A few months ago during a visit to Mexico, I was offered a last-minute opportunity to visit Secrets Aura Cozumel with Sunquest. I was originally staying in Cancun so it was a bit of a trek to get there for a mere 24 hours (considering the hour-plus drive plus ferry ride) but I'm always up for an adventure and was eager to see a different part of the country.
This particular property took on the Secrets banner in late 2012 (formerly Aura Cozumel Grand Resort) and its neighbouring sister property became Sunscape Sabor Cozumel in 2013 (formerly Wyndham Cozumel) - each now under the AMResorts portfolio.
"With the transition has come a lot of new things," said Katie Crouch, sales manager, describing the properties and their appeal. "With the AMResorts brand, there are different standards bringing a new focus to the island that wasn't here before. The brands being here in general have been great for the island."
She said company standards allow guests to be comfortable in knowing what to expect regardless of which Secrets or Sunscapes property they visit, "so if they stay in Riviera Maya or they stay in Secrets Cozumel, they are expecting the same thing and they receive the same thing."
Even still, each has a different purpose - one adults-only and the other for families.
At Secrets, the focus is "unlimited luxury," Crouch explained. "High quality service, a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere - basically, catering to their needs before they ask, having everything ready for them on hand from the time they arrive at the hotel with the cool towel and welcome drink." Plus, this is the only adults-only resort on the island.
On the other hand, Sunscapes caters to families, so the focus is "unlimited fun," which means having entertainment throughout the day, extended hours for the Explorer's Club and other elements to make it enjoyable for both children and parents.
But before choosing the property, travellers must choose the destination and besides location, Cozumel is really set apart from other choices within Mexico, Crouch said.
Firstly, it is the number one scuba diving destination in the Americas, with the second largest reef system in the world, perfect for water sports enthusiasts. Secondly, the sunsets are second-to-none, making it a popular choice for destination weddings. And third is its relaxed atmosphere - "We're not a really 'club' kind of island; we do have places to go out, dance and have a good time but we're more focused on relaxation," she explained. "It's a great place to come for couples, honeymooners, or just adults traveling to be in a relaxed atmosphere - scuba dive, play a little golf, take an island tour - it's just a laid back kind of destination."
That much was clear in my brief visit - I had enough time for a swim. dinner, cocktails and a good night's sleep - so I know it's my kind of place, and next time, I'll have to stay a while.
More about Secrets Aura Cozumel:
- The first Unlimited Luxury Secrets Resort & Spa in Cozumel
- All-suite resort with private lap pools, solariums and swim-up options including four water slides into the main pool area
- Four no reservation, à la carte restaurants, most offering ocean front views
- One international and national buffet
- 238 suites with 550 sq. ft. or more, more than 50 with ocean views
- Complete spa with ocean views
- Unlimited Connectivity offering free WiFi and calling to the U.S. and Canada
- Private pier on resort property
- Located near Cozumel’s main reefs, which are part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System
- Full service dive operator on site
- Clients can upgrade to the Preferred Club for additional amenities & inclusions such as personalized check-in and checkout with concierge service; Preferred status and amenities; Private Preferred Club Lounge; pool and swim-up bar; Upgraded mini-bar service and bath amenities; and more.
All suites offer the following amenities and inclusions:
- One king or two queen size bed(s)- 32 inch flat screen TV- Air-conditioning with individual control- Hair dryer- Mini-bar refreshed daily- Alarm clock- Iron and ironing board- Electronic safe- Satellite cable TV- Private shower or tub- Bathrobes and slippers- Bath amenities- Electronic key- Turn-down service- 24-hour room service- iPod dock- Free internet access in suite- Telephone
Sunquest has announced that it has added six new AMResorts properties to its sun line-up, including two resorts in Huatulco, Mexico, which is also a new route for the company. Effective November for the winter 2014-2015 season, Sunquest will offer a total of 37 AMResorts properties. The resorts that are newest to Sunquest’s line-up are:
- Dreams Sands Cancun Resort & Spa- Secrets Playa Mujeres Golf Resort & Spa in Cancun- Zoëtry Villa Rolandi Isla Mujeres in Cancun- Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa- Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa- Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica