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“Excellent All-Inclusive!”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #18 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed January 21, 2014

My husband and I booked a week here after reading the reviews on trip advisor. We are pretty selective when it comes to food and beverage, which is why we are trepidatious about all-inclusives. We need not to have worried! The restaurants here are excellent. The drinks are all top-shelf and they don't skimp on the amount of alcohol in the drinks, either. None of that would make a difference if you had grumpy or slow staff serving you. However, the staff here is fantastic. Every single employee we came across had smiles, were courteous and super polite. Gustavo at the beach bar was the BEST. Even though it was just the two of us, we stayed on the family side (not the Secrets side). We didn't have a problem being around the kids. We only heard one baby crying our last day. For the most part, it was pretty quiet and serene.

Tips:
-The doors to the guest rooms shut VERY loud- they slam to close completely. We had no issue with this until our last two days when some people who moved in next to us didn't help close it quietly. Their door kept slamming throughout the late and very early hours.

-Sea kayaks and hobie cats are part of the water 'sports' that are included. However, there is no snorkeling at this beach, so one must pay a tour company or venture out to other parts of the bay.

-The beach sand is nice, but once in the water, it's pretty rocky underfoot. We loved that the water had some waves. We were told it was pretty choppy, but we like to play in the water. There are banana boats and skidoos for rent through outside companies.

-Yes, there are plenty of beach vendors. We didn't find them particularly annoying. We just said, 'No, gracias' and most walked away quickly.

-Make sure to reserve a table at the habachi-- the food is great. Reservations are not required for any other restaurants, which we loved. We liked having the freedom that day to decide what we wanted to eat. The breakfast buffet is very good. There are bloody mary's and mimosas available, which is a plus.

-The rooms are very nice and the beds are comfortable. My husband wasn't a fan of the pillows. I, however, loved them. There are jetted tubs, as well. We felt that the rooms were very spacious. You can order room service 24 hours a day. Stay away from the pizza. The Mexican fare was good. We had turn down service every night.

-Ask for a floor above the 6th floor. The views are beautiful. We loved going to the lounge bar during sunset.

-Gratuities here are accepted (we've stayed at all-inclusives where they aren't allowed/accepted). The staff we tipped were very appreciate, but their service was still excellent regardless of whether they were being tipped or not. I personally think it's important to tip if you're getting good service.

-The hot tubs and pools close at 8. We thought it'd be nice to sit in the hot tub after dinner, but it wasn't allowed.

-At the airport, when you leave your plane, walk straight out the doors. There will be a ton of people approaching you to make appointments for timeshare presentations. One of them actually told us they were our shuttle company. Not true. Amstar is outside. We've been to Mexico before so we were ready for this.

-Now Amber will try to sell you their Vacation Club. We did not attend the presentation and were not pushed into it, either. However, some guests told us they bought it and thought it was a great deal. Most said they were in there more than a few hours though. We had limited vacation time so it wasn't worth it to us.

-The pool games and staff that run these were fun. We only sat pool side one day (we were on the beach mostly) and thought it was great entertainment. They have prizes and contests and such. They also had poker and blackjack on certain days. We went to the Secrets side for a wine tasting one afternoon. What's great about all these events is that they are pretty short. You can participate without feeling like you're missing out on the sun and surf.

-The minibars in the room consist of juices, waters and coronitas. We barely used the minibar. The lounge bar is right by the elevators, so if need a drink we usually took one back to our room.

-The layout is good for getting around quickly. There isn't a ton of walking as there is in a more spread out resort. This is good for convenience, but you don't feel very secluded either. We like meeting people, so this wasn't an issue for us. We saw a lot of the same people over and over again- in halls, by the pool, in restaurants and elevators.

We will definitely be going back. We would recommend this place to anyone!

Room Tip: Go above the 6th floor for the amazing views- watch out for those slamming doors!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank Amadealeighdd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,963 - 1,969 of 2,979 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2014

The hotel looks nice but you need to know that if you like to go to the dinner with your flipflops and shorts you will be very limited there. You pay for the access to all the restaurants unfortunatelly if you take just "vacation clothes" they will denay you the acces....to most of the restaurants what was so enoying.
Also, they want to sell the timeshares and only then they are nice to you otherwise you better don't bother asking about anything .
The rooms in the middle tower are extremally noisy!!! You hear sounds from restaurants since 7am and the night entertinment until very late hours. Rooms by the wall have a very limited view-half ocean-half concrete wall :(
The city is frendly, you can rent a car through the internet if you use your costco card you will get a good discount.They have all the stores-Wall Mart, Costco, Sams Club.
Big bottle of Bacardi at local Costco about $19 way less than at the Duty Free :) Same at Wall Mart
I will recomend TACOS at Fast Truck La Leche.
Also you can drive to Riviera Nayarit they have beautifull open beaches and it's so peacefull over there - different experience!
Take whale wathing safari but seat at the front of the boat so you can see, the whales are coming very close to the boats its awesome.
Also they say that the rooms have jaccuzzi but this is just a tub with jets :(
After spending a week at Now Amber I'm dissapointed with this hotel- some workers were nice but it was so not worth the money. There is a trick in every single cupon or promotion they give to you. To use credits at SPA you need to listen to time schare speech or buy other things.
Also they have some construction on the back wall and don't think you will be able to sleap in the room during the day.
We really enjoyed Mexican restaurant a la carte -they made nice drinks, delicious soups-best dinner we had in there.

Room Tip: Privliged Tower gets you more privacy also Secrets hotel is connected to Amber but it's beter an...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
8  Thank M D
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 January 28, 2014

M D,

Thank you for having us host your recent holiday. We are saddened for having fallen short of your expectations. Our dress code in various restaurants is made to commensurate the experience in our well-appointed resort. Guests dining at our four diamond gourmet restaurants are deserving of an environment that reflects its stature. We make our dress code available through our many social media channels including booking sites. This information is provided to Travel Agents as well.

In the event a guest forgot to pack the proper attire in accordance to the dress code we make great efforts to make our guests feel welcomed by providing the following options:
• Items ranging in cost and variety may be purchased at the Signature Gift shop
• A clean, pressed shirt is offered by the resort to wear during the breakfast experience

Please accept our apologies if you felt you were “paying” for anything throughout your stay. Our goal is to provide an environment where you enjoy the Unlimited Luxury® experience to the fullest. We regret your experience with the Unlimited Vacation Club staff. Trust that we will be informing their head of department of your experience to prevent this from repeating.

Our resort is designed in a half moon / wide horseshoe way where all of our suites enjoy a magnificent view.
Puerto Vallarta is a very friendly and welcoming city; it is exciting to know that you took the opportunity to experience our beautiful city further by exploring local business and our surroundings as well as taking a tour to see our special visitors the whales.

Taking advantage of the resort credits is user friendly; our guests may use these credits to partially pay for select services at our world Class Spa by Pevonia, Romantic Dinners on the beach and/or bottles of select liquor. No attendance to any breakfast is needed to receive your resort credits. Our guests are encouraged to approach the front desk for further clarifications.

Secrets is not undergoing any construction, we have a strict maintenance program and take pride in maintaining Secrets elegant presence both inside & out and apologize if this caused any inconvenience. We appreciate that Tamarindo our Mexican gourmet restaurant met your expectations and we hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back and have the opportunity to rewrite your recent experience.

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 January 19, 2014

Not sure if there is enough room to write this review so we will just say it was "perfect" !!! From Luis the cab driver (who even took us for a very affordable private tour) Ernesto (the always smiling desk clerk) Gustavo at the pool who made us feel like we were friends at his home !!!! Rosa the hostess at the Capers restaurant ,was not only accommodating (I forgot long pants) but was lighthearted and fun but she said hi to us every time we walked by !!!! Antonio (hopes that's right) at the buffet for breakfast not only brought anything we asked for but when he saw us he even brought pepper to our table without asking because he remembered (that's service) The weather was perfect, The staff was perfect, The food was always good and plenty of choices ...... And the fact that communication was never an issue just made our trip PERFECT :-)

Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
3  Thank Don F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2014

We just arrived back from a short one week stay at the Now Amber in PV and overall we had a great time!

My brother and his girlfriend arrived ahead of us and we, together with another couple, joined them on the preferred side of Now Amber. Check in was a breeze and we were at the bar within 15 minutes of arriving to give Leon, our bartender, a hard time. He was awesome even following us to our room with a line of rainbow shooters as our luggage arrived.

We had planned on staying on the Secrets side because it was a kidless trip. They were full by the time we booked but in the end we were very happy on the family friendly Now Amber side. I think the fact that it was not a holiday time, eg. spring break made all the difference. We had heard they were at just over 30% capacity which allowed us to sleep in every morning and not have to rush down to the pool to reserve a spot. No huge amount of kids at the pools (not that we would have minded) and just enough poolside entertainment to keep you interested.

Of the resort we only had one complaint and that was the inconsistency of the food. Overall the food was great but you would think that when cooking steaks for 3 people at the same table that you should be able to get it right for everybody. More times than not more than one of the steaks was overcooked. My wife's steak at the Oceania was unbelievable while my brother's was overdone. Our experience at the Bourdeaux, the french restaurant, was awful. My lamb was tough, the lobster bisque was just okay, and 2 of the 4 desserts tastes like they had been sitting on a dessert tray all day. We booked the grill side experience at the japanese restaurant and ended up with a spicy soup that was not spicy at all and food that was totally overcooked and over salted. The italian restaurant was very nice. Great service, great appies, mostly great entres (another overcooked steak), and wonderful desserts. But, by far our best experience was at the Mexican restaurant. Everyone's food was perfect, food arrived on time, the waiters were great, and the mariachi band even serenaded my friend's wife. Overall a great experience. Be sure to ask for the sexy coffee after your meal. The presentation would be great for kids and even us adults enjoyed it.

Although having great weather is always a bonus having courteous, friendly staff was what made it the most enjoyable. Everyone was helpful and more than happy to get what ever we needed and almost let us do whatever we wanted. We you head down to the beach be sure to set up on the side closest to the water and watch for Gustavo and Jose. Never will your drink be empty and never will there be a frown on your face.

Room Tip: If you want to sleep in past 9 stay higher than the second floor as you start to hear the pool music...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Dwayne R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

Overall Resort – Beautiful & clean! Employees were cleaning around the clock.
Secrets is next door – It is almost connected to Now Amber. They share the spa, disco club, theater/etc. We were on vacation without kids so we strongly considered the adult only option. Due to the price difference, we selected Now Amber and were very happy with our choice. There were lots of kids but they were all having a great time. If you do not want kids around you on your vacation, book at Secrets.

Rooms – Very classy & upscale. We booked in the Preferred Club. The pros – The tower is closer to the water with only 8 floors. Easy in/out from the pool to your room. There are snacks out in the lobby area almost all hours but they tend to sit for hours. Still a good option to grab something quick between meals. The rooms in the preferred tower are the same except you have a Jacuzzi tub on the deck. I loved this! There is a glass screen between the deck next to you so it’s not completely private by any means but at night when it’s dark, as long as your lights were off, you wouldn’t be seen sneaking in/out of the tub on the deck. The bathtub in the room is great also & a huge shower. The amenities in the preferred rooms are better. Full bottles of shampoo/sun screen/etc which are replaced daily if you move them from their designated spot. We brought home several extras. The bed was very comfortable with many pillows to choose from. The turn down service came daily and no complaints. The view from the preferred tower can be great if you are on a higher/closer to the water room but I think the view from the main tower on the highest floors would be just as good, if not better.

Vacation Club – If any resort is willing to give you high compensation for your time to attend breakfast & you must bring your credit card – It’s a sales pitch. No matter how any resort tries to “package” the presentation, it’s still a version of a time share. When we checked in, we were given the $400 in resort coupons (which we never used) and asked to come to “breakfast”. I think the expression on my face must have said it all because he quickly responded with, “We are not a time share….it’s not a time share presentation”. I responded politely and stated we may be interested in hearing what they have to offer AFTER we spend a few days at the resort and experience the services/etc. I stressed the last thing I was going to do was commit to being somewhere at a certain time on my vacation. I asked to take the paperwork and he said we could just show up if we’d like but to make sure to bring the paperwork so he would receive credit. This was a fair request. On day 3 we received a phone call in our room (while napping which bugged me since the “red light” was on) stating this was the “last time” he would ask us but hoped we would commit to breakfast the next morning. I said probably not so do not make a reservation but we may show up. We did not attend a presentation so I cannot provide any details but I talked to a few others staying at the resort and they didn’t have any complaints. It sounded like they were very respectful of their time.

RESTAURANTS - This was only our 2nd all-inclusive so I don’t have much to compare too. I found overall the food was good. A few dishes average and others excellent. Several restaurants cater to “higher end” meals & state a dress code. We found this was rarely enforced but nice to have in place so people didn’t show up looking really bad.

Breakfast Buffet – There is only one place open during breakfast hours which are the buffet (other than the coffee shop) However, I can’t imagine anyone not finding something they enjoy. The selections were fabulous! Made to orders omelets/eggs/etc.

Tamarindo – Mexican restaurant. We ate here one night. It was good but didn’t stand out.

Castaways – We had lunch here almost every afternoon when they opened at 11:30. Our favorite was the fish tacos & the Caesar salad was excellent. Great view of the pool & the water.

Capers – Italian Restaurant – This was one of our favorites. Great menu selection

Bordeaux – This is Secrets French Restaurant. This one is on the fancier side but a great option for a romantic dinner. It’s called a French restaurant but the menu had a great variety of many different options.

Himitsu - Unfortunately we did not get a chance to try the Japanese restaurant. The menu had pad Thai which I really wanted to try but didn’t get the chance.

Room Service – We ordered twice. Each time the wait was as stated – about 35 minutes. The best dish I had during my entire stay was the pasta from the room service menu. It was excellent! I suggest the Caesar salad too. Very good.

SHOWS – Saturday nights they have an “adult” show in the Club. It was entertaining. The lead singer may be famous soon – Great voice! There was also a fire show one night while we were there. We were still at dinner so we missed the show but overheard several other guests stating they loved it and even the younger kids were highly entertained.

WIFI – This is really my only complaint and the reason I am not giving this 5 starts. The wifi service in the resort is very limited. I would say it sucks. My first clue was all of the logon options were titled “Secrets1, Secrets2, etc”. I believe the only connections for Now Amber are in the lobby and the coffee shop. I had OK service at the pool at times. At least the Preferred Club should have their own designated WiFi or at least one close enough to get a strong signal in all of the Preferred Club tower rooms.

DRINKS – I agree with many other reviews - Excellent drink service at the pool! We also had excellent service is all of the restaurants! We couldn’t have been happier. They did not “skimp” on the alcohol at all. One night my husband ordered a few shots of Don Julio and was brought almost a full glass. 5 stars rating for drink service all through the resort! In the room – we were surprised to find only 3 mini bottles of liquor– Jack Daniels, Bacardi & a Vodka. They are replaced anytime the room was serviced which was nice, along with a bag of M&M’s & mini Pringels.

SPA – We did not go to the spa in the hotel . I read several other reviews which suggested visiting Healing Hands Massage right outside the hotel. I am so glad I knew about this! My husband and I went 5 days in a row! 1 hour massage for $25. The place is seriously just steps past the hotel entrance gates. There is a row with 2-3 massage shops. Don’t worry too much about which one you pick because they all work together and go where needed. We never had an appointment and never waited more than a couple minutes. The place is not fancy but it’s clean and professional. We had several different people for our massages over the 5 days and they were all excellent. I would highly recommend going here!

POOLSIDE – People will save chairs. The ones closest to the pool with the bar were gone fairly earlier we never had a problem still finding a good spot. Loved the bar in the pool. Great place to hang out & have fun. A few afternoons a chef was out poolside creating a dish. This was a great idea. Loved trying the different foods. The days we were there it was someone from the Himitsu. This was a welcome snack at the pool. There is a food area open during main pool hours where you can grab food by the pool but it is catered towards kids. Chips & cheese sauce. All kids love that. I would recommend the hotel look into the brand/quality of the cheese sauce. It seemed very watered down but maybe the couple times we tried it was running low.

BEACH – I read several negative comments about the beach being “rocky”. We noticed several mornings’ employees out “raking” the beach and we thought it was perfect. I did hear there were rocks if you walked down the beach either way but in front of the hotel was nice. There are 2 huge blow up islands out in the water for older kids/adults to swim out to/climb on. We saw many kids having a blast jumping & climbing on them. There are some vendors on the beach but we found they were very courteous and only asked once and then left you alone. Very different than the beaches in Cabo!

Daily Schedule – Similar to a cruise, they give out a daily flyer which lists the activities for the day. Love this idea!! It also tells you the schedule for the restaurants/etc. They had poker tournaments, bocce ball games, archery, bingo, dance lessons/etc. The entertainment staff is young guys who know how to dance and may seem “over the top” but they do a great job of involving adults & kids and having a good time.

We will return again! We have already booked for April with our kids this time!

Room Tip: Preferred tower is closer to the water but the higher floors in the main building would have a bette...
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Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
5  Thank travelwa123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

This was our first all-inclusive and it was pretty spectacular. We stayed at Now for a friend's wedding over New Year's and had a ball. Rooms are beautiful, staff were extremely helpful and friendly, and views can't be beat. We were on the top floor - 15 - and had awesome ocean views, but the hallway views were even better! They are all open-air with an incredible view of the city and mountains, while all the rooms are ocean facing. Overall, it's a very well-thought out resort with a lot of details. You feel very pampered. Food was AMAZING, especially at Castaways which is totally casual and right on the beach. Lots of the couples with us had stayed at all-inclusives before and were raving about this one, especially the food. Apparently you do get what you pay for! :)

The bride visited the spa and said it was incredible. Prices were a little steep for me, so I took another reviewer's advice and walked to Healing Hands, literally 2 doors away from the resort. HIGHLY RECOMMEND but that's another review.

The Now side was very family-friendly, and almost made me feel bad we didn't bring the kids. Secrets is part of the same campus and had obviously quieter pools but overall, beautiful. One word of advice - if you are not truly interested in buying a time share, simply say no thank you when they offer it at check-in. They give spa credit and some other enticements but really, do you want to waste 3 hours on a sales pitch on your beach vacation? Not worth it, according to those in our group who did. And FYI, the regular building has better ocean views than the Preferred Club!

Weirdest thing - the showers. No idea how they are engineered but the door leaked every time. Just be prepared and throw some extra towels down.

We had a great time and I would definitely recommend it, especially to those with kids.

Room Tip: Go high - great views. Private pool rooms are cool but no ocean views.
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  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank melissammb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 14, 2014

12 members of my family had the opportunity to experience the Now Amber. The resort was beautiful. The rooms spotless with fantastic views. Every room was ocean facing which I think is a great feature for any hotel. But the best part of our vacation was the incredible staff. All of them so very friendly, we got to know them so well while we were there. We had the absolute best, most attentive service from Gustavo Andalon. He was attentive to all our needs and was never far away. He was always very informative with any questions we had about the resort, the town and even tequila! The experience at the Now Amber was amazing, but Gustavo made it feel like a home away from home. Loved it!!

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Vacaymomma355
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

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 #18 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $254 - $875 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
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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