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“I was skeptic...”

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Marival Residences Luxury Resort
Ranked #2 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Calgary. AB
Level Contributor
32 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
“I was skeptic...”
Reviewed December 11, 2011

After reading all the positive reviews here, I was skeptic. Thinking that perhaps it was all over-hyped or even fake. In the end, while not perfect, I couldn't help but think it is one of the best all-inclusives out there.

I'll try to cover my overall experience.

- At arrival, they ask you to leave your luggage with the staff at the entrance. It is not the nicest feeling to see rows of luggage and leave yours behind. I only learned to trust the entrance staff after a few days, but I felt it was sketchy at first.

- After the greeting, you are taken to Brunello (the hotel's "sports" bar). I must warn you that this unusual way to do a check in (skipping the front desk altogether) is not for the impatient. They offer you a drink (order anything, don't be shy!) and they bring you documents to read and sign. But not all the same time - you read the policies, you sign. Then you wait. Then you get a bracelet (very nice one, not the plastic kind). Then you wait. I recommend to enjoy the experience and remember you are not in a rush anymore. You must pay for the stay in full at the beginning. Remember you will be charged in Mexican pesos. For incidentals, you must visit the front desk and sign an open voucher. I recommend you ask for this to be done at check in - it will save you time in the future.

- After check in, a staff member takes you to the main area. They explain how the hotel is laid out. Then you are taken to your room in a golf cart (this is where the luggage comes back to you!)

- The rooms not only look exactly as they do on the website. They are nicer. We stayed at a one bedroom: Massive washroom in the main bedroom, living room, two TV's, dining room, second washroom. One of the nicest I've stayed at. One of those rooms you wish you could stay at for longer, as big as an apartment. I thought I would try at least for one night to see how hard the king size bed was. Veredict: as hard as sleeping on the floor. The mattress cover solves this problem very well. If you have someone staying in the sofa bed in the living room, they also have a cover for the bed here. The living room lets all the sunshine in the morning, in case you think it might bother you - I slept there a couple of nights, and I thought it was nice to see the sun shining, no clouds and amazing weather. Take advantage of the pillow menu! we found out a lot of guests didn't know they had one.

- Compared to other all-inclusives you might be surprised at first to realize the property is quite small. The main patio has a large pool. Two infinity pools are on the side (by the way, they are for anyone to use, not only for those whose rooms are right outside), and a small quiet pool on the west side. There is no bar right at the pool. However (and this applies for the whole property) they are over staffed. You don't need to blink before someone already has the drink ready for you. They are fast, polite and really friendly - they really deserve those tips. The overall mood is quiet - this is not a party place at all. Only a couple of kids around (I notice they have activities for them).
Just by the pool it is one of the restaurants - Lemmon Grass. During the day, they serve mostly snacks (quesadillas, sandwiches, burgers, etc.) and have full dinner service at night. It is very nice to know reservations are rarely required for the restaurants at the hotel (Do check for special nights - reservations might be required if they are having a special event).

- The main dining reestaurant is Omaggio. At the rooftop, an evening snack/tapas bar Insu, is also available. I can tell you a lot about the quality of the food: from shrimp, steak and risotto to duck, lamb, etc This is high class food. Nothing better than having smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel for breakfast. Insu has great shrimp corn dogs and sushi. Food is one of this hotel's best assets. I cannot tell you how high the quality and the variety is, we were overly impressed. Make sure to check the times the restaurants open - they all close for an hour or two before dinner and they have a buffet by the pool that is not as nice. It is best to wait for one of the best dinners you'll have. After dinner, guests usually head up to Insu for drinks. They play music until 2am and some dance and party a bit - overall, it is more of a lounge vibe.

- Use the spa if you can afford it. It has spa services based on different countries and the building and staff are great. There is a sushi restaurant (not part of the all-inclusive) beside the spa. If you ever get tired of the food, this is the place to go for a different meal.

- The beach must be important to you. I was scared I would hate to take some golf cart to the beach everyday. Except, the van or golf cart is always available. The 2 minute ride to the sister resort is nothing. But the best part, is that the area at the beach is cordoned off and exclusive only for guests of the residences. They have their own deck, with comfy cushion chairs, beds and umbrellas. Waiters are also exclusive to this area with its own food menu (try the sandwiches here - top notch!) My only complaint is that, as opposed to the over staffed hotel, the few waiters here might not be enough for a busy day.

- Do all the activities you can fit in. I must emphasize that, as a first class hotel, you will never be bothered here with staff trying to sell you anything. In the activities included in your room, however, you'll encounter times when the organizers will try to sell you everything once you get there (photos, video, push for tips, etc). You can ignore them and decline, of course, but the fact can be a bit unwelcomed if you are not prepared. I recommend the sea lions and dolphins. The zip line is very nice too, but (as opposed to other posters here) I did not find the guys who take you down the line to be that funny (too many jokes with sexual inuendo and they drag it all on for way too long). Make sure you book with the concierge early enough, as space is limited. You also have to pay for the taxi to and from the activities. Remember in Mexico you have to negotiate the price in advance - prices are very affordable for taxis.

- Avoid the sister resort. Unless you are going to the beach, the standards here as not as high. At all. Avoid the food, avoid it all.

- I'm surprised that, for a hotel of this calibre, internet is not included. 150 pesos a day seems high. Avoid trying to use the computers at the sister resort; they only have 2 and you have to wait your turn. Instead, try to live without internet if you can. Or pay for a couple of days only. By the way, the 150 pesos is for use on one computer only, you can't share.

- The hotel has an over priced mini store with souvenirs. Not over priced, however, is the detergent. You can get back home with clean clothes. Try to only do a small load - the machines are not that big.

- The waiters, maids, concierge, etc. cannot be any more helpful and nice. The front desk staff can be a bit colder and short. The difference can be quite noticeable.

- The resort area is very quiet and there is not much (if anything) around the area. Walking outside the hotel is pointless as there really is nothing and not recommended. If you go to this property to relax, you won't have the need to do anything but the included activities.

- You'll be impressed.

Room Tip: Higher rooms can give you a view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
16 Thank BWWblaxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your very complete review, we are happy to learn your vacation experience with us met your expectations, We hope to serve you once again in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Yorba Linda, CA
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 11, 2011

Just came back from a 5 day stay Dec 4-9, and all the great reviews are justified. First off, save yourself a few bucks and take a taxi instead of shuttle.Very safe and easy, it was only $24 for the both of us to the hotel, and just $14 going back to the airport from hotel. Just go to this Tripadvisor link for all the info: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g150793-c68873/Puerto-Vallarta:Mexico:Airport.Taxis.Zones.And.Fares.html First time staying in Nuevo Vallarta, and I thought it was extremly secure and safe- went past two gated guard shacks just on our way to the hotel. Our room was amazing- a 2Br penthouse suite on the top floor with it's own private plunge pool! Tip: upon arrival,have concierge turn heat "on" plunge pool so it will be nice and warm during your stay. Ladies, it's true about the water pressure in master shower, but may I suggest washing hair in spare bathroom as the shower head is much smaller w/much better pressure.The hotel consists of 3 separate buildings, with the left one bieng in the shade all day(at least this time of year). Ours was on the right side which I enjoyed because I got to sunbathe all day. The main pool was also very nice, no problem finding an empty chair. I noticed most of the guests were mostly older retirees(we're 40) which made it a nice, quiet and relaxing stay. There is no loud music blaring and no swim up bar, so if you're in you're 20's I'd say stay at the sister resort instead. We did the dolphin and sea lion excursions, both wonderful but I have to give the sea lions a nod up for personality. The place is only 5-10 min from hotel- taxi $4 each way. Food was great and they have no problem if you want to order "to-go" food as well to take back to your room for a late night snack(full kitchen w/microwave make it easy). Room service is also available for a small fee. Sister resort is also very nice and the VIP beach section was awesome. All in all had a great time, wish we had a few more days to do zip lines and some of the other included excursions(only one excursion allowed per day). Thanks to all of the employees for a great time! I know this is an all-inclusive, but please make sure to tip these people-they deserve it! Special shout out to David the bell hop: Hope you get back to Santa Monica soon!

Room Tip: I recommend getting pesos at airport. If you choose to do some shopping outside of resort you are at...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Digdodgers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your review, we are happy to learn your vacation experience with us met your expectations, We hope to have you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Novato, CA
Level Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 9, 2011

This was an ILT tennis/golf tour and the property was beyond one's wild expectations. The staff is extraordinary.....totally service oriented. The food is fantastic. The drinks are fantastic. The rooms are fantastic. The swimming pools are fantastic. The VIP Beach Club is fantastic. Yes, we really liked our 7 day stay!!

Room Tip: Ocean view with waves at night put one into a wonderful sleep.
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Topspinut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your review, we are happy to learn your vacation experience with us met your expectations, We hope to have you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
Level Contributor
36 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed December 9, 2011

Wonderful resort. The rooms are very nice, but no ocean view unless you get on a high floor.
The staff was very helpful but didn't always follow through on our request. The beds were very hard but we did get toppers almost immediately after asking for them. The food was great, just not many restaurants to choose from at the Residence. We were able to go to the sister hotel and use their services as well, which was a plus. We sat on the beach at the sister hotel and had lunch and drinks. You could take the shuttle or walk (less than a 10 minute walk by beach or street) Overall, I would not hesitate to return to this beautiful resort.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank susyq09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your review, we are happy to learn your vacation experience with us met your expectations, We hope to have you back soon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lemont, Illinois
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2011

We stayed at this resort for our honeymoon after getting married a few days prior in Puerto Vallarta. Check in was a breeze and we were greeted with cool towels and a beverage of our choice. This resort is beautiful and extremely modern. The rooms are amazing - spacious, luxurious and great views! The beach is not on the resort property which isn't a big deal. You can just take a golf cart to their sister resort and hang out in the VIP beach area. The pools are nice but the best part about the resort is the private jacuzzi area. Food was great - really top notch! Our favorite place was Omaggio - amazing dinner and dessert (fried oreos...yum!) Loved that excursions were included too - we took full advantage of that and had a great time!

Although we had a good time, we would probably not recommend this resort to family and friends for several reasons. For the cost to stay at this resort, internet, room service (removing the 10% charge), and Niksan (sushi bar) should really be included. The resort was just too small and quiet for us - there was no entertainment (during the day or night).

Overall, although this resort does have a lot of positives and I really wanted to love it, I was just really underwhelmed...especially for the cost.

Room Tip: Higher floors have the best views!
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Ann-Marie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your comments, we appreciate all of them as this helps us monitor guest satisfaction and take advantage of the opportunity areas pointed our. We hope to be able to serve you again in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
63 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed November 30, 2011

I spend a week at Marival residences. I must say accommodations are one of the best that I ever stayed anywhere in Mexico. We had a very spacious 1 bedroom condo. It was beautifully decorated and had a large veranda that we used all the time. We were on a third floor and there was just a bit of ocean view since the residences are behind some private houses and not directly on the beach. VIP Beach club was easily reached by a golf cart operated by the hotel. Service at the beach club were good. We ate primarily at the residences. We did not enjoy the food at the sister Marival hotel. As there are only few food choices at the residences, it gets a bit boring but the food quality was good. We especially enjoyed tapas and drinks at sunset at the roof bar. We took a number of included trips - particularly we enjoyed Jelapa trip. We also played golf and enjoyed the experience tremendously. But please beware that it will cost another $100 US or so for a golf cart + $20-25 US for a taxi. One tip is to change your currency into pesos and pay with pesos for taxis and other services. If you will pay with US $ you will get a really bad exchange rate so it make sense to exchange prior to arrival to the hotel and have small changes for tips.

Room Tip: request 4th floor or higher for a view
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank akolt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your comments. We hope to be able to serve you again in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mississauga
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 30, 2011

RESORT:

This resort is best described with the word "Quality"; next "Luxury". It's a must experience to really appreciate what people are saying in their reviews. After staying at the Residences, it will be hard to go back to a regular resort. We met many people who were repeat guests. I will mention a few fabulous items:

Service: every staff member gives their 100% and there is an abundance of staff
Food: luxury gourmet food, let's just say, we held off on drinking too much to save room in our stomachs for the food. Also drinks are served in glasses and not plastic cups
Rooms: Huge and have everything you need, else just call room service and ask for it.
DRINKS: excellent variety and quality
BEACH CLUB: amazing, it will be hard to stay at resort without a beach club now, food and drink were top notch. Actually I loved their food menu here, its gourmet too. We also asked for a bowl of regular potato chips and they were happy to please.

INCLUVISE TOURS:

Some inclusive tours were great and other not sure why they include them at all. The tours through Vallarta Adventures are top notch! Especially the Sea Lion Adventure.

However the Canopy/Zip line tour included by the resort is not good. After zip lining in Costa Rica and then doing to Vallarta Adventure Outdoor Adventure tour, I'm not sure if the one included is all that safe (careful where you place your finger, you may open the only clip that attaches you to the line..). It also wastes a lot of time at the beginning, commuting back and forth to the city before finally heading up the mountain. And then once completing your tour, you are hungry and want to go back to the resort to eat and drink but they keep you an extra 2 hours, for you to eat there (and pay) and then go on a tequila tour/tasting before heading down the mountain and them conveniently dropping everyone off at the resort. If you can drop everyone off at the resort, why do we need to take individual taxis to a gas station so everyone has to pay, to then head to the city, wait for a staff member and then head back towards the resort before heading up the mountain. What a waste of time. This brings me to the taxi issue.

TAXI:

There has to be a smart & convenient way to coordinate all these taxis to the tours. The concierge desk at the Residence organizes most of the tours (included and non included) for you and hence why can't they organize the taxis? Most of the taxis say "Marival" on the side of them, so if the resort owns these taxis, why can't they coordinate them so to save us money (i.e. share taxis), or else include them in the tours aswell... And when you get into the taxi, each driver says a different price for the same location (and when you do share a taxi, the driver still expect full price from everyone...). I really wish Mexico would make installing meters mandatory so tourist don't feel like they are always being taken.

Many of these issues are minor and revolve around the waiting times for tours to start and taxi issues.

Marival Residence itself is a fabulous place and we may take the whole family next time (kids & grandparents). Hope to see you there sometime.

Room Tip: 3rd floor and up, good view of ocean.
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  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing and Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, January 19, 2012
Dear Traveler: Thank you so much for your comments, We hope to be able to serve you again in the near future!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marival Residences Luxury Resort

Property: Marival Residences Luxury Resort
Address: Av. Paseo Cocoteros | Lote 53 Villa 8 11, Nuevo Vallarta 63732, Mexico (Formerly Marival Residences & World Spa)
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#4 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Marival Residences Luxury Resort 4.5*
Number of rooms: 162
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

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