We loved the food, the pool and our penthouse suite. It was awesome having our own pool in the room. The staff were unbelievably helpful and flexible (especially regarding my daughter's food). Our only issues were that we missed the beach and that we had a challenging time checking out.
First the good stuff: My husband was very concerned that there were only a few restaurants. However, the menu changes daily and the staff will alter menu items to suit your tastes. For example, my younger daughter only eats very plain food, so we could order her a steak from the grill, regardless of where we were eating. The service was fabulous -- not too fast and not too slow. They're so clever that they do a buffet lunch on Saturday because that's when the most people are coming and going. The cocktails/drinks at the pool came quickly and the staff just seemed to know when you wanted another one. We did tip, but I saw great service being given to everyone.
We loved that we didn't have to pay extra for cabanas. Yes, it meant that we had to catch one around breakfast time, but it also meant that we could give it to someone when we were done, and we got one a few times when someone left for the day. We also liked that there wasn't the chair saving that happens at some resorts. Yes, there were chairs saved, but the people almost always showed up and there were plenty of chairs available.
The room was perfect. The girls had brought homework, and the kitchen island and dining table were great for that. It was really nice having two bathrooms and space that wasn't a bedroom. It meant that we didn't feel on top of one another in the room. Having the penthouse meant that when the adults were tired, we could return to the room and the girls could play in the pool for a bit longer. The girls also had breakfast twice on the rooftop deck.
The beach thing is our own fault. I should have realized that we wouldn't be happy without easy access to the beach. It is super easy to get to the beach using the shuttle service. The waitstaff at the beach club were awesome and incredibly helpful. The beach itself was lovely too. We just missed our morning walks on the beach in our pajamas.
Our other issue was when we checked out. My father-in-law was ill and my husband decided that we had to cut our trip short. (This ended up being for the best as he passed away the day after we returned from our trip.) My husband went to the front desk to explain the situation and see what we needed to do in order to check out early. We weren't trying to get any money back (we bought insurance), we just wanted to ensure that we could check out smoothly. The next day, it took over an hour to check out. We thought we were done and the shuttle driver asked us for a slip of paper we didn't have. When my husband went back to the front desk to ask for it, he was told that he needed to hand in the bracelets (that you wear at all times at the resort) or be charged $50 apiece. He had to go back to the room to get the ones we had left there and get the one I was wearing. This process took another 15 or so minutes. We were already stressed because we had to leave our vacation early, and they seemed to make it as difficult as possible.
With all that, we might return to this resort. We had a fabulous, relaxing time, ate great food and, despite multiple warnings from prior reviews, we found the beds to be very comfortable.
(Beware, however, confusing the two resorts. Marival Residences is a sleepy, upscale resort. Marival Resorts is a loud, boisterous resort with thumping music at the pool and watered-down drinks.)
- 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, a Free Tour 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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- 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