My husband and I just got back from a week at the Marival Residences and Spa in Nuevo Vallarta. We were there from February 9 – 16. Was not quite what we expected but still had a good vacation. This was our 5th all inclusive vacation so we’ve had a little experience.
The airport was a huge eye opener. Our travel agent warned us and there was an announcement on the plane but we still managed to get sidetracked. Whatever you do, don’t look confused. The time share people are like vultures and they are very convincing. After customs, don’t speak to anyone except your rep, and they are standing at the outside door.
Our trip to the resort was in a cab thanks to our upgrade through Transat vacations. It was really nice as we waited on no one else. When we arrived at the resort we were immediately taken to the wine bar where we were served a cold drink and someone came to check us in and explain the resort to us. She also offered us an opportunity to attend a breakfast gathering the next morning where they would explain to us how to save money on the resort and in the shops. My husband said he had no interest in attending a time share presentation but we were assured this was not one of those. Our 90 minutes turned into almost 3 hours and it was just that. When we said “no” the manager was brought in who was rude and a very hard sell. It wasn’t until we got aggressive that they let us go. We had been bribed with promises of Marival Dollars and other goods so after you have invested 3 hours of your day you fell you are owed what was promised.
Right after check in we were taken to our room and had everything there explained to us. We were on the 5th floor and had a one bedroom suite. The room was beautiful and we had a fabulous view of the grounds and the ocean. Our fridge was stocked every day with water and pop. We could have had beer but after the first 6 you had to pay for the service. Seemed a little odd in an all inclusive when you could get as many as you wanted in the bar. The housekeeping service was superb. Our room was cleaned every day before mid-afternoon and was always done well. There was a turn down service in the evening but we only used it twice. The only issue we had with housekeeping/turn down is that some things went missing from our room. Two of the items were inconsequential but annoying as they were ours, but there was a very expensive prescription inhaler went missing. You really shouldn’t have to lock that kind of stuff up. We left a tip and a chocolate treat every day as thanks so that should have been enough.
There is only one full restaurant on the property. There are 3 other locations to get food and there was lots of selection. The food quality was good and the service was excellent. We never waited for a table and were served promptly any time we went. Signing of the bill was an annoyance but not really that bad. I’m sure they do it to encourage tipping but the staff certainly earned it. We went over to the sister resort twice and ate in the restaurants there. The food and service was good but the ambiance was not. There is little to absorb the sound and when the restaurant got full it was very noisy.
We walked to the beach every day. It is about a mile walk mostly on beach so it was quite enjoyable. You can take a shuttle but we enjoyed the exercise. The beach club is great and the service again is top notch. Just a point though, this beach club can also be accessed by guests of the Grand Marival for a fee, it is not exclusive to the Residences property. We particularly liked having Angel serve us. He made every day special. The staff there is very busy and work very hard. I heard people complain that it was too slow but in my opinion, they have lots of people to look after not just you. If you think you need something faster you can always go to the bar and get it yourself. We never wanted for a drink of water, alcohol or something to eat. The water was a little rougher than we prefer. Some people enjoy playing in the surf but we prefer to have the calmer cleaner waters of the Caribbean.
We enjoyed two of the free excursions. We spent a day zip lining and went on the walking tour of Puerto Vallarta. There were only 4 of us on the zip line adventure and the staff made it one of the best days I’ve ever had. The walking tour offered two different time lines but in the end there really is only one. It is from 10 – 2:30 for everyone. We also attended Rhythms of the Night and highly recommend it. We booked that one ahead of time from home so we were able to choose the night we wanted.
The only downside to the resort is that there really is nothing to do there. They seem to cater to golf groups and the time share people. There is no evening entertainment at all. You can go to the sister resort for an evening show but it doesn’t start till 9:30. By then we were fully in wind down mode.
On our last day the airline forgot to send us transport. The concierge desk was very helpful and right away had the situation resolved and sent us in a Marival car.
Although the service and people went above and beyond every day we will probably not return to the Marival Residences. If you want to do nothing but lay by the pool and read or if you are a golfer then that is the place for you. We prefer to have room to roam and walk and do enjoy the shows and a bit of night life offered in other locations.
- 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