Never say never! Those are words I truly need to remember. If you would have asked me a year ago whether I would ever write a blog I would've looked at you like you had three eyes and given you a stern “hell no!” Well here I am eating those words just 365 days later. My name is Andrea Wallace and I am one of the co-owners of Midwest Travel Service. I have worked in the travel industry for seventeen years and not a day goes by that I wish I was doing something else. This industry is exciting, ever changing and best of all, it has fabulous perks. While many of my colleagues spend their vacations visiting museums, taking city tours and checking out local landmarks, I prefer to lay in a lawn chair on a sunny beach (actually that isn’t entirely true…I am much more of a pool gal than a beach gal) and drink in the sunshine. I guess you could say I am a warm water expert. You won’t find me on an Alaskan cruise or in Paris checking out the Eiffel Tower, but if you want to check out the newest hotel in Playa del Carmen or Anguilla count me in!
Pool at the Marival Residences
I’ve just returned from what can only be described as heaven on earth! My family and I spent nine glorious nights at the Marival Residences and World Spa in Puerto Vallarta. This was our second visit to the property and we enjoyed it even more than our first visit (which I didn’t think was possible).
Aerial of the beautiful resort
We had traveled all over the Caribbean as a family but last year decided to give Mexico a try. Our biggest concern was the size of our accommodations. In the past we have rented large villas where my entire family stayed together under one roof. We spend a lot of time together, whether it be hanging together in the pool, enjoying afternoon happy hours or board games at night. We do everything together and wanted someplace that allowed us that opportunity.
The Marival Residence and World Spa offered space and a whole lot more!!! Their smallest room is 1400 square feet and offers a full kitchen, dining room, living room, bedroom and two bathrooms with a stocked fridge with beer, soda and water. In addition to the large rooms, the resort is seriously all inclusive. The food is ala carte and fabulous. They offer top-shelf liquor (try a Paloma- it was tasty AND refreshing) and the service is the best I have ever encountered at a resort. If that wasn’t enough for me to give the resort a “10," they throw in unlimited golf and unlimited tours. Can I tell you how much fun it was to zipline with three generations? Yep, ziplining was on my Mom’s bucket list and she can now check that off! We also enjoyed a dolphin and sea lion encounter. Our final tour was a sunset cruise around Banderas Bay where we spotted dolphins chasing our catamaran.
Living Room & Dining Room
The resort has a rooftop bar/restaurant called Insu. They serve small plates (tapas) which are delish! I can almost guarantee you won’t find a better place in all of Puerto Vallarta to watch the sunset. Don’t worry about getting chilly, as Insu offers two fireplaces to keep you warm should the need arise. The waiters are fab and they play great music at night. Want to see Insu for yourself? Check out my video tour of this area. Excuse my appearance and stumbling of words, as this was the first time I have tried this. I am pretty sure the Travel Channel won’t be calling me any time soon.
A second all-inclusive resort is included too! The Marival Residence has a sister hotel (the Marival Resort) which is just a two-minute golf cart ride away. This resort sits smack dab on a beautiful beach. Guests at the Residences have full use of all the restaurants and amenities of the Marival Resort. And the best part? The private VIP Beach Club. This area is strictly for Residence guests and offers beach beds, padded chairs and high end food & drinks. There are beach butlers available for your every need! We spent several days here enjoying the ocean, napping, soaking up the rays and people watching.
The weather throughout our vacation was unbelievable! There wasn’t a cloud in the sky for nine straight days. We have traveled to other parts of Mexico and the Caribbean where the weather in April can be 'iffy,' but not there! It was gorgeous. What was the best part of my vacation? My sister’s boyfriend proposed! They have decided on a destination wedding at the Marival Residences next April surrounded by friends and family. I am thrilled to be returning. April 2012 can’t come soon enough for me!
If you want to check out other videos of the Marival Residences check out our YouTube channel here. Have a happy 4th everyone!