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“Great Resort! Wonderful even in the "off" season”

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Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Ranked #1 of 28 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed August 12, 2011

I have to say we were a bit worried about going to Mexico with all the recent press about the safety (we haven't been back to Mexico in about 4 years), but safety was not a factor at all. The areas that are of concern are a far distance from where we were. You can go online and get travel advisories from the state department to find out exactly where the problem areas are. We felt extremely safe and relaxed at the resort and also around town. The Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a truly special place! The rooms were more than enough space for our family of 4. With a king bed/separate bedroom & living area - it was perfect. Amazing view too! So much room in the living area that we just kept the pull out bed open for the duration of our stay. The facilities were beautiful. Pool is spectacular, which is actually 3 connecting pools + a small separate kid pool for the little ones. And of course a great swim up bar (great Margaritas). Pool is only a few steps away from the beach which has a nice set up with cabanas, and although it's not a large area, the water was amazing - very warm ocean this time of year (August). We actually really liked the close proximity to the water. Weather was very warm and "sweaty" but so nice, it rained a bit at night and a few little sun showers, but nothing to send us running for cover. Service was mostly very good - sometimes overly doting, yet they have some strange rules that are a little formal...like insisting on dinner reservations at the restaurants on site - even with a 55% capacity in the hotel. When we walked in to a 1/4 full capacity in the dining area, they act like you are trying to sneak a table at the most desirable restaurant in NY City...needing to get the manager in order to accommodate us. Yet, the people are really lovely and gracious, always wanting to please. This all inclusive seemed too good to be true - but it was exactly what was stated. All meals and drinks are included at all of the restaurants! We are sort of picky wine drinkers, and although they didn't have our favorites (who could blame them - there has to be some cost effectiveness), we were able to find a few nice red wines we really enjoyed - it's hard to compete with the CA wines we are use to. Most were from Chile, but were clearly thoughtfully picked. The food was really very good. We dined at Frida, the Mexican restaurant several times and didn't get bored with the menu & Luca the Italian restaurant was surprisingly very good. The portions are a little smaller than the over-sized portions we are use to in the US, but appropriately so - and found that we probably ate a more healthy portion than normal anyway. The dinner and lunch we had at Azul was not to be recommended - although they do a nice job for Breakfast - endless choices. Room service seemed to be fine, although we only ordered once and they messed up the order slightly (not enough to send back). The WiFi connection was very unreliable...you could get a signal some of the time, but was a little frustrating if you are seriously trying to get something done...but, hey - you are supposed to be on vacation right? All in all, very enjoyable and nicely done. They even have a kids club which is part of the all inclusive. We didn't try the spa, but it looked about as nice as they come at a resort. The gym was also very good - plenty of machines and TVs and someone to help you out if needed - not too crowded. We would definitely go back.

Room Tip: If staying with your kids, get the king ste, they are the ones w/ separate sleep areas. Bring DVD...
  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Melanie L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Front Office Manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2011

Dear guest,
It is our honor to have the opportunity to welcome you this time. We have 5 restaurants, 3 of them are awarded 4 diamonds from the AAA; it is why we have high standards on hygiene and the quality of the food. Also the staff is willing to provide you a pleasant and relaxing experience during your stay . We hope to have the opportunity to serve you again.

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Reviewed August 11, 2011

Our vacation at the grand velas was so superb that we now constantly compare all other vacations to it. Many know that the food can be a gamble when staying at an all inclusive resort - at grand velas we had an extraordinary meal each and every night and the wine was great too. The service was top notch & we were never made to feel like a bother if we asked for something. The staff seemed to genuinely care about our stay and appeared happy to be there. Will definitely return in the future!

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank shbrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Front Office Manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2011

Dear guest,
We are always happy to serve our guest with the respect that you deserve. It is our purpose to provide a memorable stay, doing the best we know… to pamper you!! Thank you very much for your comment, hope to see you soon.

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Reviewed August 9, 2011

My family and I have traveled extensively throughout the caribean, Mexico, Hawaii and have been fortunate to stay at many five star properties. The grand velas, riviera Nayarit definitely exceeded our expectations on all levels. The property is very lush, the rooms are immaculate and spacious, the food is divine and what really makes this resort first class is the service. Every single staff member that we have encountered has been truly exceptional. They are incredibly gracious and hospitable. Any request that we made they delivered. I also want to express how safe we felt at this resort and also anywhere in the riviera Nayarit area. I would recommend this resort to the most discerning of travelers. I hope to return to this beautiful paradise very soon.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank OnvacaO3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2011

Grand Velas July 21-30, 2011

A Grand, First time adventure to sister resort of our favorite chain of resorts Velas.

After a 6 hour traffic laden drive, we arrived to Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta. Almost drove right past, as the sign is in front of building which is actually after the entrance for valet parking and check in. We were welcomed by bellboys and check in dept and escorted to lovely couches, served a cold drink, given wet, cold aromatic cloths to freshen up, and all the check in process was done while we rested on the couches. The lobby area is very impressive, large, fountain in the middle, looks out onto the grounds, welcoming and open air. We were given quite fancy wooden and string AI bracelets, which you can remove at will. Wish we could have kept them though as a momento but I forget to even enquire about that. Oh well next visit. ( I have saved all my Casa Velas bracelets and have a cork board with my momentos from Velas resorts.) We are very excited to be here at Grand Velas for the first time, since we have visited Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas numerous times. The bellboys unload our car and while that is being done we are given a relaxing 5 minute neck and head massage, oh what a treat after a long ride or travel. A great start to a pampering vacation. We are then escorted to our room, by the bellboy who also gives you an orientation on the way. We take the elevator to the 7th floor and our room is 737, it is a Parlour Suite I believe. Like many of the Velas rooms you enter from the back side.

Our room is lovely. It is very spacious , sleek and large. I believe it is a Parlour Suite. When you enter there is a long hall, to the left side is a good sized closet, and a shelf area, and also a door leading to a lock off room I assume. This all leads into the living area, but first to the left of the entrance are swinging doors which lead you into a vanity area, there is a sink, magnifying mirror, soap, q-tips, cotton balls, nail file, shoe mitt, mouthwash and body lotion along with 3 facecloths, not always found in resorts in Mexico might I add. Beyond this area is a door and you enter a toilet area and full size tub, all in marble walls and floors, with a rainfall shower head and great water pressure. The room is stocked daily with soap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and plenty of soft towels. The amenities are Gilchrist and Sommes.
There is also a phone in the bathroom, having had health issues I now understand how important all these little touches can be.

You can leave from this room back to the hall or enter into the bedroom. Our bedroom had a king size bed, with down comforter, down pillows, a robe to use for each of us, and great spa slippers for each of us. Two bedside tables with lamps. Plenty of drawer space, an ipod dock ( I think), clock, telephone, remote control for flat screen TV, a big closet with shelves, and ironing board, distilled water, iron, hair dryer, scale ( I should never have checked that), a full length mirror, bags for fee services like laundry, ironing and I think shoe shine. There is a good size safe also in this closet with plenty of room for incidentals along with an Ipad and laptop. There is of course daily maid service and also nightly turn down service. They even place the news in print hanging on your door in the morning. Every night they leave a room service breakfast menu, you can fill out and place on your outside door to have delivered to your room at a designated time. We just called it in each morning and it was ready in under 30 minutes. At night they also leave you with a little box of sweet dreams chocolates and a bookmark with sayings. At the far end of the bedroom is another door that leads into living area and beside that is like a bay window without the glass with folding shutters, convenient for closing off the bedroom from the living area.

The living area has a couch, coffee table, lamps, ( as well as the ceiling has lights throughout the unit), more storage space and another flat screen TV, telephone, ice bucket, glasses of various sizes , a tray of snacks like granola bars, nuts, candy bars, etc., and a small apartment sized fridge stocked with beer, water, juice, and a variety of sodas and cream for coffee I assume. There is also a coffee maker in room, not sure of type, uses individual coffee containers and makes one cup at a time, some special type, they of course supply the coffee. The snacks and mini bar are restocked daily and if you wish more, then just call room service. There are ice machines on some of the floors but again room service will deliver ice or whatever you so desire. Beyond this area is a glass topped round table with two chairs for dining and sliding glass doors. The room of course is air conditioned and has two controls one in bedroom and one in living room. You have to leave a key in a slot by door entrance for lights and A/C to work.
The balcony is of a good size, with two chairs and a small table between and on each side are built in loungers, great for taking naps or watching the sunset. We even had breakfast out there one morning and they rolled out a full sized room service white table clothed table. We also spent many nights sitting out there talking and enjoying drinks while overlooking the awesome grounds, will cover that soon. So all in all the room has everything you need and if you need something else just call and I am sure they can get it. The rooms are very spacious for what I would consider a studio room sleeping 2, maybe 4 not sure if the couch opened up but I do not think so. I like space so it fit us perfectly. I can only imagine what the more uppercrust rooms are like. We did notice some that had plunge pools or hot tubs on balcony. We had internet in the room which to me is almost a requirement these days. We did encounter some issues with it not working but we called and they sent someone immediately and finally they ended up putting routers in my room, worked for me. Was a bit frustrating having to call 3-4 times about the internet but living in Mexico I know in rainy season internet can be an issue.

There is a room service full menu in the room 24 hours per day and we used it many, many times, even ordering drinks and such, lots of tequila, other alcohol and ice. We only drink alcohol on vacation or special occasions so we did it up right. Oh yes, we arrived on our anniversary and I had told the resort this ahead of time, so within ½ hour of our arrival in room a girl arrived with a plate saying Happy Anniversary in Spanish, with chocolate covered strawberries and also a bottle of champagne on ice. Hubby was shocked, how did they know? I finally told him I had told them , he was very impressed with me, brownie points and also Grand Velas for this special touch. I think I pretty much covered the layout of the room other than the fact that the balcony overlooked the 3 pools, the incredible manicured grounds and the ocean, it was a sight to behold. So much beauty here I took over 400 plus pictures. So in summary the rooms are very nice, large, clean, well appointed and well maintained. Very pleasing to spend 9 days in as we did….Someday we will stay in a Governor, or penthouse Suite maybe LOL, but for now I am spoiled enough!!!

Before continuation let me explain the whole purpose of our vacation at Grand Velas. Do not expect a lot of exciting and fun things we did as this was a vacation to celebrate our anniversary, my second year survivorship from breast cancer and to just chill, relax and be pampered. Why did we choose Grand Velas? We have been to Velas Vallarta and Casa Velas numerous times and have found them to be our favorite resort chain. We have been repeat customers for years. We are the owners of over 10 timeshares , (and before my illness we traveled 10-12 weeks per year, which is our goal to get back to.) and well Velas just keeps pulling us back many times a year. We had not, as yet tried, Grand Velas, though we had booked it twice but my illness caused us to cancel so this was like a milestone for us and so very, exciting and special to have finally made it there. We prefer the Pacific Coast of Mexico so for us this is the top of the line, but I am sure at some point we might make it to Riviera Maya Grand Velas. We have done all the tours, we have tried so many restaurants, etc., but this trip was a stay at the resort and to take in all it has to offer and be pampered. We had no concerns on the food, as we have found the food at Velas Vallarta to be very good, at Emiliano’s at Casa Velas to be incredible so we had no doubts it would be wonderful here at Grand Velas as well ,with even more options. ( I need to also point out that I am very partial to Casa Velas due to the feeling of home away from home it evokes in me, by being a small resort, incredibly personalized service, I know most of the staff and well sorry kiddies, adults Only!

Our first night we were lazy, too lazy to even dress up so we chose Azul ( the restaurant by the ocean and most casual of all at the resort). It was a sit down al la carte menu with salad bar all except two nights. The food was very good, the view of the ocean etc, very pretty, open air so could be hot at times…has an incredible high palapa for a roof though. We had Mexican appetizers this first night and Filet and Rib Eye, both were good and tender. Our waiter was Celoso and he took good care of us through the week along with his compadres Ceasar and others. After dinner we walked around the grounds, beautiful green grass, palms, hibiscus, white cement with in laid stones, 3 infinity pools with a wooden bridge crossing over them. A kiddie pool, lots of loungers, umbrellas, conveniently placed restrooms, even outfitted with low toilets and sinks for the small kids, so cute. The infinity pool closest to the ocean has a swim up palapa bar, and also stools on the ground. They have lots of activities throughout the days, like ping pong, volleyball on the beach and in pool, salsa dancing lessons, and who knows what else. We liked to be by the ocean end as it was a bit quieter and less kids around.
We had room service breakfast the first morning after a peaceful nights sleep. I am a late riser and hubby early so the lay out of the room worked well for us. The resort is very quiet in the rooms I did notice. We had room service breakfast every day might I add. We tried lots on the breakfast menu and everything was great with lots and lots of options. They will set it up wherever you like on the table in your room, on the balcony, on the room service wheeled table, in bed, whatever you wish and you just call when done and they come and take it all away. Did I mention there is a lot of English spoken here by the waiters, room service, concierge’s, front desk, etc. We made our spa back massage reservations today for Monday and then we took off again in our car to meet a friend who lives in PV, we did this a few times while we were there but otherwise we stayed put. Let me add here about safety, we drive across two states to get to PV or NV, and we go 3-4 times a year to PV and have never felt anything but safe, whether in a resort, out on the streets, in malls shopping, on the beaches, in restaurants, along the Malecon, etc. PV & NV are safe tourist destinations with friendly welcoming people. Does and can crime happen here of course just like anywhere, use common travel sense, do not look for trouble or go where you do not belong , like down a dark alley drunk, at 3 in the morning. Do not look for or engage in any illegal drug activity and you will be fine. The media is truly giving a bad rap to Mexico, and many times they do not explain that oh yeah this occurred at the border not anywhere near PV etc. Back to our day… We returned in time for a late lunch at Azul, buffet or off menu in afternoon and always good and casual attire. We encountered trouble with our internet again but called and they immediately sent someone to correct the problem. We dined at the Mexican restaurant Frida this night. The atmosphere was nice. They had a lovely Frida cookbook on a table as you entered I browsed thru. The food was very good, but alas no Chiles en Nogada my favorite. Our meals were excellent, our waiter Juan was wonderful and I had my first experience with a new margarita per Juan’s suggestion, a Cilantro margarita ( sounds weird) but it was very different and fit very well with the food, okay I admit it, I loved it and even had two of them. We stopped in the lobby bar tonight after dining, it is air conditioned and open until 1am. They have music before 10, then something different after 10pm I think tonight they had Kareoke, not my favorite, but we enjoyed watching, and listening, sort of LOL, and I did try another new drink for me, a coconut martini…yummy, just was hard to remind myself to sip slowly. Remember we polished off almost every night with whiskey ( I am not even a whiskey drinker, rum or vodka, and well lots of tequila, which to me is like fine wine and I am not a wine drinker usually). I like my drinks served in nice shaped glasses, pretty margarita glasses, martini glasses etc….makes it taste better or so I fool myself. ( Casa Velas if you are reading this remind Benny about my pretty glasses, my mom is same way LOL, we will be at Casa Velas in less than 2 weeks, Mom’s first time). This day was fun and relaxing for us, nice to hook up with friends, chat, eat, drink, relax, etc., we stayed up very late and even ordered if you can believe it room service late night pizza and it was really good. I have a hard time finding pizza I like in Mexico, but this was good.

Satruday July 23 our first day to actual venture down to the pool and sun. You go to a reservation, towel hut and pick your chairs, you can do this when you arrive or up to 3 hours in advance, like a reservation system. We lucked out this day and got by the ocean, swim up bar pool area. The pool boy brings your towels a terry cover for lounge chair, gets you a table if you ask and an umbrella etc. Oh yes and of course I forgot you have the beach bag they have in all the rooms to use for your stay…We spent the whole day, on loungers in sun, in pool, at swim up bar, on our loungers having lunch etc…..there is a small tianges ( small shopping outdoor area just off the entrance to the beach from resort , we stopped over there to browse but did not buy anything….same old stuff…) We did have to wait quite a while for an umbrella as there must be a shortage, and when we had lunch on our loungers they did not have lap trays either, (was not real fond of the lounge chair reservation policy either and could see some issues that could occur with that but we had no trouble today so will just mention it) , with just a few minor inconveniences but something I will address with a manager for future improvement. Our waiter was Luis today and again the service throughout is excellent. Oh yes I did forget a few things the rooms all have rain umbrella in them for rainy season I assume and where you have to walk outside if it rains there are umbrellas at every entrance, nice touch. Tipping, the All Inclusive plan says all gratuities included but when you see the service you are given, how you are treated, the respect, and how hard these folks work for little money, we tip everyone. The pool set up guy, the bellboys, maids, room service, waiters, whomever. Better service better tip…The pool guys are really moving along, they remember your drinks, keep you refilled, etc. and it is hot and humid, they deserve to be tipped if you can. We dined at The Italian Restaurant tonight Lucca. We had a lobster salad, lamb chops, and shrimp and scallop over speghetti dishes. ( Of course hubby one , me the other). Both meals again were great. We had some kind of chocolate covered ice cream dessert that was also very good. Another great meal. Did I mention the 3 restaurants Lucca, Frida and Piaf ( the French) are all air conditioned, sit down a la carte restaurants with formal casual attire. No t-shirts, long pants for men and closed shoes for men, etc…but Azul you can wear sandals or t shirts etc, just not wet clothing. The lobby bar had a Coomba ( Cuban ) Band tonight, we stayed awhile. The bartender made me a perfect southern comfort manhatten, straight up with a twist of lime and two cherries, something I have not had in years…we might just be becoming foodaholics and alcoholics this vacation…LOL.

Sunday July 24.…Well this day starts off very interesting, we have room service breakfast on the terrace and halfway thru the meal while eating some bacon, hubby says hey something hard in this….Dios Mios…his cap fell off his front tooth…let alone it looks bad but he also is talking with a lisp which is not to his liking. He is beside himself….I for once on the other hand am very calm, I have had so many health issues while away in PV this is nothing, though it is a Sunday, my only concern. I immediately put a post on Trip Advisor for ER dentist but using new Ipad and I post to Jalisco forum instead of PV without realizing. Hubby says well we can just wait till we get back to Chapala and see my dentist…hahaha..I told him go look in mirror and keep talking…it is a bit funny. ( Mind you we have had many ER’s in the last two years, with me ending up at San Javier Hospital etc, so this is like a piece of cake). Hubby says he can deal with the look of it, I say I think not and might not be too healthy but he cannot deal with the lisp…LOL. So no problema we have a reason to try out the concierge service. I get ready while he goes down to concierge. They share some laughs after they know he is in no pain and she calls 2 dentists and on the second a plan is made. One hour at the plaza in PV Marina by airport, hmmm…near Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta, we know it well. The dentist will met us there within the hour. Will cost 1500 pesos, might be a bit steep for just glueing on a cap, but it is Sunday and we are staying at a top notch five star resort and they are calling for us LOL. This is good. We go there and within 10 minutes the dentist, and a translator show up, hubby is taken in and all is repaired without ado, and we are back at resort in Nuevo by 3:30. We did take a little drive around the marina to wave at the other Velas resorts. We were down by pool before 4pm having a late lunch…soft food for hubby for 6 hours or something. The concierge service by the way was incredible, did we need a taxi, no we have a car, directions etc…gave us name of dentist, her cell number etc. It was handled to perfection. We were very pleased. Funny both hubby and I were actually happy it was for once not an issue with me, or maybe he was just saying that…nah. We ate late at Azul that night. So far this is, despite this problem a great vacation and we are finally starting to wind down and relax fully. We are eating and drinking way too much and staying up way too late, but hey you only live once right?

Mon. July 25..Special spa day today…..25 minute back massages for each of us…..was complimentary as part of our package. The person at check in desk said “only charge is the $ 7. US per person ,to tip the masseuse. We paid it without comment, but afterwards we both felt it to be fairly tactless to do this, we would have tipped more anyway, and I prefer to actually hand the tip to the person doing the work. Anyway the spa is incredible, huge, impressive, state of the art…..Like all state of the art spa’s it is pricey but to me worth it. I absolutely loved my massage. This is only my second since my breast cancer, the other was at Casa Velas and it was wonderful but the poor girl had to keep telling me to relax. For this one I overcame my fear of embarrassment I guess and relaxed and just felt so pampered and de-stressed. I would let one of the massuese’s move into my house for a free hour long massage per day LOL. Hubby, said the service or massage was fine but he does not enjoy them like me, so he feels in future he should just give them to me, if he has any or pass on them. Okay your loss honey! The spa was separate, females in one area and males another, I did not inquire about couple massages but would have liked that. Either way if you are into Spa, you will just love Grand Velas Spa. We had a leisurely lunch at Azul today, met briefly with Marcella Navarro a former employee over at Velas Vallarta who we befriended. Had hoped she could lunch with us but was too busy. Was incredible to see her and give her a hug though. We also spent some time in the boutique. A really nice shop, with lots of variety, good quality items, pricey but on par with all boutiques at resorts of this caliber. I am still thinking about a dress I saw there, way out of my budget, but I keep thinking about it..LOL.

Tonight we dined ,at my home away from home, Casa Velas Emiliano’s restaurant. We said hello to Jesus the Chief Concierge and chatted a bit with Mr. Bonin the Managing Director, and of course had Benny ( the bartender) prepare us some drinks. It felt so good to be home. So very peaceful. We had fantastic meals and drinks served by Bernadino, the head waiter and Moises our waiter and Benny of course made the drinks. Everything was perfect. Hubby had the Filet cooked to perfection and I had the Salmon on the Spa menu and topped it off with my favorite dessert Paris delight and hubby had his favorite Creme Broulette. It was just a lovely evening for both of us….of course familiarity helps. I had mentioned in my last visit that the service was exceptionally slow for dinner, well they truly listen at Velas resorts and the service was timed just perfect, not too fast and not too slow , a great improvement. We left after dinner kind of sadly, hubby more so than I as he may not make it back to Casa Velas till 2012, but myself I will be there in just a few weeks again, yippee! We decided to drive around PV and check out the Malecon works etc., was a round about ride due to construction but had fun anyway. Then we returned to Grand Velas, once again safe and sound and without event. We were greeted by bellboys big smiles and words of welcome home. This was a very lovely night.

Tues. July 25...Just as we were ready to go to pool, the clouds rolled in and it poured for about 2 hours, then the sun came out once again….We watched the rain from our balcony and then went down to pool once it cleared up. Such is rainy season in the tropics. Had a relaxing day and tonight we dined at Piaf, the French restaurant. Elegant in décor for sure. Very gourmet. ( Actually we really are not gourmet foodies but rather homestyle but this was incredible). The atmosphere is lovely, lively in color. The only thing not to my liking is depending on where you sit you may be right next to another couple or group etc..sort of like in NY or such where they line the tables up along a wall with booth on one side and fancy chair on the other, just not my preference, but it was fine. The food was in small, gourmet but extremely rich portions. The Onion soup was the best I have had anywhere by far. The Filet Mignon was melt in your mouth and tasty. Hubby had Grand Marnier ( sp) souffle for dessert, very tasty and I had an apple tart with cinnamon raspberry sherbert, tantalizing tastes. I also tried another new drink a Peach martini, very refreshing and I was certainly getting my fruits….LOL. The Piaf Restaurant was our favorite of the three indoor restaurants. Azul we liked cause you could order off menu, or have buffet, breakfast, lunch or dinner, no reservations and no special attire. We also just loved admiring the huge palapa they have over that restaurant, the work, time, effort and money that must have cost, we can only fathom.
We received a phone call message from front desk today saying tomorrow they would be working on air conditioning in our area of building so it would be down or off from around 9am to 6pm, they could move us, or give us a room to use. I was all unpacked and I pack a lot, ( and I move it, I make it my home while there) that would be too stressful plus figured no real big deal we will be outside all day anyway. They assured us it would be back on by 6pm. Great. We will just stay put then and it will not be a problem. NOT!

Wed. July 26...I will just call it the tip of the iceberg day…we had a relaxing pool, and beach day, laid back….enjoyable. Met some folks and chatted with them, was just a nice relaxing day except the beginning when we could only get loungers by the kiddie pool area…ugh. Anyway they finally moved two loungers near by to the entrance beach area for us, much better and plenty of room, no obstruction. We did see something we did not care for while in this area many times and that was people coming up off beach without bracelets, some young adults or teens who took a swim in pool and some folks passing by headed to bathrooms. I made a note to mention this to management. Along with the lounger reservation policy not seeming to be working to keep everyone happy. Possibly a member area, adult area or such might work who knows. We returned to room at 7pm ish, our mini bar had not been restocked again, this was about the fourth day we had to call, not a big issue just an irritant. Hmm, very hot in room though, air conditioning not working, no messages in room, on phone etc. We call front desk, they say they will send maintenance right up…we wait…2 guys arrive look at controls and say they need to turn something on up on the roof and will be right back …okay…we usually, usually are tolerant of maintenance issues with hubby being a builder, master plumber and doing a lot of service work and all. Well it is pretty hot in Nuevo Vallarta on the 7th floor without air conditioning in July. I know I would not want to live or vacation here without air conditioning in rainy season, just too hot and humid. About an hour and a half later after no one returns hubby calls front desk and now he is hot and irritated. He asks for a manager and he gets Jose who tells us the A/C will be out until 10 or 10:30 tonight, but we will be more than happy to move you….hubby tells me I am now hot, having hot flashes, tired, and frankly cranky. I tell him to tell them I am not packing and unpacking for a few days and why did no one tell us this, if we had known we would be more tolerant or would have moved yesterday. Communication is key to customer satisfaction here. I also say so tell them if it is not fixed tonight then they can just refund us our remaining time and I will pack once and we will leave tomorrow morning, we are not tied to a flight, we have a car, so it is a one time packing thing. He assures us it will be fixed by 10:30, trust him. Plus he can give us a room to use, we tell him we will trust you and just go to eat and such and will check with you before returning to room. So now the internet has been sporadic at best despite their many attempts so cannot blame them for that but is irritating. We have to call again and complain about the minibar not being replenished , which we should not have to do, and the maid did not leave any facecloths, this is a crazy irritating type day. All small issues which mounted up to a big issues. I am feeling stressed over all this and so disappointed, I eat very little at Azul,, do not feel so great. We try to have faith in Jose the manager at front desk. Around 11pm, we ask for him and he comes out to greet us all happy, the air conditioning is working…oh thank goodness….Tomorrow will be a better day I am sure and all the other days have been great. I determine to speak to a manager regarding my issues so they can improve and or change things. If no one speaks up then they never know and nothing changes, and customers become dissatisfied.

Thursday July 28...Another lazy day with a twist. Alejandro a staff member walked by our loungers and asked how was everything, I noted his name tag, hmm, guest relations, we wee actually having our lunch. I told him well actually I have some issues and am disappointed in some things. He appeared very concerned and asked if I had time later to talk with him. I said sure. Later on he returned, I told him of my personal disappointments or issues such as the lounge chair reservation policy not being effective for happy clients, the A/C issue we encountered, with the real issue being a lack of communication, the mini bar not being re-stocked. For many days without a call, the sporadic internet but that was being handled constantly and I know it is a problem in Mexico, also told about the mandatory tip at the spa and how I felt it was tactless, and an area of resort where there I felt should be a staff member to prevent beach goers from passing into resort. He listened intently and agreed with some of what I said, other stuff he said they were working on etc., and apologized for my disappointment and hoped we would give them a chance to make our last few days there as pampering as we had expected and also that we would return another time to see improvements. I truly felt, and still do that he was concerned and that the issues I mentioned will be rectified, changed or improved.
We had dinner again at Azul, but tonight was just a buffet of Italian, not sure why no menus, but either way it was as usual very good with a huge variety. Later in the night we again ordered room service, ice and some drinks…the delivery person arrived and had the drinks and ice along with a bottle of wine, a very fancy cheese and bread and fruit plate and such. We told him must be wrong room, he double checked and said no I was told to bring it here. Then we noted a card addressed to us.
Much to our surprise it was from the hotel manager thanking us for our comments on Facebook in regards to some of the above issues. It stated they would help them to improve service. Did I feel bad, absolutely but as my followers know my reviews are based on honesty and such. I am going to take some responsibility for going over the edge too quickly though. I posted on Facebook before speaking to a manager which is not my usual course of action in any issue, so for that I feel regret. I am/was highly impressed that they would do this and it showed me they truly are concerned with customer satisfaction and will improve as needs warrant. I saved the letter for my Velas Resorts momento board. Truly this is impressive, and just goes to show why I love and keep returning to Velas Resorts. When we can we will return to Grand Velas , where as before we addressed the issues with them we might not have.

Friday July 29...Lazy days and the final pool/beach day. All the chairs we liked were reserved so we were headed to an area near loud or kiddie pool, when Alejandro appeared out of nowhere and said so are you liking your seats, we had no clue what he was talking about, he had reserved earlier in the morning our favorite area for loungers, with an umbrella, what a sweet, pampering and nice touch. There also was a staff member at the area off the beach into resort I mentioned so improved security for anything you left laying around and immediate response to my issue. He passed by many times throughout the day to see if all was well and yes it was just perfect. We had an incredibly relaxing happy last full day…….We had a Mexican buffet on Friday night, again no menus that night. They did have a Mexican show in the lobby bar due to rainy season ,usually in amphitheater I guess, we did not attend this event. I did hear it was very good though and it was packed. On Saturday morning we checked out about 11am and we headed back to our part of Mexico.

I know the longest review in history…I gave the lowlights so to speak already in my review along with some highlights but not all so as a last note let me add some positives I may have forgotten.
Throughout the day they come around with aromatic cool facecloths and also a guy goes around cleaning sunglasses, nice touches. A popsicle cart comes around every day at 2pm….yummy coconut ones, pina colado etc…
Did I mention the high caliber of the food and the awesome atmosphere wherever you went, even the public bathrooms. The variety of food and presentation incredible. The awesome staff from the bottom right up to the top, all absolutely fantastic. The grounds so beautiful and such care to their maintenance. The rooms, impeccably clean, spacious and comfortable. This resort is a definite 5 star resort for the discriminating traveler even with the few bumps in the road we encountered. I hope in the future we will be able to visit Grand Velas as often as we do Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta. I applaud the Velas Resorts in general. I want to also give some accolades to some staff members that we had exceptional service from….Alejandro of course from member /guest relations, Jose the front desk manager. Carlos the pool set up guy and Angel the pool waiter, both awesome personalities. Miguel and Francisco also incredible pool waiters. Celoso and Ceasar in Azul restaurant waiters were great and we had lots of fun with them. Juan in The Frida Restaurant was so kind and personable. To all the rest of the staff whose name I do not know, I applaud you for your incredible work. Of course I must also give warm accolades and thanks to the person who makes all of this good happen, the Hotel manager Fernando Zepeda. I am assured that he will be sure any and all improvements are made.

So in essence, we had a great, relaxing vacation at Grand Velas and look forward to returning in the future. There is a plaque at the entrance that says something to the effect that “this is where magic happens“….we did have a magical 9 days and I can with all honesty, recommend Grand Velas Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, as a top notch vacation resort and a safe tourist destination to all of you, young , old and in between.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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6  Thank bezerk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Guest Relations at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2011

Dear Mrs. F,
It is an honor to have the opportunity of having you both as a hotel guests for the first time. I hope to have the opportunity to host you again and I hope that you may think of Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit of your home away from home as you think of our other properties. This brings me to thank you for your loyalty to the brand and your interest in promoting the safeness of Mexico that we still are for the tourism.
It’s great to read a detailed review of the holiday you have, since check in, the tour to the room, the detailed description of the suite to your experiences at the restaurants, (you even describes the goodies of the room).
It is very important for us to know what our guests to see what we are doing and improve every detail to make your stay memorable. We hope to have the opportunity to have you here with us for another relaxing experience. Thank you for your comments and see you soon.
Alejandro Diaz

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Reviewed August 4, 2011

Just a quick note to share the amazing vacation we had at the Grand Velas. The rooms are absolutely perfect. I said "rooms" because we were a group and i visited some of them and all of them had a different charm and all facing the ocean somehow. I had no complain about that hotel. It is a very small one and we do prefer bigger resort for all they can offer. You lose somewhere to gain elsewhere. It's a question of preference. We love it. We might try the one in Playa Del Carmen. If you been there let me know!

Room Tip: We had a room with a hot tub on the roof, very hard to beat, incredible!!
  • Stayed: March 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank LOOKJOHN316
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Front Office Manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2011

Dear Guest,
Thank you very much for your comments, it is true that the hotel is small (we only have 267 rooms) but we would like to invite you to spend your next vacations to the Grand Velas Riviera Maya for you to enjoy it as much as you do it here. Thank you very much for choosing us and we hope to host you again someday.

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Reviewed July 31, 2011

We went these weekend in a Congress. Each year we went to these 3 Diamond Hotel.
Food Excellent +
Room Excellent, but 2 days we dont have hot water to take a Shower.
First night they dont do our beds.
On one day they dont refill the servi bar.
We spend 30 minutes to have a table in the beside pool restaurant and the guy over there were not friendly.
I think that each year the service is going down.
Our room wasnt ready, not 12pm, not 3pm, not 4pm, they change our room to other.
Spa is great thanks a lot.!!
We spent 40 minutes to get our car, we ask several times, they say they dont find our car's key.
The hotel is excelent, rooms excelent but these little details in these 3 diamond hotel and for the fare we paid, they can do best.

Room Tip: Take rooms in 3th or up floor if you want to see the ocean
  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Paapamon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Front Office Manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 24, 2011

Dear guest:
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a very good place to Groups and Conventions, during the week you were here with us, we had an unexpected raise of occupancy because of the beginning of the summer holidays. Although this is not an excuse for the details you mention. We are working hard to remain the 5 Diamonds that we have. Thank you very much and we hope to have the opportunity to stay with us again.

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Reviewed July 30, 2011

I was here with my family (wife and two daughters) for a week or so. We live in Palo Alto and this was our first time in Puerto Vallerta.

Grand Velas is a terrific 5-star resort. The property is beautiful, right off the beach, with an amazing view of the Pacific. The swimming pools are awesome, the sit down restaurants are world class (we loved Frida particularly), and the service level is unbelievable. Each member of the staff was eager to help to make our stay more comfortable.

Our last two vacations were at the Four Seasons, Kona and Meena House, Oberoi (Giza, Egypt) and I must say that Grand Velas was at par with those places as far as the facilities and amenities are concerned and a step ahead when it comes to service level, warmth, and due care.

Thanks for a great vacation!

Jay

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank anitas777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FernandoZepeda, Front Office Manager at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, responded to this reviewResponded August 25, 2011

Dear guest,
Thank you very much for your comments; it is an honor for us that you compare us with other properties, specially being a 100% Mexican company. Thanks to the ongoing training offered for our staff is how we are always improving our service and quality in food preparations. Thank you and I hope that Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit will be your favorite destination for your holidays.

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Additional Information about Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Address: Av. Cocoteros, 98 Sur | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico C.P. 63735, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Pacific Coast > Nayarit > Riviera Nayarit > Nuevo Vallarta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range: $536 - $1,105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit 5*
Number of rooms: 267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a luxurious all-inclusive resort in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, featuring an award-winning spa, incredible dining and entertainment, playful activities, kids club, stylish event space, and a breathtaking landscape on the emera. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Velas All Suites And Spa Resort
Grand Velas All Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Velas Hotel
Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Velas Vallarta

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