A Vacation in Vallarta

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

A Mexican beach resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahía de Banderas, Puerto Vallarta’s narrow cobblestone streets and distinctive neighborhoods have attracted American vacationers for decades. The town, located in the state of Jalisco (famously known as the birthplace of tequila), is bustling with happy, upbeat locals and visitors who are captivated by the teal and jade-toned seascape and views of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Thanks to the easy 3-hour flight from Los Angeles, the region is an ideal getaway for Southern Californians.

Best known for its balmy beaches, authentic foods and rich culture, Puerto Vallarta is especially appealing to those seeking a relaxing retreat. And since most of the residents speak English, no crash course in Spanish is required prior to arrival. The region is busiest from November to March with tourists visiting from Canada and the U.S., while the rest of the year it’s populated with domestic vacationers.

As a base for that much-needed getaway, The Marriott Puerto Vallarta, having recently completed an extensive 18-million-dollar resort renovation, offers the best in comfort and amenities to its hotel guests. A refined and contemporary beachfront haven, this sizeable 433-room resort is managed much like a boutique hotel given its conscientious customer care but offers all the benefits of a large resort.

Along with free Wi-Fi, guests enjoy an array of services and activities on property as well as the Marina Vallarta golf club across the street. A new raised pool deck with cocoon daybeds and more than 700 lounge chairs surround the infinity pool and guests who seek a more serene poolside experience can enjoy the adults-only pool. The new Coco Bar, located under a poolside palapa, serves chilled beverages and a wide selection of creative cocktails. Water sports such as snorkeling and scuba diving can be booked through the hotel concierge as can zip-lining and hot-air ballooning. Youngsters can find amusement and make new friends at the Kids’ Club.

After all that activity, a visit to the full-service Ohtli Spa is a must. Soothing body and facial treatments as well as other wellness programs provide rejuvenation to any tired traveler. The fitness center is located in the spa area and features cardio equipment, free weights and stretching classes.

Foodies will be especially pleased with the dining options on the property. With five restaurants, a deli, two bars, and an ice-cream stand to name a few, hunger and thirst are never part of this vacation. The Mexican, Japanese and seafood restaurants offer a unique assortment of gourmet fare prepared by award-winning chefs. Beverages can be enjoyed at the Coffee House or the Tequila Bar, which is marked by a wall featuring 180 different tequilas.

Guestrooms are designed in warm, neutral tones contrasted with blues and greys and feature luxurious bedding and mini-bars. Contemporary, sleek furniture and remodeled bathrooms with rainforest showers and enhanced lighting extends the calming ambiance. Most rooms offer stunning ocean views.

The surrounding community loves to celebrate and with such festivals as the Day of the Dead, the Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival and the Guadalupe Processions, merry-making is this town’s specialty.

The nearby town of Malecon, considered the “heart of the city,” features an evolving art district with a variety of galleries and a large crafts market spotlighting works by the local indigenous population. It’s also where the famous Church of Guadalupe with its bell tower can be found. Malecon offers enchanting views of Banderas Bay and its plaza attracts sightseers who stroll along the boardwalk to enjoy the ocean breeze and iconic sculptures. Friendly locals also gather at this popular center to dance on Sunday nights as jubilant musicians saturate the area with native songs.

The neighboring Marina area, flanked by boats, yachts and cruise ships features eateries, cafes, unique shops and food markets. A fascinating town with an authentic Mexican character, Puerto Vallarta offers a lot of culture and an assortment of culinary options.

Many of Puerto Vallarta’s restaurants have been established long ago and are family-owned and operated. From upscale restaurants such as Café Des Artistes, which features a romantic setting with an outdoor garden to the multitude of street taco stands, the area is an epicurean marvel.

For the best taco-sampling experience, Vallarta Eats Food Tours offer guided walks to the tastiest carts in town that tourists may not find on their own. With more than 1,000 restaurants from which to choose, a guided jaunt takes the uncertainty out of the “where shall we eat” part of a vacation.

Puerto Vallarta is a city that can be enjoyed by families, couples and people of all ages. It’s a place where one can uncover hidden gems, indulge in a favorite activity or develop new pastimes. It’s close enough to visit spontaneously yet distant enough to gratify the need to explore another culture. It’s a trip that is sure to make memories that will be not soon be forgotten.


Signature Taco Tour Stops

  • Carnitas – pork taco
    (corner of Aguacate and Venustiano Carranza)
  • Birria Chanfay – birria taco dorado and soft birria taco
    (Venustiano Carranza between Aguacate and Insurgentes)
  • Marisma’s – fish taco (Naranjo almost at the corner of Venustiano Carranza)
  • Cisneros – seafood chile relleno and shrimp brochette
    (Aguacate between Venustiano Carranza and Lázaro Cárdenas)
  • La Michoacana – passion fruit or guanábana sorbet
    (corner of Francisco Madero and Constitución)
  • Azteca – candy shop
    (A. Rodriguez and Matamoros)

Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

by Monique Reidy

For more information visit:


P.O. Box 1435 | Thousand Oaks | CA | 91360


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