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Reviewed April 17, 2013

I often travel solo and will only go to 4 or 5 star resorts. I stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay (solo) during the week of April 8-15 which was the same week that CHFI 98.1 radio station travelled to this resort with listeners who had won a trip with hosts Erin Davis, Mike Cooper and The General (Ian). I felt very safe at this resort and met alot nice people who very graciously invited me to join them for dinner, drinks. I even attended the CHFI radio broadcasts (but not at 4am! Sorry Erin/Mike). By mid week, many of the waiters and staff that I had come into contact with, called me by name and I always felt they were taking care of me. I suggest always dining at the specialty restaurants in the evening (they are excellent!) and going to the buffet at breakfast. I have no favourite; they were all exceptional. No reservations required. Guarantee you will find anything you would ever want at breakfast on this buffet! No waiting and the staff is so professional. One day they had roaming food stations around the pool deck and sushi served in the pool! Very unique.
Reserving lounges around the pool with towels seems to be an issue at most resorts and here as well but you can still find a spot to your liking somewhere amongst the various 12 pools.
Many of the guests I met commented on the exceptional housekeeping but I found it to be hit or miss. Most days my room was never made up until after 6pm. They also sometimes forgot to replenish kleenex and towels. Turn down service was not consistant. But travelling solo, this did not really bother me that much. But I think it would be expected by most people for a 5 star hotel.
I did not find the beach vendors bothersome and I walked the beach every morning. Walking to the Malecon or town will take you 1/2 hr. Unfortunately you can't do that walking all the way via the beach so it can get quite hot. Taxi back is only $6.50USD.
Checkin is a fast and pleasant experience and I used only one of the many coupons they provided to enjoy the spa at a very reduced rate.
This resort has so many small touches that all together make for a wonderful experience; a bag post brought to your table to hang your beach bag, providing a book at your table if dining solo, scales in the room to weigh your luggage so you have no surprises at the airport (initially I thought it not so brilliant an idea to have scales at an all inclusive resort until someone advised me they were not for us but for our luggage! LOL).

For those of you travelling solo, single supplement was not too bad. This hotel is well worth it.

Room Tip: I was on 14 but ask for something higher than 5. Great view of the ocean.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled solo
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3  Thank Brenda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

We hosted a group of radio station listeners for the past week and have done so on a semi-annual basis for years, so we have many resorts to which we can compare this Secrets. And honestly, it's among the two best resorts (the other being the Palma Real in Punta Cana) we've experienced. From a zen-like setting to gorgeous (and brand new) accommodations set right on Vallarta Bay, this resort offers true fine dining, numerous infinity pools and a staff whose gentle professionalism and cheerful demeanor make one feel truly welcome - whether alone, as a couple, or in part of a large group. My husband and I paid to upgrade to the VIP accommodations that are part of this resort and were extremely glad we did. Our only complaint was about the constant noise (and yes, we did rise at 3 am to do a radio show, so silence was golden) of chairs. Yes, scraping chairs and ottoman feet above and beside our room, carried very clearly thanks to the beautiful marble floors. I know it sounds like a small thing, but the sound was so constant and pervasive that even ear plugs couldn't help (thus the move to a quieter building). All this would require is Dollar Store (or Mexican equivalent) adhesive felt pads on the feet of furniture. Guests (and even the lovely housekeeping staff) are probably not even aware of how this sound travels but it makes for rough nights - and siestas - if one can't sleep for the noise of other guests. The WALLS however are sound proof! I know, because a fellow traveller had a persistent cough and I didn't hear it once. Please, Secrets - and all resorts - consider the felt adhesives. You've no idea what a difference they could make, especially on those gorgeous marble floors.

Room Tip: 5th floor rooms have extra large decks but with only cafe seating, there's no real use for the space. Also - no smoking on balconies. Just in designated public areas.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
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Thank roberin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Just returned from a 7 night stay at Secrets Vallarta Bay. We were a little nervous about going to Mexico but once we got to Puerto Vallarta, we saw how safe the area was! The resort is just amazing! All the staff were helpful and so friendly, we have never been so spoiled! It was so very hard to leave! The hotel and rooms are incredible. The staff are so great! We never had to wait for service. The food is so good and a large variety is available. Try every restaurant if you can, they're all incredible! The excursions offered are very good but the resort offers so many activities and events, you never have to leave it to have a full exciting vacation! I truly can't say enough how wonderful this resort is! I don't know how anyone can give a bad review. Already planning my return, well worth the price you pay! Wishing I was already back there.

Room Tip: All standard rooms have a beach view, so no need for any special requests, although the best views are on the higher floors.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Christina P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Travelled with a married couple to Secrets Puerto Vallarta.

Check- in was efficient and easy. We arrived to a great welcome with cool towel and our bags were soon delivered to our rooms. I had an ocean view room with fabulous king bed! The room has all the amenities...a balcony overlooking the ocean, a huge bathroom with separate shower and jacuzzi tub plus 2 sinks. Great water pressure. I had a room by myself but if I were traveling with a friend I am not sure I would like the open bathroom concept. Only a thin curtain between bed and bath although there is a door to the toilet.

Housekeeping did a super cleaning job each day although I had to request new supplies like face towels sometimes. Evening turndown seemed to happen about 6 pm just as I was showering for dinner so sometimes housekeeping could not come in. Housekeeping did not return later!

Breakfast was amazing! You could not ask for more variety! Yoana knew my name after the first day and took note that I wanted espresso. She is known as Miss Sunshine for a good reason. No detail goes unattended on her watch or her colleagues' watch! They are a super team.

Lunch was good too. Lots of fresh salads, seafood, fruits and hot or cold dishes.

We tried all of the a la carte restaurants. You don't have to make reservations! What a great concept! bravo Secrets! We enjoyed the French restaurant the best.

The building has some glitches with modern technology. The air conditioning sensor did not work well in my room so after day 4 I moved to another room. That proved to be a good resolution of the problem although the room I moved to did not have clock, luggage rack, soap, working DVD player/remote....the management worked really hard to correct all of this in a timely manner.

The pool area is fantastic! Great cots, lots of big fluffy beach towels, great service for drinks. There were plenty of umbrellas to protect you from the sun as needed. You have nothing to do but relax or join in with the games, aquafit, yoga, at the beach. The beach is ok but not great. You can't walk far on the beach and the water can be either murky or rough but some days guests were in the ocean. I didn't find beach vendors were a problem. There is a grill at the pool with food most of the day as well as a huge cooking wok around 1:00 pm at the pool if you don't want to go to one of the restaurants.

The staff is the best part of the vacation. EVERY staff person I encountered at bars, pool, beach, housekeeping, management, maintenance, waiters worked hard to please and make the guest experience fantastic!

The evening theatre entertainment was a bit loud for my taste but I did enjoy the musical groups in the Secrets lobby after 10 pm. It is a nice place to hangout and have a late drink.

There is good security at the hotel. if you go out, a guard at the front gate records your name and room number. We took a taxi to the malecon (boardwalk) for $6 US to the far end and walked most of the way back to the hotel. I felt safe.

No need to book preferred club. All the rooms face the ocean but I prefer to be high up away from disco noise and with a super view! Sunsets are spectacular.

I had a super vacation and I would love to return! The weather was perfect every single day...tons of sunshine.

Room Tip: Almost all of the rooms are great and have ocean view. TRY for a room high up close to the elevator for best view.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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4  Thank fancyandfree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

This was an anniversary trip and first time to AMresorts and Vallarta. The two hotels are 1 year new and mirror images; the difference is Secrets is adults only. We initially booked for Now Resorts, but upon arrival were greeted by Sr. Jesus Vargas, a room assignment mgr. We were informed that our room was in the Secrets side as we were without kids. The room given was on the 10th flood with full ocean view/sunsets. They had sent a flower arrangement (a bit wilted/browned), put an Anniversary banner and prepared the jacuzzi with bubbles & rose petals.



The sand is brown, but not bad. There was a constant stream of vendors on the beach, but if you stay behind the ropes and poolside, this was not an issue. I ended up spending a bit over $100 for 6 silver bracelets ( I hope it really is silver?). Consider it an additional donation to the local vendors.



The resort is clean, food & beverage hygienic, and staff attentive. Our rooms were attended at least 2-3 x per day. The food flavors are more spicy than our experiences in the Riviera Maya/Cancun area. If you eat at Himitsu and order the green curry, be warned it is very spicy (I love spicy food and it was very spicy to me). The food is good, but not amazing. Funny that bacon here is crisp but not salty.

 Pool waiters were great: Alfredo, Mauricio, Cesar were great with our drinks. I tried to find pineapple juice for my cocktails, but only the breakfast buffet had fresh pure juice. I ended up buying pineapple juice from Walmart and stocking my own juice for the day's cocktails. The "juice" they have is sugar added nectar, fake, sweet stuff.



Hubby had a great time playing volleyball with the entertainment staff: Hugo, Polux, Alex, Cesar, and Irma.

 They had various dinner shows poolside/on the beach and the fire show, Mexican fiesta folk dancers, and Mayan show were good. Saved us from leaving the resort to see a bit of the culture.

The Spa was pricey (comparable to resort spa prices, but we were used to generous spa dollars at Palace Resorts) but the whole sensory experience and hydrotherapy was wonderful. Folks at the concierge/VIP desk are happy to help you book spa appts as they have incentives for every 10 appts they book. The "resort credits" they offer at booking were useless for us. They were really various coupons for $40 off a $149 service for example. Wine was discounted $10 with a coupon but the prices were inflated. We Just drank the house wine or cocktails that were included.

Wi-fi bandwith was awful, especially in the evenings. Be WARNED the Secrets TV selection has a hard core porn channel. They should have let us opt out, because we surf to find English channels and stumbled on this disgusting channel. This is not romantic or pleasant at all. We've never found such programming at any other resorts without it being a pay per view or able to opt out. 

We would visit another AMresorts, but probably try another location for a prettier beach/sand color. 

The beds were amazingly comfortable. The rooms had a neat cubby system for putting room service items in/out without invading my privacy, if I didn't want to answer the door. Be sure it's locked from the room side for security as once I locked my self out and almost crawled thru to unlock my door.

We tipped regularly for drinks, meals, and spa services, etc. but I do wonder if the higher salaried staff prefer Trip Advisor positive comments more than a few bucks? One spa staff mentioned coming to visit So. Calif for a honeymoon, so wages can't be that bad then?

Room Tip: Jr. suites on high floors have excellent views. The preferred rooms were actually sideways/diagonal and not worth the upgrade in my opinion. All rooms face the ocean, but if low floors, you might hear the pool/lobby noises.
  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Thelma L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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