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“Kids loved it, Adults enjoyed it”

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Marival Resort & Suites
Ranked #14 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed August 11, 2009

Arrived in late July for a week with spouse, 6 year old and 4 year old. The grounds are clean and the rooms spacious enough. We had one room with two double and never felt cramped. Every room has a small balcony, so while the kids decompress from a morning poolside the adults can find a shady, private spot to relax.

Plenty of pools to choose from: Kids pool with big, safe slides and fountains - crewmember always watching and whistling at any kids too big to be there or being too rowdy- , loud party pool with music and swim up bar, quiet pool with swim up bar and an adults only pool. The early morning reservation of shady chairs by hanging a towel is pretty tiresome, but as we had a ground level room it didn't bother us. If you are up on the third floor, however, get down early and save a spot.

The beach was quite nice, sandy, not rocky, and the surf not particularly overwhelming. Kids able to play in sand or jump in the water without fear. Boogie board and two-person stable kayak rentals for free.

Housekeeping works their tails off. Our room was cleaned on time and spotless every day. I cannot praise their hardwork enough.

Food is boring and bland, from the buffet to the "fine-dining". Amalfi (italian) was decent, but surprisingly Las Palomas(mexican) was just disappointingly bad. However, La Pergola(international) for lunch was the food highlight. Otherwise, nothing to get excited about.

Drinks were fine, Corona and Negra Modello for beer choices and a variety of weak liquors for use in mixed drinks. Kids enjoyed the non-alcoholic, frothy, frozen, multi-colored concoctions.

The staff from housekeeping to wait/bar staff to activity staff were uniformly pleasant and friendly. The place was quite crowded and the guests were easily 90% locals/mexican tourists. That said, I never once felt like others were receiving preferential treatment. Use your spanish, no matter how broken and minimal it may be. You are in Mexico, after all. That said, most employees speak excellent english if you get into a communication bind.

As to timeshare pressure, we got the pitch when we first checked in, politely declined - multiple times because they are salesmen after all - and were never bothered again the rest of our stay.

Being only a 15 minute drive from the airport is also a convenience.

Ultimately, this is not a luxury resort and it is not a romantic getaway. It is a completely serviceable, functional, friendly, safe, fun place for a family to escape and relax for a week. If you are a picky eater or demanding traveler then you'll have problems with this resort. However, if you can roll with the punches and not expect everything to be perfect every second and people treat you like royalty then this might be the place for you.

The kids had a great time and the adults recharged their batteries. Exactly what we were looking for when we booked the trip.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank GibbonJockey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,936 - 1,942 of 3,930 reviews

Reviewed August 8, 2009

Rooms were nice very clean and spacious. Food was downright horrible even at the reservation only restaurants it was disappointing. Buffet was disappointing some nights even bad. Pool bars suffered from slow service seemingly understaffed at most hours. High pressure time share stuff was a turn off as well (takes over 2 hours not the 90 minutes promised). Grounds were nice, kids club was a nice touch kept a 6 and 9 year old happy. Gym was better than expected and games room for kids was worse. Staff was friendly and helpful for the most part. For the money spent I expected much more. I will not be back.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled with family
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Thank jtrusk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 28, 2009

I think this place was so nice. All the staff was attentive. Secuirity was supereb, for being all inclusive we got a great deal. Food was great our view from our room was excellent and everything was clean.I will be returning 4 sure!!! I think I overpacked for our stay just bring lots of sunblock and lots of swinwear!!!Enjoy!

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank SulyGa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2009

I know this is well over due, but I still want to give my two cents.
My husband and I went to Marival last year to celebrate our 2 year anniversary. Let me preface by saying that we spent our honeymoon at "Secrets Punta Cana" resort in the Dominican republic which is pretty top notch... we were dissapointed with Marival on the whole.

\Don't get me wrong, the staff was very nice and welcoming, and the grounds were clean, but the accomodations just arent that great... it was, to say the least, not a romantic place to spend your honeymoon/anniversary at.
I agree with other reviews in that it is about 80-90% locals and can be VERY crowded and you do get the feeling that they are given preference.

When we arrived, they gave us a room with TWO twin beds separated by a dresser... now how is that supposed to be romantic? we had to deal with it for one night and then after much harassing on my part, got a different room... with a king size bed... right in front of the kid pool. No good.
The food, bad, I am sorry, but it was. Your best bet (if you've already booked) is to stick with the buffet and pick out the best from there.

The fridge is stocked with water and sodas (no beer, alchohol) and for your first morning, there is a "complimentary" single serving of coffee you can make in a tiny coffee pot. If you want more for the rest of your stay, it will cost you.

The beach is so so, not bad, not spectacular. I will say that most of the lounge chairs (both on the beach or by the pool) where broken, so very unccomfortable when you sat on them (just the plastic kind).

If you want to go for a cheap vacation and not expect much other than to just get away with the kids, then by all means, go for it. This year however, we are steering clear of Marival and heading to Excellence Playa Mujeres...

  • Stayed: October 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank MrsRipleydallas_Tx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 22, 2009

We just came back from our 5 days vacation at Marival Resort, Neuvo Vallarta. We stayed there 4 nights and had great time. It is rainy season in Vallarta, more cloudy days with sweltering humid hot. If you do not care for blue clear water, hot and humidity does not bother you … Marival is the place to be. Beautiful property, Friendly staffs, lots of activities for family and kids. Very safe place. Quality of Breakfast and dinner is much better than lunch. Drinks are water down.
Watch for time share sales pitch..they are everywhere.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank srhaman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2009

Before we left, I read a ton of reviews about the Marival. Most were decent, but I wished I would have paid more attention to the most recent ones. Sadly, I believe things have changed at this particular resort due to the economy and possibly the outbreak of the swine flu and lack of travelers. It seems (and we were told by one of the hotel employees) that the hotel has experienced a huge loss in business. As a result, they are down to about 30% occupancy. To compensate, they have downgraded food quality, staff and have sold cheap rates to locals.
Our positive comments: We enjoyed the grounds and layout. For as large as this resort is, everything is well located. The oceanfront was beautiful and the resort is kept clean. The reservation restaurants (which you are only allowed 3 nights) are very good. We did not experience timeshare pressure at all. The only time this was an issue was at the airport. We also did the city tour and the Adventure zipline tour and dolphin experience and they were all excellent! These were all through Puerto Vallarta Adventures and not through the hotel.

Negatives: Unfortunately, the food quality shows! The buffet is hit or miss and sometimes downright BAD. We were so tired of buffet (indoor and out) food that we were practically begging for an additional reservation at a restaurant. They are very strict about this so no go. They would not even let us change one of our evenings because of 'capacity' issues, but when we arrived all the restaurants weren't even close to being full. It may have been more of a staffing issue. In fact, one restaurant was 'closed for the season'. And the other restaurants were closed half the time so it was difficult to reserve at all! Drinks were not strong so most of the time the people in our group drinking would ask for additional shots to make them normal. All in all, I would say the food and drink was not worth the all inclusive fee. Especially if you weren't drinking alcohol.
For the first part of the week the resort was very slow. But on Thursday it was as iff the bus had unloaded! We were told this is when they hasd sold out to locals (must've been a weekend deal?) Then it became very busy with locals. The pools were packed and it was hard to get drinks from the pool bars. I would say we were maybe 1 group of 5 or 6 total that were from the US, the rest were from Mexico. This was not a huge problem, except for the fact that we often felt discriminated againtst. The folks from Mexico were always served first and we had a hard time communicating with staff that didn't speak English. At the pools there were a lot of people swimming in their shirts and shorts and lots of babies without diapers so I can't say that the pools were very clean.
There were 20 of us in our group and we all agreed that this was not a resort that we would come to again. Most of us were pretty dissapointed. I think at one time this was a very nice place to stay, but has drastically gone downhill.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank allboyz31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2009

First, the positive: The staff at the restaurants were wonderful. So were the fellows who helped you get a taxi, etc. However, the food was mostly so-so. Some items were delicous but many were horrible. Drinks were so-so. We had to call the front dest about 5 times on the first day just to get water and soda in the fridge, get enough towels for 4 people, as well as hangers and extra bedding. Everything was a bother to them. We did not feel like we were valued guests at all. The place was beautiful but the one show we saw was really bad. I just think there are much better places out there with equal or better value. Find somewhere else to stay. We did get a great massage though.

  • Stayed: July 2009, traveled with friends
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Thank Debby22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Marival Resort & Suites

Address: Blvd. Paseo Cocoteros S/N, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
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 Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#10 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $185 - $479 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Marival Resort & Suites 3.5*
Number of rooms: 495
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Something Different, Something Better! Welcome to a unique lively beachfront all-inclusive just 10 minutes from Puerto Vallarta airport! Comfortable rooms, special locations- new Mediterranean style Resort Rooms and exceptional 1-3 Bedroom Villa Style Suites starting at 570 sq ft up to 1261 sq ft including Ocean Front. One to Three Bedroom Suites are perfect for families or couples that want to spread out including two story 2 Bedroom Suites and Ocean Front steps from the sea! Romantics and families enjoy endless choices in dining, activities, laying back and relaxing. International all-inclusive dining redefined, award winning chefs offer gourmet dining at 6 restaurants. Treat yourself to 7 bars including swim-up, piano and martini bars. Endless land and water sports- rock climbing wall, activity pool, adults only pool, tennis, disco, evening theater shows, mini-golf and more! Kids waterpark pool, pirate ship, waterslides and fountains. Special kids and teens club programs too. For couples- renew your vows, get married or honeymoon on the beach. For families- the ultimate all-inclusive Family Emotion program with over 10 included extras customized just for your family! Enjoy sea, sun and nonstop fun at Marival Resort and Suites. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Marival Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Marival Resort And Suites

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