Fantastic resort that has some minor polishing to really be an over-the-top resort. I cannot express how much future guests need to take the previous naysayer postings with a huge grain of salt. It always amazes me the large number of first time posters/low number posters who do nothing but complain. If they have internet access to complain when they get home how come they did not have or use internet access to do proper due diligence research ahead of time!!!
Conejos Bay. This is just about 2 miles further east than the Dreams Huatulco Resort.
The motor lobby is circular and open air. When you alight there is a short staircase leading to the lobby built over a black tiled fountain. The lobby is a soaring affair with an upward rising roof to the rear framing a huge stained glass window in the upper right hand corner.
Three (3) reception desks are on your right, the Concierge, VIP Services, and Agency Reps desks are on your right front to rear. Couches, tables, and seating chairs are in the middle of the lobby. The Preferred Club Lounge Area is straight ahead and slightly to the left behind the glass walled elevator.
This area tends to be a central hub for traffic thru buildings 1, 2 and 3. Just in front of the stained glass window is Rendezvous Lobby Bar. It is on the smallish side with seating at the bar for only six (6)
Six (6) room buildings in the above layout they are:
1 (Dark Blue) 2 (Yellow)
3 (Lime Green) 4 (Baby Blue)
5 (Red) 6 (Orange)
The colors listed are the colors of the tables and chairs on the room’s porches/balconies. Swim up pools are located on the ground floors of buildings 1, 5, & 6. Jacuzzis are located on the ground floor of building 2. Castaways and Oceana restaurants are located next to each other on the hill to the western side of the resort directly beneath Prevonia Spa.
The Market Café buffet and all but one ala carte is located one floor below the lobby surrounding the main courtyard. Directly outside the Market Café and under a porch area near building 3 are the resorts shops. They are down a ¾ floor flight of stairs.
You walk thru the Sky bar to get to the tower elevator lobby. There are eight (8) levels.
Sky Bar/Main Courtyard is floor R
Building 4 is accessed by floors 7, 6, 5
Building 5 is accessed by floors 5, 4, 3
Building 6 is accessed by floors 3, 2, 1
Building 1 is directly off the lobby
Building 2 Floor 2 is on the level of the Main Courtyard. Building 2 Floor 3 is up one and Building 2 Floor 1 is down 1.
Building 3 is accessed by its own elevator tucked behind and above the shops. This elevator is in a discrete location and you must pay attention to find it the first time.
This area is one floor below the lobby level and is moving clockwise around the plaza it is surrounded by the Market Café, Tamarindo, Cin-Cin, Bordeaux, Spice ala cartes ending up with Desires Music Bar taking up most of the southern wall. There is a large onyx water feature running parallel and just outside of Desires.
Extending south from the Main Courtyard is the Sky Bar. It is an open air affair that gets plenty of action in the evenings and at night.
Nicely done and still growing in. The buildings are cut directly into the side of a steep hill. Many out the door views are of a steep/rocky/vine covered hillside.
Bugs & Critters:
I saw a lot of Geckos and a few centipedes on the pool deck area but no flying critters.
Room & Bathroom:
I was assigned Room #1210. This is located on the second floor of Building 1 and is three rooms closer to the lobby from the elevator lobby that is located mid-building. My room looked exactly like photos one and two above. I did not think I would like the sinks being out in the hallway but the total layout of the bathroom worked for me.
The rain shower is in the same area with the Jacuzzi tub. The floor is slotted teakwood and had begun to warp. It was not my favorite choice as textured marble tiles would have been a better choice. The bathroom amenities are Gilbert & Soames.
The pool deck is heavily textured concrete and only gets warm and not hot. The marble flooring around the resort is textured/micro-textured and I NEVER had or say any slip or fall.
First rate upkeep, during one late night early morning rain housekeeping staff were squeeging the floors and keeping puddles to a minimum.
None per se. There was a ping pong table and pool table in the rear of the theater.
Operated by Prevonia. It was on a high hill at the south end of the resort. I spoke with many who received treatments and everybody was pleased.
Located on the first floor of the Spa building. Very well equipped and is on par or better set up and equipped than SSS.
Located on the lobby floor just down a short hall behind the Tour Desk and across from the Medical Clinic/Doctors Office. It contains a couch, table, and chairs in the front room. In the back room were five (5) computers set up for use. There was no printer capability or other “business” amenities.
Preferred Club & Lounge:
The PCL is located on the lobby floor just above Desire’s bar. Small and lightly equipped for guest’s services and comfort. Liquor choices are limited and the food/canapé selections changed based upon time of day but are limited in selection and type. I have been to the NOW Jade three (3) times and was a Preferred Club guest each time. At NJ the PCL is gigantic and very well and properly equipped. SSS & SH have a long way to go to upgrade their PCL and due to the higher cost structure of the SSS & SH they need to really step up their game as it pertains to the PCL and PC in general. There are two (2) computers available for guest usage.
Available in the PCL, Business Center, and thru WiFi.
The domain of Carlos, bartender extraordinaire. This is the swim up bar located at the largest/lower pool.
Buffets (Market Cafe)
Typical resort fare with three (3) cook stations:
2. Tamales & enchiladas
3. Pancakes & waffles
Each was in use every breakfast. Buffet breakfast becomes a bit boring quickly. I generally had two eggs over easy cooked to order, crispy bacon, cantaloupe, and sweet pastries.
Lunch was pretty much the same choices each day with little to no variety from day to day.
Closed for dinner.
The café is located on the Lobby Level between the theater and the Preferred Club Lounge. They had numerous yummy pastries & cookies. Espresso, Cappuccino, Frappucino, Lattes and Teas galore. I hit the Coco Café every morning before eating breakfast at the Market Café.
Located at the east end of the smaller/upper pool. Nachos, Nacho fixins, Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Salads etc. There is also a full bar located here. There is where the beach waitress works out of.
Menu service. Choices are varied and very tasty.
Luis Hurtado Chief Concierge
Mario Concierge Dept
Marisio VIP Guest Department
Norma Market Café Door Lady
Carlos Marlin Pool Bar
Francisco Maitre de Bordeaux & Spice
Juan Waiter Bordeaux
Eden Waiter Bordeaux/Spice
Michael Entertainment Staff
I have never met a better more desirous to please group anywhere.
Angus Beef Filet Tartare
Beef Filet w/ Shallots, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Cabernet Sauvignon
The Tartare also has little servings of finely chopped Mustard, Capers, Boiled Eggs, Shallots, Parsley, Garlic and Maldon Salt. The beef has a very super finely almost pureed consistency. Crispy Bread, almost the style of croutons is served for you to spread the Tartare on. I spread the beef on the toast and sprinkled the various flavorings on the meat. Each tasted distinctly different. I could easily have eaten 2 or 3 orders of this.
The soup is a very deeply flavored onion soup. It has a thick woody flavored consistency. Onions were cut short and were perfectly caramelized with the right amount dryness before being allowed to soak up the broths lightly pepper-corned/wine flavored goodness.
My filet was perfectly cooked medium rare and was fork tender to cut. A side of blanched asparagus spears help finish off the main course. The asparagus was very slightly aldente and flavored with a light hint of Rosemary.
Crème Brule had an orange flavor with a fresh Raspberry on top. It was so creamy and sweet that melted in your mouth. Both nights I had to order round to make sure it was that good. IT WAS!!!
Angus Beef Tartare
My second dinner at Bordeaux consisted of the exact same appetizer and soup. The Chicken Campagne was a still connected leg and breast in a Champagne reduction with a tart of thinly sliced potatoes. Chicken meat literally fell of the bone and was lightly fragranced with rosemary, dill, and fennel. Combined with the smooth champagne reduction it was a delectable combination that had a lightly sweet/acidic champagne flavor.
Since occupancy was so low I ate here three times. The first two were at the Teppanyaki “Show Cooking” tables. I order a shrimp/beef/chicken combination. A vegetable medley of mushrooms, red & green & yellow bell pepper, onions, and broccoli accompanies the meat finished off by fried rice.
The show was particularly interesting. The chef cracked an egg and took only the yolk and began juggling it upon two spatulas. This is something I have not seen before. Spice has three (3) different dipping sauces, Soy, Spicy Soy, and Sesame. I REALLY LIKED all three. I wish I could have had some of it bottled up and take it home.
At the non-show cooking table I ordered:
Spicy Tuna Roll
Sweet & Sour Shrimp
My tuna roll was perfectly done and was FULL of tuna. The hot sauce was tasty and definitely hot. The tuna was not as smooth textured as what I get back home but for Mexico it was pretty good. The sweet/sour shrimp were large, plentiful and very flavorful. I noted a hint of balsamic vinegar but it was not overwhelming.
Linguini with Pesto Sauce & Duck
Penne, Prosciutto, garlic, summate, and zucchini
Veal Osso Bucco with Saffron Risotto/Marsala Wine
The linguini was flavored with pesto and duck. The duck was properly cooked medium rare. It had a deep and robust red color and a tangy but smooth flavor. Penne pasta covered in Prosciutto flavored garlic was so butter smooth textured and the garlic was understated and did not overpower the prosciutto.
My OB was a flavor explosion in your mouth. The veal had a silky smooth texture and the Marsala/Marrow infusion intensified the flavor of the veal. The sauce on the OB was very sharp and had a symphony of flavors such as veal, beef, onion, coriander, thyme, basil etc.
Saffron is by nature a lightly flavored and much more an aromatic spice. The risotto had a moderate hint of saffron mixed with light olive oil and salt. It was delicious.
There was nothing on the menu that appealed to me so I skipped Tamarindo.
There are really five (5) pools available to the general guest. The largest is the lower pool in from of building 6. It has an infinity edge that cascades down into a pool that is on the level of the beach.
There is an upper pool in front of building 5 that is substantially smaller but similarly shaped. Between them and slightly lower than the upper pool is another small pool that has the circular Jacuzzi pool in the middle. This pool has a five level waterfall/cascade into the lower pool.
Beach Drink Service:
Acceptable but not as Johnny on the spot as others since the beach sand is difficult to walk on, there was only one beach waitress assigned, and the beach palapas are quite a distance from the beach bar.
The beach sand in Huatulco is not the pink/white powdered sugar sand you get in the Riviera Maya. Here it is the texture of wet brown sugar. It sticks to everything and is persistent and difficult to get off you. Also in the sun it gets SUPER HOT!!! Also it is about a 45-60 drop in elevation from the lower pool deck to the surf. The beach has a very steep drop off just beyond the palapas.
Four (4) catamarans however I never saw any of them allowed into the water. Water kayaks were available but only on very low surf days, which were rare.
Non-Existent. Occupancy was very low, I would estimate occupancy was about 20% or less from Saturday-Thursday when it jumped up to around 50% and on Friday/Saturday when I was told occupancy had reached 70% due to the Mexican Independence Holiday on Saturday Sept 15th.
I never got the beach or pool until at least 10:00am to say 10:30am and I NEVER had any trouble getting a shady spot. On Friday with the growing occupancy I had to be less selective but not by much. At 4:00pm when I retired to my room there were still over 50% of the loungers unoccupied.
Very active and ever present at the upper and lower pools. The Activity hub was the dry side of the Marlin bar at the lower pool. Staff was engaging but not bothersome. Pool activity games included, water aerobics, water volleyball etc.
The “Sugar Reef” bar on top of Oceana was only open one night and had less than a half dozen guests.
Desires was one “hub” of nightly activity before, during, and after dinner. It is not a disco per se but more of a nightclub & sports bar environment. Most of the nightly bar activity was out at the Sky Bar.
The nightly shows in the theatre were not bad and they were entertaining. Disco Music of the 70’s, Grease, and Salute to the Musicals of Broadway were my favorites.
Chief Concierge Luis Hurtado was an ever present individual presence all over the resort. He was always calling me by name and asking how my vacation was going. He interacted with many guests during his work. Mario was kind of like an on the spot concierge who was everywhere and all over the resort. It did not matter what you needed he got it taken care of. For example I asked for additional beer and Coke in my room refrigerator. Mario made a phone call and it was taken care of the rest of my stay.
Marisio of the VIP Guest Dept. asked me about the Unlimited Vacation Club. I explained my travel situation to him and he understood that he had no products that met my needs. After that he never brought it up again. However every time he saw me he came over, greeted me like a family friend and answered any questions I had or got me in touch with whomever I needed.
A trio of shops is located under the terrace outside of the Market Café. They included a dress/clothing type boutique, your typical convenience type store, and a jewelry and silver store.
I had international service on my cell with AT&T and I had impeccable service. The resort had your standard telephone service. I only used it to call room-to-room and the front desk, along with the concierge department.
There is one non-functional in the hallway between the Theater and Medical Center. If any guest needed to use the ATM resort staff provided complimentary transportation to and from Dreams Huatulco to use their ATM.
Tour CO Reps:
They share a desk located at a desk in the Lobby near the glass elevator, very helpful and not obtrusive or bothersome.
Not required but greatly appreciated.
There were no vendors any night here. When I was at the Dreams Huatulco last summer (2011) a few showed up on Wednesday but I was not positively impressed with the wares presented. This is NOT the fault of the resort.
1. Occupancy was very low. Building 3 was completely unoccupied and unused until my last full day of Friday.
2. I took evening walks around the pool after dinner each night. By keeping an eye on what rooms had lights on in them it was clear that Building 3 was empty and the other buildings were VERY SPARSELY occupied.
3. There are substantial elevation changes throughout the resort. The smaller upper pool is 2 full stories above the elevation of the larger lower pool. Pool and beach loungers are brand new as are the beach towels.
4. While I was there TelaVentura a Mexican production was filming a soap opera. There was a large crew/staff of 60+ and the actors added about another 10 or so folks. They were very friendly, engaging, polite and fun to be around. Sometimes I needed to make very slight deviations. Such as waiting 1 or 2 minutes while a taping session was in progress. On a couple of occasions I turned the corner and blundered into the filming of a scene. I just kept on walking and they just kept on filming.
1. The Market Café was a bit lacking compared to the SSS for breakfast and lunch. I hate to compare and prefer to let each resort stand or fall on its own. However SH really needs to work on upgrading the MC for breakfast and lunch to be more like and in fact mirror SSS.
2. Increase the operational speed of the elevators in the tower. At times of high occupancy the slow elevators will be a MAJOR constriction point to getting guests around the resort.
3. During times of moderate to high occupancy more beach palapas are needed. Also the shade situation or lack thereof around the pool is something the resort VITALLY needs to address and quickly. The umbrellas are quite cheap and flimsy. They easily fold up in even a light breeze. SH must build some type of shade at the pool. During the dry/hot season sitting at the pool will feel like you are roasting on a grille.
The location and the resort are beautiful. Personally I preferred being on an “upper” floor. I had a million dollar view. For future guests I recommend a room on the third or second floor of buildings 1, 2, 3, 4 in that order. If you want a great view, buildings 5 & 6 are not the place to be even if it is a third or second floor room
Conejos Bay is located on the eastern end of the Nine Bays of Huatulco. Due to geography there will be no other resorts built on this bay. The resort is about a 10 minute taxi ride to La Cruceciata de Huatulco.
Value for price paid is a very nebulous concept. What I think is a good value might not be a good value to somebody else. Would I return to Secrets Huatulco is a definite yes. I would look for deals and probably would not return unless I got a large percentage reduction in price as I feel all Secrets resorts are priced a bit too high in the market.
Staff makes or breaks the resort experience. Here the staff is fully engaged and helpful. Even the maintenance staff will speak and assist. I never met any staff member who did not have a smile and a warm greeting.
They are ever present and monitoring and directing operations. I saw the General Manager, Food & Beverage Manager, Restaurant Managers, Bar Managers and Housekeeping management checking out and monitoring operations. They allowed their teams to do their jobs but were there to provide direction as needed.
For instance Chief concierge Luis Hurtado generally let his staff handle affairs. When check-ins and check-outs got busy he jumped in and helped front end, lobby and PCL staff manage guests operations.
In general very good to excellent. The ala cartes I ate at were magnificent. It is very nice to have the option of eating poolside at Barefoot Grille. The cooks would grill my burger to the degree of doneness I asked for. I have been to several resorts that mandated they be cooked at least medium-well. Not here at Secrets Huatulco. I could get my burger as rare as I wanted.
The resort is only nine (9) months old and is in excellent condition. Resorts age poorly without frequent and on-going maintenance. Secrets Huatulco has staff out taking care of the property all the time. I only saw two (2) missing tiles in the pools.
- 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