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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
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Reviews (3,269)
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Reviewed October 20, 2012

We are not very picky eaters, but the food is just bad... Average at best, but usually below average... Dishes were either undercooked or fried to black... We stayed in several resorts from the chain, some are cheaper and yet the food was much better...
For breakfast you have only one choice. For lunch you have a couple. For dinner you have 5. BUT if you have kids then on any given day you have only two options, one of which is generally the same only restaurant which is open for breakfast, the second would be either Italian (the worst on property and sharing the kitchen with the earlier one) or Mexican restaurant (not bad, but super slow which means that it is very hard to go with kids). Unless you are planning for your kids to go to the dinner with kids club (the only thing that kept us from going to another resort), you are out of luck for dinner.
Rooms - we are Club members and went to Preferred Tower. They gave us "upgrade" to Ocean view. Well,,,, on the 4th floor the balcony is a brick. So when you are sitting, you do not see anything but the brick and the sky. And if you stand the ocean is not in front of you, but to the right. So what is the point in Preferred tower? I would rather be in the regular tower facing ocean directly....

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank ElenaCV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mauricio M, General Manager at Now Amber Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded October 22, 2012

Dear Elena,

We thank you for taking your time to share your comments which are very important to us. We regret that you did not enjoy the dishes of our Restaurants and found them to not be up to your expectations. Be sure that I will share your lines to our Food and Beverage Management and they will make the proper measure of improvement. As we know, there are always areas of opportunity that we may have and we thank you for highlighting this to us.

It is important to let you know that we have a total of 5 different restaurants for you to choose from; Carnival our buffet that opens for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners, Castaways that is for Lunch and Dinners. For a la carte restaurants we have three different specialties, Capers the Italian and Tamarindo our Mexican restaurants and all have a kid’s friendly venue! The only one that is Adults Only, it is located in the shopping village of Now Amber is our Himitsu Pan-Asian restaurant. As an addition, with our Sip, Savor and See program you can dine around in the three restaurants located in our sister resort Secrets Vallarta Bay only Adults.

We are sorry to hear that your suite did not have the view that you expected, the 4th floor is beautifully designed to have a larger balcony rather than the rest of the floors. All our suites have been designed to be facing the ocean and our Preferred Club Tower has upscale suites with upgraded amenities in all!

Once again, we are very sorry that our food was not as you expected and hope that you will gives us the opportunity to serve you in the near future to exceed your expectations in all these areas!

Sincerely,

Mauricio Martinez

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 16, 2012

We only had the pleasure of staying 2 nights from Oct 13 - Oct 15th.
We stayed in the Preferred Tower in Room 1774.

Check In - We were greeted with a glass of champagne and a cold towel as soon as we got out of the taxi. We were given a tag for our luggage and taken over to the Preferred Check in area which was on another floor.
The staff on the Preferred side were incredible. They were the nicest people we encountered at the hotel during our stay and I have to say the all of the staff were friendly and helpful and nothing was too much trouble.
We had to wait until 5 p.m. for our room and because of our wait, the Preferred concierge upgraded us to a higher floor for our "trouble".

Room: Awesome. Very, very clean and the decor was very modern. The view was to die for (we were on the 7th floor of an 8 story building). All rooms in the Preferred building had a jacuzzi on the balcony. The maid service was outstanding as well as the mini bar service. We left a note for both the maid and the mini bar person asking for our preference in the mini bottles of booze as well as for extra toiletries and they were granted as asked. There was more than enough room for clothes for 2 adults.
And before I forget, on our first night there, we received a complimentary bottle of champagne due to our inconvenience of waiting 2 hours to check in. That was very nice of the staff.

Food: Was good to excellent. We ate at the Carnival buffet for breakfast and once for lunch. There was more than enough food choices for everyone. We ate at Cataways for lunch once and had dinner at Bordeaux and Himitsu.
Teppanyaki at Himitsu was good. I did't walk away hungry and we had 6:45 reservations so it wasn't crowded and the service was excellent. We ate at Bordeaux on the second night and were very pleased with the food. The service there was exceptional.
One day for lunch I did go the the Barefoot grill for a burger. It didn't taste like all beef. I believe it was a combo of beef and pork. I didn't care for the Barefoot Grill and although I did see dough for pizza, I never saw a pizza being made.

Drinks: Yes, the drinks are watered down but just ask for what you want and you will receive it. The Lobby Bar was just beautiful. We sat there every night for a night cap after dinner.

Spa - We received 2 passes to use the Hydrotherapy Circut due to us having to wait 2 hours to check in. The spa and the hydro circuit were beautiful and the circuit was awesome. I was totally relaxed after visiting the various pools with the different water temps. The prices for massages, etc., were very pricey but next time I visit the Now Amber, I just might opt for a massage just so I can use the hydro circuit.

Check Out - The Preferred Concierge offered us complimentar, late ( 6 p.m.) check out due to our "trouble" and inconvenience of having to wait 2 hours to check in. We were able to have lunch and lounge around the beach for the day. We checked out at 4 p.m.

I have to note the following concierge at the Preferred Tower for their exemplary attention to detail and service: Adriana, Vanessa and Carlos went above and beyond, everyday. Mr. Beni, the bartendar at the Preferred Club lounge always greeted you with a smile and a cold cocktail.

Overall, our stay was terrific and the staff at the hotel were great. We would definately visit the Now Amber again.

Room Tip: All rooms have ocean views. If you can and the price is right, get a Preferred Room.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank zebralb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Here goes. The hotel is fairly new. I have to say there is a LOT of good things. There are also some not so good things.
First the resort is very nice. We did stay in the Preferred Secrets side which my guess looks the same as the Preferred Now Amber rooms. Very nice. First impression. There were a lot of dirty dishes in the hallway to our room which easily could have been collected from the staff. I think some people commented on the open yard next on the south side of the complex - honestly that never bothered us at all. We were told there was a nightly turndown service. I think we got it about half the time we were there - not that that as a big deal at all. There's a neat cubby hole where room service can be delivered by the door so they don't bother you - great idea...and that's also where the daily resort paper is put (we figure that out around day 3!). Rooms with the swim out pool are very cool - I would think great for families but they're ground level. We like a little more privacy. Very nice option though. Now, if you can spring for one at the end of the buildings - that would be fab. Note that the balcony's on the PREFERRED rooms start getting shade in the afternoon. The standard rooms do not - they are still getting full sun and we never saw anyone use their balconies - which is too bad because the view is lovely -- stay in the Preferred side. Secrets is the Adults only. Now Amber is for families. The main lobby is very lovely - perfect place for a drink while watching the sunset. There was food and drink everywhere. And the food was very good. Personally I have to give really low marks on the wine but that's just me. I do want to say that the wine steward from the french restaurant came over to Oceana to help me pick a bottle and he was dead on! Loved it. Service throughout the hotel was tops. Biggest negative was Amstar - a company the hotel uses to arrange transportation and activities. I finally gave up dealing with them. I had read a lot of reviews saying the same thing. We make scuba diving and the extreme zip line tours through Vallarta Adventures and would highly recommend them. Even saw sea horses on one of the dives!!! The extreme zipline/repelling/atv/water slide, including the zipline that was over 1 mile long -- this was excellent. I was scared to death but it was excellent. Not easy but great fun. Coordination wasn't the best but I think they have to work that out. Activities are not coordinated with spa - so I didn't know I wouldn't be back in time for one of my treatments -- but it all worked out. We did venture out a couple of times and really enjoyed that. Downtown is lovely - we took the bus. People were so nice and helpful to us. This is the cleanest city we've been to in a long time! Much cleaner than the US!!!! The taxis from the airport were very easy to get -- not nearly the hassle I was expecting. All of folks trying to sell you time shares which I do think is VERY odd that the airport allows that -- but just walk through quickly and you're all set. Then you'll be in the area where the cabs are and we used several cabs - never getting a sense that anyone was going to rip us off -- they were all very professional. BEACH - I must note this -- we knew before we got there but apparently there are a lot of rocks - we never saw anyone swimming in front of the hotel but honestly - we never attempted it. Also, yes - they try to sell you things on the beach...but I never saw anyone being hassled - but I don't know. It's every where on the beaches though -- not just this resort. Just be prepared to simply say no thanks a few - ok several times. If you stay at the pool -- it's not an issue. There is security all day and I believe all night on the beach. Check to see if the turtles are hatching while you're there!!! Food was good and Oceana was our favorite as we could sit outside. Fish was great. Yes, entrees are not very big - order a starter as well. Truly the staff worked very hard to make sure everyone enjoyed themselves. My husband used the gym everyday we were there -- it's nice.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank BMWgirl2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

We just returned from a 8 day/7 night stay at Now Amber. The first couple of days we were really comparing Now Amber to other resorts we've stayed at in the past. A couple of things that stood out for us:
The resort only has 3 pools, one being a kids pool. During our stay, the resort was visibly at low capacity. The pools never felt crowded, however towards the end of our stay we noticed that there was a significant increase in vacationers and by then, the pools definitely felt crowded. I can't imagine what will happen when the resort is at maximum capacity.

The resort itself is not big. I would guess it took us about 4-5 minutes to get from the beach to our room on the 6th floor.

Entertainment needs a lot of improvement. The few shows we attended were very basic and mediocre.

Now to the things that we loved:
We traveled with two kids. The Explorers Club at Now Amber is by far the best we've seen. A big great thank you to all the ladies who worked so hard and kept our kids entertained. Carla, Vanessa, Nancy and Patti are fantastic. Every night we received the resorts program and included was the program for the kids club. Our kids couldn't wait to go back and enjoy the activities planned for each day. Thumbs up for Explorers Club. My husband and I were able to attend Adults Only restaurants and enjoyed uninterrupted dining.

We enjoyed dining at Bordeaux. Ricardo was fantastic. He made our evening at Bordeaux pleasant and enjoyable.

Lunch at Castaways was delicious and our favorite. We really loved the food there. We enjoyed Antonio's fantastic service and the fish tacos and shrimp fajitas were our favorite.

Oceana on the Secrets side was great as well. The weather was amazing the night we dined there. Beautiful sunset, crashing waves and the most pleasant ocean breeze...it was truly unforgettable. Both Roberto and Gilberto truly catered to all of our needs. The next night we had dinner at Castaways and realized it was the same menu as Oceana{just a heads up}.

All the restaurants are unique and well decorated. We really loved that Now Amber does not require "reservations" for their ala carte restaurants like many other resorts do. That was definitely a plus to our dining experience.

We felt that the breakfast buffet was just ok. It was the same every morning and the selection wasn't big. Since Carnival was the only place we could go to for breakfast, it would be nice if the menu changed daily and there would be a bigger selection.

Rooms were spacious and had nice amenities. The decor was beautiful and all the rooms at Now Amber are ocean front. I will admit, we were disappointed with how hard the mattresses were. Mornings in Puerto Vallarta were fabulous. I loved standing on the balcony and listening to the crashing waves and definitely loved the pleasant breeze.

At night, the resort was beautiful!! Everything was lit and the lobby was our favorite place to sit, relax, listen to live music and sip on a cocktail. It is on the third floor, so the view is spectacular!

The beach was ok. The first day I was definitely disappointed with the ocean. The water was somewhat dirty and had an unpleasant smell. But by the third day of our stay, the ocean was a lot cleaner, bluer and more pleasant. Must have something to do with their rain season.

Service at Now Amber was fantastic and staff always answered with "it's a pleasure!"

Last but not least, we went and got a massage right outside of the hotel. It was literally a 4 minute walk. We were looking for Healing Hands, but saw Majestic Massage(but it also said Healing Hands in small print under Majestic, so we were a little confused) and had a wonderful 75 minute massage. The girls are professional and do a great job.


We usually don't stay at the same resort twice just because every year we want to create new memories and have new experiences. So with that said, that is the only reason we won't be coming back next year.

Thank you to all the hard working staff for making our stay truly relaxing and worry free. We, including our kids had a great stay!

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean front and have free {but slow} WiFi.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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9  Thank LaughDreamTraveL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Yes, we would go back. It is a lovely resort with fabulous sunset views and attentive service. The food is excellent, and I don't mean it's good for an all-inclusive. It's just great food that we would pay for in a regular restaurant. The spa is superb and would rival the best in the US. Our jacuzzi on the balcony was our favorite part of the place. The room was swanky with huge towels, soft robes, slippers, turn down service, etc.

The reasons I gave 4 stars instead of 5: scratchy sheets; limited choices for room service; and a high pressure sales pitch to get you to join their vacation club. Avoid the trap at all costs. It is a time share pitch for a $20K "club." Yes, you might get a free massage or other incentive, and if that's worth a headache and 2+ hours of your vacation, go for it.

NOW and Secrets are on the same property and share restaurants. Unless you just loathe kids, Secrets probably wouldn't be worth the extra money as you end up in the NOW section for a lot of amenities anyway. Kids were only annoying in the pool.

The morning buffet and the options for dinner were fantastic. Avoid the sushi section of the Japanese restaurant if you're picky about sushi; it was just so-so. Everything else we had (mostly fish) was very well prepared and presented. Note to vegetarians: you'll do OK here if you ask lots of questions and ignore what the menu says. An educated vegan will be all right as well. Note that the alcoholic beverages during dinner are limited to house wines, which were pretty good. Also, there is a dress code for guys for dinner: long pants, collared shirt, closed toe shoes. The servers try to take your entire order at once, but you can let them know you want to take your time and they'll slow down the pace. They also made great recommendations, so don't hesitate to ask.

The trip into town is a $5 cab ride or you can walk. We felt safe when we were out in the evenings.

Overall, NOW was a great value booked with Orbitz at the tail end of low season. We recommend it.

Room Tip: We liked the private bar and jacuzzi on the balcony with the preferred rooms, but you sacrifice ocean view and get a view of the pools instead.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank atxtw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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