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Sweet:  With four work free nights to spare, my boyfriend and I decided to take a quick trip to San Juan Jose Del Cabo, which is a brief two and a half hour flight from our home, Los Angeles. Upon our arrival at the adults only, all-inclusive Secrets Puerto Los Cabos we were welcomed with refreshing towels and glasses of champagne. We were then escorted to the beautiful lobby to complete our check-in.

Sour:  Getting a taxi from the Airport to the resort seemed a little sketchy and quite expensive at $60.  Right when you pass through customs, my girlfriend and I were bombarded by timeshare sales people.  Even the authorized airport taxi service seems in on getting you to go out on timeshare sales pitch.

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Sweet:  Since we booked our air and hotel package through Cheapcaribbean.com, and were able to get a great deal, we agreed during check-in to upgrade our Garden View suite to a Preferred Club suite. Two upgrade options were available, either swim-out, or Jacuzzi terrace.

Sour:  I think the swim out pool might have been a better choice in hindsight as we ended up only using the balcony tub once during our trip.  At first we thought the balcony tub offered more privacy versus the swim out pool which is shared across all the other rooms on the bottom floor; however, we noticed that there were hardly any people using the swim out pool and we could have had it entirely to ourselves.

P1070770Sweet:  We chose to upgrade to a Jacuzzi terrace room, which featured an ocean view Jacuzzi tub, and access to the Preferred Club Lounge which featured premium spirits along with small appetizers and desserts. Although we enjoyed the Jacuzzi tub and the ocean view, we later thought that the cost would be better served towards off property excursions. Besides, the luxurious en suite bathroom has a large two person whirlpool tub. There is also a two person multi-jetted shower, a mini bar stocked with beer, sodas, water, and a few varieties of snacks.

Sour:  We hardly used the Preferred Lounge, and I’m not quite sure additional benefits the Preferred Lounge provided other than a TV, snacks, and private bar. The snacks in the room were minimal, consisting of only a few candy bars, pringles, and some Mexican nuts. These snacks were also not replenished until the end of our stay.

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 Sweet: The beautiful desert landscaping around the property was very well maintained, and we loved that the property was only one year old. Aside from a few damaged palm trees, we were surprised how little damage was visible in light of recent Hurricane Odile.

Sour: The landscaping was nice and minimal, which meant less bugs and pests to bother us.

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Sweet: One of the most impressive aspects of this all-inclusive hotel was the quality and tasty preparation of the food. With unlimited 24 hour “Secrets” room service (dishes are placed into your private accessible Secrets box which is accessible without any resort employee contact!) and any casual and gourmet restaurants to choose from (http://www.secretsresorts.com/puerto-los-cabos/dining) we found ourselves ordering room service each morning and dining out throughout the day.

Sour: Although there is a “Secrets Box” for food delivery, we were occasionally bothered by knocking on our door for the delivery drop off. I am assuming this is because the in room dining staff hoped for a tip.

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Sweet: Breakfast usually consisted of fresh fruit, chilaquiles, juevos rancheros with coffee and orange juice. A few times we noted minor errors, such as not including the cream for coffee.

Sour: I always enjoy room service in the morning! Although we had to wait 45 minutes for delivery, it was still enjoyable.

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Sweet: During lunch we enjoyed fresh fish and a ceviche of the day. The pool also featured a bare foot eatery where there were nachos, ceviche, burgers and French fries a plenty.

Sour: Lunch was always fantastic! I did notice that the ceviche of the day was more preferable to my liking on certain days.

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Sweet: The restaurant selection was the greatest for dinner, with choices of Mexican, Italian, Seafood, Japanese, and a buffet. We were delighted by the Benihana like teppanyaki, complete with a comedic chef who delighted the guests with heart shaped beating fried rice. We also enjoyed fresh seafood, and tasty cuts of meat at the seafood restaurant.

Sour: I am glad that we were advised to make reservations for the teppan grill. The chef made all the classic moves, including the flaming volcano onion. It was a bit chilly in the dining room, to which the wait staff offered my girlfriend a much needed blanket to bundle up with.

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Sweet: The beach was pleasant with three miles to walk along, and the property featured a beachfront bar with swinging stools along with umbrellas and clam loungers for a break from the sun.

Sour: I really enjoyed the beach, and although I did not do any swimming, it was more than adequate for a leisurely stroll.

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Sweet: The entire wait staff was friendly and eager to serve you multiple rounds of margaritas and fruity rum slushes.

Sour: The loungers usually filled up pretty quick, so I would recommend finding a nice spot before 10:00 a.m.

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Sweet: Although the surf was not swimmable, an experienced swimmer could likely be fine. It was more than adequate for a long beach stroll, sunbathing, and dipping your toes in the warm Sea of Cortez water.

Sour: When we walked north towards the jetty, there was a semi-swimmable beach which was popular with the locals.

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Sweet: On Saturday night, Secrets threw a huge Mexican fiesta complete with fresh tortilla makers, mariachi bands, Aztec and Flamenco dancers, games, and booths where local art and souvenirs were available for purchase.

Sour: The fresh tortillas were the best part of this fiesta! On the downside, we did not end up trying the Italian restaurant as planned.

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Sweet: It got a little bit chilly at night, causing us to retreat to our suite after dinner, where we were able to watch the performances while wrapped in blankets, from the comfort of our balcony.

Sour: The dancing was quite entertaining, and I was surprised as to the talent that was provided for a hotel show.

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Sweet: I highly recommend taking advantage of the spa! The massage therapist was the best I’ve ever had. By agreeing to sit through a timeshare like presentation, we were rewarded with spa vouchers for two Swedish massages (we did pay a $50 fee only). Our goal was to avoid all salespeople like the plague, but wen they flashed the word spa, we let our guards down. Secrets offered ATV excursions, local pub crawls, and taxi service for any adventure seekers. Cabo San Lucas is at least a 30 minute taxi ride which should cost around $50 each way. There is however plenty of amenities on property ranging from yoga sessions, ceviche making classes, tequila tastings, miniature golf, ping pong and two pools. The main pool includes a swim up bar and is situated next to the Bare Foot Grill. The second pool has the perfect infinity edge, and is more quiet and peaceful. Every restroom or public area that I entered I noticed that all surfaces were clean and supplies were fully stocked.

Sour: Although the spa was very nice and relaxing, I thought it was strange that the “valet”, or person who guides your journey throughout the experience timed each of our use in each facility, including the steam room, sauna, and hydro therapy pools. I made a complaint at the spa desk, and we received an extra day of spa admission.

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Sweet: At every meal the food was delicious and while there was a slight wait at the seafood restaurant, we were able to have a few drinks at the bar. Although Secrets rates include tipping, a couple of dollars here and there were appreciated by the wait staff. We were surprised with the attention to detail at such a large property, and this has been our best all-inclusive experience yet, so now we are eager to begin planning our next Secrets getaway!

Sour: I would try out Secrets again, so long as the resort isn’t more than a couple of years old. Next time  we will not upgrade our room to the Preferred Club, as  see little benefit in doing so. On our way back to the airport we were able to split our taxi fare with another couple, so don’t be afraid to approach other guests to share in transportation costs. Also, take advantage of any requests needed because you will receive service with a smile (and it is all-inclusive)!

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