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“You Gotta Go Here!!!!!”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Abbotsford, Canada
Level Contributor
28 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“You Gotta Go Here!!!!!”
Reviewed May 25, 2012

I had the pleasure of enjoying a day pass to this beautiful resort in May. Up until that day - that moment - I had never even considered an All Inclusive holiday but now I am planning to return to Puerto Vallarta in November and enjoy the hospitality of this amazing resort!!
Where do I start? The attention to detail everywhere around the property is phenomenal. Space and ample seating for all. Lots of pools - including the swim up rooms both at the Now Amber next door (for those of you travelling with families) and the Secrets property (adults only).
Each Junior Suite is appointed with everything DELUXE. Luxurious and comfortable - rich and luscious. Whether you are there for relaxation or romance you will be indulged.
The staff were warm and so attentive. We never lacked for a thing as we lounged by the pool.
I was only sad that we were only there long enough to enjoy the cuisine at the Oceana Restaurant - a wonderful a la carte dining experience on the shores of the Pacific. I am so looking forward to my return when I plan on delighting my taste buds at the teppanyaki Asian restaurant - Mexican - French . . . so many choices . . . so little time.
Thank you to Karen and the staff at the hotel who made my day marvellous. Secrets is new and positioned perfectly for those who like the best - but still want to be close to town. This resort gives a whole new face to Puerto Vallarta.

Room Tip: The preferred rooms are positioned closest to the water and offer a jacuzzi on the verandah. A grea...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
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2 Thank Shelley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 24, 2012

This hotel is very beautiful even though it's not fully finished. Second time to AM Resorts, service, rooms and the restaurants are amazing!!!
We have been to many hotels but AM Resorts are our favorite. Finally , we joined their vacation club - Unlimited Vacation Club. WE LOVE IT!!! We have a membership from another company but this one is 10 times better. NO MAINTENANCE FEES AND UNLIMITED WEEKS.
We already booked our vacations for Dreams Nuevo Vallarta, this November for 8 people. Total cost 1850$ per couple for 7 night stay. The best available price on the internet we could find was 2580$ per couple. We are saving about 3000$ for 8 of us. That's almost half of the membership and we haven't even use our free week.
Thank you so much!!!

Room Tip: Preferred rooms look very nice!
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank felandjn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Level Contributor
22 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2012

Honestly, we felt spoiled!
Check in was quick, we stopped in for a drink at the bar before going up to our room. Once we got to our room they had an anniversary banner on the door of our room, music playing, a bottle of champagne on ice, plus the bath was ran with bubbles and rose petals. Nice, right! I loved the room - I want that shower! Yes, the bed was hard but it did look like they added a mattress pad and I never had any issues with back pain during my visit. I think it took me 2 days to figure out all of the switches in the room. The room had plenty of storage - all with self closing doors. We have been to other Secrets resorts and I appreciate that this one has made the choice to put in an actual door (not just a glass door) on the toilet room. That really helped with privacy!
The food was very good, I believe we tried all of the restaurants with the exception of the buffet. One time our steak wasn't cooked right - it was promptly dealt with and the waiter then stood by to make sure it was cooked right the second time around.
Loved starting our day at the Market Cafe for breakfast - the hostess (so sorry but I have forgotten her name) greeted us everyday by name with a bright smile. Carmen, who waited on us most mornings, seemed to be able to read my mind at times. She also made a special point to present us with a cake the morning of our actual anniversary - so nice that she remembered but that is just how good she is! Really, wherever we went the service was wonderful.
It wasn't overly busy the week we were there which was nice but I think it would have been a little more interesting for the entertainment staff if more people were there to get involved with the activities - but they did a good job trying to get everyone involved and to have fun.
We couldn't or didn't want to afford the Spa but I heard it was really nice and worth the money. My husband and I did get a message right outside the resort at Healing Hands located in the Villa Vallarta Plaza - one of the best we have ever had and it was only 300 paso for 70 minutes per person.
Complaints: Yes, we did get to experience the loud music that was playing in the empty lot next door at night. And yes, it was loud - even with my white noise machine playing it was very loud in our room.
There was also the issue with the resort being part of Now. You still hear kids crying and screaming. One night during dinner a child - who must have been bored with dinner - went around the dining room banging on the walls. I am sorry but if I am paying to be at a Secrets resort, I don't want kids to be there too.
We also paid extra for the Preferred area and I wouldn't suggest it. I chose to upgrade mainly based on wifi being included (which everyone now gets) and the tub outside but there was no privacy so it just felt kind of odd using it. Plus I think the standand rooms have a much better view of the water.
No, everything was not perfect but it was pretty close and what fun would that be if life had no bumps!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank NikkiG1133
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medford, Oregon
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2012

After having read a number of negative reviews prior to coming to Secrets Vallarta Bay, I feel I need to set the record straight. This resort is amazing. I really wonder if some people go to these places looking for things to complain about.

First and foremost, the service you receive from the staff at Secrets is top notch. They will bend over backwards to accommodate your every need. We always try to engage in conversation with the employees, which they appreciate and adds to our experience as well. (It helps that my wife speaks Spanish, but most of the workers speak pretty decent English) We actually talked to a hostess at one of the restaurants that we had met at Secrets Maroma four years ago and she recognized us immediately. Because the resort was not even close to fully occupied, we got very attentive service at all of the restaurants, in the lobby, and by the pool.

The resort itself is beautiful. They spared no expense in the design of the lobby and the rooms. The pool areas were beautifully landscaped and are very peaceful. There is a nice separation from the NOW side of the resort, so you really don't hear any children or commotion from the other side of the resort. The pools were very refreshing in the afternoon and are all infinity pools looking toward the ocean. The swim up bar was a very popular place to hang out in the late afternoon with a fruity drink in your hand. My wife's main complaint is that smoking is allowed everywhere in the pool area, which can be a little unpleasant.

Our room was very comfortable (ocean view junior suite). The shower was great with a overhead rain shower and a separate wand shower fixture. We never used the Jacuzzi, but it looked nice. There are some good romantic touches to the decor of the room, including some great light accents. The bed was firm but comfortable. The bedding was not super soft, but you could tell it was high quality. The mini-bar was stocked daily. Room service was also a nice option when you wanted to stay in bed in the morning or eat on your patio. It only took about 15-20 minutes to have a complete meal at your door (or in the secrets privacy box). It looks like all of the rooms have a beautiful ocean view, as far as I could tell.

The beach was not used very much by resort guests. I thought it was very nice, albeit a little rocky where the waves meet the shore. I went in the ocean a few times and found it to be refreshing, but not too many other people did this. There are a lot of vendors on the beach trying to get people to buy junk...I guess the resort is not able to schoo them away, but they could be a little annoying at times. We also went kayaking and parasailing right from the beach in front of the resort, which were fun activities.

The entertainement staff tries to get people involved in activities by the pool and in the evening shows. However, most people are just there to drink and relax and because of the low occupancy, there were not a ton of activities that actually were attended. I think pool volleyball would have been popular, but for some reason they did not offer it. Water aerobics was probably the most consistently attended activity. My wife and I are very active people, so it would have been nice to have a few more active people at the resort to pump some life into the scene.

We did not engage in much of the nighttime activities, but we popped our heads into the Desires lounge a few times after dinner and noticed it was pretty dead. Maybe it picks up later on. The entertainment staff also sets up outings for guests to go to discos at night, but I'm not sure how well they were attended.

We set up a sunset photo shoot with a photographer on staff named Michael. The photo shoot was free and the prints were $15 each. We had a great time doing it and got some fantastic photos to bring home.

The restaurants were very good and the portions were very sensibly sized. It was nice that you could order a 4 course meal and not feel completely bloated afterward like you would in an American restaurant. We really enjoyed Himitsu and Bordeaux, but Tamarindo and Capers were also excellent. I suppose for foodies who dine out at expensive restaurants on a regular basis, the food at the resort is just average, but we were quite pleased with all of our meals. We usually went to the buffet for breakfast and got food at Oceana for lunch, which was decent but not great. I did get pretty sick one night while we were there, but that is the same day we went to dinner in town, so I'm not sure if it was from food at the resort.

All in all, we had an unbelievable trip and would recommend this resort to everyone. This is our second time at a Secrets (we went to Secrets Maroma when it first opened) and we have been very satisfied both times.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank gopherboyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank LLewis0520
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Everywhere
Level Contributor
57 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank davissummer24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank jessica g
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

Property: 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 Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 123 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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