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β€œCan't wait to come back!!!”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 125 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Edmonton
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Can't wait to come back!!!”
Reviewed December 6, 2012

My husband and I just returned from a one week stay Nov 25-Dec 2 and we loved this place! We have stayed in many all inclusives - Gran Bahia, Couples, Riu, etc and this along with Couple has by far been our favourite. This is a long review but some of the tips may help you!

We opted to take a cab from the airport as we prefer to get to the pool than sit on the bus waiting for everyone to get their luggage and then do the stops along the way. It was 20 dollars including tip and well worth it. Going back Secrets has their own cabs and it was only 10.

We got to the hotel with a very friendly greeting, champagne and a welcome cool face cloth! They took our luggage and guided us to our concierge for check in. We stayed in the preferred tower only because that was the only category that was offered to us when we booked it. I have to say we loved it and would definitely book the preferred tower again. That being said - the preferred tower rooms do not see the sunset only the regular rooms. However the lobby bar has a beautiful view with nice big comfy patio chairs. One thing I did not do this time and I always do it is to pack my bathing suit in my carry on. We got to the resort at around 1 pm and our room was not ready until 3 - the only hassle we had was getting access to our luggage so I could grab my bathing suit - easy way to avoid that is put it in the carry on. We then enjoyed the pool and a couple of drinks and then went to our room where our bags were delivered and ready. (Thank you so much to Adriana at the concierge who always had a smile and speaks of how much she loves her job - it shows!). Another perk of the preferred is there is always a little buffet with terrific sandwiches and a couple of appies so it was great when you were heading to the room to freshen up. You also have a separate bar in the lobby and a big thank you too Alessandro who was excellent but they were all awesome! We had zero issues about timeshares and were asked only once and when we said no thank you the subject was over.

The room - Make sure you go floor 5 or higher - you do not want floor 4 as they have a rock wall instead of glass on the balconies so you can't see out unless you are standing. Our room was gorgeous and the shower was great - a rain shower head and then a regular. We had no issues with water pressure as some reviews have stated and did use our balcony jacuzzi often with a quick fill up. In the room there is a secret box which was great for room service although we only used it twice and you don't have to answer the door - just leave your tip inside and they deliver the food to it. Beside the box are two buttons - one for do not disturb and one for housekeeping...make sure you put your do not disturb on as they will knock early - we found that out on day one and never forgot again lol. When we left the room we clicked housekeeping and our room was always done when we came back. As for the famous rooster - I heard him only once but he can be seen when you walk down the hallway and look over at the vacant lot - he is like a celebrity after being mentioned in all the reviews lol.

The pools were really nice and the bar staff and waiters were all fantastic...our favourite was Jesus! We did not hear the kids as some mention at all during our stay and honestly even if we had it would not have bothered us but it was nice to have separate pools so it was quieter and you didn't get splashed. It was nice that they leave a towel on each chair every morning - the only thing we saw is people left them on the chairs when they were done so some people thought they were still being used. You just need to drop them in the used bucket when you are done...even still there were plenty of chairs to be had so not a big issue. We loved that we did not need wristbands!

We went to the gym a couple of times and it was decent, the equipment was in pretty good shape and plenty to choose from.

The spa is very expensive but if you see the lady walking around she can give good deals...we got a couple massage for 25 minutes each right on the beach for $70 and that uncluded use of the spa for the day (steam, sauna and hot and cold pool). There are also two massage places right outside the gate that are apparently very good - we did not go but met lots of people who did and said it was $50 for two with tip.

There is not a big night life there at all but that was ok with us as we had fun during the day meeting people at the pool and in the lobby bar in the evening and had a great time(big thank you to Edith). We were really amazed at what a super group of people were there and how friendly everyone was.

The restaurants were good but we like to cook so it is hard to judge. We never made a reservation and had no issues getting a table, yes you have to wait a half hour sometimes but they have buzzers you carry so you can go to the lobby bar and have a drink and enjoy the scenery until your table is ready. We ate at the Oceana for lunch twice, it was our least favourite because they have alot of kinks to work out...one day I got the wrong order another day the food my husband got was cold and I did not get mine. No biggie - there is food everywhere so you arent going to starve but something they need to work on. The Italian was ok as well, there are kids in that restaurant so it was a little noisy. The Japanese was amazing - we ate there 4 times lol! Adrrianna the hostess was fantastic as was Angel our waiter! We had the shrimp tempura every time and it was fantastic as well as the pad thai - they even added chicken too it for us when we asked. They definitely do enforce the dress code which is fine but be prepared for it as some of the guests thought it would be like other places where they do not enforce it but they definitely do here.

You can walk easily to the Malecon and it is very safe - it took us about 25 minutes but walk through town not the beach as you walk past several vacant beach areas and there are some really rocky places.

We had a wonderful stay and are going to Dreams Villamagna in January for two weeks and hope it will be as nice as our stay at Secrets! We will definitely return!

Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions and enjoy your trip - I don't see how anyone could be disappointed.

Room Tip: Preferred tower ask for above 5 and definitely not 4 as the balconies have rock versus glass
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
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3 Thank Shervano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Sacramento, CA
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

My wife and I truly enjoyed our stay at this quality All-Inclusive Resort. We stayed here from 11/23/2012-11/28/2012. The service is what makes this place very special. The staff goes out of their way to make your stay there special.

Here's a quick breakdown of the Hotel:

Rooms - Very nice and clean. Best shower ever. Comfortable beds and pillows. Great working A/C and fan. Very nice jacuzzi tubs. Good things to watch on TV. We stayed in the preferred tower and had the swim out pool from our room which was awesome.

Food - Very good for All-Inclusive. I would say overall probably the most consistently good All-Inclusive food I've encountered.
1. Mexican Restaurant was pretty good.
2. Japanese Restaraunt was really really good.
3. Italian Restaurant - I had the beef filet and it was great.
4. French Restaurant - I had the lamb and it was very good as well.
5. Seafood Lunch Restaurant - Only bad food I had. Fish Tacos were gross.
6. Breakfast Buffet - Pretty good. Tons of options.

Alcohol - Had Corona as tap beer and Bud Light cans. Good liquor options. Above average liquor is avaialble and Top shelf was available in the Preferred Tower if you stay there. I drank quite a bit of Don Julio Reposado which is very good and smooth.

Location is very good. Right on the beach and less than a 10 minute taxi ride from the airport.
Taxi from airport was $20. Going back to airport is only $10 though. Only a $6.00 taxi ride to downtown Puerta Vallarta.

They have tons of activities to do all day. They even give you an itinerary. Kind of like on a cruise. We went to the club they have and it was dead, but we ended up acting like it was going off and we danced with a few other people all night.

They have a cafe with computers and internet to use.
They also have a great perk ... FREE calls to the U.S. This was a huge perk since we could call our kids anytime. ( you can only call landline phones though, no cells)

NOTE: We were not interested in paying big money for a massage at the hotel. So we went down the driveway and turned left and there is 2 massage places to choose from. 60 minute massage for $25. They were amazing and ended up going 2 days in a row.

Great Stay, Great Service, Great Times @ the Secrets Vallarta Bay!!!

Room Tip: Stay in the preferred tower ... if you like better alcohol.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank VacationGuruGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 5, 2012

We stayed here the last week of November with 2 other couples. Check in was easy, with everyone getting champagne and a cool cloth after the 10 minute drive from the airport. Two of us stayed in the Preferred Tower. The main perk of the Preferred Tower is a jacuzzi on the balcony and some upgraded amenities. You also get airplane size bottles of 3 liquors, and M&M and Pringles each day. We did enjoy the Preferred lobby and bar, which always had snacks. The bartenders there made some great drinks! Our friends with an Oceanview had a better view in a much higher room. All of the rooms are the same, and all have ocean views. There are some swim out rooms on the first floor, but I don't think I would like those, since the sun never shines on them. I think the swim out rooms at the Now Amber would be better, since they did get sun.

The pool area is very nice. There is no chair hoarding, which is very nice. You don't have to play the chair game and get up at an early hour to save your chair. There are no towel cards, and you can use as many towels as you want. There are also plenty of floats that people shared. (Of course, there are the few that think the floats are their own, but we would simply go up to them if we needed one, and ask to use it since they weren't. Pretty funny to see the looks on their face, because what can they say?) The pool temperature was refreshing when we were there, and the temp was in the upper 80's and sunny every day. The beach isn't great, but you know that going in. We did have fun walking and picking up sea glass. You can't walk too far either direction because there are stone walls at either end. I guess you can get around these, but we didn't try. The workout room is nice, with plenty of treadmills.

We really enjoyed the food and the different restaurants. We would have breakfast at the Market Cafe, and a la carte lunch at the Oceana (loved their fish sandwich). Then we would have dinner in the evening, and really enjoyed their different restaurants, and the fact that you did not need reservations. We did run in to slow service at the Tamarindo, but the food and margaritas were great! We liked the tapanyaki table at the Japanese restaurant, but I think our favorite meal was the last night ordering a la carte at the Japanese restaurant. They brought us a selection of sushi that was beautiful!

The staff does an excellent job, and are always very friendly and helpful. The only problem we had was barking dogs all through the night one night. There is an empty lot behind the Preferred Tower. However, when I mentioned the problem the next morning to our concierge, evidently the owner of the dog was spoken to, and I did not hear the dogs again. The Secrets side of the resort is Adults Only, and we only saw children at a few of the restaurants which are on the Now side. The Now Amber side looks like a great family resort, with slides and activities for kids.

You can walk out of the resort 2 blocks and catch the local bus in to town. The cab ride to town is $6. We took a cab ride and enjoyed a tour from our cab driver when we asked him to show us the area. It ended up being a 2 hour tour, but it was great to see the local side of beautiful Puerto Vallarta. We worked out a price with the cab driver to do this. We really enjoyed our stay at Secrets Vallarta, and would return.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
2 Thank ChicagoJan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
calgary
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed December 4, 2012

we stayed for 9 nights mid november 2012
Overall, a very nice place with nice people and great food....however, the top shelf liquor was lacking...no top shelf scotch or rye, and the wines were barely drinkable. The sake which was an addtional charge was undrinkable.
I'm not whining, just explaining that for the price and what they advertise, it wasn't quite there.
Japanese steak house was best i've been in . The other 4 or 5 restaurants very good. Portions small, but we just ordered extra appys and entrees...
lobby bar every night while waiting for table for dinner was great..what a view!!
hotel was great, room was fabulous, view was incredible. No need to upgrade.
better beaches in neaveau vallarta, secrets beach was good just in front, then nothing.
we tipped all the time, but didn't seem to make a difference. bar service was good most of the time.
i could've paid a lot less for almost comparable place...will next time.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank GranvilleKahsheYYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 3, 2012

This is truly a deluxe all inclusive for anyone who needs a getaway from the hectic world. From the moment you step on property, the staff does everything possible to make you feel welcome. While check-in is a bit lengthy it's not onerous.

The food is better than average all-inclusives. Portions are small (but I think right size). The little Coco Cafe is a great little place for an afternoon coffee and treat.

We were a bit skeptical about the spa... it is a bit pricey. But, we had the best massages we'd ever had at a Mexican resort... and pretty decent body treatments. They are extremely attentive in the spa... always making sure you have fresh towels, something to eat or drink... generally, extremely pampered.

We did yoga on the beach several mornings... yoga instructor was top notch... gym and fitness facilities are better than average. There are activities from morning to night if you are so inclined to participate. And, it's a pleasant 20 minute walk into Puerto Vallarta.

Plus, they enforced the "adults-only" policy on the Secrets side of the resort which made for a very restful vacation.

Our room was fantastic. It is a bit more bathroom than one needs but no worry... very comfortable bedding and air conditioning... decent amenities in the bathroom... large tub and very large shower. Plus, we have a jacuzzi on our deck and it worked beautifully.

All in all, a fantastic property... very much worth the price you pay.

Room Tip: Upgrade to the Preferred Level... I think it was well worth the additional cost.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank davidcolorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edmonton, Canada
Level Contributor
30 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2012

My husband I stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay at the beginning of November. We had actually booked a two week stay at the preferred club Now Amber, but when we arrived we were "upgraded" to Secrets. I am still not sure what the upgrade is as we ended up spending most of our time on the Now side as that is where our friends were staying.

Our room was very nice and the reason I booked the Preferred Club was because you get a jacuzzi tub on your balcony - well it turned out that we never used it. The only other thing you get with preferred club is your own lounge with your own bartender with some breakfast items and snacks put out through out the day. Oh and you get upgraded amenities and airplane size bottles of vodka, Jack Daniels and rum...not worth the upgrade. Our friends who didn't upgrade actually had a way nicer view. The one thing I did like however was the pillow menu. We phoned down on our first night and asked for feather pillows. When we returned after dinner, they had finished the turn down service and we had our feather pillows. The beds were also much more comfortable than other resorts we have stayed at in Mexico.

The resort is beautiful. And I can't say enough about the staff - especially Migual our beach waiter (we actually moved over to the Secrets side of the beach when he did; he was that good). There were a couple of drawbacks however.

The lobby lounge is gorgeous - but very stuffy - waiters in black suits, jazz music playing - all very nice, but if you want to have drinks with some friends and play some pool or just hang out, its not conducive to that at all. We missed having some place a little less formal to just have a drink. You could get a drink and go down to the pool deck area, but it was dark and a long way back to get another drink.

The other drawback was that while we were there a major company had an event there. A BIG event. The hotel staff took over 3/4 of the beach on the Secrets side, filled sand bags and leveled this huge area of beach so that they could put up a giant white tent-like structure so this group could have lunch...now granted lunch was 3 hours long with three different live bands - but still, it really ate into our beach area. They also took over the entire pool deck and one of the pools for an extremely elaborate dinner. My husband and I watched with awe as they set up a stage over the one pool for the band. There were a hundred or so tables with white linen and huge center pieces with white lilies and roses. They also had klieg lights which they used to project the company name against the hotel side - the side of the preferred club where we were staying - even with the black out curtains the light came through, and of course the band played until very late. I get it that big companies spend money and can get what they want, but some effort by the hotel to at least warn the guests or compensate us for the time that we could not use the pools and the beach would have been nice - or even if someone, other than our waiter, had apologized.

Some others have written complaining about the ugly unfinished hotel next door with the vagrants and the rooster - didn't bother me as you would only see if for a few minutes as you walked from your room to the elevator and really - its not their fault that whoever started building that hotel ran out of money,.

The free wifi was nice, but pretty hit and miss for getting a signal. But our friend who had a Blackberry playbook had no issues, so maybe it just didn't like IPad.

The buffets were pretty good - standard fair, omelet station, fresh fruit, but they didn't seem to have as much variety as other resorts we have stayed at. And we all found the food to be very salty. The food at the Italian restaurant was so salty I couldn't eat it. We really enjoyed the show and the food at the Japanese restaurant, but by far the best food we had was at the French restaurant. We also took advantage of their program where you can go look around and eat at their other resorts in the area.

We went to Dreams Vallarta, which is unbelievably gorgeous. If is wasn't so isolated, I would stay there in a heartbeat. We ate at Oceana and it was incredible. The resort has a couple of beach front bars that you can hang out at and a bar with a pool table for evenings.

The other night we went to Dreams Villamagna - we ate at Portofino and again the food was fabulous. The beach was amazing, but I don't think I would stay there as the resort is just a little too big. After dinner we had a tour which included the roof top bar, which looked like a great place to hang out.

So, would I stay at Secrets Vallarta again? I am still not sure. It is a beautiful resort in a great location. We could walk to the Malecon and to the Marina Flea Market and other shopping. The staff were great and our room was very nice. But I missed sitting, having a drink in the evening, talking with friends and listening to the ocean waves. I have stayed at many 5 star hotels and resorts, but this one tries just a little too hard.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shelmag
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviewed December 2, 2012

We were only able to get away for four days so we wanted someplace warm with close proximity to the airport and everything on site. We are so glad that we chose Secrets, as it exceeded our expectations! The resort was only 8 months old - which was obvious in the clean and updated decor, but surprising when you spoke with the staff who seemed to have knowledge about the resort and the area that would normally come from a much more established resort. All of the staff were kind and helpful - they greeted us by name and went above and beyond to make sure that we were enjoying the little time that we had there. The food was by far the best we have had at an all-inclusive resort and so, while we had heard there were many wonderful restaurants to try outside of the resort area, we never felt the need to leave.

One thing to note - as mentioned above, the staff are extremely helpful and attentive. There were times, however, when we did not want to be attended to and we put on the "Do Not Disturb" button... yet they still knocked to check if we needed anything. Plus, when ordering the room service, there was an option to use a "Secrets Box" to receive the food, yet the staff always knocked and brought the food into the room to be set up. Not sure how that might have been avoided - but if you really want complete privacy, I would suggest double-locking the doors at all time. :-)

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Karen V
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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