5 Things to consider before booking a stay at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort
My honest review of our stay at Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort. Plus, my top 5 tips & recommendations for novice travelers.
Hey Lifestylers! We recently returned from our 7 year wedding anniversary trip to one of Cabo San Lucas’s premiere all-inclusive, adult-only resorts. Although, we were able to take advantage of some much needed R&R, there were a few experiences that were not as enjoyable as we would have imagined.
Now, I am a pretty easy going person when it comes to unexpected changes however, when you spend nearly 3k for a 4 day, 3 night vacation, high hopes and expectations doesn’t seem unrealistic. Especially when an award-winning resort boasts an exceptional luxury concierge rollout for it’s guests where you can indulge in all the delights it has to offer. Unfortunately, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort, in all it’s glory, fell short in some areas.
However, I can’t let the blame fall totally on Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort as some unexpectancies like hurricane season is totally out of anyone’s control. So let’s just say, I’m not all regrets, I’ve just learned some important things to consider beforehand that may be worth sharing with the my lifestylers!
So let’s rewind it back to June-July of this year. I had just talked to my sister who was planning her one year wedding anniversary to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. An immediately light bulb went off in my head and I thought, “wow, wouldn’t it be so much fun if hubby and I tagged along?” (Of course if it meant we were not imposing lol). I was excited to hear my sister thought it would be too lit if we joined, so we obliged and booked our all-inclusive vacation package through Costco by way of my brother-in-law.
What we paid for versus what we got!
All-inclusive Vacation Package
An all-inclusive vacation package was not an unfamiliar term but since this was our first time actually taking a vacation that wasn’t work, family or event related, we wanted to identify what that looked like for our trip.
All-inclusive meant that all the essentials like airfare, room, food, drinks, selected activities and entertainment is packaged into one booking price. I must admit, as a novice traveler this made life so much easier and left less to be concerned about leading up to our departure date. However, it also left room to easily forgot about the fine print you should always consider when planning a vacation.
Travel & Accommodations
For the most part, everything Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort vaunted about on their website appeared to align with our experience. Transportation to and from the resort and airport was provided. We were given complimentary room upgrades for our special occasion which was nice. Top-shelf drinks (Premium drinks are an additional cost), a minibar selection , Wi-Fi, and some activities were included as well. We ate and drank merrily until our bellies bulged without thinking twice about an extra bill.
Restaurants, Entertainment & Amenities
The Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort included 5 restaurants that stated they had special menus to accommodate vegans. As plant-based vegans, this was reassuring as we couldn’t imagine feasting off just rice, potatoes, fruit and veggies.
However, that’s literally what we did! I asked for a veggie burger at the Barefoot Grill and that exactly what I received, a “chopped up veggie” burger. You can check out my day 2 of my Cabo Vlogs if you think I’m kidding! Lol. At first I thought maybe the chef just misunderstood my request especially with the popularity of plant-based meats available nowadays. Surprisingly, none of the restaurants we tried had a beyond or impossible patty, not even a Portobello mushroom option. Overall, the food choice was limited but decent and we definitely appreciated some restaurants were kind enough to try and accommodate us by having the chef service us with special requests. Ultimately, we ended up dining almost every evening at the pan-Asian restaurant, Hitmitsu.
Other restaurants we tried included…
we ordered from their “vegan/vegetarian” menu which included a salad of course. We decided to get creative and order the chicken fajitas. Told them to hold the chicken and add mushrooms. Also had some seasoned rice on the side and that completed our dinner with some tapioca and some premium drinks at $25 a shot.
we ordered the cauliflower tacos but unfortunately the spicy mayo sauce was made of you guessed it, mayo. The waitress was gracious enough to grab us some guacamole from another restaurant as the tacos although presented nicely, were lacking in flavor and quite bland. The guac was the “extra” that saved the taste though! Whew!
The Market Cafe
Had somewhat of a variety to choose from if you are non-vegan. Other than that, we were limited to rice dishes, veggie medleys, season potatoes and fruit. Half of which we avoided because the excessive flies chillin’ at the salad and fruit bar.
There also seemed to be entertainment every day and night. We attended the the “urban hip hop” show. Although it was fun to watch and even laughable, it really felt like I was at my little cousin’s high school talent show. The resort outdoor/ indoor entertainment was just okay; it was giving Karaoke vibes but then again, maybe that’s the idea. We did go and check out the dance and sports bar, “Desires”, as well. Aside from the wedding party taking over the floor with a dance train, it was more or less a place to chill and vibe to some early 2000 top 40 rather than a turn up.
What we loved most about Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort.
The Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort itself was beautifully manicured with traditional Spanish architectural design and neatly trimmed landscaping. The rooms were pleasant and had a very neutral earth tone aesthetic which was calming. I’m more into modern and simplistic styled rooms with clean lines myself but the bed was quite comfy, the bathroom was decent and the partial ocean view was refreshing so style wasn’t a deal breaker.
I must mention, we experienced quite a few visits from housekeeping while we were out which was pretty alarming the first couple of days. Our personal belongings were constantly moved around without notice. I’m assuming the extra visits were a part of their Clean Complete Verification implementation. We did realize a bit later we could simply prevent those unwelcome visits with a push of the “Do not disturb” button which was relieving.
Out of the 4 restaurants we tried, the pan-Asian cuisine was by far the best restaurant on the resort in our opinion. We opted out of the Hibachi-style seating and chose a table for two. The ambiance and staff were super nice and attentive making the whole experience even better. The vegetarian pad thai and fried rice although slightly too sweet and too salty at times, was rather tasty!
Restaurant & bar staff
Some of the nicest people you’ll every get to know were the restaurant and bar staff. They made us feel right at home. Although, there were some language barriers, I got to brush up on my Spanish chatting it up with some of the staff. I also met the sweetest lady who worked at the resort. She shared her story of how she travels one hour everyday on the bus to work at the resort rain or shine. It was a gentle reminder of how grateful I am to be able to travel for leisure while others like this sweet lady travels everyday for her livelihood.
Probably our favorite day of the trip! My sister and bro-in-law purchased a cabana for the whole day for only $50 which I thought was a really good deal! Although, I felt like it should of been included in the all-inclusive package where you can just reserve it for a day. We did end up spending most of the day at Manatees, the swim up pool bar. Between the beautiful weather, guacamole fries and endless margaritas, this day by far made our trip worthwhile literally doing nothing.
What we liked least about Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort.
The “salesy” vibes
As soon as we arrived in Cabo and walked through the airport, we were met with aggressive salesmen trying to solicit everything from hotel stay to transportation packages. Luckily, my sister gave us a heads up so we knew it was coming and quickly avoid the encounters. But it didn’t stop there. As soon as we got checked in we had to sit through a 30 minute vacation club sales pitch offering us “exclusive discount prices” for vacation share rentals and excursions, couples massages and romantic dinners on the sand shores. It was so much information all at once, I recall tuning out a couple times eventually ending our sales meeting with “thanks, but no thanks!”
The overpriced spa package
Nice staff but, not worth the price. We also were limited to some of the amenities like the outdoor sauna and steam room due to the Hurricane approaching. We also were disappointed to learn the discount booklet we received at our “sales pitch meeting” didn’t apply to the couples massage were interested in. Total cost including tip was just over $300. We purchase a 55 min “soft” massage which was about as soft as a baby’s bottom! It was not giving what it was supposed to give and in fact I felt it was more like a 30 minute rub down. Unfortunately, it didn’t meet our standards but it was relaxing.
Hurricane Kay & brusque Front Desk & Travel Staff
Our flights were canceled because of Hurricane Kay. Let’s just say, we know to never travel again to any destinations that is affected by hurricane season. Not only was the weather ugly, the front desk staff went front “sure” no problem to “it is what it is and there’s nothing we can do about it”. Because the resort was nestled along the coastline 30 minutes away from the airport and about a 12 minute drive to the next resort, it was definitely giving hostage, scary movie vibes lol!
Prices for everything suddenly were hiked up, drinks were watered down and most, if not all amenities or activities were shut down or prohibited. We ended up paying an additional $119 per person to wait out the storm confined to our rooms. This was by far the most uncomfortable part of our trip! They stuck to the script and didn’t waver leaving us feeling vulnerable; I never want to feel like that again! Even the transportation staff was rude to us and this particular woman’s excuse was that she was “getting a lot of calls already”.
5 Things to consider: Tips & Recommendations
- What to plan for:
- All-inclusive packages – worth trying . Saves you a few extra bucks but keep in mind, purchasing rooms for single and double occupancy also include food & drinks if all-inclusive isn’t ideal.
- Get travel insurance and/or travel medical insurance especially if you are traveling internationally – There are plenty of companies out there so please read the fine print so you know what’s covered and what’s not. Also read reviews from various sources; don’t just rely on the resort’s website, find out what other guests have experienced. Also inquire about the weather conditions during the particular time you plan to travel to ensure you are not vacationing during Hurricane season. Something we didn’t realize until it was too late!
- Airport Departure & Arrival – sign up for a Fast Pass especially if you travel at least twice a year and are flying out airports that stay busy with heavy foot traffic. Whew chile! Now we signed up Clearme which you can also use a selected stadiums. We actually signed up when we got to the airport which took longer than I had the patience for. But once we were “cleared” It was a breeze getting through LAX check ins and security. You can always cancel it when you return from your trip especially if you don’t travel too often.
- What to avoid:
- The sales pitches – I mean unless you don’t mind paying more for less.
- Rooms service – Even though room service was readily available through the iPad conveniently on your nightstand, save yourself the headache of bland, cold, stale and sometimes undelivered food.
- What to expect:
- A place to relax and enjoy the scenery -A beautifully well kept, manicured property, fairly quiet resort along a secluded coastline but don’t expect to be wowed by the food, entertainment or or activities.
- Frequent visits from housekeeping.
- What to see and do:
- Pool side relaxation and nightly entertainment.
- There is also a street market on some evenings where you can purchase everything from jewelry to cigars.
- If you are able to leave the resort and explore other parts of the city you should. That’s one thing I regret we didn’t get a chance to do. I’ve read positive reviews about the city outside of the resort and definitely want to explore more the culture and locals.
- What to eat and drink as plant-base vegan
- If you are a plant-based vegan or transitioning, I suggest adding Hitmitsu pan-asian cuisine to your list. Most of the other restaurants you will have to get creative. I would also suggest asking for special requests from the chef.
Overall I would rate this resort a 7 out of 10. This is a fitting location if you are seeking a secluded, quiet, r&r getaway with no expectation for fine dining and activities. Don’t expect much of a great customer experience from the front desk and concierge staff if anything goes wrong with your stay as they are not the friendliest and as accommodating as others reviews have also mentioned. Will I ever book a stay at this location again? Not this location but maybe in Jamaica or one of their other locations. I will definitely come back to Cabo but would like to apply what I’ve learned and see if my experience will be different at another resort.
I hope my review provides some helpful insight. If you want to get more of a visual from our vacay, checkout my vlogs from our Cabo trip! I’ve linked them below. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe and hit that notification bell! lol