We spent five nights in June (Thurs arrival and Tues check out). Everything was fantastic - I'll talk about the rooms, food, kids stuff, our special event and fabulous photographer, the spa and our dolphin adventure.
POOL AND BEACH. Loved the pools - three side by side. Water was perfect temp. Pool was clean. Hot tubs by the beach - adult only, three whirlpools set at three temps. Plenty of lounge chairs around the pool as well as covered lounges on the beach. If there is not an umbrella near you, just ask and the attendants will bring to you. Poolside service is great. They regularly check on you.
ROOM. We were in two suites - 534 an 535. Just a couple rooms off center and facing the ocean (gorgeous!). Property is eight floors but we were somewhat limited because we had two young kids (4 and 7). There's an adult-only section and I think it's higher up. Two bathrooms is standard - loved it! Plenty of space for my family (2 adults and 2 kids in one room, 3 adults in the other room). Loved the daily replenishment of snacks. Drinks (coffee, tea, water, soda, canned juice, beer) replenished daily too. Very clean rooms. Turndown tended to be early (sometime between 5-6pm). Bedroom can go completely dark - just close your door and the "picture window" wood shutters that separates the bedroom from the living room. Balcony is very comfy too - built-in cushioned benches on each side along with two chairs and small table.
SPECIAL EVENT and PHOTOG. We celebrated my in-law's 50th wedding anniversary with a vow renewal. The hotel's event coordinator was organized and handled all the details. Our hotel photographer was truly amazing - ask for Gabriel, you won't regret it! We had beautiful photos both more formal and posed, and casual. He spent 2 hours with us taking photos - around the hotel, during the vow renewal, during cake cutting, and afterwards on the beach. My favorites were the more casual ones that really captured the moment. You purchase the digitals. No book is made for you as Gabriel explained that photo processing in Mexico is not as good as in the States. I would hire Gabriel again just to take family photos - why wait for a special occasion!
KIDS - Kids enjoyed the Kids Club - great place when they wanted to break from swimming. It was never too busy - never saw more than 8 or so kids at a time. Just know that when you complete the paperwork for the first sign-in, you can check a box that allows your child to check themself out - read carefully. My kids made kites, bracelets, colored and did drawings, watched a movie after dinner, played water balloons in the kid pool (about 12-18 inches deep) - nice variety of activities. My 7 y.o. also took a scuba lesson - while there is a complimentary class for kids 10+, she took a class geared for younger kids and there was an additional cost (USD$35 - there was no one else that day so she ended up with a one-hour private lesson).
FOOD. Ate at all the restaurants (Frida, Lucca, and Piaf) plus the more casual Azul for dinner. Azul is where you eat breakfast and lunch. Note that one restaurant is closed per night so check the schedule (you get one the night before for the next day). No young kids allowed in Piaf but you can send them to the Kids Club. Room service was good too (we ordered breakfast - came exactly when we wanted it to (15 min window) and the order was perfect). Frida and Piaf were my favorites - delicious food plated beautifully. Lucca was tasty but, for me, more your typical Italian fare. As for the wine, we were told each time that the first three pages were wines with additional charges and the wines on the last two pages were included. Some other reviewers said they were not told.
SPA. Amazing. You have to visit. The water therapy before your treatment is a must! You do so many different stations (sauna, steam room, rain shower, jets for your legs, another more traditional jacuzzi, no-jet hot tub, cool plunge), then shower before resting on your lounge waiting for your treatment therapist. You will be so spoiled! Our package included a USD$50 per day per adult spa credit (but you can only use on treatments 50 min or longer). For extra savings, check out each day's spa special (you will find it on your daily schedule). The service is outstanding. The spa is very clean.
DOLPHIN ADVENTURE. Took the kids for a dolphin adventure - just a 5-min cab ride away. We swam and played with the dolphins. The experience lasted about 45 min. We were in a group of 8 people. There are three different adventures to choose from. Ours was USD$99 per adult booked through the hotel. The special at the time was pay for two adults, then two kids go for free - which is what we did. They sell you photos afterwards (not surprising), but we bought because there was no way to get good photos - you will understand if you go. I think the place was intentionally set-up making it nearly impossible for your family and friends to take photos/video, even with a zoom lens. Definitely worth it! You will have amazing memories.
WEATHER. The weather in June was not a big deal. It was around 90 each day and humid, but you get some ocean breeze to take the edge off. Yes, it rained, but only in the evening so you got to play all day.
Loved the resort. Would definitely come back. Service was friendly and efficient. The resort is clean and beautiful. The spa is amazing. Food is great. Location by the ocean is perfect.
- 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