In upscale Nuevo Vallarta, along Mexico's Pacific Coast on the edge of Banderas Bay—15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport—is Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort, a five-star getaway that is also a member of the Leading Hotels of the World.
Lauded by Condé Nast as Latin America's top Spa Resort, Grand Velas recently received the AAA Five-Diamond Lodging Award—the sole all-inclusive in Nuevo Vallarta and Puerto Vallarta, and the only family-friendly North American one to do so. As Mexican-born owner Eduardo Velas notes, "We're not just selling rooms; we're selling experiences." His vision (and the hotel's mission) is to provide first-class experiences that seduce the senses.
All-Inclusive With a Difference
With a soaring, thatched-roof lobby, curving corridors and elegantly airy style, Grand Velas blends Mexican warmth with tropical, contemporary cool in its 267 spacious suites and spa. Five restaurants, three of which are gourmet, feature inviting décor and Mexican and international cuisine. Tiered infinity pools, a children's pool, fitness center and 8,400 square feet of meeting space (with a resident peacock roaming the grounds!) complete the resort. Notable throughout is a crowd-free sense of space, even at Grand Velas's usual 70 percent capacity.
General Director Oscar Cruces stresses hospitality as Grand Velas' prize-winning asset, saying, "Exceptionally attentive service is the most important thing we offer. [it is] a 365-day, 24/7 job, with year-round training to ensure top-quality guest care."
Spacious, terraced suites boast ocean views, engaging original art and oversized, amenity-filled marble bathrooms. For spectacular sunsets, agents should book the front rooms on floors six through nine, and fourth/fifth-floor middle rooms.
Most requested are the Ambassador Grand Class Spa Suites in the new tower, which is decorated in soothing neutral tones, with interior and exterior Jacuzzis; the cozily elegant 2-bedroom Governor's Suites; and, hedonists' heaven, the three-bedroom Imperial Spa and Presidential Suites, complete with steam room and massage area.
Grand Velas Spa—member of the Leading Spas of the World—is a 16,500-square-foot oasis designed to soothe body and spirit, offering 80 treatments and 20 treatment rooms. Suggest clients try the popular Therapeutic massage, deliciously anti-depressing Chocolate Wrap and decadently hydrating Gold Bath. In-suite spa options include massages and flower-petalled bath rituals. (All spa treatments cost extra.) Agents can book directly through Spa Director Jessica Van Kurczyn at 011-52-322-226-8000 or [email protected].
For clients wishing to get hitched south of the border, Grand Velas' romantic wedding package includes setup, cake, flowers, ceremony with translator and all paperwork for $1,650 plus accommodations; personalized celebrations are welcomed. For information, contact Wedding Coordinator Margarita Guitron (011-52-322-226-8039, [email protected]).
Surrounded by lush tropical jungle and the dramatic
Even with a location and service par excellence, the general director continues planning luxe-life experiences, saying, "We're not content to rest on our laurels; we're committed to evolving to maintain our position as being the best of the best for our guests."
Ten percent agent commissionable rates are $430–$1600 per night, per person/double occupancy, depending on category and season; the two-bedroom, art-filled Colunga Spa suite (maximum of 4 people) is $6,500. High season is Christmas through Easter and July through August. The majority of guests are American. Agents can book through the sales director, Mariana Suarez at 011-52-322-297-2052 or [email protected], over the GDS, or by calling 877-398-2784.
Grand Velas offers a plethora of packages. Rates quoted are all daily, per person/double occupancy (unless otherwise noted).
The Winter Special includes daily tee-time and spa treatment; cost is $399, available through March.
The "Great Outdoors—
Available through May, the "Ultimate Divorcee Vacation" package features a "Diamond Divorce" spa experience and private jeweler consultation to explore what to do with leftover "bling." Rates are $638 or $1,077 for a single.
The three-night, $19,434 "Glam It Up!"
extravaganza provides star treatment for up to six people booking the Imperial
Spa Suite, with a four-hour Diamond Spa experience and tee time for all.