Hali & Mike at Secrets Capri
Playa del Carmen, Mexico, May 2004

We had planned on a rock climbing trip this Spring, but we heard of the sale price for Secrets Capri and we couldn't pass it up! This is a brand new resort located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun -- about 30 minutes from the Cancun airport. It's an adults-only resort, and it seems to cater to the more mature, less rowdy crowd. An ideal choice for us! The room was great. The food was great. The beverages were great. The service was great. The only down side was the beach, which could have been a little nicer.

The main activity for this trip was beach volleyball. We played twice a day, every day. Sadly, we have no pictures to document this. We also tried the modified version of water polo, and that was also pretty fun. We passed on any excursions and just enjoyed the resort! The weather was really nice. We had some rain showers move through once or twice, but there was never a day that we didn't get more than enough sun.

We met a ton of people on this trip -- more than any other trip we've taken. Maybe we were in a chatty frame of mind, or maybe there were just a lot of friendly people there. We've included pictures of just a few of the really nice people that we met. All in all, it was a great trip!!

To see pictures of our other fun trips you can visit our main vacation page HERE.  Happy trails!   - Mike & Hali

Feeling a bit weary from our trip, we were glad to sit down and let them bring us the check in forms. A nice system!
The four poster beds were wonderfully firm! They even supply two bathrobes for use during your stay.
There is a shuttered window between the bedroom and bathroom. When open, this gives the room a very open feel.
The first day in the sun!
The resort was very tastefully decorated with elegant displays of freshly cut flowers.
The lobby restroom. Very posh. This is the only resort we've seen that provides cotton hand towels as well as paper towels in the area restrooms.
The lobby waterfall/pool.
The dinner show for Mexican night.
A really nice group of folks we met from Texas. We forget the ladies names, but all 3 guys were named Greg.
The short path from the rooms to the beach.
These floats were shear bliss! Another luxury item...
Barney is wearing a sign on his back that says "Shoot me!" (with paintballs). Yes, you too can shoot Barney!
They walked around with these Iguanas (and, alternately, large Macaws). Should you so desire, you could pose for some fun vacation photos with the little critters.
A close up showing the shells embedded in the stone tiles used around the pool. Even at midday, these tiles were cool enough to walk on with bare feet.
Barney evading paintball hunters.
The paintball gun in action!
Even though you shot him, Barney still loves you!
An early evening shot of Hali on the staircase up to the seafood restaurant.
We showed up a little early for dinner, and it turns out that you really have to for this restaurant. It was the only place with a wait for dinner.
A different view from the balcony...
The view from our table. It started raining shortly after this photo was taken, but we were nice and dry!
The lion head fountain just outside of the business center.
The game room had four felt covered card tables for playing various games. Our favorite was Jenga! They also had two pool tables, a dubious air hockey table, and magnetic darts.
The grand staircase.
Hali and Oscar under the rather large chandelier.
Pepe, Hali, and Alejandro.
They had shows every night...
Shrimp Spring Rolls at the Asian restuarant. We loved this place! They had Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine. The sushi was excellent!
A neat piece of art in the Asian restuarant.
We sat at a regular table, but you could also do the group table/Japanese steakhouse style dinner. It was great to have the option to sit at a regular table, and to be able to choose from the broad menu of Asian cuisine.
In addition to regular drinks, they would often offer to make Coco-Loco drink right in the coconut.
This side of the pool has a gently sloping "beach" so that you can ease your way into the pool (should you so desire).
The cement pillows were more comfortable with a cushion on top!
A pretty night shot of the pool using a slow flash.
A regular flash shot of us with the seafood restaurant in the background.
A slow flash shot in front of one of the bridges. This bridge made for an fun V0+ bouldering problem. As always, it's easier if you're taller!
More fun and games with slow flash...
And another...
Last one!
The bars were very well stocked with all of our favorite labels. They could even make a cappuccino with Bailey's!
Pepe and Aliser just before one of the evening shows.
Linda and Joe are some nice folks that took the same flight into Cancun, and we met them during the check in.
Hali is just chillin' with a frosty Conga by her side.
Just your basic vacation photo of us poolside.
Did we mention that they have a great bar selection?
This is me on the lobby stairs. Below the stairs is a large, shallow, fresh water pool.
This is Hali checking out the turtles in the pool.
Get the bottle to stand upright and win a music CD. The playmakers would come around with such games once a day.
Oliver (and Barbara -- taking the picture) join us for a Miami Vice in the hot tub after the afternoon volleyball game.
This is us at dinner in the Italian restuarant.
The early morning yoga class. This interesting structure is often used for weddings.
Another really nice couple that we met here (Chris and ...?). They were celebrating their 10th anniversary!
And yet another couple -- Glen and Jenna (sp?)
The "water polo" games were another fun pastime...
Hali on the beach...
Mike on the beach...
Hali on the beach...
Hummer on the beach! Just the local troops keeping things safe.
Mike looking a little tired after the late afternoon volleyball games.
This is the courtyard near our room.
Hali stopping for a quick photo-op as we head inside for a lunch break.
The restaurants were very nice, and always did a good job of separating smokers and non-smokers.
And yet another couple that we met. Ginger and Fred were super friendly folks that showed up with a brand new Top-Flight Gold vball -- nice!
Group photo! Hali and four friends...
Us having dinner at the Italian restuarant with Barbara and Oliver.
Last day photo-ops.
This is a neat shadow image that Hali snapped. We rendered it in sepia tone to bring out a little texture.
Hali enjoying the morning breeze.
Hali near the "beach" part of the pool.
This is Hali near the beach-side bar -- taking our final walk through in the early morning sun.
Some of the friendly bar staff. The bartending staff was excellent (just like all of the staff at this resort).
Four computers are available for web surfing (free) and checking your email (for a fee?).
Hali relaxing on the bus as we get ready to head for home. Another fine trip!

A later afternoon panoramic shot taken from the stairs up the seafood restaurant.
A mid-day panoramic shot looking the other way. This shot was taken from a balcony near our room.

We review the key aspects of the resort on a scale from one to ten -- one being bad, and ten being excellent.

Rooms: 10   The rooms were beautiful and well appointed. The beds were super-firm -- which is just way we like them. The bathrooms were very nice also: 2 sinks, a 1-person jacuzzi tub, a shower stall, and a translucent privacy screen for the toilet stall. The rooms also had a mini-refrigerator (stocked with juices, water, and beer), a DVD player, and a sound system that included the bathroom. We had a "garden view" room, but we could still see the ocean from our room. Our room was on the quiet side of the resort, with the other side of the resort adjacent to the only other resort in the area. 24/7 room service was available, but we never used it.
Water sports/Activities: 5.5/9.5   This is not the resort to go to if you are looking for great water sports. They had 2 Hobies, a couple of sunfish, some kayaks, and a couple of strange paddle boats. They had 2 windsurfers, but no usable sails for anyone other than a novice. Equipment could be reserved at a specified hour of the day, and you could use the equipment for an hour at a time. Sadly, the ocean is not the place to be at this resort. The water is warm, but not very clear. The muddy and rocky bottom doesn't drop off right away, which reduces the enjoyment of swimming in the ocean. We also found a ton of broken glass right along the water line on the resort property. The beach aboce the water line is actually very nice, and does have a decent volleyball area nicely away from the ocean. We found the non-water sports activities to be very enjoyable. There was beach volleyball, an modified water polo, water aerobics, early morning yoga, language lessons, air rifle shooting, bocce, horeshoes, etc. There is always some activity going on for those that wish to participate. They did a nice job of quietly asking for participation. They had a few tennis courts, but we never used them.
Bars: 10   Real bananas in the drinks, good bartenders, and all the top shelf booze you could ask for. Baileys, Grand Marnier, Ameretto di Saronno, flavored Absolute vodkas, etc, etc.
Restaurants: 10   Food quality and service were both excellent. We always did the buffet breakfast and lunch, and then an ala carte restaurant for dinner. However, ala carte breakfast and lunch were also available, as was a buffet dinner. They had a Japanese restaurant, and Italian restaurant, a seafood restaurant, and an indoor beachfront grill. We tried them all except for the grill. The food was consistently excellent at every meal.
Grounds: 9.5   Except for beach issues. Grounds were not large, but were very well kept. We enojyed the the classical music softly played on (Bose) speakers throughout the pool and beach area. We enjoyed the light colored stone used around the pool area because it stayed cool during midday heat.
Overall Service: 10   Excellent service at every meal, and all the time between meals. Poolside and beach area service was the best we've ever seen.
Reception/Front desk: 10   You don't stand in line for the check-in here. You are seated at a table and brought cool, lemon-grass scented wash cloths, as well as beverages of your choice. The staff brings you the forms to fill out at your table. Very, very nice.
Overall: 9.5+   A great place for mature couples or single adults. This resort lacks the loud poolside music which some younger couples prefer. We prefer the soft classical music! Actually they did play loud poolside music, but only for the water aerobics class. The resort is brand new, and beautiful. The food, service, beverages, and rooms make this an excellent choice. Some new windsurfing equipement and some beach clean up could bring the rating up to 10. The pool and hot tub are both great. The spa is nice, but maybe a little on the pricey side. We'd go back again -- in a heartbeat!

May 2004