Let’s play the word association game. When I say “chips and salsa, Coronas and tequila” what country do you think of? That’s right – Mexico. Not many people associate wine with Mexico. Here’s a little secret – Mexico’s Baja California is an up and coming wine region. Mexico has taken over many of the vineyards of Baja California and shown their Hispanic roots at the Secrets the Vine Resort in Cancun.
The adult-only resort is filled with wine themed luxuries, along with fan coral designs by artist Jan Hendrix and murals painted by Marta Ramirez.
A wine themed resort may seem like the place only wine enthusiasts would go, but to my surprise Secrets the Vine Cancun is filled with a variety of different travelers. I saw honeymoon and birthday banners on display across a few hotel rooms, but of course, there were those who came for the art and wine.
Waiting in my Junior Suite ($700 a night) was a bottle of Mexico’s tinto vino (red wine). If this is a special occasion vacation, it may be wise to upgrade to Preferred Club status. It is not too expensive and if you’re looking for a luxury vacation, I know I enjoyed every perk that came with the upgrade. The Preferred Club status includes access to the Concierge service, daily continental breakfast, hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and a private bar in the private lounge level. What’s the best part of the upgrade? Your very own butler.
Even if you’re not a big drinker, like me, the mini bar was filled with little snacks such as peanut M&M’s and Pringles potato chips. If you decide to indulge, you will not be charged. Of course there is still plenty of beer, juice, soda and water and your butler will be sure to stock it with your favorites.
Free phone calls to the United States and Canada are available from your hotel room, but make sure to call a land line as mobile phones tend to charge higher rates. There is also free Wi-Fi and preferred guests are allowed two complimentary items to be ironed, along with unpacking and packing service and shoe shine.
Once you are settled in your room, check out the Vine Bar, a 4,500-bottle wine cellar where Master Sommeliers holds daily complimentary wine tastings at 1:00 and 3:00pm. At 5:00pm the price is $20.
After a little happy hour drinks, try one of Secrets the Vine’s 7 different fine dining restaurants, not usual to all-inclusive resorts. At the Dragons Oriental Dining, an Asian fusion restaurant I snacked on crab Rangoon, spring rolls and shrimp pad Thai. For those who prefer a hearty meal, Bluewater Grill is a steak house that has an incredible shortbread cookie filled with caramel and ice cream, if you’re not too full already. A taste of the Mediterranean is available at Olio Restaurant, open to all guests for dinner but lunch is reserved only for preferred club guests, just another perk of upgrading. If seafood is your delicacy, Sea Salt Grill has a tasty shrimp cocktail and an incredible ocean view. They will even serve you poolside.
Speaking of poolside, the resort has plenty of pools and hot tubs for all guests.
Although traveling and trying new activities and cuisine is exciting I know that I still suffer from jet lag. The Secrets Spa by Pevonia cured me in no time. A $75 day pass is available at the spa. If you like to spend an entire day at the spa, like me, try the wine therapy treatment. You can soak in the hydrotherapy pool if you arrive early and also steam in the sauna. Following up with the Pinot Noir Escape exfoliation ($105), d’vine wine massage ($175) and d’vine wine facial ($99) is complete Heaven.
If you plan to visit this lux resort, try to visit in March during the Wine & Food Festival in Cancun, Rivera Maya.
Book direct at the Secrets website or check rates at Hotels.com and Priceline.
Hotel review and photos by San Francisco-based travel, food, and wine writer Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of Secrets the Vine Cancun.