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Riviera Maya, Mexico (December 29, 2017) – Mario Lopez has been promoted to Executive Chef of the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya, one of Mexico’s Foodie Resorts. In his new position, he oversees the “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All Compare” resort’s AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Cocina de Autor, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Additionally he is responsible for five other gourmet specialty restaurants, multiple bars, 24-hr insuite service and the catering operation of the 539 all suite, uber luxury resort. The appointment is effective immediately.

Originally from Mexico City, Lopez began his culinary career in Montreal, where he found himself influenced by many different cuisines on the renowned Mont-Royal Avenue. He later returned to Mexico, completing his degree in gastronomy at the Universidad del Valle de Mexico. After graduating, he worked for “La Destilería,” a chain of Mexican restaurants found in Mexico City, where he expanded his knowledge of Mexican cuisine. He then worked at the boutique hotel Habita alongside Chef Luna Martín. Lopez most recently acted as Executive Sous Chef at Grand Velas Riviera Maya since 2014. He has participated in various gourmet festivals, including a state contest of regional dishes where he won first place, and the "Best of France Festival" held at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, alongside President of the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, Christian Têtedoie; recipient of three Michelin Stars, Claude Le Tohic; Claude Godard; and Michel Mustière, culinary director of Velas Resorts. He was also involved in the culinary experience during the 2015 World Economic Forum event that took place at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, designing menus for the government heads of state and participants. Additionally, Lopez created a menu of Mexican cuisine for the Mexican Embassy’s celebration of Mexico's Independence in 2015 the United Kingdom.

For reservations or additional information, call 1-888-407-4869, or visit www.rivieramaya.grandvelas.com.

About Grand Velas Riviera Maya

Set on 206 acres of pristine jungle and mangroves and with the finest white sand beach in the Riviera Maya, the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Maya is an ultra-luxury all-inclusive resort. Guests can choose among three separate ambiances, including adults-only oceanfront, family-friendly ocean view and a Zen-like tropical setting, embraced by the flora and fauna of the Yucatan Peninsula’s jungle. All 539 designer-like suites are exceptionally spacious, more than 1,100 square feet each, all with balconies, and some with private plunge pools. All feature fully stocked mini bars, plasma TVs, Wi-Fi, L’Occitane amenities, artisanal tequila, and Nespresso coffee machines. Bathrooms deserve special mention with walk in glass shower, deep soaking Jacuzzi tubs and marble interior. Eight restaurants, including five gourmet offerings, present a tour through Mexico, Europe and Asia. Cocina de Autor, at the hands of world renowned celebrity chefs Bruno Oteiza, Mikel Alonso and Xavier Pérez Stone, holds the AAA Five Diamond Award, the first all-inclusive restaurant in the world to win this prestigious distinction. Se Spa is the region's largest spa sanctuary at more than 90,000 square feet, known for its authentic Mexican treatments, offerings from around world and signature seven-step water journey. Other features include 24-hour Personal Concierge; 24/7 in-suite service; three swimming pools; two fitness centers; water sports; innovative Kids Clubs and Teen’s Club; Karaoke Bar; Koi Bar; Piano Bar, and business center. The resort offers more than 91,000 square feet of meeting space and outdoor areas for events inclusive of a 31,000-square-foot Convention Center, able to accommodate up to 2,700 guests. The resort has won numerous awards from Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, USA Today and several other magazines and major companies worldwide, including World Luxury Spa Awards and TripAdvisor’s Hall of Fame. Grand Velas Riviera Maya was built and is operated by Eduardo Vela Ruiz, founder and President of Velas Resorts, with his brother Juan Vela, Vice President of Velas Resorts.

Contact: Megan Sterritt

sterritt@kwepr.com / 3054765424

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