More about Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort
Options in Nuevo Vallarta
Don´t even dare to go to the All-Inclusive restaurants!! Except Grand Velas, which has very good restaurants, but in any case you won´t be able to enter. In Nuevo Vallarta there are several new options that have been opening in the past few months and that are becoming really successful (before there was nothing to do!):
- Gourmet night: Niksan in Marival Residences. A high end japanese, quite expensive...
- Best combination: there is a new plaza called 3.14 (right on the entrance to Nuevo V) which has 3 restaurants, all of them extremely good. La Dolce Vita (the same guys as the one in the Malecon, Italian), Pincho & Ole Tapas (really good tapas from Spain at good price. small place but "homey" feeling) and Ginger (Thai food, a bit expensive but very good quality and service)
try those, you will be quite satisfied
My wife and I stayed at the Grand Velas during the first week of November for our anniversary. We love to travel and do so as often as possible. I must say that the Grand Velas was the nicest resort we have ever been to. The spa is just incredible; the restaurants are top notch; the rooms are large, clean, and well-appointed; the service and staff are great; the pool and private beach are the best in Nuevo; and the views from every room are breathtaking.
We were impressed from the moment we stepped off the plane - private transportation from the airport and cold hand towels and drinks to cool off when we arrived at the resort. I can go on and on, but there really are too many positives to list.
The only warinings I have are that this is not a place for young, party people and the all-inclusive makes it a little on the expensive side. To make the most out of it, we ended up drinking and eating way too much. If you are looking for a relaxing trip at an amazing resort, it is well worth the money.
Looks Like Hawaii.......but it is MEXICO!
We just returned from a week-long stay at Grand Velas over the holiday season! My wife and I have visited almost every city in Mexico with and without children (3 kids) and have found that nothing compares to this hotel. As frequent Four Season travellers, this hotel offers the ambience, service and food that rates comparable to a Four Seasons property. Great accommodations, beautifully maintained grounds, good food and great service. Surprising for an all-inclusive! The beach was really great as most of Puerto Vallarta was it hard in the hurricane a few years ago. The beaches in Nuevo Vallarta are much better with more beach area and great waves! I suggest tipping a nominal amount to the staff as it goes a long way. Get to know the food manager of all the restaurants (Rodolfo) as it will definitely enhance your trip....Overall, we will be back.
My husband and 3 children (7, 11 and 14) just returned home from an 8 day trip to Grand Velas Resort. Everything was amazing..rooms, service, beach, spa, gym and restaurants. The wait staff , typically lax at an all inclusive, was attentive, courteous, knowledgeable and most helpful throughout our visit. The buffet was constantly re-stocked and kept immaculately clean. We were particularly surprised by how nice the beach was considering none of the reviews mention the beach. They provided service at the beach both for food and beverage (a tip of $10 a day really helped in this area!). Daniel and Ricardo were terrific at the beach. If you are pool people...you will LOVE the pool areas!) We would also suggest getting to know Rodolfo Gonzales who is the Food & Beverage manager...he is lovely and is always around to help. The "specialty" restaurants were nice for a change of scenery but we found the choices and quality of the food at Azul (the only "open air" restaurant) to be more enjoyable. In short, we would absolutely return and have already booked our visit for next xmas.
Wonderful resort with only a few minor nit-picks
We just returned from a 6 night stay at the Grand Velas and it was gorgeous. I'd checked it out here first, and it was as I'd expected.
The place is spotless, has enthusiastic and attentive service (almost all of the time), the food is great, and the one bedroom parlor suites are very comfortable for a family of four (we went with our 9 and 4 year old children).
The heated pool (1 of 3) was a huge hit with the kids, and I loved it for night swimming, but it was really too hot to be in during the day - the unheated pools felt better. An army of staff cleaned everything around the pool every morning - fallen bougainvillea flowers as "trash", scrubbing the poolside deck, etc.
Minor nit-picks: there were several convention groups during our stay, and when there was an evening event for a convention, service in the Azul restaurant wasn't its usual attentive standard. One night there was a pool-side dinner and "event", but all day large chunks of the pool deck were effectively occupied with the tables and chairs being set up for the evening. When you're not there for a convention and facilites aren't available to you or aren't up to their usual standard, it doesn't feel very comfortable. I'd have preferred the convention stuff to be out of the way somewhere so it didn't intrude on other guest.
Some things that I thought (from the hotel's web site) would be included, were an additional charge. For example, a ceramics activity for the kids was an extra $10 each (half hour project). The kids club was not a drop the kids off type, but parent supervised (and admitedly the web site doesn't specify, but I assumed "Grand Kids Club" meant that we might have a few hours to ourselves and that isn't how it works).
Wireless internet access is mentioned on their web site, but it's an extra $25 per day! We opted for using the business center for $1.50 for 10 minutes just a few times during the stay.
On the day we left, we asked for a late check out (1pm instead of noon) and asked if we could eat lunch at the Azul restaurant after checking out (our airport pick up was at 2pm). We were told yes, but we'd have to pay - basically the all-inclusive meals go from 3pm to noon, so you could have lunch at 11:30 and not pay, or at 1pm and pay. We paid, but I thought it was an unnecessary stinginess in an otherwise generous atmosphere. We weren't asking for anything extra, just to eat a little later.
They need to do something about the wrist bands (that identify you as a guest and which they expect you to wear all the time). They fall off and come undone and are a nuisance. I ended up wearing mine with my two kids' tied on to it as they kept losing theirs and not noticing.
Not Quite Perfect - January 1 - 5, 2004
We went with extremely high expectations of this resort and were disappointed. We are also frequent guests at Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton resorts - this was our first all-inclusive. We have also cruised with Radisson, Crytal and Celebrity.
The positives: beautiful resort, large, well-appointed room (bathroom could have been bigger - do not like the toilet and shower in a separate area than the sink), spa was one of the best I have ever seen. Did not know that you are virtually guaranteed perfect weather in Puerto Vallarta this time of year - and our weather was perfect. Dinner in the Mexican restaurant was excellent on two nights. Room service breakfast was excellent.
The negatives: little service issues. Asked for a no-smoking room with two bathrooms; was told that our no-smoking room with one bathroom was available, and there would be a short wait for the two bathrooms. We said we would wait. Two hours later we were shown to a one bathroom smoking room - somehow we had lost the no-smoking room, did not gain a bathroom, and there was nothing else available. Took five tries to get the private bar (empty when we arrived) filled. Found the food in the main restaurant disappointing - cold french toast and waffles at breakfast, hamburgers inedible at lunch. Dinner at the Italian restaurant was fair one night; the other night (the restaurant staff was stressed at half occupancy) was a disaster - half the dishes were wrong. No evening entertainment. Two nights a private group reserved both speciality restaurants - we had to push our way in - only to find them both half full. Your room key ran the electricity in the room - when you removed it the power went off - causing the clocks to go out. Hair blower attached to wall was broke - took two days to repair and they could not lend me another one. Turndown service left a pile of towels at the door - and no fresh ones. Spa gave our bathing suit to another guest. Finally, there is chair-saving around the pool; at 8am all of the prime seats have towels and magazines on them. I did not expect this at a resort like this.
If I did not have such high expectations for this resort, and did not pay such a high price, these negatives would not have bothered me as much.
My wife and I stumbled accross this hotels website while searching for a Honeymoon spot. What a find!
I think the best part of this resort is the service. Everyone bent overbackwards for us and made us feel like royalty.
The other attraction to us was the fact that it was only like 150 "all suites" and everyone faced the ocean. The rooms were very modern and always spotless.
I hope more people get to experience what we did.
Groups are a problem but still the best resort in PV
I had high expectations for this resort after reading the reviews, and most of the expectations were met. Check in was a breeze, our room was very nice on the sixth floor with a great view, and the two fancy restaurants were excellent. I travelled with my husband for a week in early March 2005.
There were two main problems in my opinion. Company retreats dominated this small resort- a lot of the intimate qualities were lost with all the private parties and focus on the groups. We had a group from a midwestern bank and a group from a financial services company, about 70 people each, which totally overtook this 161 room resort. And the grounds are a little small to be having parties all the time.
The pool areas were literally taken over in a lot of instances, with 20 or 30 people getting raucous in the pool and running the pool waiters raggard. At the end of the week with the financial services company, it became offensive with all their drinking and yelling. There are quite a few families at this resort (they were fine, though with the families and groups, it was not the romantic getaway I pictured), and I felt bad for them to be around this behavior.
Out of our 7 day stay, there were private parties on 5 of the days, and 4 of the days half the pool area was taken up with tables for the whole day in preparation for the event, even though the events usually started at 6pm. These parties were very loud, with live music and dancing. The first night we were there, we were exhausted from our long flight and after a nice dinner, were ready for bed. But the room was not soundproofed enough and the shape of the hotel seemed to create an echo effect, causing the music to be incredibly loud in the room. Even turning on the tv required the volume to be overly loud in order to hear it. I asked at the front desk when it would be over, and was told "12:45am or 1am." I said that was awfully late and she replied, "You want to sleep? You are tired?" In the end, the party went to around 10:30pm, and it turned out all of the parties are scheduled for 7-10pm, so it was strange that she would not just tell me that- 10pm is a lot different than 1am. Maybe because of the private parties, they only had evening shows 2 of the nights, a magic show and a mexico show.
I found the service to be wonderful everywhere except the pool area and Azul restaurant. At the pool, the waiters would begin serving at around 12noon and continue until 6 or 7. Unfortunately, they seemed to attend to the Spanish speaking guests above the others, and did not have a method for making sure everyone was being served. The waiters seemed to go where they wanted and it was hard to get their attention. The Azul restaurant was pretty bad. Service took forever. Tipping is everywhere- we tipped everyone from the bellboys, the maids, the waiters, and the pool waiters, and they all expected it, but it really didn't seem to help with the pool waiters.
Now for the good things: It truly is a beautiful resort, and from looking around at the other resorts, it was clearly the best. The beach wasn't very nice but that seems standard for PV, and the resort did keep it as nice as possible. The spa is one of the best I've been to- the daily deals are well worth it (they would offer things like an 80 minute massage for the price of a 50 minute one, which cost $89). And the water ritual with steam room and sauna is wonderful. The two dinner restaurants, Frida and Lucca, were great. Excellent service, and the food was interesting and very good. They did a very nice beef carpaccio. We really enjoyed our evenings there, and reservations were no problem.
Activities were good- we did the canopy tour and they had a discount rate through the resort of 770 pesos per person. We did the Vallarta adventures one which is very good. My husband golfed for 3 of the days at the Nicklaus and Weiskopf courses, they were very good and it was easy. The cost thru the hotel was $110 plus 200 pesos taxi ride each direction. We found the concierge very helpful.
In sum: if you go to this resort as part of a company retreat, you will love it!! It will be like your own personal resort. I do still recommend this resort for people travelling to PV, but call in advance and see if there are any groups visiting. I would not go back unless they change their groups policy.
It's a Great Day in Sunny Mexico!!!
This is a beautiful resort. It is all open and airy. Every room has an ocean view and a balcony with a table and chairs. It was wonderful at night to leave the balcony door open and hear the waves. The service was very good and room service was very attentive. The bathroom was a little small and there was very little water pressure in the shower. I did not like the fact that the bathroom sink was in a different section from the toilet/shower. Also, the room key powered the electricity for the room so every time you took it out, you had to reset the clock when you got back in. You need to wear a wristband to receive "all-inclusive" benefits. This was a pain as it did not stay on tightly. We did not eat at the Italian restaurant as we were told it didn't compare to the Italian food in Boston. We did eat at the Mexican restaurant twice. It was excellent. The wait staff was very friendly and accommodating. The casual restaurant was fair but accessible all day. The pool is beautiful but there were many seats being "reserved" for long periods of time with no people sitting in them. My only real complaint about this resort is that there is absolutely no night life. There is a small lounge with karaoke that filled up very fast. It was also so full of cigarette smoke you couldn't breathe. Some people we were with went into the city for nightlife. If you didn't want to leave the resort, there was no entertainment. We heard this resort is only a couple years old so maybe that will change in the future. All in all, it was a very enjoyable vacation with great weather. When you are there, you really feel like you're away.
The Grand Velas in Nuevo Vallarta has 3 main pools, and one small childrens pool, this I know. BUT, are children allowed in any of the 3 main pools, or ONLY in the one small childrens pool?