Vidanta, what is it?
From the moment you get off of your flight in Puerto Vallarta you are surrounded by ads and images of Vidanta! Is it a hotel? Is it a resort? Is it a show? Is is a Golf Course? It turns out to be all of those.
Recently I had a chance to tour the Vidanta property with two of my Canadian friends, Mark & Greg. Each of us was stunned and impressed. One of the first things that struck us was the sheer enormity of the property. It sits just north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport in Nuevo Vallarta and sits on both sides of the Ameca river. It has it's own private gated access road - as an FYI you cannot order an Uber on the property.
Grupo Vidanta was founded by Daniel Chavez Moran in 1974 as a company that is involved in design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance of hotels, resorts, cruises, and associated infrastructure. The group has 17,000 employees and an estimated annual revenue of US$850 million.
The resort hotel brands associated with Vidanta include Grand Luxxe, The Grand Bliss, The Grand Mayan, The Bliss, Mayan Palace, and Sea Garden.
In November 2014, Grupo Vidanta opened JOYÀ, a resident show of Cirque du Soleil with a capacity of 600 attendees within the Vidanta Riviera Maya resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
In April 2016, Grupo Vidanta signed an exclusive partnership agreement with the Hakkasan Group. The deal, worth $150 million, led to the development of new concept beach clubs, nightlife venues, restaurants and a hotel at Mexico’s Vidanta Resorts. In February 2018, four such concepts opened at the Vidanta Los Cabos resort: OMNIA Dayclub, Herringbone, SHOREbar, and Casa Calavera. The company is in the planning/building stages of a $1.3 billion theme park-resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico, in partnership with Cirque du Soleil.
At the heart of Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta is Santuario, a sprawling 75,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor entertainment pavilion. Santuario offers a nightly lineup of acts for the whole family, including acrobatics, dance performances, musical acts, sand artists, and more. It also features multiple bars, lounges, and lounge decks.
In 2004, Grupo Vidanta partnered with EarthCheck to promote sustainable tourism in Mexico. Together, they ensure the preservation and protection of flora and fauna in and around the company’s resorts. Over the years, most Vidanta resorts have been recognized and certified by EarthCheck for their efforts in water and energy conservation, waste management and recycling, and food sustainability. In 2016, the Mayan Palace Puerto Peñasco received a gold certification from EarthCheck for its long-term commitment to sustainable tourism in Mexico. In December 2016, Grupo Vidanta opened an EPA-regulated farm called 'Almaverde' on the grounds of its Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta resort. It was developed as a way to engage in sustainable farming to supply fresh produce to its own restaurants while preventing food wastage. Almaverde is spread out across seven hectares of land near the Ameca River in Mexico and annually produces around 67 varieties of fruits and vegetables.
To be sure this is an impressive property. I doubt we could have found one burnt out light bulb or untrimmed hedge. If you are looking for an all inclusive gated Disneyesque hotel experience, this is your place. If you are looking to experience the real Puerto Vallarta and Mexico, then maybe not.