Monday, October 21, 2013

Trip Review: Secrets Aura Cozumel

Susan contacted me to plan a romantic getaway for her and her husband. We were able to find a great deal at luxury-included Secrets Aura Cozumel. 
Pier at Secrets Aura Cozumel 

About a month before departure, were notified that the hotel had planned construction during her visit. Because she had purchased the insurance, she had the option to switch hotels. In the end, she decided to stay at Secrets. Here's her review: 

We had a great time. The construction was kind of a bummer. But we knew about it obviously so I packed ear plugs (which I only busted out once to sleep in one morning. The other days it didn't bother us.) and when sitting on the beach, the waves and music made it so you couldn't hear it. The main reason it was a bummer is because the building that is the priority club usually (at least I'm pretty sure) was closed since it was closest to the construction. So, while we were totally happy with our room (comfy king bed, sitting area, balcony with ocean view), I do wonder what the other ones were like, you know? But in all, not a huge deal. We loved the priority club lounge and that bartender was our favorite. We talked with him a lot since sometimes we were the only people in there! And I do think our priority club got us better booze. A couple times we were asked to show our room keys (they were black- fancy haa haa) when ordering at other bars and I think that was so we could get better brands even at the non-priority bars. (I feel like I sound like an alcoholic... sorry) 

We did a snorkel excursion to 3 reefs one day and it was awesome so thanks for recommending Cozumel for that!. Another day we rented a jet ski from a place down the beach and the hotel called them, booked our time and had them drop off the jet ski so we didn't even have to walk down there. (Which we totally would have done with no problem but it was nice nonetheless.) 

Other than those things we just did nothing. Which was fantastically great. We sat on the beach and read books, floated in the pool, looked at fish in the water. One rainy day we watched some Orange is the New Black on Netflix streaming using the hotel wi-fi and the ipad. It came through just fine.

Had we been there a full week, we probably would have done another excursion. There was one that was a full day that included snorkeling, a city tour, trip to the eco park, and a tequila factory with lunch but since we only had 3 "real" days we didn't want to be gone for a whole day. But if anyone else is going, it sounded cool. 

The pool was great. There were 3 of them but we really spent the most time at the one that was on the beach. The beach chairs had pillow top thingies on them so super comfy. Service at the pool/beach was slow but no big deal, I mean the bar was all of 20 feet away so we just popped up and got our own drinks sometimes. Staff was very friendly. 

Food was lovely. Since it was low season not all of the restaurants were opened every day but that was OK with us as the daily activities sheet said which ones would be so you could certainly plan ahead and we still got to go to all of them. 

Since it was low season it was pretty empty. This was awesome sometimes -- always getting a towel/good beach chair, getting the best tables/views at the restaurants, etc but other times it was sort of weird-- not a lot going on at night. For example, we went up to the sky bar our last night (it hadn't been open until Saturday night but the other bar/lounge is where things had been going on) ANYWAY, we went up there to check it out and it was just us and the bartender. I felt bad for him. I mean, in the other areas there was music/tvs or something but this dude was in the middle of this huge bar area with nothing to do but stand there. It was a great space but when you're the only 2 people, it feels sort of bizarre. 

Transfers to/from the airport were no problem. Glad for the reminder of going through the doors to outside before looking for your Apple dude though. Those people are CRAZY. :) 

Oh, resort credits-- they were really coupons. For instance, you could use up to $60 or something at the spa or use up to a certain amount for dinner on the pier or get $10 off bottles of wine but we didn't even end up using any of them... Maybe this is normal and I just didn't know but whatevs. No big deal to me. 

Flights were good. A little stressful with that connection on the way out (The reason they were a little late was because they had to go back to the gate because THEY FORGOT TO PUT THE LUGGAGE ON THE PLANE! Ha. looks like I'm not the only one who cannot fully function at 5 a.m.) However, our connecting flight was literally at the gate next door once we landed. On the way home the connection time was perfect since getting through immigration/customs took a looooooong time. 

So in all it was great. I would for sure return but maybe with other friends or during a slightly busier time so there'd be more to enjoy nightlifewise. But for days of relaxing away from the kids (ours and everyone elses! ;)) it was just what the doctor ordered.

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