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“Fantastic Holiday”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 124 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Manchester
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Fantastic Holiday”
Reviewed May 23, 2014

We flew out with Thomson 1st May for 2 wks. As we were amongst the first English people to arrive via the direct |Dreamliner flight we were treated to a 3 peice Mariachi band and refreshments prior to leaving Manchester, then on arrival in Puerto Vallarta we were treated as film stars with an even larger Mariachi band and refreshements, along with TV crews and applause as we entered the building. At this point it's worth adding that the Dreamliner is one fantastic aeroplane!.After an 11.5 hr flight we disembarked as fresh as if just been on a short haul one.
The hotel is a joy to behold, excellent decor, exceptionally clean and the staff all wonderful. Our room (suite) was on the 5th floor with a verandah resembled a football pitch compared to some others, the suite consisted of a separate shower unit with both freehand and overhead showers, a jacussi bath which my wife thought fantastic. The bed was large enough to sleep a family, let alone 2 people, but it was certainly very comfortable and the selection of pillows from firm to soft is something other holtels could take up. The view from the verandah was excellent allowing us to view a wonderful daily sunset.
There are varied restaurants which can be visited in both the secrets and the next door Now hotel, our preferences were the French,Italian and the Market Cafe to which special mention to the receptionist Alma who wonderfully perservered with my habit of hiding her "board" and causing minor hiccups when noting cust details, all taken in the holiday spirit.
My only gripe would be that the restaurant menus never changed, excellent though the food was, it would have been good to see a change, certainly after the first week. Although the room service was speedy and a good selection of food available, it suffered the usual "cold plate" syndrome which we seem to find in most holiday places. We like our food Hot, along with the plates.
It was my birthday during our stay, I was surprised when having finished breakfast, I was greeted with a serenade of "happy birthday" by the waiters, and presented with a small birthday cake...nice touch I thought. On this point it is worth noting that unless you specifically notify reception on your arrival of any "Anniversaries" no notice is taken and you are treated no different from any other guest. During out stay we saw a few weddings taking place and thought that this was the perfect choice for them. The holtel overall was a fantastic place to stay and we certainly look forward to returning there next year.

Room Tip: Our room was situated above the lobby terrace and close to the Now lobby terrace but overall still g...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank PhillySueManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,255)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Taylor, Michigan
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2014

Pros:
Gorgeous, spa-like feel, very romantic, would be perfect for anniversary or honeymoon, delicious food, no wristbands or reservations, incense in the rooms, all ocean view rooms + balconies, tranquil music and images on TV upon arrival, lots and lots of pool chairs and pools to choose from, with all different pool types for everyone--relaxing, games, shallow, deep, etc., yoga classes, good drinks, great location in Old Vallarta and very close to the airport (about 15 minutes)

Cons:
Rocky beach with very strong current--not recommended for swimming (but this is most of the beaches in Puerto Vallarta except maybe Barcelo's beach which is in a little bay, drink service at the pool a little slow, I had the do not disturb sign outside my door but the maintenance guy kept knocking--interrupted my bubble bath, when there are wedding parties, the music is loud by the pools so if you go to bed early it could keep you up (when you close the balcony door though, it's not too bad--it's just probably not possible to fall asleep to the sound of the waves because of the music), "Unlimited Connectivity" (wifi) only worked in the lobby, I went with a group of 10 people, each with our own room and they put us in wrong rooms/rooms got mixed up--one person got put in a honeymoon room with rose petals and happy anniversary strung across the door even though she was by herself


Although it may look like I have a lot of Cons, I still gave this resort a 5 because those were very minor things that do not make or break my trip. The rooms were gorgeous and clean, the service was great, ambience perfect, food amazing, and those are the things that most matter on a vacation.

Room Tip: You don't want to be in one of the 5th floor rooms that are above the Market Cafe with the huge...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank cgam14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2014

My husband and I spent 10 glorious nights at Secrets. From start to finish, our experience was beyond fabulous.

Check in was swift. They did give the 'vacation club introduction' but did not pressure us when we declined. During check in we advised the front desk that my husband has a gluten and seafood allergy. They provided us with a card to present to our servers at the restaurants. All the servers were superb; if in doubt they would ask the Chef and would alter menu items to accommodate him. Not once during our stay did my husband have an adverse reaction! Heck, I still struggle to ensure I'm not cooking with gluten!

Our room was delightful. We loved the open concept with the Jacuzzi tub. We could relax in the tub and watch the basketball and hockey playoffs..............go Spurs and Canadians! Thanks to the housekeeping lady who kept our room neat and tidy (room #2508).

Our dining experiences were all favourable. Most mornings (except for a couple of room service breakfasts) we enjoyed Alma's welcome and Spanish lesson at the Market Café for breakfast. Great selection! Most lunches we enjoyed Manuel's service and Spanish lessons at Oceana. For dinners we dined at Capers (really good pasta, both wheat based and gluten free), the Japanese (sushi was most enjoyable), Oceana (this was our favorite go to place) and a couple of times at the Market Place when there was al a cart. For an in between snack, we would enjoy the Barefoot Grill. Back to room service......each time we ordered, they would tell us how long it would be....they were right on within a couple of minutes. All of the room service food was very good as well.

The liquor selection was second to none, my husband is a 'Crown Royal' guy. This was available as well as Grey Goose. The bartenders tend to be heavy on the pour............not a bad thing. I enjoy a light beer so was in heaven with many Corona Lights,

We spent a fair amount of time at the Rendezvous Bar in the lobby of Secrets; during the day as well as in the evenings All of the servers were very attentive and very quick to provide and refill drinks. Ivon (not sure on the spelling) deserves notable mention. When she found out my husband had a gluten allergy, she made a point of putting a serving of just peanuts on our table. Normally, the snack combo consists of pretzel bits, peanut and a Japanese nut. Thanks Ivon, it is evident you truly enjoy your job!

The beach and pool bar service was exceptional as well. These people work very hard in the extreme heat to accommodate their guests. On the beach there was a contingent of peddlers selling their goods. From our experience, they would not pass the line onto the resort's property unless they were engaged in a sale or a potential sale.

The only minor downside to our experience was the lack of entertainment on the Secrets resort. Now Amber has a disco bar that hosts karaoke on Thursday nights (one guy rocked 'My Generation", another guy rocked "Sweet Child of Mine" and another rocked 'Summer of 69'.........just to list a few) this was very enjoyable.....real music. However, after karaoke, it became a teeny bopper lounge with techno crap that will never pass as real music in 40 years' time. We left. Computer generated sounds will never pass as real music. My suggestion would be to have a dedicated 1960 to 1980 music venue for guest who embrace 'classic rock' (this is a win/win in that it will attract all generations). Our sons between the ages of 21 an 25 enjoy this music nearly as much as we do. Furthermore, look to the ages of the guys who sang "My Generation', Sweet Child of Mine' and "Summer of 69". These are younger dudes singing and rocking out to classic rock. This in and of itself should confirm what I am suggesting!

In closing, this is a high class resort with exceptional service, amenities and dining (just not a lot of night life for the perceived over aged 'rockers').

Thanks for the memories!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank JandGMac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rothesay, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2014

We travelled here from uk for my husband's 60th birthday. We stayed in preferred club and upgraded to swim up room. This resort does not cater to vegetarians. Only meal I could eat was breakfast. Snacks in the preferred club bar in the afternoon are all meat and likewise the main lobby bar. Whilst there was free room service any meal you asked for came with a brown bean mush which was horrible - even if you asked not for it! All in all a good hotel catering mainly for Americans and Canadians so would not go again. Also noisy at night either with weddings or rowdy adults.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank 390Andy390
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014 via mobile

Visited in 2012 shortly after opening and loved it just as much but maybe for different reasons. This time I was surprised that the Preferred Club building had so many air conditioning and plumbing issues..it is still a new building. Raul and Brian at desk were very helpful and quick to attempt to remedy these issues. Worked out great in the end after three room changes. Lesson learned: High floors great views yet issues, 4th floor has bad view (wall blocks nearly the entire view), master suite on 3rd floor amazing. If you don't care about having snacks in club lobby with bartender then book regular section since it has better views and cheaper.Alfred the bartender at Preferred Club made some amazing drinks.

Now mixing with Secrets guests not an issue this time around. All divided down the middle. They have their own buffet but expect children at some of the theme nights, Italian restaurant and Coco Cafe.

BEST restaurant Himitsu. Food is amazing as well as the wonderful service from Ezekiel and Samuel. I am going to miss them. Very genuine and friendly. Take the kitchen tour it is an amazing setup. Lots of talented people that you never get to see otherwise. Food and food service clearly their draw / strength for us and reason for returning and it was even better second visit.

Watch out for time share sharks in the hotel dying to waste a whole day of your vacation.

Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank WindyCity12345
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marshall, MI
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 86 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2014

These days, international travel is not as easy as if was in the pre 911 days, but there are places that are worth going through the hassles to get to, and Secrets Vallarta Bay is certainly one of those!

Situated very near downtown Puerto Vallarta and about in the middle of the Vallarta Bay region, this is an ideal spot for relaxing, adventure, business, dining, and entertainment and all of that without even leaving the property.

The pool area is small, by Secrets standards, but still manages to have seven pools of various sizes and depths. The biggest has the 'swim-up' pool bar and when there look for Jose or Raul to get you your adult beverages. Hand any of them a 50-peso bill and you will get exceptional service, beyond the excellant service that you can get anyway. Mid afternoon is when it is busiest so it may be to your advantage to stay in your lounge chair and have the drinks delivered to you.

The entire area is a few steps from the beach and the beautiful view of Vallarta Bay and the Pacific Ocean. BUT BEWARE, there are many vendors that look to have you purchase their offerings whether jewelery (mostly sterling silver), tobacco (Cuban), or any imaginable soveineer (hats, toys, and some junk). ALSO, during the mid-day, the sand to very hot and can blister the bottom of your feet if not careful. THEN, walking into the water can be a bit hazardous since the bottom is very stoney in spots and there can be currents to deal with. For my money, stay by the pool and enjoy the company of those around you!

At the resort, you can schedule many activities and excusions to see and do many things on and off the property. I scheduled (of course) a dive trip that was at the private beach area know as Las Caletus (more about that in another review). The trip was set up by 'Scuba Lisa', who is part of Vallarta Adventures and is at the resort most days. She was extremely helpful setting up my trip and you do a number of other things, such as the Dolphin Experience, ziplining, hiking, etc. See Lisa to setup any trip and your will have a great time. At the resort, there is, beside the pools, many activities and thing to do. Water volleyball, spa treatments, tennis, golf (nearby), and nightly entertainment in another part of the complex.

There are several restaurants on the site from the 'anyhting you want' breakfast buffet to the high-end french restaurant (dress code enforced) and a lot in between. At the breakfast buffet, look for Ivan to help you out and he will see to it that you are treated exceptionally well. Carlos is the waiter the gave us the best treatment at the french restaurant and Emilio was the best pool side for lunch!!

The individual rooms were well appointed and stocked with very high quality toiletries and the fridge had water, soda and beer, all restocked each day. The bed was confortable but a little too soft for me; the towels, robes, and slipper were the standard but very nice, Secrets offerings; the floors were all marble and the wall were covered with mirrors and/ or linen curtains. The downside was the very small balcony and the furniture was not comfortable but that was all overcome by the fantastic view of the Bay. Still in all, very comfortable, roomy and quality furniture made for a nice stay.

As before, Secrets Resorts are great at what they do and you can have a vacation experience that covers up the unconfortable or inconvienent travel that you have to go through to get there. This is a place I would return to given the chance even if it was not perfect!!

Room Tip: Stay on the highest floor you can for the best view of the ocean (above the seventh). Get to the...
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank scubahanlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2014

My selection of this hotel was a good experience with the Secrets the Vine in Cancun and that it was listed as 5* adult only in the Puerto Vallarta. First disappointment was that beach is totally rocky and hotel did not advertise it. At least we could take from home special shoes to use in water. We tried to move to their sister hotel - Dreams Villamagna and use ocean for swimming, staff was not helpful at all with promises to move us and our friends (another couple) and did not do anything, only lies. We did not have that problem when we use Excellence chain with request to move. About resort - beach is not SWIMMABLE, pools are so small it was even scary to go in with a lot of people in the water, no room to swim in the pool. They said that one of the pool is infinity, but it sitting inside the ground and you cant even see the ocean. Also, the pool has the steps inside water which you cant see, its in my opinion is not safe. The towel game exists and you have to play it if you have to find any shade. The ground doesn't have any shady area. Can you imaging the Barefood Grill on a beach, 4 table totally on the sun and you have to eat your snack not even have an umbrella over. We are traveling to Mexico every year and never see the beach grill without area to eat in the shade. Restaurants - Market Café was the best, French was good, Mexican took us more that two hours for dinner and we left even before our desert was served. The Oceana has terrible food for lunch and we did not risked to go there for the dinner. The rooms are just OK but I never had an experience when they refill shampoo, lotion and so on in the same bottles, and you cant read the label to see what is inside the bottle - lotion or conditioner. The overage people who served us in the restaurants and served drinks on a beach are good and helpful opposite the people who makes decision on the help desk in the preferred club and in the hotel management. Please send me your questions if you have any. I always try to be honest and not get with the negative emotions. So we got OK time on our vacation even with the small hiccups.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Kievfrisco
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 124 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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