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“If Carlsberg Did Hotels....” 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 #7 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence 2014
GreenLeadersGold level
Stafford, United Kingdom
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
“If Carlsberg Did Hotels....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed yesterday NEW

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.

Room Tip: Rooms neraer to The Lobby get you good wi-fi access
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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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1,383 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 (612)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
England, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

Excellent food and service throughout our stay. Thankyou to all the staff who couldn't do enough for us . Our room was lovely and clean and being on the 12th floor gave us a wonderful balcony to watch the sun setting each night !

Room Tip: Higher ! Better view and quieter
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Dyer, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

First of all, to reiterate what others have said in previous posts.......the staff that work at this resort are some of best that you will ever meet. They try their best to make your stay enjoyable.
This resort is only about 15 minutes from the airport; so a short trip there. Once you arrive, you are greeted with a cold towel and a drink. Check-in was simple and quick. Next you are greeted by the 'Vacation Club' representative.......if you are not interested in that, just say 'no' and they won't bother you again.
Rooms are comfortable and if you stay in the 'non-preferred' room, you will face the ocean. The 'preferred' rooms have a ocean view, but they don't face the ocean. Our bed was 'king' size and very comfortable. If you have looked at images submitted by other posters, you will see that the bathroom is an open concept. The toilet is private though. The door to the shower is frosted so there is privacy there too. Loved the 'rain forest' shower head, wish I had one of those at home.
We found all of the food at the restaurants to be good. No problem finding something to eat! Breakfast at the 'Market Cafe' had plenty of choices to choose from. In the evening all of the restaurants, except the 'Oceana' are formal attire (long pants and collard shirts for men). On Friday, it is the 'Catch of the day' at 1:30 PM......a boat comes in with fresh caught fish,,,,,they filet and cooked right there on the beach......delicious! Lets see....oh yes, the drinks: you ask and they will make it. All tasted good.
Did we have a complaint.....yes. There was a guest that was loud and out of control. He was being discourteous to the other guests, so much so that other guests lodged complains about this man. The resort staff talked to him and let him know that complaints had been made but this didn't change his behavior which resulted in more complains. The resort personnel said that they didn't have any authority to do anything about unruly guests. In a way we felt bad for the staff having to apologize for the actions of a guest.
One more comment; this resort does cater to weddings and corporate gatherings. Got to see a Jewish wedding, very interesting. Since the resort caters to these two groups, it can get loud in the evenings but doesn't run late into the night. There will be times when people lounging by the pools will be asked to move so that they can set up for one of the affairs.

Room Tip: Higher floor for better ocean views.
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  • Stayed April 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 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.
Stockton-on-Tees, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

i won't repeat the other reviews but this is an excellent hotel with really good staff. Easy access to pv town by walk or taxi and also the marina for trips. Beautiful area with bay in front and stunning back drop of mountains behind.

It was frustrating how many sellers approach you on the beach, and I don't mean in the public beach, but within the hotel boundary. The hotel say that they don't them in the hotel area but we were still hounded by sellers whilst on our loungers. If. You say no they go away and don't push it but it's fairly exhausting and constant. They also spoil the view by setting up in front of you! We saw some security chasing them off but only a few times in the whole week.

We went Christmas to new year and there was a generally disappointed vibe amongst the guests that the hotel made little festive effort and the things they did do were badly organised and they tried to charge extra. We ended up having to eat from room service on NYE because there was only one restaurant open that you didn't have to pay extra for and that was full.

So rooms are excellent, beautifully appointed, no need to up grade to preferred. Staff excellent. Drinks and food good. All top brand drinks and quick service. We heard lots of people complaining and but to our mind it was not justified. Just maybe don't expect anything special at that time of year. However, PVR bay is amazing on NYE with a huge firework display all round the bay so that made up for it.

We would return in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed December 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My boyfriend and I just visited and had an amazing time. The staff was great, very attentive and helpful- we've visited many all-inclusive resorts, and the staff by far blew away anything we've experienced in the past. We stayed in the preferred tower and loved our room, it was open and spacious with a great view and jacuzzi on the balcony. The food was delicious- there are 5 main restaurants to choose from for dinner. One of my favorite things about Secrets is that there are no reservations needed for dinner, it's very convenient. Also, there are no wristbands or up charges for premium drinks- everything is premium. I would highly recommend this resort to couples or groups looking for amazing service with a relaxed atmosphere.

Stayed May 2015, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh,North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My wife and I made our second visit to Secrets PV in March. We loved our stay two years ago, and the only changes are for the better. We don't have a lot of experience with all-inclusives, so can't compare to others very well, but we talked to many guests who have. Some of them can name one or two better resorts, usually at a much higher price, but all agreed this one is among the best. I didn't meet anyone who was disappointed, and most, like us, were elated. Everything - rooms, staff, food, pools, beach, bars, are excellent. You may find a rare miscue, but other experiences will offset them. Now for some details:
Spectacular views everywhere. PV is a rarity because it has both beaches and mountains, and you can see both from Secrets. The lobby bar(s) (you can also use the facilities at "Now Amber" next door, which has an identical lobby) have one of the best views I've ever seen. The lobby is on the third floor and ends in an infinity pool which overlooks the swimming and garden areas, and finally the ocean. Beautiful sunsets there. Views from the rooms are similar.
Rooms are very nice. Food is great. Bordeaux (French) is the most popular and likely to have a wait. On our previous visit we were not impressed with Oceana, but it was excellent this time, both for steak and seafood, and it has an ocean view. You can also go to Castaways, which is nearly identical (on the Now Amber side). The fish tacos (served only at lunch) are outstanding. Also try the shrimp in coconut milk and the roasted Poblano soup at Tamarindo (Mexican). Try to go on the night when they have the Mariachi band. ! We ordered Eggs Benedict from room service one morning, and it was prompt, piping hot, and well-prepared. Best drink this year was the frozen Mango Margarita.
If you're considering Preferred Club, I recommend it. It doesn't cost a lot more and you have a bar with excellent snacks all day (you can make a meal of them) just inside the entrance, and your own two elevators, which rarely have any wait at all. The bar has a few higher quality liquors, such as Herradura Tequila, and Havana Club rum. It also has a computer room with printer, so you can print boarding passes, and its own concierge service.
PV in general: Much nicer than Cancun. Prettier town, and the mountain view is spectacular. Beach is not as good, though. Rough sand and gravel. Secrets is a very short ride 10-15 minutes from the airport. BTW, we flew United Airlines for the first time in years, and they were great.
A few negatives: Several of us were sitting around one afternoon trying to think of something negative to say in TripAdvisor (it can't all be perfect). Worst we could think of - the drinking straws are too short. They don't reach the bottom of the frozen drink glasses. ;^) (Of course you can get another drink for nothing.) Seriously, a couple of real ones: the Wi-Fi is spotty, slow and had to connect to. Phone calls to US and Canada are free from your room (what a deal!) and they have an app you can download to make them from your cell, but I could never make it work. Related to the Wi-Fi issue I think. And finally, they need more loungers in the sun, so people don't pull them all from under the palapas. It was hard to find a chair in the shade sometimes, although the staff would gladly move pool/beach furniture around to accommodate us if we asked. It would help if they relocated the volleyball court to free up some prime beach area.
Service was excellent so I'll drop a few names Jaime and Alfredo at the Preferred Club bar, Luis, Manuel and Miguel at the pool/beach, and Miguel at Oceana.

Room Tip: Preferred Club, ocean view.
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  • Stayed March 2015, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
northampton
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I am six days into a two week hols and wanted to write something now. If you read any negative comments about this hotel, DISMISS THEM AT ONCE!!
It is quite simply amazing. Pointless to name individual members of staff as they are all the best trained, courteous team I have ever met. No complaints. Love them all.
I don't usually like all inclusive hols , but this is six star a la carte plus!!!
The restaurants are all fantastic. Food cannot be topped.
We paid about £1450 with Thomsons for two weeks and judging by the size of some of the people here they have ate and drunk that amount!!! So work it out.... Free flights and accommodation for two weeks!!!
Just a fantastic place for a great hols!!!
I think the price will soar next year!! Too good!!

Stayed May 2015, traveled as a couple
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 #7 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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