Sun, sea and sand are the three ‘S’s that make for a pretty good time, add into the mix the chance to have tacos everyday as well as taste some of the best mescal, and relax in the luxurious surroundings of the Marival Residences Luxury Resort in Nuevo Vallarta and that becomes a pretty perfect time.
Marival Residences offer one to four bedroom apartments, whether you are staying as a couple, family or group of friends every apartment and stay is catered to your needs. The resort is close to Puerto Vallarta airport, off the beaten track and situated along 3 miles of gorgeous beach with a host of activities, wildlife and excursions available in and around the surrounding area
Arriving in our room we were greeted by a bottle of red wine and chocolate covered strawberries which we were able to enjoy as we took in our apartment with its opulent bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, living room and open terrace with a pool and ocean view.
What to do
The resort along with its sister hotel, has enough going on that you wouldn’t have to leave the hotels at all during your stay. If the poolside doesn’t tempt you to stay the entire time, jump on the little open sided shuttle bus for a delightful, short drive down palm tree filled streets to the sister resort where you can take advantage of The Beach Club, choose your private beach cabana and get waited on hand and foot, order freshly made juices and cocktails and delve into the all-important beach snack of nachos and homemade guacamole.
We decided to embark on a tour of the area using bikes available to hire out from the hotel, even for a novice bike rider like myself, trust me, I fall a lot, this is definitely worth it. Pass by iguanas lazing along the river and bike past monkeys, dolphins and tigers (not roaming quite as freely). This is recommended in the early morning after a quick juice and muffin at Omaggios, so you’re not too full and before the heat of the day is at its highest.
For a day trip we headed out with Punta Mita Expeditions, we had our own mini van, packed with a cooler, and set out on a private boat tour to the Marieta Islands where we got to observe the Blue Footed Boobie Birds, snorkel around the islands, catching sight of a plethora of fish and try out paddle boarding. This worked up an appetite before we headed to Sayulita, a fantastically colourful, little town where we went to a Mescal tasting, with the obligatory worm palette cleanser and on to try out a range of traditional Mexican dishes, obviously including tacos, and Mexican beers while overlooking the beach.
Where to dine
The all-inclusiveness and exquisite dining options of the hotel mean you never have to worry about where to dine.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at Omaggio, the Huevos “Omaggio” are pretty special, followed by a relaxing lunch poolside at Lemmongrass where the food changes daily based on local produce and is designed to be healthy yet indulgent, perfect for poolside eating. Make sure by sunset you are preened and prepared to head to Insu lounge for a sunset cocktail, a rooftop bar overlooking the ocean, where you can also pick a menu based on the cuisines of different continents. If you are lucky enough to be here when a lightning storm is happening, make sure this is the place you go to watch it.
If nibbles from around the world don’t take your fancy one night, The Grill, Al Fresco offers you a choice of steaks, chicken or catch of the day straight off the grill. And then to perfectly end the night under the stars relax around the campfire where marshmallows are provided for that superbly, sticky after dinner treat.
The melange spa.
If this hotel hasn’t already dazzled you with the cuisine and breath-taking surroundings prepare to be impressed by the range of spa treatments on offer. We all headed over for a signature spa treatment, there are nine body rituals from around the world. If you can’t decide which one to go for, trust the staff choice, I thought a full background check had been done on me when I walked into my ‘Italian Experience.’ I was offered different snacks (including chocolate) that had been paired with the perfect wine, bathed in a wine filled bubble bath and finished off with the most relaxing massage. I thought I had won the day but as we relaxed with our cocktails in the outdoor jacuzzi it transpired that every single one of us had been delighted with our individual experiences.
As if the Marival Residences Luxury Resort doesn’t offer enough, I felt that it was the little extra touches that put this hotel a step, and more, above the rest.
We took advantage of the offer of a sunset 5 course dinner, cooked for us by a personal chef and served to us by our own waiter on our terrace which had been decorated with rose petals. The meal itself was exquisitely presented, tasted even better and a professional photo shoot was set up as the sun set behind us, making for some pretty fantastic photos which we were able to bring home.
The service went above and beyond, an X-box was brought up to our room, along with drinks and snacks and karaoke was installed, along with providing a range of DVDs.
Friends who had come along with their families availed of the babysitting services offered as well as the on the beach family photoshoot.
If you are a foodie and a wine lover Brunello Wine Bar’s wine tasting is the perfect way to spend an evening. The sommelier teaches how to taste the wine properly and will offer a genuine food experience as he suggests the perfect food pairings for each wine.
And to top it off a pillow menu for the perfect night sleep, a daily stocked fridge with juice and water, the bathroom with a beautiful walk-in shower and massive marble bath with L’Occitane pampering products were the finishing touches that made this hotel feel very special indeed.
This hotel is luxury and a touch beyond.