Riviera Maya, Mexico (December 19, 2016) – The holidays are over-the-top at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya with a 20 ft. tall Christmas tree adorned with fiberglass sphere ornaments handmade by a local young artist, 12 ft. tall gingerbread house, insuite trees and toys, and more. Furthermore, the luxury foodie family resort on Mexico's Caribbean Coast now has an activity for young ones that brings images in chocolate to life with a new app. Holiday festivities run from December 19 – January 2.
Over the holiday season, Executive Chef Michel Mustiere – one of only 10 Maitres Cuisiniers de France in Mexico – creates a gingerbread mansion in the resort's Zen lobby. Weighing in at over 550 lbs, it is almost 11.5 ft tall and 10 ft wide. Over 400 lbs of ingredients are used to make the castle-like house, while almost 200 lbs of candy adorn the gingerbread mansion.
In the past, young ones have attempted to eat their way through the gingerbread house, but this year the resort offers an activity for kids where they can see it come alive. Using their smartphone or tablet, participants can snap any of the chocolate pieces on the gingerbread house and watch them go wild. Resort chefs have screen printed Magic Xperiences' markers or "magic keys" on the chocolate elements on the gingerbread house that when scanned with the app start to move. The Magic Xperiences app can also be used on chocolate desserts in the resort's all-day dining restaurants – Azul and Chaka. The magic keys cue augmented reality images when scanned with the app. Once at the resort, guests can request assistance with the app from their personal concierge or at the restaurants.
Christmas trees are delivered to the resorts' spacious suites upon arrival as a pre-holiday celebration activity, while presents appear on Christmas Eve with the help of Santa's special Velas elves. Toys for both boys and girls range from Barbie and Angry Birds gear to a remote-controlled Minion Mobile and variety of Legos. Everything can be easily pre-selected from an online gift shop prior to arrival, including preference of ornaments, tree toppers and gifts for under the tree. Guests are also able to donate toys online to the Center for the Caring of Children with Cancer, a non-profit institution dedicated to serving children and teenagers with cancer.
Holiday activities at the resort range from Mexican posada, Santa's Workshop and Letters to Santa to a chocolate ceremony with Santa and holiday massages for adults and kids. Teens enjoy dedicated lounges with everything from video games, Xbox Kinect, and karaoke to special activities like urban dance classes and non-alcoholic mixology classes.
All-inclusive rates include luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more. Nightly rates start at $653 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya per adult based on double occupancy. Rates for children are $100 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. Christmas trees and ornaments start at $250 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya. To make arrangements prior to arrival, call 1-888-407-4869 or visit http://velasresorts.com/christmas/.
About Grand Velas Riviera Maya:
Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances in this Leading Hotel of the World, including adults only oceanfront, family friendly ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula's jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L'Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Grand Velas Spa, a Leading Spa of the World, is the region's largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids Clubs and Teen's Club; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide. This year, the resort entered TripAdvisor's Hall of Fame for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for five consecutive years in addition to the Signature Spa being awarded "Best Luxury Resort Spa-The Americas" at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2014. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, majority owner, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts.