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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
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Reviews (3,546)
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Reviewed 27 May 2014

Just got back from a 4 day/3 night getaway to the Grand Velas Riviera Maya for our anniversary. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we had superb service, outstanding food and perfect weather (really can't give the resort credit for that, though :) ). We were met by our personal concierage, Yocelyn, who attended to every detail to make our visit memorable, including arranging for flowers and a rose-petal jacuzzi bath for us after our anniversary dinner.
We ate at Piaf, Autor and Bistro for our dinners, and the food and service were on par with the very best. In each of the restaurants, the wait staff acknowledged our anniversary and made special items to help celebrate the event. We especially loved Autor, both for the food and the service. We did room service, buffet at Azul and a la carte at Bistro for breakfasts and lunch, and all were very good. The only issue we had was on the first day at the beach on Saturday, where the beach concierge was obviously overwhelmed by the number of people wanting drinks and food (but he always had a friendly attitude and did his best to take care of us as best as possible being short-staffed).
We stayed at the Grand class section, and the view was incredible! We also had a couples massage and did the hyrotherapy, which were amazing. Hated leaving! We are already plotting and planning a return visit!

Room Tip: Request a room on the 3rd or 4th floors of the Grand class for the best views
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Linda D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectorGVRM, Director General at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Linda, thank you for selecting Grand Velas for your anniversary celebration. I am happy that Joceyn and the rest of my staff were instrumental in making this special visit a memorable one. You describe many personalized details that you came across and received throughout your mini stay. We truly appreciate when our valued guests consider our resort for that special occasion and we do that “little extra” in appreciation for reserving with us. It really pleases me that our culinary tour was to your great liking and thank you also for noting that we had to make an adjustment to the service on the beach after your first day. We detect areas that need improvement and act on them for the betterment of the guest´s overall vacation experience. Linda, thank you for sharing the happiness of your anniversary and we would just love to be your Mexican hosts for many more special occasions.
Take care and kind wishes to you and your husband in San Antonio, Texas.

RODOLFO GONZALEZ
DIRECTOR GENERAL
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
rgonzalezgvrm@velasresorts.com

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Reviewed 27 May 2014

I always wondered what the difference was between a 4 star resort and 5 star. Now I know! The difference was huge! This is by far one of the best places I have ever stayed at. The service was outstanding in every way. The food was incredible at all the resturants however my favorites were the Italian and the Molecular! The spa was absolutley the best I have ever been in as well. I attended this resort on a company event however I would definitily come back on my own.

Room Tip: I stayed in the Zen section of the resort. Our room had a view of the jungle and a cenote.
  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Aspiemom15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectorGVRM, Director General at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Thank you for your resounding seal of approval over our 5 star hotel rating. It pleases me immensely that you felt that Grand Velas “is by far one of the best places that you have ever stayed at” and that you found all of our services and products to be outstanding. I certainly hope as well that you can revisit and experience once again the newfound luxury that you enjoyed so much.

Thank you again and best wishes to you and your family this summer. Take care.

RODOLFO GONZALEZ
DIRECTOR GENERAL
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
rgonzalezgvrm@velasresorts.com

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 May 2014

I am writing this review on the eve of our return from a wonderful week in the Riviera Maya. We have been here before (several times), so our perspective is swayed by past experiences. (fyi) We are a family of 4 - 2 adults and children ages 8 and 9. We are able to get direct flights to Cancun from our home so it's an easy destination for us. 4 plus hours and we are in Mexico. Can't beat that! We always book a private transfer to the resort (a must for us but realize a splurge for others)...but it sets the stage for a relaxing and stress-free week of fun. Our arrival to the Grand Velas was very positive - greeted with a smile and a cold glass of juice plus a cold towel scented with an amazing perfume. Loved it all! Our family stayed in the Zen section of Grand Velas. Before we booked, we read reviews for both the Zen and Ambassador sections and decided that it was not worth the extra $$ to stay at the Ambassador (even though we do love the ocean!!). We did upgrade to a plunge pool suite - very nice but not sure it was worth it b/c our kids only "dipped" in the pool once. ha!
THE ROOM: Our room was really large, with 2 queen beds and a sofa. Please note that these are suites but more of a studio style. The "living" space is open to the bedroom space. We have stayed at resorts in the past with separate spaces for living & sleeping. We do prefer that arrangement but we were pleased with the size of the room. The bathroom was spacious and the shower (rain shower head) was amazing! Plenty of space for a family of 4. Since we upgraded to the plunge pool suite, we also had access to the lush tropical jungle setting and a "pond" with fish, turtles, etc. Each morning, the kids fed the turtles and fish. Very fun!
THE PROPERTY: We spent the majority of time in the Zen section - the pool(s) at Zen are serene and relaxing. We were typically the only few at that pool so received amazing service from the pool staff there. Our kids were happy there so we just stayed & hung out there most days. Kudos to Jacob, Carlos, etc. for amazing service at the pool. The drinks were cold, the food was good - what more could you ask for?!? The Ambassador section of the resort was very nice as well. We did venture to that area so we could enjoy the beach and larger pool area. The kids loved the swim up bar there (Zen has one too!) and the larger pool meant more splashing and more swimming. It definitely was busier there so didn't receive the level of service and attention we were used to at Zen - but understood. The beach is great - soft sand and you could walk for miles each way. Love that!!! But as other reviewers mention, the water can be rough (was rough each day we were there) and the floor of the ocean is rocky. Our family loves to swim in the ocean so that was a bummer to us. As a whole, this resort is so beautiful. Even though we stayed at Zen, we felt it was easy (very frequent and NICE shuttle buses take you back & forth) to get to Ambassador to experience the entire resort. We didn't spend much time at the adult-only section but I'm sure it was beautiful.
THE FOOD: Grand Velas probably has the best food we have ever experienced before at an all-inclusive (if not at all resorts we have been to) resort. With that being said, it was almost too good for our taste. We are not "foodies" at all but do love a good meal. Our kids are super picky eaters and were usually a-ok with most of the food we found at the restaurants. And if not, room service came to our rescue. Our best dinner was at Sen Lin (Asian), our best breakfast was at the buffet at Chakka and our best lunches were actually at the Zen pool. The tacos trios were delicious! At times, our meals were a little too "artsy" for us. But we still enjoyed and ate plenty...so it's all good. :)
OUR NEGATIVES:
Over the past 12 years, we have been to quite a few all-inclusives. Grand Velas is probably one of the over all nicest resorts that we have stayed at. With that being said, there was one major negative in our opinion. This negative really bothered us to the point that we probably would not come back to the property. Grand Velas advertises that they are all-inclusive but that is not entirely true. With each meal (buffet too), you receive a "check" and a review card. At the bottom of the check, you see a total (in pesos) of your order. There is a line under the total for additional tips. While we received exceptional service (see below), we felt pressured to tip each & every time we had a meal (breakfast, lunch & dinner - and some just "drinks" too). This made us feel uncomfortable and towards the end of the week, very frustrated. The reason we pay for all-inclusive (and a very $$$ all inclusive resort such as Grand Velas) is that we want to pay a high price up front but don't want to spend any $$ during the stay. We have always tipped at past resorts but never came away from an all inclusive week spending more than $500+ in tips like we did this time. We recognize hard work and exceptional service but felt compelled to tip each and every time b/c we felt bad. Also, each restaurant had the prices on the menus. Why? For an all-inclusive - this was unnecessary. For this reason, we will most likely try another resort or go back to a past resort we have enjoyed.
**** Hopefully you have read past this negative part b/c the staff is beyond amazing. A big shout out to the kids club staff at Zen. Our kids NEVER want to go to any of the kids clubs at past resorts but they loved it here. The girls in there are super sweet and really got to know our kids. So THANK YOU! Also, our concierge Jesus was AMAZING. He orchestrated a wonderful birthday celebration for our daughter, complete with balloons, cake, singing, streamers, etc. He was so wonderful to us and we truly appreciate his attention to detail on her special day. This resort hires amazing staff who are happy to be working at Grand Velas. They are attentive, polite, hard working and just amazing to be around.
Thank you Grand Velas for a wonderful week in Mexico!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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7  Thank WalFam170
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectorGVRM, Director General at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 23 June 2014

Thank you for having selected Grand Velas this time for your family holiday. It is very convenient to be able to be at this vacation destination in such short time thanks to the increase of flights arriving in Cancun. Once here it is our job to cater to your needs and to make you feel that your selection of hotels and flight was more than worth it. I am glad that you felt that we are a “top notch resort” and that “Grand Velas is probably overall one of the nicest resorts that you have ever stayed at”. However, I do apologize if you felt compelled to leave tips.
The cheques are just an internal way of ensuring that the correct order goes to the correct guest and we do provide prices on the menus because on occasion non guests ask for reservations in our culinary venues and they will pay the listed price. It is important to note however that every single employee receives a weekly stipend directly from your reservation payment and any extra that a valued guest decides to leave is totally optional.
You will encounter the same professional service and warm smiles either way because we really take care of our loyal employees. Just as friendly and warm as our girls that administer the kids club. I am pleased that this feature really left a great impression on your little ones. They are very good at keeping the children entertained and fascinated by all the activities and the new friendships that are made.

I hope that you may reconsider a return visit, as from reading your review the positive aspects by far outweigh the negative. But I truly thank you for sharing your impressions on your recent trip and on behalf of the 1,300 Grand Velas employees I wish you and the children an excellent summer in Boston.
Take care.
RODOLFO GONZALEZ
DIRECTOR GENERAL
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
rgonzalezgvrm@velasresorts.com

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Reviewed 26 May 2014

From the moment we arrived you could tell this resort was a cut above. We just returned from a week long (short) family vacation with our daughter, son-in law and one year old grand daughter and never felt the stress normally associated with taking a toddler. Arendy Ortega took excellent care of us almost anticipating our needs and continuously following up with us to ensure our expectations were exceeded. I would also like thank Miguel at the pool and Alejandra at the spa for their personal and attentive service. We stayed in the Ambassador section with a pool and ocean view and it was spacious, clean and well thought out. The grounds and food were amazing and we look forward to returning soon. Normally after week we are ready to return but this time we all agreed we wish could have stayed longer. If you are considering an all-inclusive, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is well worth the premium over less expensive alternatives.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectorGVRM, Director General at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 16 June 2014

Thank you David for your kind comments and recommendation. As you referred to, Grand Velas is a more lucrative vacation investment and I am pleased that you consider us “a cut above”. With our unique series of ambiences, varied culinary options and personalized yet professional service, one can come away from a visit thinking that they made the correct choice in luxury resorts. And it pleases me immensely to know that you and your family felt: “we wish we could have stayed longer”. Your personal salute to Arendy, Miguel and Alejandra will be passed along to demonstrate to them firsthand that their fine efforts culminated in a very satisfied family.
Thank you again David and a special hello to you and the three generations of your lovely family in Snohomish, WA. Take care.

RODOLFO GONZALEZ
DIRECTOR GENERAL
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
rgonzalezgvrm@velasresorts.com

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Reviewed 26 May 2014

The Grand Velas is a beautiful resort. We stayed in both the Zen section and the Ambassador section of the resort during our stay. Both areas had beautiful rooms with large patios. The layout of the rooms and the grounds provide for short sight lines giving the sense of privacy wherever you go. The shuttle buses run very frequently and we rarely had to wait for the next bus. The rooms in the Zen section had very little sound proofing from the adjoining room. Everything at the resort is of the highest quality and it seemed odd that you could hear your neighbors quite clearly at times when we stayed in Zen. We ate at almost all of the restaurants and enjoyed each one. Even the buffets were exceptional. I miss the big spread of fresh fruit and made-to-order omelets at breakfast the most. Both pool areas are wonderful-the pool by the ocean was very large and the Zen pool, although smaller, had a nice private feel that our family loved.

Without a doubt, the service is what made the Grand Velas so enjoyable for us. If I could rate it higher than five dots, I would. Everyone on staff was more than helpful and would go out of their way to make sure we were having a great time. We especially enjoyed Pedro and Santiago who worked on the beach bringing food and drink. These guys worked hard all day in the sun and always had a great attitude while providing excellent service. Even if we didn't run into Pedro and Santiago, I would still rate the service extremely high but these two made the resort feel like home which was really important to our family.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank Mainah2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DirectorGVRM, Director General at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, responded to this reviewResponded 20 June 2014

Thank you very much for your comments and for the extra praise on our service and product that you received during your recent vacation with us. One of the various unique points to Grand Velas is the freedom and ability to relax and be pampered in basically two different ambiences. You had the foresight to reserve in each section during your vacation time and live the feeling that each one provides. Your description of each is very correct and as you say the shuttle vans are really not an issue when deciding to transit the 3 minutes from one area to the other. We will be doing a study on the soundproofing in our Zen ambience. I have not quite heard of a comment to the topic, but I will have my resort engineer do the testing to see if we will need to make improvements on that area.
The service aspect of Grand Velas is just one of our shining stars and I thank you for your bringing that to the forefront. Our 1,300 dedicated staff has just one thing in mind and that is to meet and exceed you vacation expectations and to ensure that each of their individual contributions make a positive and joyful difference to your holiday pleasure. Pedro and Santiago have been receiving much of the mentions lately on this forum and I personally will recognize them on behalf of you and the others that have spoken of them for their outstanding efforts in their daily responsibilities.

I thank you again for your glowing comments and observations and on behalf of all of our staff I wish you an excellent summer up in Webster, New York.
All the best to you my friends.

RODOLFO GONZALEZ
DIRECTOR GENERAL
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
rgonzalezgvrm@velasresorts.com

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