Viva Wyndham is an Italian-born chain of tropical all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean where value and fun are guaranteed by a friendly staff. We have long praised this chain because their ambiance, great staff, and top value for money have made made the seven all-inclusive, family-welcoming resorts so successful.
As you can read in our writers’ reviews of the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach, the Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, Viva Wyndham Playa Dorado, and Viva Wyndham Maya and Azteca, this company knows how to show its guests a good time.
Viva Resorts’ founder and president, Ettore Colussi, was a charming Italian Odysseus who many years ago beached his sailboat on Hispaniola after five years of roaming the Caribbean. He found “home” in the Dominican Republic and, after spending several months getting to know the country, returned to Italy, scooped up some willing buddies, and bought his first resort hotel. Sticking with his philosophy of building resorts in the best beach locations; maintaining a top value proposition in the face of tough competition; being family-friendly while welcoming all types of guests; and hiring a diverse pool of talented, multi-lingual staff, Mr. Colussi took the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach from 60 bungalows to 1,000 rooms in 20 years.
Viva Wyndham Resorts Expand
January 2015 marks nearly 25 years of the Viva name and brand. After his immediate success at La Romana, Mr. Colussi followed his first love, scuba, and built the group’s next property on Grand Bahama, followed by two resorts in the Mexican development of Playacar along the Riviera Maya and expansions in the Dominican Republic.
Today, while the Dominican Republic resorts still attract many Europeans, Italian guests make up only about 30% of the company’s business. That doesn’t mean the Italian talent for cuisine, generosity of spirit and great design sense is gone however. Rooms are spacious and well decorated, with a variety of room sizes and styles appropriate to every type of family.
As expected from an all-inclusive resort company where one price covers everything a vacationer might need, each resort offers three meals a day from bountiful buffets, unlimited beverages and house brand alcohol, and even 24-hour snack bars. Wait staff circle the pool and public areas with refreshments, there’s an afternoon High Tea service, and rooms with minibars have them restocked daily. On the healthy side, the Viva Wyndhams are in tropical locales where fresh fruit, vegetables and salads are abundant, and each buffet offers a low-fat section.
Daily activities center around total action – watersports, group lessons in windsurfing or kayaking or scuba, team games like volleyball or soccer, reggae dance classes or yoga – or inaction on the many hammocks, sun chaises and shaded patios available to guests. There’s a corner for sunset cocktails, nightly show put on by the talented and vivacious resort staff, and many of the resorts are near lively beach towns for a night away while the kids are otherwise engaged. Dive shops, banana boat rides, jet skis, hair-braiding and local crafts are some of the fun local options available for a fee.
Enhancing a Top Value Vacation
The past few years of damaging hurricanes, tropical illnesses and other traveler woes have resulted in good news for families; newly refreshed resorts have more restaurant options, including a la carte dining venues. The Riviera Maya resorts even offer guests vouchers to dine in the hip town of Playa del Carmen at their own Café Viva, a successful nightspot in this crowded beachfront village. The Dominicus Palace added a large casino, shopping and entertainment complex with convention facilities. Don’t worry about the family here; gambling and drinking are both restricted to those over 18-years and Viva Wyndham’s color-coded wrist bracelets ensure that adult activities remain adult. The resorts have also adopted Viva Green, a strong pro-environmental policy at each location.
While preserving its moderate rates, Viva Wyndham has also been able to add spa facilities, dedicated miniclub facilities, and kiddie pools at each resort. Vivito the crocodile mascot greets all little ones. Each property maintains a supervised kids’ program, divided into age-appropriate activities for ages 4-7 and 8-12. Private babysitting is available, for a fee, for the under-4s. Puzzles, gym time, arts ‘n’crafts, pool games, kayaking, sandcastle building, and face painting are some options available daily.
For the 2015 winter season, the Kid’s Clubs at Viva Wyndham Maya and Viva Wyndham Azteca offer extended hours from 7am-10pm daily. Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach and Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace are open from 9am-6pm; Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach 9am–12:30pm and 3pm-6pm; and the Viva Wyndham Tangerine from 9:30am–5pm giving parents plenty of time to enjoy themselves knowing their kids are well looked after.
Additionally, teens can use the Mini Disco and join in Caribbean dance classes, competitions, archery, tennis, volleyball, soccer, intro scuba classes and windsurfing are available free of charge. Other perks more commonly seen at luxury resorts come courtesy of Viva’s marketing affiliation with Wyndham, whose Wyndham Rewards program allows guests to maintain a preference profile and earn loyality points. For more information, bookings, or to learn more about this company, call 800/Wyndham or visit Viva Resorts online.
This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.