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“Peaceful, relaxing, comfy and gorgeous”
Review of Hotel Secreto

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Hotel Secreto
Ranked #10 of 38 Hotels in Isla Mujeres
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Peaceful, relaxing, comfy and gorgeous”
Reviewed 8 December 2010

I've been meaning to write this review for months! My husband and I stayed here in January 2010 for a week and loved Hotel Secreto.
The room was gorgeous, the bed was a super comfy and the sitting area was spacious and comfortable (covered in white towelling - fab!). The bed on the balcony was fantastic (yes, we did end up falling asleep out there one night) and great for lazing around in private. There's American cable TV which was nice on the couple of occassions we watched TV. Lovely pool and the spa was nice to sit in in the evening and sip a cocktail (you can order them from reception or go to the supermarket and bring your own) the only downside of the pool was that it didn't get a lot of sunlight. The breakfast was fine - a bit samey after eating the same thing for a week (croissants, jam, fruit & tea or coffee) but the fruit was always lovely and fresh. And after the first day they knew that we wanted a pot of coffee and a tea and the water had to be hot!
The location is great. It's a 5 minute walk to everything but tucked down a little laneway so it feels like it's in the middle of nowhere. The laneway is rutted and not well lit at night but we necer felt unsafe.
I absolutely recommend staying here and we hope to go back. The hotel combined with the laidback pace of Isla makes for a perfect, relaxing holiday.

  • Stayed January 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank marmo_uk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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london
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 December 2010

THis is a lovely 12 room boutique hotel which is very secluded and relaxed. There is a beautiful view from the pool and access to a small beach. We stayed in a room on the third floor to start with which had a four poster bed and lovely seating area. However the bathroom was a bit disappointing - rather small and tired looking. We moved to a fourth floor room which was better - there was no four poster bed which was a shame and a smaller sitting area but the bed was still very comfortable and we had a rain shower, modern bathroom and separate toilet. The rain shower was not very powerful however and also is in the middle of the room with glass so no privacy!!

The staff were always very friendly and helpful and breakfast could be brought to your room any time up until around 11 which was good. There were hot mini croissants, fruit and fresh orange juice. Overall, we had a lovely stay at the Secreto and would definitely recommend it. It is very romantic and secluded and yet nearby to the centre of Isla Mujeres and Playa Norte so well located.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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1 Thank suntan21
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2010

This place is super cool, great design, perfect location right on a beach (too rocky to swim, but you can listen to the surf). The design is very spartan, but relaxing. We spend hours on the fouton bed on the deck just looking a the sea drinking wine. The staff is great, you can order drinks and they will go out and get you take out if you want. Breakfast of coffee, fruit and croissants serverd daily to your room. There is a mini fridge with beer, water and soda. The one suprising aspect was that the whole place needed a touch up. A coat of paint, the bathroom was in need of some maintanence to the wood floor shower, some of the lounge chairs by the pool had tears. Just looked a little worn. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time and miss it already!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank bobanet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
sydney
Level Contributor
28 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 November 2010

With a lot of "boutique" hotels, seats and beds are stylish but tremendously uncomfortable. Not so here, Hotel Secreto blends comfort with style and add to that the perfect location you get an absolute dream! We enjoyed breakfast on the daybed with the gorgeous view every morning and the pool was not too cold at all when we stayed there. In fact, I would hate to think they've warmed up the pool too much - the infinity pool was relaxing and beautiful. The town itself is gorgeous, the hotel is on a nice quiet street but within walking distance to the restaurants on Hidalgo, and the beach is around the corner. The private beach was not great for swimming/laying - too rocky. Really great hotel - one of the best in my trip to Mexico.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank ohayopai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 14 November 2010

I read hundreds of reviews of this hotel, all the good and the bad, trying to determine if this was going to work for us. In the end my wife and I decided to go for it, and I'm so glad we did.
I was delighted to see that the dirt/shell road leading to the hotel had been paved with interlocking bricks by the time we had arrived. It was apparent that the Hotel has been making improvements both inside and outside as well.
After moving through the heart of Centro we had been assailed with colors, noise, crowds, scents (good and bad) and the moment we walked through the gate to Secreto all of that was gone. The sea breeze blowing through the tasteful lobby and the sound of the surf greeted us. A Mimosa appeared in my hand as Omar talked us through the check-in, and a minute later we were in our room. Centro could have been on the other side of the planet.
The sound of the surf was grand. The sea breeze was perfect. The view was gorgeous and never got old during our 5 day stay.
I had read that the lap pool was too cold to use, so I was pleasantly tickled when I put my hand into it to discover it was warm. We dived in and enjoyed hours in that pool.
The beach in front of the hotel is small, but laying out there on the beach chairs was very pleasant. Topaz water, the breeze and the surf were relaxing. It's not a private beach, but there were very few people out and about (it was the off-season). I don't know how the staff knew I was out there, but they did and checked in to make sure I had what I needed and offered to bring drinks. Speaking of drinks, they are fantastic and very reasonably priced. We were served by the pool, on the beach and in our room during our stay.
Breakfast is as described in all the other reviews. Nothing fancy and a little repetitive after awhile. But we preferred to go out for every meal (don't miss breakfast at the Mango Cafe)
The room was so comfortable I had a hard time deciding where to veg out at times. The daybed on the balcony always won, though. This was probably my favorite feature of the hotel.
At nights we would sleep with the patio doors open for the breeze and surf, but that could result in some humidity that gave me trouble sleeping some nights. When we opted to use the air conditioner it was acceptable, but never seemed to get cold. Be aware that having the doors open at night means you may get a visit from a bat. Our bat was very visible circling around in the all white room. He was only there a few seconds before fleeing. My wife named him Oliver.
The staff was very attentive and helpful. Omar did so much to help make our stay better. Always ready with advice and tips when we asked about restaurants and attractions on the island. I lost a credit card in Centro and he helped me track it down and even sent a staff member over on a scooter when phone calls to find it went unanswered.
We stayed on the second floor and that was a little to low for my tastes. The privacy on the balcony is not so good at that level. Fourth floor is the only way to go if you want to be alone out there.
It's been a long time since I stayed in a hotel that had actual metal keys for the room keys. At first I was a little surprised not to get the electronic card, but in the end the key on a lanyard was much easier to keep up with on the beach.
There was a sewage smell near the gates of the hotel, but it was intermittent and was coming from beyond the property, so I don't know what they could do about it (This problem exists in many placed in Isla Mujeres)
I loved many of the small touches: A dock for my iPhone so we could play our music in the room. WiFi in the room. Dimmers on almost every light switch to help adjust the mood. Glass railings on the balcony so that the view is not occluded. Fresh robes every day. A safe big enough for a laptop.
A little thing that bothered me: There is a step down from the deck around the pool to the deck in front of the hotel. It is difficult to see and I almost took a tumble several times. But I might have just been drunk.
All of the rooms have double floor-to-ceiling patio doors, but for some reason the latches on one side have had the handles removed so that only one door would open. I happened to have a tool with me to open them both so I did. It created a luxurious sense of openness. I saw one of the staff looking at it, but no one cared enough to tell me to close it. (I put it back before the end of our stay)
If you want a beautiful room in which to lounge or use as a home base for forays out onto the island, this is a great place. If you want all the features of the big resorts, or if you want to feel like you never left the USA, this may not work for you.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank StevePowersActor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
2 reviews
Reviewed 8 October 2010

My fiancé and I stayed at this hotel, which was recommended to us by my office manager. The entire island was low key, quiet and gorgeous. There were families there, but they were staying at other hotels and crowding other beaches. Hotel Secreto is decorated in a modern way, has an infinity pool, and a nice English-speaking staff. The overwhelming sense you have there is privacy. It is perfect for couples. We were there for three or four days, and many times we took a nap on the "bed" on our patio, listening to the waves nearby. You could walk to a nearby beach, or down on Hidalgo street where all the restaurants are. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a perfect escape to unwind and have privacy.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Cristine063
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bayonne, New Jersey
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2010

My fiancee and I chose Hotel Secreto and Isla Mujeres as a honeymoon location due to the relative value and character we researched online in relationship to other island destinations. Even a cursory review of our stay at Secreto gets the highest marks.

Of the basics, it was clean and well-designed, stylish and sleek without feeling cold. The hotel, especially the room's balcony, seemed like a perfect frame or matte to compliment the natural beauty of the island. It's located a short walk from the town center which was an ideal way to have some remove from the tourist traffic. The room was the right balance between cozy and sexy. We always welcomed the fresh air and light furnishings that greeted our return from the sun and central glass shower was an extra nice touch. After months of work and wedding planning, we slept for 14 hours the first night.

The staff could not have been friendlier or more accommodating and we liked them immediately. The were quick with any request and, as mentioned before, will bring the complimentary breakfast and/or menus from local restaurants. Drinks poolside was a favored activity - the best Mojito I've ever had and a Mango Daiquiri that was like eating the freshest Mango on the planet. More than that the staff was just very cool and we were always glad to run into them in town or had short chats in our basic Spanish. We also met Scott, the owner, a hardworking individual with a lot of great insights into the island's charm and attractions. He's made the island home for his family and, for us, made a hotel that is a fine home away from home.

We visited in the off-season and the room was a great value. Although there was construction everywhere and some restaurants were on holiday or making repairs, we enjoyed the relative calm of fewer tourists and were delighted to discover that our trip coincided with several island events. The annual release of sea turtles from the care of the sanctuary and back into the sea was an island party that took place right behind Secreto. We were also there in time for Whale Shark schooling and the nation's bicentennial celebration. A big party in the town center brought out the whole island and many of the friendly faces we had met during our trip. All said, Isla Mujeres was the perfect place to live simply and have daily adventures together as husband and wife.

Some Basics: Taxis to the hotel from the ferry cost 20 pesos, cabs from the hotel to anywhere on the island were 40 pesos, a bicycle luggage cart walk from the ferry is a tip of about 50 - 100 pesos.

We both enjoyed use of the gym although we could have visited it more often.

It's true that the beach is not ideal for swimming but it can be fun for snorkeling. The pool and hot tub more than make up for this. Playa Norte is a short walk away and the Zama Beach Club is a short drive and resort-style beachgoing.

The hotel was undergoing some renovations which look to include a bar and lounge in the lobby.

We would certainly stay here on a return trip to the island.

  • Stayed September 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank La_Pinski
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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Also Known As:
Secreto Hotel Isla Mujeres
Secreto Isla Mujeres

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