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The Preferred Club Bungalow Suite Swim Out Ocean Front accommodations.
The Preferred Club Bungalow Suite Swim Out Ocean Front accommodations.

Although I attended Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa’s grand opening in 2017,  I wanted to take a closer look, so I recently checked back in.

Founded in 2001, AMResorts has not only developed six distinct brands, but it has expanded to about 50 resorts in the greater Caribbean—16 of which are Secrets—and next year it will top 60. Like Breathless, Secrets is for adults only, yet the two lines have different markets.

When arrivals walk through the lobby, they emerge to a carefully designed view of palms framing pools that lead to the Caribbean Sea. To the left and right are single-story, thatch-roof buildings and 6-story buildings whose bamboo-like “shutters” artfully evoke the Dominican countryside. The resort’s 457 suites feature earth tones and wood punctuated by purple throw pillows; even suites with four-posters feel contemporary.

This Secrets has 50 swim-out and plunge-pool units. They were in use, too. No surprise. Whereas Breathless targets singles as well as socially outgoing twosomes, Secrets is wholeheartedly for couples and for romance.

And Oh, that Spa
To sweeten the deal for couples who just want to hang out together, there’s the service. My room had a secret box for room service (available 24/7), and one day, while I was sitting at the table of a Premium Club swim-out patio, a waiter materialized on the far side of the water, asking if I’d like something to drink or eat—anything at all. I ordered a drink, and he quickly brought it to me, managing to do so without getting wet. Then, just as quickly, he left me alone.

This is not to say that Secrets offers little to do other than enjoy together time. There’s that beautiful beach, the many pools, and the fitness center. The Spa by Pevonia, barely smaller than Belgium, features thatch-roof buildings for treatments built around courtyards with pools, hydrotherapy fixtures, saunas and steam baths, relaxation rooms, and a juice bar.

Beyond juice, guests enjoy eight a la carte restaurants (no reservations required, as is typical of Secrets’ Unlimited-Luxury style), a buffet, and six bars plus a breakfast-lunch pool bar for Premium Club guests. A full schedule of activities includes stretching classes, archery, volleyball…. For an extra charge, guests can enjoy snorkeling trips, fishing excursions, and world-class golf.

Romance, Not Nonstop Foam Parties
There’s not much going on at many resorts between late afternoon and dinner, but just in case couples get tired of canoodling, Secrets Cap Cana schedules events such as water basketball and dance classes at 4:30, and live music in the lobby/lounge at 6:30. Evening entertainment leans toward reggae, jazz, or R&B ballads. Again, Secrets is about romance, not nonstop foam parties. The signature scene setter is the video loop above the lobby bar, in which gentle elephants and leopards quietly cozy up to beautiful people.

Sure, there’s also a show every evening, but the theater is positioned so sounds emanating from it don’t disturb guests who want quiet time. The same goes for late-night music in the Desires lounge.

Three other standard Unlimited-Luxury amenities I should mention: the free phone calls to North America, the exceptionally reliable WiFi, and the motorless watersports gear. Tip from a former lifeguard and current sailor: Urge clients to carefully check watersports gear before using it.

Why Preferred Is Preferred
You can book a Junior Suite Tropical View (just shy of 600 sq. ft.) for about $525 in shoulder season without the client sacrificing any Unlimited-Luxury amenities. However, I recommend a Preferred Club suite starting at $660 shoulder season. For me, the Preferred Club clinchers are the butler-served Club pool, the proximity of the spa, and the reserved section of the beach. This beach is wide, long, and lovely, but I noticed a shortage of beach umbrellas for the common folk. By contrast, the Preferred guests have plenty of palapa shade, so sunburn is far less likely to get in the way of romance for them.

Contact Information
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa:
amrewards.amragents.com

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