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Deep in the Mexican jungle, an ancient civilisation built cities that still stand today. They were masters at cultivating land, building roads, mapping the stars and making calendars that scared conspiracy nuts in 2012 – they were the Mayans.

Relatively few traces remain of this enigmatic Mesoamerican civilisation, thanks to the Spanish systematically erasing their culture to make way for European Christian dogmas. However, the few remnants that do remain can be found in the wilderness of the Yucatán Peninsula. It’s here that you’ll find the scenic Riviera Maya, one of the most beautiful and revered areas of Mexico’s Caribbean corner, and home to the lusciously luxurious resort of Grand Velas.

Just northeast of Playa Del Carmen, Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s private beach embraces the warm inviting waters of the Caribbean. Its suites guarantee mesmeric views of the rhythmic ocean waves rolling towards the shore or the vast Yucatán jungle. Admittedly, a stunning view will take your breath away, regardless of whether you’re looking from a luxury yacht or a rusty old tugboat, however – let’s be honest – the luxury yacht sounds like a lot more fun. Luckily, Grand Velas is so much more than its breath-taking views. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is the luxury yacht of Mexican resorts.

From the outside, its elegant contemporary style complements the charming Mayan character of its thatched roofed terraces, evoking an intoxicating and enchanting ambiance that lasts throughout your stay. And if you’re a firm believer in the notion that it’s what’s on the inside that matters, then you won’t be disappointed by Grand Velas’ wonderfully varied range of spacious suites. This all-inclusive resort also features a spa, an oceanfront infinity pool, a children’s pool and kids club, shops and boutiques, eight different dining venues and the opportunity for boat and fishing trips out in the Caribbean Sea. But if you’re a creature equally concerned with culture as you are with comfort, then Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s proximity to ancient jungle ruins makes the prospect of staying here too great to resist.

There are dozens of ancient cities, temples and jungle ruins nearby to explore, the closest being the Tulum ruins, which are a 45 minute journey by car. Many of these impressive stone structures remained hidden and forgotten for hundreds of years and continue to be unearthed to this day. Another awe-inspiring site is Chichen Itza, slightly further away but absolutely worth the two hour drive to get there. These ancient ruins instil a humbling sense of perspective and an appreciation for just how brief and blessed our time on this Earth really is, but the marvels of Mexico’s jungles aren’t just manmade. The magical Ik Kil Cenote is less than 10 minutes away from Chichen Itza and is one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the world – the perfect place to take a dip and dive headfirst into one of Mexico’s most mystifying attractions.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya represents the best of both worlds. It’s a place where unabashed opulence and style meet with wild and rustic ruins. Its exclusive beach and secluded setting offer the quiet life, while still being close enough for you to venture into Playa del Carmen for some more up-tempo nightlife, and the famous lively town of Cancún is only an hour’s drive away. Grand Velas Riviera Maya is where luxury and culture combine to create a wholly magnificent Mexican resort – one that we’re more than proud to recommend.

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