Resort Review for Secrets, Puerto Vallarta
Secrets Puerto Vallarta Review | www.travxp.com
Content by Maria Hashim (Edited by Alyne Tamir)
Review of Secrets Puerto Vallarta:
Despite some downsides, this is the best resort we’ve been to in Puerto Vallarta. As are all Secret’s Resort’s, Secrets Puerto Vallarta is adults only, which is great for a relaxing adult vacation. Located on the other side of the resort is an Amber Resort, which is more family oriented than Secrets Puerto Vallarta. This review is specific to our stay on the Secret’s side. We arrived November 27, 2015 and stayed for 2 weeks. It was my husband and I, taking a couples vacation in Mexico.
>>>Arriving at Secrets Puerto Vallarta
The resort was a short cab ride from the airport. I didn’t know what to expect from the Secrets Puerto Vallarta resort, as it was my first time ever staying there. As a relatively well traveled person, it’s always interesting for me to see new hotels and resorts, and to compare them to my other experiences. I generally prefer seaside locations with diving options, and enjoy integrating diving into my trips. We chose this hotel because we thought it would be as good as the Secrets Maroma Beach in Cancun, and also for the location not too far from town. They had quite a few bell boys, upwards of 10, and many concierge staff members, along with the usual check in front desk personnel. We were given a receipt by the bell boys for our two suitcases, and we were directed to sit in the lounge as the front desk personnel was busy with other clients. We received a refreshing tropical drink and some champagne as a welcome gesture.
>>>Check in Process at Secrets Puerto Vallarta
But then…15 minutes passed and we weren’t acknowledged . Then another 10 minutes. I began to wonder if they had completely forgotten about us. Either way, a 30 minute wait without acknowledgment is really not cool. I finally had to get up myself to get the attention of a front desk attendant. After our check in, and prior to going up to our suite, we were greeted by an employee named Mary who was gracious and helpful. She gave us a nice welcoming (glad it happened eventually) and informed us of the dinner schedule for the evening. She also provided us with some discounted coupons for use at the Secrets Spa by Pevonia. Eventually we were checked into our Junior suite, which was situated on the 11th floor. The accommodations were actually very nice, and we were pleased to note we had an ocean view. The azure colors of the ocean really are beautiful, and it’s so nice to be so close to nature to relax.
Gorgeous view of the beach and pool
>>>Poolside snacks at Secrets Puerto Vallarta
We decided head on over to check out the snack bar by the pool and grab a bite to eat. The snack bar had the usual resort fare of hamburgers and hot dogs. They cook the hamburgers ahead of time so that they’re ready when it gets busy, which might be a good idea, except it sacrifices taste and freshness. I suggest asking the cook at the grill to prepare one fresh for you. The french fries were good, and one day they surprised us with skewers that were actually very tasty. After sampling the snack bar, we returned to our rooms… and our suitcases hadn’t been brought up. It took two phone calls to the front desk to finally have our suitcases delivered, 3 hours after check in. This was in stark contrast to the perfect service we received during our last vacation at the Secrets Maroma Beach resort.
>>>Meals and Dining at Secrets Puerto Vallarta
We took most of our meals at the Market Café. The morning breakfast set high expectations, as we really enjoyed our breakfast. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there, and our days ended with mediocre dinners. Not only was there not enough variety on the buffet, but the sad attempt at themed dinners disappointed as well . The saving grace was the grill, where we enjoyed most of our main courses, which included fare like grilled steaks and chicken. I should mention that I’m a bit particular with my food choices. I’m not a big fan of lamb, duck or overcooked meat dishes in general. I’m also allergic to shellfish, and so my meal choices were considerably limited. They also have a French restaurant, a Seafood restaurant, a Teppanyaki table, a Mexican, and an Oriental restaurant. As for the specialty restaurants at the Secrets Resort, we decided not to bother, (except for the Italian restaurant Capers). The menus are identical to those at the other Secrets location that I visited a year ago. which isn’t very exciting and seems a bit generic. It was also a letdown because I didn’t like the choices at the first location sooo coming to a NEW locations and finding the exact same menu was disappointing. They don’t change the menus seasonally either, it’s the same on each every day at every restaurant. There was really nothing remarkable about the Italian restaurant. The portion for the meat lasagna was minimal, and you don’t get the same waiter through the night which reflects on the disorganized nature of the dinner service.
>>>Amenities at Secrets Puerto Vallarta
One major irritant on our trip was that two of the resort elevators didn’t work for the entirety of our two week vacation. It was very frustrating to constantly have to wait for the elevator, and to have to share it with bellboys, their suitcases, maids, and their carts. Management should have been able to get a technician to have it fixed promptly. It just wasn’t professional, or acceptable for a resort of this calibre to leave such a major part of the hotel out of comission for so long. It makes us wonder what else they might neglect next time we come.
Let’s touch on the other resort amenities. The pool and beach areas were very well kept and maintained. The dive shop staff proved to be attentive and efficient. Room service was good. The waiters in general were attentive and tried their best to meet our demands. The maids did an excellent job . One of them even surprised us by filling the spa one afternoon and surrounding the tub with flower petals. It was a lovely surprise!
The night shows were an enjoyable highlight, especially the light pool show which integrated unbelievable lights and sounds for a fully integrated experience. The night bar service was on point, and bartenders were polite and friendly to the guests. We really enjoyed this part of the resort experience.
Over all, the Secrets Puerto Vallarta proved to be a nice experience, just be aware that not all the details will be squared away and streamlined like they might be at other resorts. I can’t currently recommend an alternative hotel option in Puerto Vallarta,because even with the flaws that I mentioned, Secrets is actually a pretty nice resort and I would recommend it to clients over any other resort in the area.
>>>Thoughts on other hotels we’ve stayed at in Puerto Vallarta:
La joya de Mismaloya: Stayed there at least twice. Owned now by Barcelona chain. Located in a very nice beach cove. Food was average. 4 stars on Tripadvisor.
Samba Vallarta: Located on Riviera Nayarit (north of town). This is a budget, all inclusive hotel. The beach was nice, but there were tons of kids everywhere. The suite was moldy, and we couldn’t use the closet. My conclusion is that I would NOT go back. 4 stars on Tripadvisor.
This post by Travel Experts consultant, Maria Hashim.