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“Heavenly Paradise” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Grand Velas Riviera Maya

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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Ranked #2 of 212 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Heavenly Paradise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 June 2014

My family and I just returned from our second stay in GV. We are planning to return next year to again spend a week in paradise. We love the beauty of the place, the food, the luxury, the detailed attention to our many requests and most of all, the people who work there. One person in particular was our beach attendant, Santiago Balam. He made sure our beach time was like no other. Gracias Santiago. We will be back-save our cabaña.

Room Tip: All rooms are suite size whether in the Mayan jungle or overlooking the turquoise waters.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Teresa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (736)
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English first
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 June 2014

My wife and I spent nine nights in the Zen section of this beautiful resort in the middle of May 2014. We were celebrating our first wedding anniversary having stayed at Secrets Maroma in a swim up suite for our honeymoon the previous year. Whilst we loved Secrets Maroma and would go back in a flash, Grand Velas is a step up in terms of Luxury.

As previous reviewers have said the resort comprises three areas. Whilst two of these are directly connected down at the beach, the Zen Grand section is 1km inland into the jungle. We found this to be no problem at all and we loved the tranquility of this part of the hotel. At times we had one of the several Zen pools completely to ourselves. Some days we moved between the different areas of the resort several times a day and never waited more than 1 minute for the comfortable air-conditioned mini-buses. The average waiting time was less than 30 seconds!

Highlights:
Grand Zen Pool Area. Amazing service from the 3 guys that looked after this section. Whilst we really enjoyed spending time at all 3 pools (Ambassador, Grand Class and Grand Zen) the service up here was by far the best. Nothing was too much effort and it felt like they pre-empted our every desire and they went above-and-beyond. From cold beer, freshly made cocktails using premium spirits, fresh fruit, hot snacks, coffees, cold towels - you're really looked after. In particular we'd like to say thanks to Bautista for his excellent service and good company! Carlos and Oscar were great too.

Restaurants:
Food was excellent (food is one of our hobbies). We tried every restaurant and enjoyed every meal.

Bistro was excellent for lunches by the pool with stunning views. We kept going back to the fish dishes - tuna, salmon, grouper, seabass and ceviche. Thanks to Jorge Gilbreth, his female colleague and Edgar our waiter who welcomed us most days.
Cocina was a real experience and the friendly staff did a great job of translating and explaining each of the 10 dishes of which only one was too "out-there" for us!
Frida was excellent with good atmosphere aswell.
The room service experience was really good throughout with prompt service, friendly staff, hot food, cold drinks and white linen set-up to suit in the room or balcony. Getting a well-cooked fillet steak brought to your room in your bath-robe on the first night after a long-haul journey was a great start to the holiday.
Buffet - buffet breakfast was good but not the best we've had at 5-star resorts. Secrets Maroma had a far wider selection but the GV room service breakfast was excellent and was a real treat so we opted for that most mornings.
Pool bars at Ambassador and GC - good service, great views, amazing Pina Coladas & Margaritas and wide variety of food and drink options. Shout out to Gerardo and Fellipe for their particularly good cocktails!
Wine List: Ample selection of included wines but choice inconsistent between restaurants/visits - so you couldn't always get the wine you liked from a previous evening.

Spa: My wife took one spa treatment (as they were fully booked by the time we got around to attempting another visit). Recommend you book well in advance. She's been to quite a few including Secrets Maroma and Gleneagles in Scotland and loved the place. With some resort credit it brought the cost down to what we'd pay at a 5-star hotel in the UK - still expensive but a great treat.

The suites at Zen are massive and airy - which I loved - but my wife prefers a slightly cosier room. Bathrooms ideal with great hot-tub.

In Summary:
An amazing all-inclusive resort with restaurants that at their best are approaching high-end stand-alone restaurants. Really friendly and professional staff and a totally relaxing stay.

Brian and Lauren

  • Stayed May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

I will start by saying that this is my third time visiting Grand Velas and I can no longer keep this place my little secret. I realize I need to share my slice of paradise with all of you in hopes that you will have the same incredible experience I have had there.
I visited with 9 of my childhood friends celebrating our 40th birthdays. We all live in different parts of the country and have been planning a girls trip forever but finally decided to make it happen this year. I knew we had to come to Grand Velas Riviera Maya because this luxury resort and the location had everything I was searching for.... white powder sand beaches, warm ocean water, very large suites with private plunge pools, 5 diamond fine dining restaurants, one of the top spas in the world ,and service that is bar none.
When you drive up to the entrance it takes your breath away and once inside the service is first class luxury at its best. We were greeted with refreshing essential oil infused towel and strawberry fruit water to enjoy while we went through the check in process. The staff quickly got to know us asking about our likes, dislikes, food restrictions , allergies and stressed to us that no request was too big or too small. Their sole purpose was to make sure we had the most enjoyable stay possible.
The first night we had dinner at Piaf, one of their 5 diamond restaurants and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. I felt like I was transported to modern day Paris, dining in a red jewelry box while listing to the soothing sounds of the great Edith Piaf. We had a wine pairing with each course and the passion and knowledge that our sommelier, Miguel displayed was so impressive.
With all of the wonderful food and drinks we started our mornings with a workout at the state of the art gym. It was top notch offering morning classes in the studio with brand new equipment in a beautiful facility.
Ours days were spent lounging at the pool and the beach. The pool manager Alejandro and his staff, Marco, and Oscar and Carlos took care of our every need. I believe they anticipated our requests before we even knew what they were.
Ignancio, the hotel manager and our personal concierge took care of everything from our dinner reservations, airport transfers, and arranged a private tour for us of the nearby pyramids in Tulum, snorkeling through stalactites and stalagmites in a freshwater cave (cenote) that housed the longest underground river in the world, zip lining through the jungle, and a mayan cleansing ceremony. We ended our "adventure" day with the "Water Journey" at the spa, named "Best Spa in the World" by Virtuoso. Guided by one of the spa staff members we experienced a hydrotherapy circuit, clay room, ice room, essential oil infused dry sauna, color therapy steam room, jacuzzi, and cold plunge pool , a true hydrotherapy ritual like no other you have ever experienced. It is very clear why it was awarded the best spa in the world.
The following day I had a treatment called the Mayan Grand Velas Massage given to me by Maria. The combination of her talent and my overall experience at this resort brought tears to my eyes.
This was a trip of a lifetime for myself and my friends and I will be forever grateful to Grand Velas Resort and its incredible staff! Thank you!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank alilandry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

Just had the most amazing vacation at this wonderful resort! Everything about the resort, from the staff, service, food, spa, to the rooms were beyond our expectations!!! Not to mention, the grounds, resort, and beach are the most gorgeous I have seen...traveling to the resort was a breeze with direct flights into Cancun and transportation provided by the resort.

Alejandro and his pool staff went above and beyond to make sure we enjoyed our time at the pool and beach. The restaurant staff, food, and wine selection were amazing....the sommelier at Piaf was extremely knowledgeable and paired every dish with the perfect wine! One of the most delicious and incredible dining experiences ever! The spa was first class, every one needs to experience the water journey...I could have stayed in the spa all day! The rooms were huge, clean, with nice decor, and breath taking views of the ocean. We stayed in the adult only tower on the first floor. Our patio doors open to the beach, again, just incredible....

I was there with friends celebrating our birthdays, and will definitely return with my husband and boys. The family tower had huge kid friendly pools and a big green space for the boys to kick around a ball. They also have a kids' club that will certainly keep the kids entertained.

I can not say enough great things about this resort, it was an unforgettable vacation. Ignacio Rivera, the hotel manager, took the time to stopped by the pool to check on us and ask if there was anything he can do for us. The concierge took care of all our dining and excursion needs. Thank you to all for making this an extra special vacation for me and my girlfriends. We don't get to see each other often, so the little time we do share together is precious. Thank you again!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Tam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lafayette, Louisiana
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014

This pristine property far exceeded my expectations and sets the bar for what a luxury resort should be. My lifelong childhood friends, and myself embarked on a much needed getaway. To be surrounded by such wonderful people is a blessing, but being in such an exquisite resort where we received top notch treatment was blissful.
Being from the South Louisiana, we know how to entertain and throw one heck of a party, but it was so nice for a change for someone to take care of us! As Southern Belles, we were very appreciative and thankful every step of the way.
The moment we arrived at the entrance, what seemed like the gates of Heaven, the beautiful lush scenery seemed never-ending and finally led us to this breathtaking entry that looked straight to the infinity pool and over to the beach. We were greeted with a cool breeze and friendly smiles of each person that we encountered. The smiles never ended and the service that went along with these smiles were endless throughout our stay.
Alejandro made sure we were comfortable every second we were poolside. He went out of his way to set up 10 chairs everyday at the beach and made sure there was always someone tending to our every need. Oscar created drinks that he had never done, while we were sitting on the pool barstools. Carlos and Pablo delivered the best drinks to us and were very attentive. They also did not know they had taken on another role with us, and they discovered their hidden talents. They became photographers and most of our photos shared came from their good eye and patience with ten girls trying to get it right! I guess they didn't mind that very much:)
The restaurants were out of this world. I must say that Pilaf was our favorite. I have traveled to several countries and eaten wonderful food, but this place is top 3 for sure. I am married to a frenchman and travel to France often so I know what a good french onion soup should taste like, but Pilaf's french onion soup was the best I have ever consumed. The bread stuffed with Roquefort cheese is the best bread I have ever had. There were so many wonderful's here that the only thing left to say is you have to eat there!!!
The Spa, well all you have to do is look at some of the photos on their website and you will get a glimpse into what is waiting for you. We were all so overwhelmed by this Spa and in the end brought some of us to tears. It was such a soulful experience and the way they incorporate the smells and scents of each towel handed to us was a journey on its own. One can clearly understand how it holds its rank as being one of the top Spa's of the world.
The wonderful concierge helped us plan a day of bucket list adventures. One's life is never the same after you have zip lined into a cave full of bats, then get to snorkel in the largest underground river with your best friends and then tour the Mayan Ruins. The staff at Grand Velas went over and beyond what I thought was ever imaginable. How can you not come to this fabulous place and experience all of these wonderful things? I highly recommend The Grand Velas to anyone who lives this life to the fullest. I would also come back here with my children, as the amenities for the children are pretty fantastic. Whether it be a girlfriend trip, a honey moon, a convention, a family vacation, this resort will accommodate and go beyond what you could ever imagine.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank habibiac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

The amazing resort was beyond expectation. The poolside/beachside service from Jose & Carlos were as if we were celebrities!! Highly recommend this resort if you need to be pampered with spectacular service & delicious food!! Thank you Grand Velas!!!

Room Tip: Grand Class if you want to escape the younger generation.
See more room tips
  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shannon M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
san francisco
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 June 2014

We just got back from a lovely 7 day vacation at this beautiful resort. The property is gorgeous, the pools beautiful, the food fantastic and the beds are the most comfortable beds I've slept in in a really long time (LOVE THE PILLOWS!!). I thought the Gran Velas was a beautiful vacation spot and a perfect place for couples, honeymooners, calm families or even a group of friends who appreciate fine dining and relaxation. We were with a pretty energetic group of 13 (8 adults and 5 kids ages 7-14). When we chose the Gran Velas, we thought that it being an all-inclusive with a teen and kid club meant something along the line of an upscale Club Med with organized activities, sports, water activities etc…., honestly, the all-inclusive really meant all food and drink (which we certainly got our monies worth of). At first we were a little disappointed that there wasn't more to do there, but we all seemed to settle in to a more mellow type of vacation with a daily water polo game as well as beach volleyball. Sergio, Tote and Carina were really instrumental in getting people to participate in these games and they were a lot of fun. It would have been nice if there was also a volleyball net in the pool and more than just one daily game.

Another thing we were told was that as an all-inclusive package..everything including tips was covered in the price we paid for our vacation. Unfortunately, after every meal or activity we were also given a bill with a space for tips (which we ignored). After speaking to other guests that gave daily tips, we started to feel a little guilty every time we signed for something (and didn't leave extra). That being said, the service at the resort was PHENOMENAL! Everyone was super friendly and accommodating. Our concierge Cesar was warm and attentive and even went out of the resort to find exercise "noodles" for my mother-in-law to use in the pool.

We tended to sit in the same location every day and therefore had the same attendant poolside who catered to our every need. Henri Romero was fantastic. When we arrived at the pool, our towels would be put out for us, the umbrella would be opened for my in-laws, fresh water in ice buckets would promptly arrive and we never went very long without being asked if we wanted a drink or something to eat. Henri even went out of his way to make up drinks for us based on what we liked. Everything was always done with a smile. Miguel, Erik and Tayde were also extremely helpful on the couple of days Henri was not there or we sat elsewhere.

The food at this resort is different from what you would expect at a Mexican hotel. There are 7 restaurants including one that serves "molecular" food. If you are someone who appreciates fine dining, this is the place for you. While most of the restaurants served small portions, you could order whatever you wanted so if you were hungry, you could just order more. A few of the restaurants are adult only so on those nights, the kids ordered room service or went to one of the casual restaurants while the adults dined alone. The resort was not full this past week and it felt extremely safe and the kids felt very "adult" eating together without their parents.

We stayed in the Ambassador section of the hotel and our rooms were 30 feet from the pool. The rooms are spacious and well appointed with a big jacuzzi tub and a lovely deck. We were in the section closest to the beach and most of the activities. Because we were with the kids, this was perfect for us. There is also the Zen area where the spa is and the Gran Class which I believe is adult only. There really is something for everyone.

All in all it was a lovely week. I would highly recommend the Gran Velas if you are looking to be pampered, relax and get away from it all. If you are looking for a place that is a little more high energy with constant activities, nightly entertainment (shows, organized events etc…) and a lot of organized games etc…, this probably isn't the place for you. There really wasn't a lot of water activities (sail boats, snorkeling, paddle boards, kayaks, etc..) and while beautiful, the water was a little rocky at the beach.

Thank you to the Gran Velas for making our family vacation so easy.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ltshaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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:
#1 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 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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TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Odigeo so you can book your Grand Velas Riviera Maya reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
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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