We stayed here for 5 days in early June, mostly for relaxation, snorkeling, and diving. There are pros and cons but overall we enjoyed the stay and would likely return.
Rooms: I've stayed twice before in the Junior Suite rooms which used to be the Exclusive section of Sabor, and was happy to see some nice upgrades - clear railings on the balcony, extra comfy hammocks, flat screen tvs, more comfortable bedding, robes and slippers, good toiletries including sunscreen lotion, and of course access to the Aura facilities. These rooms are not fantastic, but they are also very affordable and more than worth the price point. We visited an ocean view room, and they are beautiful and the right choice if money is not an option. However, for us, we did not feel like they were worth the extra cost for an upgrade. We were happy in our room. The only issue was not having hot water after our first day, but that is just something you have to potentially accept when traveling in Mexico and the Caribbean.
Food & Drink
I felt like the food had declined in quality as far as consistency across restaurants. Breakfast on the oceanfront was wonderful and every meal was delicious. Sometimes service was a little slow, but relax, it is vacation. Typically, if not too busy, service was very good. We also ordered room service twice which never took more than 40 minutes and was very good, but usually cold due to our room being in the back of the resort and lots of people ordering due to rain. We were not a big fan of most of the food we had during lunch, and I missed the old Mexican Food option that is now Bordeaux. However, we are pretty easy going and found things we liked. Hilario, our waiter oceanfront during lunch, was a stand out as far as service. He made us delicious off the menu ceviche table side, and gave us the recipe! We wandered over to Sabor one day for pizza - mistake. The pepperoni is hotdog slices, and it took over an hour with nobody else in the restaurant! We stuck to the Aura restaurants after that. We were also not very impressed with Oceana for dinner - somewhat slow service, small bugs/ants on the tables (although maybe unavoidable on the beach), and the fish and mussels did not taste fresh. However, we absolutely loved Bordeaux. The food here is top notch and you are definitely getting your money's worth as far as food quality, service, and atmosphere. Portions are on the small side, but this is to minimize potentially wasting food. You can order as many entrees etc. as you like. The escargot, chateubriand, and the duck entree are fantastic, but everything we tried here was good. We actually ended up eating here 4 of 5 nights. We never had a wait as far as being seated or getting a table. The white wine was not good, but the red was fine with food. Low wine quality is pretty standard at an all inclusive anyway. We had no problem with the drinks, but due to personal taste, avoided most of the frozen mixed drinks. The liquor selection here is completely decent for an all inclusive, and they will pour higher end liquors if you request. We had great service at the pool bar, Rendesvous, and the Sky Bar. We drank quite a bit of tequila, and were happy with the selection. The margaritas were also pretty good.
Due to the fact it rained heavily 3 of 5 days, events like the fire show and beach dinner did not happen, and we did not venture to Sky Bar until our last night, but that is out of the resort's control. We usually fell asleep pretty early anyway. I have to add, I was at first upset about the rain, but it was actually not bad at all. There was still plenty to do, and the rain actually cooled things down a lot. Who needs to bake 10 hours a day in the sun for 5 days anyway? You can still swim, snorkel, dive, go to restaurants, lounge in the comfy hammocks and robes, spend time with whom you are with, etc. The dive boats go out, in even the seeming scariest of conditions. I dove with Dive Palancar in front of Sabor. They were fine, but the past two trips I went with Dive with Martin and I thought they were better - cheaper rates and they cart all of your gear for you. However, they go out very early, making breakfast difficult, and Dive Palancar offers many different times to go dive during the day which was more convenient to my schedule this time. Diving was good. Snorkeling was good as well, even in the rain, and a steal at less than $35 per person. The activity staff at Aura was exceptional. When raining, they made a point of being social and chatting with the guests. When sunny, the encouraged (although not annoyingly so) participation in fun activities. Paola was a real standout here - she really helped make our vacation extra wonderful, but in reality, the entire team was great. Beach volleyball, paper airplane flying contests, karaoke (yes this did actually happen, you just have to be sociable with the activity team and pick out songs at Skybar), ping pong, chess, etc. I've stayed at a lot of all inclusives and have never had so much fun or been so impressed by an activity team (I usually find them an annoyance). Just have an open mind, be friendly, and you will find plenty to do and keep you entertained. Also, other resort guests were very friendly and we had a great time meeting and hanging out with people. Trust me, there is plenty of entertainment here.
Due to the rain, there were some serious issues here. Flooding occurred in some parts of the resort - the tennis court was completely flooded out deeply with water. Wandering the resort sometimes required walking through areas of standing water on sidewalks, and after standing long enough, the water began to have a sewage like smell. Also, the pools on the junior suite side were brownish green in color and kept us out of the junior suite pool. We later learned this was due to runoff from the thatched roofs into the pools. Once the rain slowed later in the week, the resort cleaned the pools and made them sparkling and beautiful and we spent a day by the pool bar and going down the extremely fun water slide. I'm not sure if there is anything the resort could have done, but it would have been nice if they sent out a letter explaining and apologizing for the problems, or offered some sort of upgrade or something to make up for it - we received nothing of the sort. We were however happy to see a bottle of champagne and fruit in our room upon arrival, as I had mentioned to the resort we would be there celebrating my husband's birthday - very nice. The beach and pool chairs are very comfortable, and towels are placed on them for guests every morning. There are also no ridiculous wristbands here, or "towel check in/out" requirements as there used to be, which is a very good thing.
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip and would likely return to the resort. The resort is not perfect and has some issues, but remember, you are not staying, or paying for, 5 Star quality here. We found an extremely good rate for our room category - just the meals and drinks alone in the States would have cost more than we paid for our room. You generally get what you pay for, just remember that. Here, I felt we got more than what we paid for overall, even given the issues, and that makes for a pretty good vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Unlimited luxury now in Cozumel. Not only the perfect place for the celebration of love, if you desire pampering and seclusion in the Mexican Caribbean, look no further than Secrets Aura Cozumel. More than just a place to unwind, this All Inclusive - adults only getaway offers a stylishly contemporary environment for guests accustomed to the best. Each suite indulges with an inviting blend of light and comfort, as well as a private balcony featuring beautiful views to the grounds or the Ocean. Secrets Aura Cozumel has a unique category of rooms with access to the pool from the terrace and slides to the Swim up bar. For those looking for a most intimate getaway, a unique concept of Loft Suites with solarium and a private lap pool with magnificent ocean views is also available only at Secrets Aura Cozumel. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aura Cozumel Grand Hotel Cozumel
- Wyndham Cozumel
- Cozumel Wyndham