Just got back from a nice stay at the Residences and World Spa with a friend for 7 days. First let me tell you what this hotel is not. If you are looking for a place to party, have access to a beach right at the resort, have organized pool games on a regular basis, or have daily live entertainment and shows on site...this is not the resort....but you can have all that by getting on the shuttle that leaves about every 15 minutes at the front of the hotel to the sister resort 3 minutes away.
If you are looking for a hotel where you can hang by the pool and relax and read quietly, have some very good food, enjoy the clean kept, very nice rooms, and the excellent service overall, and have a relaxing get away then this ones for you. The top three things to like about this hotel is the food, the rooms/hotel, and the staff/service.
I traveled with a friend and we got to the hotel in the afternoon after getting to the airport from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. On arrival we were taken straight away to the wine bar(Brunello) for a drink as we were being checked into our room. We met with a representative who gave us details on the hotel though as we talked it appeared the conversation turned to a time share. Though he said it was not one, he said if we paid 20$US to sit through a presentation he could get us a sweet deal on a second excursion through the hotel.(You get one free excursion during your stay)... (TIP: The hotel offers ground transportation to and from the airport I was told for 25$US..you need to contact them through email for this.. I wish I knew this as I booked through expedia and used grey line for 37$ US per person) We never took up the 20$ offer by the rep so not sure if it was a good thing.
The rooms are very, very nice, and they all come with a kitchen area with a fridge, stove, sink, and washer/ dryer (tip: bring detergent). The beds are hard as you will see in other reviews but you can ask for a topper. The rooms have individual remotes for air conditioning in each room. Initially our fridge had no bottled water nor beer and it took two requests to get some. When it finally arrived we had enough to last our vacation twice over. We stayed in room 309 as an end unit. There were two TV's, two separate washrooms/shower areas in a one bedroom unit. We made use of the pull out sofa as an extra bed. I can't see why anyone would use the room kitchen ever because its an all inclusive and the food is so good.(TIP: try to get an ocean facing room level 5th or 6th floor as you probably will get a nice sunset view). Our room was quiet. The hotel I was told was at 60% capacity and I was told that was typical except between xmas and New Year when it is busy. The hotel was established in 2010. Many of the travelers I met had been there multiple times(It was my first visit).
The restaurants in which we used were Omaggio for breakfasts and some dinners, Lemongrass for lunch and some dinners, and Insu which is the roof top bar/patio/ with a great sunset view, for their smaller portions/appys. The wine bar Brunello was very quiet, but had nice conversation with Angel and Reuben who work there. they had many tips for us and our trip. (TIP: Go to the Insu infinity pool between 12 and 6pm for that's only when you can go into the water and have a drink and makes for a great photo op.) The two main restaurants , Ommagio and Lemongrass are beside the pool. Lemongrass is only open air and Omaggio is inside the hotel with a outdoor patio. Dinners can be had over candlelight. The dress code is "casual elegant" but as a guy you can wear shorts a polo shirt, sandals or even runners and get served. Your host at Lemongrass is Elias, and he was the most professional of all staff I came across while there. They often have special theme nights at their restaurants. The pools are nice and the grounds well kept. There is a spa that I did not use. They have one tennis court you can use and it looks in good shape. The gym is in a separate building with the spa. You can use it for free. I don't think very many people knew they had one as it was quiet. They have 4 treadmills, 2 bikes, elipticals, machine weights and some free weights. The equipment was life fitness and it was in good shape.
They have a VIP area roped off at the beach at the sister resort where you take the shuttle. You can get served drinks there , order some food, relax, and all the activities you may want like para-sailing, jet skiing, etc., are available from vendors for a fee.
As part of your stay you can pick one free excursion from about 6 offered. We chose the Yelapa and Majahuitas day trip through Vallarta Adventures. We also paid to do the Marieta Eco Discovery tour through them. Both trips were mediocre at best. They use Catamarran like boats that are two levels and they try to cram 150 people on them making it somewhat impersonal. I much more enjoyed the day excursions on the Cancun side of Mexico that were small and personable. The city of Puerto Vallarta tour was free for us through expedia. It was informative but if you buy anything at any of the stops things are expensive including the lunch you have to pay for ( 19$ US). On the Marietas tour while snorkelling I was bit by a jellyfish on my elbow and was in pain for 5 hours. If I were to go back I would look into the Rhythms of the night tour or the Outdoor Adventure tour through Vallarta Adventures.
TIP: for a day trip pay the 11$ one way cab fair and go visit the town of Buccerias. Have the taxi let you off at the flea market/beach area and restaurants. Go barter there at the flea market, we purchased many things here. For Canadians in particular there is and open area across from the hockey themed, thatched restaurant called Miguel Angel's (also highly rated in trip advisor) Relax, have a drink, some food, and a road hockey game with someone wearing a Calgary Flames Jersey might just break out in front of you. TIP: On your way back have the cabbie stop at a store called "betos" to get your tequila. Or., they also sell it at Walmart and Mega stores there. Buccerias was a wonderful side trip. If you want you can walk along the beach to get there(from the hotel). It would take about an hour so go in the morning before it gets hot. At Miguel Angel's you will see signed hockey jerseys and pictures, and often a musician playing music. We went on a Saturday afternoon. Miguel is friendly, likeable and sociable. The beach at Buccerias is nice with restaurants and there were two young Mexican girls offering massages for 350 pesos for one hour.
Was our stay at Marival perfect?? No... after reading all the reviews about the great food we were initially disappointed on our first dinner at the Omaggio. It was prime rib night which we ordered. It just was not very good. I am from Alberta and used to Alberta beef and keg steak. We made a comment about the poor quality on the comment card you fill after eating. To my surprise the very next day, after we returned from our day trip, We had a full bottle of red wine and a cheese platter waiting for us in our room. And an apology letter for the food we were not happy with. That was a class act by the hotel for us. Thereafter, we tended to steer away from the beef and the food was always excellent and they take pride in that. We also noted that fellow travellers did have to wait up to an hour for the shuttle bus to return from the VIP beach (they say every 15 minutes). And we also noticed that the VIP beach service was not that good if you go to the beach after 4pm.
But all in all we had a wonderful time and I would go back in a heartbeat, but next time with someone new for a romantic vacation with a female.... my endless search continues....any questions feel free to ask. Hope this review was helpful. Will try to answer your questions. Cheers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Something Different, Something Better! Beyond rooms or suites… the only luxury all-inclusive resort featuring modern Residences and Villas- so spacious from 1400 to 3940 sq ft! TripAdvisor Awards in Best Luxury, Best Family and Excellence. Award winning chefs offer a la carte international gourmet dining. Guests enjoy free tours, unlimited golf, VIP full service beach club and 5 star service, plus exchange privileges at sister hotel Marival Resort and Suites. Experience Melange World Spa with unique treatment rooms from 9 countries around the world. Special Kids and Teens programs too. Spacious all-inclusive Residences for couples and families are in the perfect locations. Demi-Pool Residences feature a “walk out” full service garden patio and secluded infinity pool. Ocean View Residences surround you with breathtaking views of the Pacific from sunrise to sunset. Rooftop Penthouses have private rooftop plunge pool and sundeck. For couples- renew your vows or get married for FREE with our FREE Wedding package! For families- the ultimate all-inclusive Family Emotion program with over 10 included extras customized just for your family! High-end Residences, indulgent services…nothing compares! Marival Residences Luxury Resort® is a 4 Diamond Award winner. A World Apart in a Class by Itself! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Marival Vallarta
- Marival Club
- Grand Marival Nuevo Vallarta
- Marival Nuevo Vallarta
- Grand Marival Mexico
- Nuevo Vallarta Marival
- Marival Grand Club Suites Nuevo Vallarta
- Marival Grand Hotel
- Marival Vacation Club
- Club Marival Mexico