Av Cocoteros #98 Sur, Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico
A stylish all–inclusive worth bragging about, Grand Velas proves that it is possible to build an one-price luxury resort that is upscale, classy, and impressive all around.
The Grand Velas Suites and Spa Resort in the Riviera Nayarit area north of Puerto Vallarta has created a refreshing twist on the concept of paying one price for everything: a contemporary design, spacious rooms, consistently good restaurants, and premium liquor service set this distinctive resort apart from the rest. A gem that rises far above the cheesy competitors that dot the Mexican coastline, Grand Velas is an oasis of elegance, offering upscale style and superior service—a place that just may shatter all your stereotypes about what a vacation in a place like this can be. In another rarity for the area, you won't be bothered by sales reps pitching timeshares either.
The Zen–inspired lobby sets the tone for what will surely be a relaxing and peaceful stay—black stones inlaid in a cool white marble floor lead to a gently bubbling floor–level fountain. Skylit hallways and giant overhead beams add to the dramatic effect.
The striking design elements continue at the swimming pool complex, where cushioned chaises surround a large main one that flows into an infinity pool right above the beach. There's a swim–up bar, shallow areas with headrests and a spacious kid's area off to the side. Reusable plastic cups are used to serve top–shelf drinks, insuring that the manicured pool and garden areas remain litter–free.
The resort's four restaurants and a snack bar offer a perfect mix of upscale and casual dining options, including French, Mexican and Italian, in addition to the ongoing poolside buffet. Three specialty restaurants are a la carte and both the food and service are a major step up from the usual all–inclusive mold. (Three have garnered AAA 4-diamond awards.) Fine furniture and candlelight create a romantic atmosphere. Also, you can also choose to have 24–hour room service deliver meals to your room for balcony dining.
A well–equipped gym and state–of–the–art spa receive high marks as two of the best in the region. You can also take advantage of several water sport activities or use one of three nearby golf courses.
The rooms here are a pleasant surprise to the upside. The smallest accommodations are junior suites, basically a larger–than–normal standard room with a nice–sized Jacuzzi. Parlor Suites include two rooms, followed by the spacious Grand Master and Presidential Suites that come complete with furnished wraparound terraces, outdoor whirlpools, and all the expected extras. All rooms have balconies with panoramic views, marble décor, quality custom furniture, and come loaded with the amenities, including a well–stocked complimentary minibar and snacks that get replaced each day. You can enjoy English channels on the 42-inch flat-screen TVs, plug in your music player, and surf the web with no extra charges.
Popular among celebrities and sophisticated travelers, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit still has no competitors in this are operating at the same level for vacationers in search of style and refinement with a single price tag. Without a doubt this is the finest all–inclusive resort in the Puerto Vallarta region.
Web Address: Vallarta.grandvelas.com
Total Number of Rooms: 267
Published rates: $560 to $6,500 all-inclusive
Review and photos by Timothy Scott.