Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is one of our best vacation destinations. We try to come back every year. The people are amazing and we look forward to seeing all the staff when we are “welcomed home”.
There are so many great staff to thank:
Luis Mateo, our butler; Chepe, the concierge manager; Fidel, Azul manager; Luis, the pool concierge; Nadia, pool/beach server; and last but not least Francisco, one of many fantastic servers at Piaf.
We’ll be back as always
Feb 23, 2024
Just came back from the most wonderful week away with my family at this glorious resort. Everyone was so helpful and accommodating. The Kids club and its staff were so great and kept the kids busy. Carlos who is in charge of the watersports was so nice and helpful as was the chef Jesus and our waiter Ricardo at the Azul Restaurant. I highly recommend this resort and hope to return again soon.
Another amazing vacation at GVRN
Feb 23, 2024
A huge thank you to every single Grand Velas employee. This place is truly special and it shows in the friendliest and most attentive staff, the attention to detail and the incredible food and beverage. Our 3rd year back and it certainly did not disappoint!
Luis, our favourite conierge was so helpful in everything we needed - whether it was transportation, special dietary requests, dinner reservations or whatever we needed he was there to help! The friendly staff at the pool, Pool Captain Jose, Pool Conierge Jorge and the best servers, Patricia and Kenia made sure we were never hungry or thirsty. It was great to see Carlos again at the beach, he was always making sure that we were having fun and entertained whether it was boogie boarding or intense volleyball games. A big shout out also goes out to the entertainment staff, Angel, Sebastian and Mariano.
The food at the GV is something else! All four restaurants were incredible...the food is amazing and it's nice to have good wine and cocktails at an all inclusive resort. Great to see Francisco at Piaf again, and he made sure we had an incredible dinner.
We had a parlour ocean front room, which was quite sufficient even with two teens. The maids are all so sweet and kept our room clean and tidy!
Again, a huge thank you to everyone there. We are already looking forward for coming back next year!
Second Verse, Same as the First.
Feb 23, 2024
Our second relaxing stay at this Grand Velas property. Outstanding food, attentive service and immaculate facilities are givens for the GV resorts. This property is very well designed like a horseshoe with the open end toward the beach so guests get the feeling that they are the only ones there. Exquisite landscaping gives it a peaceful garden ambiance and the beach itself is long and level sand with swimmable water free of rocks and pesky seaweed. Some nice additions from our last stay a year ago include a new walk up coffee bar and a dedicated sushi station in the Azul buffet I may be wrong but it seems that the wine list for the restaurants has grown a little with more variety. As a special event, management organized a well-attended Super Bowl watch party in the ball room with a generous supply of tasty snacks and waiters dressed up as referees serving drinks and joining in the fun (Go Chiefs!). Grand Velas is little more expensive than some other resorts but in this case, you do get what you pay for and we will be back. It is customary to identify something to improve when you give someone a glowing review so here is my suggestion: We did not recognize a lot of the wines, especially the local ones. Adding some tasting notes might help guests in making a selection.
Back again for another spectacular stay
(New York City, New York)
Feb 22, 2024
Our last visit to Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit was pre-pandemic. We were thrilled to return and see that the magic is still alive there, just as we had remembered. What is great about a return trip, is that you can enjoy the things you loved, and still have a completely new experience, trying out new things you missed before. Our first trip was just to relax, and this time we really took advantage of more that the resort has to offer. And this is what is so great about the resort - you can come and just do the beach/pool thing daily. Or you can also participate in their robust activity schedule. We enjoyed the bike tours, yoga, the spa, beach volleyball, pool volleyball, blackjack, karaoke, and more. If traveling with family or friends, it's perfect because you can do things together, or you can all choose and do your own things. We even found an outdoor book-nook that we didn't know existed before! Here are some tips and highlights:
Rooms: Last trip we had a lower room, which had a great view of the pool and it's happenings, and easy access to the main level via the stairs. This time we had a higher room, and could see the pool, but had a more expansive view of the ocean and mountains.
Kids Club: They renovated and expanded the space from our last trip. It seems they are now equipped to, and do, accommodate more kids. The teachers are lovely, per usual, with a special thank you from us to Dommi and Pilar. They have started having the kids wear 'Kids Club" vests when they take their "field trips" to different activities on the property. This is a great safety feature, and reminds us of when we see school children in Europe on field trips, wearing their safety vests. Their schedule changes daily, so do check with them when you arrive to see what you want to make sure your child is there to participate in. This is a great option if your child would tire at the pool all day, you want to enjoy the spa, your child would not enjoy the sit-down dinners, you want to go to the night entertainment, etc.
Teens Club: The Teens Club has the same coolness of our last trip. It's a great spot if your teen is with other known teens. However, it seems this could be lonely if you have a solo teen (vs. the Kids Club where there is organized engagement with the kids and teachers all together). We did experience many parents and teens enjoying the Teens Club together, which is an awesome way for teens and parents to find shared activities to enjoy in the evenings together. They have video games (xbox, playstation, nintendo), air hockey, foosball, pool, a dance floor, etc. They have snacks too!
Restaurants: We enjoyed all of the restaurants, and it's hard to choose a favorite. Try them all - each are a unique experience, and all have servers that go above and beyond. We'd like to give a special thanks to Carlos at Lucca (who gave us back-to-back memorable dinners), and Jorge and Antonio at Selva Del Mar (who gave us a great send-off meal near the pool, right before we departed for the airport). A special tip we're sharing is that Frida has out-door dining, so if you get an outdoor table reservation about 1 hour before the schedule sunset, you will get the best sunset view in the whole resort, while eating a fabulous meal. While we loved all of the sit-down meals, it is essential to mention how good Azul is! Their offerings change daily. Our family loved that for lunch we could pile sushi, curry, croissants, and flan all on one plate! The breakfast offerings at Azul seem similar to what you can order through room service for breakfast. We recommend placing your room service breakfast order the night before, as they can get busy if you order the morning-of.
Pool: It has gotten harder to get seats. And there seem to be some changing rules about if/when/how you can reserve pool chairs. Definitely check when you arrive what the pool chair policy is. Ray was a very helpful pool attendant, and Emmanuel was a fantastic pool server.
Spa - This is really the best spa experience you'll ever have, so while it's hard to spend time inside when you could be at the pool and beach, you won't regret the couple hours away. The spa ritual prior to your treatment is worthy in itself - cold shower, cinnamon sauna, steam room, whirl pool, foot bath, and more. You'll feel relaxed even before your massage. While I'm sure their staff is all equally talented, consider yourself lucky if you get Gardenia - she has the sweetest personality to accompany her skill in massage and relaxation.
Concierge - We exchanged many emails with the resort prior to our trip, trying to secure reservations and figure out transportation and schedules, however once we arrived and did our check in (which happens at a lounged seating area - not at a front desk - and includes welcome drink of champagne or hibiscus, along with complimentary neck massages), we were assigned our personal concierge hero, Maria. Maria was lovely to meet, she immediately connected with us via WhatsApp, and confirmed the spa appointments and dining reservations we already had. During our stay, she helped us move around our spa appointments as needed, sent us daily updates of the resort's activity schedule/agenda, worked to adjust our dining reservations as our schedule changed, and physically found us on the property several times a day to check in with us. She is fantastic, and you will be lucky to have her!!
Activities - Our last trip we just chilled, and this stay we were ready to try some of the many activities that the resort offers. The bike tours are not to be missed. You don't just get the chance to leave the property see some sights, you'll actually ride to places where you'll see dolphins, seals, sea lions, a parrot show, go to a petting zoo, etc. A bike tour like this elsewhere would cost $$$, but it's included with the resort cost, so if you can ride a bike, you should go! They'll fit you with a bike, a helmet, a water bottle, and a safety vest. The bike rides are mostly flat, with a few small hills to go over the bridges (the bikes don't have gears to change, so you might have to do the stand-to-pedal thing you did as a kid to get up the hills). The guides have radios to notify the resort if an issue happens. They'll also take you to some great places for photos, so make sure you have your camera phone on you. Throughout our bike tours and all of the activities we enjoyed in/near the pool, the one constant was Sebastian!! He is one of the resort's activities coordinators and he is the BEST. He is so knowledgeable, kind, and inclusive. He makes sure everyone is having a good time. We loved that during our stay that we could go from bike tour to volleyball to games to basketball to karaoke, and see Sebastian!! He brightened our days, and we looked forward to our time with him. He's great with both adults and with kids.
Tipping - I'm addressing this as others have brought this up in past posts. There is some verbiage about how employees earn a certain percentage. While it's so enjoyable to be at an all-inclusive resort and not have to worry about carrying around payment methods, we *really* enjoyed carrying around pesos and being able to tip employees (upon whatever the resort may already give them). They were all *so* gracious. You can get pesos from the front desk (or better yet, get from your bank prior to travel), and make sure that you carry some around with you. The employees at Grand Velas are top notch, and although you are at an all-inclusive, tipping those with whom you connect with and appreciate, will be enjoyable for you and especially helpful for them. You can google tipping at all-inclusive resorts in Mexico to read article that include suggested amounts.
Enjoy Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit! There seems to be something for everyone. The staff is top-notch, the food is good, the kids have fun, and you'll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed!