After a 40-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, you approach a striking white gate backed by a swath of jungle. Behind it lies Grand Velas Riviera Maya, an indulgent all-inclusive resort on a pristine white sand beach. With separate sections for adults and children, couples and families will feel equally at home here (if home had butler service and Caribbean views, that is).
The 539 suites are scattered over 206 acres of jungle and mangrove trees, with views to the beach at ocean’s edge. Three separate pool areas offer different vibes and attentive service. For active travelers, there is kayaking, scuba diving and fitness classes at the two well-appointed gyms. At day’s end, wind down with a massage at the award-winning spa, or take a five-minute drive to buzzy Playa del Carmen for shopping and nightlife.
Breathtaking Suites and Ocean View Terraces
The most luxurious suites are the adults-only Grand Class Suites, all offering ocean views. These 1,300 square-foot stunners are contemporary and light-filled, with dark woods, gleaming tile floors, spa-like bathrooms with Jacuzzi tubs and glass doors that open to an ocean-view terrace. Outside, each suite has a comfy daybed and a private plunge pool perfect for watching the sunset. Suites come with a private butler who can assist with spa appointments, dinner reservations and any special requests.
Restaurants You Can’t Wait to Visit
Grand Velas shines when it comes to their culinary offerings. All-inclusive resorts are known for buffet restaurants that get tired quickly. Grand Velas raises the bar with eight unique options serving top-tier cuisine and plenty of style.
Restaurants range from breezy beachfront spots to high-design international restaurants worthy of a big night out. Guests can choose between French at Piaf, contemporary Italian at Lucca, or elegant Asian fusion at Sen Lin. Excellent Mexican dishes and fabulous cocktails are served at Frida, where live music is played nightly.
Cocina De Autor is the star: an elegant fine dining restaurant that shatters all expectations. The eight-course menu is a tour through Mexican- and Caribbean-inspired dishes served in inventive molecular preparations. Cocina De Autor was the world’s first restaurant at an all-inclusive resort to win the AAA Five Diamond Award for restaurants.
Or Have Breakfast in Bed
While the restaurants are tempting, some of the most memorable meals at Grand Velas are spent in. Your butler can arrange a private dinner on the terrace or a long, luxurious breakfast in bed. Room service is quick, beautifully presented and available at any hour.
Soak up the Sun
The Riviera Maya is world-famous for its sugary sand and turquoise waters. The beach at Grand Velas is gorgeous and well-maintained with plenty of lounge chairs spaced out for privacy.
If the pool is your scene, three separate complexes offer
unique atmospheres. The infinity pool at the adults-only Grand Class Suites is
chic and inviting, with sea views and a swim-up bar. The largest option is the
Ambassador Pool, with a shallow section where kids can splash around and a ping
pong table nearby. The family-friendly Zen Pool is more serene, tucked into the
A Place to be Pampered
At 89,000 square feet, Se Spa is one of the largest in Mexico. It ranks among the most celebrated as well, earning the title of “Most Excellent Spa Hotel” by Condé Nast. The sprawling spa features a wide range of facilities, from a polar pool to a sauna. Each treatment of 50-minutes or more includes a signature water ritual, a journey through eight water features designed to refresh. In addition, there are plush relaxation rooms, a beauty salon and a variety of pampering treatments by professional and attentive staff.
As a word of warning: Once Grand Velas raises your standards, there’s no going back.