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“Maybe give them a few more months”

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Secrets Aura Cozumel
Ranked #14 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Maybe give them a few more months”
Reviewed January 7, 2013

My husband and I stayed from Dec 30 to Jan 6 in a Jr Suite Pool View, which as far as I can tell is the old exclusive part of Sabor which is all Aura Secrets now. I will try to give a fair review as I had been anxious when reading reviews before our departure.

The good: The beach is beautiful, there are no kids and the drinks are very strong. We had a very clean room that looked like it may have been recently renovated -- paint seemed new, all appliances were clean and no leaking, the A/C was great. There was NO construction around us, very quiet and peaceful, I didn't see any construction other than the gym area. The maids cleaned our room everyday , stocked the fridge, it was perfect. Very comfortable beds. The hot tubs at sky bar were hot and the view amazing! All of the staff we spoke to were very kind. The property was clean and check in and check out- all very smooth.

The bad: The food! The food is horrible. I have been all over the place and lived abroad. I have eaten on a budget and also shelled out for fancy food. If the food were just bland or boring, I could've lived with it for a week. I don't know if it was the holiday or what, but the room service food (other than pancake breakfast) is awful! If I were to give Secrets a tip: stick to what you're good at, maybe local cuisine and seafood? A "pizza" with summer sausage and unmelted velveeta cheese with a burnt cracker crust is not a pepperoni pizza. The lamb and lobster and dessert for the NYE dinner was not good. We also got horribly sick and missed our non refundable trip to Chichen Itza, I am still not 100% and that was five days ago. There were a few other people who were sick as well. We ended up going to the little gift shop and buying Ritz crackers and Snickers for the last 2 days. Also be very careful of the dress code, it's not explained very well. Guys need pants for dinner at Windows & Bordeaux, I'm still not sure what the dress code was for women but I wore a dress and sandals and was fine. My tip for the food: order the simple items. Hava Grill during the day, which is Oceana at night, has the best food. The pancakes and French toast were good for breakfast.

Overall, I am really glad we got a great deal on Travelocity (very easy booking and smooth, FYI). Secrets now advertises $3500 for 7 night stay... Heck no! Not with that food!

If you want to Snorkel with a cool local, check out Cozumel H2O. She will pick you up dockside at Aura and only takes 4-6 people at a time and she knows EVERYTHING! Highlight of our trip! Starfish, sharks, beautiful coral and small group of people with a great guide. She also does dives and certifications.

I would give Secrets a second chance, but only after waiting to see if the food reviews get better.

  • Stayed January 2013
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3 Thank La_Boheme3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Worthington, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We booked our New Year's week vacation in October with the knowledge that Secrets would be taking it over in December. Reading negative reviews had us concerned, but from the moment we arrived, we found the entire staff eager to please. We had a third floor room at the back of the property overlooking the Secrets pool. It was very quiet, and while there was nothing special about the room, everything functioned as needed (and who wants to spend time in their room instead of the beautiful beach and pools?). The first night we had room service, which was delivered cold. After that, we dined in the restaurants, Windows, Oceana, Bordeaux, and Portofino (the Italian restaurant at Sabor). We also took advantage of the walk-up snack bar at Sabor. We found the food to be excellent. While service is slow, it didn't take us long to appreciate the meaning of being on "island time." What's the rush? There is great beach people watching while you wait, and lots of new friends to meet. Twice we were turned away at Bordeaux, but both times we were able to get past the hostess, as there were plenty of empty tables. We went to Portofino at about 10:30 and again they tried to turn us away initially, but we were seated and service was very fast. Tip: don't take no for an answer, just be nice about it and you'll get a table. We enjoyed great massages just down the beach at Carlos and Charlies of all places. It was 1/3 the cost of the beach massage at Secrets, and a fun experience. We rented a car for $150 for the week and it was more than worth it--we could tour the island and go shopping at will. Tip: if you drive, be sure to take pesos for the parking meters downtown, or park on a side street. It cost us $20 to get the lock removed from our tire. The Sky Bar above the lobby has two hot tubs, where we met a lot of fun people. Perfect for a drink after the beach and before showering for dinner. The grounds were impeccably maintained and the entertainment staff, especially Jordan, are wonderful. Daily volleyball matches in the Secrets pool were a blast. The events at Secrets are low key, but if you want to dance, sing, and party, Sabor has them. Fine by us, as it kept Secrets on the quiet side. We loved the low key, laid back week we spent at Secrets Aura and the Cozumel pace. Next time, we'll bring our dive gear!

Room Tip: Avoid lobby rooms, as there is construction going on (looks like they are adding fitness and expandi...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Smitt684
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gainesville, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 7, 2013

We understood when we booked that the resort was only recently added to the "Secrets" line of resorts and that perhaps we should not expect the level of service available at other Secrets. However, the level of service was so poor as to be shocking. Secrets should have made a much greater effort to bring this resort up to the standards their customers expect before branding it as one of their line of resorts. Very disapointing and definitely misleading. (And yes, they will try to sell you a time share although with what they have on offer it is hard to imagine who would possibly be convinced to buy in there).

The resort seemed to have geared up for New Years, after that things went downhill fast (food, service, etc.) The hotel is definitely still under construction - expect to hear loud noise constantly during the day. Expect to wait an hour for meals as other reviewers have noted. Some of the staff were wonderful and helpful, others were unhelpful or conniving. (Many of the best staff members seemed to never leave? Perhaps they have lost staff in change over and remaining staff are overworked...)
On the plus side, we had a wonderful deep sea fishing experience, set up by the staff at the dive shop.
It costs much less to rent a vehicle off site even with the cab ride to get there. I recommend Less Pay (local company).
The island is beautiful and worth the trip but you can get better food, service, and ambiance elsewhere without paying an "all-inclusive" price since what was included in this resort was hardly worth having. Will not stay again and will certainly not recommend to others..

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Suleo_13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buffalo, New York
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2013

Although I am aware a risk we took and the lower price we paid going only 2 weeks after rebranding this place is pathetic. The food & menus are absolutely awful.. slow service (45 minutes to get noticed & drinks and another 45minutes - 1 hour for food service) this made a total of 3 hour dining experience. This experience included cold tasteless food that gave both my wife & I food poisoning on different occasions. This place is run down and can use a paint job on walls, stairways and rooms. The rooms bed was comfortable, duct taped switches so you don't use them, broken faucet, stained furniture, linens, towels. Staff with the exception of a few are clueless and could care less to help you but eager to put their hands out for a few $ tips... A horrible smell of sewage in various parts of the property especially by bathrooms below windows and near (Sabor) soon to be sunscape common areas. Some say its the grass of the island but there is no grass in sight that puts off a foul odor . The one bright spot that does admit there are faults is Miguel Moreno (Chief Concierge) and will go out of his way to make you happy .. Im 6 - 8 months this place has potential but no where near a Secrets property standards. Don't believe the doctored pictures posted on the website although they resemble the property they don't show the wear and tear still present. And their "e-concierge" puts alot of fluff and misleading information on the FB page to prevent people from changing their minds from changing reservations and visiting this resorts. My advice stear clear for atleast 6 - 8 months... go to another Secrets Property.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
13 Thank Vpx69771
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Puerto Rico
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2013

We had a fabulous Christmas holiday at the Aura Secrets Cozumel resort. Everything from our check in -- which included a champagne greeting -- to our housekeeping services (fully stocked refridgerator; designer bath products; high quality linens; turn down service; and more) was perfect. All five restaurants served four and five star fare. One word: Brilliant. We upgraded to a suite with a pool on the top deck. With it came an entire floor for private sunning, swimming, and a full bath and separate shower. Having this extra space and private pool certainly added to the romance of our holiday stay. Additionally, you will have access to the adjoining property, which hosts beach side parties and events and has a casual beachside bar and grill that stays open for after hour drinks and "pub" food. Since this is all inclusive, no credit card/cash is required, which made this holiday very stress and thought free! A perfect solution for couples who want to get away from it all. I have to mention the other bonus is an onsite activities provider -- Fiesta Holidays -- who will arrange for any travel activities you'd like to try. We booked our pre-paid trips to both Tulum and Chichen Itza via Expedia (two separate tours -- cheaper through Expedia, so I highly recommend you pay in advance) and the onsite travel representative helped us organize both events, giving us all the help -- including ferry passes to the mainland -- we needed to make our trips to the Mayan ruins a memorable event. I highly recommend this property for a romantic getaway and will stay here again should we return to Cozumel.

Room Tip: It is worth the upgrade to get an ocean view and pool. If you are on a budget, suggest that you get...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
11 Thank CMByrd2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2013

The Hotel greeted us with a drink and had our bags sent to our rooms as soon as we arrived. We arrived early, so we ate lunch at the "Windows" restaurant. Food was very good. We had more drinks before taking a look around the Hotel. I could not wait to get into the clear blue water. Our room was on the second floor and had a wonderful view of the pool and the ocean. My wife and I changed quickly and headed out to meet friends. The waiters were courteous and constantly asking if we needed anything else. I relaxed at the pool while my wife took in some sun on the beach. The first night ended with dinner at the restaurant along the beach. Our vacation included diving, deep sea fishing and some snorkeling. The local dive shop set me up for three dives, and we hired Del mar aquatics to pick us up from the pier to go diving on one day and deep sea fishing another. I caught a mahi mahi on the fishing trip and we had him for dinner that night. The local dive shop set me up for 3 dives on three separate days. room service was ok. The breakfast buffet was very good, and lunch was always quick. The cleaning staff were nice and kept up with our need for towels after a dive or fishing trip. I loved my time at Aura, and plan on getting back there just as soon as my schedule will allow.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank issy2828
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

We have been loyal Secrets customers for the past 5 years and knew this vacation was a transition period for the resort. We were upgraded to a nice, spacious room that had water dripping down the walls and no telephone for 3 days. I paid for candles, roses, and tequila for my husband's birthday that never happened. The food was less than average compared to previous Secrets vacations. A cheeseburger on the beach was the best meal. Breakfast took an average of 1.5 hours. We waited one hour at the Windows restaurant for dinner one night to be served no appetizers due to running out and a salad that consisted of artichoke hearts out of a can drizzled with balsamic. We went to Bordeux and were told we couldn't be served at 9:40pm despite wasting one hour at Windows with terrible food. The restaurant hours are listed until 11pm. Needless to say, we ate room service most of the time. However, room service ran out of food one night. This was an extremely disappointing experience and do not recommend wasting your time or money there. I'm not sure if we will return to any Secrets resorts after this experience.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
13 Thank Ebpraider
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Aura Cozumel

Property: Secrets Aura Cozumel
Address: Carretera Costera Sur KM. 12.9 | Zona Hotelera Sur, Cozumel 77600, Mexico (Formerly Aura Cozumel Grand Resort)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#7 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#8 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Aura Cozumel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 266
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In a perfect blend of luxury and excitement, Secrets Aura Cozumel is the ultimate adults-only, all-suite resort located on the island of Cozumel. Sitting just 12 miles off the coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Secrets Aura has it all. Bask in a world of Unlimited-Luxury® while staying in one of 266 contemporary, stylish non-smoking suites complete with private terraces or swim-up access, stunning views, 24-hour room service, daily refreshed minibar and more. For added luxury, guests can upgrade to the Preferred Club and enjoy additional amenities and inclusions. The experience continues with limitless gourmet dining at gourmet restaurants plus 24-hour dining options allow guests to devour late night bites at the Coco Cafe or stay in and order room service all without reservations and top-shelf spirits at three bars and lounges throughout the resort. Light up the night with live nightly entertainment and activities. Or enjoy land and water sports, three sparkling pools, live entertainment with pool and beach wait service throughout the day. Dive into the Caribbean at nearby world-renowned dive sites; explore the natural wonders of the second largest coral reef system in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Learn to dive deep with the help of the fullservice, on-site dive operator, Dive House. Indulge in specialty treatments at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia®, located right next door at Sunscape Sabor Cozumel, the most complete spa on the island, or simply spend time with the ones you love. Secrets Aura Cozumel – Light. Luxury. Love. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Aura Cozumel Grand Hotel Cozumel
Wyndham Cozumel
Cozumel Wyndham

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