For 12 years our youngsters went to the identical faculty – a mixed elementary and center faculty in California – and we totally took benefit of their faculty breaks. Our two oldest children are actually in highschool although, and sadly they attend a faculty with a distinct break schedule: my youngest daughter has per week off in February and one in April, and the opposite two get two weeks in March. Ugh!
For her April break my daughter needed to go someplace sunny and heat, however she additionally didn’t really feel like maxing out the break – she needed to calm down at residence for a day or two earlier than touring, after which get again at the least a full day earlier than courses resumed. That meant we would have liked to journey someplace shut. And provided that I’ve a spreadsheet of a number of dozen issues I nonetheless must plan/guide for our journeys to Europe and Africa this summer season, I wanted a easy journey – e.g. no coordinating lodges, meals, a rental automobile or actions.
An all-inclusive resort made sense from a simplicity perspective. Nevertheless, we’ve had adverse experiences at all-inclusives earlier than. There was the resort that began taking part in loud music on the pool proper outdoors our room at 8am day by day, with method too many partying school college students. There was the resort the place we weren’t capable of get reservations on the higher eating places so we had been caught on the mediocre buffet for all meals. And there was the Michelin-starred restaurant at a resort that sure, served excellent meals for 12+ programs, however the programs had been so small we would have liked to go get an actual meal as quickly as dinner was over – souring me on the resort and on the Michelin score system on the similar time. I didn’t plan on reserving one other all-inclusive resort, however this trip referred to as for one, and I had seen a number of buddies posting on Instagram about Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. Once I DMed them for the actual story, every good friend assured me that the reward of their posts wasn’t overstated – that it was a resort that will make me consider within the all-inclusive idea once more. Plus, Puerto Vallarta is a simple continuous flight from LA.
Touring to Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
So I booked 4 nights! We flew from LA to Puerto Vallarta, arriving 20 minutes early. We cleared immigration in below two minutes, had our checked bag a couple of minutes later, headed by means of customs after which discovered the VIP transportation desk (the resort booked transfers for us). The VIP rep put us in a taxi and we had been on the resort possibly 20 minutes later. It couldn’t have been simpler.
On the resort the bell workers took our baggage and my daughter and I sat down within the foyer to examine in. We had been rapidly introduced drinks (a margarita for me, a hibiscus water for her), after which a masseuse came to visit and gave me a five-minute head and shoulder therapeutic massage. It felt wonderful after the flight – the primary time I’ve had that check-in expertise wherever.
All rooms on the resort are suites. We had been on the eighth flooring in room 840 – an Ocean View Parlor Suite. We had a balcony overlooking the pool, seaside and sundown, a essential sitting space with a sofa, desk and television and a separate bed room with two queen-size beds. I beloved the balcony, with two benches, two chairs and a desk – an amazing place to calm down within the afternoon between the pool and dinner.
We had a fridge stocked with soda and beer, in addition to mezcal, wine and snacks. Every little thing is included, and something we consumed was changed each afternoon.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Actions
On daily basis our concierge despatched us the day by day exercise schedule, which included issues like yoga, a motorbike tour, seaside and pool volleyball, aqua aerobics, soccer and dodgeball. We did nearly none of it! For us the holiday was all in regards to the pool and seaside. Every day we stood within the pool on the infinity edge above the seaside and watched seaside volleyball – so others had been undoubtedly making the most of the actions. We had been completely satisfied being in rest mode.
The resort was principally full the week we had been there, however it by no means felt crowded. A number of individuals annoyingly saved chairs early within the morning, regardless of placards on the chairs asking them not to do this, however we had been nonetheless capable of get shaded chairs at any time when we needed them.
One morning I received a therapeutic massage on the spa. It began with a 60-minute water journey, which had seven stops/stations. I started within the sauna, then scrubbed down with ice, after which moved to the steam room earlier than alternating amongst a number of cold and warm swimming pools – all led by a spa attendant. Then got here the 80-minute Grand Cora therapeutic massage, which was glorious. There have been sound, scent and strain parts that I’ve by no means skilled earlier than, which elevated every thing past a standard resort spa expertise.
The Youngsters Membership and Teenagers Membership
I traveled with a 12-year-old, which is an ungainly age at lodges, since she felt too outdated for the youngsters membership (technically ages 4-12) and too younger for the teenagers membership (13-16). We subsequently didn’t spend time at both, though we peeked into each golf equipment simply in case my daughter noticed one thing that her. The overwhelming majority of visitors throughout our mid-April go to had been households – quite a bit with younger children and quite a bit with teenagers. The busiest child exercise we noticed was the dinner/cinema each night time. Different children membership actions included portray, piñata making, sports activities, video games, pool time, picnic events and video video games. There was a distinct schedule day by day. The kids membership actions included lots of sports activities (volleyball, kayaking, biking, soccer, basketball, ping pong) they usually had DJs and karaoke at night time.
On condition that we had by no means been to Puerto Vallarta, we needed to enter town for a day. We selected to go on Thursday – midway by means of our journey – with out trying on the cruise schedule. There have been two massive ships on the town which meant much more day trippers. Be taught from our mistake: examine a cruise arrival schedule like this one earlier than you go into city.
We took a taxi from the resort to the beginning of the Malecon – Puerto Vallarta’s 1.5km lengthy boardwalk. We walked alongside the boardwalk for some time earlier than zigzagging previous the principle church to the outdated city, after which wandered across the seaside a little bit extra, headed over to the Isla Cuale Flea Market, after which lastly walked to lunch at Maria Baja earlier than taking a taxi again to the resort. FYI, each taxis had been US$20. The experience into city took half-hour and the experience again took 40 minutes.
We loved our day in Puerto Vallarta. The recommendation we received was if you happen to’re within the seaside or browsing, go to Sayulita. If you wish to store and dine very well for a day, go to Puerto Vallarta. There are lots of touristy t-shirt outlets/stands, however there are additionally extra fascinating areas if you happen to discover a little bit. Maria Baja for lunch was glorious – extremely really useful.
We made dinner reservations (see beneath) each night time at 6:30 so we may very well be completed by 7:45 or so and be on the seaside/pool for sundown (roughly 8:15pm in mid-April). It was my favourite time of the day! Each night time was totally different – some evenings had wonderful clouds, some had wonderful mild, and a few had each. We walked across the pool (wonderful reflections!) and up and down the seaside, took footage, and often ended up at pool chairs the place we relaxed till it was darkish. In the event you’re a fan of nice sunsets, don’t guide dinner reservations that overlap!
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – The Meals
My buddies didn’t steer us unsuitable – the meals at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit was quite a bit higher than I’ve had at some other all-inclusive resort. Breakfast day by day was at Azul on the seaside – at all times some Mexican dishes, American breakfast staples like eggs, bacon, pancakes and waffles, an omelet bar, and lots of fruit and pastries. We ate lunch both on the pool or on the pool snack bar. The chair service and snack bar have the identical menu, with actually good taco choices in addition to ceviches, salads, sandwiches, burgers, quesadillas and burritos. It sometimes took 10 minutes or so to get our orders. There was additionally a grill arrange poolside with scorching canine, hamburgers and rooster nuggets if you happen to needed a fair quicker choice.
We had been on the resort 4 nights, so we booked reservations at their 4 essential eating places: Frida (Mexican); Lucca (Italian); Sen Lin (Asian Fusion); and Piaf (French). All had been excellent. Our meal at Frida was probably the greatest meals I’ve ever had. After we return I’d be tempted to solely guide dinners there, though I do not know if that’s allowed? 🙂 I’d rank them 1) Frida 2) Lucca 3) Sen Lin 4) Piaf. My daughter although completely beloved Piaf and didn’t like her meal at Frida as a lot, so she’d rank them 1) Piaf 2) Lucca 3) Sen Lin 4) Frida. Each of our meals at Sen Lin had been marked as scorching/spicy they usually had been VERY spicy, so watch out.
As of our April 2022 journey, the US was nonetheless requiring covid assessments for re-entry. The resort offered testing at no further cost. We did our assessments in a primary flooring room at 10:30am the day earlier than our departure. We had our adverse take a look at outcomes by 3:30pm.
Departure from Puerto Vallarta
Our flight again to LA was at 4:08pm. Simply to be protected we left the room at 1pm, checked out of the resort and took a taxi to the airport. Since I had already uploaded our Covid outcomes to American Airways’ system, examine in was quick and we had been at our gate by 2pm – very early. I don’t need to inform anybody to not arrive on the airport early, however we simply might have spent one other hour on the resort.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit – Abstract
This was an amazing journey – stress-free and enjoyable. One of the best factor we did was to make our dinner reservations each night time so we’d end in time for sundown. We completely beloved that hour after dinner each night time.
4 nights weren’t sufficient. I want we had booked 5 or 6 nights – we might have gone into Sayulita for a day, and I might have gotten one other therapeutic massage. And I beloved spending time with my daughter. I didn’t need our journey to finish.
One factor I discussed on Instagram that’s price repeating right here: there have been nearly no bugs. I’m certain it’s worse within the wet season, however we solely noticed a number of bugs all the journey, and I believe my daughter was solely bitten as soon as. Often she’s a magnet for bites and former holidays have been depressing for her.
The one negatives: It will be good if Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit had day by day shuttles to/from Puerto Vallarta and Sayulita. Perhaps most visitors don’t need to depart the resort, however I at all times wish to discover wherever we’re. And there weren’t lots of open shops in our suite. To cost my laptop computer and our telephones and energy banks, we had to make use of one outlet by the beds and two within the lavatory. It was a juggling act at instances.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is without doubt one of the nicest luxurious all inclusive resorts in Mexico and it’s priced accordingly. Nightly charges for one grownup and one little one begin at US$801, or $1,229 for a household of 4, together with taxes and all meals. It’s increased throughout peak instances – particularly over Christmas. My therapeutic massage was $249. I obtained a reduced media fee with no expectation of optimistic protection.
Journey Well being Insurance coverage
My main worry this journey was testing optimistic for Covid. I usually wouldn’t thoughts remaining in Mexico for an additional week, besides it could be boring isolating in a resort room, it could be costly (assuming we might stay at Grand Velas), and my daughter wanted to get again for college. After our costly damaged knee incident a number of months in the past, we bought an annual journey medical insurance coverage by means of G1G, so we’d have been lined if we had been caught – and my daughter might have been capable of attend faculty on-line? Anyway, I extremely suggest trying right into a journey well being coverage earlier than your subsequent journey.