CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa

Few resorts are as well rounded and versatile as CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa. With golf courses only a couple of minutes away, a spa that takes your breath away and excellent cuisine, it brings together the Marriott no-nonsense approach to excellent service and accommodations in a large but homey property that is very—very—close to everything, yet feels almost a world away.

Fresh off a $10.7 million renovation of rooms, suites, common areas and other facilities, this resort exudes an air of understated but well-heeled hospitality—the classic little black dress that never goes out of style amid a world of chintzy chiffon prints.

hail to the spa CasaMagna Marriott has more than its share of places in which to lounge, relax and tune out, but none is as divine as its Ohtli Spa, the largest spa in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a feel-good haven of peace and invigoration, with its own Ohtli product line made only of natural ingredients (they also use and carry the Guinot brand). There are cold and hot plunges, a foot bath, Swiss showers and a relaxation area—you’re fully loose and at peace even before you begin your treatment.

Each of the 11 treatment rooms has Huichol art pieces that provide inspiration (and in fact many of its therapies are derived from this local native culture), showers and treatment beds that are wide enough for real bodies. Some have indoor gardens and others are designed so more natural light comes in so that facials are better performed and the claustrophobic feel more comfortable. The couples’ suite, for tandem massages, is also good for a girlfriends’ getaway pampering. It fits up to six people, which means two can get a scrub, two others can enjoy a bit of reflexology and the remaining two can soak in the jacuzzi as the soothing sounds of running water helps them all unwind.

The 12th treatment area is a specially designed pool where the Rebirth Therapy takes place. Using the healing power of water, a bathing suit-clad therapist guides your client through a series of soft movements designed to relieve the body of its usual stress and into a meditative state. After a while, the therapist slowly helps the guest flip around a number of times as a soft underwater light helps him release emotional tension.

One of the spa’s signature treatments is the Fire Opal Balancing Stone Therapy. The fire opal stone is said to have shamanistic healing properties and, along with crystal quartz, is used to cleanse the body and spirit through an intensely relaxing massage. The warm fire opal stones are said to feel almost like oil on the skin. Another option, the Agave Syrup, Cornmeal & Sea Salt Scrub, uses the resort’s agave as part of a coconut oil base that soothes the skin as the other ingredients get rid of dead skin cells.

One of our very favorite treatments is the Thai massage, which is so extremely relaxing it leaves you in a trance-like state. In the Tai room, where Thai and Shiatsu massages take place, the therapist begins the session with a bit of sound therapy—deriving a strong hum from a quartz bowl with the help of a suede-covered wooden mallet, said to help balance your energy. Thanks to star therapist Veronica, it’s the best Thai massage we’ve ever had—a steady and strong manipulation of your body into yoga-like stretches with acupressure that leaves your muscles, joints and every other itty bitty part of your body breathing like never before. Guests end up feeling energized yet more relaxed than ever.

The resort also has a fantastic indoor pool, state-of-the-art gym and an adjacent Movement Studio for spinning classes or yoga, available at an additional charge. The spa is open to the public, so even if clients are not staying here they can make an appointment and experience it for themselves.

tequilas & tastings There are so many other details that we love about this place. Guestrooms and suites at the resort are warm and welcoming, with dashes of bold colors complementing dark woods and that beautiful view that comes through the balcony door. The beds are to die for; with the right book or the remote in hand, you can snuggle in for quite some time. The resort’s oceanfront pool is so large you may not see the same swimmer twice, with a swim-up bar hidden and a spa-like waterfall spilling out that feels great on the shoulders.