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“Overall not very pleased” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 127 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Squamish, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Overall not very pleased”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

Found the staff not to be so friendly, the resort was packed and if you didn't tip than you didn't get served. The front desk agent at check in did not explain the facilities of the resort nor did not honor a certificate for upgrade. Food was horrible... YOU GET BETTER FRIES AT MACDONALDS and for a five star resort the room service presentation was lack luster! The lounge chairs were pretty uncomfortable and you had to spend half you vacation trying to get one.. Over all there are better resorts in PV.. and I don't think we would go back. I do have to say housekeeping was amazing and the room quality was beautiful.. They just need to work on service and food!

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jared S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,174)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
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English first
Whitecourt
Level Contributor
102 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

We stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay from Dec 7 to 17. It is a beautiful Hotel with a stunning lounge in the third floor lobby. We stayed in the Preferred section, which provided a private lounge and bar. Although the other bars were never too busy I preferred to get my drinks from our private bar and talk to the bartenders there. We received exceptional service from Eduardo.
Location - Secrets is within walking distance (20 minutes) of the Malecon, and we felt safe walking around the area outside the Hotel. A taxi ride to the Malecon is about 60 peso's, or the bus is 6.5 peso's.
Food - we tried all of the a la carte restaurants and didn't have a disappointing meal. Our favourite was the Oceana although the service was very slow. The kitchen seems to get overwhelmed and food delivery can take more than an hour.
Service - while the service was overall very good it could be somewhat inconsistent. The staff was very friendly and helpful but we did have to request mini bar replenishment a couple of times and phone twice to get our air conditioning fixed. Pretty minor problems when you are vacation.
Golf - Green fees were included in our package but you have to pay for use of a golf cart. We played the Marina Bay course. Taxi to Golf Course is 80 peso's, cart fee was $ 45 US, club rentals $45 US. Use of a caddy was an additional $15 US but we didn't use one. All prices are quoted in $US but they only accept Peso's or credit cards at the Golf Course.
Currency - Mexico is making it more difficult for individuals to convert US Dollars to Peso's. Foreigners can convert up to $300 per day, I am not sure how much a Mexican national can convert. In my opinion you should use peso's when you can especially for tipping. Giving US Dollars as a tip creates a problem for the person receiving as they have to go out of their way to find a way to convert it.

Room Tip: All rooms except first floor have view of the Ocean
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RDJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 December 2013

This was a remarkable father and son travel experience. Lovely setting, great service, amazing food, best ever ambience, comfortable room, outstanding room service. What not to like? We liked it so much that we accepted a compelling invitation to see about the associated vacation club ( Unlimited Vacations and associated entities - one of which is located in a tax haven and out of reach). We purchased a membership after determining that we had 5 working days to cancel. What was presented for signature turned out to be a misrepresentation of what we were told we were buying. Our credit card was charged immediately and the money became totally out of reach. A scam I would say. Knowing we had 5 working days to canel, we cancelled within 4 days. But 7 days later are still waiting for my credit card to be credited. I received nothing but excuses when I called Unlimited Vacation Club as to why it was taking so long.

Our recommendation is this, if you are seduced by the offers but have second thoughts after reading what you actually are getting for your money, cancel at once and advise Profeco of your issues with the resort or their representatives. There is an office in Puerto Vallarta, and they will investigate immediately. I write this reluctantly for this is a fine resort (Secrets). However readers who have had negative time share or vacation club presentation and purchase issues should know about Mexico's efforts to reign in the hype and settle matters. Just the threat of going to Profeco is sufficient to catch the organization's attention.

Secrets was great. Unlimited Vacation Club not recommended. It will cost more to join than to seek a deal on TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank VancouverSenior
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Waterford, Ireland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 December 2013

Perfect location and views, fantastic food, and high end alcohol included in the all inclusive package. Pool facilities are also top notch. On several occasions however the service was disappointing (1)steel wool found in food and no apology offered or hinted at,(2) promised access to facilities entertainment facilities, only to find at shift-change, another entertainment rep had deleted us from a waiting list (3) extremely slow service at the lobby bar. As was my right i did not tip when service was not at the expected level...and consequently this led to further slow service from other staff. Staff need to be informed that tips arise from good service....they are not guaranteed.

Room Tip: the earlier in the morning you arrive, the more likely you will be upgraded a room.
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ken 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, 23 December 2013
Ken M,

As our valued guest, your feedback is very important to us. We appreciate your preference in allowing us to host your recent holiday. It pleases us to know that our selection of fine liquor, gourmet choices and facilities were to your satisfaction.

Tips are included in your Unlimited-Luxury® experience. If a staff member has gone above and beyond, then by all means, if you want to then please do so. However, you should never have felt nor any future guest should feel they have to tip for better service.

It concerns me much to hear members of our staff fell short of providing the high end service we are well known for. Trust that this matter will be looked into and please accept my sincere apology for the incident. We hope to have opportunity to welcome you again in the near future and change your perspective about our service.

Respectfully,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 December 2013

It was our first time in Mexico and with a few referrals from friends we picked Secrets Vallarta Bay. We were so glad we did. When we met other travelers who stayed in different resorts around the area it was evident that Secrets was a better choice.

The weather was great during our stay.
Food was great for an all inclusive resort and we tried every restaurant. Our least favourite was the Oceana which was by the pool, as the food was quite greasy.
Try the Spanish coffee either at the Italian or the French restaurant. It will be a great experience.
We loved Himitsu, and went there few times for the sushi and also the teppanyaki experience.

During our stay the internet however was very very poor and we had a very difficult time connecting from our rooms.

The beach vendors are there however if you say No or just shook your head they wouldn't come bother you. Be aware of the Jet Ski excursion people on the beach, they may try to rip you off after the excursion showing previous damage to the jet skis.

Bars served premium booze, you just have to ask for it. The servers were great, and they were everywhere.
Resort is very close to the city and the airport and centrally located. We walked around the romantic old town and the boardwalk area during the day time and we felt very safe. Only in the airport did we get time share offers. Never in the resort nor out and about did we get any time share offers.

We did a sailing excursion and the famous Rhythms of the Night. They were fun, however i'd be just as happy even if we didn't go on any and sat near the pool.

Overall it was a great experience, and I'd recommend this resort to anyone.

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank N S
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, 2 January 2014
N S,

We are thrilled to know that we had the honor of hosting you through a recommendation from a friend! What better way to pick the perfect holiday than brainstorming with those closest to you. We are most grateful you heeded their advice and made us your destination.

December is perfect weather for most of our northern visitors. Our Winters are just right that time of year. Our gourmet restaurants offer a wide variety of dishes from different corners of the world. The Spanish coffee is definitely a must try for all of our guests.

We thank you for your positive feedback and observation. Trust that we are doing everything possible to better our Internet speed.

Again, thank you and thanks to your friend. We look forward to welcoming you both on your upcoming holiday and pamper you in Unlimited Luxury

Sincerely,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 December 2013

Just returned from this adults all-inclusive where I stayed from December 6-13. First thing that I have to comment on was the gorgeous weather which was between 82 - 85 F with the exception of one day being 88 F. The sunset is also spectacular in the area as I've never seen a red sky before, it really was breathtaking and awe inspiring. Our party of 6 stayed in the preferred section of the hotel and were on the second floor. What I liked about the preferred section was the constant array of food more likened to appetizers ranging from fruits, vegetables, meats, breads and desserts that was available from 6 am - 10:30pm every day as well the premium alcohol. I also have to commend the room service option for food whereby there was a vast selection and the wait time was on average 15 - 20 minutes after ordering and hot. This ended up being our choice for breakfast the majority of days for our stay. The rooms were fine although I have stayed in ones more luxurious although I loved the shower. There are eight floors in the preferred section and if you truly want a breath taking view you need to go from the 5th floor up to the 8th to truly enjoy the ocean view and request from room 23-27 (for example room 1527). The food was very delicious in all the restaurants but I did have a unfortunate experience at the Japanese restaurant of which I shall share. I am allergic to shellfish and my reactions are severe. At the outset while seated to have the tepanyaki dinner (the only restaurant where reservations are required) I made them aware of my allergy to shellfish. The chef completely understood and mentioned that my food would be prepared in the kitchen while everyone else would have there's prepared in front of them. I thought great and he reassured me that this is nothing new to them as he asked others around the table if they had any allergies as well. My food was brought to me and I was enjoying it until the end when I noticed the shell of a shrimp with some meat clear in front of me. My mouth had already started to tingle and I knew instantly something was wrong. I brought this attention to the staff immediately and let them see my plate. The restaurant manager came over fairly quickly and I had already started to my own interventions. Interesting enough I noticed the cook while preparing other guest food was cross contaminating chicken, pork, seafood and vegetables all with one utensil not to mention putting plates on the grill and not thoroughly cleaning it afterwards before preparing other foods. This scenario I wanted to put out there for all hotels to please provide your chef's with ample utensils so that in future guest do not have to see you cross contaminating because your actions could be life threatening to a guest. I did not let this incident however dampen my vacations but will mention some other realities related to the property. Of course the beach in the whole area is not the best but after taking walks on the beach I did feel this property had the cleanest one. The nightly entertainment however is definitely one area that this hotel needs to focus on and improve if they wish to advertise they are part of a luxury chain resort for it was definitely lacking outside of the fire show and saxophone player of which we had to request he play more lively music which he did and it was fabulous. The resort is kept clean and the staff diligently worked hard as they always comment "..it's my pleasure." One other thing to mention about this resort is because of the layout it gets constant shade so you have to find the areas for sun. To sum up it was a good experience and you will enjoy the experience so do visit this resort. If you can afford the one bedroom suite definitely book and request 1530 it will blow not only your pocket but your mind away. Enjoy.

Room Tip: If requesting an oceanview in the preferred section request the 5th floor up and from room 1522- 152...
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  • Stayed December 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank EbonyMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2013

Had a great week at Secrets. Stayed in a preferred club room ocean view, 7th floor. It was worth the upgrade to preferred club. Snacks in the room and snacks downstairs in the lobby with the bar right there.It was nice. Rooms are clean and nice. Did have to tell the front desk we wanted the room cleaned in the am not at 5 pm when we were getting ready to go out. All the restaurants were good. Smoked marlin at Oceana, lobster cream soup at Bordeaux, lamb at Tamarindo, and the salmon at Capers. Pretzels at barefoot grill ask for cheese sauce in cup. The two things to keep in mind is the guys have to wear long pants at the restaurants at night and they are a la carte. Beach is very rocky you can not go walking on the beach so if you like to do that this is not the area for you. You can how ever walk into town, only 15 to 20 minutes. Did do the Sabai Mineral therapy massage at the resort spa. Go early to do the steam room, sauna and plunge pools. It was worth the money for the massage. This is also a time share property they call it a vacation club (not allowed to say time share but it is) so if you want to see what they have to offer attend a meeting for free stuff. Not worth it. Nice vacation

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank pinklynn
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 127 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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