Los Cabos has a new resort designation it’s never had – a 5-star, 5-diamond all-inclusive. Cabo already has the broadest collection of 5-star resorts anywhere in Mexico or the Caribbean with Esperanza, One & Only Palmilla, Rosewood’s Las Ventanas, and The Resort at Pedregal. But, now they’re adding an “AI” (all-inclusive) with 5-star quality.

VIP Opening

The Grand Velas Los Cabos has a soft opening in December 2016 and a full-scale opening in February 2017. Ten days before opening to the public, I was an honored guest among 25 VIP incentive travel executives for a private unveiling. In addition to us incentive planners, the only other guests were 200 personal friends and business associates of the Vela family. On Saturday night, we all gathered together for a spectacular welcome reception of fireworks, menu tastings from the six fining dining restaurants, and a speech by Mr. Vela. (He spoke in Spanish to his pals. While I understood only a few words, it was a cool experience with Mexico royalty.)

It’s always another refreshing experience to see the final, behind-the-scenes flurry of preparations before a hotel’s grand opening with lots of painting, drilling, furniture construction, polishing, decorating, and landscaping. Because our meeting and incentive agency works in professional service delivery too, I’m equally fascinated by the training process to onboard 900 new associates and strive to deliver 5-star service on day 1.


This marks the third Grand Velas resort, and the saying “third time is a charm” applies (without implying any shortcomings in the first or second!). All three resorts are AAA 5-diamond properties (Cabo will be after its 12-month waiting period) with 5-star fine dining, premium beverages, expansive suites, luxurious L’Occitane bath amenities, and award-winning spas.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit in Nuevo Vallarta has a more intimate, Colonial charm. The Riviera Maya resort is more “grand” in scale with 539 rooms, and it earned our #1 top rating in the Meeting Planner Review of All-Inclusive Resorts eBook.

The Grand Velas Los Cabos tagline boasts an ambitious claim – “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare.” At 304 rooms (all with full ocean views), this resort fits in between its sisters in size, and it stretches architecture and cuisine beyond compare. The design is more contemporary with sleek, high-end construction materials everywhere. Each restaurant and public space has stunning marbles, granites, linens, wall coverings, woods, furniture, décor, and of course, artwork.

While the contemporary architecture and sophisticated construction materials and décor will earn many awards, Grand Velas exceeds other all-inclusive with its award-winning culinary experiences. They elevate all-inclusive dining from bland buffets to gourmet dinners.

Like its Grand Velas sisters, the Cabo opening includes the 5-diamond molecular gastronomy from its 2-star Michelin chef at Cocina de Autor. They repeat their popular 4-diamond restaurants – all with updated decors – Piaf (French), Lucca (Italian), and Frida (fine Mexican cuisine). Here in Cabo, they add two new outlets. Poolside is Cabrilla serving the freshest Baja catch as ceviche and tostadas. And the Velas family rolls outs a new signature restaurant, Velas 10, with Mediterranean seafood and steaks.

Rather than words, pictures say more…


The front lobby features bold lines, sharp angles, and contemporary architecture.



The amiable concierge team



Grand Velas Los Cabos is shaped like a large arc equal to one-quarter of a circle shielding the resort from the highway behind and giving every room an ocean view. The arched opening is the lobby overlooking the lush surroundings.



View overlooking the resort from the 5th-floor lobby.



View from the 7th-floor ocean view room. Notice the tiered pools offers each guest ocean views and more privacy.



Grand Velas Los Cabos from the beach



Pool at night



Sunrise over the Sea of Cortes



Grand Velas Los Cabos has a beautiful walking beach, which many area resorts lack due to the rocky coast and big surf. Notice the moon rise in the background adding to the scenic nature.



Moonrise over the pool at dusk



Pool view from an upper terrace. Three terraced pools will make each area seem more private.



All suites are over 1,000 square feet with large sitting areas, private terraces, and spacious bathrooms.



Luxurious sleeping room in neutral colors and more modern design than the other Grand Velas resorts.



10,000 square foot state-of-the-art ballroom is built for meeting planners. Most all-inclusives cater to leisure travelers and struggle to support incentive trips. Grand Velas “gets” groups.



Convention center foyers provide ample space for breaks.



Spa by Se seating area



Even the light fixtures are unique in the Spa by Se.



Velas 10 is a new signature restaurant bearing the family name and boasting “10” for quality. It serves Mediterranean-style seafood and steaks.



Velas 10 restaurant interior



Velas 10 Terrace will be a beautiful spot for welcome receptions.



Cabrilla is a new poolside restaurant serving Baja’s freshest ceviche and tostadas. I recommend the smoked marlin tostada, tomato crab tostada, or the Asian tuna ceviche.



Cabrilla covered dining area offers a shady retreat on sunny afternoons overlooking the Sea of Cortes.



The tilework in Cabrilla shows extreme attention to detail and more high-end construction materials.



Piaf French restaurant



Grand Velas takes details from the mundane to the decorative. On the left, a detail shot of the Piaf restroom. The right shows a space heater at Frida.



Piaf terrace seating



Cocina de Autor bar area



Frida terrace seating overlooking the Sea of Cortes



Frida table for four featuring natural wooden table



Teen Lounge video game pods



Workers were hard at work – polishing, painting, landscaping, and making final touches.



Arrival path to the Terrace for Mr. Vela’s welcome reception



Mr. Vela’s welcome reception on the terrace – viewed from the lobby sky bar



Welcome speech from Mr. Vela. Too bad I can no longer remember those two years of high school Spanish.


My wife and I at a cooking class at Flora Farms. It has nothing to do with the hotel but the excursion was another wonderful treat

My sweet wife, Karen, and I at a cooking class at Flora Farms. It has nothing to do with the hotel, but the excursion was another incredible treat.


Mike May

Author Mike May

President | Author of 12.5 Steps to a Perfect Incentive Program and recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Incentive Industry. Expertise: bucket-list incentive trips, motivational incentive program design, matching event goals with the perfect destination & hotel, cost savings strategies, global channel reward programs, and targeted communications.

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