Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta, The Westin vs The Marriott.
One of my absolute favorite parts about planning a trip is choosing where to stay. I am that person who will spend hours, if not days, looking at every accomodation option. When I found out that I had been gifted a trip to Puerto Vallarta, the first thing I did was check out where I was being put up, and look at the hotels that the other winners were staying at as well.
When I saw that I was staying at two different hotels I was ecstatic. Especially because I had heard great things about both the Westin and the Marriott when doing research into Puerto Vallarta.
But which hotel was better to stay at in Puerto Vallarta, The Westin vs The Marriott?
Where to stay in Puerto Vallarta? The Westin VS The Marriott
Both The Westin and The Marriott are located in the Marina Zone. 15 minutes North of the Malecon and only a 5 minute drive from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, the Marina Zone is known for being a bit more expensive than other areas, and here you’ll find plenty of resorts, yachts, golf courses, and fancy restaurants.
In the 1980’s the peso lost much of its value, leading many North American tourists to vacation in Mexico, and meaning that Puerto Vallarta tourism doubled in less than 10 years. Because of this, in 1986 the Guitron brothers, Jorge and Jose, began a business development that led to what is now the Marina Zone.
They planned for golf courses, fancy boats, luxurious hotels, and plenty of higher end boutiques to shop at, and that’s exactly what the Marina Zone is.
The Rooms, The Westin vs The Marriott
As I wrote in my hotel review of the Westin, I’m glad we stayed here first. While the room was nice (I loved the earthy tones and wood), it was also very outdated, and that really showed in the bathroom. There were also small bugs crawling all over (not bedbugs or anything like that, so don’t worry!), which was disappointing when we discovered that they got into our bagels that we got at the market for our breakfast, though they were tightly sealed and hidden away.
Our room had a balcony overlooking part of the pool area, and lots of trees. We could see fireworks on Halloween night coming from the beach.
The room had two double beds, and a relatively large bathroom, which included a tub.
The Westin was actually one of the first hotels to open up in the Marina Zone, and has 263 rooms spread over 14 floors.
The Westin Room
Our room at The Marriott was amazing! I’m really glad that we stayed here second, because to be truthful I would have been very disappointed going from The Marriott to The Westin.
With 405 rooms over 9 floors, this hotel was stunning. I loved our room there so much, it felt very cosy.
While the room was smaller than our room at The Westin, it was significantly nicer. The room was extremely clean, not a bug in sight! There was one king sized bed, a couch (which we spent some time on in the evenings watching Vikings on Netflix, while eating Deli Los Mangos panini’s on), a coffee table, and a huuuuuuuge balcony with incredible views over Banderas Bay. Special mention to the shower here, because it was the best shower I’ve ever showered in!
The Marriott Rooms
Where To Eat In Puerto Vallarta, The Westin vs The Marriott
The Westin has 3 restaurants on site, not including room service and a starbucks.
Arrecifes Seafood & Steakhouse. We did not eat here, but the open air restaurant sits beachside, with beautiful fairy lights lighting the venue with a beautiful view of Banderas Bay.
Open Tuesday to Sunday, for dinner. Dress Code Casual.
El Palmar Restaurant. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, we only ate one meal here, breakfast. We arrived around 10:30 am, when they were prepping for lunch. They told us we could still do the breakfast buffet if we wanted to, so we said yes. The food was delicious, however, I would have rathered just wait for lunch, since as we were going up to make our plates the staff was taking out the breakfast foods, leaving us little options for the buffet. I was able to try both red and green chilaquiles, which was delicious. But when we got the bill, it was around $75 CAD, so we didn’t eat here again.
Dress Code Casual. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
La Cascada Restaurant & Bar. Open for dinner, this is where we hung out in the evenings once we got back from being out. There is a big screen tv that would play old 90’s music, though there is also live music that plays here seasonally.
What we enjoyed most at La Cascada was the pool table, where we would grab a beer and play pool until we were ready to head back to the room.
Dress Code Casual. Open for dinner.
The Marriott has 7 on site dining options, not including room service and a small ice cream stand.
La Estancia. Open for breakfast, this is where you’ll go if looking for a Mexican breakfast buffet.
Dress Code Casual.
Mikado. Open for dinner, Mikado offers teppanyaki made right at your table, as well as made to order sushi.
Dress Code Casual, Reservations Required.
Champions Sports Bar. We spent a few evenings here, drinking litres of beer, and watching sports. I watched my first UFC fight here, and it was so much fun! Personally I didn’t enjoy the food. I ordered a quesadilla and a salad, and both were gross. If you want good Mexican food, Champions is not where you want to eat. But that’s okay, you’re in Puerto Vallarta, where the best food won’t be found on your resort.
They also serve plenty of American options, such as wings and burgers.
Dress Code Casual, open for lunch and dinner.
Las Casitas. The beautiful open air restaurant, Las Casitas has fresh seafood, tropical drinks, and the best views of Banderas Bay.
Dress Code Casual, open for lunch and dinner.
Ceviche & Tequila Bar. This is where we took our cooking class, where we had beautiful views of the pool area and ocean. There are over 180 tequilas, and we had the opportunity to taste a few.
Dress Code Casual, open for lunch and dinner.
Deli Los Mangos. This deli was my favorite place for a quick snack. They had premade sandwiches and salads, chips, fruit, cookies, a drink cooler, and a deli where they would make made to order sandwiches and pizzas.
I ate sandwiches from here 3 times, they were so delicious. The best sandwich I’ve ever had. The morning we left, before heading to the airport, I got one last sandwich.
Dress Code Casual, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and all snacks.
Nosh Sunset Bar + Bites. This is a new swim up bar that offers drinks and light bites.
Things To Do In The Marina Zone
Walking the Marina boardwalk is a lot of fun. This is really the only activity we did in the Marina Zone, since we mostly went to different zones.
The boardwalk has lots of small shops and restaurants, and from October to May, every Thursday evening beginning at 6 pm there is a market, with lots of vendors selling their wares, there is live music and delicious food.
When we stumbled upon this market it was Halloween, and everyone was dressed up, handing out candy to the children who were trick or treating at the market.
Otherwise, people mostly stay in the Marina Zone for the resorts and all of the golf courses.
Personally I could spend an afternoon on the boardwalk eating and drinking at my favorite restaurant, Victor’s Place, otherwise known as Cafe Tacuba.
Why yes, cats have their own category.
Wandering around the property at The Westin you’ll see random cats playing or sleeping, which is adorable! They leave food and water throughout the property for them.we spotted this cutie sleeping with their little tongue sticking out!
The Marriott is home to resident cat Mitzy. She walked in one day and decided to claim the hotel as her own! She’s friendly, and likes to sleep in the open air lounge. We only ever saw her snoozing, but she’s known to be very friendly. We also saw a few other cats running around the pool area!
Need To Know About Puerto Vallarta, The Westin vs The Marriott
Address – Paseo de la Marina Sur #205, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48354 Mexico.
Distance from Airport – 1.2 miles North, a 5 minute drive. There is no shuttle service provided.
Check in – 3 pm
Check out – 12 pm
Rooms start around $129 USD per night.
Address – Paseo La Marina Norte 435, Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco 48354 Mexico.
Distance from Airport – 1.4 miles North, a 5 minute drive. There is no shuttle service provided.
Check In – 3 pm
Check Out – 12 pm
Rooms start around $139 USD per night.
Between the two I would prefer to stay at The Marriott any day. It’s much nicer, updated, clean, and beautiful. The Westin is somewhere I would stay if I had to, and would only be there to sleep. This isn’t to say it’s not a good hotel, it definitely is! I just much prefer The Marriott.
Both hotels look and sound great. I think I would lean towards the Marriott and say hello to Mitzy.
Mitzy is super cute! I love when hotels have resident animals that live there.
I want to stay at both!!! Especially for the cats 🙂
Hotel cats are the best!
Thanks for this very clear, transparent and honest hotel review! Super helpful! It is so hard to choose a hotel from just looking at pictures online without the voice of real experience. Also, I appreciated the bit of history and, of course, the CATS! I am a cat lady, so I am sold 🙂
I love reading hotel reviews, and the only way to write one is to be honest and transparent! The Marriott is an incredible place to stay in Puerto Vallarta.
Aww gotta love those hotel cats! I’ve never been to Puerto Vallarta, but I’m obsessed with Mexico, so I’m sure I’ll make it there someday!
Hotel cats are the best! I hope you make it sometime, it’s wonderful!
Wow, both of those pool views are to die for! And let’s be real, my favorite part of this article is the section on the cats. 😀
Haha cats are my favorite part of anything, so of course they had to be included in this article!
Both hotels look gorgeous! That’s interesting that their price point is so similar and yet you found the Marriott so much better. My partner’s last name is Marriott, so we’d probably pick that one. And how cool that cats are a big thing at both properties!
Haha I love that your partner’s last name is Marriott! And it would be a great choice to stay!
Both hotels looks great! I think I might need to try both and see what I think of each!
Havent been to Puerto Vallarta yet but hopefully once this pandemic is over we can make a go of it!
Love the cats just wondering the place!
The cats were so cute! Yes try both!
Seeing that they are almost the same price point, I always would make the deciding factor about last renovation date and beach/pool views. I love how ‘cats’ are their own subheading. Who knew that they would be part of the draw for the guests? Especially those that miss their animals at home while travelling (like me!).
Cats definitely get their own subheading haha! I loved the pool at The Westin, but the views from the Marriott pool were amazing!
I liked the look of the Westin room, and that bathroom, but it sounds like the Marriott has a lot more to offer and is better, including the dining options. I love that cats become a category but the one category where both hotels win!
The Westin room looked gorgeous! Just need to get rid of those bugs. Haha cats always win 😊
Both places are so beautiful, I love it!
Based on the look of the room, I would have 100% gone with the Westin. I prefer the wooden look. It looks so much more luxurious and just seems comfortable.
The modern look of the Marriott just doesn’t scream holiday for me.
The tiny bug situation makes me not want to stay at the Westin. I wonder if I could train one of the cats to hunt them for me.
I loved the wooden look of the room! I enjoyed the modern Marriott room, but the wooden look was beautiful.
I love that cats gets a section – that’s definitely what would help me choose somewhere to stay! They’re both way out of my budget though which is good as it saves me having to decide which cats to meet!
Haha cats are a major draw! They were all so cute.
My partner and I have stayed at the Westin in PV 3 times this year and we absolutely love everything about it. The staff is friendly and accommodating. The food in the restaurants is delicious and reasonably priced. Room service is prompt and very inexpensive by US standards. Also, most of the upgraded rooms at the Westin have private jacuzzis on the balcony. We’re going back again in February
Wow I didn’t know the updated rooms have private Jacuzzis on the balcony, that’s awesome!