Our family (2 grandparents, 6 adults and 6 grandchildren ages 6-16) have spent the past 4 Thanksgivings at the Grand Velas and we are more than thankful that we have discovered heaven on earth. There is nothing not to like, and everything to love, about this wonderful, first-class family resort. Incredibly, it keeps getting better each year.
We stay in the Ambassador section overlooking the pool and the ocean and from the minute we walk into our rooms, we feel like we are at home. Big comfy beds, roll-away cots that come with fluffy duvets and bed ruffles (and that our 6 feet tall, 15-year old happily claimed as his own), huge bath towels, a gigantic whirlpool bathtub that my 6-year old niece "swam" in each night, and luscious bath products from L'Occitaine all combine to make you feel pampered. The mini-bar is stocked with a wide variety of delicious food and drinks and once the staff knows what you like, the fridge is heaped with those items.
The food at the Grand Velas is delicious. We always look forward to our first dinner at Luca for Italian food and my niece starts talking about the fried bananas at Sen Lin before our plane even lands. The French food at Pilaf is elegant and delicious. Despite the high caliber of the food and restaurants, the waitstaff is always friendly and engaging and always made our tableful of teenagers feel welcomed and cherished. (They also served them more quickly than the adults so the kids could get to the Teen Club as soon as possible). We loved breakfast at Azul, the buffet restaurant by the pool. Although each of us has a favorite item (I am partial to the perfectly peeled grapefruit segments on the fruit bar, my kids love the omelette station and my husband longs for his class of fresh-squeezed tangerine juice), everything is freshly prepared and delicious. Ditto for the buffet at lunch.
Although the Grand Velas is a luxury resort, it has recently upped its game with respect to activities for kids. The new Teen Club is wonderful. Our kids enjoyed karoke, X-box, play station, ping pong, pool and just hanging out with their new friends from around the world. Rafael, the coordinator was a delight. As were the two staff members devoted to kids' activities. Our kids loved slip and slide soccer (the video we shot still makes them belly laugh), the dunking booth, water balloon beach volleyball, the ropes course and the gigantic "soccer ball" in the pool that they ran around in like gerbils. They were also fascinated by the Cirque D'Solei-type performance poolside. Younger kids love the kids club which this year made beautiful Thanksgiving outfits and baskets.
The staff at the Grand Velas is superb. Guierllmo (Kaya), our concierge welcomed us as we arrived and took great care of us the entire time we were at the resort. He arranged for roll away beds, extra snacks in our rooms, switched our rooms per our request we thought our parents would prefer a room farther down the hall but then, and when we realized that we had made a mistake in switching the rooms because my sister needed two beds and our parents only needed the one king-sized bed he offered to repack our suitcases and move us back to the rooms he had originally chosen for us so that we would not have to be inconvenienced. Kaya confirmed our cab reservation, made sure that our restaurant reservations were in order and checked in with us regularly to make sure there was nothing else that we needed. Santiago, our pool attendant, was wonderful. After the first day, he knew where our family liked to sit, made sure we had plenty of fluffy towels (he didn't want the kids to be cold when they finally got out of the pool), knew we liked Bloody Marys and Mimosas in the morning, a variety of drinks during the day and that the kids often liked a late-afternoon snack. After the second day, he began to just bring the kids a snack when he saw them emerge from the pool or come back from the beach. One day he even decided that we would all enjoy ice cream sundaes poolside. How right he was. He was kind, thoughtful and a pleasure to get to know. Finally, as I said above, Rafael in the Teen Club was a gem.
Each year, we can't imagine the Grand Velas getting better and each year, it exceeds our expectations. My sister noted in an earlier review that the only thing the 14 of us could think of that would have made our trip better was if there were more hooks in the bathroom for wet bathing suits. I would have to add that the one other thing that would make our trip better was if we could stay even longer.
The Grand Velas is a gem.
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Grand Velas All Suites And Spa Resort, Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Hotel Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico