Just returned, stayed June 17 to June 24th.This may be lengthy, BUT VERY INFORMATIVE. This resort is beautiful, HOWEVER, the services and food options are horrible. I'll start with the CONS: Secrets offers an upgrade called the Premier(or Premium)package, DON'T PURCHASE IT. They do not have all that they say comes with the upgrade. Our in room mini bar liquor was NEVER restocked even though we asked and then complained. The Premier Lounge that they said would be available with the upgrade, that you can get top chef liquor and hot and cold food when the restaurants aren't open yet, DOESN'T EXIST. Ok, there was a room (empty) that they said was the Premier lounge but it wasn't quite done yet. We found this out the first day when we got in and was told lunch started in about an hour in one of the restaurants, my husband was hungry so I asked where the Lounge was an the worker had no idea of what I was referring to. We then asked another employee who told us it will be opened the next day. 3 days into our vacation, we were told it was under construction and will not be opened. Why offer an upgrade AND TAKE THE MONEY when you can't deliver what you advertise. The restaurants are a joke. Just know, when you order, you should order 2 plates per person, the portions are for a 5 year old. and there aren't many options to choose from on the menus in the specialty restaurant. The Best meal I had was the Caesar salad with shrimp at the outdoor restaurant. Room service, where do i start. The food was better, however, They NEVER got our order right, many of the guest were actually discussing it and cracking jokes saying "if you want a burger, just say you want pizza and they will deliver a burger", this turned out to be kind of accurate. What we finally learned by the 3rd day, was to order 4 different meals and we would end up with what we wanted. We (we were with another couple) were always told by Dax at the front desk that a manager would speak with us at a certain time, each day he told us this, we never saw the manager. No one EVER went swimming in the ocean, its to rocky and do not expect a pretty blue ocean, but it is nice to sit on the balcony and look out on it. In our friends room, their bath tub/ jacuzzi wasn't cleaned for 3 days. The only buffet is at breakfast, with limited options, all lunch and dinner meals are with the specialty restaurants which leave you hungry...A far cry from other all-inclusive resorts. I am most angry about splurging and paying for the upgrade, something they couldn't deliver on.This resort is VERY BORING, I'm 52 and my husband 57, even for us it was boring. It is a resort that "caters to lovers and is for relaxation" so if you're looking for excitement in the evening or during the day, this isn't the resort to go to. The nightly entertainment is a singer with their guitar in the lobby, seriously, lol. ok, maybe a singer and someone blowing the flute. Rumor has it, this resort is closing to get itself together at the end of the month, yeah, after I paid all my money on a mediocre vacation. Now I'll give you the PROS: PROS: The room was okay /nice, the bed was very comfortable. The resort itself is very clean. Best employee was Raphael, a waiter. I seriously did enjoy the rest despite all the cons, as I was really stressed and needed the vacation. My friend said the SPA was awesome for her massage. I went on the nature walk/tour at the hotel and saw a couple of sloths. A baby alligator got into one of the little water wading pools, it was exciting watching the workers capture it. Overall, while I did enjoy other parts of Panama, at this time, there is NO WAY I could recommend this resort. Out of the 30 years that I have taken 1-2 vacations a year, this is the first horrible review I have had to give. Between them taking my money for an upgrade and them leaving us to eat out elsewhere do to the lack of food, I would recommend putting your money on another resort... My first and last time EVER going.
The staff was friendly and helpful, the room was very comfortable. The Beach and Pool should not be one option to review because the pools are nice warm and comfortable and enjoyable but PLEASE keep off the Beach; sand flies will eat you alive, its dirty and rocky definitely not the clear blue waters you'd hope for on a vacation. The food and dining options were very good but if you stay more than 5 day you may get bored of eating the same few dishes at the 4 open restaurants. All in in its a good deal and please try the spa, it was one of the high point of this resort.
This would be my 7th resort in the Caribbean. Comparing to other resorts I stayed, this was the least one. Start with the dining only three were open every night with same selection. Service was not he best to the price paid to stay at the resort. The beach front of the resort is rocky and nobody would go in the ocean. Not many activities like the other resorts. I saw the reviews on your site which made me select the resort over Hard Rock and Trump Hotel. I would have been better off with the hotel. That would been a better value.
This resort just became a Secrets in January 2016, they should have waited 4 more months to open. We did not have high expectations, since we do not do this often, but...... They have a great deal of service related issues to work out. Our mini bar was not restocked unless we went to the lobby to ask for it. They never answered the phone for room service, we were told the new rooms have iPads to order the food, but our room was not renovated yet, although it was still a nice room. They cleaned our room at inconvenient times, like in the evening after we spent all day at the pool. The restaurants took forever, we did not have one meal that was under 1:45. Much of the staff does not know English well, it made ordering food at the restaurants very difficult. The poolside service was almost non existent. We ordered a few times and they never brought what we ordered. Overall it was frustrating experience in regards to the service. The pros, the weather was great. The transport from the airport was excellent. Both ways they spoke good English and told us many interesting facts about the city.
Overall the place is nice. It seems like there was a shortage of food. Only two restaurants were open per night, They served the same food for breakfast and lunch everyday, The menu didn't change.The dinner portion was so small that I had to share my food with my mother for fear she may go to bed hungry. I ordered extra plates after the third night but the portions were so small that it didn't matter. I would recommend the place if you're on a diet. The beach: we couldn't swim because the water is polluted. That was a major disappointment for me because I chose a resort with beach access for the swimming. The pools are nice but not that big so it got very crowded during the afternoons. The staff were great. They were all very friendly and accommodating.
This new Secrets resort is not up to the standards of others in their line. The good: The grounds and pools are very nice. The people are extremely nice. The Bad: The service is at best, poor. They are seriously understaffed at the pool bar and pool service is almost non existent. Food quality is average, but service is, again, poor at best. It observing the interactions between staff and guests, if I had to guess, the staff truly wants to help, they just don't seem to know how. We have not been to a Secrets resort for a few years. This hotel does not meet the standards previously set. Either that or they have lowered their standards for the entire company. In any case, we cannot recommend this resort at this time.
We arrived and had to wait until after four o'clock to actually check into our room, so they suggested we get something to eat and drink at the Seaside Grill. I knew it was going to be a problem the minute we saw birds fly onto guest tables while they were eating. And the bugs in that restaurant are beyond annoying!. So we walked around the resort and noticed the beach was totally vacant (for which it was during the ENTIRE WEEK!!!) The resort was similar to some kind of Club Med resort, for it had ABSOLUTELY NO ENTERTAINMENT whatsoever!!! It was so boring, my husband and I paid for a private tour guide and entertaining excursions for 6 of our 8 day stay. Cheap Caribbean guaranteed that we were going to stay at a 5-star resort. In no way should Secrets Playa Bonita in Panama even contemplate the idea that it is remotely close to being on the platform of a 5-star resort!!!!! Because this resort ONLY had two (2) restaurants open at a time...I would barely rate this resort at a 3-star!. They actually had vacation representatives trying to convince us to buy. As many of us complained about EVERYTHING, we found out that this was previously an InterContinental resort, for which it should have remained. There was one (1) pool with two sides: the dullest bar pool ever existing and a half of free form pool...what a disgrace. Oh, so let's talk about the telephone service. The phones should be ripped away from housekeeping (not one time was there an answer), the concierge (NEVER answered either...not even when I would try to return the phone call inquiring my food poisoning from room service!), and room service (I got through once during my entire stay...we had to go through the front desk for all other orders). And that pillow service is a complete scam...called front desk and never received it, nor the bathrobe or slippers. Oh how could I forget this: We scheduled an excursion to Sans Blas on Wednesday. I called the front desk to schedule a wake up call at 5:30 am. When we received the prompt wake up call, I called room service (actually got an answer) to order some breakfast prior to leaving. They never called nor answered in regards to the status of our order. Anyway, the order arrived the same time our driver arrived... at 6:45 am. We were furious at this point. Bottom line, this resort is horrible and our entire stay there was depressing and emotionally draining. Never did I expect this to be a review of "OUR" Secrets experience... I forgot, this starving dog watched with the saddest eyes as we ate at the Seaside Grill. And other than the day we arrived, Oceana remained closed. THERE IS ONE POOL...NOT FIVE!!! Oh wait, I know they're not counting those ankle-high puddles as pools!!! If so, yup there's about 3 of them...not even an infant would drown in these tiny rain drains!!! The Market Cafe was basically the only breakfast restaurant, Seaside Grill the only restaurant for lunch, and the Portofino and Bordeaux were both ridicously arranged and operated. I mean, what 5-star resort has to share and rotate menu options, it's room, kitchen, etc...One night, Bordeaux would be the French restaurant the next night it would be the location for Oceana. Same with Portofino. One night it would be the Italian restaurant and the next night the location for the buffet. FYI: The Market Cafe door would be on one side of the restaurant and at night that door would be closed because this room would be the location for Portofino at night...with the entrance on the other side of the room.
Been to other AMResorts, but this Secret resort is not up to par. The activities that they post everyday is never scheduled or done. Bars was never on time opening nor the bartenders know the drink of the day. If you want quiet and not do nothing at all, this is the resort for you. If you do choose this resort, please bring something with you to fight the nats. Their bites is very uncomfortable. Also, the whole time we were there the beach was not in use because of the red flag caution. This resort really needs to improve their customer relationship with the tourist.
When we arrived to the resort the line was out the door and all the way past passenger pickup to check in. No one was telling any customer's what was going on. No one was offering any help. I spoke to the manager after finding out that people had been waiting over 3 hours to check in. I asked him to take our bags and we would get them later once we checked in. He did so we could start to enjoy our vacation. I went back 3.5 hours later to check in and the line was still ridiculously long. After waiting almost 5 hours we were able to check in. We were promised a room upgrade after one night, NEVER HAPPENED. We went to dinner and ordered a bottle of wine for roughly $30. When checking out that bottle of wine was mysteriously being charged at over $100. Our room was nice except for the shampoos/soaps were never refilled. We had to go to the front desk to request more. The resort had smogging done a few times while there and it was atrocious how bad it smelled but did semi-help with the bugs. Make sure you are always wearing bug spray because we still got eaten alive. The safety of the resort was great. The walking path that is advertised is NOT anything more than 500' of walking space. The service from everyone, excluding management, was wonderful but management and the main concierge woman was terrible, I think her name was Rosy. Lots of promises not kept. Some people we met at the resort had terrible things happen to them from being given a room that had people in it and were showering when they walked in. Another couple had been checked out of the system 2 days into their 6 day stay and were not told until they tried to charge their spa purchases to their room. Some people were given coupon books to use while others were not. We did not get the coupon books. Our friends did so we tried to use the wine coupon one night at the seafood restaurant they told us that we could not use more than one per table even though multiple people and bottles were ordered. We tried charging another bottle of wine to our room and were told that we didn't have any credit card on file even though we had been charging other purchases to our room. VERY UNORGANIZED and their systems needed to be updated. We would not return to this resort.
The service at the resort sucks. We had to call to have our room cleaned at 4pm. The food is disgusting and the restaurant only had one bottle of ketchup so we had to wait till other people were done before we got our hands on it. So we had to eat the disgusting food without the cover up of ketchup..The staff speaks very very little English and have this startled expressions on their face when you speak English to them. The a/c in the rooms is not cold enough. I've been to several all inclusive resorts and by far this is the worst I've been to. Please save your hard earn money and skip this resort... PLEASE DONT GO!!!