Grand Velas Riviera Maya – All Inclusive
What We Love
- Massive guest suites that start at around 1,000 square feet
- A beautiful setting on more than 80 acres of protected mangroves and jungle, with 1,000 feet of white-sand beach
- Eight dining venues that span the globe, from French to Asian to molecular gastronomy
What To Know
- Children under 12 are only allowed in certain areas
- The resort has the largest luxury meeting facility in the Yucatan, hosting up to 3,000 people
- Spa treatments, airport transfers, certain wines and even Wi-Fi incur additional costs
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
Designed to redefine all-inclusive resorts as places of true luxury, Grand Velas Riviera Maya has earned all sorts of industry awards for its sophistication and service. Instead of buffets, the restaurants serve gourmet dinners prepared by chefs from France, Spain and Mexico, and the rooms are stylish in design and massive in space. The premium oceanfront Grand Class Suites are the most romantic of the 491 accommodations and feature plunge pools on their terraces, while the ocean-view Ambassador Suites are family friendly and the Zen Grand Suites are situated close to the conference facilities. All rooms have big windows and breezy tropical vibes with splashes of Yucatan color in bed runners and throw pillows. Best of all, they all come with dedicated butler service.
In the Area
The resort is just five minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen, a charming colonial town filled with galleries and boutiques. Nearby Xel-Ha Park is known as the world’s largest aquarium, with an array of lagoons, inlets and cenotes (freshwater swimming holes) at the mouth of the largest underground river in the world. Here visitors can observe tropical fish, swing on ropes into crystal pools and swim with dolphins. The Xplor Adventure Park has 14 zip-lines, tours in amphibious vehicles through jungles and inside caves and an underground river where visitors can swim among stalagmites and stalactites.
How to Get There
While the resort itself is nice, the beach was completely unusable. We were not told that the coast was experiencing a seaweed problem making the beaches useless for walking or even using the chairs. And the smell was so bad, we could not use our balcony. While I understand this was not a problem the resort itself caused and I could see they were trying to clean things up, apparently this had been going on for months and I feel strongly the resort had an obligation to tell potential guests in advance that the beach was extremely problematic and unusable. If I had known, we would have picked a different destination. We were limited to the pools exclusively.
I spoke to management several times and was offered free massages (which we had already booked with a $50 a day spa credit) as compensation. I feel that this was totally inadequate and we should have received a credit of at least a couple of days.
When you book a beach destination, your expectation is that you will be able to use a beach. My whole family was very disappointed and we won't be returning.
The day after I returned from Puerto Rico for a wedding, we traveled to Mexico with my husband and kids to stay at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya. You never know how an all inclusive resort will be, but I must tell you our stay was amazing! We all said it was our best family trip. Our rooms were large, beautiful and clean. We stayed in the Ambassador area because we had our kids with us. It was not very busy when we were there, so we never had a problem with getting lounge chairs at the pool. The service was about the best I have ever had. There was someone always asking if you needed something, and the people were so nice and friendly! The staff really made our stay exceptional. The food was fabulous and very creative! Every restaurant had delicious food--our favorites were Lucca and Chaka--and my husband and I loved our lunch at the Bistro. Also, our kids loved the teen room--had ping pong, video games, air hockey, etc. Our kids are older so I am not sure about the children's play area, but I am sure it is nice. I do regret not having a full spa treatment, but I did get a mini foot and scalp massage by the pool which was divine! We did have fun on the snorkeling outing and the jet skis. I will say the one thing to know is there is seaweed on the beach that the workers are tirelessly cleaning up. I am not sure if it is there all the time or if it depends on the winds/weather, but that did not affect the great time we had at the resort. Lastly, my husband and I ventured to 5th Avenue, the shopping area in Playa del Carmen. We were there for a short time and couldn't wait to get back to the resort. Again, our trip was awesome at Grand Velas--everything was top notch from booking the trip to our departure. The staff is truly amazing--they made our stay memorable and wonderful!
Amazing resort with 5 star all-inclusive experience across the board. Food and service sets the bench mark for all other inclusive resorts to look up to. One of the most friendliest, courteous and accommodating staff of any resort I've stayed at and it's what made us come back to Grand Velas twice in less than 6 months. We went there with our children in January, loved it so much that we came back again in June! We're looking forward to our next trip back to Grand Velas.
It started at the airport with a pick-up from Amstar, with a cold drink and a cold towel, pefect arrival, and from there it only got better. The Hotel staff greeted us at the door, took our luggage, signed us in and was in the room, and in my bathing suit in less then 10 minutes. Great Restaurants, outstanding service, this is a FIRST CLASS operation.. Seeing is believing, this is a must see.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya was our first all-inclusive experience, and we can't imagine another resort coming close to the level of quality, personal attention, and relaxation found here.
All of the restaurants were great. Our favorites were Frida and Piaf. We were treated to multiple mezcal tastings at Frida courtesy of Antonio, who spent an hour with us explaining the history and rituals of making mezcal. While Cocina de Autor was very imaginative, it was a bit too experimental for our taste—but it was worth a visit.
We stayed at Zen, and we loved the isolated jungle surroundings. The Zen pool was our favorite because it wasn't very busy. Everyone at the pool—Isidro, Oscar, Gabriel, Fernando, and Hermando—were accommodating and friendly.
The spa was phenomenal. We bought a couples massage, and I liked the experience so much that I bought a day pass and spent the entire next day lounging in the saunas and indoor pools.
Our concierge was Gema. She went out of her way to find activities and make some smart suggestions about how to make the most of our time there.
The only area of improvement would be their bars. While the pool drinks were fine, the cocktails at their bars and restaurants could use some improvement. They quality of ingredients was excellent—nothing bottom-shelf in sight—but the mixology was slightly lacking. The attention to detail and imagination they put into their restaurants aren't reflected at the bars.
Finally, we'd like to thank Felix and Isaac for making our breakfasts and lunches at the Azul so memorable—and Aaron for being our personal photographer on our last day. :)