My husband and I went to the Grand Velas in August 2009. We have been to PV 3 times, for comparison, our most recent stays were at the Grand Marival and the RIU Jalisco. The Grand Velas is right next door to the Marival - however it felt a world away in quality. It had been ~ 1 year since we had been to PV, and we found that things have gotten cheaper since our last visit (H1N1 impact I guess). In fact, we decided to just cab it from the airport, and we were shocked when it only cost us $12. We were both positive that the same ride to the Marival a year before was $24. At $12 it was much cheaper than the pre-arranged transportation, and much faster! Now that I know the quality of the hotel, I'm sure they would have arranged to have the air conditioned hotel cab there to pick us up. We checked into our room - which was huge by the way. It had a gorgeous view of the pools and ocean - not to mention a great seating area that you could keep dry even in the pouring rain.
The food - excellent - even the buffet breakfast and lunch at the beahside restaurant was excellent (sushi was fantastic). The staff was unbelievably friendly, helpful and courteous. We went to all of the "fancy" restaurants (once the staff shamed my husband into putting on the required pants and taking me) and enjoyed them very much - especially the chocolate souflee at Pilaf. Since the hotel had such low occupancy, we were often the only one's in the restaurant, but the staff was so good about keeping a quiet, romantic ambience. After dinner, we would stroll out to the lobby bar terrace and listen to the keyboard player (took requests) and watch the sun slip down below the horizon.
We ordered room service quite a lot - free and fast, also we used the in-room movies and safe. Our cleaner Miriam was fabulous - she added all the extra little touches and you could tell cleaned the heck out of that room.
The Spa: Wow what can I say - I have been to quite a few spas in my travels, but this one takes the cake. The staff is so accomodating (they always called me "Miss Kim" which cracked me up). You arrive about an hour before your booked treatment and they will guide you through their spa ritual beforehand. Dump shower, cedar dry sauna, dump shower, steam sauna, dump shower, hot tub, leg reflexology pool, cold plunge, warm soaker, lounger with neck and shoulder hot pack/cucumber eyes. They have snacks, water, and cooling spray bottles available to you at all times during the ritual and they are so attentive to ensure you get through everything in time for your treatment. The treatments were fabulous - I had an aromatherapy massage and a rain shower treatment. Before all treatments, they do a little welcome ritual which is a nice touch. Let's put it this way, the spa was so good that even my husband went for a massage, and generally he won't even go near a spa! He heard from a worker at the hotel that an NFL team owner had come to the hotel and done the ritual and had asked for the plans for the whole ritual area (especially the dump shower) so that he could have one installed for his team so this I'm sure pushed him past his fears of the spa.
The pools are unbelievable - 3 infinity pools. Our favourite spot was hanging on the edge of the final infinity pool right on the ocean people watching and exchanging meaningful conversation between Palomas!! It was so hot while we were there that if you weren't in the pool, you were passed out with heatstroke!!! The pool waiters served us right in the pool - unfortunately the first night we were there the wind was so bad that it knocked the palaypa down on the swim up bar - so that bar was closed the entire time we were there, but the poolside service increased to compensate.
We took a cab down the malecon one day and shopped till we nearly dropped - it was very hot in August - much hotter than we expected. We found that prices in the market again were cheaper than the year before. We also found however, the the amount of people pushing timeshares on the street had increased by about 10 times. Some of them were extremely pushy, but our trick is to tell them that we are "sister and brother" (most timeshares will only allow married couples to attend). We also use the excuse "we've already gone." There were some pretty good looking timeshare deals, however in our experience be prepared to waste the better part of a day even though they tell you it's only a few hours - worth it if you want the free stuff they offer though. One thing we found this trip was there were art stores that sell Hulchiol art (beaded) but they were a timeshare front. You negotiate the price on the piece of art, then suddenly it can be yours free if you go to the timeshare presentation at x, y, or z. I am a collector of Hulchiol art (the beaded masks especially) so I was tempted, but somehow this just doesn't seem right.
Overall, if you are reading these reviews trying to decide if this place is worth the money - stop and book it. You will not be disappointed, as this is the nicest hotel in all of PV guaranteed!!!!
- 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