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“Nice hotel, slow service and smelly swim up bar” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #11 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
GreenLeadersGold level
BC Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Nice hotel, slow service and smelly swim up bar”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

We were at this resort in November and found the resort to be absolutely lovely. I found the food to be excellent. The rooms were lovely, but not the best I have been to. The service was somewhat slow, due to understaffing (in my opinion). The staff had to work very hard and we often found ourselves without a pre-or post- dinner drink, coffee, etc. the hotel and grounds were very clean and housekeeping did a great job. The view was amazing, we could hear the waves, and the lights and lobby were soretty at night!

The spa was expensive, but no more expensive than spas at other resorts. However, it was by far the most incredibly beautiful spa I have seen to date! And the Swedish Massage I received as a result of attending the 90 minute (actually 3hour) presentation for the travel club was fabulous!

The swim up bar, however, had a terrible odor! We could not stay at the bar, as it was just terrible smelling. For the who.e week, the odor was there, so it could not have been an anomaly.

The location of the resort was great. Just a few minutes in a cab and we were in the heart of the Malecon. Puerto Vallarta is a pretty city full of character and charm.

For the women out there, be wary of the taxi drivers that seem to be connected to the resort (they have the resort name on the taxi and their business cards). While most were fine, the minute I was in a taxi alone, the driver proceeded to try and 'pick me up'. And he was not at all subtle about it. It was a shocking, and somewhat scary, experience. Just my luck that the driver fancied himself as a desirable man!

I have to say, though, that Dreams Tulum had a much better garden area.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (625)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
vancouver
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

My husband and I stayed at Now Amber from Nov 7-18. Overall we had an amazing stay.

The best part of this trip was how STRESS FREE it was... we slept in every day, not needing to get up and save seats by the pools or make reservations for dinner. We showed up poolside anytime from 9am - 3pm and always found space. The only dinner reservation we made was for the teppanyaki restaurant, which was easily done the same day. We waited a max 5 minutes at any restaurant, and the resort was full.

The room: by far the nicest all inclusive room we've had. Very pretty, with unbelievably comfortable beds. The rooms need a couple more hooks for hanging wet towels and robes, but that's an easy fix. We had a great view from the 9th floor. We deliberately didn't book anything special, to see what a standard room was like - good call. The free local and long distance calls was a great bonus.

The location: Ideal for us, as we really enjoyed walking/running into PV and its beautiful Malecon. Not to mention the ridiculously cheap and wonderful massages (Healing Hands) right outside the resort, and the supermarket around the corner. There's about 400m of beach to wander before you hit a breakwater - longer if the tide's out.

The Service: Excellent, especially Manuel at the pool bar - except one inconsiderate 24hrs (see below).

The grounds/pools: Beautiful lobby with great view and drinks. A tremendous pool selection. Loved relaxing in the beachside infinity pool, especially at sunset. The Now Amber side got very busy over the weekends, but when we couldn't find a place to relax poolside, we went to Secrets, which was rarely busy. Secrets also has these amazing floaty pool mats, and a lovely shallow pool with built in reclining chairs. It was great having that choice, and hopefully that continues. That being said, the activity on the NA side was alot of fun most of the time. I did notice the NA pool bar smelled like it needed a good cleaning at times.

The food: We ate at the buffet for all breakfasts and lunches and never got tired of the food - excellent quality and selection. We tried every ala carte, and had terrific meals at all. We were expecting slower service, and were surprised by how attentive our servers were. We are seafood lovers, so our meals at both Oceana and Castaways were our favourites. The seafood selection everywhere was top notch, surprising considering other PV vacationers said other resorts were cutting back. The house wine was also much better than expected. The only small glitch is their minimal selection at the barefoot grill by the pool.

My only major complaint - There were 2 large conferences and 2 weddings during our stay. The weddings and 1st conference were handled very well. The conference had separate rooms for eating and celebrating, and the weddings were minimally intrusive, held for 2-3hrs in the evening. However, the 2nd conference was a bit ridiculous - 300+ people partying outside on the Secrets side until 1am - including loudspeaker speeches and music - with no apologies to other guests. Then the next day everyone woke to a massive 200x50ft canopy erected on the beach for that same group completely obstructing the ocean view. We eventually spoke with mgt and they provided a free late checkout ($50 value) without problem.

All in all, a real treat of a trip for a great price.

Room Tip: Any room above the 4h floor would be okay in the standard part of the hotel.
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  • Stayed November 2012, 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
    • 4 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.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

I read the reviews prior to going to this resort. some reviews was nitpicked over such small issues. Have to remember it is Mexico.
We have stayed at many resorts in PV and the Mayan and I have to say this resort was excellent. We had a awesome time.
There was 6 of us and we asked at the desk if we all can be together on a floor higher than the 6th floor and they gladly accomodatated us. We were on the 10th floor amazing view, beautiful rooms, comfortable bed and our room was very quite. I would recommend the 10th floor or higher.
We liked the idea... no bracelets. you can go as many times as you like to the ala cartes. The food was very good. Tues and Friday they had a beach party they put so much work into it, buffet, show etc and great service.
The pools are very clean and pool bar service was great. The beach waiters were awesome especially Cezar and Gustavio they were excellent waiters, don't forget to tip them.
The beach: not good for swimming and we wished you could walk further as they have it blocked with rocks you have to climb over them if you want to want along the beach.

I would recommend this hotel to anyone and would go back.

Room Tip: higher floors are quieter and have great views of the ocean. we were on the 10th (awesome)
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

no Champaign like other guests on arrival. Vacation Club - We agreed to a 90 minute presentation and it ended up being about 3 hours. When we discussed that at the exit interview and the club hostess we were told that their presentation was 90 minutes all the rest of the time was our talking - that's a rip off . My wife and I work hard and our vacation time is premium. When I suggested further free spas etc for the extra time, it was denied. It put a bad taste in our mouths for the rest of the stay. Japanese and Italian restaurants we poor. Elevators slow. Lobby music depressing and repetitive.bar service slow at times every where. Swim up bar smells. Some staff were excellent others still developing given new hotel. At times I felt it was all about the money where at dreams tulum the service was real.

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, ab
Level Contributor
35 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

We stayed one week, end of Nov and had a great time. Many reviewers get stuck on the little bumps in the road and never recover, whenever in Mexico there are at the very least always small bumps so we should keep our eye on the big picture. The big pic at this place is overall great in comparison to the six other Now/Dreams/Secrets that we have been to. Brand new, great food and decent liquor, including Don J. / Crown / ect. if you ask and tipp a normal buck a drink. The staff did there best to accommodate starting with a free upgr to 7th fl without us even asking. The ocean swimming sucked but it comes with that area. The staff were great whether at
the bars, restaurants or desk, We upgraded to a master suite for the last day in our Preferred Tower and felt like royalty knowing that you tyically get less from a hotel when it is located in a city. Regarging our many stays in PV, This place so far was best. We booked early and got an awesome deal to boot.

Room Tip: Get high as possible to avoid noise and have better views, Preferred tower is quieter, faster eleva...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

I read the reviews of other travellers and I am disappointed that people feel that they should nitpick small issues. I just got back yesterday and I think that I may have been at a different resort from some of the other reviewers. I have stayed at many other resorts in both PV and Cancun and this place would have to be at the top of our list. We were met with fast service at the reception desk for both check in and check out. The rooms are beautiful with excellent views (we were on the 11th floor) and a soft bed. One of the best aspects of the room was the fact that the air conditioning is silent and this is the first resort where we could actually hear the waves crashing at night.
The restaurants are really good and the buffet offerred a good variety every day. We really enjoyed the buffet at the beach which happened twice during our vacation along with nightly entertainment.
Overall, I would recommend this hotel to anyone and would not hesitate to go back.

Room Tip: Just be nice at the reception! We were originally on the 4th floor but I asked if we could have a h...
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  • Stayed December 2012, 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
31 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

We really liked the Now Amber, the staff are friendly, you don't need any wristbands. You can order room service 24 hrs a day and there are 7 restuarants, 4 of which children are allowed in (3 are on the Secrets side) and if you're kids are little like ours the buffet is what they prefer anyway cuz you don't have to wait for your meal to be cooked. They offer babysitting though we didn't use it. They do try and sell you extras which are pretty pricey but those adventure tours are all over PV and they won't force it on you. They want a lot US for things like massage, 100 bucks or more! they offer you coupons but if you head out the front gates there's several places you can get a great massage for 250-300 pesos (like 20-25 US). There's vendors on the beach too but a simple non gracias and they leave you alone. Its true they also don't put as much liquor in your drinks down by the pool if you don't tip but that's kind of true everywhere. You can either complain or tip and its easy to figure out what works better. Overall its a nice place, maybe a little fancy for little kids but after 3 years old there is an explorers club the kids can join all day if you like and then mom and dad can have some time on their own. I read some real bad reviews from families before I left and have concluded the people who wrote them must be the b---iest people on earth. All the families we met were having a great time and sometimes a 2 year old kid will have a meltdown, like anywhere. Is there a little noise till midnight sometimes, well yeah but not that bad, besides the room stays cooler with the door shut. The air conditioners are loud but mostly on the higher floors of the main towers, we were on the 4th so no problem there. Would definitely try it again if we decide to go all-inclusive. Though a cab driver told me for $1000 US you could rent a two story furnished apartment right downtown for 1 month and most likely you would also have a cook and possibly a maid, just a thought. Oh yeah, our indoor jetted tub didn't work but who wants a hot bath when its 30 degrees celcius outside anyway? The maid took our 20 pesos the first day but didn't do anything, I complained immediately and they were very good after that. I left them 20 pesos everyday and 40 on the last. The location is gorgeous, it is really really nice. There are sand fleas down at the beach though if you go in the early morning or at night and the pools are much more fun. Service is slow at the swim up bar if you're not loud.

Room Tip: most of the rooms look pretty much the same, the preferred towers are a little fancier, get a swimou...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
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