Have you ever visited somewhere that went so above and beyond to make you feel at home that suddenly it felt more at home than your real home? That was my experience at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit.
Before getting to this absolute gem of a stay, I arrived at the airport on a late-night flight, so my hotel check-in was nearly at 1:00 am. The check-in process was swift, and a staff member graciously assisted me with my luggage, escorting me to my room.
My first “better than home” experience occurred when they handed me a menu and a pen to schedule my breakfast, which would be delivered to my room the next morning.
All I had to do was select my choices on the menu, jot down any special instructions, and specify the time for my breakfast to be served.
I simply hung my order on the outside doorknob, and they took care of everything else. I settled into one of the most comfortable beds I've ever slept in and drifted off immediately.
I opted to have my breakfast at 9:30 am, allowing myself some much-needed rest. True to their word, my breakfast arrived on time, and both the presentation and the quality of the food were impeccable.
Exploring the bedroom was an absolute delight. It was comfortable, spacious, clean, and beautifully decorated, with everything appearing new or in excellent condition, complemented by sturdy, stylish furniture.
The bathroom was a revelation.
To say it was large would be an understatement; it was so spacious that an average apartment in Mexico City could fit inside it. The toiletries provided were upscale and comprehensive, eliminating the need to call for any forgotten items. The quality of everything provided was top-notch.
The bathroom also featured an elegant bathtub large enough for two, and although there were private, enclosed spaces for the toilet and shower, each with its own door, there was a window next to the bathtub that opened into the bedroom. I'll leave the potential uses of that feature to your imagination (wink, wink).
The room was thoughtfully laid out, with ample space for the bed and TV, a living area, a dining table, and, as the crowning touch, a balcony. This balcony, complete with a table and chairs, offered the most majestic view you can imagine from the 8th floor: palm trees, swimming pools, and the vast Pacific Ocean stretching out before you.
@traveloffpath Room tour @grandvelasnay Modern and cozy facilities, a 100% complete room and all equipped with everything you need to spend a dream vacation. You definitel have to visit this resort. #myvelasexperience #mexologyfest #grandvelas #grandvelasrivieranayarit #roomtour #mexico #mexicohotels ♬ Spirited Away – The Name Of Life – Main Theme – Geek Music
The minibar was stocked daily with an array of snacks and beverages, from water to beer and wine, sweets, and chips, all included. The espresso coffee was particularly enjoyable.
Living in such luxury is something one could quickly get accustomed to.
You know how sometimes, when you're buying something, the salesperson keeps trying to upsell you, adding more and more to your order? Well, this spa has already included more luxuries and amenities than you could possibly imagine. It's one of the most well-equipped spas I've ever visited.
It wasn't until my first morning, as I stepped out of my bedroom, that I truly noticed the hotel's details and atmosphere. The spaces were vast, the lobby was breathtaking with its incredibly high ceilings—I couldn't tell you exactly how tall, but it felt like you could fit a skyscraper in there.
Honestly, it made me wonder how they manage to maintain such a high ceiling… Imagine if a child lost their balloon up there!
Upon arriving at the spa, the first task was to fill out a form featuring a body diagram, allowing me to indicate which areas needed the most attention during my massage. I appreciated how they collected this information; it made me feel valued.
@traveloffpath Spa day at @Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit #myvelasexperience #traveltiktok #travelwithme #grandvelasrivieranayarit #grandvelas #enjoylife #spatime #spaday ♬ Idea 22 – Gibran Alcocer
I stored my belongings and clothes (except for my bikini) in a locker and donned a soft, comfortable bathrobe they provided. The spa was love at first sight—the tranquility, the layout, the aroma. The staff addressed me with such respect and calm, speaking softly and politely, making me feel like I was in a true temple of relaxation. The cleanliness and spaciousness of the spa made every amenity inviting.
I was guided through what to use first, leading to one of the best massages I've ever received. The journey began with the dry sauna, a cozy wooden room. I chose to stay for just 5 minutes, followed by a refreshing cold shower.
Next was the steam sauna, reminiscent of a temazcal, with a central rock emitting aromatic steam—I went with lavender. After another cold shower, I entered a space with an ice dispenser, like a handwash sink filled with ice, for rubbing all over the body to exfoliate the skin. Here, I chose a rosemary scent.
The experience was simply delightful. If you've never tried it, I highly recommend it. Initially, I might have passed on the ice and cold showers, but trust me, it's worth it.
Each step prepares you for the next, culminating in an increasingly enjoyable experience. After the ice room, I relaxed in the jacuzzi and was offered a soothing aloe vera drink to refresh my throat.
Then, sitting on a comfortable stone bench, I received a hydromassage on my feet, followed by a dip in cold water in a tub or pool. This concluded the wet amenities of the spa, setting the stage for the grand finale: the massage.
The massage was spectacular, unforgettable. It might sound exaggerated, but recalling and writing about it makes me want to return for another one immediately.
It was precise, with no need to request adjustments in pressure; I wished it could go on forever. It may sound cheesy or even absurd, but it felt like a divine experience—as if the hands of a deity (and I don't mean Maradona) were touching exactly where my body needed it most.
The masseuse did an outstanding job.
I recently celebrated a special occasion, one that doesn't occur weekly or monthly, but it's certainly worth mentioning because it showcases the excellent organization, logistics, and overall management of the hotel.
During my stay, the hotel hosted the Mexology Fest, which began shortly after my wonderful massage session ended.
@traveloffpath We are at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit for the first Mexology Fest! #myvelasexperience #grandvelas #mexologyfest #traveltiktok #travelwithme #grandvelasrivieranayarit #mexicohotels #traveloffpath ♬ boom clap speed up – 𝟑𝟎𝟑 𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐞
After washing off the massage oil, I prepared for the fest. The hotel provided me with a kit that included a shaker, an apron, and a thoughtful thank-you note for my visit. It's those little details that I really appreciate.
The lobby was festively decorated with a Mexican theme, reminiscent of Dia de Muertos or Cinco de Mayo. The essence of the fest was about drinking, learning how to appreciate drinks more deeply, understanding how to mix them, getting to know different brands and styles, and so on.
It was here that I was first introduced to Mocktails, which are non-alcoholic mixed drinks.
We learned to distinguish between flavors, aromas, and types of distilled beverages. It was an educational experience in appreciating the nuances of various drinks and mixtures, understanding which types of alcoholic beverages are best suited for particular moments or events. I even had the chance to create my own mixes.
One of the most intriguing lessons was how the choice of cup or glass affects the taste of a drink. I may have just given away the outcome of an experiment we conducted, but here's how it went: we had three different types of glasses of mezcal in front of us—a shot glass, a whiskey glass, and a third glass, similar to a wine glass but shorter and narrower.
We tasted from all three and were asked to pick our favorite. Surprisingly, most of us preferred the third one, even though all three glasses contained the exact same mezcal from the same bottle, which tasted differently in each. The difference, as I recall, had something to do with how the mezcal interacted with the air as it swirled in the glass. For more details, I guess you'll have to ask a mixologist.
The entire event was spectacular. Experts gave talks on their crafts and specialties, and the entertainment, including Mariachi and Catrinas shows, was of the highest caliber—not just filler but genuinely impressive performances, even from the perspective of a professional contemporary dancer. The fire show, reminiscent of circus acts, was particularly memorable. Truly great artists.
One of the festival's events took place in the hotel's Presidential Suite. Oh my goodness, it was truly presidential and magnificent. I didn't see the other suites, but this one would definitely be my top choice.
In conclusion, the festival was an absolute blast, lasting two full days and nights. If you're reading this not just for personal interest but for a company or enterprise considering hosting a large event, something like this would be a guaranteed success.
And if you happen to be staying at Grand Velas and there's a similar event happening, don't miss out—take full advantage of it.
While the Mexology Fest was a focal point, the signature restaurants and their offerings are stellar year-round, and here's a quick rundown of my dining experiences.
For breakfast, as I've previously mentioned, I had a strong preference for ordering room service over venturing down to any of the restaurants.
That said, there were still plenty of choices available, though not as extensive as the buffet or the a la carte options you'd find sitting down in the dining area.
For dinner, there are four signature restaurants, each offering a different type of cuisine: gourmet Mexican, traditional French, Italian-Mediterranean, and Asian Fusion—all served a la carte. I found myself wishing I could stay there for a few weeks just to sample the entire menu. Everything I saw and tasted was absolutely delicious.
For snacks, lunch, or those cravings that hit you while you're basking in the sun or taking a dip in the pool, there's another spot called Selva del Mar (Jungle of the Sea). Located by the poolside and beach, it boasts a fantastic view and atmosphere.
And, of course, there's the minibar in your room, which I've already touched on. I seriously doubt there's anything you could crave that you wouldn't find there. I challenge you to prove me wrong.
My entire stay at the hotel was mainly focused on the festival, but the hotel offers a plethora of other amenities and services for guests to enjoy.
It's not just any gym; it's a professional fitness center equipped with trainers, a variety of classes, and everything you might need for a comprehensive workout or exercise routine.
Additionally, the hotel features various sports courts including pickleball, tennis, basketball, and beach volleyball.
For those interested in water sports, options like kayaking and boogie boarding are available.
For business needs, there's a 24-hour business corner equipped with computers, desks, and a printer, complemented by premium high-speed Wi-Fi.
This hotel could easily double as a business destination. Although primarily geared towards vacations, family trips, and relaxation, it's perfectly suitable for working on projects or simply working remotely for a week or a few days.
Imagine being able to work in an environment where you can enjoy delicious meals, rest well, meditate, exercise, and work from your laptop.
Sounds amazing, doesn't it? We all deserve to work in such an inspiring setting.
The hotel also has clubs for kids and teens.
While I can't provide much detail on these—given my time was consumed by the festival activities, the incredible massages, and learning about mixology—I'm confident, based on everything else and the professionalism observed, that children and teenagers would have a fantastic time and be in great hands at these clubs.
Curious to learn more about Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit?
Pack your bags, book a few nights, and experience the treatment you truly deserve. The service is top-notch, as I mentioned at the beginning. While there's no place like home, this place truly makes you feel exceptional. Give it a try.
@traveloffpath Little things in life 🏻 #grandvelas #myvelasexperience #mexologyfest #traveltiktok #travelwithme #grandvelasrivieranayarit #mexicohotels #traveloffpath ♬ Little Life – Cordelia
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A's happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.