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“The BEST vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164 | Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #8 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“The BEST vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2013

Ok...I'm just going to say upfront that my husband and I had no idea what to expect from this trip that we planned on a whim. I have never even considered a structured trip let alone an all inclusive generic vacay. We have been fortunate enough to travel to some amazing spots...Bali on a 3 week surf trip, George V Paris, Maui at the Grand Wailea to brag, but trust, I do this in the hopes you give me street cred when I say this was the BEST vacation ever. If you are ready to truly relax and enjoy yourself - with no planning, ego, control...You are ready to enjoy "Unlimited Luxury" yup, thats what they call it - I was snickering the first time I heard that term from the staff but by the time we left chock full of amazing memories, relaxed souls & amazing new friends we met - both of us missed "Unlimited Luxury" desperately. Can't wait to go back

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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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1,381 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 (610)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Calgary, Canada
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2013

Just returned from a one week stay at this property from June 1-8. My wife and I are 30/28 years old and have been taking 2-3 trips to Mexico for the past several years. We have stayed in a wide variaty of resorts in most tourist areas of the country including some low end AI's and some very high end ones. This hotel met and exceeded our expectations in most all ways and is at or near the top of the list for our favorite resorts. This was our first stay at an AM Resort and I was very impressed with what the brand has done, the concept at this hotel is very anti-resort and does not give the feel of being hearded with the masses from place to place. I felt a level of personal service that carried through the entire property.

We stayed in the preferred tower in standard suite for part of our stay, and moved to a master swim out suite for our last two nights. Both rooms were fantastic, however the master suite was incredible. Staying in the preferred building is worth every penny and truely enhanced the entire expereince for us. Private bar, great selection of food and snacks all day and personal concierge. And contrary to other reviews this building can only be accesed by thoose staying in the preffered club with your room key.

The food at this hotel was very good with and excellent variety. In my opinion almost all meals looked and tasted as they should. You have access to so much more food and drink choices than you are shown JUST ASK, the answer will be "it's my pleasure".

During our stay there was a great people in all age groups from newly-weds and up. Met a bunch of great people from all over the world, and had a great time. We found that there was a great night life and the Desires bar was fun.

In conclusion this is a great property with high-end ammentities and food/drink. Truely felt like unique vacation experience and sadly am now back at work suffering "luxury" withdrawl.

Room Tip: Preferred club was worth every penny!
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  • Stayed June 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
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ormond Beach, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

My husband and I just returned from Secrets Vallarta Bay. We booked a swim up room. Our first impression was a huge negative! They tell you at check in that your room will be ready in 30 minutes, then send you to another desk to wait! At this desk, you spend 30 minutes listening to the girl assertively try to talk you into a timeshare presentation. We were traveling all day, STARVING, and found this very irritating. When we finally escaped, we went to Oceana to eat. We sat 25 minutes before we were even waited on, and another 20 we got our meal. Not impressed at this point! But wait ....things do get better. Our room was lovely- but smelled like septic. As the bellman brought our things in, we mentioned that it smelled - he said that he had a cold and couldn't smell a thing. His facial expression on entering told us that he noticed the smell as well. We opened the patio door and dealt with it. Our room was a swim up room, loved the heated pool!!! Our room was 1101. Pretty and romantic. The mattress was incredibly comfortable. Service at the pool was not so great, but no big deal to get up and go to the pool bar. Bartenders at the lobby bar never smiled! We enjoyed the Asian restaurant, the Italian buffet was good as well. The breakfast buffet had many options, although the waffles and hotcakes were never hot when we were there, you could ask for fresh ones, only got a funny look from one attendant! Yoanna the hostess was always welcoming and pleasant. A joy in the morning! 2 nights prior to our departure, we came back from an excursion to find white foam coming up from all the drains- tub, shower, toilet! Called maint department- he had no idea. Something to do with the septic smell? The resort was fairly full and we were moved upstairs- no pool! lost the cost of the swim up pool that night. The resort moved us the next night (our last night) to upgraded preferred master suite swim up. The suite was nice - very large. The pool was cold so didn't want to swim in it. Lost 2 nights of swimming!! The resort (Elizabeth) did their best to make us happy, but just didn't like the master suite, not as romantic. When we were at the Marriott in Costa rica last year, we left knowing so many staff by name, here, there were few staff members that were memorable - yoanna, and Martin. Overall we had a nice time, the resort is pretty and clean. Would we return, probably not.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Vancouver, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We are not generally fans of All-Inclusives and wanted to check out what all the great reviews were about, so paid the costly 316 per night for 2 people. Very disappointed. Although the resort in Puerto Vallarta is supposedly new, the room smelled dank and musty. Food was below average, even in the French Restaurant they messed up the steak. I think the filet was pan fried and had absolutely no flavor. It took 30 minutes to get the bernaise sauce, and by then everything was cold. The Asian restaurant was just as bad. Food was bland and we had to ask for simple things like ginger that should have come with the meal. We figured no way could they mess up breakfast as it is a buffet, but alas, that was also horrible. Frozen hash browns taste better at McDonald's. Also nothing opens till noon, and when we asked a bartender for a drink at the pool, he wasn't quite ready, and obviously was not pleased about having to pour a drink. In the room you could not open the fridge door without the adjacent cabinet door as they were badly and unevenly built. I will NEVER stay at Secrets again, nor will I try another all inclusive resort. Truly not a good experience. The only nice thing about it was the speedy check in and the welcoming glass of champagne. Also the Valet guys were nice.

Room Tip: All the rooms seem to have some sort of view but all are somewhat obstructed.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cooperstown, New York
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

We just returned from Vallarta Bay and wanted to share my experience -

The Pro's. The place is only a year old so it is newer, the rooms are very nice - the bathroom is really part of the bedroom as well, but the water closet is enclosed. The service was great, we even had a full house on 3 day of our vacation and the restaurants were not full an was still a seat in the pool area. 2 hot tubs and 2 pools - so never crowed. The food at Breakfast and dinner were great and lunch was a hit or miss. Our mini bar was always full and I liked the "service area" for any room service we ordered - we could just put the items in the area - not outside in the hall like most places.

The Con's. We had the upgrade so we had a hot tub on the terrace - however since it is open for the world to look at us - we never use it. The prefered area was nice, but really not needed so if you for go that option, you are not mssing too much, just another bar with food out all day - just more temptation to eat. The beach is not the best, so if you love the beach, not the best place for it. The only real complaint that I had was the selling of the timeshares - it took them 3 days of me saying no thanks before they left us alone. Other than that, no real concerns.

The Spa is very pricey, so we went to a "Massaje" called Heaven's Hand at the bottom of the resorts driveway. It was $25 for an hour massage and the people and place is very professional. Great massage, clean, safe and the price was very nice so we went twice!

Lots of Honeymooners go here but there was a mix of young and old and none of us felt out of place. However, your room is really the only private space you will find.

Bottom line - I would return to this hotel as well as any Secret Hotel.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are nice with an ocean view. However, I would take a room on the 1st - 4th floor s...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
New York, New York, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 10, 2013

I stayed at the Secrets Vallarta Bay for my honeymoon (same-sex females) from May 6-May14. It was such an amazing and refreshing time. We were greeted by great hotel staff upon our arrival with champagne and cold towels. The rooms were simply awesome with our own swim out room (highly recommend). The pools were the best you meet new folks, the pool bar staff know your drinks after 1 day, and you never worry about a towel of beach chair. The beach is not friendly, as it really rocky, but the sun and view was great. The food was great, I have stayed at a lot of all-inclusive resorts, so I can say the food was good and you have a lot to choose from. My favorite person is Yoanna (she is so friendly and sweet) she makes breakfast so cozy and Liz at the front desk was my second favorite person (superior customer service). My wife and I went into town to visit the locals and everywhere is SAFE. La Langosta Feliz (Happy Lobster) was the best part of our trip hands down!!! ( we visited 2x and got a discount card) You will fall in love with the feel of Mexico and the great Seafood, I mean you will want to come back just for the drinks and food. You can take a cab anywhere for 7 American dollars. Try Vallarta Adventures too, Ziplines, City Tours, and just fun...We are going back very soon, this place is great, adults only, and the drinks are well worth everything and more..Last but not least, the Spa was AWESOME!! the couples massage was good, although I hear you can get a massage for $25 outside the resort. Secrets gives you a honeymoon SPA treatment so it was worth it...You will have so much fun, trust me..Do not listen to negative reviews

  • Stayed May 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2013

We just came back from our 5th anniversary trip to PV. We chose Secrets because we loved the feel of their Maroma property in Cancun. Maroma, is a MUCH better property but this one is very nice, too. That one feels more secluded and this one feels more business oriented.

We booked our trip on the site, selected the Preferred Club, paid more for a private transfer and made it clear that we were celebrating an anniversary. The booking process on their site was a bit clunky and required follow up calls to them due to an error in processing on their part.

Arrival: when we fought past the time share hawkers at the airport (very pushy aggressive people), we found the Apple travel rep and was assured our ride was arriving shortly. It was a beat up Chevy with the interior smelling of gas and a towel over the gear stick. The driver was a very nice man but paying for private car service, to me, doesn't mean a car that looked like that. It seemed odd especially since other private transfers we have used were typically late model SUVs. We addressed this with Apple and they made sure our ride back to the airport was more aligned with what they promised.

Check In: so easy and pleasant not only because we were in Mexico and we love the warmth of the culture but also because we were at Secrets Preferred Club. It was easy to check in and the concierge Violeta kindly booked us a dinner reservation for later in the week. We also told her that no, it wasnt a honeymoon we were on (thats what their system showed her) but an anniversary trip. We were then subject to the Vacation Club soft sell which I wish they wouldn't do at check-in. It's ill timed especially after a day of travel, etc. I'm not knocking the club itself, to each his own, just the push at check-in.

Preferred Club: if you can swing the extra cost, go for it. Better quality alcohol and a constantly replenished buffet for whenever you want a quick snack. Better than ordering from the very limited room service menu during the day, IMHO. Also, you don't get the weird construction site views that others have complained (rightfully) about.

Room: sure enough, there was a happy honeymoon sign on the door which we found funny. The room was spectacular. Large, well equipped, lovely large two person shower, marble vanity, comfortable bed, well stocked fridge and a great balcony with ocean view and jacuzzi. It was worth to pay a little more for that upper level Preferred Club room.

Property: this resort is shared with Now. I rather wished it wasn't. I feel like we paid for a whole resort but only got 1/2 of one in exchange. Anyone at Secrets can go to Now (some of the restaurants are on the Now side) but since its family friendly, I don't want to spend my hard earned vacation time navigating around little kids. I love kids but if I've paid for adults only, I'm not going to the other part of the resort that is kid friendly. So, this means smaller pools and a smaller beachfront. All of the entertainment was on the Now side so we never went over there to check it out. S, I felt like I lost a bit of "value" so to speak.

To be clear, the lobby areas, the grounds, etc., were kept in excellent condition. It is a beautiful place to be and there are always people working hard to maintain the property. We saw one grounds person harnessed to something as he was cleaning the tarps above the Oceana Grill from the roof. Scary to look at but a testament to how much they want to keep the property in good condition. Both the lobby bars at Now and Secrets had great views which you don't ever tire of. The gym was very well equipped and they also had a clay tennis court.

As to the beach, super tiny as I mentioned and full of rocks. It stopped us from taking a dip which was a bummer. I don't know why they don't make it more swim friendly - I'm hoping its for a good reason. You can certainly enjoy the breezes on the beach loungers and of course the pool/beach service is attentive, particularly Alex and Alfredo. Nice men!

The hotel is a touch too far from Malecon in my view. We walked it which was an easy distance for us but that might not be the case for others. It's a great hotel but in the wrong location, kind of.

Food: compared to Maroma, the food fell short. I don't know if its to manage margins for two resorts that have different price points under one roof or if they are generally cutting back. Now, it's true you can eat all the time if you wanted. So, its not about quantity or portion in my view. It's just that the variety was lacking and sometimes so did the quality. The breakfast buffet had some variety but paled as compared to Maroma and also an Excellence resort we've stayed at.

The Mexican restaurant Tamarindo was awful. Tasteless food... The mind boggles why the food wouldn't be better at a so called Mexican resto in Mexico! The Italian place is so-so. The best was Bordeaux, the French place. Market House is the buffet by day but served tasty Mediterranean at night. Oceana had nice seafood. It's good to note that Bordeaux, Market House, Oceana are all on the Secrets side... Hmm.

Spa: just do it. I had a deep tissue massage with Liliana... Life changing.

People: all of the people at Secrets and Now greet you with a smile and help in every way possible. They are very nice and hard working people which is mostly a credit to the warmth of the Mexican culture and maybe a little to training they receive. It's very hard to greet everyone with a smile but ALL of them did. I give them a lot of credit - it can't be easy working at a resort sometimes. We tried to tip as often as we possible but truly, probably wasn't always enough.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 4
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 Resort & Spa

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 Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 271
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Romantic. Refined. Remarkable. Located on the golden sand beaches of the Pacific coast within walking distance of the famous El Malecon boardwalk, this vibrant oceanfront resort provides adults 24/7 access to amazing nightlife, non-stop entertainment and Unlimited-Luxury(R). ... more   less 
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