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“Hidden gem. Best Isla has to offer.”
Review of Hotel Secreto

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Hotel Secreto
Ranked #8 of 37 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, TX
Level Contributor
1 review
“Hidden gem. Best Isla has to offer.”
Reviewed 6 September 2010

Let me begin by saying, I'm not an avid reviewer. I usually only use Trip Advisor to find hotels I want to stay at, but not really to follow up with my take on them. I know, shame, shame, shame.

That said, as soon as my husband and I walked into Hotel Secreto, I knew that I couldn't not share our experience. First, we were greeted with mimosas, as we were checking in, and the news that we would be receiving a reduced rate during our stay. (Mind you, we'd signed a contract that locked our initial rate in, when we made our reservation, so they were under no obligation to give us better pricing, but did nonetheless.)

Next, we checked in and were happy to find a clean, well-stocked room. There's a mini fridge with drinks and enough extra space to store a handful of snacks, a lounge area and a daybed outside, not to mention free wi-fi. If you stay in one of the newest suites (on the top floor), there's a glass shower that divides the bedroom from the bathroom. (Apparently, there are no secrets in Secreto.) Beyond the room there's also a great pool area, hot tub and gym that we took advantage of, as well as a great breakfast that was always delivered very promptly in the AM.

I do have to take a minute to brag on the staff. They were extremely friendly and personable—always ready to give restaurant recommendations, help set up tours and call taxis when we needed them. One evening we also called down for drinks from the bar and half an hour later the drinks arrived. Normally, most people would be annoyed that it took so long, but turns out, the bar had been closed for an hour and the hotel didn't have the ingredients to make the drink, so they sent one of the staff to the store to get it, without ever breathing a word about the inconvenience to us. (The only reason we knew was the next day we noticed the bar hours and asked about it.)

Overall, we had a tremendous time and a very relaxing stay. If I had to share any criticism, I would say that the pillow topper on the bed was a little lumpy (Not enough to prevent us from sleeping well.) and the TV only offered a handful of English-speaking channels (Hello! It's Mexico, so that's to be expected.) Other than that, I would highly recommend it and would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Natalie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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New York City, New York
Level Contributor
280 reviews
205 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 408 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 July 2010

We stayed at Hotel Secreto for 3 nights in early July. We were extremely excited when we read about it and it did not disappoint one bit -- the hotel exceeded our expectations and we will be back!

THE SUMMARY:

The highlights of the hotel are its large, comfortable, modern designed, private rooms (there are only 12 of them), an extremely helpful staff (just the right level, not too pushy, but always around when you need them), a relaxing pool and hot tub that overlook the beach, and a location that is close to everything, but just far enough away. There is tremendous value for your money here and at least during our visit all of the guests were quiet, kind, and respectful that this was a place to relax and not a party hotel (of course, depending on guests, this could change).

As noted in other posts, the beach is not the most beautiful on the island, and it is quite rocky. During our visit almost everyone remained by the pool, but this was fine because the pool and hot tub are located in such a way that you can see and hear the ocean clearly. Unless you are a die hard beach lover that needs to be in the ocean all day, this is not a big deal. There are chairs you can use on the beach if you like, but the pool area felt more inviting. While I noted a few signs of wear that others mentioned, they were small for the price paid easily ignorable.


THE DETAILS:

While we've traveled all over the area, we had not yet been to Isla Mujeres. We forgot how crazy the Cancun airport is after you exit customs with the swarms of people competing for your taxi business. we strongly recommend sorting out your transportation BEFORE arriving -- the taxi to Puerto Juarez (~25 mins where you catch the ferry to Isla Mujeres) cost us around $45 (we haggled a bit, they wanted $65). Even for us global travelers, we would prefer not to deal with these folks again and next time will get something pre-arranged (even if just a driver to the port). People are just aggressive and it is not a nice way to start the journey. There are also around $20/person shared van services, but that will take you up to an hour to reach the port because they stop at all the hotels in Cancun.

Once in Isla Mujeres, you can either take a short taxi (if you have a lot of bags) or just walk to the hotel. The walk is about 10-15 minutes and very easy. A fairly easy way to do it is when exiting the port walk left until the main road ends (you are at the Privilege Aluxes Hotel) and make a right onto that road. Keep going straight for a few blocks (you will pass Convention Center on the left) and the road will look like a long driveway. Keep going to the end and on the right you will see a white hotel with no signage.

When we got the hotel and checked in, we were served a refreshing welcome cocktail after walking around with our luggage in the hot Mexican sun. It was a very nice touch.

The room was great! Very comfortable bed, cool air conditioner, Bose iPod Dock, flat screen TV + DVD player, iron, blow dryer, small fridge, and a sitting area with some chairs and a sofa. Outside on the balcony (which was VERY private from your neighbors the way it was constructed) you have a great ocean view, a large bed you can relax on, and two chairs. We chose to have our free breakfast served here each morning (some people chose the pool) We'd call and they'd have it up in 10 minutes. A few warm croissants, fruit, fresh squeezed OJ, tea, and coffee. It was very nice, and while people noted it can get old after a few days, we loved it nonetheless. If the hotel could maybe just vary the fruit each day it would be more exciting, but of course people would complain about that too!

One difference between the rooms on the second/third floors and the fourth floor is that the bathroom is remodeled. The fourth floor bathrooms are very modern and have a glass shower that look onto the room. Whereas the second and third floor bathrooms have orange tiles and white cement everywhere. It really didn't go with the room.

Also, please be aware that this hotel does not have an elevator.

The hotel has great drink service by the pool (and I'm sure in your room if you want) at amazing prices and with a great level of service. I believe the bar is open 10am-6pm. We had $2.50 beers most of the time. For lunch we decided to ask the hotel for their collection of local menus and they went and got the food for us and served it right by the pool. It was wonderful. We recommend Vinales! Make sure to tip the staff well, they actually went to get our food for us!

The lobby always has towels for the pool. They are also happy to offer advice about things to do. We rented a golf cart for a few hours and drove around the island (we rented from Ciro's very close by for ~$38 from 9:00AM to 5:00PM). It is a great, easy drive, with a lot to see! The hotel has Wi-Fi that seemed to work pretty well everywhere I used it -- mostly in the room, on the balcony, and by the pool. They also had an extremely well equipped gym and it looked like the sauna and spa were still being completed.

We both had 60 min massages for ~$70 from the hotel's therapist. They were a solid good, but not amazing. We supplied the relaxing music (we prefer relaxing music during a massage). I think she should ask how soft/hard you want it before you begin. She was sweet and it was relaxing and we are not sorry we did it.

Lastly, on the main street (Hidalgo?) we also ate at Amigo's which was pretty good and the no-name rotisserie chicken place that looks like someone's house (next to Rooster's) that was delicious! For dinner we ate at Minino's on the dock and had delicious fish. The southern tip of the island was a nice site and the beach club Zama Beach & Lounge on the east coast (near the dolphin swimming park) was very chic if you want a nicer beach to hang out at.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank BoysInNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
chattanooga tn
Level Contributor
111 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 June 2010

We just returned from our second trip to Secreto and once again enjoyed the hotel and staff very much. The dirt and sand road leading to the hotel was being paved while we were there which will be a big improvement. We were told they are adding lights as well. They were measuring and planning some finishing touches to the beach area too. The best improvement is they are turning the lobby into a bar with comfy chairs and bookcases planned. The are new enterance is behind the lobby. None of this should interfere with enjoyment of the the hotel while it is in process and will surely be enjoyed when done.

A special thank-you to Victor for taking good care of us at the pool everyday and Omar and Rogellio at the front desk you helped make our stay wonderful, it was like meeting old friends again.

If you are looking for a beautiful place to unwind and relax Secreto and Isla Mujeres can't be beat we are already planning to return again in December.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank sasha2ChattanoogaTn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level Contributor
25 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 June 2010

Hotel Secreto is a true gem of a little hotel. We are well traveled and have had the pleasure of staying in some of the highest rated "beach" hotels in Hawaii, Mexico, Spain, etc, etc, and Secreto not only holds up to those high standards, it over-delivers. The rooms are lovely, clean and comfortable. The pool and view are both gorgeous. The service is attentive without being intrusive. The location is perfect (2 blocks from stunning Playa Norte and a stone's throw from town). Get away from the Cancun hotel zone and head slightly off the beaten path to the lovely Isla Mujeres and the fabulous Hotel Secreto. You will not be disappointed.

Things of note:
-Isla Mujeres is an amazing little island. The gin clear water and silky sand beaches of Playa Norte are spectacular - the natural beauty of the island blended with the laid back and beyond friendly locals really makes Isla a special place.
-Not only is Secreto's room rate beyond reasonable for the high level of quality of the hotel, but we found the bar prices to be (almost surprisingly) inexpensive, so don't fret over high incidental bills.
-My husband loved their new gym - it had everything he needed to get in a good workout. Wi-fi is included (although I recomened leaving those work laptops at home)
-Hotel Secreto is not a "full service hotel" - think of it more of staying at a friends villa with a great staff, but with all of the great food packed onto this little island, you'll be glad you got out for lunch and dinner. The drinks are wonderful at the hotel and if you just can't pull yourself away from the pool, food can be brought in for you.
-Must eat: Grab a late breakfast at Roosters. The fish tacos at the Sunset Grill are some of the best I've had. The burgers and fried fish sandwiches at Jax are legendary.
-Must do: Late afternoon beers in a hammock at one of the bars on Playa Norte.

  • Stayed June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank VancouverTheHair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Franklin, Tennessee
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 21 May 2010

In Murejes for a wedding at Privilege and my husband and I moved to Hotel Secreto for privacy and a more intimate location the last 6 days of our visit. Hotel Secreto met all our expectations! Service was A+ and the drinks, accommodations, and the view to the gorgeous turquoise ocean were more than we ever dreamed! Alfredo and Victor are the best. Alfredo...I so miss your killer Mojitos!

Everyone at the hotel did whatever we asked to make our stay a memorable event.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank MusicCity024
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 May 2010

Went to Isla with my wife and bunch of friends for a wedding and loved the island in every way! From the nice locals, authentic food and seedy street vendors, to the beautiful sunsets, fun downtown hangouts and cool excursions around the island, it really is a great place to go for a real Mexican vacation experience.
Hotel Secreto is the perfect escape from a busy work life, as well as the perfect setting for friends to hang out all day and have a great time. We honestly sat around the pool reading, drinking, and goofing off for about 3 days straight and never had a dull moment.
The view from the pool and hotub is incredible, watching the sea spray hit the rocks from a hottub or pool never gets old....and if it does, you are about a 3 minute walk from being in the heart of downtown. The hottub is a perfect late night meeting spot too for the perfect finish to the day.
The service was incredible, Victor and Alfredo are amazing, they learn your names, appreciated my weak attempt at speaking spanish and are willing to do anything to make your stay better, and even climbed trees so that we could all have fresh Coconut water.....at their suggestion!
I would suggest this hotel to anyone looking for an amazing vacation in Mexico, and would return without question...Enjoy!!

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pmc19312
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 May 2010

We sought out Isla for its low key style and hotel secreto for its quiet sophistication. Both delivered and then some. While the previous post is correct regarding the hotel showing some wear and tear (a pool lounger was torn, furniture nicked, etc.) everything was pristinely clean and service was warm from the complimentary mimosas at check-in to prompt daily breakfast. Glass shower was ultra romantic with the ocean view, rain showerhead and more than big enough for two. Bed was feather-topped and way more comfy thatn most Mexican hotel beds. On the balconly, unfinished condos next door obstructed part of our view (4th floor king) and took some getting used to, but that's true all over Isla. Location was perfect as it's away from the larger hotels, but still an easy 2 minute walk to beach and restaurants. We had a special rate since the pool was not heated and water not provided. We didn't miss either at all; pool was perfect temp and water was easly acquired at the super market cheap. Would we stay again? If the rate was good, definately. Otherwise, we'll likely try out Medialuna as it was half the price and literally next door. Or for even more seclusion, we'll try out the Punta Sur area and golf cart in when we need to.

Our must-do 's: Tix & chic and huge mimosas at Playa Lancheros, stop at the turtle farm, punta sur tour, Olivia's for romance, ComoNo for great music and boho vibe, Sunset Grill for friendly beachside service and comfy loungers.

  • Stayed May 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank TXtravelista
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
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 (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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Odigeo, Travel Republic (UK), Priceline, HRS, Evoline ltd and Cancelon so you can book your Hotel Secreto reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Secreto Hotel Isla Mujeres
Secreto Isla Mujeres

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