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“The best on the Island!”
Review of Hotel Secreto

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Hotel Secreto
Ranked #9 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 May 2013

My partner and I were a little worried about staying at this Hotel when some people we met in Merida said that it was a bit 'out of the way', so I was a little concerned! Once we walked through the gate, however, we could not have been happier. The Hotel is stunning and chiq, and the views are just beautiful. The staff were so friendly and the service was excellent. The room was beautifully appointed and very comfortable. It is just two streets away from the main road, so I have no idea what the couple in Merida were talking about!
I would not hesitate to recommend this Hotel to anyone for a special holiday. It is perhaps a little more of an adults hotel though, I did not see any children. In fact, we raved about it so much that our close friends have booked to stay there in April, and I am not worried about making the recommendation at all!
Thank you so much Hotel Secreto!

Room Tip: I would recommend a room on the top or second highest floor
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank IloCon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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113 - 119 of 363 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2013

I feel compelled to write a glowing review of my recent stay at Hotel Secreto. My new wife and I both had a wonderful time, both at the hotel and on the island. I'll have a hard time taking a trip to Mexico and going anywhere else in the future.

For such a respected hotel, this place is QUIET. We stayed for six nights in early April, and for most of the time, only three rooms out of twelve were occupied. Only once did we have company at the pool. I'm a social guy and would not have minded more guests to meet, but I certainly didn't mind a relaxing and quiet honeymoon stay.

What I lost in conversation with other potential guests, I made up for with the incredible staff. Bartenders Victor and Alfredo... and manager Rofilio were particularly kind and talkative. When they found out I love to watch soccer, they invited me to watch the upcoming Barca CL game with them in the lobby bar. When I went out to the pool at halftime, Victor came out to let me know when the second half was about the kick off. We spoke in a mixture of Spanish of English, but can handle English if tu espanol no es bueno. I could tell they always appreciated people making the effort to speak even simple phrases in Spanish, even if it was awful.

I thought Victor and Alfredo's drinks were actually among the best mixed drinks on the island (the best are the mojitos at El Veradero, hands down). Ask for a frozen mango margarita. Trust me. Anyways, they bring the drinks up to your room, or bring them to you at the pool. They could probably stand to check on your a little more often, but they still checked. They also offered, multiple times, to call and order us food to enjoy poolside.

Secreto does not have a restaurant, but it does bring a breakfast of fresh fruit, croissants, coffee and orange juice up to your room every morning. Ask them to put it outside, so you can eat while enjoying the ridiculously good view. Still, the best bet is to wake up early(ish), eat a little bread and fruit, then walk about 3-5 minutes for a great breakfast in El Centro (the downtown area full of restaurants and bars). In fact, one of the best parts of Isla Mujeres is the constant sense of adventure while trying all the different locally-owned small restaurants. You are better off not having a hotel restaurant.

If you have questions about restaurants, bars or activities on the island, the staff is happy to help. My wife and I took a private snorkeling tour with the company the hotel works with. A few bucks more than larger group tours, but it was $80 (US) for a solid two hour personalized tour. We liked it.

We stayed in room 8 on the third floor. (There are four floors.) Our room was extremely well-decorated; the bed was extremely comfortable. The air-conditioner worked wonderfully, and the safe also functioned easily. The bathroom was also nice, but nothing spectacular. And the balcony, of course, is spectacular. What a view. I took one of the best naps of my life on the day bed out there. Oh, and a nice bonus was the Bose Ipod dock-- I kept my iphone on airplane mode and just used it for the music. Before our next visit, I'm going to make a Secreto playlist.

If we had one complaint (or two), they were A) sub-par water pressure in the shower. It sometimes came to life, but usually struggled. Still, it wasn't so bad that hair-washing was an issue. And B) there was a bit of a slightly mildewy odor that I think is just common in tropical hotels... I've noticed it in other locations. By the second day, it wasn't an issue at all, and it wouldn't keep me from returning.

Overall, we loved our stay and highly recommend the hotel to others. It's location is ideal, the people working there are fantastic, the bed is super-comfy, the drinks are amazing and the hotel itself is secure and stylish.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank Evan_in_Texas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 April 2013

Please refer to my earlier review "Great value, great view" of a few years ago for my initial thoughts on Secreto. Mostly nothing has changed, although there is a new bar area with big screen TVs available for guests and a more private entrance. In addition there have been some bedding and TV upgrades, however mood-enhancing rheostatic lighting has somehow stopped working in Room 5 on the second floor and been replaced with good lamps throughout the room. Not as sexy as the earlier lighting scheme though. You have to go on the top floors, Rooms 10-12 to have the sexy glass bathroom, bathrooms on the first and second floor that I have stayed in are somewhat more predictable. Clean but not jazzy. The staff is absolutely delightful!! All in all though, I stand by my earlier comments and believe that this ais a great value on the charming Isla Mujeres.

Room Tip: Top floor rooms have the sexy bathrooms and ground floor rooms have easy access to the secure pool a...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mairzydoats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2013

How am I supposed to keep this place a secret? This was one of the best vacation experiences I've ever had and I attibute much of it to the Hotel Secreto. Now I can start of vacation stories with:

"Remember that time I fell asleep on the bed on our balcony overlooking the ocean?"

Or how about

"Wasn't it fun when we had the entire ocean to ourselves and then the bartender flagged us down when our fresh guacamole and chips were ready to be served with out cocktails"

Hotel Secreto is amazing, blissful and dreamlike. It's conveniently located to all the fun, hot spots in Isla Mujeres also in case you are looking for some festivities.

This is the hardest secret I've ever had to keep!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank simocrates
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 January 2013

Tucked away on a little cove close to the central tourist area, one has both ready access and seclusion. The top floor is most desirable (stairway access ). Sleeping out on the patio, feeling the caress of the tropical breeze as you see the sky and hear the waves . . . how does that sound to you? Terrific gym facility with some free weights, cardio- and strength machines. Never saw anyone else working out, either. Stylish decor, but some second-rate quality items, eg. Shower faucet handle came off, but it worked. The shower stream was not as weak as described by another reviewer. Didn't do any drinking in the bar. English skills of some employees seriously lacking, but others did well. For a place aimed at gringos, this feature could use some fixing up.

Room Tip: Get Top floor
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  • Stayed: January 2013, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2012

I stayed at Secreto with my girlfriend for three nights in November 2012. We came away with mixed feelings.

On one hand, Secreto has a trendy design and sexy feel. The views of the ocean are great. Our room (on the top floor) was spacious, private and comfortable. The hotel clearly had the feel of being decorated and designed by someone who has traveled extensively; the property is cool enough that it transcends the quiet, unpretentious Isla Mujeres and is somewhat of a destination in and of itself.

On the other hand, we found the property and service to be lacking in many areas. In our room, the shower pressure was exceptionally poor (probably the worst I've experienced in a hotel). My girlfriend actually had to skip washing her hair the first evening because it simply would've taken too long. She's not high maintenance - this was just a basic feature that was lacking.

More negatives in the bathroom for my girlfriend: there was no full-length mirror and lighting was poor, making make-up difficult. Again, we felt these were issues that others would probably find annoying as well and that one would expect to avoid at a nice hotel. All the design points in the world (e.g. the sexy, see-through shower) can't compensate for basics like these.

Aside from the room, the "gym" was non-existent when we visited, and what seemed to be the hot tub section of the pool wasn't heated. The pool wasn't cleaned regularly (small bits of leaves, bugs, etc. were evident in one corner) and the area nearby for rinsing off beach sand was just a coiled up garden hose tucked away in a corner. Didn't feel super luxurious.

As for the service, we found the staff to be aloof throughout our stay. Whenever we passed through the main reception room, the two staff there would barely give us an 'hola.' In one instance, one of the staff behind the bar was listening to music on his ipod and barely glanced up as we walked by. Similarly, although we spent several hours out by the pool, only once did someone drop by to ask if we'd like a drink. I realize that some people value their privacy at hotels, but being almost ignored goes beyond privacy - it's just poor service. Sometimes we felt as if Secreto were just a pretty building masquerading as a hotel but without anyone actually there to cater to guests' needs. Relative to our hotel in Playa del Carmen (Beach Resort Mahekal), where all of the staff were so warm and friendly and eager to please, this was very disappointing.

Finally, as for the view, although the ocean and the pool look great out the window, there is an eyesore of a half-finished construction site just off to the side that unfortunately obstructs the sunrise and takes away from the setting.

In the end, we thought Secreto has potential, but it needs to fix several issues with the property and rethink its service delivery (although based on other reviews, perhaps we just had bad luck). We give it three stars because relative to its potential, it really feels only partway there. If we were convinced these issues had been addressed, we'd think about going back, but in the meantime, we'd go elsewhere.

  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled as a couple
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15  Thank Aroundtheworld121
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2012

We stayed at Hotel Secreto for our honeymoon and it was wonderful. It is so quiet and peaceful on the private beach, but so close to everything, we were able to walk almost everywhere. Everyone on the staff was so nice. We were greeted at the gates before our taxi had even parked! 2 staff members came out to take our luggage and a third walked us into the beautiful and modern lobby where we were welcomed with mimosas and a short informational introduction of the hotel and the area. We were then escorted to our amazing room. The view is absolutely breathtaking! The room was very clean every day we were there. The housekeepers do a wonderful job, not just in the room but in all the public areas. It always smelled nice and clean. If I had to make one complaint, I would say that some of the areas of the hotel needed a little TLC such as cleaning the pool/hot tub, or changing the outdoor bed matresses. But all things that I am sure are perfect during the busy season.

Victor was the bartender while we were there and he was awesome! He knew us by name and every day when he got to work he would find us (usually out by the pool) and asked us if we needed or wanted anything. He makes the BEST pina coladas and margaritas! I am pretty sure one night we got back later than usual and he had already left for the evening, but came back to make us drinks and delivered them to our room! He was extremely friendly and is a great asset to the hotel.

The area the hotel is located is right on a private beach that was so quiet, and it was just a 2 min walk to the larger beach with bars and restaurants. The hotel staff was very accommodating when we needed a confirmation printed and when we needed directions on what to do and where to go on the island. If we ever come back to Isla, we will stay here!

Room Tip: Pay a little extra to be on the top floor.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank mjofaith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Secreto

Address: Seccion Rocas Lote 11 | Punta Norte, Isla Mujeres 77400, Mexico
Region: 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: £166 - £230 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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