Five-star family fun in the sun
By George Coyle
Tell people you’ve been on a luxurious, relaxing holiday in the sun, and they tend to assume you left the kids at home. We didn’t.
At Grand Velas Los Cabos, a AAA Five Diamond resort on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, our children, Austin, six, and Olivia, four, got to enjoy the deluxe pampering and amenities too. We all had a blast.
From start to finish it was a five-star experience, and the start was certainly memorable in the very best of ways. Upon arrival, my wife Chelsea and I were welcomed with champagne, caviar and a soothing neck massage, as we drank in the ocean view from the striking lobby.
Actually, the resort is striking in its entirety. Located between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo in the renowned Los Cabos region, where desert meets sea and the Sea of Cortés meets the Pacific Ocean, this beachfront oasis is a family gem tucked into a world-class destination.
Open since November of 2016, it’s part of the Velas Resorts collection of prestigious properties in sought-after Mexico destinations. Having stayed at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, a sumptuous white-sand beach resort in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, our expectations were high on this trip, and we were not disappointed.
More compact and centrally located than its sprawling sister property, Grand Velas Los Cabos offers remarkable comforts along with white-glove service that all ages can appreciate. Every one of its 307 oversized suites boast an ocean view plus at least 1,180 square feet of space. And the amenities at this luxurious, all-inclusive resort ensure the kids will be just as thrilled with the possibilities as the adults. From the fun, supervised activities for the younger set, to the splash area, wading pool and covered playground, it’s an amazing family vacation spot.
Sure, there are five gourmet specialty restaurants, three infinity pools, an extensive fitness centre and a 35,000-square-foot spa described by Forbes as “an aquatic paradise,” but for my crew, the Kids’ Club and the Teens’ Club were the hands-down hits. Wow. As Chelsea explains, “They had fantastic activities to keep the kids engaged. Every day at the Kids’ Club, they had new crafts to do, such as woven lizard key chains or photo frames with pictures from our trip, plus games such as soccer and hide-and-seek. The caregivers were very good to entertain the kids. Often when we went to pick them up, they wanted to stay there.”
As for the Teens’ Club, she says, “Austin loved the video games they had there. This was a huge treat for him to play, and it gave him some downtime when he needed it. Olivia loved the illuminated dance floor and music.”
The Kids’ Club was open from nine in the morning until 11 p.m. daily, and there was something planned for every hour, from making piñatas to making fresh ice cream. Our kids couldn’t get enough of it. Better yet, they were treated like royalty.
One evening, the resort hosted an outdoor movie night. A huge screen was set up, along with large loungers for the kids, and there was an elaborate food station with treats and snacks. In Chelsea’s words, “It was beyond impressive.”
Our youngsters also got to experience extraordinary personal attention. Staff members brought the kids pool toys, stuffed animals, and made them fancy slushy drinks or food. They even remembered the kids’ names at every corner. It was one of the best service experiences I have had at a resort.
As Chelsea mentions, “The restaurant service teams were wonderful as well with the kids. They made dining with them much easier by catering to their requests, bringing their meals quickly, and engaging with them.”
The kids were pretty fond of room service too, she adds. “We did this, many days for breakfast; it was very fun for the kids and relaxing for us.”
The food was another memorable treat. At Cocina de Autor, we tucked into the multi-course epicurean tasting menu created by Two Michelin Star Chef Sidney Schutte, and at VELAS 10, a beautiful oceanfront dining room, we had our choice of seafood and steaks. French, Italian, Mediterranean, authentic Mexican and tasty international fare are served at the other restaurants. Our favourite haunt was Amat Café, a welcoming gourmet café where you could grab what you wanted at any time of day. Everything was wonderfully fresh and delicious.
If you’re due for some self-care, be sure to spend time at the resort’s SE Spa, voted best spa in Los Cabos. There is a wide range of rejuvenating rituals, treatments and services from which to choose and the TLC is—as it is everywhere onsite—superb. The Los Cabos area also offers plenty of attractions, from sailing and whale watching, to ziplining and mountain biking.
We took the kids to swim with the dolphins at Cabo Adventures in Cabo San Lucas. It was a very cool experience and we got some great pictures. Even without the visuals, our family vacation at Grand Velas Los Cabos is one we’ll be talking about for a long time to come. loscabos.grandvelas.com