Everyone kept telling us to go to the Mayan side for our first visit to Mexico, but we rebelled and chose Now Amber in Puerto Vallarta. We are so happy that we did. We (myself, my 7 year old son and my mother) spent 7 luxurious nights here from July 28th - August 4th, 2012. Now being a first-timer at the all-inclusive I may be a bit star-struck if you will, but I can say that our trip was a trip of a lifetime. Now Amber is an amazing property. My only complaints, and they are few, are that just as you are finishing checking-in, there are staff from the Unlimited Vacation Club that are pretty sneaky in making you think that they are going to give you the guided tour of the resort and show you to your room. These people are not doing that; they are trying to get you to see a presentation about a time-share. A polite no thank you, not interested and they backed off. However, I wasn't happy with how sneaky they were. They are literally right on you as you are checking-in at the desk. We found that the staff in the lobby i.e. the Concierege and the front desk were not overally helpful and accomodating. The rest of the staff in the entire resort were AWESOME! For being only 30% full, we were not very happy with the speed of the room service the one night that we ordered it. They say 35 minutes, it was 90 minutes. But the food was amazing. The only other weird thing were the times that they cleaned the rooms. Our room was being cleaned everyday at around 4-5pm. Not that big of a deal, but not great when you come home from a long day tour and want to shower, change etc. But really not a big deal. Those are our only complaints!
We don't speak much Spanish and found that we didn't have a language barrier at all with anyone. But we most definitely used what Spanish that we knew and they appreciate that. The resort itself, is such a beautiful, spa-like, open-aired and clean property. It was actually pristine while we were there. The rooms are very comfortable and exiquisite. The beds are firm, but comfortable. The bellman showed us around our room and showed us how the A/C worked and the TV/Satellite etc. This was handy as some of the switches are hiding behind the bedside lamp. There is also a trick with the do not disturb lights at the door. Make sure if you leave your room to turn off the do not disturb or else they will not come in and clean. If you are in your room early, put do not disturb on as they will just come in for turn-down service anywhere between 8-10pm. Also, the ceiling fan levels: 4 is low and 1 is high. We had requested a cot, but the bellman suggested we use the chaise lounge for my son instead. It was way better than a cot. Housekeeping made it up with sheets, pillow and duvet and he loved it! I liked the touch with the incense in the bathroom too. I had that going while having a jetted tub one night.
The pools are really nice and clean. We especially loved the kids pool as it has a small, but fun waterslide. There is a barefoot grill near the kids pool too that serves hotdogs, hamburgers and nachos and cheese all day. That came in handy! The servers around the pools and beach were great! They worked really hard! Shout out here to Lincy! Thank you for all of my pool-side "Red Skys"! The infinity pool is beautiful. That contains the swim-up bar which is fun.
The Explorer's Club for kids is great! You can drop your child off at 9:00am and pick them up at 9:45pm. They give you a pager and buzz you if your child needs you. They have different hourly programs for them and they take them for lunch and dinner. My son had fun there and the staff are all trained and have their First-Aid, CPR etc. The staff were great.
The restuarants were wonderful too. We had the buffet breakfast at Carnival every morning. We had dinner there once and it was really good. We had dinner at Caper's (Italian), Tamarindo (Mexican) and they were both delicious. The service was exceptional. We also had dinner at the Mexican Fiesta buffet and the Caribbean night buffet. Both delicious and really fun. Great entertainment and music. Our most favorite night was at Tamarindo. Our server was Juan and he was AWESOME!!! Thank you Juan! There was a 4 piece Mariachi band that were amazing and very entertaining. The food there was really good!
The Spa is unlike any spa I have ever been too. It is so beautiful and serene. The detail in the design is really something else. The services were fantastic and the hydrotherapy pools were wonderful!!
The beach was truly beautiful, but we spent more time at the pools. We just got inundated with vendors that we just had to leave. They were all really nice, but it was really annoying after a while. If you plan to spend time in the water at the beach, bring some water shoes (pool shoes) as it is quite rough on the feet in there. But the setting is absolutely beautiful.
The weather was great!! Averaged around 95 degrees F. everyday. Only at night while we were sleeping would it thunderstorm.
If you are considering staying at Now Amber you will not be sorry! It sure was worth every penny and we would go back in an instant! Great for families! If you don't have kids, I would say to stay at Secrets that is attached to Now. There were a lot of young families staying there while we were there which was great for us.
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