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“Practically Perfect” 4 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 #7 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Denver, Colorado
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Practically Perfect”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

This was our first all-inclusive vacation ever. We normally do cruises, but wanted to try something different.

ROOM: We booked in the Preferred Tower, in a junior suite ocean view. The view was spectacular, the room was extremely clean and gorgeous (and huge). Our balcony had both a jacuzzi tub in the room and one on the balcony. We did not use the one in the room but I did use the one outside twice. Very nice! The lighting in the room was beautiful. Someone put a lot of thought into the subtleties there. One caveat: the lighting in the bathroom could not be amped up, so if you are female (we are both guys, so no prob) you might want to bring along a lighted mirror. I saw more than one woman on the balcony applying makeup LOL. The bed was oh so comfortable and we had no issues with it being cleaned regularly. In fact, more than once we had to turn them away for turn down service, simply because we didn't feel like leaving the room and we know how to turn the covers down ourselves. Ha. My point is that we never felt neglected. The only reason I don't give this place five stars is that on the Secrets side in the Preferred Tower, there are some noise issues with the property next door. You will hear roosters and dogs barking at all hours. If you are supersensitive, you might not want to book in the preferred tower for this reason. Secrets cannot obviously control what is next door, but perhaps in the future the owners of the roosters and dogs will move away.

POOLS: Phenomenal in every way. We never went to the Now Amber side for pools, as everything we could possibly need was on the Secrets side. The ocean was just steps away. I know there have been complaints about vendors hanging out, and yes they were there, but one 'no thank you' is all it took and they left us alone. I quite liked the beach and the swimming area in the ocean as well as the pools. Plenty of shade if you want it, as they had lots of umbrellas. Plus there are large palm trees and little cabanas with fabric roofs.

SERVICE: Excellent in all areas. I cannot think of much more to say about this. Imagine excellent service and you get the idea of what we experienced. From lobby personnel to bars, to restaurants: all great. Omar, at the pool area, was our favorite server. I felt his enthusiasm for working at Secrets was genuine, and he did everything possible to make our stay enjoyable.

ENTERTAINMENT: Well...this is the one place that I believe could see some improvement. Therefore again...a reason I can't give it a full five stars. There really is not a lot going on after the pools close. There were a few musicians scheduled throughout the week that performed in the lobbies, but it was nothing to be thrilled about. I am sorry to say that the harpist and piano duo was the low point during our stay. I kept thinking they were warming up, but it was the actual performance. There was one folklorico dance presentation near the Himitsu and Tamarindo restaurants that we did not attend, so I cannot comment on that one. As for activities by the pool, it is the typical kind of thing you will see on cruise ships, and the staff does an outstanding job. Think things like Bingo or Pool Aerobics and you get the picture. David was one entertainment staffer that seemed to be everywhere, always with a smile. The others were equally engaging, but somehow everything I chose to participate in involved David. The femal staffer (sorry I didn't get her name) does an amazing aerobics class.

DINING: Food everywhere was very good to excellent. Barefoot Cafe, Market Cafe: Nice presentation and very tasty. It was not the same thing every day. They mixed it up a bit. Of course there were a few things you could get no matter what, like hamburgers and pizza. We loved Oceano and had dinner there twice. The decor is very understated and it is closest to the ocean. We saw a gorgeous sunset there one night. The food was top notch each time. I loved the Red Snapper entree, and the seafood tostadas were light, clean and fresh. Capers (on the Now Amber side) was also very good. It was nice to have a pasta choice during our stay, and we were not disappointed. Our favorite was Bordeaux on the Secrets side, and we also ate there twice. Service was phenomenal, and the food was perfection. Our favorite servers were Ezekiel and his assistant Antonio. They were oh so friendly and made the night that much more enjoyable. The one place that had us scratching our heads was Tamarindo. I love mexican food, but this was so gourmet-a-tized that it was practically unrecognizable as such. It was not bad, but just okay. Service was very good, but the decor was, to be frank...a little Disney. It felt very inauthentic, with a huge artificial bouganvillea in the center of the restaurant and unpleasant trite Mexican canned music. My spirits lifted when the mariachi band arrived, as I love mariachi...but even though all the other musicians were very good, the trumpet player was flat and ruined everything they were trying to do. Lastly, dinner at the Market Cafe (not a buffet in the evenings) was very good. I especially loved being able to eat outside in both Oceano and the Market Cafe. So overall...I say the food here is excellent and so is the service.

MISCELLEANEOUS: We were a little disappointed to find the 15 minute walk along the beach to the Boardwalk was really more like 30 minutes, and you must walk through some obstacles and deserted dilapidated areas to get there in extreme heat and humidity. In that respect, we felt a little 'hemmed-in" as you had to get a taxi to experience more of PV. This is not the fault of Secrets at all, but something I think should be shared. We did take an exciting tour to San Sebastian, a centuries old village high up in the hills, untouched by time. It was a magical experience, and our tour guide was informative, friendly, and helpful. We arranged this through Apple. It was the only tour we booked. The other one we really wanted to do was the dinner and show at Las Caletas via a boat ride. But since it was in the evening, and it rained practically every evening...we opted out.

THE ONE UH-OH MOMENT: There was an incident during one of the activities at the pool that was a little off-putting. To be blunt, it involved some comments by a staffer, said in fun...but very offensive and ostracizing. I walked away from it; it was reported to the Main Desk. This staffer immediately found me after the activity was over and apologized profusely, which I much appreciated. I felt his apology was sincere. He asked me to talk to his supervisor and so I did, at this request. This is where it felt very odd. I approached his supervisor, explained we had it all ironed out, and that his employee had apologized. This supervisor seemed frustrated that I was discussing it with him (but as I have said, the staffer asked me to do this) and all he would say is "What do you want me to do for you?" Well...I wanted nothing. I was not complaining, just following up as I had been asked, because I did not want the staffer to get into any trouble over it. This part of the incident was awkward and odd.

BOTTOM LINE: If you like all-inclusives, this place is practically perfect. Just be aware that the entertainment after 6PM is a little on the light side, and you might do well to take a cab into town for something more.

Room Tip: The preferred tower experiences a bit more noise from the empty, abandoned lot next door. If you ar...
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  • Stayed October 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 (400)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

First of all this will be our 2nd time at this resort and I'm looking forward to some fun in the sun. I think that all of the people with negative comments will not be happy no matter where they go. When you go on a holiday the rooms must be clean and the food must be good and I think that Secrets deliver on both. We have traveled thru Mexico and each and every place we visit is unique, so go enjoy and be respectful of their culture. We look forward to another wonderful holiday at Secrets.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

We loved Secrets Vallarta Bay! I had never been to Mexico, and was apprehensive, but my now husband convinced me it was safe and clean and not anything like what you see on the news. We booked Secrets Vallarta Bay and I could not have dreamed of a more perfect honeymoon. We booked through a timeshare, so we weren't guaranteed a king bed but the staff at Secrets assured me ahead of time not to worry. We checked in very easily and our room was great. It was open, airy and breezy. The bed was very confortable, everything was super clean and we were immediately in love with the place. The staff put a "honeymoon" sash on our door and decorated our room with fresh roses, rose petals and a bubble bath. It was very romantic. We also had breakfast in bed, and were able to enjoy that on the porch. They even delivered a big ole bottle of champagne (which was really nice, especially considering the country club where we had our reception only sent us home with a tasting bottle). Every day we went to the pool with the intention of doing an activity, and every day we did nothing but sit around and eat and drink. The entertainment staff was great and kept things going, and the pool staff was wonderful. Luis had our lunches ordered every day and drinks coming nonstop. The staff is very professional and helpful. We really enjoyed all of the restaurants, but the Italian restaurant was our favorite. The only thing that was slightly annoying about the restaurants was the dress code. We didn't feel like getting dressed up several times, so we ordered room service more than we planned, but we just didn't have the energy to get dressed in real outfits after sitting on our butts by the pool all day :)

We did get scolded for bringing food up from the pool into the lobby on the day we were leaving, but we just said we didn't see a sign, and we weren't moving. It was hot and we were in a rush. And the ATM didn't work, but otherwise, it was a perfect spot and a perfect week.

We had heard from some other couples of the massage parlor right down the hill to the left of the resort, Healing Hands, and how wonderful it was. We went and I Had an excellent 1 hour massage. Then we learned of a special at the resort spa for buy one, get one and we could use it for a couples' massage. It was hands down the best massage I have ever had. The spa itself is very nice and I love their focus around hydrotherapy. I wish we could have spent more time in the spa relaxing, but we did the massage the morning we were leaving, so we ran out of time...I guess being lazy all week didn't pay off in the regard!

Really, we can't wait to go back to Secrets Vallarta Bay. It was so clean, professional and fun. And, they have a hookah for 12 bucks USD!

Room Tip: all the rooms are ocean view. we stayed in the main tower, but next time we want to stay in the pref...
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  • Stayed October 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Powell River, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

We will be back. Room, food, entertainment,pools, location all were great.

Thanks to Raul Gomez for your recognizing us right away on our third visit and making our 25th anniversary visit a special experience. Also thanks to Victor for organizing a very special anniversary Dinner in the Wine room, Edith thanks for organizing our vow renewal, Debbie for photo session, Noe from the preferred lounge , Also a special thanks to Hieberto for looking after our request for "nasty juice" each morning,

  • Stayed September 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
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2013

As we arrive the resort is beautiful and laid out pretty nice with the family resort on the side and the adults only on the other. My wife and I booked last minute so we got a garden suite and when we arrived we inquired about upgrading to an ocean view suite. So they go through the whole "we can give you a deal" and it cost up $360 for the 7 days for the ocean view on the 10th floor. We get to the room and it's laid out very nice and modern. After a few hours we are walking around and I come to realize EVERY ROOM IS FACING THE OCEAN and even the 1st floor has an ocean view. I was pretty upset and demanded our money back with they offered to upgrade us to the preferred area. The rooms are the same except for a whirlpool on the balcony. We stayed with our "ocean view" and received our money back.

Pros:
-Food was great and breakfast was very good.
-Pools are fresh water and large enough to not be crowded.
-Alfredo was our waiter by the pool area and he made the experience awesome. Remembered us everyday and had drinks ready for us before asked.
-the view was nice and nice to wake up too
- the shows were very good and excited to watch.
- good variety if alcohol.
- beds and bathroom are very nice and rooms are comfortable.
- maid service is very good.

Cons-
-not too happy about the "upgrade" to ocean view.
- elevator was slow and hot
- need to call to have bathtub repaired as it was leaking on the floor
- air conditioning was being serviced and did not work for an entire day
- dress code for dinner required long pants. Really I'm on vacation in Mexico and I can wear short to dinner.
- ocean was not clear

Overall I enjoy maya Rivera much better but I am happy my wife and I tried this location. If I were to go back I would choose a different resort.

Room Tip: Pay for a garden room because they all have great views of the ocean. There is no difference.
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 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.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay, responded to this review, October 17, 2013
Dear Mr. Dave Z,

A sincere thank you for taking the time to share with us your recent experience at Secrets Vallarta, you are a valued guest and hope the following information gives us the opportunity to welcome you once more.

Allow me to begin by pointing out that even though our resort is architecture is comparable to that of a horse shoe, the towers are strategically aligned to provide the best view possible from any of our suites. Booking a Juinior Suite Swim Out in the main tower will not afford you this view. Our Garden views provide a nice view of the gardens and the highest available is approximately palm tree level. Hence “Garden View” There is nothings more true Ocean View than a suite on the 10th floor. We very much agree when you say the view from the suite of the resort, the infinity of the pacific, our beautiful Puerto Valllartan sky is nice to wake up to. Some would say sublime.

We are very happy that you thoroughly enjoyed our facilities, gourmet food, our variation in alcoholic beverages, our nightly shows, housekeeping, suite décor and most of all, our friendly staff who hopes this upgrade does not stop you from returning to our beautiful resort in the near future.

Sincerely,
Mauricio Martinez
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2013

Wow is all I can say about this resort!!!! I was not expecting such great accommodations and service!!!

I would definitely suggested doing the preferred package. You get your own bar where the bartender knows you by name....Nicholas was amazing. The rooms are huge and have a private jacuzzi on the balcony along with a huge tub in the room. I was celebrating my birthday and honeymoon and when we walked up to the room and there was a "Happy Birthday" sign and "Happy Honeymoon" sign on the door. Walking in the room they had balloons all over, champagne and dessert with happy birthday written on it, the tub was filled with bubbles and rose petals. My husband and I felt like royalty!

The service is second to none!!!!!! I would definitely suggest sitting in the same place at the pool each day because the bartender learned our names and took amazing care of my group of 6. I would suggest tipping each day because it makes the amazing service even better and ask for Omar. They have plenty of adult activities that are lots of fun. Hugo and the entertainment crew make sure you are NEVER bored! I was so impressed with everything there!!! Definitely get in on the beach volleyball action! My group had two girls who had never even hit a volleyball and they had such a great time, so don't be afraid to try! :-)

Our favorite restaurants were definitely the Japanese restaurant (make reservations), the Italian restaurant and the seafood/steak restaurant. Our food was so amazing at every location.

Our group talked about making it an annual trip due to the amazing service, accommodations, and food. We will definitely be headed back!!!!

Room Tip: Go preferred!!!! The rooms on the ground floor with the swim up pools are cool, but are in the shade...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 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.
Barueri, SP
Top Contributor
184 reviews 184 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 76 cities Reviews in 76 cities
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2013

One word to describe it: I-m-p-e-c-.c-a-b-l-e. The hotel in itself is simply amazing, with more than 6 swimming pools, rooms that approach perfection and the service is unbelievably good. All in system but with several restaurants and delicious food. If you want to give yourself a true brake from life, go there for a week. Simply amazing.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 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 3
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 #7 of 119 hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay 4.5*
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