We went at the end of July (hot and very humid) and stayed in the Grand Class section. I am 6'4", 255 lbs., and an engineer by trade.
Very nice property. 4.5 out of 5 stars overall.
The person to person service is above any other MX resort (or SoCal resort - The Del, The Montage, etc.) we've stayed at. In fact, their greetings and personal attention are so good it borders on annoying (sometimes you just wanna walk around without having to respond to anyone). If you're an extravert, you'll like it. An intravert? Probably not as much.
If you're able, have Gabriela, one of the concierge ladies, assigned to you. She speaks VERY proper English. She is very attentive as well.
The grounds are immaculate. They couldn't be better cared for. Perhaps some of the palm trees' branches may be trimmed back, but very nice overall. We've stayed at the Cozumel Iberostar, the Playacar Iberostar Tucan, the Iberostar Paraiso Beach and a couple other Riviera Maya resorts.
The suite's A/C and ceiling fan are a must, and they worked WELL. I'm used to 20% humidity, and in July in PDC, the humidity is 75%+. Most of the room was well cleaned and nice.
Food: the food tastes about equivalent to very good cruise ship food. For instance, I ordered spaghetti and meatballs at The Lucca (Italian). The wife ordered their lasagna. Olive Garden's spaghetti and lasagna are definitely better.
In all 3 restaurants we ate in (French (excellent violinist BTW!!!), Mexican and Italian), men have to wear LONG pants - even in freakin', 80% humidified July! This was particularly frustrating. Women, of course, bounce around in their scantily-clad short dresses. If I'm paying the bill for the food, I should at least be able to wear Bermuda shorts. After 2 separate requests in separate restaurants to get them to reduce the a/c temperature to 68-72 deg F, I gave up and resorted to sweating while eating, in a warm stuffy room - YUCH! I love seeing sweat bead up on my arms with sweat running down my ear lobes, while I'm trying to ingest food.
The Azul restaurant had the same comfort/air conditioning problem, on 2 separate mornings.
Again Senor Eduardo Vela RUIZ: it's my vacation, I'm paying the bill (an expensive one, mind you) - I should at least be comfortable while eating. Reduce the air temperature and let me dress presentable and comfortably.
Be prepared for a quick stare if you request ice with your water or drink. The concept of ice and cold air is mostly lost on Mexicans - even though it's a resource they can dispense. They prefer to sweat - I prefer to be comfortable on my vacation.
WiFi is included in the rooms and throughout the resort, but it is slow and sometimes unavailable (can't connect). I noticed the white Cisco wireless boxes on 10 ft poles around the area. Standing 15 feet from a couple of them did not improve the signal quality.
As advertised, the resort is all-inclusive (food included). The swimming pools are nice, as well are the lounge chairs and areas around them. The lagoon the resort has artificially created with concrete barriers is well-protected and really calms the waves - nice job adding that to keep the beach from eroding.
The shuttle vans between the main beach complex and the convention center/spa work well and run frequently (and their a/c's work well!).
Oh - the signage around the property is lacking. If you're trying to find the Azul while in the Grand Class, be prepared for an adventure. Same goes for finding the Mexican restaurant and Piaf. The signage on MX Hwy 307 is better. You'll probably have to ask 2 diff people in order to arrive at the correct dining destination. For some reason we could never get the elevator for the Mexican rest. to work correctly to go up - it has NO up button on its operation panel. Weird.
In all, you'll be impressed with the person-to-person interactions; they do notice you. If going in a Summer month, be aware you might be uncomfortable indoors of any restaurant (but not your room). For the value, I'd price a night at $700-850. $1000+ is too much.
- 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