Last updated: 10:30 AM ET, Mon March 28 2016

EarthCheck Recognizes Grand Velas For Eco-Friendly Practices

Hotel & Resort | Dawna L. Robertson | March 28, 2016

EarthCheck Recognizes Grand Velas For Eco-Friendly Practices

Photo courtesy of Grand Velas Riviera Maya

When it comes to environmental responsibility, Mexico’s all-inclusive Grand Velas Resorts not only talks the talk, but walks the walk.

EarthCheck, the global leader in scientific benchmarking and certification of sustainable tourism, has taken note. Operating with a mantra that “what can be good for the planet is also good for business,” the organization has recognized the pioneering eco-friendly methods of AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Resorts in Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit by awarding Gold and Silver Status, respectively.

Since 1987, EarthCheck has guided businesses, communities and governments around the world in delivering clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travelers to experience and explore. Its flagship program, EarthCheck Certification, has helped clients across more than 70 countries garner in excess of $500 million in operational savings while reducing their footprint on the environment. The organization has worked within Mexico for more than a decade, with its clients ranging from destinations to golf courses, hotels and tour operators.

READ MORE: Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Earns AAA Five Diamond Award

According to Eduardo Vela Ruiz, founder and president of Velas Resorts, the company remains committed to implementing sustainable practices. “The Velas Resorts team is very proud to be recognized at the highest levels by EarthCheck,” Vela Ruiz said. “This distinction reaffirms our steadfast commitment to the management and preservation of our resorts’ environments.”

Grand Velas Riviera Maya

On a white-sand beach within 206 acres of mangroves, jungles and freshwater cenotes, the 539-suite Grand Velas Riviera Maya has been painstakingly designed to exist in harmony with its fragile environment that includes more than 18,000 trees reforested post-construction.

To reduce dependence on local and countrywide energy sources, the family-friendly retreat relies on two reverse-osmosis desalting plants, co-generation electricity plants and an on-site residual water treatment facility designed to process and recycle all water throughout the resort.

While those “less glamorous” aspects are critical, more visible environmentally friendly programs have major appeal with resort guests. The property maintains on-site botanical gardens, participates in the Federal Sea Turtle Conservation Program, conducts complimentary Behind the Scenes Eco-Tours, and has constructed artificial ocean reefs to both protect and foster native sea life fronting the resort.

Grand Velas Riviera Maya is also one of only several hotels in Mexico to receive a Clean Beaches Certificate from the federal government.

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

In a plush natural setting of landscaped gardens along a stunning stretch of beach, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit also demonstrates a commitment to preserving its natural surroundings and cultural heritage while reducing its environmental impact.

To monitor responsible use of energy sources, the resort conducts continuous inspections that monitor and verify cohesion to environmental regulations. It separates waste for recycling, and relies on biodegradable products for fertilization, cleaning and fumigation.

The adults-only Banderas Bay resort also educates employees on respecting and conserving its natural environment via a permanent water-saving campaign, and internal “Green Mailbox” for recommending resource-saving ideas and ecological preservation initiatives. Taking a creative twist, a Recycling Expo allows employees to tap into recycled materials for designing art and useful items.

The 267-suite Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit also retains Mexico’s Blue Flag certification that acknowledges sustainable development of marinas and beaches.

Additional Accolades

Both Grand Velas resorts are Leading Hotel of the World members. And both hauled in 2016 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards — Riviera Nayarit placing in the “All-Inclusive Mexico” category and Riviera Maya scooping honors in the “Best All-Inclusive Family Resort” category.

For reservations or additional information, visit

READ MORE: Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit Completes $20 Million Renovation

The Agent’s Edge

Travel professionals are encouraged to register for the Velas Expert Program to become an Expert on Mexico’s pair of Grand Velas properties. Perks include FAM trips for productive agents, promotion email announcements and generous bonuses for every booking. Register at

If Los Cabos is on your radar, you’ll be happy to know that Grand Velas Los Cabos will be opening its doors at the very spot where the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean converge. Expect more than 300 luxurious suites of more than 1,000 square feet designed with signature Grand Velas style and taste. 

For more information on Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit

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