Fun Family Vacay at Riviera Maya Grand Velas, Mexico


Riviera Maya Grand Velas

by Stephen Johnson

Breakfast will never be the same again. That’s what happens when you’re fortunate enough to tuck into exotic fruits, pancakes and freshly squeezed orange juice while enjoying a stunning view of the Caribbean Sea. It certainly beats eating cereal in Ottawa looking out at an endless mound of snow in the walkway.

On our recent family trip to Mexico, we had an amazing time doing everything from snorkeling to exploring the jungle. We decided to treat ourselves by staying at the Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort. One of the things that impressed me was that the resort made a huge effort to protect much of the jungle on the property. Driving in, it seemed as if the buildings blended into the jungle. This did not mean the resort or our room were at all rustic. Our son David particularly liked the fully stocked candy tray with its assortment of chocolate bars and other sweet treats. My wife and I appreciated the extra large pillows and bed that offered the perfect relief for tired parents.

Riviera Maya Grand Velas

Is this kid happy or what?

After a good night’s rest, we would head out to explore the resort. One vacation priority for David was to bury my wife Sandy and me in the sand. So, dressed in our swimwear, one morning we grabbed breakfast and headed to the beach. With bucket and sand shovel in hand, David quickly proceeded to cover Sandy neck to toe. Of course, Sandy had to cover David as well. I was to be David’s next project. The lounge chair I was sitting on proved to be exceedingly comfortable so I said I would be the official photographer of the event. I may have caught my wife rolling her eyes in one of the photos!

Riviera Maya Grand Velas

The things a mother will do for her kid …


Once Sandy emerged from the depths of sand, we took a stroll along the beach. David stopped every few seconds almost daring the waves to come crashing into him.

After lunch, it was straight back to water activities. I had noticed there was a swimming pool near our room that was literally right in the jungle. It felt surreal to be swimming while listening to tropical birds calling to each other. The shaded cabanas and poolside drinks provided a welcome respite from the sun.

Riviera Maya Grand Velas

After spending an entire day doing nothing more than swimming and working on our tans, it was time for serious thought: where should we go for supper?! The resort had a number of options ranging from family fare to fine dining. We decided to try one of the fancier options since David was now old enough that we didn’t have to worry about him breaking wine glasses or throw a bread roll. We went to the Italian restaurant, Lucca, and had a wonderful meal. It had been years since my wife and I had been in a restaurant that did not primarily feature hamburgers and kids meals. David loved the experience as well.

The following day, when we checked out of Grand Velas, the entire experience seemed like a dream. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful trip. For more information about Riviera Maya Grand Velas, visit



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