March 24, 2022

Vela Lunch Buffet at The Hilton Cancun

Cancun, Mexico

The Hilton Cancun Vela Buffet is an ever-evolving smorgasbord that is guaranteed to have something for even the pickiest eater in your group. Extravagant buffets are a staple of many luxury resorts. The Vela is no exception.  No reservations are required, and Vela is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the menu changing daily with each meal. 

The Vela buffet is located conveniently down the hallways that separate the lobby from the convention halls. 

We stopped for a late afternoon lunch, and two friendly hostesses greeted and seated us immediately. Once seated,  a waiter took our drink order, and we were free to visit the buffet! While he had no wait time to be seated, there was no denying that Vela was busy. Staff moved quickly to take care of guests and ensure that food stations stayed fresh and full. Guests buzzed back and forth for multiple trips through the lines to try something new or get more of a favorite. 

The Food

Stations included Queso y Carne (cheese and steak cuts), Pescado (A whole fish broiled and spiced on a carving board), an extensive salad bar, a bread basket, a pasta station, and more. A chef stood at the back of the buffet room crafting made-to-order custom pasta dishes. 

We started with soup. The offering for the day was a tortilla bisque with all sorts of fixings, such as tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheeses. We then followed up with the salad bar. There are plenty of premade options for those who would like a more traditional salad, such as a Cobb or Cesar, but for the more adventurous and creative, there were several greens and toppings that you can combine to make something just right for you. The real star of the salad bar, though, was the giant wheel of parmesan for fresh cheese shavings that sat at the end of the bar near different dressings and vinaigrettes. 

After the salad, we made a small charcuterie from the cheese and antipasto bar. Genoa salami, prosciutto, and other spiced meats, olives, oils, nuts, and various hard and soft cheeses are available. The bread basket was also extensive with rye, sourdough, and even pre-packaged gluten-free bread.

Those with strict dietary restrictions may find it hard to eat here. With any buffet, there is always a chance of cross-contamination. 

The custom pasta bar was a unique addition. You have a choice of various vegetables and meats that you put into a bowl before handing them to the chef to sauté, where he would then add a sauce of your choice and noodles of your choice. All combined over an open flame and plated to perfection. We went with a fettuccine Alfredo. The texture was just right, and the sauce was flavorful.

The dessert bar was a gem with a spread that could tempt anyone. We settled on the flan, and the tres leches cream puff. Both were magical. The custard on the flan was impeccable and caramelized with apricot jelly. The cream puff was light and airy, and the filling was not overpoweringly sweet.  

A Note on Big Guy Space and SeatingVela Buffet

The Vela buffet is large but also very busy. With no specific flow set for the buffet, crowding can also mean tighter spaces that are harder to navigate. Thankfully, with the resort’s relaxed environment, everyone we encountered was polite. 

For our lunch, we were seated at a surprisingly comfortable booth. Table spaces were wide and placed far enough away from the seat that people of any size could sit easily without worrying about squeezing in. Other tables offered widened cushioned chairs, some with plush backing, some with wooden backing. Both chair types were comfortable, though the plush-backed chairs were slightly narrower.  

Multiple dining rooms branch off from the initial buffet room, offering seating for large parties and small groups. Outdoor seating is available as well. Vela offers a brightly lit space with lots of activity, conversations, and movement. Great for good food, variety, and a lively atmosphere. 

Currently, masks are required to be worn at all times that anyone is actively at the buffet. 

Vela Buffet- What we liked:

  • Desert bar
  • Variety 
  • Comfortable seating

Vela Buffet- What could be better:

  • Dietary restriction options
  • Cross-contamination
  • Buffet area flow
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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.

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