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“Don't let Aura be a Secret”

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Secrets Aura Cozumel
Ranked #17 of 52 Hotels in Cozumel
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 January 2013

We stayed at Secret's Aura in Cozumel from December 29 to January 5, 2013. Resort was very clean along with it's beach. Rooms were fantastic. Had a swim up room which I would recommend highly. Even had a bed outside on the patio of our room near the water. Housekeeping did a very good job cleaning our room daily and leaving extra water for us. However don't take anything out of the room because it is never replaced. Took a coffee cup to the restaurant in the morning and never got another one. Asked room service for a cup and said he couldn't bring one to me. Ha. So I used a glass for my coffee in the morning. My husband is a diver and went on 2 tank dives every morning with the dive shop on property. Said it was terrific. Basically drift dives. Turtles, moray eels, lobsters and of course your basic fish. Service at bar was ok. Nothing out of the ordinary . Waiters by the pool so so. As for the service in the restaurants now that is something else. The Portifino at the sister property Sabor was terrific. Very good food and service. Same for the French restaurant at the Aura. Very good food and service. The other 2 restaurants, Windows and Oceana. are less desirable. Takes forever to order your meal and be served. Waited 2 hours on New Years Eve to be served our dinner which was cold. Nothing like cold rack of lamb. ugg. People were walking out disgusted with the service. I told the front desk of the experience we had and she asked me to write it down and would give it to the Manager. Ha. Didn't hear a thing from them. Only ate breakfast at these 2 restaurants and lunch once. Ate at the Sabor buffet one day for lunch not bad. Room service was okay. Waited about half hour or so. But don't order the steak from room service. You could wear it for shoes. Too tough. Had to bring my own bags down to the lobby the day we checked out. Called for bell men and waited over half a hour without a no show. Then when we hit the lobby with bags they ran over to us to help. Didn't need it then. When taxi was called they ran to load bags into taxi. Waited for a tip. Think not Senor. Had a massage at Spa at the Sabor. Very good. However, they told us they would give us a 15 percent discount and when I checked out, they charged me full price. Could not stay to argue because my taxi was waiting and I had already wasted a half hour waiting for bell men. I think there is a communication problem with the employees and the guests. It should be mandatory that they speak and understand English well. That was one of the biggest problems. Wrote a letter to Hotel complaining and they said they would get back to me. That was a week ago. Still have not heard from them. I would have to think twice about going back to Aura. The Sandals line of resorts would never put you through this.

Room Tip: Stay in the swim up suites. They are fabulous . Solarium rooms with pool on roof too noisy.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank skycat1213
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,542 - 3,548 of 3,950 reviews

Reviewed 13 January 2013

Dates visited: January 5-12, 2013
Room type: ocean view junior suite, 1122

My boyfriend and I just returned from our trip yesterday and had a wonderful wonderful time.

Check in was very easy, we were greeted with champagne and spent very little time before we headed up to our room. I wasn't crazy about our first room since we booked an ocean view--our view was mostly trees with a bit of ocean. We called and asked to be switched and we were able to be moved the following day after check out. Everyone was very kind and accommodating about the situation. We then stayed the remainder of our week in an ocenview room which was gorgeous.

All the restaurants were good. We preferred Oceana for breakfast and lunch so we would be closest to the beach. And we found this to have the quickest service and good selection. I ordered an omelette almost every morning and loved them, while my boyfriend tried more traditional Mexican dishes and enjoyed that as well. The fruit and cereal bar in the morning was great too!

Overall the food portions are small--but we never left not satisfied! The point is to order individually and each get an appetizer, salad and or soup, entree and a dessert. We loved this because we could try many different things and never felt too stuffed to enjoy the rest of our evenings. We ate at all restaurants a couple times and enjoyed all for dinner. I didn't find one more superior for dinner over the other. My boyfriends favorite dish was the beef tenderloin at Windows and mine was the mahi mahi at Oceana.

We had no issues with our housekeeper or with our room. Our bed was always made and we often had towel animals with flowers, which was nice. The room was well laid out and clean. As many other reviews have said the beds are very comfortable! The refrigerator was always stocked with water, beer, coke light, coke, and sprite--if we had special requests we would leave a note.

The resort is quiet after about 10 pm so if you're looking for on resort night life you'll have to head to Sabor. Even then it was pretty mild.

We spent 99% of our time at the beach during the day so I can't comment much on the pools. But they looked nice and clean. There was never a shortage of loungers either.

Tipping was appreciated. But not always expected. Both my boyfriend and I working in the service industry as some point chose to tip. Yet there were many who weren't. I believe that to be a personal preference when staying all inclusive.

Positives:
The people! Franscisco, Jesus, and the staff at Oceana was AMAZING. All very fun, hardworkers. They made the trip for us.
The food was good/better than the other all inclusives we have stayed at previously.
They use top shelf liquor when specified--and pour generously.
I loved being able to enjoy snacks out on my beach chair (chips and guacamole was great).
The beach is great! Not super smooth sand but the snorkeling right off the dock is wonderful.

Negatives:
You are bugged the first couple days to have breakfast with the timeshare people, but it's easily avoided.
We didn't necessarily view this as a negative, but service for food does take time. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete dinner. But it's like that at any a la carte restaurant, even in the US. Plus you're on vacation! There's no rush--enjoy!

We loved our week at Secrets Aura! There is definitely some fine tuning needed but they are well on their way to being an amazing resort. We never left the resort except to go on a private bar hop on the east side of the island--which I highly encourage visiting! It's breathtaking.

We plan to come back again!

Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
14  Thank Mary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

Just a warning -- this is a bit long winded. But I hope the information will be helpful.

Stayed at the Secrets Aura over New Years. I was really worried before we arrived because of all the negative reviews I read between the time we booked and time we arrived. The rebranded resort had been open for two weeks by the time we got there. We did not have any issues with construction, closed pools, etc. The property is on a gorgeous beach. Our room was clean, the bed was *very* comfortable, and the mini fridge was restocked daily with sodas, water, and beer. It would have been a plus to have liquor and wine in the room as well, but not a big deal. We were in junior swim up suite which was fun. The staff was amazing -- definitely one of the strengths of the resort. Our main issue was with the food. Breakfast was awesome. The first morning we ate at Windows. The food was really good, but the service was slow (which we knew ahead of time from reading trip advisor reviews. The pace would not have bothered us ordinarily -- you are on vacation so relax). However, we were scheduled to meet our dive boat at 8:00 and arriving at 720 was cutting it very close. Then we discovered the breakfast buffet next door at the Sabor. This was perfect for us. There was a lot of variety, the food was delicious, and this is a great option if you have an 8:00 dive or tour and don't want to dedicate an hour for breakfast. We ate there for breakfast for the rest of our stay. I would not recommend it for lunch or dinner. We did have an issue with room service. We decided to go on early dives on 2 days -- we had to meet our boat at the dock at 7 am. None of the restaurants open until 7, so we thought that room service would be the perfect solution. We tried to place our order the night before to be delivered to our room at 6:30 (we did this at the Excellence during our honeymoon, and it was so convenient. 24 hour room service was one of the reasons that I chose the Secrets Aura, but it isn't really 24 hours). We were told that we could not place the order ahead of time. The gentleman at the front desk told us that room service was closed between 6 and 7 (which ended up being incorrect information). He suggested that we call at 530 to place our order and it would be delivered by six. So I wake up at 530 and call room service. The person i spoke to told me that room service was closed between 5 and 6 and to call back at 6 am. I reset my alarm, wake up at 6 and call back. The line was busy -- couldn't get through until 615. We placed the order and they told us it would take 30 to 45 minutes. By 650, it hadn't arrived but we had to leave to meet the dive boat. As we were walking to the lobby, we saw the room service guy. He brought our breakfast to the lobby and we shoved the food down our throats and ran to meet the boat.
One night we decided to try the pizza place downstairs from portofino (italian restaurant at the property next door). unfortunately it was closed that day. no problem -- we decided to just eat at the main restaurant. we arrived at 9pm -- the restaurant is supposed to be open until 10. There was a short line of guests waiting to be seated but no one was at the podium. My husband walked into the restaurant looking for a staff person. He found the hostess who informed us that she would not be seating anyone else. Really? An hour before closing? So we walked back over to secrets to the french restaurant. We had tried to go there earlier in the week but were turned away because my husband had on shorts and sandals (with a nice collared shirt). The hostess told us that he needed long pants and closed toed shoes. It was fine, we just went to the seafood restaurant instead. But on the night in question when we returned, there was one couple ahead of us. The gentleman had on jeans and sandals and he was seated without a problem. If they are going to have a dress code, it needs to be enforced uniformly. My husband wanted to say something but i convinced him to ignore it. The meal was yummy, but that whole evening was frustrating.

It was nice to be at an adults only resort (there were kids at the resort next door, but you are not allowed to walk onto the secrets side unless you are a guest there). The resort doesn't charge a dock fee if you use an external dive operation. It was also nice to have the option to eat at the restaurants next door, especially for breakfast.

We stayed at the Secrets Wild Orchid in Jamaica a couple of years ago, and that was a much better experience overall. I don't think that we will stay at this particular property again, but that has more to do with the type of travelers that were are and less to do with the resort itself. We like to experience the local culture, and will likely stay at an a la carte resort closer to town the next time we travel to Cozumel. That being said, this particular all-inclusive was just OK. Had we paid more for our stay, I would have been way more annoyed. But the cost of the resort and 4 days of diving was less than the cost of a room at the Cozumel Palace (which was the other place we were thinking of staying). I would grade the resort a B or B- which is good but not great. Hopefully some of the issues and kinks will be worked out with time. Happy travels!

Room Tip: swim up suite or ocean view.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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17  Thank lel7176
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

I'm confused about the bad reviews, because my friends and I had an excellent time. We stayed for 4 days, 3 nights, just got back last night and did NOT want to leave. The resort is under new ownership and is now "Secrets" Aura. Seemed like they were still in transition and there was some construction going on.

The staff gave us a very friendly greeting (with champagne) the second we stepped out of the taxi, and we felt very welcomed and at home throughout the entire trip. Beach chairs and the dock were beautiful an comfy. Rooms are beautiful and the beds were SO comfortable. The beds on the balcony were also a plus. The only downsides were that we booked a 2 bedroom suite, but apparently they said this didn't exist. Not sure if that was true, but they gave us 2 single suites next to each other instead. We were happy with it. Also, my bedroom had a window the looked right into the hallway, so in the morning, if people were walking around, slamming their doors, or speaking loudly, it was very easy to hear all of it. Not a huge deal for me, though.

Our favorite server was Edgar (works in Windows and Oceana, only during lunch and breakfast). He is super friendly and pleasant to be around. Dinner food is where it's at. We had seafood the first night in Oceana and it was excellent, the risotto was delicious. The second night, went to their French restaurant "Rendevous", also excellent with the same quality of food, service, and atmosphere as any other upper end French restaurant you'd find here in the States. Apple martinis here were great, and so was everything else we ordered. And the 3rd night we went to the "El Patio" Mexican restaurant in Sabor. Very good, had the tamarind margarita which was delicious and again, so was the rest of the food. Never had a bad experience with the food. All the drinks we ordered were also decently strong, which was something I was worried about with the all-inclusive.

The entertainment team was very fun. They always had fun activities going on. The first night there was a cookout with a fire show and a limbo contest after. Second night there was a casino night. Not with real money, though. They gave us fake money and auctioned off some prizes (massages, liquor bottles, para sailing, etc.) The next day there were pool volleyball tournaments, ceviche cooking lessons, a band & dancing. Jordan and the tall guy (forgot his name, but seemed to run the show) were really funny and pleasant. Free non-motorized sports. Tried kayaking and the hobie cat.

Again, had a great time overall and we would definitely come back. We booked the trip through allinclusiveoutlet.com. Flight, hotel, and transportation to and from the hotel and airport are all included, with discounted activities I believe. We did snorkeling with the El Dorado glass bottom boat at 3 different locations. They picked us up from our dock and had all equipment and free drinks included for $40. They also had a photographer take underwater photos of us that we could take for a reasonable price, just try to haggle with him.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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8  Thank Felize C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 January 2013

My husband and I were looking for a relaxing retreat for our honeymoon, and found it at the aura grand cozumel (now Secrets Aura)! We just returned last night (01.11.2013). we loved the relaxing, quiet atmosphere. it always seemed quiet and respectful. We were even able to see the Vikings-Packer game in a bar at the Sabor! The staff were fabulous and very helpful. We recommended that you bring a stack of US ones to tip- not easy to get change down there!

The amenities were great- rooms were clean, but outdated. Not a big deal because the pool and beach areas were fantastic! Favorite space was the old "preferred area" pool with water slides!!! Second favorite spot was the Sky Bar- fabulous sunset views!

I thought the food was good (especially our last evening dinner at the French restaurant). My husband is a bit more picky and was not as pleased with the food. Serving sizes are a lot smaller than we are used to in the US, so plan to order an app, salad, or soup with your main course! Also, service took a while for lunch at either of the beachside restaurants- don't wait until you are H-angry to eat! Room service was pretty good as well, but took a while (plan for about 45 minutes).

After reading the reviews, I was really concerned about the construction and "musty smell" reported. In our area, there was not construction to be heard (but we did see where it was happening nearby). The musty smell was very apparent when we first arrived, but the island was 80% humidity while we were there- not sure they can change that, as we smelled the same mustiness in town as well! The hotel had delicious smelling incense burning in most of the common spaces to account for this. I also packed a few candles to burn in the room, but only used them the first day as we got used to the smell.

We chose to participate in the "membership presentation" (not a timeshare), because we wanted the discount for the spa- but it took 2 1/2 hours rather than the 90 minutes they suggested- overall if you plan to vacation somewhere every year, this plan could work for you. otherwise- you could pass.

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank vj96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2013

Great beach, comfortable lounge chairs, fresh beach towels waiting on chairs every morning. Absolutely beautiful. Snorkled right off the beach. Loved the hammock in the ocean. Bring water shoes since area is very rocky. Excellent food. The eggs Benedict and French toast were our favorites for breakfast. Slow to bring coffee, but when it arrived was excellent and they left the carafe on our table.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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11  Thank Janvettek
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2013

Not sure what all the negative reviews are about, this place was great. It has quite a beach front with beautiful views. Also plenty of average snorkeling right off the shore, especially under the dock. The only negative we had is that the service is a bit slow at the restaurants, but we noticed it majorly picked up on weekends and that was mainly during the week. But, it's vacation and you're on Mexican time. If you want amazing service, take a cruise. We didn't find the food any better than an average cruise liner, but I didn't expect it to be like going to some 5 stay restaurant any way. There are no buffets and everything was tasty. So the swim up suite was a lot of fun! The slides are quite fast if you lay down! Be careful, some people even fly out! I would know...

The place was also very clean! This I liked! The only negative is the $29 taxi fare to the airport per couple no matter how many people are in the taxi, but that's not Secrets fault. It's $15 to downtown/ferry or $150 pesos...

So pretty much that's all I could think of negatively of the place. Besides that it's quite relaxing. Oh and we had the Playboy channel in our room. They don't have a ton of channels, but they do have that one so that made me laugh...

Oh yeah and top shelf liquors. So watch online travel sites for a special and book the place. I guess my review was also based on getting a pretty good price on a "sale weekend" on a booking site. If I had paid a really high amount of $ maybe I would have expected more...

Oh and one more things, the beds are SO COMFORTABLE!!! The pillows are amazing!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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13  Thank JarredBradley
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:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Cozumel
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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 Spa Hotel in Cozumel
#9 Top resorts Hotel in Cozumel
#12 On the Beach Hotel in Cozumel
Price Range: £164 - £474 (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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