Upon arrival at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, the resort’s dramatic entrance—an open-air palapa lobby with 40-foot ceilings—is a stunning welcome and a small glimpse at the grand things to come. Immediately, the pampering and attention to detail unfolds. A cool, refreshing tropical drink and an aromatic moist towel quickly erase any ill effects from a day of travel. As an attentive guest services manager confirms your reservation, a spa therapist provides a gentle neck and shoulder massage. (This is the point when it becomes clear a visit to the spa is in order.)
Located just 15 minutes away from Puerto Vallarta International Airport along Banderas Bay, Grand Velas is an exquisite property featuring 267 one- and two-bedroom suites starting at 1,000 square feet. All have private terraces and spectacular oceanfront views.
The Grand Velas suite collection includes the six Spa Suites (the Ambassador Grand Class Suites) and two Imperial Spa Suites. Each Spa Suite is equipped with a separate spa room, which includes a treatment table, hydro-massage tub, floor-to-ceiling glass-enclosed Swiss shower, wall-to-wall ivory marble, and a private terrace.
The crown jewel of the resort and a member of Leading Spas of the World, the 16,500-square-foot Spa at Grand Velas features 20 treatment rooms, over 80 spa treatments and rituals, a gym and exercise room, a boutique, and a salon. From the eucalyptus inhalation sauna to the aromatherapy neck pillow at the conclusion of the experience, this peaceful respite is a must for all resort guests. Allow for enough time to enjoy the full Hydrotherapy Ritual at the start of the visit.
Another destination delight awaits guests at any of Grand Velas’s AAA Four Diamond restaurants—Azul, Frida, Lucca, and Piaf. From gourmet Mexican to Italian-Mediterranean to traditional French, the all-inclusive resort has an eclectic mix of gourmet and traditional menus that fuse flavor with artful presentation.
When not indulging in gourmet cuisine or time at the spa, guests can spend time stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, boogie boarding, or strolling on the beach.
The family-friendly resort also offers tiered three-temperature infinity pools, an open-air theater with several shows throughout the week, and a Kids Club.
Whether you are a surfer, sun seeker, or souvenir shopper, Sayulita is a must-visit treasure just a few miles north of Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta. Nearby Monkey Mountain is a spiritual ground for the Huichol natives, who still practice their peyote ceremonies and sell crafts in Sayulita’s town plaza.
Punta de Mita
Café des Artistes follows a farm-to-table model, using the freshest seasonal ingredients from regional fisheries and farms. Located in the boutique Hotel Cinco in Punta de Mita, this gourmet bistro showcases the artistic cuisine of Chef Thierry Blouet. Start with the cream of prawns and pumpkin soup or the tuna sashimi salad.
This nearby town is home to La Patrona Polo Club. Here, fans of polo can become club members, take private lessons, and participate in tournaments. Stop by on Saturday evenings to enjoy a match, an al fresco dinner, cocktails, and entertainment.