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“Perfect hotel...perfect holiday!”

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Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #18 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 1 August 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed at Secrets Vallarta Bay for 2 weeks from 3rd July - 17th July 2014. It was immaculate, stunning and extremely comfortable. The transfer from the airport was an easy 15 minute drive.

We booked the holiday 5 weeks prior to departure through Thomson and were originally booked into Secrets' sister hotel, Now Amber (as Thomson had no rooms left for us in Secrets at the time of booking). However, upon arrival at the check in desk, we were informed that one of the pools on the Now Amber side would be closed due to maintenance and as a result, they had made up a room for us in the adult only Secrets hotel next door (same complex but split down the middle to make 2 halves, 1 half is Now Amber for families or people travelling with children, the other is Secrets which is adult only). We were told we could still have our room in Now Amber but they wanted to give us the option of the room in Secrets. As the Secrets side is adults only and they had taken notice of my original request for a high up room, we jumped at the chance and what a fabulous decision it was!

I cannot find the words to do this place justice, it was everything we hoped our holiday would be and more! This was our first time travelling to Mexico and we were very impressed. The area of Puerto Vallarta (pronounced V-aye-arta, as we found out) is beautiful and very safe. We took several walks down the main roads, down the beach and through the shops/markets and felt very welcome at all times. The Downtown area is a must see with various little shops, restaraunts and bars right on the ocean. There is a lovely promenade that runs for a 1km along the ocean and makes for a great walk with excellent views. The locals are friendly and do not bombard you with their wares. The marina is also a definite place to visit!

Our room was luxurious and spacious with a jacuzzi bath, huge walk in shower, drawers and wardrobe, chaise longue, his and her sinks, MASSIVE memory foam mattress bed, big flat screen TV with cable, vanity table and mirror etc... The balcony looked right out onto the beach and the ocean, we had a perfect view of the spectacular sunset every night. The maid came twice a day and did a wonderful job, we particularly enjoyed the turndown service in the evenings.

The bars and restaraunts in the hotel were so good that we never ate anywhere else. The all inclusive package here really is the most comprehensive one I've ever experienced. All drinks, no matter the brand and including all cocktails, were part of the package. For example, I was having Grey Goose vodka and my boyfriend, Appleton State rum...amazing! The bar service was fantastic and included waiter service to your table, whether you were sitting indoors or out on the terrace (best view you will EVER have from a bar). The waiter service at the pool area was also fantastic, you don't have to move once or summon a waiter over. they take such good care of you and make sure you always have a drink in hand, be it water or a cocktail! if it's too hot, you just need to ask for a parasol and they will bring one over for you. The pool waiter we had most days was Omar, absolute gem! If you have him at your sunbed you know you're going to get some excellent service.

The food was out of this world! There are 5 restaurants; Mexican, French, Seafood, Asian and a Buffet. Each has it's own menu, we went to each place twice or three times and were never disappointed. The options for lunch are either the barefoot grill, a walk-up BBQ where you can get anything from nachos to burgers (all delicious) or the Market Cafe buffet, which is also where you go for breakfast. The food is honestly fantastic and very varied, so no need to worry about that! If you are staying in Secrets there is no need to make reservations, you just turn up and give your room number.

Room service was included, we had it twice for dinner. The menu is good and varied and food/drinks are delivered to the room in around half an hour. Worth trying!

The hotel has it's own taxi service which is very handy, you just say to a bell boy at the door that you would like one and he calls it for you immediately. Taxis are well priced and the drivers very friendly and talkative.

During our stay it was my boyfriend's birthday and so I arranged with the concierge for us to have dinner on the beach that night. The service was outstanding, personal waiter, wine & champagne included. The hotel photographer also came down and took some gorgeous pictures of us. Also, for his birthday, they sent a surprise cake with a personalised message and bottle of champagne to the room...very impressed!The concierge in general were incredibly helpful and were always keen and ready to help us. My boyfriend asked where he could get flowers (for me) and he was told not to worry, it was all in hand. Later that day, a stunning bouquet of roses and lillies was delivered to the room! They also sent chamomile tea to the room when I had a sore stomach one evening, even though it wasn't on the room service menu. All the staff in general were very helpful and spoke excellent English.

Tipping wasn't in any way mandatory and you didn't get dirty looks or reduced service from their very high standards if you didn't give anything. But the odd 20 / 50 peso tip at the end of a meal or to the pool waiter at the end of the day was greatly appreciated and they would take a little extra care of you. (the exchange rate is 20 pesos = £1). The hotel does accept dollars but they prefer Mexican Pesos.

The beach was beautiful and well taken care of, if you wanted a bed on the beach, you had to get up relatively early to reserve it. On the first night we saw a sea turtle lay eggs on the beach, it was fantastic! The pool area was clean and never seemed busy, there were two large pools (one of which had a swim up bar), a relaxation pool with beds under the water and a hot tub. You don't have to get up early to reserve a bed, just go down when you're ready and you'll find some (unless you're after more than two together, in which case it may be wise to go down early).The only negative point I have about the area is that the entertainment team would be really quite loud at some points during the day over at the swim up bar pool. I don't see how this could be avoided but the music was loud and the people were loud which I know annoyed us sometimes and other people. But, it didn't ruin anything and plenty of people seemed to be enjoying it.

During our stay, we went on 5 trips with a company called Vallarta Adventures. If you want to see a lot more of this area of Mexico, look into what they offer! The excusions we took part in were: San Sebastian, Yelapa & Pizota, Island Escape, Bronze Dolphins and Sunset Cruise. All fantastic and well worth the money. The people who take you on the trips put your safety first. They are all very knowledgable and keen to make your trip a great one!

Overall, if you are considering Mexico...THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO! We will definitely be back, 10 out of 10!

Hazel & Derek :) x

Room Tip: All rooms have a view of the ocean. There are 15 floors so request a room high up to get the best vi...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
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22  Thank Hazel M
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 4 August 2014

Dear Hazel & Derek,

Thank you for your kind, detailed 5 star review of Secrets Vallarta Bay. We are thrilled to have met your every expectation and to have afforded you a suite as you wished. It is our honor to have served as your host on your first visit to our beautiful country and we sure hope it is not the last time! Everyone here sends their best and looks forward to welcoming you again in the near future.

Cordially,

Mauricio Martinez
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,414 - 2,420 of 3,693 reviews

Reviewed 30 July 2014

staff there for your every need superb
rooms superb to every detail and every thing you could need
towels for the pool so don't pack any save your luggage weight
breakfast food excellent
well laid out

Room Tip: the hotel has several floors I believe most rooms are the same it just depends on how high you can g...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Len N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

It is rare to get perfect weather, great food and gorgeous sunsets all in one week but it worked out to be an almost perfect vacation. We were at Secrets the week of May 13th and although our experience with Apple vacations was disappointing the hotel went out of their way for us. Edith the manager we met could not have been nicer and everyone in concierge is friendly and helpful. We were lucky to get a room on the 15th floor facing the ocean with a Jacuzzi and very nice shower. The fridge is stocked daily with water, beer and soft drinks. Things we loved - the lobby bar (Omar is a great bartender), the fitness center and yoga on the beach, the spa, kayaking, Oceana restaurant (OMG don't miss the Mexican coffee presentation & fabulous food), The Market Café (See Alma the hostess so nice) and the Mexican restaurant at Now next door (Gustavo the waiter & best food we've ever had). Things we didn't love - the beach is rocky and the ocean can be rough, getting up really early to get a chair at the pool or beach, the roosters in the back of the hotel ( but love animals) and the busy wedding season with loud music in the evenings. We did tip the staff because they all went above and beyond at our meals and at the bars . It is one of the best all inclusive vacations we have taken but in all fairness we would not go back unless we got a great deal again. The reason it did not earn five stars was because it was very crowded there and we did not feel that it was as romantic of an experience as we had hoped for. Wish we could try it again at a less busy & expensive time!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Debby S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

Hola to all of you!

Bob & I just returned from Secrets Vallarta Bay last night. We are in our early 60's and traveled via Apple Vacations. We booked a park, sleep, fly package at the Radisson O'hare Hotel for the night before we flew out. The room with quiet, the bedding very comfortable, and the transportation to and from O'hare went off without any problem. We would definately stay there again.

The Flight: Apple vacations offered a non-stop Frontier Airline charter flight from Chicago O'hare. There was a Preferred Seating option on the flight for $25 pp each way. If you have the opportunity to purchase that upgrade, do it. You will have front of the plane with stretch seating; first on and first off the plane; and luggage is taken off first. It includes express line check-in, meal box, and 2 alcoholic drinks each way. What a bargain!

Now for the trip.

Arrival: We quickly made it to our transportation and avoided any and all contact with anyone trying to get our attention in the airport (time sharks). It is about a 10-15 minute drive to the resort. We booked a Preferred Oceanview Room and were greeted with a cool wash cloth and a tropical drink upon arrival. We were escorted to the concierge in the Preferred Club building and were quickly and efficiently registered and taken to our room on the 8th floor. Luggage arrived to our room shortly after check-in.

The Room: Every room has a spectacular view of the ocean. We asked for a higher floor to have privacy as well as (hopefully) a quieter room away from the pool. The elevators worked great and the balcony jacuzzi was perfect. We were on the top floor of the Preferred Club rooms and the air conditioner worked great. It was quiet and efficient. Note: Remember to close the glass sliding doors together tightly if you want a cool room. If you leave a gap or forget to close them, the air will not run. This allows better energy efficiency for the hotel. Also, when the glass doors are shut they reduce the noise of hustle & bustle of the resort quite a bit. The bed was very comfortable and the room very attractively decorated and spacious. The shower is huge (you could have a multi-person shower party in there if you wanted...wow!) There was never a shortage of towels or wash clothes or toiletries. They even provided a bottle of 15 protection sunscreen. The refrigerator was restocked daily with small bottles of Corona, water and a variety of sodas. Also, 3 small bottles of liquor, a bag of M&M's and a container of Pringles. Warning...watch out for channel 36 on your cable. Wowza! That's all I'm gonna say. Bob & I are too old but we remember when....ha!

The Grounds: The resort is beautifully landscaped, with several pools to choose from. There is easy access to the beach and there is security staff protecting the area, if needed. One nice thing is that there is a lifeguard on duty during the day. The beach sand is not soft and there are rocks in the water and all over. It is not an easy beach for walking, running, or shell collecting. FYI, there are very few shells. I was lucky enough to find 2 shells over the whole week and they were not pretty. However, at least I found them. The staff keeps the grounds very clean and there is an endless supply of towels. It is very easy to walk between the Secrets and the Now side of the resort. The Now Amber is also very well appointed. However, Bob & I were truly glad we booked the adults only Secret side. There were many, many, many families with young children. The children appeared to be well-behaved and polite, but kids are kids and that means noise, giggling, crying, and running. I can easily understand why couples staying on the Now side walk over to the Secrets side and use those pools.

The Staff: The staff we had contact with were friendly and helpful. They obviously tried to give the "extra" service to make our stay special. The concierge staff in the Preferred Club building were always available to answer questions and solve concerns. The maids kept our room very clean and stocked. The entertainment staff had never-ending energy and big smiles. In particular, Christian never seemed to get tired. He was extremely good in achieving his entertainment responsibilities. The bartenders were quick to fill orders and the pool waiters regularly checked in to see if more drinks were needed.

The Food: OMG...the food! The Preferred Lounge keeps warm & cold foods, salads, breads, and sweets out all day from 7 am-11 pm. and there is a designated bar and bartender, as well. the bar serves top shelf liquer. Bob likes Bailey's and they served him Bailey's, not a knock-off. The main buffet restaurant has more options than you could ever eat. In our many years of traveling, the food was warmer and tastier than any other all-inclusive we've been to. The snack bar by the pool offered a nice variety of quick pick-me-up foods and beverages. We ate lunch twice at Oceanas, with just a beach cover necessary for me and a shirt for Bob. The food is ala-carte, served hot, with a fantastic view of the ocean. We had breakfast room service twice and could not believe how fresh and warm the meal was. It took about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes for delivery after ordering, but it was great having breakfast on our balcony and...they got our orders filled correctly. Sometimes, language barriers have caused problems for us at other resorts, but not at Secrets. It was great! We ate at the Japanese restaurant twice, both times at the table where the chef cooks the food in front of us. We enjoyed it both times and appreciated adults only at the cooking table. We ate at the French restaurant twice and enjoyed the upscale setting and the special service the waiter provided and it's adults only. The last night we ate at the Italian restaurant on the Now side. The food, atmosphere, and service was very nice. However, children are allowed in there, and kids being kids, they were a bit antsy, tempermental, and noisy. Not a real problem, but definately takes away from the rest of the experience in that beautiful Italian setting. We attended the Mexican Fiesta buffet one night. The food was good, not great, and the room was filled with families. The entertainment included a Mariachi Band, and Mexican dancers. There were a handful of area vendors available and selling their merchandise on a bargaining price basis.

The Entertainment: The staff around the pool was exceptional. I did water aroebics one day. However, I got stepped on and my one toe turned black & blue and hurt, so once was enough for me. Lots of people did it every day, though. Most of the activities are available but not forced on you. The Now side has more activities centered around families and they have a whole schedule of fun things for the children to do in a separate area of the pool decks. The lobby lounges on both sides offer lounge type music in the evenings with a knock down gorgeous viewsof the sunset. Bob & I did a couple evenings of their main show entertainment in the amphitheater, but found them to be mainly filled with colorful dancers and a bit repetitive. Instead, we opted to return to our room after dark and indulge in the jacuzzi on our balcony. There are a multitude of water sport equipment and rentals on the beach. Also, there is horseback riding available for purchase by the local owners.

The Shopping: The shops on the resort meet basic needs and are priced at a higher rate than if you went into town or shopped on the beach. There is something for everyone, but at a cost, and with a limited variety to choose from. The retail workers were polite and spoke limited English. However, we were able to pick up a few last minute gifts at those shops. Tip...if you have to a gift or tequilla or something else last minute before going home, the airport has lots of stores and their prices are less than at the resort. Wait and buy your alcohol and/or vanilla, etc. at the airport.

The Spa: Bob & I did an 80 minute Swedish massage for couples in the Pevonia Spa. The spa is beautiful and the variety of water jets, pressure settings and jacuzzi was refreshing and relaxing. We have never had any kind of massage and chose Pevonia because we wanted to see the resort spa and experience what they advertise. Bob & I enjoyed it very much, even though I am a bit shy and had to give up the shyness for the experience. Keep in mind that even with the special of the day price, it was costly ($255 USD total for the 2 of us). Many Trip Advisors have gone to Helping Hands massage right outside the resort on the left. I mentioned this place to people we met in the pool and a few of the couples went there. All of them came back saying it was a bargain and worth every penny they paid. Helping (Healing?) Hands is clean, but not fancy. You can get an hour long massage for $25-$35 pp. For Bob & I, I'm glad we experienced Pevonia for our first ever massage. However, when we return (and we will), we will go to Helping (Healing?) Hands. That seems to be the best deal for the feel, if you know what I mean....ha!

Closing Thoughts: My husband has some mobility issues and used a walker to get around. There was always a place available for him to sit and rest. The staff was helpful and understanding, as were the other visitors that had to move over a bit i\on the elevators to make room for us. Oh yeah...the resort can get noisy. It is shaped in a "V" and sound rises. People drink & stay up & drink more. Close the balcony doors and enjoy the "whole experience". We aren't party people but we respect that part of an all-inclusive get-away is the partying. This was our 10th visit to Puerto Vallarta. The combination of mountains, ocean, cobblestone streets and the hard working, friendly people bring us back again and again. We will return to our Puerto Vallarta family again, as long as health allows us to do so. We will stay at Secrets Vallarta Bay or another AM Resort Property. Questions? E-mail me & I'll get back to you. I'm back to work tomorrow. Phoey! All good things must come to an end. Back to reality.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank luv2travelRacine_WI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 July 2014

We stayed here for two weeks early July and had a fantastic time and would definitely recommend. I was worried it wouldn't live up to the amazing holiday we had the year before at El Dorado Casita Suites on the Carribean coast but it certainly didn't disappoint. Beach not as nice and sea more choppy on the Pacific Coast but we knew that in advance and it was still a decent beach and gorgeous sunsets. The hotel had everything we needed and we couldn't fault the service - I have to mention Mario and Octavio serving by the pools/beach who were fantastic and really looked after us. Entertainment was great (especially Kristian) - beach volleyball, aqua aerobics, water polo etc. Restaurants generally very good. It can be quite lively around the main pool with the swim-up bar which we liked but if you want it a little quieter you may want to sunbathe further away. Definitely take a walk or a taxi to the old town. The Thomson excursion to Yelapa and Pizota was well worth doing. Just don't upgrade to a sea view as all rooms have a sea view - you'll just be a bit higher up! If you are a light sleeper get a room closer to the Amber Now side you'll be further away from the rooster which we hardly heard from our room. Although I defy anyone to have a decent sleep in the huge comfy bed!

Room Tip: Higher up for a better view although a sea view from all balconys. Closer to the Now Amber side is...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
6  Thank katebuddle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 July 2014

My boyfriend and I stayed for a week in July and had booked a Preferred Club ocean view. The room was absolutely beautiful. It was very nicely appointed, great shower, bathroom and comfortable bed. The air conditioning was a bit finicky in that sometimes the sensor did not register that the door to the balcony was closed so the a/c did not kick on if you went out then in.
The pool was great. Perhaps a few more umbrellas would be a good idea.
All the a la carte restaurants were fantastic and due to not oversized portions, an appetizer, main course and dessert was possible. Our favourite was by far Bourdeaux, great food and attentive service. We did not like so much when the buffet restaurant was turned to a la carte in the evenings. We did that once, the service was not as good as the other restaurants and the setting not as intimate.
Bar service was great everywhere. The resort was spotless.
It is about a 25 minute walk to the Malecon. We did that a couple of times, or a cheap taxi ride, 65 pesos.
We will definitely return and recommend to any couple looking for a romantic, relaxing vacation.

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
2  Thank CorrieFan2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 July 2014

We went during the last two weeks of July, so it was not very packed, pools were not crowded at all! Service was excellent, everyone was so friendly! Amazing views and clean, wonderful pool areas, this hotel was way more than we expected. Will be back again! The restaurants had an excellent and diverse range of food, with 24 hr room service also being a great option. Really recommend this hotel, you will not regret it! One thing though- you might be asked to attend a presentation for their preferred club (kinda like a time share in a sense) if you do agree, expect to be there for about 4 hours! At least we ended up with $300 leisure money that we used for Vallarta Adventure activities. A good thing to keep in mind just in case you do decide to attend, they aren't rude or off-putting if you decide not to commit, and you still get your leisure cash :)

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank ybag214
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 #18 of 121 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £202 - £815 (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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