Secrets Impression Moxché: This could be the best all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen
Secrets Impression Moxché. Remember the name! This new adults-only all-inclusive in Playa del Carmen, Mexico is getting tons of buzz due to its exclusive resort-within-a-resort experience where every guest gets a huge suite, butler service and access to VIP-only restaurants, bars, rooftop pools and a beach club. Bonus: It's part of World of Hyatt so you can redeem and earn points here.
Secrets Impression Moxché is adjacent to Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen, which is a spectacular all-inclusive resort in its own right. Since it opened in 2022, both Secrets and Hyatt loyalists have been talking a lot about how fabulous this place is. All the chatter convinced me to take a trip to decide for myself.
The verdict? If Secrets Impression Moxché isn't already on your must-visit list for your next Riviera Maya all-inclusive vacation, it should be. Here's why.
Secrets Impression Moxché resort combines everything you're looking for in a Mexican beach vacation: spacious suites with comfortable beds and beautiful outdoor spaces (some with private plunge pools and others with balcony hot tubs for two), a good beach (though sargassum seaweed was an issue while we were there), peaceful pools, private cenote-inspired grottos, excellent dining options and plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
Why you'll love Secrets Impression Moxché
The resort elevates the all-inclusive concept to new levels in the following ways:
- Service is excellent across the board, and everyone comes off as friendly in an authentic way.
- The 198 suites and VIP-only areas are visually stunning.
- There are activities to keep guests busy, as well as hidden coves and cenotes for quiet enjoyment.
- The dining venues are excellent. If you always wished there were an all-inclusive resort with gourmet cuisine rather than the run-of-the-mill breakfast buffet and in-pool bar, look no further. This place was designed for you.
Here's what else we loved about Secrets Impression Moxché.
It's a resort-within-a-resort and you have access to everything
Sister resort Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen, with 485 suites, opened in April 2022 and it's a knockout in and of itself. While guests there aren't assigned a butler, the rooms are very similar to what you'll book over on the Impression side.
Across the entire property, travelers can take advantage of three different types of experiences:
- Secrets Moxché — with access to all public areas of the resort.
- Secrets Moxché Preferred Club — with some limited VIP access at the main resort, including a rooftop pool, restaurant and bar.
- Secrets Impression Moxché — a VIP building with access to everything at Moxché and the Preferred Club plus an additional rooftop pool deck, beach club, bars and restaurants.
If you love staying on a hotel's club level or in an exclusive cruise enclave like MSC Cruises' The Yacht Club or Norwegian Cruise Line's Haven, you'll love Secrets Impression Moxché. It's intimate and exclusive without being formal and stuffy.
In the map below, the Impression part of the property is encircled by an orange line. You'll see the main building and its rooftop pool (labeled 14). As you walk toward the beach, there's the second Impression building, which houses two restaurants (Teodoro and Seaview Beach Club) as well as a rooftop pool and another pool right near the beach.
The Impression main building is in a discreet tower in the Secrets Moxché complex. Massive double doors -- which are kept closed to lend an air of exclusivity -- lead to the lobby with a bar, snack area and various seating arrangements. Check-in desks sit on the opposite side of a room divider. The vibe is mellow and the lighting is soft and diffuse.
The Impression suites sit closest to the beach so if being as close to the ocean as possible is important, this is a reason to upgrade to these VIP-only accommodations.
The lobby bar is staffed from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and there's a small all-day food buffet offering a light continental breakfast, lunchtime mini-sandwiches, fruit and pastries and more decadent goodies in the evenings.
There are also three pool areas devoted exclusively to Impression guests.
The 9th-floor rooftop pool is fabulous for sunbathing and dining
On the 9th floor of the Secrets Impression Moxché building, you'll find a rooftop pool and hot tub. This area is reserved solely for Impression guests and is staffed by attendants who prepare the cabanas and lounge chairs to your liking. Bar service is quick with servers checking in on sunbathers at frequent intervals.
Cielo bar and restaurant is also on the 9th-floor rooftop of the Impression building. The bar is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. while the restaurant takes diners from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are plenty of tables at which to dine as well as seating areas if you just want to have a drink and talk with friends.
We enjoyed lunch at Cielo twice. The menu is on the small side but the offerings are delicious.
Starters include items like hamachi sashimi, oysters, lobster ceviche, hummus, salads and tacos and tostados (vegetarian, duck and scallop).
Entrees include rock Cornish game hen with black miso, a green papaya salad and Thai dressing; New York strip steak with mashed potato and vegetables; grilled salmon with a ponzu-sesame-ginger emulsion; a prime beef burger on a brioche roll; a simple grilled shrimp dish and a catch of the day dressed with yuzi, sake, mirin and lemongrass.
For a lighter meal, quinoa or broccoli rice bowls are available with a wide range of mix-ins, such as salmon, blue fin tuna, grilled shrimp and chicken.
Or, if you only want dessert, there are four offerings: a peanut butter cookie ice cream sandwich, frozen lemon pie, velvet cake and brownies.
The pool overlooking the beach is a quiet getaway
The second Impression-only pool area is in the second Impression building, which houses Teodoro and the Seaview Beach Club. This pool also has a rooftop vibe — it's only a few floors up versus the main Impression pool that is on the 9th floor of the main building.
This area includes some cabanas, sun beds, loungers, a bar and an expansive pool overlooking Seaside Beach Club and the ocean. The vibe over here was tranquil thanks to lush landscaping and beautiful views.
The beach club and pool
Finally, Seaside Beach Club is another hidden-away VIP spot that includes an indoor/outdoor restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. With just a two-night stay, we didn't have time to sample lunch or dinner but the breakfast was phenomenal.
I'm not much of a breakfast person but this menu spoke to me. You can order acai bowls, matcha pancakes, brioche French toast (not-to-be-missed!), poached eggs, burrata and some exceptionally tasty toasts: one with grilled salmon and another with mushrooms.
There are also regional dishes, such as mollete (a toasted open sandwich with cheese, smoked pork and pico de gallo), duck confit in a pasilla chili sauce, vegan enchiladas with roasted pumpkin poblano sauce and chicken enchiladas in a green sauce.
The basket of pastries that starts the meal is also quite lovely.
Guests can choose from the indoor dining room or an outdoor table on the beach.
The beach club also offers a small pool with loungers and a few cabanas. The beach is steps away.
During my stay, sargassum seaweed was washing ashore while we were there and workers from the resort toiled tirelessly to remove it. There's also an inflatable barrier set up offshore and that is helping keep the beach clean.
The suites are stunning — and everyone's in a suite
The suites here are elegant, comfortable and well-designed. Even the entry-level 947-square-foot Signature Suite King (with no specific view listed) is a winner. The same room layout is also available with three other views: tropical, ocean view and oceanfront.
Just be aware that these aren't true "suites," which are defined by a division between the bedroom and sitting area. This is just one open room, though sliding pocket doors do separate the bedroom from the bathroom.
Our room's entry foyer had moody (read: dark) lighting with a hallway that led to the bedroom. A long table -- perfect to drop off your beach bag and sunglasses upon arrival -- sat against the opposite wall and a humongous 55-inch flatscreen TV was affixed to the wall above.
The beach bag sitting on the bed bench in the picture below is a take-home gift to guests.
Beyond the bed was a room sitting room with a sofa, chair, ottoman and nesting coffee table. The polished black-stone floors gave the entire space an elevated feel, while the rustic finishes of the wooden furnishings including the sofa and the bed headboard telegraphed a beachy vibe.
The room's highlight was the balcony outfitted with a black-stone two-person hot tub, a small Balinese-style daybed, an Acapulco-style chair and ottoman low table..
If one hot tub isn't enough for you, there's a second one in the massive bathroom. Also outfitted in black stone, the spacious area included a two-sink vanity, closets, a separate shower with a rain-style showerhead and wand, plus a soaking tub. We travel a lot and my husband declared the rain shower the best he's experienced. He even took a photo and Googled the brand … I think we'll be getting this installed at our house soon.
The bath amenities included Gilchrist & Soames shampoo, conditioner, body wash and bar soap. There was also a nice assortment of extras, such as a sewing kit, a razor, toothbrush and toothpaste, travel comb, a shoe mitt plus cotton swabs and puffs.
The room was outfitted with a minibar that was refreshed daily with our choice of beverages (beer, water, orange juice, soda) and snacks (Pringles and peanut M&Ms). There was also a wine cooler that offered three complimentary wines: Don Silvestre Chardonnay, Don Silvestre Cabernet Sauvignon and Champagne. Finally, there was a Nespresso machine for a morning jolt.
Other room-related perks of this resort include complimentary laundry and ironing (though there was also a steamer for in-room use) and a pillow menu.
Due to my World of Hyatt Globalist elite status, we were upgraded from the entry-level room to one with an ocean view that also overlooked the pool complex.
If we looked directly down, we could see the swim-out suites on the first floor — though we never saw anyone swimming in the pools. Those pools get a lot of shade and the feedback we got from other guests was that the water was too cold to make a dip a comfortable proposition.
The opportunity to upgrade your room at a reasonable cost
Secrets Impression Moxché offers the opportunity to bid for upgrades when higher-end suites are available about a week before your arrival. I waffled when I received the email inviting me to bid on a variety of suites.
For context, we were staying just two nights and the email suggested a dollar range we could bid for specific rooms.
The bid included the upgrade for both nights. While we paid for our room with points, the cash price to book the same room at Hyatt's Member Rate was $1,254 per night. Based on that, we were given the following ranges of cash to upgrade for our two-night stay.
|Suite Type||Hyatt Member Rate per night||Upgrade Bid Guidance for a 2-Night Stay|
|Signature Suite Tropical View||$1,380.||$80–$106.|
|Signature Suite Ocean View||$1,568.||$270–$349.|
|Signature Swim Out Tropical View||$1,756.||$307–$545.|
|Signature Suite Oceanfront||Room type wasn't available at Hyatt.com.||$497–$835.|
|Master Suite Ocean View||$2,758.||$919–$1,671.|
|Panoramic Suite Oceanfront||$3,385.||$1,532–$2,786.|
In the end, we decided to use the cash to book a special meal at Teodoro instead. (More on the dining experience below.)
We really loved our room and I'd book it again. However, if we were staying more than two or three nights, or were traveling with other couples, I'd probably upgrade to the 1,776-square-foot Master Suite that has a dining table and chairs, kitchenette with refrigerator and pantry, upgraded Bvlgari bath amenities and a larger balcony with additional seating.
Value for points — even after Hyatt's devaluation
As mentioned, Secrets is now part of World of Hyatt so you can book a room with points or pay cash to earn points. Hyatt bumped up this resort's award category from "D" to "F" in March 2023, much to the chagrin of points-users everywhere.
I was able to book our Signature Suite King room for 25,000 points per night before the devaluation. It was also available using a Category 1–4 free night certificate, like the ones you earn with the World of Hyatt Credit Card.
Today, you can book the same room starting at 42,000 points. And you know what? I still think it's a good use of points. The rooms and pools are gorgeous, service is very good and the food is exceptional.
At the cash rate for our stay ($1,254 per night), 42,000 points per night equates to 3 cents per point in value. The Points Guy values World of Hyatt points at 1.7 cents per point, so I'd say this is still a terrific redemption. That seems much more palatable than paying the cash price.
Dining options, including a free gourmet dinner if you stay 5 nights
The food at Secrets Impression Moxché will change your expectations of all-inclusive resort fine dining. If your experience is anything like mine, the food at other all-inclusive resorts is decent, but certainly wouldn't rival a Michelin-starred restaurant. Before Secrets Impression Moxché, my favorite all-inclusive dining experience was at Hyatt Zilara Cap Cana, which was far superior to the dining we've experienced at Sandals or the Hilton Rose Hall, for example.
Nearly every meal -- and everything we ordered -- was a hit. The shrimp and chorizo sope at Seasoul was so delicious … I will dream about that lunch for months.
While we couldn't try everything during our short stay, here are some of the standout restaurants.
This Italian restaurant is open to everyone across the entire resort, not just Impression. The pasta was excellent (and that's coming from someone that makes her own pasta instead of using store bought). The pizza looked good but the restaurant actually uses an electric oven instead of a wood-burning version so it doesn't have the crispy crust I was looking for. But, everything else was delicioso.
Seasoul is another restaurant that's open to everyone at lunchtime. Its covered outdoor setting is just what you need when you want to grab some shade, a drink and a delicious meal.
The menu consists of ceviches, tostadas, salads, tacos and a few heartier mains such as skirt steak with potatoes and a chicken dish marinated in xcatic peppers.
Desserts range from panna cotta to lime pie to s'mores to cheesecake.
While meals everywhere else on the property are included in your nightly rate, Teodoro is a special dining "event" that will set couples back $500. There is a discount for Impression guests, World of Hyatt Globalists or timeshare owners; that group pays $250 per couple. If anyone books five nights or longer at the resort, your meal here is complimentary.
This intimate dining venue overlooks the beach and offers a seven-course tasting menu with wine pairings at dinner. The menu is designed by chef Karla Enciso with pairings by wine concierge and mixologist Salvador Zepeda. (Note: I don't drink alcohol and our waitress brought me specially designed nonalcoholic drinks to pair with my meal instead of wine, which I appreciated.)
The meal begins with your choice of salad: tomato or beet. The tomato salad is a bit different than what you'd expect as it has some semi-dried tomatoes and some sauce. We tried both and the flavors were outstanding.
The next course is a choice of pumpkin (more like zucchini) and octopus carpaccio. Again we ordered one of each but after watching the "My Octopus Teacher" documentary that shows how sentient these beings are, I just can't think of eating those cephalopods!
The lobster taco was outstanding and we enjoyed the smoky mushroom soup as well. (The other soup choice was beef sweetbreads.)
The catch of the day course was sea bass or diners could opt for a battered cauliflower dish instead. The main entrée was a choice of grilled prime beef or duck sous vide. The beef was flavorful and tender.
I wish there was a more interesting choice of desserts, but when we were there, you could opt for a citrus or chocolate soufflé. I would have liked something that was a more traditional ending to a meal for this region.
If you're staying five nights or longer and get this experience for free, I say go for it. Otherwise, it's not a must-have. It was probably our least favorite meal during our short stay.
The resort is adults-only
If you'd prefer not to share your vacation with someone else's (shrieking) kids, Secrets is a good option for you. The policy is adults-only (18+) though they do accept small dogs for a fee. (We didn't see any canine friends during our quick getaway.)
Why you might not love Secrets Impression Moxché
It's important to note that what I love about a vacation experience may be in stark contrast to your preferences. Experiences can also vary greatly depending on the date of the stay and the staffers you interact with. Some of the elements I didn't care for at Secret Impression Moxché may be things you'll love. To each their own! These are just my thoughts on what didn't quite hit the right notes during my stay.
The distance from the airport
It's about a 45-minute drive from Cancun Airport (CUN) to Playa del Carmen. It's super easy to get there but there are currently construction projects on all three roads leading into the airport. That can cause intermittent delays.
While we didn't experience any meaningful setbacks, our shuttle driver told us it can happen and most transportation companies are adding additional buffer time to pickups. We overrode our company's suggested pickup time and it worked out for us but if you're worried about traffic or making your flight, go with the departure time suggested by your driver.
You can prearrange for a taxi pickup upon arrival (recommended by the airport and costs about $60 to get to Secrets Moxché), book a shared or private shuttle or rent a car. We always opt for a private shuttle. (We paid $135 for round-trip transfers for two people.)
The sales pitch at check-in
If you don't want a sales pitch for a timeshare, tell the check-in agent as soon as you sit down. I did not know to do this proactively.
We sat for a few moments at the Impression lobby check-in desk and were then shepherded to the third floor, where we thought we were going to our room. Instead, we were introduced to someone who turned out to be a timeshare salesperson. While her pitch wasn't "in your face," I was still annoyed at the time we wasted. It's fine to offer me the opportunity to speak with a salesperson but pretending it's part of the check-in process -- and doing so in a hot and stuffy area of the building -- was a bit of a disconnect. And, we hadn't been wowed by the property yet. I'd suggest waiting a day or two into the stay before making a pitch.
However, the deal isn't bad if you don't mind sitting through a sales presentation within the next 24 hours. (They offered us a breakfast-time meeting so we could listen while we ate. We didn't take them up on the offer.)
The perks they offered for attending the presentation included a one-night stay certificate at Secrets Impression (though she said she could do a two-night stay certificate for the family-friendly resorts instead). There were also some dollars-off coupons for the spa and specialty dining. We declined and she didn't press, which I appreciated.
There are two kinds of travelers: Those who love having a butler and find tasks for him or her to attend to, or those that honestly don't have one thing they want or need and find it kind of a waste.
I like the butler concept, especially on long-ish stays or ones where I'm traveling with a group and may need more assistance coordinating group dining, spa or excursion reservations. But for short stays, there's not too much I need since I generally make any necessary reservations beforehand through the hotel concierge.
We had two butlers and while they were both lovely, they weren't particularly helpful. Housekeeping threw out my brush (there was a miscommunication and they thought we were checking out after one night and started doing a deep clean of the room). I asked the butlers three times for a new brush and my request was ignored twice. On the third try, they delivered a comb that wasn't nearly robust enough to get through my long hair.
While we were happy with the offerings at the hotel, some travelers might complain that the resort is a bit sleepy.
During the day, you can look forward to organized beach volleyball, ping pong tournaments, tennis clinics, Spanish lessons and tours by paddleboard, bike and kayak. There were also fitness classes that ranged from yoga to Zumba to aqua aerobics in the pool. If you wanted to go more low-key, you could play corn hole.
If it rains, the resort puts on activities such as dance lessons, bingo, black jack and other interactive games.
There's also a spa with a variety of treatments available, such as:
- Glow & Go Facial, $135.
- Argan & Comfrey Root Stem Cell Facial, $249.
- Tension Relief Massage, $239.
- Choco-Sumptuous Body Polish, $145.
- Sun Lover's instant Relief Wrap, $199.
- Hairstyling (short to medium length), $89.
In the evening, there is some live and recorded music during and after dinner plus a lovely theater where various shows — including one that features Cirque du Soleil-style acrobats — are staged.
Riviera Maya alternatives
If Secrets Impression Moxché doesn't seem like the perfect fit for your next all-inclusive Mexican vacation, consider these other nearby points-friendly properties.
- Breathless Cancun Soul Resort & Spa — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night (adults-only).
- Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night (family-friendly).
- Hilton Cancun — from 89,000 Hilton points per night (family-friendly).
- Hilton Playa del Carmen — from 65,000 Hilton points per night (adults-only).
- Hilton Tulum — from 90,000 Hilton points per night (family-friendly).
- Hyatt Zilara Cancun — from 35,000 Hyatt points per night (adults-only).
- Hyatt Ziva Cancun — from 35,000 Hyatt points per night (family-friendly).
- Hyatt Zilara Riviera Maya — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night (adults-only).
- Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night (family-friendly).
- Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun — from 25,000 Hyatt points per night (adults-only).
- Secrets Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa — from 25,000 Hyatt points per night (adults-only).
Or these options that aren't all-inclusive:
- Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night.
- Conrad Tulum — from 90,000 Hilton points per night.
- Grand Hyatt Playa del Carmen Resort — from 21,000 Hyatt points per night.
- The St. Regis Kanai Resort, Riviera Maya — from 82,000 Marriott points per night.
- Thompson Playa del Carmen Beach House — from 17,000 Hyatt points per night.
- Thompson Playa del Carmen Main House — from 9,000 Hyatt points per night.
I used to travel often with my father, who used a wheelchair. Whenever I travel somewhere new, I consider whether he could have vacationed in that spot. For people that have mobility challenges, this might not be the ideal resort. It is spread out and there is no golf cart service to take you from your room to another part of the resort. While the walkways around the resort seem wheelchair-friendly, it's a lot of ground to cover to get from Secrets Impression to some of the restaurants or the spa on the Moxché side. The beach and some of the hidden-away cenote grottos may also be hard to navigate.
The hotel's website doesn't give any details on its accessible features so if you're considering this resort, be sure to reach out first to ensure it has everything you'll need while away from home.