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Hotel Secreto
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Reviews (376)
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All reviewscontinental breakfastplaya nortewarm croissantsboutique hotelhighly recommend hotelpool areaminute walkfourth floorsecluded beachevery morningour honeymoonroom hotelthe main dragbeautiful poolno elevatorentire staywater pressure
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198 - 203 of 376 reviews
Reviewed December 12, 2009

We arrived on Thursday to find the renovations complete and the pool and deck area open with the new addition of a large Jacuzzi tub at the far end of the pool deck. The pool deck now features a glass half-wall and an opening to let in the breezes. The extension of the deck now allows more of the deck chairs to stay in the sun in the lower winter sun. The new entrance to the gym and beach area are now complete as well.
The gym is very well stocked with a variety of cardio machines, exercise machines and free weights. For a hotel with 12 rooms, this is a very well stocked exercise room and include 3 huge LCD TVs playing music videos and news.
A few things have changed…the bar is now gone from below the pool area. You can still order drinks from any of the staff and have them delivered to the pool or your room. This seems to work fine as we have always managed to get drinks in a timely manner. The format for the continental breakfast has changed as well. Instead of going to the breakfast room on the second floor, you now order your breakfast from the front desk and they will deliver a huge tray to your room or pool area. Again, this worked well and the tray was packed with fruit, toast, cereal, yoghurt and all the condiments.
Things that have not changed…beautiful views, huge decks with queens day beds, stylish rooms and the friendly staff. Maybe I have a bit of a bias since this is our 4th time here, but I think Hotel Secreto is still a gem and we will continue to travel the 7 hours to get to here.
p.s. The pool heaters come back on next week…

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank ChattyPaddy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 23, 2009

I just read the "Overrated" review and thought I should finally send this review that I have hesitated in writing. First, I have stayed at the hotel since its' inception. The prior awards and positive review were well-deserved. The place was lovely, serene, catered to a quiet, private kind of traveler and I thought exceptional for the price. The pool area chairs and beds were covered with beautiful terry coverings, large rolled towels in abundance, foliage perfectly maintained, nice quiet beach area, careful attention paid to pretty lighting. In 2008 I stayed and thought things were falling off a bit - the towels were stained, the pool area not maintained as well but still a nice place. My trip this past month would be the last time I would consider staying unless I was convinced it was restored to it's former beauty. I am hopeful because I don't think they would be investing as much time and expense to a spa and gym if they didn't intend to make the rest of the place up to standard and I really do believe the owner is dedicated to excellence. My guess is that they are working around the clock to get this place ready for high season - if that is the case and I find out it's back in line I will continue to vacation there. If the hotel reads this I hope they take a few suggestions to heart:

1. Explain to the guests what is going on with the plans. If this is a first timer there you will not see repeat business, even at 1/2 price.
2. Have the staff follow Victor's lead with how to interact with guests. He was helpful, gracious, offered drinks and food and always made you feel as though he was there to optimize the experience. The rest of the staff is very nice but so "hands off" you feel like a bother when you ask for anything. Perhaps incorrectly following the lead of the very reserved owner?
3. Check in with your repeat customers - ask them how things are, what you can do to improve, their genuine opinion of their stay. It's your best source for good information and will allow you to deliver the message to your most important clients that their opinions carry weight. Most people will just go away and never come back without a word, close to what I consider doing now.
4. Offer repeat customer's an incentive to come back - some special discount, 5 nights with the 6th free, whatever. After the last two stays I for one would appreciate something to inspire me to come back.
5. Breakfast is truly bad - there is no excuse for this. Awful coffee, poorly stocked, tiny selection. Better you discontinue this entirely than have something so poorly executed.

For those of you booked don't despair - the place really can be lovely and I do think they are in the middle of preparations to make the hotel grand again. If this doesn't happen you will see by the reviews soon enough.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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3  Thank clanky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 20, 2009

My wife and I thought this property was overrated.

We stayed during the 1/2 price sale (actually their renovation period), and thought it wasn't even worth it for a reduced rate. Not that we COMPLETELY disagree with the positive reviews below, but more that we felt that they overlook strong negatives in favor of weak positives. I can only believe that people lose their sense of perspective when comparing this hotel to, say, the tacky all-inclusives that are all over the place in Mexico, and ignore the Secreto's obvious shortcomings.

The only good thing was the hotel's decor. Yes, it is well designed and aesthetically pleasing. But that's about it. At the end of the day, you are paying for the decor.

Some notes:

1) Location: Yes, it is close to North Beach. But so is every other hotel on this side of the island. Except that this one happens to be wedged between another hotel whose guests have direct views of your balcony and room, on one side, and an abandoned construction project that is home to families of squatters on the other.

2) Breakfast: After reading the reviews below, I wasn't expecting much, and I resigned myself before arriving to cereal and fruit. We can have a debate about whether that's an appropriate accommodation for an "award winning" hotel. But at the end of the day, if you're going that route, the cereal shouldn't be stale, the fruit should be ripe, and the coffee should be palatable. At a minimum. A poor concept poorly executed.

3) Construction: As I mentioned, we were there during the renovation period. Except that it was advertised as their off-season reduced rate period. I would have liked to have known in advance that, for 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, a gang of workmen would be shoveling sand outside my bedroom. Very dishonest. They didn't even look close to done, and I wonder if it is still going on. If so, you CANNOT reasonably be in your room (no sleeping in) or even on on hotel property (eg, no use of pool, no access to beach) during daylight hours. Staff was very unapologetic.

4) Spa: There is a nice looking spa and gym, but the spa part isn't open because they can't get enough electricity to power it. Bad planning I suppose. The gym, when open, is well equipped.

I noticed that this hotel won lots of awards, and the lobby is full of them. Just for fun, when you're checking in, look at how long ago those awards were given. Seems consistent to me with a well-designed hotel that has been poorly managed for some time. As an aside, lots of our requests as guests were denied because the staff couldn't get permission "from the American owner." I hope he's reading this.

Also, if you're going to only light your stairwells with candles, please be sure to light more than one candle for an entire flight of stairs. I almost killed myself.

Stayed: September 2009, traveled as a couple
3  Thank 8,425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2009

This is a really beautiful hotel and if you take advantage of the half price offer it is amazing value! There was building work going on (new jacuzzi by the pool) whilst we were there, but we prefer to go to the beach anyway. The rooms are huge and very nice and stylish. The breakfast was included but wasn't all that great. The hotel's five minutes from the main beach and from the town, so the location is great. I would recommend this hotel - particularly when the half price offer is on!!

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank jbbb79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2009

Beautiful, large, clean, minimalist rooms (#6) with large balconies. Great coffee at breakfast, but a sweetroll would be nice instead of toast everyday, but we were there for a week! Large pool deck and wonderful pool. Too bad when we were there a lot of workmen were around and you really couldn't use the pool and enjoy it. The new work will be beautiful, though and worth it. It was half off when we went, which made it very reasonable. I wish we had known why, though.
The beach is ok, but you can't swim there because of rocks. Playa Norte is about a 5 minute walk and where you want to be, but there is a fee for chairs.
I cannot say enough about the wonderful staff, very helpful and friendly.
We would stay there again.

  • Stayed: October 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank CincinnatiMuffy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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