On the Road at Grand Velas Riviera Maya


“Canadians have a way of thinking of Mexico not as a destination, but as a week far away from the cold,” says Juan Vela, VP of Velas Resorts, pictured.

While escaping winter may be a key factor to many getaways, he says the variety of things visitors can do while in Mexico make it a year round destination.

“The quality of hotels and the experiences that you can get in Mexico is superior to anything you’d find in the Caribbean,” he says.

On site at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Vela told Press Today that Canada is a top international market (along with the USA) for the company, which has a total of four luxury properties in Mexico and is in the process of building a new resort in Los Cabos.

“Our role is: number one service, number two food,” he says. “And to complement, the best spas.”

Ana Mari Irabien, a spokesperson for Grand Velas Riviera Maya and a former rep with the Riviera Maya Tourism Board, says the destination is focusing on the luxury travel market.

“Now more and more the type of hotels that are coming are coming are luxury,” she says. “[There is] a misconception that all-inclusive has to be cheap, it has to be massive, and it’s not.”

Out of 1,457,990 Canadian visitors to Mexico in 2014, more than half travelled to Riviera Maya.