FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya Review

by Elyse Glickman

Feb 28, 2024

© Elyse Glickman

eFlyer Reviews

Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

© Elyse Glickman

However, Ambiance Zen Grand, exclusive to Grand Velas’ Riviera Maya location, brings its own distinctive aesthetic and global sensibility to the successful formula. The 254-suite lodging blends heady Mayan, Yucatan and several Southeast Asian touches to maximum effect. The open and airy structure also holds an on-site convention center with 30,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space, a well-appointed gym with separate fitness offerings that expand upon the overall resort’s wellness options, and a second kids’ club often open during high season. The pool area continues the theme of intimacy and relaxation, making for a lovely retreat from the busy beach/pool areas.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

© Elyse Glickman

In contrast to the all-oceanfront/adults-only Grand Class and expansive family-friendly Ambassador buildings, natural jungle and mangrove landscaping makes it a full-on departure from other luxury beach all-inclusive resorts, including its siblings. Exotic birds, monkeys and other wildlife; covered and raised longhouse-style paths; and man-made “cenotes” capturing the naturally occurring pools found in the region transport guests to a different orientation of the tropics. Large suites follow suit with a color palette of warm reds, golds, wheat hues and dark woods, as well as design elements that connect with the jungle just beyond the terrace.

Curated cultural activities also remind you you are in the heart of the Yucatan. Meliponario, the new bee sanctuary, not only protects the native Maya Melipona bee and its honey production, but also dovetails into a beautiful eco-tour experience that culminates with a honey tasting of varieties sourced from native bees. The tour, available to guests of all three properties within Grand Velas Riviera Maya, also provides fascinating insights into the native plants and wildlife of the Yucatan Peninsula, as well as the resort’s conservation and reforestation efforts involving 15,000 transplanted trees.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

© Elyse Glickman

Chaká, accessible to all Grand Velas Riviera Maya guests, is by far the resort’s most inventive restaurant. By day, thick foliage of native chaká, salam and chechen trees provides a gorgeous backdrop for hearty Mayan breakfasts. The dinner menu is even more ambitious. Sem Lin’s menu, meanwhile, bridges Asia and the Americas, while the Koi bar follows suit with its ambiance and cocktails.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

© Elyse Glickman

Like Chaká, the 40,000-square-foot SE Spa carries the natural jungle setting indoors. While premium skincare lines like Natura Bissé are key players on the treatment menu, signature services such as the Nopales Spa Treatment, a lavish hybrid of massage, exfoliation and moisturizing, distinguishes it from other hotel spas. It incorporates Mayan rituals to set the mood, indigenous ingredients and attention to detail. The Water Journey is built around seven water-based facilities.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya, Carretera Cancún Tulum 62
Playa Del Carmen, 77710 Riviera Maya, Q.R., Mexico
tel 877 418 2963

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