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“Awesome Family Vacation!”

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Marival Residences Luxury Resort
Ranked #3 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Lake Bluff, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Awesome Family Vacation!”
Reviewed April 7, 2013

First all-inclusive ever, and now we are spoiled. The food was fantastic every day. Only at one meal (out of a full week) did we have slow service. Felt very safe there. Staff was so friendly...all of them. I tipped well (gave them a $2 bill with every poolside drink and wrote tip on bill for meals to be charged to my room) as these people work so hard and always have a smile on their face. They deserve good tipping. Patricia was a server who made us feel so welcome. Canopy Zip-Line Tours was FANTASTIC.. one of the excursions you can choose. Just bring along some $$ as you will want to tip the 4 guys that not only keep everyone entertained (they should have their own reality TV show) but also SAFE. Also may want to purchase a DVD of pictures of just your family...they took about 70 incredible ones that my kids put on facebook. Also bought snacks there at the most authentic old-world Mexican hut...incredible.. but this is in the mountains... so remember cash as no one takes credit cards. We wanted t-shirts, but ran out of cash, but the driver waited for me when they brought us back to the hotel so I could bring him the payment. Everyone is so helpful. We had a 3 bedroom villa (not attached)..so spacious. We didn't have an ocean view, but didn't care as we had our own backyard with a pool and tiki hut for card games. No one asked us about a time share at all. This place was very clean. Loved it!!! Do the "World Spa" where you pick a treatment and room that is true to different regions...wow!! Did I mention that the food was incredible?!

Room Tip: Don't really think that there is a bad room here.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank skimom45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, April 11, 2013
Dear Traveler
We would like to thank you for posting a review of our resort on this web site. We value your comments, and we are certain that your insights will be quite informative to other travelers as well. We look forward to having the opportunity to welcome you back to our resort 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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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (647)
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English first
Palo Alto, California
Level 6 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We just got back from several days at the Marival Residences, which is a sister property of the Marival Resort. Residences has large beautiful rooms -- if you are looking for Mexican charm, this is not the place for you. These are big rooms decorated in a luxe hotel style that could be in Vegas or anywhere. Our room was terrific for our family of four with two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a open concept great room (combination LR, DR and kitchen). The beds are extremly uncomfortable so please get a mattress pad from housekeeping ASAP. I am all for a firm mattress but these are painfully uncomfortable without the mattress pads. For an all inclusive, the food is fantastic and the drinks are fine. The service is generally speaking top notch although every once in a while I could not find a person working by the pool. The rooms are huge and fantastic. One negative for me is that there is only one pool and while it is fun for children, it could use a slide, etc. to up the kid fun quotient, but then again you could use the pool at the Resort. Another potential issue is that Residences is not beach front and you have to walk or take a shuttle to the beach. Apparently, one can exit from behind the tennis courts and walk to the beach as quickly as the shuttle but I found that out on the last day from a repeat guest. Whenever I asked the staff about getting to the beach, they sent me to the shuttle. It seems like the hotel probably prefers if guest go in the shuttle but readers might want to know that there is apparently an easy walk because the shuttle to the sister resort is always available at Residences but the wait at the Resort for the return trip can be long.
The one BIG negative is the time share sales pitch. Run don't walk from it. Upon check in, we were asked if we wanted to listen to a 90-minute presentation on time shares and what the resort has to offer. We said yes mainly because we are considering buying a vacation home and wanted to hear about options and the woman who checked us in seemed like she would burst into tears if we said no (that should have been a hint of what was to some). We had to leave $20 which we got back to confirm that we would show up and they told us that at the end we would get gifts for listening and we did get those gifts. We arrived at the presentation and made it very clear that even if we bought that we would never agree agree to buy anything over $500 without thinking it over and that we were there for information. 3 hours later after being on the other side of every bad sales pressure tactic -- the sexy women in skimpy clothes, the soft sell, the hard sell, the super nice soft spoken guy, the closer (think Glengarry Glen Ross) -- we were finally able to leave. It's sales pressure to the nth degree with what I think are inappropriate comments on my jewelry or income, etc. The upshot of all this is that I think that attending the sales presentation is not required and should be avoided unless you want to waste 3 hours for a $120 of gift cards and a massage. If getting those is worth 3 hours of your time or if you are ready to buy a timeshare, go for it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank JHH36
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Residences Luxury Resort, responded to this review, April 12, 2013
Dear Traveler
Thank you posting a review of your vacation experience. Your comments are appreciated. We would love to have the opportunity 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.
Toronto
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed April 6, 2013

The grounds are lovely, the food surpassed our expectations. The service from the wait staff, the beach staff, cooks and housekeeping was fantastic. Our son really liked Javier who made him omelettes every morning. We had a great experience with the head concierge Carlos.The drivers booked by the resort for our excursions to Bucerias, dinners off site and into Puerto Vallarta were Jorge and Arnulfo. Really nice guys. This is not a beach front resort. We did have a view of the beach from our room which was on the first floor in Tower I. You can walk to the public access beach and walk along the beach but with three kids we took the shuttle ride to the other location. very quick and easy.

We almost bought a time share. We sat through everything and we gave a deposit on our credit card and were at the point where we were going over the contract in fine print and discovered that what was promised in the sales pitch and what was written in the contract were two different things entirely. Fortunately we caught the major differences and called them on it and thankfully got a refund on our deposit. Close call. Sleazy and sneaky. We are really glad we didn't buy.

The quality of the food and drinks surpassed my expectations. There are buffets but there are also great 3 great restuarants. Insu is on the top floor of the middle tower and offers a terrific view at sunset. It is Tapas style. Lemongrass offers casual lunch and dinner at the pool. Omaggio is slightly more formal. Italian food. My kids loved the fried oreo dessert!

I wished there were more umbrellas at the pool.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FinnishflashToronto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
western Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Nice resort,but there were some negative.
ROOMS were awesoem - spacious, but not super cleaned, major dead big bug in the room. At the it had me on end, but my husband had a great attitude and told me that at least the pest control is working,
SUNDAY BRUNCH CHAOS The Sunday they had a bus load of geriatric visiting for brinch (as nice as they were) it was super busy and there was this old band playing, they basically overtook the whole afternnon and left on the tour bus for some place else.
TIMESHARE timeshare presentation was painful and funny. funny in the sense that you were looking around at others and could read the expression on thier faces which screamed "get me out of here". At the end of 3 hours it was pathetic and you felt pathetic for these sales people, and that you were pathetic to get roped into sitting their for hours. We didnt buy and have regrets,zdidn't buy,
STAFF super nice, but youx got the disticnct feeling from Conceirge that the service would have been better if spoke Spanish
CLIENTELE if you are not Spanish speaking you will feel left out. they had the run of the place and althought they were nice enough they travelling with their extended family and were very load, and a bit less well heeled/rough around the edges. They just took over the pool unitl 10 pm and it was like they were the only ones around. it was intolerable some days
POOLSIDE Good luck getting a cabana unless you got up a 6am. Many times people wandered around looking dor any place to sit near the pool. this should be better monitored, as the fittest survived to get chairs and umbrellas
FOOD was amazing The Lemmongrass
GENERAL THIUGHTS this was our second time and this time the resort seemed over crowded. They say it was because of Holy week, but Most of us were wondering if they are overselling timeshares. it no longer has that feel of being the best kep secret or as exclusive. Not sure if we'll be back athird time

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelladyC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 4, 2013

the initial check in process seemed wonderful until the hard sell time share part kicked into full gear, and things went from pleasant to annoying in fairly short order. i have never ever left a review on anything in my entire life, and i'm almost 50 yrs old, but this experience begged a response. we loved this place, but found that we lost out on alot of information of what was available to us because we said no to the time share lady, and she shut down after that. we were left wondering where to go next with 3 hungry kids and our knapsacks. the guy at the front desk was no more helpful. not what we expected after reading all the reviews and paying enough for one kids school tuition. we loved everything else. the people, rooms and food were beyond amazing. francisco (i hope i got the spelling correct) at the vip beach was a particular standout. as a family, we had a really remarkable time. you oughta knock off that time share stuff....it takes the shine off it all.

Room Tip: beds are really hard so order a pillowtop something-or-other when you get there. we weren't awar...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 910jd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I'm still here at the resort with my family of five. We are in the main building staying in a two bedroom suite. The size of the suite is perfect. You are going to love the rooms here no doubt about it. I have a front view of the ocean and of the pool which is especially beautiful at night when they light it up. I don't really hear noise from the outside because they don't have any activities going on during the day. In the evening I hear dishes being picked up. No big deal. Besides, once you close your balcony door you don't hear a thing. Yes it's true, there's no good beach access from this hotel. If you want to lay out on the beach with service provided,than you must go to the sister property which is a shuttle away. About a 5 minute drive. This is a draw back. I like going in and out of my room and difficult when I'm next door. The sister property is good for kids. It has a water park, arcade,ice cream bar. But I heard the rooms blocked for travel agents are dated and the rooms blocked for timeshares are nice. They offer a large variety of food but the quality isn't there.
I will just mention one restaurant. Lemon grass. This is actually the pool restaurant. Lunch and dinner are excellent. Forget about the the buffets and sit down and have a nice a la carte lunch at Lemon grass.
Service; Service is fine but not great. Or better yet it's not consistent. It depends on each individual staff member you encounter. Example, I went to the front desk to ask a question. There was only one employee there who happened to be on he phone. I stood in front of him and he did not acknowledge me and say I'll be right with you. He continued to look down and talk on the phone. I eventually left. I don't expect this from a four star resort. Another example. I asked the head concierge if he can make a reservation for me at one of the restaurants. He said they may be full but let me call and find out. When he got off the phone he told me that the Head Captain is not there and would be back in 15 minutes. (That was it) Basically I should come back in 15 minutes. If he was service oriented, he would have asked me where will I be so he can relay the message once he finds out. Again, this is a 4star resort and I'm speaking to the Head Concierge. I believe the hotel needs to retrain all staff on customer service.
These are little things but these liitle things set them apart from being a first class resort. Just walk into the lobby of any Ritz Carlton hotel, ask a question to any employee and you will know what excellent customer service is all about.
Overall, I would recommend this hotel. I'll write more later about my checkin experience and timeshare meeting.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
6 Thank chubay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milford, Connecticut
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 1, 2013

After spending much time researching where we were going to take our annual vacation, we settled on Marival, due in large part to the reviews on TripAdvisor. The reviews for the most part were spot on, but there were a few negative experiences that had a definite affect on our much needed vacation.

The day we arrived, we were presented with an offer to attend a time share presentation. Even though they did not call it that, I knew going into this vacation that Marival is part of a time share community, and expected to be presented with this information. My advice to you is to AVOID THIS AT ALL COSTS! The following information may surprise you, and it was certainly enough for us to decide that we would not stay at a Marival resort again. Before you say, "What did you expect from a time share presentation", please understand that we agreed to attending based on a true interest in purchasing a property, as well as having some previous experience with time share opportunities.

We were told to meet our rep the next morning at 9am in the lobby. The shuttle took us to the sister resort, where they collected some basic information on us, as well as asking for a credit card. After about a half hour of filling out paperwork and sitting around, the rep told us that we were going to go for breakfast to a "really nice place." Well, this "nice place" was back at our original resort. So back on the shuttle we went, to have breakfast with a complete stranger at a place that we could have eaten at anyway. Yes, it was a nice place, but not exclusive to the presentation as he led us to believe. It was nearly 11am by the time we got back to the sister resort for the presentation. I have a huge problem with this, considering that the entire process is only supposed to take 90 minutes.

The rep started explaining the time share options to us, which I admit, were appealing. But another hour had gone by, and all I could think about at this point was the beautiful day we were missing by sitting indoors listening to a sales pitch. After the information had been presented, we stated that we would like a day or so to think over the options. At this point in time, we were STILL very interested in making a purchase. But what happened next took the experience from okay, to completely unacceptable.

As soon as we started to object to making a purchase that day, the rep became extremely aggressive, bordering on hostile. He stated several times that he was upset to even be working with us, considering that we were obviously too young and lacked the life experience to make such a great purchase. Being in a sales field, I understand that there are certain tactics that can be used to help persuade someone to make a purchase. But insulting someone is definitely not the way to do it. I also don't consider mid-30's to be "lacking in life experience".

The next TWO HOURS were painful. This was the first full day of our vacation, and we wanted to be able to relax and enjoy it. We stated NO very firmly several times, and the rep kept walking away and coming back with another offer. When we got up to leave, we were told that we were not finished and could not get our credit card back until we were done. We felt trapped, and very disappointed that this is how we were spending our first day of vacation.

We were stopped by several people when we tried to leave, each one telling us that it would only be a "few more minutes". They even tried to say that we would not receive the vouchers we were promised because we did not complete the process. It was nearly 3pm before we got back to our resort. Exhausted and frustrated, all we wanted at this point was to go home.

Wanting to try to do something fun to minimize our negative experience, we decided to visit the concierge to book some excursions for the rest of our trip. Unfortunately, we were in for more disappointment. The concierge told us that three of the excursions we wanted to book were no longer included in our "all inclusive". Considering that one of the reasons we chose this resort was because of the convenience of having included excursions, this was infuriating. Couple that with the experience we just went through with the time share, and we were VERY upset.

Were there good things about this resort? Yes. Even great things. But these two negative experiences made it a disappointing trip overall. And to be honest, the only reason I give this resort 3 stars is because of the good experiences we had (see below). But the next time I am looking to book my vacation, I will be staying as far away from Marival as possible. What went wrong far outweighs what went right. And unfortunately, our time on vacation is limited and precious. To take 6 hours out of our trip and make us feel like we did something wrong is not okay in my book. Advertising excursions to get people to book at your resort and then claiming they are no longer included is also not acceptable.

It took me over two months to write this review. I wanted to give myself some time to cool off, in order to be fair to Marival. But 10 weeks later, I am still just as upset at the experiences we had. Not only would we never stay here again, we would never, ever recommend this resort to anyone for these reasons.

As promised, here is the "good" of this resort:
-- The rooms were spacious and beautiful
-- The food was some of the best we have had at an all-inclusive
-- The service, for the most part, was excellent
-- The VIP Beach club was wonderful, and we enjoyed every moment we spent there
-- The view from the sky bar is divine
-- The spa is very nice, and provides good services

But that's where it ends, folks. My 3-star review is probably too generous. Yes, Marival is a nice resort. But it is nowhere near worth going through the awful experience that we endured in order to get that. With hundreds of comparable resorts out there, we will be spending our money elsewhere next time.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank SeaLionK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#3 On the Beach 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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