In all our travels, we’d never done the “all-inclusive” resort scene before. That changed with our latest trip to Mexico. We spent five luxurious days at Grand Velas Riviera Maya and couldn’t have been more impressed.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Something tells you that you are in for a treat when you realize you are staying at the only AAA Five Diamond resort in the Caribbean. Their restaurant, Frida, is the only 5 Star restaurant at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico and just recently, Grand Velas was named one of the 25 best all-inclusive resorts in the entire world by Trip Advisor.
After being met at the Cancun Airport, we drove south on Route 307 for about a half-hour before turning into the gated grounds of Grand Velas. Negotiating the curves through the jungle, we finally arrived at our entry lobby. Turns out there are actually three; one for adults only, and two for families.
After meeting our personal concierge and being served some tropical refreshments, it was off to find our room. We got a first floor suite that opened onto the lawn around the infinity pool. Super convenient location. Further on down the open air hallway, we later discovered a wonderful work-out room, the Kids Club and the Teen Club. They’ve got programs for everyone.
The room was immense and the accommodations were all top notch. Sliding panels allowed a view from the Jacuzzi soaking tub in the spa-like bathroom, or could be closed off for privacy. Full width glass patio doors opened onto our own patio area with table, chairs and a lounging sofa.
Following the serpentine walk around the infinity pool, we first enjoyed the swim-up bar and had lunch there, enjoying the view of Cozumel across the Caribbean Sea. We followed that with a stroll along the beach where chairs, cabanas, and every amenity you could think of were there for the asking.
Our highlight was diner at the five star Frida restaurant, one of eight on property. The appetizers, dinner and desert were some of the finest food I’ve had anywhere, and we got a chance to talk with the chef and sommelier about their selected pairings.
The staff was very accommodating, and everyone was always most gracious and genuinely friendly. From the bottomless mini-bar to the endless breakfast buffet to the most beautiful hand-crafted cocktails, we now see why so many people swear by all-inclusive resorts. Unfortunately we started by staying at one the world’s best, so the bar has been set pretty high for others to try and match.
Get all the details about Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s packages on their website: http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/
Maureen Bardwell and her photojournalist husband Doug love to travel the world in search of those unique, off the beaten track restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and local craft shops. If you’ve got a favorite you’d like to see mentioned here, drop us a line. To get our stories delivered to your inbox, click the RSS feed or the “Subscribe” button above or follow Doug on Facebook , Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or our blog.