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Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa
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Reviews (4,655)
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Reviewed September 13, 2012

Just spent 6 wonderful nights at Secrets Huatulco and thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

It’s off-season so occupancy in the hotel is relatively low, which is what we enjoy. Having said that, not all the restaurants are open every night so you have to be checking the daily bulletin to see where you might be dining that evening. There are staff reductions to accommodate the smaller number of guests, but we never got the impression our needs weren’t being taken care of.

The hotel hasn’t been open a year, yet, but things seemed to be working fine. Everything in the room worked: water, electricity, air-conditioning. No complaints there. There is plenty of pool area, though a lack of umbrellas to provide some shade. A large percentage of the rooms have swim-out pools at the terrace sliding glass doors. Probably a bit of a luxury, but available for those who want that. Other ground level rooms had Jacuzzis.

All bars were open nearly all of the time. Never a problem getting a drink.

As far as restaurants go, the Market Café is hit-or-miss. Sometimes the food was cold or under-prepared. Unfortunately that’s the only choice for breakfast, though you might just be better going with room service.

The specialty restaurants are excellent. Some are only open for dinner. Oceana has a good surf and turf plate, and also an excellent tuna steak. Bordeaux has a fantastic duck dish. At Tamirindo (Mexican) we enjoyed the chicken enchiladas in mole sauce; this mole being the recipe from the Oaxaca state and having more than a little hint of the chocolate ingredient. Castaways has great seafood (enjoyed the salmon), and is open during the day which makes it a great option so you don’t have to eat lunch in the Market Café. We did not try the Spice (Oriental) restaurant. CinCin (Italian) was the most disappointing in terms of food, portion sizes (though you can always order more), and service.

During our stay a Mexican soap opera (telenovela) was being filmed in the hotel. Although you might think that it could disturb or interrupt a vacation, it was actually fun watching the actors and extras come and go, and filming their scenes. It added some extra life to our stay there. We are looking forward to watching the show when it debuts this fall.

We were extremely pleased with our time at Secrets Huatulco and definitely plan on returning.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Brian J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 11, 2012

The architecture is amazing in this hotel, the setting is serene, the service is amazing, the food delectable, and the experience will leave you wanting to move in!

My wife and I went here for our honeymoon and were so thankful that we selected Secrets in Huatulco as our week to unwind, enjoy time together, and be pampered. Half the days, we relaxed on the beach (in what is almost a private cove on the shoreline), floated in the immaculate pool the other days, and got a fabulous couples massage in their pristine spa to top it all off.

Funny, we actually stayed one night in a small town an hour away, then return and looked to stay at another luxury resorts in Huatulco, but honestly, they are all in a different category than Secrets. So, we just booked another reservation at Secrets to finish off our honeymoon at the beautiful, marvelous, and comfortable Secrets resort. Our vacation was unbelievable, and I can't recommend it highly enough.

Take a look at my pics and you'll see what I mean.

Room Tip: Rooms on the west side of the hotel (the entire hotel is split in half with an elevator bank, and "sky bar" in the center) have a more expansive view of the bahia.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Sierra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Have been to Mexico many, many times. Have stayed at many AI resorts. Stayed at DREAMS Huatulco just last year. Have heard only good things about the Secrets chain. Secrets Huatulco does have great potential but they have lots of work to do.

ROOMS and VIEWS:
The views are amazing. No question. We were on the top floor of building 1 and couldn't have asked for a better location. I found the room configuration a little strange. They have a large sliding mirrored door that separates the bed from the bathtub and shower. Only in our room, the door was completely warped and wouldnt move. it meant that you were sleeping right next to the bathtub. Strange but we rolled with it. Funny thing though, we saw maintenance out at another room removing one of those large doors where the mirror was shattered. My guess is these "sliding" doors are warping in all the rooms.

The vanity area is not user friendly; not much useable space and they have these small shallow sinks that cause the counter to flood with water. Again, not a deal breaker but odd design. The toilet room is also glass enclosed. No privacy. Rain shower and jacuzzi tub were great.

Bed was comfy. Small sitting couch was rediculous. glass tops on tables and nightstands that slid around on top. Overall room a little smaller that you see at higher end Mexico resorts.

All in all, not a perfect room but you are in a gorgeous place with a gorgeous view so not a big deal.

BEACH and OCEAN:
So, so sad here. We are truly beach people. We usually snorkel every day when we are on vacation. Occasionally, the water and weather might not cooperate but we always get in as much ocean time as possible. This bay is really not swimmable. We are both strong swimmers and managed to finally force some snorkeling down on the south end of the beach. The beach is tough walking, really course sand (blazing hot), incline is very hard. I could handle all of that if the water was worth getting into but the undertow is pretty strong and we had only one day clear enough to see anything with a mask. And if you go down to the south end of the beach (the only good place to get in the water), you are far enough from the hotel that you will have no beach chairs and certainly not beach service. Bottom line here, the beach and bay make a beautiful view but is not user friendly at all. We are not pool people at all but we ended up spending a good amount of time there (which are quite nice by the way).

FOOD:
Not good. Even the breakfast buffet was pretty bad. We are not snooty and picky about food. In fact, they may have been much better off if they kept it simpler. The service at breakfast (coffee refills, omelette cook, etc... was great and friendly) but the food itself was marginal.

We ate at the French restaurant the first night and aside from a fantastic lobster bisque, the rest of the meal was inedible. My husband was served a piece of mahi mahi that was just terrible. In fact almost every fish dish we ordered throughout our stay was bad. I would have thought they would do seafood well. There was one dish from room service (of which we ate a lot) which was a fish filete and when they were serving Grouper, it was great. Make sure it's grouper if you order this. they ruin other types of fish.

Along those lines, Oceana meal was awful. We went back and ordered room service after this. Also, service this night was lacking too. Ordered things that just never got brought to the table.

Another night we ate at the Mexican restaurant. The best guacamole ever but everything else was not good. Lots and lots of mole on this menu so limited if you don't like mole. Not sure what did it but both of us got sick after this meal.

We did not try Spice or Cin Cin and never tried Castaways. We resorted to room service quite a bit. They do a good job. We ate many club sandwiches. Cheeseburgers also are good across the board - snack bar, room service.

BARS:
We frequented the bars and have no complaints. We got to know several of the bartenders. They were great. Pool service was also very good. We tipped as we always do in Mexico at AIs. I always encourage other travelers to tip not just because you get better service but because these folks really deserve something over their wages and employees generally make our vacation for us. They patiently and kindly let us practice our Spanish on them and we always end up befriending many employees by the end of our trip. This was no exception. The people who worked here were great. The problems here were from the top down.

OVERALL:
I read these reviews sometimes and think some people are just whiney complainers picking apart every little thing. I have never posted a negative review but I truly hope some of the reviews for this hotel cause Secrets to really put some work into this resort. We absolutely love Huatulco and we stayed at Dreams last year and really liked it. SECRETS really has some incredible potential and I would hope to go back one day and find it all perfect!

oh, and one odd thing. every night in our room, we got a wake up call at 2am. We reported this after the first day, and everyone said we'll take care of it. We got this 2 am wake up call every night for 7 days. Kept reporting. Never addressed. At check out I once again told them about this. They said that's strange because we don't even use automated wake up calls. Somehow there is a computerized wake up call that hits room 1311 every night at 2am. I don't expect they will fix it because they don't know how it happens. My advice is to not stay in 1311 or to unplug your phone before you go to sleep.

oh, and the hotel should really have an ATM. We went to Dreams to use theirs but not sure why this hotel wouldn't have one.


Plus there are some things that they will never be able to fix - such as its beach.

Room Tip: top floor for views.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank KDLoessin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 9, 2012

Beautiful location for a resort. The mountains and trees that surround the cove create a very cozy and private feel. Unfortunately, I found the service to be sub-par for such an expensive vacation. My husband and I were in Huatulco for 8 days and 7 nights. We were wanting to leave by the 4th day, and get some of our money back. This could have been much attributed to the fact that we are not fluent in Spanish, and much of the staff barely know any English at all. There were times when we were addressed in Spanish, said, "I'm sorry but I don't understand," and had our waiter/waitress just walk away completely. Other times, if they could not understand our requests in English, they would simply say, "No," and we would be out of luck. There seems to be very little motivation for them to learn more English, since most of the clientele appeared to be local couples, vacationing within their own country. This also meant that the ability to speak to the other guests was not easy.

The food is very good everywhere, but the French restaurant, Bordeaux, is by far the best. This was surprising to us, as we were really hoping to get some outstanding Mexican food as well. But the Mexican restaurant, Tamarind, was just ok. We arrived during the first week in September, and it was VERY hot. The resort does not have fans or air conditioning running in many places (generally only in the rooms or indoor restaurants), so it was fairly uncomfortable. I'm sure that could be remedied by arriving at a different time of year though.

The most disappointing part was that a new telenovela had decided to shoot on the resort's property during the entire week that we were there. I feel that this says a lot about the appearance of the resort. Only a very beautiful location would be chosen to shoot a TV show! Unfortunately, the staff catered 100% to the actors and crew, leaving us in the dust. I really wish that they would have made sure to pay attention to their paying customers as much as they did to the local celebrities. Overall, I would not recommend this resort, and will never be returning to a Secrets Resort based on the service experience that we had.

Room Tip: Rooms in the highest tower are closest to all of the restaurants, bars, and lobby. They are also farthest away from the beach/pool area. Difficult to get around since these accomodations are not very close to each other.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Rachel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2012

The views were absolutely amazing. I loved the spa area but didn't have time to use it. It was at the top of hill so again, the views were wonderful as they have infinity pools and massage rooms overlooking the ocean. The food and staff were great. The resort is built on a mountain so you will take the elevator or stairs to get from lobby to restaurants to rooms and pool/beach area. My only real complaint is the lack of privacy within the rooms and adjoining rooms. The shower and toilet area have glass doors located near front door of room. The room itself was very nice and comfortable. Housekeeping staff did a nice job and everything was clean during our stay. Secret box is located on the closet shelf so be careful where you unpack your items. Avoid this shelf as it isn't marked. I would recommend this property knowing the few issues. Huatulco is a beautiful town. It was clean and we felt safe. Many fun things to do and see without feeling commercialized. I definitely will make sure I sell it to the right client wanting this type of destination since it is unique compared to other areas.

Room Tip: Choose the ground floor for swim outs, you may get pool bar service. There is an additional lack of privacy so you need to consider if you want a higher floor. Every floor has a similar view since it is built on the side of a mountain. You will not see the buildings below you. The flowers and landscape are beautiful in the summer.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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4  Thank travelagentchristy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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