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“Beautiful resort - food was lacking.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Paraiso Beach

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Iberostar Paraiso Beach
3.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carrt. Chetumal - Pto. Juarez km. 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Somerville, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Beautiful resort - food was lacking.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

I just returned from 5 days at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach / Del Mar, from Oct. 8 to Oct. 12. I went for a mother / daughters getaway. My mother is 65, my sister and I are in our early 30s.

As a point of reference, I consider myself pretty well traveled and have previously been to the Riviera Maya on 3 other occasions, staying at the Riu Playcar, Aventura Spa Palace and the Riu Cancun. This was my first Iberostar experience. We booked through Beachdestinations.com without any problems, and got a very good deal.

Before leaving, I had heard (on Trip Advisor) that the Beach / Del Mar resort was closed and that perhaps we would be upgraded to the Lindo. Not the case. Our van driver (Best Day Travel) said that they had just reopened the Beach / Del Mar. It showed. We were placed in a room on the Beach side of the resort when we checked in.

Check in: There was only one man working the desk. He was very friendly and helpful, but was checking in 3 different groups at the same time. He seemed a bit overworked, between the phone ringing, people asking questions, etc. He didn't give us a map or any paperwork, just our wristbands. While this didn't bother us, it does show that the place is running under capacity and with reduced staff.

The Grounds: 5 stars here. The resort is beautiful. It is large and spread out (a lot of walking) but we liked that. Very tropical, with lots of birds (flamingos) and fish in the ponds surrounding the lobby area. Everything was very clean. Be prepared to walk.

The Room: Nice, not luxury (but we didn't pay for luxury, so I think it was great for the price.) AC worked fine; housekeeping did a good job. The fridge always had bottles of water, soda and beer in it.

Buffets: In one word, "Bleh." This accounts for the lackluster overall score that I gave this place. The Buffet on the Beach side near the lobby was closed, so we had to walk to the Del Mar Buffet for breakfast and dinner (when we weren't at a specialty restaurant.) I thought the buffets were very disappointing, even by all inclusive standards (I would say the RIU buffets were much larger and nicer.) I don't know if this was because of reduced staff or low occupancy, but there wasn't much selection and some of the food looked sketchy. But I am not a picky eater and I thought the food was tasteless (and so did my family). The Buffet down near the pool and beach was slightly better (and again, the Beach side of the resort was closed, so you had to walk to the Del Mar side.) The buffets were never full or crowded (I believe the hotel is running at a very low occupancy rate when I was there.)

Restaurants: Much better. The specialty restaurants were solid. We went to the Japanese, Steakhouse and Mexican restaurants. The Japanese restaurant is a hibachi type place, where you sit around a grill and the chef comes and cooks it all in front of you. They had chicken, steak, shrimp, and veggies, along with fried rice. The chef puts on quite a show tossing food and utensils around in the air, etc. Honestly, I thought this was very good - my favorite because it was fresh and had flavor. The Steakhouse and Mexican were both fine (nothing to write home about, but fine.) The waiters and staff in all of the restaurants were excellent - great service all around.

Beach / Pool areas: The beach is beautiful. The best. Great sand, clear water (a few rocks, but not that bad.) I didn't use water shoes and it was fine - the waves were high and strong through, if you have small children I would be careful. Water temp was perfect - very refreshing. Never had a problem getting chairs with shade. As for the pool: It was huge! Swim up bar had the usual drunk people (fine if that's your thing - we stuck to the beach.) There seemed to be a place for everyone at the pool (quiet areas as well as busy, loud areas.) Everyone looked like they were having a great time (we stuck to the beach were it was quiet and peaceful.)

Spa: We treated ourselves to some spa services. You can get massages at the beach or at the Spa Building (which is shared with the other Iberostar properties.) We went to the Spa because we wanted something tranquil and not on the beach with everyone there. We each bought a package of two services, and you could pick and choose which one you wanted (for about $120, US Dollars.) I got a 50 minute full body massage and the body scrub. The spa was excellent - modern, very clean, and the services were good. The woman doing the massage was careful not to hit my shoulder where I was a bit sunburned. As good (and even better) than some of the spas I have been to in the US. I definitely recommend it if you are looking to treat yourself.

Other thoughts - Not sure if I would recommend this place, based upon the breakfast and lunch buffets being so disappointing, even by all inclusive standards. However, if you got a deal or a good price, it's a great bargain for the money, based upon the beach alone (gorgeous!)

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

Just returned from a 4 night vacation at Iberostar Paraiso Beach and out of all of the beaches in Mexico, this was absolutely the best one. I can't say anything negative about this resort. We had a wonderful time.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Dieppe, Canada
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

Just got back from Iberostar Paraiso Beach. We were there October 3 to 10, 2009. We had a great trip. It was very hot. 34 degrees celcius every day. With the humidity it felt like a lot more. Thankfully every day there was a nice breeze from the ocean. We enjoyed the resort a lot. We would recommend it. It was running at only 30% capacity during our trip. This made for free room upgrades and a la carte restaurants every night which we enjoyed a lot. I will try to comment on different aspects of the resort.

The check in was fast and we were given a free upgrade to a junior suite near the beach. Our room was # 3111. It was on the first level which is good for us as my wife has some mobility problems because of bad knees. The air conditioning in the room was set 21 degrees Celsius and could not be lowered. The fan however could be adjusted and we felt the temperature in the room was fine. The bathroom had a shower but no tub. The room had a large television and about 30 channels or so including movie channels. The bed was comfortable especially after we asked for and received an egg crate pillow top. The view was definitely a garden view. There were small bugs and if you sat out on the deck your ankles got stung pretty fast. Perhaps not the same situation on the 2nd or 3rd floor. Also there was no turn down service and on some days our maid forgot to give us facecloths. Also the towels are refreshed only once a day but there were manytowels and we always seemed to have a clean one.

The pool area is shared with the Del Mar. It is a beautiful pool. We spent a few days there. We did not have any problem getting a Bali bed. It was great and more comfortable than the Bali beds at other resorts we have stayed at. There were a lot of activities every day at the pool. The entertainment staff is really very active at the pool. They organize many activities every day and it was a lot of fun just sitting around and watching these activities. The water in the pool was very warm but would still cool you off from the heat. The bars at the pool were well stocked and opened every day at 10:00am, The chairs at the pool were plastic and had a little pad on them. Really this aspect could be improved, as the pad is not thick enough. We put 2 pads on top of one another and that worked pretty good but better pads would be nice. Overall though the pool situation was very good.

The beach is beautiful and there are a lot of huts and chairs. The slope into the water is a little steep but negotiable for most people. Even my wife with her bad knees was able to get down into the water. The water was very warm. It was always breezy at the beach and some days the waves were pretty big. There was no seaweed at the beach and the very small amount of debris that came in overnight was quickly cleaned up by the staff. They were working at about 6:30am every morning and cleaning up. There is one lifeguard at the beach. There is a beach volleyball court.

The restaurants were not all operating at the time we were there. The first morning we went to the Beach buffet for breakfast and it was closed. We had to go over to the Del Mar buffet and this was a recurring theme throughout the week. The Beach buffet was closed and the Del Mar buffet was open. Most days we went to the little snack bar near the pool. It was actually a mini buffet. It opened at 7:00am for breakfast and was open for lunch as well. Curious thing…they actually fry their bacon in a deep fryer!!! It tastes a little greasier than normal but is otherwise fine. Also this resort is not big on serving stations in the buffet. They are kinda set up for them but they do not use them as much as other resorts we have been to. This was a bit of a disappointment for us. When we were there the Japanese restaurant on the Beach side was open and the Steak and Mediterranean restaurants on the Del Mar side were open. The last few days of our trip the Mexican restaurant opened on the Beach side. We were only allowed 3 a la carte restaurants on out 7 day trip but Gabriella at restaurant bookings got us into restaurants every night of our stay. Perhaps it was because of the low occupancy during our stay or perhaps it was just Gabriella trying to please the guests. I am not sure however I can say that the staff were all very professional and went out of their way to help us. Gabriella was very helpful at reservations. Omar, one of the bellboys was also very helpful to us. With my wife’s bad knees she could not walk the resort and a quick call to Omar would bring a cart to our room fast.

This resort is quite big. There are actually 5 Iberostar resorts in this location and it was possible to go to the Del Mar which is kinda “attached” to the Beach. I also had a look at the Lindo and Maya while we were there. Because of the size of the resort there are actually trolleys that run the grounds and are available for transport. The longest we waited for a trolley was 15 mins. The system worked fine. I did walk the resort a few times and from the beach to the lobby was a good 10-minute walk at a good clip. Good way to get exercise.

Overall we really enjoyed our stay. This was a last minute booking and we got a one week vacation at a great price. We had prepared ourselves mentally for perhaps a less satisfying vacation than usual but this resort very pleasantly surprised us. We would definitely go again and would recommend this resort highly.

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2009

We just returned yesterday from a week's stay at this resort....myself, my husband, my ten year old son, and my mother. Having never stayed at an Iberostar before, we didn't know what to expect. We also got an amazing deal from Air Canada and I was a little worried because I have found that when it comes to resorts, you get what you pay for. I have to say, we had an incredible time!

Check-in was quick and painless, and the concierge Ismael did a great job making sure our rooms were in a prime location...we got ground floor rooms right beside the pool, and inbetween the lobby and the beach. They were the best rooms we could have gotten without upgrading. It took a little over an hour until they were ready for us, so the bellboys took care of our luggage while we headed to the buffet for lunch. Then we returned to the lobby and were driven with our luggage to the rooms.

In regards to specifics, I'll try to be as helpful as possible with all the details. The regular rooms are covered with marble flooring, and well-equipped with air-conditioning and ceiling fans. The double beds have four pillows, and the king-sizd beds have three pillows. There are also several throw pillows found on the sofa, and there were two extra bed pillows found on the top shelf of the closet. If there is one complaint I have about the entire vacation, it would be the mattress was very hard, and the pillows were not plush enough to make up for that. My husband likened it to "sleeping on a park bench." I would recommend bringing your favourite pillow from home. Nonetheless, we never had any trouble sleeping!

The bathrooms are marble from floor to ceiling...the room with the king-size bed had only a shower (very large, marble), and the room with the double beds had a tub/shower combo. The tub was one of those deep soaker bathtubs. They provide you with lots of shampoo, shower gel, soap and lotion, but they do not supply any conditioner. Ladies, you will need to bring or buy some conditioner, or your hair will turn to straw from all the salt in the pool and the ocean. Luckily, I did bring some with me.

The mini-bar was stocked with beer, several bottles of water, and soda. It gets restocked every other day by the housekeeping service. We left a note for our maid requesting our preffered drinks only, and for the rest of the week we had the fridge stocked with what we wanted.

Each room has a terrace with two chairs and a small table, also a drying rack for your swimsuits/towels, etc. We really didn't sit out there, as it was soooo hot! One morning there was a peacock sitting on our terrace, and we often saw small lizards sunning themselves on the ledge. There is a lot of wildlife all around the resort grounds, including lizards, iguanas, coatimundis (mexican raccoons, if you will), macaws, peacocks, cats, swans, quail-like birds (never did figure out what they are called), flamingoes (found on the Del-Mar side), ducks, and many varieties of birds. My son had a great time looking for lizards and watching all the animals. He also kept busy taking pictures!

The beach is absolutely breathtaking...the ocean is blue and clear, the sand is pale white, soft, and very very clean. There was an abundance of palapas and beach chairs available each day, we never had a problem finding a place to lounge. The water is quite rough there, but not as bad as some resorts in Mayan riviera (where they have to place sandbags in the water to protect swimmers). There is a roped off area for swimming. The red flag was up each day, but it didn't stop us or others from going in up to our waists or so, and jumping/playing in the tall waves. It is dangerous though to go in the water on red flag days, so keep your kids close to you at all times, and don't go in too deep as the undertow is strong. The beach grill has some of the best food at the resort...the burgers and wings are really good, and they have soft-serve ice cream there you can get for yourself.

The pool is huge, with a swim-up bar and several little inlets to swim in and out of. It's a lagoon style pool, which winds through the middle of the resort. The winding areas get pretty shallow, and therefore it's hard to swim or walk there...we brought some air loungers, and they were perfect. We made great use of them, and many other people had them as well. The area of the pool near the swim-up bar started to fill up with drinkers at around 3pm...it got very loud and smelled like a booze can. There were still lots of areas in the pool which remained quiet and suitable for kids, so we never had any issues. My son spent 65% of the vacation in the pool! Near the pool bar is an ice cream parlor which also had these great lemon slushies...my son was often in and out of the pool getting some for everyone. There are a lot of activities in and around the Del-Mar side pool throughout the day, and whether you participate or watch, it's never boring. One caution I need to state is that the tiles all around the pool area are marble and stone, and they are VERY slippery, especially when walking on the pool deck while you're wet. One lady slipped and broke her arm there, so be careful!

Now, on to the food. When you arrive, it's a good idea to book all of your a' la carte dinners up front, because they seem to book up fast. You only get three per week. We ate at the Steakhouse, the Japanese, and the Mediterranean. I would have to say the Mediterranean was definately my favourite....some other reviews say it's the worst, but maybe it depends what you order there. When we went, they had Surf and Turf on the menu that night...steak with lobster tail. It was perfectly cooked, and tasted soooo good. I would say that after that, the Japanese restaurant was great (the show they put on was entertaining, also), and then the steakhouse. The buffet restaurant was not bad either, but it wasn't great. I have stayed at other resorts where the buffet was much better. The food is often luke-warm, and many dishes are either over-spiced, or bland. That beign said, you can ALWAYS find something you like to eat there. My son is very picky with food, and he always found something to eat.

They have a show every night put on by the Star Friends (the animation team), and we went a few times. I found they were better than shows we have tried at other resorts. Even my son was enteretained. The star friends team really puts a lot of energy and effort into making sure you have a great time, whether it ;s at the show, at the beach or at the pool.

Service wise, we have no complaints. Some people wrote in their reviews that there is no room service menu in the room. This is true, however, if you want room service it's really easy to get. Those people must have been idiots if you can't figure it out. Just call the front desk, say you want room service and ask them what they have. They will tell you what's on the menu, and you place your order. The food was there within half an hour, warm and tasty. In terms of waitstaff and barstaff, etc. we tipped a couple bucks frequently, and we always got great service. It goes a long way there, and if you really want to be taken care of don't be cheap about it. We tipped the maid two bucks a day, and she always did a great job cleaning our room and making towel animals for us. Oh, by the way, the maids turn off the air conditioning and the fan after they clean the room, so it's a good idea to go back to your room when she's done to turn it back on.

My husband and I went to the nightclub one night, and we had such a great time. We got very drunk (the drinks are NOT watered down like the ones at the pool bar), and danced for hours...the music they play is mostly top 40 hits, and some 80's club anthems. So much fun! We were a little wary,because the club theme is Star wars, but don't let that scare you.

I guess that's all I have to say...I'm tired of typing! We had a fantastic time there, and will recommend it to others. It was great value for the price we paid. I will also say the resort was only at 40% capacity when we were there, so things may change. We will probably be going back...but if we do, we'll pay the extra 32$ per room, per night and get a room with a nice, soft bed!

  • Stayed October 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Cologne, Germany
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2009

Great hotel, great people, great service, good food. Close to the real paradise. You have to book the tour to tulum and xel ha!.

Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
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Dallas, TX
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

The rooms and hotel were fantastic. Very clean and accomodating. The beaches were breath-taking. This is one of 3 times that I have stayed at a Iberostar Hotel. Each time I am amazed at the architecture and cleaniness of the hotels. However, each time I am also disappointed in the food selections. It seems to be more so of European style foods. As an American, I wouldn't mind an occasional juicy burger, grilled chicken breast, or slice of pizza. I also would have liked to have more of the local flavors of Mexico. That just was not part of any menu or buffet at the hotel. If you are okay with bland, European food then it is worth it. This hotel is amazing but the food leaves something to be desired.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

We stayed at this property immediately after Hurricane Wilma in Nov. 2005. We had a great stay. There were four properties at this one location. Only two were occupied with guests. The other two were occupied with workers who doing hurricane damage repair. We had four rooms with 8 adults and 2 children ages 4 & 6 years. We booked the same property for Nov. 2006 thinking we would enjoy the same treatment. NOT! By then all four properties were opened and it was crowded. The property is built perpendicular to the ocean making for a lot of walking. The shuttle seemed to be non-existent or going the wrong direction when we needed it. One family arrived after 9:00pm and their room was not available...so they were put in the Del Mar next door in a room with ONE bed and there were 2 adults and 1 teenager! They were moved the next day to the property they had paid for and were given no compensation for the room mess up.
Dinner reservations are a JOKE. Two adults arrived Wednesday - were staying until Sunday. They requested reservations for dinner-any night-any restaurant-any time!!! They were told there were no openings!! HUH??? This was the story for EVERY dinner reservation the 5 rooms in our group got when we tried to book dinners. BUT....when you walk by the restaurants they are 2/3 empty! We have traveled to Mexico to spend Thanksgiving for 11 years now. We have stayed in many resorts. The Riu Caribe - three times (it has had 2 names in that time). We now go to Playa del Carmen instead of Cancun...much more pleasant. We now stay at the The Gran Porto Real Playa del Carmen or The Royal Playa del Carmen (when we don't have the children with us). BOTTOM LINE---------I'm a travel agent and I never recommend the Iberostar Resorts. My last stay there was a nightmare...the Kids Club was the worst...very unorganized.

  • Stayed November 2006, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Paraiso Beach

Address: Carrt. Chetumal - Pto. Juarez km. 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Paraiso Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 424
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

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