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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
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Reviews (3,269)
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Reviewed December 1, 2013

The resort is brand new, less than two years old, today is dec.1 2013. It's really great for kids with the kiddy pool and water slide. I love that servers just come up to u at the pool and give u drinks without saying anything to them, before u know it, bam, there's a beer next to u. Food is good and plenty to choose from and since its all inclusive, its ok to order a ton of food to try out. I will say the dress codes are a pain in the [--]. We will be back!!!

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Ramon B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

Stayed at the Now Amber November 5-12, 2013. Have never been to an all-inclusive resort before and was blown away! The hotel was beautiful, the staff was amazing and the only thing that limited your experience was yourself, they always had activities going on and shows ever night. One of my concerns was that my younger daughter might be bored if we were all sitting around the pool during the day but she really enjoyed the Kids Club and It was nice that she could stay for as many or as few of the daily activities as she wanted. We just got a pager that they would call when she wanted us to come pick her up.
Jesus, one of the entertainment directors, was great! Always smiling and letting us know of upcoming activities. He even tried to hunt us down when they were releasing baby sea turtles on the beach because he knew our girls would love it (hopefully next time). The whole staff was really amazing, the pool-side waiters, Gustavo and Jose were incredibly attentive. They usually saw you before you saw them and had your drink in hand before you even sat down! Lost my iPod by the pool on the second night and it was at the front desk within an hour! The next day some of the staff that were helping me look were genuinely concerned as to whether I had found it, and were relieved to hear it all turned out OK.
The food options were plentiful, the buffet had probably 50+ items on any given day. I liked the fact that all the restaurants ran on a first-come-first-served basis instead of making reservations which I have heard from friends that have stayed at other all-inclusives can be a real pain in the butt. Some of the restaurants are "adult only" so we did run into an issue on one night when the buffet was closed for a private event and all the open restaurants were adult only (they close each restaurant 1 night a week for cleaning) so we had to do room service instead.
The free Wi-Fi was a nice added bonus as you could send photos back to everyone in the snow of Calgary each day. Made it that much sweeter!
I've never been to an all-inclusive resort before but I have a feeling that Now Amber has set the bar pretty high for the next place we stay although we may end up going back to the Now Amber instead of chancing a different resort.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank David G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2013

I have stayed at the Now, Amber- Puerto Vallerta twice this year ... first on a girls' trip in April and again in October with my husband and kids. I can honestly say, this is definitely one of my favorite places to travel. I used to be in love with Cabo San Lucas ... but PV has won my heart and the Now Amber is the reason!!! The hotel is amazing, totally safe and an easy ride from the airport. Both trips we stayed on the family side of the resort and loved it! The hotel is the perfect size- to not feel so impersonal or commercialized. The resort staff is amazing and overly eager to accommodate. Both trips, we were catered to by the staff, from the moment we drove thru the gates. One pool waiter, in particular, Gustavo Andalon, made our vacation extra special. He treated us like family. On our last trip, he went out of his way, EVERYDAY, to do something a little extra for us!! We were there with 24 friends and we purchased lobster from the marina. Gustavo arranged for the chef to prepare us a special lunch with the fresh seafood... & Gustavo served us on the beach in the gazeebo! It was INCREDIBLE! I can't say enough about the Now Amber or Gustavo. The hotel is clean & beautiful. The staff is truly there to serve and make each guest happy ... and, without fail ... they did not disappoint. Our trip was over-the-top wonderful and we are definitely going back!!!!

Room Tip: We never had any problems with noise and the rooms are spacious and clean.
  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Michelle G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

I booked the Now Amber for three reasons. Number one, I found a great price on Hotwire. Number two, it was highly rated on Tripadvisor. Number three, it was an AM Resorts property and I was familiar with AM Resorts having stayed at Dreams Puerto Vallarta three times. Interestingly, at the time we booked, the price for Secrets was about $100.00 or more per person and Secrets was not as highly rated as Now Amber. Go figure.

A few years ago, we stayed at the RIU Palace Pacifico in Puerto Vallarta. There were two other RIU properties nearby, the RIU Jalisco and the RIU Vallarta. Each of these resorts was unique in style and in the type of accommodations available. Therefore, I assumed from the start that Now Amber and Secrets were the same way…two distinct and different properties in addition to one being adults only (Secrets) and one being family oriented (Now Amber).

Upon arriving at the resort, we were immediately told that we would be staying at Secrets instead of Now Amber. My wife and friends, who like me, had been reading the reviews on Tripadvisor for Now Amber for 10 months straight, were a little bewildered. I told them to wait and see what transpired next. In my mind, since Secrets was more money and adults only, maybe this was going to turn out to be a good thing. We ended up in rooms 1604 (sixth floor) and 1700 (seventh floor) and the rooms were great. Considering we had booked “garden view” rooms at Now Amber, which I understood to be on the lower floors with views of trees blocking the views of the ocean, we were very pleased.

A quick note about check-in… We did receive champagne and a hand towel when we arrived and were quickly led to the check-in desk. The only complaint I would have is that we were instructed to wait for a gentleman whose name escapes me. Turns out, his job is to give us our “coupons” and explain how they work. I will give him credit, though, for pointing out that it would cost a fair amount of money before we would “save” any money using the coupons. Now how often do you get a straight shooter like that? My problem was that I did not enjoy having to wait on him to give us his spiel. We wanted to get to our room.

Back to my point about the RIU, I was surprised to find that Now Amber and Secrets are pretty much the same place. It’s like having a hotel cut in two with the adults only on one side and the families on the other. Each side has its’ own buffet, Carnival on the Now Amber side and Market Café’ on the Secrets side. Each side has a nice restaurant with Capers (Italian) on the Now Amber side and Bordeaux (French) on the Secrets side. Each side has a Barefoot Grill by the pool and each side has a steak & seafood restaurant with Oceana being on the Secrets side and Castaways being on the Now Amber side.

Two other restaurants, Himitsu (Asian) and Tamarindo (Mexican) are on the Now Amber side. The outdoor theatre and the disco are also on the Now Amber side. Bar layouts are similar on each side and each has a bar/lounge area on the third floor where the reception and check-in areas are for each property.

I mention all of this because from the hundreds of reviews I read on Tripadvisor leading up to us making this trip, I don’t believe I read a single review that pointed this out. In my mind, I was staying at one resort that had a different one next door that I could visit at any time and have an increased choice of eating establishments, when in fact, a number of them (restaurants) were the same thing.

All that being said, here are my observations about Now Amber – Secrets. My first observation is that for the best sunset views, go to the third level lounge at Now Amber. We did not discover that fact until towards the end of our stay as we were just going down to the third floor bar at Secrets out of habit each evening since we were staying on that side. One evening we wandered through the Now Amber lobby around 6:00 p.m. and discovered, interestingly enough, that the view from there was much more beautiful.

My second observation is that, at least while we were there, the Secrets side is much more quiet in the evening. It’s not because there were loud kids on the other side, it’s because there were loud “young adults” on the Now Amber side. The reason for that seemed to be that weddings seemed to take place on the Now Amber side. I don’t know that I saw any weddings take place on the Secrets side. Not sure if that is by design, but the Now Amber side certainly seemed to be the place for weddings and the young folks getting married, along with their wedding parties and various friends and guests, seemed to like to get rowdy, whether it was out in the pools (after they were supposedly closed) or in the third floor bar at Now Amber. Since the bar is an open area and right night to Secrets, you can hear EVERYTHING.

My next observation concerns the food. I have read reviews on here where people rave about the food and I have read reviews on here were folks say the food is not fit to eat. I am in the middle. I didn’t think the food was amazing, nor did I think it was awful. Anytime you are eating where food is basically mass produced, you are going to get average tasting food. I will say the best meal we had was our last night there. The Market Café’ had a menu instead of a buffet and we decided to give it a try. Our waiter recommended a cut of steak (filet) they were calling “Hector’s Special.” Three of us decided to give it a try and it was very good. Hector (I think he might have been the Maitre d that evening) came over and asked us if we liked it and we said we did. He then asked me…get ready for this…if I would mention it on Tripadvisor. I told him I was already writing my review in my head.

Other than that one meal, I thought everything else was just, OK. We ate at every restaurant except Bordeaux. One other note, the night we had “Hector’s Special,” I decided to see if I could order an Irish Coffee. I asked our waiter if I could order one and the next thing I knew, he was bringing out a tray and making an Irish Coffee much like how they make Mexican Coffee (which you can order in Tamarindo) and was setting it on fire. It was fun to watch and the coffee was great.

One more note about that meal at Market Café. One of our friends did not see anything on the menu she liked and asked if she could order something she had at Tamarindo several nights before. I was a little uncomfortable with her asking that, but to my surprise, not only did our waiter agree, but brought her meal out on a special platter along with our Hector Specials. Very impressive.

In fact, for the most part, all of the staff at Now Amber and Secrets were amazing. Almost everyone we encountered was very friendly. From the waiters at the restaurants to the wait staff around the pool, they all genuinely seemed to want to please and make your vacation experience an enjoyable one. I am not sure why it is, but the only grumpy folks we encountered were generally the bartenders.

Speaking of bartenders, if folks have not figured it out yet, if you want premium liquor in your drinks, you need to go to the bar and ask for it. If you are having a vodka drink, I noted they poured “Barts” vodka. Now, who out there has ever heard of Barts? Not me. However, if I went up to the bar (it’s not that far to walk), I could order Absolut or Kettle One or whatever else I wanted instead of Barts. However, I did have a go ‘round with the bartender at the poolside bar who would ignore my request for Absolut and pour Barts. The thought crossed my mind to have him make the drink again, but I put up with it twice before changing the way I ordered and making it clear that I wanted Absolut in my Ceasar, Herradura tequila in my margarita or Bacardi in my Pina Colada.

A quick note on the food...or was it the water? We came back with a gift from our stay. Some folks call it "Montezuma’s Revenge." First time that has ever happened after many visits to Mexico. My wife works at a medical clinic and a doctor there had two bits of advice. The first was not to eat the fruit. This one surprised me as I assumed fruit would be one of the safer things to eat. We all ate fruit at the Market Café’ every morning at breakfast. The second bit of advice was to use the bottled water to clean your toothbrush and rinse your mouth. That thought actually crossed my mind one morning when I was brushing my teeth, but I continued to rinse in the sink. Oh well.

My last observation has to do with the location of this resort. I have seen a few folks post that the beach area is not that great. I have to concur. The sand is brown and once you get away from the area just past the pool, the beach is not very attractive. Plus, there is a building next door to Secrets that looks as if a resort was starting to be built and they ran out of money or something. It is somewhat of an eyesore and it appears people may be living there. I especially liked what looked like a satellite TV dish mounted on one side of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the beach vendors aren’t living in there. These folks, by the way, are very pushy. If you go for a walk on the beach, prepare to be bombarded. My point is, if you are looking for a resort with a beautiful beach, this is NOT the place to go. The surrounding area is a bit seedy, too. The view you get when you walk out of your room is a questionable looking area leading to the previously mentioned abandoned construction site.

All in all though, we enjoyed Now Amber & Secrets. I don’t know that we would go back. A friend of ours stayed at the Hard Rock several weeks before and really liked it, so we may give it a try next time. However, for the money we paid, around $1050.00 each for 8 days and 7 nights including air fare from Tulsa, it was an excellent deal. Between the friendly staff, OK food and talented entertainers, we had a decent time. A note about entertainment, they generally ahd a show every night around 9:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. They can get a bit boring, but all the entertainers were very talented whether they were dancers or folks twirling batons on fire. They did show sporting events (NFL games while we were there). However, hardly anybody showed up for those.

One last thing. We paid $40.00 for four of us to get from the airport to the resort. We were charged $35.00 for the ride and the guy who corralled us wanted $5.00 for himself. The ride back to the airport was $25.00. I did like that Secrets seem to have their own cabs that pull in to pick you up. We went to the Malecon on day and were charged $5.00. I believe we paid $6.00 to go to the port. However, coming back from the port, I think we paid double that. Be sure and always ask up front what you are going to be charged.

  • Stayed: November 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Brino99
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 December 1, 2013

Greetings Brino99,

it was our pleasure hosing you on your recent visit,

AMResorts is a collection of luxury resort destinations, each with its own unique personality. Secrets Vallarta Bay offers a serene adults only, romantic, luxurious setting whereas Now Amber offers a more upbeat environment for families and friends.
The AMResort collection tier is as follows: Zoetry, Secrets, Breathless, Dreams, Now & Sunscape
Although both resorts share the same footprint they are tactfully separated into two completely different resorts. Nightly rates for Secrets Vallarta Bay can be expected to always differ from Now Ambers.

We are very happy to hear that you enjoyed your complimentary upgrade to Secrets. Those floors certainly enjoy an amazing view. The “coupons” mentioned are resort credits that may be used towards bottles of wine, selected Spa services and the experience of a romantic dinner on the beach with your loved one. Our guests are welcomed to kindly decline their benefits or further information at any moment.

Providing a total of eleven (11) dining options for guests at Secrets. Now Amber and Secrets are tactfully divided and have been thought out to the last detail with their corresponding motif in mind. As you kindly mentioned Himitsu, Tamarindo and Coco café are located on the Now Amber Side. Even though some restaurants i.e. Castaways & Oceana’s may seem alike we can assure you there are delicious culinary differences.

Our majestic lobby is a favorite meeting place to enjoy front row our unbelievable sunsets while being waited on with top shelf libations by our friendly staff. During your stay we had the honor of hosting a wedding at Now Amber. This is not part of the resorts design. The happy couple chooses the venue that is best for them and we oblige.

Our staff is some of the most genuine, caring and passionate in Puerto Vallarta when it comes to their art, always eager to share themselves, the resort and knowledge about our beautiful city with visitors from all around the world. Hector will appreciate wholeheartedly that ‘Hector’s Special’ was mentioned favorably and we find it great that our staff went above and beyond to pampered her.
We do regret the instance where the waiter did not follow through on your request for Absolut vodka and instead poured Blats. Rest assured our variety of top quality liquor is authentic and represents different corners of the world. Blat vodka is a label from Barcelona and have a distribution center in New York. Barts is not part of our repertoire. We will touch base with our waiters and remind them our guest’s preferences are to be respected. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

The building next door may not be very aesthetic. We have not detected anyone using the facility and there is no conduits electricity to serve the dish observed. We understand it can be a bit intimidating to our guests; our security staff is always present at the beach to ensure our guests safety from anyone, including the vendors.

For our guests convenience we offer a modern, clean fleet of taxis equipped with bilingual drivers ready at our guest’s behest. Please note that their services are not part of the all-inclusive package. It would be our drivers pleasure to return to pick you up at the time of your choosing to prevent others from fluctuating on cost.

In reference to the drinking water available at our resort; we serve none other than purified drinking water including the ice in our beverages. For our guests convenience bottled water is readily available upon request in all of our gourmet restaurants and bar areas. If you find you are out of bottled water in your suite it can be quickly replenished through our 24 hour room service.

When traveling abroad individuals may be affected by the change of weather or react differently to the local cuisine. The discomfort experienced towards the end of your stay is regrettable. I can assure you our kitchens and staffs are held to the highest standard when it comes to storing, preparing and handling thereof.

In the event any of our guests feel under the weather for any reason our resort has onsite licensed MD ready to assist 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
We hope to have an opportunity to welcome you again in the near future and show you first hand the process in a Kitchen Tour.

Respectfully,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2013

Last year I stayed at Now Amber in PV and it was by far the best experience I have had in PV!!! I was a little hesitant at first because of my previous stays in PV, but this changed my mind. Not only was the resort AMAZING, but all the staff went above and beyond to accommodate our every need. The restaurants we spectactular... especially the French one! We had the best poolside service from a young man named Gustavo Andalon. He got to know us all by name and what we liked to drink. He was always there willing to serve us and get all sorts of food and drink and even make suggestions on items he thought we may enjoy. He always had a smile on his face and was an absolute pleasure to be around and get to know.
We have had the opportunity to go back to PV next year for free through a family member, but the stay wouldn't be at Now Amber so we passed on it. The only main reason we would go back would be to see Gustavo and stay at Now.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank LornaBrown74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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