We stayed at Secrets 31st Jan - 13thFeb. It was our second stay within a year, and it is as perfect as ever, despite having a few room problems in the first day, which were more than sorted out by our Thomson's rep, Sonia, who was excellent.
We arrived after an eight hour flight with Brittania airways, the flight wasn't too bad although the seats are so small as to be ridiculous. We completed the new blue forms on arrival which were about the same as the green ones, collected our cases and were quickly dispatched in a private taxi. Last time we were on a bus doing drop offs at other hotels en-route, the journey is much quicker by taxi and it would definately be a consideration when booking in the future.
When we arrived check-in was quick and efficient,with mimosas and cool towels and cookies, we had to wait 30minutes for our room.
The next part is my only negative experience at Secrets in the full 4 weeks I've spent there and regretfully it's at the start of my review. I can now fully understand why people do write poor reviews when they have couple of things go wrong. Usually everything is spot on perfect there, but after a long flight, time differences and high expectations it is so disappointing when it isn't, we had 2 weeks to get over it, if you only have a couple of days it could colour your whole impression of the hotel.
We were very disappointed with the room - 2 queen beds shoved together, headboards all over the place, no bedside cabinet and no canopy - although we did have iced champagne, fruit and a towel and flower heart on the bed. I'd e-mailed in advance requesting a king room. After requesting a move from reception we were moved to a king bedded room on the ground floor in block 14. This looked okay, but obviously had not been used for a while and the view of the shops off resort wasn't ideal, but clean. As soon as we walked in with our luggage the over-powering musty smell was revolting, it hadn't been there when we looked at the room initially so I presume it came from the air-conditioning. We then discovered no iron, no ironing board cover, coffee machine didn't work and the safe didn't work. After brief tears and a tantrum (!) we decided to make the most of it and see how we felt in the morning.
Next morning we had room service for breakfast on the patio while we wrote our list of missing bits to give to reception, the room smelt marginally less awful, although the view had deteriorated with it being used as the main staff thoroughfare, but we had decided to stay put. We mentioned the problems to the rep at our welcome meeting but didn't ask to be moved again, she had a quick word at reception and we were moved to a master suite on the 3rd floor overlooking the cascade pool by lunchtime! This room was more than perfect, tears again, but these were happy tears!. Francisco moved us each time and he is wonderful. From here onwards everthing was spot on and such a lovely room made up for the initial disappointment.
Lots of facts about Secrets are repeated in numerous reports and they are mostly accurate so I won't repeat them, instead I'll go through the things that make Secrets extra-special and memorable for us.
After the first morning we had room service for breakfast most days, sat on our balcony overlooking the cascade pool. I loved that, it was so special. Daniel, who brought it, was lovely. After the first morning, when room service answered the phone they always knew my partners name and our room number immediately. They always gave us an estimated time and it was always there within this, maximum 40 minutes, usually 20 minutes. We got talking to another couple one night and missed dinner, it was nice being able to get burgers and chocolate cake when we returned to our room later.
I'm a bath fanatic at the best of times, the jacuzzi was heaven. I took lots of scented candles and bubble bath, it was romantic no need to say more! Anyone that claims the jacuzzi is not big enough for two must be very large indeed.
Food and drinks on the beach
We are beach people, there is nothing like having drinks brought to you whilst basking, except maybe the pizza man and sandwich lady who makes their rounds delivering from lunchtime onwards, that was heaven!
We always sunbathed on the beach, but if you weren't there early you had to often hunt a vacant spot down, a lot of these reserved places were often left vacant all day - I suspect some greedy folk reserved places at beach and pool. I didn't find the beach at all dirty, it was being cleaned all day by hotel staff.
The sea was rough, to say the least, although a lot of fun. The under-tow knocked me off my feet a fair few times and although I would consider myself a strong swimmer I wouldn't have ventured out over chest deep. On our previous stay the sea was much calmer, although still lots of waves.
When we weren't full of pizza from the beach, we had our lunch in the seafood resturant at 3ish. It was lovely sitting there, leisurely sipping wine, a slight breeze, listening to the ocean; it felt like being in a character in a book! The staff here were lovely, the food was always very good.
The whole hotel is just so relaxing and romantic. It's like there is the only the two of you there, nowhere is crowded, you rarely have to look for a seat, you are treated as if you are special. There's no pressure to join in activities and there are very few loud, obnoxious guests. The staff without exception are fantastic.
We ate here at night quite often, the onion soup and chateaubriand are wonderful. We like eating about 9pm onwards, so we booked in about 8.30pm, sat in the bar with our bleeper until called. The wait varied from about 15 minutes to 45 minutes absolute maximum, although they usually said it would be longer. The service is excellent (Kelvin is our Number One waiter) although sometimes on the slow side, I think maybe Americans are more aware of this Europeans as we tend to prefer slower service anyway.
Choice of wine
I like having the choice of more than one red or white wine and I like it that it comes out of a bottle, often on the table, not on tap, like a lot of all inclusives. I'm not a wine expert (although should be the amount I drink!) but I enjoyed the wine, I could see no reason to order a bottle off the wine list.
We absolutely loved the parrots, chickens, rabbits, flamingoes etc. We visited every time we passed and have more photos of parrots than of ourselves!
We had turndown every single night, they leave fresh towels, chocolates and a daily news letter. That was a nice touch.
There's dozens more things but I'm going on a bit. All in all we had a wonderful holiday. We had already decided that we would get married at Secrets next year, but we couldn't wait a year to go back, so within 24 hours of getting home we have booked to go for a fortnight in October!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.