An Oceanside Oasis in Nuevo Vallarta
by Patricia Mack
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Hotel Review
When you arrive at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, it is impossible to simply step from your car and walk into the lobby. One must first stop and gasp at the art and beauty of the architecture and décor that so skillfully strike a balance between modern and traditional Mexican.
At this breathtakingly beautiful all-inclusive resort located on the beach overlooking the Bay of Banderas in Nuevo Vallarta, there is air and light, water and sky. The eye drifts past the cozy grouped seating areas to a dazzling three-tiered infinity pool with azure water to match the blue of the sea it seems to meet. Designed by the Mexican architectural firm of Elias & Elias, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit's splendor has purpose, from its dramatic curves to its pathways and plantings to its balconies laden with flowers. Every suite terrace faces the ocean, and every guest can hear the sound of waves crashing gently on the beach.
Located just twenty minutes from Puerto Vallarta on Mexico's Pacific Coast, this 267-room, all-suites and spa resort is part of the Wyndham Worldwide group, which allows its members to exchange time shares at its luxury properties around the world. This means you will find guests on vacation exchange as well as traditional travelers, all of whom can enjoy an extraordinarily long list of amenities and facilities.
The handsome master suites are roomy at 1,000 square feet and feature open sleeping areas. Their private terraces are perfect for enjoying sea breezes off bay. The bathrooms come with luxury appointments such as Jacuzzis, and the sitting areas have 42-inch flat-screen TVs with premium cable channels and movies. Also measuring 1,000 square feet, family accommodations have a division between the living and sleeping areas, for more privacy or for families with young children ready to crash early after participating in the many activities designed for young ones. This includes the Grand Velas Kids Spa with spa treatments such as "fun facials" and hydrating massages designed exclusively for children.
Among the top-tier accommodations at this resort (which also include massive Governor and Presidential suites) are the oceanfront Ambassador Grand Class Suites, which have terraces with eight-person Jacuzzis, as well as spa-like bathrooms with interior Jacuzzis. "Aqua tower" showers with six hydro-jets, private line telephones and chess tables round out the unique offerings in these suites.
The fitness center is equipped with Life Fitness cardiovascular stations, including climbers, treadmills, cross trainers and exercise bikes, in addition to 21 resistance machines and weight training stations. There's also plenty of pampering at the serene and lovely full-service spa. Fine dining ranks high, as well, with three splendid restaurants: Piaf, serving French cuisine, Frida, offering Mexican dishes, and Luca, with Italian-Mediterranean fare. In addition, the casual Azul presents dining on the beach.
For those who love water sports, there's swimming, kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving. And for landlubbers, Puerto Vallarta's outstanding golf courses include the Vista Vallarta Golf Club, designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Many activities, such as "sea safaris" and zipline adventures in the Sierra Madre Mountains, can be added to packages, which enhance the already all-inclusive offerings, including gourmet dinners, premium liquors, tennis, yoga, Pilates, the kids club, pool concierge services and more.
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