Now Amber Puerto Vallarta Hotel Review
Flight to Somewhere rating:
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta and Secrets Vallarta Bay from the sea
- Absolutely loved the selection of fresh juices on offer at breakfast as well as at least one for lunch and a setup in the pool area during the daytime.
- This is the first all inclusive hotel we've stayed at that also had a cafe - great concept and amazing coffee there as well! Such a brilliant idea!
- Yoga classes 6 days a week with qualified teachers, so a proper class rather than just a bit of fun with the animation team.
- Paddle boards are available for free and trying them out was a lot of fun.
- On arrival, we had to convince the Now Amber/Secrets gate security that we were actually staying in this hotel as his list did not have us in it. Not a debate you want to be having after a long flight and it took a bit of time for him to agree to let us through - not the best first impression.
- I requested a room on a high floor prior to arrival and, while I did get one, nobody bothered to reply to my email, which I thought was quite rude.
- On entering the room, we found our balcony door very obviously broken (there was a gap where it was supposed to be attached to the wall). We fixed it ourselves best we could as didn't want to change rooms, but surely something that obvious should be noticed and flagged by the housekeeping while making the room prior to our arrival?
- We asked for a second duvet at reception - the receptionist called housekeeping, but the second duvet failed to turn up. Luckily the cleaner came when we were in the room, so we asked her directly and then she got it for us.
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta lobby
All rooms in both Secrets and Now Amber face the pool/beach area, so when the wedding entertainment kicks in, you are forced to listen whether you like it or not. On the night we really wanted to go to bed early as we had a tour the following day, we were kept awake until 11pm by music that was so loud that the glass panes in the balcony doors were shaking. I don't think this is acceptable in any hotel, let alone in a hotel that brands itself family-friendly and has a lot of small children staying.
Would I return here? I genuinely don't know at the moment. Yes, overall we had a good holiday and there are plenty of positives to call out, but the negatives are too prominent to ignore.
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I stayed in Now Amber Puerto Vallarta for two weeks in March-April 2017. It has taken me a while to leave a review for this hotel because I am so torn up about how to rate it. Some aspects of it were brilliant, but other aspects really let it down in my eyes, so I feel like 4 stars is perhaps too much and 3 stars too little. So the rating probably sits in-between the two.
I'll start with the positives:
- The location of Now Amber is perfect, right in-between the maritime terminal (where a lot of the boat tours depart from) and the Malecon, so that both are within walking distance (about 30 minutes).
- The views are amazing - I asked for a room on a high floor and watching sunsets from the balcony was a fantastic experience.
- The food was great in all the restaurants and due to the number of restaurants available for dinner (4 a la carte plus buffet), we didn't get bored of the choice even after two weeks. I would also like to specifically mention the waiters Puc in the buffet restaurant and Hector in Tamarindo, who were extremely nice.
- All inclusive meant all inclusive - no restaurants at extra cost, you could go to any restaurant however many times you wanted, no towel deposits.
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta view from the room
- Speaking of housekeeping at Now Amber, there was no consistency with times - sometimes the room would be clean by lunch, but most times they didn't get around to doing it until late afternoon, which we found very inconvenient. Yes, I know you could request a specific time from the reception, but I have never had to do it in other hotels - provided you are not in the room, it gets cleaned by lunch.
- The beach is not the best - small, a lot of space taken up by the vendors, some of whom also walk between the loungers offering their goods. The beach is sandy, but as you walk into the sea, it's all pebbles, which are not only painful to walk on but also get thrown against your feet by the large and strong waves.
- Finally, the thing that irked me most was the weddings. The hotel has essentially no space for weddings, but markets itself heavily as a wedding destination, and quite successfully - there was a wedding on either Secrets or Now Amber side pretty much every day during our two-week stay. The weddings take place in the pool or beach area, meaning the loungers, which are already in short supply, are cleared to make space - not fair to non-wedding guests who just want to stay by the pool. But what I thought was even worse is the music.
Food in Tamarindo restaurant, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta room
Now Amber Puerto Vallarta bathroom
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