Puerto Vallarta & Marival Resorts


I don’t think there is anything like spending a long weekend in Mexico to help you release the stress from your busy life.  There are so many great cities that offer great culture, fabulous resorts, and cuisine -- how can you not relax.  I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Vallarta’s Riviera Nayarit area in June and it didn’t disappoint.  The Marival Resorts offers three all-inclusive resorts in the area and I had the pleasure of experiencing all of them. 

MARIVAL RESORT & SUITES is a large family friendly property of 495 rooms and suites, it has everything a family would want on vacation.  The starting category resort rooms start at a spacious 383 square feet and the resort has one-, two- and three-bedroom suites that include small kitchens.  The all-inclusive resort offers seven dining options which includes four specialty restaurants.  The Amalfi, featuring Italian cuisine, was a standout.  There are many activities available at the resort, from tennis courts, kid & teen clubs and several pools, including a small pirate-theme water park for the kids.  They even have a restaurant geared towards children, with fun meal options and lower counters for the little ones to be able to reach for their food.  And, of course, for adults they have a spa, gym and boutiques for shopping.  

Because of the resort's eco-friendly practices, they have one of the cleanest beaches in the area and, at the right time of year, you can watch the turtles hatching on their beach and making their way to the ocean.  They offer first-come first-served day beds and chairs on the beach with full drink and food service. 

I stayed at the all-inclusive MARIVAL RESIDENCES which features one- to four-bedroom residences at 1,400 to 2,800 square feet.  The property is set off from the beach in a gorgeous garden setting, and you have VIP full service beach club access at the Marival Suites next door.  While staying at the Residences you have five different dining options, and you can also dine next door at any of the restaurants at Marival Suites.  The property surrounds a nice sized swimming pool, which is popular, or if you stay in one of the penthouse residences or villas, you have access to your own plunge pool. 

RANCHO BANDERAS has been a secret for many years and it has just opened up to the American market.  Located near the entrance of the Punta Mita area, this 49-boutique room luxury property is gorgeous.  All-suite accommodations from one to three bedrooms are spacious and have a small kitchen with a microwave and refrigerator.  The all-inclusive resort sits on a cliff overlooking the premier beach in the bay, and they have a large infinity pool with several different levels overlooking the turquoise water.  Dining at this resort's restaurant is a delight, and they also offer a spa, gym and boutique.  This property is all about relaxing and enjoying the facilities and activities at the resort. 

What I found amazing about all three of these resorts is the quality of the food and service.  You couldn’t have asked for better service or cuisine anywhere in Mexico.  All of the rooms are spacious, clean and have good amenities.  And being a family-friendly company they have this fabulous “Family Emotion Program,” which customizes the amenities you want for your family while on vacation.  There are many options to choose from and a couple of my favorites are picking the snacks and beverages you want to have in your room, along with the pool and beach toys the kids will enjoy while visiting the resort.  They have put a lot of thought into the program and have anticipated most of what a family desires while they are vacation.             

Nancy Decker-Davidson