MEXICO: An easy flight from most east coast cities, arriving at Grand Velas Rivera Maya is magical. Large white walls and blue water cover the front entrance and you just know something magical is behind those walls. Once you pull up, you are in for special treatment, as the check-in process, involves a welcome mocktail and hot towel while you relax in comfy chairs.
It’s all part of the personal treatment at Grand Velas Rivera Maya all-inclusive and exclusive resort with an overall staff to guest ratio of three-to-one.
The rooms at Grand Velas resort
Guests will experience the best of the Mayan landscapes with ocean front rooms overlooking the infinity pool and the Caribbean Sea. On the other side of your suite, you’ll be surrounded by the lush natural flora and fauna landscape of the Yucatan Peninsula.
While Grand Velas Rivera Maya caters to both families and couples, the two can be mutually exclusive, if you want them to be. There’s an adults only pool which also has a tiki covered bar. Plus several restaurants are also adults only.
Swim up to bar to order a cucumber margarita (their specialty) or just have it delivered to you poolside.
The view at Grand Velas resort
The curved structure of the hotel allows for rooms to face the infinity pool and ocean. Each room at the Grand Velas has a spacious balcony. The good thing is the slanted structure of the building offers lots of privacy too. Here couples can enjoy meals anytime thanks to the 24-hour room service.
The food at Grand Velas resort
With several restaurants on site, there is a myriad of dining options and cuisines. Of course, for authentic Mayan cuisine, take advantage of Chaká restaurant, with a Yucatecan menu inspired by the region’s traditional cuisine. Standout dishes include tamales, sopa de lima, a chicken soup spiked heavily with fragrant local lime juice; and pollo pibil, chicken cooked underground with its juice.
Other restaurants include Frida, a tribute to legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, where you’ll find local cuisine with a contemporary twist. Or for a very elegant affair (perfect your last night) dine at Piaf, the luxurious French restaurant with a notable wine list and classic French dishes like Orange Duck breast and Beef Bourguignonne.
One of the highlights for any foodie or food lover, though, is the authentic Mexican barbecue. Under huge tents, one side features table after table of sweets. At the other end, a bar for cocktails (Mojitos highly recommended). Pro tip: you’ll be plied with small, savory bites (see above right), but don’t fill up on them as much as you want to.
Why? Because the real barbecue is yet to come. Juicy pork and lamb are the highlights of this feast, so be sure to save room!
Of course, if you want to be more hands-on, get involved with their cooking classes. Local instructors will have you making your own ceviche, selecting from a variety of proteins, sauces, and toppings including fried grasshoppers.
Tuna, salmon, scallops, squid, shrimp, white fish, snail, and octopus are offered as the main ingredient.
Then of course, there is the Best of Mexico Culinary Traditions dinner. The auspicious event gathers the best chefs in Mexico under one roof for one unforgettable meal. The event takes place each October and guests have several opportunities to take advantage of the meal. Each chef contributes their best dish for the evening. Think slow cooked fish in white mole pipan or cochinita pibil or even beef tongue taquito. It doesn’t cost extra either, it is inclusive to guests staying at the hotel.
The Spa at Grand Velas resort
What’s a luxury escape without a spa treatment? But this isn’t any spa treatment.
Tracing back to its cultural roots, Mexico’s Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers a Bacal massage which is an authentic Mayan treatment utilizing one of the Mayan’s most sacred plants, corn. Beginning with a honey exfoliation that detoxifies the skin, your massage continues with Mayan corncobs to apply pressure to the skin. Accompanying the Bacal Massage is the Spa’s Water Journey, which includes a sauna, heat room with vapors, cooling chamber and as much time as you’d like in a massive spa pool and hot tub.
The Grand Velas Rivera Maya offers numerous packages to fit your needs. You can tailor your visit for adults only, girls getaway, family, foodie, spa, and more. To find out more visit the Grand Velas Resort website.