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“An honest review for Canadians going to Secrets Huatulco”

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Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa
Ranked #2 of 49 Hotels in Huatulco
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“An honest review for Canadians going to Secrets Huatulco”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 23, 2013

My husband and I stayed at Secrets Huatulco for 2 weeks from April 30-May 14. This was our 4th time in Mexico (one other time in Huatulco, one time in Cancun, and one time in Los Cabos) so we do have some experience with all inclusives and I can honestly say that I wouldn't go back to Secrets.

The main problems with the resort were the food, the disrepair of the resort, and the bug spraying and algae issue. I know that some people on trip advisor have said that Secrets had really good food. Honestly, the steaks were good and the lattés were really great in the Coco café but overall the food was pretty bad. I can't account for the differences in the reviews regarding food except to say that I can only chalk it up to what people are used to eating. For example, back home in Vancouver I like to eat at Earl's, Cactus Club, Milestones, good Italian restaurants, and nice seafood restaurants like the Rain City Grill. If you love eating at these types of restaurants you will not be happy with the food at Secrets. On the other hand, if you like breakfasts at Tim Horton's, or dinners at Denny's or White Spot you'll probably like the food at Secrets. So I guess it just depends what type of restaurants you like.

Along with the food being fairy poor I also wanted to mention that my husband had an upset stomach for 8 out of the 14 days we were at the resort. None of the food tasted "off" or anything like that but we've been to Mexico 3 other times to all inclusives and have neither of us have ever had a single stomach issue. We both have very strong stomachs so I really think there must have been something very wrong with the food at Secrets. It might not have even been the actual food; maybe it was the way it was handled (bad food safe skills by staff?). In any case, it wasn't great and although my husband was still able to enjoy the beach every day he did also have to spend a lot of time in the bathroom which isn't what you want to be doing on vacation. We made quite a few friends with other travelers during our two weeks at Secrets and I would say that about 50% of the people we talked to either had stomach issues or their spouses had stomach issues while staying at the resort so something was definitely up.

Another issue with the resort is that it's only about 2 years old and yet it looks about 15 years old. All the floor tile in the elevators were cracked, the plastic film on the interior walls of the elevators was heavily peeling off and all the elevators were not ventilated so they stunk like black mould. There were hugs cracks in all the cement walls throughout the resort which gave it an overall dilapidated look even though the décor throughout was quite modern. There were big scuff marks on the wall in our room (in an area where suitcases would be opened and closed), and we could tell that the handle was had been previously broken off of our sliding mirrors in the room since it had been very poorly reapplied with very visible glue that made it look like a 5 year old had done it. At the pool area the sun shade umbrellas were constantly breaking and by the end of our first week at least a third of all the umbrellas were broken.

Another problem we had with the resort was that on day 6 we returned to our room in the middle of the day to find a hotel staff member and a pesticide guy in our room spraying the living daylights out of it. We went right up to the staff member and asked him what was going on and he just said "dont' worry, it's not a problem". We explained to him that we didn't want all our clothing and personal items sprayed and he said that all the rooms were sprayed on a regular basis whether they were occupied with guests that week or not. He didn't seem to understand that we didn't want our room sprayed again a few days later and so we went up to the front desk to let them know. They said that the spray was "non toxic" but my husband knows a lot of about insecticides and said that something that wipes out bugs dead is also not good to be sprayed all over our toothbrushes or the bedding we were going to sleep in that night. In any case, the front desk said they would no longer have the guy spray our room when he did his rounds but who really knows what happened when we were down at the beach.

The last thing that we really did not like about the resort was the black algae growing all over the tiles in the pools. The black stuff was all over the place! All the guests were remarking on it. I looked it up online and black algae is caused by a lack of chlorine. No wonder why I often got a rash all over my stomach and legs after being in the pool for a while - the pool isn't being cleaned properly.

Overall the resort just wasn't up to the standards that I expected it to be. Last year my husband and I went to the Riu Palace in Los Cabos which costs about the same and it was amazing. Since Secrets was in the same price category as the Riu we had expected the same excellent level of resort but we didn't get it. We were just really disappointed.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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9 Thank leannemoore78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • German first
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  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

The other reviewers have been so thorough but thought I would add that we just returned from a fabulous week at Secrets Huatulco. Met some really fun people from Canada, St. Louis, Charlotte and Santa Rosa (miss you all :) I was most impressed by the staff - they were so caring and generous, helping at every turn and it felt like they genuinely cared about our experience. We stayed in building 1 - at the top near the lobby and it was easy to get everywhere on the resort. We had a sweeping view of the resort and the ocean - so thankful we brought binoculars as we could watch the amazing birds, boats out to sea and check the landscape for wildlife. It is definitely the end of the dry season so everything is still a little brown but think that will change in the next couple of weeks. Don't fear the 'rainy season' - apparently typical ocean rain that lasts an hour max. The weather was perfect although we did not have many clear blue sky days - that was a benefit, the slight overcast kept things cooler than blazing sun. We did jetski one day with Huatulco Watersports - you can book online to save some $$ over the Apple rep price. They were so kind and responsive to all of my emails. Had some friends that did the cooking lesson excursion and loved it. Would definitely return, probably at the same time of the year - not too crowded and so relaxing.

Room Tip: All rooms are excellent with ocean views. Didn't see many folks using the swim out pools, they...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank JosephineTomato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas, United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 22, 2013

My husband and I visited this resort from May 12-19th. Before going I had completely psyched myself out reading all the reviews on this site, since many of them are negative. I completely disagree with most of the negative points being said, so let me share my side:

The food was amazing and we enjoyed every single restaurant we ate at.

The pools were huge and we never felt like it was too crowded. The resort was only at 20-30% capacity when we arrived...and maybe at 50% by the time we left.

It's true that the staff does not speak much english but they are all very helpful, nice, and friendly....always asking if you need anything.

The spa is amazing and I highly recommend it. With every massage you book you get a complimentary 90 minute session in the hydrotherapy pool which is awesome! The first massage I had I let my husband have the 90 minutes and he loved it so much that we came back to do it again.

The beach is very hot and the sand is coarse, but it's very enjoyable. We had a few people come up selling jewelry, but they will leave you alone if you say you're not interested. We never had a problem with jellyfish and the people at the resort told us that that season has passed so it shouldn't be an issue anymore.

Someone told us that the resort would look unrecognizable in 2 weeks since the rainy season is about to start, fyi.

We had read many, many reviews about people having diarrhea and intestinal issues...which scared us, so we asked our doctor for antibiotics for the trip just in case. We never got sick...probably because of the meds, but if this concerns you, just ask your doctor! It's too easy.

We did the ATV excursion which was one of the funnest things I've ever done...and we also did the Huatulco city tour which was interesting.

Our room was amazing---we had the preferred one bedroom swim out. A lot of reviews say that the swim out is not worth it, and I guess it's a matter of opinion, but I disagree. We LOVED our swim out. It's so perfect to get into once you've been at the pool/beach all day and you're hot and tired...just go back to your room, freshen up, and get in your own pool. The swim ups are one long row in front of several rooms, so it's not private, but we were always the only people in ours...felt completely private. And the pool waiters would even come up to our swim up and bring us drinks! We were in building 5 (the swim ups are building 3 or 5) and we really liked it. The only real perk with the preferred club is that there is a nice preferred club lounge that's very nice. They have computers where we would check our email everyday (there's also a business center for anyone not in preferred club but we liked this better). They also have all the top dollar liquors and drinks that they don't have at the regular bars...so if you wanted a real drink we always had them made in the preferred club.

I read a lot of complaints about the frosted glass in front of the toilet...it is SERIOUSLY not a big deal at all. The toilet is separated from the rest of the room anyway...and you cannot see through the glass. I think people upset at this were just looking for things to complain about.

We never had a problem finding a chair at the pool or beach (had read a lot about that). Maybe the resort was just less packed while we were there....but this was never an issue.

Overall, this resort is BEAUTIFUL and we loved every day. We would definitely go back. Don't be scared by all the negative reviews like I was!

Room Tip: Building 5 swim up rooms are the best!
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Jeslyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nicosia, Cyprus
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 20, 2013

Wonderful spot,nothing to block views of sea & mountains.nice staff good service. Best part for us was complete privacy..no other hotels or condos...just beach,long stretch of sandy beach. Lots of activities provided by hotel if you want or if not easy to relax. Good choice of diverse restaurants every night..easy to book excursions to nearby town or boat trips. Enjoy huatulco soon as I think more development is imminent & this beautiful coast is breathtaking . The sea is unpredictable ,one day calm & the next huge waves.

Room Tip: All sea view but try for lower floor near pools as there is lots of walking & big distances to r...
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Ann P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Green Bay
Level Contributor
61 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 175 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 19, 2013

My wife and I usually do not go this late in the spring but since winter was dragging on we took a last minute trip to Secrets Huatulco.
This review will be short and sweet with a little fun or puns intended. We hope you enjoy.

The Good:

No long lines at customs when we arrived at the airport.
Direct transportation to Secrets.
Check-in was quick and easy
Room was fabulous,clean and roomy with a great view. Not a bad room at this resort.
Stayed Bldg. 5 Room 5317 the week of 27 March 13 to 03 May 13. Third floor.
View from glass elevators great (Pools beach and ocean).
Sky bar and entertainment there was good.
Burgers,fries BBQ chicken legs at snack bar!
French restaurant the steak was best. Had med. could cut with fork.
Resort half booked A Big Plus! Better service that way.
Weather 90's and no rain.
Great views
Maids & fridge stockers were quick and efficient
Do not disturb light was a big plus for no interruptions.
Apples farewell party was done very intimately with excellent service and entertainment.
Massage and water therapy pool very nice.
No screaming kids!
Did I say great views from your room.

The Bad:

Beach vendors do not know the word no! Stay by the pool, its nicer anyway. Or go to the beach early. 10:30 am they come out.
Entertainment in the theater was mediocre and lip synced. We left after 15 minutes.
Two couples we befriended and spent the whole week with got sick. It seems alot of people are having that problem. Just read the reviews, people would not say it if it was not happening.
Its alot more often than most other resorts we stayed at. Resort needs to solve this issue or they should be downgraded on the Apple rating.
We did not get sick. I think we have Mexican stomachs, lol.
Advice: Take your Probiotics before you go and immodium when you get there.

The Ugly:

Turkey Vultures
I think they hang around to eat the guests that may succumb to their sickness.
They tried to wait for me on the beach, but I left them hungry, lol.

So in closing I would like to say this was one of our best resorts yet. We wanted to get away and just lounge around and did just that. Not a place for the spring break minded folks.
The only reason I did not give this resort the top rating was because of the sickness issue.
If you like my review give me a helpful vote. Thank you! Enjoy the pics.

Room Tip: Lower Bldg. and third floor.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
20 Thank bikerbuddy
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 review, September 6, 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your review on Trip Advisor, and sharing your experience at our Resort & Spa.

The comments of our guests are essential for our team, and we will take in account yours; in order to make the necessary change.

We hope to see you again, it would be our pleasure to welcome you again at Secrets Huatulco.

Best regards,

Aurelien Pichereau
General Manager Assistant
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

Visited this area for our first time. We've been to Riviera Maya area 3 times and Jamaica once, within the last 6 years. Secrets, as usual, didn't disappoint. Place was clean and employees were attentive and courteous.
Food....The food was fine. We don't go to all inclusive vacations in Mexico for gourmet dining. It is above average to very good food. Breakfast buffet has everything one could possibly want for breakfast and more. Lunch for us was at the snack bar (good cheese burgers, hot dogs, nachos, chicken wings, and ribs...one day that did a paella that was delicious). Dinner...pick your restaurant and enjoy (I would suggest booking a table at the asian restaurant where the chef cooks in front of you. Reviews on here had me terrified of the food causing illness. No problem for us or anyone else we talked to all week long.
Beach...wonderful!!! Yes the sand is brown and hot. So what? Bring appropriate footwear and enjoy. Water is rough...and by that I mean FUN!!! If you aren't a decent swimmer, stay out of it. The further you move to your left, the calmer the water. There is a short, narrow path that will grant you access to the beach just to the left of the resort. We walked there daily. It, too, is beautiful.
Pools....clean and ENORMOUS. Pool bar always scare me. Q. How do these people drink for hours without going to the bathroom? A. They don't!!!
Bars....the servers at the bars (not just this resort) can be "indifferent". Secrets is supposed to have Budweiser and Bud Light in cans (also had Modelo Especial and Modelo Negra on tap). First day I told the guy (at the snack bar) I was there for a week and would be drinking Budweiser. Gave him $5 and tipped $1 EVERY time I got a beer. He ran out of Bud after I had my 3rd beer. Some days he had none. Usually I would have 2 to 3 beers and then he was out. One day he had none, when I complained, he went to a cooler behind the bar and got me one??? WTF? Similar games were played at The Sky Bar with Budweiser. First two days bartender told me no Budweiser and he couldn't get it. I then told him I would give him $20 if he got Bud. Guess what? Next night he had Budweiser.
Safety...we felt safe the entire time. If you exit the resort and go right (east) along the main road, walk about 20 minutes, you will find a very small town with two local restaurants on the beach. Locals were surfing there while we ate. Some of the best food we had on the trip. Restrooms were a bit "scary", but that's life in a small mexican town.
Rooms...all rooms have an ocean view (very rare for an all inclusive). I see no need for any upgrade at this resort. Yes there are some stairs to deal with...With the amount of alcohol calories being consumed, I viewed some stairs climbing a plus!
We did one excursion "3 Levels of Huatulco". Left resort at 9:30 am and returned at 3 pm. It was $50/person. We were in a van with 3 other couples. Santa Maria Huatulco was the most informative view I've had of a small town in Mexico. Drove up into the mountains and saw a coffee plantation and more mexican "life". If you do this, I highly recommend you request Ricardo as your guide. He gave a great tour!
It was sunny every day we were there! Secrets was only at 28% capacity. So, needless to say, we never had to play "the chair game".
Huatulco is a vacation spot for Mexicans too. Nearly half the visitors at our resort were Spanish speaking. Canada made its' presence known also. And of course, we crazy Americans were there, too. It was a nice mix!
Entertainment. We're not into the nightly shows, so I can't help you there.
YES, we would consider going back, but we enjoy trying out new areas. This trip more than any other to Mexico made us realize how different one area can be from another. Talked to 3 different couple there that had spent part of the trip at Dreams and part at Secrets. All 3 liked Secrets better.
Lastly, the group on our plane (Chicago to STL to Huatulco) were so very nice. Most of us knew each other quite a bit better after this trip. Cheers, to all, if you're reading!!!!

Room Tip: we had the cheapest (junior suite). Ocean view!!! No idea why one would upgrade here.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MikeInSTL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston
Level Contributor
41 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 18, 2013

This was our second trip to the Huatulco area. We still love it. Secrets was a good choice for us this trip.

ROOMS: Were very nice. Large and plenty of storage space. Liked the do not disturb light but wished they had a "clean the room" light as well. Maid service was hard to predict. Our room was never cleaned at a predictable time. Varied from as early as 11 am to as late as 5 pm. They do a good job cleaning though. Mini fridge was kept stocked. (We were on 3rd floor of Building B (3). Great views)

POOLS/BEACH: Was beautiful. They really do need to address some pool maintenance items though. Should be cleaned more often and it's amazing there are missing tiles on a pool this new (less than 2 years). Beach is gorgeous and plenty of space to walk.

ACTIVITIES: Could be improved. Not much going on but hotel was at very low occupancy while we were there. We generally don't care much about organized activities at all-inclusives but still think Iberostar and Club Med do the best job.

STAFF: Hit and miss. Really partially our fault since our Spanish skills are poor at best. Everyone was friendly.

FOOD: For the most part good. We liked Oceana (seafood), Bordeaux, Spice, Castaways and Market Cafe. Tamarindo wasn't to our liking at all which was disappointing since it was the Mexican restaurant. We missed the Italian restaurant during our stay due to bad planning on our part. Market Cafe (buffet) could be a little one note. The theme nights in the courtyard were good.

BARS: Were okay. Generally good service. The gentleman at the lobby bar made the best drinks (especially Margaritas)

SPA: Wonderful! Don't miss the hydrotherapy pool. We generally don't do a lot of spa activities but would go to this one again in a heartbeat.

HUATULCO Area: Don't miss going into Santa Rosa and LaCrucita (sp?) We planned all our excursions ourselves and recommend Hurricane Divers for snorkeling and diving. We also toured with Adelino (recommended by Hurricane Divers) to Puerto Escondido and Ventanillo Beach/Crocodile/Turtle/Preservation lagoon (lots of fun).

We are planning a return trip to Huatulco in December and will most likely return to Secrets. We prefer adults only resorts when they are available.

Room Tip: Some of the jacuzzi rooms have no views. The third floor of most buildings have the best views.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank J J B
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

Property: 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 Luxury Hotel in Huatulco
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Huatulco
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Huatulco
#1 Spa Hotel in Huatulco
#2 Business Hotel in Huatulco
#3 Romantic Hotel in Huatulco
#4 Family Hotel in Huatulco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
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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