Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
With a number of massive resorts lining the beach in the exclusive Marina Villa golf community, the competition is fierce, so it's expected that the CasaMagna Marriott's guest rooms, public spaces, grounds, and amenities will be well-designed and well-maintained. And they are -- from the lobby on in, it's a great-looking place, with sweeping ocean views, lush gardens, and a large free-form pool surrounding two towers that house 404 guest rooms and 29 suites -- all with private balconies. But beyond those features, it is the spa that really stands out.
The Ohtli Spa, with multiple massage rooms, hydrotherapy tubs, and other features, is an extraordinarily lovely and inviting facility. Its extensive selection of treatments includes healing rituals based on the traditions of Mexico's Huichol indigenous group. An elegant black fountain adds to the facility's tranquil ambience.
The serene atmosphere extends to the resort's beautifully landscaped grounds, which feature towering trees, dense foliage, and a chili pepper garden. Agave plants are also grown on the property and are actually used to make a house brand tequila that is sold at the hotel.
Other highlights include the well-equipped fitness center with indoor lap pool, spacious Champions Sports Bar with two large viewing screens and 21 flat-screen TVs, and the Mikado restaurant featuring teppanyaki grill-style Japanese dining with an adjacent sushi bar.
Near the airport, in the exclusive Marina Vallarta golf community
Just south of the airport, you turn right at the statues of Neptune and the whales, and head into the marina. When you get past the golf course and the half-built shopping mall at the end of the road, there are countless hotels to your left, more to your right, and the CasaMagna Marriott directly ahead of you. A statue of a golfer flanked by dolphins sits in front of the lobby and pretty much captures the essence of Marina Vallarta -- a swank golf community with a beachside location.
Marina Vallarta is north of downtown, just south of the airport, and has its own yachting scene, golf club and courses, and multiple posh apartment buildings, condominiums, and big resort hotels. The CasaMagna Marriott, like all the other hotels and apartments strung out along the oceanfront here, is entered from the east side with the beach to the west.
Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico's most picturesque beach destinations, with historic white-washed buildings, and cerulean seas set against a rugged mountain skyline. The massive Banderas Bay alone offers over 25 miles of seashore. With all this ocean comes a variety of water sports, like scuba diving with manta rays off Islas Marietas, boating around Los Arcos' reefs, and parasailing off of the popular Playa Los Muertos.
Other popular daytime activities include shopping -- not just the annoying beach vendor kind -- at Puerto Vallarta's mazelike markets. One of the best, Rio Cuale Flea Market, has multiple vendors selling wood carvings, handmade jewelry, and glass and beadwork (among many other items). But be prepared to haggle down those prices!
Puerto Vallarta stays awake when the sun dips below the horizon. Steamy salsa clubs light up the streets, and rowdy local bars supply a steady stream of cerveza for the thirsty traveler. Downtown Puerto Vallarta is the most happening and diverse area.
All rooms and suites have a tropical vibe, with dark wood furniture, white down comforters, light walls, and bright, colorful fabrics and art for contrast. Most feature panoramic ocean vistas, although a few have garden and/or mixed views instead. They all have private balconies and indoor seating areas that vary in size depending on category. The sinuously curving desks are attractive, and the pillow-top mattresses are quite comfortable.
A good mix of restaurants and bars provides for a nice variety of dining options that draw locals as well as hotel guests.
Much like the other sprawling resorts that line the beach in the swanky Marina Vallarta golf community, the CasaMagna Marriott features top-notch restaurants, pools, and meeting rooms, as well as lovely guest rooms and suites that feature modern amenities and contemporary furnishings. Housed in two towers, this upscale hotel is memorable primarily for its sumptuous Ohtli Spa and adjacent fitness center with indoor lap pool. Somewhat removed from Puerto Vallarta's nightlife scene, it is a great spot for travelers who want to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of downtown.