CN April192011

Adele has sent us photos of the fast growing jungle

while staying at the Grand Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta last March. In a matter of days, the blank area of dirt became a lush area of vegetation. It was good to see her impressions of the way Grupo Vidanta is able to change the landscape almost overnight. Click here to see her new jungle.

She returned from Riviera Maya with a different experience. She asked that we post her comments and the photos she took. They appear below for everyone's benefit:
Hi Bob & Mary Ann,

I took very few pictures when we were at the GL in Riviera Maya, simply because there was nothing of any interest to photograph. The location was horrible, truly bad. The buildings are sited at least 200 yards from the ocean, and they built the pool next to the beach. It's as if the designer forgot there was a beach! The plan is eventually to have a lobby somewhere in front (ocean side) of buildings 1 & 4, with paths cut through the dense jungle to get to the pool and the pool restaurant, "Burger." The triangular shaped buildings are in 3 sections, with what they call their "jungle experience" in the middle of the triangle. We were first assigned #3702, which, although on the top (2nd floor), had views of building 2 construction, the back end of the tennis courts, the irrigation complex complete with constant generator hum, and the tops of ratty trees. Not a drop of water in sight (I don't count the plunge pool). Our balcony was right over the "lobby" entrance. I use quotation marks, because there really isn't any formal lobby. They are using the ground floor unit, #1702, as a temporary reception and concierge area. I promptly checked out ANY villa that might have a glimpse of the ocean, and of the three sides, concluded that unit #3716/17 would be the best we could do. The unit was unoccupied, but there was some maintenance emergency that precluded us from moving in right away. We had to wait a week for them to fix some sort of water leak.

OK, so now we're in #3716 and we actually see a small sliver of ocean way off in the distance. But after a week in #3702, it really did raise my spirits. Although as I mentioned before, the (unfinished) pool was still WAY FAR AWAY. And there is NO WAY TO GET THERE even now, except to walk on the service roads, dodging the shuttles, or take a shuttle. Walking actually look less time than waiting for a shuttle. Until the GL pool opened on March 23rd, three days before we left, and after being there three weeks, we could use the pool area reserved for GL members off of the GM lobby pool (under the palapa, no sun and barely enough room to walk without stepping on another guest). But it was a hike. We mostly used the pool by GM building #1. The wind really blew all three weeks, so we didn't spend much time on the beach.

Speaking of transportation, we had to leave our car at the GM lobby and be ferried to the GL. Staff was always very courteous, and tried to be as efficient as possible, but sometimes the wait was rather long, especially if a lot of people were checking in/out.

All in all, we are in no rush to go back to Riviera Maya GL, maybe never. Even when they finish everything they say they will build, it will still be a hodge podge of buildings, far far from the water, that are inferior in lay-out to those in Nuevo Vallarta. The balcony off the studio is like a cocoon - no view, and a stone wall on the outside. There were no hammocks on either balcony. The concierge "stands" are on every floor, but they were not staffed when we were there. You will NEVER have ocean front, and barely 1/3 of the suites will have any view of the water at all. You will ALWAYS have a trek to the pool area.

Grand Luxxe Beach Near the Pool Riviera Maya
Toes at Grand Luxxe Pool at Riviera Maya

This is a picture of the "beach" part of the pool, and one looking west from the pool deck.

That said, the staff was wonderful, and really tried to accommodate us to the best of their ability. We heard lots of grumbling from other guests, and my husband golfed with many members who were similarly unhappy with the situation. It sounds strange to complain about all the shortcomings. We were, after all, in a tropical "paradise." However, we paid dearly for the amenities that were simply not there, and perhaps never will be. I'm not interested in going to a place where they excuse everything by saying it's a "soft opening." Stop selling, build what you've sold, and be ready when the guests arrive.

I've gone on long enough. All is well in Wisconsin - that is, except for the snow we're having right now!
Take care,

Very informative review. It is a shame your stay was less than what you expected. Clearly, Grupo Vidanta has additional work to do at the Riviera Maya property to please you and others.

It is a different place for sure. There are no high towers, so ocean views are not the same as they are in Nuevo Vallarta. However, the surrounding area appears to be attractive and the water is beautiful.

Thank you Adele for sharing your views...

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