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“Fantastic Resort”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa
Ranked #16 of 126 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Springfield, Missouri
Level Contributor
21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 75 helpful votes
“Fantastic Resort”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 April 2014

I stayed as a solo traveler in early April 2014 and had a wonderful trip. I arrived at the hotel a little early and was pleased to see that my room was available. I had emailed the hotel in advance and requested a lower floor room, odd I know, but I am afraid of heights. I was on the fourth floor with a fabulous view of the ocean and pools.

The room was very nice, great amenities, the Secrets lotion is my favorite. Loved the dual shower and the Jacuzzi tub in the room. I was happy to see a real blow dryer and thought the incense was a nice touch as well. Loved my robe and slippers.

I enjoyed the food and drinks at the resort. For lunch the first day I was surprised to find beef filets for lunch. I mostly ate at the Market Café and ordered room service a few times, the room service menu was quite large and I was surprised at the speed that it arrived. enjoyed the live music at the lobby bar and I am afraid I never made it to the show.

The hotel was an easy walk to the Malecon, maybe twenty minutes, but very easy and safe. I wouldn't recommend returning after dark as the sidewalks are incomplete and uneven. Finding a cab to return is easy and cost me about $6 USD. It is a beautiful walk at sunset and I took some great photos.

I liked the Sundial newsletter that arrived each evening detailing the events for the next day....especially the drink of the day. Spa specials were abundant. I was offered the coupons upon arrival but when I explained I wasn't interested I wasn't hassled.

Special shout out to Leonardo the pool waiter and Jose in the Market Café for the great service. TIP TIP TIP! I cannot say this enough, the service is beyond anything expected and even a small tip goes a long way. The employees work very hard to ensure that your vacations is top notch, don't be a scrooge, tip! One thing I have to mention is the cleanliness of the restrooms at the pool. The attendant was constantly cleaning and moping, I tipped her and you could tell that it didn't happen very often.

Someone posted about hearing roosters crow in the morning, its funny because the same thing happened to me. Also, try to be courteous of your neighbors and don't slam the door to your room. I know that sometimes the wind will catch the door, but I had neighbors that slammed the door every single time they came and went regardless of the hour. It's just a courtesy and something to keep in mind.

Great resort, beautiful destination and be sure to book with a travel agent.

  • Stayed April 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Shellywms
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 (1,201)
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English first
Calgary
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 April 2014

This is our second time to Secrets Vallarta. We stayed for our honeymoon in 2012 shortly after they opened.

We found they have amped up the service this time. You were rarely waiting for a drink as there were many servers at the pool.

Arrival:
We arrived on a shuttle of about 30 people and they had cold towels and champagne waiting for us. Check in was quick and we were in our room quickly. We didn't get asked to go the timeshare presentation but heard from others that they got asked and went. My vacation time wasn't worth the free items they were offering but those who went got a great discount on spa services so they were happy.

Pool / Ocean:
Love the look and feel of their pool area. All of them have the infinitely pools that are really pretty. There are two main pool areas. One with a swim-up bar and one without. We stuck to the swim up bar as the other one looked like it was more for people who wanted to relax. Love the unlimited amount of towels and how the there are towels rolled on each chair in the mornings. There was an issue with the saving of the chairs and not see people show up to them until 2pm but there is nothing really the staff can do about it as it is hard to tell which ones are just in the pool vs still sleeping. We would often go in the morning on our way to breakfast choose our chairs and go back shortly later. Unfortunately, if you didn't do this you were often sitting in an area that wasn't ideal.
Ocean: Pretty to look at but we stayed away as we heard it was Jelly Fish time and we didn't really want to chance it. The Hotel amped up their security from last time as the vendors stayed behind the rope.

Entertainment:
The Entertainment staff are really great at making sure everyone is enjoying themselves. You can tell they love what they do. Almost all there games had a bottle of tequila as the prize.

Food & Drinks:
We stuck to the Adults Only Restaurants which were all very good.
Bordeux was probably my favorite. The service was amazing and it has a really great atmosphere.
Oceana was really pretty as it looks onto the ocean. We heard from multiple people that there meals took awhile. I am slightly thinking this may be because they share the kitchen with the Now side and they may have been slightly overwhelmed but I am not sure. The food, when it finally arrived, was well worth the wait. They had a crab and carrot soup that was probably one of my favorite soups I have had.
The Japanese restaurant on the Now side is amazing. We did both the Tamanaki and the sit down meals.
The only Buffet we had was for breakfast. I basically stuck to fruit and toast. They had a pretty good variety of other things though.
Drinks - Amazing Variety! Most AI I have been to have 1 beer option, 1 Vodka, 1 Rum... Etc. Here had at least 5 different types in everything.

Rooms/ Maid Service:
The rooms are very nice. Bathroom & Shower is way nicer than what I have at home. Love the rain shower!
Turndown service was slightly inconsistent -- Sometimes it would be done before 5pm other times it wouldn't been done until 10pm.We started just requested turndown service for a specific time and it solved that issue.
We didn't want pop in our fridge so we took it out and added a bottle of water. The next day it was full of Beer and Water No Pop It was perfect.

Service:
As said above I cannot say enough about the service at this hotel. Everything was "My pleasure" They were grateful for Tips but didn't expect them at all. Often they would drop of your drink and just instantly walk away without time to even hand them a tip. By the end of the week they had our orders pretty much down -- lots of limon etc.

Preferred Club:
I really like the preferred club. I like having the extra bar and snacks. Also the pillow menu is awesome as I hate foam pillows.
I do hate being beside the vacant lot. The roosters are loud and we were there for holy week so there was a big party there with the music blaring. I feel like the good outweighs the bad for the Preferred Club but others may disagree.

Room Tip: Call the Concierge if you want specific turndown service times.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Loves2Travel065
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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 flo...
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank LauraWrites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank enmichels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
66 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
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 Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 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
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
5 Thank The_Lawson_Family
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fort St. James, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
Helpful?
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 Resort & Spa, responded to this review, 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
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 126 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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