Grand Velas Riviera Maya: Affordable Luxury

By Monica Vila

If you work, work, work all year (who doesn’t?) and have barely enough time to take a break, when it’s finally time to choose a vacation spot you simply cannot risk going to the wrong place. If you’re like me, you want a resort that will take the thinking out of the experience.

Things get even more interesting when you vacation with teens – they are extremely demanding; they need to have fun 24×7, but the standard kids’ clubs aren’t “cool” enough; and you want to provide a variety of culture, thrills, and experiences that they can cherish for a lifetime. Also, they most definitely do not comprehend the meaning of the word ‘relaxation’ but they are still eager to just chill and check their screens from time to time.

Therefore, for our last break – and this particular challenge – I checked in with my trusted travel blogger Jean Newman Glock, and soon after we headed to the Grand Velas Riviera Maya.

The property, located 30 minutes south of Cancun airport, showcases the beauty of its Caribbean location and provides accommodations that are the true essence of a “getaway.” With my husband and two teens in tow, we arrived at the Grand Velas and were instantly captivated by the area’s white sand coast contrasting with the ocean’s sapphire colored waters. We marveled at the beautiful construction of the three buildings, carefully placed so as not to disrupt the very thick jungle that hugs the coastline.



The Grand Velas Riviera Maya resort is just five minutes from downtown Playa del Carmen, which is a fun and colorful town, as well as a unique shopping destination.

Guests can choose from rooms that overlook the ocean, pool, or jungle landscape. The rooms are welcoming and luxurious; at the Grand Class building where we stayed, every room was a beautiful and spacious suite with ample seating area, a large beautiful bathroom and balcony overlooking the ocean. In addition to ocean swimming, there is also an infinity pool and a spa voted “Best Spa in the World” by Virtuoso in 2010. It has an exclusive hydrotherapy circuit, which includes a clay room, ice room, and experience pool. I was so excited about this feature and how it activates the circulatory system that I went nearly every day I was there. Honestly, I have never enjoyed a SPA as much as this, and trust me, I am spa pro!

Whether you arrive with the family or for a romantic getaway, the resort prides itself on the services it offers to its guests. There is very little decision-making required. A concierge quickly assessed what our likes and dislikes and arranged several activities which we all enjoyed – including the paragliding!!

There is a kids’ club available for childcare each day for children ages 5 to 12. Complete with games, movies, storytelling, and arts, the club allows parents to escape for a day of exploration on their own. And, if teens are unwilling to spend too much time with their parents, then there is always the teen club where they can enjoy billiards, an arcade, snacks, and, in the evenings, a dance club.


Within the resort, guests can enjoy multiple restaurants, each offering a taste of a specific international cuisine and unique flavors to please any palate. You can choose between Mexican, Asian, Italian, French and even experiment with molecular cuisine. And remember, you are in an all-inclusive resort so you can enjoy every meal with premium drinks and excellent wine until your heart’s content. My favorite two restaurants included Cocina De Autor, which introduced us to the world of molecular cuisine and gave us a new way to enjoy delectable and wildly exciting dishes.


The next favorite restaurant was Frida, a beautiful space with delicious and unique variations of Mexican cuisine, which will delight even the most sophisticated palates.


For many, a beach vacation means just that: staying on the beach. However, for those with curious and energetic teens, seeking a little excitement and adventure, the Grand Velas Riviera Maya goes above and beyond to provide opportunities for the adventure seeker. In the Yucatan Peninsula, there exists an abundance of wildlife, geological formations and historical ancestral sites, giving insight into the area’s origins. It has long been a place of fascination and the perfect place for adventure.

The Grand Velas also offers a variety of attractions in the resort and the surrounding areas, including scuba diving, yoga classes, and horseback riding. Here you can swim with dolphins, dive in beautiful ocean waters, explore underwater caves, zipline through the jungle, or visit the majestic ruins of the Mayan civilization.

The Grand Velas is working to revive traditional travel in which the guests are indeed guests. It is a place where everything from the cuisine to the daily adventures can be experienced right there with the guided help of the resort. For our family, this experience was unlike any other; I was able to proudly show some of the treasures of my country of birth while being pampered in exceptional luxury.

Which resorts to you recommend for parents and their teens? I would love to know in the comments below!

(Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. I paid my own way to enjoy the resort. Since I raved about the resort so much on site, they kindly provided me with a complimentary SPA treatment.)


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