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El Secreto

4.0 out of 5.0

Recent guest reviews

A great hotel with all the luxuries you would expect in a small island. Accessible by boat only and about a 30 minutes ride from San Pedro. A perfect hide away but if you're looking to experience the culture you may be better served staying at a hotel in San Pedro. The swimming pool is gorgeous. The restaurant's menu is exquisite and dinner in the open space next to the pool is a die-for experience.

We spent three days at El Secreto, having decided to go with the Getaway Package. As part of this package, all meals were included, including soft drinks and draft beer. It also included a half-day snorkelling trip and a massage treatment, a romantic meal (see the picture) and a trip to some Mayan ruins. From the moment that we arrived in San Pedro, El Secreto was looking after us. Someone from the hotel met us at San Pedro airfield and organised a taxi to take us to the dock. As we had arrived early in the day, our room was not quite ready. El Secreto offered, therefore, to buy us lunch in San Pedro whilst we were waiting to travel to the resort. We thought that this was a really nice touch. After our lunch, we were taken in the El Secreto boat to the resort. This is about 11 miles north of San Pedro town centre, and most easily accessible by boat. Arriving at the hotel's jetty, the hotel manager, Estell, came to meet us off the boat. She walked us to the check-in desk and handled the paperwork. She was so friendly, even offering to call our airline to rearrange a flight, when she noticed that we had a large stopover in Belize City. The resort itself is very well kept and attractive. With only 13 villas, you quickly get to know the faces of the staff and other guests, which makes it a very friendly place to be. The central area has the dining room and pool, and is so peaceful. The resort is at the water's edge and incredibly secluded. You really do feel like you are on your own island. When we saw our villa, our breath was taken away. It was spacious and with an enormous bed. The bathroom was equally cavernous and we had our own hot tub. All villas have a hot tub; however, we wanted to be close to the sea, so chose a sea-view room. We were glad that we did this as it was fantastic to wake up and look out on to the water, seeing the hermit crabs scuttling along the beach and the palm trees swaying. The room was cleaned to a very high standard. On one of the days, we went snorkelling. El Secreto staff took us on the speed boat to "Hol Chan" and "Shark Ray Alley". Snorkelling gear was provided, and the captain came into the water with us, so we felt very safe. He swam with us around the reef and pointed out the different types of fish. Seeing the barracudas, stingrays and all of the other abundant fish was very exciting. The sharks were not for the faint hearted, but really do not bite (at least not people, anyway). We really enjoyed this experience. If you are able to get up early, do. We had both locations to ourselves, but hordes of other tourists arrived as we left. The next day, we had our massage treatments on site. These were done professionally and skilfully and we both felt very relaxed afterwards. That evening, we had our romantic meal. As you can see from the photo, nothing was spared. I am normally quite cynical about this sort of thing, but even I was won over by the water's-edge location and intimate dining experience. If you're on holiday, why not?! (We had read about the Belizean attitude to gay people being quite strict, but this was never an issue for us at El Secreto.) A note on the food: We had all of our meals at the resort and were anxious about the food. However, it was all of a very high quality, cooked to order and fresh. There is a good mix of Belizean cuisine and some more international dishes. One evening, there was a huge thunderstorm, which made for a dramatic backdrop to supper. On a practical note, it is right next to the water and tropical. Make sure that you have a healthy supply of insect repellant. The hotel supplies a can in each room, but if you have a brand that works for you, bring it. We were so sad to leave El Secreto. It was a wonderful three days with luxurious surroundings and the most friendly staff. If you're looking for secluded relaxation, this is it.

DO NOT BOOK THIS HOTEL. It is super farm from san pedro water taxi ( where you have to be for all the tours ) and each trip you have to do will cost you more than a day at the hotel. Even though they have a boat they wont provide the free transportation, in my case they promissed via email they would, but every single time we had to use the boat we were charged an absurd amount of money. We settled one price for a roubd trip, the captain took our money , but wasnt there to pick us up.... so we had to expend extra 100 to shuttle a boat to come back! Aside from all the money we had already payed when we arrived and when we were leaving. When we complained we were told that they wouldnt refund us AT ALL, we had to fight for over 20 minutes to settle for less than half of what we expend in extras . They just dont care for real and they wont help you , they will rip you off in your face! And oh! You will be eaten alive by the bugs, they wont even put up some candles to scare them away, you cant ear in the restaurant because of them! Beautiful place but unfortunattly not worth it!!

I found El Secreto that a friend of mine stayed there on one of their vacations. There are definitely many pros and a couple of cons with this place. Pros: The staff was SUPER nice and friendly. I was mostly in contact with Estell via email and she always replied quickly. I forgot to schedule a pick up so I emailed her the night before we were set to arrive and she set everything up right away. She arranged for Captain Edwin to pick us up the day we arrived so everything was a breeze. We arrive 2 hours earlier than planned, but the captain was already waiting for us. He took us on a 25 minute boat ride to El Secreto and stopped along the way pointing out some marine life and took us to see their barrier reef. He was very nice and knowledgeable about the marine life. We were greeted with cool towels (it was very hot and humid!) and welcome drinks. The person who greeted us at the front desk (Sorry! Can't remember his name) saw that we were being eaten alive by mosquitoes (30 bites in 5 minutes) and asked if we'd like to switch to a different villa. He explained that the villa we originally booked (Lake) will have a lot of mosquitoes because it was in the back by the lake. He suggested we switched to a Tropical Villa or he can upgrade us to a Spa Villa, but the Spa Villa was just vacated and would take some time to get ready. My friend and I agreed to the tropical villa because we needed to escape the heat, we were traveling for 10 hours at that point, and needed to hide from the mosquitoes. He updated our cost and canceled any transfer fee because of the inconvenience. They always had bug spray around and a can in our room. We learned quickly to always spray before heading out. Other pros: Room service came along with the booking so no extra charge, the pool is always open, we got free coconuts!, private jacuzzi, WiFi was available all over the resort, the setting was overall gorgeous, and the room was just without a doubt amazing and luxurious. Bonus: This is a very Instagramable place. We only stayed for 2 days and moved to a different resort and Captain Edwin took us back out and actually dropped us off at the dock of our next resort. El Secreto's service honestly can't be beat. Sadly, here are the cons: Mosquitoes. You can't avoid them. We went through a full can of bug spray in a day. Because it's so secluded and in the middle of nowhere, the amount of bugs are ridiculous. We didn't have any other bug or bat problems like the other reviewers. It was just the mosquitoes. They were EVERYWHERE. We got so good at killing them. I think we killed 8 of them in 5 minutes just sitting on our bed. There's only one restaurant on site. The food was okay, but I don't think it's really worth the price and because you're so secluded, there are no other food options. Our jacuzzi was great, but were full of dead bugs. Our bluetooth didn't work on the TV and DirectTV kept disconnecting. The beach was full of sea grass and didn't look too appealing so we spent our whole stay in their pool. Pool was gorgeous so I'm not really complaining that much. On vacations to foreign places, I love to explore and hang out with the locals. Without a boat or golf cart to get to the center of town, you're basically stuck at this resort. I wanted to relax for a couple of days before exploring, but by the end of the second day, I was actually feeling trapped because there really isn't much to do. Don't get me wrong, you can always schedule to have the boat take you out to town, but I like to walk and have my own schedule when I vacation so this was a major con. Overall, El Secreto is an amazing place, but I don't think it's wise to spend more than a couple of days here especially if you like to explore locally. There really isn't much to do. I do think it's a great spot to honeymoon or to get away from stress and life if you really want a break just by yourself and away from everything. Just remember that it's very remote.

Bugs falling from thatched ceiling onto bed, sand fleas were a big problem despite fumigating every night that we could smell in our room. Beach was filled with trash!! Too isolated with only one restaurant, very limited menu. And finally check your final bill as we were charged for foods we did not order. Not a 4 star resort!! What a disappointment!!

Stayed for three nights in a lakeside villa. The staff was fantastic and thoughtful. Could not have been nicer. But the place was dead. Sure it was July and off season but the remoteness coupled with the lack of guests gave the place a sad feeling. We took a day trip to snorkel and swim with the sharks with Victor who is super nice and a great guide. All should do this. It was the highlight. Rented a golf cart one day and drove from the hotel to Secret Beach, which is no secret but had nice swimming on the bay side. The drive us super bumpy, long and a little bleak through swampland but the beach was fun. Overall the owner of El Secreto, who is from Mexico City made a very attractive resort in an ok location where the only swimming of comfort is in the pool. Not his fault but a little strange. Clearly a place to be alone with your thoughts or significant other. Belize is all about diving, snorkeling and college beach bars. I wouldn't go back but was happy to have visited for a few days.

El Secreto is a beautiful resort, the staff are very friendly, and just getting there is an adventure, but there are some caveats that you should be aware of before booking. No negatives per se, but this isn't the best spot for everybody. First and foremost, this is located 11 miles north of San Pedro and as such is one of the northernmost resorts on Ambergris Caye. There's not really anything else in this area; it's on a beautiful and isolated stretch of beach but if you want to explore you have to rent a golf cart and drive 45 bumpy minutes into town to really do anything. You never really need to leave the resort, so this may be okay, but just keep it in mind. I actually kind of enjoyed the drive into town (it was like a mini-adventure each time and besides, I had nowhere to be so who cares if it takes 45 minutes to get anywhere), but I understand a lot of guests don't much like it. Since there are no other options nearby, the hotel restaurant is priced like a nice restaurant in the US. The food is decent, not great. The best dishes are the simpler Belizean ones; avoid the temptation to splurge on something fancy, this isn't the place for it. If you're going to be here more than a couple days you should head into town and check out Wild Mango's or some similar places to eat anyway. I didn't take advantage of the snorkeling trips, spa services, or anything else offered by the hotel, but they also looked very expensive compared with similar things in town. Golf cart is $80/day USD. Just consider it part of the cost of your villa. The villas are beautiful, very private, and spacious. Each one has a private hot tub and some outdoor seating. There are only 13 (I think) so the place never feels crowded. The property has a few hundred feet of beachfront but you can walk or jog for miles along the shore. I was here as a solo traveler (booked a last-minute getaway to reflect on a career transition), which isn't really the target demographic for the resort. Most of the other guests were couples and I think several were honeymooners. I wouldn't hesitate to return with my girlfriend if we found ourselves in this part of the world.

We had an amazing stay at El Secreto! We visited for four nights and had a great time! The staff is extremely helpful, professional and caring. The food was amazing and so was the pool! Yes there is some seaweed by the shore making the access to the water difficult, however it is like that on the whole island and El Secreto is cleaning it up every morning. We rented some gold carts and drove to San Pedro (45min golf cart ride) and saw that El Secreto is truly the best resort on the island! The rooms are very clean and spacious... also the spa was great as well! Big thanks to Roberto and William for taking very good care of us! Thank you

Its risky to book a place for a week based only on reviews and adverts but we were really pleased with this one. (We did have a back up lined up just in case) We had a beach facing cabana that surpassed our expectations upon arrival. The resort was beautiful and quiet. This resort offers very few rooms so most of the time we felt as if we were the only ones there. There's not much to do but personally, that's what I'm looking for when I go to a place like this; a hammock, a good book, a nice breeze are just what I want. Golf carts are available to rent if you want to explore the area, so we took advantage of that one day. Down side was the constant battle between the beach staff and the incoming sea grass and litter floating in from who knows where. So there was almost constant equipment and men working the area between our room and the shore but we were told this is a seasonal problem. The staff were friendly and accommodating, the food was excellent and ranged from local fare, seafood to hamburgers and fries. Definitely would recommend if you're looking for a quiet, remote spot.

We arrived in San Pedro by water taxi and less than 5 mins later, we saw Victor. Victor was the captain who took us by boat to our final destination, El Secreto. He helped us with our bags and once on the boat, we jetted off. While on the boat, which was almost a 30 mins ride, the water was so peaceful and an amazing crystal blue. We learned that Belize has the second largest barrier reef behind Australia, and that we should add snorkeling to our trip :-) which we did and didn't regret at all (swimming with nurse sharks and barracudas)!! Once we docked, Estelle, who had called us prior to our arrival to confirm our reservation, welcomed us with cool eucalyptus towels and fresh cocktails. This was exactly the trip we were hoping for. Walking the pier, the view was breathtaking. The pools and hammocks just made you gravitate towards them. Pure paradise was in our sight. We checked in but before we even saw our room, we had a bite to eat. We didn't realize that they were not shy with their portions so I had plenty left on my plate (try their shrimp ceviche). We were escorted to our rooms and the first thing we saw was our very own hot tub right outside our bungalow!! Winning! The room was spacious and very clean. The showers were amazing, and as if it couldn't get any better, we also had a rain shower. Though this place is said to be primarily for honeymooners, I just needed a break from reality, so El Secreto, fit the bill. It was quiet, serene, peaceful and off the beaten path. At one point, we had the whole place to ourselves!! I couldn't have asked for more. Another huge plus was the staff, everyone was so helpful and super nice. A big thank you to everyone that made our 48 hrs in paradise, that much more memorable (Victor - for the amazing snorkeling experience, William - for the best cocktails ever, Estelle and Rob - for making sure our trip from finish to end was nothing less than perfection). We will be back!!

11miles north of San Pedro Town San Pedro

Hotel highlights

  • Free WiFi in rooms and public areas
  • Onsite dining
  • Spa
  • Outdoor pool

El Secreto places you 3.5 mi (5.7 km) from Mexico Rocks and 7.6 mi (12.2 km) from GoFish Belize. This 13-room, 4-star resort has private in-room plunge pools along with a restaurant and a full-service spa. It's on the beach and also within a 30-minute drive of Belizean Melody Art Gallery and The Gallery of San Pedro Ltd.


Dining

Enjoy a leisurely bite to eat at the onsite restaurant, or have a drink at the bar/lounge. Savor a meal from the comfort of your room with room service. Continental breakfast is offered for a fee each morning from 7 AM to 11:30 AM.


Rooms

All of El Secreto's 13 rooms are individually decorated and have an array of amenities, including private plunge pools, private spa tubs, and furnished patios. Guests can expect free WiFi and 40-inch LCD TVs with satellite channels. Memory foam beds with Egyptian cotton sheets and pillow menus ensure a restful night, and bathrooms offer deep soaking tubs, rainfall showers, hair dryers, and designer toiletries. IPod docks, minibars, and coffee makers are also standard.


Property features

Guests staying at El Secreto enjoy access to a full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and free WiFi in public areas. Airport transportation is made easy with an airport shuttle (available on request) for USD 222 per person roundtrip. Helpful staff can provide dry cleaning/laundry services and concierge services. This beach resort also has free use of bicycles.

Room options

Villa, Sea View

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Villa, Lake View

King 1 | Sleeps 2

SPA Villa

King 1 | Sleeps 2

Reviews from Trip Advisor

Trip Advisor aggregated rating

76% of guests recommend this hotel

Total of 237 reviews