While the idea of an all-inclusive sounds appealing, especially for families, most of them leave a lot to be desired. However, recently I noticed a new crop of true all-inclusive luxury resorts and when I had the chance to visit one, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Puerto Vallarta, I jumped!
I am pleased to report that it really is possible for luxury and all-inclusive to exist as one.
Upon arrival, we were asked to sit on couches where a team from the spa came over to dole out shoulder and neck rubs to me and my husband and treats for the kids. Of course we sipped welcome drinks at the same time. Heaven.
While that won us over, there were more wonderful things that wooed us:
1. Shallow pool for really young ones
We’ve seen a lot of family pools during our travels, but it’s rare that a luxury resort has a shallow one, with no deep end, catering to younger kids. This, along with all the fun pool activities, like water gun fights and water balloons, was a blessing for our youngest who can’t swim that well yet.
2. Kids Club stays open late
A huge highlight for us on this trip was the Kids Club. Unlike other family-friendly hotels in the area, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit keeps their club open until 10 p.m. This means mom and dad can enjoy dinner and a bottle of wine sans kids! The young ladies in charge were also very excited to see my children every time we brought them by, which made my kids even more excited to go—win win! The activities offered included indoor crafts, feeding the koi fish in the expansive hotel lobby, outdoor water activities, and even a bit of video game time for my oldest.
3. Fabulous dining experiences
The dining experiences on the property were spectacular. The hotel boasts a buffet-style restaurant, Azul (great for lunch with the kids) and a pool side cabana bar and bistro, Selva del Mar. There are also three fine dining restaurants, Pilaf (French), Lucca (Italian), Frida (Mexican), two of which allow children. The buffet, believe-it-or-not, is gourmet and the fine dining options blew us away. The service was over-the-top, in a good way, at all locations. At Frida, we had four people looking after us who made fresh margaritas and guacamole tableside. If there was any aspect of the all-inclusive we were hesitant about it was the dining, so we were pleasantly surprised at the level of sophistication and great options offered.
4. Poolside views and service
Each day, once the kids were at kids club, we couldn’t wait to soak up some Mexico sun, where the view beyond the infinity pool made it even more peaceful. The poolside staff was on top of things; we wanted for nothing. Selva del Mar, the poolside bar, provided a great escape into the shade for a quick snack and cerveza.
5. Concierge that goes above and beyond
Unfortunately one of my children fell sick on this vacation. What could easily have turned into every parent’s nightmare wasn’t so bad, thanks to the resort’s help. My daughter needed a prescription, so I contacted the hotel concierge who had a doctor in our room within 15 minutes. Thirty minutes after that her medicine was delivered to our room. Seamless! We were back on the beach enjoying our vacation in no time.
There are other reasons why Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a delightful all-inclusive, but I’ll allow you the pleasure of discovering the rest during your own stay there.
Read more about family travel:
Destination Dispatches: Family Time at Four Seasons Punta Mita, Muy Bueno
Destination Dispatches: 6 Reasons to Resort at The St. Regis Punta Mita
Trip Tips: 9 Luxury All-Inclusives to Help You Forget All the Not So Luxurious Ones