Historical Traveller Reviews of Secreto Hotel
Loved this hotel!!!
from A TripAdvisor Member
We absolutely loved this hotel. It was gorgeous! The staff was very helpful and friendly. We stayed there for a vacation in November, and it was like a second honeymoon. The margaritas were delicious! I agree that the beach is a little of a let down if you like to swim, but it is beautiful to look at from your balcony. We rented a couple of umbrellas at Playa Norte which was only a 5 min. walk. The food at local restaurants on the beach and downtown was wonderful and reasonably priced. We had the best time there- the people were very friendly. The people from the Avalon resorts were a bit annoying as they were all over the place trying to offer a pitch on a time share.
We would definitely recommend this hotel as well as Isla Mujeres. We loved it and will definitely be back soon.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My wife and I spent 8 wonderful nights at Hotel Secreto. We agree that the beach itself isn't exceptional, but that in no way took away from our experience. The hotel sitting in the little cove, with waves crashing over all day and night make the location beautiful. Sure, we couldn't walk out and swim like you can at Playa Norte, but the view is amazing. During the day we had a great time sitting by the gorgeous pool and hotel landscape. We also spent many hours on the beach taking in the exceptional view. When we wanted to go swimming, we just walked the two minute walk to Playa Norte. Since a trip to Isla Mujeres is for relaxation, food, culture, weather, etc., it was not an issue having to take a casual walk to another beach. And by the way, Playa Norte is phenomenal! A couple afternoons, we laid on a sand bar in the middle of the ocean, about 30 yards from shore - fabulous! The hotel is perfect - a good value for the price. The staff is exceptional. They took great care of us. We were so impressed when we arrived. It was a hot day and we were of course hauling our luggage. At the front door, two staff members rushed out to help us. When we got to the front desk, Ponce handed us a cool, wet towel to "wash up". Another staff member arrived with two glasses of champagne as well. We cannot stress how beautiful this hotel is; how well it is taken care of; the nice smelling scent as you walk into the lobby and your room. It is true there is a poor family living behind the hotel that has a rooster and dogs. However, it does not take away from the experience. It is sad to see the poverty of course, but unfortunately this is what you experience at times in Mexico. Three restaurant recommendations for those of you spending time on this island: Caso O's, Casa Rolandi's and Manolo's. We would love to return to Isla Mujeres and Hotel Secreto someday.
t go there for the beach
As you can read below, it's really a great hotel, very beautiful, nice staff (although I didn't find them really exceptional), nice design, great cocktails (and pretty cheap). But if you like lovely beaches, you're at the wrong place; we were very disappointed with the beach; it didn't look nice at all, it was really shallow (we were not able to swim) and the sand was really dirty : lots of algues, cigarettes, broken glasses,... They should really clean the beach at least once a week as it was not appealing at all, but most of the guests of the hotel did the same as us, they went to the beautiful Playa Norte that is really exceptional and is only a couple of minutes away of the hotel (but there you don't have your hotel chair unfortunately).
Another negative point was the noise : as someone mentioned, you hear every morning a cock, dogs barking but worse was 2 nights, they were some kind of wild parties in a field near the hotel till 2-3 am... and you really couldn't sleep till it was over...
But don't misunderstand me it's still a great hotel in which we might return, but before going there and having read the comments, I thought, wow that must be something unbelievable, but there are some minus points that I mentioned above.
Hotel Secreto is Secreto!
I came all the way from Australia to stay at this hotel after seeing gorgeous pictures of this place in many magazines. It certainly is a great place to relax and unwind. Lovely pool area and rooms. I loved being able to fall asleep at night listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. The beach directly in front of the hotel isn't that great for swimming, so we walked just around the corner to the left to swim and snorkle. That was great -we saw squid, heaps of fish and sting rays. We ate in town both nights we were there which is just a short stroll down the road. The hotel provides a perfectly adequate continental breakfast each morning which is a nice touch. I guess my only complaint was the price of the rooms -coming from Oz it was a bit expensive. The boutique hotels in Bali and Thailand are alot more magical and cheaper.
But the thing I was most impressed about and it has never happened to me before was when we went to check out the receptionist said that the hotel owed us money! I had booked about 10 months in advance and they had asked I pay when I had booked. Because the exchange rate had changed quite a bit in the ten months -they owed us money. What a nice suprise. I would stay at this hotel again.
Romatic, quiet, peacful, relaxing, serene vacation
from A TripAdvisor Member
After careful research and narrowing down our choices to two places to stay on the island, we chose "Hotel Secreto" At first we were taken back a bit and not sure if we had made the right choice. But after visiting our second choice Villa Rolandi we were glad we chose "Hotel Secreto" The atmosphere was so relaxing and peacful. The staff is amazing in wanting to be there for your every need. They are all wonderful. We even met the owner Scott. Due to Hurricane Ivan passing really close to the island there was some damage and Scott was there to also help out. Everyone was truly very honest, hard working and waiting to assist their guest in every way. The pool was perfect. The outside living room overlooking the ocean was perfect. You can order food from two different restaurants on the island from the hotel and they will serve it to you. The private beach, the hidden cove in the rocks and the beautiful views are breathtaking. Since the owner Scott likes the color white, everything is in white and accented in beautiful island colors. The smell of the foyer and rooms is so clean and fresh. Everything is kept so tidy and clean. The hotel is only two blocks from downtown and is totally within walking distance. The island is very safe to roam. The best way to get around the island to see everything is by golf cart or moped. You can arrange that with the staff. If you wish to go to dinner or visit a place on the other side of the island, the best way to get there is by taxi. It is cheap. You never have to wait, there is always one available. For shopping, be careful of the individuals who try to yell out at you to come and visit their store. These individuals are not locals and they travel by ferry from Cancun to the island to work each day. I found the little shops that the locals own and bought from them. Alot of times their merchandise was hand made. For diving or snorkeling see Cindi at Delfin Diving at the Hotel Nabalam. Very inexpensive and wonderful people (also within walking distance from "Hotel Secreto"). For a massage, ask the staff at "Hotel Secreto" they will call a wonderful lady for you. She has lived on the island for 17 years and she is from the US. If you are looking for a romatic getaway and a peacful, laid back vacation with no pressure, go to "Hotel Secreto". We are sure glad we did and we plan to return next year. Oh yeah and if you are an animal lover, please stop by Dr. Delfinos clinic on the East side of the island and make a donation. The animals and he could really use it. Be kind to the locals as they are very kind and be respectful of their island and you too will have a vacation to remember.
from A TripAdvisor Member
My husband and I stayed at Hotel Secreto for 4 nights a week ago. I have never been to a hotel where the service was this fantastic...we have traveled to many places and stayed in very nice hotels and nothing compares. The rooms were wonderful and beds comfortable. CD player in the room and flat screen TV with satelite (not that we watched much tv but it was nice later at night). They made excellent margaritas ($4) and brought them right to the beach for us. Cold beers were $3. They even arranged for a golf cart for us that arrived at our hotel and allowed us to use their internet as we needed. The pool was perfect and very quiet. The entire hotel smelled wonderful and we did not want to leave. We will be back to this amazing, relaxing hotel. I would not suggest bringing children to this hotel only for the reason that it is very, very quiet and had an adults only feeling--which we loved.
Best of the Best
from A TripAdvisor Member
All the hype is right on, this is the most romantic and perfect little hotel I have ever been to. Spent 3 days of pure relaxation. Do not even hesitate to book here, order in room service or pool side. Rent a golf cart straight off the ferry and try Casa O's and Casa Rolandi's for awesome meals. You will not be disappointed with this trip if you want a quite and relaxing get away!
The best on the island
from A TripAdvisor Member
This petit hotel is just the best in town, the service is excellent, staff is always at your service. The facilities are wonderful, room is kind of small but it has all you need. Bathroom is beautiful and clean. The whole hotel is decorated with great taste. It doesn't have a restaurant but you can order from Pizzeria Rolandi which is great. Pool is very nice and service in the pool is excelent, prices are very reasonable too. Another good thing is that you have the town just a couple of blocks away, where you can eat in a variety of restaurants, buy souvenirs on the street markets or just walk by.
I give this hotel an A++++
A perfect compliment to Isla Mujeres
from A TripAdvisor Member
I'm sure there are plenty of nice places to stay on Isla Mujeres that are cheaper than Hotel Secreto. But if you are into treating yourself and not penny-pinching, or interested in a romantic setting rather than a "family of four" vacation, Secreto is the best choice.
Sure I wished the room was a bit bigger, or the bathroom products nicer, or the breakfast better, but if you go to Isla and are trying to find the bad, well then you already had the problem before you got there. Because what Secreto does have is everything that made our trip to Isla perfect.
The private beach always seemed exclusively ours except when one of the incredible wait staff came down and took your drink order and brought it back to you. Or the coral cove that created a little lover's pool as if they created it specifically for the hotel. Or the perfectly designed blue-tile pool that allowed you to lay in the shallow end end submerged on your back but still with a drink in hand.
Every time you walked through the lobby, the fresh smell was enough to make you feel clean even after being in the sun for hours. The maid service had the room spotless each day always making sure our ice bucket was filled so we could make our own cocktails and relaxed on our spacious private balcony. And when it was finally time to lay down after a perfect day with the doors open to hear the surf pounding, the bed was incredibly comfortable.
The lack of a on-site restaurant should not be a problem. On Isla, it's best to go and discover the town when you are hungry. They do offer to order from local restaurants if you did want to stay in however. But why would you when you can walk two blocks one way and grab an appetizer on Playa Norte or two blocks the other way and be right on the main street in town?
Hotel Secreto's reputation as "the" spot to stay on Isla could also be it's downfall though. I noticced that prices for next year are already up to $225 a night for the king-sized bed, which is up $25 from what I paid and up $50 from two years before. If they continue to rise the prices, I would hope that they continue to improve the ammenities as well (i.e. breakfast, bathroom products, etc.).
But as far as our visit this time Secreto was perfect-o.
Beautiful and very chic...
My husband and I just returned from a five night stay at Hotel Secreto. In December we stayed at Villa Rolandi and loved it, but investigated other places and Secreto was just beautiful and after reading other reviews on-line we decided this would be our next destination. The room is clean and crisp and all white with splashes of color from the contemporary art. The long, flowing, white curtains float in the ocean breezes coming through the patio doors...it is completely soothing and it looks like a movie star should be staying there. Before our trip we kept reading about the awesome service received at Secreto, we didn't experience anything out of the ordinary. Probaby due in part to the tropical storm that went through during most of our stay so we didn't have the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic pool. No one was ever rude, but it was not over the top and fantastic service. The one day we were out at the pool we had to ask for towels, ask for a drink and hotel employees were standing nearby. I guess for the money we believe that Villa Rolandi, although on the other end of the island away from the restuarants and bars and beach, has outstanding service and is a marked difference. We will probably not go back to Hotel Secreto due to the fact it does not have a restaurant in it and the price is a little high for what you're actually getting. The breakfast in the morning is nothing like what is delivered to your rooms at Villa Rolandi - it looks as if they went to Sam's Club over in Cancun and purchased the big trays of muffins and that's what they serve. Muffins, yogurt, stale crossants, some fruit, stale bread, coffee, tea, juice and milk. And every morning very, very early you are awoken by a rooster crowing! That's right, a rooster crowing! There is a little home right behind the hotel and they have a rooster in their yard and it does what a rooster will do when the sun rises! Reminded me of the Sex in the City episode where Carrie is woken each morning by roosters on another rooftop - I had to laugh! Don't get me wrong, Secreto is gorgeous and clean and relaxing, and close to the beach and restuarants, which we wanted. I just feel that Rolandi is a notch above and we will probably return there. The food at Rolandi is perfect. Doesn't matter what you order it's always good. The service poolside is unreal...they do everything for you...
So, enjoy! Isla is a gem and we love it!
Top Local Tips for Isla Mujeres
This is not your typical "plastic rules" tourist area. Cash is the name of the game. There are few ATM's on the island, so come prepared
Check out Rolandi's (Italian and great pizza), Faynes (Good Mexican and fish), Buhos(on the beach and great for lunch Mexican) and Bamboo (Thai and fish), and Casa O's(Great views, lobster, steaks and ambience)
Best fish on Isla Mujeres
Is at Minino's! It was recommended by staff at our hotel as a local's place for fresh fish. Amazing brochetas, lobster, etc. You can eat with your feet in the sand and watch the sunset. Solid value and the low-key ambiance can't be beat!