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“Fabulous, Perfect Honeymoon Spot”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Fabulous, Perfect Honeymoon Spot”
Reviewed May 13, 2013

Secrets Vallarta Bay truly took our breath away when my husband and I arrived at the resort. The lobby views are just gorgeous, overlooking the mountains and the beautiful ocean. I have been to Mexico about 6 times to a variety of resorts, and this was truly the best I have ever visited. Everything was top-notch! We stayed in a standard room, which was incredible and perfect for us! All of the rooms have ocean views, so you can't go wrong. We never saw any kids whatsoever near the Secrets side, and the pool was always neat, clean, with plenty of fresh towels everywhere. The food and drinks were fantastic everywhere, and our favorite restaurants were Bourdeaux and Oceano. ALL staff at Secrets (and Mexico in general) really go the extra mile to satisfy you and always have a happy, positive attitude. We looked forward to seeing our favorite waiters, bartenders, entertainment staff, and everyone daily! Hugo and Cesar in entertainment were excellent, as well as Ricardo in the Market Cafe. The spa is phenomenal, with jacuzzis, pools, lounge chairs, and we had an amazing couples massage. As far as a honeymoon location, the resort has awesome views of the mountains (hills) and the beach is very clean! It is only 15 minutes from the airport and about 5 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta. This was such a carefree, easy trip that allowed my husband and I to enjoy each other and made our honeymoon better than we could have imagined!!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sungirl87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,239)
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English first
Calgary
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed May 12, 2013

My wife and I recently returned from Secrets Vallarta Bay where we spent our honeymoon. The hotel is beautifully designed and brand new. We were upgraded to the preferred tower because the other tower was full so it didn't cost us anything. I'm not sure I would pay for the upgrade since all of the rooms look really nice and the other tower actually has a more direct view of the ocean. Our preferred room had a jacuzzi tub on the balcony but we never used it. For us it was always too warm outside to want to get into a hot tub. I think the nicest part of the preferred area was the private bar where you could grab a drink and they always had tasty snacks available as well. Sometimes I would grab smoked salmon & fruit for breakfast there instead of going to the buffet. I also enjoyed chatting with Alejandro, who worked there, about soccer and practicing my Spanish on him. The food throughout the hotel was terrific and there is plenty of selection. On our fist evening at the resort we were lucky enough to see mother & calf humpback whales splashing around close to shore while we were eating at the open-air Oceana restaurant at the resort. The staff was universally friendly & helpful and has set the new high standard for service for me. Besides Alejandro working at the preffered bar, Alan, the bus boy was also very friendly. We ran into him everyday at the resort it seemed and he always had time to say hello and a quick chat even though he was very busy bringing people's luggage to their rooms. The staff works very hard and does a great job. I would definitely recommend this resort to anyone who is looking at going to Puerto Vallarta. You won't regret it.

P.S. Yes we head the rooster at the empty lot next door but he wasn't any louder than the waves that you could hear crashing on the beach.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Calgtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh,North Carolina
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed May 11, 2013

My wife and I were looking for a worry-free week in a beautiful location and this place was perfect! This was our first all-inclusive, but other guests with all-inclusive experience told us Secrets was vastly superior to others. I guess we are now spoiled forever. :) I don't disagree with some of the critical comments in other reviews, but any miscues we encountered were minor and few. Mostly I was astounded at the thoughtful details that made a wonderful experience even better. It seemed as though someone had spent hours sitting in each bar, guest room, pool area, and pondered "what more I could I want?" and then they provided it. Given the number of other reviews, I'll just add a few details.

We chose Preferred Club, which isn't much additional cost, and we'd do it again. In talking to other guests, it seemed everyone who got Preferred Club was glad they did, and everyone who didn't was glad they didn't. I guess it's hard to evaluate without staying in both for comparison. Our favorite Preferred amenity was the bar in our lobby. In addition to a full bar, it had a nice buffet from 7am to 11pm, with selections changing throughout the day. Many of the items were finger foods, and we'd grab one on our way to/from the elevator. These were not ordinary snacks, but high-quality hors d'ourves and desserts. The Club tower also has fewer floors and its own elevators so there's minimal elevator delay. And we had our own checkin/Concierge service - again, minimal delay. We had a spectacular view of the beach and surrounding mountains, as well as the sunset.

Service is excellent. Some of our favorite servers were Edith and Abraham in the Preferred Club bar, and Omar and Alex on the beach.

If you go - a few pointers:

The restaurants have varying dress codes for men, typically requiring a shirt with sleeves and sometimes long pants at dinner. Pack accordingly.

Bring some sandals you can wear at the pool. The deck gets hot.

The house wine is pretty good, but not great. (Great selection of beer/liquor.) Much better wine is available by the bottle, but you have to pay for it - price about the same as any restaurant.

When you arrive they'll try to sign you up for a presentation on their "vacation club." You can say no. We attended because we thought we may be interested, but ultimately weren't. Instead of the promised 90 minutes it took over two hours and multiple "nos." But we got a $100 voucher which we spent on wine (see above). We met some guests who had joined the club years ago and were very happy with the value. You may want to hear the details if you take multiple vacations per year. We couldn't take full advantage of it.

The "City Tour" is one of many available excursions. If you consider it, notice it is long (most of the day).

We only went to town once, for a few hours. It's OK, but we ended up in a bar on the beach, and decided to go back to Secrets and drink for free. We went around mid-day and it was very hot. We might have liked it better at a cooler time of day.

Room Tip: We followed others' suggestions for 5th floor or higher, in Preferred Club. Loved it. Maybe ot...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Pickapeppa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MN
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013

Arrived in Puerto Vallarta and started our vacation off on the right foot with a swift entry process at the airport. As noted by others, you will be hounded as you leave the airport with transportation and timeshare offers. Simply keep walking if you already have transportation arranged and they will leave you alone. We booked through Apple Vacations and received transfers as part of the package. After a quick 10 minute cab ride we arrived at the resort.

Check-in was a little frustrating but not completely the fault of the hotel. We arrived a half hour before our check-in and were told that they did not have our room available. They asked us to have a seat in the lobby and that our room would be available shortly. We waited close to 1.5 hours before they notified us that our room was available and that was only after we followed up with the front desk. Normally we are pretty easy going, but when you have been traveling you really just want to get to your room.

Our room was located on the 10th floor and had a beautiful ocean view. The rooms are modern, well-appointed and have nice sized balconies to enjoy the view from. The open bathroom concept is nice but would not be ideal for those traveling with a friend or desiring more privacy. We did not spend the extra for the Preferred Club and were glad we did not. As mentioned by others, the views from the Preferred tower rooms appear to be less desirable and the additional benefits not worth the money.

Food at the resort proved to be hit and miss. The buffet restaurant was average with a decent selection of food choices (Yoana cheers you up no matter how you are feeling). We had better food at breakfast as most items were warm/cold at lunch. The pool grill leaves much to be desired as it was nearly the same rotation of hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza, chips and snack items each day. Meat and pizza that look like they have been left in a buffet warmer for several hours was not that appealing. Oceana was average as well; some menu items were pretty good while others lacked taste. The best meals we had were at the teppanyaki grill and Tamarindo. Our meal at the Italian restaurant Capers was also good.

The pool area at the resort is clean and service is great. We never had a problem finding a nice spot and always found plenty of towels. There were plenty of umbrellas and palapas to provide shade if needed. The activities committee does a nice job of keeping guests entertained throughout the day without pressuring folks to take part. Resort occupancy was light during our stay, but I can see where the pool area would be crowded at busier times. The layout of the pool area and the size of the pools are on the small side.

Overall, the staff we encountered in all areas of the resort put forth noticeable effort to make sure guests had a wonderful time. The city of Puerto Vallarta was clean and safe from what we experienced. We took a taxi downtown for $6 US and enjoyed walking the streets. We did walk into town on one occasion and it took around 20 minutes at a brisk pace. You will find plenty of street vendors and craft markets around town when you explore the cobblestone streets.
We had a relaxing vacation and would recommend the location and resort to others. The weather was great every single day of our vacation; lots of sunshine with a light breeze and low humidity.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank cottagewood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chico
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

My husband and I stayed in PV April 16th to April 26th. We trully enjoyed our stay. It was a five minute trip from the airport. We took a federal taxi (white) and it cost $20.00usd. We did not upgrade to club and never knew the difference. There is a MEGA store very close, 10min walk. This store has anything you could ever need and more including all forms of alcohol.
The beach was beautiful, however, very rocky and not the best for swimming. The one thing that was a little uncomfortable for me was when laying on the beach 20 ft from me was a rope on the other side of rope were several peddlers. We didnt come to this resort to be bothered. I know they have to make a living, but we enjoy the beach more than any aspect of our vacations. Sorry did not enjoy the beach as much as most resorts.
The service was very good in restraunts. My favorite Oceana chicken azteca. Room service was fair. We ate breakfast at the buffet every morning and looked forward to a warm goodmorning from Yohanna.We hope that management knows what a great asset Yohanna is to this resort. No matter what she always goes the extra mile.
Our room was cleaned regularly, and fridge stocked daily. It was my husbands birthday and they went all out to give him a special surprise at no additional charge. We did not go to any of the entertainment , however, the entertainment staff during the day were very friendly and fun. One day my husband set up for me to go out on the ocean on a hobbi cat with Alex. What a blast and such a great view of PV.
All and all a wonderful vacation. However probably will not return due to the peddlers standing in front of our view of the waves begging us to buy. If this isnt important to you then I would highly recommend this resort. Last but not least we went for two seperate spa treatments and it was pure heaven.

Room Tip: 6th floor had great view of ocean
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank sindim491
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 7, 2013

What a great place to stay! Excellent staff that tries really hard to make your stay great. Good food and drink. Nice pool. Gated. Comfortable and clean rooms. Room service was delivered extremely quick! Private taxi service upon request. Fabulous lobby overlooking pool and beach - perfect for a sunset cocktail or relaxation. Easy. Comfortable. We will be back!

Room Tip: Every room has a great ocean view. Higher rooms are quieter.
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank KSM4TRAVEL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed May 6, 2013

My recently husband and myself decided to have a second honeymoon on our first aniversary. The place is just wonderful as it is a luxury resort; the all-inclusive plan was great, the food in the restaurants was delicious, the people was so kind, the spa is a place where you have to go. The only issue was when we arrived at the hotel, when they tried to sell us their preferred membership and they tried to make us to assist to a presentation even when we were celebrating something special for us and we didnt want to waste a moment in a sales meeting. They used some kind of gifts to try to persuade us, such as a dinner at the beach and some discounts for the spa. After an hour of saying no, we were free!!!, and the rest of our experience was marvellous.

Room Tip: Ask for an ocean view room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Iliana C
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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