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Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Mexico Paradise: Grand Velas Riviera Maya Review

{The view from our room}










{Hanging at the Zen pool}

{During our stay our conciege arranged a beach front BBQ for the entire family. The food was outstanding! Some of the best pulled pork I have ever had. This private, beachfront lunch was included in our stay.}

{Sunrise from our room}





Can you even believe this place is real?!?! Photos certainly do not do it justice but even still I can't stop looking at photos from our recent trip to Mexico. A few months ago my FIL suggested we all take a family vacation {he didn't need to do too much convincing} so Shane and I got started on planning. We knew with as many people as we had going {10 adults and 2 babies} we needed to enlist our favorite travel agent. We let him know our preferences and budget and away he went planning a trip of a lifetime. 

If you are in the Naples area I highly recommend Mad Travel. Lee {the owner} who we work with is amazing. He planned our honeymoon and our trip to Europe a few years ago. He has suggested so many great activities and excursions over the years including the private catamaran trip we did while in Mexico. Everyone had the best time on the boat trip and the crew made us the BEST shrimp ceviche ever! Lee really hit it out of the park with this trip!

When he first suggested Grand Velas Riviera Maya we were a bit unsure. It is an all-inclusive resort, which in our past experience can sometimes be lacking in food quality and service. We were BLOWN AWAY when we arrived. This resort is nothing less than 5-star for absolutely everything. Many of the restaurants have Michelin Star Head Chefs. The food, service and atmosphere is just heavenly and I am still depressed that we had to leave!

We stayed for 7 nights, which was a great amount of time to be at the resort. Shane and I agreed we could have definitely stayed 2 more nights. The resort is massive! There are three separate parts: The Ambassador Experience {where we stayed}, Grand Class Experience {adults only} and The Zen Grand Experience. We didn't get to check out the adults only area too much because we loved the Ambassador pool which was kid friendly but some of our other family went over there and that it was just as beautiful as the rest of the resort. We spent a lot of time at the Zen area as well as the Ambassador area where our rooms were. They have two amazing restaurants we ate at plus Koi Bar which is an insanely chic, modern bar where we all hung out in the evenings after dinner. They made a mean dirty martini and I was living for it!

Grand Velas is an extremely kid friendly resort {minus the Grand Class area}. They provide at no additional cost cribs, bumpers {similar to the one we use at home}, bottles, bottle sanitizer, strollers beach toys and so much more. They provided basically everything we needed for Lawson. We brought enough diapers for a few days and then Shane went to the nearby Walmart to grab more. Our concierge told us they would have went for us if we had asked. 

We had room service bring a small breakfast in the morning for Lawson and there were snacks and drinks restocked in the room daily at no additional charge. The room service was spectacular and probably the best room service I have ever had in my life. They have the BEST french toast I have ever tasted in my life! It was simply divine. 

We utilized their on-site babysitting services for both Lawson and our niece during our stay. The babysitters were incredible and the sweetest with both kids. We booked them to stay with Lawson during his nap time so we could enjoy the pool for a few hours kid free and then in the evening we had them come around 7:30 after we had put Lawson to sleep and off we went to dinner and drinks. This is allowed Shane and I to enjoy dinners with his parents and siblings but it also allowed us to enjoy a dinner to ourselves and pool time together. I would absolutely recommend to use the babysitting services while you are there. Every couple needs that time and it's so important to take it especially while on vacation. The babysitting cost is not included for children younger than three. Children three and up can be dropped off at their Kids Club and they have great babysitters there that play with the children. They had televisions, video games, crafts and so many different toys for kids to play with. The Kids Club is open daily from 9am-10:45pm. Shane and I agreed we would love to go back when Lawson is older and can be dropped off there. 

We also went to the spa while we were there and let me just tell you... it was perfection. Forbes rated this spa Top 30 in the WORLD! As soon as I heard that stat I booked a couples massage for Shane and I. We also did the water ceremony before our massage and it was incredible. The best and most luxurious spa I have ever stepped foot into!



I posted on my Instagram asking for questions people have about the resort and our trip and that I would answer them here so lets get started.

 Trip Cost

We stayed during their off season {Easter to December}, which means our cost for the trip was about half of what it cost to stay there during high season {December 20th to Easter week}. During the off season room prices start at $956.00 USD a night. I would not classify this as a "budget" resort but when we factored in the cost of food and beverages it was worth the money to us.
We flew directly from Ft. Lauderdale to Cancun and I thought what we paid for flights was very reasonable. Under $300 per person.
We had virtually no other costs once we arrived at the resort. As mentioned above, we did pay extra to use the babysitters. Once a child is over three, child care in the kid's club is free.


Transportation

Our transport to the resort from the airport and back was all included.


Weather

In late June, Mexico is hot and humid. Being from Florida we are used to this type of heat and humidity. We actually thought the weather in Mexico was nicer than it is currently at home. They have an amazing breeze that blows all day long. Here in Naples we have a light ocean breeze but nothing crazy. The wind absolutely helped us to stay comfortable during in the heat. I would definitely consider the heat during this time of year especially if you are bringing children. Even though Lawson is adapted to hot weather we made sure he stayed hydrated and even then one day he did get too hot and we left the pool. 



We are so thankful we were able to take this incredible trip with our family and it was the best seeing Lawson and his cousin together everyday. Shane and I were able to relax but still spend quality time with Lawson, which for us is the perfect vacation. We are planning another family vacation with Lee for next summer and we are hoping to visit the Wild West! Can't wait to see what they come up with for us.

Thanks so much for reading!

xo, Alina
















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