VOLANTE Completely rethought with an aim toward healthy living, everyone is catered for at the Grand Velas Cabo San Lucas, writes Jody Miller
Photographs courtesy Grand Velas
Jody Miller is a correspondent for Lucire.
They’ve come a long way, baby. What was once the beach vacation of choice for budget-minded families or those seeking an all-you-can-drink vacation with basic lodgings and lacklustre food options, the all-inclusive resort has undergone some serious image makeovers. While more upscale options have appeared on the scene in recent years, Grand Velas Resorts has catapulted the all-inclusive into a new grand class of ‘Beyond all-inclusive–beyond compare’. With its award-winning properties on the powdery white sand beaches of Riviera Maya and the lush landscape of Riviera Nayarit, the newly opened Grand Velas Los Cabos continues the tradition of elevated service and cuisine, upgraded accommodations and a breathtaking spa to the dramatic setting of the Cabo San Lucas corridor.
Bathed in white marble and standing several storeys above the sparkling azure waters, the open-air lobby entrance is like walking onto a cloud that gently caresses the sea. Accentuated by contemporary Mexican art, the lobby greets guests with a stunning view of the ocean. Stellar service commences immediately as you are welcomed with a refreshing beverage and are invited to relax with a mini-shoulder massage before being whisked off to your sumptuous suite.
If you are of the mindset that you won’t be spending much time in your room at a beach resort, think again. Grand Velas has once again appointed the artistic expertise of Ricardo Elias to design suites that fuse contemporary Mexican furnishings with a relaxing seaside vibe.
Each of the 304 ocean view suites, which vary in size from 1,180 ft² to 3,412 ft², boasts a private terrace (some with plunge pools) with sitting area and an oversized day-bed which we promise will be your favourite spot. Or maybe it will be the Jacuzzi with shutters. Nothing quite like watching the sunset while you bathe with a glass of champagne. Each bathroom is also fitted with a marbled walk-in shower, seated vanity area with lighted make-up mirror, l’Occitane toiletries and plush towels and robes. Your room also features goose down pillows and comforters, premium stocked mini-bar, Nespresso coffee maker, HD flat screen TV with digital cable, sitting area with sofa and lounge chair, and nightly turndown service. Oh, and did I mention you get a personal concierge and 24-7 room service is included?
For the ultimate in resort living, one of six Wellness Suites will exceed anything you had imagined. Each bi-level lofted suite is replete with Life Fitness equipment, a spa concierge, vitamin C sprinkler, crudité minibar, aromatherapy kit, in-suite massage and juice bar.
Three pools and a world-class spa
The pool view may be spectacular from your private terrace, but it’s even better when reclining poolside with a cool libation and killer fish tacos from the cevicheria (the mojitos are awesome, too). Take a dip in any one of three infinity-edge pools situated on multiple levels with floating decks and an abundance of cushy lounge chairs, many of which are smartly shaded by wooden canopies.
Envisioned as a comprehensive and holistic wellness retreat, the 35,000 ft² spa is an oasis of traditional remedies, innovative facilities, and a sanctuary of calm and rejuvenation. With 20 treatment rooms including a complete bridal suite and salon, each treatment is inspired by the Earth and its regenerative properties. The large treatment rooms are formed to maximize a connection to nature and the elements and many house a private patio with outdoor shower. In addition to a menu of spa therapies, clients are invited on a truly unique and restorative hydrotherapy journey. Guided by a personal spa valet, your multisensory experience includes a dry sauna, cold plunge pools, vitality pools, whirlpools, herbal steam rooms with colour therapy, clay and ice rooms and experience showers.
Yoga, Pilates, personal training, wellness workshops and a state-of-the-art Life Fitness centre round out the expansive spa facility.
While ordinary all-inclusive resorts prioritize quantity when it comes to food, Grand Velas boasts world-class cuisine at no less than five gourmet restaurants with sophisticated interiors that rival the finest in the world. Signature restaurant Cocina de Autor, under the direction of award-winning Michelin star chef Sidney Schutte, will satisfy even the fussiest of foodies. Each course of the chef-selected menu is paired with a special wine chosen by a Don Pedro Poncelis Brambila-trained sommelier. The adjacent lounge is brimming with hand-crafted decorative detail where skilled mixologists are ready to pour the perfect libation to get the evening started.
Dine on classic and original French dishes at Piaf within an ambiance of Parisian splendour. And for pure opulence-gazing, check out the restrooms, they’re astonishing! Lucca and Frida are where you’ll find contemporary Italian and Mexican specialties in chic urban style with edgy touches like a chain mail partition and a sleek colour schemes.
For breakfast and lunch, Azul prepares regional and international specialties à la carte or buffet with made-to-order stations. A muted palette of grey and blue that pay homage to Cabo’s fishing village origins is delightful as is the wide selection of freshly prepared foods. The best ocean views on property are experienced at Velas 10. Open for a casually elegant breakfast and lunch, or grilled steak and seafood selections accompanied by an ocean breeze for dinner.
Before or after dinner and well into the wee hours, Koi Bar and Sky Bar are where Grand Velas comes alive after dark. Koi is augmented by a dramatic marble bar, deep earth tones enhanced by the warm glow of iron lanterns, and plush sofas for intimate socializing. Nightly DJs, dancing, and special tequila tasting sessions are among the nocturnal attractions.
Kids are people, too
Children and teens are not only welcome at Grand Velas, their respective clubs may leave you feeling a little envious of the little ones. The 2,700 ft² teen club is jam-packed with everything a 13- to 18-year-old wants, from karaoke with illuminated dance floor to individual pods with Playstation and Xbox with built-in speakers. A mini-snack bar serves up mocktail, juices and snacks. For those too young to play with the big kids, they have their own space with designated reading, crafts, video game and miniature movie theatre in addition to supervised outdoor activities. There is also plenty of entertainment for families to enjoy together.
Babies are royalty at Grand Velas. Infants are assigned a personal baby concierge or nanny to assist with just about everything, plus some special pampering. An infant diet of organic foods and beverages are available on request.
Health-conscious parents can rest assured that no one is straying into bad habits. Healthy cooking classes, stretching lessons and more are included in the activity programme focused on keeping all kids active while healthy turndown amenities ensure they get some good-for-you sweet treats at bedtime.
Truly inclusive weddings
A truly inclusive wedding at Grand Velas means so much more than an unforgettable event at their 16,370 ft² convention centre with the capability for 20 break-out rooms, reception salon and wraparound terrace with ocean views. Dedicated wedding planners, stylists and chefs and an on-site wedding boutique escort you through every detail. Exchange vows at sunset on a bonfire-lit beach or under a chupah with a rabbi. Celebrate with an ancient Hindu ceremony, or travel to a nearby eighteenth-century chapel followed by an intimate garden reception. All-inclusive means all faiths and all persuasions. What if someone you love can’t make it, you ask? Your day can be streamed live so everyone can attend and a drone camera captures the event from high above. •
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Selected team Instagram accounts Jack Yan | Summer Rayne Oakes | Sopheak Seng | Elyse Glickman | Lola Cristall | Jody Miller | Sarah Arnold-Hall | Jamie Dorman | Doug Rimington | Tanya Sooksombatisatian | Alex Barrow