Travel Eats: Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya | chicago foodie girl


Travel Eats: Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya

Along with the picture perfect postcard views everywhere you look, fabulous spa services that will leave you feeling like putty, and an amazingly friendly staff, Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya also offers vacationers a non-stop smorgasbord of fantastic food options. Being that it is an all-inclusive resort, you have the opportunity to sample everything your heart (and stomach!) desires; between the nine dining options, including six gourmet á la carte restaurants, you can happily eat and drink your way from Mexico to Japan.

While Barb and I put in plenty of quality time at the beach and at our favorite swim-up bar, we also spent just as much time exploring all of the food options the resort has to offer. During our entire stay, there wasn't a single meal we didn't enjoy - and we made sure to sample everything from the buffet-style breakfast spot through all of the formal dinner restaurants. Every single restaurant was on point with their food preparation, presentation, and service (there was *so* much delicious food!). Needless to say, I could easily fill ten posts with photos from every meal, but for brevity's sake, I narrowed it down to a few of my favorites from our time in foodie paradise...

Bourguignon Escargot marinated in butter, parsley, garlic & thyme from Portofino and Bordeaux (hosted in the private wine cellar dining space). On our first night in Mexico, we were welcomed to the resort with a four-course French and Mediterranean Fusion Dinner; not only was the entire meal beautifully executed, but also this garlicky escargot was one of the best versions of the dish I've ever had!

Rack of Lamb with a pine nut crust and cranberry sauce, served with fungi risotto (paired with Raymond Huet Huat-Medoc) from Portofino and Bordeaux. This was another standout dish from the pairings dinner; the lamb was so tender and perfectly seasoned. Everyone at the table completely cleared their plates!

Pastry Degustation from Portofino and Bordeaux

Barb and I opted to visit Seaside Grill and Oceana (indoor/outdoor seating) for most of our lunches; they're both super cute and offer a variety of grilled and fresh seafood options.

Plus, you can't beat those gorgeous seaside views!

Grilled Mahi Mahi and Shrimp from Oceana

The adorable 24-hour coffee shop, Coco Café.

Coco Café offers a variety of coffee-based drinks (ranging from simple cups of coffee to fancy blended concoctions) with the option to add alcohol for an extra kick.

One of my favorite experiences was the wine tasting class with Head Sommelier Alberto Ek (the most personable sommelier I've ever met!). He led us through a variety of exercises focused on fine-tuning our sense of smell (using this aroma kit) and introduced us to the wines of Mexico. I walked away with a new appreciation for wine and sommeliers, along with some new favorites from Casa Madero.

After the Top Chef viewing party, Barb and I stopped by El Patio for a late-night taste of modern Mexican cuisine.

Watermelon Salad with panela cheese, coriander seeds, and grasshoppers, topped with a honey vinaigrette from El Patio

Yes, they definitely looked creepy, but the grasshoppers added a nice amount of spice and a great crunchy texture to the juicy, salty salad (they're similar in texture to firm popcorn).

Beef Filet with black recado sauce and chorizo. Not only was this one of my favorite dishes of the entire trip, but it was also one of the best pieces of beef I've ever had! The black recado sauce was ridiculously good with its deep flavor and light/slow heat.

I absolutely loved the aesthetic at Himitsu, the Pan-Asian restaurant.

Seafood and Noodle Salad with a spicy ginger and coriander sauce at Himitsu

Seabass with miso sauce and black garlic flakes. Out of all of the seafood I ate during the trip, the dishes from Himitsu were my absolute favorites - everything was so fresh and perfectly balanced!

Black Sesame Ice Cream with rice pudding

On our second to last night, we were treated to a special dinner set in the executive chef's kitchen, which began with a greeting (and a round of cocktails) by the lovely staff. I know I've said it several times already, but I really was blown away by the staff; they truly went above and beyond to ensure we had a fantastic experience.

Jicama Salad with Tuna. I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of jicama (it's one of those vegetables I can take or leave), but the inventive ways in which it was used in the dishes in Mexico really changed my mind.

Chiles en Nogada with pomegranate foam and toasted nuts

Red Pozole with Jalisco-style pork belly

Just look at that melt in your mouth pork belly!

Trio of Tacos: beef tongue, cochinita, and pastor style. While I was prepared to like the cochinita and pastor tacos, I didn't have high hopes for the beef tongue (as the preparations I've had before were all very dry and chewy). I was surprised by how tender and flavorful it was!

So many fantastic decanters!

Beef Chimole with soft chochoyote of epazote

Plating the final course of the night right on our tables!

Chocolate with Truffle Oil and blue cheese ice

Room service with a view: ceviche, goat cheese flatbread, and alfajores. The resort offers 24-hour room service with the option to have your food delivered to your secrets box (a privacy box in which they slide the food in from the outside and ring to let you know it was delivered). While we spent the rest of the trip exploring the various restaurant options, it was nice to spend lunch on the final day in Mexico relaxing on my balcony and taking in the gorgeous view.

Cheers to Secrets Akumal Riviera!

This trip was coordinated in conjunction with Secrets Resorts, Amstar, and Apple Vacations; thanks for supporting the companies that support chicago foodie girl!


  1. I'm glad that you enjoyed yourself so much. Thanks for sharing your beautiful experience.

    1. Thanks so much, Natasha! It was such a fantastic trip - I can't wait to head back and explore more of Mexico!

  2. We're heading there next week, so this review was super helpful, thanks! I've never been down south, all I've heard about food is to be careful (bottled water, etc.), so it's nice to see a positive review!

    1. Thanks so much! It really was a fantastic experience -- it's definitely worth visiting! If you're staying at the resort, you won't have to worry as much about the water, as they have some hardcore filtering systems. :-)


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