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“Long time overdue review... and its a positive one!”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #17 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
262 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Long time overdue review... and its a positive one!”
Reviewed May 16, 2013

Finally got around to writing a review for this hotel based on my experiences during spring break. In a nutshell there are some weaknesses but overall there is just too much good stuff going on for me to rate this lower than excellent.

Tip - before going down, make sure you are aware of the dress code and the age limitations of certain areas within the property including restaurants. I won't comment on those becuase they are what they are! Have a look at their website so you are fully aware.

Some drawbacks to be aware of:
- In busy times, it can be difficult to find spots at the pool or on the beach. Greedy fellow vacationers snag prime spots by putting their junk on the chairs first thing in the morning and go back to sleep. There needs to be some kind of policy where you get a grace period then the stuff gets moved to lost and found. The Westin in Kaanapali does it and I love it.... what can I say? - its one of my hot buttons. Having said that, the poolside waiters are only too happy to ditch towels and sunscreen from empty chairs for you - so problem solved.
- We found the food in the restaurants to be very much banquet style - meaning pre-cooked, pre-plated, reheated. Not to say it was bad - but it is what it is. Our favourite ala carte restaurant was probably the Mexcian as we could go there with our 2 little ones and got exposed to some authentic dishes we otherwise would not try. We did enjoy the Japanese only for the variety....being from Vancouver we have access to good Japanese restaurants. The Mediterranian and the Italian place were just ok too.
- the beach is seriously loaded with people selling all kinds of stuff from weed to kites and everything in between. Often there would be a wall of touts blocking out our view of the surf and our two young kids. No complaints here about people trying to make a living - just be aware if you are hoping for a quiet beach where you can drift off to sleep listening to the waves lap up on the beach... this isn't it.

What we liked:
- awesome staff - particularly in the buffet, the kids club and the waiters around the pool and beach. They worked so hard, and were extremely friendly, helpful, fun, quick.. can't say enough good things about the team. Nayalie at the buffet stood out amongst a team of superstars.
- beautful grounds / pool / beach area
- an excellent buffet that I think topped the ala carte restaurants for quality. Fresh grilled fish station, sushi, pasta station.... no problems going there multiple times per day and they always changed stuff up. Service was excellent
- rooms - very nice. We had 2 adults and 2 kids under 8 in one room and it worked just fine. We stayed in the prefered side which afforded us a bigger patio. We used a "standard" room in the main hotel right before our flight to shower, change etc and it was equal other than a smaller balcony. Sleep quality was good, pretty quiet.
- Kids club: amazing. Activities planned by the hour, with a listing of the next days events posted so you and your little ones can pick and choose. As you can see on their website, they really made the kids zone a special place with trampolines, soccer pitch, indoor activities. They do everything from take photos with snakes, to bake their own cookies to trips to the beach or pool.
- Activities: day one had a tequila information and tasting session, throughout our trip the event team had fun excercise or games on the go. Never a dull moment.
- a curious mix of guests ranging from couples, college students, families, to single Mom's passing out from excessive drinking at the pool bar and everything in between. Made for some fun interactions and people watching!
- loved having an iced latte at the coffee shop or a strong beverage watching the sunset in the spectacular lobby bar.

In short, while I would put this place below my ranking for the other spot I like staying at in Nuevo Vallarta (see my past posts on Marival Resort and World Spa) I would come back here. Great people, lots of fun.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
4 Thank billybob101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Shabbona, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

Beautiful property. Shares restaurants with Secrets next door. Similar in style - only difference is Secrets is Adults only. The beach is slightly rocky when the tide comes in. Great service by all staff. Apple rep in lobby great. Went on a Canopy River ATV and Zip-line tour. amazing! Fantastic omletts at Carnival restaurant buffet

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank kcruise99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Family Trip (2 under 18 and 2 over 18) - April 20 - 30, 2013

This the third Dreams property that we have visited in PV - four times at Dreams PV, once at Dreams Villamanga and now the NOW. They all share in the beautiful scenery, clean resort standard, and amazing staff (none better). Villamagna has the better pools and great walking beach. NOW is new and has the best PV location if you want to explore PV - Dreams PV best food and overall vacation feel in our humble opinion.

NOW negative - well I feel almost ungrateful in stating because it is an amazing hotel - but the dress code - very very overkill for a family resort - even in the Carnival buffet for breakfast. Males over the age of 12 have to wear shirts with collars and sleeves (it was over 80 degrees those 10 days). I felt that (especially with Secrets on the same property) that this was overly strict there are many many fancy choices already. But hey you will manage and I would not hold this against the resort at all - but be prepared before you go.

Another "disppointment" was that even though at age 13 young people will be charged in at adult rates (remember only 3 adults to a room - so if your kids are 13 and older and you are a family of four or more you have to get another room) they cannot access all NOW Amber restaurants - namely the Japanese - I think (again my opinion) that adults could very well enjoy their meals alongside a family with young people over the age of 13. Big thanks to Victor who allowed our family and friends to have the Japanese menu on the "patio" of the Mexican Restaurant - that made a very special 50th celebration memory for me and our young people enjoyed the sushi and tempura immensely - best menu at NOW - but disappointed in not being able to access the restaurant with our boys.

Oh the rooms are all amazing - virtually no noise after 11 pm - but do not (I repeat) do not get a room with an connecting door if you are light sleepers - you will hear most everything your neighbours are doing and yes they will hear you. We had neighbours that had a small child - they did amazing but our sleep patterns and their sleep patterns were not in sync - not their fault but the noise will travel so if that kind of noise will bother you - avoid the connecting door.

Not sure that I would pay the fee for an upgrade for the NOW resort - all the rooms have great views and layouts - but I would definately upgrade at Dreams PV - love their bathrooms there. Villamagna has the weird bathroom "privacy curtain" no walls or screens to shield the later sleepers from the early risers and with kids - I kind of preferred a little more privacy in the bathroom so something to check out before booking Villamagna as a family.

The staff at NOW - great as expected in a Dreams Chain - check in staff (Edith - Violetta - Bernice and Adrianna - excellent - Edith Moran you are a gem - loved you when you worked at Dreams PV and your compassion and caring attitude was appreciated at NOW. Our family thanks you for all the extras you and your staff do. Berny in the preferred area - great. Miguel and Carlos the pool waiters - wonderful - I miss my "agua mineral con limon" and the boys are missing their mohitos no alcohol with coka for sure. Thanks for remembering us each day. Nayally, Carmen, Antonio and Fernando (Carnival Pasta Chef) - you are special - we appreciate your greetings and outstanding customer service. Capers waiter Jose (another ex-Dreams PV staffer) - it was such a pleasure to see you again to remember and make new PV memories. Alix F from the Unlimited Vacation Club - thank you we appreciate your friendliness and attention to detail - NOW should make you a roving concierge! By the way we were never bothered or even approached by the "sales people" - then again we purchased a few years back so maybe that was why.

Over all a fantastic great resort but sadly because of the "13 and older rule" with the Dreams Chain we will need to seek out a more financially common sense all inclusive option for us next year - this is unfortunate (especially after 5 years of going to PV and visiting a Dreams resort) but unless Dreams adjusts the rule we just cannot justify funding 2 rooms for a family of 4 - this makes us sad Dreams is such a great resort chain.

Bottom Line which resort of the 3 is OUR all time favorite - sorry Villamagna and NOW you are great but Dreams PV has our vote - as my husband said "it's like your first love" - and it is true.

Room Tip: All have good views - avoid a room with a connecting door if you are a light sleeper.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Colbygrp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grande Prairie, Canada
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013

Wow, what a great trip down to PV, we have traveled quite a bit and this is our first trip down to PV. We stayed in the preferred club and had the best service ever. The resort is super clean, the food is super good, the pool area fantastic. We celebrated a wedding and our 25th anniversary renewing our vows, thanks to Edith Gonzalez for her help, everything worked out perfect.

One guy made the trip extra special. FERNANDO!!!
Fernando spends his day down by the pool and beach, he never let my "Keep Calm and Chive On" cup go empty. Thanks for the Rum & Cokes Fernando!!!

We would certainly go back to this resort again.

Room Tip: Preferred club all the way, big balconies, jetted tub on the deck, and the best possible view
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Renofthejungle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 10, 2013

This was a family vacation. I traveled with my wife, my 4 yr. old daughter and my Mom 63 yrs. old ( Sorry Mom ;-D ). Let me just start by saying my daughter Sofia is attached at the hip to her mother, where Mom goes Sofia goes. We have tried leaving Sofia at other kids clubs and she just would not stay or we would be getting a call to pick her up within 10-15 mins. On the first day we took her and she just LOVED the Explorers Club and all the super nice ladies that work there. They have EVERYTHING a child could want. Playground, arts and crafts area, cooking area were they decorate their very own cookies and cakes, theater room with a stage where they do little skits, Wii, Xbox stations, computer stations for homework which they help them with, rock climbing wall, jungle gym, kids size toilets and sinks, face painting, camp nights with bonfires where they do smores, Spanish lessons, swimming lessons, piñata parties, bungie trampoline, movies nights under the stars and last but not least the ENTIRE STAFF at the Explorers Club who truly make this a wonderful experience for your child. They take so much care of your child and leave u feeling reassured that your child is safe and is being watched over.
As far as the resort just like most reviews I found it to be awesome. Carlos the server at the swim up bar pool was the man. Served my family drinks and food all week. Nayeli the hostess at Carnival morning breakfast was so nice, knew my name by the second day. The nice lady at the omelet station who cooked my eggs just how I wanted them everyday. Leticia our housekeeper had our room clean, mini fridge restocked, toiletries full, clean towels and beds turndown EVERYDAY. I also tip and believe that although this is an A.I. and all is included, peoples service to you should never go unappreciated. It goes a LONG way and all the employees here work their butts off to make this a great vacation for you and your family.
We have never been back to the same resort twice and have stayed at Palace, Riu, Dreams, Pueblo Bonito resorts because we like to visit new resorts each time, but this place was so nice we booked a trip back for July.
I went to breakfast every morning between 7-8:30 am and just about had the entire restaurant to myself. If u wake up late or with every1 else of course you will encounter lines.
If you are a beach person and need to have a pristine beach and clear blue ocean this is not the place for you.
Downtown Puerto Vallarta the Malecon (Boardwalk) Romantic area and old Vallarta were very safe, beautiful place to walk and catch the sunsets.
Princess Sofia would like to send a special HELLO and THANKYOU to the staff at the Explores Club, and so do MOM and Dad thanks for some much needed alone time.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank GoMex23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2013 via mobile

We stayed at this resort in January (and promised we would write a review)
Upon arrival we were treated amazing. From the initial greeting, to ensuring our room was to our liking and making sure we were fed (late flight). Throughout the week the service was exceptional.
My girlfriend and I are competitive athletes in the physique competition world and therefore we were looking for a great resort with a spa, good clean eating alternatives and a well balanced fitness facility on site, as well as a commercial gym close by. This resort provided us with all of the above.
The food was amazing and we were pretty much able to get it made to our specifications regardless of what restaurant we were at or the Buffett.
The staff took the time to get to know us and often took a general interest into our lifestyles vs annoyance to any requests. In fact, one of the cooks made sure a waiter delivered extra food to our table as it was freshly prepared, recalling that we would be coming back for more.
The room service was great, cleaning staff and available eats.
The Spa? It will cost a little but is well worth it. And when you purchase packages from the Spa, the manager (can't recall her name, but she was amazing) makes sure you are taken care of beyond what you purchased, often providing complimentary usage of the spa for a second day etc. the finishing touches within the Spa were also exceptional, including several natural herb waters and snacks etc.
The Rooms come standard with a Jacuzzi and are well designed (basic ocean view)
The fitness centre you can make do with, but just outside the resort is the local Golds Gym which is top shelf (we attended 3 days and we were given a discount for being guests at the hotel)
The pools, services and staff that were eager to please made this resort may favourite of the 4 I have stayed at in Mexico.
We would go back and plan to later this year of early next.
Jason Green and Melanie Gardner

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank JJG34
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 8, 2013

We stayed on the Amber side of the resort, however, spent the majority of the time on the Secrets side (for the sole reason that we were there with no kids and the Secrets side was a little more relaxed). Check-in process was easy, greet with champagne and cold towels (it wasn't THAT hot so we didn't really need them).

Room/view: We didn't upgrade our room at all, were offered to upgrade using our resort coupons but decided we wanted to see our "garden view" room before using the coupons to upgrade. He originally was going to put us on the 2nd floor but we asked if we could have anything a little higher...ended up on the 3rd floor and had a fabulous view..no need to upgrade to an ocean view (will post picture of the view with this posting). Our view was the exact same as the lobby level which was fabulous. As far as the "priority club" goes. At least everyone we talked to didn't seem to think it was worth the extra money. You do get a small whirlpool on your balcony but I never noticed anyone using it. Also, the rooms with the pools on the first level seemed kind of cool, however, you'll have little to no view being that low.

Resort/pools: There are plenty of pools so none seem to be overly crowded. We never needed to get up early to find a chair. Agreed with some that the people on the beach tried to sell random crap to often but if you either ignore them or firmly say "no" they will leave you alone. We did the jetsky and the banana boat...both fun. Although they claim they don't allow Amber visitors on the Secrets side for the pool/beach...you can easily stay over on that side all day as long as you are over 18. It's a little quieter than the Amber side but besides that, both are lovely.


Spa: Although many people say don't waste your money at the spa and go to the 20 dollar one next door....I'd have to disagree, the spa was worth every penny. They ask you to arrive an hour early to use all the different pools. When you arrive you are escorted through the different plunge pools by a butler who is happy to get you towels, water, tea, etc as well as to show you how to use each different water device. Very relaxing and nice. We had the entire spa plunge pool area to ourselves. I had a stone massage by Betty and although I've had plenty of stone massages before, this was the best, most relaxing one I've had. I contemplated going back the next day. The one thing I'd suggest is do this early on in your trip. If you get a sunburn, it's not AS relaxing. Also, once you pay for the services once, you get to use the spa facilities the rest of your trip for free.

Food: Our first night we had room service...this was the ONLY reason I give this hotel a 4 out of 5. It was THAT awful. We ordered 10 different things (first round tried 5 things, all disgusting, followed by 5 more things that were equally as bad). That experience kind of turned us off the food, however, the food in the restaurants is very good. The only place you need a reservation is the Hibachi grill which is way worth it. I would have gone the first or second night so I could go back again before the end of my trip. Fabulous food there. Oceana was also great. The Italian restaurant was just okay. We also did one of the buffet nights out by the pool which was fun and entertaining. One person commented that there was always a line for breakfast...maybe we went a little late (around 10) but there was never a line when we went and the breakfast was good! Also, we were worried we wouldn't get a good seat at places like Oceana (outdoor covered seating on the beach) but there were always good seats available. Bar services in the lobby is a little slow if you order through the waitstaff.

We will likely return - wonderful trip...very sad to be back home!

Room Tip: I wouldn't spend the money to upgrade to a ocean view or a priority club. I went back and forth...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Ashley G
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
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