Zen Pool Riviera Maya

Finding Your Zen in the Riviera Maya

The latest dispatch from my travels…sorry I’m a bit behind.

My husband and I spent 3 nights at Grand Velas-Riviera Maya at the end of May.  We stayed in a Zen Grand Class room.  The Zen Grand Class buildings are about a half mile from the ocean located in the jungle and mangrove fields.  The views are of tropical foliage with lots of birds and bird sounds to ease into your morning on the balcony with your cup of coffee from the in room espresso maker.  Rooms are a nice size with a huge bed, sitting area with two chairs with coffee style table and desk.  The bath is all marble and has a walk in shower, jacuzzi tub, his and hers sinks, separate area for makeup application and separate toilet.  Toiletries are from L’Occitane. ​​

  Upon check in your are assigned a concierge who can take care of all your needs during your stay.  We did see our concierge, Gema, who checked in with us often throughout the resort and she did know us by name.  We made restaurant reservations prior to arriving but did use our concierge to change some dining times once we arrived.  When we arrived in our room I was greeted with a beautiful welcome….a plate artfully decorated with chocolates and my logo.

The Grand Velas-Riviera Maya is the largest resort in the Grand Velas family with 500+ rooms.  The Zen Class area has 3 buildings that houses half the rooms in the resort.  This area is family friendly and has the Zen Pool that is also surrounded by tropical foliage.  Although family friendly, it was very quiet and peaceful while we were there.  The resort was not very crowded.  This time of year would be a very good time to visit….before school is out in North America.  Lounge chairs by the pool are comfy with ample towels and bottled water is always available.  There is a swim up pool bar and very good pool service.  If you’re lucky you may see one of the spider monkeys that live in the jungle.  The Zen Grand Class area has a buffet, Chaka Restaurant, as well as, the resort’s spa, Spa SE.  There is only one elevator that services the buildings and lots of walking to get to and fro.  People with mobility issues might not be a good fit in this location of the resort.  The Zen Grand Class area also has a large fitness center, convention center, Sen Lin restaurant, Koi Bar (family friendly until 10 p.m., after 10 p.m. adults only) and a chapel.

The Ambassador Class area of the resort is family friendly and rooms are the same layout as Zen Grand Class rooms but with oceanviews.  The rooms have balconies or walkouts to the pool and some rooms on upper floors have plunge pools.  The Ambassador Class pool is large, terraced with a swim up bar.  The Azul buffet is in this area, as well as, Lucca and Frida restaurants which are located in the area too.  Children are welcome at these restaurants.  There is a kid’s (4-12 years old) and teen’s (13-18 years old) club located in this area .  During the day until 7 p.m., the teen’s club can be used by families.  There is a smaller fitness center located in the Ambassor common area of the building.

Grand Class rooms are larger suites with oceanfront views that take your breath away.  The Grand Class rooms are family friendly but common areas, pool and restaurants are adults only.  Most Grand Class rooms have king beds but rollaway beds can be provided upon request.  Bistro, Piaf and Cocina De Autor are located in the Grand Class buildings.

Each area, Zen, Ambassador and Grand have a separate lobby, check in and concierge desk.  You are welcomed with cool, refreshing towels and water bottles upon arrival and at all pools.  Water temps in all pools were perfect, not too hot or cold with plenty of towels to dry off.  The service throughout the resort was fantastic, food was 5 diamond gourmet, grounds were neatly and beautifully landscaped and maintained.  Men must wear long pants and shirts with sleeves at restaurants.  All bars have top shelf spirits and wine.  Pool drinks were good.  What’s not to love!

SE Spa area was very nice, as was the 50 minute Swedish massage.  I did partake in the complimentary 80 minute water ceremony prior to massage.  You are in your swimsuit during this time.  The spa attendant leads you through the circuit of shower, sauna, ice room, steam, hot/cold water circuit and relaxation.  It was interesting to do the water ceremony and I’d do it again.  The spa is gender separate and there is a fully stocked shower area with all amenities for primping prior to your night out in the resort.  You are provided with robe and slippers.  A nice touch is that they took my wet swimsuit while I was getting my massage and returned it to me dry.  Not sure how they did that….magic, I think!

Shuttle service throughout the resort comes often.  You never have to wait long for a ride to the any of the areas within the resort.  Drivers are friendly and they provide towels for you sit on if you have a wet suit after a day at the pool…

There was definitely sargasso seaweed on the beach and they did have ample staff providing clean up of the beach for 12 hours a day while we were there.  Sadly, it’s a never ending job.  It was not as horrible as some beaches in the Riviera Maya but no one was swimming in the water or walking along the beach.

I love the Velas Family of resorts and I have not and would not hesitate to send families or adults only looking for a quiet and/or romantic getaway to these resorts.  Full disclosure, I have not been to the Los Cabos resort but I can’t imagine that it is nothing less than spectacular.  It’s the newest resort in the Velas family.

I will talk to you soon…..next up, Portugal and Northern Italy late 2019…

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