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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
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Reviews (3,833)
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All reviewsmarket cafepreferred clubbarefoot grillbordeaux restaurantpool arealobby barunlimited vacation clubpreferred buildingentertainment teamhealing handsrain showerturn down servicedress codeall inclusive resortocean viewtop shelfrose petals
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2,674 - 2,679 of 3,833 reviews
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We stayed at Secrets April 12 - 19th. We were on the 7th floor in the regular (not preferred) tower. We wanted sunshine, relaxation and a place to de-stress while using the resort as a base for our first visit to Puerto Vallarta.

We arrived in late afternoon. The resort is a dual property - Now and Secrets have their own lobbies but share a common circular driveway with doormen/porters at each entrance. There was no staff at the Secrets side and we were a little confused (and seriously tired after a 4 am start) as to where to go. The Now staff greeted us with a smile and directed us to the Secrets side. We entered and were told that there were a number of people ahead of us and we should wait 'over there.' Given the effusive comments about the warm welcome on the reviews, we were perplexed at the abrupt 'greeting.' There was a lot of disorganization. We milled around with the other confused guests until they called us over. Check in was eventually quick and efficient but we certainly didn't feel welcomed by the resort. Before we could head to our room, we were waylaid by a woman offering us resort 'gifts' for the spa. We knew that these 'gifts' were time share enticements and we politely turned them down. The woman was insistent even after three 'no gracias,' and then became condescending. She insisted we sign that we had refused the 'gifts.'

The room- clean and beautiful as described on their website. However, there was a strong, musty odor in the room that got much worse as the week went on. We coped by using the fans and leaving our patio doors open often. Bonus -we were lulled to sleep each night by the sound of the surf.

The staff - professional, friendly, incredibly hard-working. Rooms were cleaned regularly, and nightly turn down. Two exceptions to the service: the Secrets entrance and lobby seemed consistently understaffed. When we wanted a cab, we had to go to the Now side to get any assistance. When we wanted to order a drink in the stunning lobby bar, again there were always staff on the Now side whereas service on the Secrets side was often non existant. We tipped consistently for each drink or each service, so lack of tipping wasn't the issue.

Food - Excellent breakfast buffet with a huge variety. There've been complaints about cold food. We noticed the hot items are kept in chafing dishes with small flames below rather than actual steam tables, so if you take hot food and eat outside (a lovely option) your food often does get cold. Lots of options for other meals too including Oceana (great fish tacos and Puerto Vallarta ceviche) and the Tamarindo Mexican restaurant, which was phenomenal. Try the flank steak.

Ambience - it's a very attractive property with pretty gardens and a stunning vista. However, we had selected an adults only resort hoping for a quieter and more relaxed venue than we'd get in a family resort. In fact, between the constant activities (some of which involved loud speakers with music or beer chugging contests) and large groups of exuberant partiers, it was very difficult to find any quiet area around the pool or on the beach. This was a huge disappointment. As well, one night around midnight, we were kept awake for an extended length of time by a guest yelling by the pool until other guests yelled out and told him to shut up. We were surprised management didn't do this instead.

Beach - You can't walk north for more than ten minutes before you're stopped by large baricades between properties. You can walk south for a very long way, but you must walk around baricades in some spots. It's sandy in front of the resort but gets rocky in spots as you walk south to the Malecon. The beach vendors are there but I found them respectful, not bothersome.

Would I return? If I was with a group and wanted to party, yes. If I wanted a quieter place to unwind, no.

Room Tip: Tip - take a room deodorizer if bothered by odors. Music from lobbies can be intrusive so higher floors recommended for quieter rooms. Also, the balconies on the Preferred side get shade in the afternoon so if that's something you like, you may want the upgrade.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank LauraWrites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

I like to break my reviews into sections, but to start this hotel was fabulous! My parents stay at AM resorts often, and this was my first experience at one and I loved it, I will def go to another AM secrets resort again!

Airport: Airport is big, just like cancun or any other area, we took a cab, it was $20 to the hotel, and about a 10 minute drive!

Check-in/Check-out: We were upgraded to preferred club, so we had a private check-in area that had a private bar and small buffet that had a nice selection of food, coffee and tea. We were assigned a butler, his name was Bryan I believe, we did not see or hear from him after the time we checked in, I don’t really know what the ‘butler’ purpose was for. Checkout time is 1:00 pm for those in preferred club, which was very nice!

Room: Beautiful room, second floor, any floor has a beautiful ocean view! We had a great one. A Jacuzzi on the balcony, but it is not private at all, everyone at the pool can see up onto your balcony so I put a blanket over the glass so people weren’t watching me in the tub! The beds were comfortable, oversized king bed. This was my first trip with my boyfriend, we had only been dating a couple months he surprised me with the trip but we are very traditionally, conservative couple, so the bathroom was a little uncomfortable for us. There is no door, just an open bathroom. The shower is glass with some tinting, but there is no privacy at all! So if you are going with a new ‘boyfriend’ or something, just be prepared for the bathroom situation! The room service was amazing, great eggs Benedict in the morning for breakfast, only took about 20 minutes for food to arrive. I liked the breakfast for room service better than the buffet! They also had a great dinner menu, I had the fajitas, yummy!

Food: The food was great, we tried most of the restaurants, I really love the Mexican restaurant the most, they had amazing dip and chips, and we sat outside! We usually ordered 2 meals each, well because we are on vacation of course and didn’t worry about what we ate while we were there! For lunch there was the buffet (not very great) and the barefoot café by the pool which had chips, pizza and sandwiches. I think there was one more restaurant open during lunch but we were only there for 4 nights and did not get to try it! Dress code is pretty enforced so make sure to check out that so you pack correctly!

Weather: We went in febuary, I did not need any type of jacket, it was about 80 during the day and high 70's at night. We had a lot of clouds come in by 2pm every day which was dissapointing but you can't control that!

Pool/Beach: It was hard to find chairs after 11:00am, but we were up earlier than that and would reserve our chairs with a towel. The guys who bring drinks to you were great, I tipped them 1 dollar each time they brought me a drink, and they came back every 10 minutes at least! They always have a drink special so ask about that. It is a little strange that you don’t wear a wristband at this hotel, only because when we went for a walk on the beach and came back they never asked us for a room number or anything, just keep your valuables with you! The beach, yikes, is very small, rocky and dirty. That was really one of the only downfalls of this hotel! This was the first time I stayed in Puerto Vallarta, I usually stay about 30 minutes away in Nuevo Vallarta which was a fabulous beach. But the hotel was so great it didn’t bother me too much.
Spa: My boyfriend did the spa, 25 minutes for I think around $100. After we talked to some people who said go to the massage place right outside of the hotel called healing hands. $25 for 1 hour, it was amazing! I wish I would have known about that place from day 1!

Tours: We did the whale tour through adventure Vallarta, it was okay, 4 hours was a little long to sit on a boat with no bathroom and no food! We did see a few whales, the experience was great but I wouldln’t do it again.

Overall I loved this hotel, I am very picky, so trust me it was nice! If you have any questions I am here to answer!

Room Tip: Any floor is fine, you have an ocean view from the 2nd floor. I really liked how close the preferred club was to the pool!
  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank enmichels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014 via mobile

Went here for 4 days at the beginning of April. Nice property good pools and nice people that work there. I thought the food was sub par except for breakfast which was good. The beach out front is good to lay out but the water is very rocky and hurts walking in and getting out. Fun swim up bar and good choices of Alcohols. The room was very nice and the fitness center is good. Decent tennis court and the lobby's are done nicely.

Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
3  Thank socalsxt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Hello Socalsxt,

Thank you for your preference and for this very important feedback. We welcome our guests’ opinions as it gives us an opportunity to better serve in the future. Our gourmet restaurants only use the freshest and finest quality ingredients around. We regret that our beach was not at its best during your visit. As the tide waxes and wanes it leaves about offerings to our guests. We hope to better meet all of your expectations on your next visit.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014 via mobile

Pros: we stayed in the preferred tower. The room was excellent. Nice View although the non-preferred tower had better views. The room was clean with extra things such as shaving gel, razor, and sunscreen. Nice Jacuzzi Tub on balcony. The food at the hotel was excellent. We tried all restaurants. Our favorite ended up being the Market for most meals. Big props goes out to Teradoro , Ceasar, and Hariburto with great service in the Market. They went way above their jobs with fresh cut Mangos especially requested by my wife and special requests delivered up to our room! We stopped every night for Creme Brûlée at the Market.

Cons:Our last night,at the Mexican restaurant it took one hour just to get soup. We ended up going to Oceana but were told there was an 20 minute wait although we counted 8 empty tables. We ended up having a great meal at the Market which serves a romantic meal for dinner.

Big Cons: although its not under the control of Secrets, it is a big Con for us. The next door lot is a vacant lot with an unfinished hotel there. Locals hang in the lot blasting music all day long. We did hear the Rooster all day long from the preferred tower. My big negative is the vendors on the beach that stand and block your view from the beach. Once again, tourism is a big part of the city, and the beach is public, and Secrets can't control, but most days We couldn't see the beach as 20-30 vendors blocked our view selling the same stuff.

Overall, everything that Secrets can control was excellent for the most part. The pools were spotless and seemed to be alot of room. The hotel has the best view from the lobby that We have ever seen.

This was our 7th trip to a Dreams/Secrets property and we would like to see some sort of loyalty program to get upgrades or something.

  • Stayed: April 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank The_Lawson_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

Our group of 11 family and friends have just returned home from this awesome hotel. We are all very impressed with the hard working and very cheerful staff. Some of them that we won't forget are in the lobby with Brian, Rocio and Noe, by the pool with Hugo and Alejandro then Leonardo, Omar and Eloy keeping us all very hydrated. Thank you all for making this such a great holiday and birthday.
The rooms and view from both towers was amazing, the food from all restaurants was great with not one person getting sick from eating. The venders on the beach we found to be very polite and willing to bargin.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Kathy D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mauricio M, General Manager at Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Hello Kathy,

The staff and I would like to thank you for taking the time to share your recent celebration with fans at TripAdvisor. Our staff are great hosts and by the looks of the names mentioned I would like to think you were in our highly sought after Preferred Club, where our guests receive many benefits some being upgraded amenities and individualised attention. Preferred Club offers some of the best views in all of Puerto Vallarta. We are pleased to know no one suffered any upset stomachs as we only use the freshness and highest quality ingredients to prepare our gourmet dishes. Again, we thank you for your preference and look forward to welcoming you and your party of 11 again in the near future.

cordially,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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