NUEVO VALLARTA: MARIVAL RESORT & SUITES
Jasmine & Family
Our group consisted of three boys aged 2, 4, 6, my husband, myself, my mother and her boyfriend, my brother and his friend who are in their mid twenties. We stayed from the 5th of January till the 12th.
We had rooms on both the Grand and Club side. The rooms are basic on both sides. The Club side has been renovated, but keep in mind that there is not an elevator. This means lugging your stuff up numerous flights on stairs. Not a big deal for us, but certainly a problem for some. I had read a lot of reviews about the beds. They are not plush but it didn’t bother us. I have spent my share of time trying to get kids to sleep on toddler mattresses so maybe I am not the best to ask.
The cleaning and maintenance staff do an excellent job keeping the rooms and grounds in great shape.
The pools are wonderful. The kids’ pool on the Grand side has excellent waterslides. The kids’ pool on the Club is nice and warm. The main two pools are great. Since I had the kids I didn’t visit the adult-only pool…maybe next time!
The bars are great. The drinks are not watered-down, on the contrary they were very generous with the alcohol. I would definitely avoid the wine at all costs. I am not an expert, but the red reminded me of cough syrup mixed with vinegar. The thing you have to keep in mind is that you are in Mexico. Things are more laid back. The occasional bee that gets mixed in with the colada and daiquiri mix doesn’t seem to cause much concern. I did not like the fact that the cups are reused instead of disposable. I am not confident that they are “sanitized” between uses. The martini bar is incredible and the service is excellent. You are able to get bottled beer at any of the bars inside which I would recommend over the draught.
The food is very good overall. Breakfast has an excellent variety. Lunch for us consisted of visiting the grill, which had the usual fries, burgers, pizza, etc. Dinner at the buffet is alright. I would definitely recommend the a la carte restaurants. We were able to try all four and thought they were excellent. The service can be quite slow at times, but usually the result is well worth the wait! My only disappointment with the food is that you have to go to the Mexican restaurant to have Mexican food. It would be nice to have more authentic food for the other meals. A fajita station at lunch would be perfect!
The beach is excellent. The sand is incredible and the waves are perfect for boogie boarding. My 4 and 6 year olds had a blast. You are able to use life jackets and boards already there. There isn’t any need for water shoes as the ocean floor is really sandy. The water is nice and warm.
I did not approve of the fact that the room keys have the numbers on them. It worried me that if I misplaced the key anyone would be able to access our room.
My 4 & 6 year old did the dolphin kids program with Vallarta Adventures. It is well worth the $60 US per kid. I would recommend booking it online next time to receive a discount. The pictures of the kids start at $15 US or you can buy the dvd for $45.
Three of the adult men went on the zip line trip though the rain forest. They all thought it was amazing. It was approximately $100 per adult.
I would say that if you are young and single this is not the place for you. My brother and his friend were a bit disappointed at the lack of available ladies. The resort seems more for couples and families.
The entertainment staff does their best. They do the typical games and shows.
The kids’ club is great. The ladies who staff it are excellent. My sons only spent about three hours there total, but had a great time. I didn’t think that I would feel comfortable leaving them, but after I watched for a while I wasn’t concerned. I did inquire the rate for evening babysitting, as the girls were so great. It was an amazing $6 for the first child and an additional $4 for each additional. This would have been $14 per hour. I though that this was excessive.
For anyone leaving from Toronto keep in mind that the flight down is around 5 hours. It is well worth the trip, but did really seem to take forever.
My 6 year old and I took the bus into Wal Mart one day. It was a neat experience. If you are hoping for Wal Mart prices think again. You are much better to save the time and buy whatever you forgot at the hotel.
We bought beautiful jewelry on the beach. Ask for Fernando…he was great!
Overall, I can’t wait to return. Nuevo Vallarta is full of beauty and fun. The Marival was paradise