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Secrets is a change for us. We usually stay at the Palace and do DWM. Love walking into town, having some meals there. The Palace has just gotten a tone more expensive! It'll be nice being closer to the dive site in the south though. What did you think of Secrets?
We had stayed at the Occidental Grand the year before as non-divers and it was just okay. We liked the beach and multiple pools thing. Then we did Secrets. It was much better. The food was good, breakfast started early enough for us to get to the dive boat each morning. We did the upgrade so that we could have a swim up room in the front of the hotel. I would definitely do it again. The back of the hotel seemed a little too party for my taste. The pool was nice with places with shade while in the water.
I hate dealing with dress codes for dinners, but was generally okay with a collared shirt, pants, and flip flops. Wife and I don't drink so don't know about he booze, but the bar lines were generally short, and the people at the front of the hotel were always very helpful. Neither the Secrets nor the Sabor (sister resort right next door) cash machines worked when we were there. Had Mexican at the Sabor one night, and did the buffet style dinner there another night. The Mexican meal was good. The other, not so much.
My wife really likes to have a beach when she is on vacation (I got to choose place this year so we are at SCC with out a beach). The sand is nice, but stops shortly after you hit the water. The snorkeling in front of Sabor and Secrets was good. We say a large Ray in about 5 feet of water that was giving is a mean look. Kind of spooked me. If I had been diving, it wouldn't have been as big a deal, but snorkeling I feel so limited in movement. Saw a lot of really good stuff while snorkeling.
Suggestions - We stayed ground floor swim up and ocean front which meant that we had 3 outside patios. The room was absolutely insanely fantastic (except for the bathroom had a few issues). Also, Mossman has done a review of his trip. He stayed in the room just above us (at a different time) and really liked that as well.