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The Grand Mayan, Nuevo Vallarta

Originally written in 2009 . . . my how time flies!

Our family stayed at the Grand Mayan, Nueva Vallarta in October of 2008. Scott’s parents have a timeshare at this resort, and they invited us to come down for the week. Airfare to MX was pretty darn pricey, so we ended up flying in on a Tuesday (typically a cheaper day to fly) and staying with them for 5 of their 7 nights, then moving to the all inclusive Sol Melia after they headed home.

The Grand Mayan in Nuevo is beautiful. Upon entry you are greeted by two ‘ginormous’ marble statues in a dimly lit domed room. Its striking and definitely my most vivid recollection of the resort. The grounds are very well kept, beautiful, with a lazy river, two wave pools, a water slide, and a kids pool. These water features give the resort a little something extra that kids and adults will love. I think that was my favorite part of the resort, and it does make up for the lack of swim-mable beach.

Yes, there is beach access, but for those of you who like to swim in the ocean, this isn’t the place to do it. Rough and cool pacific waters will take the kiddos down in a flash. But there is plenty of sand on which to lay and have a nice cocktail and enjoy the gorgeous blue water.

The room we stayed in was spacious, my in laws had a double room, so we had a separate sleeping area with kitchen and sitting area in the middle. I especially liked the little ‘cooling pool’ on our balcony. The rooms were kept very clean by staff. Our girls loved the huge marble tub, and the shower area was large. We did have a gekko living in our bathroom, but he didn’t bug us so we didn’t bug him.  I’m not sure who came up with the name, but we ended up calling him ‘Greeny’.  I know, didn’t give that a whole lot of thought :o)

Note: most of the rooms did not have ocean views, views were of the pools and grounds.

The gym and spa were also fine – nothing to write home about but fine.  I had a massage at the spa, and have to remark on one thing.  They actually led me to an area out by the pool for the treatment.  I didn’t mind being outside, but I was led out of the spa wearing only a flimsy (see through!) white robe and walked through the pool area to get to the massage area. Not cool!   The massage included a tummy massage, which was sort of weird, but not bad. The massage treatment area was surprisingly quiet even though by the pool, and the sun made it super warm and relaxing.

Internet access area was fine, several terminals and a $25 fee for a set number of login hours. Kind of a racket, but not uncommon for resorts to charge for usage.

The restaurants were a bit slow, and the food was only ‘ok’. We did walk out of the resort to an Italian spot near the bus stop and had the best meal of our trip!  The stuffed shrimp were to die for, and a really fun, gracious staff. Can’t remember the name, but ask at the concierge and they’ll know.

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3 generations dining in Nuevo Vallarta!

My only really thumbs down comment is about the night time entertainment at Grand Mayan.  It was so-so, and that’s being kind.  They had one piano bar with someone doing a poor Kenny G rendition, and one lounge with a jazz singer. My husband and I both felt the resort catered to an older crowd — a lot of retirees. We were traveling with our parents, who own timeshare there, and I think the majority of owners are that age. There were very few families with children the week we were there, but I don’t think it was the time of year.  When we moved to the Sol Melia for the 2nd half of our trip there were more kids for ours to play with.

One last point on the kiddos.  The resort does offer a kids club, I think the fee was around $20.00 US per session.

Would we go again? Definitely!  But only if we’re staying with his parents or mine. We probably wouldn’t choose a resort like this for a family trip on our own, simply because we feel like we don’t get the value that we do when choosing an All Inclusive resort option, or a cruise.

Want more info on Nueva Vallarta, the Grand Mayan, or the Sol Melia?  Shoot me an email!  Love to hear from you,

Amy@PlanCoolTrips.com

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