Puerto Vallarta is an ideal vacation spot for families: It’s affordable, exotic, and offers an abundance of activities both you and your kids will love. It doesn’t hurt that the average year-round temperature is 80 degrees and the food is phenomenal everywhere you go. The most important thing to note about this warm and multicultural city—and the one thing you’ll be sure to notice—is the friendliness of the people. PV is known for its inviting and hospitable vibe.
Located between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay, less than 10 minutes from the airport, is the Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. From the dozens of palm trees lining the streets leading to the hotel to the breathtaking open-concept lobby with oceanfront views, you’ll feel relaxed before you even check in. Once your family settles into one of the resort’s newly renovated rooms, you can take a nap, enjoy the stunning view from the balcony, or head downstairs for a bite to eat.
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Often, resorts cater to tourists, and you don’t get an authentic glimpse into the local culinary scene. That is not the case here. The resort has six exceptional restaurants led under the direction of culinary celebrity and Executive Chef Fred Ruiz. One of the most unique culinary experiences at the resort is La Estancia’s “Dine Around Mexico 6 Course Menu” that allows you to taste the flavors and culture of Mexico in a gastronomic tour. Each item on the menu, from crab enchiladas to avocado sorbet, gives you a glimpse inside the culinary scene of the state that item is from.
The Ceviche & Tequila Bar located in the lobby is also a great spot to grab a bite to eat before heading to the beach or pool. The restaurant offers a large variety of delicious ceviche, exclusive house-created recipe cocktails (that are darn good) for mom and dad to treat themselves, as well as over 180 different tequilas.
In theory, you’ll want to pack as much action into your trip as possible, but once you lie out on the bay or set up shop at a poolside cabana, you’re not going to want to leave. If that’s the case, Las Casitas, the resort’s beachfront restaurant, also has poolside and beachside service.
The Marriott is not short on family-friendly activities. The resort offers an abundance of things to do on-site, including kayaking, snorkeling, volleyball, table tennis, swimming, and more. The most popular feature of the resort, the huge infinity pool, is steps from the ocean and has something for the whole family including a swim-up bar. If you need a break from the sun but are still looking to relax, you can drop the kids off at Marriott Kids Club while you head to the full service Ohtli Spa for a rejuvenating deep tissue massage, aromatic facial, or a coffee body wrap.
The Kids Club offers many interesting activities, including releasing baby turtles into the ocean during the nesting/summer season, mask-making, and origami. There’s also a kiddie pool, a swing set, and some lounge chairs if you want to lay out while the kids swim.
There is so much to explore in Puerto Vallarta. From the vibrant streets of downtown to swimming with dolphins on Majahuitas Beach, there is plenty to do beyond the resort. Luckily, Marriott makes it super-easy by allowing you to reserve and pay for any Vallarta Adventures tour at concierge.
If you’re looking to take a day trip away from the resort, Vallarta Adventures Las Caletas Beach Hideaway, one of the top four private beaches in the world, is highly recommended. Nestled in the Sierra Madre Mountains, this paradise hideaway is a short 35-40 minute boat ride from the Vallarta Adventures dock near the resort. Once you arrive at Las Caletas, you have about six hours to kayak, hike, paddle board, chill in one of the many beachside hammocks, take a cooking class, or go down a huge slide into the ocean.
If you’re looking to do some sightseeing near the Marriott, Marina Vallarta is within walking distance of the resort and features a beautiful boardwalk with views of the mountains, yachts, and sailboats. Every Thursday the Marina hosts a market with hundreds of vendors all along the Marina Malecón. The market is a great place to find souvenirs, interact with locals, and really get a taste of the culture of Puerto Vallarta.