This is a well designed new hotel on the beach in the Hotel Zone on Banderas Bay. There are four towers that share various amenities on the campus. "Secrets" is the adult-only half of the complex, and this is where my wife and I stayed. "Now" is the family section of the campus. Secrets guests can go to the Now buildings, and vice versa except kids have to stay at Now.
Clean, and kept clean 24/7. Good sized rooms with normal package. Free stocked room refrigerator with soda, water and beer. Large, well appointed shower and bath. Wonderful bedding. Food: Well above average for an all inclusive, except at the pool. Skip lunch poolside and go to Market Café for better food and service. We mostly ate breakfast and lunch on property and went into town for dinner.
Bars: As far as premium liquor goes, I drink Bourbon, and the best they had was Jim Beam. Their rum and vodka selection was better, probably for all the fruity drinks they make. No Heineken, limited wine at lobby bar, even the Mexican beer selection was limited to Modello and Pacifico, with the omnipresent Corona for Coors Light afficiandos. Great bartenders, eager to make your time pleasurable. If you can find Alejandro, he's your man. Best restaurant is Oceana, which is a seafood restaurant in the Now building. The hotel was 25% occupied most of the time we were there. No need to get up early to stake a claim on a lounge chair here, most everyone is a mature adult, and happy in this clean and pleasant place. Interesting architecture with heavy use of stone tile and some nautical touches, like the sail overhang at the entrance and teak decks off the lobby.
Negatives: They advertise $200 of hotel cash with your reservation. What you get is a coupon book with weasel clauses and provisos. My mom's cigar box of grocery coupons is worth millions by the same mathmatical conventions used here. Completely worthless and insulting to anyone who can afford to stay at hotels of this caliber. Lastly, at some point you may encounter the hotel's own gang of hyper-polite timeshare sharks, who swim near the main entrance and concierge desk. Their job is to feed referrals to the "Unlimited Vacations" timeshare operation in the Now building. They are an annoyance to steer clear of, although they are strategically placed to be in your face several times a day. Free WiFi is good for email, not much else - there are only 3-4 access points that are chronically overloaded - but maybe that's good, too, since we're on vacation, right? Concierge service is OK, but limited to the concierge website they rely on. Your own advance research will serve you well, use the consierge for making reservations, and taxi drivers will get you there with Mexican precision.
I'd give this place five stars if they would relocate the land sharks completely out of the lobby and into a shack down the street. And finally make public indoor areas, like the lobby, smoke free.
- 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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