Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
With one of the area’s best pool complexes, and a superior gym and spa, the Grand Mayan is an especially appealing destination
The Mayan Group owns a large (currently) undeveloped chunk of the south end of Nuevo Vallarta, and they are busily exploiting it -- constructing more time-share towers (primarily of the high-end variety) along the beach and around the golf course. As a result, guests hear a lot of construction racket while trying to relax poolside. When it’s all done, a train will take guests from a “depot” to the central check-in, and then off to their time-share or hotel of choice. They're also tearing down guestroom towers to build larger, more expensive ones. So although the Grand Mayan is great for the pools, golf course, private beach, and comfortable rooms, some guests may be put off by the noise, as well as the fact that it's not all-inclusive and is on the pricey side.
Of course, you do get what you pay for. Overall the grounds are stunning, with Mayan-inspired architectural elements, perfectly manicured lawns surrounded by lush plantings, and chicly designed interior spaces. Aside from a few Disney-esque flourishes (particularly in the pool zone) this is your basic high-end time-share hotel: elegant, understated, and comfortably luxurious.
Nuevo Vallarta offers beautiful beaches and first-class golf courses, but it is a fair distance from Puerto Vallarta
Going north out of Puerto Vallarta’s airport, you cross the Ameca River via the Punta Ameca bridge, which links the states of Jalisco to the south and Nayarit to the north. In the southwest corner of Nayarit, on the beach, is Nuevo Vallarta. The Mayan properties occupy the southwest corner of Nuevo Vallarta, stretching north and east from where the river meets the sea. It’s a short distance from the first Nuevo Vallarta turn-off to the Mayan main gate, which controls access to all the Mayan properties, including The Grand Mayan Nuevo Vallarta.
Once inside the gate, another two to three minutes gets you to the motor lobby of the hotel. (Be sure your driver knows where he or she is going because the signage is fairly discreet.) All of the Mayan resorts are situated around a golf course and/or just off the beach.
Well-designed modern rooms and suites, with views varying between ocean and mountain/golf course
Like all the Mayan properties, the Grand Mayan, with its five wings of 10-story buildings, has three room types: Grand Master Room, Grand Suite, and Grand Master Suite (which joins the other two into one). Those facing west feature ocean views, while the others enjoy views of the golf course, Banderas Valley, and the Sierra Madre Mountains. Rooms are all clean and feature contemporary decor (modern furnishings and artwork, and refreshing color choices), as well as large flat-screen TVs. Because they are decorated to serve as time-share units, they have a more residential-feeling vibe than many Puerto Vallarta resorts.
A complete destination resort, including a world-class golf course and one of the region’s most spectacular pool complexes
Plenty of dining options, though quite pricey
The Grand Mayan’s pool complex alone will convince most to stay here: It includes a massive sprawling main pool, fun kiddy pool and kid-friendly waterpark, large Mayan-ruin-themed waterslide for all ages, and excellent wave pool, topped off by a sparkling-blue lazy river that peacefully winds throughout the pristine property, which is complete with manicured lawns, towering palms, and native plantings. But the perks don't stop there. The rooms are spacious, handsome and comfortable as well, and the beach is a stunner -- as are the world-class golf course, exquisite spa, and even the ultra-modern fitness center. Just keep in mind, however, that those smiling resort employees are selling time-shares, and the consistent sales pitches may be too relaxation-impeding for some. A further (though temporary) impediment is the consistent development in the area, which leads to bothersome construction noise at times.