To give you some perspective, my husband and I have previously stayed at The Royal Hideaway, Le Blanc Spa Resort, The Royal Playa del Carmen and Playacar Palace. We love Mexico and were not going to be dissuaded despite the swine flu. If Jet Blue was flying, we were going! We arrived in Cancun and our flight was the only flight in the baggage area. It was so quiet. Cancun Valet met us outside and we were on our way! We were originally booked in a jungle room through skyauction.com. I got a fantastic deal that they don't offer anymore : ( I had emailed the resort a week earlier to see if we could get a room closer to the main resort. They would see what they could do. Well, when we pulled up to the beautiful main gate, we were told we would be going to the lobby of the Ambassador Class and I knew then we had an upgrade!
We were greeted by name at the lobby entrance and couldn't believe how beautiful it was. The workmanship and quality of the wood, marble, etc. was beyond what you can see in the pictures. During our entire stay we could not believe that there was no skimping in any way, shape or form. Everything was of the highest quality. We were ready to enjoy our nine days in paradise!
We were led to our room and met by our concierge butler who showed us the highlights of the room. Wow, simply beautiful! We were upgraded to a room with a plunge pool and a beautiful view of the beach and ocean. Thrilled with the room. We took a walk around the property which was wonderful and we were greeted by everyone we encountered- buenas dias! The first thing we noticed was that there was NOBODY there. It was very sad actually, because people had canceled their trips. But on the upside it felt like we had the place to ourselves. I'm telling you, don't wait, go now!
I don't want this review to be too long so I'll rate the restaurants in order of preference. All of the restaurants were breathtakingly beautiful, so you can't go wrong. Our favorite was Pilaf, followed by Frida, Sin Len, The Signature Restaurant, Azul. Like I said, all were great, but we loved the Pilaf menu the best. Service was impeccable.
Lounges were also beautiful. We enjoyed our time in the Kareoke bar even though no one was there. We sang with the staff, which was a great way to practice my Spanish : ) They humored me! The only suggestion I would have is to have some seats at the bar. All of the lounges had chairs and couches. I sometimes like sitting at the bar and talking with the bartender. But, that is a small complaint. The swim up bar was a lot of fun, but look out for Gaspar and his welcome shots and tequila. Before you know it, he has you seeing double. He was a lot of fun! There is really no nightlife to speak of, so know that going in. We didn't mind since we live in NY and get enough of that at home.
The pool service was like nothing we had ever experienced. The level of attention was incredible. From setting up our umbrellas (my husband and I are muy blanco!), a bucket of ice with waters refreshed before the ice could melt, the drinks being delivered before you even thought to ask for a new one, clean towels held by the pool concierge as you got out of the pool, food delivered right to your lounge chair. I could go on and on. A special shout out to Sergio, Jose and Diego. So many wonderful people work there.
We didn't spend much time on the beach, but it was beautiful white sand. The ocean was rocky with coral, but we are really not big beach people, so we didn't mind.
The spa was beautiful, but a bit pricey. Definitely go once and go through the water journey. They cut mine a bit short and they have some work to do in terms of timing and service, but the Mayan four handed massage I received was spectacular and unique.
By the end of our trip, a group arrived which added to the occupancy. You would barely notice the difference since they are in meetings all day in the jungle section. The overall vibe changed a bit since most of the group were very rude and self entitled. I just don't tolerate being mean to the staff. They work so hard. Also, please tip. There were so many that didn't. We brought about $400 in tip money for pool, dinners, drinks. Well worth it. Also bring plenty of sun screen. We got burned despite our efforts and the gift shop is PRICEY!
We were so, so sad to leave and fantasized about ways we could move to Mexico and live at the resort. Alas, we said our goodbyes to our new friends. Exchanged emails and were on our way back to the airport. It will probably be another year before we can head back to Grand Velas, but it will be worth it. We are now spoiled for life and can't imagine going anywhere else. To the management, you have done an incredible job with every aspect of the property. Thank you! Any questions, let me know!
- Also Known As:
- Grand Velas All Suites And Spa Resort, Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel
- Grand Velas Hotel Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Opened in 2008, the luxurious All Inclusive Luxury Resort Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of the newest resorts to distinguish Riviera Maya as a premier vacation destination. The uniquely Mexican world-class hospitality we provide is "Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare", and we are proud to be the only family-friendly All Inclusive resort in the Mexican Caribbean to have been rated Five Diamonds by the AAA. ... more less
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