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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
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Savings alert! 20% below average rates

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Reviews (3,605)
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Reviewed October 3, 2012

This is my third trip to Grand Velas after staying at over 50 other all inclusives including Secrets, Sandals, Dreams and Beaches resorts, and nothing compares to the quality of food and service. My wife had special diet needs (nothing acidic, no citrus or tomatoes) and prior to each meal, the waiter asked about special requests. In Piaf, the French Restaurant, Chef Michel Mustiere changed the tri-color soup (tomato, split pea and pumpkin) to a bi-color soup (no tomato) as well as changing other entrees. The presentation of the food is un-matched unless you are at the finest New York, Paris or San Francisco restaurants. At Lucca, the Italian Reataurant, CHef Aurelio Arista also made special dishes with awsome presentations. The waiters, desk and pool staff used our names every time they addressed us, and the Velas Grand Ambassador Suites with huge hot tubs and balcony plunge pools are the best in Mexico If you want a discount trip with Red Lobster or Longhorn Steakhouse food this is not the place for you. If you want unmatched service and best professionally prepared gourmet food in the Western Hemisphere, including room service, Grand Velas Playa Del Carmen is for you.

Room Tip: Grand Ambassador Suites are more expensive, but worth every penny for an experience you will never forget. No other hotel chain has rooms like these.
  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank mfingerhut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 3, 2012

Dear guest,
On behalf of Grand Velas Riviera Maya we would like to thank you that you have honored us with your stay.
The attentiveness of our service, and the delight of our culinary tour make from your experience with us a memorable one in your life. Thank you very much for your recommendation to future travelers.
We would love to host you again.
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 September 25, 2012

Fantastic place service and food,the room was perfect so well dow every furniture was discrete and beautiful. i love the shower like a rain fall and on to the night take a deep to a jacuzzi on the terrace was the most relax....The service was impeccable we went to all the restaurant and I can't decide which was the best, each has a different flavor and taste but have in common the perfection of cooking and presentation. Also the staff was gentle and professional always at your service.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Nadia T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GVRM, Director de Relaciones Públicas at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded November 2, 2012

greetings.

thank you very much for your recommendations, so that other people around the world become aware of the quality and warmth we have.
Thank you again.

we hope to see you soon. waiting for his return

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Reviewed September 23, 2012

Let me start by saying this review is for the jungle section only, and also comparing GV to a previous, Iberostar Grand experience.

The food was ridiculously good at all times. We went to Piaf (french restaurant) 4x during our stay as it was that good. We enjoyed bottles of Le Cetto with our meals. The filet mignon and accompaniments were all excellent. Tip: make sure to get the gruyere pastry appetizer and ask for habanero cream sauce with your meal! The chef made this specially for us!

The ala carte lunch restaurant in the adult section was always spot on as well! I would recommend the salmon dish as it was executed perfectly every time. The habanero relish it came with was very hot!

Other things I enjoyed were the freshly squeezed juices brought up to the room and the ceviche on the beach.

So, why 3 stars only? Well, I didn't particularly enjoy the service. Like many others have experiences, displaying the bill after each meal was made us feel like we were obliged to tip 15-20% of the total which is not what anyone should feel like at an AI. We still tipped at every meal, but I felt the service wasn't NEARLY as good as the service I experienced at Iberostar Grand (as a result of the receipt display process). Some of the staff were really nice, while others seemed cold and expecting a tip for anything they did.

Staying in the jungle area also took away from the 'I'm staying by the ocean' feeling you normally get from a beach vacation. Don't get me wrong, the shuttle was efficient but nothing is better than seeing the ocean from your room or being able to walk out to it in a matter of steps. Yes, I know I could have paid for an ocean view room, however, the price difference is not attainable for many people. I think it was like 3k more for that which was what I paid to be at GV in the first place.

If you are a foodie, this is definitely a place to consider. My wife and I thought we were foodies when we came here, but later decided that we prefer to have B+ food with great service, affordable prices, and being near the ocean at all times instead of just A+ food.

Room Tip: Get ocean front if you can afford it, I couldn't! :)
  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled as a couple
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16  Thank HawaiiLover81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 23, 2012

We vacationed here in the Summer of 2011 on a company sponsored awards package. I spent a week at the Grand Velas with my wife, our two teenaged boys, and our six year old son. The food at all the restaurants is excellent and I would highly recommend their signature restaurant, Cochina de Auture (sp?) and their Mexican themed restaurant. Service is this resort's claim on greatness. When we finished our meal at the Mexican restaurant, the Host brought out the Head Chef from the kitchen to ask our party if we had any questions or comments about the dishes that we had been served. My entree seemed more like a Thai dish, so I asked about this, and the Chef gave us a short lesson on the different spices that he had used to created this traditional Mexican dish that I had enjoyed so much.
I had resigned myself to eating dinner only at the "family" venues, because I did not want our youngest son to miss eating dinner with the entire family. On our second night of the vacation, I walked down to the opposite wing of our building to check out the second work out facility on the premises. My six year old accompanied me. We passed a nice glassed in facility where a dozen or so young children were playing video games on huge flat panel TV's. My son's reaction was "WOW, HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GO IN THERE!" I told him it was included in our package, but it was almost closiing time (11 PM?). The next evening, when we came in from the beach, he was the first one out of the shower, dressed and ready to go for his evening out at the "Kids Club". They feed the kids Pizza, they have several certified young daycare attendants, and they play all kinds of different games with the kids. He begged to go to the Kids Club, every single night. My wife and older sons got to enjoy some fabulous adult dining without having to feel guilty about leaving baby brother behind.
The pool waiters were excellent. If they do not understand what you want (my wife's favorite is a frozen Margarita), do your best to explain to them what it is you are asking for... I promise, they will do everything in their power to make you happy.
The room accomodations were excellent. The on location dive company was great, had a nice two tank dive with one of my older sons. The only negative I can say about this location, is that when we went, the beach still had some rocks that were quite large in the water...easy to hurt your feet if you weren't careful. Besides this, I can't give enough positives on this location.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Cajun0ne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 20, 2012

Let me start by saying I had very high expectations of this resort going into this vacation. I can say most if not all of them were exceeded during the trip. GV is truly a place to just relax and forget about the world around you. I will try to summarize the highlights:
Rooms
We stayed in the zen section, the room was more then we needed, considering we spent little time in the room other then to shower and sleep. A great touch was the rainfall shower that provided a nice relief after a full day out and about in the Mexican sun. When we arrived the mini fridge had a good array of soda and beer in it. The first day there we told room service that we we didn't drink soda and by the next day when we came back all of the soda had been removed and it was replaced with water and beer! Just a little touch but that was a theme for our entire week as to the level of service we received.
Tip: if you are traveling as a couple the zen section is fine, but if you are traveling with children this section would be an inconvenience because of the need to take the shuttle back and forth from the room to the pool/beach area.
Service
I will preface this section by saying when we were there the resort was only 10% full. The service here was like no other I received at any all inclusive, which includes royal hideaway, iberostar grand and secrets. Every single staff member we encountered throughout the week went above and beyond fulfill our every request. This brings me to what seems to be the biggest issue on TA, tipping. We went in with the intention only to tip if we felt we got exceptional service. I think it is something you really have to experience rather then me trying to explain it, needless to say we tipped and tipped often. But we didn't go out of control, a few dollars at the buffet, usually $5 if we sat down and ordered from the menu at lunch. Dinner we tipped more, but the service there was just so over the top we felt the staff really deserved it, especially at Autor.

Food
Breakfast: If we were able to eat at Bistro every day it would have been spectacular, but since there was such a low occupancy it was closed many mornings. Azul was ok but they really didn't change up the buffet often. We found ourselves ordering omelets everyday.

Lunch: again Bistro was great, Azul only ok.

Dinner: out of this world. We ate at all of the restaurants and none disappointed. I would rank them in the following order, Autor (this is not for everyone molecular cuisine takes getting used to but it was simply fantastic), Piaf, Lucca, Sen Lin, and ironically the one we liked the least was the Frida.

Pool/beach

The pool was the biggest I've seen, the pool concierges would come by as they told us every 7-9 minutes to see if we needed anything. There was one afternoon my wife and I were sitting on the daybeds having some drinks when Roberto came by and saw the ice began to melt in my drink. He quickly came back and replaced it with a fresh one. He said "you are on vacation you should not be drinking a warm drink"

The ocean is a bit rocky but there is an area right in front of the hotel the you can go in up to your waste and there is no need for water shoes.

Spa
Expensive but worth it especially the water journey. TIP: sign up for the fractional ownership tour (glorified time share) it literally takes 20 minutes, no pressure. They give you a $150 gift certificate to use at the spa, this really defrays the high prices.

Overall I would highly reccomend this resort for both couples and families, the price is steep but once you see what you get you will feel you have gotten your monies worth and more!

Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
10  Thank j-doc23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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