Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

The Stats

  • All inclusive
  • Divided into 3 sections for different types of travelers – adult couples, families and business travelers
  • Adults only Grand Class rooms, with its own pool and beach for honeymooners
  • 539 total rooms, 90 Grand Class
  • 8 restaurants, 4 bars
  • 24 hour room service
  • 6 miles from Playa del Carmen

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Why We Love It

  • It’s perfect for people looking for amazing, innovative gourmet food with an all-inclusive stay
  • It has the class and style of a luxury boutique resort, with the capacity, activities & amenities of a larger one
  • Grand Velas is the closest competition to the luxury non all-inclusives that surround it, quality wise
  • They can accommodate children, but all late night activities switch over to adults only
  • The service is absolutely top notch, thanks to a high staff-to-guest ratio
  • The location is great – easy access for day trips to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, XCaret and the Tulum ruins

 

We Have Arrived!

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The architect who laid out this resort did a really good job, especially considering its size!  To appreciate it, you sort of have to know a little bit more about the layout.

There are 3 sections within the resort:

  1. The Zen section, (top) for more private travelers who perhaps don’t want the beach front exposure, and also for business travelers who prefer to be close to the conference space.
  2. The Ambassador section, (bottom right) beachfront, open to everyone and accommodating to families
  3. The Grand Class, (bottom left) beachfront, which is adults only and caters to couples

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There are restaurants and bars scattered throughout so that guests from any one section don’t have to completely move to another section any time they want to eat or drink. They have shuttles running from the Zen Grand to the beachfront areas if you don’t feel like walking, but it’s not far!

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We did not stay at Grand Velas this time – we only had one day left in Mexico, and as awesome as this place is, we decided we’d rather stay when we have at least a few days to get the full experience.  Next time!

We were lucky enough to get a very thorough tour of the resort and capture plenty of great pictures for you.

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I’m going to go a bit out of order here. The walkway above technically leads to the Zen Suites, but since you’ve already seen a sneak peak of some beachfront photos, let’s hop over to the pool, beach and adults only grand class first –

First of all, I am the palest Irish gal I know, so this section of covered chairs around the pool was a treat to see!

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Right around the corner we stumbled upon the beachfront restaurant, Azul.  If there’s one thing I am super disappointed about, it’s that we didn’t get to eat here! The standard of food here is sky high. It sets the highest bar for gourmet cuisine of any all-inclusive around.

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Want to see the menu?

I love this pool layout – large resorts of course need to have large pools to make sure nobody feels crowded. Sometimes we hear grumbling about how the pools at large resorts tend to be just big open circles, splat in the middle of the buildings, which infringes on intimacy for honeymooners hoping to find a quiet spot to enjoy each other.  But this pool has so many nooks and curves, there are still plenty of places to post up and feel like you have your own space.

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I’m a big fan of this beach too – What I’m looking for when I survey a beach in a very short time is this:

  • a good stretch of sand before the water begins so it’s not too crowded
  • enough beach chairs to go around, covered and uncovered
  • nice soft sand texture, comfy to walk barefoot on
  • a fair amount of wading space before the shelf drops down too deep
  • being able to see the bottom when you wade in
  • do they have any barriers in place to help with floating debris in areas prone to it

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Because of the way the one side of the resort rounds out along the beach, there’s an awesome little secluded area where you can relax on the beach on the other side, away from the main pool and bar areas.

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If you continue to follow the red boardwalk that runs between the pool and the sand, you’ll arrive at the Grand Class section, where only adults can continue on.

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Grand Class

The adults only section has their own pool, outside area, and beach area so that those looking to avoid children completely can comfortably do so.

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There’s a second story patio right above this area, so I was able to get an overhead shot of the pool. Don’t mind the glare, I took it through the glass!

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Right between the pool and the beach is a bar, which is actually the raised land side of the adults only swim-up bar.

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Keeping true to its adults only status, the Grand Class has its own lobby where guests can check in.  Please allow us to show you to your room… Right this way please, watch your step.  🙂

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All this natural light makes for a really nice tropical experience, but my camera didn’t love it!

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All of the Grand Class Suites have plunge pools, which is an awesome way to relax in the comfort of your own suite and still enjoy a dip! They’re on the shallow side compared to some other plunge pools you’ll see, but there’s a huge benefit to that – they stay warm!

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The majority of resort plunge pools are not heated since the weather year round never gets too cold in these tropical locations, but a deeper pool can still get chilly if it rains or if it’s located in a shady spot.  (Been there, done that)  These are just deep enough to enjoy but not deep enough to get cold.

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Now technically there’s one more thing to show you before we leave the Grand Class…

The Presidential Suite

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The Common Area Balcony

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The Master Bedroom

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Master Bath Grand-Velas-Riviera-Maya-Grand-Class-Presidential-Suite-Bedroom-8

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Master Balcony & Pool

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Keeping it Zen

When they decided to call this area of the hotel is Zen, they took that decision very seriously! Everything is extremely tranquil and one with nature, from the walkways to the hallways to the rooms.

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The goal of the Zen rooms is to provide a more private experience both inside and out.  Beachfront rooms are great for people who want to take in all aspects of their surroundings and value the beautiful ocean view. But what about my introvert travelers out there?!  The Zen experience was designed for you!

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The plunge pools and balconies back up to the lush lagoon, so you won’t find anyone peering back at you out here! Just don’t even think about trying to take a dip in there… Not recommended.

This is the Grand Zen Suite –

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Since the Zen Rooms are set apart from the rest of the beachfront resort, it’s only right that they should have their own Zen Pool!  I’m in love with this pool – it reminds me a lot of the resorts in Bali.

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Since it’s divided into a bunch of sections, you can find yourself a little nook and it feels more private than if you’re in the middle of one big pool.

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All this talk of zen and tranquility makes me ready for…

The Spa

  • Named “Best Spa in the World” by Virtuoso in 2010
  • Offers massage, body wraps, facials, manicures, romantic couples’s rituals, hydrotherapy, and the Seven World Journeys spa menu.
  • View the spa menu here

 

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And what better time to part ways then when we’re all relaxed…