Disappointed holidaymakers use TripAdvisor to share experiences of food poisoning and stomach illness at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun, where some guests have been hospitalised and reviewers have reported that members of staff at the Mexican hotel are denying that there’s an issue.

The Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun in Mexico

Advertised on an all-inclusive basis to British holidaymakers by Virgin Holidays, the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun in Mexico is an adults-focussed Caribbean resort that features a range of facilities, some of which have been tailored to meet the needs of wedding parties and honeymooners.

Reviewers report food poisoning and stomach illness

TripAdvisor reviews for the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun are generally very positive, with the hotel sitting amongst the top 5 hotels in the Puerto Morelos and received their “Certificate of Excellence” and “Travellers’ Choice 2016 Winner – All-inclusive” accolades. Although the hotel has received these awards and praise, recent guests have encountered problems with a stomach illness.


In the review of his stay at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun this December titled “Both of us sick, numerous staff knew, no offers of help“, ‘BoogieDown71’ says that he and his wife “came down with severe stomach sickness with severe vomiting“.

He says that they “spoke to numerous other people“, including “a honeymooning couple [who] told [them that] they were told that [they were aware of] 100 people [who] were sick“. He adds that they “knew of at least 5 others” who had been affected, and “the bellhop told [them that] numerous people were sick“, and that from “recent reviews” he can see “that this has been going on for weeks“.


In her simply titled review; “Food Poisoning“, ‘Dellandrea53’ says that they stayed at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun “Nov’ 16-30 with another couple” and “all of [them] got food poisoning“.

She says that “two doctors from Canada and USA both confirmed it was food poisoning“, adding that “even one of the doctors got sick and had to go to the hospital” and “there [were] people getting sick all through the resort and being sent to the hospital“.

‘Dellandrea53’ continues to comment that “the resort shut down the outdoor barbeque and wood-fired pizza oven to try and stop the spread of sickness“, and “the general manager and head concierge came and talked to [them] as well as many [other] sick people and sent dielectric [sic] fluid to [their] rooms“.


‘Jennifer M’ wrote a review of her stay in November titled “Beautiful Honeymoon/Great Weather/Great Views/With some Issues“. In her detailed review, she comments that “like a few previous reviews, [her] husband fell pretty sick“. She explains that “the cost for medical treatment was $285” and the hospital staff “would not take [their] insurance and tried to charge [them] $1,600 up front before even seeing the doctor“.


‘Mike K’ was also a guest in November and in his review titled “Good news and really bad news“, he says that “50% of [his] group had food [poisoning]” and he “saw on [TripAdvisor] that many others had similar experiences“.


Food poisoning symptoms and seeing a medical practitioner


In the review of his stay in November titled “Violently ill for 30 hours“, ‘Tim L’ says that he ended “up with severe food poisoning and a stomach virus on [their] 3rd day there” and subsequently lost “9.2 lbs“.

He comments that his “husband got mildly ill on the Thursday“, and “when [they] advised the front desk, [they] were told [that they] probably drank too much as no [one] else was complaining“. He goes on to say that this seemed odd, as “the Himitsu restaurant was closed the Tuesday night, which is where [he] told them [that he] ate on Monday night“.


In her review of her stay in November; “Last year 5 star, this year disappointing[; ]lots of food issues“, ‘CalgaryFun_and_sun’ echoes previous reviewers by stating that “there was a lot of food-related sickness at the hotel“.

He explains that “almost every other couple or group [that they] talked to […] had someone out sick“, and that he “got pretty bad food poisoning 2 days in and needed medical intervention from the doctor on site“, requiring “antibiotic injections […] for 3 days“.

‘CalgaryFun_and_sun’ continues to say that “when [he] told management about the food issues, they didn’t really seem concerned about the situation“, and that “they mostly tried to deny it and claim that [he] was the only person that has mentioned it, even though [he knows] someone that went up to complain a day earlier“. He suggests that “they just wanted to make sure it didn’t seem like they were at fault“.


In her review of her stay in November titled “Nice resort but got sick“, ‘Laurel78723’ says that she and her “husband […] also got sick“, stating that while she understands that “a bug can spread quickly in a busy resort“, what she didn’t “appreciate is the lack of communication“.

She explains that “it would have been nice if they had communicated what medical services were available“, commenting that “instead“, the “management denied the problem” and “the manager Pedro told [them that they] just drank too much“.


‘Christine J’ wrote a review of her stay in November that was simply titled “Beautiful resort“, in which she says that they “have been [at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun] for 3 days now and about 40 percent of the guests have a severe case of food poisoning“, alluding to the illness affecting guest at “both ends“.

She says that they “met other couples that were both sick at different times” and that they had an “unsuccessful talk with the manager [who] tried to pass it off as gossip“. She explains that because she’s travelling “with medical professionals“, she knows that it’s “not the flu“.

‘Christine J’ concludes her review by stating that she “personally knows of about 50 plus people that were sick“.


Director de Relaciones Públicas responds to reviewer

In response to a review by ‘BoogieDown71’, the Director de Relaciones Públicas at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun apologised for their disappointing experience, as can be seen in the following excerpt:


It is with great sadness that we learn of an overall disappointing experience, for which we cannot but offer our sincerest apologies.

We are sorry that you recently suffered adverse health effects while staying at our property. Please know that we have a regular system of ongoing inspections, certifications and trainings conducted by leading third-party organizations to ensure our property meets the highest possible hygiene, water and food quality standards. After your complaint, our Health and Safety team proactively conducted additional food and water quality laboratory tests and there have not been any additional similar complaints since that point. It is always our goal to ensure our guests have the most enjoyable experience with us.


Find out if you can claim ‘no win no fee’ compensation

If you suffered food poisoning on an all-inclusive package holiday to the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun, then under The Package Travel Regulations 1992 you might be entitled to compensation from your tour operator.

A member of our travel law team can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation, during which we can advise you of the best way to pursue your complaint, including whether we can represent you on a ‘no win no fee‘ basis.

Rebecca McIvor - Litigation Executive - Travel Law

Get in touch

If you want to find out more about claiming for illness at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun in Mexico; contact Rebecca McIvor by completing our enquiry form and we will call you back, call us on 0808 145 1353 or visit On Holiday Claims.