We spent a week, from March 12 - 19 at the Paraiso Beach resort (one of five different Iberostar resorts sharing the same general property). We booked our Westjet Vacations trip through Thomas Cook Travel, which is associated with Best Day Travel in Cancun. The trip down aboard a Westjet 737 was direct to Cancun and was typical. Once we arrived at the Cancun airport, and after clearing Mexico customs, we were bustled to the loading area by a porter who hooked us up with a Westjet agent and then taken to our waiting shuttle to the resort.
Upon arriving at the resort we were taken to our rooms which were main floor and very clean and modern. The first night we went back to the main lobby for a drink and then went for a walk down to the beach. By the time we headed back the sun had set and we were a bit disoriented with our surroundings. We had met a person dressed in a tradional Mexican cowboy outfit complete with a big broad rimmed sombrero and fake moustache in the lobby and he had insisted we come to the show at the theatre that nite.
I would like to take a minute and tell you that that gentleman turned out to be one of the main reasons that I had the time of my life. His name was Cesar and he was part of a team of people who's whole purpose was to interact with the guests. Cesar and his coworkers Hector, Benito, Christian, Laura and Lester were always putting on small events at the pool, the beach and in the theatre areas. Being an outgoing person I felt very comfortable becoming involved in many of their activities. Within a couple days I had met so many people literally from around the world that I felt like Norm from "Cheers". People would see me and wave and call my name. The "activities" crew were always friendly and outgoing and treated you like you were family. I strongly suggest that when you go there you take some time to meet them and become involved in their fun events.
I played 4 rounds at the onsite Championship course that has been home to several PGA events. The course was designed by Pete Dye and I seriously think the man doesn't like golfers. Although the fairways were relatively user friendly in that all shots funneled to the center, unless you totally missed it, the greens were built to make the proudest man humble. Extremely fast greens with tiers sloping 6 feet in some cases, front to back. Some greens had natural drainage areas not for water but for your golf ball with deep potbunkers waiting at the bottom. The beverage service was better than most courses I've played with no less than 2 interventions per nine. Again, like the resort, all food and beverages were free. As much as Mr. Dye dislikes me, I will happily play that course on my next trip to the resort.
Food at the resort was endless with buffets running for breakfast, lunch and supper and the al la cartes at the special dining areas was good. Beverage service at the beach and at the pools was very good with a minimal wait for service. Specialty drinks like Mai Tais, Tequila Sunrises, Marguaritas, Coco Locos and many more were available and prepared in seconds.
From the resort we did a trip to Xcarat and Xplor. We swam with the dolphins and my wife zip lined at Xplor. We swam / floated down an underground river and saw numerous exotic animals indigenous to Mexico at the park.
All in all 7 days wasn't enough. I miss the resort, the friendly staff and the good friends I made while we were there. We will be going back next year but as returnees we will be more savvy to the ways of the resort.
One other thing. I saw a caption that said, "stay at one, play at five". That only applies if you are staying at the Grande. There you get to access all the pools on the resort, all the other activities on the resort and a couple rounds of golf free. For the Maya it's "play at four" for the Lindos it's "play a three" for Beach it's "play at two" and the Del Mar is all you get plus access to beach and the pools adjoining.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraíso." Imaginatively designed lake – pool. Convention centre. The holiday complex is perfectly integrated into the tropical landscape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Beach
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico