My better half and I just got back from Casa Velas just a couple of days ago. We went for our 15 year anniversary. I can't give it 4.5 stars like I would like to, but that's my real rating.
We have been owners since December 2008, and this was our first time visiting Casa Velas. We have already been to Velas Vallarta and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, so we were looking forward to this long weekend. We were very happy to get the letter from Grupo Velas letting us know that they are going to continue to be an Adults Only Resort the week before we arrived.
When we arrived, our transportation was there to greet us and take us to the hotel. You literally make a right out of the airport, then the next right and in a few short minutes, the gate is opening up to let you into the resort. The entrance is beautiful and the grounds are extremely well kept! You can tell from the front that this is a small intimate place. We arrived to the cool hibiscus drink and cool towel for the face. We were nervous because we didn't want to be told we had to go to a mandatory member's update meeting. IT NEVER HAPPENED!!! Do you know how big of a deal that was to us? That instantly relaxed us!!!!
We were given room 302 which was a Grand Class Suite. It was a clean well kept room with a plunge pool on the balcony that was perfect for snuggling. You can tell that things are a little older in this section of the hotel because the tiles in the plunge pool on the balcony were lifting, and there was a large set of cracks in the sink. I actually did expect a bit more in the maintenance department as far as those tiles and cracks in the sink go, but it was still hospitable. The bed was comfortable, almost too soft for those of us with low back/hip issues and the pillows were too soft, you have to scrunch it together just to get a little bit of texture and neck support. On our last evening, someone moved into room 301 next door. Whenever they took a shower, we would hear this super loud buzzing. For a minute I thought it was a floor machine. It happened at 1am and it was really annoying. The front desk called the room, they let it ring only once and no one answered(I heard it ring) I called maintenance to come listen to this noise so they could figure it out, but by the time they got there 20 minutes later it was gone!
Emiliano's restaurant was very good. We enjoyed everything but our breakfast smoothies. It lacked texture and didn't do much as far as filling you up. Room service was excellent, but the quality of the tortilla soup(my absolute favorite) late night wasn't up to par as far as texture goes.
The beach club was great. It was small, private and quaint. The crab sandwich was really yummy! The beach isn't up to my usual standards since the sand was kind of dirty with litter and there aren't any waves to boogie board like the amazing waves at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. The other pitfall is the amount of people who come up to sell you stuff on the beach. I was almost asleep and someone woke me up to sell me something! A little annoying but everyone has to make money, right? It also closed quite early that day due to a party which was disappointing.
The pool bar was awesome! We met a lot of people there, even made a couple of lasting connections! The pool is very shallow so you can just walk around on your knees and sit indian style and talk to people in the water which we did. Fredy hooked us up with some great drinks. He knew how to keep us happy!
So why did I give it 4.5 stars? Although it was exactly the long weekend we wanted, there were a few missing elements. I have already mentioned some drawbacks, but most of it was on the administrative level of things. When we checked in, I explained that our flight didn't leave until 5pm and we wanted to have late check out. We were told by Denisse the concierge if our room wasn't rented out on our day of departure it wouldn't be a problem. We called to find out the day before and were told Denisse wasn't there so no one could answer our question. I thought a luxury hotel had a concierge at the hotel available at all times. I called again the day of departure and we were told we could only keep the room for one extra hour and it would be $20USD per person. We were appalled because when we were at Grand Velas, it wasn't a problem. My better half had to go downstairs and remind them we are owners and that Denisse the concierge was supposed to take care of this issue and we have been trying to resolve it since the day we checked in. After that, we were allowed to keep the room until 3pm. They hadn't arranged our transportation back to the airport either which is in our contract so it was kind of frustrating that my better half had to go downstairs just to handle the situation. I run an office, and this should have never happened. Yes, the hotel patrons are important, but it's us owners who have really kept Grupo Velas going so you need to treat us better than that!
I do highly recommend this hotel to everyone, it is a beautiful small intimate resort meant for adults in love to enjoy a quiet relaxing vacation! I still feel the level of customer service at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is much better and the rooms were in better physical condition over there, but that could have a lot to do with the age of the buildings. I was notified by sales staff in August of 2011 that Grupo Velas is supposed to be building a place in Cabo as well as Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. So far there is no word on when and if those will open, so for now it's time to renovate what you already have! We have paid A LOT of money as owners so we expect to see rooms that are a little better kept! When I go back, I am hopeful I will get a room in building 5 or 6 which was even quieter than the main building.
So 4.5 stars it is. We will definitely be back!!!!