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โ€œDissapointed...โ€

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 125 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Fort McMurray, Alberta
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Dissapointed...”
Reviewed October 22, 2012

We are returned from a 5 night stay at the Secrets Vallarta Bay and found that the hotel didnโ€™t meet our expectations. We are members of the unlimited vacation club and were moved from a dreams hotel in the area as an upgrade because we werenโ€™t happy with the original hotel. I have stayed at other hotels in this chain four times and have been happy with my experiences every time. We stayed in an Oceanview Junior Suite in the preferred club
Pros:
Checking in was an easy process and the room was beautiful
The food at the a la carte restaurants was also delicious. The Asian restaurant was our favorite
The resort was pretty empty so finding an empty chair was always easy
The grounds were beautiful and everything was very new.
Cons:
Our air conditioner didnโ€™t work properly. We called down to the concierge four times and had a maintenance man up to the room 3 times to look at it. He told us that it was fine, but the air conditioner wouldnโ€™t cool the room down. We werenโ€™t moved and finally gave up trying to get the airconditioner fixed. Had to spend every night of our trip not sleeping properly due to being warm and sweaty.
Room service is available here but I wouldnโ€™t suggest that anyone use it. In previous stays at dreams and secrets resorts we have used room service almost every day. Our first day here we ordered lunch and the food came to the room cold (not even lukewarm) and the chicken was full of gristle. I couldnโ€™t eat it.
We had issues with the housekeeping here. Twice during the stay the housekeeping ladies knocked and opened the door immediately afterwards without waiting for a reply and walked in on my boyfriend and I changing. Before checking out, we checked every drawer in the room to ensure that we hadnโ€™t left anything or forgotten items. We discovered in one of the nightstands (which we had not looked in previously) that there was a fun bag full of goodies left by the people staying in the room before us. I was fairly upset after finding this.
When checking out at the preferred club desk, which unfortunately was right after I found the goody bag in our nightstand, I expressed my issues with the person helping me complete the check out process. They didnโ€™t even apologize for all the issues that we had during our stay, and also didnโ€™t ask us to fill our a guest satisfaction survey which I know from previous experience at staying at these resorts is a common practice.
I went to the main front desk and expressed my dissatisfaction in the whole check out process. I asked for a survey to fill out and was told that I should have been moved to another room with all the issues that we had. It was a case of too little too late.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money on preferred club unless you plan on using the jacuzzi on the balcony dai...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank KyleM_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Dear Kyle,

On behalf of Secrets Vallarta Bay Management and Staff we would like to take the opportunity with your review, our most sincere apologies for all the inconveniences that you encountered during your stay.

Thank you for reporting the issues that you had with your air condition not working properly with our Maintenance Staff, and be sure that it has been corrected for future visitors to avoid any discomforts as you had unfortunately. As well as the service with the housekeeping staff and our room service menu.

It is very important to us to hear all your comments in order to see the areas of opportunity that we need to work and provide the best quality service that our brand offers to everyone that plans their vacation with us.

For all of these situations that we would have not liked that you experience we hope that it will not stop you from returning to our Resort. Please give us the opportunity to serve you and make your stay a memorable one!

Best regards,

Mauricio Martinez
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
54 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed October 20, 2012 via mobile

Secrets/NOW is a four star resort. Within the four star category I feel it is a great value. The rooms are beautiful and spacious with ocean views. The restaurants are typical 4 star restaurants. Not the greatest but good for the value. The service also rates as 4 star. This hotel resort would be comparable to a Westin or W Hotel. The rooms, gardens, pools, beach area are very nice. The food/drink and service is average 4 star. I do like the restaurant convenience of no RSVP required. They should relax the dress code to match the food/service. This would put guests expectations on par with the product.

The VIP desk is to offer you coupons for the opportunity to sell you condos/time shares. It takes too many stern "not interested" to get the man working this desk to leave you in peace. They really try hard to use the coupons as to why should speak with them. The hotel property is very safe and secure. The city of PV, and the adventure activities also feel safe and secure at all times. The hotel is a 10mins taxi ride to the center of town. The cost is US$6-10. 15mins to the airport and 30 mins to Nueva Vallarta. The secrets side is for couples or groups of couples and the now amber side is for family/singles.

I would recommend the secrets/now hotel. It appears to be the best choice in Puerto Vallarta. Nueva Vallarta and Punta Mita offer more choices for comparable 4 star resorts and some 5 star resorts. The difference is that Nueva Vallarta is secluded and made up of resorts and 30 mins to to the center of town. Punta Mita is slightly less than an hour from the center of PV but is a secluded oasis of beauty and tranquility.

Stayed October 2012, traveled with friends
Helpful?
5 Thank BadgerLV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Waipahu, Hawaii
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We stayed at this resort for 6 days, which seemed to be a just the right time at a resort like this. Any longer at an all-inclusive resort, and one tends to get bored. You can only have so many mojitos by the pool before deja vu starts to set in.
That said, the resort is NEW and looks it. It's in a great location and at this time of year, there was hardly anyone there. It felt like we had the run of the place.
Regarding the dress codes...read the websites. I don't understand why people complain. It says word for word what is expected BEFORE you book. And the expectations are not strenuous. Read the rules, pack what you need, and comply. Not hard. And during times like this, it may not be enforced, which what we experienced. We DID see someone turned away from the nicest restaurant in the resort as the man was wearing flip flops. Women? Doesn't really matter, to be honest. So...read the requirements, THEN book.
The food? I've read a lot of complaints about all-inclusive resort food. Not my experience here. The food in the restaurants was fantastic!! The portions were small...but here's why: when you order food, order an appy, an entree, AND and desert. That's how the meals are designed. You will NOT leave hungry. Promise. This is not Outback Steakhouse and the portions are not modeled for chain restaurant over-eaters. I cannot say enough about how great the food was. NOTE: you have to go to Bordeaux and Market Cafe. Some of the best food ever...I mean it.
The service. Look. You're at an all-inclusive resort. The service is great. They tell you "tips are included." All I can say is, "TIP, TIP, TIP!!!" A dollar a drink, maybe. Sound expensive? How many thousands did you spend to come to sleep, drink, and lay around? You COULD do this in the States, or wherever you're from. You came out of your way to come here so people can wait on you hand and foot. The staff does not get paid that much. Every little bit of gratitude you show comes back on you TEN FOLD. The staff truly appreciates it. In fact, we tipped 15-20% in Bordeaux/Market Cafe, and the CHEF himself offered to make us some off the menu. Do you HAVE to tip? No. But your experience possibly be enhanced tremendously if you consider it. They are busting their butt for you. Does this make the staff bad for thinking this way? NO...it makes them human. So...please tip...even a little. Tipping made our trip BETTER.
Lastly, I'd like to thank EZEQUIEL (Bordeaux/Market Cafe) in particular. He took time out his day/night to make us feel at home. He was great. I cannot say enough about him. He and ALEJANDRO took service to a new level. Thank you very much!
Another tip: GET THE SWIM-UP ROOM!!! We had a pool to ourselves almost the entire time.
PS- Rooster? We never heard one...

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Chris B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed October 15, 2012

I just returned from a six night stay at this resort with my wife and two other couples. We had three side by side swim out rooms in the preferred tower. Two master suites and one junior suite.
We have traveled together several times and have always stayed in all-inclusive resorts. We all agreed this was the best resort any of us had ever stayed in.
The whole experience was better than I had hoped it would be. The resort is new and clean. The rooms were awesome. The food was great, the staff was great, and the pools were great.
Normally I wouldn't participate in any of the Resort activities, but this time we did and had a blast. The entertainment staff was great, and we enjoyed every minute at the resort.
The resort was only ten minutes from the airport, which is a plus.
If I were to make any suggestions to the resort it would be that the lobby bar should be equipped to serve a really good cup of coffee because the coffee shop they have is in the Now resort and really nothing special. Also sometimes in the restaurants the service was somewhat slow about checking to see if you needed anything and to refill beverages. Other than those two things, which for all of us were minimal complaints the resort in my opinion is Five Star all the way.
The spa and workout equipment are very good. However outside of the main entrance and to the left about 50 feet is a local massage shop.We(three couples) all did hour couples massages there on two consecutive days for $20.00 a piece plus tip. The massages were very good, and the place was clean and safe.
To sum up my visit at this resort we all agreed it was the best vacation we have ever had in our entire lives and I am 50 years old and have traveled quite a bit. I wish I was there now.

Room Tip: I would definitely choose the Preferred Tower, and we really enjoyed the swimout rooms.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nathanbs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed October 13, 2012

We are just returning from a week at the Secrets Vallarta Bay hotel in Puerto Vallarta Mexico. In short, this hotel just isn't ready for prime time yet.

There is one major redeeming factor about this hotel that keeps it as a place you'd 'almost' recommend and that is the staff. Every single member of the staff, from servers, to room service to porters were all wonderful. Super friendly and attentive.

There are also positives from the stay and they are as follows;

- Staff (as mentioned)
- Location (not in downtown but close enough to walk and 15mins from airport)
- Rooms are clean, functional and have a little 'wow' factor but not much, they are just nice
- Lobby area and bars are well placed and well stocked (with good views day and night)
- Some 'functions' like the Mexican Fiesta were well orchestrated and well catered

Now the negatives which, unfortunately, were enough for us to not really want to recommend this hotel again. They are as follows;

- Food, it's just terrible. In the 'fancy' restaurants is either overcooked or cold (mostly cold)
- Food, again, it's just that bad, seemed to come from a microwave far too often and still cold!
- Dress code, made no sense, fancy sandals on men vs. aged tennis shoes (tennis shoes win)
- Poolside music, deafening and repetitive, hardly luxury or relaxing (mostly annoying)
- Room service is limited in choice, turns up cold and sometimes you don't get what you order
- Room service not respecting the 'do not disturb' sign and failing to use the service hatch
- Room service calling you to tell you it's arrived despite the knock on the door giving it away
- Housekeeping taking your dishes at 4am and making so much noise they wake the corridor up
- The constant up sell for the 'non timeshare timeshare conversation'
- Asking you to figure out vouchers (that seemed redundant) to get the most from your visit

There were two other things that really bothered us. The first was the beach area. Not the hotels fault but there were approx 16 beach vendors for just this hotel. That's approximately 1500 times in a week you get asked if you want to buy a hammock or a hat or any other item of little value. It gets annoying. If you like the beach, this will pretty much destroy your will to live and eradicate any chance of relaxing without being bothered!

The second, and this is the hotel's fault is the timeshare conversation. At check-in your get offered some vouchers to help with an upgrade (which offers little value for the week - save your money) but what you aren't told is that you then have to have a 45minute conversation where someone tries to sell you on 'free' trips that you will get in return for a 1hour 30min non timeshare / timeshare conversation. This is when you check in. This is, quite frankly, ridiculous. If you want to make people hate your hotel before they've even experienced the average food or non-relaxing pool side experience this is the best way to go. As a traveler you must have the same resolve you had at the airport and say no unless you want to experience their sales pitch and save yourself bags of time.

This hotel has all of the makings for something great. In most similar cookie cutter all-inclusive hotels the variables for a truly exceptional experience are easy. Serve good food, have friendly staff and offer poolside/beachside relaxation. This hotel has the staff and can easily fix many of their concerns. This being said, they just aren't there yet.

Long story short, if you want to relax during the day, sleep well at night (let's not mention the rooster!) and enjoy nice meals in the evening then this is not the hotel for you.

Room Tip: Take the time to do a city tour (we had Victor and Patti from DH Tours). You should expect a full da...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank jamesc1975
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, responded to this review, October 23, 2012
Dear James,

On behalf of Secrets Vallarta Bay Management and staff, we want to thank you for taking the time to share your comments about our stay with us.

It is great to know that you found our service outstanding from all our staff! However, we regret to hear that you did not find our food tastefully in our Restaurants. Our dress code is a policy that applies only for our indoor restaurants with a/c. This information is available in our web page our in any collateral material such as the brochures of our brand.

We are very sorry that the beach vendors disrupted you as you mention in your review it is not part of our services and it is not under our control. I must state, that they will not disturb you more than one time if you say โ€œnoโ€ they will just stay aside or leave to another property. We try our very best with our security guards that we have in our beach as much as we can to avoid any disturbance or discomfort to our guests.

We hope we can be able to host you back in the near future to redeem ourselves and make you next visit a memorable one!

Best regards,

Mauricio Martinez
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Mason City, Iowa
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed September 26, 2012

My wife and I were there in Mid-August. Beautiful resort, booked a preferred ocean view room and was more than pleased. The staff went out of their way to make you feel right at home. It is one of the few resorts I've been to that they address you by name. Hat's off to Juan Valdez at the pool, the best waiter I've had. He always has a smile and makes sure that everything is great. Raul the Conceirge at the preferred always addressed you by name and with a smile and was more than helpful in addressing any questions/concerns. Hugo the bellman was fantastic, I hadn't seen him for a couple of days as we were mostly hanging out at the pool and the next time we saw each other he came up addressed me by name and asked if there was anything we needed. Really enjoyed the service that was provided in the preferred lounge and in the restaurants. Will definitetly return to Secrets Vallarta Bay. Also the lifeguards and security staff do an excellent job at helping save the sea turtles, my wife actually had the opportunity to help with the release of the hatchlings one evening. It would be nice if the hotel could provide a larger space for the protection of the eggs as the space under the lifeguard station can get crowded due to the numerous turtles that lay their eggs on the resorts beaches. Can't wait till next summer, am off to check out the Vine in Cancun at the end of October, caught a great deal or we would have returned to PV, if it is half the resort that Vallarta Bay is we will be extremely pleased.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Dave M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2012

This was a wonderful hotel. My wife and I went here for our honeymoon from 3-10 September 2012 and were extremely pleased.

The hotel is brand new and extremely clean, hotel staff was very friendly and helpful whenever we needed anything. We stayed in the preferred club section which had its own bar, food, and staff at a separate front desk.

They provide a ton of amenities and activites throught the day. You never actually have to leave the hotel. Everything is there for you. They also provide a service of booking any tours, activities, excursions, or bars/night clubs if you want to leave the hotel.

Security was very impressive. The hotel is gated off from the road and they record any cabs that come in, hotel guests and their room number, or other people arriving or leaving for other reasons.

- Food was great and the hotel provided several options.
- Pool was a ton of fun! They provided activites during the day and they have a swim up bar.
- Location was perfect. You are right in the middle of everything in my opinion. 10 minutes (cab) from the hotel and 10 minutes to downtwon PV/The Melacon.

Some staff members that we really appreciated were Estafania and Marycarmen at the preferred club front desk, Isaias at the swim up bar, and Alberto at the preferred club bar. Thank you so much for making our honeymoon a great experience.

That is just off the top of my head! Please feel free to contact me if you need any other tips about Puerto Vallarta or Secrets!

Room Tip: Preferred club will give you a bigger room and a Jetted bath tub outside on your deck.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Ben H
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 125 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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