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“Lovely service”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Kansas
Level Contributor
78 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Lovely service”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

The service was excellent, but there's room for improvement and for error at this lovely resort.

First, what works:

1. The service -- It's my number one concern when I book an all-inclusive resort. I hope to never have a dry drink and to never feel like I'm putting anyone out. Now Amber's staff exceeded my expectations. We tipped and we had exceptional service. I suspect our service was a notch above those who didn't tip, but everyone received great service.

2. The lobby -- it's stunning. The open air lobby sits atop the third floor and opens up to an extraordinary view of the bay. It backs up to Moments Bar. Our favorite evening activity was watching storms roll in, which is common in August in the evenings, or watching the sun go down. The bar was only steps away from the view, a server was almost always on hand as well, and many nights, there was live music, too.

3. The ala carte restaurants -- the food was very good for resort food. It tasted fresh and largely homemade. That's rare at a resort. On a few occasions, the menu description did not match the food. For example, at one restaurant I ordered a vegetable tower that was supposed to include beets and goat cheese. I'm pretty sure neither was on the plate. But what I did receive was delicious, and this never occurred on a main dish -- just an appetizer once and a dessert. Not too big of a deal.

4. Kayak tour of the bay -- it was free and truly enjoyable. We didn't really tour, just paddled way out into the bay and swam for about an hour while our host described what was on land around the bay. We highly recommend it!

Just so-so:

1. The pools. Next to service, pools are our favorite thing at a resort. The pools at Amber are lovely, but they aren't very big. We enjoy a lazy river and some spots of privacy in the pool -- not for anything freaky, but just to have a quiet conversation or float. Speaking of floating, there were no floats available. I did see a few pool noodles, but no floats.Survivable, but there's room for improvement in that detail. The resort was only about a third full. At capacity, the pools and chairs would be overwhelmed.

2. The breakfast and lunch options. Only the buffet is open at breakfast, which is OK. However, the food never changes. I would appreciate it if there were a few different options every morning, just to break up the monotony. At lunch, the buffet was open and OK, but the other Barefoot Grill and Castaway Restaurants were nothing to write home about. But, I don't really go to a resort for the food, so it's doable.

3. The beach. It's just OK. Too many salesman hassle you the moment you step onto the sand. I'm not sure that's something the resort can fix, but....

4. Speaking of sales, we got the hard sell for a vacation club membership. Not cool. For our 2.5 hours of a sales presentation, we received $300 in spa credits. The spa is lovely, but horribly overpriced. I had an 80 minute massage that ended up costing $200 (in credits) and then didn't have enough leftover for additional treatments. Steps outside of the resort is a shop that offers a very good massage for about $25. Save your time and stop there instead. By the way, the vacation club they pressed us to join cost $17,000. I do NOT make that kind of purchase without careful consideration, and I think it's a little abhorrent for the resort to ask that of its guests.

5. The shows -- They were just OK. Nightlife on the resort is pretty tame, but it's a family resort so that's not too surprising.

Overall, we had a lovely stay and would recommend it to friends. The air conditioner was cold. The bed was cozy and the room was very well appointed. The resort has some very nice touches and great service. If pools or the beach are your main interest in a resort vacation, you might consider looking elsewhere (ahem. Cancun). That said, I imagine Now Amber and its sister resort Secrets Vallarta are two of the nicest resorts in Puerta Vallerta.

Room Tip: Do NOT get sucked in to upgrading to Preferred Club or an "Ocean View." Every single room...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
9 Thank Danedri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
45 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2012

My wife and I stayed here for a week in August. Upon arrival we were met with champagne and a chilled cloth. As you walk in to the open-air lobby, you get a gorgeous view of the hotel grounds and the beach. It was a quick check in and then right to the room, which was exactly as described and shown on the website. We had a swim-up room, which was well worth the extra price. The 24 hour room service was wonderful and always going the extra mile. There were several pools (besides our semi-private one) to hang at, and you could go to the ones at the connected Secrets resort. The restaurants had very good food and a great variety, too. And the (extra cost and kinda pricey) private romantic dinner was very nice. BUT, without going into great detail as to how we are certain about this, someone got into our room safe and took $320. Coincidentally, the afternoon it happened, both of our room keys AND the room safe combination were mysteriously disabled. We discovered that the money was missing when we got to the airport the next day. I contacted management upon our return and after an "investigation" they denied that it happened. Nonetheless they offered 2 free days. Except for that bad incident, it is a great place.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
8 Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

Our family stayed Aug 11 for 7 nights, the rooms are lovely, staff are helpful and courteuous, food is wonderful, close to town, new, what else could you ask for in a vacation? First trip to the area and my adult children loved it too. Housecoats and slippers in every room, 24 hour room sevice, beautiful lobby area

Room Tip: we stayed in main building, if you want free internet go to the coffee bar behind main counter, 2 co...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sharon D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Disappointed with the food. We are limited to restaurants because they are adult only and we have 2 children with us. We also are vegetarians so become even more restricted with the other 1-2 restaurants that may be open. Unfortunately we end up at the buffet and get tired of the same kind of food.

A little disappointed since we emailed before we arrived here to tell them our diet restrictions and feel like nobody really acknowledged us and are forced to eat only the limited items they have. We have been at other resorts where we have been very well accommodated with our diet restrictions.

3 more days to go! Let's see what happens.

Everything else is very beautiful though!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
5 Thank Sindster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
75 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2012

My daughter and I just returned from 5 nights at this new resort. The resort is beautifully designed. All rooms have an ocean view. We got a great deal on an upgrade and stayed in the Club Section. I have stayed in hotels all over the world and this was the most beautiful and luxurious. Our room on the 6th floor featured an absolutely gorgeous oceanfront view (we fell asleep to the sound of the ocean waves every night). There was a jacuzzi on our balcony and a soaking tub in the oversized bathroom. The king size bed was sooooo comfy.

The staff was excellent, from check in to check out. Restaurant, bar, and room service were outstanding. The activities were great. My daughter and I had a great time. We definitely weren't ready to go home!

The reason I only gave it 4 stars was because of the food. While billed as a family resort, the selections in the restaurants were not kid friendly. My 11 year old daughter couldn't even get spaghetti with meat sauce in the Italian restaurant. Ice cream was not offered on any menu. Also, at least 2 of the restaurants were "adults only". The spa was also only for adults.

We would definitely go back, but would appreciate a greater variety of food for kids.

Room Tip: If you can upgrade to the Club Preferred building, do it!
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank travellover5704
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
115 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

I spent 3 night at this resort on July, 2012. It was the best decision! I have been to PV several times and even tough I spent good money on decent hotels this one is by fay the best. I got a great deal for 350USD for an all inclusive 3 nights stay. They have two hotels in the resort, one is for families and the other one is just for adult. As a guess you have access to restaurants on both sides but children will not be allowed on the adult side only, so keep that in mind if you have little ones.
The service was great, employees went always the extra mile to make us feel comfortable and well treated! Food is served in small portions and it is GREAT. I don't know which specialty restaurant was the best since I tried them all and it is really hard to choose. The pools are well distributed for kids, games drinking.
I have to say I had an amazing time! I'd love to come back in the near future.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank gabyrd80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

Just returned from NOW Amber and it was probably the best vacation I have ever had. Decided to take a trip with a good friend at the last moment and found this resort with good reviews. It was our first trip to Puerto Vallarta, having been to the Caribbean several times. I will agree with all of the positive - restaurants were wonderful (we did not have kids with us), the service was great, extremely nice and helpful staff in all of the areas of the hotel. Spa is beautiful and we did receive $100 each for listening to their vacation sell, plus we received two $50 coupons off of a local trip. I have been to many timeshare presentations and this is almost the same concept. Just be firm and say "no" and be on your way. We went on the River Expedition - Canopy River. Zip-lining was on my "Bucket List" so what a way to experience it!!! It was a wonderful day trip up in the mountain. Start with your open air bus ride which was fun in itself, then about 8 different zip lines along with raft riding, suspended bridges, rappel and/or free falling, and then the mule ride up the mountain to end the adventure. All of this under $100 with wonderful guides to help and encourage you along the way. We also went sailing (Bucket List) with a wonderful crew from Pegaso, owned by Bill from Oregon. I would love to return to this wonderful place in the future and would highly recommend it. Remember all rooms are ocean view, garden view is only referring to the lower 3 floors.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank becksfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

Property: Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Address: David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
Reservation Options:
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