Trip was November 2 to 9, 2013. We stayed at the Marival Resort and Suites
We flew in on a Saturday, and the line to get through customs was over 2 hours. There were 3 or 4 customs agents checking people through at a time, and probably 10 to 15 unopened booths which was very frustrating.
On the other hand, getting from the airport to our hotel via taxi only cost 45 dollars plus a tip, which was less than expected based on other reviews and we did not need to walk across the pedestrian bridge to get a good price. It would have been nice had the Marival had a complementary shuttle service to and from the airport, given we paid for the all-inclusive.
We were a group of 3 adults, a teen, a 5 year old and a 3 year old. The check in process was fine, we were given fun fruity drinks and some maps. It would have been helpful to know that we had to make reservations for the restaurants in a different building, as this was confusing. It would have been more convenient to have the concierge, reservations, and check-in all in one building. As it was, I had to go back and forth between the two several times because I was not informed of the process of making reservations initially.
1. The kid's pool is really great with fun water slides, and the depth shallow throughout.
2. The proximity to the beach and ocean is amazing, and there are conveniently located showers at every entrance.
3. Every pool had a kid-friendly area, either a shallow end or a separate kid's pool.
4. Many available chairs on both the beach and at all the pools.
5. The swim-up bars were great and once we figured out how to order better drinks (double tequila!), the quality improved.
6. The staff is very friendly, making eye contact and saying “hola, que tal?”
7. The staff is very on top of clean up and making everything presentable, including removing empty drink cups, and sweeping water off the pathways after a rain. At one point I saw housekeeping wiping down the walls of a common walk way.
8. Our room was spacious (two master bedrooms with king beds, three bathrooms and a small sink/microwave/refrigerator area, a table with 4 chairs, couch and two balconies). The housekeeping staff kept it very clean, mopping the floors daily and calling if we had put the “no cleaning” sign up asking if we needed more towels or water.
9. Jose at La Pergola was amazing, and went as far as to make flowers out of napkins for our kids and a grasshopper out of a palm frond! When the little one fell asleep, he brought out a table cloth for her to cover with.
10. The spinning and Pilates classes were good, and the instructor was nice
11. My husband played ping-pong with all the lifeguards, and they were all super welcoming and he had a great time. Jay and Chelis were especially friendly.
1. The food was mediocre, although the reservation restaurants were much better, we could only eat at them three times during our stay (although if you make friends with a waiter they let you know you can come back for any dinner, just ask for that waiter and give them a tip!)
2. The second room (for my sister and niece) smelled like cigarette smoke.
3. This is a resort that allows smoking in any area, even the kid pools.
4. The Kid's Club is very small, and kind of run-down and dank-feeling. The large TV is constantly on and blaring. There were a few fun painting and “Iron Chef” activities that our kids enjoyed, but we did have to be there with them since the age range is 4 to 12, and we have a 3 year old.
5. The “Activities Pool” had music constantly blaring, and when there were announcements it was so distorted (and in Spanish) that we had no idea what was said. It was also right next to the kid's pool which was annoying.
6. Showers did not have an adjustable shower head, which was only a minor annoyance.
7. The “free” bus tour to Puerta Vallarta is not recommended if you have young children. We were told this would be a 3.5 hour trip, and ended up at 8.5 hours. In retrospect, I would have taken the bus into the city, gotten off at the boardwalk and gotten a taxi back. As it was, we had a very brief look at the boardwalk (the one thing everyone kept telling us we HAD to see), and about 30 minutes at the flea market for shopping, a few minutes at the Catholic church, and then drove to a “fancy” jewelry store for “margaritas and better shopping” which ended up being a VERY expensive store with the cheapest tequila mixed with Squirt. Then we drove up to the mountains for an expensive dinner, although we did not have to eat, we were hungry and had to spend about 1 hour there before the bus left. After this we went to a Tequila distillery which was fine for adults, but my kids were hot and miserable by this point. We barely made it back in time for our 6pm dinner reservation, after leaving at 9:30 am.
8. We had to pay for a key for the room safe.
9. Wi-fi was 18 US dollars PER DAY.
10. The mini-golf course is pretty pathetic and poorly maintained with only a few run-down greens and holes, no fun obstacles or decoration.
11. The beds were hard, but there are mattress toppers available upon request for no charge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Something Different, Something Better! Welcome to a unique lively beachfront all-inclusive just 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta airport! Comfortable rooms, special locations- new Mediterranean style Resort Rooms and exceptional 1-3 Bedroom Villa Style Suites starting at 570 sq ft up to 1261 sq ft including Ocean Front. One to Three Bedroom Suites are perfect for families or couples that want to spread out including two story 2 Bedroom Suites and Ocean Front steps from the sea! Romantics and families enjoy endless choices in dining, activities, laying back and relaxing. International all-inclusive dining redefined, award winning chefs offer gourmet dining at 6 restaurants. Treat yourself to 7 bars including swim-up, piano and martini bars. Endless land and water sports- rock climbing wall, activity pool, adults only pool, tennis, disco, evening theater shows, mini-golf and more! Kids waterpark pool, pirate ship, waterslides and fountains. Special kids and teens club programs too. For couples- renew your vows, get married or honeymoon on the beach. For families- the ultimate all-inclusive Family Emotion program with over 10 included extras customized just for your family! Enjoy sea, sun and nonstop fun at Marival Resort and Suites. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Marival Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
- Marival Resort And Suites