My partner and I went back to Now/Secrets resort after having visited last October and stayed there this time from Aug. 25-Aug 31. As stated here, this was our second time and besides being "welcomed home" again beginning by Carlos (Bellman Supervisor), who recognized us the moment we stepped out of our taxi, the rest was just as pleasant and in some respects even better than the first time. Our first time we visited, I had previously mentioned that this resort was not a five star property, but it certainly feels like it because of the service and that remains the case. By now though, the resorts have been awarded the coveted 4-Diamond AAA category, but it's really the service where I give it a 5 Star, in my honest opinion and trust me, we have travelled extensively. One thing to note is that there were a lot more guests to both resorts this time around, which even though it's low season it certainly did not feel like it. In terms of weather we got lucky as out of 7 days it only was cloudy and rainy one day. Now, in terms of the hotel amenities and services, I was concerned that since the hotel was not "new" anymore (2nd year since hotel opening), the service, quality and care would fall slightly short but we were happy to find out that their service, genuine care and training of all of the staff members was even better than the first time--not that we had any complains the first time.
Here are the highlights of the resort (if I did not mention them already in last year's review):
* Service - (5 Stars): Everyone at this resort will go out of their way to cater to your needs. I was really shocked that from all of the people they work with nobody would recognize us but I was told by several members how was our second stay going. Among the staff members that really stood out were Perla & Cynthia (Lobby/Bar Servers), Cindy (Carnival), she really surprised us with a platter of chocolate covered strawberries with a personal message-- adorable; Luis/Alfredo (Bartenders: Rendezvous/Tamarindo bars); Carlos & Damarys (Front Desk), we were given a complimentary ocean view room (versus garden), which was a superb touch and welcomed; Mayra (VIP Services), nicest person and not pushy like some others we saw; Omar & Mario (Pool Area Servers), the best pool service ever; Margarito (Capers); Always had the drinks flowing and considering their occupancy rate during our stay, I was impressed.
* Food - (5 Stars): Time and time again, I've read reviews about the food in this hotel and I'm shocked as to why there are so many negative reviews. The food is really amazing, quite upscale especially at the adults-only (a la carte) dinner restaurants (great to avoid if you don't want to hear children tantrums). My favorites this time again were Bordeaux (French), Himitsu (Pan-Asian) and Tamarindo (Mexican). The food is small portions in all of them but you're on vacation, so feel free to order an extra appetizer, if you're not satisfied --it's included in the price! As far as the quality of the food is super fresh, very delicious and all of the restaurants have unique themes and a dinner special for that night, which they added this time around (I was so happy about this)! Since it was our second time, I was already familiar with the menus but having a special for the day was like the cherry on the top of a sundae. For anyone that doesn't like the food in the fancier restaurants stay in your room and order burgers, pizza and fries, obviously those people that complain are not well travelled and do not enjoy fine dining-- not us, we prefer quality over quantity and the resort's restaurants do just that! All of the servers at the dinner restaurants are so good and work really, really hard. We always tipped them, which I'm sure they appreciated it, but you're not required. Breakfast was always at Carnivale Buffet style and it was pretty good quality food (Mimosas, Bloody Mary stations), what else can you ask for? For lunch our favorite (kids allowed) restaurant was Castaways because it's a la carte. The seafood here was probably the best we had at the resort -- its outdoors, so get ready to sweat. I wish they would enclose this as A/C really makes you enjoy lunch better --or maybe install sprinklers at the ceiling or by the garden areas of the restaurants, it was really, hot and humid (but it's the season for such extreme weather).
* Cleanliness / Location - (5 Stars): Our housekeeper Lourdes was the best ever, always kept our room looking clean and we're neat freaks, so I'm sure that she appreciated that we kept our room almost clean for her but nothing better than fresh sheets everyday! Turndown was a hit or miss but then again, it did not really bother us. Mini-bar was also stocked daily for the most part, so that was really nice. The location for this resort is close to downtown but far enough from the chaos that it's staying in downtown. It's on the north hotel zone so a $60-$100 MXP (Pesos), will be the average cost each way depending on where in PVR downtown you're going.
* Unlimited Connectivity - (4.5 Stars): The calling feature was free for dialing the U.S. from our iPad (Secrets Resort app), the Wi-Fi worked great in the lobby areas and in some of the restaurants but it was not good at all in the rooms-- maybe out on the balcony. But overall the fact that this is free of charge and other resorts charge for it, I was really pleased. Love it!
* Pools - (4.5 Stars): Only because most of the time the pools were sort of luke-warm and really busy; with the PVR heat which could reach out to the 90's you want a cool/cold pool. Most of the time the water was warm in the pools. Also, you can't really dive in, they're pretty shallow, and we’re 6'2" and 6'6", so they fell short. But if relaxing in the sun is what you want, then it will be perfect. We're more like water creatures.
* Room Service - (3.5 Stars): I don't believe we ordered room service the first time we were visiting this resort. We did this time but the food quality was just average, nothing too tasty other than the Chicken Club Sandwich we got, but we order other items although they were not very good-- really bland and it took a while. My guess is that their Room Service Kitchen is managed by different people than the actual restaurants.
* Beach - (3 Stars): Not the hotel's fault but the beach is super tiny, rocky and not the best in PVR. Having been here before, I knew this fact but as TripAdvisor Contributor I feel it's my duty to let you know, in case you have not read my first review. Having visited PVR many, many times, I would recommend taking a tour to other beaches around PVR (Mismaloya, Punta Mita, etc.), if you want to actually swim in the ocean. The Romantic Zone in PVR by downtown has really much nicer water and sand quality, so that's just a quick taxi ride away.
Overall we had a phenomenal trip to Now/Secrets and hope to come back. We had an amazing time, met cool gay and straight couples and friends, which I have to say this time around it was really, really busy compared to our first time there last October. There were also your typical obnoxious and drunken folks, who devalue this property but I guess they also have the right to visit Mexico. They tended to circle around the swim-up bar, so I do not recommend that section, unless you're for a loud and drunken day out, in my opinion. Second time around and looking forward for the third soon....
Attend the Sales presentation, we got a free spa/massage pass! Without any committment...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.