Ground-level Preferred Club suites feature semi-private pools // © 2012 AMResorts
Coming up the small, yet steep, hill to the entrance, guests will know that they have arrived somewhere special. The staff is excited, eager to please and proud. They should be. After many years, Puerto Vallarta has not one, but two new large luxury hotels. AMResorts, founded in 2001, has added to its repertoire of Puerto Vallarta properties with the $175 million resort complex of Secrets Vallarta Bay Puerto Vallarta and Now Amber Puerto Vallarta. Located in the hotel zone’s Playa Las Glorias Beach on Banderas Bay, the sister hotels are a 20-minute walk from the malecon (boardwalk) and a 20-minute drive from the airport. They’re slick, sleek and intimate, with more than 600 guestrooms between the two of them. Offering a bevy of secluded nooks and crannies, guests feel like they are in a boutique property — one with a myriad of options for dining, drinking and recreation.
AMResorts is the sales, marketing and management service provider to the resort brands of Zoetry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Secrets, Dreams and Now Resorts & Spas. Guests can immerse themselves in the company’s Unlimited-Luxury, all-inclusive program, in which everything is included, such as elegantly appointed suites with 24-hour room and concierge services; multiple restaurants and lounges serving gourmet food and premium beverages; day and evening activities; full-service spas; and more. Since this is the first major new hotel construction in years, the opening of the two properties was much heralded in Puerto Vallarta, the Mexico tourism world and in the travel industry in general.
AMResorts already had properties in the Vallarta area, and Eric Freudenthaler, AMResorts’ regional director of operations, Mexico Pacific, explained that clients had been asking for more destinations for Secrets and Now properties, in particular in Puerto Vallarta.
“The rationale behind opening the properties was simple,” said Freudenthaler. “Our Secrets Resorts & Spas properties in Cancun and Playa del Carmen were having great success, and we were looking to grow into different destinations. Puerto Vallarta was one of these destinations. This project was a little too big for a Secrets alone, so we decided to go for the two markets, also bringing Now Resorts & Spas to the destination. Our strategy was to complement each other to meet the needs of different events and groups, such as weddings and business functions, and families that would have an alternative that was close to the host resort.”
For those seeking exclusivity, the resorts’ Preferred Clubs, which are separate towers with 71 suites, offer personal service and amenities, including terrace Jacuzzi tubs, an upgraded minibar and bath toiletries, daily continental breakfast, afternoon hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, desserts and premium liquors in the Preferred Club Lounge, private check-in and checkout, a 24-hour private concierge and more.
Both properties’ designs are modern contemporary, with large interiors. Now Amber’s 327 suites’ interiors are designed in golds, browns and orange tones. Bathrooms open into the bedrooms, while some rooms lead out onto swim-out pools or large decks. Secrets’ 271 room interiors are based on wine colors, with an intimate, romantic feel. Bathrooms open onto the bedrooms, with all ground-floor rooms offering swim-out pools and upper rooms featuring large decks.
Both properties offer mostly oceanview rooms with king-size or double beds, daily refreshed minibar service, turndown service, DVD players, full baths with showers and Jacuzzi tubs, flat-screen televisions, iPod docking stations, Wi-Fi access and more. The properties share an infinity swimming pool and Jacuzzi, and all guests can take part in the activities and entertainment. However, children are not permitted in bars, the spa, the adults-only pool and the adults-only restaurants. The two properties have a shopping concourse which is a shared area between the properties where more dining options, shops, the gymnasium, spa and meeting facilities are located, but have different lobbies and reception desks.
Now Amber’s five restaurants include the Carnival international buffet, and four a la carte options, as well as a coffee, tea and pastry cafe. Specialty restaurants include Italian, Mexican and Pan-Asian. Five bars and lounges are spread throughout the properties. At Secrets, there are also gourmet seafood and French restaurants. Secrets and Now are no-wristband properties, with no restrictions on how many times guests can eat in specialty restaurants — one of the many ways that AMResorts is indulging vacationers in Puerto Vallarta.