It’s about an hour’s drive north along the edge of the Bahía de Banderas from the International Airport Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz in Puerto Vallarta to Marival Armony, but once you check into this Mexican coastal resort, you won’t want to leave until it’s time to go back home.
The all-inclusive resort (which, of course, can arrange your transportation to and from the airport at an additional charge) has everything one could need for a relaxing getaway. Inclusive here means accommodations plus all the meals, snacks, and beverages served in the restaurants and bars; plus entertainment, and a variety of sports and activities. Some things, such as WiFi, room service, spa treatments, and babysitting, are extra.
Babysitting? Why, yes. This is a family-friendly resort. When I was there in November, there were babies and toddlers and teenagers vacationing with their parents (and sometimes, evidently, with their grandparents). High chairs were readily available in the restaurants (families gravitated to the more informal of the five selections). Four different bars tempted the grownups with a variety of beverages, including a rotation of margarita variations (my favorite was the passion fruit).
There’s lots for the young ones to do — and special places for them to play. Marival Kids’ program, with games and activities for children ranging from 4 to 12 years of age, includes walks on the beach, treasure hunts, building sandcastles, cooking classes, painting, and crafts projects.
High schoolers 13 and up gather at the Teens Club (open daily from 10 am. to 10:30 p.m.) where they can mix and mingle over a pool table, ping-pong table, and video games.
Parents hire babysitters before they hit the Melange World Spa, luxuriating in one or more of the sybaritic massages, facials, and other treatments.
The resort has three pools, one for children, one “mixed ages,” and an adults-only infinity with swim-up bar, as well as three jacuzzis pools. And if salt water is your preference, claim a lounge chair under an umbrella on the Marival’s 923-foot-long sandy beachfront and experience swimming in (or just contemplating) the Banderas Bay.
Of course you’ve been wondering about the name of the resort. According to the Marival Armony, the term “armony” is derived from the Greek αρμονία, which means agreement, concordance, and is related to the verb: “connect”. The word harmony with “h” is used in a context of the language of music, referring to the harmony that composes a melody, while armony, as in Marival Armony, refers to a state of balance with the environment.
Marival Armony has 268 rooms and suites of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms spread over several buildings sloping down to the sand, each with a balcony or terrace. My room, on the second floor of the Vista Tower, had “infinite” views beyond the horizon, above the trees and rooftops and out over the water. The resort faces (mostly) south, so I had both sunsets and sunrises from my balcony.
The décor of my guest room focused on shades of purple (an unexpected hue in Mexico). The bathroom (with a rainshower) gives a nod to the shortest guests by including a plastic stool to reach the sink.
There are lots of condos along the coast in the Riviera Nayarit. If you’re staying off-property, you can buy a day pass for as little as $88 giving you unlimited meals and drinks, non-motorized water sports (such as boogie board, paddle board, and kayak), swimming pool, and beach access.
You can make reservations on the hotel website or via any of the usual booking sites such as Expedia or Travelocity. All-inclusive rates start about $270.
(Photos by Susan McKee)