More about Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun
Our stay at Silversands Aug 3 to Aug 10 2008
My wife and I stayed at the Secrets Silversands from Aug 3 to Aug 10. It was a fantastic experience, somewhat skewed by the fact that the resort had just opened. Maroma was our scheduled resort, but since it didn’t open timely, we were here instead. We were the second guests ever to arrive. Greeted like royalty (champagne, cookies, a dozen white roses, even a mariachi band) the staff was lined up to “welcome us home” and we were promptly in our room before 11:30AM.
Room 3324. It was in the preferred wing, third floor oceanfront. Without asking, an upgrade from what was reserved. Great view. Big room. King bed with seating area with couch and table and desk area and flat screen TV and DVD player. Safe, coffee maker, minifridge. Big bathroom with twin sinks, walk-in shower and big Jacuzzi, which looks out into the room which looks out to the balcony. Big balcony with bed to lay on and two chairs with table. Décor was ultra modern. Vegas in Mexico.
Food was great. Several restaurants with lots of options. All ala carte, no reservations required (if with a group, only 12 sit at the grill in Himitsu, so good to call ahead).
Lots of bars, probably one every 100 meters. Premium brands. Ask if yours is missing. Pool bar was great during the day, a short float to water volleyball. Beach bar was best starting at 6:00PM. Veranda bar was for later at night after 10:00PM.
Pools were great. A main one with pool bar and activities, and smaller ones throughout. We tried them all and met lots of people along the way.
A great entertainment staff had options of things to do all day and night. We did a few of them, and had a blast.
Being new was fun. Nothing had been used before. The beds, the Jacuzzi, the floaties all new.
The best thing was the service. Although the resort was not fully open, the staff made sure we lacked nothing. Nor we should we have, since the ratio of staff to guests was about 400/4 after we got there. Instead of grumbling about what was lacking, we enjoyed what was there. The spa wasn’t open, so our massage was done in a private suite. One restaurant was closed, but the others open were great.
We were there a week. We left the resort only one day. No kids, no wristbands, no pressure. Heaven. It was wakeup, breakfast, pools, sun, sand, lunch, pools, siesta, wash up, dinner, party and sleep. Beverages from Mimosas to Pina Colada to Absolut to Grand Marnier. Throw in an activity or two and the day is complete. Mostly. I can’t share everything.
Pictures can be found at http://good-times.webshots.com/album/565575952ehRnoS?vhost=good-times.
Fabulous Trip on the 3rd week it was open!
We stayed at Silversands the 3rd week it opened (Aug 21-25) and had a fabulous trip. We booked our trip through Orbitz 3 months ago. I received a phone call from Orbitz 5 days before our trip stating that Dreams Cancun was over booked and we would have to be moved. They booked us at Secrets Silversands and it ended up being nicer than Dreams. Silversands is adults only so that was a major plus.
The décor of Silversands was outstanding. This is one of my favorite parts of the resort. Everything is white and modern. It is completely opposite of any of the Sandals resorts. Every bedroom has a jacuzzi, walk in shower and double bowl vessel sink. The bed was super comfy and the views were amazing.
The pool and swim up bar was also one of my favorites considering we spent every day there. The only bad thing about the pool was that at 5pm the pool bar closed and a float Nazi came and took our floats away. He said they do this because it looks bad to have a ton of floats in the pool when no one was using it. I agree but people were still using them! A gentleman there by the name of Sergio (his first day of work was the day we arrived) came and took a float from us in the middle of the day and walked off with it. We explained that we were still using it and he said not anymore!! I thought that was totally rude and I didn’t speak to him much the rest of the trip. I think he was taking it to someones room but it would have been nice to atleast ask. We found that the baracuda bar had really strong drinks. We had great service at the pool bar and also with the wait staff out by the pool. Sometimes we didn’t even order a drink and one was delivered to us.
As far as the food goes… I would say that Sandals had better food along with any cruise line. It wasn’t bad by any means but I’ve had better. Our least favorite restaurant was the Mexican restaurant called El Patio. Himitsu is great..it’s the Asian restaurant. We ate one night just at the regular part and another night at the tappenyaki grill. Their sushi bar is very cool. It is a long bar with a conveyor belt. Pretty neat. I would steer clear from the breakfast buffet. This is set up in the restaurant at the end. The scrambled eggs are fake there..and also room service. The BEST breakfast is at the restaurant the jets out into the pool. I never knew the name because it changed daily. World Café/Oceana/Seaside grill. We ate there for lunch too and it was great.
The resort wasn’t too strict about clothing because it just opened but I’m sure they will start enforcing long pants and closed toed shoes for men for dinner time.
Our experience with the rooms was to be expected considering it just opened. The first room we were in had the best view by far but the air conditioning didn’t work that great.. that was the 4th floor. They happily switched our rooms to a walk out (to the pool) and ocean front. This one had never been stayed in and smelled like sewer gas (sulfur) and also had a TON of bugs. We killed a few spiders and a crickett..not to mention the mosquitoes but that is just bad everywhere. The smell was SO bad that we stayed one night and moved again. The last room was on the 4th floor again in a different building and it was great. The resort staff was very helpful.
We took out the hobie cats but they didn’t have all of the snorkeling gear readily available. The beach is rocky in places and had a lot of sea weed. The beaches in the Caribbean are a lot nicer. The room service menu had a good selection and it didn’t take too long. Not a lot of people were at the resort when we were there so that may be a factor. The ride from the airport was not long at all. I recommend using Gray Line. They are so helpful and SO nice!
We are going back next year to Secrets Silversands. Orbitz gave us a voucher since our first resort got screwed up. I think things are only going to get better with this resort. It is absolutely gorgeous but watch out for the mosquitoes!
Silver Sands SUCKS! Don't waste your time or money!
Please take the time to read this. I have stayed in 4 and 5 star resorts and can honestly tell you this resort is not ready!
We went to the Mayan Riviera (16-21 Aug) for our first wedding anniversary. The night before we were supposed to leave town our travel agent notified us that Maroma was closed due to problems with the AC, that we were being moved to Silver Sands, and that we will be receiving a 5 day voucher for a free stay at Maroma. I thought, "okay, not so bad"...Well, I am sad to say we will not be going back.
All in all we were very disappointed with Secrets Silver Sands. In short, there were numerous problems throughout the resort that were mostly attributed to the resort opening too soon. Many areas were still under construction and the resort clearly looked and operated as an unfinished resort would. The other two main disappointments were to food and the beach -- both were horrible. The food and service was sub par for a 'claimed' 4-star resort, and the beach was unusable for swimming due to the number of rocks in the water. We had to walk a half mile down the beach to another resort to swim in the ocean.
I will also be sending a formal letter of complaint to the Secrets Silver Sands general manager, Mauricio Martinez, who was conveniently unavailable on Thursday when I asked to speak with him. The whole week we were there I did not talk to a single person that was happy with the resort -- that should tell you something. I will have plenty of pictures (which will be posted shortly) to support the list of problems below.
Secret’s Silver Sands Problems:
The resort is trying to be something they are not, and that is a 4 star resort. At best, they are a 3 star resort masquerading as a 4 star. The construction and accommodations might be 4 star quality, but the poor management, poor food quality, and the horribly rocky beach area bring this resort way down in my opinion.
Mosquito’s – In the lobby, in the rooms, on the beach, and worst in early morning and evening. I know we are in the jungle but the hotel should spray the areas around the hotel. I also noticed the maids leave the hotel room doors open while cleaning the rooms, thus letting in tons of gnats and mosquito’s in daily. The hotel should put bug spray in the room or sell it in the gift shop.
Construction inside and outside. The “preferred club” wasn’t completed while we were there. There was supposed to be a preferred club lounge with a bar and TV area, but it was still under construction. Two wings of the resort were still under construction while we were there and there were construction workers everywhere. There was paper taped up on many doors and windows in areas that were clearly not complete. We were on the fourth floor in a building next to a building that was still under construction. We woke up every morning to banging and hammering and loud talking starting at about 7am. Two of the advertised pools were not open.
The room. The room was nice, big, and the bed was good, but the hot water in all of the rooms (I tried) was yellow and smelled of sulfur. I requested a different room in a different wing and I tried two different rooms in two different buildings and they all had yellow hot water – so I didn’t change my room. I was told it was safe to bathe in, but it did cause your hair to smell after you bathe. The power surged a few times while we were there causing the clocks to flash and the satellite TV to reset. Our room had a nice flat panel TV, but the sound and picture were horrible. The picture on all channels was fuzzy, and the TV had a loud droning noise coming from it making the TV pretty much useless. I paid for a “deluxe ocean view” at Maroma and got an inside corner room with a partial ocean view at Silver Sands – it was less than adequate. I was also supposed to have a soaking tub on the balcony, and didn’t get it.
Gift shop/store. Silver Sands didn’t have a real gift shop or store. They had an open room about 15x20 feet with a few folding tables. The items sold were very limited.
Silver Sands only had four public computers for a 400+ room resort. There was constantly a wait to use the computers.
There were only three front desk stations = long waits for check-in/out.
The beach. The Secrets Silver Sands beach was very short, maybe 100 yards long, and all very rocky – you can’t swim in the water in front of the resort without wading through tons of rocks. There were lots of lounge chairs on the beach itself, but NO shade! There was only one cabana, and it was never available. There are a few baby palm trees on the beach, so in about 10 years there will be some shade. We ended up walking to the right (south) for about a ½ mile to use a buoyed-off swimming area in front of another resort. The water was nice, blue, and rock free if you can do the walk. Secrets only had four sets of snorkel equipment (so I was told) available for guests to use – four sets for a 400 room resort! The people in charge of the Hobie Cat sail boats make you tip them for a sailing lesson before you can take the boat out yourself – $40! There were only 2 sail boats available for use, and that is if the hotel employees weren’t using them. Twice I made the walk down the beach to use the sail boat and twice they saw me coming and hopped in the boat and took off – I’m not kidding. There were a number of kayaks available, but it was too windy to stay out for any length of time.
The food in general was NOT good and not 4 star quality by far. The wait staff was oblivious to the fact that people were not eating their food and made no attempt to accommodate them or offer another dish. The wait times for the food at all of the restaurants was ridiculously long. Dinner each night was averaged about 2 hours for an appetizer, entrée, and desert to be delivered. The portion sizes are too small at each restaurant – we had to order multiple appetizers and entrees to make a meal. The appetizers were comically small in size, and the entrees were the size of a typical appetizer from a US restaurant.
The restaurants. The staff needs to be trained by someone who runs a real 5 star restaurant. Whatever ambiance is set by the décor is completely ruined by the staff – in short, they were loud, banging plates and silverware, and they did not pay attention to details like refilling drinks without having to ask each time, or like bringing silverware because we didn’t have any when we were seated, or not asking how the food was when we didn’t eat any of it. There was no seating area in front of the restaurants either – there should be at least a few seats. There was only one restaurant open for lunch – that gets old quickly. The flies were really bad at the outside restaurant. The hotel should place fly bags all around the property (hidden of course) to help control the flies. The food at the outside restaurant was constantly surrounded by flies with no attempt by the staff to keep them at bay. The French restaurant wasn’t completed while we were there, yet advertised as such. Ironically, the Mexican restaurant was the worst. The fillet was under cooked inside, burnt on the outside, and dry. The flan was soggy, and the chocolate soufflé was served in a coffee cup and was not fully cooked – it was literally runny inside.
The gym. The gym desperately needs a door. The gym is located on the second floor in a building at the edge of the property that backs up to a construction area and the jungle, and it has no door. The mosquito’s are everywhere in the gym b/c there is nothing to keep them out. So you are constantly attacked while you work out. There are also no mirrors or fans in the gym – what gym doesn’t have mirrors and fans?
Smoking. I was told the rooms were all non-smoking rooms, yet while inside the main lobbies and sitting areas, smoking is permitted. Being a non-smoker I found this very annoying. If we chose to use the only inside bar, we had to deal with the smoke. The main lobbies of the hotel should be smoke free as there are plenty of areas outside to smoke.
Transportation. The cabs are a monopoly at the resort. If you want to go anywhere you have to take a cab. A cab into the hotel zone of Cancun is a flat $40 from Silver Sands. However coming back is a little more negotiable – we paid $30. The resort really should offer a free shuttle service in-between the other Secrets resorts and into Cancun as there is nothing to do at the resort. A shuttle to Secrets Maroma would have been nice being as the beach at Silver Sands is so horrible. Renting a car is an expensive option. The cheapest car if rented from the hotel’s rental service (Avis I think) was about $82 a day. The Cancun prices were only slightly less. But what they don’t tell you is you have to put a deposit of 10% on your credit card – that’s 10% of the price of the vehicle you are renting!
Room phone charges. The phone in the room says on it something to this effect: “Any connections to AT&T, MCI, or Sprint will be charged a connection fee,” but it doesn’t say what that fee is. While in Cancun we bought a Telemex calling card (because the hotel store doesn’t have calling cards!). We made 5 calls to the US, and when we checked out (give yourself 30 minutes by the way – for the “express checkout”) I noticed they charged us $5.50 per connection. I argued with the front desk manager for 10 minutes and she (Elizabeth) would not remove the charges even though we used a calling card NOT on the specified list. We specifically used a calling card not listed on the phone to avoid the unknown connection fee. Beware – they will charge you for ANY connections! I had to talk to another manager to get the charges removed. He agreed the phone instructions were not clear about the connection policy, and reimbursed me the amount charged.
We were supposed to go to Secrets Maroma Beach. Two days before we were due to leave, our travel agent called to advise that Maroma had just opened and suggested that we should not risk going there for what she called a "soft opening". We were offerred to go to Silver Sands for a full refund. Sounded like a no brainer to me. For some reason I was under the impression, I believe from prior view of the secretsresorts website, that Silver Sands had been open for a couple of months. However, when we arrived we were told that they opened only 4 days ago. Our travel agent told us we would also be upgraded to an ocean view suite and be placed in the Preferred Club. Well upon arrival only partial ocean view rooms were avaible so they told us to check back the following day. The following day we were able to switch to a full ocean view room. However, the Preferred Club was not in existence yet, amongst other things such as the gym, spa, tennis courts, to name a few. We loved the fact that our original room was brand new, however it smelled of dry wall and in fact there were spots of plaster around the room. The room itself was huge, as was the balcony which also had a couch. Nice touch. The style of the rooms did not appeal to me. I prefer a Spanish, Caribbean or island style to a resort. Silver sands was more....for lack of better words... zen like - white, silver... Anyway, the jacuzzi also ran brown water, I suppose b/c the water had not been run before. Most of the bars and restaurants were up and running and the staff was great. The restaurants were beautiful as were the pools. We saw at least one building and pool that were not ready for use. What bothered me was that the grass near the areas not yet opened was dead. So were the palm trees on the beach. I can not understand why they would not have kept up with grass and trees prior to opening. This resort is big and definitely has potential, however they truly were not ready for guests, despite the service which was on par. We even found areas of cut glass, etc.... works in progress which should have, in my opinion, been off limits. I did overhear other guests that were in the same predicament as us, who were sent to Silver Sands in lieu of Maroma for free. Now you have to understand that my husband and I were so looking forward to going to the brand new Maroma resort. We stayed at the former Secrets Excellence Punta Cana resort three consecutive years, as well as the former Secrets Excellene Riviera Cancun resort one time. So we were willing to just grin and bear it b/c we love the Secrets brand, and hey, it was free. However, the beach was AWFUL. AWFUL!! I know there are people that solely stay at the pool and love it, but that is not me. I live in NYC - disgusting beaches - I want a beach on vacation! This beach was just unacceptable. The sea grass in the water was so thick and it was everywhere. We could not find a spot to go in. We had to walk far away from the resort in order to go into the ocean. Of course, this is not the fault of the resort. However, they did not clean up the sea grass that washed up ashore. Although from our balcony we could see the plot for the not yet constructed tennis courts and a huge pile of sea grass that they moved from somewhere else. For that reason, my husband decided to e-mail our travel agent to tell her about it b/c we overheard lots of people complain about the beach. He just wanted the agent to be aware before sending other travelers to this property. However because she is amazing, our travel agent called us immediately and transferred us to Secrets Capri, which she worked out for free, and saved our vacation. Again, this resort has tremendous potential, but I would not return, even a year from now when they are fully up and running, as the beach was not for me.
Dumped at Silversands
My husband and I were supposed to be at Secrets Maroma. Upon arriving in Cancun we were greeted by Maroma staff telling us that Maroma was closed and we would be taken to Silversands. Due to the forums on tripadvisor, I knew this the night before our trip. I was very upset because we were not given a choice as where to go.
Arriving at Silversands, only three tables to check in guests. When arriving with other couples, people will be waiting. We waited over 2 1/2 hours for our room.
We were supposed to be booked in a swim up room at Maroma. I thought we were going to get that at Silversands. Well, we didn't. The first room they put us in was 4124 and the view was of a wall. I went right back to the front desks and told them that it was unacceptable. We were then moved to room 3225. It was an ocean view room on the second floor. I will say the view from the room was beautiful. The room was very nice, except for the mold that we found in the shower. I have pictures and I will post them. The room above must of had a leak in a pipe and the mold was in a large area.
The fan in the room did not work either. The smell was pretty bad. Thank God for the incense.
The bugs! We even tried to use off. My suggestion if you are going is to buy Cactus Juice. It is a bug spray/cream. It works. We will take that on our return trip.
The beach is not usable. I have pictures. There is too much seaweed/seagrass that is in the water. Sure, they have to have people collecting it, but it's still there. The beach, in the water, is too rocky. You need beach shoes. Since we thought we were going to maroma, we didn't take them. The lounge chairs need some sort of shade.
Pools were fine. Very warm and salt water. Use the big pool with the shade over it. It's much cooler and comfortable.
The planned activities were fine, but I didn't find the night life exciting. Sure there was a casino night, but what were we supposed to play for.
The food was very good. The service was great. Benjamin was wonderful.
I really believe that all of us that were "dumped" at Silversands, were overwhelming to the staff. They were not ready for so many people. silversands is still not 100% complete. There were workers still working on the place while we were there.
On our last night and day they were taking pictures for the virtual tour for the website. Let's just say false advertisement. All the furniture they moved on the beach was supposed to be elsewhere on property. It's really sad.
Best part of the trip, the computers in the business center so I was able to be in contact with my family.
We felt lied to about many things. From the beginning when we booked our trip and the representatives from Secrets said "we won't open a Secrets resort unless it 100% complete".
Did I even mention the Spa was not open. They were giving massages in select rooms.
If you want to relax. Then this is the place for you. If you have a group of people to go with, then this is the place for you. If you want to have fun, go somewhere else.
Very nice rooms, all rest disappointing - maybe not ready to be opened?
Ended up in this hotel as a replacement for my reservation at Secrets Maroma, as the day I was due to check in there I was notified the resort was not open for business. Leaving aside the mess up by Secrets Maroma, I am reviewing Silversands per se.
In a nutshell, very nice rooms but everything else was very disappointing. Possibly, the reason is largely that the resort was not quite ready to be opened when we stayed (Aug '08).
- Food largely unedible, at any of the restaurants. I would have much preferred eating white rice and boiled vegetables instead. I think the resort cares more about providing good drinks as opposed to decent food. Possibly a function of their client segment?
- Tennis courts unavailable, no solution provided
- The lift was deactivated while we were inside it. Apparently some negligent workers were just about to start performing some works on the lift and did not realise we were inside it going up
- The beach in front of the Silversands resort is disappointing : rocks, debris, seaweed, smell and a brownish coloured water
- Access to water sports (e.g. Jet Ski and others) would not be available throughout our entire stay
- 3 of the 7 promised dinner restaurants are only open in the evening, resulting in limited choice and extensive waiting times (typically in excess of 50 minutes)
- Despite indications in the brochure of the hotel, the only newspaper available on the premises of the resort is the Miami Herald and we were not offered by the hotel for any solution to this inconvenience, except going ourselves to Cancun to procure any other newspaper that is not the Miami Herald
- On checkin in, the water in the bathroom of our room was not working entirely, and this problem was not fixed until 7 pm the same day
- The resort is a constant building site. Entire sections are sealed off in a rather brutal way which spoils the atmosphere, the beach has yet largely to be cleared, and works take place at any time of the day throughout the resort
- Noisy building works take place in the middle of the night, affecting my sleep
- On checkin in, the room telephone was not functioning, and this problem was not fixed until 7 pm the same day
- The table tennis (ping pong) is ill designed, with a very slim section of pavement around it which has sharp edge
- All pool tables are unusable as they are built with a dip in the middle that tilts balls while playing. The problem is clearly visible.
- The lift to go up to our room is permanently infested with tens of mosquitoes
- Same mosquitoes issue in the gym
- We requested concierge a taxi in the evening indicating we would also be happy to have a shuttle for transportation to Cancun managed by the resort. Concierge took over 45 minutes to get back to us saying that no taxi or own transportation could be arranged
Brown Water, Smelly Rooms doesn't = paradise!
My husband and I just returned from Silversands on Saturday, 8/23. We are a young couple and were there from Sunday, 8/17 - Saturday, 8/23 to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. Though I see that some reviewers note having been there at or near the same time, apparently our suites were located in different buildings and we encountered a few different employees than they. Nevertheless, my parents always taught me to be happy for others' good fortune, so I am glad someone had a pleasant stay because ours was far from it.
Personally, I really wouldn't recommend this resort to my parents' dog until they really work out the problems they are currently experiencing. Since I don't feel like being long-winded, I'll try to keep my review straight to the point with a list of pros and cons.
-As beautiful as the pictures
-Most service staff (housekeeping, waiters, and cooks) were very helpful and cordial
-Pools were great
-Small collection of DVDs at the concierge (great for when the cable is out late at night and you're still up)
-Free, but sporadic, Internet connectivity in room with complimentary cable from concierge (Business center has Internet Access)
-Great room service staff (outstanding!)
-Two good nights of turn down service with added decor of rose pedals (first night and last night)
-Very long wait to check in (We were told they were backed up for 1 hour. It took that long for us to see someone too.)
-Uninformed concierge who answered our questions about excursions by saying that we would have to take a cab to our destinations at $80 round trip or rent a car from the rental section of the resort (too bad we weren't directed to the AmStar Rep until the last day of our trip when it was too late!) Too bad we thought that the concierge was your one-stop information source! Maybe they need to have a group meeting and a handout to reference.
-Leaking toilet and air conditioner system (in first room, we did get switched to another room which wasn't any better...just keep reading)
-BROWN water, yes...BROWN water from the tap (Don't drink it!!)
-Had to inquire repeatedly about receiving the anniversary package we had registered for at the time of booking, only to receive a basket of rotten fruit (wow! Thanks!)
-Spa is not full-service (massages only and no prior notification of such even though we were sent a listing of spa services prior to our arrival via email which included full-service prices. Too bad I waited to have my pedicure and manicure done at Silversands, huh?)
-Sporadic maid, turn-down and mini-bar refill service (This was not daily as promised and we had to phone to request it on several days. We even had to call to request toilet tissue that had been very low the previous day and out for most of the current day. No one came. My husband had to flag down a housekeeper in the hall and she grilled him about his room number, etc. before giving him a roll. We DO NOT need to steal tissue. May I have some to use the restroom? Ironically, the housekeeper knocked on our door around 9:30AM on our departure day to clean the room. Thanks, but checkout isn't until noon and we are trying to get dressed!).
-Didn't have the live nightly entertainment other than a movie reel of old concerts shining on the side of a building and a fire show on the beach one night. The theater was nice, but never used, unless they had some type of "secret", invisible performances.
-Beach was not patron-ready, IMHO (I've seen better especially if it's supposed to be "access to the most spectacular white sand beach in the Riviera Cancun". I'd hate to see the rest).
-Sewer gas/sulfur rock smell in the rooms (BTW, the manager admitted that several patrons had complained of this problem, not to mention those we talked to ourselves. He said they had no idea why the rooms were smelly. The concierge did not send anyone to inspect even after we requested it.)
-Fan did not work (concierge did not send anyone to inspect even after we requested it)
-Air Conditioner did not work consistently (would have been nice to have the fan, huh?)
-Frequent power surges and lack of electricity
Actually, though a few folks complained about the mosquitoes (and they ARE fierce there), if all I had to do was lotion up with OFF everyday to repel the mosquitoes, I would rather that be the only item in my CONS list rather than the many that you have just read.
I think that's all folks! All I can urge is that you make an informed decision and, if possible, wait until a few other of us "guinea pigs" helps Silversands to work out the terrible kinks in their resort before you book there. God Bless and Happy Traveling!
Be Very, Very Careful Here
Like many other travelers, we booked Secrets Maroma. Right before we left, I called Maroma Beach, I called Secrets 800# & Cheap Caribbean and ALL said Maroma was open. This was the 1st in a LONG LINE of misinformation! Arrived at airport & were told then we were going to Silversands. Lots of angry people, lots of waiting around, lots of excuses. We heard everything from the AC is not working, the furniture is not there, the water is not working, the tile work is not done, etc et etc. About 12 couples arrived at Silversands (SS) at the same time. Yes, there was cool cloth & champagne (standard at most resorts) and a two hour+++ wait to check in. You finally had to go to one of the desks and complain to get service. No they did not have a jr ocean front room for us - too bad and nothing was said about a comp certificate. I went aroud the corner to the Maroma guy and, like someone said, they were all printed up and we got a free week. However, this was our 25th Anniversary and this only happens once so the free week (no transportation) was not much consulation. Oh, by the way, some people got a free week, some got money refunded, some got put up at other properties, some got nothing. Not a nice way to begin ANY vacation.
ROOM: Like all the others said, large, lots of marble, good bed, every day they had to bring one or two items to the room (clock, kleenex, scales, towels, glasses, etc but no big thing). The hottub had brown water ever time we turned it on, the elevator did not work half the time, we got stuck in the lobby elevator for 30 minutes, and we lost electricity almost every afternoon for 30++ minutes.
FOOD: maybe my husband and I are spoiled but we both thought the food was average at best, sub par mostly.. We realized that there would be some things that needed to be worked out but the food REALLY needs to be overhauled. The menus read beautifully but the food did not match the menu. We finally kept eating at the Ocean Grill under the fans to keep the bugs off and did not go back to Ratatoulii's for breakfast. Lots of waiters but there did not appear to be any organization to their service - just all running around. Portofino was only average at best. The best was the Tirimusi dessert and a bottle of wine. At the Asian restaurant we sat with a group at the cooking wok and that made it fun and the food was ok. In the Mexician Restaurant, the service was so poor we finally left. Consequently we went to the Club Room at another hotel for dinner on our anniversary and had a SURPURB meal! Gonzalo at the Ocean Grill is wonderful.
ENTERTAINMENT: WOW, does this need improvement. Let me just say that the best thing in the first show was a dog! They had folks jumping rope that couln't even do that. The second show Bob Fossee was much better. The Casino night was fun. Our deaker said hotels usually bring out chairs for the tables and they have prizes for your play money at the end. We had neither. They were trying and hopefully it will get better
DRINKS: The pool bar drinks were poor but the bar right outside the lower lobby and the bar in the lower lobby made good drinks. The beach bar was hit & miss. We just started ordering drinks that we knew they could't get wrong (Baileys on the rocks or a glass of champagne, etc) Top shelf liquor was not always easy to get, especially at the pool. I heard several folks even tell the bartenders how to make a certain drink and they either couldn't or wouldn't. Just to be sure our taste buds haden't died we had drinks at other restaurants and they were very good.
SERVICE: It was hit and miss but I must say that overall the staff seemed to try very hard to be accommodating and help you anyway they could.They were mostly all friendly and seemed to want to be of service.
POOL: At first there were always mats but as the week went by, folks took them to their rooms, hid them undre their towels, put them on their patios, etc. Someone needs to explain that the mats are for EVERYONE and you do not hoard them in your room.
All in all, it was an okay experience. It was good that we rented a car and got away from the hotel for a couple of days. Oh, by the way, we rented a car and drove to Secrets Maroma Beach and they WOULD NOT LET US IN! They sent a guy down to talk to us to tell us why. He said they opened one day and closed the next but were not opened now, however, YES, there were guests staying there. Make sense? I talked to a seasoned travel couple who stayed there one night and said the food was wonderful. SS IS a nice property and hopefully they will be ready in 6 months or so. I just resented the fact that NO ONE would tell us the truth and everybody had a different story.
Great Time at Silversands!!!
We just returned yesterday from Silversands. Here are the highs and lows of our trip.
First off, when we arrived our bags were quickly taken but we were not given any instructions as to how to check in. There are three tables where guest check in, all of them were occupied. Once somebody got up we quickly sat down. Blake greeted us with a confused look in his eyes. He said it was his first day there. I told him not to worry, it was mine as well. He fumbled through the check in process. That was overlooked do to him giving us a room upgrade :).
We were given our keys and told where our room was (notice that I said told not shown). Once we found our room, (which looked exactly as it did on the internet) we decide to have a beer and step on to our ocean view patio. The air conditioning was on, so of course I closed the sliding door. Unfortunately we were never told that the door locks once it is closed. Here we were standing on the 4th floor in 95 degree heat, tired from traveling all day. Thankfully we found a nice couple in the pool who called the concierge for us. Ten minutes later Blake let us back into our room. He apologized excessively, he was obviously embarrased.
Overall the resort is beautiful. The pools, resturaunts, and common areas are absolutely top knotch. The beach....what beach! If you are looking for a resort where you can hang out at the beach all day, this is not the resort for you. It is very narrow, and when we were there had alot of sea grass in it. The pools are outstanding though, all salt water and varying in temperature.
There is still some work going on, they said they should be done by Oct. The resort was probably at 30% capacity when we were there. It was quiet and relaxing. i'm sure at this time next year it will be at capacity, and the price will go up significantly.
I cannot say enough about how friendly the people are. They truly want you to be happy. If anyone is going soon, make sure you see Roger and Javier at the swim-up bar. They were by far the best staff there. Tipping is not required, however I always say that tips are earned and the staff truely appreciated it when we tipped them.
The food was excellent!! Every restaraunt that we ate in was great. The one complaint we had was the speed of service. You will get a great meal, but it may take 2 hours. Once again, I think they are still working out the kinks.
Overall we were very happy with the resort. When we booked it we knew that it was just opening, so we expected some gliches. We went to Sandals Whitehouse last year. That resort by far was a five out of five. Right now I would give Silversands a four out of five.
The Mosquito Paradise , not a five star hotel/service
We stayed there on the last week of August, and just came back today and I needed to honnestly write about this terrible experience :
The hotel is build on a mangrove swamp, located in the middle of nowhere and is infested with mosquitos. The hotel would not care about sorting the situation out except providing some mosquito repealling tissue . No plug in the room, no burn of citronelle to elimiate those insect as this would be expected on a 5 star hotel
On the good side :
- fantastic food and beverage people, very friendly and customer orientated.
-Room are spacious
-Swimming pool are great.
-Great variety of food and restaurant with amazing decoration. A good point for the mayan and japanese restaurant
- Good variety of activity during the day from table tennis to chess or pool, and some good activity from the entertainment team
On the neutral side :
- Building are plain, with no charm , it looks like some office block,
- Decoration ( except for the reception area ) is in much need of some improvement but it seems to be a work in progress
-Food for dinner is however far too gourmet when it comes to quantity especially for the Bordeaux and Ratatouille.
- No place where to hang the towel to dry. No good to protect the environment.
On the poor side
- Non existant beaches, 3.3 yard large.
- Plenty of rock preventing any swimming on the sea, and detritus on the beach ranging from broken glass bottle. to tissue...Swimming shoes are needed
-The hotel seems to make some effort to clean the beach but would use that caterpillar engine to collect the algae making it more like a building site
- the room are very vaguely looked after , dust is only cleaned on selected area, shhet are not changed on a steady bases, missing bath robe.
- Terrasse cannot be used as mosquitos seems to be keen on european blood
- For any excursion by coaches count an extra 02h00 as the hotel is first for the multiple hotel pick up and last for the drop off
On the terrible side
- The hotel did not offer any trasnfer services for pick up at the airport
-Service at the reception is non existant and useless (Complaint are not being taken care of by the front desk be it issue with our room door being left wide open for a day by the housekeeping, room being not properly clean or non existing SPA )
-There are a lot of mosquito all day long and no repeallant on the room . Mosquito hunting was part of our night occupation as the hotel would not provide any plug against the monster. I find it totally unacceptable for a 5 stars property
-The hotel is still a construction site and the finition are appaling with a lot of paint, ciment stain all over the place ranging from the room to the corridor
- the hotel location is in the middle of nowhere ( count 40 USD or 350 pesos for a taxi to Cancun, 40 km to go to Playa del Carmen )
- Water sport team asking for tips and showing poor customer service by trying to cut out on the opening hours
Conclusion : Very relaxing for some day on the pool enjoying a few drink and some good food, but the service is overall very desappointing and there is no attention to details such as would be expected in a 5 stars hotel. If the price was right ( still far too expensive for the location and overall quality of the place ) that could compensate for an overall desapoiting experience. There must be some other real 5 star hotel in the area..
Puerto Morelos from the pier
entrance and shared balcony
Cenote near PM
Catching a bus OUT of Puerto Morelos
Taking the bus down to Puerto Morelos from the Cancun airport sounds like a great way to go, but once there, if we want to pop down to Playa Del Carmen to catch the ferry out to Cozumel...is taxi the way to go then, you think? Can a person take the bus out of Puerto Morelos reliably, or does it only stop when someone is getting let off there?
Also, does one of the busses actually go into town, or do they both stop out at the junction away from town?
Re: Catching a bus OUT of Puerto Morelos
The town centre is about 2KM off the main highway. There is a bus stop on the highway (and the ticket office) and you can catch a bus about every 15 minutes to either Cancun or Playa. You can get there by walking, taking a taxi (about 3.00 US or taking the "collectivo" for about 50 cents. When you are coming back you buy a ticket to PM and the bus you get on will always stop. Again you have to walk or taxi back to town.
Hope this helps