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“Absolutely Fantastic”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 21, 2012

This hotel is wonderful. Everything is new and it looks fabulous. The staff was kind and gracious, curteous and not too pushy. Its a huge place connected to the Amber Now hotel. All the furnishings are new, and modern. The bars are fully stocked with top shelf liqour and the bartenders will make you anything you want. It was an anniversary trip and I only mentioned it to the staff. They ran a bath, tossed rose petals, and left us champagne and roses in the room. I never saw anything like that in my life. All at no charge. All my guy kept saying was that he wanted to move in. I loved it, and will go back tomorrow if I could. GREAT GREAT GREAT.

Room Tip: The Premiere side is worth the upgrade. Hugo the bellman and Andreas in the Ocean restaurant are awe...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank LLewis0520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,098 - 3,104 of 3,539 reviews

Reviewed May 17, 2012

So yeah the first day there a few large branches of a dead looking coconut tree fell on me as I was relaxing at the pool. Resort was apologetic and I was really more startled than hurt. Interesting way to start the trip especially when they were installing more of these dead things around the pool

Checkin: Too long. They reversed my name. Tried to explain to the desk clerk but I think he really didn't think I knew my first name from my last. Paperwork to fill out then the trip next door to the lady with the coupons which is a waste of time. Clearly stated on the coupons how they can be applied to various services. We did get the double bed room we requested

Room: Beautiful. Double vanity sinks, rain shower. Small balcony. I really liked using the buttons for do not disturb and another button when you're ready for your room to be cleaned. We were on the 5th floor and had a nice view. Room was quiet until last few days when they were doing some construction down the hall but wasn't really that loud

Food/service: Inconsistent. Breakfast at the ala carte was cold alot of time and not sure why since supposed to be made to order. Switched to the buffet and have to say I enjoyed it better. Eggs made in front of you excellent and the food was at least warm most of the time. I thought all of the breakfast food was good and had a nice variety of items. Lunch: not so many options. Barefoot grill on our side was not open so it was oceana or if you hurry to make the buffet before 3pm. It was hit or miss. Found out day 6 Coco Cafe has some sandwiches til 5pm and the Barefoot next door is open: nachos, hot dogs, veggies etc. The chef special around the pool had primarily 1-2 items which was primarily seafood. Dinner was inconsistent. Went to Capers one night and had a great juicy chicken dish. Went back a second time and the chicken was dry as saw dust. When asked by the server how the food was, I mentioned it and he did bring the chef out and I repeated it. The chef tried to explain to me how grilled chicken is a little dry etc.. I eat grilled chicken all the time. Have to know how to tenderize and marinate it correctly. Himitsu: good show, food was ok. Nothing memorable. Mediterranean night at Market Cafe. Just not good to me. Ordered some BBQ chicken and there was bones all throughout the chicken. Tamarindo is a Mexican restaurant with no Mexican food. Food was fair

Tipping: I wanted to add this in since I didn't see many people tipping at all while we were there. We tipped pretty much everyone but did feel at times there were some employees that were deliberately waiting for a tip. However, we always got an extra thanks when we tipped. They do appear to appreciate the extra.

Service: Occupancy was less than 10% the 9 days we were there and I felt we had the best service around the pool and it was still probably 1/2 the time we didn't get the drinks we ordered for at least 30 minutes. Especially if it was NOT an alcoholic beverage which is a little strange. Ask for water and it never shows up or after multiple times asking. It got so I would pick loungers near the bar area so I could go myself before I got dehydrated. Some evenings for dinner, there wouldn't be anyone around to seat you or you get seated and it's a good 20-25 minutes before someone came to take your order. We picked up menus and sat ourselves one evening lol. Even wrote the room number on the sheet outside the door. Then other evenings, you had at least 2-3 different servers asking if you needed anything every 5 minutes which I would rather have. There were quite a few times that top shelf liquors were out throughout the day(Grey Goose, Don Julio). Just not sure why the inconsistency there with service or why they would be running out of things with such low occupancy

Disco: Boring lol and as one of the bartenders indicated. It's purposely boring to encourage folks to go out with the entertainment staff for 40 buck open bars in town.No one was going that I saw. Open bar is cheap liquor and not at all necessary in a place like PV that has dollar drink specials everywhere.It is a gorgeous set up but I don't believe any of the music was made in last 5 years.

Recommend/return: I found I don't care for the combo Now/Secrets. I stay at adults only for a reason. With this concept, if you want to utilize all the restaurants/amenities you need to go to the Amber daily. Sometimes several times/day. I felt as if we spent more time there than at Secrets so of course we encountered a good number of children which is not what I wanted or used to with Secrets resorts. The adults only Himitsu is at the Now, the adults only disco Desires is at Now. We had alot of conversations with adults staying at Now (and yes they do have full access to Secrets) and the rooms sound practically the same. The shows at night are shared for the most part so you have children there of course. The offered liquors were top shelf including a few that Secrets didn't even have(Grey Goose orange liquor). I don't I believe I would return but would recommend. If Now is cheaper just stay there and come on over and use Secrets all day. I believe in time it will be top notch but I prefer true adults only resorts.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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6  Thank davissummer24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2012

My husband and I are just finishing up our stay at Secrets for our babymoon. We stayed in the Preferred Club, Ocean View Room. The room is very beautiful. It is a modern room with sleek decor and very clean. The outside jacuzzi was well worth the extra money to stay in the preferred club. It is the perfect way to end a nice relaxing day. The food and bar in the preferred club were quite nice as well. The bartenders in the preferred club were very friendly and always ready and willing to fix you a drink as you headed out to the pool or dinner.

The gym at Secrets is great for a nice little workout as well although if you go in the early mornings there is no AC on yet so be prepared to sweat a bit.

One of the main complaints which only lasted for the first 2 days was the pushiness of the sales staff // VIP. They kept pressuring us to attend a 90 minute presentation at another hotel and in return would give us more money off a romantic dinner for two valued at $250 or money off a $150 massage. We declined, but not without a fight. It was a little frustrating when all you want to do is relax and enjoy your time in the sun and you are being told to attend a presentation.

The pools are also very nice...with plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas if you prefer the shade. Unfortunately, the pool is not heated so if you are temperature sensitive it takes a while to get in and use to the cold water. Eventually it feels good. There are plenty of activities around the pool to keep you busy from volleyball and water aerobics to crazy games and bingo. The entertainment staff like Cesar and Adrian go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and make sure you have everything you need. They are extremely friendly, fun and knowledgeable about the property and surrounding city. They truly made our stay!

The beach was not the nicest beach as there were numerous vendors selling little knicknacks and they just stood there all day. I understand they have to make a living, but we didnt sit in the cabanas close to the beach because they just stand there and stare waiting for you to make a purchase.

The food was good, not excellent. While my husband and I were fortunate not to have any issues with food or get sick, it could have been better for a 5 star resort. Our favorite meal was at Tamirindo...they make delicious margaritas and their food was delicious. I also highly enjoyed Capers which is Italian. There is truly something for everyone at the buffet as well. Our least favorite restaurant was Bordeaux which is French. The food just is not very good. My husband had fish and I ordered steak which was just so so. It was edible, just nothing to write home about. The only issue with the restaurants was that the service was a little slow to bring water and refill our drinks. Everytime we ordered soda it was flat and later found out it is because they use liter bottles and they sit out for a while. Their alcoholic drinks are quite tasty and they do use top shelf liquor. The staff at every restaurant was friendly and helpful.

Overall our stay was terrific, with just a few minor hiccups, but we would definitely recommend to a friend and come back here in the future.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank jessica g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2012

Just came back from a trip to Secrets Vallarta Bay and it was wonderful.
I was worried before my trip after reading some of the negative reviews.
After spending seven nights I can't understand how someone could have a bad time here.
Food was great. Buffet at Carnivale had something for everyone. Capers (Italian) was delicous. Service at all the restaurants were amazing. Even the room service menu was wonderful. Pools were perfect temperature. Views from hotel rooms and lobby areas were AMAZING!!!! Even if you didn't like the resort...you have to love the downtown Puerto Vallarta. It's safe, beautiful and again the views of the ocean are something you never forget. The hotel rooms at Secrets are so lux, clean and well designed. Resort was elegant without being stuffy. Staff made you feel at home. Always responsive, respectful and friendly. I would definitely go back and spend another seven nights at this resort. Book your excursions with resort or preferably with your travel agent before. Our city tour guide did not know where our resort was to drop us off at the end of the tour and was ready to leave us stranded far from the hotel. Make certain to take the hotel address with you and insist that you know what you are doing.

Room Tip: It's true...every room is a great view. If you like swimout stay on bottom floor in Preferred A...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank WindyCity12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 13, 2012

Just stayed at Secrets in May and was very happily surprised at how lovely it was! The facility was gorgeous and very well designed. The food was wonderful- only had one meal I didn't love (at Capers.) Definitely worth the price!

Room Tip: The spa is amazing!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank yoginiflygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

We stayed at Secrets April 29th-May 5th, in a Preferred Ocean-View Room. Upon arrival we were taken back to the preferred building for check in. We arrived on a Sunday, I suspect the desk guy was not regularly working here. We didn't receive welcome cool towel or drink. And it didn't seem like he had a good routine for covering all the info he needed to. We arrived around 2 and he welcomed us to get some food or drinks, due to our room needing an hour before it is ready. However, he didn't give us a map or tell us where anything is. The rest of our trip there were mainly two different people at the front desk of the preferred building, these people were helpful.

One main complaint are the room categories. The only difference between a "Garden-view" and "Ocean-view" is OV rooms are floors 4 and up. Looking directly out of the room you have an amazing view of the Now resort. If you go out on your balcony, you can see the ocean rather well, but only after going to the balcony. My advice, unless you like being up higher, the difference paid for an OV room isn't worth it. (mine was an extra 200 for 6 nights)

The other complaint (or disappointment). We didn't stay or look at the rooms not in the preferred area. The Preferred Lounge with snacks- Not really worth the extra paid. I guess the only difference for preferred is the jacuzzi on the balcony, the preferred lounge, and preferred bar, wifi in room (only worth-while option), and refreshed mini-bar maybe.
-We never used the jacuzzi.
-The B-fast and snacks in the lounge were not worth the extra paid.
-The preferred bar has the same liqours the rest of the resort has.
Not to mention the main building actually does have an ocean view from the room.
Other resorts I've been to, The Royal Playa and Cancun, have pool and ping pong in their lounge, which would have been nice as there were other couple that were always hanging out in the lounge area. Also, the view walking to our room was not so great. Never saw workers showering, though.

The food- Overall was amazing for an all inclusive. We learned from other people's reviews and steered clear of the fish tacos. I did have the sea bass at bordeaux and it was just ok. Other than that we didn't eat fish. Neither of us got SICK. (We did have the occasional longer visit to the restroom, but we expect that in Mexico.) Even the Buffets were at least 1 star better than most AIs. You will be making several trips to the Now side for food though.

The resort- Everything was spotless and well groomed. They were even sifting sand on the beach so that it is less rocky. Annoying for us, somewhat, but will be nice for future guests.

The beach- Not BEAUTIFUL, but pretty for a beach. The beach is maybe 30 yards from the cabanas to the water. Waves a pretty rough, and water is pretty cool. Never saw anyone get into the ocean.

Pool service- Was great. Good drinks, and the server will even bring food from oceana. Efraim was great, first day he brought us several different shots, amazing.

Tipping- I never felt pressured to tip as some of the reviewers did. There were instances that I didn't have any tipping dough so didn't even worry about it, and although they seem to be expecting it, they would just walk away without being pushy.

Room service- Mostly on time, but still have kinks to work out. The resort has an app you can use for various things, one is room service. We ordered 4 times I believe, 3/4 they tried to call to verify the order and 2/4 were not brought the right time. I could have called, but they have an app, I didn't feel it necessary. Also, they have the secret box to leave the food in, however the servers always bang on the door until you answer it, simply to ask you if you want it in the box.

Overall- The resort is new, and although they have a couple things to work out, overall I would go back. It was a relaxing vacation, with great servers, and wonderful food.

Best Tip- Get a regular OV room (Don't bother with preferred)
We try to get the "VIP" service wherever we go, usually WAY worth it, not so much here.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Logan I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 9, 2012

I planned a last minute trip to Secrets, solo, based on my work schedule, a great deal, and a true need to get away for a while! It was a fairly short, 4 night stay, and the property was lovely. You are greeted with champagne and a high level of attention. Fast check-in, but my complaint about that process, is the effort to sell you on some sort of time share-like deal...really reprehensible, in my opinion. When you have paid a decent sum to be at the resort, you should not be getting pressured throughout your stay there (I was called 2x in my room in the next 3+ days) to come to a time share presentation!!! Otherwise, the food, the service, the pools, the room - all receive very high marks. I was actually quite surprised by the quality of the restaurant food on the property - but if you can help it, stay away from room service. Any food ordered that way tasted like cardboard. Most importantly, per my Review Title, be aware that this is definitely a couples resort - old, young, gay, straight, whatever... but ALL couples. I think I was the only single person there my entire week. Maybe if you get a big enough group of singles to all come to Secrets at the same time, that would be fun. But otherwise if you go by yourself, be prepared to be somewhat bored. Bring a lot of books!

Room Tip: The ocean facing junior suites are really lovely - don't necessary "upgrade" to the to...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled solo
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13  Thank Christine M
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 Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164 | Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico (Formerly Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa)
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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $306 - $935 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta 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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