Part 3 continues a St. Louis travel agent’s journey on a getaway from St. Louis
Those interested in venturing off property walked to little shops and pharmacies, snorkeled and simply explored, etc. There truly was something for everyone and all felt very safe. We took a quick cab ride to the Malecon 2000 for shopping, cocktails and dinner. When visiting Puerta Vallarta, the Malecon 2000 is an absolute must-see! Malecon 2000 is an urban renewal project focusing on the old Simón Bolívar boardwalk. It stands along the west shore of the Guayas River for about 1.5 miles. Several of the greatest historical monuments in the history of this area can be seen here, as well as museums, gardens, fountains, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, food courts, the first IMAX theater in South America, This is a stunning location with spectacular sculptures and a fantastic sunset. We visited on a Sunday night but we wish we had chosen to go another night so as not to disrupt the locals. On Sunday nights, the locals frequent the Malecon where they celebrate after attending church.
On The Move: The Next Leg Of Our Journey – The Grand Velas Suites and Spa
After four wonderful nights at Secrets Vallarta, many in our group headed home and eight of us moved to Riviera Nayarit and the Grand Velas Suite and Spas. Just when we didn’t think it could get better.
Arriving at Grand Velas was lovely. A huge open-air palapa greeted us with a lobby showing the perfectly manicured grounds, infinity pool, and beach. We enjoyed a leisurely check-in right from our seats in the lobby and then everyone was whisked off to their rooms. The rooms were spacious and beautiful. The property did not seem too big at all and felt like it was easy to navigate. Three pools fed into each other, each with different temperatures. The one closest to the beach with an infinity edge and swim up bar was where we camped for the duration of our stay. Service poolside was impeccable. Servers remembered your names and preferred drinks. They knew what you wanted before you even asked. Simply amazing.
The beach was amazing with comfortable beach chairs, cabanas, and Bali beds. There were plenty for everyone to find a prime spot on the beach. The only downside to being on the beach was the incessant parade of vendors. If you were looking for jewelry, wraps, sculptures, sunglasses, etc, you never had to get out of your pool chair. It became a bit annoying seeing vendors walk the beach the entire day without a break.
The Food and Drink
The food at each of the restaurants at the Grand Velas was certainly gourmet inclusive. Fabulous dinners of Mexican, French, and Italian during the evening and a fantastic world buffet for lunch, kept us all well fed. Add the 24-hour room service and a substantial menu and no one was lacking in sustenance. Cocktails were all top shelf…Grey Goose, Ketel, Crown Royal, to name a few.
A Special Experience
We were fortunate to be provided access to the Governor Suite, which turned into a nice hangout for the group. The suite boasted two bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a huge hot tub on the patio. With plenty of privacy, these accommodations would be perfect for a multi-generational family traveling together.
The Grand Velas was simply stunning and we loved it there. The views from the rooms were amazing. I don’t believe anyone in our group would think twice before staying at this fabulous resort again and would highly recommend it to any of our St. Louis travel agency clients.