My partner and I were privileged to stay at Secrets PV 10th-25th April 2015, what a truly amazing holiday we had; it will remain in our memories for a very long time.
We can only echo the other highly praising reviews and fail to understand why a minority pick fault with what appear to be trivial minor things then rate it so low! Of course it wasn’t 100% perfect, nothing in life ever really is but it came very close!
The hotel itself is situated around 20 minutes from PV Airport, located just a short taxi ride from the famous Malecon boardwalk and Marina. A beach fronted and mountainous backdrop aspect with immaculately tendered and planted grounds.
ARRIVAL: From the moment we stepped off the coach we could immediately sense that we were going to be well looked after here. We were greeted with a glass of sparkling wine & a welcoming cold cloth and chants of “welcome home”, these first impressions were set to last. Check in was quick, friendly & informative. We were directed to our room where our cases had been dispatched ahead of us and given good instructions about the room and its facilities.
OUR ROOM: We stayed in room 1500 at the edge of the main building, almost central to both hotels (Secrets & Now Amber). A well-appointed junior suite with adequate clothing storage space, open plan bathroom with Jacuzzi bath & twin mirrors and washbasins. The toilet was separate as was the shower/wet room with an awesome rain shower & extra hand held shower. A hair dryer could be found in the drawer unit. Toiletries were provided and replenished when used.. Shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, body lotion, bar soap, flannels, tissues and sun lotion. Also little emergency essentials like sewing kit, shower cap, nail file & cotton wool, little touches you would expect of a class hotel. The king sized bed was topped with a deep memory foam mattress, so much so it was quite high from the floor but once in, it was so, so comfortable with Marshmallow pillows you just sank into. The mini-bar was stocked with sodas, orange juice, water & beer and these were replenished daily. There was a small balcony with patio furniture and the ocean view was beautiful, especially at sunset where we were able to get some stunning photographs. Wi-Fi was obtainable most times as one of the many routers is situated in the Lobby which we overlooked so this particular room was ideal in that respect. Air-Con was brilliant, efficient and almost silent, there was also a huge fan above the bed.
HOTEL & GROUNDS: The hotel is without exception immaculately cleaned and maintained throughout. A very large Lobby incorporating “The Rendezvous Bar”, with plenty of comfortable sofas and a decking area surrounded by an infinity style pool. On ground level you can find The Market Café & the Bordeaux Restaurants. Passing by these you then come to the pool area which is furnished with an abundance of sun loungers, small tables & parasols, though we learnt that the hotel policy is 1 parasol per 4 loungers,which is strange really for a couples hotel, If you like the shade therefore, it is wise to get up early. Saying that, we asked a member of staff if there were any spare parasols stored anywhere and he did find one for us. There are 3 very clean and well maintained pools, 1 with a swim up bar, another had in pool loungers. We stayed in the area adjacent to the upper pool, the water temperature was just right. The toilets for the pools are kept exceptionally clean all day with what appeared to be an attendant working full time. There is also a shower area situated nearer to the beach side. The Bearfoot Grill is the pool snack bar here. There is also The Oceana Restaurant which overlooks the ocean. Access to the beach is a small step down off the decking, a clean, if not slightly gritty beach with sun loungers & thatched parasols.
RESTAURANTS & FOOD: The Market Café provides a beautiful array of buffet style food for Breakfast & Lunch with À la carte for the evening. It would have to be a very picky eater to suggest that anything here was substandard or indeed lacking of choice. Drinks are served by the waiting staff and replenished as and when required. Onto the À la carte restaurants, which you weren’t required to book in advance. The Bordeaux, our restaurant of preference for our stay is absolute class in our opinion. Stunningly presented French cuisine, exquisitely cooked to perfection. The service here was second to none, a real treat. The menu was fairly limited but something to suit most palates. The Oceana served predominantly fish dishes but does some lovely steaks too, again, well presented and beautifully cooked. The view of the ocean in the early evening was especially nice.
On The Now Amber side are a further 3 À la carte restaurants. Capers, The Italian, this was our least favourite. Not only was the food not as enjoyable (we encountered a rather gristly piece of “Fillet” steak), but also the noise level was quite deafening. Bearing in mind this allows children who are staying in the Now Amber, it also seemed to attract larger groups of people who were just having a party, it seemed! The Himitsu, Asian & The Mexican restaurants were also on The Now side which we didn’t get the opportunity visit.
There is also a lovely little coffee/snack bar also on the Now side, Cocoa Café, which served coffee/chocolate & tea with snacks for breakfast & lunch and some oh so scrumptious cakes.
Drinks in all the restaurants are inclusive, though beware, wine ordered by the bottle is an added expense. We found all the house wines to be nice but if you were perhaps celebrating something special, it was nice that you could have a choice of a select wine!.
The dress code for all the restaurants can be found in the daily newsletter “The Sundial” which is either posted through your door or left with you after the turndown service. This does sometimes show dress code changes we found so you need to take notice.
Room service is available 24 hours and the menu can be found within the room directory not extensive but some tasty options.
ENTERTAINMENT: The Lobby bar provided entertainment most nights though we cannot comment as we aren’t ones to stay up late, preferring a leisurely stroll after our meal. There was also various shows held over at the Now side along with Casino nights. Daytime entertainment was fun and varied and included yoga, water aerobics, water volleyball, beach volleyball, bingo, crazy games, rifle shooting and tennis. The animation team were a fantastic bunch of guys and never pushed you into taking part.
STAFF: Without exception, the staff here was what made our stay so special. It is a testament to the efficiency and the smooth running of this hotel. Congratulations and thanks to each and every one of you. Dedicated, fun, caring, helpful, polite and many more superlatives. It is very difficult to actually single anyone out but sometimes you do get that extra bit of affinity with certain members of staff, in our case this would have to be Eloy, our poolside waiter who worked tirelessly to attend to our beverage needs, sharing his little magic tricks and generally having a giggle with you. The array of cocktails, both alcoholic & non-alcoholic was amazing and you can quite easily get carried away. In The Market Café, Fernadez, Cynthia & Heriberto were fantastic servers, for showing that little bit of extra personal service, awesome!
SMALL NIGGLES: The few small things that did mar our stay only very slightly, are worth mentioning though they didn’t spoil our overall enjoyment. The hotel hosts a lot of weddings (there was probably around 25 during the 2 weeks we were there) These usually took place late afternoon but the noise from the celebrations and entertainment for the guests was quite loud and occasionally deafening, even with the patio door closed. It sometimes went on until the early hours. A member of the Concierge team did try to get us to sign up for the Vacation Club and was quite pushy with it, even calling us on our room phone on several occasions despite us saying no. Room service food was never hot, just bordering on warm but we did appreciate that the kitchens were quite a distance from our room so little could have been done to improve this. If you are using the taxi which the hotel bellman calls for you, they do charge quite a bit extra to what an outside taxi company would charge so it may be worth walking out of the hotel gates and walking up to the main road to flag one down.
TIPS: The humidity does seem to cause problems with musty smells in the rooms. To combat this, we brought with us 3 bags of dehumidifying crystals for the wardrobe and 3 for the drawers. These soaked a lot of the moisture and we did not experience any mustiness at all. If you leave your sun lounger for more than 30 minutes, the pool attendants will take away the towels. If you are just going to lunch or for a walk and may be longer than 30 minutes, leave your book/bag etc. to prevent this. Always leave small tips for the staff if you feel they have served you well. We never tipped for service but always rewarded staff after good service; it makes a huge difference to their income.
Rarely do we return to the same hotel, preferring to see as much as the world as possible. In this case, we would definitely consider returning.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, BookIt.com, Caribbean Online Mgt Corp., Orbitz, Amex, Despegar.com, Hotels.com and Priceline so you can book your Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.