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Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal
Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.

The Grand Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico by AHA Universo

February 25th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal

The brief obtained by AHA Universo regarding the new premier resort for Grupo Vidanta was to embody luxury in every aspect of the project, and so they did. Set in a privileged location, at the center of Bahía de Banderas, the Grand Luxxe has an unmatched view of the entire Bay, with Puerto Vallarta to the South and Punta Mita to the North. The Ameca River flows into the Ocean just a few yards away, providing lush vegetation and a unique landscape.

The Grand Luxxe

  • Architecture: AHA Universo, Arturo Hernández (Principal)
  • Architecture team: Héctor Martínez (Director), Jaime Güemez, Francisco Sarabia, Luis Oscar González
  • Interiors: Joaquín Homs (Director), Mayela Mere, Cristian González, Lydia Cruz
  • Graphic Design: Alejandro Villegas (Director), Jessica González, Lorena Escamilla
  • Supervision: Norberto Figueroa (Director), Ricardo Cerezo, Moisés Cortés (on-site), Fernando González (lighting)
  • Mechanics and electricity: Nicolás García (Director), Cruz Cardona, Francisco Quiñones, Pedro Chávez, Julio Mercado, Milton Navarro, Juan Barba
  • Structural engineer: Andrés Acosta (Director)
  • Engineering consultants: Ginsatec, Roberto Dávalos-Cautin S.A., Raúl Izquierdo-Izquierdo Engineering Associates
  • Management: Jaime Rojas, Esperanza Olavarria
  • Geology consultant: Ingeniería Geotecnológica de México, S.A.
  • Construction: Grupo Vidanta
  • Program: 108 keys, lobby, bar, restaurant, swimming pools
  • Client: Grupo Vidanta
  • Location: Nuevo Vallarta, Nayarit, Mexico
  • Construction area: 22,683 m2 (243,675 sq.ft.)
  • Exteriors: 6,110 m2 (65,768 sq.ft.)
  • Project completion: 2009
  • Open to the public: January 2010
  • Photographs: Rigoberto Moreno

The Grand Luxxe Resort

Front, lateral and rear views of the façade.

The nine-story building is an aesthetical departure from traditional Pacific Ocean architecture. It is formed by two intersecting volumes: a central ellipsis which holds the indoor construction, plus a rectangular shape created by the elegant balconies on either side of the building. Floor to ceiling window panes and ultra thin concrete slabs give the Grand Luxxe a refreshingly light look. Exposed metallic columns, black slate room dividers and a pristine white façade assert the contemporary nature of the design, even before entering the building.


Check-in, Concierge, and Travel agency in lobby

Check-in, Concierge and Travel Agency areas in the Lobby.

The Lobby of the Grand Luxxe is a vast, open space with exceptionally high ceilings. The visual anchors, on either side of the room, are two large-scale paintings by Cuban artist Waldo Saavedra, who was inspired by the idea of fantasy world deep in the Ocean. The sleek check-in desks, with a zebrano wood veneer base and an abstract black-and-white print on top, remind guests that although they are in a tropical paradise, this is a cosmopolitan resort with all the luxury and comforts imaginable. Blue and pink silk shawls, traditional knits worn by the Tarahumara women, drape the armchairs with a flirtatious bow. Ceiling-high ash wood wall paneling provides a warm contrast to the glass windows that surround the Lobby, as it catches the light from the crystal chandeliers.

Lobby bar & terrace

Lobby bar and Outdoor terrace.

The centerpiece of the Lobby Bar is the lighting installation made with Glò Murano hand-blown glass lamps by Danilo de Rossi for Leucos. They are set in a recessed blue soffit and were selected in blue and pink, the accent colors for the Lobby’s accessories. This glowing eye oversees the oval-shaped bar with a decidedly urban feel and provides a contrast to the woven furniture and natural wooden sculptures at the entrance.

Outside, the terrace is both simple, in its exposed structural system, and grandiose, in its lush setting and height. Natural concrete columns support a steel ceiling structure which is adorned with a carefully arranged wooden lattice.


Central Atrium.

A nine-story-high open Atrium stands at the center of the Lobby, allowing for an uninterrupted 145 ft. view to the skylight atop the building. The central hallways of the guest floors, which open onto the Atrium, are strategically lit to create the effect of a giant chandelier. At the ground level, an abstract representation of a wave by artist Diana Ibarra is the backdrop to a sculpture by Yuri Zataráin, titled “Loving Bird”. This is also the central distribution point, where changes in the flooring level and materials (from marble to wood or cobblestones) indicate the paths that lead to the public areas and guest elevators.

Beautiful patio

Guest rooms

Guest bedrooms and balconies.

Upon arrival on each floor, guests are greeted by a concierge, who will attend to their every need. Once inside the guestrooms, the atmosphere is calm and cozy. White Carrara marble floors and 12 ft. tall ceilings create a luxurious blank slate for the intimate quarters of the Grand Luxxe. Elm furniture in natural hues provide warmth without overpowering. Rich upholstery fabrics in shades of taupe and ecru are highlighted by silk pillows and throws, in orange and beige, embroidered with subtle floral and leaf patterns and inspired by the Huichol culture. The living and dining areas offer a perfect setting to take a break from outdoor activities, while providing a stunning ocean view. Each balcony has a sitting area, accompanied by a self-standing traditional hammock and a refreshing plunge pool.

Palm Pool

Palm Pool

Swimming pool and gardens.

The swimming pools are large enough for a vigorous swim but divided into mini bays, which give guests a choice of sitting areas and sun decks. Palm trees are integrated into the pool design, offering shade and a green visual break. The swimming pool overlooks the man-made lakes of the resort that, through a series of romantic walkways, lead to the sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean.



Greenery walkway

Punta Arena

Punta Arena

Guest room bathroom

Guest room bathroom

Hotel Facade

Contact AHA Universo

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Categories: Hotel, Resort

One Response to “The Grand Luxxe in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico by AHA Universo”

  1. Salvador says:

    Very nice write-up. I definitely appreciate this site.
    Stick with it!

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