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“Family had a great time - resort is top notch”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed April 25, 2014

We stayed at Now Amber in March 2014 - went with my wife and two year old along with another couple who had a 6 and 8 year old.

We booked through booking.com via Transat vacations departing from Calgary.

Flight:
Flight was great - first time I've flown through Transat and we upgraded to the option plus - and it was well worth it, getting to pick our seats close by our friends, and also getting the champagne, comfort kit, and also the shorter line at airport check in (that was almost worth it on its own, especially on the Mexico end)

We arrived through customs (that takes the longest and with a 2 year old in the heat after a long plane ride isn't the most ideal situation - so be ready for long lines)

Check-In:
Arrived at the resort and as with all resorts - nice cold drink waiting and helpful bell service. We did the preferred club upgrade and vs. our friends who opted not too - it seemed like our check-in was much more smooth than theirs. While walking to our side of the hotel, our guide showed us where everything was - our friends simply got a map. When we checked in it was very fast, no issues - the only thing is that when we were finished we were referred to the "vacation sales" person and you have to listen to what they have to say - they'll be persistent and call you - they kept playing off both couples - saying our friends were doing it. I never did it but our friends did and they had to sit through breakfast and talk to the person for an hour or so - they say it's not a timeshare, but it's the same idea. Our friends did get two passes for golf carts at the courses (more on golf later). They offer a ton of different things for your time, such as free romantic dinner packages or whatever, so up to you to determine what you want to get for your time.

Resort:
Since the resort was built in 2012 - it's still very clean and new. It's really nice, well taken care of and clean. The lobby area was great - we spent a lot of time there just sitting on the couch, they often had live music. We'd look out at the ocean. On the Secrets side, they had a pool table which was nice and we went there once when we had no kids. The room on the preferred side was nice, we had a jacuzzi bath tub on the deck overlooking the pool - we gave our daughter baths in it and she really enjoyed it being able to look out at everything while still in the bath. Our room was roomy, clean, we had a separate shower and bath tub inside too. The lobby area of the preferred side always had food laid out that was appropriate for the time of day - and it was very handy because every time we walked by we were able to get some snacks for our daughter, whether it was fruit, veggies, or something else. The bar area is small and there is usually only one person working, but it's not busy so there are no issues getting a drink. The server/bartenders were all great and accommodating there. Nice thing about preferred is we were also able to book everything through them and didn't need to go to concierge at the main lobby.

Service:
Overall service was great, everyone is super friendly. We always tipped, a dollar or two with whatever we did but when we didn't have a chance to, it's not as if service suffered. I'd say that everyone there was friendly and seemed happy and it made for a very nice experience. We had no issues whatsoever.

Food:
The food is probably the best we've had on the pacific side of Mexico - we've been to El Cid and Crown - which aren't nearly as close in levels as this. In the end - it is still Mexican resort food - so if you're used to fine dining at home - don't expect it to be like that. But if you appreciate that it's a Mexican resort trying to make food that caters to travelers then it's pretty good vs. some of the other resorts we've stayed at. If you want authentic Mexican though, go into town, or a local side of the road kiosk, that's where the good food is. We had some of that, and it was great.

Amenities:
We really only spent time in the pool - they had 3 pools and it was great for the whole family. Clean, well taken care of - and plenty of chairs. We never really had an issue getting a spot to settle down, we'd usually go out at breakfast and reserve some chairs. The kids pool was great for the kids too, with the slide and pool depth that wasn't too deep. We went to a couple of night shows as well and they work hard and put in a good effort to entertain guests. Definitely entertaining and worth checking out since you're going to be there anyways! We went to the night club a few times and it was never busy but they had live music once and a DJ another time - either way - if you're going with family and friends you'll have a spot to listen to music, drink, and dance if you want. We didn't go to the beach often - it's hard sand and crushed coral on the feet so it's not as nice as the beaches on the Mayan side.

Golf:
We golfed three times - even though golf is "included" you have to pay $45 for a cart per person - if you golf before 12, it was an additional $35. So the Vista Vallarta club which has a Nicklaus and Weiskopf designed courses we paid $80 each time to golf because we golfed early. It gets really hot - so depends on whether or not you can handle hot golf if you want to golf after noon. We golfed Marina Vallarta once and that was after 12. Vista courses are nice and well maintained. Marina is much more basic and not as well maintained. Cab ride to Marina was about $10 and Vista was $25 EACH WAY. So don't forget to take that into account. We brought our own clubs (Transat lets you take one bag per person and also golf clubs if you have it)

Overall:
I would definitely go back to this resort if we went to Puerto Vallarta again. If we went to another area and they had the same chain, we'd definitely consider it as well. The price was definitely more than anything we paid before, but you get what you pay for. Was preferred club upgrade worth it at the resort? If we didn't, I don't think our trip would have been worse, but I would say that we got value out of the extra we paid. The readily available food in the lobby - the upgraded room, the privacy in the area was worth it.

Room Tip: We did preferred club which all have ocean views - some of the upgraded suites have private pool acc...
  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank aknguyen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 24, 2014

This was our first time to Puerto Vallarta and we found the hotel was in a great location to visit the old town, play golf (not the greatest course, mind you!) or shop. The hotel surpassed our expectations and our family of seven - parents, grandparents and 3 children (8, 10 and 12) had a great time. The food was great, the rooms clean and well appointed with luxurious bathrooms complete with soaker tubs. The service staff were second to none, particularly Abraham from the Carnaval restaurant (and Karina and Alexandra, too). We felt very spoiled and well taken care of. The only suggestions we have would be for the hotel to add some activities aimed at pre-teen kids. The water sports were great - kayaking and sailing, but a couple of paddle boards would be a good idea, too.! We would defintely go back and recommend this resort. Thanks for taking care of us, Abraham!!!

Room Tip: We stayed on the 7th floor - great room, but the ground floor swim out rooms looked awesome - partic...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2014 via mobile

There is literally not one complaint I could say. Beautiful hotel, great pools, great restaurants, and food. I would recommend now amber to anyone coming to the area. I have been to all inclusives in Puerto vallarta and this was a major step above them.

Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
3  Thank Steven K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2014

I cannot say enough about the service at this resort. Every member of the staff went out of their way to assure we were happy. They kayak instructor helped my daughter with a sand castle to keep her entertained! Poolside service, restaurants, housekeeping and concierge all were very attentive, and always had a smile.

The food was fine, but not great. Restaurants were far better than the buffet. The best meal we had was the Mexican fiesta nite poolside - I wish they did more Mexican food at the resort. They clearly have good chefs, but it seems a waste to try to create Asian or Italian that's average when they could have great local seafood and regional cuisine.

We did not have to wait to get a table (5 minutes at the most) at any restaurant or the buffet at any time of day, and we found there were no issus with the dress code. Other reviewers have commented on this and while we did not go on the Secrets side, the Now side allowed shorts at all restaurants, and t-shirts were fine at breakfast and lunch. We did not see anyone turned away.

The entertainment was good and varied. The outdoor amphetheater was nice and had drink service up until show started.

The rooms are fine, good size bathroom, and nice balcony; the floors could be cleaner, but weren't dreadful. The closet shelves were dusty. The pillows are terrible! If you have a neck or sleeping issue, bring one from home.

The location was good, as it was close to town, but the beach was a bit noisy w/ jet skis for our liking. It was not as rocky as I imagined based on other reviews - fine to walk in and swim (there are rocks, but small smooth pepples, not large rocks that are actually dangerous).

I was pleasantly surpirsed that all-inclusive was really all included. It was our first AI, and we were expecting added fees for different restaurants, drinks, etc, like on a cruise ship, but found that there were no hidden costs. We were not asked about timeshare or membership after check in, which was also a nice surprise. Would stay at this chain again.

Room Tip: All rooms are ocean view, higher floors will be quieter, especially if there is a wedding at night.
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank bluedog67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2014

We just returned home from an awesome week at Now Amber in Puerto Vallarta. Absolutely 1st class from start to finish. Fabulous room, excellent restaurants and the service is amazing. Although I wished they cleaned our room a little earlier as by late afternoon I was ready to go for a rest and they'd be wanting to clean the room then. But the staff work so hard....especially around the pool area where they are so accommodating and do everything to make you happy. So I was disappointed to see that many people didn't tip for anything. These waiters work so hard for so little....they have families too and depend on tips....come on people...loosen up! The only downside is the sales people wanting you to check out the time shares....but just firmly told them we weren't interested in that. Otherwise....loved this place!

Room Tip: Because of the clam shell design of the resort....the noise does travel upwards to probably all the...
  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Donna H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 19, 2014

We had a lovely stay at the Now Amber. It's a great place to stay with kids - the staff is wonderful to children. The setting is beautiful, especially the lobby, which is a gorgeous place to have a pre-dinner drink. We also really enjoyed relaxing by the pool. Leonardo was our server at the pool several days during our stay, and he was phenomenal ... friendly, helpful, and energetic. Sit wherever he's working while you're there! And order the iceberg beer cocktail - a new favorite I'd never heard of before. The food at the restaurants was just okay, and the buffet by the pool was pretty bad, so have lunch at the indoor restaurant buffet if you can drag yourself out of the sun. We generally had dinner off the property and came back so our kids could enjoy dessert from the hotel buffet. My major complaint is that the wifi access is basically non-existent, unless you're sitting in the lobby. I was almost never able to get online when I was at the pool or in our room.

  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Rachel G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 18, 2014 via mobile

Your first steps into Now Amber's lobby will depict your vacation. The MOST amazing lobby! Now Amber has the perks of a super-huge resort but perfect size if you don't want to walk far! The food is amazing, rooms are all ocean front, kid club is tops. Not much action for teenagers though. This is not you activity driven resort. Even though there are organized activities, it is not the focus. Close to town, close to airport. The only downsides are the inability to walk miles and miles on the beach and the rocky sand. But...it is the Pacific.

  • Stayed: March 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Mkrempp
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 #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: $254 - $831 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
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