For our first International trip as a family of 4 we decided to go to Rivera Nayarit in the West Cost of Mexico because it is super close to LA, a short 2h flight, and a VERY family friendly destination.
The weather in this area in March is also perfect, in the high 70s/low 80s and a tiny bit humid not too much, which is ideal with babies, and no rain at all, the rainy season is summer. The week we went was also extremely quiet, since their busy season is the winter + any holidays, and we went right before spring break and Easter break, and kids are still in school! Def recommend looking into dates where you avoid crowds.
We stayed at Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit, the exact same resort that we chose for Sofias first international beach resort destination when she was 8 months, and now back with our newest addition, our 8 month old son! How awesome is that? Since we had been here before, I knew how perfect, clean, spacious, family-friendly and safe Grand Velas Rivera Nayarit would be, especially now.
Traveling with kids is hard and not very relaxing. But Grand Velas is truly one of my favorite resorts with kids because they truly make it easy on us parents and allow us to enjoy to the fullest. Why?
1. Their “Baby Concierge” service offers the most comfortable vacation experience, it provides you with the baby gear your baby needs: sanitized bath tub, hammocks, toys, strollers, pacifiers, high chair in your room, carriers... like home but in paradise. You don’t have to bring any of those big items, and are as comfortable as you can be. Your concierge even cleans & sterilizes your baby bottles if needed.
2. On-site daycare/babysitting option: we have not used this service but the option is great. The resort has a complimentary kids club from ages 4+ open 9a to 6pm now (usually till 11p) + babysitting (in room or on site) available anytime. And a teens club with video games, pool tables, music and much more where they supervise them until 11pm!
3. Kid Friendly fine dining Restaurants: having nice restaurants that are baby-friendly is important to us so we can enjoy the experience as a family and not sacrifice nice dinners. They provide high chairs and have kid menus.
4. Baby purée: yes, they make baby purées at any of their restaurants, poolside bar, and room service traveling with a little baby that just started eating is overwhelming, but knowing they do single food or mixed food purées, with no salt added, of a variety of veggies, fruits and even meats or fish if you want, it doesn’t get more hassle free than that!
5. Airport transportation with car seat option. You have to book that in advanced. They have 2 options with car seats. I reserved their Suburban which was $180 round trip with both seats included and fits up to 7 people.
This resort is also all Inclusive: yes, everything mentioned above except the private baby sitter and car service inclusive. Restaurants, room service, drinks, snacks, kids club, mini bar, baby concierge... makes life easy. Plus, room service is available 24/7. If you have kids, you know how important it is to have food available at anytime and anywhere, and how a nice all inclusive, is peace of mind.
But it's not a regular all inclusive, it's truly NICE and high end. You would not think that those awarded restaurants are included in their nightly fees... wow!
Every night you can make a reservation at a different restaurant, and I recommend you try them all if you stay 4 nights or more. SO WORTH IT. Babies and kids can come with you and they also take early reservations, although we went with Beckham sleeping in the stroller a majority of the nights. Here they are ranked from favorite at the top (although I absolutely loved them all)
• Frida (Mexican cuisine)
Then you also have two Casual Restaurants:
• Azul (International Cuisine, open for breakfast and lunch)
• Selva del Mar (Snacks and Sea Food, lunch only)
And you can also order poolside or at the beach. I 100% recommend trying their fish tacos (my husband liked the rib eye tacos), and their shrimp ceviche.
We went there to RELAX and have fun as a family of 4. With two little kids, you can't do much but there is so so so much to do at this resort. You can never be bored. A majority of the below do come with an extra fee though, but they offer / organize:
• Their Spa is one of my favorites! Their massages are amazing • They have Golf courses in the nearby area
• Their Gym is open at a maximum capacity 6 people at a time (free)
• Gym classes are available • There is a Tennis court, previous reservation is required (free) and they also offer Tennis instructor service with a cost
• Free Basketball court
• Family outdoor movie nights • Sunset yatch cruise • Family art class • Famioly bondfire • Cooking class • Wine tasting • Mixology class • Dinner under the stars • Picnics
We didn't leave the resort but here are some touristic things to do/visit in the area: - Puerto Vallarta - Marietas Islands - Sayulita - Caletas - La Tovara Nature Reserve Popular activities to do outside of the resort (they also have tour guides who coordinate this for you on site): • Snorkling • Whale Watching • Off roading • Swim with dolphins
And for those who are worried about a first travel, here are some measurements they are taking during this Covid time:
1. Staff wear masks, googles and shield. They follow strict protocols and are constantly trained.
2. They have touch less hand sanitizer ALL over the resort for those who want to use it.
3. Their gym is open limited to 6 people.
4. All of their Four Diamonds Gourmet Restaurants are operating at limited capacity.
5. They are providing on-site complimentary antigen test for US citizens who stay minimum 3 nights. You get the results in no more than 24h delivered to your room printed, and email, digitally.
6. They base off on the protocols dictated by the World Health Organization and the government of Mexico.
7. The staff practices physical distancing, gets body temperature taken upon arrival, and go through a sanitization cabin with a steam system.
8. They take the body temperature of each guest upon arrival.
9. All baby gear is completely safely sanitized with wash and steam, no chemicals.
10. Their vehicles are sanitized with steam after each use.
11. They increased the cleaning frequency in common areas, with special attention to surfaces such as entrance doors, benches, armchairs, elevators...
12. The pools are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized every day, as well as the sun loungers mattresses, and linings.
13. The entire housekeeper work equipment is sanitized at the beginning and end of shifts, including maid trolleys, suite service tables, etc.
14. All the products of the minibar are replaced at the end of each guest's stay, as well as the air conditioning is sanitized.
15. If you choose the breakfast buffet, you do need to wear a mask when getting your food and the staff help you serve it or, you need to wear gloves.
16. And what I love the most is that their resort is so spacious + we came during low season time that we truly were able to completely social distant while enjoying every area of this beautiful place.
Overall, I can't recommend this place enough, they have stepped up their game to take all precautions needed, they know what they are doing, and they offer the best hospitality and amenities, love it and we will be back!