i travel alot.
I was never big on all-inclusives but I have to say that I had a great experience at this place! I ended up here because of a destination wedding. The Now Amber shares it's property with Secrets. The Now Amber side is for families/kids and the Secrets side for adults ( nothing xrated- just kids are not allowed on that side.
located approx 15-20 minutes from airport. i booked amstar private car service but was pricey 30bucks per one way unless you had more people in your group/car. taxis i heard only cost 19bucks per way and seemed safe
when you arrive- they greet you with towels and champagne. check in was easy breezy
Rooms- all rooms are ocean view. the "preferred" are the same as the garden except they have jacuzzis. not worth the extra money to me because its so hot- i dont think anyone uses the jacuzzi. The rooms with the swim up pools are nice because you can use them at night. once thing about the resort that i didnt like is that they close the pools at 8pm- so it sucked for anyone without a swim up ( unless u snuck in the pool). anyway getting back to the rooms- the rooms were modern, clean and lovely. beds comfortable, bathrooms spacious, air conditioned, well-kept. big TV, awesome shower, the welcome toilette kit was plentiful. the refrigerator items in the room all apart of the all-inclusice. room service was 24/7 and all inclusive!
Service- everyone in the place always had a smile on their face and always was helpful. noone had any faces or attitudes. not once. they work hard and always wanted to please! A+ for service
Food/drink- its an all-inclusive. unfortunately top shelf liquor not included ( which i wasn't expecting) BUT it would have been nice if people could purchase top-shelf liquor if they wanted. there is so much you can do with frozen drinks all day long. the only time i had top shelp liquor was when we went into town to a nightclub. food...... the special restaurants (italian,french, asian etc) are only available for dinner. their food was pretty good. the french restaurant was my favorite. during the day- you had carnival restaurant (buffet), pool side grill and castaways ( sit down order menu). the day time food- although plentiful was decent at the most. watermelon juice at breakfast was delicious. yum.
pools- swim up pools both on the family and adult side. towels and chairs always available. waiters walking around to get drinks and always smiling/helpful. music plays throughout pool area. more lounge music on the adult side which i loved. i wished they had fire pits at night. would be an added touch. they would have movies playing in the pool areas on certain nights. adult side has a large chess game. plentiful activites thru out the day. the resort would give out daily calender of events like on the cruise ships which was cool. ask for a rainbow shot at the swim up! always a great time
beach- short distant to beach. plentiful chairs. i didnt go to the beach but i saw horses you can ride and jet skis etc available.
lobby- open lobby, beautiful...lots of seating. great to have drinks, listen to music at night, watch the sunset
excursions- I HIGHLY recommend you to do the OUTDOOR adventure with vallarta adventures. i also heard good things about the extreme adventure as well. for about 90/pp- you spend about 6-7 hrs out. you have to catch a taxi to the port ( easy) but once you start your adventure- they take care of you! start with speed boats across the bay then transfer to these yellow army truck/buses which takes you up most of the mountain. once you arrive- you are briefed, fitted for gear and set off on donkeys up to the first zipline. you cannot bring cameras because you will drop/ get them wet. the company takes awesome pix/video of you the entire time and they are available for purchase at the end. probably would spend 30-60 pp depending on size of group. the pix/video are worth it- clear and look professional! you will thank me. you zipline regular,backwards and even upside down! AWESOME! you rappel down waterfall and down ropes, waterslides etc. its so much fun. i was nervous at first but then felt very secure and safe. the staff really takes care of you. afterwards they take you to a tequilla distillery in the mountains and get to try pure tequila. AWESOME! my only dwnside of this excision- is that i tripped and fell off the army truck ( not the company's fault) and hurt my foot very badly. thank god no fractures. just be careful. i had changed into my flipflops/change of clothes because you get soaked during the excursion.
spa- i was able to get a massage free because i volunteered for their "vacation club" which sounded very similiar to a timeshare- just worded differently. they said 90 minutes but you are there much longer. i was there 3 hrs but i prepared myself for it. other than that- the spa was HEAVENLY. i got a 80 minute deep tissue- and it was excellent! the spa really is gorgeous. you are allowed to use the hydrotherapy suite all day if you want ( pool,jacuzzi,steam room, sauna, fresh juices etc). very relaxing. locker rooms spacious and clean. everything was clean!!!! if i had to pay - the massage was $180dollars
i also tried the "healing hands" massage place outisde the resort ( to the left). you get an hr massage for 25 bucks. great massage as well- just not in a luxury place like the spa. the staff was friendly and was ready to take me as soon as i inquired.
i would definitely return with a guy, friends and stay on the secret side next time. its a great time in vallarta! would avoid june because it was "monsoon" weather- rained every day at night. but the lightening was kinda nice at night ;)
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