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“Simply the Best!!!!”

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Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Ranked #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 18 July 2014

This is actually a review of 2 halves as we spent our first week on the Now Amber side (room 1257 - 1st floor) and our second week in Secrets (room 1600 - 6th floor). This was due to an electrical fault in the Amber room which was dealt with very efficiently and was resolved by an appreciated upgrade which reflected the minor inconvenience caused. That said both rooms were of an excellent standard and apart from the higher aspect view on the Secrets side there was little to separate the two, although I personally preferred the décor and finish in Secrets but preferred the bed in Amber.

The hotel in general offers a high standard of service and the pool areas on both sides are well appointed with ample space to relax - . plenty of sun beds although the umbrellas were sometimes at a premium due to the hot weather. As an adult couple the Secrets side was preferable although had we have stayed on the Amber side for the duration of our holiday this would not have been an issue. An influx of our American cousins for the Independence Day weekend meant that the pool scene was quite lively but was not an issue for us even though one of the Amber pools was closed for repairs during our stay (apparently earthquake damage from earlier in the year).

One of the best features of the resort are the restaurants. They offer a completely different dining experience which feels like you are eating out at a completely different venue each night without leaving the complex - Bordeaux was my personal favourite for the food, ambience and the service which was excellent but none of them disappointed. Lots of love to Theresa on the omelette station in the Carnival buffet who was a joy xxxx

The public bars on both sides of the complex are immaculate and the best place to enjoy a drink whilst watching the sunset. The Secrets side offers a slightly better choice of high end drinks but there is little to differentiate between the two.

Loved the coffee shop on site which is an excellent touch and offers a nice range of sandwiches and cakes for something different from the buffet restaurants at lunch time.

The staff work really hard and although tips are included they are appreciated if you are so inclined - we took some dollars for this purpose.

We didn't use the spa but opted for the massage (full body) at Heeling Hands just outside the hotel which is excellent value at 300 pesos and well worth it.

We did walk into town (ONCE!!) but the 40 min walk in the humidity and heat is not really recommended. A taxi to the start of the Boardwalk (a visit which is absolute must both day and night) is just 750 pesos but we also loved the bus for our daytime jaunts which at just 7.5 pesos was well worth it but don't expect too much luxury!!

In summary then this is a great hotel with loads of positives in it's favour. My only niggle (no not time share or the internet) would be the 'turn down service' at night which was sometimes delivered at 4:30pm!! If you are going to offer this service then at least wait until guests have vacated their rooms for the evening but hey life goes on.

Would I come back - YES!!!. Would I recommend it - YES!!! Can't wait to return.

PS - if you are a beach person then don't expect the Caribbean. The water is like a bath but entry and egress can be fun due to stones and breaking waves - though fun to watch!!

Room Tip: All rooms have sea view but those on the higher floors do offer a slightly better experience. Rooms...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
3  Thank StuartPreston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,670 - 1,676 of 2,878 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2014

The restaurant,Himitsu, was our favorite and ALEX & EZEQUIEL, were the BEST!!!!!!
We also liked the Buffett but the other retaurants were not to our liking. The servers at the buffett were also just the absolutel best!!!! The food was great and always fresh!!!

The pool areas were great and the food ast the seaside grill was wonderful!!!

The boys and men who took care of our towels and getting us drinks were the BEST!!!

Room Tip: The rooms on the 6th floor were great and 1660 was close to the elevator and stil no noise and very...
  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank Joefamily1936
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 July 2014

Awesome hotels, superior service but....
THE RESORT
I made a reservation for the Now Amber from June 24-July 1, 2014. At arrival, we learned that they didn't have available the king bed I had reserved at the Now. They upgraded us to the Secrets (all rooms have an splendid view of the beach/area) and did everything possible to satisfy our demands. The hotel is spectacular. We are serious about cleaning which is a priority for them. We saw many employees cleaning every single glass, bar, etc. when everybody was sleeping, around 2am. We loved it. In the lobby, there is an opening facing the beach which many visit every evening to enjoy the sunset. On Friday night, the resort serves champagne and some appetizers. I need to mention Cynthia Perez; she even sent us a champagne bottle to the room to welcome us. We loved the detail although you we were surrounded by all types of drinks everywhere (wine is extra). People are extremely polite, respectful and would do anything to please you (tipping them is good since they don't make a lot).
We rented a car to drive around (insurance costs an arm and a leg!) but learned that is not necessary since the resort is at walking distances from the Centro which is a nice place to visit (another thing to do is zip lining) You could take a cab which is also not that expensive (60 pesos= aprox. $6-8 one way). Let me clarify, Puerto Vallarta is very safe. We even went to Nayarit and other places and felt very safe.
RESTAURANTS
Food is amazing. Service is extraordinary. One morning I was telling my husband that I just wanted a pressed sandwich with melted cheese (LOL), which they don't make there. Our server overheard and came back with my sandwich. In another occasion, I asked if they had éclair (French dessert) and the server said no. The chef made 4 for me. Indeed, they would do whatever to please you and serve you well. Drinks are yummy specially the mono sucio (with chocolate) and the pickle margarita which I had at the Tamarindo restaurant. We personally loved the Market Cafe for breakfast, Oceana (for lunch-seafood restaurant but limited to shrimp and other seafood except lobster), Bordeaux (French) and Tamarindo (so yummy!!!). They also serve snacks at the pool
ACTIVITIES
They have activities planned throughout the day. The reason for not giving the hotel a 5 is because, compared to other resorts, we find the activities they plan are not as good and structured as others we have participated in. I spoke with some employees and they do not have the freedom to organize activities nor they are paid in the evening so after the show none is around. They participate in the organization of public spectacles for every evening. What we didn't like was the fact that we picked Puerto Vallarta, Mexico because we wanted to enjoy their culture. We love dancing. However, the only music played at the club is techno, which is fine for us but not all the time. I requested some Spanish music such as salsa, bachata or merengue and the DJ said it was not appropriate there and not allowed (we love dancing!). We were in shocked. For this reason, we would not go back there. To enjoy my own culture, I stay in the states.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank dracosta2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 July 2014

We hated to leave this fantastic resort. The one thing i did not care for was the vacation package they tried to sell . It was a ninety minute torture and then at the end we were told that if we paid $39,000 upfront we will have a one week free vacations for the next 20 years.If they gave me this figure upfront i would have been done in one minute flat and in the pool with an ice cold beer in my hand.The staff was amazing and overall the food and beverages were superb. if you want a massage DON'T waste your money at the resort ($160). if you step outside the main gate and make a left there several massage places at an average rate of $25.00 for 75 minutes and totally legit ( i even took my teenage kids with me) The one we frequented was called Majestic Elegance . Its the second one on the left hand side. I cant wait to go back.

Room Tip: get the preferred class rooms on the upper level
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank biztraveller14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

We have stayed at other resorts in Punta Cana & Riviera Maya and at the end of our week, we were pretty much ready to come home. Not this time thanks to the staff & facilities at Now Amber. We received a call the day before we left notifying us that one of the pools (swim up bar) would be down for repairs for the first couple days. We were upgraded to a preferred club room for our inconvenience. Others have written that the upgrade was not a big deal but I would argue that it is a nice upgrade. Separate concierge, private lounge, jacuzzi on our deck, turn down service and a little buffet set up all day in the lobby.

Now, if you are looking for sugar white beaches and the blue waters of the Caribbean, this might not be for you. The ocean is beautiful though and the beach was still decent. I challenge anyone to find better sunsets. The pools were great and the whole area was so well kept. There are people literally cleaning and performing maintenance of some sort 24 hrs in this place.

The food is really excellent...they still have the buffet style restaurant for breakfast and lunch; that is actually of good quality and selection. Also, the poolside barbecue is a great addition serving fresh food each day. There is still the the standard hot dog, hamburger, pizza stand by the pool also. What really makes this place stand out though is the ala carte restaurants. No reservations and no waiting on any night except for Sat when we had to wait 20 minutes at the Italian restaurant as the hotel was basically full. Otherwise no waiting. We like the Mexican best and went back there twice. The steak & seafood was very good also. The Japanese was not our favorite but still was quite good. They even had a nice spread during the World Cup final where they showed the game on a huge screen. We hit the coffee shop at least once a day. Great coffee and wonderful little desserts.

The people here are what really makes the difference. The general manager made sure we got the correct upgrade when we arrived and had someone take us right over to our room to make sure it was OK. He said if we did not like it, to come back and they would make sure we had a room that was satisfactory. He stopped me at least 5 different times during our stay to make sure everything was good. All the employees were wonderful...Rosa at the buffet, Alfredo was our hero around the pool and there was a wonderful gentleman who worked in the preferred lounge. The employees are the heart and soul of this place.

I loved the smallness of the resort but it never felt crowded even over the weekend when the resort was full. No lines, no fighting for chairs or towels and plenty of space in the pools. Even when we were down one pool for the first 2 days, they put more guys on the pool deck to make up for the swim up bar being closed. Pools were still not crowded.

Just overall a great atmosphere, great employees and even the other guests were really nice. Just not a lot of loud drunkenness that we have had to tolerate at other all inclusives. We are actually thinking of coming back over X-mas holiday.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Brian H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

Stayed here the 20th thought the 24th. The weather was excellent only rained twice at night the whole time we where there.
The rooms are very comfy and lots of space. The bathroom is large if you want privacy all you had to do was slide the doors closed. The maid had the room cleaned everyday by noon It does help if you leave her a tip!! The pool was great never had a problem finding a chair, my drink was never empty. I do have to say some of the people at the pool bar never left the bar stool !! YUCK
The beach is not so great!
The food was good I'm a very picky eater and found something I liked all the time!!
The staff works very hard so please leave them a tip!
If I go back to PV I will stay at this hotel again!!

Room Tip: Higher floor Have a great view of hotel & ocean.
  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank jmiranda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 July 2014

This hotel is perfect for you if you're looking for a nice pool area and are on a family vacation with children. The pools and surrounding grounds are kept very clean and the staff is extremely attentive, especially if you tip well. The pools are also great if you like a LOT of activity, loud music and staff-organized pool games.
My husband and I went for the 3 night stay through Apple Vacations. It was a good deal but you get what you pay for. Our ocean view junior suite was kept very clean by the housekeeping staff. However, it smelled musty and the lighting in the bathroom area was poor. The decor was very dated. We killed a cockroach on the second day. When we asked for a different room, we were told there was nothing available. If you open your sliding doors to the balcony to hear the ocean, a sensor kicks off your air conditioning. The key sensor for our door didn't work and required a battery change as well as 2 light bulbs needing replaced. They were changed quickly but not after a trip back down to the desk and a 10 minute wait to get back into our room.
Our biggest complaint with this place was the pushiness of the Amstar sales people. As soon as we arrived, we checked in and when we asked for our $200 in resort coupons, we were directed to the Amstar people. They really want you to purchase a club membership and we had to sit and listen to a 15 minute sales pitch before the woman would hand over our coupons. She tried to get us to sign a commitment to attend an hour and a half sales presentation and was rather deceptive about what we were signing. Needless to say, we didn't sign and she was clearly unhappy about it. The $200 coupons for spa treatments and bottles of wine in the restaurants are really of no value because these things are so marked up that you're not really getting a discount at all. I would recommend not asking for them. Also, don't expect to get free wifi unless you're sitting in the lobby. We never could get connected in the room.
We booked through Apple Vacations and were provided with airport transfers. However, they make it your responsibility to get a form to their on-site office with your departure information including your pick up time. What??? Shouldn't they provide that? We had to drop off this form the next day and then pick it up again the day before our departure to find out what time we had to be in the lobby for pick up. I also feel that Apple should make it much clearer that the Now Amber and Secrets hotels are one big compound. Book at the Now Amber if you have kids with you and book at Secrets if you don't. The Now Amber was swarming with kids and we were told that we could only use the Secrets restaurants if we made a reservation by 3:00 on the day before. Now Amber guests cannot use the Secrets pool areas at all.
As far as the food goes- it is mediocre. We ate at the Mexican restaurant and in the first floor restaurants around the pool area in Now Amber; Oceana and Bordeaux in Secrets . All satisfactory but not great. The best thing I ate was a salmon dinner at Bordeaux. There is plenty of food readily available around the pool area if you just want to hang out there all day, but it is a limited menu.
We left the resort one time and would never do it again. If you walk around the Malecon in the down town area be prepared to be bothered by someone standing at the door of EVERY business you walk by to purchase a time share. Yes, we felt safe but it was so bothersome that all we wanted to do was get back to the resort.
The beach is a bit rocky and full of vendors. You will get bothered there as well. Walking down the beach to the left, you immediately see a huge eyesore of a hotel complex that has been left to deteriorate. Going to the right, you can only walk a short distance before you are blocked by a rock wall and can go no further.
If you're looking for a quiet and relaxing couples get-away, this is not the place for you. If you're looking for a family vacation at a decent price and just need a good pool area, then maybe this is it. Get out to the pools early and get your chairs...they go fast.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank boymom1208
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Now Amber Puerto Vallarta

Address: David Alfaro Sisqueiros 164 | Col. Zona Hotelera Las Glorias, Puerto Vallarta 48333, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Jalisco > Puerto Vallarta
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 123 Hotels in Puerto Vallarta
Price Range: £186 - £609 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Now Amber Puerto Vallarta 4.5*
Number of rooms: 327
Reservation Options:
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