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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa (Beach, Tours, Rooms, Food)


We may earn income from links in this post. Please read this Disclosure for details.

Thinking about Secrets Huatulco Resort and Spa for your next beach vacation in Mexico? Trying to decide whether it’s worth it to upgrade to a swim-out room or wondering what there is to do in the Bahias de Huatulco region of Mexico?   

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort in Mexico, then you’ll want to read this review of Secrets Huatulco Resort and Spa.

Michele Peterson in a swimming pool at Secrets Huatulco.
Secrets Huatulco is one of the best resorts in the all-inclusive Secrets Resorts portfolio.

Why Choose Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa 

While writing for Fodor’s Oaxaca guidebook, WestJet Magazine, Air Canada’s enRoute and Lonely Planet’s Mexico from the Source, I’ve stayed at Secrets Huatulco many times since it first was built in 2011.

It’s still one of my favourite Secrets Resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean.

And I’ve stayed at more than a dozen Secrets Resorts from Secrets Cap Cana in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic to the brand-new Impression by Secrets Isla Mujeres in Mexico.   

My review of Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa will give you  the complete scoop on this resort. It’s packed with insider tips and lots of original photos so you can see what it’s really like to stay here.

So if you’re planning an all-inclusive vacation in Mexico, read on to discover why this luxury, adults-only resort in Huatulco should be on your radar.

Quick Overview

Buildings 1 and 3 Secrets Huatulco
Buildings 1 and 3 at Secrets Huatulco. (Credit: Michele Peterson)

Advantages 

  • Beautiful secluded setting with exceptional views from everywhere on the property.
  • Reliably, sunny skies with little rain for much of the year.
  • Superior all-inclusive cuisine and service such as turn-down service.
  • Vast and uncrowded swimming pool zones are sparkling clean.
  • Onsite spa with hydrotherapy circuit is one of Mexico’s best.
  • Quiet location away from nightclubs and noise. 
  • Exchange privileges with Dreams Huatulco resort on Tangolunda Bay. 

Good to Know 

  • No seaweed but the Pacific Ocean waters on this beach can be rough for swimming.
  • Beach has a steep slope so not the best for walking.
  • Distance from town means evening entertainment options are limited to the resort.
  • You’ll need to take a taxi to most attractions.  
  • Hot temperatures will please pool lovers but can make outdoor explorations challenging.

Huatulco Beach Resort Weather 

View of the swimming pool and beach at Secrets Resort in Huatulco in Oaxaca, Mexico.
View of Conejos Bay in Huatulco

If you’re planning a beach getaway and trying to decide between Secrets in Huatulco or a  Secrets Resort in Cancun or Riviera Maya, one of the first things to consider is the weather.

Huatulco is located on Mexico’s southern Pacific Coast and receives more sunshine and warmer weather than the Riviera Maya.

Huatulco’s temperature doesn’t vary much throughout the year and you can expect consistently hot weather and sunshine.

Read more about the weather in Huatulco in our Essential Guide to Huatulco Mexico. 

The Beach at Secrets Huatulco 

View of Conejos Bay from the resort with beach palapas on the sand.
The Secrets Huatulco beach is located on Conejos Bay. (Credit: Michele Peterson) 

The longest beach with hotel accommodation in Huatulco is Playa Tangolunda (Tangolunda Beach).

It’s where  Dreams Huatulco Resort and the Barcelo Resort are located. Both Dreams and the Barcelo are family-friendly unlike Secrets which is adults-only. 

Secrets Huatulco is located on Conejos Bay, a small crescent shaped beach that is quite private and beautiful.

Note that all beaches in Mexico are public so there is the possibility of seeing beach vendors on all beaches. However, given its relatively remote location there are few vendors on Conejos Bay 

It has a steep slope so is not the most walkable beach. The waters can also be rough. But there are calm areas near the edge of the bay where the water sports kiosk is located.

🌟 Insider Tip: At low tide, you can cross by foot into a neighbouring bay where there is calm water for snorkeling.

You’re also not too far from La Bocana Beach, a popular Huatulco beach for surfing and birdwatching.  

Secrets Huatulco Layout 

Buildings 1 and 3 at Secrets Resort in Huatulco, Mexico.
Buildings 1 and 3 Secrets Huatulco.(Credit: Michele Peterson) 

The architecture of Secrets Huatulco features 399 suites in six buildings terraced on a hill rising from the beach at Conejos Bay.

This means that while every guest room has a great view, the higher up you go, the better the view.

Each of the suites includes a balcony as well as my personal favourite perk unique to this brand — the Secrets Box for private 24-hour room service delivery.

All rooms have bathtubs and include nightly turndown service. 

Preferred Club: Is It Worth It?

The Preferred  Club Category comes with extra amenities that include:

  • access to the Preferred Club 7 am to 11 pm.
  • appetizers and top-shelf, premium liquors.
  • services of a concierge.
  • upgraded mini-bar (M & M’s Pringles and liquors). The regular mini bar includes soft drinks, water and beer.
  • pillow menu.
  • upgraded bath toiletries such as sunscreen, body lotion etc.

Preferred Club guests also enjoy private check-in and check-out within the Preferred Club lounge.

This is an important benefit if you happen to be arriving the same time as a large group or a charter flight.

However I rarely use the Preferred Club lounge at Secrets Huatulco much beyond check-in.

It’s not located near the beach or swimming pools. There are just too many other beautiful bars, lounges and restaurants to choose from.

Secrets Huatulco Preferred Club suites may also be selected for their terrace whirlpool or swim-out rooms.

Swim out rooms at the resort.
Swim out rooms at Secrets Huatulco. (Credit: Michele Peterson) 

Check prices and availability at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa on Booking.com.

Preferred Club Swim-out and Terrace Whirlpool

View of swim-out suites in Building 5 from Castaways restaurant at Secrets Huatulco
View of swim-out suites in Building 5 from Castaways restaurant Secrets Huatulco. (Credit: Michele Peterson) 

When choosing whether to pay extra for a swim-out suite at Secrets Huatulco, it’s important to consider the climate.

While the sizzling hot weather is ideal for a beach vacation, the swim-out rooms at Secrets Huatulco have limited shade.

This can mean the terraces get sweltering hot at midday. However, in the evening and early morning, they are quite spectacular.

If privacy is important to you, you need to consider that you are sharing the connected swim-out pools with other guests.

Plus they are ground level which means you give up some of the ocean views available at the higher levels.

If you’re travelling with another couple or in a group, booking neighbouring swim-out suites is a fun option. 

🌟 Pro Tip: For the quietest suites, opt for a swim-out room in Building 5 which is to the east of the Sky Bar.

Check room rates of Secrets Huatulco on Booking.com. 

Secrets Huatulco Map: Layout of Swimming Pools, Swim-out Rooms and Restaurants

A map of Secrets Huatulco showing guest rooms, restaurants and spa.
Secrets Huatulco map of rooms restaurants and pools.

The quietest swimming pool area is shown at #21 on the left hand side of the above map and is pictured below.

The liveliest zone of the resort  is the pool area shown at #22 on the Secrets Huatulco map as it’s where the Swim-Up bar and pool aerobics are located.

It also offers access to the beach which are at a lower elevation than the pool area. This is the toughest section of the resort to find loungers.

Infinity swimming pool at this adults-only resort in Huatulco, Mexico.

Food, Restaurants and Bars

The traditional cuisine of Oaxaca is deservedly famous for its diversity, complexity of flavours, the craftsmanship of its preparation and unique ingredients.

Be sure to try chapulines (toasted spicy grasshoppers), mezcal, nopal and moles! 

Read more about the food on Oaxaca’s coast in our post on Best Restaurants in Puerto Escondido

Nopal appetizer served on the menu at Tamarindo Restaurant at Secrets Resort.
Expect lots of local ingredients — such as this appetizer featuring nopal

At Secrets Huatulco you can select from nine restaurants, including seven with gourmet à la carte menus, one international buffet and a cafe.

There’s also 24-hour room service with a Secret Box for food drop-off in a pass-through so you’re not disturbed.

The menu offers many opportunities to sample Oaxacan fare, especially within its Tamarindo Mexican restaurant. However I’ve also discovered that you’ll often taste dishes from other parts of Mexico that are authentically and deliciously prepared.

For example, on a recent visit I enjoyed a bowl of birria, a beef stew most often found in the states of Jalisco and Nayarit.

It was equally as good as many of the ones I tasted while researching recipes for Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Source. 

Much like other all-inclusive resorts, not every restaurant is open every day. So it’s worth planning ahead to decide where you want to eat.

Equally importantly, the fact that no-reservations are ever needed at any Secrets Resort.

This means you can always opt to dine at a restaurant with no dress code, such as the World Cafe buffet or within your room.

Planning a trip to Puerto Escondido further north along the Oaxacan Coast? Check out our top picks for Puerto Escondido’s best hotels and resorts. 

Dress Code: What to Pack

Sky Bar and outdoor dining at Secrets Resort in Huatulco.
Secrets Huatulco offers a glamorous setting especially at nightfall.

Much like other upscale resorts in Huatulco (such as the Barcelo Resort & Spa) there is a dress code at Secrets Huatulco at dinnertime at certain restaurants.

If you’re planning to dine at one of the a la carte restaurants such as Bordeaux (French), CinCin (Italian), Tamarindo (Mexican) , Spice (Pan-Asian) note that the Formal or Casual Elegance dress code applies.

At Secrets Huatulco, a Formal or Casual Elegance dress code means:

Men: Long pants, collared shirts and closed shoes.

Women: Blouses, slacks, skirts of dresses. Dress shoes.

The Secrets Huatulco brochure specifies “dress shoes” for women which generally means “close-toed” but can be safely interpreted to mean no ratty looking running shoes or flip flops.

Thankfully, the dress code is enforced so you’re not going to see people in  bathing suits dining inside the fancy dining spots such as Bordeaux, the French restaurant.

At Secrets Huatulco, I noticed that the hostess would often find guests a seat on the outdoor terrace rather than turn them away as I’ve witnessed at other resorts.

Choosing the Best Secrets Huatulco Excursions and Tours

There are so many tempting options for things to do in Huatulco, it can be hard to decide which ones to choose. Never fear.

I’ve taken almost every tour in Huatulco and done the research for you. These are the absolutely worth-it excursions to invest your vacation dollars in.

Secrets partners with Amstar DMC for transfers and destination experiences. This means there is an Amstar desk conveniently located within the Secrets Huatulco lobby where you can browse brochures and register for tours.

You do have other options beyond Amstar though. While it’s not recommended to book tours from vendors on the beach, there are several accredited tours that are safe, high quality and well worth booking independently. 

These are the most popular organized tours to take: 

7 Bays Sightseeing and Snorkeling Tour – Outdoor Adventure 

A group of people snorkeling on an excursion in Huatulco.
A group of people snorkeling on a Tour of the 7 Bays excursion in Huatulco. (Credit: Michele Peterson)

Huatulco is famous for its 36 beaches and pristine bays. So one of the most-do tours is the 7 Bays Tour of Huatulco. On these tours you’ll explore the region’s coastal beauty, snorkeling through vibrant coral reefs and swimming in secluded coves. 

Most tours also offer the opportunity to enjoy lunch (at your own expense) at one of the bays (usually Bahia Maguay).  

You can choose from tours of different durations (from 3-7 hours) and private or group tours.

The longer 7 Bay Tours will include a stop at Bahia San Agustin, the furthermost bay and the best place for snorkeling from shore.

3 Levels Huatulco – Culture and Landscape 

You’ll discover Huatulco’s landscapes and culture on the 3 Levels Tour.

In this popular tour you’ll begin at the coast, climb in altitude into the Sierra Madre Sur Mountains to the historic town of Santa Maria Huatulco at 650 metres above sea level and then continue to Pluma Hidalgo, a coffee-growing region situated in the cloud forest. 

Check prices and availability of the 3 Levels Tour on Viator.com. 

Cascadas Magicas – Copalita Waterfall Excursion 

Escape into nature on the Copalita Waterfalls Tour also known as the Cascadas Magicas (Magical Waterfalls) Tour. This tour involves a winding drive through the mountains on a mix of paved and dirt roads followed by a short hike through rainforest trails to reach the stunning falls.

There you can swim in emerald pools amidst tranquil jungle surroundings. There’s usually time for lunch (at your own expense) on this full day tour.  

Check prices and availability of the Copalita Cascadas Magicas Waterfall Tour on Viator.com.

How to Get Around 

Aerial view showing the location of Secrets Huatulco Resort.
Secrets Huatulco is located in a lush setting at the end of the hotel zone near La Bocana Beach. (Credit: Secrets Resorts)

Most Huatulco excursions includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.

That’s especially important if you’re staying at Secrets as it’s the furthest away from downtown Huatulco, known as La Crucecita. 

You’ll need to take a taxi, have a rental car or take a tour to see most attractions. 

Effective March 2024, the fare from Santa Cruz to Bahía Conejos (the bay where Secrets Huatulco is located) is 85 MXN pesos (around $5 USD). It will take you 10 minutes by taxi to get from Santa Cruz to Secrets Resort.

The fixed rate cost for a taxi one-way from Bahia Maguey (an excellent swimming and snorkeling beach) is 180 MXN pesos (around $10 USD).  

Another option is to rent a car. While I wouldn’t recommend renting a car in Cancun or Mexico City, it’s quite safe to drive in and around Huatulco.

There are no safety advisories against driving between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco on Highway 200. Read our post on How to Rent a Car in Oaxaca for driving tips.  

We rent our cars on Discovercars.com. It’s an online car rental booking site that compares rates from several companies to find the best deal.

You can reserve your car online and pick up a rental car at HUX airport. Or, at the rental car office at Plaza Madero in La Crucecita.

When we booked on DiscoverCars in March 2024, the cost for a one week rental (including mandatory liability insurance) was under $150 USD for a full week.

Summary of Our Review of Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa

  • Beautiful secluded setting with exceptional views from everywhere on the property.
  • Best luxury resort for couples in Huatulco. it’s romantic and adults-only. 
  • Reliably, sunny skies with little rain for much of the year.
  • Hot temperatures will please pool lovers but makes outdoor explorations challenging.
  • No seaweed but the Pacific Ocean waters on this beach can be rough for swimming.
  • Beach has a steep slope so not the best for walking.
  • Superior all-inclusive cuisine and service.
  • Vast and uncrowded swimming pool zones are sparkling clean.
  • Distance from town means evening entertainment options are limited to the resort.
  • Onsite spa with hydrotherapy is one of Mexico’s best.
  • Wide variety of excursions are available for full and half day.
  • Exchange privileges with Dreams Huatulco Resort on Tangolunda Bay. 

If you’re undecided about booking an overnight, it’s worth looking into a Day Pass at Secrets Huatulco 

Check prices and availability at Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa on Booking.com.

Other Mexico Travel Inspiration and Tips 

Don’t Miss These Top Outdoor Adventures in Puerto Escondido 

9 Tips For The Perfect Romantic Getaway in Puerto Escondido 

7 Reasons to Love Mazunte, Mexico 

Quick Tips: How to Take the Shuttle from Huatulco to Puerto Escondido Mexico 

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Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa in Huatulco Mexico

This post was originally published in 2018 but was substantially updated in 2024 with new photos and information following site inspections between January and March 2024.

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