Escape to an All-Inclusive Luxury Resort in Riviera Maya


“Flight attendants, please prepare the cabin for arrival,” the pilot said over the intercom. Being a frequent flyer, I knew this message means that the flight is within 15-20 minutes of landing.  Looking out my window, there are endless miles of pristine beach, crystal clear ocean water, and a country I was about to discover – Mexico.

travel-aereaI’ve traveled to many places, but Mexico was never one of them…yet. I have always read about and heard how beautiful it is to spend a few days in Cancun and Playa del Carmen, but it’s really the kind of destination you have to see to believe. Upon landing at Cancún International Airport, I wasn’t sure what to expect since I don’t speak more than three basic words of Spanish. So, considering that I’m in a foreign country that I’ve never been to and don’t speak the language, I assumed getting to my resort, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, was going to be a challenge – until I arrived at the shuttle location and immediately spotted a gentleman holding up a “Grand Velas Riviera Maya” sign with my name on it.  It was then that I found out that this gentleman would be driving me (in a luxury SUV) to the world-class, all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya.

About an hour south of Cancun is where the desirable Riviera Maya is located. The Riviera Maya is situated along the southeastern coast of Mexico in the state of Quintana Roo. Located along 81 miles of Caribbean coastline in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Riviera Maya is the ultimate getaway spot for aquatic and land-based adventures. The region is home to a variety of adventure-oriented superlatives including the world’s longest underground river network, which has been shaped by the area’s unique porous geological terrain, and neighbors the second largest barrier reef in the world. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to get to Grand Velas to begin my journey in Riviera Maya.

travel-gvrmThe Grand Velas Riviera Maya is truly an epic, one-of-a-kind and world-class resort that leaves no reason to want to leave the property.  Everything you could need or hope to experience can be found right there on the luxurious, private, and stunning Grand Velas. Entering through the gates, you’ll feel you’re on a journey through the jungle that will soon lead you to your desired property area. There is an adult only section, Grand Class, and a family section, Ambassador, about a five to seven minute walk away from each other.

Since I was traveling alone, I stayed in a luxurious 1,200+ square foot suite in the Grand Class section, offering luxurious amenities, including a private terrace with a refreshing plunge pool and breathtaking ocean views Leaving the room was hard enough. However, there was a lot to see and I couldn’t wait to explore the resort!

One of my favorite things on the Grand Velas property was the spa. The spa is much more than any traditional spa with just treatment rooms and a sauna. The Spa features massage, body wraps, facials, manicures, romantic couple’s rituals, water journey and the Seven World Journeys spa menu.  Edging the lush and spiritual jungle, the Riviera Maya spa resort transports you to a world of wellbeing through a revolutionary hydrotherapy circuit including a clay room, ice room and experience pool, and features aromatic essences, flowers, candles and hot smooth stones. The water journey is one that is unparalleled  – there is nothing like it.

The only thing that may have been more pleasurable than The Spa, was definitely the dining. Grand Velas is home to eight extraordinary dining establishments that feature some of the best chefs in the world. Frida, for example, is named after the Mexican painter, Frida Kahlo, and offers a unique menu with traditional Mexican cuisine. Each and every dish is prepared to reflect the culinary heritage of Mexico. Not only will you enjoy top of the line Mexican cuisine, but also the best dessert and cocktails in a classy, clean and lively environment.   For something a little more exotic, Piaf is the place to go. There was no place more classy and romantic than dining in Piaf among the stunning curtains of Swarovski crystals. Piaf brings classic French cuisine right to this Mexican resort, offering traditional French dishes with a creative culinary twist.  This breathtaking Riviera Maya, Mexico restaurant is awarded four diamonds by AAA.


Fresh Oysters at the Piaf

If Italian is on your list of top favorites, enjoy the sweet Italian-Mediterranean flavors that come from the kitchen at Lucca. Lucca offers traditional cuisine made with fresh seafood, meats, and homemade pastas that will make you feel like you’re actually in Italy. You will immediately feel like a part of the family by the warm and welcoming chefs and staff at this restaurant. Another extraordinary restaurant to enjoy a wide variety of foods is at Azul. Indulge in delicious meals with family and friends anytime of the day here.  My favorite thing about Azul was the open-air terrace, air-conditioned interior dining area and a casual atmosphere. The lunch and dinner menu features everything from grilled hamburgers to sushi and tempura, to pasta, pizza, croissant sandwiches, burritos, tacos and so much more.

Although staying at the Grand Velas is highly recommended, there was so much to see once I ventured out into Quintana Roo. From historical landmarks to adventuring through the jungle, some of the world’s greatest activities are located right in this location of Mexico.  For example, the Tulum and The Jungle Maya adventure held by All Tour Native offers a one-of-a-kind guided tour exploring Tulum, an archaeological site occupied around 1200 AD. In Tulum, it was fascinating to get up close and personal with real Mayan Ruins that are still standing, and taking in some of the most beautiful ocean views.

From Tulum, I was then transported to Jungle Maya, where I had the opportunity to snorkel the beautiful Sac-Actun cenote system and view the millenary stalactites and stalagmites.  Our guide then took us on an exhilarating 3 zip-line Canopy circuit throughout the lush forest, the last one is water landing, which was my favorite.  To end the experience, we were treated to an authentic Mayan lunch buffet that consisted of homemade traditional food and soft drinks. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that’s fun for all.

travel-alberca-zengrandThe luxury, hospitality, and beauty of the Grand Velas Riviera Maya is unparalleled. There is no place like it – it is truly heaven on earth. From the refreshing infinity pools to the constant hospitality, the staff at Grand Velas Riviera Maya goes above and beyond to ensure that each and every guest is treated with the highest level of respect and hospitality, making the experience one that can never be forgotten.  Are you ready to escape to infinite white sand beaches and the Mayan jungle of the Caribbean Coast? Grand Velas Riviera Maya is a true luxury all-inclusive resort and when you visit, there’s no question where you should book your experience. Grand Velas truly lives up to their motto, “Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare.” Don’t you think it’s time for you to experience what Mexico has to offer? For more information about visiting the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, visit their website today at