Secret Escapes Reviews

Secret Escapes

Overall Rating


25 Customer Reviews


Secret Escapes is a flash-sale site that allegedly weekly email newsletters to members, which contain deals for luxury accommodations at discounted rates. Learn what customers are saying.

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Customer Reviews

1.0 Stars out of 25 Reviews
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Posted on Nov 30, 2020

They owe me £500 and have for 8 months!

By Simon P., United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

I paid this company a £500 deposit in November 2019. I paid the remainder to a company called World Sports Travel. The trip was canceled in March 2020 (COVID). I got my money back from World Sports in September 2020 (after lockdown eased). Secret Escapes refuses to refund me my deposit. They eventually acknowledged that they received it, acknowledged that THEY owe me it but refuse to pay it. They lied to me initially for many months by telling me that they weren’t responsible and that I should chase World Sports. All lies. Once they acknowledged liability, Secret Escapes simply refused to pay me and stated that THEY were waiting for monies from World Choice Sports (nothing to do with me) and that I would have to wait. We will soon be in 2021 and Secret Escapes have still not told me when I will receive my monies. They are a shockingly poor company to deal with and appear to have zero corporate governance related to customer service. I would NEVER use them again, nor would I recommend that they be used under any circumstances. They simply do not care for the customer in the slightest. Shocking really. To be honest, I’m hoping that they go bust. I’ll be able to claim my monies back via insurance and the travel industry will be free of very poor representative.

Length of Use: 1–2 years

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

The lies

The refusal to refund

The meaningless customer service communication

Posted on Jul 30, 2020

Horrible customer experience

By Pierre P., Rome, Italy, Verified Reviewer

I am having a terrible experience with this company! The problems have started immediately and they aren't looking like they are going to end (this for just 1 reservation!).

1) The gift voucher provided me in December 2019 could not be open and checked so I had to contact their support which gave me a dedicated code to use.

2) The code provided could not be added to my account online or added to the reservation I wanted to make.

3) The reservation made (without the code as it wasn't working) was a 24-hour free cancellation one BUT they decided to charge the entire stay on my CC without advising me during the reservation process!

4) I emailed their customer support twice prior to my check-in 1 about the voucher which I could not redeem but I did not get any response.

5) Within that week I had to call twice to get information about my situation (also because no-one from the company has reached out to me!). However, the customer service could not help me as it was up to the finance department in the head office (London) to review and reply to my problem.

6) To my frustration, the London office never got in touch. I had to call the customer service AGAIN one week after my check out and 1 and 1/2 weeks after my last call with them. Once more I was told that they could not help me out, that the problem was still with their finance department in London!

7) After me complaining again (we are talking about nearly 1 month from the first contact and problem), the person on the phone told me that actually the team in London replied negatively to the ticket they opened for me. Which means no refund of any sort for the voucher I could not use.

So to sum up, Secret Escapes is holding 250€ of a gift voucher which I am entitled to use any time I want through their portal BUT they don't allow me to use it, they don't allow me to add it to a reservation made through them, and they refuse to refund it to me.

The money is mine technically but they keep it hostage. Their lack of response, poor timing, and horrible customer experience will definitely keep me away from booking with them again. Furthermore, I will ensure I will pass the same experience with all my fellow colleagues who work in luxury hospitality around the globe and my friends and family.

They really screwed up!

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

Poor customer service

Vouchers and money held "hostage" from them

Prepayment done without making you aware of it

Lack of responses and updates

Posted on Jul 29, 2020


By Ria O., United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer


We booked our Eurostar in May to Disneyland Paris. And when it came to rebooking they rebooked us for Paris Gare du Nord, yet put the title of their emails as Disneyland Paris! The COMMUNICATION IS SO BAD. I would never GO BACK TO THEM EVER. This is my first experience and simply the worst. TRAVEL AGENT Howard, Kevin, Henry do not know what they are doing. They booked us for the wrong station after our first booking was for Disneyland Paris...where’s the common sense! On the phone, I clearly said Disneyland Paris station but somehow I still got booked for Paris station and I had to pay £80 on top of my trip! THE DEALS YOU SEE ON Wowcher ARE A LIE. Do not make this mistake, please! YOU DO NOT GET ANY DEALS. Their suppliers are exactly Eurostar and the hotels! BOOK IT YOURSELF. Save yourself the stress.

Please do not ever use Secret Escapes for a trip! They are so bad, they were shouting at me on the phone! They even said that they booked Paris because there were no available trains for Disneyland station, but when calling them today there was a train...and trying to make us pay £350 to change it! They have simply ruined my holiday, especially during COVID-19. I understand they are going through stress but they have lost a customer here. I am going to be telling everyone on Instagram as I am an influencer and on my YouTube to never book through this company! Because it's ridiculous! The manager was literally shouting at me over the phone, after admitting it was their fault that they booked our tickets wrongs! And yet we couldn’t get a refund or revoke the amendment charges!


Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Pros and Cons

No “pros” were specified in this review

They had us waiting from 10am-6pm for the problem not to be fixed

Communication is disgusting, the manager was shouting at me on the phone

Nothing was resolved, Eurostar was willing to give a refund but Secret Escapes was not

There T&Cs say that you can change bookings in autumn without any fees yet we had to pay £80

They just want to take more money

Horrible customer service

Posted on Apr 23, 2020

Crooks - DO NOT USE!

By Carole R., Suffolk, England, Verified Reviewer

Our holiday with Secret Escapes has been canceled because of the Coronavirus problem. We are entitled to a full cash refund, it is also a legal requirement. Have had countless telephone conversations and emails each time just telling one lie after another promising the refund. Then suddenly have given us a credit note which we can’t cash until 2021 and am told it is all legal. IT IS NOT. Have told them that we reject it but they don’t even have the decency to reply. Their own T & Cs state we are entitled to a full cash refund the law says the same. ABTA are trying to get the law changed but at the moment they are breaking the law! I am 73, I could use this money now and don’t want to wait over another year! Do the legal thing Secret Escapes and pay up!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Apr 3, 2020

Never book with Secret Escapes

By Deborah C., Canada, Verified Reviewer

Worst experience ever! Booked hotel in Dublin and had to cancel due to COVID-19. Hotel had NOT received payment and hotel suggested I contact Secret Escapes. I was sent an email from SE indicating that a refund was not possible. Other third-party organizations such as FlightHub and Expedia provided full refunds. So save your money and book with organizations that have integrity!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Apr 1, 2020

Avoid this profiteering organization

By Mark W., Manchester, England, Verified Reviewer

I booked Radisson Blu Durham through Secret Escapes for two nights in March 2020. I then received an email from the hotel to say that it has sadly had to close due to Coronavirus. I contacted the hotel reservations staff to request a refund and was told that Radisson had not received payment from Secret Escapes so could not refund me directly (obviously and quite rightly, in my opinion). I was also told that if I had booked directly with Radisson then it would have refunded me in full. The hotel kindly and politely suggested I contact Secret Escapes, so I did. Two unhelpful Secret Escapes personnel both refused to refund my money, and only offered a different date. However, I was going to Durham due to specific circumstances on the original date, so I told them a different date is no use to me. Secret Escapes still would not refund me. It seems very unfair that Secret Escapes is refusing to refund my money paid in good faith when neither it nor the hotel can deliver the service I bought. Even if Secret Escapes did pay Radisson, which it has not yet done, Radisson says it would refund anyway. It especially feels just plain wrong that Secret Escapes is happy to keep my money when it has not paid the hotel. Surely not what we should expect from any reasonable or reputable company. Very disappointing to say the least, and may lead people to think Secret Escapes is profiteering at this time of crisis.

Subsequently, Secret Escapes sent me an email, saying:

"We understand that in light of the ongoing novel corona-virus outbreak, you wish to cancel your booking with a refund. Hotel bookings made through Secret Escapes are non-refundable and non-changeable, and as such we are unable to provide you with a refund of your booking."

I then replied as follows:

"You seem to have misunderstood, so I will say it again...I DO NOT WISH TO CANCEL MY BOOKING FOR 29 AND 30 MARCH 2020. I would still like to visit Durham Radisson on 29 and 30 March 2020. However...... IT IS YOU THAT HAS CANCELLED BECAUSE YOU CAN NOT DELIVER MY BOOKING. The reason is....... The Radisson Durham is closed on the dates I booked. I THEREFORE WANT MY MONEY BACK. I hope I have made it simple enough for you to understand."

Still no response from Secret Escapes.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Mar 31, 2020


By Rena O., Nottingham, England, Verified Reviewer

Really shameful how Secret Escapes is treating their customers in regards to Coronavirus. I’ve been sent back and fourth between Secret Escapes and the London hotel I’ve booked with them. Hotel issued a full refund due to understandable circumstances while Secret Escapes stopped it and sent an internal communication to the hotel making them aware that they are not refunding any of their members, withholding money, and insisting on rebooking! While still emailing me that this is to the hotel's discretion. When I finally proved that what they are saying is not true I’ve been told I cannot cancel my booking. Newsflash, Secret Escapes, I’m not trying to cancel, I’d love to go on my birthday trip but I can’t due to the pandemic. Absolute disgrace, they should be taken to court for treating their customers this way in these trying times, trying to make money out of a pandemic, shame on you Secret Escapes.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Mar 28, 2020

Avoid this law breaking amateur outfit!

By Jamie G., Essex, England, Verified Reviewer

SE has received refunds from hotels due to COVID-19 and are actively profiting from this deadly disease by refusing to pay back to customers what are legally obliged to refund per FCA rules and section 38.2 of their own T&C’s. This breaches many other civil laws which I have no choice in but to take to court, where it has been advised I will likely win, and SE will have to pay my legal costs, as they canceled on me due a service that could not be provided and have no certainty when venues will open again. People want their cash back not a voucher, we can't use for a year, if at all. Given the shady operation we are now learning of, who would want to rebook with them? CASH refunds required only.

This is more a matter of principle that I get my money back now. The staff (if you can get through to them) are abnormally rude, unhelpful, and repeatedly ignore legislation as confirmed by a solicitor to continue unlawfully benefiting from this crisis. Their unprofessional and illegal conduct speaks volumes about their operations, as clearly CEO Alex Saint is the kind of person that spends his days flicking alphabet spaghetti at the wall in the hope a new debunked regulation will write itself. Avoid this mickey mouse shambles at all costs! They only respond when negative press is posted on social media platforms and never emails/phone calls, so let's make this happen. I've sent 17 emails and made 12 calls. Not ONE response. ATROCIOUS CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Jan 9, 2020

We were cheated

By Jude C., Ischia, Italy, Verified Reviewer

I booked a 7-night holiday in Ischia. I paid the full amount and a few hours later it got a confirmation that I had bought a 5-night holiday for the same price. Called customer services but was fobbed off with excuses. They have lied and I feel cheated they have committed fraud as far as I am concerned and looking through the internet it seems this is not unusual, do not use Secret Escapes or LateLuxury under any circumstances.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Dec 19, 2019

They don't send documents on time

By Chris R., Scotland, Verified Reviewer

Booked the Venice trip with a gondola ride.

Took my money no problem, sent me confirmation.

Didn't send much info so I asked for more info by email as my booking didn't even have the hotel name on it. After I emailed for info, I finally got the name of the hotel and they told me the hotel would deal with the rest once I got there.

The hotel was more than happy to help but it was Secret Escapes that had to provide the tickets for the gondola ride, and after an hour on the phone in the hotel, they told me they would send the tickets but they sent the tickets after I was supposed to use them so the time slot was lost. And when I emailed back and several phone calls later was told nothing but lies. They told me it was my fault and they sent them on time when they clearly didn't.

This is one of the worst experiences with a company and their customer service I have ever had.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Sep 12, 2019

Canceled the booking four weeks before traveling

By Paul K., Austria, Verified Reviewer

We had booked a lovely hotel in Tuscany, Italy called "The Sense Resort" - 10 days in June. Turns out that in May, 4 weeks ahead of our trip, Secret Escapes contacted us, that the hotel ist unfortunately still under construction and is about to open now in September! You can wonder why only in May Secret Escapes notices the opening will not be as planned in May?! Bad estimate?

After long discussions, we got our money back two weeks after the annulation of the booking. Funny enough, Secret Escapes also deletes any information on this booking in your account. So, like it never happened...Stupid enough as we are, we booked another Hotel in the Cote d'Azur, France. This hotel was also meant to be newly opening. As we arrive, on Sunday, a lot of Instagram influencers are present, drafting lovely stories about this hotel (btw, it’s called "The Ultimate Provence"). Everything looks fine on our arrival, except the lift boy is quite unfriendly and doesn’t want to take our luggage to our room. The receptionist doesn’t speak English nor German, but we somehow managed. On Monday, the fun begins. Around 30 construction workers arrive, start digging, drilling, planting and on it went till Friday. We actually booked again a construction site. Even an excavator was moving around. Great experience indeed.

My conclusion: Secret Escapes does not research the hotel they are offering - there only goal seems to be growth and profit. Very sad. NEVER AGAIN.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Posted on Jun 26, 2019


By Annabel L., Ealing, London, England, Verified Reviewer

If I could give Secret Escapes 0 stars, I would. I booked a hotel through them for end of November last year (2018) and had many, many issues with my stay at the hotel. Complained to Secret Escapes at the very beginning of December (2018) requesting some sort of a refund as I paid a lot of money for an experience I did not get...It is now approaching the end of June (2019) and Secret Escapes has put in very little effort to help resolve my case despite saying that they would try their hardest to help get me my refund. It is very obvious they don't care about their customers and they're probably just hoping that I'll eventually give up trying to get a refund. I will never book through them again as I know if I ever experience any other issues with a booking I'd have to endure someone who very clearly doesn't give a crap pretending that they're doing something to help me when in reality they're not even trying. I have had to be the one calling them and/or emailing them all the time for updates, just to have really short, unsatisfactory replies. Don't give this heartless company your money.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Jun 13, 2019

Referred to agent going bust

By Chris N., Guildford, United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

I have prior reports so will deal with the current only.

Had an e-mail from "TrustPilot" referring me to SE for a discussion. No contact from SE. Phoned SE and was told I had been sent an e-mail. Despite previous telephone calls, this gave no further info than referring me to the CAA and ATOL. No info on the deposit I had paid directly to SE. They don't want to know.

Book at your peril.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Apr 9, 2019

Not the cheapest rate even by their standards

By D B., New Jersey, Verified Reviewer

I booked a stay for a Paris hotel this coming May with Secret Escapes, I went back on THEIR website a few days later and discovered the price was dropped by a significant amount.

I emailed the company to ask for the new discounted price, and they refused.

Not what they advertise "cheapest rate guaranteed" as they can’t deliver to their own members on their own site!

Don’t use them as there is NO refund, seeing rates for less elsewhere, much less by them

Don’t feel the need to lock in and book with them as you will be sorry when you realize, they didn’t give you the best deal. Not a way to go on vacation!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 1 Person Has Voted

Posted on Feb 22, 2019

Non-existent seaplanes

By Mike D., London, United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

My wife and I paid over £3000 for Exotic Maldives escape with seaplane transfers and all-inclusive option.

One of the big selling points was the seaplane transfer:

"Highlights Pinching yourself as you glide over the paradisal vistas from your seaplane transfer."

"You'll arrive James Bond-style by seaplane, ready to explore the island's natural lush foliage and sugar-white shores."

Only one problem: there were no seaplanes! It was all made-up!

When we complained, we were told "What we can do for you is to offer 50 pounds credit back on to your secret escapes account for you to use in your next holidays with us."

Then we found out our return flights meant 8 nights holiday was really 7 nights. So they issued a revised itinerary for 7 nights which advertised (yes you’ve guessed it) seaplane transfers.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 4 People Have Voted

Posted on Dec 7, 2018

Never again!

By Charlie D., Suffolk, England, Verified Reviewer

I wouldn't book ever again with Secret Escapes.

Unfortunately for reasons (none of Secret Escapes), I was unable to take my trip, which I booked for myself and my partner for £500.

I emailed trying to cancel the booking and claim a part refund. In my policy, it explained that if I was to cancel, I would not be able to receive the cost of my transport back but the cost of everything else would be fine. I contacted Secret Escapes with plenty of time to cancel and hopefully be partially refunded. Secret Escapes took DAYS to get back to me. After a lot of backing and forthing, I finally received information that I wouldn't be able to get ANY of my money back THE DAY of the trip. Not just the day of the trip, but after my train had already well and truly left the station. Having known that I wouldn't get ANY of my money back, I would have gone on the trip, but because Secret Escapes took their sweet time getting back to me, I missed out on not only the trip of a lifetime, however, £500 worth of hours and hours of working and saving.

Moral of the story, don't book with Secret Escapes unless you have some darn good travel insurance.

Also, they are USELESS at replying to emails.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Nov 14, 2018

Human error - not even empathy

By Tricia B., United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

I made a mistake in dates and cost booking a hotel in London. I thought I had booked two nights but had in fact booked one night, and the price was per person, not room, so it was a hugely expensive mistake. I have never made that mistake before but it was the anniversary of my father's death a year ago and family were meeting up. I wasn't thinking straight.

I called Secret Escapes within 2 minutes.

There was no empathy, no interest in me as the consumer, the call assistant said he would call the hotel and see what could be done, he called back and said not possible. He advised me to sell the room reservation to friends!

I don't think he had called, and I did, and the manager said she would discuss with her manager and had no knowledge of Secret Escapes call.

His manner was unpleasant and not interested in finding a way forward. He was unbending and inflexible wanting to know my actions and position, almost like an army official. I had a call this morning from Secret Escapes, same person. I wasn't expecting this call, and it was not in my interest but to see what the hotel had said. I asked to speak to a manager and was told I could only speak with him. I asked him why he had called as it was a chilling experience. It felt as if it wasn't about my situation but about keeping his booking. He complained that the hotel shouldn't have said it was all down to Secret Escapes' decision, which felt aggressive.

It was an unhelpful and upsetting call.

A few minutes after his call later the hotel emailed to say policy/terms/conditions don't allow cancellations. It feels as if David called me to find out what the hotel advised and then called them to avoid any attempt at a compromise or solution the hotel might make.

Secret Escapes wasn't calling to help me but protect the booking made in error.

This company is not interested in customer experience, human error or finding a happy compromise for the Individual. Two minutes into a booking there is loads of time for the booking to be used up by someone else four weeks down the line.

It is only when there is an issue that a company truly shows its colors.

This company is only interested in itself; it's not interested in its customers at all.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 4 People Have Voted

Posted on Oct 17, 2018

Stay away from them

By Afonso Z., Rugby, Verified Reviewer

Secret Escapes business conduct is appalling, stay away!

I had a huge car crash a few weeks before my booking, and I obviously tried to cancel my booking and get a refund, but here's what happened:

I sent several emails to them weeks before my booking, because calling is useless - they NEVER answer the phone. My emails were ignored until the day I was supposed to come back from holidays and said:

"Thank you for your email and your feedback about your booking.

I'm sorry to read that you were not able to attend your reservation.

Our offers are always pre-negotiated with our hotels and suppliers and as such are non-amendable and non-refundable according to our terms and conditions.

Any amendment or cancellation request must be approved by the hotel/supplier prior to the check in date. Therefore, unfortunately as the booking has now passed, this is no longer possible.

We are sorry for any inconvenience that this will cause but unfortunately cannot override the decision of the hotel/supplier, as the booking is now considered to be a no show.

Should you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact us."

In the meantime, I had spoken to the hotel, who told me they were happy to cancel given the circumstances, and they told so to Secret Escapes, but Secret Escapes waited for the day I was supposed to get back, to answer me and say "sorry, it's too late."

A business like this doesn't deserve to be a business.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 8 People Have Voted

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

Have nothing to do with this company

By Andrew C., Luton, England, Verified Reviewer

I had a £250 gift voucher from my daughter as a thank you for the help with her wedding. It expired, and when we rang to ask for an extension, we were told we had lost our money. I will never use this company and will do my best to put other people wise to how bad their customer service is.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 3 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 17, 2018

Buyer be aware

By John H., Shropshire, United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

I booked a holiday at Bel Jou, St. Lucia. I thought that I was getting it at the originally offered price, but I did not realize that they had increased the price by a considerable amount. Within hours, I found a better deal through TripAdvisor, but Secret Escapes has no cooling off period and do not allow cancellations even within hours of making a booking. The lesson for me is to double check that you are really getting a good deal.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 2 People Have Voted

Posted on Jul 26, 2018

Secret Escapes, a scam in my view.

By Charles V., Dallas, TX, Verified Reviewer

Secret Escapes is a scam in my view. They will send you an email that they are holding a room for you, and you have a certain number of days to confirm the reservation at a lower rate than what is being offered by the hotel. But, they are NOT communicating with the hotel to actually hold or prepurchase a room. So, if the hotel loses availability, you will get an email before your hold was due to expire, that your hold, in fact, has expired. Meanwhile, prices have gone up.

If Secret Escapes is actually unable to obtain the room at a lower rate with the hotel when you try to confirm it, they will tell you that the room is no longer available at that rate. Meanwhile, prices have gone up. They explain this away by pointing out to you an obscure, easily overlooked link on their website that tells you that their "hold" is not really holding anything. Their supervisor actually told me over the phone this morning that he wished that language was more prominent on their website. So, they know its obscure, and they don't fix it.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 5 People Have Voted

Posted on May 23, 2018

Worst experience of our lives

By David A., Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, Verified Reviewer

It was my partner's birthday on the 10th of May so I thought what better surprise than to fly her to Rome for a few days.

We arrived in Rome just after 11 pm with just one hour until her 39th birthday. After waiting an hour for our transfer to the hotel, we arrived to find the doors locked and nobody on site. We phoned Secret Escapes only to be greeted by a voicemail explaining that the offices are closed and nobody will be available to take our call until 9 am, 10 am for us at the time in Italy. After trying the door continuously we began to attempt to phone all the numbers we could find for the hotel online. Only to get no answer. Eventually we gave up as we realised it was hopeless.

We ended up walking the streets of Rome with our luggage throughout the night and into the early hours of the morning looking for another hotel, only to find everywhere fully booked. Over the night we hailed several taxis and travelled to various hotels to find them all booked up. In total we spent over €200 on taxis and coffee and spent the night in the street.

A night experiencing homelessness in Italy’s capital, was not the desired birthday gift I intended to give her.

In the morning having found ourselves freezing cold, Angela’s feet with blisters, we got another taxi back to the hotel, and still no one there. We then phoned all the numbers for other hotels in the chain once again. Eventually, we got an answer. The lady said she would contact the owner and ring us back. We didn’t get a call, so I called her. She assured me the owner will ring me. He didn’t. So we went back to the hotel, and after buzzing the door several times we eventually got an answer. A gentleman buzzed us in, and after scaling the stairs with our luggage and explaining we have been out all night he said sorry it was his day off. He said he will call the owner. He called the owner who said the mix up was with Secret Escapes who canceled our booking. We were then told that they had no rooms available. At this point, we were stuck in Rome with no place to stay and return flights 36 hours away. On top of this we were supposed to be going on a Vatican and Sistine Chapel tour, also booked through Secret Escapes.

The owner and staff at the hotel were fantastic and managed to move things around to give us a room but it was three in the afternoon before it was available. Whilst waiting we met another couple who were in exactly the same situation. Again they had also booked through Secret Escapes.

Later we also discovered there was a third couple the day before. In their case the hotel managed to find them a room for one night and helped them find somewhere else to stay.

When Secret Escapes opened I eventually got through to their customer service team. At first they offered me £30 off my next booking with them. I tried as politely as possible to explain that having spent a night on the streets in Rome it was highly unlikely that I would book another holiday with them.

Eventually after speaking with her manager (who was too busy to speak to me directly), the lady offered me a refund for the one night hotel stay that we did not have. Eventually after some haggling they also offered to refund me for the excursion I paid for but was unable to attend.

Of course none of the above is compensation for ruining my girlfriends birthday. Neither does it compensate for spending a night in the streets of Rome with our luggage. However, Secret Escapes assured me they would be in contact to discuss further compensation. For now they assured me they will email to confirm everything discussed and action the agreed refunds immediately.

The reason I am making this public post is simple. Despite their promise, Secret Escapes failed to email me confirmation of the refunds they promised. They have also failed to make any refund into my account.

On a positive note, my partner did eventually have a good birthday despite Secret Escapes.

We managed to extend our flights directly with the airline and found another hotel to extend our stay. We then booked our own replacement excursions, however all in all the city break literally cost me twice as much. Not to mention the calls on my mobile to Secret Escapes 084 number. Having spent almost two hours holding and discussing this, I’m not looking forward to receiving my mobile bill.

I am so disappointed that not only have Secret Escapes failed to keep their word, they didn’t even have the decency to wish my partner a happy birthday and offer any gesture of goodwill.

As a small business owner myself, I find it inconceivable that an organisation the size of Secret Escapes can behave so unprofessionally.

Not only have they offered no compensation and no gesture of goodwill, they have also failed to provide a refund for a night in a hotel we did not receive and an excursion we were unable to attend through no fault of our own.

At this point in time, I would strongly advise anybody not to book a holiday through this organisation. I just thank god that this was a romantic break for two, and that we did not have the children with us.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 13 People Have Voted

Posted on Sep 25, 2017

Misleading information

By Antonella Ohara, England, Verified Reviewer

Please be aware when booking holidays that you check transfers. They might not be included, which happened to me.

They gave misleading information, and it has cost me another £500 on top to get from the airport to the resort. Please check before booking and how far away the hotel is! The arrival of the flight is very late, and the hotel is 3 hours away, and it's a mountainous trip, and very dark and dangerous for strangers to the area.

Secret Escapes did not do anything to help and completely ruined our experience with them. I would AVOID using them!

I originally asked them for a refund, which they said no to, which after investigating I found out that I could, but it was too late when I retried. One team member was very kind but kept saying that the above people keep telling her she can't do anything. I have yet to speak to any manager because you can't get a hold of them!

Absolutely unhelpful. They have just gotten greedy and good service has gone.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 14 People Have Voted

Posted on Apr 16, 2017

Shh! It's a scam!

By KM, Bristol, England, Verified Reviewer

I've booked with Secret Escapes twice.

First occasion: I received a phone call directly from the hotel a few days later to cancel my booking and advise Secret Escapes were aware they had no rooms and they did not understand why they were still advertising availability.

Apparently, I was not the first customer to be affected. I heard nothing directly from Secret Escapes and had to call them myself to arrange a refund and suggest they update their website. Not a straight forward process and I had to wait for several call backs and many days before actually getting my money back.

Second occasion: I booked a deal which included flights and a hotel stay. Concerned not to have received any further info about flight times, etc.occurence, I called to chase a couple of days later and was told my booking was part of a backlog waiting to be processed. They had taken my money fine, just not got around to booking any of the services I had paid for.

Later I received an email which looked suspiciously like a template (indicating this was a far occurrence) which advised me “due to an error with availability” they could not provide my holiday. I emailed back to assure them the hotel could accommodate the booking and that there were plenty of flights (I checked). They then admitted that yes there was availability but not for the price they had advertised and charged me.

They arranged to refund me which would take up to 5 working days. The credit of £50.00 they gave me was an interesting choice of compensation as I made it clear I would not be using them again.

The most infuriating part of my poor customer experience with Secret Escapes is the overall lack of care or concern they demonstrated. When things go wrong, they are less luxury and dodgier second-hand car dealership! No responsibility, no effort to put things right.

As I pointed out to them, they could have easily fulfilled my booking. Doing so would not have left them out of pocket, they just would have had to wait to see some profit from the repeat business they would have secured from me.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 23 People Have Voted

Posted on Mar 10, 2016

Cancelled Cruise

By Thomson, Thailand, Verified Reviewer

Nov 2015 - Booked a Haimark cruise for April 2016 via Secret Escapes.

Feb 2016 - Cruise company (Haimark Ltd) writes to say they are overbooked and is cancelling the cruise. So far we're out USD 4000 and Secret Escapes claims to be helping to get the money back, but they have no status updates to provide.

We're out hundreds of dollars in expenses getting to the cruise port and back. That aside, all we want is our cruise ticket refunds.

It also doesn't seem like Secret Escapes has any real leverage with the advertisers using their platform. In the end, it could be a platform for desperate businesses and wouldn't be surprised to see this happen again and again. Secret Escapes could end up being a dumping site for deals that the provider has no intention of honoring.

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Helpful Review? 30 People Have Voted
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