Let me start by saying I had very high expectations of this resort going into this vacation. I can say most if not all of them were exceeded during the trip. GV is truly a place to just relax and forget about the world around you. I will try to summarize the highlights:
We stayed in the zen section, the room was more then we needed, considering we spent little time in the room other then to shower and sleep. A great touch was the rainfall shower that provided a nice relief after a full day out and about in the Mexican sun. When we arrived the mini fridge had a good array of soda and beer in it. The first day there we told room service that we we didn't drink soda and by the next day when we came back all of the soda had been removed and it was replaced with water and beer! Just a little touch but that was a theme for our entire week as to the level of service we received.
Tip: if you are traveling as a couple the zen section is fine, but if you are traveling with children this section would be an inconvenience because of the need to take the shuttle back and forth from the room to the pool/beach area.
I will preface this section by saying when we were there the resort was only 10% full. The service here was like no other I received at any all inclusive, which includes royal hideaway, iberostar grand and secrets. Every single staff member we encountered throughout the week went above and beyond fulfill our every request. This brings me to what seems to be the biggest issue on TA, tipping. We went in with the intention only to tip if we felt we got exceptional service. I think it is something you really have to experience rather then me trying to explain it, needless to say we tipped and tipped often. But we didn't go out of control, a few dollars at the buffet, usually $5 if we sat down and ordered from the menu at lunch. Dinner we tipped more, but the service there was just so over the top we felt the staff really deserved it, especially at Autor.
Breakfast: If we were able to eat at Bistro every day it would have been spectacular, but since there was such a low occupancy it was closed many mornings. Azul was ok but they really didn't change up the buffet often. We found ourselves ordering omelets everyday.
Lunch: again Bistro was great, Azul only ok.
Dinner: out of this world. We ate at all of the restaurants and none disappointed. I would rank them in the following order, Autor (this is not for everyone molecular cuisine takes getting used to but it was simply fantastic), Piaf, Lucca, Sen Lin, and ironically the one we liked the least was the Frida.
The pool was the biggest I've seen, the pool concierges would come by as they told us every 7-9 minutes to see if we needed anything. There was one afternoon my wife and I were sitting on the daybeds having some drinks when Roberto came by and saw the ice began to melt in my drink. He quickly came back and replaced it with a fresh one. He said "you are on vacation you should not be drinking a warm drink"
The ocean is a bit rocky but there is an area right in front of the hotel the you can go in up to your waste and there is no need for water shoes.
Expensive but worth it especially the water journey. TIP: sign up for the fractional ownership tour (glorified time share) it literally takes 20 minutes, no pressure. They give you a $150 gift certificate to use at the spa, this really defrays the high prices.
Overall I would highly reccomend this resort for both couples and families, the price is steep but once you see what you get you will feel you have gotten your monies worth and more!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of the newest resorts to distinguish Riviera Maya as a premier vacation destination. The uniquely Mexican world-class hospitality we provide is "Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare", and we are proud to be the only family-friendly All Inclusive resort in the Mexican Caribbean to have been rated Five Diamonds by the AAA. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Grand Velas All Suites And Spa Resort, Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Hotel Riviera Maya
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya Mexico - Playa Del Carmen