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“Over priced and over rated...”

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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Ranked #3 of 209 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Barrie, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Over priced and over rated...”
Reviewed 2 July 2014

The resort is beautiful, not a lot of things for kids to do. We tried every restaurant and were not impressed with any. Several of us got sick while there. Watched in horror as one of the pool boys blew snot out his nose (no tissue - into the air) while on duty right in front of us!!
Would never go back.

Room Tip: We stayed in a suite with a private plunge pool. Room was very nice
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  • Stayed May 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank LoveLiife
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 review, 26 July 2014
I am concerned to read that your holiday with us was very negative and that the only positive aspect was your suite. All of us here at Grand Velas wish to have our valued guests pampered and to depart for home with a great deal of satisfaction with intentions to return in the future. My only wish is that you would have brought your concerns to us at the time so that we could have remedied all these situations including the actions of one of my pool boys. We could have provided a little education for the person and show him that those actions are not acceptable. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to expand on the quality of our culinary product and your stay with us in general. It may provide some new insights for us and we would appreciate it. I apologize for not living up to your expectations, but we will move forward to ensure that things like this do not happen again.
Take care and greetings to Barrie, Ontario.

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
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New York
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 July 2014 via mobile

This was out second spring break at the Grand Velas and we loved it again. The negative preconceived notion of an all-inclusive resort is dispelled by Grand Velas. The rooms are large, clean and beautifully appointed. They are simple and not overdone, but clearly high quality stonework and finishings. The bathroom is large and very nice with a large jacuzzi tub. Bite that the bathroom has a pass-through to the bedroom which can also be closed with sliding doors, a nice feature. We stayed in the Ambassador section which is very close to the beach and has gorgeous ocean views. Each of the three "campuses" share facilities and restaurants and a shuttle takes you between them.

There are several restaurants each with a different vibe and cuisine but you can really order off the menu as well and get whatever you want. The restaurants are not exclusively buffet; rather you order of an a la carte menu like you would at any tip resort--here you just don't have a bill to pay (including alcohol). Some restaurants do feature a buffet as well but that is in addition to the menu. In many cases we would go for lunch at Azul, near the Ambassador pool, order a la carte and then visit the buffet "in the meantime," for a slice of pizza, salad, etc.

Service was really great. I wouldn't say it was comparable to a four seasons or ritz Carlton but truly it was just a notch below. Everyone was so eager and friendly and helpful.

In addition to the pool, gorgeous clear ocean and other activities I must highlight the spa. The spa is one of the most beautiful I have seen. I am not a big spa person but this place is incredible and relaxing with top quality service. It's quite an architectural achievement and is beautifully designed. Many other spa-enthusiasts who were there also marveled at the Grand Velas spa, so book your sessions in advance or right when you get there.

Our kids love the place. The hotel has two kids clubs/rooms, one for smaller kids and the other for 12+. My kids generally avoid these kind of rooms but all three spent a good amount of time there because they actually equip it with great video games, ping pong and cool seating booths where you suite to play the games. The younger room has counselors engaging the kids in crafts and movies. Surprised as I was that the kids used it, it was a good way to get some shade during the warm days. The is quite strong, even in March--much quicker burning than say Florida.

All in all the place is great. Easy four-hour direct flight from NYC on Jet Blue and a short ride from the airport. We didn't do much outside but we did enjoy Xel Ha, a pristine public park with a giant, clear-water river and some zip lines, cliff jumping and snorkeling. A finicky friend promised that the all you can eat buffet there was delicious. We were very skeptical (she had been skeptical the prior year)-- I mean a buffet at a public park in Mexico?--but I admit it was excellent.

Oh, we limited our tap-water drinking at the resort to teeth-brushing, but definitely had ice in our drinks and ate plenty of salad, fruit and veggies that was washed and nobody in our family or our friends got sick at all either visit. Obviously the resort does a good job of treating the water.

Stayed March 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank DrewFromNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 July 2014

Grand Velas is a gorgeous all-inclusive - stunning beach views, amazing service and tasty cuisine. We spent 4 days over a long weekend and my husband, 13-yr old son and I had a great time. Our suite, which was very large, but had little privacy, except for the giant bathroom, was in the "Grand" section. I highly recommend this for those wanting a quiet holiday. It was low season, so we had the beach and pool almost to ourselves. Before I go into the great and the not-so-great, I will state that everything is expensive. Period. That's to be expected. Set your mind that if you buy a hat at the gift shop or anything outside of your package - it will be pricey. I knew that going into it and was not surprised or upset when I saw the bill. ...and yes, tips will buy you GREAT service. This is not a Grand Velas phenomenon, or even related to Mexico. If you give your pool guy/beach guy/server/etc. - a nice tip - you will get even better service! If I got a tip - I'd probably provide better service as well!

Here are my high's and low's of the visit:

High's:
1) Great room/reception - it was my son's birthday and he was greeted in room by a card and balloons all over the place.
2) Concierge and check-in service (Alan was our concierge and he was very friendly, helpful with reservations and efficient)
3) Beach is stunning, simply beautiful. The pool area is fantastic as well, clean and pretty. Marco, our pool concierge, made sure we didn't want for anything. His easy smile and friendly service were a great welcome every day.
4) We dined at Frieda and Lucca - both were great with exceptional service. Yes, the wine selection is a little limited, but hey, it's free - and you can get almost any mixed drink you can think of! My son loved the virgin margarita.
5) The buffet for breakfast was always nice, not a huge selection, but certainly plenty of variety and fresh/tasty treats!
6) We did a private charter snorkel which was fun, otherwise you are in a boat with 16 other "friends". There were two nursery sharks and a barracuda! Victor, our tour guide and captain, was so friendly, helpful and courteous, I can't recommend him highly enough.
7) DreamArt photography was great! Our photographer, a Belgium guy with a great smile and fantastic sense of humor - was perfect. He took both some "staged" photos and lots of "fun" pictures with the sand and water.

Low's:
1) There was a wedding the first night we were there - the music and noise were SO loud! We were in a suite right by the noise - and I asked several times why they would book people into that suite if they knew there was an event! It was only the first night though - and the rest of the weekend was great.
2) My son slept on the couch - which was very big and comfy. He wanted an extra blanket though - which took a very long 1+ hour to locate and get over to our building. I thought for a while they might be custom making him a new blanket! Why it took over an hour to get a blanket is still a mystery. Lourdes, the concierge on duty seemed to be talking to congress, parliament and everybody else to get the blanket - and I appreciated her "activity" - it just took a really long time!
3) We had arranged private transportation from the airport (which is not a part of the hotel - but is booked through them/with their assistance) - it took a good 15-20 minutes to find our driver, which was really quite annoying. Apart from that - the van was clean and no other issues were observed!

Room Tip: Grand class rooms in the middle are going to be quiet - but still close enough to the main buildings...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mlparso1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Indian River, Michigan
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 30 June 2014

Our family of 10, ages 4 to 70, went to GV for a family vacation. It exceeded our expectations in every way. The staff was very friendly, welcoming and accommodating. The resort is very clean and beautiful. It has three separate areas to stay - Ambassador which is on the Beach and surrounds the amazing and HUGE pool, the Adult only section on the Beach with their own pool, and the Zen section which is in the jungle and very peaceful (families welcome there also.) The transportation on the property is by very comfortable, clean, air conditioned vans which are always available when you need to go somewhere.
The food was fabulous. Very fresh, homemade and always like a 4 or 5 star restaurant as far as quality of food and service. Each restaurant is different (three are adult only which is nice) and we wish we had time to try them all. Even the children always found plenty to eat and because it was all inclusive, they were encouraged to try new things. They did and they found so much they really enjoyed. And if they preferred their pasta plain or with a special cheese, the chef accommodated their request.
The staff at the Hotel was always looking for ways to make your stay comfortable and enjoyable. They provided a private eco tour on property because we missed the scheduled one, They provided a wonderful baby sitter (small extra charge for the sitter) who took the smaller children to dinner and introduced them all to the Kids and Teen Club. .(The Kids and Teens Club are exceptional facilities.) All the staff is always looking for ways to help you if you need it.

The beach is clean and beautiful, you can walk for ever and then come back and relax in very comfortable lounge chairs, in shade or sun, where your beach attendant brings you a bucket of cold bottled water or the drink of your choice.
If you are looking for a spot on the Riviera Maya, we definitely recommend Grand Velas.

Room Tip: Rooms in the Ambassador section with a small wading pool on each room's patio were worth the ext...
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mbmandy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
OK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014 via mobile

Perfection! Staff is incredible- as is all amenities, dining, drinks, and services! This is the only place I vacation that I don't need to recover from! The spa is one of the best I the world! I have been to the #5 ranked spa in Europe- doesnt hold a candle to this place! Kids club is phenomenal- especially the caring staff that actually keep the kids engaged! If I can make one suggestion, it's to try everything!!!

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MoJoRising70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 June 2014

The service is out of this world, I have never stayed at a place where everyone genuinely wants to help you. The food was unbelievable, everything on the menu left you wanting more. This has to have been the most relaxing vacation I've ever been on. My one complaint is that they need to invest in better irons.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank galonso8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Uniontown, Ohio
1 review
Reviewed 28 June 2014

We recently stayed at Grand Velas and it was absolutely paradise! The entire staff is super friendly and you are treated like royality! The room was amazing...food delicious and a beautiful beach/view. It was quiet and relaxing and not busy at all which made it even better for us.
Pedro and Wilbur take absolute great care of you at the pool! These 2 guys made our vacation even better!! Very very nice guys and we are so happy we got to meet them! Anyone going to Grande Velas and have the pleasure of these guys waiting on you...tell them Chad, Paula, and Kennedy said hello and we miss you!
This is definitely the nicest place we have ever stayed....definitely a 5 star resort! We hope to visit there again in the future!
Thank you Grand Velas and special thanks to Pedro and Wilbur!!

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank paula w
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:
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#2 Green Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#3 Spa 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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