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“Great ,,,but one MAJOR flaw”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
alberta
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Great ,,,but one MAJOR flaw”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Just came back from a week at Now Amber with our two adult kids, 22 and 24. We have been to many resorts on the Mayan , Puerto Vallarta side and Punta Cana. The staff at Now Amber is by far the best we have encountered, they are friendly, helpful , outgoing and a pleasure to be around. The food , accommodations, drinks were all outstanding.

We paid $2300.00 per person tax included for a room in the Preferred Section from Edmonton. Alberta with Sunwing

Our big complaint is that 4 out of the 7 days that we stayed there , the hotel staffed cleared everybody off the beach and lower deck by the pool starting at 3 pm in the afternoon. We were told to go to the upper deck by the pool and sit there.
They do this to set up for an evening buffet on the beach and lower pool deck. The manpower and hard work that was put into it did not seem to justify the low attendance of the guests.
Being from northern Canada we came to Mexico to enjoy the ocean, we are down at the ocean early in the morning until sunset enjoying the warm weather .
If we wanted to sit by the pool we would go to our local community center and sit by their indoor pool. In all our years of going to resorts we have never seen this practice before.
A lot of guest had trouble finding suitable loungers on the upper deck after being asked to leave the beach at 3 pm . Some guests actually started having disagreements with each other over the loungers by the pool .
They need more Palapas or umbrellas on the beach. By 8 am there was no loungers to be found in the shade.
To end this review we would like to say the Now Amber is a high quality resort. As mentioned before all the staff at the Now Amber were excellent but the beach bar staff were unbelievably GREAT.
We hope that management will get more feedback about the beach buffets as we felt they genuinely cared about their guests. This is our only complaint about this excellent resort.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank resortwanderer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,684 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,030)
Date | Rating
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English first
Vegreville, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

Just spent March 23-30th at the Now Amber....for our first ever family vacation it was absolutely perfect! Check in was smooth (if you don't mind the "Vacation Club" sales pitch....we didn't keep the appointment and no mention was made after that). We were literally on the beach within 2 hours of touch down at the airport.

The food was amazing, we didn't try all the restaurants but both Castaways and Tamarindo were exceptional. The Carnival buffet was a huge hit with the kids as was the Barefoot Grill and the poolside buffets daily. The evening buffet and shows were fantastic.

All of the staff were superb, extremely professional and friendly,usually they knew what we wanted before we did! I highly recommend the Juan Valdez "Special" at the swim-up bar :-)

The kids were never bored, the Explorers' Club and the CoreZone kept our 7 and 12 year old sons entertained and allowed my husband and I some time for ourselves. We knew they were in good hands so we could relax and not worry.

The entire resort was immaculate, the housekeeping staff did a fantastic job and we enjoyed the turndown service at night. Even the poolside washrooms were sparkling.

Internet and Wi-fi was slow and sporadic, I gave up after a day or so but that's not a bad thing! We did not take advantage of the spa but the fitness facilities were very well equipped!

Overall, can't wait to get back next year, we definitely have the travel bug now!

Room Tip: all rooms overlook the ocean and there is an excellent view wherever you go!
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Natasha H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kamloops, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

We had an incredible 7 day escape at Now Amber week of March 16-23. We felt we got incredible value (by the way, preferred club was worth it - we were on third floor room 1376 which was handy to pool). What made a difference for us:
1. Great service (and conversations)...thank you to Violetta at concierge desk, Beni in the Preferred Lounge, Nayely at Carnival in the mornings, Carmen our morning waitress, the fabulous entertainment staff ( Susi, Alex, Cesar and Hugo) you all made our holiday so much better. We extend thanks too to the professional staff in the restaurants too.
2. We enjoyed the variety of restaurants and appreciated that we did not have to make reservations (except for teppenyaki at Himitsu). Favorite was Himitsu (the setting was so beautiful) and we also went back for teppenyaki (hope I spelled that correctly). Bordeaux, Capers, Castaways, and Market cafe all delicious. We ate breakfast at Carnival - there were 2 omelette stations so no long waits. We also went for lunch at Carnival and Castaways.
3. there were AWESOME activities throughout the day ( anyone that can get my 17 year old daughter trying things deserves credit). We kayaked, made bracelettes, did aqua aerobics, tried spanish lessons, archery, riffling, etc. The evening activities were entertaining (don't believe the negative review someone wrote). We went out to each activity at night (musical theatre, circus type show, karaoke, hypnotist) and we appreciated them all. Not too many guests came and it's too bad they missed out (the activities started at 9pm and it was surprising how many guests are just starting dinner)
4. The room was beautiful, nice patio, gorgeous shower, fridge always well stocked (preferred club perk). We enjoyed the speakers in the bathroom too - we found a classic rock station and danced and sang while getting cleaned up for dinner. the lounge/lobby area had an awesome view and feel to it. the pool area always felt comfortable (not crowded).
5. On Sunday, the staff worked for hours preparing for a Mexican fiesta on the beach. Tables were beautifully set on the beach and the buffet ran from one end of the beach deck to the other. After dinner there was colorful entertainment by Mexican musicians and dancers.
6. We went to the spa for a swedish massage and the hydro pool. What a treat! We booked it last minute (2 for 1 special that a spa hostess offered us while we were lounging in the sun). The setting and the experience were worth it...you don't get this quality across the street.
7. The gym was well appointed.

The only negative was that the WI-FI was not consistent and so I decided to shut down the phone and tablet (and truly relax). My husband went to the preferred lounge and enjoyed Beni's drinks while he worked from the PC there. My 17 year old seemed to manage to stay connected with her friends so where there is a will, there is a way.

If you are looking for a hassle free vacation that offers great value, I would recommend Now Amber.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Mirella H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco Bay Area
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 28, 2013

My 16 year old twin sons and I spent a wonderful 5 days at the Now Amber. For a hotel that is less than a year old, they have their act together! From check-in to cocktails, everything was well done. Upon arrival we were presented with champagne and a cool towel to freshen up. And although my boys didn't drink the bubbly, they enjoyed toasting our arrival with it!

The staff is accommodating, friendly and gracious. The facilities are sparkling clean and high quality. Every restaurant offered delicious food and we never had to wait for a table.

The rooms were beautiful. We were on the 9th floor, but I don't think there's a bad room in the house as all rooms face the ocean. The hotel sits adjacent to its sister property, Secrets...an adult-only , but we were able to use the fitness facility and pool table (even tho it's for adults only, my teens were never questioned).

My only complaint would be the maid staff who we needed to call twice when the room was still unmade at 3 in the afternoon. Also slightly bothersome was the "Vacation Club" pitch upon check in. Although the woman couldn't have been sweeter, she came over and admonished me (with a smile on her face) because I didn't keep my appointment for the presentation and was told it cost her $20.

That aside, I would highly recommend this property for its location, accomodations, restaurants, staff and amenities.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank ParisRose61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed March 27, 2013

Our family of four just returned from a fantastic six day vacation at this resort. We splurged by staying in two separate rooms in the preferred junior suite side of the resort. The extra cost was worth the beautiful room, amenities offered (including a whirlpool tub on the balcony overlooking the ocean,) our private concierge, unlimited mini bar, discounts to the spa and free golf. Yes, the spa and golf was added due to the timing of our booking but was a wonderful addition to making this trip incredible.

There are three pools of adequate size, one that has a swim up bar. We enjoyed playing water basketball, doing water aerobics, playing chess with their giant chessboard on the premise and playing ping pong. Hard working staff continued to serve us drinks with a smile. At night they have a big screen inflattable screen which plays family movies....pretty cool.

I have been to other all inclusive resorts and got pretty sick of the food right away with a low and non exciting variety of foods to select from. BUT NOT HERE! Even eating at the buffet (Carnival) every day was a new experience as they change the menu daily. Don't miss breakfast with the omelette making station! Awesome fruit selection and juice bar. The hostess Nayley was a sweetheart! Always professional and sweet, knowing us "Schusters" by name when she welcomed us each morning. We ate at two of their restaurants; Capers (Italian) and Castaways (steak and seafood) with rave reviews. They served a fantastic Mexican buffet on the beach one evening that was very tasty and a memorable experience with the mariachi band playing. Love the Mexican culture and tradition! Co-co cafe was like having a Starbuck's nearby and we often visited here for a cappucino or latte.

My daughter and I went to the spa and had a massage. Awesome massage but pricey, even with the $40 off voucher. Very tranquil and beautiful spa but you better bring a lot of cash.

The wireless network stinks at this resort and we often had problems in our room using it. Although our kids had better reception in their room next door and we would go to their room to use the wi-fi.

The hotel just to the north east of Now Amber did have a very loud microphone system and even with the television on loud in our room, you could hear the party going on next door at their hotel. They always stopped the party at 10 p.m., as expected though.

We appreciated the help of Felipe from Cheap Carribean for arranging our excursions. We did have an incident at the Dolphin Experience where our pictures that were taken were not available to us when we left the excursion because the computer server was down. Felipe arranged with Dolphin Experience to have the pictures and CD copied and delivered to our hotel at no additional charge to us. Huge relief to have those memories of a spectacular day! Thanks Felipe! :)

I would highly recommend this resort for your family. I would go back in a heart beat!

Lisa Schuster
Colorado

Room Tip: Spend a little more and get the preferred upgrade...so worth it!.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Lisa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
16 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I would not hesitate to recommend this resort - it was absolutely beautiful and we had an amazing experience. It took us about 5 minutes to check in and we were given a room on the 4th floor and we were a little disappointed that it wasn't up higher, but once we were in the room we realized we had an amazing view; we could see everything, the ocean, the pools, the beach. Our room was perfect, clean, big and updated with lots of closet space.

Our favourite part of the resort was the a la carte restaurants, we tried all of the restaurants with Himitsu being our favourite (try the green curry dish). The service at all of the dinner restaurants was great and there was so many great options to pick from. We didnt have to wait more than 10 minutes at any of the restaurants to be seated and the service was very quick. The ambiance in all of the restaurants was great and they felt like very high end restaurants. The breakfast buffet was also very good, we had omlettes every day and never had to wait more than a few minutes. The buffet (Carnival) was beautiful and felt like a very upscale restaurant. Another high point was the Coco Cafe; I tried this out a couple of times and had specialty coffees and treats. The only negative thing I did find was that once we tried to go to the buffet on the secrets side and were told we werent allowed to use their restaurants until after 6 which really didn't make much sense since they essentially serve the same things but it wasnt a big deal.

The facilities were great - the lobby was very modern and the infinity pond was breathtaking. It gave the lobby a very contemporary feel. The pools were great and the surrounding areas were great. The staff were constantly cleaning so we never saw any area of the resort looking unkept. There are so many staff working to keep everything in top condition (the gardens, pool decks etc) and they do a truly great job. Every bathroom I went into was spotless and the beach area was always clean. There were plenty of lounge chairs by the pool and beach and we never had to fight to get one. I think one of the high points for the resort is truly how beautiful it is and how hard the staff work to keep it this way.

I think the only negative that we encountered on this trip was the nightlife as there literally wasn't one. The shows were pretty poor and barely attended but the beach party was great and they did have a hypnotist show. Other than that, we were disappointed with the shows as these are usually something we love to watch. Also it seems like everyone goes to bed right at 10pm - we would go to the lobby bar and there would be maybe 30 people in there. The disco had no one in it the only time we went to check it out. Improving the shows would be the only recommendation I have.

We were never questioned about any time shares thankfully, but this is likely because i read the warnings before we visited and made sure to shut down any talk of this. Another great thing about this resort is the wireless internet - we could use the wireless in our room, at the pool, on the beach which is a nice bonus. We also tried the Healing Hands massage place just outside of the hotel which was amazing, $25 for an hour massage. We also went into town one day and I would highly recommend this as it is quite the place to see with beautiful cobblestone roads and a starbucks.

I truly can't stress how much we loved this resort and were impressed. I would love to go back if the price is right and we will for sure be recommending this resort to friends.

Room Tip: We had a gardenview room and had a beautiful view of the ocean so I'm not sure this is worth the...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Lauren10122
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
71 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed March 24, 2013

This was a perfect location for a quiet vacation with the family. We upgraded to the swim out pool suite - it was great. The swim out may not be for everyone but we really liked it. The private pool site had pool side service.

The double sized room is more than a couple would require. If there was only two of us I don't think we would have used the other room at all. It did however mean that the balcony was twice the size of the other ones (~10'x25') - enough room for 4 loungers, a chair and two little tables.

The other thing I really liked was the huge shower (~6x10') with multiple shower heads - a nice touch of you like that sort of thing.

The people were friendly and it was safe to wonder off the resort if you were so inclined. They do have the "time share" style people ready to offer you a multitude of things - I didn't participate and there was no hounding. So if you want to know more I am sure they will be happy to take a whole day with you. I wasn't and it was fine.

The internet was a little slow but it is included in the preferred club. If you are like me, you need/want to stay connected to work - no complaining - its just what I do.

Room Tip: The Now Amber side gets more sun than the "Secret's" side - at least at this time of y...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Adrian M
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 126 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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