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Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
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Reviews (2,851)
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All reviewspersonal conciergeazul restaurantjose ramosparlor suitefrench restaurantneck massageroom servicefour seasonsall inclusive resortkids clubriviera nayaritour honeymooninfinity poolpool servicemoment you arrivepool sidedinner reservations
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Reviewed May 8, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Grand Velas for 4 nights last week for our honeymoon. We were both very impressed! The rooms are spacious, clean, and beautiful! The service is impeccable. The grounds and pool are well kept and we were overall pleased with the food.

We were greeted with a non alcoholic drink upon our arrival and were led to an outdoor seating area to wait for someone to come over to us with our room information. Very shortly after, we had a member of their staff give us a rundown of the amenities offered and asked if we wanted to be shown around. He gave us a 10 minute tour of the hotel, grounds, restaurants, etc. He followed us to our room, asked if we wanted anything, and we asked for a bottle of Merlot. It was to our room within 30 minutes.

The service is outstanding here! They cannot serve you fast enough. The drinks are great, both at the pool and at the restaurants. We ate at all 3 restaurants at the hotel, there is a French, Italian, and Mexican. They also have a casual, no reservation required restuarant with an ocean view that we had breakfast and lunch at daily. There is a variety of food there, including sushi which we loved! Entertainment at the pool was ok, they do a good job of getting you excited for the activities, I played Bingo and did water aerobics, my husband played volleyball.

This was a very relaxing hotel, I would definitely return. I wouldn't recommend this for families with children, as most restaurants there do not allow children, however I did notice they had babysitting available.

  • Stayed: May 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
9  Thank ILChicago_Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed May 2, 2007

My family of 4 (kids under 6 years old) stayed at Grand Velas for 8 nights from March 30-April 7, 2007. Out of a scale of 1-5, we had some experiences that were 3s and some that were 5s, for an overall rating of 4. I would reserve a "5" for Four Seasons Hualalai for instance as a point of reference. Considering we were visiting during busy Spring Break time, we enjoyed ourselves. Grand Velas is a medium sized resort experience, with 3 swimming pools right on the beach, 5 restaurants, and all rooms are spacious suites with nice balcony looking out toward the ocean.
PROS:
-3 main pools plus shallow kids pool and adults only Jacuzzi. 1 warm pool heated to about 88 degrees. they stopped heating it after April 1st which was a huge bummer because the wind kicked up in the afternoon and the kids got cold
-property is right on the beach and you can walk for miles, and there is plenty of wave action for body boarding
-you do not have to pay for a single thing once you get on the property unless you want to order premium wines. although tips are included, we still tipped $5 at breakfast and lunch and $10 at dinner and the staff appreciated it. you can use cash or write it into the check when you sign out
-gracious service and plenty of staff to take orders by the beach and pool and in the restaurants, except one hostess Blanca at Azul rolled her eyes at me when I asked to be seated in the inside area rather than outside in the extended tent seating
-room service anytime – my kids loved room service for breakfast which was great since we didn't have to rush to breakfast and could take our time waking up slowly, and after dinner we would call for hot tea or other drinks and more dessert sometimes. an example of their lavish food service – when I ordered a glass of wine, they sent up a bottle; when I ordered 1 shot of tequila, they sent up a full mini bottle
-the all inclusive includes bottled water everywhere as much as you want, premium tequilas (Don Julio – anejo and reposado, Herradura – anejo and reposado) and Chilean wines
-kids club had scheduled activities during the day and you can leave the kids or put them in for a couple hours or so. the staff was friendly and a couple were former elementary school teachers (Dulce, Alondra, Gaby). my 5 year old is in a Spanish Immersion school so the teachers engaged her in lively Spanish conversations, bonus too were Mexican families in attendance so my daughter used her Spanish. activities coordinator Adriana very fun and great with kids.
-movie time they showed Cars and had a buffet of popcorn, snacks, etc.

CONS:
-concierge desk did not have good follow up (they were HORRIBLE), could not communicate even though I was speaking to her both in Spanish or English. For example, I asked for a Spanish tutor and said clearly I did not want a nanny I wanted a teacher, and she sent up the hotel operator with some coloring books; also, I asked for dinner reservations and she came back (only after I asked for a printout 3 times) and the dates and times and places were wrong and not as requested. Ask for Cesar or Maurizio instead at the front desk if you want to get anything done
-large corporate groups rotate through and vacation at the hotel
-we checked in at 3pm but the room was not ready, so we had to wait 1.5 hours to get our room. then, we had to move 2x because the toilet seam was leaking in both rooms. the maintenance guy caulked the seam which seemed to fix the problem, but it was still a little gross. also, lightbulbs were burned out and it took several calls to get a maintenance guy to come up and fix it
-food decent, not gourmet…a 3 out of 5…the Italian was the best, the French Piaf restaurant was very so so…I am a foodie and the food was tolerable, not great, but it would not prevent me from going back to the resort because there were good choices and variety and plenty of vegetables and fresh salads
-Chilean wines were part of the all inclusive and they were good, not great, and we did not feel a real need to pay for the upcharge for premium wines. We like Chilean wines at home for every day drinking anyway, and felt they offered a good variety of these wines at the hotel. The Piaf restaurant did have champagne and French wines in addition to the Chilean
-Classic Custom Vacations charged $200 for a private transfer, which ended up being a guy greeting you after customs and putting you in a public taxi without seat belts, without a/c and with a driver who offered us a beer instead of the bottled water we paid for…Classic said they would refund half of the transfer cost and apologized for their local provider (EMark)
-during Spring Break the hotel was full and guests would "save" chairs as early as 6 or 7am…pool staff did not really monitor this so some days you were out of luck on a chair or had to wait which is a real downer on a "luxury" vacation
-you had to wear a string bracelet which kept fraying and falling off, although they weren't hyper vigilant about making sure you had the bracelet, it was a minor annoyance
-jacuzzi pool – no kids allowed and we got kicked out a couple of times…with the windy afternoons and the pool heat turned off, the little kids would get chilled so it would've been nice if the hot tub was available for kids use

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank sandals2000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 26, 2007

I booked the Grand Velas for a April family vacation. My travel agent recommended it as a great All Inclusive. I hear AI and I run for the hills - I'm a Four Seasons/Rosewood guy, not Beaches or Sandals. She convinced me it was very nice, and as a member of LHW and Mobil 5 Diamond, I figured it was pretty solid. Close to airport, beautiful web site, kids program - it all looked perfect. I have lots of friends that have gone to FS Punta Mita and loved it, but rooms are small and I know it was at least another $600-$700 per day on top of $1500 suite to eat/drink. I booked an Ambassador Suite at the rate of $1560 for 2 adults and 2 kids - all in.

Here's the run down:

Airport - Watch out for the timeshare idiots. They are EVERYWHERE. Go through the doors to the VIP lounge. We booked R/T airport transport. $120 - complete rip off, but didnt want any surprises when we landed. We had beautiful Escalade on way over. On way back, we had a Datsun door that was at least 25 years old. Joke! Cab would have been $25 each way.

Check In - Room was not ready and they made us wait 95 minutes until 4:00PM. Having flown in from CT and gotten up at 4:00AM to get to LGA, having to stew in the lobby was brutal. The nice drink and smiles quickly gave way to agitation.

Room - Very nice, once we got it. Ambassador Suite on 9th floor. Room was very small. Bathroom a joke. Door opens into the toilet area, so if you're in there and someone opens the door, you get kneecapped. The shower sucks...water pressure terrible. Bath amenities and towels nice.

Beds comfortable. Nice comforter and linens. Mini bar great and room amenities nice.

We paid fortune for the room to have rooftop jacuzzi. WATCH OUT. It's not secured from downstairs - any one can walk up. No way the suite is 1750 square feet. The jacuzzi is nice, not very hot. Cleaned every day. Stairs leading up there are wide open - kid can slip right through and snap their neck.

Resort - Watch out for the corporate groups. There were two big ones while we were there. They seem to get priority - and the MUSIC and FIREWORKS were a joke. Hard to sleep and a bunch of drunken idiots cavorting late into the night - exactly what you want to hear at 900PM when you're trying to get your kids down to bed.

Service at beach and pool were fabulous. Best part of experience. People very nice. I duked them about $150 for the week, so they watched after us very nice.

Clientele - Lot of smokers and fanny pack/wal mart types. Not a very genteel crowd. Certainly not like FS. More Marriott.

Food - Very good. Formal restaurants were very good and great staff.

Beach - Turquoise and beautiful it is not. Nice service and jet skis to rent. But dont expect grand cayman look. More like Long Island sound with huge waves and nicer/cleaner sand.

Dolphin Swim - Nuevo Vallarta. A must. Absolutely fabulous

Spa - Fabulous

Billing - Watch out! They exchange dollars at front desk at 10 pesos to 1 usd. BUT THEY CHARGE YOU 11.15 pesos to USD. I got my American Express bill and it was almost $300 higher than my confirmed rate with my agent and Leading Hotels of the World. Hotel told me to pound salt - they wouldnt do anything to settle the discrepancy. What a joke.

Overall, this place is a marriott in Four seasons clothing. Looks pretty on the surface, but apart from the spa, food and service, this place is a joke.......and expensive to boot.

If however you are a Clampett on a company junket and not reaching for a dime, well this place is all you.

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank Roccochomp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 23, 2007

This was the best vacation our family has had! We had a Parlor Suite (one bedroom). We have two children, 4 and 6, and there was plenty of room. There we two queen beds in the bed room and a couch that made into a bed in the living room. There was a great patio too.

The room was fully stocked with snacks and drinks. We set up wine a beer when we got there and every afternoon, we would come in from the pool to a chilled bottle of wine and beer in a cooler.
The pool was wonderful! There were so mant attendants so getting food and drinks was easy and quick. We sat around the same sopt everyday so we got to know Juan and Javier and they treated us like royality! We never had to wait long for anything. All of the staff worked extreamly hard! We did tip them but not until about the 4th day.

The kids club was great. We could drop off and sign them in to stay there or to go back and forth from activities to us. If you had them in kids club, you have to be on the property. Most of the time we let them bounce back and forth and do the activities they wanted to. One morning we went to the spa so we signed then in to stay there and then signed them out when we were done. There were activities every hour for the kids from arts and crafts to sports and games. They had a parrot show and a sea loin show. There were also adulty activities every hour. Volleyball, water aerobics, salsa dancing lessons, etc. The activity people would walk around and encourage everyone to participate. They were a bit relentless if you said no but they were haveing fun with it!
The spa was amazing with something like 100 different kinds of treatment to get! I had a wonderful massage and they have all kinds of hidro therapy options too.

The resturaunts we good. Azul was good with a great variety. The more formal ones were ok, nothing great.

We got a babysitter in the room a couple of nights. THey were nice girls but didn't really follow what we asked (we came home at 10:00 one night at the kids were up watching tv!) and they were $25 an hour for the two kids. A bit steep but its vacation!

The beach was clean and nice, not a lot of people coming up to you selling things, and the waves were great! The resort had all kinds of thigs to use in the water, boogey boards, kayaks.

All in all, we never left the resort in a week. We loved it so much. It was a fantastic resort and we HIGHLY recommend it to everyone elooking for a truely relaxing vacation!

  • Stayed: April 2007, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
11  Thank Gena409
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed April 17, 2007

5 Star? I think not. I wouldn't even give this place 2 stars. I suspected that the "all inclusive" approach had a catch and it certainly did. I can't count how many times we had to order a drink and not have the waiter understand english or simply just take 45 mins to bring them (after all the longer we have to wait the less we consume right?) They also tried to pull "there are no reservations" at that restaurant. Come on, we peeked in and literally didn't see more than 3 parties in each restaurant?? Just another way to not proivde food/service. Simply put, I was wishing I could simply pay for service just to get a drink on time! The "pre-pay" all inclusive is just a screw job and totally disappointing. WHo wants to wait 1 hr for a drink poolside???????? Go to the Four Seasons, it's cheaper and blows this dump out of the water.

Stayed: April 2007
4  Thank moorecomp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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