I had read through almost all of the reviews of the Residences but still didn't have a great feel for the place upon arrival so the purpose of this review is to give a bullet point outline of the key aspects of this resort. The reader should bear in mind I have 3 little kids (ages 6, 4, 3) and I also traveled with a group of 22 total for a family reunion. We traveled Nov 11-17th, 2012.
Consists of 1 main pool, 1 kids pool with rooms surrounding this
4 main restaurants
Not huge but it felt reasonably empty even though they said they were at full capacity which was a plus for me
Nice points include free unlimited towels (no towel cards or anything like that)
Also almost everyone felt the pool water temp was just about perfect
Access to the sister resort
As most have noted they are huge, we had a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, tons of space
Rooms are very nice, we had 3 plasma TV's, AC, washer/dryer, etc
The beds are hard but with a bed topper (must request this) they are very nice
You likely need a 3rd floor or above room to have a decent view of the ocean from the room
All rooms are pretty centralized since the resort isn't huge
I was a little disappointed in the food given the rave reviews, I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. I would say it was quite good for an all inclusive place, but not as good as most cruise lines which I would give 5 stars.
If I had to rank the restaurants I would go in this order:
Lemon Grass/Steak House
You can get food from most restaurants even if you are at another restaurant if you ask for it
We loved eating outdoors (all but Omiaggo)
Portions are pretty small, especially the sides but that isn't necessarily bad since you can order as much as you want of anything
Favorite foods included the wings, rings, calamari, steak, churrios, fajitas, fish and chips
Food that was poor included the burgers (looked good but odd after taste) and salmon
Super sandy and soft - no shells (sucks for collectors but great for walking on - tons of living sand dollars however which live an inch beneath the sand in the low water)
Very gentle slope, nice for kids/older adults
Medium roughness - even when calm you will get some waves but the gentle slope lets you determine what size waves you want to fight
Very easy golf cart ride to the beach, never waited for more than 5 min even with a group of 10+ wanting to go at the same time
Ocean water temp was great, could stay in for an hour without shivering
Tipping is expected
General trend is to not tip much when just getting drinks (you don't get a bill)
Tip when food comes (you get a bill with each meal)
I didn't tip American percentages as if I was at a restaurant (ie 20% at all meals), instead it was like $5-10 for breakfast and lunch and ~$20 at dinner and the staff seemed genuinely pleased with that, that amount would be lower than the 20%
You don't need to carry around cash, you can put your tip on the room for everything so you just say to somebody "put 3 USD on my room for this" and you are good to go.
This of course will vary but was great for us.
High 80's/low 90's for highs, 70's at night, never rained, not very windy
No bugs of any sort except a few bees at one outdoor restaurant next to the bar
Spa was very nice, a bit pricey but high quality
Sea lion tour (included) was very good
Las Caletas (additional tour not included) good but a bit pricey
We went fishing - lots of people got sea sick, it gets pretty rough even if it seems calm from the shore.
The other resort is much bigger. If you have kids you'll definitely want to go to it as it has 5 pools for all ages including water slides, a little pool for those learning to swim, plus some big adult pools for games, etc. Food is just so-so at the other resort so if was just my wife and I we would have stayed at the Residences (except for going to the beach) but with kids and the whole family we spent a lot of time at the other resort
We lost our stroller and a swim bag and both were turned into the lost and found and then returned to us, very nice
Resort is a reasonably short bus/taxi ride from the airport, nice after a long day of travel
If you travel with 22 people there will be some issues. These included:
One family's reservation got mixed up and they were sent to the sister resort, not the Residences. Initially we thought it was their fault but then looking at emails it was clear it was the fault of the travel agent or some other hotel rep, that was a big screw up. But do make sure to book the right place.
One room the AC didn't seem to work well
A free tour got cancelled at the last minute so only half of the group went
I wanted a DVD player for my kids to watch movies, took 5 separate requests and 48 hours to get.
In general it seemed like all of the staff, including upper management, was very friendly and helpful but it seemed like there was some management issues and certain areas didn't communicate well with other areas.
All staff was helpful but some had more troubles with understanding English than others so it was common to get the wrong drink or wrong appetizer, not a huge deal but worth mentioning.
Americans tend to chat for a while once they sit down and then they order, I would suggest ordering sooner rather than later since the wait time for food being served can be on the long side (especially if you have kids that are tired).
In general this was an excellent, beautiful resort and I would certainly go back. Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas were beautiful (scenery wise) and we stayed in the main areas and had no security/safety concerns whatsoever.
- Also Known As:
- Marival Resort
- Marival Vallarta
- Grand Marival
- Marival Club
- Marival Resort Suites Nuevo Vallarta
- Marival Grand Club Suites
- Grand Marival Nuevo Vallarta
- Marival Grand & Club Suites
- Marival Nuevo Vallarta
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- "There is nothing like the luxurious four diamond all inclusive Marival Residences & World Spa", WINNER OF THE 2012 TRAVELER'S CHOICE AWARDS #1 ALL INCLUSIVE RESORT! Unmatched accommodations, a food and beverage experience in a class by itself, six of the area's most popular excursions and unlimited free golf at PGA courses are all included!Located in Riviera Nayarit's Nuevo Vallarta, this is the 1st all-inclusive resort to offer luxurious one to four bedroom Residences -- perfect for couples and families alike -- actual homes-away-from-home, spacious and inviting -- 1400 sq ft is the smallest! The all inclusive package is "seriously all inclusive" -- gourmet dining indoors and out, 24/7 room service, international wine bar, rooftop sky lounge and tapas restaurant, a Private full service VIP Beach Club, UNLIMITED rounds of golf at signature champoinship courses. Tour Time- Take One Free! Catamaran Sailing, Sea Lions, Zip Lining, Pueblos, Pub Crawl or City tours… PLUS, additional select tours like Dolphin Encounters from only $30..Romance is always in the air here, and free weddings and special honeymoon bonuses make it a perfect place to celebrate love. Families get the best of all worlds with separate bedrooms for the kids, a full activities program and even free nannies! Top all this off with the unique "world spa" featuring nine different therapy rooms and special treatments from around the world and it's easy to see why this resort is rated the #1 All Inclusive experience.Marival Residences & World Spa -- A world apart, in a class by itself! ... more less
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