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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
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Reviews (3,265)
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Reviewed November 17, 2012

I just got back from the Now Amber Puerto Vallarta! Great place! The rooms were beautifully appointed with terrific ocean views. The food was excellent, especially at the Bordeaux Gourmet Restaurant. Alejandro the chef is simply a master at his craft. The presentation, the quality all surpasses any restaurant I have been to in Mexico including the famous restaurants at Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta and Grand Velas Riviera Maya. I highly recommend the seared Ahi Tuna and The Rack of Lamb, simply the best I have ever had. Our waiters Jorge and Alberto were excellent as well. As for the rest of the resort, service was the key factor in giving this hotel such a high rating. The waiters at the lobby bar were great! Luis and Fernando, you are the best! Everyone at the resort was exceptional. The negative experience I had with this hotel was when the maid came knocking on our door at 9:30am two days of the 4 days we were there even with the "Do Not Disturb" light that was outside the room. She would knock so loudly and her only response was "just checking". I told her that the do not disturb light was on and she said that it was so bright outside that she didn't see it. They really do need to have door signs instead of those lights. It was so annoying after being out late the night before. Otherwise I can't fault the resort in any way. Enjoy!

Room Tip: Request an upper floor for great views
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank CALIFORNIADUDES
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 16, 2012

We just returned from a 10 day holiday at this resort and needless to say we wouldn't recommend it based on our experiences. Our "party" consisted of 2 adults and 2 small children (3.5 years and 10 months) This was not our first trip to an all-inclusive but was our first time in PV.
The hotel is about a 15 minute drive from the airport. We had booked through Westjet so our transportation was already taken care of. When we arrived at the hotel, we were blown away by the lobby and the view. Both are spectacle. We were able to check-in immediately (despite only having 1 front desk worker) but quickly ran into problems. Our request (which was made 3 months ago with our initial booking) for a king room was not honoured. We were told that they only had a couple of king beds within our package (garden view) and that the only way we could get a king bed was to upgrade - an extra $40.00 US a night. Needless to say we fought this and after "threatening" to file a complaint with Westjet, they miraculous found a king bedroom on the 4th floor with no upgrading charges. Much to our surprise, when we got to the room there was a Happy Anniversary Banner on the door. When we entered, it was decorated for someone's anniversary with a personalized letter, champagne, roses & the Jacuzzi was filled with bubbles. We gave everything back however we were shocked that this was the only room available...after spending the first day there, the hotel was literally dead. Hopefully Mr. Seranz got another anniversary room!
The kids club was amazing and our 3 year old had a lot of fun. She especially loved the campfire night and the kids only magician show. There is a kid's pool divided into 2 sections - 1 side is fairly deep (adult chest level) with a waterslide and the other side is about adult knee level. There are also 2 other pools on the Now side. However despite all that, this is not a resort for families. There really isn’t much for kids to do unless they want to spend the entire time at the Explorer’s club.
Every night at least 3 of the 5 restaurants are for adults only. The restaurant service is very slow and we usually got forgotten about after the main meal. The buffet will not let you take food to go and closes between 4:00 - 6:30 & then again for the night at 10:30. For lunch, we highly recommend the Chef's special near the Preferred Club. Best food by far but don't count on them being ready at 2:00. Most times the food wasn't ready until closer to 3:00 despite what the daily newsletter stated.
The hotel really needs to improve its entertainment. Although we recommend the Prehispanic show; the magician & the circus show were poor. They also have at least 3 nights of Karaoke in their disco bar (or otherwise known as the dungeon) - not what a family really wants to participate in. Their special guest - a magician from Las Vegas was terrible and we left about half way through the show. Our advice is to head to the Malacon for better nightly entertainment! The resort appeared to have lots of activities during the day but they never started on time and there weren't really any announcements to let you know they were about to start.
Last but not least, the service around the hotel needs improving. If you are Spanish speaking or a local, you will have no problems getting drinks, help etc. We actually did a test by the kid's pool and it took the server 2 hours before he asked if we wanted a drink. At the same time, some people around us were constantly getting their drinks topped up. The server would purposely walk by us without making eye contact even when we tried to flag him down. Also, expect to get conflicting information from all the workers...nobody really seems to know much about the hotel.
Our advice, save your money and head to another resort (fellow travellers highly recommended the Canta del Sol right next door). Appearances can only carry this resort so far...

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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7  Thank BelletheBeast
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 November 21, 2012

Dear guest,

Thanks for letting us know about your experience and giving us a chance to address the issues raised. We are sorry to hear that you would not recommend our Resort due to the outcomes that you encountered. It is important to highlight that the type of bedding is not guaranteed before arrival since it is subject to availability. We only had availability in our Junior Suites Ocean view which in order to move to a higher category there is an upgrade charge of $40 USD per night; there was a misunderstanding with your travel agency and the policies that we have therefore we moved you to an available King size bed.

Besides our Explorer’s Club which is ideally for children from 3 years old to 12 with hourly activities not only inside of the Kid’s Club but outdoors too such as the Kid’s Pool or the beach area. Each activity is supervised by our Certified Explorer’s Staff at all times. During the day, there are activities that children can participate with our Entertainment Staff too. We regret to hear that you found some of our night shows not enjoyable, however, each night we have different entertainment such our Mexican Fiesta, Prehispanic Show which you did enjoy, Karaoke Bar, Mayan Show, Drums & Fire Show, Live Music and more.

It truly concerns us your comments about the different service between our Local guests and International guests; which is far by to be the most equal and outstanding service to everyone that visit us.

Once again, we appreciate your taking the time to give us your valuable feedback and please accept our apologies for dwelling on this further.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez

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

Checked in to the Now Amber the first week of October 2012 and I must say it was a real pleasure. I've been to more all inclusive hotels than I can count on two hands in mexico and this is one of the best. I think what makes it stand out is the fact that they greet you upon arrival with a cool towel and a glass of sparkling wine, along with the multiple choices in which to dine (7) facilities (dress pants req for dinner) nice + 24hr room service with a good menu selection. The property lay out is nice with a kids area and kids pool. This is a very clean well kept property. I booked the preferred club jr suite and truly enjoyed the private lounge and bar as the snacks and amenities were a refreshing addition. No wrist bands was a big + nothing worse than going downtown and someone saying "I see your staying at XXX" Free WiFi and themed dinners. The staff was great and very responsive. I liked the place so much and "for me that's saying something" I have already booked a master suite for January 2013.

Room Tip: Don't purchase upgrade for ocean view all rooms have a view.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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2  Thank IJustExpectmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We are in this resort right now. Traveling with 2 children. "Wow!!!" was our very first impression.
Here is more rating: food - from 7-9/10; entertainment/shows - 5/10. In fact it is quite boring here as children are not allowed in many restaurants and forbidden to go to the Secrets site (guess where is the shows are performed). Staff helpfulness - from 5/10 to 11/10. Most of them are very good, but some could be a bit better. Drinks available at all times and there is NO lineups (big surprise) at the counter.

Room Tip: stay as far away from northern part as possible! There is very loud air conditioning system at the other resort - noisy as a boing737 engines
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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6  Thank Eddy S
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 November 21, 2012

Dear Eddy S,

Thank you for sharing your experience; we appreciate your comments as they help us better understand where improvements may be necessary in order to meet the expectations of our guests, and maintain consistency in our standards. We wish that you could elaborate more your comments in regards to our food and would lead us better to provide you with an answer.

Let me share with you that even though Now Amber and Secrets Vallarta Bay are two properties that are right next to each other, we must see them as two different Resorts. Now offers you 5 restaurants: Carnival our Buffet that has every night a theme and variety, Capers the Italian specialty, Castaways the Seafood and International cuisine, Tamarindo the Mexican restaurant and Himitsu our Pan-Asian restaurant which is the only restaurant that is Adults Only.

We have a new and innovating program called Sip, Savor and See dinning that allows our guests from Now to have dinner in the 3 restaurants of Secrets (Adults Only).

Our entertainment schedule goes from 9:00 a.m. to the night shows, every day there are different activities hosted by our Entertainment Staff. Every day we send our Sundial program which contains all the activities hosted in our Resort, including the night shows that are in our Ballroom a common area which is located in Secrets shopping village and children are more than welcome. We also, have our Explorer’s Club which is opened from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., children have a different activity every single hour and always supervised by our certified explorer’s staff.

Your comments in regards to our staff services concern me, since we have high customer service standards implemented and enforce with all our staff.

Thank you once again for staying with us, and although I would understand if you were reluctant to stay with us again, I do hope that we may be able to look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 15, 2012

We visited Now Amber from Nov 6-13, 2012. We were two families consisting of 7 individuals and here is an honest description of what you can expect. First of all, We have been to Mexico more than a dozen times so when you read my comments please know that I am very much aware of what is “normal” for a tourist at an all-inclusive resort.
Check-in:
After a long 5 hour flight from Vancouver and the typical hassle of the transfers to the hotel we were greeted with a glass of Champaign which was cold and very refreshing. The property is new and the lobby is amazing. Only one person was working at the front desk and so we had to wait approximately 40 minutes before we could check-in. Once we checked in, we were given some coupons to use at the Spa and some other facilities but in order to get these coupons, we had to visit the VIP desk which is really them trying to sell you their “Unlimited Vacation Club” which again is just a fancy way of saying “timeshare”. I will get to these “Coupons” later but I did not agree to do a tour of the Secrets in order to get some “free” excursions…
We were booked in a regular ocean view room on the 4th floor. Standard 2 double beds. Once we finally made it to our room, I had to call downstairs as our luggage had not yet been delivered. This was finally done after another 15 minutes.
Our Room:
Nice room, 2 double beds, mini fridge with 6 bottles of mini Coronas and some soft drinks inside, Shower and bath tub and flat screen TV. The room seemed clean and we had no issues the first day.
Food:
The food is the best part of this resort. Excellent food at the buffet which is where we ate almost every meal. We were not impressed with the Italian place and had a major issue with the Steak and Seafood Restaurant called Castaways. As you require no reservations, we showed up and asked for a table for 7. As there were only 3 of us initially, the host asked us if the other 4 would be joining us and we answered yes very shortly. There was NO line up at the door and many open tables during our wait. We probably waited closer to 20 minutes for our friends to come down but during this time we were asked several times if we wanted to order or if we wanted to use their phone to call our friends to ask them to join us! It was a terrible feeling of being rushed out!!! We did not go back to this restaurant after that.
Spa and the Coupons:
As I mentioned we had received some coupons at check-in for the spa. During the morning of day 2, we had a lady come by the pool and ask us if we wanted to book an appointment for the spa. This is when we found out that the so called coupons could only be used for the most expensive treatments. Even with that my wife booked her appointment for 4 days later. That afternoon we found out that there is a place just outside of the gates that charges about 75% less than the hotel. My wife called the spa in the afternoon to cancel her appointment that she had made earlier in the day for 4 days later and was told that there would be a cancelation fee! After arguing between the spa and the front desk over the fact that no one had told us anything about a cancelation fee and that she was giving far longer than 72 hours’ notice, they reluctantly cancelled without a fee.
Room Cleaning:
We stayed at the resort for 7 days and only had our room cleaned 4 days!!! One other day, the cleaning lady showed up at 6 pm and by this time we were already back in our room and relaxing. The cleaning was terrible. We left a piece of toilet paper behind the bathroom door as a test and it was never picked up!!!
The Pool and Beach:
Great pools and beach although the beach is very rocky. The service by the pools is only good if you tip well which is in line with most Mexican all-inclusive resorts. If you don’t tip well, your server will not come by. There were some fun activities by the pool but by far my biggest complaint is that there was NO MUSIC being played by the pool. Only an hour in the afternoon from 3-4 pm!!!
Elevators and WiFi:
The 3 elevator are extremely slow and small. When the resort is busy, expect to wait for10-15 minutes for an empty elevator. For 3 days we took the stairs instead of waiting. We were lucky to be on the 4th floor.
The resort claims to have free WiFi which they do except that it is very unstable and it only connects occasionally. Do not expect to have WiFi as you will be disappointed. That said there are 2 computers provided in the coffee shop which were never busy and we could access email when needed.

All together I think this resort is a new resort with modern facilities however extremely understaffed. I would not recommend this place to anyone with children…

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank Sia A
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 November 21, 2012

Dear Guest,

On behalf of Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Management and Staff we appreciate that you have addressed your comments; please allow me to elaborate in greater detail on all the points you brought to our attention.

The resort coupons are provided to all our guest as followed: $200 USD for the standard rooms and $400 USD for the Preferred Club Suites you are giving these at check-in and redeemed them as:

• $100 USD for Spa: 2 coupons of $40 USD and 1 coupon of $20 USD
• $60 USD for romantic dinner: 1 coupon of $40 USD and 1 coupon of $20 USD
• $40 USD for bottles of wine at any restaurant: 4 coupons of $10 USD

The Unlimited Vacation Club VIP services will give you resort coupons for you to attend to their presentation of a membership program but those coupons are not the same ones that we give you during your check-in.

We are sorry for not fulfilling your expectation with our food and beverage department and please note that your feedback in certain restaurants will be mentioned to our Food & Beverage Manager to make the proper improvements. It is important to say that when guests come in a larger group (7 or more guests) it is more convenient to make previous reservations with our Concierge Desk in order to avoid the waiting in our Restaurants as you experienced.

As you mentioned in your review, you will find other Spa’s outside of our Resort that may be less expensive as our Spa, however, the high quality of a Branded well known Spa, specialize and certified therapists with hygiene standards are not found at any spa’s that you visit. Not only will the resort coupons may be used to pay portion of spa treatment you find promotions in our daily Sundial that you may find attractive too.

It is sadly to hear that our housekeeping staff was not up to the regular standards that we follow, we do have daily training to improve every single detail.

The music in our pool area is played since early morning with our water sports and continues until 11:00 p.m. with our Entertainment Staff.

Our internet service is up and running to the speed that our guests needs. With our Unlimited Connectivity App you will have the most high speed Wi Fi in our Lobby, pool areas and even in your suite conveniently from your smartphone. We also have the computers from our Coco Café Shop that can be used with no extra charge.

Thank you once again for staying with us, and although I would understand if you were reluctant to stay with us again, I do hope that we may be able to look forward to the opportunity to welcome you back again in the near future.

Sincerely,

Mauricio Martinez

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