Diary of a Travel Agent: The Dreams and Secrets Bahia Mita Experience
November 03, 2021
Having just travelled to Puerto Vallarta for the first time in almost 2 years, I was very excited and nervous to see what the experience would be like. Would Mexico still be the same? My answer is a resounding YES! Mexico is still the same destination you know and love. I have included some points on what the resort experience is currently like.
The resort experience:
- Masks were required indoors. For example, masks were needed while checking in, when ordering coffee at the coffee shop, while waiting to be seated at a restaurant, or in the gift shops.
- Masks were not required outdoors, and since all the main area, several dining areas and hallways are open air, we were not required to wear masks too often while at the resort.
- When we checked in at Dreams Bahia Mita, the front desk person advised us what time our PCR test was scheduled for. Dreams has a doctor at the hotel every day starting at 7:30am and they would conduct the PCR and Antigen tests there (depending on your home country's requirements). If you need the PCR test, you would have the test done (they need your passport to make sure the information on your PCR certificate matches your passport info). They emailed us the test results about 48 hours later. Make sure you can access your email and ensure you print your email address legibly on the PCR test form so there are no delays in getting the results. Once we had the results emailed, I took a screen shot so it would be readily available.
- The staff were exceptionally friendly and very happy to be back at work. The hotels are currently operating at up to 70% occupancy in Puerto Vallarta.
- One of the concerns for Canadians has been “what happens if I test positive for Covid while at the resort”. Most resorts are offering complimentary or very inexpensive quarantine accommodations, if it becomes necessary (please check your hotel website or with your travel advisor to confirm for your specific hotel). There are also Covid and quarantine insurance Travel Advisors can offer through Manulife. However, my mind was very much put to ease when I asked the manager of Secrets/Dreams Bahia Mita how many guests had tested positive since they opened in July. The answer was 2. It is a very large hotel, so even at 70% occupancy, this was a very low number. The odds are very much in the travellers favour in this regard.
- The restaurants were operating normally for a la cartes. The Buffet was slightly changed where all hot items were behind glass and you let an attendant know which items you wanted and they dished them up and handed you the plate. It worked very well.
- AMR Collection resorts (Dreams/Secrets/Zoetry/Sunscape) has an amazing Clean Complete program and the resort was spotless. There was constant cleaning of public areas and bathrooms. I was very impressed with the cleanliness and protocols in place. All staff were wearing masks at all times.
My quick thoughts on the Secrets and Dreams Bahia Mita as a new resort would be:
- It is a brand new hotel, still undergoing a few last minute finishing touch ups.
- It is very modern and clean.
- The hotel rooms are beautiful and large.
- There are many unique event spaces with gorgeous views and outdoor areas. There was a swimup pool/bar that is beachfront on the Secrets side that was hopping and seemed very entertaining.
- On the family side the kids club was very quiet – not many kids, but a beautiful area with a playground, indoor areas and a splashpark/waterslide area.
- The spa at this hotel is the biggest one in Puerto Vallarta. I had a massage and it was incredible. They also have a really nice hydrotherapy area with steam rooms/saunas, hydrotherapy pools, hot stone beds, etc – the hydrotherapy circuit takes about an hour.
- The service was excellent – the drink service by the pools was quick, staff members would speak to you as they passed and do their best to help with anything you needed.
- The restaurants were plentiful and the food was marvelous. I love that with AMR resorts, you don’t need to make reservations at any of the restaurants and they have 24-hour room service. The room service order I made one night came within 30 minutes, which is relatively quick for room service and the food was hot and delicious.
- As with all AMR resorts, the WIFI was included.
- The downside for me was the beach. It was small and a bit rocky with rougher water. This area is known for surfing and they offer surf lessons at the resort. If you are a pool person, or looking to surf – this smaller beach won’t be a concern.
- The hotel is quite remote, and 1 – ½ hours from downtown/Malecon area and 45 minutes from the airport. However, it is close to Punta de Mita and Sayulita – two charming Mexican towns. I personally really liked the area and proximity to some different towns, but if you want to be closer to old town or the Malecon or if you want a nicer/longer beach, then the Secrets/Dreams Vallarta Bay would be a better selection.
- I think this hotel would be great for events/weddings/incentive or business groups due to the wonderful event spaces.
I've always loved Mexico and this quick trip to Puerto Vallarta was like putting on my favourite sweatshirt. Comfortable, familiar, happy and safe feeling. It felt like coming home and I can’t wait to return to Mexico again. I have no reservations after my recent experience.