Grand Luxxe Riviera Maya – Privacy in Paradise
The Riviera Maya is a stretch of Mexican coastline beginning just south of Cancun on the eastern Yucatan peninsula, all the way to the Mayan ruin of Tulum. Calm Caribbean waters, in that unique shade of turquoise, attract millions of sun-worshiping tourists each season. And with dozens of resorts to choose from, finding the perfect spot for a vacation can be a bit daunting.
The Grand Luxxe resort is part of the Vidanta family of resorts, and is located about 30 km south of the Cancun airport.
The resort is comprised of multiple tiers of residences. The basic residence is the Mayan Palace, then the Grand Mayan, the Bliss, and finally the Grand Luxxe. The Grand Luxxe is the most exclusive part of the resort, offering high-end amenities and personal service.
The Grand Luxxe offers a number of different floor layouts on the resort. On our most recent stay, we chose the 2 bedroom loft unit.
This gorgeous, 4,000 sq ft, two-story space features a first floor with a gourmet kitchen, breakfast bar, dining table, living room, bedroom with king-size bed, bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, and laundry room with washer and dryer. The terrace includes a plunge pool, dining table, daybed, and two armchairs. The unit’s second floor offers a TV area, full guest bathroom, bedroom with king-size bed, and bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub. This unit also includes 3 TVs.
Vidanta has been busily upgrading it’s Riviera Maya resort for the past several years, There are now 4 Grand Luxxe towers, as well as a new Spatium spa and Spatium workout facility, exclusive to Grand Luxxe guests. Most recently, Vidanta opened the new Salum Beach Club area – also a Grand Luxxe exclusive – featuring numerous outdoor eateries and bars, with shops and outdoor entertainment areas.
Of course, most of our time was spend outdoors. The Grand Luxxe pool and the Beach Club were our favorite spots to get some sun and have a few of those famous vacation cocktails.
The Grand Luxxe Pool: This rectangular pool is surrounded by lush vegetation, giving it the secluded feel of a secret oasis. It features beach access and a beautiful lounging area with lounge beds and chairs, as well as two Jacuzzis. The Grand Luxxe Pool is located next to The Burger Custom Made, featuring an assortment of gourmet burger options.
The Beach Club is a brand-new addition to the Grand Luxxe family. While the Grand Luxxe pool offers a space of quiet relaxation, the Beach Club is where to go when you’re ready to let down your hair and have fun! Six infinity pools overlook the Caribbean Sea, while waiters serve drinks or food from the nearby beach restaurants. Cabanas and lounge chairs offer great spaces for groups to gather and talk about adventures. Oh, and the adjacent open-air restaurants are swimsuit-friendly – so go and enjoy those enchiladas for lunch!
On Wednesday evening, we opted to splurge a bit and bought tickets to Joya, the on-grounds Cirque du Soleil Dinner Show at the new Cirque Theatre.
The experience started at about 6 p.m. with a 4-course dinner, including champagne, pre-show entertainment by musicians, and then the great show by Cirque du Soleil. Out of all the things we did, this one was the most memorable. The food was remarkable, the service impeccable, presentation . . . well, the little Amuse-bouche started it all. On a small spoon we received “Dragon’s Breath” – a small bite of confection, dusted with a tiny layer of dry ice that – when you crunched it – sent a burst of “smoke” through your nostrils! Everyone was laughing by the end of that, and the rest of the meal was just as fun and surprising. Well worth every penny spent.
The Beach Club also offered nightly entertainment, with musicians and other acts. You can sit by a fire pit and chat with friends over drinks. Del Lago is the stage for the traditional Mexican Fiesta night and celebration of other holidays. Or just opt for a quiet evening at one of the great restaurants. Our favorite is Tramonto – Italian fare in a beautiful setting. Quinto is a new steakhouse that also receives high marks.
During our second week, we moved to a Grand Luxxe Spa Tower, 2 bedroom unit. Cool marble floors, large private deck, Jacuzzi tub, great multi-head spa shower . . . we loved this room too.
One note about the experience in the Riviera Maya. The area is very concerned with NOT becoming another Cancun – wall-to-wall high rise hotels, all encroaching on the delicate ecosystem. To combat this, the building height is limited to about 3 stories. So – in general – you don’t come here for the expansive ocean view from the room. But what we loved about the deck was that you felt you were living in the jungle. In the trees you could always see some sort of exotic birds (See my post on the Beach Walk here.) Once we saw a family of coati ambling by. And because of the jungle cover, the deck is entirely private.
The experience in the Riviera Maya is quite different from that in Nuevo Vallarta, but that’s what we were looking for. Privacy, peace and quiet, relaxation with some exercise and sun . . . and a dash of fun and excitement now and then. That’s what we wanted, and we found it at the Grand Luxxe Riviera Maya.