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“Amazing resort!”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Amazing resort!”
Reviewed 16 February 2013

For our mid-winter escape this year we decided to try Secrets in Puerto Vallarta. We were attracted by the good reviews, the excellent value of the all-inclusive price and the all-adult clientele. With past experience with The Ritz, Four Seasons and Princess brands as well as several excellent independent beach properties, our expectations were high.

Secrets met or exceeded every expectation. First of all, the property itself if beautiful. Opened in March, 2011, it is still new. The architectural design is spectacular-- very contemporary but warm with woods, stone, and water used throughout. When we booked our room we were given a "daily special" rate, meaning we did not pick our room category. I tried to upgrade but the hotel was full. As it turned out, I am pleased that we didn't upgrade. We had a regular king suite on the 13th floor. The room was large and the ocean view was spectacular! The bathroom was huge, with a large glass shower with rain shower and wand shower heads and a marble bench. The tub was a large Jacuzzi, roomy for two. The large mirrors and adjustable lighting were a nice addition.

The pools are beautiful, infinity edge and with varying depths. The beach, while not wide, is nice and well furnished with grass huts and beach chairs. The swim-op bar was the most popular gathering spot-- the drinks are delicious and the bartenders were lively and courteous.

Concerning the food: since this was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort, I was leery of the food quality. I was delighted to sample five of the onsite restaurants, missing only the Italian restaurant. We did not have a disappointing meal during our six nights stay. The seafood dishes are excellent and the French restaurant serves a delicious filet mignon. The breakfast buffet offers every imaginable breakfast item, from Mexican dishes to an omelet station. We ordered breakfast from room service a couple of days and the eggs benedict and omelets were delicious. In short, while we are not food snobs, we do know good cuisine when we experience it and the food we were served at Secrets was excellent. (One tip: if you have a big appetite, order some item from every course. The portions are not huge. I also learned tp order two entrees-- sea bass and steak, for example-- to make sure I was full when I left. The servers gladly accommodated my requests.)

The spa is amazing-- as beautiful as the best I have experienced in Las Vegas. The hydrotherapy pool is wonderful. The massage quality was excellent.

I have saved the best for the last item in this review: the staff. The servers, bartenders, pool attendants, maids-- everyone on staff, went out of their way to be hospitable, helpful, and genuinely interested in our happiness. They demonstrated a an attitude of "it's my pleasure" when asked for anything. Yes, I did tip a couple of dollars each time, but I did not see any evidence that tipping caused better service.

For the luxury of the facility and services and the quality of the food and drinks, this all-inclusive resort offers a tremendous value. We look forward to returning, or perhaps trying another Secrets Resort elsewhere

Room Tip: Do not pay extra for "swim out" rooms on the ground level. They offer no view and no priva...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Steve_in_TN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Bennington, Nebraska
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2013

Loved the place. Very pretty and well maintained! However they seem to allow smoking everywhere! Which surly will ruin it quickly! The beds are so comfortable and the rooms are very nice. Loved all the lighting options in the room! very romantic! Wish more of the pools were heated, only swim up pool is heated. Food was average to good but not excellent. My husband loved the lamb chops in the market cafe. Didn't get to try all the restaurants but the ones we did were good!
Heading to secrets silver sands in two weeks hope it is as good!

Room Tip: We stayed on 12 th floor. Very nice view and the sunsets were awesome!
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lcmcferrin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 February 2013

We really enjoyed this Secrets destination. It really represents the quality of the brand. You know you are going to get the service and value you pay for.

This resort - while still fairly new - has done a great job of motivating its employees to go over and above for its guests. Everyone, and I mean everyone smiles at you and says good morning, hello, or good night.

Yaona - the hostess at the breakfast restaurant needs to be recognized - and promoted. She is a very bubbly person - but what I was amazed at was that she learned and memorized nearly every couples name by probably the 2nd day that people were at the resort - greeting them with a big smile.

The pools were great - and the attention to detail of cleaning up used towels, glasses, and other clutter through the course of each day meant that the resort looked great at all times - and you didnt have to be concerned about whether chairs were taken or not. It was also pleasant to be at a resort that you werent worried about the great chair claim game every morning.

For people going here - the restaurants are of the high calibre you would expect of Secrets. Half of them are located on the adjoining "Now" side - but during our week we didnt have dinner interrupted by children screaming in the restaurants - so that was good. A concern going in - but not an issue. The guys at the Japanese restaurant were a lot of fun. Its quite a unique restaurant - you'll see what I mean when they go to seat you.

My advice to the resort management. Raise your prices. Our only downside was really beyond your control. The number of beer swilling tattoo'd drunks was unusual for a Secrets resort - they're normally at the cheaper brands where they can get all the "free booze" they want. I don't know if you "last minute specialed" a block of rooms the week we were there, but I think you'll develop repetitive clients by keeping your price point at a level that draws the type of people that Secrets markets itself to.

The other suggestion - the smokers that felt that they could just light up wherever they wanted to - in the lobby bar - and other "indoor" locations. Please train your staff to gently but firmly move these people outside and be consistent with it. I was surprised by the number of people who felt it was perfectly OK to light up and just puff away inside the buildings.

You have a good resort - we'll be back again, and because we like to alternate amongst a number of resorts, this could become our PV location if the trailer trash move back to their 3 star hotels.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank travel4funCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Edmonton
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank CrisCEdmonton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
bennington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mrbillne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank db79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Surrey, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed February 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank AJ M
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 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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