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“Dream Wedding 07/13/2013”

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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Ranked #3 of 214 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Dream Wedding 07/13/2013”
Reviewed 21 July 2013

Ill keep this short, Helia Corona (wedding and events coordinator) made our day, and 10 day trip so special. We had a destination wedding and headed to the Grand Velas flying blind from never staying there, and our whole wedding was planned through emails back and forth with Helia.

We showed up with our 37 guest and she greeted us with her smile and gave us A complete play by play of our rehearsal details as well as the big day details.

Weather was an issue with the random rainstorms and we originally planned on reception being outside at the Zen Pool. Morning of the wedding she got in touch and have us all of our options of what we could do in case of rain. There were options to stay "As is" and gamble the weather ( she explained in case of large rain DJ would pack up and reception would be cut short). There was an option to pay for a secondary set up indoors but keep outside reception and see how it goes. (This entailed entire banquet room being set up for a reception in case it rains outside there will be a minimal delay in reception because its already to go). Third option was to just move it inside and play it safe and not have to worry about a thing.

We chose to keep wedding on beach no matter what and move reception inside.

It was 11am day of the wedding which started at 5pm and we told her to change everything we have spoken of for the past few months. Helia assured me her team would make it as beautiful inside as we had planned the outdoor reception. She performed like no other.

Other than center pieces we bought we had no idea what lighting would be there, tables, set up at all!!! It was so beautiful, elegant, and special. To make it even better, 2 hours into reception it started pouring.

Helia Corona, the banquet center manager, bartender "Tom Cruz", and all the staff we came across at the hotel were unbelievable. I wouldn't have done it any different and would recommend this hotel for a wedding, vacation, or just to feel like royalty when you need it. (Wrote this from my phone so sorry for typos ha ha)

  • Stayed July 2013
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Helpful?
3 Thank Sfiscmik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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O'Fallon, Missouri
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 July 2013

I visited Grand Velas in January of this year as part of a business group. The decision to go here as opposed to several other on the Riviera Maya (Rosewood Mayakoba, Secrets Maroma Beach) was primarily mine, and not having any personal experience with the property I worried a lot about whether or not I had made the right choice; until I arrived, and then my worries disappeared. The property is gorgeous, the accommodations were very nice and the food was exceptionally good. The executive chef is from Europe and very proud of the reputation their restaurants have earned. The staff were friendly and the service--with the possible exception of beach cocktail service--was just right. The grounds and the beach were kept in pristine order and the resort's design and layout take advantage of the natural beauty of its environment. Although I did not utilize the spa, those in our group who did proclaimed it a world-class experience. The location of the resort and its proximity to the town of Playa del Carmen was also a huge plus. A short cab ride into town provided all the additional off-property dining, shopping, and bar action our group needed. Intermittent problems with the wifi, some billing discrepancies, and the lack of on-property entertainment were all that kept me from giving Grand Velas an Excellent rating. However, our group was extremely happy with their experience, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this resort and would certainly consider coming back for leisure travel.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled on business
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Helpful?
2 Thank MIZ-ZOU77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 24 July 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for all of your comments. Warm greetings from Grand Velas Riviera Maya!

We would like to thank you for your visit on your most recent stay in paradise and for your invaluable comments. We hope to have the opportunity to serve you in your next vacations!!

Kind Regards,

JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
Level Contributor
13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 July 2013

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Velas for one week in July 2013 or our honeymoon, and we could not have been more impressed with the resort!

As many other reviewers mentioned, I had some reservations about this resort after reading some of the negative reviews. My now husband was in charge of booking our honeymoon and, after much discussion with our travel agent and after reading reviews for countless resorts, we settled on Grand Velas. I was worried about the service, food, quality, etc., but within minutes of our arrival, we were blown away by GV.

Our trip started with an airport transfer with passengers going to different resorts. We had never been to Riviera Maya/Playa del Carmen, so we didn't know what to expect. After dropping off a couple of other passengers at different resorts, we were somewhat worried---many of the "luxury" resorts we had looked at online looked pretty dumpy in person. And in order to get to these resorts, you have to drive through what can only be described as a shanty town. Not the case with Grand Velas...the entrance is right off the highway, and we checked in with someone at the gate. The road back to the hotel was beautiful---lush jungle and a well-lit road (no people walking around, no abandoned buildings, etc). We stayed in the Grand Class section (adults only). Check in was a breeze, and our butler concierge, Alejandra (AMAZING), showed us up to our room, walked us through everything, confirmed our dinner reservations for the next 5 nights (I had made them online months in advance and was certain they would be "lost" but no!), and offered to assist us with anything. It only got better from there!

Pros: We were there during the off-season, and it felt like we had the resort to ourselves. The beach was beautiful (raked daily), the foliage and grounds were immaculate, and service was amazing. We ate at all of the restaurants. Our favorite was bistro for breakfast. We loved Piaf, and Cocina de Autor was also a great experience (way too much food though--8 course dinner). The part that stands out the most was the service. Plates and silverware cleared after each course, drinks were never empty, explanations of each course in detail, etc. Everyone spoke English (some better than others), but they were all very helpful, and many even offered to take our picture at dinner (they knew it was our honeymoon from our reservation). We also loved the turn-down service every night. Beds turned down, robes hung neatly on hangers, slippers placed at bedside, fresh bottled water on night stands, etc. One night they even had rose petals, champagne, and a drawn bath for us when we returned from dinner. Very romantic and a wonderful extra touch!! Above and beyond in my opinion.

We had one issue in our room that was handled promptly--our safe broke one night and we were unable to lock it. We called down to the front desk (it was about 10pm), and they said they would send someone first thing in the morning to be fixed. My husband explained that we needed to leave early in the morning for an excursion and we wanted to get it fixed that night if possible. Within 5 minutes we had a man and a woman come up to the room, the safe was fixed within 10 minutes, and they apologized repeatedly for the inconvenience. I thought the whole thing was handled very well.

Service at the beach and pools was excellent as well, again considering we were very much alone at the resort (never more than 8-10 people on the adult beach or adult pool, but service was never affected). We did go to the Zen pool one day, and it was amazing as well. Great service at the swim up bar, and we even got to see a monkey in the trees in the jungle. Spa was also incredible--definitely worth the price (we did a couple's massage, and it was about $200 per person). Pricey, but what an experience with the water journey!

Cons: The only thing we didn't like was the "bill" that came after each meal. They have you sign your name and suite number and then give you the opportunity to leave an "optional" tip. We came to the resort with a few hundred dollars for tipping so we expected to tip for good service, but the resort is almost designed to encourage and promote tipping even though it is an all-inclusive resort. Again, we actually WANTED to tip because the service was that excellent, but I can see how many are turned off by this. The only other negative was the plunge pool on the balcony. Great concept, but we didn't feel that the balcony or pool were cleaned daily as well as the room, and the pool quickly filled with mosquitoes and other bugs. If the housekeeping would have kept up with keeping the plunge pool cleaner, we may have used it more. We simply sat on the edge and dipped our feet in while we drank our coffee.

Overall, it was an unforgettable honeymoon and I would definitely return. I imagine our experience was also fantastic due to the quiet nature of the resort during off season. I can see how it would be more loud and busy at full capacity, but I would hope that the service would not be compromised. Alejandra was very helpful and checked on us almost daily (but was in no way intruding), and we felt completely pampered during our entire stay. Thank you Grand Velas!!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Kelly K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 24 July 2013
Dear Guest,

We feel very honored that you chose us as your destination to celebrate your honeymoon.

The reason why our Resort has such a great reputation in Riviera Maya is not only because of the luxury facilities or services we offer, but also for the personalized touch that our staff prints in every effort to exceed our guests’ expectations in order to create a memorable experience In their life’s, we are glad to know we made it this time.Alejandra and everybody will receive the recognition, beacause of your comments,

We hope to see you soon,

Kind Regards,
JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2013

My trip to the grand velas was heaven. We could not have picked a better place for our honeymoon! We stayed in the ambassador section of the hotel on the 4th floor with a gorgeous ocean view. This location was perfection, quiet and breezy and so romantic. Our Concierge was named carolina (i think) ... she was very helpful for the first couple days, even putting us in contact with our bank in the states when we had a credit card hold issue due to travel. She also gave us a gorgeous honeymoon surprise when we returned from dinner the first night. I am sad to say we felt pretty abandoned by her after our first couple days, but there was always someone else to help us when we called down to the butler concierge. The pool was amazing, beautiful atmosphere, and you are made to feel like royalty with the poolside service (same with the beach). We loved lounging on the beds at the beach, the water was perfect and the beach was gorgeous. one of the best parts of this trip was we felt like we were the only ones there, it felt very intimate and relaxing. The only area that ever got a bit full was the main pool which sometimes played dance music and had a lot of kids, but we just moved to the grand class pool or to the beach if we ever felt crowded ( which was not often). Also we had not set up any excursions prior to arrival, and we were set up on a snorkeling trip and a ruins hike by one of the very helpful travel staff when we asked for help. Now one of our favorite parts of the trip BY FAR was the food. My husband is a chef and is VERRRRRRYYYY picky about cuisine, and the menus of the restaurants was one of the reasons we chose this hotel. I anticipated the food to be good "for an all inclusive"..... but this was not the case, the food was exceptional! We lovvveeeed frita and also loved the signature restaurant, these two were the best. Overall I would love love love to return to Grand Velas, I am so thankful this is where we spent the honeymoon, it will be a trip i will never forget.

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AshleyAPhilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Dear Guest

Sunny Regards from GrandVelas Riviera Maya, we aprecciate your comments about your experiece with us. it is real pleasure to know that you had a memorable stay at GrandVelas and that you loved your suite.

But most of all we are glad that we will have the pleasure to host you in a future.

Kind Regards,
JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 July 2013

Grand Velas is a beautiful resort situated on the Yucatan Peninsula across from Cozumel. We took a family vacation there this July (off season) and it was like you had the entire place to yourself. Weather was a bit dicey, mostly hot, humid and partly sunny but one day of what seemed almost a tropical storm and another half day unsettled. Staff was courteous and attentive, if you like doting especially at breakfast you'll get it. I prefer, however, to carry my own plate back to the table. During high season, I imagine the resort would staff accordingly to keep the service level high. Beach is excellent, cleaned and combed daily, signs of sea turtles having come ashore and laying eggs, Ospreys dive for fish in the surf, non-motorized and motorized watersports available although not all associated with the hotel on the beach, para-sailing, snorkeling tour, kayaks, day sailers, etc.. Infinity pools meld with the sea for a stunning visual display, grounds well kept and lush. Swim up bars, snack shack, Azul for breakfast all great. Overall, food was very good, not really 5 star level in my opinion. Several restaurant choices available for good variety of dining experiences. Room service accurate, timely, convenient when required or desired. The Xplor Park and others are accessible by shuttle from resort for ziplining (absolutely fantastic), ATV runs (OK), cave swimming also close by, $140 per person for the day at Xplor, worth it but ouch... Day trip by cab ($23 fare) over to Playa Del Carmen (OK) where incessant street hawkers and very expensive refreshments combine to irritate, your call. It's an up and comer for sure, not as mature in its life cycle as some other resort destinations around the world and very expensive even off season. I can't say I'll be back again, only because we'll hopefully move on to further explore the rest of the world...

Room Tip: If you can swing it, go Grand Class with ocean view - stunning...
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank November342L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments and its is truly an honor to know that our facilities and services have fulfilled your expectations. Your comments about the food will be shared with out Food & Beverage Managment for their consideration.

Hopefully we can host you again in the future,

Kind Regards,
JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas, United States
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2013

First off, I have to say that I was a little nervous going on our honeymoon after reading some of the reviews... THANK GOD we chose Grand Velas b/c it was AMAZING!!! Everything from getting picked up from the airport to leaving, was perfect! When we arrived, we were greeted with tea and cool towels. Check in was very quick and Sebastian, our concierge (who we saw EVERY DAY!!!) walked us to our room. The room as beautiful and the plunge pool was awesome! We only got in it twice, but was a nice view :). The food was pretty amazing, especially for being all inclusive. We went to Piaf, Frida, Sin Lin & Lucca... Our favorites were hands down Frida (Seafood enchiladas!!!) and Sin Lin (tuna tartar, duck and the tuna steak). We also did a romantic dinner in the room and that was AMAZING! The food was the best food we had the whole stay. Our server was kind enough to go to Frida and get the bottle of wine that we really liked! They decorated our room with roses 2 different nights (first night and the night of the romantic dinner). It was beautiful! The pool service wasn't bad at all. They do have a lot of people that they are serving, so if we didn't see our waiter for 10 minutes or so, we just walked to the bar and ordered from there, but the pool service was by no means bad! We loved the piano bar and talking with the bartender, Edgar. He was fantastic! All in all, the trip was amazing and we are ready to go back. We love traveling and we love staying in nice hotels... this was one of our favorites! Sebastian and Edgar really made the trip that much better!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Lindsey H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 15 July 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your comments, we are very happy that we made your Grand Velas Experience a memborable one and your comments really encourage us to continue with this effort.

We will definetly well share this with Sebastian & Edgar, and we truly hope to host you again in the future.

Kind Regards,
JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
73 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2013

The hotel did not deserve the average rating I gave it, but was better than poor - for clarification.

Grand Velas was nice, clean - and the beach and pools were above average as well. The food and service was so bad, however, that we were almost in disbelief. It felt like their game was to make anything included so bad that you would not want to use it. Toward the end of the trip we ate at hotels nearby and there was a significant difference. We knew some people who had a different experience the prior year, but opinions over the holidays were pretty consistent that the place had gone downhill quickly. Somewhat annoying was the way the hotel uses the menu to make you think you were getting value. If you ordered a hamburger at lunch, they pretended it was a $30 hamburger (instead of a $5 one) and then showed how you saved all that money. Pretty cheezy stuff. Our "free and included" dinner was more than $1000 according to the bill. Again way off and far from believable. In the end, we had to fight to get spa treatments taken off our bill that we did not use. They threatened to not let us head to the airport without paying the bill first. It was clear that they have a lot of dissatisfied customers and they use this pressure tactic (of stopping your car to the airport) to gain leverage. There was a whole line of people dealing with the same stuff. Given our experiences, we would be unable to suggest Grand Velas to others. And of course, AMEX took the bogus charges off the bill when we returned home.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
13 Thank ObjectiveRater
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
GVRM, Gerente at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this review, 21 July 2013
Dear guest,

First of all, I would like to thank you for your visit to Grand Velas Riviera Maya on you most recent trip.

All your comments a very important to us since they are the way we find an opportunity to enhance the excellent service that we already offer. . As per restaurants we are sorry that you had such perspective since all of them are very recognized and popular among our guests.
And at our restaurants give you a bill for you to sign because it is part of our all inclusive report and we just want to make sure to have a signature to confirm your presence at the restaurant. We are really sorry if there was some kind of misunderstanding.

We are really surprised about the threat of not letting you go to the airport this is not very common with our guest due to the confirmation of the charges and signatures on the bills.

Hopefully we will have the pleasure to host you once again in the future.

Kind Regards,
JESSICA GONZALEZ CASTRO
Subgerente Ejecutivo Grand Class
Grand Class Executive Assistant Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Property: Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Address: Carretera Cancun Tulum Km. 62 | Municipio de Solidaridad, Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#23 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Velas Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 493
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Opened in 2008, the luxurious All Inclusive Luxury Resort 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 And Spa Resort, Riviera Maya
Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, Riviera Maya Hotel Playa Del Carmen
Grand Velas Hotel Riviera Maya
Grand Velas Riviera Maya Mexico - Playa Del Carmen

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