By Barb Duncan
The kids will thank you for this epic beach vacation. You and your other half will be captivated too. After all, as one of the Top 10 all-inclusive resorts in the world, the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit delivers an array of deluxe amenities and family-friendly offerings to delight both grownups and the younger set.
Our family loved it.
Along with the lush tropical setting, pristine beach, AAA Five Diamond pampering and umpteen adventures in store, there’s peace of mind too. The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has granted Riviera Nayarit the “Safe Travels” stamp. That’s your assurance this welcoming place is meeting the highest standards and hygiene safety protocols. Your only concern for your family is making time to lap up every last minute of a pleasure and relaxation.
Safe Travels Stamp
Sitting pretty on the northern edge of Banderas Bay along Mexico’s Golden Coast, this gorgeous beach resort is surrounded by the magnificent Sierra Madre Mountains. It’s just 25 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta and it’s anything but a typical all-inclusive property. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is part of the acclaimed, multi-award-winning Velas Resorts collection built and operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, with brother Juan Vela by his side. The Velas have transformed the all-inclusive concept to offer a “Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” experience that is ideal for families who want all the bells and whistles, with services to match.
Designed by renowned architects Elias & Elias and prominent interior designer Melin Castro, the modern, upscale property features 267 suites. All are over 1,000 square feet and boast private terraces along with ocean views. A 2195-square-foot family suite includes two bedrooms, spa bathrooms, a dining table and a six-person Jacuzzi. You can also opt for a 3900-square-foot, two-bedroom family residence or a 4700-square-foot, three-bedroom family residence. These luxurious layouts include separate living rooms and dining rooms along with private terraces that have Jacuzzis. Whatever suite you choose, the fully stocked mini bar, L’Occitane amenities and Nespresso machines will elevate your stay. You’ll also appreciate the extraordinary around-the-clock, gourmet suite service and the 24-hour personal concierge.
Nachos on your private terrace at 2 p.m.? Ribeye tacos, Bali-style shrimp, grilled salmon, Caesar salad and pizza for the kids at 10? No problem. It will be an effortless pleasure.
Once the next day begins though, you may discover the youngsters have better things to do than tag along with “the rents.” The resort offers both a Kids’ Club and a Teens’ Club. Running from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. for ages four to 12, the Kids’ Club is an inviting, colourful space that provides organized activities, games, arts and crafts, treasure hunts, kite-crafting sessions, and lots more. There’s even a mini disco with a disco ball and strobe lights. On any given day, based on the daily program, the kids might feed the fish, play dodge ball, have a picnic show or enjoy Pancho Cinema. Lunch and dinner are served at the club.
The cutting-edge Teens’ Club, for ages 13 to 16, has major wow factor. Picture gaming booths with big screens and seats with built-in speakers, Xbox Kinect, PS3, foosball, arcade games, air hockey, a pool table, lounge areas and more. There’s an activities program too. Soccer, beach volleyball, a bike tour, snorkeling or a kayak tour might be on the daily schedule. Soft drinks and snacks are also at the ready. There are even spa services specifically to pamper teens.
And if you have a baby in the family, they will not be overlooked. There are dedicated Baby Concierges and offerings include everything from First Haircut to baby massages and organic baby food.
Offerings and activities for adults are every bit as inviting. You can do a yoga session, take a fitness or dance class, do water aerobics, or play anything from beach volleyball to tennis, bocce ball and ping pong. Snorkeling, kayaking and scuba diving classes are other possibilities. And if you’re hankering for a round of golf, there are three great courses just minutes away.
But you’ll want to spend plenty of time right at the resort. Its 16,500-square-foot Se Spa has been named one of the world’s most luxurious spas by Forbes Travel Guide. Along with a high-performance gym and exercise room, a beauty salon and 20 treatment rooms, Se Spa offers over 30 treatments and relaxing rituals. Many incorporate organic elements, from aromatherapy oils to coffee and chocolate.
And if you’re a foodie, you’re in for many delectable treats. The dining possibilities at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit are scrumptious. The six restaurants take you on a gastronomic tour of cuisine from around the world. Four of them have earned AAA Four Diamond awards recognizing impeccable cuisine, presentation, culinary experiences and service.
At Frida, named after iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, you’ll feast on tasty Mexican haute cuisine. Ask for a table on the terrace and enjoy the live guitar music as you savour delicious bites.
At Lucca, you’ll enjoy Italian-Mediterranean specialties, including pasta and seafood, and relish the live music, and ocean views. At Piaf, for guests aged 12 and older, you’ll feast on classic French cuisine and live trumpet music, while at Sen Lin you’ll relish creative modern Asian Fusion cuisine. Selva del Mar, the poolside café, serves light, fresh fare and Azul offers dazzling oceanfront dining along with a casual international menu.
Fiestas and theme nights, evening entertainment and live music add to the celebratory ambience, and whether you’re splashing around in the infinity pool or soaking up the sunshine on the beach, always there are obliging concierges on hand to assist you and make your stay at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit wonderfully memorable. vallarta.grandvelas.com