My boyfriend and I just got back from the Now Amber last night and we're still in Mexico mode! We had an excellent experience and recommend this resort to every type of vacationer. We literally saw everything from young families with babies, toddlers and teenagers, older (senior) couples, newlywed/young couples and large groups. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and the resort accomodates each group very well.
Most of our trip was just before the Christmas rush so the pool area wasn't so busy that you had to get up super early to reserve a good spot. Once the rush started coming in, if you wanted a good spot right in front of the main pool we would usually get up around 8:30-9ish and save spots before heading to breakfast.
The service was impeccable all around. The guys around the pool were FANTASTIC...we had Gustavo, Christian, Omar and Mauricio most of the time and these guys will make your vacation so much more enjoyable. Lorenzo at the Manatee bar makes a very good Caesar!
The food at the Barefoot Grill by the kids' pool area is mediocre at best but it's not surprising as it's your typical summer foods like hotdogs, hamburgers, fries and pizza that's usually not the freshest. But if you ask the chef's there nicely they will make you a fresh pizza. If you don't want to eat there or go to the buffet for lunch I would recommend going to Castaways...they have a decent selection of food which is made fresh to order. Everyday by the pools between 2-4 they have a Chef's special and cook up a mass meal...try not to miss out on them because they are excellent. Each day they make something different and we enjoyed fajitas, sushi, stirfry, seafood and more. It was all very good! We went to all the a la carte restaurants (including the two restaurants on the Secrets side) and thought every meal we had was exceptional. Definitely don't miss out on the Mexican restaurant Tamarindo, not only is the food great but the atmosphere is wonderful as well. Also, Himitsu is very good; we did the teppanyaki there twice. You don't have to make reservations at any restaurant except if you want to do the teppanyaki, but we had no problems getting in either time. Other than breakfast we never went to the buffet so I'm not sure what it was like.
The beach is well groomed but know that it is public property so there are usually a few peddlers trying to sell their goods. We didn't spend a lot of time on the beach though so were never bothered by them as they are not allowed on the resort grounds. One morning when the ocean was quite calm there was a small pod of dolphins swimming out front of the resort. We grabbed a kayak from the beach and went out and the dolphins swam all around us and put on a nice little show for us...it was amazing!!
The rooms are very nice and beds are actually comfortable!! The maids also do a very good job cleaning up and give turn down service every night. We were on the 11th floor and had a spectacular view of the resort and bay. My boyfriend got to take a tour of their biggest suite and said it was amazing. We could have upgraded but it was an extra $500USD per night! We could have also upgraded to a swim out room for an extra $70USD per night but we typically don't spend a lot of time in our room and like to be within the action at the main pool so stayed where we were. The patio doors open very wide so we could really enjoy the ocean breeze and view from our room, and we were happy with that.
The event staff are very friendly and do a good job getting people involved in the games and activities and if you didn't want to participate they would generally leave you alone. Jan was my favorite. He was very fun and helpful and always had such nice things to say. Alex was awesome as well and lead a bunch of people to the beach one evening to release baby sea turtles into the ocean. I don't think they do that very often so we were quite lucky to be able to experience it.
The hotel offers great spa services and always have specials on, but I still found them a bit expensive. If you go off the resort, across the street and to the right is a little massage place and you can get a fantastic 75-minute, full body massage for $25USD! It was the best massage ever and sooo cheap. I tipped about $10 just because the girl I had was really good. Also, the resort is about a 5 minute walk from a Mega store so if you need something like sunscreen or any other essentials I would recommend going to the Mega store instead of buying off the resort as it's quite a bit cheaper.
The only negative thing I would say is that if you are getting married here be aware that the "aisle" you walk down is in the main pool area where everyone is drinking and shouting and I didn't think it was very romantic. The set up on the beach for the reception was very nicely done but I just didn't like how the whole ceremony is just steps away from the rowdy pool!
Other than that, this place is excellent and I recommend it to everyone! My family is planning a vacation next year and they're all on board to stay at the Now Amber!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Perfectly situated on a golden sand beach showcasing infinity views of Banderas Bay, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta welcomes families with teens and tweens as well as couples and friends. Now Amber a AAA Four Diamond resort located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, is only 5 minutes away from the famous “El Malecón” boardwalk and just 15 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Guests of all ages are treated to an Unlimited-Luxury® escape with lavish accommodations at 327 suites, luxurious accommodations and pristine facilities. Seven dining options and five lively bars will tempt even the most discerning palates. Family-oriented activities and entertainment will keep guests enthralled all-day and night long. And that’s not all – adults can enjoy time at the spa while kids and teens enjoy supervised fun! ... more less
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