There’s one spot in Mexico’s Pacific vacation playground where you’ve got access to a golf course, boat excursions, a beach, and a variety of restaurants. If you stay at a Puerto Vallarta Marina hotel, you can actually walk to most places you want to go too. One of the original hotels there is looking better than ever after multiple upgrades: the Marriott Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta.
Over the years, this Marriott resort in Mexico has been a reliable choice for Americans heading down for a vacation by Banderas Bay. At one time this was called the Casamagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta and you still see it listed that way sometimes. It’s right down the beach from its corporate sister property the marina Westin Resort and Spa. Both have gone through multiple rounds of renovations in recent years.
This is especially evident here in the swimming pool complex, which has gotten much bigger and bolder since I made my first visit to the property in the early ’00s. The main infinity pool is now a huge one with lounge chairs all around the perimeter, a swim-up bar, and waiters making the rounds bringing drinks to those who don’t want to get up. Another pool is geared to the kids, with things to climb on and slide down in the water.
There’s also a whirlpool area off to the side, then an indoor pool for laps near the spa if you are trying to get some real exercise. Then on the beach itself there are more chairs, hammocks, and other options for lounging. The beach here isn’t as pretty or white as it is further north in Nayarit, but the view makes up for it looking over at Puerto Vallarta’s downtown, especially at night when the lights are twinkling. Here’s what it looks like in the other direction:
Puerto Vallarta Marina Hotel Food and Drinks
This Marriott in Puerto Vallarta has one of the most extensive ranges of dining and drinking options in the region, thanks to a wide array of restaurants and bars scattered around the complex. And that doesn’t even take into account what’s probably the largest catering army in the region for meeting groups: they have at times served 2,000 people at once for banquets.
The dining option with the best view is the newest one at the resort: the beachfront Nosh Sunset Bar & Bites is on the second floor above the pool bar, suspended above the beach and bay with a great view in three directions. It turns into a raw bar at night, open until 10, and sometimes there’s live entertainment.
Downstairs from that is the main bar serving the pool area, where you can literally step off the beach and order a tequila cocktail while still having your toes in the sand. Or take a seat at one of the swinging chairs.
The resort admirably offers a range of dining outlets for different budgets, perhaps a nod to all the other choices just outside the gate in the marina area. (In a nice break from the norm with hotels, they actually list some that they recommend on their website’s dining page.)
There’s a coffee shop and deli with snacks and pastries, an ice cream shop, and a sports bar, but then a breakfast buffet spot, a Japanese restaurant, and a tequila bar that also serves sushi.
The other beachfront option is Las Casitas, which serves all three meals, focused on Mexican food sourced from local ingredients. You could have a great Mexican breakfast here while the beach is close to empty, have lunch with a view to take a break from the tropical sun, or catch dinner with a sunset at the end of the day.
Activities and Excursions
There’s a strong focus on wellness at this Marriott, so if one partner wants to play golf or go fishing and the other would rather get a body scrub and a massage, you’ll be all set. The extensive spa here is beautiful, with a lot of hydrotherapy elements, and is a relaxing space that will take your cares away.
If you want to get more active, there’s a full gym on site that’s spacious and well-equipped, with classes available to sign up for and a personal trainer available for hire. Basketball courts, tennis courts, and now pickleball courts are awaiting as well.
The staffed kids club is popular with parents who want a break. The little ones can join planned activities or play in the pool section with supervision. The resort also offers babysitting services.
There’s a full tour desk with dozens of options here as well as a concierge that can take care of more personalized requests. Since this hotel is so close to the marina where the boat tours leave from, it’s not such a pain to take an excursion from here as it can be from resorts on the south side of the city or further north in Nayarit. When the boat returns, you’re almost home.
Marriott Puerto Vallarta Rooms
As most travelers know, you don’t book a Marriott brand hotel in order to be surprised and delighted over what you’ll find in your room. You book one for predictability and a level of amenities you can depend on. Business travelers like how they don’t have to wonder what they’ll end up with and that feeling extends to most Marriott beach resorts as well, especially ones like this that host lots of meetings and conventions.
In these Puerto Vallarta hotel rooms you can expect lots of beige and cream colors, wood or laminate hotel catalog furniture, and a limited use of color. Sure, these rooms could be in Cleveland or Cairo, but when you step onto your furnished balcony and look out at the water, then you’re seeing what should be the center of attention.
You do get an array of U.S. TV channels on the wall-mounted TV here, plenty of drawers for unpacking, and reliable Wi-Fi. Rooms are ample size and many have a sofa bed to accommodate families. The rate differences come down to how good your view is until you get up to the suites, which are larger and more colorful.
Rates sometimes start below $100 here in low season, but more often range from $150 to $250 per night before taxes and fees. You can book direct with Marriott if you’re going to get something out of it via their loyalty program. Otherwise, you can compare what you find there with prices on Hotels.com or Expedia.
Wondering what the other options are? We like the marina area location a lot, but here are some other options for where to stay in Puerto Vallarta.
Review and photos by editor Tim Leffel, who was hosted for one night at the Puerto Vallarta Marina Marriott Resort as part of a press trip in the region. As always, all opinions are his own.