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“Great Getaway at the very chic Secreto!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Hotel Secreto

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Hotel Secreto
Ranked #10 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
plymouth, mi
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Great Getaway at the very chic Secreto!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2009

We stayed at Hotel Secreto July 9-13. Our room was just as pictured. The bed (two pillow-tops) was unbelieveable after a long flight, a day in the sun and a few margaritas. Even the bed outside on the balcony was confortable and we enjoyed lounging out there listening to the ocean at night. I would recommend this hotel to anyone who is looking for a place to relax- that is quiet and isn't looking for the all-inclusive experience.

Pros:
1. The rooms are decorated wonderfully. Modern. The bathrooms are nice- but could use some updating- but not bad by any means.
2. Infinity pool and lounge chairs are perfect- not much else needed.
3. Off the beaten path- but only a few short blocks to Hildago Street with all of the restaurants and shops.
4. Drinks made at the pool bar were great and priced just fine. Beer $2.50, Margaritas $5.50 US.
5. Hotel Secreto is on the beach, but the beach is not really swim-able, its rocky and more for looks. There are lounge chairs there for catching some rays, but I would recommend going to the Playa Norte Beach (a few short blocks away/walking distance) to swim in the ocean. You won't want to swim at Hotel Secreto's beach, it's purely for looks!
6. WiFi at the hotel with fast connection, iPod docking station with speakers (bring your own iPod, there is only one rental) and mimosas at check-in, very refreshing!

To consider/tips:
1. The hotel will order food for you from nearby restaurants and have delivered (no restaurant on site). The food was great, but you have to pay cash- just something to remember. Only took 20 minutes to deliver and they brought it to us just like room service.
2. Many of the restaurants only accept cash- remember to bring enough. Dinner and drinks isn't very expensive at any restaurant- likely $40-$50 per couple. There are a few ATM machines on the island if you need them.
3. Rent a golf cart for the day and go around the island- it's a great time. We struck a deal for $40 US, the price was posted at $60/day. ***Keep your eye out for the seashell house made famous on HGTV***
4. Visit Garaffon for snorkeling and ziplining. A great time. You get there by golf cart or a $7 US taxi ride.
5. Visit Playa Norte Beach! Just a bit of trivia, Corona Beer commercials are filmed and shot there- that water and beach are amazing- no retouching needed (just short walk from Hotel Secreto).
6. Recommended Restaurants: Bamboo, Buccanaros and Amigos. You can't go wrong with Amigos!
7. Many of the restaurants offer two for one drinks (two margaritas or beers for the price of one). If the restaurant is not offering that special, ask them if they will- chances are they will do it just for you!

We loved this place and had a great time. Hope you do too!

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ashlyns_mom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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333 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (46)
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English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
47 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 9, 2009

We were slightly nervous about booking this hotel due to the mixed reviews, however we took a risk and are very glad we did, In my view the negative reviews are likely to come from people who prefer 5* resort hotel luxury, which this is definitely not. It is a small boutique hotel and it is its uniqueness that makes it special.

Our room (9) was perfect and being on the 3rd floor we had a gorgeous view of the sea. The pool was fantastic, quiet and plenty of loungers for all the guests, temperature was perfect. The cocktails are delicious, and if you can't be bothered to move from your lounger for lunch or dinner you can order from local restaurants who will deliver.

The condo development next door is currently stalled and appears to have been for some time. There is a lot of stalled development on the island and I doubt these projects will start up again until the global economy improves.

We stayed shortly after the swine flu outbreak and the island was noticeably quiet although the hotel seemed to have higher occupancy than many others. We were very pleased to get an email shortly before we arrived saying the room rate had been reduced by $100US since we booked!

The only criticism I have is the breakfast, which whilst adequate could be very easily improved with a choice of cereals and jams, and better fruit selection.

If diving I reccomend using Sea Hawk Divers (first right as you leave the hotel after the conference centre, about 200m down on the right). We also booked our whale shark watching trip through them and it was great.

Book all tours, golf buggies etc direct as the hotel charge more.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Beanieskis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2009

We had a great two week stay at this lovely hotel. We had a very nice, large (somewhat Mediterranean-styled) room. The bed on the balcony is divine. The staff and management are excellent - helpful and kind. They will organize tours and other activities for you and also serve carry out in your room or at the pool. The pool is lovely - the staff always turned on the heater for us when we went out - day or night. The cocktails are tasty, and the view is incredible. The hotel does not have a restaurant. The continental breakfast got a bit monotonous, but we had a lovely stay and would love to go back. Come and enjoy this little gem before big-box hotels and mass tourism take over the island.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank nbboehler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
surfsup28
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 16, 2009

Hotel Secreto was a wonderfull hotel that far surpassed my expectations. I stayed seven nights with two friends. The staff was so friendly, the rooms were clean, and the hotel and its pool were beautiful. The Island was amazing too, good people, good food, and good vibes. I strongly recommend staying at this hotel, as I will be heading back in a few months!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank surfsup28
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, ON
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 7, 2009

Initially I had my reservations about Hotel Secreto, notwithstanding the great reviews on TripAdvisor, due to the lack of on-site restaurant or swimmable beach. Turns out the whole experience easily compensated for what turned out to be non issues!

Service

Rogelio and his team provided consistently excellent service - I particularly appreciated how patient and helpful they were accommodating us travellers who got caught in the swine flu outbreak (which, incidentally, was completely unnoticeable on Isla Mujeres other than being a topic of conversation). When I inquired about the work being done to fix the beach access, without hesitation they offered to cease working lest it disturb our stay (it didn't bother us and was completed within a couple of days).

Accommodations

We loved (!!!) the terry-covered balcony beds. It was the perfect place to relax in private while still catching sufficient sea breezes and views (we were in room #8 on third floor). Bed was comfortable, room had plenty of furniture on which to drape our clothes (and ample closet space), bathroom was decent but unexceptional.

Food

HS brings in food from Amigos, a pretty good albeit slightly more expensive Mexican restaurant on the main strip in town, av Hidalgo. There is no surcharge - it would cost you the same to dine at the restaurant. The complimentary breakfast is very basic; there are so many other good, cheap options nearby, we ate most of the time. I strongly recommend the loncheria stand a block away by the market (try the enchiladas verdes) and Elements of the Island, av. benito juarez, where the breakfast tamale is lard-free and made with chaya grown in the restaurant's courtyard. As a general rule, we found that the more we spent on food on Isla, the less we enjoyed our meal. If we return it will be all cheap and cheerful eating!

Drinks

Loved the micheladas at the hotel. The mango daquiri was tasty, we heard the mojitos were good, but we are committed to the michelada.

Beach

The excellent Playa Norte beaches are just a short walk away, and 2 beach chairs and umbrella can be rented for 120 pesos ($12 CAD) for the day. Surprisingly we also enjoyed Secreto's beach. There is little foot traffic and a small "pool" in the coral where you can be protected from the crashing surf (just be aware sea urchins live on coral - we only saw 2 but they weren't in the swimming spot). We also took ample advantage of the Hotel's pool.

Services

Free access to the computer next to the lobby. As for transfers, golf cart rentals, etc., I recommend organizing at source. As a pass through, Hotel Secreto charges a markup. Incidentally, be sure to bargain for golf carts in town - we easily got a reduction of 10%.

Overall impression

Exactly what we needed - low-key, relaxing, easy, sunny, comfortable, peaceful, romantic.

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank LexnEffdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NYC
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2009

I loved Hotel Secreto and highly recommend it for couples and families seeking to get away from the crowds of Cancun. The hotel is extremely laid back and quiet. This is not the hotel for a loud party and I mean that as a compliment. It is sleepy, relaxing and romantic. Perfect for couples or families who want to get away from the Senor Frogs crowd. That said, if you are looking for a happening place, Isla Mujeres and this hotel are likely not the best choices-- Cancun is for you. You will not find a better spot to relax, listen to the ocean and just chill (two beds, people! An indoor bed and a terrycloth outdoor bed on each individual balcony to relax on-- hard to beat!). It is close enough to Cancun that you could do this on a long weekend- that's what we did. It is so relaxing and laid back-- definitely worth it if you only have a few days. You will still come back feeling relaxed and rejuvenated even if you are on limited time.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank dfsaklfdhsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambria, Ca
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2009

Well, where do I start? We booked a 4 night stay based on reviews from Frommer's and Trip Advisor. Months after booking - we received an email informing us of a fee increase. Then, when we arrived on April 14th, there were many issues. The entrance to the beach from the hotel was not open because of contruction. So, the first day, we got to hear the pounding of hammers and other various tools fixing the walkway to the beach entrance. Next, we went to the Infinity Pool for a refreshing dip, it was about 90 degrees outside, unfortunately, the pool was was about 3 to 5 degrees warmer! Next, the air condtioning in our room was not working properly. The combination of all these issues was ruining our expected relaxing stay. The following day, I expressed my dissatisfaction with the conditions, but, was willing to stay 1 more night to fullfill our obligation according to our reservation. We asked to move to their "sister hotel" next door, Playa Media Luna, but management would not let us change hotels without paying for all 4 days. Although they corrected many of the issues during our stay, I felt they should have allowed us to change hotels if we weren't happy. Before making a reservation, make sure there is not going to be planned construction either at the hotel or next door, as a big condominium project is being built.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jtsquared
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Secreto

Property: Hotel Secreto
Address: Seccion Rocas Lote 11 | Punta Norte, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Isla Mujeres
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Secreto 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Conde Nast Traveler's 50 Best New Hotels in the World. Hotel Secreto is a sleek nine-room hideaway - Santorini-meets-Schrager style. Constantly upgrading, the hotel was renovated in 2005 to include a 20 meter lap pool and an all junior suite lay-out. Designed by an award-winning architect, the hotel looks more like a slick private beach house. Modern touches such as WI-FI and pre-loaded iPods are part of an enhanced poolside service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Secreto Hotel Isla Mujeres
Secreto Isla Mujeres

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