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Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Hotel Contact:
Carretera Cancun-Tulum Km. 62
Municipio de Solidaridad - Riviera Maya
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo 77710
Mexico
Main: +52 (984) 877-4400
Email: Email Hotel Jorge Meraz
Senior Sales Manager - Groups & Conventions: Jorge Meraz
Website: www.velasmeetingsmexico.com
Elite Rating
Planner Rating: 4.4
Chain Grupo Velas Hotels & Resorts
Opened 2008
Guest Rooms 539
Kings/Suites/Doubles 285 / 491 / 206
Room Rates High $599 - Low $450 -
High Season High Season Low Season Low Season Shoulder Season Shoulder Season
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Ideal Group Size 400
Max Group Size 700

Fees/Taxes

Resort Fee N/A
Room Tax 16%
Sales Tax N/A

view in meters
Meeting Space

Largest Meeting Room 16,760ft²
Indoor Meeting Space 32,118ft²
Indoor/Outdoor Meeting Space 93,000ft²

Airport Proximity

Cancun International Airport
35 min 40 miles (63 km)

Business:

Conference services
complimentary Wi-Fi
lighting equipment
high-tech screen system with integrated rear projection
videoconferencing
business center
simultaneous translation services.

Recreation:

Spa and fitness center
yoga
Pilates
personal trainers
scuba demonstrations
three pools
nonmotorized water sports
snorkeling
beach
pool and beach concierge
recreational activities program
teens’ club
kids’ clubs
24-hour personal concierge service
and a choice of eight venues for dining.

Nearby:

Golf; Playa del Carmen; the shops and nightlife of Cancún; Río Secreto
Xel-Há
and Xcaret eco-parks; Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve; and Tulum
Coba
and Uxmal Mayan archaeological sites.
Onsite Dining: Capacity
Azul, Chaka
167
International Cuisine
Bistro
146
French-inspired Cuisine
Cocina de Autor
50
Molecular Cuisine
Frida
120
Mexican Fine Dining
Lucca
167
Italian Cuisine
Piaf
120
French Cuisine
Sen Lin
202
Asian Fine Dining

F&B Averages:

Breakfast Buffet Included Cont. Included
Lunch Buffet Included Plated Included
Dinner Buffet Included Plated Included
Coffee Break $16 USD
2-Hour Open Bar Included
Elite Overview Planner Ratings & Reviews
Elite Rating Average Planner Rating
This property has been certified Elite Platinum and meets at least 25 of Elite Meetings Criteria.
This endorsement is an independent unbiased determination granted only to the hotels meeting the standards set by the Elite Meetings Advisory Board. Elite endorsement is never sold or licensed.
4.4
4 reviews
Arrival Experience:
4.0
Accommodations:
5.0
Food & Beverage:
4.5
Guest Service Experience:
4.5
Conference Services Staff:
4.3
Meeting and Function Facilities:
4.3
Activity or Recreation Options:
4.5
Planner-to-Planner Recommendation:
4.3
sort & print
view in meters
Capacity Charts
Room Name Total Square Meters Room Size(meters) Ceiling Height (meters) Total Square Feet Room Size (feet) Ceiling Height (feet) Classroom Theater Banquet 10 Reception Conference U-Shape H-Square 10 x 10s
1.GRAND VELAS BALLROOM 1,546 28.9 x 53.50 5 16,760 94.82x175.53 17 1,500 1,800 1,000 1,600 250 200 250 0
2. Velas 1-6 410 28.9 x 14.2 5 5,587 94.82 x 46.82 17 500 600 330 520 68 90 68 0
3. Velas 7-12 410 28.9 x 14.2 5 5,587 94.82 x 46.82 17 500 600 330 520 68 90 68 0
4. Velas 13-15 410 28.9 x 14.2 5 5,587 94.82 x 46.82 17 500 600 330 520 68 90 68 0
View Complete Chart
Property News
Mexico’s Velas Resorts Appoints Cynthia Kunz Head of First US-Based Group Sales Office
Posted August 22, 2018
Mexico’s Velas Resorts Announces New US-Based Group Sales Office; Kunz Appointed Global Sales Director - Meetings & Incentives
Mexico City, Mexico (August 21, 2018) -- With world-class meeting venues in Los Cabos, Vallarta – Nayarit and Riviera Maya, Mexico’s Velas Resorts announces it has opened its first US-based group sales office. Spearheading meeting and incentive bookings for all five company resorts, the office in Southern California is headed up by Cynthia Kunz as new Global Sales Director - Meetings & Incentives.

“Cynthia has the expertise, creative talent and vision to lead the first US-based Velas Resorts Meetings & Incentives Headquarters,” says Jorge Meraz, Director of Cluster Group Sales – International. “Its primary goal is to provide clients with exceptional meetings and events solutions that efficiently achieve business objectives while providing the unique experiences and unmatched level of service that only the Velas Brand can provide.”

Prior to joining Velas Resorts, Kunz most recently served at Sales Vice-President & Partner of Incentive Travel Solutions.

Velas Resorts consists of Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta and the Grand Velas Resorts in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit.

Velas Resorts has catered to MICE Industry needs for over 25 years with resorts that feature excellence in service, world-class hospitality, beautifully appointed accommodations, signature Luxury All-Inclusive, superb facilities and expansive Convention Centers. For more information on Velas Resorts Meetings or to make a reservation, please call 1-888-505-8399, email info@velasmeetingsmexico.com or visit http://velasmeetingsmexico.com/.


About Velas Resorts:

Offering unparalleled all-inclusive experiences, Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Los Cabos have earned 52 AAA Diamonds, including the prestigious Five Diamond Award. Other esteemed international awards for their services and facilities include Virtuoso’s “Best Spa,” Forbes’ “Coolest All-Inclusives,” Forbes’ Four Star Award, and TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame, among others. Properties include the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas in Los Cabos, with dramatic ocean views and unique spaces infusing every area of the resort; AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, which enjoys a privileged natural setting with flowering, landscaped gardens beside a long stretch of pristine beach and a dramatic backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains; and AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, offering a sophisticated all-inclusive resort experience in the Caribbean with jungle and beach settings. In Puerto Vallarta, Casa Velas is a boutique adults-only hotel and ocean club located on the Marina Vallarta Golf Course, and Velas Vallarta, a family-friendly all suites resort and spa located on Banderas Bay. Velas Resorts feature spacious accommodations, spas, a unique culinary experience at a selection of restaurants, 24-hour in suite service, fitness centers, personal concierge service, wedding inspections for couples, state of the art conference centers, extensive family programs, fully stocked mini bar and more. Eduardo Vela Ruiz, founder and president of Velas Resorts, operates Velas Resorts with brother Juan Vela, vice president of Velas Resorts, by his side. For more information on Velas Resorts Meetings or to make a reservation, please call 1-888-505-8399, email info@velasmeetingsmexico.com or visit http://velasmeetingsmexico.com/.
New Cellphone Concierge for Groups at Mexico’s Velas Resorts
Posted June 27, 2017

In consideration of perpetually-connected executives, Mexico’s Velas Resorts now offer Cellphone Concierge services for meeting and convention attendees. The “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” service allows execs to leave their phone with a professional concierge, who filters incoming calls and messages, only alerting execs when there’s an urgent matter. Prior to scheduled meetings, executives will be asked to specify which calls must be answered and which email contacts their personal concierge should respond to in a timely manner. The service is ideal for multitasking pros that want to focus on their conferences in a world where it can be difficult to disconnect from technology. The service is available at Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta and the Grand Velas Resorts in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit.
Offering unparalleled all-inclusive experiences for meetings and incentives, Velas Resorts offer spacious luxury accommodations, world-class spas, a la carte gourmet cuisine at a selection of specialty restaurants, and an indefinable hospitality experience. For more information on Velas Resorts Meetings or to make a reservation, please call 1-888-505-8399 or visit http://www.velasmeetingsmexico.com.
About Velas Resorts:
Offering unparalleled all-inclusive experiences, Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit and Los Cabos have earned more than 43 AAA Diamonds, including the prestigious Five Diamond Award. Other esteemed international awards for their services and facilities include Virtuoso’s “Best Spa,” Condé Nast Johansens’ “Most Excellent Resort” and “Most Excellent Spa Hotel” and the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ 5 Star Diamond Award. Properties include Casa Velas, a boutique adults-only hotel and ocean club located on the Marina Vallarta Golf Course, and Velas Vallarta, a family-friendly all suites resort and spa located on Banderas Bay, both in Puerto Vallarta; the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Grand Velas Riviera Maya, located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, offering the most sophisticated, ultra luxury all-inclusive resort experience in the Caribbean with jungle and beach settings. The new Grand Velas Los Cabos on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula offers the next generation of all-inclusive amenities and facilities with dramatic ocean views and unique spaces infusing every area of the resort. Velas Resorts feature spacious accommodations, spas, a unique culinary experience at a selection of restaurants, 24-hour in suite service, fitness centers, personal concierge service, state of the art conference centers, extensive family programs, fully stocked mini bar and more. Eduardo Vela Ruiz, owner, founder and president of Velas Resorts operate Velas Resorts with brother Juan Vela by his side, vice president of Velas Resorts. For more information on Velas Resorts, please call 1-888-407-4869, email reservations@velasresorts.com or visit http://www.velasresorts.com.
PRE-HISPANIC NIGHT TAKES GUESTS ON AUTHENTIC EPICUREAN JOURNEY AT GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
Posted May 31, 2017
Riviera Maya, Mexico (May 31, 2017) — Every week, Pre-Hispanic Night at Grand Velas Riviera Maya takes resort guests on a Mexican dinner journey complete with an authentic music show of the Mayan life story. The one-hour show begins with a taste of the pre-Hispanic Mayan gastronomy, inclusive of such menu highlights as Cochinita Pibil, Deer al Tzic (venison cooked with regional vegetables) and Relleno Negro (a typical Yucatecan dish which in many villages still have the tradition of burning several types of chiles to get the black stuffing). The dinner is followed by a 6-man music show using instruments of the era, including drums, logs, woods, snails and wind pieces. The final part of the pre-Hispanic journey is a live narrated show depicting the Mayan life story, depicting the people's value of life and death and close connection with all living beings and nature. The Pre-Hispanic Night dinner and show is part of the resort's nightly rate.

Rates start at $393 per person per night based on double occupancy and include luxury suite accommodations, à la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. For more reservations or more information on Grand Velas Riviera Maya, please email reservations@velasresorts.com, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/.

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances in this Leading Hotel of the World, including adults-only oceanfront, family friendly ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula's jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Grand Velas Spa, a Leading Spa of the World, is the region's largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids Clubs and Teen's Club; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide. This year, the resort entered TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years in addition to the Signature Spa being awarded "Best Luxury Resort Spa-The Americas" at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2014. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, owner, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts. For more or more information on Grand Velas Riviera Maya, please visit www.rivieramaya.grandvelas.com.
Five Top Leaders in New Tendencies in Mexican Culinary Art Come Together October 5 – 9, At Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Posted August 6, 2016
Zahie Téllez, Carlos Gaytan, Francisco Ruano, and Mikel Alonso Team Up with Host Chef Ricardo de la Vega at Frida Restaurant
Five of the best Mexican chefs known internationally for their trend setting culinary art will highlight the best of the new tendencies in high Mexican cuisine with the Best of Mexico Riviera Maya. The event will be held from October 5 to 9 at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya.

The exclusive resort invited the prestigious chefs including Zahie Téllez, Carlos Gaytan, Francisco Ruano, and Mikel Alonso to share their creativity, talent and passion for Mexican cuisine through this gastronomic event. The event is a 10-course tasting menu, original dishes featuring ingredients and seasonings from all of Mexico. The special tasting menu will be offered over the four nights, and is included in the daily rate for all guests of this top all-inclusive resort.

“We want our guests to take with them an unforgettable memory of Mexico through the best of its gastronomy,” said Rodolfo González Munguía, Managing Director of Grand Velas Riviera Maya. “The gastronomic event is yet another part of our resort's commitment to maintaining the highest quality standards, creating unique experiences and adding value for guests. It complements what we call our international culinary tour as we feature cuisines of the world in our Grand Velas gourmet restaurants where guests can dine at no additional charge,” he added.

The hosts of the event, Chef Ricardo de la Vega of Frida, awarded Four Diamonds by AAA, and Executive Chef of the resort, Michel Mustière, Maître Cuisinier de France, added that the Best of Mexico Riviera Maya was designed to promote the richness of Mexican cuisine through its leading exponents and the use of ingredients, colors and seasonings typical of the different regions of Mexico.

Holding a total of 18 Diamonds by AAA, Grand Velas Riviera Maya has set new standards in the All Inclusive World with food, creativity and presentation comparable to top restaurants in world capitals. In addition to Frida’s Four and the resort’s Five, its Cocina de Autor restaurant is the only restaurant in the world that’s part of an All-Inclusive to hold the AAA Five Diamond Award. The resort’s French restaurant Piaf also holds Four Diamonds.
Frida, named in honor of the famous Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, offers high Mexican cuisine in an atmosphere at once contemporary and relaxing. It has been honored as one of the 50 Best Restaurants in Mexico, featured on the Gourmand of BBVA Bancomer list. Chef Alejandro Heredia recognized as the best Mexican chef of the 20th century, will be named ambassador of Frida restaurant during this gastronomic event.

About the Chefs
With an insatiable curiosity and a passion to create new dishes, Zahie Téllez transmits her energy and joy of cooking at every step. She produces culinary experiences inspired by her background with Mexican and Italian cuisine and enriched by her Lebanese and Mazatec roots and practical studies in many cuisines of the world. She has participated in six seasons of the leading TV show El Gourmet. Besides giving classes, she has participated in gastronomic festivals in India and Italy and is a Brewery Master Sommelier. Zahie is also the owner of the successful restaurant Jose Guadalupe Platos de Cuchara that promotes Mexican cuisine with a modern touch and great quality.

The culinary voyage of Chef Carlos Gaytan, originally from Guerrero, has been marked by hard work, persistence and dedication. His talent and passion for cuisine has taken him to leading hotels and restaurants and to work together with renowned chefs like Michael Garbin and Dominique Tougne. A former contestant on BRAVO’s Top Chef, in 2011, he was named the chef of the year by the American Culinary Federation. His restaurant Mexique is known as one of the best in Chicago, with a Michelin star and awards from Michelin Bib Gourmand among others. With great creativity, love and dedication he has succeeded in creating a revolution in Mexican gastronomy, applying his knowledge of French cuisine yet rooted in traditional Mexican cuisine.

Francisco ‘Paco’ Ruano became interested in gastronomy thanks to his mother’s and grandmother’s teachings. Encouraged by Mikel Alonso and Pablo San Roman, he studied in the Spanish Basque Country at the Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar. Upon completion, in Europe, he worked in some of the best restaurants in the world, including Mugaritz and El Celler de Can Roca in Spain and Noma in Denmark where he met Jorge Vallejo with whom he worked upon returning to Mexico, in Quintonil. In 2013, he opened Alcalde restaurant, considered the best in Guadalajara for its unpretentious updated Mexican cuisine.

Originally from Biarritz, France, Mikel Alonsostudied in the Escuela de Cocina Luis Irizar and began his career in restaurants in Spain under the likes of the famed Chef Arzak of Northern Spain. In Mexico, he has been executive chef of numerous prestigious restaurants, docent of the Universidad del Claustro de Sor Juana, advisor at special events, and speaker and lecturer at leading gastronomic events. Ten years ago he opened Biko restaurant which has consistently been named among The World's 50 Best Restaurants. Mikel alongside Bruno Oteiza create the singular menu at Grand Velas’ Cocina de Autor, the first all-inclusive restaurant to earn Five Diamonds from AAA. Upon opening the restaurant was also named one of the "100 Best New Food & Drink Experiences" in the entire world by Food & Wine.

Born in Mexico City, Chef Ricardo de la Vega began his gastronomic adventure in the city of his birth. His passion for the culinary arts has taken him to leading hotels and restaurants in Puebla, Oaxaca, Yucatan and Quintana Roo. As executive chef of Frida in Grand Velas Riviera Maya, he has focused on exploring in depth the culinary riches of Mexico. The diversity of its ingredients and different preparations to give diners an unforgettable culinary experience with a modern touch without losing the traditional essence.
Being one of the main attractions of Velas Resorts, the culinary experience that these resort seek to provide, become an unforgettable part of every business or pleasure trip to each of their properties.


Maitre Cuisinier de France Michel Mustiere - Executive Chef
Posted September 21, 2015
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Riviera Maya, Mexico (September 9, 2015) – The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Caribbean Coast has appointed Maître Cuisinier de France Michel Mustiere as Executive Chef, effective immediately. Mustiere brings with him more than 25 years of culinary experience in various countries and different prestigious restaurants and hotels worldwide. Formerly Executive Chef of the resort’s award-winning French restaurant, Mustiere is one of only seven chefs in Mexico, 300 in the world to attain the prestigious Master Chef title.

“Grand Velas resorts have earned a much deserved reputation for culinary excellence. I’ve been privileged to have studied and worked with two of the world’s cuisines designated part of UNESCO’s cultural heritage, French and Mexican. I look forward to applying this knowledge and my passion to bring the restaurants and bars at Grand Velas Riviera Maya to even greater heights with new food experiences and events,” said Mustiere.

In October, Chef Michel will be joined by three other Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, Chefs Christian Têtedoie, Claude Le-Tohic and Claude Godard, to present a Best of France Riviera Maya dining experience at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Sharing a kitchen, restaurant and passion for creating an amazing culinary experience, the chefs will each prepare different dishes of the 10-course dinner with wine pairing to be served October 14-18th each evening in the resort’s Piaf restaurant.

Chef Mustiere is an active member of Chaîne des Rôtisseurs and Culinaire de France Academy.
MEXICO´S VELAS RESORTS RECEIVE A TRIPLE CROWN OF AAA FIVE DIAMOND AWARDS IN 2015
Posted February 21, 2015
"Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare" Mexico Resorts Recognized Among World's Most Elite Accommodations & Restaurants
TORONTO (February 20, 2015) - In 2015, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, its signature fine-dining restaurant Cocina de Autor, and Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit once again were awarded American Automobile Association's (AAA) Five Diamond Award for excellence in quality and service. Casa Velas, the Grand Velas Resorts' sister property, is the recipient of the AAA Four Diamond Award, which brings the number of Velas Resorts' AAA Diamonds to 43.
For the second consecutive year, Cocina de Autor at Grand Velas Riviera Maya is only restaurant included in an all-inclusive resort to receive the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for restaurants in 100 years of AAA. Its chefs, Bruno Oteiza and Mike Alonso, are disciples of the famed Chef Arzak of Northern Spain. In addition, several other restaurants at Velas Resorts have received a AAA Four Diamond Award, including Casa Velas' Emiliano which received the distinction for the first time this year.
"With such high standards set by AAA, it is an honor that they have chosen our resorts and restaurants to receive these awards yet again. It is our number one priority to make sure we live up to these same standards each and every day to ensure our guests receive the highest level of service and dining options," said Eduardo Vela, founder and president of Velas Resorts.
Each year AAA reviews more than 28,000 lodgings and nearly 30,000 restaurants. Less than one-half of one percent of lodgings and less than a quarter of restaurants make the AAA Five Diamond list.

For Groups & Conventions information or to make a Group Reservation, please call 1 866 602 5565 or visit www.velasmeetingsmexico.com.mx
Kevin Spacey in Tianguis Turístico 2014
Posted May 10, 2014
Academy award-winning actor Kevin Spacey was a presenter at Mexico’s 2014 Tianguis Turístico or Tourism Fair.

The actor shared his incredible path to stardom in the Lákam Center in Cancun, describing his experiences working in television and film.

The conference began at one in the afternoon with approximately 250 people in attendance. Roberto Borge Angulo, governor of the state of Quintana Roo, received the actor with a collection of books about the region as a welcome gift.

The actor stated that it was his first time in Cancun and Playa del Carmen and that the beauty of the area was astonishing. He went on to compliment the hospitality of the people, which he experienced during his stay at AAA Five Diamond Resort Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Kevin Spacey enjoyed the resort’s luxurious Grand Class Ambiance on the night of May 6th. The next morning the resort hosted a number of national and international media interviews with Mr. Spacey.

Velas Resorts President Eduardo Vela Ruiz and Vice President Juan Vela were honored by the Hollywood celebrity’s visit and took the opportunity to personally welcome him to Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
New SHARE Voluntourism Programs Offered for Groups at Grand Velas Resorts
Posted April 21, 2014
The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit announce new voluntourism offerings for groups visiting the properties, ranging from assembling and donating bicycles, and painting benches or classrooms at local primary schools to planting and irrigating seeds in local parks. Part of the resorts' new SHARE Program, the voluntourism packages allow corporate groups to contribute to the local community, plus share information about corporate social responsibility initiatives with other company members and various audiences through social media. A Grand Velas Social Media staff member documents important parts of the group's activities at the resort, and also accompanies the group to any offsite location to take photos as they volunteer in the community or participate in environmental conservation activities. The pictures are then shared on the company's social media pages to engage company employees, group attendees and other audiences.

At Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, groups can volunteer at local schools in the states of Nayarit or nearby Jalisco, and work on a number of activities including painting and restoring classrooms and other external areas, installing air conditioning systems and fans or setting up soccer fields and basketball courts. Guests can also plant palm trees and other garden plants to help create a greener and healthier community, or bring clothing, shoes or toys to local schools that groups pack prior to arrival specifically to donate.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers a number of packages focusing on environmental preservation and in conjunction with the Association of Flora, Fauna and Culture of Mexico. Groups can participate in the reforestation of primary schools in the municipalities of Solidaridad, Akumal and Tulum, which involves the planting and irrigation of seeds, guided by landscapers to instruct and assist the group. They can also participate in improving La Ceiva Park in Playa del Carmen, which includes all aspects of maintaining the park such as painting, cleaning up and setting up different facilities.

For more information on meetings at Grand Velas Resorts, please call 1-888-505-8399, email info@velasmeetingsmexico.com or visit the resorts' dedicated meetings website, http://www.velasmeetingsmexico.com.
Caribbean’s Surprising All-Inclusives
Posted March 1, 2014
A compilation of the most amazing All-Inclusive hotels in the Caribbean prepared by Islands Magazine, which recommends the best places to travel, live and vacation on islands around the world.
Gold List of World’s Best Places to Stay – The Americas
Posted February 15, 2014
Condé Nast Traveler
This specialized Condé Nast Traveler lists recommends the world's best hotels. The magazine was founded in 1987. Published in the United States, it is one of the leading international guidebooks.
Travel + Leisure Magazine
Posted February 1, 2014
Gourmet Awards
Travel + Leisure Magazine recognized the best hotels in Mexico in the 3rd edition of its Gourmet Awards. Cocina de Autor at Grand Velas Riviera Maya took first place in the category of "Best Hotel Restaurant".
Grand Velas Riviera Maya and Cocina de Autor Once Again Celebrate Their AAA Five Diamond Win
Posted January 21, 2014
Playa del Carmen, Mexico - January 21, 2013 - For the fourth consecutive year since opening in 2008, Grand Velas Riviera Maya was awarded American Automobile Association's (AAA) Five Diamond Award for lodging, an award for excellence in quality and service. According to the AAA website, each year AAA reviews more than 30,000 lodgings, while less than one-third of one percent make the AAA Five Diamond list.

Marking its fifth anniversary in the presence of special invited guests and the media, Grand Velas Riviera Maya also celebrated receiving the prestigious AAA Five Diamond Award for restaurants for Cocina de Autor, the only restaurant of an all-inclusive to receive the award in 100 years of AAA. Cocina De Autor Chefs Bruno Oteiza and Mike Alonso are disciples of the famed Chef Arzak of Northern Spain.

"It's with great pleasure we receive these awards, as there are few hotels and restaurants in the world who enjoy this honor. We have made a commitment to ensure we will deliver the quality and service which made these awards possible for many, many years to come," said Fernando Garcia Rossette, Managing Director of the exclusive resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen on Mexico's Caribbean Coast.

At a ceremony attended by Mexico's State Secretary of Tourism, Laura Fernandez and Director of the Riviera Maya Tourist Board, Dario Flota, Regional Manager of AAA, Tony Perrone congratulated Grand Velas Riviera Maya for this important honor and added that Quintana Roo, together with New York and Las Vegas, have become the three cities in the world with the most number of hotels with Five Diamonds, no fewer than eight each.

The representative of AAA highlighted that approximately 25 percent of the adult population in the United States and Canada, namely 65 million people, are members of AAA "which demonstrates the trust and credibility that our affiliates have in the news, recommendations and recognitions of quality that we bestow worldwide".

To celebrate this important event, Garcia Rossette invited a group of distinguished friends, destination management companies, hotel executives and media to a dinner with Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso. Together with Xavier Perez Stone, they created a menú celebrating the delicacies of the Basque country incorporating flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine.

In just five years of operation, Grand Velas Riviera Maya has obtained major recognition including being part of the exclusive Leading Hotels of the World and The Leading Spas of the World, inclusión in Virtuoso's prestigious list, and numerous awards by top travel and luxury lifestyle magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure.

With these Five Diamonds of AAA, Grand Velas Riviera Maya, a proudly Mexican resort with 491 suites, begins 2014 reaffirming its tourism excellence and position as one of the best in the world for its luxury, comfort, hospitality, sophisticated gastronomy and spectacular spa. Grand Velas Riviera Maya's sister resort, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, is also the recipient of the AAA Five Diamond Award for lodging.

For more reservations or more information on Grand Velas Riviera Maya, please email reservations@velasresorts.com, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit http://rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/.

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Featured in Forbes' roundup of the 10 Coolest All-Inclusive Resorts, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, is also home to Cocina De Autor, the first restaurant of any all-inclusive resort to receive the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award for restaurants. The all-suites and spa resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, is the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience. This Leading Hotels of the World designated resort is the preeminent one of its class boasting 491 suites, each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances-- premium ocean-front Grand Class Suites with terrace plunge pools for adults and families with children 12 and up, family-friendly ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Zen Grand Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula's jungle. The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest, and the region's largest spa sanctuary at over 89,000 square-feet specializing in signature treatments inspired by ancient cultures from around the world. The spa was named "Best Spa" in the world by Virtuoso and also earned a SpaFinder Readers' Choice Award. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of Yucatan cultures.
The Best for 2014 – No. 1 Editor’s Picks for Best All Inclusive
Posted January 1, 2014
Islands Magazine published its list of the Best All-Inclusive Resorts for 2014, selected by one of its editors. Grand Velas Riviera Maya achieved the No. 1 spot on this important compendium.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya Receives 3rd Consecutive AAA Five Diamond Award
Posted January 11, 2013
Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare" Resort Selected Among Top Resorts by American Automobile Association
Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, México (January 11, 2013) – For the third consecutive year since opening in 2008, Grand Velas Riviera Maya was awarded American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Five Diamond Award for lodging. The exclusive resort obtained the maximum award of tourism excellence, given by the prestigious AAA to only 120 hotels among 60,000 properties judged to be of world class level.

Tony Perrone, Regional Manager Travel at AAA, predicted that this year will see a growth in North American tourism to Mexico and especially to the Riviera Maya, attracted by top luxury hotels like Velas Resorts.

“It’s an honor and privilege to recognize the notable success of Grand Velas Riviera Maya that continues to set the standard for the most luxurious vacation experience,” said Perrone on giving the AAA Five Diamond Award to Fernando Garcia Rossette, Managing Director of the exclusive resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen in the Mexican Caribbean coast.

In a ceremony celebrated with special guests and directors of Grand Velas, Perrone reiterated that to win this distinction isn’t easy. “With the extraordinary vision of the Velas family, they have built a property that exceeds the expectations of the most demanding visitors in terms of size of the suites, luxury, architecture, finishes, service and comfort,” said Perrone, who also cited the training of staff and great quality of the restaurants that rival any of the best restaurants in North America.

AAA has inspectors trained to evaluate everything from the guest’s point of view, from the moment a reservation is made, the friendliness and professionalism of the personnel, to the beauty and quality of service among other aspects. Inspectors visit anonymously.

“The future is brilliant for tourism to Mexico. In recent surveys of AAA, 53 million members that represent 25% of the population of the US and Canada reveal that almost 40% of our members will travel with a passport which means many will travel outside of the United States,” he concluded.

For more information or reservations, please call 1-877-418-2963 or visit http://www.rivieramaya.grandvelas.com.
Grand Velas Resorts Receive AAA Five Diamond Again in 2011
Posted January 16, 2012
Beyond All Inclusive, Beyond All Compare' Resort Selected Among Top Resorts by American Automobile Association
Playa del Carmen, Mexico (January 16, 2012) – Grand Velas Riviera Maya was awarded American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Five Diamond Award for lodging for its second consecutive year. Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s 1sister resort on the pacific coast of Mexico, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, also received the Five Diamond Award in 2011 for its sixth consecutive year.

“Grand Velas Riviera Maya is setting the new 5 diamond standard throughout the industry for years to come,” said Tony Perrone, Regional Manager Travel at AAA. “We call it the ‘WOW’ factor… not only in their service and staff which is one of the best but also a leader in room décor, room size and room amenities… [it’s] a true testament to the management, owners and particularly the entire staff.”

Every year more than 65 AAA/CAA tourism editors visit over 70,000 lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants and attractions throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Tourism editors conduct unannounced evaluations, scrutinizing such areas as cleanliness, ambiance, amenities and service. Only an estimated 0.25 percent of the estimated 60,000 properties will receive the Five Diamond Award and only 3.25 percent of the estimated 32,000 properties are awarded the AAA Four Diamond designation each year. AAA’s Diamond Rating System is the only rating system that covers the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean and is one of only two that conduct physical, on-site evaluations.

The Five Diamond is awarded to establishments that reflect the characteristics of the ultimate in luxury and sophistication from first class accommodations and extraordinary physical attributes to personalized services and amenities that enhance an unmatched level of comfort. The fundamental hallmarks at this level are to meticulously serve and exceed all guest expectations while maintaining an impeccable standard of excellence.

For more information or reservations, please visit http://www.rivieramaya.grandvelas.com/ or call 1-866-230-7221.

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
The AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, an all-suites and spa resort located five minutes from Playa del Carmen, is the latest and most sophisticated iteration of the ultra-luxury, all-inclusive resort experience. This Leading Hotels of the World designated resort is the preeminent one of its class boasting 491 suites, each more than 1,000 square-feet, in three separate ambiances-- premium ocean-front Grand Class Suites with terrace plunge pools for families with children 12 and up, family-friendly ocean-view Ambassador Suites and Zen Grand Suites embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. The resort presents a gastronomic tour of the Yucatan, Europe and Asia offering seven restaurants with world-class chefs from France, Spain and Mexico; dedicated butler service for each guest, and the region’s largest spa sanctuary at over 89,000 square-feet specializing in signature treatments inspired by ancient cultures from around the world. The spa was named “Best Spa" in the world by Virtuoso and also earned a SpaFinder Readers’ Choice Award. The resort was designed by lauded Mexican architecture firm Elias and Elias and features the sleek and modish interiors that fuse the serenity of the Caribbean with the vibrancy of Yucatan cultures.

About Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit:
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, an all-suites and spa resort located just 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay, is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and a recipient of the AAA Five-Diamond Award. The resort features 267 spacious ocean-view suites. The crown jewel of the resort and a member of Leading Spas of the World, the Spa at Grand Velas features 20 treatment rooms, over 60 spa treatments, gym and exercise room, spa boutique and beauty salon. The family-friendly resort also offers tiered three-temperature infinity pools, tennis court, 25,321 total sq feet of meeting space and a Kids Club. Nearby are championship golf courses, numerous options for soft adventure, and the charming town of Puerto Vallarta with its many shops, art galleries and nightlife.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya has been awarded 5 Diamonds by AAA
Posted February 3, 2011
Recently Grand Velas Riviera Maya was honored with the 5 Diamond award by AAA, in recognition of excellence, quality, hygiene, environment, amenities and service offered to guests.



Every year, more than 60 travel editors from this prestigious organization evaluate without previous notice thousands of tourist lodging options throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. The 5 Diamond rating is awarded to only 0.27% of the 60,000 properties assessed.



This award affirms Grand Velas Riviera Maya's position as one of the best resorts in Mexico and the entire continent, with its dazzling facilities and luxury suites, exquisite restaurants with internationally acclaimed chefs and a spectacular world class spa (winner of Virtuoso's Best Spa in the World award).



Grand Velas Riviera Maya

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Velas Resorts has now been awarded 26 Diamonds by AAA among its four properties in Mexico: Velas Vallarta, Casa Velas, Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit and Grand Velas Riviera Maya, placing them among the most sophisticated traveler's preferences and acknowledging the group's commitment to only offer the very best.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit's lavish suites have earned us a place on the exclusive Condé Nast Gold List for 2011 in the Best Rooms category. The complete list is created after compiling the votes of 25,000 readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine on their
Posted February 3, 2011
Every year from December to March, the waters of the Mexican Pacific are graced with the presence of one of the most enchanting marine mammals, the humpback whale.

Since the 16th and 17th centuries the area from San Blas to what is now Nuevo Vallarta was known as The Bay of the Humpback, due to its grand sighting of these beautiful creatures.

The whale season for this year officially starts on the 8th of December, according to the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT). The Secretary's office grants 200 special permits per year to recreational boats in the area, whose crews have been specially trained in responsible whale watching and to provide the best possible experience to those who go on whale-watching tours.

Groups of male whales can be found near Rincón de Guayabitos, showing themselves off and attempting to conquer a female by performing impressive leaps into the air to impress them. In the Bay of Banderas, mother whales teach their young to dive slowly and gracefully.

It is important to mention that in addition to the humpback whales, the area is visited by other species such as gray whales and orcas; with a little luck, one can see these marvelous animals as well.

Come to Velas Vallarta and take advantage of the perfect Whale Watching Package to enjoy this incredible natural show. Don't miss the opportunity to see these wonderful creatures!
Ecological Tour at Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Posted October 1, 2010
One of the various activity options available to guests at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, is the ecological tour guided by the recreational activities staff. This tour begins in the Master section Lobby that is immersed in the exuberant jungle. From here the tour follows the path to the resort entrance, through the zone known as "la casa de los alushes" or "house of the alushes", as the guides explain a bit about these mythological Mayan creatures as well as the flora and fauna of the zone. The tour continues to the entrance of one of the closest cenotes where information is shared about these incredible natural wells, and concludes with a visit to the plant nursery where guests can see many products growing that will be used in the preparation of the delicious cuisine at Grand Velas.

The ecological tour is offered Monday through Friday free of charge, and lasts about 1 hour. Space is limited, as the tour is done by golf cart, so don't forget to ask the Concierge about this fun and informative activity. Please feel free to write to: conciergemasterrm@grandvelas.com
Virtuoso | Best Spa Award to Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya
Posted August 24, 2010
Affirming its level of class, service and quality, Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya was chosen as the winner of the Best Spa Award, presented by the prestigious Virtuoso agency. This award recognizes the hotel spa that offers the most alluring environment for rest and rejuvenation, creative and therapeutic treatments, and highly skilled and knowledgeable therapists.

The honor was presented during Virtuoso's 22nd Annual Travel Mart Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The nominees for this category were the following spas:
Le Spa Metropole, Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi; The Spa at Grand Velas All-Suites & SPA Resort, Riviera Maya; The Spa at La Reserve Ramatuelle, France; The Anantara Spa at Kempinski Ishtar Dead Sea, Jordan; and To B. Wellbeing & Spa, Grand Hotel Quellenhoff & Spa Suites, Bad Ragaz, Switzerland
RIVIERA MAYA HOTELS RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR GOOD ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES
Posted May 4, 2010
*The Mesoamerican Reef Tourism Initiative (MARTI) granted recognition plaques to Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort and other lodging centers that reached high marks on environmental preservation
Riviera Maya, Q. Roo (April 29th, 2010) A group of Riviera Maya hotels led by Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, were recognized by The Mesoamerican Reef tourism Initiative (MARTI) for applying good environmental practices and promoting sustainable tourism in the Mexican Caribbean.

Recognition Plaques were granted to lodging centers that reached high marks on the preservation of the environment during the event for the Graduation of the Second Generation of MARTI Hotels with an Environmental Administration System (EAS), which took place in this exclusive resort, with the presence of the Riviera Maya Hotel Association and ecologic groups such as Amigos De Sian Ka´an (Sian Ka´an's Friends), Coral and International Conservation.
Constructed in an area of 85 hectares in the heart of the Riviera Maya, the 491 room, Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort reached an excellent grade of 97 per cent in the MARTI Program evaluation, thanks to its programs that promote the caring for the environment and the saving of natural resources.

This tourism development of great luxury has been distinguished for its great environmental contribution by applying a rigorous program for the conservation of mangroves and the reforestation of the area, with a sowing of over 15 thousand adult trees. An important part of their investment, estimated in 3 thousand 500 million pesos, was destined to preserve the natural richness of the area, with the reconstruction of the coastal dune, beach regeneration, cistern construction, water treatment plant operation, and equipment for the generation of electric energy and drinking water.

The mission of the MARTI initiative is to conserve the natural heritage of this reef system, its biodiversity, and to demonstrate that human societies can coexist and develop in harmony with nature.
The Good Environmental Practices Program and the Environmental Administration System (EAS), form a component of the MARTI initiative that seeks to involve sustainability in the daily operation of hotels, providing economic, environmental and social benefits.

It is worth mentioning that the Mesoamerican Reef is the largest reef system in the Atlantic Ocean, and the second largest worldwide. With a length of over 643 kilometers, it extends from the Yucatan Peninsula in the South of Mexico, passing through Belize, Guatemala, and reaching Honduras. The crystal clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean are home to over 60 kinds of coral and 500 species of fish, amongst which you can find: Caribbean lobster, pink snail; Tabasco, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles; dolphins and whale sharks.