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“True relaxation, with minor hiccups.”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Mansfield, Texas
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“True relaxation, with minor hiccups.”
Reviewed 9 May 2012

We stayed at Secrets April 29th-May 5th, in a Preferred Ocean-View Room. Upon arrival we were taken back to the preferred building for check in. We arrived on a Sunday, I suspect the desk guy was not regularly working here. We didn't receive welcome cool towel or drink. And it didn't seem like he had a good routine for covering all the info he needed to. We arrived around 2 and he welcomed us to get some food or drinks, due to our room needing an hour before it is ready. However, he didn't give us a map or tell us where anything is. The rest of our trip there were mainly two different people at the front desk of the preferred building, these people were helpful.

One main complaint are the room categories. The only difference between a "Garden-view" and "Ocean-view" is OV rooms are floors 4 and up. Looking directly out of the room you have an amazing view of the Now resort. If you go out on your balcony, you can see the ocean rather well, but only after going to the balcony. My advice, unless you like being up higher, the difference paid for an OV room isn't worth it. (mine was an extra 200 for 6 nights)

The other complaint (or disappointment). We didn't stay or look at the rooms not in the preferred area. The Preferred Lounge with snacks- Not really worth the extra paid. I guess the only difference for preferred is the jacuzzi on the balcony, the preferred lounge, and preferred bar, wifi in room (only worth-while option), and refreshed mini-bar maybe.
-We never used the jacuzzi.
-The B-fast and snacks in the lounge were not worth the extra paid.
-The preferred bar has the same liqours the rest of the resort has.
Not to mention the main building actually does have an ocean view from the room.
Other resorts I've been to, The Royal Playa and Cancun, have pool and ping pong in their lounge, which would have been nice as there were other couple that were always hanging out in the lounge area. Also, the view walking to our room was not so great. Never saw workers showering, though.

The food- Overall was amazing for an all inclusive. We learned from other people's reviews and steered clear of the fish tacos. I did have the sea bass at bordeaux and it was just ok. Other than that we didn't eat fish. Neither of us got SICK. (We did have the occasional longer visit to the restroom, but we expect that in Mexico.) Even the Buffets were at least 1 star better than most AIs. You will be making several trips to the Now side for food though.

The resort- Everything was spotless and well groomed. They were even sifting sand on the beach so that it is less rocky. Annoying for us, somewhat, but will be nice for future guests.

The beach- Not BEAUTIFUL, but pretty for a beach. The beach is maybe 30 yards from the cabanas to the water. Waves a pretty rough, and water is pretty cool. Never saw anyone get into the ocean.

Pool service- Was great. Good drinks, and the server will even bring food from oceana. Efraim was great, first day he brought us several different shots, amazing.

Tipping- I never felt pressured to tip as some of the reviewers did. There were instances that I didn't have any tipping dough so didn't even worry about it, and although they seem to be expecting it, they would just walk away without being pushy.

Room service- Mostly on time, but still have kinks to work out. The resort has an app you can use for various things, one is room service. We ordered 4 times I believe, 3/4 they tried to call to verify the order and 2/4 were not brought the right time. I could have called, but they have an app, I didn't feel it necessary. Also, they have the secret box to leave the food in, however the servers always bang on the door until you answer it, simply to ask you if you want it in the box.

Overall- The resort is new, and although they have a couple things to work out, overall I would go back. It was a relaxing vacation, with great servers, and wonderful food.

Best Tip- Get a regular OV room (Don't bother with preferred)
We try to get the "VIP" service wherever we go, usually WAY worth it, not so much here.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Logan I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,237)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
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  • German first
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English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
20 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 May 2012

I planned a last minute trip to Secrets, solo, based on my work schedule, a great deal, and a true need to get away for a while! It was a fairly short, 4 night stay, and the property was lovely. You are greeted with champagne and a high level of attention. Fast check-in, but my complaint about that process, is the effort to sell you on some sort of time share-like deal...really reprehensible, in my opinion. When you have paid a decent sum to be at the resort, you should not be getting pressured throughout your stay there (I was called 2x in my room in the next 3+ days) to come to a time share presentation!!! Otherwise, the food, the service, the pools, the room - all receive very high marks. I was actually quite surprised by the quality of the restaurant food on the property - but if you can help it, stay away from room service. Any food ordered that way tasted like cardboard. Most importantly, per my Review Title, be aware that this is definitely a couples resort - old, young, gay, straight, whatever... but ALL couples. I think I was the only single person there my entire week. Maybe if you get a big enough group of singles to all come to Secrets at the same time, that would be fun. But otherwise if you go by yourself, be prepared to be somewhat bored. Bring a lot of books!

Room Tip: The ocean facing junior suites are really lovely - don't necessary "upgrade" to the to...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled solo
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portland
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

We stayed at Secrets after getting married at another resort in Puerto Vallarta. The adults only side of the resort was quiet and provided an oppurtunity for relaxation. The rooms are beautiful and very comfortable. We stayed in the preferred level rooms. The biggest benefit being the private snack buffet and bar. The bartender was very friendly. On criticism was at the pool. When the resort gets busier I can see a limited amount of space around the pool. Also, it was touch to get good service around the pool for drinks and food. We ordered food once that never showed up. Overall it was a great place to stay.

  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Marcus K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sherman Oaks
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2012

I just returned from a wonderful stay at Secrets Puerto Vallarta, to celebrate my husband’s birthday. This was my first time in Puerto Vallarta and my second stay at a Secrets Resort (Previous Stay: Secrets Montego Bay, which was BEYOND WONDERFUL).

The Good:

The hotel is simply beautiful. The decor was a step above SMB, which doesn’t even seem possible. It’s obvious their design team ideas improve with each addition. The staff is beyond friendly and jump at every opportunity to make your trip enjoyable. Another reviewer noted they felt forced or even coached into tipping, this was not my experience and I highly doubt that reviewer’s story. The staff was surprised and grateful for all tips, which made you want to tip even more. And who doesn’t tip at a resort? For God sakes, they bring you food at 5am.

The food was good, especially room service which was always prompt. As you read through reviews on all-inclusive, beware of the people who whine about food. These are usually the same people who live on fast food. 8-) It’s an all-inclusive, so expect good but not great. The highlight for me was the
Japanese restaurant.

The Not-So Good, but I Expect Will Improve:

Liquor: The liquor was watered down to the point it was almost laughable. When traveling to any resort you should expect the drinks to be watered down, for economic and safety reasons. For some reason vacationers don’t always use the best judgement when consuming alcohol. I expect as the resorts occupants increase so will the liquor level.

The sparkling wine was great.

The Bad, That Can’t Be Fixed:

Adults Only? Well not really. SPV is literally right next door to the family-friendly Now Amber. We woke up every morning to the sound of children swimming in the pool. We would sit on our balcony and watch them play. Comparing the fact the Now Amber pool was active at 9am, while the SPV wasn’t active until around noon was amusing.

Should this fact stop you from visiting SPV? Not a chance. The resort is worth every dime.

Room Tip: All rooms have a ocean view, but paying for the "ocean view" guarantees a higher floor.
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  • Stayed May 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank SonyaStew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 14 May 2012
Dear Sonya,

On behalf of all our staff of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta receive our most sincere appreciations for such nice and positive comments of our Resort. We are more than happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay with us and we have exceeded your expectations!

As you stated in your review there are certain areas that need our attention such as our liquor drinks that were not of your entire satisfaction. Please note that our Food & Beverage Manager will make the proper improvements in this area to ensure that our guest

We understand that it can be quite difficult to keep down the noise of the children in our nearby sister Now Amber property, although we do have many areas where you can enjoy freely of the tranquility and privacy that Secrets Vallarta Bay has to offer to all our guests!

Once again, thank you so much for the positive feedback! We look forward to serve you in the near future!

Sincerely,

Karen Curiel
Social Media Coordinator of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Buffalo
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 May 2012

My boyfriend and I didn't know what to expect staying at this resort 2 weeks after it opened, but we could not have been happier! Weather was beautiful, staff was amazing, food was delicious the place has I think 9 restaurants all inclusive, as well as 24 hr all inclusive room service. Drinks were amazing too all top shelf, even grey goose vodka available ! Would definitely recommend to anyone! Mostly couples were there but also some adult kids and their parents great for anyone looking for a relaxing getaway!

  • Stayed April 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank xprincess366x
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 May 2012
Receive a warming hug from Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta,

We are beyond excited to hear that we have exceeded your expectations during your last visit with us!

Please be sure that our Food & Beverage Manager will be notified about your nice feedback in regards to the food and the drinks that you enjoyed in all our restaurants!

We thank you for sharing your positive comments and we will be waiting for you and your friends soon!

Sincerely,

Karen Curiel
Social Media Coordinator of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Richmond, Canada
Level Contributor
61 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 April 2012

When the Azamara Quest had their engine fire our 40th anniversary dream trip vanished but we still needed to get away badly. We found Secrets, Puerto Vallarta, just opened and with space available. Initially we were concerned about residual construction ongoing but found that to be limited and not very disturbing with the exception of work done around the resort marketing photography. Even so, the relentless techno-pop coming from the pool speakers each aftenoon was much more tension-inducing.

The rooms were clean and very comfortable with turndown service each night. Although we did hear a little noise from the beach bar errected at the far side of the empy lot next door and did wake up with the roosters each morning that is pretty normal for Mexico unless you are in an area populated exclusively by souless resorts. We enjoyed walking into Puerto Vallarta and down the Malecon for excercise on a number of occasions.

Regardless of whether you tipped or not, he food and service were consistantly excellent with few exceptions. Tipping the pool waiter did ramp up the service from good to amazing. We had great meals and service in the French, Japanese and Mexican restaurants. On subsequent trips, non-english speaking waiters caused some disappointment, largely due to an ongoing reluctance to engage one the meal was delivered. This will resolve itself as more trained staff become available. I'd say 50% of staff were from other AMResorts and the rest were pretty green at this point.

The beachfront restaurant was good but food was generally lukewarm. As noted by some extremely cranky reviewers, the Barefoot snack bar serving the pool area was a massive management failure. Food quality was extremely poor and we too became sick for several days. We were certainly not alone but I don't think we all got it from the tacos. Some people chose to remain on the pool deck when sick and polute the washroom. Other idiots went in barefoot and tracked it onto the pool. Staff routinely cleaned this washroom every 30 minutes and after the outbreak the pool deck and every piece of furniture on it were sanitized. I think they responded as well as can be expected. I suppose if we had been there a shorter time I would be more annoyed and inclined to nit pick at what is essentially an excellent resort. They did close it and no loss since everyone could order food and drinks without ever leaving their lounge chair.

Secrets Resorts has one of the consistantly highest ratings amongst tropical resorts and this one will be no exception going forward. On the whole, the people who work here can't do enough for you. If you are a pool person and want some high quality time in the sun you will find it here.

Room Tip: Avoid the rooms on the fourth floor behind the facade if you spend any time on the balcony. Ground...
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  • Stayed April 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
11 Thank gmartan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ab
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 April 2012 via mobile

My wife and I travel a couple of times a year to Mexico and decided last minute to return to PV after five years of the Caribbean side. We booked through Marlin travel a couple of weeks before departure.

Secrets PV for us has set the standard for our future Mexico vacations. Great property with breath taking views, wonderful people with your comfort and desires in mind and fantastic food.

If they didn't have it on the menu, they made it for you. Beautiful room with a great bed, my wife said that the next house we build, the master bedroom has to be modeled after this room.

Secrets has figured it out, what you want for a vacation and delivers "with pleasure"

Stayed April 2012
Helpful?
7 Thank Steve M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 8 May 2012
Greetings from all the Secrets Vallarta Bay team. We would like to thank you for your time to share your comments from your recent stay with us.

We are overjoyed to know that you experience the best service from our staff, we work daily to maintain a friendly environment with our guests.

Glad to hear that Puerto Vallarta has become your favorite destination for your future vacations to Mexico!

We can’t wait to welcome you back to our paradise!

Kind regards,

Karen Curiel
Social Media Coordinator of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa

Property: Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Address: David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164 | Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 271
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Romantic. Refined. Remarkable. Located on the golden sand beaches of the Pacific coast within walking distance of the famous El Malecon boardwalk, this vibrant oceanfront resort provides adults 24/7 access to amazing nightlife, non-stop entertainment and Unlimited-Luxury(R). ... more   less 
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