Guests at Casa Velas can participate in onsite cooking classes. // © 2014 Bob Demyan
Feature image above: Grand Velas resort offers multiple fine-dining venues. // © 2014 Velas Resorts
It’s often been said that three is one of nature’s most perfect numbers. Think the Giza pyramids, a tripod or the sports world, where three is everywhere: three strikes, three-pointers, trifectas and the Triple Crown, for example. Three can be an auspicious number in business, too. On a recent visit to Mexico, I saw how Velas Resorts Group has used the power of three to leverage its position in the Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit resort area. With three distinct properties each focused on a different segment of the market, Velas Resorts may have discovered an unbeatable recipe for success.
The first of the properties, Velas Vallarta, is the original Velas resort in Puerto Vallarta. Opened in 1989, it is a favorite with budget-minded clients. With 345 suites, Velas Vallarta has been a perennial best-seller for families and groups. According to assistant manager Donald Willis, a good number of Velas Vallarta’s clients are repeat business. And sure enough, several guests greeted Willis by name as he showed me around the grounds.
A short walk took us to Velas’ newest property, Casa Velas. Opened in 2005, Casa Velas immediately had a different feel — as an adults-only getaway, it is much quieter and more intimate. Thoughtfully incorporated into a lush tropical landscape, Casa Velas’ 80 rooms feature the work of regional artists and a private Jacuzzi or splash pool.
Inside Casa Velas, it’s easy to forget that you’re still in a major resort area. General manager Manuel Oviedo Arce said the smaller, more intimate setting of Casa Velas allows his staff to create a more personalized experience for guests.
“From the moment you arrive, everyone on our staff learns your name,” he said. “These small things make a big difference.”
Tucked away in the lush landscape of Marina Vallarta golf course, Casa Velas’ serenity meant a short drive to the beach where guests could enjoy the Ocean Club for drinks, dinner and sunset walks on the sand. Recently, chef Juan Luis Avelas began offering cooking classes in classic Mexican techniques, using the abundant fresh seafood of Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
A real advantage to both properties is their location in Puerto Vallarta. Vallarta is a great city with much to offer. Still, some prefer to get away from it all and, for these clients, Velas offers the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit.
A 15-minute taxi ride away, the 267-suite Grand Velas might as well be in another world. Opened in 2003, Grand Velas has earned AAA’s Five Diamond Award for its extraordinary attention to detail, comfort and luxury, as well as a stunning oceanfront setting. Guests can choose from three different restaurants with an international theme: Piaf, classical French cuisine; Frida, for contemporary Mexican; Lucca, for Italian-fusion; or the oceanfront Azul, specializing in the fresh flavors of Mexico’s Pacific Coast.
All Velas properties offer luxurious spa treatments, massage therapy (not included in package prices) and ample opportunities for recreation. In fact, with three flavors of Velas to suit every budget and interest, three visits might only be the beginning.