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“Secreto = happiness”
Review of Hotel Secreto

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Hotel Secreto
Ranked #9 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 May 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, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank LexnEffdee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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198 - 204 of 359 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 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, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dfsaklfdhsa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 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, travelled as a couple
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Thank jtsquared
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2009

We had an amazing stay at Hotel Secreto from 15-19 March 2009.
We had a room on the second floor which had a great pool and sea view. The rooms were large and modern and the second bet out on the balcony was fantastic for sitting outside in the afternoon.
The hotel is literally a couple of minutes walk away from the spectacular Playa Norte, and about the same distance to Hidalgo where most of the restaurants are.
Staff were friendly, the breakfast in the morning was nice for a light start to the day. We just loved it and found it very very hard to leave.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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Thank Hawaiig1rl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 April 2009

My husband and I just returned from our second visit to Hotel Secreto, and once again, we loved it.

It is so peaceful and chic. The rooms are beautiful and decorated in a modern style. Our favorite part is the feather bed on the indoor bed-I have to go buy one now! Also the outdoor bed was another favorite spot.

It was great to be able to dock our ipod and listen to our favorite music at the end of the day.

Must eat at "El Rincon de Los Sabores." Eladio had only opened two weeks prior to our visit. It is located on Hildago across the street from Aqua Adventure dive shop and the Remax office. The chef Eladio is a master. He ate there for lunch and dinner almost every day, he will even deliver to the hotel. Everything is made with love and attention, making it all the more delicious. Do not miss this spot.

Have desert at Cool gelato. Its across the street from El Rincon and is next to the Remax office. 'once again, we ate there everynight. Rosemarie helped us to create a new crepe sensation each night. once again don't miss it.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank dmbfanNj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 March 2009

We spent 4 nights in a king 3rd floor room which was really great. The room is huge with excellent decor. The bed was clean and very comfortable with a plasma TV and DVD player on the opposite wall. The bathroom was clean and nice, but didn't quite match the decor of the room. The balcony was huge with a great view of the pool and ocean. The bed on the balcony was a great touch. We had breakfast on the balcony bed several times. There is no "Do not disturb" sign to hang on the door, but that's not an issue because it's such a small hotel the staff knows if you've left your room or not and waits until you're gone. This is representative of the excellent service we received. The continental breakfast was decent, but nothing to write home about. The coffee was pretty good though.

The pool is obviously beautiful and the lounge chairs are very comfortable. The water was too cold the first day, but was great the rest of the time since they turned the heater on. The only drawback was that the sun was blocked by trees or buildings at different times of day. Half of the lounge chairs on one side of the pool almost never see direct sunlight because they are shaded by overgrown trees. This really wasn't a problem though because there were never more than 6 people at the pool, so the sunny half was sufficient.

There is a stairway to the beach which has several loungers setup. The beach itself is very nice with sand that was really soft and cool to the touch. It gets a bit rough with shells more towards the water which is no good for swimming due to the rocks. I didn't mind because I wasn't interested in swimming in the ocean, and the rocks make for some great pictures. The hotel staff is still very attentive to guests at the beach. Also, swimming beaches are a 2 minute walk away at North Beach.

They have a bar at the hotel with a nice selection. Japanese style peanuts are served with your drinks which was nice. Drinks are more expensive than most of the rest of Isla Mujeres. Beers were $2.50 US and Daquiris and margaritas were $5.50 US. While not expensive compared to Chicago where I live, I bought a 6 pack of the same beers 100 yards down the road for about $3 US and then asked for an ice bucket by the pool. Also, the mixed drinks were very tasty but not very stiff at all. There is no restaurant in the hotel, but they make it easy to order delivery from several restaurants. At the same time, all of the downtown restaurants are within a 5 minute walk and my favorite little taco stand is about a minutes walk away.

We did yoga on the pool deck one morning by request at no charge. It was really nice to get a relaxing workout in right at the hotel. Also, the hotel rents a huge selection of DVDs for $3 US. The Wi-Fi was also great in our room and the hotel lobby, but got a little weak near the pool. Though, if you need Wi-Fi at the pool, it's no longer a vacation.

The construction next door has stopped due to bankruptcy, so there was no issue with noise. It is visible from the pool but is really not an issue.

The staff was well aware of the decline at the moment of the Mexican Peso. While they would accept pesos, they charged more for bar items if you wanted to pay in pesos. They also preferred to charge room rates in dollars. It's a good business move, so I don't blame them. However, it was a slight inconvenience.

In summary, this hotel is amazing. It was exactly what we were looking for. The price was reasonable, the hotel was clean and beautiful, the staff was attentive, and the overall vibe was peaceful and quiet. While I have a few very minor gripes discussed above, all together the made no difference in my enjoyment of the hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank astrilt1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2009

This is a hide-away small, boutique hotel off the beaten path. Its really romantic and is perfect for honeymooners. We loved the fact that nobody really knows where it is thus hardly any tourists. The rooms are very, very nicely done. The beds are super comfortable but the bathrooms could use an update. They are just starting to look a little tired. The balconies with queen beds on them are really comfortable and again romantic. Its a very quiet place so napping in the afternoon while over looking the ocean is easily accomplished. If you are looking for a place that has great decor, wonderful service, comfortable beds and is not a chain than this is the place for you. There are no restaurants at the hotel but it didn't matter to us becuase food/entertainment is just down the street. The beaches in Isla are amazing as are the people. We'd definately go again.

  • Stayed: March 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank luckytravelbug
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: £145 - £229 (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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