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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
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Reviews (3,546)
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2,255 - 2,260 of 3,546 reviews
Reviewed August 9, 2012

My family and I stayed at this resort 2 years ago and loved it. We decided to go back but it's not the same!!! The management is different, the service is only great when you tip really great. If you don't tip well, you will not get good service. The property itself is beautiful but is not taken good care of like 2 years ago. The worst part of our trip is that jewerly was TAKEN/STOLEN from our room. We reported the jewerly missing, we called and emailed and no one even filed a report until I called the 4th time and requested to speak with the chief concierge. A day later we received an email stating they are not responsible for stolen jewerly. Very disapointed and will not recommend this resort. If you do decide to stay here, please bring lots of money with you and please lock everything in the safe. Please beware and be careful. We are evry upset and disappointed.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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38  Thank VKangel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Our family of six just returned from a week at this resort, which was part of a larger family reunion. The property layout and the rooms are very attractive, as is the location, and the food is outstanding. It could be a top-notch destination.

Unfortunately, the positives are offset by incessant and unreasonable demands for tips at every turn. Bills are presented for all meals, drinks and other services, at grossly inflated prices (i.e., $50 for breakfast buffet) and with frequent misrepresentations (e.g., children billed as adults, items not ordered included, etc), all as a means of generating tips. The staff make quite clear their expectations for North American standards of tipping and become surly if expectations are not met. One restaurant, when presented with a tip of "4,500" on a dinner bill of 30,000 pesos, had the temerity to ask if the tip was in pesos or US dollars! On another occasion, pool staff accosted our 9-year daughter, along with her 10-year old cousin, to pay a tip for drinks they hadn't ordered. In total the tipping on the week ran into the thousands of dollars for our family and created a highly distasteful environment. For a high-cost and supposedly "all-inclusive" resort, this is a major drawback, as a result of which we would not consider returning.

A lesser but still significant problem is the near total lack of included activities. Many were posted daily on billboards but were nowhere to be seen and no staff could identify their whereabouts. Routine kit for a beach, like snorkel equipment, were not available, and those that were (two sailboats, kayaks, jetskis) were subject to unreasonable charges ($120/hour for sailboats, $170/hour for jetskis, etc).

This is all a great pity, given the potential the resort has from its infrastructure, layout and excellent cuisine.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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24  Thank Ian B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded August 23, 2012

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time and sharing your comments with us.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an all inclusive Resort that include tips, tickets you receive when you finish your meal are just for internal control due to the fact that our Restaurants are open to the public, and the cost that appears on the ticket is the real cost that an external guest not staying at Grand Velas will pay for the meal.
The space in the ticket for tips is necessary for people that are not staying at the Resort, in order for them to leave tips if they wish to. For guests staying at Grand Velas, leave tips is not necessary or mandatory, is just if you feel like due to an exceptional service.
Thanks to your comments we have already identified staff that ask for tips to be paid and we moved them from our Restaurants and public areas.
Again, thanks for your comments.

Kind regards,

Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 9, 2012

Our family of 4 (2 kids ages 3 and 8) spent a week at Grand Velas, and we can all say that we would like to return. It is not too far from the Cancun airport, but just far enough to feel like you are away from downtown hubbub of Cancun and the hotel zone (which I actually like, but it would be a different kind of trip).

The man made beach at the entrance is really nice and somewhat gives you a "feel" for the property because we were excited as soon as we hit the gate.

We stayed in the Ambassador section (closer to beach) and loved the room. It was spacious (especially the patio) so that everyone could spread out and not feel like we were on top of each other. The patio faced the pool and the ocean, and had a lounging bed, so it was the perfect place to catch some quiet time and read a book. I loved the separate rainshower and the kids loved the jacuzzi tub. Although I'm sure the rooms at tge Zen section are equally nice, the whole jungle experience just isn't our thing.

The two large pools (one with a bar and ice cream cart) and one kids pool were great. On many occasions, we would grab chairs with views of the pool and the beach - life was good. Poolside service (where we spent most of our time) was fantastic. Alfonso and others took great care of us (but we loved Alfonso!). Beach service seemed more spotty BUT while at the beach, we spent most of our time in the water, so we weren't as attentive to service as we were at the pool and it easily could have been an accurate observation. The beach is a little rocky, but it was calm and perfect for what we wanted - to sit in the water and let it splash up on our legs.

We tend to stay away from all inclusives because of the food, but all around, this one had the best food we've had so far. For starters, we loved the snack basket in the room stocked with nuts, cereal bars, pretzels, chips, sunchips, cookies, etc. We didn't eat them everyday, but it was great to have them as options (as well as the healthier snacks like the nuts, pretzels, etc.). We ate at the Mexican and Italian restaurants and loved them both, but also ate at Azul,the no-res required restaurant several times. We were expecting a big buffet, but then realized it had a 10 page menu of cooked to order items including pasta, grilled meats and vegetables, pizza for the kids, and several other choices.

The pool and beachside food was also really good (GREAT ceviche, really good shrimp quesadillas, burgers, etc.). And the drinks - ahhhhh the drinks. The were consistently good. Good quality alcohol and not watered down. (I still miss my 11 am mojito.).

Lastly, our 8 year old loved the Kids Club! The attendants were really fun and he even made several arts and crafts to bring home.

All in all, we would definitely return.

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Value
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6  Thank luvwatercantswim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2012

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your preference for Grand Velas Resort on you most recent family vacation. It is such an honor to know through your wonderful comments that you were pleased by the suites and the dish selection of our restaurants and drinks. Also we truly appreciate your recognition about the effort of our team; it encourages us to do our best every day. Regarding the inconvenience encountered at the pool area, we are very sorry about it since it does not represent the type of service we provide to our guests. Rest assured that you review will be forwarded to the Food and Beverage department for its consideration.

Looking forward to have the opportunity to host you in the future.

Best regards,

Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 8, 2012

Grand Velas Hotel is the most incredible hotel!! I just love it! Since the first moment you get there the service is perfect, you do not have to worry about anything they have everything under control. I stayed in the jungle part wich is amazing on one side of the hotel you see this beautiful sea and on the back you have the green deep jungle. The Frida restaurant has the best food ever, the taste and presentation of the plates is awesome. Being in this hotel is like a dream come true!!!!!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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3  Thank TalyFJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded August 11, 2012

Dear guest,

A memorable vacation experience for our guests is our main goal and sharing your incredible experience with us makes us feel honored. Rest assured that we will forward your comments to the head Chef about you culinary tour at Frida Restaurant. We truly hope to welcome back you soon.

Warm regards,

Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2012

The hotel, beach, and rooms, are superb. Food is excellent. Service is spotty. Some great examples, some terrible, but mostly average.

The following negatives diminish the trip, and destroy a sense of value:

• There is a huge, huge emphasis on tips. You are presented a bill after every service and every meal, and expected to tip American style. Keep in mind that the meals are extremely expensive (far more than Mortons or other 5 star et al) so the tips really, really add up. For example, buffet lunch and breakfast is $50/person. Dinners were routinely more than $200/person so for a family of 6 we were tipping at the same rate as a full cost of a regular dinner out. So that was really obnoxious, and destroyed the convenience of all inclusive.
• Beach activities like sailing, kayaks and snorkeling are normally free. Sailing was $120/boat/hour. Kayaks $50 plus tip. No need for that.
•There were other nuisances that the hotel could have been better about.
o I checked out formally and then was told (while in the van to leave) that I owed another $60 in tips which I had to pay in cash on the spot.
o I brought a rental van back in perfect condition, and was then presented a $500 damage bill. The hotel staff (National has an office in the hotel) did not help me, and this was clearly a scam –I settled for $80.
o Lunch was not included on our departure day despite a pick up at 2pm. The charge was $50 each.

Anyway, and it was a great time, but I would not return as I felt guarded and ripped off.

Room Tip: All the rooms are superb. Would avoid the Zen Section as it is very far away and shuttles are hard to get at night.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17  Thank 875Alex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones con Clientes at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded August 14, 2012

Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time and sharing your comments about your experience with other travelers.
We deeply apologize about the inconveniences you had experienced.
We need you to sign the check after each meal just for internal control, it doesn’t mean you have to leave a tip as actually tips are already included in the all inclusive and we pay tips to our staff. If you want to leave an extra tip that will be directly for the employee because you’ve received a great service. There is no need to tip extra.
We stopped you at the check out as there where actually 60 usd missing, as you add some tips for the staff signing the check. You checked out at Grand Class saying that you paid for everything already, while these tips where not paid, that’s why they stopped you, we are sorry if this was an inconvenience to you.
All inclusive starts at 3 pm on the check in day and ends at 12 pm on the check out day, every extra meal is not included.
Thank you for let us know your concerns and looking forward to serve you again soon.

Kind Regards

Guest Relations Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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