Grand Velas, keep doing what you are doing, because you are doing it well.
The service was outstanding. I was hesitant to stay in the Zen suites since it is family oriented and I pictured lots of kids running around. But it was not like that and you did have a sense of privacy.
My butler in the Zen Suites was exceptional, thoughtful, friendly and kept things clean. Now I don't want to go gushing about this place, then have others disappointed by amped up expectations.
But I will say, if you want a luxury experience, it is there if you choose to use it. Here's the key to getting the 5 star experience: ask and you shall receive. The staff was very friendly throughout the resort and always available to help.
Sometimes, they seem to come out of nowhere when I needed them. Look, they aren't going to run up to you and kiss your feet, but hey will try to fulfill your reasonable requests when asked. And they have a subtle way to ask if you want help when they see you wandering around looking lost as I did often. I received typed notes from my butler reminding me about reservations and a nightly report about the weather for the next day. Turn down service was done really well, again top notch on every level.
The room was immaculate, spacious, everything spotless. The bed was comfortable, the bathroom spacious. The whirlpool tub was fantastic. I don't typically use the tubs at hotels, but this one was super clean and came with really nice bubble bath products. The amenities were L'Occitane products and they thought of everything that you could need in the bathroom. The mini bar was well stocked, wine, beer, water, soft drinks and snacks, and room service was as good as the restaurants and it was nice to have that option. There was a beach basket in every room for use which came in handy.
I tried two restaurants while there, Azul and Bistro. I liked them both. Azul for breakfast wit fresh made to order stations and a generous hot and cold breakfast buffet. Bistro for lunch and dinner, the menu was quite similar for both meals and it seemed that the portions were a little smaller for dinner.
The food on the beach was just ok and it took a while for things to get to the beach side chairs, but I've found that to be an issue at every resort hotel I've stayed at. Overall, the beach service was good for chairs, water, towels and taking orders. I have a lots of respect for those who have to spend all day in the sun running back forth in the sand with drinks, towels, etc.
The resort is huge and I liked the high ceilings everywhere. I never waited more than 5 minutes for the shuttle between the Zen suite and the Ambassador. Koi was also a fun option for late night drinks and dancing.
The pool areas were really nice and those in my group that used them spoke highly of them. I preferred the cabanas on the beach.
Some things that were just OK: the beach is pretty and there is an adult only side, but it is rocky in parts of the water, but it was nice to be able to take a long stroll along the beach. We also couldn't figure out how to take advantage of the paddle boards and free scuba diving lessons, but again I could have asked. I called to have my room service tray removed one night and no one showed up. The omelets in the room service and the Azul can be a bit undercooked, but that's minor and easily fixed.
Overall, it was a great experience and I'm trying to find a time to return soon. It just may be one of the few places I do repeat visits to if they keep up this level of quality and service.
- 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