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“Staff was great but I am little unhappy with fellow Canadians” 5 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 #10 of 120 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Okotoks, Alberta, Canada
1 review
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Staff was great but I am little unhappy with fellow Canadians”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

First the normal positive stuff. Great food, great service, perfect weather, great beach, fabulous room and very few hassles from the condo selling crowd and the beach vendors. The place is new and the doors, patio doors, safe and bathroom were all first class. The bed was huge and comfortable. The room had all the amenities you would expect from a 5 star hotel and the air conditioner was silent as was the ceiling fan. The temperature was between 25c and 30c every day and night. The super air conditioner made sleeping, wonderful. Dinner was very nice in all the restaurants but the portions were a little on the small side. You also get an appetizer and dessert so if they were to provide Canadian portions you might go home 10 lbs heavier. I am not sure if this is a complaint or not but I would add that you won’t go hungry.

Now for the real purpose of this post. I am a Canadian as were about 80% of the guests for the 10 days we stayed there from Nov 25, 2012 – Dec 5, 2012. On the web site for Westjet Vacations, it listed all the things included in the price and it also said “All taxes and gratuities”. I would think that the people at the resort would be very well paid compared to other resorts for tips to be included. They are NOT! I am not about to tell the management of Now Amber how much to pay their staff. The employees definitely weren’t forced to work there, however, tips are definitely not included.

When Canadians go out to a nice restaurant for supper, they normally pay about 15% of the bill to the waitress as a tip. I am not advocating that a tip is required if the service is lousy but you won’t find lousy service at Now Amber. Canadian waitresses also make about $10 per hour in wages while their “just as competent” counterparts at Now Amber make as little at $5-$10 per day. Yes, per day. Even a $1 tip is significant to these wonderful people.

I recommend taking at least $25 American for each day of your stay. A dollar for a drink for you and your partner, $2 for breakfast, $3 for lunch and $5 for your supper. Leave at least $3 per day for the lady who cleans your room. Don’t provide these tips as a way of getting preferred service over other guests. Do it because it is the right thing to do as these people will give you an excellent vacation. It is Canadian and it will make you feel better about yourself AND you won’t have to hide the fact you are a Canadian. If you don’t want to tip, please pretend to be something other than a Canadian. Don’t embarrass the rest of us.

I spoke to one of the head waiters and he said only about 1 in 5 give a tip. If you can’t afford a few hundred extra dollars for a week or more in heaven, then please just stay home. I was appalled when I found out just how cheap all these fellow Canadians actually were. Stop it.

If you visit Now Amber yourself and you agree with me, please include your take on tips in your revue so that all Canadians that visit will read that taking tip money isn’t optional.

PS My wife and I aren’t rich, just very average, like most Canadians. We just believe that the people at this resort deserve our respect and a little financial thank you that won’t hurt us and will definitely help them. To all my new friends at Now Amber, thanks for a great holiday.

Room Tip: Higher up is better. 14 floors and most if not all rooms have a wonderful ocean view.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,126 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
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (486)
Date | Rating
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  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Pitt Meadows
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This was our first (and last!) stay at Now Amber resort. Very first impression about it was: “Great! I love it!” as the entrance and main lobby look very poshy. Beside that, there was nothing impressive.

Entertainment was next to nothing. Aquatic activities were totally unsupervised – they never even bothered to update the warning flag at the beach. Kids club offered nice activity for our 5 years old daughter, but our 10 years old son was bored to death.
Somewhere in reviews it was mentioned in management reply that entertainment is going from 9:00AM till late evening. Not really true! I saw “entertainment” guys no more than twice during the day – once at about 11:00AM for 15 minutes water aerobics class and second time in the evening taking credits for somebody else performance.

Sleep quality: beds and mattresses are good to excellent. But there is VERY noisy exhaust system at the neighboring hotel installed just a few meters away from Now Amber building. It is so loud – we had to yell outside our room to hear each other. And we were living on the 7th floor!

The most disgusting thing about Now Amber is that it is infested with greedy timeshare crooks. Now Amber management claims they have no connection to them and therefore has no responsibility for their actions. We went for presentation and purchased Unlimited Vacation Club membership. The next day we went to cancel our purchase and that’s when we realized that UVC membership is nothing but total junk.
Watch this video ( goo.gl/iueQc ) where UVC rep admits - it is worthless resale! It took us one month, huge stress and lots of phone calls and emails to get our money back. So, please, be aware - Unlimited Vacation Club membership is nothing but trouble, stay away from it!

Room Tip: Do not pay extra to upgrade from gardenview to oceanview room. I did not notice any gardenview rooms...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kelowna, Canada
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

We were somewhat concerned after reading the negative reviews but we were very pleasantly surprised by the quick and friendly check-in, the lobby and views were wonderful. We were celebrating birthdays and our room was decorated, including birthday cake. We found all of the staff to be very accommodating, efficient and pleasant. A very great and relaxing experience. Be sure to attend the Mexican Fiesta!

  • Stayed December 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
    • 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.
Moose Jaw, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

We enjoyed, for the most part, an excellent week at the Now Amber/Secrets Resort and Spa. When we initially booked our trip to the Now Amber we went for the preferred tower junior suite swimout, upon arriving at the resort we found ourselves being escorted to the Secrets side of the resort, much to our suprise. We were given the junior suite swim out on that side of the resort only to find out that because the pools on that side do not recieve any sunlight they are cold enough to freeze the b@**s of a brass monkey. When I mentioned to the concierge that these swimouts should be heated I was informed that they are. I then noticed that the circulation pumps are turned of at night and any of the heating they may have done during the day was lost. My wife who looking forward to having this swimout pool was severely disappointed.
Being a new resort you can expect a few bugs in the system but really there were nothing major. There are what I consider a few minor safety concerns with the pool and surrounding area. 1) There are ledges and steps in the pools and the bottom of the pools are all one colour, the edges of the steps and edges should, I think, should be of a different colour so you do not trip like myself and many others did. 2) The RAMP, oh let me tell you about the RAMP leading to the washrooms in the pool area on the Secrets side- SLIPPERY WHEN WET and very dangerous, I do not know how many people slipped on the RAMP but it could be a lawsuit in the making. Now don't get me wrong it is not just bare concrete they do have half a dozen non-skid strips spaced roughly 3-3 1/2 feet.
The food at the resort was top rate Oceana was excellent- great staff helping us to expand our limited Spanish, Bordeaux was superb, loved the roast duck, Tamarindo was really good too. Unfortunately we did not enjoy our visit to Capers. Everything started off well we recieved our wine, our orders were taken and then we were ignored, ignored until we helped ouselves to more wine. At that point our server seemed perturbed " we were doing HIS job" after finishing our second glass of wine, our water and our appetizers we were ignored again. Rather than helping ourselves we then decided to go elsewhere. While enjoying our meal at Oceana the manager of resturants came to apoligize. This was a greatly appreciated gesture in his part. We explained to him that we understand when your short-staffed and busy you may not get the greatest of servive but a quick explanation and keeping the wine and water glasses full and everything would have been fine.
Soooooooo for the most part everything was excellent nice new, clean resort, good food plenty of drinks and a good location ( you can walk to old Vallarta in 1/2 an hour if you want). The only thing I would not reccommend is the prefered junior suite swimout on the Secrets side of the resort, CCCCOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So yes we would go here again it was an excellent resort and I give it a 9.99 out of 10.

Room Tip: Any room at either the Now Amber or Secrets other than the prefered junior suite swimout @ Secrets
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 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.
BC Canada
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
vancouver
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
9 helpful votes 9 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
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 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.
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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 #10 of 120 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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