A “Presidential” Experience at Riviera Maya, Mexico!


This is Katherine Satrom for “Travel Explorations,“ today reporting on the Grand Velas resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.   You know you are in the right place when the President of Mexico is coming to stay there the day after you leave!

The five-star Grand Velas Riviera Maya is the site of the World Economic Conference for Latin America, concluding today.  Attending in addition to Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto are the Presidents of Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti, and representatives of the USA, Japan, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.

Security was tightening up as we left the Grand Velas Tuesday.  As my husband noted, the “black suits” were at the entrance gate!   A military ship sailed close to shore on Monday, an unexpected sight  beyond the beautiful beach.

The birds greeted us each morning with their exotic songs! The resort is beautifully integrated into the jungle, with many open, yet protected, vistas.  The resort has three sections: the Zen Grand, Ambassador and Grand Class.  At the Ambassador, spacious suites – over 1200 square feet — with balcony, sitting area and Jacuzzi tub welcome visitors.  Beautiful flowers border the front of the balcony, which has an ocean view.

Velas Resorts is owned by a Mexican family, and they have four properties.  In addition to Riviera Maya, they have a hotel in Riviera Nayarit and two in Puerto Vallarta.

The resorts are all inclusive with excellent restaurants.  My favorite was the French restaurant, Piaf, named after the French artist Edith Piaf.  The menu included local fish, as well as lamb T-bone, baby goat, and kobe beef.   I like that the waiter brings a small side table to ladies’ chairs where purses and shawls can be placed. On weekends, harp music is offered.

My other favorite restaurant was Frida’s, with fine Mexican food and traditional Mexican guitar music.  It is named after Mexican  artist Frida Kahlo.

The Zen Grand has very neat architecture featuring the liberal use of a variety of woods with arching ceilings and sheltered bridges and walkways. It is fun to walk the covered walkways – it’s like being at a luxurious summer camp!

The property has a world class spa which offers a Grand Velas Water Journey (think warm shower, sauna, ice room and more!), and their hallmark hot stone massage.

The Velas hotels have a fabulous logo! I’m interested in graphics, and I don’t know of any logo that is as effectively utilized in a non-intrusive way as this one.  A staff member told me it is a representation of a lotus flower formatted in a framed square filled in with scrolling leaves.  The logo appears in tiles, metal plates in the elevator floors and the felt of the in-room safe.  It is screened on windows, appears on  tissue roll stickers, and is detailed in a carved wood  5-foot square art piece in back of the spa reception desk.  The logo is sculptured on towels, and appears on all paper products and amenities.

Scanned DocumentIf you want to truly pamper yourself and invest in a luxurious vacation, consider the Grand Velas properties in Mexico!  You will be treated presidentially!

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