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Grand Velas

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Maine
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440 posts
3 reviews
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Grand Velas

Just read the review from Boston Traveler. Question -- if the food was fair at the Azul, why didn't you eat at the other restaurants more than twice? Can you eat at Frida and Luca every night if you want to or are you limited to a certain number of times? I was under the impression you could have whatatever and whenever you wanted. I've read people's complaints about part of the pool area being reserved.. but did this prevent the other guests from having a poolside chair during the day? If anyone has any feedback, I'd appreciate it. Will be there two weeks from today and can't wait!!!

Granite Bay, CA
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582 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Grand Velas

The food at Azul is more than O.K. - I guess you can't please everyone!! If you wanted to, you could eat at the speciality restaurants as often as you would like. When we were last at the Grand Velas, they had a group event one evening on the beach and one night on a grassy area. Both nights we enjoyed the group's music while sitting on lawn chairs by the pool and it was very enjoyable taking a "backseat" to their party. Having a group at the hotel didn't impact us in any way during the day. It's all about attitude. You'll have a great time. I can't wait to hear about your trip.

Maine
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440 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Grand Velas

Hi PV7

I knew you would come to my rescue!! I have the same attitude you do about the groups and their entertainment. I read someone complaining that there was music from one until 10:00 p.m.!!! If anything, I'm worried it will be too quiet. I am really looking forward to this trip. We have had the reservations for a year now with two weeks from today to go!! I have dieted since January and am ready for every bite in Frida, Luca, Azul and the Pool Bar!!! Got my clothes laid out to pack. I will let you know how we did when we get back!! By the way, I see you went to N.Y. I grew up there. Moved to CA 27 years ago. 20 in San Ramon -- we were neighbors!!! We're here in Portland now for two years and loving it. Well, Muchos Gracias for all your help. Talk to you when I get back!!

Boston,MA
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16 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Grand Velas

hmm, I guess I'm the Boston traveller you're referring to but you seem to have misread my review. We actually ate at the specialty restaurants every night but one, and they were wonderful. As far as Azul, the food was good, but the service was slow. Compared to the excellent service in the rest of the resort, it was noticeable, and we preferred to eat elsewhere.

Regarding the groups, my main problem was all the space taken up in preparation for the event. We had group events 5 out of 7 nights. The music didn't bother us except for the one night we were told it would go until 1 am (not 1pm to 10pm as you had thought) and we had just flown in that day. The music was literally shaking the bedroom and wasn't pleasant. Also, they hired the same musicians every night so it was the same sets every night. Even one of the ladies from one of the groups was laughing to me about how the songs were exactly the same as the night before. You'll see when you get there but for us, there were several days when they started setting up at 7am and blocked off half the pool area, which definitely left some people in the more undesirable spots away from the pool with the lounges covered in pollen. Despite that, I didn't find it too hard to find a good area for my husband and I to sit by the pool during the day. There was a ton of chair saving which was silly but if the pool attendants didn't see anyone sitting for awhile, they would take the towels away.

Maine
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440 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Grand Velas

Mrs. Golf -- What a great name!! The people from Boston who wrote a review after you, only ate at Friday twice, but maybe they weren't there an entire week. I was curious because I wasn't sure if there's a limit. Thanks for putting my mind at ease, becasue I'm really looking forward to those meals Every Nite!!

I was also wondering, the towels on the chairs by the pool, it does seem silly and I can't imagine most people getting up before 7:00 to run down and put a towel on a chair. Perhaps the staff is putting towels out as a courtesy and then if no one comes by they remove them? You can see I"m looking for any possibilities!!

Glad you had a wonderful vacation. Planning to do the same with mine. What kind of a room did you have? We are booked into the Master Suite, seems nice. We were originally told by RCI it was the Ambassador Suite with the outdoor Jaccuzzi, which seemed wonderful, but we were advised byt he hotel that is not the case. Didn't matter to us, I'm sure the room will be very nice. If you have anything to say on the room, I would love to hear more.

11 Days To Go!!!

Boston,MA
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16 posts
6 reviews
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5. Re: Grand Velas

The pool attendants start off each day by placing rolled towels on each chair with a local flower. It is very pretty and nice. If you wanted the chair you unrolled the towel. I kept waking up early because of the time difference and I'd watch from my balcony as people would pick their chairs on their way to breakfast. The most obnoxious were the ones leaving on a day trip who would reserve chairs all day until they got back at 3 or so. One day I observed a couple taking a set of chairs that had been empty for a few hours and had been cleared off by the pool staff. They had been relaxing there for at least an hour when the family who had reserved these chairs at 8am that morning came back (it was now 2 or 3pm) and told them to leave. The nice couple got up and moved. This was very rude of the original family and the only time I saw anything like that. The chair saving seemed like it got worse throughout the week, for example: on Monday there were still nice seats left at 11, Tuesday at 10, etc. As long as you get there by 830am or 9am you can get a great spot, and if you don't require an umbrella it's even easier. Also, the beach palapas are always free. I wouldn't worry about finding a spot because many people are respectful and will give up their area at lunch or at different times during the day so there is a lot of turnover. On the few days we got up late and wanted a spot by the pool with an umbrella, we just sat for 1/2 hour max in a different area before a couple moved and we were able to take their space. It really turned out to be easier than I expected.

Regarding our room, we also had a master suite and it was really nice. We requested a higher floor room and ended up on the 6th floor with a wonderful view. Some of the lower levels looked less private so we were glad we had done that. Some of the people we met complained that the rooms weren't as big as they expected- as one woman said she thought a suite meant 2 rooms and this was definitely one room with a couch and table, but it was plenty of room for us. The shower was very relaxing and my husband tried the jacuzzi, which was small but nice. The toilet was in a separate little closet room which although small, gave more privacy. One other note: from other posts comparing it to the four seasons, we were surprised to find that they never changed our sheets once. It wasn't the biggest deal but if you want that done you would need to call. Also, when I tried the pillow service, even speaking spanish, no one seemed to know what I was talking about (at reception or maids) and when I ordered the pillows I got 2 regular pillows, not the 2 different special pillows.

You will love it I'm sure- it really is a wonderful vacation (despite some small hiccups)!

Maine
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440 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: Grand Velas

Mrs. Golf. Thanks so much for your advice. When you requested a higher room did you do that at check-in or did you email the request in advance? Also, a non-smoking room, at time of check-in or advance?

We have traded a time share for our room and it's normal with time shares for them not to change the sheets every day. Usually it is done once mid-week, but you can request more if needed. I can understand though if you're paying the big bucks they demand without a time share exchange, that you'd expect every accommodation appropriate for a four star hotel.

Toms River, NJ
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7. Re: Grand Velas

Thanks for the "warning" on the room changes. I booked a 2 bedroom at Grand Velas for the end of April through RCI. I just got off the phone with the Grand Velas and they have me listed for a Parlor Suite. (Needless to say a MAJOR difference) Looks like I will be on the phone with RCI in the A.M. to see what they have to say.

Maine
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440 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: Grand Velas

Channook -- If I've read your posts right, you are traveling with two children. When I originally traded for a two bedroom I was given a Parlor Suite also. When I called RCI to confirm, they asked how many adults were going, and talked me into the Master Suite because it was the "Master Bedroom with an eight person outdoor jacuzzi". When I confirmed with the Grand Velas they corrected that and said it was the Master Suite with an indoor jacuzzi (aka bathtub). The Parlor Suite is separated by a wall and a window with shutters to the sitting area with the pull out couch, which would give you some privacy from your children. Yes, quite a difference from a two bedroom. I'm getting the feeling that the inventory available to RCI is the same as the travel agencies, the Parlor Suite and Master Suite. The Master suite is suitable for two adults only. If you were able to book a real two bedroom suite through RCI at the Grand Velas, it is made for four adults and two children, and the AI WILL REQUIRE YOU TO PAY FOR FOUR ADULT AI fees regardless of whether there are four adults. This would be pretty pricey and defeat the purpose of trading the time share. I may be incorrect on this but from what I've seen that seems to be the case, you can check your confirmation from RCI, it states this right on it. I traded a two bedroom ocean front time share in Kauaii for a Studio/Master Suite at the Grand Velas, this time it's okay because it's just two of us traveling, but I might feel differently if I really wanted a two bedroom. Good luck with RCI. Post back and tell us what they have to say.

Still.... this looks like a spectacular resort and I'm going to enjoy that Master Suite!!! Turns out with the trade, you're still paying about half of what a travel agency or the hotel itself would charge you.

Granite Bay, CA
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582 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Grand Velas

Me, the pest, again. We have stayed in a Parlour Suite with our three teen-agers. My husband and I actually slept on the sofa-bed, which was very comfortable. The room is HUGE. A two-bedroom with two small children is probably much more space than you would ever need. When my husband and I went in November without our kids, we had a Parlour Suite all to ourselves. We took a look at the Master Suite, which is interchangeable for us, and we preferred the spaciousness of the Parlour Suite. I believe the rooms are about 1100 square feet! I liked the idea of having a separate living area, even for just the two of us. The master suite was almost sparce-looking to us. Also, the in-room spa is really a bathtub with jets (we can do that at home!). We have always only had to pay the all inclusive fee for exactly how many people were in the room, I don't know if RCI has different rules though.

Granite Bay, CA
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10. Re: Grand Velas

Sorry, but I forgot to mention that a two-bedroom suite is just two adjoining parlour suites, so it really would be a huge space for a young family.