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“Heaven ! a fabulous place.”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #14 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Just returned from a week at this fabulous hotel. Went to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. ALL the staff are extremely helpful ALL the time, our room was kept spotlessly clean by Olivia she worked very hard every day. The restaurants are all excellent ( enormous variety of food every day). Bordeaux being the best in our opinion. The pools are lovely and the waiters do an amazing job around these areas whether you tip them or you don't. We loved everything about this place and would not hesitate to return in the future.

Thomson has just added this resort to their list, we were among the first to holiday here for some years, boy was it worth the wait ! We would definately recommend Secrets Puerto Vallarta.

Room Tip: 99.9% of the rooms are sea view, the higher the floor the better the view.
  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Karen_Steve2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,239 - 2,245 of 3,366 reviews

Reviewed May 11, 2014

We've just returned from a two week trip to PV. We spent half at the RIU Palace Pacifico and half at Secrets Vallarta Bay. As reference, we have also stayed at Dreams PV, Sun Palace (Cancun), Barceló (Ixtapa) and RIU properties in Los Cabos and Costa Rica.

The Now Amber and Secrets Vallarta share the property. We didn't find this to be an issue, with the exception of some kids running around the restaurants on the Now side of the resort. Each night there were special events going on, which meant that some restaurants were closed to us. Upon checking in, we couldn't even walk through the pool area down to the beach to check the place out due to a private party going on.

Check-In: The typical AM time share pitch and useless resort coupons that no one uses. It is so frustrating to arrive at a beautiful hotel and have to negotiate your way out of the sales pitch in order to get to your room.

Rooms: Modern, clean and well-decorated. shower and jetted tub are great. most rooms have a great view. Beds are more comfortable than most other hotels we've stayed at.

Pools: Beautiful, clean and good temperatures. The hot tub is actually warmer than the pools, which is rare. The lounge chairs look nice and new, but are vary uncomfortable. The service at the pool was fantastic. Thanks to Luis and Herman for making sure we were well watered all day.

Restaurants: A complete disappointment. The Dreams property we stayed at had amazing food. Seeing as Secrets is supposed to be a step up in the chain, we had expectations that the food would be at least as good. We were let down day after day. Our first meal consisted of raw scallops, overcooked steak and undercooked potatoes. Breakfast and lunch buffets were lacking in both quality and selection. Trays of cheese looked melted and salads were wilted even immediately upon the buffet opening. Asking for a fried egg from the omelet station in the morning was answered by a blank stare. Dishes at the buffet and in the a la carte restaurants were lacking seasoning.
The shrimp / mahi mahi duo at the Oceana was good and well cooked. The food at the Teppanyaki table in Himitsu restaurant was impressive. You will need a reservation for that one.

Service: We felt that many staff were not happy to be there. We witnessed a number of arguments between staff members during our meals. The bartenders at the pool and in the lobby were never friendly. The ladies waitressing at the lobby bar in the evenings were very attentive and always pleasant. Special thanks to Liliana.

General: Let's be honest - a stay at Secrets is not cheap. When we spend more we expect more and Secrets is not delivering. The 'welcome home' announcement when you arrive and the forced 'It's my pleasure' in response to each 'thank you' is derived and comes off as almost condescending. Our overall review of 4 out of 5 reflects that there are many worse properties out there.

We had a good time, but the value just isn't there. The price per night at a top notch RIU hotel is half what Secrets charges. While the a la carte restaurants at the RIU properties tend to be fairly average, the buffet food is always good and the service all over the resorts is fantastic.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Marla D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2014

Dear MD/JM,

Thank you for taking the time to share with us your recent stay. We sincerely regret the overall impression left by our staff on your recent stay. We can assure you this is in no way indicative of the high level of service we are highly sought after for. It is important to mention that Secrets Vallarta Bay and Now Amber are two independent resorts, please do not let the proximity of the two fool you. They work independently from one another and aside from sharing the same driveway they are tactfully divided into their own.

There is no time share sales pitch, our Unlimited Vacation Club offers our guests vacationing opportunities. Our guests are never forced to partake in learning more about what UVC offers and are welcomed to opt out at any time of check in. Please be sure to let your receptionist know you do not want to participate and you will not have to. Our guests comfort is first and foremost.

Your experiences at our gourmet restaurant are of great concern and will be looked over with our Food & Beverage manager so that we can take this opportunity to go over menus, varieties and of course, cooking terms and their execution. It is quite embarrassing to read this could have happened and you can be sure we will take proactive measures to prevent any of the above from repeating itself. I would like to take this opportunity to invite guests to make any discomfort known to a manager on site the moment it presents itself and allow us the opportunity to make things right. Once you, our valued guest has left there is very little we can do about your personal experience. We wholeheartedly hope you return to our beautiful resort and experience the improvements first hand.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2014

Ok nice new facility. I think 2 years old. Nice location being half way between airport and downtown so everything is close. Well trained nice staff. Adult only but connected to New Amber which is just as nice in every way with kids. The thing that sets it apart is the food. Best steaks ever except for one night my brother got a tough one. At lunch in the Market Cafe you could pick a big thick raw steak from an assortment. The chef would cook it for you while you are getting your jumbo shrimp done with another chef. Everything you could ever dream of for breakfast, lunch, or supper. Dress code is enforced so you must remember to pack the long pants for men at supper in a few of the real fancy places but it is worth it. We booked last July on a 1 day sale from Westjet Vacations so it was a good but still expensive vacation compared to other deals out there but it was worth it. Lots of repeat customers there from USA and everyone agreed that it was not a cheap trip but worth it. Here is hoping for another sale.

Room Tip: All rooms and views are great. The 3rd floor is actually the lobby floor. The guests on the 15th flo...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank DavidDedman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2014

DavidDedman,

Greetings from Secrets Vallarta Bay! Thank you for sharing your recent stay at Secrets Vallarta Bay with our readers and fellow travelers. We are indeed 2 years young and work hard to maintain our beautiful resort as crisp and beautiful as it is today. It thrills us to know that our staff and amenities were to your liking and that we met your expectations providing you with the most memorable stay. It is especially gratifying to know that we captured your heart through our gourmet food served at our restaurants. We do regret your brothers’ steak but look forward to making amends on your next visit with the most delicious steak ever. It is important to remind our readers that the long pants dress code is only enforced for dinner only at one (1) of our gourmet restaurant. That restaurant is our French cuisine Bordeaux. We hope you spot some good sales so that we can welcome you back soon.

All the best,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 10, 2014

My wife and I traveled with a group of 15 family/friends to this resort for end of March/beginning of April. We had been to Secrets Maroma on our honeymoon and to be honest were anxious to see if Vallarta Bay would measure up.
It did indeed measured up and more!
Our whole group stayed in the preferred club which we all enjoyed; and we stayed in a swim-out. Four days into our trip we were informed that the swimouts were overbooked and politely asked to switch to the Presidential suite if we chose to. It was an obvious choice and one of the nicest rooms we have stayed in.
Pools & staff were the absolute best hands down. Some people in our group have traveled to the same resort twice a year on the Caribbean side (4 years running) and were nervous to try something new....After this trip they are now thinking about booking to come back already.
Beach was beautiful, maybe not for swimming but we did jump in almost everyday for a dip. Some people in our group actually walked from downtown on the boardwalk all the way along the beach back to the resort. It was a beautiful walk, so ignore the reviews that speak negatively of this. Besides, the pools/decks are so nice and so close to the beach you feel like you are on the beach all day anyways.
As for the food, I am a professional chef and enjoyed almost every meal we had. The only thing was that our group was never accommodated to sit at one table, we were always split into two which was a little inconvenient for dinners.
We were also nervous of the proximity to the Now side with kids, as we all wanted/paid for adults only. They have done an amazing job on making it seem like that resort is not even there. We never once felt like there was kids around, and were actually surprised at what an awesome job they did with this.
For the price we paid and the quality my wife and I already looking at when we can go back, and would choose Vallarta Bay over Maroma.

Room Tip: Swim-out rooms and preferred are worth it!
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Steph1mac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2014

Steph1mac,

We are very honored by your 5 star review on TripAdvisor. We thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience with our readers and future travelers and are thrilled to know that we met and exceeded your expectations.

Our Preferred Club is where the axiom of service is experienced. We envelope our guests with upgraded amenities and their very own Butler & Concierge team to look after your every need.

We apologize for any inconvenience changing suites may have had on your visit and thank you for making yourself available to the complimentary upgrade to our most exclusive Presidential Suite.

It is very rewarding to receive praise from a chef about our culinary options. We are working on continuing to grow so that we can continue to please you on your future visit. We kindly ask that on your next visit you make it known to your concierge/butler of your dining seating preference and you can be sure we will do our best to meet your request by exploring every option available.

I believe I speak not only for myself but on behalf of our staff when I say we are very much looking forward to welcoming you back home in the near future.

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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Reviewed May 9, 2014

My husband and I traveled with my mother recently to PVR to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary / April 2014 - the weather was great the entire time in PVR despite the earthquake that happened in Mexico City. (This was a first for us to experience in PVR while traveling.) Still, that's certainly no reflection on this resort. The resort is a little over 2 years old and it shows. Everything looks new and is kept immaculately clean. Everything everyone says about the excellent service is true - but let me give you an example of what that means. We were having dinner at Capers one night and I accidentally bumped my knife off the table with my elbow. In the time that it took for the knife to HIT THE FLOOR, another server swooped in with a replacement, placing it neatly on the table. It was like it didn't even happen! (They're ninjas! LOL.) Truly wonderful and efficient at what they do! Juan at the Secrets lobby bar was THE BEST, taking care of our every need! I thought at first that he was the bar manager but it turned out that he was a part of the general staff. I was so impressed with him that I presented him with a TripAdvisor service pin (see photo and be sure to say HI if you see him). He'll take good care of you! Carlos, one of the greeters/bellmen on the Now Amber side was also great! Everyone here seems to actually ENJOY what they do and that really comes across. We've been to other resorts where staff will walk by you and not even speak. That never happened here. Everyone was especially warm and you believe them when they say "It's my pleasure" (You'll hear that a lot.)

During this trip, my mom stayed on the Now Amber side and my husband and I stayed on the Secrets side. Having spent time on both sides, we did notice a few differences. Poolside service on the Now Amber side was much slower. On one day it seemed to take (forever) to get a drink and we wound up ordering two at a time at one point. The Secrets poolside is much more relaxed being adults-only - but the music on both sides are excellent! Really chill deep house music that was right up our alley! One major difference is that Now Amber does not have Grey Goose (an important detail for an all-inclusive resort). Secrets also has the "Secrets Box" for room service delivery, so you won't be disturbed) At Now Amber they knock on your door I assume. Room service food was hit or miss. Sometimes by the time the food arrived it was cold. I figured this out quickly and mostly ordered cold items/desserts for late night snacks (the cheesecake is great!)

The hotel grounds are beautiful - especially the lobby, where we noticed couples like to congregate in the evening for cocktails and to listen to live music performances by the entertainment staff. I recall reading a review here that warned that this resort is not ideal for singles/traveling alone - and I would agree. There was a noticeable "couples vibe". All we seemed to meet were middle-age engaged/married couples. This isn't a bad thing by any means, but just an observation. Personally, we enjoyed this vibe on the adults-only side and really enjoyed making new friends! I will also add this this resort is LGBT-friendly. We met a few other gay couples at the resort and we personally felt extremely comfortable to be ourselves and enjoy the resort just as much as anyone else. Kudos to Secrets for this.

Regarding the food: Except for room service, we didn't have a bad meal. If you have the time, try to visit them all! The buffets were especially wonderful and breakfast never disappointed.

This resort also does a GREAT job with the entertainment. Normally when we travel we don't pay much attention to the activity schedule but this was a case where we couldn't wait to see what was planned next. The fire show is especially good and the activity staff are very friendly! The water aerobics was more intense than we expected (We thought it was never going to end - but this only gave us an excuse to indulge for the rest of the day!)

The beaches aren't really swim-able but who cares? Have you seen the pools? Plus, there are other things to do on the beach like rent a jet ski ($60 USD) and I even parasailed for the first time (which was amazing!)

This is truly a top-notch luxurious resort with great staff and you'll meet wonderful people from all over the world. Everyone is happy - so what's not to love? My closing advise would be to soak everything in and take advantage of the resort's offerings. They really seem to think of EVERYTHING. i wish you safe travels! Enjoy your vacation and make the most of it!

Room Tip: Choose a room high up to avoid pool noise. We were on the 2nd floor and requested to move)
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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6  Thank See_Chris_jetset
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Love the resort. The lobbies are terrific the rooms are fantastic the staff is the friendliest I have encountered at any resort and the food is good. Tons of pools to lounge and have the wait staff run you drinks all day just make sure you tip a buck or two and they will be back very often. The secrets side seems to be more mellow than the now side which is louder and more lively so if you stay at secrets you can choose your level of excitement because both the hotels are at the same resort. The resort itself is not very large but it is well laid out so you don't have to do much walking to get anywhere. Wifi and calls to US and Canada are free so don't bother with the preferred section unless you want your own lounge We were never asked to sit through a timeshare presentation so I'm not sure what the other reviews were talking about. As for the famous rooster it does exist however only the lightest sleepers would be bothered by it. We stayed on the 9th floor and hardly heard it at all. All and all it's a great resort and I think there are plenty of options to cater to all tastes

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
6  Thank DAREK c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2014

DAREKC,

Thank you for your kind review on TripAdvisor. Future travelers will surely enjoy knowing what is in store for their upcoming Unlimited-Luxury® experience! It is important to mention Secrets Vallarta Bay & Now Amber are not the same resort. They are two different resorts tactfully divided with two different concepts. Secrets Vallarta is Adults only and Now Amber is family friendly.

We are glad that our convenient location and Unlimited Connectivity perk was to your liking and sincerely appreciate your candor. It was our pleasure hosting your recent holiday and look forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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Reviewed May 4, 2014

It is difficult to come up with anything we didn't find special about this resort. From the minute we arrived we were treated as though we were the most important guests at the place! The rooms are luxurious, the pools are plentiful and although we like warmer water, they were still acceptable! The service around the pools was very good and entertainment staff were excellent....always something to do! The restaurants, from the poolside "Barefoot Grill" , the coffee shop, lunch buffets to evening fare....were simply amazing! To begin to describe the variety and the quality of food or the amazingly friendly and attentive staff would take up too much space and still not do it justice. Guests do not wear wristbands,and there are plenty of loungers around the pool upon which staff place rolled up towels every morning. We've all heard the saying that a Mexican 5 star is not equivalent to a Canadian or USA 5 star....but Secrets Vallarta is the exception...it truly is a 5 star.
A shout out to Bernice at the lobby bar, Hector at the Carnival, Rosa and Cynthia, greeters at the Market Cafe, and Xavier, Heriberto, Ivan and Humberto who served us there with enthusiasm and joy. In all sincerity we feel guilty about not singling out more of these wonderful people but they were all exceptionally friendly and would do absolutely anything to meet any of our requests. Their saying is "anything is possible"!!!
Hugo and Jhonathon of the entertainment staff made the days sports and games so enjoyable and entertaining. It is truly a top notch resort, but it is the staff who make it truly special.
Thank you for a wonderful two week vacation!

Room Tip: We were on the third floor of the main building and were quite surprised at the magnificent view!
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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5  Thank dennise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded May 13, 2014

Greetings Dennise,

We would like to thank you for your exuberant review. It was our sincere pleasure serving as your host on your recent holiday. One of our goals is to make all of our valued guests feel as if they were walking into their very own home. It is very gratifying to know we met this goal during your stay.
We are thrilled to know that our Unlimited-Luxury® concept of No Wristbands, No towel cards and No reservations to our gourmet restaurants was to your liking.
Although we are not familiar with the saying about a 5 star difference between Mexico and USA/Canada we can assure you that our Four Diamond standard knows no borders. We are recognized as Four Diamond standard by AAA for the second consecutive year.

We look forward to welcoming you again in the near future to continue to show you the axiom of service and surroundings Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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Additional Information about Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164 | Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico (Formerly Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa)
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 #14 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $260 - $748 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta 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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