of Cancun) and then Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay (think so far south you’re almost in Belize). Before you are off put by the one hour ride from the airport, read this post and you will quickly decide this is a clear-cut case where the difference is worth the distance!
Let’s start with the beach for you sand and sun worshipers out there. Gaze at the picture above. This property offers silky soft sand, a gently sloping shoreline and silvery aqua waters. Although I am not one to spend long hours on the beach, I offer this picture below as proof that even the most extreme”type A” personalities can chill out at this property. I only hope you can draw your eyes away from these two perfectly formed feet long enough to appreciate the scene. What can I say? Nature was kind to me.
But the beach itself wasn’t even the best part. For free mind you, you can check out snorkeling gear, paddle out fifty yards or so and swim with sea turtles the size of my first Volkswagen. OK, maybe I exaggerate slightly but, as Jimmy Fallon doing Donald Trump would say, they are “Huge, Huge, Huge.”
Leave it to yours truly, however, to transform a simple exercise into a major fiasco. When you have perfectly formed feet as I do (I think we have already established that point) it is not easy to find fins that fit properly. Especially if you don’t notice when you don them that they can be tightened on both sides. In full snorkeling regalia, I paddled serenely out from shore almost reaching the desired viewing spot when one of my fins slipped off. Fortunately, the water being crystal clear, I could see it swaying gently on the sea floor. However, when you are wearing a full life vest, trust me, you might as well be a fishing cork attempting to dive for pearls.
I quickly realized I would have to take off my life vest to have any hope of retrieving my fin. I was driven by the near certainty that the snorkel shack would demand a king’s ransom if I returned sans one fin. Pulling my arms out from the vest while bobbing like the aforementioned cork proved a lot more challenging than you might think. I finally extricated one of my arms from the arm hole. Holding on to the vest with one hand, I was barely able, after the third or fourth attempt, to reach just low enough to snag the offending fin (pun intended). By the time I replaced the fin and managed to reapply the life jacket, I had swallowed a pint of sea water, was spewing bilge like a beluga whale clearing its air spout not to mention breathing so heavily I thought I was going to pass out.
I think my grown daughter, who observed the entire proceedings from a few feet away, thought she was going to have to notify her mother that I was tragically lost at sea in the normally benign act of viewing sea turtles.
Enough about my little misadventure. Let’s return to the centerpiece of this post, the incomparable Secrets Akumal. Here are three things I particularly enjoyed during my stay.
The World Class Secrets Spa by Pevonia
When you book a spa treatment at Secrets, in essence you get two great experiences for the price of one. As much as I enjoyed my 50 minute message, I found the visit to the Hydrotherapy Circuit every bit as pleasurable. I took the snapshot below with the intention of showing you the various features of this amazing pool, when this young lady insinuated herself into the picture. If there is one thing I hate, it is having a picture photo bombed by some attractive twenty something. I paddled over to give her a piece of my mind only to have her reply that I shouldn’t bother, I really couldn’t spare it. Do you believe that? (Hopefully, only my most gullible readers will.)
Bordeaux, the French Cuisine Restaurant
If you have never been to a Secrets Resort, banish all thoughts of one long buffet line after another. That may have described the early all-inclusives from decades ago but nothing could be farther from today’s reality. If you are only staying a few days, you most difficult decision is going to be deciding whether to dine at El Patio (Mexican cuisine), Himitsu (Pan-Asian cuisine), Portofino (Italian cuisine), Oceana (fresh seafood) or my personal favorite Bordeaux (French cuisine). I have a solution. Book seven nights and you can throw in room service and a romantic dinner for two on the beach.
In my previous blog post on Costa Rica, I made a full-throated confession regarding my coffee addiction. Whenever I travel to Mexico, I love to indulge in their beautiful cappuccinos. OK, over indulge. So what could be better that a charming little coffee shop that is open twenty-four hours a day! Which proves quite handy since, if you drink as many as I did, you won’t be bothered by that nasty habit of sleep anyway.
Well, I have once again exhausted my creative genius . . . not to mention most of my readers, so I will draw this latest literary contribution to a close with a fitting challenge. Join me in my endeavor to visit every single Secrets Resort. Of the sixteen, I have visited (not necessarily stayed overnight at) nine of the ten in Mexico and the two in Jamaica for a total of eleven. But it you are going to achieve this goal, call me right away because a little bird tells me some new ones are about to sprout!