More than 16,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space
Pet-friendly; allows animals up to 40 pounds
Fee for in-room Wi-Fi (free in lobby) and in-room coffee
Fee to use the kids' club
Fee to use inflatable pool toys
Beach is on the small side (typical for the area) and sand is a bit pebbly
Beach vendors sometimes a nuisance
Older resort showing minor wear in areas
Pool area can be loud with music and kids, whirlpools not always hot
Privacy shutters between bathroom and bedroom don't block sound
This 280-room Westin is an older upscale beachfront resort within walking distance of the marina. It draws plenty of families, thanks to its two beautiful freeform pools (one with a swim-up bar) and kids' club. Other notable features include the spa (complete with a hydrotherapy pool) and spacious fitness center with a sauna and steam room. Most guests opt for the European plan but all-inclusive rates are also available, and food is decent. Spacious rooms have neutral modern decor, separate tubs and showers in the bathrooms (with peek-a-boo windows to the rooms), and balconies with at least partial ocean views. Just note that some have been more recently renovated than others. The beach here is on the small side and there are some pebbles in the sand. Extra fees for in-room Wi-Fi, in-room coffee, and the kids' club may leave some guests feeling nickel-and-dimed, but self-parking at least is free. Those seeking an all-inclusive option without the extra fees may prefer the Sunset Plaza Beach Resort and Spa.
An upscale chain hotel near the marina that draws lots of families
The Westin dates to 1992, and in the bones of the resort, this age shows a bit -- such as in the bright orange and pink exteriors with machine stucco texturing, and in a few spots, dirty tile grout. But the resort has been slowly renovating over the years and overall the feels is modern and upscale. The vibrant exterior accents are toned down upon entry, and the lobby looks slick, with marble tile floors, wood-beam ceiling slats, and touches of stone, green plants, and natural-wood furniture. There's also a slew of contemporary art pieces throughout the hotel, including a large sculptural tree trunk in the center of the lobby. A massive hallway lined with shops stretches down to the hotel’s own Starbucks franchise. The elevators are tucked around the first corner, just at the start of the hallway, and one can go up to the rooms, or down to the grounds.
The grounds themselves, once part of a coconut plantation, are one of the most impressive parts of the resort. Everything is pristinely landscaped and manicured; groundskeepers were painting sidewalk borders as we did our tour, and the rock formations placed strategically along the pathways in the shapes of turtles are a cute addition. There are plenty of palm trees everywhere, including on little islands in the freeform pool complex, which forms the hub of the resort. There are plenty of couples and families here, and the property almost never feels crowded -- though some couples may not appreciate that the pool area is sometimes overrun with noisy children. The loud music that often plays is also not to everyone's taste.
The Westin used to be part of a time-share property, and the grounds flow into those of the adjacent time-share resort, Club Regina. Guests report being able to use the pool here, but can't charge food to their rooms from this section. The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa nearby is a very comparable option to the Westin, so it may be worth comparing rates.
On the beach, and about a 15-minute walk to the marina
One of the first properties to open in the Marina Vallarta golf community, this resort is located on the beach and near the marina's entrance channel. The Marina Vallarta Golf Club is around five minutes away on foot, and the numerous eateries and shops around the marina are within a 10- to 15-minute walk. The Westin, 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. The resort is a 10-minute drive south of the airport, and a 25-minute drive from Old Town Vallarta (also known as the Romantic Zone), the historic area that's home to the Malecon, a waterfront promenade.
Earth-tone rooms with bright accents, private balconies, and modern amenities
The 280 rooms repeat the same earthy, cream tones of the main entrance and lobby, with white duvets, wood furniture, and white walls (some have a rust-colored accent walls). Clay floor tiles are standard in most of the rooms, though some have marble tile. All rooms come with a private balcony; those on floors one through five have partial ocean views, and six through 11 have full ocean views. Rooms range from 581 square feet (54 square meters) in the entry-level Deluxe Rooms, to 2,906 square feet in the Presidential Suite. As of 2015, the top three floors of the resort had been renovated with new floors and paint in both the hallways and the rooms themselves.
Standard amenities include flat-screen TVs, in-room safes, and 24-hour room service. There are also minibars and coffeemakers; coffee packets cost extra, but bottled water is free. Wi-Fi incurs a daily fee. Some of the larger rooms and suites have additional whirlpool tubs on the balconies, plus private access to the Club Lounge, where a free breakfast and evening cocktail hour are provided. The Grand Suites also have a second story, with the bedrooms upstairs and the living room areas downstairs.
Two freeform pools, smallish beach, kids’ club, a spa, and a fitness center
The heart of the resort is the massive pool complex, which is made up of two freeform pools and two whirlpools. The pools are heated, but the whirlpools are not always hot. There are plenty of cushioned loungers surrounding, umbrellas and trees providing shade, and signs warn that reserving loungers with towels is not allowed -- but loungers are usually easy to come by. Poolside and beachside service to loungers is provided. The beach is not a major highlight; as is typical for the Marina Vallarta area, it is a bit narrow, with some pebbles in the sand. The water is calm, however, making it suitable for young children. There are free canvas and plastic loungers at the beach, and some daybeds that cost extra; all of the beach seating could use an upgrade.
The kids club is an indoors area with toys, arts and crafts supplies, and video game consoles, but outdoor activities are limited and fees apply. Some guests report that the kids' club is underutilized, as most kids spend their time at the pool.
The huge WestinWorkout Fitness Studio has a variety of modern equipment, plus fitness classes, and faces the tennis courts (these need maintenance and are looking a bit ragged). The eponymous spa has a variety of treatments, seven indoor treatment rooms, and indoor Sensation pools. Massages on the beach are available.
For events, there are 10 flexible breakout rooms, a 5,872-square-foot ballroom, and outdoor space, for a total of over 16,000 feet of space for conventions, meetings, or weddings.
Two restaurants, two bars, and 24-hour room service
El Palmar is the main restaurant, offering breakfast and dinner buffets and all-day a la carte items. It has seating indoors and on a terrace. (In general, the a la carte food tends to be better than the buffet options.) Food quality is decent, but better food can be found off-site.
Located in the spacious lobby, La Cascada bar has seasonal live music, light snacks, and a full selection of drinks; there are often sports games on the TV.
The poolside Tlaquepaque Bar has a swim-up side and a small, covered seating section nearby; it focuses on sandwiches and snacks.
Arrecifes is a casual bar and restaurang by the beach serving steaks and seafood selections on an outdoor terrace or at the bar, under a large palapa
Some plans include breakfast, and all-inclusive rates are also available.
24-hour room service
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