from Chapala, Mexico
Submitted on 13-08-2016
July 19-23, 2016
Am I Home or in Heaven?
After a very long ride from Lake Chapala due to immense traffic we arrive finally, at the welcoming site of the iron scrolled gates of Casa Velas. I am either home or in heaven, as usual. Check in is a smooth process in lobby, whilst sitting on couches comfortably, scented hand clothes to cleanse hands and such and our favorite drinks ready. So happy to be here, stress is already flowing out and tranquility taking over. Our infamous hand ...
July 19-23, 2016
Am I Home or in Heaven?
After a very long ride from Lake Chapala due to immense traffic we arrive finally, at the welcoming site of the iron scrolled gates of Casa Velas. I am either home or in heaven, as usual. Check in is a smooth process in lobby, whilst sitting on couches comfortably, scented hand clothes to cleanse hands and such and our favorite drinks ready. So happy to be here, stress is already flowing out and tranquility taking over. Our infamous hand made braided with silver plaque bracelets are applied and we are home for sure.
We are escorted to our room. Which is on other side of village this time, a lovely change. Large living room with the big screen TV, lounging couch, half bath downstairs, also dining area for 4, mini refrigerator, filled with just what we wanted diet coke and water and 2 beers. They usually have a variety of sodas, beer, water , juice but we only drink the diet coke, and maybe a few beers and of course water so we request only those. There is a coffee maker, nespresso I think it is and a basket of snacks, cookies, breakfast bars, chips etc.. Sliding glass doors lead to our own dining patio and plunge pool with 2 loungers, like our own back yard. Cannot get much more special than that. Aromatherapy of our scent choice is flowing throughout room. That is a new addition. Quite nice.
Upstairs is a lovely bedroom with king size bed, closet space, another mini bar that is restocked daily and snack basket, ice bucket, glasses. The bathroom like our other room is huge with a separate glassed off area for toilet, duel raised sinks, huge shower with handheld and rain fall shower heads, full size safe, bathrobes for use and slippers. L'Occitane shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, manicure set, dental kit and insect repellant ( which are new, nice touch), and special soap, I chose healing oatmeal, and honey, again a new addition. The bedroom has a stationary bike, yoga mat, and yes even small free weights and the ever present scale. Wellness suites. They are just wonderful. I know I feel better every time I am at Casa Velas, my slice of heaven on earth.
We even have a balcony upstairs with a chair and a corner Jacuzzi. The room is just wonderful as expected. We have space for both of us and also 2 bathrooms and my husband can work on phone in mornings while I sleep. Perfect. Same as my favorite room just on other side of village which was very convenient for getting to pool and restaurant.
This was a short stay for us so all we wanted was relaxation. This is the place for such. Pampered relaxation. Adults only. Our visit was during rainy season though it did not affect our time, but did note there are now umbrellas in the rooms, always something new and improved.
Our car was safely parked in lot, they have valet. The bellboys took good care of our luggage and shuttling us to Beach club etc. Jorge, Cruz and David are as usual so helpful and friendly.
The concierges, Luis, head concierge, addresses any and all needs with great care along with his assistants Ania and Dahlia who is new to us. We celebrated our anniversary during this stay so a special surprise was left in our room for us on that day, a lovely cake for two in a heart shape and champagne along with many well wishes from staff. They know how to make a special day truly special.
We enjoyed dining at the beach club one day and just relaxing and as usual it was a wonderful treat, everything you would need is there, bathrooms, pool, beach, service, towels, and a full restaurant with incredible service. Andrea and David were our waiters, and we had a lovely lunch sharing popcorn shrimp, tempura vegetables which are served in little frying baskets, always a special unique touch. Shrimp Burrito, my husbands favorite as well. Drinks flowed while we ate, relaxed and watched the ocean, waves, people kayaking, boating and swimming. Such a relaxing time observing from our oasis lunch at the Beach Club.
The grounds about the resort are just incredible. Meticulously manicured everywhere, not a leaf out of place. Flowers blooming, walkways swept, everything just meticulous. The peacocks remain roaming the property so beautiful. The Koi ponds so tranquilizing. The turtles also in the ponds. Manicured trees, the sparkling water of the beautiful on site pool with lovely loungers, umbrellas and cabanas and teak tables for eating, if you choose. The pool water is always clean and sparkly and solar heated with the wonderful swim up bar. Fresh towels and ice bucket with bottled water brought to side tables upon arrival to area. We spent most of our days here just lounging and enjoying the great drinks and poolside food offered. They have a menu called Aqua Bar and is for the pool area, so many choices.. we tend to order a few options and share, as everything is so good. The waiters by the pool are friendly and efficient, always checking if you are set or need anything. Jose and Freddy served us well. The Shrimp Burrito, wontons, onion rings and barbeque wings at the pool are wonderful as are the hamburgers or Angus burgers.
This is truly the life when you can just relax, enjoy, be waited on, swim eat and drink and do nothing. Leave your stresses outside the gates. Never an issue getting a chair, no towel games...just pure and special pampering. Speaking of pampering, I meant to get a pedicure and massage at their incredible spa but got so caught up in relaxation I just never found the time in my laid back, do nothing days. My husband did go to the gym which is just lovely overlooking the grounds, like working out amidst the jungle. I myself was very lazy sleeping late in the ever so comfortable beds with special pillows and sheets.
We roamed about their onsite garden one day wow it sure has grown, and is amazing to see your herbs and many things that you are served are fresh from this garden.
They offer many different theme nights, example Pasta & Lobster Night, and different things to do, a Chef's dinner which we sadly missed, I love that. Tequila tasting, chef's menu from Grand Velas, yoga classes, and so on. There is a piano player many nights live in the onsite restaurant Emiliano.
We dined at Emiliano every night even though we know we can also dine over at sister resort Velas Vallarta at their two restaurants. This is included in a stay at Casa Velas. We did have lunch over at Velas one day, and had a few drinks by pool as well. Another home to us but a family resort, so kids enjoying vacations.
Emiliano restaurant is tiered in levels... so you feel almost as though you are in a much smaller restaurant than it is, you feel very special. It is a fine dining experience for sure. They also have in non rainy season outdoor candlelight dining by pool. Be sure to look up while there and check out the incredible chandelier they have depicting perfectly the blend of nature and tranquility.
Many nights there was live piano music. You can check my review of Emiliano Restaurant, more descriptive. We enjoyed such things as special drinks of the night like a Passion Fruit Martini, special margaritas, drinks made with Southern Comfort, not an easy alcohol to get in Mexico. Popcorn crab, mussels, Petit Chateaubriand, Sea scallops in a chipotle sauce, Veal Wontons, Potatoe Cream soup, Lobster cream soup, Rack of Lamb, Beef Tenderloin with Shrimp and broccoli and wild mushrooms, Portabello mushroom with shrimp, Prime Rib, Salad with lobster, mango and passion fruit dressing, Pastor salad with goat cheese, many types of sorbet like Jamaica and Passion fruit, ice cream, chocolate pearl. All the food was just wonderful and presented with such incredible beauty. The waiters are just so efficient and friendly yet non obtrusive. Bernadino, Said, Rene, Victor and the helpful, welcoming hostess Maria.
Every dinner was a treat to our palate and senses. The presentation and food were just wonderful. Service and personalities of waiters incredible. You could not want for anything better in a meal. The menu is varied with many choices so you just do not tire of it. You also have room service 24 hours. We only had it once and that was for breakfast and it was just a lovely treat before our departure on last day. Our anniversary night they treated us oh so special, with well wishes, special desserts and it was just another anniversary with such fond memories. We do try now to have my birthday and our anniversary at our second home, Casa Velas. You know a place is really good if you want to keep going back and we do!
We enjoyed an after dinner drink most nights in the lobby bar served by the infamous "Benny". Always a fun time to chat a bit with him. We made some friends as usual in the lounge, one couple honeymooners so hope to meet up with them again on their anniversary, and hope to meet up once again with others at Casa Velas. Our nights ended on a nice note after chatting and over nightcaps.
They have turn down service which is wonderful, but we forgot to take off our do not disturb sign so no experience of it this trip, but it is a treat to return to room to it, I know from previous stays.
So all in all a stay, our stay as always was a 5 star experience from room, grounds, food, drinks and service to the little things like check in and out which are simple. We will continue to experience special times at Casa Velas, our second home or yes, slice of heaven. Our only complaint is that we have to leave, but at least we know we will go back. Already booked for February!