There are places you know you’ll always return to even if you haven’t been hadn’t been to in awhile and Mexico is one of those places, even more tourist-visited hot spots like Puerto Vallarta, largely because it’s easy and quick to get to from San Francisco. Recently, I headed down for a food and culture getaway and stayed at the Marriott, which is conveniently located right on the coast.
For those into getaways, it’s useful to know that the property is near the airport. Nestled between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay, CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is apparently ranked as one of the top 10 Pacific Riviera hotels by Condé Nast Traveler.
What’s nice about its location is that while it’s a stone’s throw from the airport, it feels cut off from an overpopulated area. It also means that you can leave the airport at 4 pm and be checked in and swimming an hour later. Part of the hotel’s facilities includes a nearby golf course, shopping and nightlife. The beach itself is lovely which I had an opportunity to stroll down every morning before our daily activities started. Palm trees swaying, fishermen off in the distance and people lounging nearby with drinks in their hands, even by mid-morning. It’s a place of lounge really and while they do attract couples, it’s known to be a great place for families and corporate retreats.
Think golden sand in front of comfy lounge chairs, umbrellas and kayaks. The pool area is central to the entire property and there’s a swim up bar for those too lazy to get out of the pool when a piña colada is calling. For those not into serious white rum and coconut, can go for coconut water in a freshly cut one right on-site or one of their many Margaritas — you’d be missing out if you went to Mexico and didn’t take advantage of the fresh tequila, which unlike so many bars in the states, is 100% agave.
A margarita is always better with fresh Ceviche of course and the Marriott served the best I had all week, which included five other restaurant stops in central Puerto Vallarta, one of which was supposed to be known for their mixed seafood ceviche.
While the property itself may seem quite large at first glance, the area is actually compact. While it may not be a boutique property with small bungalows spread out with tables facing the sea, the walk between your room and the pool or beach is only a few minutes and you’re greeted with beautiful flowers and palm trees en route.
Guest rooms feature balconies, marble bathrooms, Internet access and plasma TVs. Below is the view from my room of the pool area and ocean beyond, which is a great place to have your morning cuppa Joe and bring the day in. Or, you can take a stroll along the beach like I did — great joy!
You can also request room extras when you book. They offer a variety of room choices, such as a king or two doubles with a garden view, a pool view or an ocean view, which I had. There’s also a Junior Suite, with a Banderas Bay View, an Ocean view, or an Aztec Tower room with a balcony.
Want an upgraded experience? They have it! Be sure to stipulate what you want in style, view and features. You can opt for the Emperor Executive Suite, an even larger Diplomat Suite or the Governor’s Suite — in my opinion, the best part about suite options are the terraces, hot tubs and views…..have a look!
Fitness & Outdoor Activities
They have a great Fitness Center at the spa on the premises, which has a combination of cardiovascular equipment, free weights and high tech cardio and weight training equipment. They also offer fitness classes, a stretching class, an indoor lap pool, a kid’s club outdoor heated pool and a hot tub. In addition to athletic opportunities inside, you can go kayaking, paddle boarding, play table tennis or tennis, volleyball or take in a sauna. There’s also a Solarium on-site and plenty of kid’s activities, making it a great family stay. The Marriott Kid’s Club has an educational and entertainment program designed for kids aged 4-12 who want to have fun on site. Also worth noting is their Sea Turtle Rescue Program, which is a seasonable offering. From June to November, you can attend a baby turtle’s release ceremony. Yogis will be happy to learn that they have yoga, spinning and pilates classes as well.
The Ohtli Spa
Be sure to read out write-up on the spa, which boasts more than 22,000 square feet of space and is slated to be one of the best spas in Mexico. They have Aromatic showers, steam and sauna rooms, dipping pools, a relaxing lounge area with cucumber and lemon infused water and teas, robes and an indoor relaxing pool area where you can also swim laps.
One of the more unusual therapies they offer is Rebirth Therapy, which is performed in water, and entirely focused on meditation and relaxation. Your therapist will guide you through a series of rhythmic movements that relax your mind, muscle tissue and joints, allowing you to gradually drift into a meditative state. With regular treatments, you should experience improved flexibility and a strengthened immune system.
Yelapa-Reiki Touch Therapy is another service they offer, which is worth mentioning. It’s a light touch therapy that integrates Huihol Shamanistic meditation with western polarity therapy. As the rich scent of copal incense fills the air, your therapist guides you through conscious breathing and into deep relaxation. I had the Rosemary-Peppermint Therapeutic massage – I am a fan of rosemary since it stimulates circulation and peppermint soothes and cools muscle tissue. Two thumbs up! Below is the indoor pool they use for Rebirth Therapy.
The Marriott has a few options on-site, from the Estancia mainstay restaurant where I spent a chunk of my time (below), which is focuses on Mexican Flavors to Las Casitas, where they offer more contemporary Mexican seafood grill and steaks.
Outside dining and views at Las Casitas!
There’s also a deli on-site, La Cava Wine Cellar which is home to their home brewed Casa Magna Tequila and their Japanese restaurant Mikado, where you can get exquisite specialties and beyond at the sushi bar. The real treasure however is outdoor dining at their private Herb Garden, which can be set up for small groups at an authentic homemade wooden table in a courtyard area on the property, not far from the sea’s edge. Oh so exquisite, oh so elegant, oh so perfect!!
And well….the food wasn’t bad either. Be sure to read our Puerto Vallarta foodie write-up which includes many of the scrumptious dishes at the Marriott.
The chef, sous chef and team came out towards the end of the night to say “hey.” Tres tres delish! Details of what we had are in our foodie write-up. (top Puerto Vallarta Restaurants / Puerto Vallarta Food Guide).
CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa
Av Paseo de la Marina Norte
435 Marina Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco
México CP 48354
Phone: +52 322 226 0000
Note: I was hosted by the Marriott but all opinions expressed are entirely my own.