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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
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Reviewed March 8, 2014

My husband and I stayed next door at the Now Amber last year for 10 days and opted to go with Secrets (adults only) after finding out we're pregnant with our first baby. We stayed from February 21-28 and had phenominal weather. The servers, greeters, bar tenders, etc. were very professional and go above and beyond to create a lasting impression. The food was excellent... UNTIL my last night at the resort. I had (what I thought was) a wonderful meal at the Market Cafe a la carte, however I woke up in the middle of the night, 10 hours before my flight, EXTREMELY ill. I've now been home for over 1 week and am still suffering with an infection from the food poisoning..quite possibily E. Coli. With that said, I would likely not return to Secrets Vallarta Bay despite the luxe atmosphere and attentive service. Definitely disappointed with how my pricy vacation concluded.

  • Stayed: February 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank lisabee333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2014

Hi all,
Just got back from Secrets PV and time for a report for everyone.

ARRIVING:
So when you pull up to the resort, you'll see it's adjacent to Secrets AMBER ... which is not adults only. Don't worry ... they'll take you to the Secrets side. It's amazing how those big tour buses get up that steep hill. The entrance is gorgeous, with a beautiful view of Vallarta Bay.

CHECK IN:
Extremely friendly welcome when we got there. And seamless. We were seated right away with a cold glass of champagne and they were ready for us. We got our room and all information and were headed to the room within about 10 minutes. No pressure to sit through any kind of sales pitch or "do you want to upgrade for $$$" and so on ... but the resort was at full capacity anyway.

ROOM:
As many previous reviews stated, it's practically impossible to get a room with a "bad" view. All rooms are ocean view or oceanfront. The higher up your room is, the better view you have (over the palm trees). So if you booked a "garden view" (like we did) fear not .... you'll just be on a lower floor (like we were) and you'll see the ocean and beach through the palm trees.

The room is very nice. The bed is extremely comfortable. The amenities are nice, and there's a Jacuzzi and huge glass shower.

Mini-bar has the usual suspects: beer, pop, water, juice.

Room cleaning each day was good ... fresh towels, turn down service. Nothing to complain about really!

We didn't order room service but the menu was fairly decent - sandwiches, pastas, Mexican, burgers, salads...the usual stuff that'll keep you happy. Room service is 24/7.

POOLS:
Clean, great temperature! One pool (closest to the pool bar) seemed to be the 'active' pool with all the daily goings-on. The property itself is somewhat small so no matter where you sit, you will hear the music but it's not annoying.

RESTAURANTS:
They are all great! We didn't do the Japanese though so I can't comment on that. If you go to Oceana, I highly recommend the scallops. At the Market (when it becomes Mediterranean for dinner) do try the lasagna appetizer - it's an amazing concoction of mushrooms, a white sauce and pineapples. I know it sounds odd but it's really delicious! At the French restaurant you can't go wrong no matter what you order. If you are a foodie (like I am) you'll be pleased.

The house wines are Chilean - and they are fine. You will always be able to request to buy wine from their extra wine menu but you really don't need to. Their house is just fine.

Service is always very attentive and genuine. They're nice people working there, so please be kind and tip them if you can.

The breakfast buffet was very good - all the usual suspects that you'd expect from a 5 star all inclusive - do try the crepes and the smoked salmon and cream cheese. Everything is very fresh. We never waited longer than about 2 or 3 minutes to get seated and the resort was at full capacity all week. Same goes for the a la cartes ... never a long wait at all.

BEACH:
Ok, so PV is not like Riviera Maya with the white, powdery sand, but this resort is on a good "stretch" of beach for PV! It's pretty wide and clean and you can walk up and down the beach quite a way.

There are vendors on the beach selling their wares. If you have been to PV before, you know about this. If you haven't, don't worry about it. They will try to sell you stuff and if you just say "no thank you" they are fine. They're just trying to make a living. You can barter with them and they are quite friendly.

The beach/pool drink service is great ... those people work very hard so we tipped them during the week as well.

For lunch, you have 3 options - the main buffet, Oceana or the grill. We usually just did the grill and had cheeseburgers and such. Good food, no complaints whatsoever. A couple of times we went to Oceana and they have a lovely lunch menu - ceviche, sandwiches, pastas, etc. You can also order your food from the folks that bring drinks if you don't feel like getting up and losing suntanning time. ;)

TOURS:
We booked a whale watching tour last week, went and it was nice BUT we didn't really get as close to the whales as we'd have liked. It's one of those things ... sometimes the whales cooperate, sometimes they don't! But it was a great day. I think the tours stop on March 1 but there are lots of other tours available and I'd recommend you simply book through the hotel at the concierge desk. They'll handle it all for you.

LOBBY BAR:
Really gorgeous! If you've seen the website, it's higher than the pool area and beach, and you will watch the most amazing sunsets there. Highly recommend going to the lobby bar for some drinks before dinner and enjoying the gorgeous sunsets. I took some amazing shots and will post them shortly.

CROWD:
Ok, so of course you know but I'll just say this anyway, this is not a "yahoo" or party place really. It's an upscale, adults only property. So if you're looking for a really "wild" time, this wouldn't be the spot, but if you just want a nice adults only AI with great facilities and terrific food, this is the place to go.

STAFF:
They are so nice! We sat at the more "quiet" pool (if there is such a thing ha ha) but the entertainment staff were great during the day - pool games, etc. They did a great job keeping folks entertained.

LOCATION:
It's a great spot - you can walk to downtown PV (the Malecon and Old Town) in about 20 minutes. We also walked to the marina area but that was about 45 minutes !!! I'd recommend a cab for that.

SHOPPING ON SITE:
It's pretty limited, so don't expect a ton but they have some nice gift and jewellry stores. When you check in you can start an account and just charge anything to your room if you wish. (We charged the whale watching tour to our room ... very handy).

SPA:
I didn't use the spa but we heard it was fabulous. I suppose a week is just not long enough to deny myself any suntannnig time LOL. Maybe next time!

BEING ADJACENT TO THE FAMILY FRIENDLY RESORT:
Ok so this might concern some people, so I'll just add some info on this. It's not a problem, really. We are adults only folks ourselves and initially thought that we'd hear lots of noise from the other side of the resort - NOT TRUE! We walked through the Amber side and it was so quiet! I was told that the people staying on the Amber side cannot come to the Secrets side, but we were allowed to use their facilities and restaurants. That seemed to be true. The Mexican and Italian a la cartes are on the Amber side, but we dined there and there were no children and it was very nice (mind you, we didn't get there till about 9 p.m. so maybe that is why.) Oh, I forgot to mention that the a la cartes are open late - till 11 p.m. each night! So don't worry if you're a late eater.

CHECK OUT:
Check out time is noon, which is pretty much standard. We had a late flight so we paid 50 dollars to have our room until 5 p.m. which was good for us. I would assume (although I didn't ask) that they also have a hospitality suite if they cannot accommodate your request for a late check out.

FINAL QUESTION (THE BIG ONE) WOULD WE GO BACK? Yes! In a heartbeat! What a great week, great staff and amazing food. I miss it already!!

Happy to chat about any of this at any time! I hope I've answered all questions you may have and if you have booked Sec. PV, great choice! You will have a wonderful vacation! Enjoy every minute and please have a Margarita on the rocks for me when you get there! :)

Room Tip: Higher floor, better view. But again, "garden view" means a lower floor still overlooking pool and ocean so don't panic if your holiday package says "garden view"
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
15  Thank TorontoSuzanne2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 7, 2014

My husband and I just returned from Secrets Vallarta Bay. We can not say enough good things about this resort. From the time we got out of our cab until we left at the end of our stay. Upon arrival we were greeted with cool towels and a glass of champagne... the stay just continued to get better. The staff is awesome, the pools beautiful and the food wonderful. Guests may use the restaurants at the sister resort that is right next door. (Now Amber) This resort is a family resort; we did not find this an issue when eating dinner. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Brat102
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

We stayed here based on others' reviews and we were happy overall. The resort is wonderful with great food and service. We payed extra to have a swim-out suite but were disappointed to find out that the pool was in the shade for the majority of the day and only had sunlight for a couple of hours in the afternoon. We also decided to have the lobster one evening at Oceana and that was a very bad decision. The extra charge for the lobster was $45 per person and it was the most terrible lobster I've ever eaten. On top of that they forgot our order at first so we were at the restaurant for just over two hours before we were finally fed.

The other negative experience we had was with the 'vacation' club. On our first day a young fellow named Alejandro approached us and asked us to attend a 90 minute presentation in exchange for a $100 excursion voucher. We were travelling with another couple and we decided to attend to help out Alejandro. What a huge mistake! After two hours myself and the other fellow finally had to walk out on the salesman (he hadn't yet even told us the price). Our wives stayed behind to fight for our certificates and they finally found out that the price was $55,000 USD. Yikes!

Lilliana in the lobby bar was fantastic and always had a smile on her face. Edgar looked after us in our swim out pol and did a spectacular job.

We probably won't return here mainly because of the bad experience with the sales folks, but it's certainly a nice place.

Room Tip: Don't waste your money on the swim-out rooms unless you like shade all day.
  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank tech5709
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

This is a great resort. The layout is perfect, and it is 100 times more beautiful in real life than in any of the pictures I had seen online. We read that the resort was clean - it was spotless. We read that the staff was friendly - they were incredibly sweet and gracious. We read that the food was great - most of it was. The fresh seared ahi at the Market lunch buffet is worth the trip to Mexico alone. We read that there was a rooster that would wake us up if we stayed in the preferred tower. There was a rooster, he didn't wake us up. We read that there were partying Canadians - there were and they were a lot of fun, and so were the pool drinks - I recommend the daily special and the bob marley. Overall, our experience exceeded our expectations, and we quickly realized that 4 days at the resort was not nearly enough...

One strange occurrence in my room in the prefered tower - On our last night at the hotel, I got out of bed to draw the blackout curtains, and slipped and fell, pulling down the curtain with me. Turns out there was nearly 2 inches of standing water on the ground (causing the fall) and the chaise lounge next to the window was drenched. Apparently the hot tub on the balcony above me was leaking into my room. I called maintenance. They showed up, told me they would fix it after I checked out. I was assured the manager on duty would be apprised of the situation. When I checked out, I explained the situation, and was told I wouldnt have to pay for a replacement curtain. Nobody seemed particularly concerned about my well-being (or the fact that I was up past 1:30 waiting for maintenance to come and then a callback from the front desk), or asked if any of my property had been damaged in the flood, and they still haven't asked in the few days since I have been back. Since the service had been so good otherwise, I chalked it up to a bad day at the resort. Would have bothered me more if we hadn't had such a great vacation prior.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank KBK229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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