Great service, great smiles, great food and great location are just a few of the “great” attributes I would attach to the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit resort in beautiful Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. As it is etched on the art sculpture in the lobby: “The Magic Begins Here!” There’s definitely something to that here on the Pacific coast of Mexico! And if you’re considering this hotel as a wedding destination, look no further… The whole package is right here.
First thing to note: no tacky all-inclusive wristband (check!). Instead, a subtle macrame-style bracelet is tied to your wrist. Actually, I received a compliment on this bracelet from a colleague when I arrived back home (I clearly wasn’t dying to rip it off as I would a plastic wrist band!). As subtle as this might seem, it sets the tone right away. I was also greeted in the lobby with a welcome head massage … which immediately got me thinking about how quickly I could book myself an appointment at the spa (check two!). Thirdly, the warm casa-style architecture with flowing bougainvillea reminded me that I was in Mexico. I personally like both modern and classic accommodations and design style at resorts, depending on the hotel, but the overall look and feel of this warm resort works well.
In looking at the wedding locations at Grand Velas, there are truly some amazing options considering how intimately sized the property is. Remember, this isn’t a huge sprawling resort, so it’s a careful consideration on the hotel’s part that there isn’t a wedding gazebo smack dab in the middle of the resort (again, check!). The modern ceremony location with white stucco “wall” and ocean backdrop is really stunning. And it’s situated to the left side of the resort, facing the beach, so it offers couples a little more privacy. On the other side of the resort is a sprawling lawn space, which could double as a great ceremony location and reception area. Lastly, there’s a section of the beach, next to the Azul restaurant that can double as (either or both) ceremony and reception location.
Note to brides: the beach in Nuevo Vallarta is very public, and can be busy at certain times of the day, so if you’re looking for that deserted, private type of beach wedding setting, this isn’t the place. Instead, the ceremony area they’ve built is such a stunning option, I wouldn’t think twice about choosing anywhere but it.
The spa is an absolute winner, and also a lovely place for you and your bridesmaids (or the women in your family) to spend a relaxing afternoon the day before the wedding. Indulge in a signature treatment or make use of the hydrotherapy pools. I would recommend the tequila massage. When in Mexico….
Enjoy your days leading up to the ceremony, poolside — with the incredible butlers like Rafael showering you with drinks and food — or in a beach cabana, boogie boarding in the Pacific ocean.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is a fabulous destination wedding location, honeymoon hotel and overall great place for a group holiday. If you are interested, they have 3 sister properties: 2 in the Puerto Vallarta region, Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta, and one in the Mayan Riviera: Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Try one, try them all.