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“Needs Help” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Vallarta Bay

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Secrets Vallarta Bay
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164, Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #6 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Needs Help”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I am going to be concise, we have stayed at many all inclusive resorts ranging from 3 to five stars throughout Mexico and the carribean. As most of us do, we look for the most bang for your buck in conjunction to your budget and your priorities. We like all inclusives as it easy to project the cost of your vacation, allowing for shopping, activities, dining off site.

We stayed in Preferred tower, floor 3. We asked for higher floor and were told 60 dollars extra and we declined. Check in was easy, had to go through the obligatory talk for the useless coupons, no big deal. This is not uncommon, but let's be clear, if you show any interest or if you think any extras coming your way are coming without a price, you are mistaken.

The room was wonderful, clean well appointed. We had a problem with an outlet for hair dryer, it was fixed within an hour and were given late checkout on our departure day for our inconvenience.

The service anywhere we went on property was top notch, always with a smile, even though at times they were overwhelmed. The no reservation system is nice but can leave the outlets at the guests mercy as they can get hit hard depending on chance. Room service was prompt, never had to wait more than 40 minutes. We did a time order as we were golfing one morning and it arrived exactly at the time requested.

Ok, now for the bad news! The food is average at best. We know of limitations facing all inclusive dining having been to many resorts but this falls woefully short. The food was often cold and bland, breakfast lunch and dinner. As I mentioned above, when you budget your expectations to price of product, they should fall in line. You can make a plate look pretty, served by a friendly staffer, offered with a top shelf cocktail, but if it is sub par, why bother? There were moments that were hits...sashimi at Japanese....grilled to order lamb chops at lunch....hot coffee in urn through room service but unfortunately few and far between. I know some previous reviewers think the food is great but I think they are comparing to what they see at home, not at a restaurant that serves this fare with any skill.

Hence we dined offsite frequently! This goes back to value. Why choose an all inclusive of this calibre if you don't want all that is inclusive? As much as I like top shelf liquor, nice beds, great service, beautiful vistas, I don't like the idea of having to leave to get some decent food.

Sorry, won't be back and won't be choosing am resorts in the future

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,001 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (433)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Denver
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

We booked time at this resort after being very dissatisfied at a different resort. We spent an hour researching local resorts and found that this resort had the fewest 'bad' reviews. When we arrived we were pleasantly surprised at how true the reviews were. You arrive at a gated resort which feels very safe and secure. The entrance to the resort is the most breathtaking I've ever seen with immediate views of the ocean. You are treated with great customer service from the moment you step foot on the property. There are 2 sides to the resort, Secrets (adults only) and Now Amber (family friendly). Both have their own pools, access to the beach and all ocean view rooms. The decor feels grand and modern. The rooms are beautiful, romantic and very comfortable with the best view I've ever had at a hotel. We sat on our balcony for many hours during this trip. The bathroom facilities are luxurious. The restaurants are delicious and truly reservation free, we only had a wait 1 time during our 6 day stay. There are a variety of options for enjoying the beautiful landscape and ocean view, hammocks, 3 pools, 2 hot tubs, restaurants, beach chairs with umbrellas, etc. The staff are very friendly and engaging. There is always something going on and plenty to keep you busy if you want. I can't say enough good things about this resort! We will definitely be back, this is something I've never said about a resort before. I wouldn't hesitate recommending this resort to anyone. In fact, we just returned yesterday and already recommended it to several people. We were very impressed to say the least.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Hollywood, California, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 20, 2013

I want to start by making a little comparison. During our recent stay at Secrets, we made a day-trip to have lunch and hang by the pool for an afternoon at Four Seasons, Punta Mita, with friends who were staying there. There, the $260 mediocre lunch for the six of us lunch (before tip - and with no drinks!) matched the aging and overrated Four Seasons resort's rooms and pool area. Though I truly love my friends, I couldn't stop wishing that we were back with the vibrance and aliveness that is Secrets.

This new resort (Secrets/Now Amber) exceeds expectations, on all fronts. All the staff members were young, fresh, happy, friendly, professional, efficient and eager to please - outstanding! The rooms (& hotel in general) were architectural, modern, clean and comfortable.

A couple of other reviews here slam the food, I don't know why, this is some of the best resort/hotel-food I've ever had (barring the little poolside kiosk, where I think sometimes the food sits out too long, by the end of the day?). We live in LA and our pallets are accustomed to all manor of food, high-end & low-end and anything in-between. Secrets food came in way better that I was expecting. We never went hungry or thirsty, for a moment. Very satisfied!

Others also mention that the beds were too firm. We didn't notice, this was no firmer than we like at home. There are several reviews that comment on the rooms' inadequate lighting. Granted, the lighting was "mood" but I like that. The only time I found it to be an itty-bitty issue, was when I needed to wet-shave (but I lived to tell the story - LOL).

We were there during the second week of Jan, 2013 and I'm not sure what was going on with the weather but it was gloomy & overcast for most of our stay, so we would probably go back a bit later in the year to minimize this likelihood. Before going, we changed up a few hundred bucks in singles for tipping, which I did at every opportunity (I work in an industry that also receives tips, so I get how this matters). In summary - we can hardly wait to go back to Secrets.

Room Tip: They're all good! You can't go wrong!
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vernon, Canada
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

We requested a quiet, king room. This seemed to be difficult as they have limited king beds! We were given a room on the third floor, right next to the foyer...not quiet either! They would have moved us to an upgraded room, at our cost, which we refused since we didn't think our request was that difficult! After 4 nights(and one really big party night) we were finally moved to a higher floor and things were much better! We did feel a bit like we were being pressured to pay more for their "Elite" area rooms.
Food was good in restaurants, buffets not so much.
Beach was rocky. No catamaran, which was sad for me!
Drinks were pretty good.
It got very busy on our final couple of days and you could see where the service became lesser and sparcer. There was a large group that arrived and they wanted an evening beach bbq which meant that there was no place for everyone else along the shore. Also, they booked the restaurants completely so it was inconvenient for everyone else. The pool area got much busier as welll, although you could still find a chair if you didn't mind it being in a busy area. The cleanliness of the pool area definitely began to suffer as well, especially around the bathrooms and the swim up bar.
Hotel is LARGE but very nice and very new. If you want some quiet, I would suggest somewhere else if it is full. However, for a party, it would be wonderful.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 18, 2013

New and beautiful resort with great food and great employees. My husband and I took a much needed getaway from January 14-17, 2013. I had received an email for 50% back in December and we jumped at the opportunity to get away by ourselves -- away our four kids -- dear ones that they are. We were very happy to have spent that time at Secrets Vallarta Bay in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

First, we stayed in a Preferred suite on the 5th floor. I would recommend the preferred tower as you have a cute little bar area on first floor just your own with a bartender and munchies all day. I would not recommend upgrading to the rooms with the pools. They are on ground floor so if you enjoy listening to the ocean at night, you cant open your windows, which we did each night. Also, everyone walks by and looks into your room.

The waiters and hotel staff were awesome. They loved that I could speak some Spanish and thought it was funny my husband could not. We worked on his Spanish too. He knew cerveza. :) The drinks were great and not at all watered down. Be careful though in the restaurants. You can have all of the glasses of whine that you want, but no bottles of wine or even after dinner drinks without paying. Also, the employees CANNOT take cash to pay for anything. So if you leave cash on the table, that is considered a TIP, not payment for a bill. We were not told this and we ended up paying twice for something we thought we had already paid for with cash and a tip.

We did the zip line through Olympus tours that has an office right in the hotel. Felipe was our contact. He was awesome. Loved, loved the zipline Canyon River.

Food was great. We ate at Market Cafe (buffet) for breakfast every morning and were alway happy. Lots of variety. Great coffee. Mimosas and bloody marys if you want. Bordeaux was really good. But our favorite was Oceana. It is right on the beach and the food was delicious. We went there two nights.

I have to say when we first arrived we had a pretty hard sell to upgrade to a master suite with a pool. Very much the full court press. Luckily it was not ready and would not be for a couple of hours. They let us go to the room assigned to us already to relax and we ended up just cancelling the upgrade when we saw how awesome the "regular" room was. It would have been almost as much as the whole vacation to upgrade. Glad we did not do it.

Poolside entertainment was hysterical. Those guys really worked hard to make sure everyone had a good time. I did not participated but watched and laughed. Jose was a poolside waiter and he was terrific. We tipped liberally, but only about 20 pesos each drink and we always got great service.

Going downtown is about a 15 minute walk. A taxi into town is 50 pesos. Don't tip as we were told the taxi drivers automatically get 30% of the fare as a tip.

We were on the side with the empty lot and abandoned resort. It really was not the eyesore people say. I never felt anything but safe. The security at the hotel is very comforting. I was approached by a couple of vendors but they easily took no gracias as a response and left me alone.

One bad thing was the first day we had NO room cleaning. We were gone all morning zip lining and did not get back until 3 p.m. Finally at 6:30 we went to dinner and asked that our room be cleaned. When we returned, we discovered that our bed had been straightened but nothing else. Trash on floor, ring around tub, sink a mess. We complained a next day and they said maybe we had do not disturb light on (check to make sure it is a button), but that does not explain the cruddy job done at night. The next day we did have great cleaning.
I would recommend this to friends and family.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
7hsjVK1qjfGSO08PriLhI2g60-9JBR3jkd7o-GfBDx4
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2013

New and nice hotel, amazing room, great staff but the waiters and chefs as soon as they heard we speak spanish the would go away or the service would be rather poor.
Plus I got my sunglasses stolen, I left them and the pool with my glass of soda while talking to my girl (who also left hers) and when I realized they were gone with the glasses...

Room Tip: all rooms have a great view, so it's not worth to pay for ocean view I did, but being there it...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Omaha, Nebraska
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2013

I just returned from a stay at Secrets Vallara Bay January 2013. This is a new property very beautiful. I viewed several of the rooms it would be hard to find a bad room in the hotel. All rooms have an amazing view. I would recommend the upgrade to the club side for the privacy alone but not necessary. We enjoyed the Club upgrade for the private bar and the food that was always out. All rooms have a hot tub on the deck. Note they are not very private. Frosted glass seperates them from the room next to you. We did meet some fun amazing people on this side. One big downside for us staying at this property is the dress code for the restaraunts on property. While I understand they do not want swimsuits in these areas in the evening there is no reason a guy should have to wear pants to go to dinner. We talked to several others in this same situation. When on vacation you shouldnt have to dress up. With the price of baggage on the airlines now who wants to bring the extra clothes? I would suggest perhaps having two sections in each of the restaraunts one for those who want to be dressy and another side for casual diners. The room service menu needs a lot of work. Very little choice of food items on the menu. Many items are only available at certain times. The room service needs some work. With the rooms so nice why would you want to leave your room? The buffet on the Secrets side is so so the NOW side is much better. You can expect last nights leftovers for breakfast if you go early I found later was better for the food. The entire hotel staff is amazing. The hotel very secure. I didnt find the timeshare sharks that bad they were fine with a yes or no just be aware that they are out there and they are all over town. The spa is stunning. Service is good. I had a facial and a hair style. My only complaint here was that I arrived at 9:00 a.m. for a 9:00 a.m. appointment and was told I would have to come back a 11:00 because I was late? Or I could stay and get reduced services? I wasnt late they just want you there way ahead of time to complete a form that takes 2 minutes to complete? I went ahead with my service and didnt feel that I received less time but it did slightly ruin the experience fo me that day because arrival issue. Overall this is a great property and I would stay there again be aware that it is new with some kinks to be worked out. Probably needs a seasoned hotel management team to come in for a few weeks to work them out.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Secrets Vallarta Bay

Address: David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164, Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay 4.5*
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