I had my first solo trip to PV from Sep21-28. I actually wrote a review while I was still at the resort, but it disappeared from the "pending" list and is nowhere to be found. So I guess I'll have to re-write it.
CHECK-IN: check in was pretty quick. I could tell the resort had really low occupancy rate during that time. There were only a few people at the lobby/pool. When the staff handed me the room key, I asked what about the wrist band? She said there's none. YAY! No need to wear one here. :D
ROOM: I booked a garden-view room, but was given a 7th floor amazing ocean view room, without even asking for an upgrade. September must be a really slow month. Like other reviewers said, ALL ROOMS are ocean-view, just that garden-view rooms are on lower levels. I love the room, very nice decors and everything. The shampoo/shower gel were 118mL bottles, unlike the tiny bottles at most hotels. This is actually a really good size because I sweated so much everyday and had to shower 3 times a day. There were some issues with the doors though: 1.) the security chain on the door was not properly installed, and 2.) the connecting door was not locked!! I opened it and saw another door, if that door was also unlocked (I didn't try to push it open), I could walk into my neighbor's room. :O I called and they immediately sent someone to fix the problem, I'm satisfied with the speed of service.
FOOD: Overall great quality. Breakfast/lunch buffet items were almost the same everyday, nothing special. A-la-carte dinners were excellent though. I was happy to hear that NOW AMBER adult guests can dine at the SECRETS side after 6pm. That's so awesome because my favorite restaurant BORDEAUX is on the other side! :o) I dined at Bordeaux x 3, Capers x 2, Market Cafe (Mediterranean) x 1, and Himitsu x 1. Bordeaux is the best, both in food and service. Thanks Ricardo for addressing me by name all the time, and the tall young guy (forgot his name) always responded with "my pleasure" every time I said gracias. The duck breast and lobster bisque were very nice, but I particularly liked the pistachio creme brulee cake at Bordeaux. One time the cake was not completely defrosted before serving, but I still finished it. :D The fisherman linguine and salmon fillet at Capers were also great. No reservations required except for the teppanyaki cooking show at Himitsu, it's fun to watch, but food wise, I still prefer Bordeaux/Capers. I noticed that many of the dishes tend to be a bit too salty. The salmon and tuna tartar at Bordeaux would be delicious if it was less salty, same for the broccoli cream soup at Capers. ***Not all restaurants were opened every night, don't know if that's due to low occupancy. Bordeaux was opened on Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun.
BARS: I'm not a drinker, but I had several virgin coladas and few sips of champagne at the lobby bar. I'm happy with both the drinks and service. It's nice to sit there by myself at night listening to the waves. I saw the lobby bartender washing glasses one day, and I asked "you guys have to wash the glasses too???" and he said yes. I thought they have a dish washer but apparently they have to wash them by hands. They really deserve a tip too.
HOUSEKEEPING: Can be better. I'm satisfied with the cleaniness of my room and the maids I met were friendly. However, one day I had to call at around 4pm to have my room cleaned. Also, I never had any turn-down service during my stay, although that's not a big deal for me.
POOL: Very nice and clean. The pools were almost empty sometimes, and plenty of chairs. The pools aren't very big though, not sure if it will be packed at full occupancy.
BEACH: Water is dirty, I know I shouldn't compare it to the crystal clear Caribbean water, but it's not very inviting. Tons of local vendors there trying to sell you stuff, but since the beach is public, it's not the resort's fault. There's ONE positive thing about the beach - U MIGHT BE ABLE RELEASE THE BABY SEA TURTLES if you are lucky! I wasn't lucky enough to see it, but another couple told me the hotel's staff protect the eggs, keep them in a safe place and release the babies after they hatch!! They happened to be around and had a chance to release the babies too!!
SECURITY: As a first time solo traveler, I felt safe during my entire stay at the resort (and outside of the resort too). The resort's gate is manned by staff and all guests/vehicles entering the resort has to provide their room number. The resort also has its own taxi team!! All the taxis are clean and air-conditioned, and drivers speak sufficient English to communicate. The rate is of course a bit more expensive compared to a yellow taxi on the street, but you feel more safe and comfortable.
CHECK-OUT: was efficient. I asked if late check out is possible and the staff said it would cost $50 USD and suggested that I could still use the facilities even after I checked out, and there's a hospitality room which I could use for about 30 mins to take a shower before I leave, and it's free of charge. So late check out isn't really necessary. :)
OVERALL: EXCELLENT service. Beautiful resort, nice decors. During my first dinner at Bordeaux, I wondered if the ENORMOUS wall painting is real, or just printed. The second time I went there, I touched it, and it is a real oil painting! WOW. The painting at Secret's concierge desk is also very nice. :)
MISCELLANEOUS: It's only 5 mins ride to Centro. There's a bus stop just out on the main road; cost 6.5 pesos to take the bus or 60 pesos to take the hotel taxi. Also a currency exchange near the bus stop that has better rates compared to the hotel/airport, but requires a passport even to exchange a small amount. Lots of small massage parlors across from the OXXO nearby, and I had amazing massages at RCS for $20 /75mins. Not an exciting neighborhood though, nothing much to see.
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