Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit
Set on the eastern edge of broad Banderas Bay just 20 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta, this 267-room Grand Velas manages to feel like a luxury resort with the price tag of an all-inclusive. Food is the first indication: five restaurants serve everything from local seafood (fresh tuna with a huauzontle and orange molé at Frida) to classic French (rack of lamb marinated in Provence herbs at Piaf). During the summer months, it’s clearly a family retreat, with parents signing up the little ones for a Pacific dolphin swim, sandcastle competitions on the beach, movie nights in the air-conditioned Kid’s Club, and excursions to the Nayarit rainforest; one-bedroom suites have separate living room areas and easy access to the pool. And the oceanfront rooms in the Grand Class section are ideal for couples.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.