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“Awesome Resort”

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

Spent 6 days at the resort for a family vacation with 3 teenagers. We were pleasantly surprised with all the activities available for everyone. The kids stayed in the water most of the time and even participated in water aerobics with me (Jesus made it fun). There was a entire gamut of activities sponsored by the resort. The food was incredibly delicious and plentiful. The spa is a must do. The staff was friendly and accommodating. The rooms were large and very clean. The vendors on the beach were bothersome...but don't entertain them if you are not interested. Was approached to purchase a vacation package, however, I don't go on vacation to drop 20k to purchase anything and read/sign contracts. Take note... DO YOUR RESEARCH before purchasing timeshare or vacation packages in a different country.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank Loresia Pelmore R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 17 August 2014 via mobile

Hello this is my first time ever writing a review on trip advisor; decided to do so since I rely on it so much for any trip I plan. I want to say that Now Amber is overall an excellent hotel. Rooms are fabulous. I had 2 adults and 2 children in one room. Requested a king bed with a cot for children and it was so comfortable. The cot was huge and the chaise lounge was awesome for sleeping. Didn't request the two doubles because husband and I are both very tall and do not find doubles to be comfortable.I also requested highest floor available, received the 11th. View was stunning. As far as maid service this was hit and miss. Sometimes they would show at 1000 am sometimes at 430 pm. The beach was actually not as bad as what it may seem by reviews. There are a lot of waves which we love and yes there were rocks but nothing too bad. There are boogies boards available with hotel. Ocean much calmer in morning if you aren't too crazy about waves. We spent more time in ocean than pools. Where I was slightly disappointed was food. It was not terrible but just not as great as what I thought it would be. Italian was awesome, must get the New York steak. Himitsu was nice but didn't find hibachi to be that great. Sushi was yummy. Carnival buffet great for breakfast but just okay for lunch and dinner. Coffee shop awesome and always a friendly face with a cute design in your coffee. I found the staff to be just okay. Front door guys were great but never approached by a drink waiter near pool or beach. I just went up to swim up bar and got my own. It seemed they favored the Spanish speaking guests. There were many Spanish people during our stay and I almost felt like I had the lower hand because of this. Don't get me wrong no one was hateful but more distant and not as friendly as I thought. The only staff they I found to be really friendly were the guys in the front of the hotel that help with cabs, coffee shop ladies, and Sergio in the Carnival buffet. He actually made me a dessert tray that said have a safe trip home on the morning we left. Overall this hotel really is a top of the line place. You will find it to be very beautiful and you may have a better experience with staff than I did. I still would recommend this place despite the few imperfections. Also when you check in, do not agree to meet with the people about how you an use your resort coupons. This is a timeshare. While I understand wanting to sell a share in this property, check in time is not the time for this. Allow people a few days to experience the resort than approach them. Also as far as money there is an atm right outside hotel in a bank that gives a great exchange rate. Make a left when walking out and it
is just a 2 min walk. If you are looking for a laid back beautiful place in a great location than Now Amber it is.

Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
8  Thank Krystal W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 August 2014 via mobile

It was an amazing holiday! The staff there are so kind and energetic. They are always making sure there's something to do for everyone during the day. There is a number of activities like beach volley ball with Irma which was fun as I'm not very good, stretching with Rafael but he likes to be called Rafa (no matter how you feel he will always make you smile and laugh) water aerobics with Jesus a.k.a chewy and kayaking (the instructor isn't always the same). I said the whole holiday how I needed to make a friend and how I hadn't made friends but the staff there were so kind that they were my friends, I even got a nickname off of Irma (sleeping beauty). Whenever I saw rafa I always thought he reminded me of a puppy, he could never stand still! If he wasn't dancing he was making everyone smile and laugh. It wasn't just the entertainment team it was the waiters and waitresses. Mario was my favourite waiter as he was either making sure your dining was excellent by keeping the drink filled and leaving resting gaps in between courses or he was singing along to the amazingly talented mariachi band (the Mexican restaurant). My favourite waitress was Rosa (breakfast buffet or Mexican) as she was really down to earth and so bubbly with her funny comments and excellent service (always with a little spring in her step or a small dancing performance).

The food was absolutely superb. I had the special nearly every night and I cannot look back once and say "I didn't like that" or "that wasn't the nicest of dishes". The cakes were really delicious but my favourite deserts were actually from the main restaurant (the carnival/the buffet restaurant). It wasn't just the food it was the presentation of the food that made the evenings perfect. The managers of the restaurants were fantastic as they always remembered if we asked for something (like waiting for everyone on the table to finish before taking the plates away).

The view from the lobby was amazing as you could also see the palm trees, the swimming pools, the sun beds and the beautiful scenery around the hotel like the ocean with the many boats and the slightly faded mountains (because of the clouds surrounding them).

We also went on trips that Thompson recommended we should go on. We selected extreme adventure (zip lines, abseiling, free fall and a mule ride up a hill before eating a nicely prepared meal and then tequila tasting). We also went on a 3 other trips but the best out of those was the dolphin extreme where you could swim with dolphins for an entire hour!!!

It was a perfect holiday for me and I wish I didn't have to leave but I (hopefully) will go back as I had an amazing time there.

Stayed: August 2014
2  Thank Samantha T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 August 2014

This was my 6th visit to an AMResort.
This is a beautiful resort. Close to the airport and very convenient to town.
Rooms were beautiful and very well done. I have never had air conditioning that cold and controllable in any of the resorts that we have stayed in. It was awesome.
All rooms face the water and the views were great.
Staff was very accommodating as we did get a king room with adjoining double on the second morning of our stay.

Kids used the Core Zone, I was a disappointed that I was not allowed to play pool, foosball etc.. with them. They were very strick on the age limit rule and I am a bit older than 18. Other resorts were not that strick on parents in the Core Zone room. I would asked them to remember it is a family resort/vacation, but to no avail.

Food was probably the best that we have ever had at any of the resorts that we have stayed in.
The morning buffet could be a bit of a wait, which I never did understand. Open tables everywhere, but you couldn't sit at them. It is a buffet and the wait service at breakfast was spotty at best. Why not just let us sit down instead of waiting in a long line?
Room service was very prompt and food was always good. One thing we could not understand, f as beatiful as the resort and the rooms were, room service would take up to 2 days to clean the dirty dishes, cups etc.. in the hallways. Not a very pretty picture.
Never had much of a wait for dinner and we usually ate a little later.The Italian was our favorite.

The beach area did come up short. Only about 10-12 Palapas. There is definately room for more and they should be put in. Our preference is to hang out on the beach and if you want shade it was at a premium. Beach entrance is pretty rocky with both small and large stones, so if you like to go in the ocean, watershoes would be a good idea. Lots of vendors on the beach, gets old after a while. Security that would watch the beach was spotty, so sometimes the vendors would "cross the line", but they were not aggressive in the sales pitch.

Pool was pretty crowded (end of July), would love to see what would happen if they really had a dye that would turn blue (or maybe not). The service from the pool bartenders wasn't really up to par. Maybe they needed more than 2 people behind the bar. They were OK, have had much better. Beach service was better.

The area was gorgeous. Bay in front of you, mountain ranges behind. We did go on a fishing trip. Booked it through Moses on the beach. 4 hours one morning. Caught around 11 Bonito. Kids had fun. We did get a cab through the bellmen and went into town one night. Family of 6 in one Suburban 150 pesos one way. Not too bad. Town was neat. Glad we took the time to see it.

All in all great rooms, great food, not the greatest beach, service was spotty.
Didn't sweat the small things, had a nice time. Other places in the world to see, so probably wouldn't rush back.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Service
1  Thank tomm119
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

I ummed and ahhed about whether to give 4 or 5 stars, but this hotel really was a step up from recent hotels I have stayed in that got 4, so there you go. Am surprised at the recent 3 ratings, I have stayed in a few 3 star hotels and they are nowhere near this level. Anyway, about the hotel. The clientele is 50/50 Spanish speakers to English. I mention this as I was surprised by a lot of the staff having trouble with English and it was difficult at times to make yourself understood. For example when we returned in a taxi from downtown one evening the guy on the gate asked in perfect English for our room number. I say Two Zero Five Seven. He then asks the taxi driver could he translate into Spanish as he doesn't understand! It amused us anyway...I heard someone say that the kids club staff did not speak any English at all, if that is true then it could be difficult for the English speaking kids.
Check in was straight forward, and no timeshare pressure as we are from England - phew, would not need that after an almost 11 hour flight. Up to the room, not sure why it is called a suite as there is no separate living area. Oops - only one king bed and there are three of us. Seconds later a knock on the door and housekeeping are carrying a camp bed in, however it is of very poor quality and you can feel every spring digging in to you. My daughter said it would be fine so we did not swap it. Also the room has a damp musty smell, but we agreed to keep it for now as we are too tired to change it. Quickly unpack, oops again - we have about 6 hangers in the wardrobe to hang two weeks worth of clothes for three people. It took a lot of explaining on the phone when trying to ask for more hangers, but when they finally understood extra hangers came within minutes. We did have other issues with the room over the holiday, such as the safe not opening which had to be drilled open and the door not opening to the room one evening (the lock needed new batteries) but the view from the (very small) balcony was superb, the king bed was very comfy, the walk in shower was great and we never heard any outside noise.
The food at the hotel is excellent. Not having to make reservations for the 4 a la carte restaurants was a good idea and I wish other hotels would follow suit. We did have a small wait twice in 14 days which ain't bad. Did not have a favourite one, but I can honestly say the only disappointing dish we had was the overcooked teppanyaki from Himitsu (though the amuse-bouche of grasshopper at Tamarindo did not go down too well). The service is also good, though a little over zealous at times. The poolside grill for snacks is probably best avoided (they make their own pizzas from scratch but still make them taste like cheap frozen ones) but there is a BBQ each day and the buffet is also available during the day. I will miss Rosa's smiling face each day as she greeted us for breakfast in the buffet, always remembering our names and seating preference. One thing I wish they would change is the dress code - it is very uncomfortable in long pants and shirts in 100 degree heat....
With the weather being so hot each day we spent most of our time around and in the pool. Beds were plentiful up to late morning, but were scarce if you arrived in the afternoon. We tried the beach for the first day or two, but unfortunately it is poor. The sand is average, the sea is not clear and very rocky so you cannot stand in it at all, however the water is warm. Also, it is not pleasant to walk along, turn right from the hotel and you get about 100 yards before you cannot go further, or turn left and walk past smelly stagnant water and derelict land/hotel until you get to the Sheraton where there is a narrow rocky path covered in horse manure. It was best to stay around the pool area. Leonardo was our pool waiter around the activity pool and he is the best employee I have ever encountered at a hotel. He shook your hand, introduced himself and said whatever you wanted he would get for you. I never had an empty glass, just a nod from the other side of the pool and he was over within minutes with more drinks, always giving recommendations and a really nice chap. Unfortunately he was moved to the Mexican restaurant for the last few days of our holiday and the lady who replaced him basically blanked us. Luckily Fernando noticed I was spending a lot of time getting drinks from the bar, and said to sit in his section in future and he would take good care of us - which he did, thanks Fernando!
We do not bother with entertainment so cannot comment on that, but I wish there was a bar that you could go to after dinner that had air conditioning - remember you have to wear long pants and shirts to eat and I could not be bothered getting changed again, so ended up sweating buckets in the lobby bar until I could take no more. All in all I would highly recommend this hotel mainly due to its excellent service levels and decent food, but it is just a shame the beach is so poor - and it is a beach holiday after all. We will return, but probably in the cooler winter months.

Room Tip: Higher the better
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
2  Thank WB72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 August 2014

This was our fist time trying an All Inclusive in Mexico, and after reading many reviews we decided to give Now Amber a try. This hotel is 2 years old, with a modern appearance and vibe. The standard rooms are average in size (~500 sq.ft) with individual jet tubs/showers. You do have options to chose a swim up room on the ground floor, or upgrade to the preferred units on a separate Tower. The preferred tower has its own concierge and separate lobby with food appetizers. The much larger 2 room villa style units are also found on the preferred side, the standard units have an outdoor patio hot tub. The choice to go to the preferred side will probably depend on how much time you plan to spend in the unit, and if you went through a sale presentation for their version of time sharing.

The preferred Tower looked to be 8 stories tall, while the main tower 14 stories. So if you stay on the main, try to get a room on the 10th + floor and have a great unimpeded view of the bay.

Now Amber is a mirror image of Secrets which is attached underground, but separated at the lobby's. The Secrets main hotel and preferred buildings look exactly the same with the major difference that Secrets is adults only.

In all there were 7 pools ( 4 at Now Amber, 3 at Secrets) and 7 restaurants (5 at Now Amber, 2 Secrets). If you're traveling with a family and want to try some of the Secrets facilities such as their "formal" restaurants or very well appointed gym facility, you can utilize the kids explorers club, or teen center. The explorers club is between the main hotel and preferred buildings and is open from 9am-9pm. For late dinners you can also book through the concierge an in room sitter for $15/hr, who is actually one of the day care staff workers from the explorers club. They come complete in uniform and may bring videos and activities to keep the kids occupied and of course are trained for childcare.

Regarding the restaurants, we found the food overall to be very good and this included a picky 5 year old, and 11 year old. We tried them all, including the formal ones, here's the rundown:

Carnival (buffet) - open until 11:30ish for breakfast, after noon for lunch. Breakfast had a great variety service was good, and if you want anything off the buffet just ask. Our servers were always willing to look and always fulfilled our requests. Dress is casual, but no bathing suits and men can't wear tank tops.

Castaways (seafood/steak)- after noon and dinner - closest to the beach and last pools outdoors restaurant with decent choices good service. Casual dress.

Tamarind (Mexican) - dinner only, families have to be seated outside/couples inside. Food was not your standard Mexican, probably regional central Mexico but was quite good. Casual dress for families, more formal according to the guide for couples indoors. Formal in their guide would be pants for men, no flip flops, and collared shirts.

Capers (Italian)- dinner only, good selection of options and if you want special pasta options off the menu for the kids just ask. Like all their restaurants specific bottles of wine are an extra charge which you could apply some of your coupons towards. However, if you're not interested in a particular brand of wine, you can order as many individual glasses of the house (Chilean) wine without any additional charge.

Bordeaux(French)-dinner on the Secrets side- Food was quite good and 2 servers assigned per table. It looked like they had a 10 second rule where if you left your plate someone would be on you immediately to clean up or ask you if things were going well. Dress is formal as described.

Marketplace-Secrets side- during the day I think this is the buffet equivalent of Carnival, but at night this restaurant becomes a formal Mediterranean restaurant. Dress is formal, and service excellent. If you want a special display, ask for the Mexican coffee.

Himitsu- Now Amber side - dinner only and like Tamarind families must sit on the outside. We found this to be the only restaurant that needed some attention to both service and menu. Service was the slowest here and although they advertise this as a Japanese themed restaurant a more appropriate title would be Asian fusion. For example they had Pad Thai, Curry meals, and Chinese food. The sushi used imitation meat and was about as good as supermarket sushi. Amber could probably help their reputations by bringing in an experienced Chef to help correct the menu at this location. Who really expects to have good sushi in Mexico? But after our experiences at all of the other restaurants, this appeared to be the only week link.

Food service at the pools were very good. As a tip, leave your server a small tip if you order any top shelf brands and you will notice the flow of drink and appetizers come through constantly. Absolute, Jack, Stolid, fresh made guac...no problem.

Drinks at the bar, Cafe', poolside, and mini fridge are all part of the package.

Throughout the day in the outdoor areas there are activity staff that are always around trying to keep the guests involved. We found that they had great attitudes and helped improve the positive vibe at the resort. Scheduled during the day are activities like aqua aerobics, water polo, water basketball, ring toss, and other games I can't name properly. There's a nightclub on the 2nd floor (mid level) kind of hidden on the Now side that opens after 10pm.


In summary if you're traveling with a family and want a good safe place to stay, with excellent food choices and staff, Now Amber is a great choice. My only knocks were the Himitsu restaurant and the front desks staff inability to offer a decent priced room upgrade (they offered a 2 room preferred room upgrade for more money than what was published online). Service throughout the resort was very good and staff were always willing to fulfill a request if you just ask. The all inclusive was well worth it because of the variety of food choices and service, plus it was great during checkout to have no incidental charges ! For a rating Now Amber would most accurately be a 4.5 stars, as 5 star properties are special all around, but half stars are not available.

Room Tip: If you're staying in the main tower ask for rooms above the 10th floor for improved ocean views...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank Mitpdub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2014

I stayed at the Now Amber from July 29th through August 2nd. I can't say enough good things about this resort. The staff were amazingly friendly. Francisco at Tamarindo is the most professional waiter I have ever met at any location. His service is second to none. Jose was the pool waiter that was meant to work with the public. His personality stands out the minute you meet him.
The oceanview suite was beautiful and absolutely spotless. Views of the sunset from the balcony were breathtaking. There is a balcony area off of the main lobby and the views from there are the best at the resort.
Maid service was spot on everyday, and someone came around every afternoon to see what we would like replinished in our refrigerator.
The only downside to the resort is the entertainment. If you are looking for a very quiet relaxing time then this is the place for you. If you want some lively entertainment it did not exist when we were there. In the main lobby every evening they posted there would be entertainment but there was a piano player one evening, a guitar player, a harpist and a lady that sang lounge style music. The entertainment team came around the pool about once a day and played a game or two but they did not have the energy compared to other resorts I have visited.
Would I stay here again? Yes! I would like to return in the winter during whale season. Food was excellent and they take great pride in cleaning this resort. We saw them power wash around the pool each evening and buff the floors in the main building.
There are three pools - one is a childrens pool - one is considered an activity pool and they have one with a swim up bar. Since they already have a childrens pool it would be nice if the one with the swim up bar was designated for adults only.
I love the fact that you do not need dinner reservations and no card to get a pool towel. Towels were plentiful and neatly stacked in a pyramid around the pools and one placed neatly on each chair every morning.
I would highly recommend this resort! It truly is beautiful!

Room Tip: Higher floors have the best views.
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  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank collinsjcc32
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: £196 - £556 (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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