Secreto VS Royal Hideaway

Dec 27th, 2003, 10:59 PM
  #1  
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Secreto VS Royal Hideaway

Hi all,
I'm planning a honeymoon in mid-to-late July. I've done a bit of research to the point where (I think) I've narrowed it down to Secreto on Isla Mujeres and the Royal Hideaway in the PDC. Points to know:
1) Budget: I don't want to spend more than 4K (including air from the midwest).
2) I want to stay about 4-6 nights.
3) I want somewhere peaceful, beachy, and tropical with good food nearby - thus, RH is attractive. However, neither my fiance or I drink alcohol, so we're concerned that we will pay for services we can't utilize.
As it stands, I like RH's ease with food and services. On the other hand, Secreto looks absolutely gorgeous and would be much less expensive!! I'm torn! Any suggestions with respect to these two hotels or others I may have overlooked??
socrates is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 04:59 AM
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i have never been to secreto so i can not comment on that resort but i have been to the rh twice and probably will be going again in july - it is perfect in every way - you will not be disappointed
powamom is offline  
Dec 28th, 2003, 05:45 AM
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We stayed on Isla Mujeres earlier this month at Hotel Playa la Media Luna, which is right next door to Secreto. It's a beautiful property, but way, way different from Royal Hideaway. It certainly isn't a full service resort, no restaurant or bar on site. The last bit of road to Secreto is unpaved, the bull ring is there; some poverty is obvious. That's in stark contrast to the manicured look of the Playacar area, where Royal Hideaway is located.

The views from Secreto are simply incredible. The surf really pounds, I just love it. A huge variety of restaurants are a five minute walk away. Playa Norte is just around the corner.

I think it boils down to what you want from your honeymoon. If you want great service, and just want to hang at a beautiful resort, go for Royal Hideaway. If you want the opportunity to spend time in a real Mexican community, and be more adverturous in your dining choices, go to Secreto.

Jean
JeanH is offline  
Dec 29th, 2003, 08:26 AM
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Wow, those two places are SO different.
I would not say that Secreto does not have the 'service' that RH does...just no bar or restaurant on site. But you do get a continental breakfast and they can order in food for your room or the lovely ocean side living room. Personally, I don't like huge, busy resorts like the RH. At Secreto, with only 9 rooms total, you'll feel like you have the place to yourself. It's simply stunning and very romantic. You are actually ON the beach with an oceanfront view. At RH, you'll be lucky if you get a view other than mowed grass and will likely be farther from the beach because it's such a big property. And it's true, Secreto has MANY restaurants all within a five minute walk from the hotel, which depending on where your room is at RH, you may have to walk that far to their restaurant! Also, Playa Norte is only 5 minutes from Secreto and you'll not see a finer beach in the whole area. I simply think Secreto would be MUCH more romantic.
Ally is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 11:12 AM
  #5  
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wow guys! thanks for all the informative responses =). I'm personally leaning toward Secreto but I now have the idea of going to both places during my honeymoon. That is, spending a 2 days at RH and 3-5 days at Secreto. That way, I'll get the intimacy and sheer beauty at secreto while not missing out on the nightlife and food at RH. What do ya'll think of this idea? Can it work? is it feasible? how much more expensive will it be?
socrates is offline  
Dec 30th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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Hmmm..Sounds like you have a tough decision.I have not been to Secreto...but I have been to RH.My fiance and I went the last weekend in May.I would NOT describe this place as a large resort.There is really nothing 'mass' about it.Yes, its an all inclusive but its the only one in Mexico to be a member of The Leading Hotels of the World Group.Upon arrival you are greeted with a cool towel and glass of champagne in a cool, marbled ,beautiful lobby.Everyone is very professional and top notch.This is nothing like a typical AI.The food is good....but there isnt a nightlife.Having a drink outside with the faint sound of jazz music is about the extent of nightlife.Totally relaxing and cool.The ocean there is perfect..so perfect that you dont even wantto use the pools. Service is great....rooms might could use some updating but my fiance says im a room snob so take it for what its worth.Its a great place and I hope to return soon.Spa is also great.Hope you enjoy it...youll want to stay longer than a couple of days!
Blair9535 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 04:12 PM
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JeanH: You mentioned Hotel Playa la Media Luna. What i your opinion of this hotel? Rooms? Service? Value? Thanks!
cueball is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 05:51 PM
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Cueball, We loved Hotel Playa la Media Luna. Absolutely wonderful views, nice pool. We have a king room on the second floor (moved after the first night from the first floor, mostly because we wanted doors and windows wide open and it didn't seem like a good idea with such easy beach access). The room had a mini fridge, TV with cable, bathroom with shower only. Continental breakfast, which had several fresh fruits each day in addition to juice, coffee, toast and different pastries. All of this for the bargain price of $85.00 (off season rate). The rooms with two double beds and no TV are only $70.00. I understand the rates are going up next season, but I think it will still be a bargain.

They are adding a couple of whirlpool suites.

Jean
JeanH is offline  
Dec 31st, 2003, 06:04 PM
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Thanks Jean!
cueball
cueball is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Blair9535 - hit it right on the head - royal hideaway is not a large resort
powamom is offline  
Jan 1st, 2004, 09:56 AM
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I would go to IM and spend the first two nights at Villa Rolandi. It is expensive and by far the nicest hotel on the island. The large steam shower in your bath and private hot tub on your private glassed in deck that overlooks the ocean and the lights of Cancun. Stunningly romantic. After that I would go to Secreto or Playa Luna Media. The Secreto is very nice but IMHO not worth the $ differance from PLM.
Visit the island web sight
www.isla-mujeres.net
click on places to stay on the left tool bar on the home page.
Be aware that the weather in July will feature temps and humidity that is off the charts.
dmotl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2004, 06:09 AM
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Of all the places listed, I've only been to the Royal Hideaway, so I can't really offer much advice to you on your selection. I just wanted to clarify one point that I do know something about - the Royal Hideaway is actually only 13 acres, which is quite small. That's one of the reasons why I like it - everything is within a very short walk of everything else, which adds to the feeling of relaxation. I've seen some of the huge all-inclusives on the way from/to the airport, and I got tired just from driving THROUGH them!
Jaimekay is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 05:53 AM
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Jean, you mentioned that you were just in Isla Mujeres. We are leaving to go there on Friday. We will be staying at Villa Rolandi. Dinner is included in the room rate but I can switch dinner for a lunch if I want to go somewhere else for dinner. My question is, did you eat anywhere that you feel would be worth switching my dinner for lunch?
SueDoc is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 06:00 AM
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dmotl,
I ask you the same question I asked Jean (above). Thanks for your input.
SueDoc is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 06:16 AM
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Suedoc,

I understand that the food at Villa Rolandi's restaurant is very good. Our taste in food tends to be simpler. We had wonderful fresh fish and drinks at Cockleteria Picus for under $15.00 total. Also great lobster and shrimp at French Bistro. A great meal at Manelos as well. But, probably none any better than what you'll have at your hotel. I don't think we had a bad meal the week we were there. The biggest bargain was probably three chicken enchiladas with green sauce for $3.00 at El Pueblito, across from Garrafon.

Have a great trip.
JeanH is offline  
Jan 5th, 2004, 10:02 AM
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Okay, so Royal Hideaway is not large by many AI resort standards, but it's 200 rooms which is HUGE by comparison of Secreto which is only 9 rooms.

Socrates,
Yes it's fesible to split your time between the two locations. I did that one year, but loved Isla so much I may never go back to Playa Del Carmen. Anyway, there are a couple of transportation companies that can you can arrange all your transfers with. I think I used Best Day, but I now love Cancun Valet and have used them the past two trips. If I recall, it was $35 or $40 to the ferry over to Isla, then $60 or so from the ferry to Playa Del Carmen, then another $60 or so from Playa Del Carmen back to the airport. It's a great service and is private. Only your group, or in your case the two of you, so no stopping along the way to drop off other passengers.
I think it may be a great idea to split your trip up and decide which area you like best!
I agree that Villa Rolandi's is an excellent hotel on Isla, but it's a bit far from the beautiful Playa Norte and most restautants so a car or taxi would be required if you wanted to get out. Or, you can rent golf carts for about $35-$40 a day which is a very fun way to explore the island and I suggest you do that for a day if staying at Secreto too.
Ally is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 05:21 PM
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My wife and I have a 26 page brochure on Isla Mujeres which answers most questions a first time visitor may have. Will gladly e-mail with our compliments to anyone thar requests
[email protected]
Can't answer the question on switching meals at Villa Rolandi--just e-mail them and ask.
dmotl is offline  
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