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“Beautiful!” 5 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 #8 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Louisville, Kentucky, United States
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2013

This is seems to be the best hotel in Puerto Vallarta! When we went around the city, the other hotels did not even compare. The bed was great, the view was great, the room service was great and all of the amenities you could need were at your disposal!
If you aren't going with any children, it is worth staying on the Secrets side rather than the Now Amber side. All day everyday there were so many fun activities to do that you won't get bored. In the evening there is always a nice show of some sorts to see.
Everything about the hotel was wonderful. If I had to make one complaint/suggestion, it would be about the food. The food was really great, I was only disappointed in the lack of authentic Mexican food offered for dinner.
We went on 3 tours. The Rhythms of the Night, Outdoor Adventure and Las Marietas. All were very nice. Be prepared with old tennis shoes and shorts if going on the Outdoor Adventure!

  • Stayed August 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.
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1,063 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (464)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2013

I returned yesterday from a 4 night stay at Secrets. I opted to pay a little extra for the preferred club. This may seem like a waste to some but I found the minor extras to be worth it. The breakfast and snacks they provide only to the preferred tower guests are delicious. They have different items every day! Omar at the preferred tower bar was fantastic. He was always smiling and talkative. Octavio at check-in was always so polite and friendly. He would call daily to make sure all was well.

We used the Now Amber side more than the Secrets side since the other 20 members of my family were staying there. Effrain at the pool area was amazing. He kept the drinks flowing all day, every day. Tips aren't required but if you tip these guys and girls--they really will take great care of you. We aren't talking crazy amounts, maybe a few USD here and there. This really makes their day and, trust me, will make your stay here so much better. I was tipping 20 pesos every other drink--sometimes 40 pesos or more if they really went out of their way (which they will do).

We enjoyed Himitsu the best--by far. The other restaurants are good, just not great. This is mainly due to my family and I liking more spicy foods. However, the Secrets staff really came through and cooked for us shrimp and chicken with our own spices which we brought from home. This was absolutely delicious. Once again, tip the guys.

The breakfast each morning was fantastic. Tons of items: meats, fruits, cereals, hash brown triangles, and much much more.

The areas were not crowded since we went during off-peak season. The pools and grounds are immaculate. Employees are constantly cleaning, trimming, etc. They put chemicals in the pools every night and morning.

The few negatives: pools close early...too early for a resort. The dress code is a bit overboard. I understand you want to maintain a certain look at your restaurants but this is a resort and I would like to wear nice shorts when it is 95 degrees outside at night. Girls can get by with just about any thing as long as they look decent. However, guys must wear long pants (or jeans) and closed-toe shoes. I don't mind the closed toe shoes, but allowing men to wear non-swimsuit shorts would be much more comfortable.

Alejandro at Disco Desires was equally fantastic. All of the employees remember you which makes you feel very welcomed. (Once again, TIP the employees!) Pearla at the Now Amber bar was also fantastic. She was always smiling and happy.

The rooms are clean, spacious, comfortable, and quiet. We never experienced any problems with housekeeping. Our room was serviced daily and turn-down service every night. On time, every time.

All in all, this is an excellent resort. We definitely did not want to return and we wished we booked more nights. I would recommend this place to any one and every one! Book Secrets/Now and you won't regret it!

Room Tip: I think the ocean view from the non-preferred tower would be better. The swim-out suites seem as if...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
78 hotel reviews
Reviews in 69 cities Reviews in 69 cities
205 helpful votes 205 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2013

The highlights of our vacation was enjoying breakfast, with the most amazing fresh squeezed orange juice, while sitting on the patio of Market Café surrounded by the scent of dwarf gardenia trees, the pools, amazing storms and sunsets and our bathroom with it’s amazing rain shower.

We loved the close proximity to the airport and the cold, fragrant facecloth on arrival. We had an issue at check-in which resulted in some inconvenience and a promised added amenity to compensate but I won’t go into details as I’m sure it was an isolated incident. However, the promised extra amenities to be delivered daily to make up for the inconvenience were only received 2 out of 7 days so customer service wasn’t as expected. The Now Amber family side of the resort had no affect on us.

As everyone says, the sunsets and the bathroom are amazing and Room 1905 lived up to expectations. There is quite a mish mash of inexpensive furnishings in the room and an odd smell, more like stale food than musty, as was the case with the pillows. We found a nice smelling pillow wrapped in plastic in the top of the cupboard and the Glade plug-in we brought from home cleared up the odd smell. The biggest downfall was the balcony which was in full sun and so blazing hot you couldn’t sit on the chairs.

The food was very good, especially the seafood. We ate dinners at Capers, Himitsu and Bordeaux. Be sure to inquire about the daily specials available. Lunch was at Barefoot Grill or Oceana. It was pork festival month so there was a good variety of delicious ribs daily along with hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, a daily hot food special, french fries, salad and tubs of ice cold water and beer. There is always a special food station set up on the walkway between the pools daily but they don’t advertise this and you have no idea what’s on offer until you go check it out. One day they had mango fruit bars and cups of fresh fruit being offered around the resort pools which was a welcome treat. Loved Coco Café; amazing brownies, strudel and loaf cakes just to name a few of the delectable treats as well as any coffee drink you could want.

There is no such thing as a “quiet” pool as they are all in such close proximity to each other. We spent all our time at the activity pool which was quiet until noon. Plenty of shade available and no problem getting lounge chairs.

The lobby bar was our favourite with beautiful sunset views and we really enjoyed the lovely Champagne Sunset evening with an amazing sax player. They have a nice variety of non-alcoholic drinks but the lobby bar was often out of guava for my husband’s favourite drink. Our pool bartender Alfredo was amazing; nothing was too much trouble for him.

It was hot and humid but usually there was a nice breeze. We had a few amazing storms but they were mostly in the evening/overnight and didn’t affect us. The one morning shower ended by 9. On our last night there was a tremendous storm all night with torrential rain and flooding. The central drive at Secrets/Now Amber is not set up to shield guests from the elements and we were soaked when we boarded the bus for the airport.

We didn’t care for Puerto Vallarta at all. We were looking for a large clay planter and one of the bellmen gave us the address of a shop in Old P.V. which turned out to be a tile shop so it was a wasted trip. The cab fare was to be $8. each way, plus tip, but we gladly paid the driver $25. to wait for us. We would return to Secrets Vallarta Bay if the price was right but wouldn’t venture off the resort.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Farmington Hills, Michigan, United States
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I recently returned from a weeklong vacation with another couple at Secrets Vallarta Bay. We are in our early 30's and have vacationed quite a bit- but this was one of the best experiences we have had! It was our first all-inclusive vacation and it will be hard to ever go back to an "al la carte" vacation again.

This was their slow time of year due to the rainy season and it was the perfect time to go in my opinion! It did rain once a day but it usually was in the evenings and passed by within an hour. The resort was not filled to capacity, so we never had a problem finding good seats at the pool or waiting to get into restaurants. The entertainment staff was fun and there were always activities going on so we barely left the resort.

The food was very good and the service was excellent! I was so impressed at the consistency of the service. Every request was granted with a smile and an "its my pleasure" response. This happened whether we tipped or not. Although I wanted to tip everyone because I was so blown away at the friendliness and attention to detail in every area of the resort. The workers remember you and what you like to drink and it just made our trip that much better. We especially loved Omar at the pool and Roberto at Oceana! Bordeaux was our favorite restaurant for dinner and Oceana for lunch. All the food we had was excellent.

All of the rooms have an oceanfront view but if you book a garden view it means you are on a lower floor. We booked garden view and they upgraded us to an ocean view suite upon arrival. The swim out suites are on the first floor which to me would be a negative because you have a blocked ocean view and noise from the pools all day/night. The rooms are very nice and clean. The shower and jacuzzi tubs in every room are very nice too. They clean your room twice a day. I can't see the advantage to paying for preferred club unless it was busy season.

My husband and I had read the reviews before going and went for a couples massage at Healing Hands for $50/hour. This place was right outside the gates to the resort and was clean and professional and much more affordable than the spa.

I had noted the complaints in other reviews before going, and after our experience, you really have to be hard to please or nitpicking to not have a wonderful time at this resort. Overall our vacation was fabulous and we can't wait to return!

Room Tip: All fo the rooms have an ocean view- Garden View means you will be on a lower floor. Swim out rooms...
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eatontown, New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2013

It's been a while since I have stayed at such a nice place. Everything was perfect. No hassle check-in, incredible room, perfect ... and I mean perfect service. Everyone very helpful and friendly. Daily turndown service. Great food - really great food. Bring casual dress clothes as you'll need them for many of the restaurants. I cannot complain about a single thing. Immaculately kept property. The staff got to know my name after the first day - how professional.

Room Tip: Every room faces the ocean - I don't think there is a bad room. I was on the 5th floor above th...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 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 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ilovethesun
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2013

My husband and I booked this resort for a getaway from our crazy lives and some time alone. We are early 30s and have been to one other Secrets resort (Maroma Beach) previously. I tried to set my standards a little lower knowing it would be a different experience than Maroma. We booked a swim up in the non-preferred building.

Our vacation was booked through Apple and I can't say enough good about that. Easy transfers, chartered flight, overall positive experience.

The first impression of the resort is amazing. The view from the lobby is stunning and we enjoyed the sunsets there every evening. Our check-in was easy and since I was familiar with the vacation club, I declined the offer to hear more about it. Was not pressured at all.

ROOM
Loved our room - very clean, the shower was PHENOMENAL and the swim out was really nice. As other reviews have mentioned, cleaning was somewhat inconsistent. Either at about 10 am or 4 pm. Never really knew what to expect. The swim up pool was cooler than the heated pools but still plenty warm and refreshing. It didn't get sun until about 3 or so and then it was all sun and no shade. We were in 1102. 1100 and 1101 had long, deep patios and got both shade and sun in the afternoon. This seemed nice to me. Functionally, I really thought our room was nice. However, the location was not so great. After four mornings of waking up at 4 a.m. to really loud music, we finally discovered that there is a basement directly below us where employees were preparing for the day. We called each morning to complain and they would go turn it off. The frustrating part to us is that it didn't completely stop until we figured out where it was coming from and told them. The concierge took care of it for us and was kind but never apologized. We are pretty easy-going people and never really got upset about it but realized it probably would have been better if we had! :( It's just disappointing to know that they obviously knew the source of the music and would have someone turn it off each morning but didn't permanently fix it until we made an even bigger stink. Kind of a bummer to wake up at 4 a.m. for the first four mornings of our vacation. And then, unfortunately, there were some wild parties going on in the pool between the hours of 1-3 a.m. the next 2 nights so we really only had one night of peaceful sleep. I didn't consider this as being a possibility when booking a swim up but I guess it is a pretty good place for a late night party considering all the main pools are closed.

FOOD
The food was just OK. We had really great experiences with food at Maroma Beach and were not quite as impressed and on some levels disappointed with the food. Having said that, the selection was great, service was pretty good (a little loud for our taste in the Mexcian restaurant), and we ate enough to gain weight so I can't complain that much. Enjoyed the chicken tacos and fajitas that were grilled poolside and one day they came around with ice cream cones and bars which everyone loved. We were also able to get a few simple things served to us on the beach like nachos and club sandwiches - that was great. So, the "beach" food was perfect but my husband said none of the steaks were very good cuts of meat and the couple of pieces of fish I had were overcooked and dry. Again, this is kind of nit picky stuff and we don't expect much better at an all inclusive but had experienced better before.

BEACH
The beach was very small and the water murky. I knew this before coming so wasn't disappointed. We enjoyed swimming in the ocean regardless. We did, however, miss long walks down the beach. It is hard to go 5 minutes in either direction before hitting a retaining wall. We walked the beach back from the Malecon and it was somewhat of an obstacle course but still doable.

ENTERTAINMENT
We did not go to any shows or to the club so I can't comment on that but we did partake in quite a few poolside activities such as flippy cup, volleyball, bingo, etc. The entertainment team was pretty good (specifically Alex) but some were duds. But we had a lot of fun and met some great people.

SERVICE
The service was spotty but overall very good. The greeter/hostess at breakfast in the Market Cafe was phenomenal. We tried to tip her multiple times on the last day but could never find her. She greeted us by name each morning and always had a smile. Guillermo and Roman at the pool bar were phenomenal no matter how many times our group of (new) friends asked for Rainbow Shots followed by 45s. :) We tipped them most days. Room service was pretty quick except for one day where they forgot us and then delivered the wrong thing. No biggie though. We had a great time with our friends at Himitsu - good place to go with fun people. But our chef there was a total dud - didn't interact with us at all. Overall, drinks were always flowing plentifully and served with a smile.

OVERALL
So, as I am comparing this to Maroma Beach, I need to point out that we paid almost a full thousand less for this resort than Maroma so I knew it wouldn't quite be the same. We still had an amazing vacation, met some phenomenal people, soaked up the beautiful sun, and ate and drank until we could no more! That, to me, is a successful vacation. I would recommend the resort and I would return. I would probably not book a swim up though, knowing what I know! Oh, quickly - didn't really impact us that we had to go to the NOW side for a couple of restaurants. The only place it was very obvious that there were kids was in the Mexcian restaurant. Otherwise, everything was very kid-free.

Continue to be impressed with Secrets resorts and will definitely return.

Room Tip: As cool as they can be, swim ups have some issues - go with a higher level room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Omaha, Nebraska
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

We visited the resort for five nights starting July 21st. We had three preferred club junior suites, 2 kings and 1 double. The rooms were great and our views were outstanding. Each was clean and came complete with the advertised amenities. We were pleased with the daily maid service and found our rooms clean and fresh twice daily...a real treat. The preferred club room was nice and always stocked with delectables and a full bar. No one really hung out there because it wasn't a destination but more of a venue you passed through as you went in or out of the preferred section.

The property is nicely kept including the pools and grounds. Although low season in Mexico, we found the property was busy which was too our liking. We met several US visitors as well as Canada, Russia and more. The beach was also very nice, and while merchants loomed on the edge of the property, we found them to be both polite and not overly pushy. Our group bought several fedoras for a very reasonable price. :)

The food was very good, at least what we tried (more about that later). We dined at the buffet (once at dinner and daily for breakfast) which provided lots of good quality options which were prepared nicely. Because the selection was so vast, we had a tough time trying most items, but we tried! We also dined at Oceana and Capers. Oceana had decent seafood and steaks with an amazing view of the ocean. Food quality is good to very good. Capers italian fare was nice and we enjoyed the variety and appropriate sized portions.

At night things were a bit disappointing. Limited to no entertainment and a lack of venues. The lobby bar has an amazing view and is really only good for a drink or two. The "disco" wasn't really that and was used to watch soccer when we were there. Another interesting fact was the pool bar closed at 5pm which should be open until 7 or 8 especially during the summer months. We've been fortunate to travel to other all-inclusives and had a different experience. Secrets needs to invest into multiple lounges, which typically adjoin the restaurants, that provide a mix of cocktails and atmosphere (i.e. martini bar theme). The addition of venues will help appeal to a better mix of age groups. It was disappointing that things ended after dinner.

Restaurant attire was a bit unusual to us. We've stayed at five star resorts where they have 1-2 restaurants that require specific attire. While we agree that tank tops and cutoffs isn't appropriate in any case, outside of the pool, we believe that long pants and covered toed shoes doesn't reflect the spirit of a beach resort. This limited our dining experience as we weren't interested in dressing each evening.

The last thought was around viability during the very hot days in Mexico. The common areas, such as the lobby bar, didn't have ceiling fans. One of the days their was no breeze and the humidity was 100%. While rare, Secrets should think about how to better manage this to increase the usability of the common areas.

While this sounds like a bad review, it's not. We thought highly of the property but in order for us to enjoy a resort we have a few nits. The week was a success and we returned to our daily grind refreshed. We enjoyed the staff and hope that the ownership will take our ideas into consideration as they look to improve their offering.

Room Tip: Higher floor in the preferred club to get a good view of the ocean!
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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

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 #8 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 271
Reservation Options:
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