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“Disappointed”

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Secrets Aura Cozumel
Ranked #17 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 6, 2013

First experience with a Secrets - Disappointed. I have stayed at other hotels in Mexico (Iberostar) which are far more luxurious than Aura. I was looking forward to the ultimate experience that Secrets has to offer and all of the hype associated with Secrets but found none. This hotel is a 3 star at best. Perhaps it will get better but it has a long way to go.
Rooms
• Room temperature was very inconsistent – it was either really cold or really stuffy
• The lighting was terrible – unless it was daylight and the curtains were completely drawn, it was very difficult to see
• No closet space or dresser drawers – there was a very small drawer in each of the night stands and another small drawer in one of the decorative tables. No actual dresser with drawers. The closet was extremely small with just a handful of hangers. There were a few very small shelves on the side of the closet but as I mentioned, the lighting was so poor you could hardly see what was in there. Lived out of suitcases because it was just easier.
• The room temperature, no matter what it was set to in the evening, around 4:am it became extremely warm and very stuffy.
• Also around 4 or 5am each morning there were noises you could hear. Never quite figured out what they were but it sounded like a very loud washing machine or dryer. Not to mention the rolling of food carts very early each morning.
• Ocean view should be called ocean glimpse because that is about all you can see between the palm trees.
• There was no consistency to the type of room. I paid the same price for our ocean view room as another couple traveling with us; ours was a lot smaller in all areas - sitting area, bathroom (ours was tiny theirs was very spacious), closet, etc. If I am paying the same amount, I expect the same type of room.
Service
• Very slow. I know that Mexico is slower in general but there is a lot of improvement that needs to be made in order for this to be considered a high end hotel. Lobby area is very small and has a small desk for both check-in and check-out with usually just one person working it. That person also answers phones and takes care of people who had questions or additional requests.
Food
• It was difficult to find good quality food. The Sabor actually had better restaurants than Aura. Thankfully we were able to use that facility or it really would have been bad. The portions are beyond small – a salad consisted of literally 2 pieces of lettuce, no dressing, very bland. I know you could order more than 1 entree but that becomes a pain and very confusing for the staff. After a while we figured out where the food was a little better and stuck to just those locations. The lunch grill on the beach was good but not available every day.
Pools
• Although the pools were nice, they were VERY cold. Never went in. The ocean water was warmer than the pools.

Overall I was disappointed and will not be returning to this location.

Room Tip: If you are assigned room 1120 - ask to be switched!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank RCT53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,273 - 3,279 of 3,683 reviews

Reviewed February 6, 2013

Well to start I was was a little Aprehensive about staying here after all the bad reviews on Food Accomidations and the like, First was accomidations when I booked this resort in April 2012 we booked a two ebroom suite, Saw in several reviews that 2bedrooms were no longer available, Contacted resort and travel agent was assured we would have ocean view rooms and connecting upon arrival was shown asigned room on first floor of skybar building wet paint on door painting in hallway and view was of unlandscaped sand and infrustructre for property and is behind the small pool off the lobby, Told bellman these two rooms were unacceptable and was given choices of two other sets of rooms we took the second rooms shown on the second floor just above the 1st rooms we were taken to with the understanding we would be moved to an available oceanview room or a swimuproom the next morning. Which we were to a swimup room near the Cafe and shops, The property is very nice and I was not the onlyone not getting what was booked but I fond that if you are reasonable with your requests and willing to work with them they are accomidating and reasonable. Food can be slow but I dont know where all the unsmiling faces are of staff the other reviewer gave, The food is spoty ranges from fair to excellent and inconsistant we are on day 4 of 7 night stay and you may order the same thing on two different days and get two versions of the same dish, Service can be slow but we've quickly learned that going to dinner at 8:30-8:45 to be seeted cuts down on times between courses as staff wants to go home but quality still remains the same. We have eaten at windows Oceana and Bruedox and like all three. We have also used room service with good to excellent food and fast service but we are just accross from Kitchen I believe. All in all If they can be this good in six weeks with new food items and updating and fixing faciliy they will done fine, Grounds are well maintained and they are still upgrading and remodeling to bring to secret standards. I will be back, Well time to get back to vacation will rewritr review when we get back. But felt I needed to give different opinion of staff reviews and food. I am still glad we came and glad I didn't change resorts.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Mike_Sapp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We just spent a week at Secrets Aura Cozumel and while the hotel is transition a little bit still ( we saw management there several times tweaking things and some sprucing up , but saw no major renos or chaos at all), we found it to be quite good. We did not have much interface with lobby staff, but I know it was sold out which might explain why they would not allow others to move rooms? We wanted an upgrade but they did not have anything to offer us at all. Like others we got a great deal on it as it was just opening, so it was well worth the price we paid. Despite being in a cheaper room, we found it to be quite satisfactory, very clean and quiet and we are quite discriminating travellers. I noticed it was bit rowdy on a couple of occasions in the front hot tub (weather was stormy so perhaps nothing else to do for some guests but drink? ), however I suspect with opening specials its not the usual Secrets crowd as they are not typically rowdy places. In any event I dont blame the resort for the behaviour of guests and I feel bad for the reviewer who had to deal with it! More than one staff member commented to me on it as well, so I dont think that behaviour is typical for the resort.

We found the staff to be wonderful and warm overall. We found the food to be excellent with lovely presentation and truly excellent service delivery. Portions are smaller, but who cares when you can order the whole menu! I was amazed to hear people complain about that? Premium drinks were a nice touch. I enjoyed the Don julio margaritas ! We ordered nice wine one night and it was reasonable. We were very happy with the fresh to order food and that is our usual "concern" when booking an all inclusives. We ate so much yummy fresh seafood!

The pier on site was fabulous for us as our dive boat could come right there to collect us ( no extra charge). The resort was very accomodating and staff were great. I did not ever feel tipping was expected. The staff were polite, very professional, helpful and truly friendly. The snorkelling off their beach was really great actually, but for just swimming I'd recommend water shoes due to the rocks and coral in the shallows which make the snorkelling so great. It was very safe to swim there, shallow, no current and very blue clear water. I has a massage on the beach and it was quite good as well. We also used the hobie cat sail boats, did yoga ( both free) and rented a car to go to ruins/ shopping/ salsa in town. There were organized activities but I did not feel pressured or affected by those ever if I did not want to join in. The hotel will organize excursions as well, which I heard others enjoyed. They have onsite dive shop and other water activities like jet skis, parasailing etc you can book at the resort. The beach was great! Service on the beach if you want it.

We would return here, not sure at full Secret's pricing, but we'll see how it all pans out once they find their price point. For sure on a special we'd go back. We had a good time and no complaints. We would recommend this property. It was well run and getting closer to Secrets standards daily; good meals, great staff, relaxed and not over crowded. If you are a diver its an awesome location to the premier dive sites.

Room Tip: Rooms in back by pool are quiet and cheaper. Ocean font/view rooms looked maybe to be a bit nicer an...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank momandmeVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We have stayed at the Secrets Capri and it was great. The Secrets Aura Resort in Cozumel is sadly lacking in service and food. It was obvious they were understaffed and not trained in the way Secrets Resorts normally run. The wait staff were always running and never smiling. Even the staff that appeared to be management were far from friendly and never asked how things were.Meals could take an hour or more. ( It took us over 2 hours at the French Restaurant and heard one person complaining to a manager that it took 2 hours to get his eggs in the morning.)Too much time when you would rather be on the beach. One of our party had Mahi Mahi the 1st night and got deathly ill. When he talked to someone at the hot tub two days later they had eaten the same thing and became ill.They have only a small buffet in the morning with fruit ,cereal and a few pastries so you were at their mercy time wise if you wanted any thing else. We ordered room service one morning because we were going fishing early and the restaurant dosen't open until 7:00 am. We got the eggs and toast no sausage, when we told the person delivering the meal he came back with sausage fresh from the fridge. I was served very burnt tortillas with my fajitas at lunch. One day we had pleanty of meat in the fajitas the next day it was almost all onion. The specialty restaurants were good but portions are small. The overall opinion of people we spoke with was, we will never be back or recomend this resort. If you wanted a chair by the beach or pool, be out and have your chairs by 6:30-7:00 am or your out of luck.

Room Tip: If you want a suite make sure it is not under the sky bar
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank dalewalterw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

This was our first time to Cozumel, but we have stayed at multiple other 4 star resorts on this side of Mexico, every year, in the past 8 years. This has been the our favorite place so far. I researched many reviews from different sights before we booked at the Secrets Aura location. I will admit that I was a little leery with some negative reviews, but I saw much more positive. Some negative reviews are so petty that I throw those out. I try to use the common sense approach by use of stars and reviews compared with the cost. Perfection comes with cost. Now after our stay, I would have to say that I was very pleased with our choice and would go back to Secrets Aura in a heartbeat. This place surpassed my expectations and was nearly perfect in my opinion.
This is an adults only resort which makes it a quiet, relaxing resort, full of mature, nice, respectful people. Though you always have those few annoying people that should have stayed at the Fiesta Americana or rented their own beach house. This resort was smaller by size with a small lobby, but they utilize it very well. The lobby staff was very helpful and very inviting. Our room was by the back pool area and was quiet, clean, and very comfortable. Nothing on the Aura side is more than a 3 minute walk away, whether it be the beach or any of the restaurants. Also, you do have access to all restaurants (not as good) and bars at the Sunscape resort next door, which is also only 4-5 minutes away. Room service came twice daily, the second time to mainly do fridge restocking or if you requested any touch ups, they would do those. Don't expect buffets of any sort, all meals are sit down and order style, which I feel is a higher standard of quality and keeps your food fresh. The food at the two main restaurants was excellent and very professionally prepaired. The portions were not large, but you can order as much as you want, or if you don't like something, order something else. The only thing that I felt could have been better was the occasional longer length of wait time for your food. Then again, being on vacation, I didn't let that affect me, but some people don't like to wait. Many mornings we would get room service for breakfast, everything was always very good. Many days for lunch they would set up a grill on the beach and grill special meats such as ribs, fish, kabobs, or different burgers. Excellent idea. Each day was something different. The alcohol service was very good with higher end alcohol and as strong as you request. The beach and pools were very clean, quiet, and never seemed too crowded. There was decent snorkeling right in front of the resort area and even better not far away by excursion. There are also plenty of options for whatever type of activity you like to do off of the resort grounds that can be booked in the lobby with all water activities picking you up right at the dock.
In all, this was a very nice resort that is going through some changes that will make it even nicer. Of course, they will change the price as all of the changes and growing pains get worked out. All of the staff was very nice and respectful. They do aim to please. I would recommend this resort to anyone that I know and we will definitely be back to Secrets Aura.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank fet24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2013

I am at this hotel right now and I wouldn't recommend this hotel. We paid for ocean view, got a pool view where the noise from the music was drowned out by the noise from the drunks. Front desk staff are rude and not helpful. Asked to be moved three times but was told No. Restaurants are good and staff nice. We get to the beach very early to enjoy the quiet but just got invaded by someone with very loud music. This place is a rip off and a total joke. Can't wait to get out of here. I am not usually a complainer but this place is horrible. Go somewhere else!

Room Tip: Make sure you get the room you pay for and hopefully the bathroom is black mould free
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  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank ljshiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 3, 2013

This was our second trip to the Aura, the first being two years ago under the Wyndham brand.

The person who reviewd as "transition" is right...its only been under Secrets management for 6 weeks now. It is not nearly as good quality as other Secrets properties....but at the moment it is still a tremendous value for the price. Secrets did not immediately raise the rates based on the brand, but I am sure will do so gradually as they improve the experience to their standards.

They are changing things FAST - menus, service rules/instructions, etc. - and it shows. There are glimmers of absolutely great service, and the people at the hotel are fabulous. The food presentation and taste is really good, remembering that you're paying a "Barcelo" price for a much nicer no-buffet, no-children experience in a small resort setting.

I'd suggest being patient with the changes and getting great value in the mean time - we will absolutely return. I took the time to speak with some of the new Secrets management (thank you for spending the time with me Jose)...and spoke with some of our favorite servers (still there from 2 years prior)...and both sides told the same story...the place will continuously improve, from what is already really good value for the price.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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12  Thank AuroraDiver
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

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 Luxury Hotel in Cozumel
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#9 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#11 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: $206 - $487 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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