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Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Ranked #4 of 217 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Reviewed 14 July 2014

... but not "five diamond" IMO.

We'll get the two negatives out of the way first:
1. Our check-in was a disaster. Fortunately, I kept copies of everything and was able
to finally -- after alot of unnecessary drama -- get the exact rooms and prices that Irma Perez,
the Vacation Specialist who handled our booking, had promised us in writing two months ago. Management never apologized for the chaos and would only say that the confusion resulted from another family having the same last name. ??? BTW, we have a very peculiar last name. If your last name is rather common ... uh, Smith ... Jones ... you are in our prayers.
2. The beach itself was above average but the swimming was borderline dangerous. The ocean floor all along the Riviera Maya was shallow and rocky. Water shoes are a must.

Now, to the good stuff:
1. The service was outstanding! Kudos to Rodrigo and Santiago (big pool), Fernando and Mar
(beach) and Natalia (conceirge). They exceeded all expectations.
2. The big pool (a/k/a Ambassador area) is arguably the nicest pool we have ever experienced in our 25 years of traveling.
3. Our two Ambassador rooms were elegant, fairly quiet and well located. My wife and I had a king bed and our teenagers had two queen beds in their adjoining room. We were in rooms 2003 and 2004, overlooking the beach and very close to the big pool. This proved to be a very desirable area of the resort.
4. If you are a golfer, by all means, take your clubs! It is worth the hassle. I highly recommend you play Playacar and/or Iberostar (home of "The Big Break"). Both courses are within 15 minutes of the resort and your green fees (about $120 p.p.) include the roundtrip taxi. Both courses are truly incredible ... comparable to Hawaii or Scottsdale. You will not regret this

In closing, here a few traveler's tips to consider:
1. Take about $200 in U.S. ones and fives. Tipping is encouraged and the staff members strongly prefer the American dollar over the Mexican peso.
2. Book your spa session several days in advance. The spa fills up quickly during vacation season.
3. The resort food is above average -- a little too gourmet for my taste -- but better than most
all-inclusives we have visited. If you are looking for a diversion, go next door to The Fairmont
and try their steak and seafood restaurant. It is really, really good!
4. Finally, we stayed 7 nights but, realistically, 5 nights would be ideal. This place is expensive March thru August. If we go back, we will target October or February so we can
save about 50%.

>>> This is a great resort, by any definition. Five diamonds? You decide. <<<

Room Tip: The Zen/Jungle rooms are removed from the primary resort area. We overheard several people complai...
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  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank RosieTexas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,593 - 1,599 of 3,431 reviews

Reviewed 12 July 2014 via mobile

Overall the resort was clean, pretty, and the staff was super friendly. The food was just average (best were Piaf and Lucca; worst was Sen Lin and Azul). Really disliked that we felt like we needed to tip everyone. They really should include this in their price or make it mandatory no tipping. Lastly the Zen section was MUCH better than Ambassador. We were originally disappointed we weren't able to upgrade next to our friends in the Ambassador section and we were so happy we didn't by the end of the week! Faster service, less crowded, lovely pool, gorgeous!! Beach area was just okay but to be expected in this area.

Stayed: July 2014
1  Thank lee6009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

We were invited to Grand Velas to take part in a large business event. I had no idea what to expect and had never been to an all-inclusive resort or to the Riviera Maya. I was very impressed by the beauty and maintenance of the grounds. The suite was large and well appointed. The variety of restaurants was wonderful, and the service in the restaurants was extremely good. The liquors and wines served by the glass were top shelf....not at all what I was expecting. The hotel arranged a very nice beach party for the entire group one night. and there was a nice karoake bar in the lobby as well. We also played golf at two nearby courses, including the PGA Mayakoba. I normally avoid public swimming pools but this one was very large so I was able to swim laps without bumping into anyone. It had a beautiful in-pool bar that was very popular at happy hour. Overall an excellent experience. I would recommend it for couples, families, and group events as the staff seems very good at arranging special events.

Room Tip: the first floor suites open up to the beach and pool area. The hotel property is rather large so it...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Carol I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 July 2014

We love the service, the pools, the food, the rooms. We'll continue to go, but over the years they have been cutting back on special touches. They used to provide a wonderful lavender spray for the linens--no more. The mouthwash is terrible---don't try it. The toilet paper is rough and obviously the cheapest brand.
Worst change: they CHARGE for internet usage. Guests cannot use the business center (for even 10 minutes) without a hefty charge. They need to take a clue from Marriott and other resorts. They should not charge this much for a vacation and have this insulting charge added on. We would rate them Excellent if it weren't for this terrible policy. All the guests discuss it and find it to be very bad form.

Concierge services are the best ever and we look forward to seeing them every year!!

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
5  Thank Candice L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

Great resort. Amazing restaurants- some of the best food I've ever had. Not a place for those seeking night life - pretty low-key after sunset. Pool was one of the best I've ever seen. Spa amazing - treat your wife! Service - concierge for you hallway - was amazing. Absolutely first class all the way.

Minus a star for charging for internet service. For the all-inclusive premium you pay, you should not be charged for wifi in my opinion.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Brian P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 July 2014

My mother, my sister in law and I spent a wonderful week at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. The resort was extremely well run and well kept. The rooms were very clean and the hotel staff was very courteous and catered to our every need. We stayed in the Grand class and each room had its own private plunge pool. We would return and stay in the same area. The food was excellent at all of the restaurants on the property. Marco was also an excellent server at the pool in the Grand Class. We would highly recommend finding Marco to serve you!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Service
Thank B8951UCamandac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

I cannot say enough about how wonderful this resort is! From the very first moment we arrived, we were treated like royalty, and this continued for the entire week that we were there. We stayed in the Grand Class section (adults only) and would highly recommend splurging for the ocean views and quiet atmosphere. The concierge staff were always so helpful in answering any questions we had or giving recommendations. Ana and Claudia were especially kind and helpful. They truly made our vacation amazing and unforgettable! Everyone throughout the resort has a smile on their face!

The food at Grand Velas is fabulous. We tried every restaurant except for Cocina de Autor and loved every experience. The food presentation was beautiful and the quality of food excellent.

We especially loved the atmosphere at the Grand Class infinity pool. We spent most of our afternoons enjoying the perfect views, relaxing pool, and great service (special thank you to Carlos for this). The beach is also beautiful and clean. Grand Velas works very hard to keep it that way. I walked up and down the beach and found that nearby resorts were full of seaweed and people had to wait in lines for food/drinks. Not us! We were well taken care of and had the best beach by far. I also enjoyed the free kayak rentals...nothing quite like it!

This was truly a trip of a lifetime. It may be more expensive than other resorts, but the experience is worth EVERY PENNY! I am already saving up to visit again! Thank you Grand Velas, for a beautiful experience!

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Nichole E
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

Address: Carretera Cancun Tulum Km 62, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#4 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#16 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range: £517 - £1,141 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Grand Velas Riviera Maya 5*
Number of rooms: 493
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
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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