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We were sitting in the private Royal Club beach area of the Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta when my 14-year-old daughter first noticed it.
“Hey, there’s Wi-Fi right on the beach here,” she said as she excitedly started sending Facebook messages to her friends back home in science class.
Although I have to admit that I quite enjoyed connecting to the Internet while relaxing on the beach, I wasn’t about to start emailing my friends who were stuck in their offices. As it turned out, Internet connectivity was just one of the improvements made during a year-long renovation that upgraded the resort from an Occidental Allegro property to an Occidental Grand.
When it comes to Occidental hotels and resorts, there are three very distinct styles to choose from — Allegro, Grand and Royal Club, and each level caters to a different type of guest. Allegro resorts are family-friendly and easy on the budget. Grand resorts have more lavish accommodations and better restaurants, while Royal Club is considered the ultimate in luxury and pampering.
It took 12 months to transform the 20-year-old beachfront resort from a 3½-star Allegro category to a 4½-star Grand with a Royal Club section.
“One of the advantages we have always had is the ideal location on one of the best beaches in Riviera Nayarit, but now we also have one of the finest accommodations in the region,” said general manager Jesus Aguirre. “This is basically a brand-new resort and we’re really proud of the transformation that has taken place.”
Over the past year, all 270 rooms and suites were completely refurbished and the lobby bars and restaurants were also renovated to give the resort a more modern and upscale feel. Royal Club rooms and a private Royal Club restaurant, lounge and business area were also added to the upper floors of the property.
“We used to have the front desk blocking the view of the ocean from the lobby,” said Aguirre as he stood in the new open-air lobby. “Reconfiguring the layout of the lobby and the entertainment stage opened up the view from the lobby and the lounge area, so you can see one of our biggest assets the moment you step on the property — the beach.”
All rooms have been refurbished in a modern and minimalist style with white linens, dark woods and sleek European styling. Many of the Royal Club oceanview rooms have been designed in such a way that the ocean can be seen from all areas of the room — including the glass-enclosed shower area.
Thirty-two guestrooms at the resort are committed to a vacation club program, which offers exclusive features and amenities to its members, but the rest of the newly upgraded rooms are open to the public for all-inclusive vacation stays. All resort guests enjoy unlimited meals and snacks; unlimited alcoholic beverages; use of the fitness center, pools and tennis courts; a supervised kids’ club; activities such as aquasize classes and beach volleyball competitions; and access to a watersports center, which offers boogie boards and sea kayaks. There are also nightly shows and a variety of live entertainment each evening.
During the day, the resort has two buffet-style restaurants and, in the evening, there are two a la carte restaurants (Italian and Mexican) and one buffet restaurant. Reservations are required for a la carte dining, and guests are allowed to make one reservation at each restaurant per stay. Royal Club guests can access a separate Royal Club restaurant with a la carte dining for breakfast, lunch and dinner and book unlimited reservations in the other a la carte restaurants through a private concierge.
The newly renovated and rebranded Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallarta Resort still sits on one of the best beach areas on the Bay of Banderas, but it now has the sophistication and the amenities to match its 4½-star location.
Occidental Grand Nuevo Vallartawww.occidentalhotels.com
Guests in the Royal Club level have access to an exclusive beach area, a private restaurant and more.