My friend and I stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay from June 30 - July 5. Let me start by saying that the resort is beautiful! No matter which part of the resort you visit…the pools, the restaurants, the lobby, the bars, your room…every space is wonderfully decorated and the quality of architecture, workmanship and amenities is second to none. I’ve stayed at over a dozen all-inclusive resorts and would definitely rank this near the top. As with most of my reviews, I’ll attempt to break it down by category.
Rooms: We did not stay in the preferred section, but I’m not sure if that mattered much to us. Every room has a balcony facing the ocean, flat-screen TV, double sinks, Jacuzzi tub and huge shower. You can control the air conditioning. There’s plenty of closet and dresser space, an in-room safe and ironing board. The fridge was stocked daily with waters, beers, juices and sodas. If you’re traveling with friends and need two beds, I would highly suggest to put forth that request in advance.
Bars/Restaurants: We only ate at one ala-carte restaurant. It was the Mexican restaurant and it was awesome. They don’t serve what we consider traditional Mexican food, but nonetheless, it was great. For men, make sure you bring a pair of long pants and shoes other than flip flops, as most of the ala-carte restaurants have a strict dress-code policy. What’s awesome about this resort (among other things) is that you don’t need a reservation for any of the restaurants. No matter where we ate, the food was either very good or excellent. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from (as you can also eat at the restaurants at the attached sister resort...Now Amber). Room service food was so-so. The lobby bars were always full with friends you met during the day at the pool and served top-shelf liquor (Grey Goose, Don Julio, etc). The view from the lobby bars overlook the ocean and provide the best sunset experience. There’s a disco & bar that we visited almost every night. It’s hit or miss and really depends on the people that show up and those willing to get on the dance floor and have fun. The rest of the bars are located in or around the pool area. What’s nice is that during the day they have ice coolers set up where you can just walk up and help yourself to a variety of beers, waters and other drinks.
Pools: There are about 3-4 pools throughout the resort and each one has its own vibe. The pool closest to the Ocean is an infinity pool. There are also a few hot-tubs throughout. The pool bar is where we spent most of our time. The bartenders there were great. Special shout-out to Javier and Angel. The bar waiters were awesome! No matter where you were sitting, one of them would always be checking up on you to see if you wanted another drink. I can’t say enough how friendly these guys are. Thanks again to ‘Super’ Mario and Luis! You guys rock!
Entertainment: We only went to one show. It was the ‘Fire Show’ and it was really good. The theater is outside and is pretty cool. The talent was above what you’d expect, as I would guess that they contract it out. Since we stayed during the 4th of July, we were super impressed by what was provided. During the day, the pool was decorated with July 4th flags, colors, etc and the staff was dressed in red, white, and blue. It was cool to see that. At night, there was an unbelievable dinner buffet and show that was put on in the conference center. Later that night, there were even fireworks. Kudos to the entertainment staff!!!
Ocean: OK….if there was one downfall for me, it would be the ocean. Don’t expect aqua-blue water like you see in Cancun. The water is definitely darker and the sand is darker as well. Where this resort is located, it doesn't lend well to swimming in the ocean. It’s extremely rocky and the waves were often too rough to swim anyway. Plus, there are always vendors on the beach standing right in front staring back at the resort. I realize they’re there to make a living, but it just doesn't allow for you to walk near the beach without being asked to buy something. Either way, this really didn't ruin any part of our vacation, so take it for what it’s worth.
Staff: There’s no need for me to elaborate here. The bottom line….EVERYONE is AWESOME!!! Seriously! Everyone goes out of their way to help and everyone always has a smile on their face. Kudos to everyone there. They do a fantastic job to make you feel special.
If you book at Secrets Vallarta Bay, you will NOT be disappointed!!! I wouldn't hesitate to stay here again.