We’re back from our vacation in the Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, and just getting into the swing of things again with school, work and the mountains of laundry we have to plow through. But gosh did we ever have the best time! I wasn’t ready to head home on Saturday, and neither we’re the kids, but yet here we are.
I wanted to write a really detailed review of our trip to help you guys with all the different questions you had, so I’ve broken it down into sub sections below my overview post, for easy finding.
Our trip started off long before we actually arrived. The boys and I had so much fun packing up and deciding what to bring along. They used their imaginations to picture themselves in the pool and swimming with the o ran waves. I always let them participate in the packing aspect as t brings them so much joy, and it’s half the fun of getting ready for a big trip. Family trips create the best memories for both us and our boys and I we love being able to take them along on as many adventures as we can.
In the end we all agreed that this trip was one of the best we’ve ever taken and we really cannot wait to do it again soon.
So now for the details!
The Flight: Our vacation package was through Air Transat. We have booked vacations with them before and we absolutely LOVE the experience overall. They have amazing flight times for families, seamless transportation to and from the hotels, Kids Club advantages for flight check in and so much more.
Our flight was early in the morning, and I highly recommend it if you’re traveling with kids. They’re in a better mood at that time, and even if it means waking them up early to get to the airport, its worth it! We checked in quickly at the Air Transat Counters, and breezed through security quickly.
We had Option Plus seats for Michael and I which allowed us to bring up to two checked pieces of luggage each, gave us early boarding priority, and meals on board that we’re very much appreciated as breakfast wasn’t really an option at 3am. Our luggage was also prioritized to come out on the belt fast! This alone is a good reason to get these seats…plus Michael is so tall, he needs the leg room too.
The one thing I love about Air Transat are the people. The flight attendants were so kind and helpful to us. Johannes sat across the aisle from us, so Michael and I could put Magnus in between us to make sure he didn’t run around. And they were constantly checking on him to make sure he had what he needed, they even cut up his pizza for him when he couldn’t figure out the knife situation.
We registered the kids for Kids Club before leaving which also gave them headphones on board, some toys to play with, Henrik got a cute little package with a teether, a diaper and more.
We love that Air Transat goes above and beyond to make families travelling with children comfortable. And although this trip was sponsored by them, we have traveled many times with them in the past and have found the service to be just the same every single time. Which is a big part of why we continue to use them for family trips like this.
Quick Note! if you’re flying from Toronto to Puerto Vallarta flights are only available from November to April. If you’re in Western Canada (Calgary, Vancouver, Edmonton) flights are available year round, and in Quebec they’re also year round except for the month of September. Just in case you’re wondering why you can’t find packages to this particular resort.
Arrival: Because we were seated in the Option Plus seats at the front of the plane, we were able to disembark first too and that meant getting through the customs line faster, getting our luggage quick and all the things that we really need when we have kids who are just done with sitting around and want to run around fast!
The resort we stayed at was close to the airport so the 10minute transportation from the airport to the hotel was quick and perfect! There’s nothing worse than having to wait another hour or more to get to your destination after a long flight.
Resort Accommodations: We stayed at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit near Puerto Vallarta. And oh my gosh you guys this place is incredible. I can’t say enough good things about it. It was just the best experience from start to finish. We had a two bedroom family suite, which was perfect for all our needs. Michael and I shared a room with Henrik, and the older boys had their own space. You guys can watch my video below to see it all.
Resort Food: Amazing! The food was out of this world. The a la carte restaurants had just the most incredible chefs working there. Frida the Mexican restaurant, had some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life…period, and our only regret was that we couldn’t bring it home with us.
The Italian Restaurant was also wonderful, with so many fresh pasta, pizza and fish dishes.
And the French Restaurant, which is for adults only, was also sublime. We were able to order a few dishes to our room so we could try them out while the kids slept, and we were in heaven!
We mostly ate at the Buffet or the Grill though because of the ease with kids who can be picky. The food here was incredible too. Fresh fish, fresh fruit, smoothies made with anything you can possibly ask for.
I was able to stick pretty close to my diet without ever feeling like I was missing out on taste or quality. Hands down the food at the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is the best I’ve ever had at an all inclusive.
A quick note on allergies and intollerances. The resort goes above and beyond to accommodate any allergy period. The a la carte restaurants have gluten free and vegetarian menus. And the manager of the buffet will personally talk to you if you have any specific requirements as well. There were several families there traveling with kids who were anaphalactic to peanuts and they were raving about the service.
Our Bugaboo Bee5 was indispensable on this trip! The best Stroller ever!
drink selection at Frida (5 diamond restaurant)
I can’t even describe how amazing these tacos are
Facilities (spa & kids club):
The kids club is so cute and well appointed. They have the sweetest girls working there and they do all sorts of fun activities with the kids, like picnics with puppet shows, kite making workshops, cupcake decorating (and eating). The kids club is for kids 4+ but if you have younger kids, they have babysitters who bring the babies along for some of the kids club activities. We were always seeing them at dinner or around the resort and the kids were just in heaven!
The Spa! Ohhhhh this is just the best place! I had the Tequila Massage after a work out, and it comes with a shot of tequila…I assure you this is how all massages should be. The hydra therapy at the start was incredible too. I spent the most luxurious two hours of my life that morning, and didn’t want to leave. If you are heading to the Grand Velas, please book yourself a treatment. I promise you won’t be sorry.
The gym. I kept up my workout routine at the gym here. They have lots of classes too if that’s your thing, but the machines are top notch and the gym is well stocked with anything you need to keep up your workouts and regiment. I loved the gym so much! I found it easier to work out on vacation than at home simply because of this.
Baby Concierge: One of the best things about the Grand Velas resort was their Baby Concierge. They have baby tubs, bottle warmers, bottles, high chairs, jumpers, strollers and more! It was incredibly helpful for us to have access to so many things for Henrik and made our stay so much easier and more enjoyable
the pool was just unreal
bathtub provided by the baby concierge service
Beach and Location: The resort is on a beautiful beach, with the most spectacular views! I have never seen sunsets this pretty before. It was just incredible.
As I mentioned before, the location is close to the airport so the transfer is quick and painless.
Last thoughts: While we were there we met several people who come to this resort every year and love it so much. I can certainly understand why. There’s not one thing I can say would be a criticism, so we will 100% be booking again, and again and again to come here with the kids.
Air Transat, as always delivered the most wonderful experience, and coming from someone with awful flight and travel anxiety, I think that speaks volumes.
Please take a look at the video below for more details and a room tour. And if you have any questions please let me know!
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