Why you should go and what you’ll find
In a perfect world, falling in love would be a lot like a fairytale. We’d kiss the handsome prince with Celine Dion singing in the background while cartoon bunnies and birdies would close a book that said ‘The End.’ Sadly, don’t play that way, ladies. Our prince may be handsome, but he probably burps, drinks too much when he’s watching a football game and doesn’t always brush his teeth before bed. That’s reality; that’s life. That said, sometimes it’s possible to pretend you’re still Sleeping Beauty, woken by true love’s (minty tasting) kiss: you just have to be in the right place at the right time. So for those of you who want to live your fairytale, I’ve found the perfect place.
That spot is the Grand Velas, a resort that rests on Banderas Bay in Mexico‘s Riviera Nayarit. It is as close to paradise as you’ll find. You literally won’t have a care in the world, which makes a perfect romance perfectly possible.
The resort staff make sure your every whim is catered to in a behind-the-scenes kind of way, meaning that you may just feel like everything is happening by magic.
Your view open entering the Nuevo Vallarta property is endless ocean, serene pools and a staggering sunset (should you arrive at that time). The sunset here is unparalleled, so make sure you’re taking a ‘romantic walk on the beach’ while it’s going down.
You’re immediately offered a five-minute massage at check-in, and then you’re free to explore, indulge and start feeling the love. There are several different room options, from suites to an ambassador penthouse to an imperial spa suite, but unless you’re one who only enjoys the finest things in life, a simple suite is good enough: just make sure it has a balcony, an ocean view and an outdoor lounge sofa.
Some of the finer rooms have their own outdoor jacuzzis, top-of-the-line entertainment equipment and Bvlgari beauty products, but those rooms also cost between $1000-$3,000 per person per night..and the standard suites are very nearly as nice.
The resort is all-inclusive, meaning that every meal, every drink and every snack is free. Your mini-bar is restocked every day and your room tidied at least three times a day. Your laundry is even folded and resting somewhere convenient, even if you last saw it crumpled in a corner after a particularly passionate romp around the room.
Moving on (don’t want y’all to get too hot and bothered, after all) there is also a gorgeous spa with a hydrotherapy center (plunge pools, a sauna, steam room and foot bath) and an amazing gym. Those who work out will appreciate how tidy the space is and how much new equipment is available. Head over early though — the place starts getting packed around 9 a.m. If the gym isn’t your thing, but you still love to exercise, take a couples’ run along the beach. The sand by the ocean’s edge is packed and hard, which makes jogging very, very easy. Yoga, Pilates and water aerobics are also offered free of charge.
The food on premises is rather fabulous too. In addition to Azul, a buffet that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a snack bar, there are three gourmet restaurants at the hotel. Lucca serves Italian, Piaf French and Frida traditional Mexican; all have four diamond ratings from AAA. Make sure you dress up, though: these spots are made for fine dining and you must abide by the no shorts, no flip-flops rule.
So who should come here? Honeymooners that intend to rarely surface for air and have little desire to be social will find that this location is perfect to suit all their needs. Wedding season is from February until May, so if you intend to take your honeymoon here, you better book in advance.
Otherwise, families and older couples tend to gravitate to this resort. It isn’t a place where you’ll find love if you’re looking for it. Girlfriends on the hunt for single men shouldn’t head here. However, if you’re a single gal who’s attending a wedding party in this sunny spot, you may just have found a fabulous spot to start your own fairytale romance. Who says it needs to last past the day of ‘I do’?
Living a fantasy for a short period of time is better than never living the dream at all.