I really cannot say enough how much we enjoyed our stay here. My boyfriend and I stayed a week at Secrets with two of our friends, and we had a splendid time. First and foremost, the staff was phenomenal. From concierge, to wait staff, to housekeeping, every single person was cheerful and kind. All of the employees wore more than accommodation and seemed genuinely glad to be there (which I know is quite difficult as I have been in the service industry for a number of years myself). We even made some friends with the bartenders and cocktail servers. The setting is gorgeous. This is a very new resort, and the rooms, the lobbies, the bars, the pools were all very aesthetically pleasing. We stayed in a junior suite with an ocean view and jacuzzi. The jacuzzi was filled often by housekeeping, and bubbled up which was a nice touch. Something to note: all of the rooms face the ocean. So if you're trying to decide which to book, and there's a price difference, I might think twice about it. The bottom 2 or 3 floors may have a slightly obstructed view, but that would only be by the beautiful gardens. Our room was quite nice, with updated decor and a beautiful double shower with a rain spout. The bathroom lighting in the room was a little dim however and it was hard to put on makeup. Comfy bed, great channel selections (all access adult films on channel 36) ha! Our fridge was stocked daily with beverages. My only complain about our room was that our patio was really long and empty, with 2 little chairs and a table. It seemed like with all the space they could have at least put a fake plant in there or something. And our railing was opaque, not glass like on most of the other floors, so in order to enjoy the beautiful view we had to lean on the railing. I actually enjoyed it though. The food was overall pretty excellent. Your options are French, Italian, Mexican, Seafood, Japanese, and a decent everything buffet. The restaurants themselves were very beautiful and the service was nice. Bottles of wine are not included however, and at a couple of the restaurants they waiters try to push them on you. We were provided with a couple of $10 coupons, so it wasn't a huge deal, you can still order house wine. We found that the menu selections seemed pretty similar across the restaurants too, which was slightly disappointing, but the food was really better quality than you get in most all inclusive resorts. The desserts were always kinda bland and eggy, it was almost like no matter what you ordered, it was a custard. Again, not a big deal. The drinks came quickly and were overall pretty good. If I found that one was weak from a certain bartender, I would just order a double the next time, or ask for another shot to add. The pools were so nice, our friends stayed in a room with a swim up pool which we ended up spending a lot of time in because it was more private and all hours. They are connected to 3 or 4 other rooms, but still have semi-dividers so you have the choice of partying with your neighbors or not, which we did! Cocktail service was available to the pools up until about 7pm, which I found to be somewhat lame. I think the pool bar should have stayed open much later. Also the main pools close around 8 which I think should be changed. We actually spent a couple of evenings at the bar in the lobby (which was open and faced the ocean, and overall breathtakingly gorgeous). The bartenders are fun and the overall atmosphere is great. A couple of nights they had hit or miss entertainment. We did not use the spa services although we did poke around a bit there and it seems pretty top notch. There is a massage parlor right outside the front door called "Healing Hands", and they offer FANTASTIC massages for $25 an hour, which is half of what the spa charges in the resort. As far as location, it's pretty ideal. It's a 10-15 min walk to downtown along the beach. You can take a cab pretty much anywhere in the city for less than $7. There are a ton of vendors in the city which became pretty annoying after a while, but just say no thanks and they'll usually leave you alone. There's a nice Malecon (boardwalk) with some nice artwork and musicians and such. As far as actual shopping, I had a hard time. Maybe I'm picky, but I loathe the tacky souvenirs and repetitive selections available in tourist towns, and that seemed to be the only things I could find. There is, however, a flea market that is open only on Saturday mornings (to my knowledge), which we went to where I found some really nice handmade jewelry, some good food and overall much appreciated variation from the run of the mill sombreros and silver jewelry available every foot and a half. In the way of attractions and tours, we ended up talking to Felipe, our assigned travel adviser and he talked us into doing a buy two get one thing. We spent $200 a person, and got to do 3 tours. One of which was the outdoor adventure, which was a blast. You take a speedboat across Banderas Bay, ride a jeep up through the the town on a mountain road, and then ride mules further up the mountain. When you get there you get to zipline and rappel down a waterfall, and well it's just a lot of fun. We swam with the dolphins, it was alright. We took a catamaran to Las Marietas Islands, and snorkeled and spent some time on the beach and bird watched, it was lovely. In case you've never been to Mexico, I would advise exchanging for pesos. Almost every place takes American dollars, but I think you save money in the long run, even if the exchange rate seems easy to calculate in your head. They do it for you at the front desk, so don't hesitate! I apologize for the length of this review, but I am a lover of detail, and I hope that this was of some use to others hoping to go. We had an amazing time. Just GO!
Driving through the gate, up to the circular drive in front of the lobby, we were greeted by a breathtaking view and a glass of champagne. The bellman, waitstaff, concierge and front desk personnel were wonderful upon arrival. The rooms are brand new and beautiful with marble bowl double sinks, sunken tub and separate shower. Maid service, pool services and restaurant service were all extremely attentive. This adults only hotel shares grounds with "Now," the family-friendly side, which is comfortably and adequately separated, The open-air lobbies with their infinity water's edge, "float" on the third floor overlooking multiple pools and the ocean. Sitting in fabulous chairs, it is a spectacular place to watch the sunset and/or enjoy music later in the evening. During our short 3-night stay, we took advantage of morning yoga on the beach, (Michelle is an excellent instructor) poolside activities and a couple of evening shows. Be aware of the time share people at the airport. They are not with Cheap Caribbean or Secrets, but will take your time to talk to you offering free tours, meals and pesos for your participation at a 90-minute presentation. If you want to avoid them, look for and don't stop until you are through the glass partition and find the orange shirted tour guides associated with the Cheap Caribbean Tours.
My wife and I just returned from our 5 days/4 nights to Secrets Vallarta Bay, and we had a great experience! VERY NICE resort, with conveneint location to the Centro area, as well as a short cab ride to the airport. No need to book the airport transfers, as you can get a cab anytime, and they only run $10-15 each way. If heading to the Old Vallarta/Centro area, we found it fun to take the city bus. Quite an experience if you have never done it, and it only costs about $.75/person each way. There are a lot of greats shops and things to see along the oceanfront area, and it is great exercise walking along there as well. Regarding the resort, it is top notch! We stayed in a garden view suite (2nd floor) in the Preferred Club building, and loved it. Being on the 2nd floor we never had to wait for an elevator, and were conveniently located right near the Preferred Lounge are as well. We enjoyed the Preferred Club bar/lounge, and food that was always available for a snack. In fact, we preferred to eat a light breakfast here as compared to the large buffet. The view from our room was excellent, and we were shaded enough that we did not have to worry about afternoon sun beating down into our room at all. Very spacious rooms, nice bath area, although the lighting in the bath area was a little dim for my wife's liking when getting ready to go to dinner. VERY comfortable bed as well. Great pool area with ample loungers and shade. The drink service can be a little slow, but if you have a good waiter this is not an issue. Very relaxing environment. The beach is smaller, but great for relaxing. And no need to worry about the local vendors. They are always present, but nothing that a polite "No, thank you" will not deter, unless you are interested in buying that is. The restaurants were very nice. Our favorite was the Bordeaux (French) restaurant. Very good food...be sure to try the mussels, lobster soup, and sea bass...and excellent wait staff. For dinner, Bordeaux was by far our favorite, Capers (Italian) was average, & Himitsu was very good. We also loved the Market Cafe for lunch with all of the variety they had. Oceana for lunch was good too, but felt like their options were limited. All in all, we were very satisfied and are considering the Now Amber side as an option to bring our children to in the future as well. If flying back to the US and catching a connecting flight at a larger airport hub, allow plenty of time to get through customs as this was a long process. Other than that, book a stay here and enjoy the ideal weather conditions.
This was a great trip. We went in Aug., for an anniversary. The hotel is brand new and very clean (I am a clean-freak and I really felt comfortable the entire time. The room was tastefully decorated. We enjoyed the fridge that was re-stocked daily. It is a great place for couples. This hotel also seemed to be gay friendly, and everyone seemed comfortable and relaxed on their vacations. If you are traveling with a friend, (not on a romantic trip) please know that the room has an open floor plan, the only thing that separates the bedroom from the restroom area are draperies. There is a water closet in the room, but this is the only other door and the space is small. For sure do not pay extra for an ocean view - it is true they are all ocean view. You can also request the highest floor possible and they will try to accomodate you (they did for us at no charge). The staff was very helpful and friendly. Cab rides were cheap. You MUST go to "Healing Hands" and get a massage - it was awesome and super cheap. The food was decent, not great. If you want to book the Japanese restaurant book it as soon as you arrive they get filled up quick! The beach was dirty and the water was brown. But the pools were great. It is cheaper to get a taxi than to pay for the transportation through Cheap Carribean. When you get to the airport keep walking to the cab, don't stop and talk to any of the vendors - they are all vendors... keep walking till you reach outdoors where many taxis will be avail. Also, don't go anywhere hungry it takes a min. of 30 min. to get meals, unless you eat at the buffet style restaurants. Overall, great trip and a good time.
All we wanted is to enjoy our vacation in this beautiful country! The minute we stepped into the hotel they were trying to get us to buy into their "investments", and just would't take no for an answer! So we checked in, our room was not ready, waited about 2 hours. When we went to our room our luggage was not there, the air conditioner was not on, no bottled water. Within 20 minutes 3 different people came with water, there is no communication! We had problems with the air thru out our stay, they did come and look at it and explained about the patio doors were on a sensor and if not closed tight the air would not go on so we were aware of that but the housekeeper was not and when the dehumidifier got full the air went off, had to empty it about 4 times a day. The room smelt of mildew! We had 2 wake up calls that we never received, as a result we were late for 1 of our tours. Our last day of our vacation we were locked out of our room, they had us checking out on Monday instead of Tuesday! In our perspective we find your marketing views are very over whelming to a vacationer, who just wants to be on vacation. Its understandable you'd like to have new investors, but not every one is interested!
US Air was not good. We upgraded to first class expecting to have a meal, but got nothing but free drinks. Not very good at 6:00 am. The resort is wounderful. It did everything to make your stay great. The extra $200 of coupons is worthless. You can only us them as stated and that is not very helpful. Such as $10 for a bottle of $60 dollar wine when you can get good wine by the glass free. The spa coupons are not helpful because the spa is much too expencive. The romantic dinner is not worth it be cause you can get a better bargon with out the coupons. Don't wast your money on the Romantic dinner. It was to be on the beach but because of the weather, even though it didn't rain, it had to be in your room or a resturant. You get free room service or dinners in the resturants, why pay for it. Isahia and Eduardo at the beach swim up bar were great. Very profesional and frendly. They both make a point of remenbering your name. I have read complaints about the venders on the beach, but they were never intrusive. The hotel has made a considerable effort to keep them only on the public beach. The market place and bourdeaux resturants were excepionally clean, The food was excellent as was the service!!
We had a great time, but would not go back. This was our second Secrets resort to visit, and we have also stayed at a Zoetry (in Secrets family), and this was the most disappointing. The highlights of the trip are that the servers were very friendly, the room was beautiful, and the spa is amazing! The most disappointing aspect is that this resort is NOT "adults only" as Secrets claims to be. It is attached to a Now Resort (in the Secrets family), and it is "family friendly". The pools are separate, as are the hotel lobbies. There are three restaurants on the Secrets side that are adults only, and five on the Now side. The restaurants are open on a rotation. Needless to say, you have to go eat on their side and have babies crying and kids running around tables as you try to have a nice dinner, very frequently. Our favorite was the asian restaurant, and it was only open one night during the week we were there. If you don't mind being around children, then you probably would love it. I am a teacher, and love children, but don't care to be around them when on vacation!
We arrived at the opening on April 1'st as couple number 7 and were greeted by the Resident Manager Daniel and the Chief Concierge Jesus. Initially we booked a Junior Suite swim out but opted to upgrade to the Ocean front master suite. Both rooms are very nice but if you want to go all in, then go ahead and treat yourselves by upgrading to the master suite. As in every hotel that had just opened, there were flaws - some minor - some major but I pointed it out to the manager and it was immediately taken care of. The staff are so attentive and eager to accommodate your every need and the facilities at the resort are excellent so I would definitely recommend this to everyone who is looking for a romantic vacation with their spouse. Try the private dinner at the location of your choice or book a couples massage at the spa. Everything is amazing so enjoy!!!
Honestly, I always see pictures of resorts and realize there is no way they will match the pictures in person. This is the best resort I have ever stayed at (including Vegas, Miami, San Diego, and Riviera Maya). It is brand new. The food was absolutely amazing. One definite recommendation, make sure to upgrade to the preferred club - it is not as expensive as you would think and it includes great accommodation (including - members only bar with upgraded liquors, extra jacuzzi tubs or swim out pool, etc.) I never write reviews, I made this profile to specifically write this review. The activities were my favorite part - Huge & Caesar are always out by the pool setting up pool & beach volleyball, water polo, shooting - they are fun and ask everyone if they want to participate but are not pushy in anyway. I honestly do not think you could have a better staff - they were phenomenal all around. I usually never like to visit the same place twice, as I want to try to see as many location as possible however this place will definitely be visited again. I believe we are already booking the trip.
First let me say we have been to four different Secrets properties so we do have something to compare it to. In short:Beach - Not good. Vendors everywhere selling the same stuff and they will not leave you alone. We are beach people and we only stayed on the beach for two hours due to the constant harrasssment of the vendors.In addition the beach is not one you can run on for very long as many places are blocked off. The beach sand is nice but when you venture into the water it's pure rock...everywhere! Plus the water gets very deep fast. The Carribiean water is much better for beach use. Hotel - Very nice as it is new. Rooms are nice like all of the Secrets resorts so you won't be disappointed in the facility with one BIG exception. If you get a room right next to the recycling center and bus storage lot there will be barking dogs and crowing chickens all night...you will move rooms I promise. The higher the room number the closer you are to it. Food - Good not great but you will always find something to eat. Setup is really one big resort that 1 side is adults and 1 side families but you have to share the same resturants. Had a kid dump a tray of food on me and I paid for an all adult vacation. Won't make that mistake again. For the money go to Secets Capri in Playa del Carman. Its great!