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“No frills but very friendly” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secret Garden Hotel

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Secret Garden Hotel
Ranked #2 of 81 Tulum B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Placencia, Belize
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“No frills but very friendly”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2014 via mobile

It is a couple of blocks back from the main strip and the neighbourhood is not affluent but these are people's homes and how they live. We did not feel unsafe at any point when we were staying there and there was a gate to the hotel which was locked at night and there was a member of staff there until about 9 or 10pm.

The rooms are no frills and really do need mosquito nets but they are clean and tidy. There was a bit of a smell coming from the drains when you used the sinks but when we were there it wasn't that bad.

It has a nice atmosphere due in part to the pretty courtyard garden and the staff who work there.

The staff are all friendly, especially Maura, who gave us a warm welcome and was very helpful to us during our stay.

Tulum is split up into two main parts - the town, with accommodation restaurants, shops, bars etc. and the beach front with its own set of hotels and restaurants. You do need to decide where you'd prefer to be located as you can't just walk between the two areas, though you can get there by bike or taxi.

Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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645 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 June 2014

this hotel is absolutely hideous.
the reason why we stayed here was because of all the good reviews.
I have no idea why they have so many good reviews.....
first of all if you can stay on the beach side. do it, NOT IN THE TOWN.
When we were driving to the hotel, we drove through the town and it was not what we expected. it was way to under developed for my liking, lots of dogs, and lots of vacant lots with rubbish everywhere.
We then turned off the main strip to the hotel, we started laughing as we felt like we were in the ghetto or the hood or something, this area made us feel like we were going to be shot....
We then pulled up to the hotel and nearly died. It is surrounded by these wretched houses and just general hideousness (see the photos attached).
the staff were very nice and friendly, we were shown to our room and LOCKED the door.
we then died due to the absolutely foul smell coming out of the bathroom, and to mask it they give you one stick of incense.
we then decided to try it for one night, and it did not get better, we checked out the next day and went straight up to cancun. the bed was not very comfortable, there were dogs barking and just random noises which freaked us out.
i felt very unsafe, bugs where everywhere and i did not like this whole cabin business. this place would probably only suit some yoga instructor trying to find themselves, or some Nimbin or Byron Bay person.
The garden bit in the middle was very nice though. but, if you want to sit outside, you have to sit on these communal chairs and share them with the other people staying there. you can also hear everyone else's conversation.I DID NOT LIKE THIS SENSE OF COMMUNITY. Also there was no air con.
there was also this ridiculous top bunk situation, it wasn't a bed, it wasn't a couch, god only knows what it is meant for.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
10 Thank thenickygritty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 June 2014

Located two blocks north of the main ADO bus station and two blocks back in from the main thoroughfare of Tulum is this wonderful hotel. Whilst walking down past a number of medical facilities and a few dilapidated residences your mind might be wondering have I made the right decision, but entering the large brown security gates you are greeted by a lush oasis of cooling greenery and wonderful staff who cannot do enough for you. Maura and Alex manage the front desk and allow you time settle into your exceptionally clean spacious room. Once settled you can talk to them about what to do and they provide great guidance on the many different options available to you to undertake in Tulum. Good advice on transport, where to eat, taxi and bus fares to the different attractions etc. A good map marked with this information provided by Alex was invaluable. The rooms were great with fan and air conditioner, very quite which allowed a good night sleep on comfortable beds, candles and incense was available but we didn’t use, there was no television which we did not miss, but there was speakers provided for the Ipod which added to the tranquillity of the stay! Other rooms have TVs if required and they have heaps of DVDs available to play at no charge. Another nice touch was the all day coffee and tea, a large water fountain to refresh your empty water bottles and cookies to be had at anytime free of charge. The entire setting was extremely peaceful and we were disappointed we couldn’t stay longer. We were catching the only bus through to Belize City which departs Tulum once a day just after midnight. The team at the hotel allowed us to stay in the communal tranquillity area at the back of the rooms where there was a shower and toilet to use before departure. They were happy to help out and showed the kind of kindness and hospitality that often seems to be missing these days. We would highly recommend this well priced hotel, it is certainly great value for money and exceeded our expectations. Thank you Mark and Margaret.

Room Tip: All the rooms are good and within a court yard setting and only at ground level.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2014

Requested the Orange Bungalow, but it was occupied when we got there, so we had the Brown Bungalow for the same price. It had an extra bed on top that we didn't need, but that was fine. It's cute, my husband and I like places with character. But while there was a breeze at the nice garden where we'd sit in the evenings and read our Kindles, once we went inside the room, there was no breeze. There's a ceiling fan and two standing rotating fans, but so hot and humid in mid May that I had a hard time sleeping without a/c. There are 2 screen windows, not much privacy if you want the windows open. The birds are very loud in the morning, but I sleep with earplugs. Also, there was loud music in the morning from one of the neighbors down the street. And sometimes in the evening, you hear children playing in the street. I didn't like the showerhead spray. And it was hard for me to shave my legs since there's no ledge to put my leg up. Towels were nice. And the manager lady was VERY nice and VERY helpful if you asked her any questions. Location is good, close walk to main street for restaurants and easy to catch cabs. But on the way there, most cabs don't know where it is so you have to give them directions like "it's after the Ado (bus station). I liked having the fridge, you can buy cans of beer close by and we'd drink one in the evening at the garden while we read.

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank macc_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Banff, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 May 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at Secret Garden for one week - it was amazing. Everything from the friendly staff (thanks Alex, Maura & Josh!) to the peace and tranquility of the beautiful garden simply made our week. Location is perfect, close to ADO, markets and delicious restaurants. There is purified water available 24 hrs which is very convenient. Perfect choice if you are looking for the perfect getaway.

Room Tip: We had "room 2", nicely located and plenty of room.
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank daisylovelady
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
66 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 May 2014

My friend and I spent two nights at Secret Garden in April 2014. The location was perfect… close to town --- two blocks from the main road, 3-4 blocks from the ADO bus station, a few blocks from delicious food - especially the seafood restaurant to the east. I liked the fact that it is in town and not on the beach… allows one to explore a different part of Tulum since we were going to the beach everyday and the food is better in town. The hotel was cozy and has a wonderful courtyard with many comfy chairs. The staff were amazing - super friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable. BUT it was noisy. Every morning, i was woken up at 6AM by the birds. And while the hotel is small (only 12 cabins or so), if your neighbors suck and come back at 2AM in the morning and decide to chat out in the courtyard, there is no one (except you) to tell them to respect the other guests -- i hushed them twice to no avail. NOT A QUIET PLACE TO STAY.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Chophelie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 April 2014

The Secret Garden is a fantastic place to stay if you are a down to earth person who likes to hang with the locals. What may at first seem like a plain-ish place opens up to be a little gem. We stayed in one of the bungalows. The owner has made every effort to make the rooms like little homes. We had a mini fridge, a sink in the kitchen area, plates, paper towels, dish soap and utensils. The bathroom had a small basket with shampoo, soap and ear buds. There were two fans downstairs and one upstairs, and a small bedside table lamp. The woman who comes to clean up the room left crisp, clean towels in the shapes of swans, flowers and little dolls. The hot water works and the windows look out into the courtyard that is filled with flowers and trees with leaves the size of your whole torso. The birds chirp every morning like they found some long lost family members and have some crazy catching up to do. There is coffee, tea and some breakfast things available 24/7. There are also a few hammocks and lounge type sofas that you can use any time you'd like. The walls are thick so you can't hear your neighbors. Joshua, Maura and Oscar are happy to answer any questions you may have and explain where things are and how to get where you are going with pleasure. The only thing I would say is that it was really hard for our taxi driver to find, even though it is right off the main drag. If you are going down the main street with all the shops and restaurants, turn right on Acuario Sur. There is a scooter and bicycle rental place on that corner and a restaurant on the other corner. Then turn left TWO streets down on Sagitario and you will see the sign for the SG. It is not complicated, but does not show up on Google Maps. I would gladly stay here again, in fact, I wish I were there right now. This is in no way like a hotel in the Zona Hotelera, it is a small family style spot for people who have their feet on the ground and like nature. It is about 4 miles from the beach, so we rented a scooter. I think it's worth it because you can stay in the town and mix with the people who live there, whereas the Zona Hotelera is designed strictly for tourism. Thank you Joshua, Maura, Oscar (and Milka). Please let me know if you want to buy the building across the street from you to open a SG2. I'll invest!!!

Room Tip: The bungalows are bigger, they rooms have plug in AC
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Rayovallecana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secret Garden Hotel

Property: Secret Garden Hotel
Address: Calle Sagitario Poniente # 54 | Downtown, Tulum 77780, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Tulum
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 81 B&Bs / Inns in Tulum
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3 star — Secret Garden Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Secret Garden is located in Tulum, which is known for its unique archeological site and stunning caribbean beachside.Enveloped by Mayan atmosphere and only two blocks from the main downtown avenue, at Secret Garden you will find eight tastefully appointed rooms with unique and special touches that will make you feel at home away from home.All of this and more makes Secret Garden the perfect place for savvy travelers seeking to explore the natural and cultural wonders of Tulum and its surrounding areas at an affordable and comfortable location. ... more   less 
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