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“Relaxing vacation would definitely return!”

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Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Ranked #1 of 27 Hotels in Nuevo Vallarta
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
A TripAdvisor Member
“Relaxing vacation would definitely return!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2005

My husband and I just returned from Grand Velas a week ago and we had a fabulous time. I have never been so well taken care of at a hotel before, the service was commendable. I was surprised to see how many people have recently complained about the place, especially about the construction noise. We read reviews before hand and knew what to expect with the construction noise and honestly it was not that bad. We sat by the pool all day and were not phased by it, the ocean waves were louder than the construction.

The food at resort was some of the best I ever had. Frida did have some unusal things on the menu, but they ended up being good. Be prepared to be pampered when you come here. You can sit at the pool in a comfy lounge chair and be brought drinks and meals. The room service is extremely fancy. A table already set is rolled in with your food and they clean it up when you're done. The room was beautiful and clean and very spacious. The spa treatment was free and wonderful!

I would say that this is definitely a better resort for couples than probably families or singles. There is not a lot to do in Nuevo Vallarta, so we ended up staying at the resort the whole time. Also this is probably not the place to come if you want to sit at the beach the pool is much nicer, as the water is not clear and the sand is rough.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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2,411 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Parsippany,NJ
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 30, 2005

I went to this beautiful resort with my husband and my two teenagers and my brother and sister in law and there two teenagers. The resort is beautiful and we loved everything about it. The suites are large and very nice. We had a suite with our own hottub and deck overlooking the Pacific. You really could not beat it. The food was very good and the service was great, especially at the pool. The kids could get anything they wanted including sushi delivered at the pool all day long. The pools are beautiful and the ocean is very nice, but not the blue water. The waves are alot of fun. We took several day trips and I recommend the Canopy Tour. It was alot of fun. The spa is one of the nicest I have been to. (I am a travel agent and go to alot of resorts and spas). It is quiet at night but that was ok with us. We had fun just hanging out on all the couches located all around the resort. I do agree the construction was unexpected (no one had mentioned it to me) but it really wasn't too bad. It should be done by the fall. I would go definatley go back again.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank laurie6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ca
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 28, 2005

My husband, daughter 7, son 6, and I just returned from a 6-day stay at the Grand Villas last week. We have traveled all over the world and have stayed in a variety of all-inclusive resorts. Based upon the other reviews, I expected a lot more from our experience. While we had an acceptable time, we were not overly impressed with the “total package” and feel that for the money, Grand Velas needs to correct some important flaws. I will share with you my opinions based upon my experience and expectations.

PROS:

The grounds are very well maintained with staff working constantly to keep the walkways clear

The lobby is attractive with plenty of comfy couches

Check in is stress- free with the concierge doing the paperwork while you relax on a sofa with cold drinks and cool towels

The rooms are all very spacious with quality amenities, top quality bedding, and all the towels you can use

All rooms face the ocean and are nicely air conditioned with individual controls

Plenty of water is provided daily along with soda, beer and coffee in the mini bar

The spa is very nice with attentive staff. I enjoyed a facial and massage. Watch for daily specials

There are 3 pools and a children’s pool

The lounges are very comfortable but might be in short supply when the hotel is hosting a convention or special group which they do regularly

You do not have to sign for your pool towels and can use as many as you like

Tipping a waiter will buy you continued great service at the pool and beach. When we didn’t tip they still came by about every hour

The mixed drinks are good and are served in nicer quality plastic glasses

The service in the restaurants is very good with waiters doting over the children and making sure we had water at every sip.

CONS:

While every room faces the beach, you cannot see the beach unless you are standing at the railing on your balcony. The design of the balcony makes you feel confined when sitting down and you miss the beautiful view. What is the use of a beach front room when you have to hang over the rail to enjoy it?

The tile floors are VERY slippery when wet! Both my children fell when simply walking from the bathroom, so use caution.

The mini bar is very uninspired for an upscale property, offering dry cereal bars, pretzels and nuts. I would expect a basket of fresh fruit at the very least.

The pools are each very warm and some people were disappointed that they didn’t feel refreshed.

The pools are boring. They offer nothing more than pretty water. We missed the waterfalls, rock formations, bridges and creative accents that other properties offered.

The pool “toys” are extremely limited with only 2 air mattresses for the whole resort!

The non-motor equipment was far below other properties. A few kayaks and few boogie boards were about it. The less expensive resort next door provided Hoby cats with sails, canoes, kayaks, boogie boards, inner tubes and kick boards. This was a major disappointment for us

There is no snorkel equipment of any kind available, so be sure to bring your own.

There is almost NOTHING to do at night. They offered only 1 “show” at night during our stay, which involved some low-end dancers and a terrible demo of a cockfight that was upsetting to our children. I would have expected more from an “up scale” facility.

There are no bicycles or horse back riding offered

There is no shuttle service into town

The hotel will cater to their large groups and conventions over regular guests. Parts of the pool area will be closed and at least 1 of the nicer restaurants will be closed.

We had to argue for reservations in the nicer restaurants because of large group bookings

We were served only VERY low-end wine at Frida and Lucca. We can get a bottle of their Sutter Home wine for $3 at any cheap market in the US. When we asked for something better, we were told that the “good wine” was for groups or non all-inclusive guests.

The food at Azul buffet was only average. We had more variety at lower end resorts.
There were no provisions for grabbing a quick snack. It always involved a waiter and a wait in the Buffet restaurant. Other resorts had a snack area where guests could help themselves to things like chips and guacamole, etc. without a waiter being involved, giving a room number and a wait.

While the food at both Lucca and Frida was better than Azul, it was not on par with up scale restaurants at other resorts like the Four Seasons. It was good, well presented, but not spectacular like I was expecting.

The construction is quite bothersome for many people. The resort really should offer a reduced “construction rate” to make their guests feel like they are getting their money’s worth during the annoying construction time. Jack hammers and blowtorches are not part of a nice, relaxing vacation.

Over all, we had an average vacation experience, not a spectacular one. Maybe it’s because we have traveled so much that our basis for comparison is much broader than most people’s. In my experienced opinion, there are better choices for the money

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
18 Thank poochesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 27, 2005

I am sitting in our hotel room as I write this review. I have just finished reading many of the recent reviews on this hotel and I only wish I had read them before booking and arriving. I am not one to pay attention to reviews, but that has probably changed for me. Had I read anything about construction noise at all I would have avoided this place for now.
As it is, we arrived full of anticipation for a quiet and relaxing vacation with our 4 year old son in tow. Part of the reason I chose this place was the "kids club" with experienced staff and many activities for children. I thought it would be perfect to take him with us and be able to enjoy the beach and the pool and the relaxation while he was in a well supervised kids club.
Those daydreams have kinda crashed down on us.
We were immediately upset over the loud construction noise and couldn't believe our travel service didn't tell us about it...I feel certain they knew. Worse still, we were put in a room directly under the construction zone and it goes on all day and into the evening. We insisted on a new room and were moved late in the next day. The attitude was very unconcerned on the part of the staff here. Trying to make the best of it, we ventured out to the pool the next day and looked up the kids club. I warn any parents counting on this club to forget about it. The kids club is a small table with small chairs right by the pools. Little cups of glue and paper and glitter are the bulk of the activities. They didn't sign our child in and we never once felt comfortable leaving him there without us. Didn't matter anyway...he was completely uninterested in anything they were doing there. There really never seemed to be any kids over there at all. So we are on vacation with our little one 24/7, which is ok...but not what I had planned based on the description of the club.
Our 2nd room was lovely. The rooms are big, they are very clean and pretty. But almost like a comedy of errors, after moving in and putting 2 bottles of shampoo on the shower shelves, they crashed to the floor a few minutes later. The shelves were in tiny pieces all over the shower floor.
The food is average at best. Every room service item that should have been hot was cold or room temp. Azul was ok, but gets boring after just a couple of days.
I am not normally a complainer. I have never written a review before, let alone a bad review, but this place is so dissapointing that I feel compelled to warn travelers not to put too much stock in the pretty website pictures and the false promises of the descriptions of the amenities.
I can say one thing though...the spa really was very very nice and I enjoyed all of the treatments there.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
23 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2005

My husband and I just returned from Grand Velas. This resort exceeded my expectations in every way. From the moment we checked in to the moment we checked out I was impressed. I consider myself to be a very picky American traveler, so impressing me is not an easy thing to do. The grounds are expertly maintained. On several occasions when my husband and I were walking around the property late at night we would find at least 5-10 staff members working on the grounds--quietly cleaning the pool area, doing quiet maintenance projects, tidying up the property, etc. The rooms are spacious and very clean. The staff are friendly and very eager to assist you in any way they can. I don't think we had to ask for anything all week--someone was always there making sure we had our drink of choice and we being well taken care of. The hotel felt very safe, which was something that was very important to me. Security personnel is very visible around the property--in fact, we went swimming one afternoon when the ocean was a bit rougher than normal and when the security saw us walking on to the beach they followed us out and watched us swim from a distance. As soon as we got out of the water the security guard walked away without a word, but it was very clear that he was just keeping an eye on us (although he did not advertise in any way to be a lifeguard or anything of the sort). The food at all of the restaurants was much better than we had expected. The buffet at Azul was what we ate during the majority of the vacation because we didn't always want to take the time to make a reservation at Frida or Lucca. However, the food at Frida and Lucca was certainly worth the reservation during the times we visited those restaurants. The spa ritual that I believe comes free with all reservations was a nice opportunity to get a taste of the spa experience. We did not have any additional spa treatments as we were busy doing other activities, but I overheard many people talking about the wonderful experiences they had at the spa. I could go on and on about how much we loved this place, but I won't. A few last words about this resort.....it seems to me to be a place that is better suited to couples trying to get away for a nice romantic vacation rather than a place for families or college students looking for a place to visit and go to the clubs. Since the resort is in Nuevo Vallarta rather than Puerto Vallarta there is less to do in the evenings, which was fine with my husband and I. We did take a cab into Puerto Vallarta a few times, but it is about $15-20 each way to go there. The resort does not have a shuttle to Puerto Vallarta at this time, but hopefully one will be available in the future. Lastly, there is construction going on at this hotel right now. I thought that the noise would really bother me and lessen my enjoyment, but in all honesty it did not bother me as much as it bothered others. I don't think that the construction is a reason to not enjoy this resort, but others may feel differently.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Tx
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 21, 2005

The hotel itself was magnificent. The rooms are spectacular. The spa was tremendous. The restaurants were wonderful as well. But the construction . . . the construction noise was so loud during the day that you could not enjoy sitting out by the pool. No matter where you went, the construction noise followed you. They are building another building on the south side of the current main building - and they are in a hurry to get it done before high season. If you enjoy spending time relaxing by the pool and listening to about 150 workers weld, jackhammer, and saw behind you (they even work half days on Sunday) - then by all means you will enjoy your stay here. We ended up leaving after 2 days. We just couldn't take it anymore.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank traveling_salesengr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san pedro, california
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 11, 2005

We just got back from here one week ago. This hotel cannot be explained! The grounds were immaculate, the spa was extraordinary, the pool was to die for and the service was better than any place we've ever been. The rooms are spacious and very clean, not a bad suite located in this resort. The beach was beautiful, water was warm. We felt very safe and were shocked how much in love we were with this place. We actually bought a piece of it so we can have this experience again and again. This place costs a bit more, shop for a deal or just spend the money and enjoy the luxury. The spa and the service here amazed us. Clean and brand new. This resort is approx. 2 years old and all who work here have a lot of pride in the property.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank chicks-7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Property: Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Address: Av Cocoteros 98 Sur | Riviera Nayarit, Mexico C.P. 63735, Nuevo Vallarta 63735, Mexico
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 On the Beach Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Romantic Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Luxury Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Spa Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#1 Family Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
#2 Business Hotel in Nuevo Vallarta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit 5*
Number of rooms: 267
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the most luxurious all-inclusive resort in the Puerto Vallarta area; a retreat of lavish beauty and comfort that is sure to exceed your expectations. Having revolutionized the all-inclusive concept, Grand Velas is pleased to offer you a "Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare" vacation experience with exceptional gourmet dining, world-class hospitality, and luxurious accommodations in a spectacular setting on Mexico's golden coast. Experience a breathtaking resort and spa near Puerto Vallarta that seduces your senses and rejuvenates your spirit. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Velas All Hotel Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Velas All Suites And Spa Resort
Grand Velas Hotel
Grand Velas Nuevo Vallarta
Grand Velas Vallarta

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