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“Secrets Huatulco - A Travel Agent's Perspective”

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Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 47 Hotels in Huatulco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed July 12, 2012

I just returned in June from a wonderful trip to the Secrets Huatulco Resort. This is a new destination that Apple Vacations is offering non-stop flights to this summer for 7 nights out of St. Louis. As a travel agent, I was very excited to visit a brand new destination that most of my friends, family and clients had never even heard of.

First off, the resort is beautiful. Very modern, super clean and the rooms are amazing (especially the showers). Service was perfect, food was great and I really had no complaints about the resort at all. The occupancy was very low, so it felt like we had our own private resort sometimes. There isn't a ton going on at night, but they did have a show most nights and the nightclub was open after. They also had live music several nights after dinner and before the show. I personally don't do the night life, am usually too tired after a nice long dinner and a busy day. They usually only had 2 or 3 restaurants open each night for dinner, but they rotated every night so we ate in every single one. It's so nice to just walk in and be shown to a table. The "Spice" was my favorite and the only one you have to make reservations for if you want to sit at the Tepinyaki tables for the "show". Those can be made the morning of, and you always get a schedule in your room each night for the next day, so you can go to the concierge the morning that one is open and make your reservation. If Castaways is open for lunch, that is a great lunch because it's not buffet. The buffet was fine, but Castaways sits up on the "cliff" so to speak and has amazing views. They also had a small bar/buffet down at the pool every day or the main buffet restaurant was open.

The beach is probably their least desirable part, although it's quite big and beautiful. The sand is very "sharp" so I definitely recommend taking water shoes to walk on the beach and go in the water. There are plenty of beach chairs and even beach "beds" that swing which is nice to relax on. The red flag was up every day we were there, but we got in several times and it was just fine. The water was clean and no big rocks or anything to worry about under your feet. You just need to go out about 10 feet into the water to avoid the surf. But the sounds of the waves rolling in was lovely from our room and elsewhere on the resort.

The pools are very nice and large, so again, felt like we had our own private pool sometimes. They have those nice foam mattresses floating around, so it's nice if you can snag one of those. The swim up bar is nice and they make wonderful Mango Margaritas and you can ask Juan for a Superman if he's working. Delicious! I do recommend taking some insulated mugs or cups for drinks, although they serve pretty big drinks. I just like to keep cold water at all times, so I'd have them fill that up with ice and bottled water in the morning or Diet Coke and then order my frozen drinks when the mood struck.

The gym is nice (although I never used it I'm ashamed to say) and the spa is wonderful. They sit up on a cliff to the side along with one of the Restaurants (Oceana), so if you don't want to walk up there, you can ask the bell hops to take you up in their golf carts and they are happy to do it. We used our resort coupons toward a couples massage (just talk to Alberto at the spa desk in the lobby) and got it for $200 and it was amazing. You get free use of the hydro circuit for an hour before and that was amazing. Almost didn't need the massage after that.

I was a bit concerned about the weather, as it is considered their rainy season, but we only had rain 1 day and then just a part of another morning. It does get a bit overcast in the mornings, but the afternoons were all quite beautiful. I was glad for it, personally, as it kept the temps reasonable and the sun at bay. You are pretty close to the equator there, so the sun can get you if you aren't careful! Their dry season is in the winter, but they said it looks like Arizona then and I don't think I'd enjoy that as much. The lush tropical foliage was my favorite part. It's beautiful this time of year!

We did the 7 Bays Sun and Sail tour which was good, but if you don't want to snorkel, I'm not sure it's worth it. If you like to snorkel though, that part was worth it. Amazing fish and bigger and more quantity than I've ever seen. It was a long day full of several stops that took much longer than they should have, so another way to do it is the Jetski snorkel trip. A few hours less and more direct to snorkeling. I also heard good things about the waterfall tour and the city tour, but we didn't get a chance to do it.

We hired a taxi to take us into La Crucecita for shopping one day and it was only $7 each way. Great shopping, a fun little town to walk around in.

The destination is very different and I think that's why I loved it! It is a true "Mexico" experience, very different from any place else I've been, and I've been to CUN/RIV/PVR and Cabo. It's so very authentic and the people are quite friendly. It' not commercialized, which is nice. No McDonald's or Wal-Mart. I felt very safe and secure there and couldn't get over the scenery. The views are just jaw dropping gorgeous from the resort and everywhere you go.

The only reason I didn't give this resort the full 5 stars is that no place is perfect and I very rarely rate something in that way. I will say, though, that the staff made this place darn close and they all were very accommodating to our every request. From the concierge and front desk staff down to the maid service, everyone went out of their way to make our experience quite enjoyable.

If you'd like more information, check out my blog at http://www.thetravelgals.blog.com/ or e-mail me at trish@thetravelgals.com if you want to see my pics. I did seven different blog entries while I was there and there are lots of pics on my blog too!

Room Tip: If you want to be close to the lobby and restaurants, building 1 is great, but if you want better vi...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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22  Thank Trish H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sechu EConcierg... A, General Manager Assistant at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2014

Dear guest,

We appreciate your message, it is very important for us to receive a feedback from our guests; in order to take measures to improve our services, when needed.

In this frame, let me assure you that we will take in account your comments.

We hope to welcome you back at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa. Please don´t hesitate to contact us if you come back, and have a special request for your future stay.

Best regards,

Aurélien Pichereau
General Manager Assistant
a_gerencia.sechu@secretsresorts.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 10, 2012

We visited Secrets Huatulco in Feb 2012 for 10 days. There are some very nice things about the resort; however, we experienced a lot of negatives too and by the end of our stay I was definitely underwhelmed despite Secrets receiving rave reviews from others.

First, the pluses:

-- a beautiful resort with a great view. (Note, however, that despite being on the Pacific, there is no sunset to speak of as the resort actually faces south).

-- the Huatulco area is lovely. We visited the local town (Crucecita) and loved it (if we went back, we'd probably stay at a resort closer to this town). The town is very quaint with good restaurants and friendly people (locals and visitors).

-- For the most part, we liked the food. The Market is kind of *pedestrian*, but the service was good and we only ate breakfast and lunch there, so we weren't looking for a *dining experience*. We really liked the Seaside Grill -- good food but kind of a limited menu; good service and probably the best views.

-- With a caveat (see below), staff was very good. Everyone we dealt with went out of their way to be helpful and accommodating.

The Negatives:

-- As others have mentioned, this is a beach resort in name only. The drop-off is precipitous and the wave action / rip tide is lethal. Although I have a few more pounds and mileage on me since high school, I was on the swim team and still consider myself a pretty strong swimmer. It took about 10 seconds to realize it would be near-suicidal to try and swim in that surf.

-- ¿No habla ingles!? Wow. For a resort that caters to North Americans, I was really surprised by how few of the staff could speak *any* English, and, for those who could, how poor their command of English was. Whenever you asked a staff member something, you could be sure of an eager smile and a "It's a pleasure" response. However, I quickly realized that they had no idea what I was saying and the eagerness and friendliness wears thin when you can't find anyone to actually help you get something.

-- Probably the biggest disappointment were the drinks. I'm not a big drinker, but like to have the occasional cocktail. I learned not to bother asking for anything at Secrets except beer or wine; otherwise, it was a pretty good bet that what I received was either not what I received or was so watered down that it was undrinkable.

Case in point: I love margaritas and figured they would be delicious at a resort that advertised "unlimited luxury" and "top-shelf spirits". Even though I enjoy margaritas, I don't have much tolerance for alcohol: one is my usual limit, two will pretty much finish me for the evening. At Secrets, I couldn't even detect that the margaritas included tequila. In fact, one night, as a little experiment, I decided to see how many margaritas I could drink before feeling the effects of the alcohol. I gave up after SEVEN margaritas and not feeling the slightest effect at all.

On the whole, it was a beautiful place with very nice (but non-English speaking) staff. However, the negatives outweighed the pluses and I would not return to this resort. Moreover, despite registering my disappointment on the Secrets survey form at check out, and sending a lengthy e-mail to Secrets HQ when we returned, I got no response to either and so have serious doubts whether I'd visit any other Secrets resorts.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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12  Thank CoolRich59
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012

Just returned from a week at the new Secrets Huatulco Resort. First i will cover the good things. This place just opened in December, so everything is fairly new. The rooms and furnishings are beautiful. I really appreciate the double sinks, the roomy closet, the in-room safe and the comfy bed! We opted for the preferred club for two reasons. The first was that a balcony with a jacuzzi tub really intrigued me and the other was all of the hype about Preferred Club status. I'm not sure it was worth the extra money. The way this resort is set up, there are preferred rooms in all six of the buildings. Yep that's right. I was expecting there to be a preferred club building with it's own separate P.C. lounge and concierge. Well, that isn't what i found when i checked in. The preferred club lounge and concierge are located in the main building of the hotel, just off the lobby. If you go to this hotel, you will see just how inconvenient this is. We happened to be in Building 4. In order to get to the preferred club, we had to walk down the hall (exterior) to the elevators (only one was working at any given time during our stay) and then up to the top floor where we proceeded through the Sky Bar (this is beautiful with amazing views) and then to another set of stairs (or elevator if you had all day) to get to the preferred club lounge. The "lounge" turned out to be a single room with a few tables and a couple of computer terminals and a concierge who was usually there. The offerings here consisted of continental breakfast with juice and coffee in the morning from 7 am on. We never went here for our breakfast because we had to walk past the Market Cafe which was already opened and where we could have anything we wanted for breakfast (including made to order eggs). They also opened at 7 am. The only advantage we saw from being "preferred club" was that we had free wi-fi, but it seemed to only be available in our room. We were hoping to be able to sit by the pool and connect to the internet to check mail etc. The jacuzzi tub on the balcony was barely big enough for one person to stretch out in, and was cramped for two adults. So, I would say, save your money and do not opt for the preferred club. It is cheaper to pay for internet when you want it. I think that all of the rooms are beautiful and have the same amenities and they certainly all look out at the ocean with an absolutely gorgeous view. They have 8 restaurants at this resort, but the week we were there (4th of July) they were not all open due to "low occupancy". The nice thing about that low occupancy is that there is never waiting for a table in the restaurant that is open and rarely a wait at the bar for a drink. However, it was maddening to have spent a considerable sum of money and expecting all restaurants to be open, only to have a choice of just 2 (sometimes 3) each night. Lunch was just as annoying. We ate a fantastic lunch on our first day at Castaways, which is set up high on the hill near the spa and gym and therefore has amazing views as well as very tasty a la carte food. When we tryed to go back the next day for lunch, it was not open. I think we managed to eat there twice more during our stay after complaining about it being closed. (we ate there every day they opened it.) The gym is wonderful although small, but all of the equipment is new so it is nice and it also has the awesome view, making working out so much more pleasant. The staff is quite nice there, always very pleasant and with a smile and greeting and they usual Mexican response "it is a pleasure" when serving you. For those who complained about the beach, well no, it is not sugary white sand. But it was very walkable for us and there is a "secret pathway" to the other side of the bay where there is an equally stunning view out on to the ocean. The red flag was waving the entire time we were there as well, but people were in the water anyway. The red flag indicates a strong undertow, which there definitely was, but there is a life guard on duty from very early in the morning until ??? All in all, i would say that our trip was very enjoyable, but if i return, i will come back when there are more people there so that one could experience the full scope of services that this hotel has to offer.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank gfl29forever
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

We stayed at Secrets Resort in Huatulco and had a wonderful experience. The resort is set in a beautiful bay looking over the ocean. If you are looking for unspoiled beauty, easy to get to, quality cuisine, and a romantic atmosphere then Secrets Hualtulco is the place to go. My husband and I enjoyed the jet ski tour and the spa as well. We were in a preferred swim up room which was kept very clean and so were the pools. We enjoyed trying a new restaurant every evening. It was the best food we have had at an all inclusive.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Diane S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 9, 2012

Huatulco is a destination on the far south Pacific coast of Mexico many travelers will not be familiar with, I expect, because it is difficult to get to. From our city, there is new non-stop charter service so we decided to give it a try as we frequently visit the Riviera Maya. The Secrets resort has only be open less than a year but the staff is doing their best to work out the kinks. The airport facilities and the subsequent road to and from are not quite ready for prime time so pack your patience. I will say everyone we met was very friendly and helpful but your high school Spanish will come in handy here.

The adults only Secrets Resort 's 6 buildings are terraced down over a steep hillside so there are good views from virtually every room. We were in Building 1 at the top which we liked because it was quiet, close to the restaurants and was the only building (we heard) that got good wi fi. The rooms are comfortable with good AC but on the smallish side as compared to resorts we have been to. Also, the decor is starkly modern which is not my taste but to each their own. A disappointment was there was no air conditioned bar we could gather before dinner. The Sky Bridge bar was fun but very hot and humid and after dressing for a nice meal, it would have been nice to have had a cool place for pre-dinner cocktail. All the main restaurants all were air conditioned although still got steamy at times.

Other reviewers have covered the service and meals pretty well already, so suffice it to say, we were mostly happy, especially with the evening meals. The breakfast buffet was hit and miss and after a week, got old. There was no restaurant serving an ala carte breakfast although we were told there is one open during high season. I have found the food in general is better on the Pacific side as we love the spicier salsas and like our Mexican dishes, muy picante. Sadly no lobster served here except for one night where there was an event with an upcharge. Also shrimp dishes were not quite as plentiful as they are in the Cancun area all-inclusives.

Our chief complaint is the beach, although scenic is not usable. One morning we were just barely walking in the surf and the lifeguard came rushing over to tell us not to even get our feet in the water as the undertow was too strong. The sand is very coarse and gets very hot so beach shoes are a must. Red flags were out everyday so we were not able to get in the ocean at all. A repeat guest said this is always the case no matter what the time of the year. I have trouble believing Secrets would build a resort on such a rough beach so who knows. We went in June which is the start of rainy season but we only had one morning of rain which was welcome due to the high heat and humidity. The pools are large and nice and the bar service was great so no problems there.

I would say this is a nice destination for travelers wanting to try something different and who are primarily pool people but enjoy looking at the ocean.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank mazenlamb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 7, 2012

Senor Everett Medina
Chief Concierge
Secrets Resort and Spa
Huatulco, MX

Everett - I just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you for all of your efforts and let you know how much my entire family enjoyed our stay at your resort. It was a phenomenal destination that we will long remember. We could not have asked for a nicer, better maintained facility. The grounds, common areas, restaurants and pool areas were all immaculate. The Housekeeping Staff did miracles with our rooms. The Bell Staff, Wait Staff, Concierge Desk,and the Spa staff (to name only a few) were equally fantastic. The food in every one of the restaurants was delicious. We especially enjoyed Cin Cin (Italian cuisine) and the Market Cafe. However, I would be remiss if I did not emphasize that our best memories of the trip will include the friendliness and professionalism of your entire staff. When I use the word "entire", I truly mean it. We were absolutely delighted by every single member of your staff with whom we came into contact.

My personal favorite was the middle age gentleman on the Bell Staff that had recently injured both arms in what I believe was a motorcycle accident. I have never met a friendlier or more personable individual. He always greeted me with an "Hola Senor", a firm handshake, a smile on his face and a "How is your day?".

My wife would not let me send this without her complimenting the entire Hostess staff at the Market Cafe and tell them thanks for how much fun their daily Spanish lessons were.

We have never felt so pampered in our lives.

As for Huatulco itself, it was an absolutely delightful destination. I marvel at how it could be etched out of the mountains and provide such a delightful view of the Pacific Ocean. Visiting your resort in the "rainy season" was somewhat concerning to us before our arrival. However, the grounds were so lush and the fact that we were treated as the "only guests" was totally unbelievable.

My one regret was that (with your very busy schedule) I was unable to track you down during our stay so I could share my appreciation with you directly.

Secrets - Huatulco will definitely be on our "Definitely Return List".

Very Appreciatively,

Jerry XXXXX and Family

Davenport, Iowa U.S.A.

Room Tip: All rooms look directly out onto the Pacific Ocean. The resort beach is private and beautifully sec...
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank JerryDavenport_Iowa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2012

my husband and me stayed in a master suite swim out room in the first floor near the pools area; bad! all the nights we had several visitors(big,big,big) spiders, crickets,insects;be carefull, keep you RAID insecticide with you; in the day a lot of flys inside the room!, they had to make the cleanning with the door close!.my son stayed in the 2nd building and the view was espectacular, the hotel is amazing, the views, the spa, the people: everett,diana,anna,lizzet, they are great!, very helpfull and friendly all the people.. the food was great!! the beach "uggly" and dangerous; you CANNOT swim in that Bahia! red flag is always there, my husband is a very good swimmer and he has a very bad experience there, really, you dont try to swim in the beach, you can enjoy the hotel and the bars and the facility. We had a problem with the reservation, they need to coordinate with the reservation center,if you want to make a reservation call directly to the Secrets Huatulco by phone.

Room Tip: saty away from the first floor, because of the insects!! spiders. is better and shipper ocean view...
  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank esthertexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa

Address: Seccion Hotelera Bahia de Conejos | Lote 8, Huatulco 70989, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Southern Mexico > Oaxaca > Huatulco
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Huatulco
#1 Spa Hotel in Huatulco
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Huatulco
#1 Luxury Hotel in Huatulco
#2 Business Hotel in Huatulco
#3 Romantic Hotel in Huatulco
#4 Family Hotel in Huatulco
Price Range: $228 - $561 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 399
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The enchanting Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa sits on the Pacific coast in Huatulco - a sustainable tourism destination recognized for its commitment to the local environment. Beautifully secluded on the Conejos Bay, guests at Secrets Huatulco are treated to divine views of golden sand beaches, stunning rock formations and sapphire waters. Exclusive Unlimited-Luxury(R) amenities start with limitless gourmet fare and top-shelf spirits, pool and beach wait service, and 24-hour room and concierge services. While 399 gorgeous suites offer daily refreshed mini-bar, spectacular views, plus a furnished balcony, terrace Jacuzzi, or swim-out pool access. Take part in daily activities and nightly entertainment, or a pampering treatment at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia. Guests can even spend a night out with the Sip, Savor & See Dining Experience at the nearby Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa, to enjoy more fine dining and entertainment. Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa - Enchanting. Secluded. Divine. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secrets Huatulco Resort And Spa
Secrets Huatulco Hotel Huatulco

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