Seven of us, from age 18 months to age 80, had our best vacation ever at Grand Velas. We have been to many exaulted places, eaten at great restaurants, and usually want a little better than is provided. There can be nothing better than perfection, and Grand Velas is perfection.
Reception: After a little confusion at the airport, corrected instantaneously, we were checked in while sipping wonderful hibiscus tea, seated at a comfortable sofa. Everything done well. I was blown away by the lack of attitude and pretension. My 3 yr old was not exactly pleasant after the train ride, but he was deescalated by everyone around us.
Rooms- We had one pool suite and two ambassador suites. All were impeccibly clean, free of ants, mosquitoes and all the other issues that some regard as tropical "charm" The minibar always full, the linens better than Four Seasons, wonderfully powerful air conditioning, and a view to die for. Huge in size, we wanted for nothing. Each day housekeeping would make sure the marble was compltely dry so that my 80 year old mother would not slip.
Beach- Well cared for, always clean, with wonderful service. Some areas had a coral/rocky botton, but there were plenty of areas to swim and walk on soft sand. Drinks were provided before asking- always everyone remembering your name and what you liked to drink. My 9 yr old had his mango smoothie without even having to ask. Plenty of shade, sand, chairs.
Pool- The most beautiful I have ever seen, composed of tens of thousands of granite tiles. The kids side is larger than the pools at most of the resorts, the water clean, incredible service, and comfortable chairs. I wanted a tasting of different reposado tequilas one day, and the bartender at the pool bar poured me a tasting of 18 tequilas, and described the properties of each one. Amazing. Utterly amazing. My brother the lawyer and his pageant queen wife did not want to leave the pool area.
Food- The best part of the resort. Will go over each separately.
Room Service- Simply wonderful. Breakfast is nirvana on your patio in the morning. Other meals excellent, but did not come close to breakfast, and were less excellent than any of the restaurant food.
Asian - forgot name- Good, but not great. The duck did not have the crackling skin I am used to, and many of the tasty treats were not hot enough, but this place is outrageously beautiful, located in the master suite jungle area.
Piaf- I believe the chef is from the Loire Valley, and the food is deep, robust and magnificently presented. Service superb, and all wine glasses were Riedel. The place evoked a 1930's French bistro, without the smoke. The filet I had was simply the best I have ever tasted.
Frieda- The only "fine dining" restaurant that allowed kids. This place is stunning, with marble, granite, a waterfall, excellent views, and delicious Mexican food. The striped bass here could not have been better, and the levels of complexity amazed me, having eaten at Frontera Grill, and spent much time in the wonderful restaurants along the Mexican coast.
Azul- Had the most wonderful breakfast buffet. Tiny quantities of fruits, freshly queezed juices, cheeses, pastries, mexican dishes, several ceviches, and great great coffee. We had probably 8 meals here, and I never thought I would be praising a buffet. My kids loved the eggs cooked for them, and the view to die for.
Bistro- My second favorite restaurant, in the adult section. I will always remember the awesome langoustines, grilled with a bit of lemon, garlic and olive oil, and one day when they did not have then, the chef found some lobster and served that grilled. The charcouterie all homemade, and the pastas to die for. The menu is huge, and my only suggestion is to allow kids for lunch. BTW, my son loves sushi, and this was made for him daily, exquisitely fresh fish that I stole from his plate. Guadaloupe, simply put, could teach his craft to the waiters at Fench Laundry. He put them to shame.
Autor- The best of the best, and one of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in. If you read some of my other reviews, I tend to rarely gush. Each meal, involving 6-10 courses, were works of art. This rivals Arzak and most of the new wave Spanish restaurants in Barcelona and San Sebastien The sommilier, Miguel, was encyclopedic about wines, and the description that he provided were pithy and correct. Wine is my passion, and he knew everything. We ate here four times out of eight dinners, and could eat here every night.
Kids- The facilities were great, and the caregivers intensely protective of their charges. This is one of the few places that I felt comfortable leaving the children alone.
In short, we cannot wait to return. This is an incredible gem, and I felt bad that the swine flu fiasco(I am a physician), hurt this place and tourism in general. It is expensive, but worth more than every peso.
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- 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 And Spa Resort, Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Grand Velas Hotel Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya Playa Del Carmen, Mexico