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Marival Resort & Suites
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Reviewed August 31, 2013

My daughter and I stayed at the Marival the first week in July, 2013. Our family has stayed at the Marival five times over the past ten years, but we haven't been there in several years. We were quite disappointed this trip to find that the Marival has really gone downhill.
On arrival, our whole bus was taken to the new complex off the water as a "complimentary upgrade". However, we had no desire to be at this resort, as we had booked at the original Marival. My fourteen year old was excited to return to a resort that she loved, and I wanted the ability to get up and walk on the beach without having to take the shuttle van. We had a very difficult time convincing them that we wanted to move back to our original place of booking, and ended up having to spend another fifty dollars a night to stay at the Marival.
Unfortunately, the food in the buffet was not nearly as good as in the past, and my daughter ended up with a shiga toxin producing e-coli infection, giving her bloody diarrhea and severe abdominal pain, requiring antibiotics.
This was my daughter's 20th trip to Mexico, and she was so sick that she really doesn't ever want to go back. I realize that this could have happened anywhere, but the whole experience of the overall resort being let go somewhat, as well as the quality of the food being poor, coupled with the timeshare push at our initial check in, leaves me thinking that we won't return to the Marival in the future.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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5  Thank DarcyVictoria
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Resort & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded September 4, 2013

Dear Guest,
We thank you for sharing your vacation experience with us. It is regrettable that we could not fulfill your expectations this time as we had done in the past. We are very sorry for all the inconveniences you may have felt when we upgraded you to Marival Residences & World Spa. However, our intention was not to impose on you, rather on the contrary, it was meant to give you the opportunity to have a very good vacation experience and gain access to both resorts. Our main concern is total satisfaction of our clients, for that reason we wanted you to have the privilege to enjoy this property. We would like to remind you that the extra charge you paid was to be upgraded to an ocean front suite not to be at Marival Resort & Suites. Our Chefs are working on your comments about the buffet to verify the reason why to you our food was better on your previous stay. We are very sorry to know that your daughter got sick; however we did not have any other case during your stay and it could have been very helpful for us if you had let us know before you left the hotel, to be able for us to investigate this case. As you know the hotel adheres to a HACCP program that comes to run verifications on critical control points on food handling, hygiene and safety in kitchens, restaurants and storage. Also, we have received the “Distintivo H” for food safety last February 22nd, 2013, for the 7th consecutive time, which is a recognition given by the Ministry of Tourism and the Health Ministry. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in the future and have the chance to show you how much we care our repeat guests. Please send us an email to gsmanager@marival.com.mx when planning your next visit in order to help you with any request and do our best to make your stay more enjoyable.

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Reviewed August 30, 2013

We just got home from a six night stay at the Marival. Here is a brief summary of our opinion of the resort:

Check In

This was what started our vacation off on the wrong foot. There was a very long line line to check in, which I understand, but after standing in line and receiving my room keys we then had to go wait for another representative to give us our key for the in room safe. This was an additional fifteen minute wait all while there were crazy children running around the lobby. I really don't see why they can't just have one representative take care of the entire check in process. Because of our age, we didn't get bothered about timeshares (we are only 20).

Rooms

The rooms were spacious and the bathrooms were clean but the beds were very hard. I enjoyed having a balcony. It was nice to relax outside and drink my morning coffee. The pillows also had an odd musty smell. I'm guessing that this was due to the humidity. I was impressed that the television actually had about five or six English channels.

Beach

The beach was absolutely beautiful especially with the mountains in the background. The ocean was extremely rough the first three days of our vacation and the resort had out red flags which means that nobody is allowed in the water. The beach is very short and the water was almost washing all the way up to the sea wall. This was a little disappointing since these conditions made it very difficult to both walk or lay on the beach. We ended up spending a lot of time at the beach. Also, keep in mind that the resort will not allow you to rent any water sport equipment if there are red flags. Luckily there were yellow flags on the last day of our vacation and we were able to have some fun in the ocean. Surfing is $36 for one lesson along with an additional hour to practice with the board.

Food

My best advice is to avoid the buffet at all costs. This was not my first all inclusive so I am used to subpar food but I thought the food at the Marival buffet was below the quality of average all inclusive buffet food. I strongly recommend eating at La pergola which is open for breakfast and lunch without a reservation. We made reservations at the Mexican and Italian restaurants (you only get 2 reservations for a 6 night stay) which were delicious. On the days we couldn't make reservations at a nice restaurant we usually just ate a large lunch at La Pergola and then had a light snack before bed in order to avoid the buffet. I did end up getting some sort of sickness on my final night at the resort so do beware of what you eat.

Location

The Marival is located a bit of a distance away from the action. Most activities outside of the resort require a bus or taxi ride. We went to downtown Puerto Vallarta one afternoon to do some shopping and eat at a local restaurant. The bus ride was not too bad if you want to save some money. It was $1.50 per person to take the bus from the Marival to the last stop on that route. And then $1 a person to take the centro bus to downtown Puerto Vallarta. It was very fun to explore the shops along the malecon. We ate at a little seaside cafe called the Bar Oceano Restaurante. It was very affordable and delicious. Make sure to stop by Senor Frogs for a drink too. We also took a taxi ride from the Marival to the Mama Lucia tequila distillery. This was only about a 10 minute ride and we had a great time touring the small operation and tasting their products (It is free).

Resort Amenities
There was a lot to do at the resort. We did pool aerobics, played tennis, went to shows at night, played mini golf, and boogie boarded. There was a schedule of activities everyday which made it easy to stay busy.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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7  Thank ehoeffler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Resort & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you for staying with us. We really appreciated your feedback to be able to work on the opportunity areas you mention. About the pillows, for your comfort we can change those as many times as you request. Our Chefs are going to check your comments about the buffet to exceed the expectations of our clients. We are very sorry to know that on your last night you were sick, however we did not have any other case during your stay and it could have been very helpful for us if you had let us know before you left, to make an investigation as the hotel adheres to a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program (HACCP), that comes to do verifications on critical control points on food handling, hygiene and safety in kitchens, restaurants and storage. We also have received the “Distintivo H” for food safety last February 22nd, 2013 for the 7th consecutive time, which is a recognition given by the Secretary of Tourism and the Secretary of Health. We hope to have the pleasure to welcome you back in the near future and have the chance to show you how much we care our repeat guests. Please send us an email to gsmanager@marival.com.mx when you are planning your next visit in order to help you with any request and do our best to make your stay more enjoyable.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 29, 2013

We traveled here for Spring break with our 2 kids, 4 and 5 and we came based on the outstanding reviews we read online. Upon our arrival Octavio offered us an upgrade to the Marival World spa which we declined since we had our two small kids with us however we regret that decision. First off, Octavio was wonderful and he tried to help us as much as he could. Lets start off with the rooms; very basic and you have to pay for mini bar and safe. We were on the first level but after complaining to Octavio about the noise he moved us to a room on the 17th floor with an ocean view, much better. The food: the snack bars are mediocre but the a l carte restaurants are good, make sure you book your reservations so you don't get stuck eating the buffet all week. The breakfast buffet was the best out of all of the buffets. The pool was large and the pool bar was great, the water park area for the kids was nice and the kids loved it. My biggest complaint is the customer service or lack of it, mind you my husband and I travel to Mexico every year and the customer service is top notch, here however it was terrible. I'm not sure what was going on the week we were there, the resort was jam packed and the people that were staying there acted like savages at the buffets. The beach was beautiful and clean and because my little ones had a great time we had a great time but we will not be returning to the Marival ever and unless you have small children do yourself a favor, go to to the Marival World Spa or go somewhere else..... Dreams, Riu Palace, etc. During our stay at the Marival residences the positive things were: Octavio at the front desk was great, the entertainment staff was great with the kids, especially Brenda and the beach and a la carte restaurants are good.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank Darby30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Resort & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

Dear Guest,
We thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and concerns about our Resort. We would like to clarify that we can stock the mini bar with water and soft drinks without any charge, just you need to request it thru Concierge. Our Chef will be more than glad to follow your comments about the snacks. We are very sorry for all the inconvenience you may have felt with our customer service and please be assured that your observations will help us to improve this area. I hope you will give our hotel another chance in the future, please do not doubt to contact us to gsmanager@marival.com.mx prior to your arrival to help you with any request you could have. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back.

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Reviewed August 21, 2013

My husband and I planned a romantic getaway in Mexico for a joint birthday and anniversary celebration. We booked the Marival as it was advertised as a 4 star resort with spa. There were issues as soon as we landed in Mexico!

I wish someone would have told us that Mexico is timeshare crazy! So to anyone who reads this and has never been to Mexico, DO NOT LET ANYONE STOP YOU AT THE AIRPORT!!! WAIT UNTIL YOU SEE A SIGN FOR YOUR TOUR OPERATOR EG. AIR TRANSAT. All of the others are pretending to be representatives and will try to get you into a timeshare.
Once we arrived at the hotel it was like a zoo. It was packed and at full occupancy. The pool areas were packed and the swim up bars were definitely not a place you would want to hang out.
Our room was clean but basic and was definitely no more than 3 star. After seeing the facilities and having a terrible meal at the poolside snack bar, we knew that we needed to leave. We were upgraded to the Marival Residences and World Spa. This place was amazing! This was the type of holiday we were looking for.

If you visit don't except the timeshare offers in return for cheap excursions. Just pay the extra, trust me it isn't worth it. I wouldn't recommend this hotel, but I can say that staff were generally very helpful and accomodating.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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2  Thank Aisha W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Resort & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded August 28, 2013

Dear Guest,
Thank you so much for having chosen our hotel for your getaway. We are deeply sorry that due to our percentage of occupancy we could not fulfill your expectations at Marival Resort & Suites but we are glad you enjoyed your stay at Residences & World Spa as much as you deserved. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in the future and please do not doubt to contact us at gsmanager@marival.com.mx before your arrival to help you with any request you could have.

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Reviewed August 19, 2013

According to tripadvisor review, I was expecting something better. Most of restaurants need reservation and were already booked. Drinks made from unknown brands. Rooms seems to be just near to average 3 stars. Definitely I'll never get back to this place.

  • Stayed: August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank LuigiOz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MarivalResorts, Marketing & Social Media at Marival Resort & Suites, responded to this reviewResponded August 20, 2013

Dear Guest,
We are very sorry if we could not fulfill your expectations during your stay with us. The feedback we receive from our valued guests, like you, enables us to target opportunity areas. It will be a pleasure to welcome you back in the future and please be so kind to contact us at gsmanager@marival.com.mx before your arrival to help you with any request you could have.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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