Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Punta Mita, Mexico
Photo by axl5188/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit provides a romantic ambiance that brides and grooms desire. Seen here is the view from Suite No. 812.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit provides a romantic ambiance that brides and grooms desire. Seen here is the view from Suite No. 812.

With 267 suites, a picture-perfect beach, three AAA Four Diamond restaurants, a fully immersive spa, and party space aplenty, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, is a dream for brides and grooms to be.

To start the wedding ball rolling, contact Wedding Sales Manager Cynthia Salcedo ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-009). Whether you’re planning an intimate elopement or a grand affair with 800 guests, she expertly advises on everything from wedding group rates and package pricing to special promotions and value adds. Note that once a contract has been signed, Wedding Coordinator Geraldine Zaragoza ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-007) will step in to assist couples with every last detail of their big day, from picking out the perfect ceremony location to securing the group’s room and dining reservations.

The resort comprises 267 one-, two-, and three-bedroom suites, each with a private terrace, ocean and pool views, and Balinese teak wood furniture. For brides and grooms, we love the Two-Bedroom Presidential Suites, which offer a whopping 3,900 square feet of space apiece. They come with VIP airport transfers, private butler service, and a 50-minute massage per person per day. We found their sprawling ocean view terraces — where couples can enjoy candle-lit dinners à deux and soak in their own Jacuzzi under the stars — an especially romantic touch. For the most posh experience possible, book the 3,285-square-foot Three-Bedroom Imperial Spa Suite, whose spacious dining and living areas are the perfect spot for welcome cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Private butler, maid and bartender service; a complimentary daily round of golf at Vista Vallarta Golf Course; and an 80-minute massage per person per day are among the Imperial’s perks.

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To keep immediate family members together — parents and little brother of the bride, for example — book the two-bedroom, three-bath Family Suite. Also ideal for family members are two-floor Ambassador Penthouse Oceanview King and Queen Suites. Tip: We found the bathroom in our entry-level Parlor Suite quite cramped. When deciding on room blocks for guests, ask for suites with spacious baths so they don’t feel pent up while prepping for festivities. Our Suggestion: Skip Parlor Suites altogether and start with Master King and Queen Suites instead. Vania Castro ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-007) typically oversees VIP room bookings, but note that your wedding coordinator will see to it that your entire party’s rooms are reserved per your preferences.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit provides a romantic ambiance that brides and grooms desire. Seen here is the view from Suite No. 812.
Living room of Suite No. 404. Each suite comes with a private terrace offering ocean and pool views.

Whether for a rehearsal dinner or a day-after brunch (or, better yet, both), don’t miss the refined but rustic Mexican dishes at Frida, elegant French fare at Piaf, or flavorful Mediterranean food at Lucca, each of which bears AAA’s Four Diamond rating. Ask Zaragoza to help coordinate customized menus at each, as well as restaurant buyouts so your group can celebrate in total privacy. Tip: Frida’s terrace offers views of the resort’s three-tiered infinity pool, bright bougainvilleas, Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains, making it a lovely spot for al fresco cocktails for 80 guests or a seated dinner for 60.  During downtime by the pool, guests can hit the breakfast or lunch buffet at Azul or snack on sushi, ceviche and sandwiches at Selva del Mar.

On property or off, Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers plenty of ways to entertain wedding guests. Ask Chief Concierge Karina Corona ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-007) or your wedding coordinator to arrange a private yacht charter; group tequila, mescal, or hot sauce tastings; golf outings; whale watching excursions; activities like ziplining, horseback riding, and swimming with dolphins; or a day trip to nearby towns San Pancho and Sayulita for a taste of local life. Tip: In San Pancho, arrange a group breakfast at Hotel Cielo Rojo. In Sayulita, book tables on the patio at Don Pedro’s, which overlooks the water.

For the ultimate in R&R, reach out to Spa Concierge Reyna Dominguez ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-045), or your wedding coordinator, who can assist with VIP bookings at the spa. For brides and grooms, book the Romantic Ritual for Couples, which includes an aromatherapy massage and his and her facials. We enjoyed the lively Grand Cora massage, which incorporates swooping strokes, stimulating scents and soft sounds for a completely sensual experience.

The Imperial Spa Suite features an 80-minute massage per person/per day in the privacy of an in-suite spa area.
The Imperial Spa Suite features an 80-minute massage per person/per day in the privacy of an in-suite spa area.

When the big day finally arrives, the bride and her bridesmaids can get ready in grand fashion with the “Spa Suite for Brides Package.” It includes hair and makeup for the bride, hair for the bridesmaids, mani-pedis for the whole group, beverages and hors d’oeuvres, and massages in a Shiatsu chair, all in the privacy of the Presidential Suite, which serves as their personal sanctuary for four or eight hours. Ask Dominguez or your wedding coordinator for assistance in setting it up. And don’t forget the guys. A round of Skin Care for Men Facials and Margarita Pedicures will have them looking fresh and dapper for the day. If groups prefer to take their treatments at the spa, let Spa Groups Coordinator Maria Torres ([email protected]; 011-523-222-268-045) know. We recommend a visit to the spa at least once during your stay here so as not to miss out on its unique Hydrotherapy Circuit, which includes jetted showers, a sauna, an ice bath, a steam room with chromotherapy, and hot and cold plunge pools.

What to know when booking: The resort is busiest the last two weeks of December, and it sees its highest volume of weddings from February to June and in October and November. When initiating wedding bookings, reach out nine months to a year in advance to ensure availability, especially for larger parties and for weddings during busier times of year. Insiders say suite blocks should be booked at a minimum of six months out, restaurants at a minimum of four months, and spa packages and treatments at a minimum of one month out.

A final helpful hint: A 20-minute drive southeast from Grand Velas, its 80-suite sister property, Casa Velas, is an option to consider if an ultra-private affair is in order. The adults-only boutique hotel has a fine-dining restaurant and a private ocean club — ideal for a family takeover or under-the-radar wedding. Though Casa Velas is not oceanfront, a complimentary shuttle takes guests to its Ocean Club and to Grand Velas.

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