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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #14 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 13 February 2013

My boyfriend and I (ages 31 and 25 respectfully) stayed at this resort Dec 2-9th 2012, in the Preferred Club. As soon as you arrive you are greeted with champagne and a cold towel, a bell hop takes your bags straight away and you are escorted to your check in desk (which is actually in a different building for Preferred Club). The desk person gives you a quick rundown of the hotel and you are out of there in just a couple minutes. We didn't get a timeshare talk at check in like I was warned about, but they did call our room once about it, and after saying 'no thank you' we never heard about it again.

Now, for the biggest question.. Is it worth it to pay more for Preferred Club? My answer, maybe. It seems as though the biggest advantage to being in the Preferred Club is the private lounge. While it's not much to hang out in (I think it had two tables), and the food was meh (mostly teeny sandwiches and fruits, but sometimes had some awesome ribs), the bar service was awesome. There seemed to never be anyone in the lounge so service was instant, you got top shelf liquors, and when you get to know the bartender (I think we only saw two different bartenders the whole time) you get to say things like "I want like a french mojito but less mojito-y" or "you made me a peach thing a couple days ago... can I get that again?" and they know what you want. They understand you.
Rooms: Our room was on the 4th floor, ocean view (technically, but more facing inside the resort), was very very clean and spacious. We had no issues with A/C or lack of towels - and the robes and slippers were a nice treat. The biggest issue was trying to figure out which light switches control which lights, because there are MANY switches, and some in seemingly random places. The house keeping service was impeccable, and only once did we have to call down to get our mini bar refreshed. The jacuzzi on the balcony was big enough for two people and such a nice way to end the day.

Restaurants: I read a lot of people complaining about portion size, and it's true - the portions are itty bitty - however that is why you order yourself 1-2 appetizers, an entree, and a dessert. Always. Oceana was very good (the tuna medallion was amazing), and they do not enforce any kind of dress code (no beach wear? Please, EVERYONE is in beach cover-ups). The Mexican place was mediocre (funny how that works), but too loud for my taste - the mariachi band is fun, but not if they play throughout your entire dinner. We only did the table-side grill at the Japanese place, and our chef wasn't nearly as animated as the chef at the table next to us, so that's a little touchy. But, Bordeaux is the best. By far the best. I cannot say enough about it. It was so delicious that we ate here two nights in a row because we couldn't stop thinking about it. We would each order an appetizer, a soup, an entree and a dessert. The lobster bisque and the champagne salmon are insane, I still think about it. Oh, and there was the Market Buffet, which was very good too.

Room Service: Love love love! Amazing food, quick timing, never given a cold dish! My only complaint is that our do not disturb light would be on, so, obviously, put the food in the room service box, but no. They would knock every single time. That would be my biggest complaint of the entire vacation. PS - when you order the waffles, order two plates of them, because they are THAT good.

Service: The service was amazing! Everything from being greeted BY NAME every morning at breakfast when we walk in to being greeted BY NAME by the waiters out on the beach - they didn't miss a thing. I've never felt so catered to! We did tip everyone that did something for us a dollar or two (more at meals), so I don't know if that influenced anything, but if it did - do it! It's a small price to pay and these people work so hard that they deserve it.

Resort: The pools were great! Never too crowded, floaty things and towels in abundance. Everything is extremely clean, plenty of seating The swim up bar had just as good of cocktails as other bars (meaning they blend their blended drinks, they don't just add alcohol to some slushie machine like I've seen in other places). Every day you get a little newsletter that tells you what's happening that day. We did a few things like kayaking (so-so), rifle shooting (should call it hit metal squirrels with a pellet gun for 10 minutes), beach volleyball (fun! Even for me who sucks at it), and we played tennis one day, which was awesome (and I lost a ball and they didn't charge us..). Also in these newsletters they have a 'Drink of the Day' suggestion. I had nearly every suggested drink each day, and they were all delicious (kinda feel stupid asking for a Winnie-the-Pooh, but it tastes like happiness). The tennis court was beautiful, and the gym is only made for giants (machines do NOT adjust enough for a girls body), or people who love to run (enough treadmills?).

Beach: The beach was no good. Walking along the beach HURTS your feet, dont' go into the waves or they will CUT YOU with little rock shards. The sand is nice on the resort, but if you leave, prepare yourself for pain. Thankfully the resort beach stays pretty empty so you can sit in the sand in peace. The vendors know no bounds and will walk RIGHT up to you while you lounge on a resort chair. If you just shake your head, or ignore them, they walk right by without a fuss.

Adults Only: People complain that only half of the resort is adults only. Which is kinda true, and kinda not. It's more like two resorts side by side, but I never once, not ONCE heard a child, or saw a child (unless I walked into lobby of the other resort, but that's where the kids are alowed). Are the kids allowed in the restaurants? Apparently, but I never saw any. The little rocky-hill barrier thing is so tall (to separate the pools) that you can't see the other side.

I am extremely thankful that we stayed here before the price undoubtedly skyrockets. This place is quality and I loved it! If I could go back paying the same price I payed the first time, I'd be there in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: If staying in the Preferred Tower, stay on the 4th floor - your balcony wall is made of stone so you...
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank CrisCEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,756 - 2,762 of 3,355 reviews

Reviewed 13 February 2013

We have been to a lot of all inclusive resorts. This Place was wonderful. The heated pool was a great feature. The swim up bar had my Bud Light!! along with other options. Food was very good. the rooms had plenty of room. the view of the ocean was so nice. The city is a great place go shopping, or drinking. it has a lot to choose from. The only negative i can say is the ocean is to rough, and to cold to play in it. We like the beach in Playa much more. We are going to try the Secrets Silversands Riviera in two months. i hope it is this nice.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank mrbillne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 February 2013

It helps when I read reviews to know where others have stayed for comparison sake, so I'm listing them here as this was our favorite resort so far! In Mexico, we've stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach, Secrects Capri Riviera, Dreams PV, Dreams Cabo, El Dorado Riviera Maya, Grand Velas PV, Moon Palace, Cancun, and Fiesta Americana, Cabo (not incl).

This new resort has the most beautiful design and architecture we've seen in most any hotel in the US or abroad. The lobby and restaurants, rooms...every space is gorgeous. That it is "2 in 1" was a double bonus as we could walk just feet into Now Amber and enjoy their public spaces, as well. No children can come over to Secrets, but we could enjoy everything about both beautiful resorts.

The pool and beach areas are spectacular and the sunsets unrivaled. We could watch the hubbub at the pool, find a more secluded lounge chair under the palm trees on on the beach and watch the parasailers come and go.

We enjoyed every restaurant, buffet and poolside meal and found the drinks great quality and yummy. We love not having to make reservations as we don't like to be held to schedule on a vacation and never had lengthy waits to eat. Walking on the beach was great, and out the front door it takes only 15 minutes to walk to the Malecon...the center of PV! Fun! The area is very safe and tourists are strolling everywhere.

The lobby bar scene was fun after dinner with live music each night and we also loved the evening shows and the Desires bar for dancing. It is a lovely and classy lounge that far surpassed our expectations.

The staff looked and performed very professionally, and we were impressed with everyone we encountered. The rooms were amazing! The design was wonderful, bedding perfect, lighting and air conditioning the best, and it was very, very quiet and easily darkened for great sleep.

The resort is only about 15 minutes from the airport, so that was a bonus and an inexpensive cab ride back and forth.

We just loved the resort and will absolutely be returning! It's top notch in every way.

  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
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7  Thank db79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 February 2013

Great resort, very beautiful, clean, well maintained (saw preventative maintenance happening every day). Entertainment & activity options were great, as were all members of the Entertainment Team, who were energizing but not pushy. The morning yoga on the beach was a great way to begin beauiful days! The food in the buffet was mediocre, but the food at the a la carte restaurants was good. The room was interesting (open concept) and beautiful. Service was helpful. The cleanliness of the pool areas was great; the towels placed at each chair & freshly supplied through the day was a nice touch. The Spa was spectacular including the amazing hydrotherapy pools that are included for use in most services; try it if you can. I used the coupon for the spa. We never experienced any of the kids coming over from the Now side of the property, which was good. Great welcome by all staff; "welcome home" greeting with cold towel & glass of champagne.

Room Tip: Most of the rooms seem to have a view of the ocean, so not much need to upgrade. We had a regular r...
  • Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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2  Thank AJ M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 February 2013

My husband and I stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay from December 15th til the 22nd. In May we stayed at the Now Amber and decided we would prefer to stay in the adults only Secrets this trip. We got an absolutely great deal and we stayed in the preferred club section. My husband is always one to say, we don't need to do the upgrades but he will admit he did enjoy staying in the preferred club. If we hadn't got such a great deal I am not 100% sure that I would pay the full upgrade cost.

When we arrived at the hotel we were taken directly to the preferred club section and check in was a breeze. We were given a glass of champagne and they kept refilling it while we were doing the check in process. After check in you go to the other desk where they give you the coupons and they ask you to come to the time share meeting which we declined and there was no added pressure.

When you go to your rooms in the preferred club there is a small bar with 2 tables and chairs and a bartender, also a long buffet style table with snacks. We really enjoyed the bar so close to the rooms and it was a great place to meet new people.

The rooms are spacious and there is a jacuzzi tub on the deck. The view isn't fabulous from this building as you are looking straight across at Now Amber but it still had an ocean view to the left. When you are walking to the rooms there is that empty lot that the hallways face but it's only while you are walking to your room. There are some locals living on the lot and lots of charter busses parked there. Many people complained about the roosters and the dogs barking but it never bothered us. The bathroom is very open to the bedroom but there are curtains you can pull across if you want more privacy. The shower is huge and there is a nice big tub in the bathroom as well as the jacuzzi on the deck.

We found the buffet to be adequate. It's basically the same as all mexican buffets. No one should have a hard time finding something they can eat. The ala cartes were good. We didn't eat any dinners in the buffet as we are not too into buffet style eating. Most of the times we never go to the Mexican restaurants on the resorts but this time we decided to try it and we were sorry we hadn't tried it earlier. We tried it on our last night and it was really really good. Next time we will know better.

Men remember, you have to wear long pants, collared shirts and dress shoes into the ala carte restaurants.

The beach is fine. It isn't wow but still nice. We never had a hard time finding a lounge chair. We didn't go into the pools we mainly layed at the beach. Since we were here in May we knew what to expect and a common complaint is the beach vendors. They are just trying to make a living and you can just so no or you can ignore them and they keep on going. Security is pretty good with chasing them away if they come too far onto the property.

My husband used to always say we won't go back to the same resort twice as there are so many to try but we really like the Dreams/Secrets chains. We were there in May, December and I am already thinking we will go back in December. We really like the location. It's about a 30-40 minute walk to the Malecon. That always got us out of the resort for a walk and we love to stop in at the Cheeky Monkey or Sea Monkey for a couple of drinks. The casino that used to be on the Malecon is closed now! Hopefully it will re-open!

The only complaint that I had with Secrets and I had the same complaint when we stayed at Now Amber and that is the maids service. Most mornings we were out of our room by 10 a.m. and gone most days until 4 or so. The first day our room was done when we got back late in the afternoon but the next few days the room never got done unless I called to ask for it to be done. The do not disturb light was not on so I don't know why they didn't make up the room. The bar fridge was stocked but that is done by a different person. So we learned that when we were leaving the room after breakfast and going to the beach we would call housekeeping and ask them to clean our room. One day we called to have the room cleaned and we got back to our room around 6:30 in the evening and it still wasnt done. No toilet paper or clean towels. We got ready for dinner and I called them again. When we got back to room later that evening the turn down service made the bed but the room was not cleaned and still no towels or toilet paper. We actually had to call down to the front desk to get toilet paper. Seems to be a real lack of communication in that department.

Well, that is our experience. We had a great time and will definitely be back!

p.s. The bartender in the preferred club tower, Antonio, he is the best! He is kind, sincere and a great person, we look forward to seeing him next time!

  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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5  Thank franklinsmom2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 February 2013

I have been visiting some AM Resorts over our last beach vacations...Dreams Riviera Cancun and Dreams Nuevo Vallarta with the family, and now my wife and I decided to visit Secrets Vallarta Bay for our anniversary and I am very happy we did. Since our arrival we were greatly welcome to the hotel. Check inn was fast..we got into our room at the 10th floor (great views) and we already had a great welcome.... Sparkling wine, hot tube.....our celebration started right away. The hotel has nice pools, great service and good food. My wife decided to greet me with a couple spa massage which was great. They had a little misunderstood in the spa thinking we had cancelled one of our treatments...fortunately we had time and moved our massage to later that same day and were compensated by not paying with one of the services. By staying at this hotel you can go to the Now Amber restaurants and facilities without a problem (same hotel chain)...we also like it and will sure bring our kids....
Food in the pools is great and also beverages....
Definitively one great place to come and stay at as an adults only resort.
The lobby has a great ocean view from where we are sitting and writing this review before we go to the Airport.

Stayed: February 2013, travelled as a couple
2  Thank Daniel E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2013

My husband is a beef/pork kinda guy, Luis from the Japanese evening dining was incredible! The meal that was served from another waiter was not what we thought it would be, rice with little beef. Luis saw my husbands disappointment, walked to another restaurant and ordered him a huge steak! He was not going to let him leave unhappy! He also works evenings at market cafe for special nights (sea food night). Look for him, he really made a difference for our holiday!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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1  Thank Lenore826
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Siquerios No. 164 | Col Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico (Formerly Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa)
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 #14 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £199 - £573 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta 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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