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El Secreto
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Reviews (251)
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Reviewed 23 July 2013

We just spent a night at El Secreto as part of a weeklong stay on Ambergris Caye. It really is a gorgeous property. We've stayed in beautiful locations all over the Caribbean, and in terms of visual appeal, El Secreto is right up there with any of them. The staff was very friendly and accommodating, and the small villas are wonderful - indoor and outdoor showers, two-person tubs, an amazingly comfortable bed, as well as a personal hot tub on your deck. In terms of romantic ambience, this place is really tough to beat.

Plenty of nice touches abound - the speedboat that picks you up and takes you to the resort is a very smooth ride ( they stop for pictures in an area where the water is so amazingly blue that you won't believe it), there are hammocks and lounge chairs situated in/over the pool, and the open-air dining room is beautiful. There are free kayaks and paddle boards to use, which I took advantage of several times, and if you want, Charlie from the staff will take you out on the Hobie Cat for a nice sail to some local snorkeling spots. Again, all complimentary.

However, I had two primary complaints/reservations about staying there again. The main one is that the resort is so far away from anywhere else - it's a 30 minute boat back to town - that you are pretty much limited to the dining options at El Secreto, which consists of a single restaurant that I found hit-or-miss. We only had 3 meals there (breakfast was really good, lunch was solid, but dinner was underwhelming), and I was already tired of the restaurant by the time we left. I understand from talking to other guests that the menu doesn't change from day to day, so I can't imagine staying there for more than a few nights.

The other is that they give you an iPod when you arrive that is supposed to control everything in your room - the lighting, music, tv, locks, etc. While it worked really well for the lighting (you had sliders for every light in and around your room/bathroom/patio/etc. as well as pre-set lighting options), it would not work the door locks at all (thankfully there is a manual option!), and the music never worked right (it would cut it and out all the time as well as start and stop for no apparent reason at all). I'm a techie, and I thought it was so cool when they first explained it, but I spent way more time than I wanted trying to get it to all work right, and finally just gave up.

Two other more minor complaints: 1) the ceiling fan had only two speeds apparently - off, and category 5 hurricane - which makes this the only ceiling fan I've ever seen that doesn't have a low, medium, and high setting. I asked numerous staff about this, and they all kind of shrugged. Consequently, getting the room temperature right for sleeping was hard, since we had to leave the air on at all times, which led to both of us waking up with a sore throat (the AC blows directly at the bed, and even when you turn the vents up and away from the bed, the next time it clicks on they go back to the default). 2) The private hot tub is a nice option, but you have to let them know 4 hours in advance of when you want to use it, and it apparently only stays warm for an hour or so. We took longer with dinner then expected, and when we get back to our room ready for a soak, it was already cool again.

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Brian D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 July 2013

We stayed at resort for 5 nights and had a very romantic, special, beautiful experience. Resort is on beach set in a jungle atmosphere so don't be scared to see iguanas in your front yard or have to smack a mosquito off here or there (there's OFF provided for all guests). El Secreto has impeccable, 5 star customer service and stunning villas- outdoor shower in the open garden is my favorite! Served fresh juice in a coconut every morning on your front porch which is the best way to start your day before heading to the pool or beach. Two factors everyone should know that we were unaware of- can only travel to town by boat and it's a 25 minute ride each way (not to mention you have to fly in a small plane from mainland to get to Ambergris Caye)...also, website states to enjoy yoga in the morning- we went during off season and there is no yoga during the Summertime months. Ocean is gorgeous but beaches are narrow and lots of seaweed and reef- not sure if it's due to time of year as well. MUST do the snorkeling trip and take a couple nights to enjoy the town and what it has to offer.

Room Tip: Every room is AMAZING but there are 3 villas located right infront of the water- so request those. Either way- all villas are stunning!
  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank LoloB25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We spent the first 4 nights of our honeymoon at El Secreto after searching for ages for somewhere that matched our requirements. From the moment we were picked up at the pier in San Pedro I knew we had made the right choice. Mario that drives the speedboat immediately made us feel welcome and the short boat ride to the resort was made even better with ice cold beers. We stayed in a lake villa and could not fault the room, the bathrooms were huge and the outside shower was a lovely touch. All of the staff were so friendly and helpful and really could not do more to make our stay as relaxing as possible.

The food was varied and catered to every taste and you should try their coconut mojito - they are to die for.

The only negative for me, and it is a minor one, is that it was expensive to get to and from San Pedro if you want to go shopping or for dinner somewhere other than the resort.

We would definitely go back and really enjoyed our stay

  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Scooby247
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 June 2013

El Secreto is a relatively new resort on Amergris Caye, in Belize. It has 13 villas. We stayed in the one the ocean front villas which included a fabulous ocean breeze. Our view included the ocean and the breaking waves over the 2nd longest barrier reef in the world.

The resort is somewhat removed from the closest city of San Pedro. To get to El Secreto we flew into Belize City and then took a prop plane on a 20 minute ride to San Pedro. From there we took about a 25-30 minute boat trip north to El Secreto.

They great you at the dock with a damp towel and a beverage along with a warm welcome.

Our trip was immediately after tropical storm Barry had gone through which made us one of only 4-5 couples staying there. We stayed for 5 nights in a very nice villa. It included a sitting area, large bed, huge bathroom with both a shower and tub and a very very large outside shower.

The staff was very friendly and seemed to work hard to remember your name and greeted you personally each time your paths crossed. The restaurant was amazing. The head chef Lucy had a great variety of menu options and came out of the kitchen to speak with us several times during our stay.

We had a few massages which were very nice. The massage room was in a tree house type of building which was interesting.

The only excursion we took while at the resort was a snorkel trip to the barrier reef. Our guide was Lewis who was very knowledgeable and friendly. The waters were crystal clear and the fish were plentiful. We swam among sea turtles, sting rays, huge group, and sharks. We actually got to hold about a 4 foot shark which was a new experience for us.

Over the weekend was San Pedro's annual lobster fest. We rode into town on a crew boat and got to share some of the lobster fest with them which was fun as the whole town was out and celebrating with music and all types of lobster dishes.

We got to spend time with the other guests on the resort who did more excursions than we did and reported to us that they were all very nice, including the tubing trip in the caves and a trip to the jungle.

We have traveled extensively and I would rate El Secreto as one of the nicest places we have stayed. It is a beautiful place and very relaxing.

All resorts have some minor issues which in this case aren't even worth mentioning. Anything that came up during our stay was handled by the staff very quickly. They are definitely doing their best to make their guests happy.

Staff members that we would like to acknowledge for making our trip such a pleasure are:
Ken, the manager was very helping, Jamie was our dining room server most of the time during our stay - he was very friendly and we enjoyed talking with him. Lewis who was our barrier reef guide was so knowledgeable and friendly.

In summary....if you get a chance to go there.......it's harder to get there than most places....but it is certainly worth it.

Room Tip: The ocean front villas have a great ocean breeze. It was warm while we were there and I don't believe that the other villas experienced the breeze....so it may have been warmer where they were located.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BobInOrlando
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2013

We just returned from 3 nights at the beautiful El Secreto resort. What a lovely setting. We had a sea view villa, and woke up and went to sleep every night looking at the ocean. The rooms are amazing, and the bathrooms are to die for. I loved the outdoor shower too. The food, the people, and the spa services just helped to make this a memorable trip. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Not recommended for families or little children.
  • Stayed: June 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank redspa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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