- Detailed Review
- Facts & Amenities
Among the forests of Mangroves, otherworldly cenotes and dazzlingly blue waters that characterise Mexico’s Caribbean coast, you’ll find the sprawling Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Quintessentially tropical with its bright pink bougainvillaea and white-sand beaches, this resort declares itself Beyond All Inclusive – and lives up the title.
This behemoth of a resort has a staggering 531 rooms, and while those kinds of numbers may raise eyebrows, the Grand Velas manages to avoid feeling crowded due to a clever layout. The resort is divided into three sections (which you can travel between), and each has its own distinct personality and dining options.
The tiered buildings of the Ambassador section surround an enormous pool, and the nearby Kids’ Club and Teens’ Club make this section particularly good for families. Another option for families are the Zen suites with their jungle and koi pond views and large terraces. The peaceful adults-only Grand Class has stunning ocean vistas – enjoy them from your private plunge pool.
All of the resort’s rooms are spacious and inviting with marble-tiled floors, cream walls and deep mahogany furnishings. You’ll have a Nespresso coffee machine, stocked minibar and round-the-clock in-suite dining. Equally spacious bathrooms have jacuzzi tubs and L’Occitane toiletries.
Of the resort’s seven restaurants, many have elegant-casual dress codes, and a number have age restrictions. Some of these are time-specific – check beforehand if you’re travelling with kids. Visit the Italian Lucca for homemade pasta, Piaf for Parisian decadence and Frida for a gourmet take on beloved Mexican street food. Each section also has a casual restaurant for breakfast and lunch. One of these is Azul, with relaxed buffet-style dining and treats like lobster tacos and Belgian truffles. Excellent cocktails can be found at all restaurants and at the rooftop lounge or swim-up Aqua Bar.
While you’re there, take a Tai Chi or Zumba class – the resort offers both in well-equipped fitness centres. The more adventurous can opt for scuba lessons, and those adverse to strenuous activity on vacation should head to the spa for an eight-part Water Ceremony or Mexican tradition-inspired treatment.
The resort’s only downside is the seaweed; the region is notorious for the stuff washing up on the beach. The hotel staff is vigilant about clearing it throughout the day, but if you have your heart set on ocean swims, this may prove problematic. That exempted, you’ll want for little at this welcoming resort.
How to get here
40 minutes by road from Cancun International Airport