We just returned from a family vacation at the Iberostar Pariso Lindo (March 7-14, 2013). There were 3 of us and we had a great time. This is simply my take on the resort and area. I read lots of reviews before we left so hopefully this is helpful.
RESORT: the grounds are beautiful and always clean, as most of the reviews indicated. The resort is VERY long, lots of walking, but it helps walk off any food/drink of the day! The Iberostar Pariso is comprised of 5 hotels and in 3 ‘sections’. The first is the Grand, which is adults only and exclusive to the guests of that hotel only, although they share the same beach as the others. The next section is the Maya and Lindo and then Beaches and Del Mar. The Maya/Lindo share pools, kids clubs, theatre etc. Each has their own restaurants but you can go back and forth (except 2 exclusive restaurants at the Maya). Guests at these hotels can book the a la cart restaurants at any of the hotels (except the Grand). Guests can also eat at any of the hotels (except the Grand) for the buffets and drink service. The Beaches/Del Mar share pools, theatre etc. They have limited access to just those hotels and restaurant bookings. All hotels are very beautiful and clean. I will limit my review to the Lindo as that is where we stayed. The lobby is at the top of the resort and then the buildings go from there down to the beach with the pools running the length. We were in the first building closest to the lobby/theatre. This is building #55. There are 4 other buildings with building #50 being closest to the beach. Each building has 3 floors and either faces the gardens or the pool. No matter what building you are in you will walk. Building #55 was a bit louder at night as you can hear the music from the theatre, but it was over around 11:30 or so. If you have kids or try to go to bed early I’d recommend a building further down. Each building has 3 floors and no elevators so if you can’t do stairs or have lots of gear each day, try to get a ground floor room. We were on the second floor and couldn’t hear anyone below or above us or even beside. We had a king bed with a roll away cot for my son (12 yrs), they simply moved the little table and chairs onto the balcony to make room for it and it was sufficient for the week. The king bed was comfortable and the amenities were nice. The fridge was stocked each day with cold drinks.
POOLS: The Lindo has a few pool sections. At the top of the resort is the lazy river. It was cute, although not a lot of inner tubes but the line was never too long so it wasn’t an issue. Next in the pool line is the sports pool. This is the deepest of the pools and there are basketball and water polo nets as well as a volleyball net. We tended to hang out near this area. The next section is the wave pool which the kids loved. This is a shallower pool with the wave going a few times a day, indicated by a siren. After that the largest pool which includes the swim up bar and LOTS of room for swimming and playing. As lots of the reviews say, the pool water is cool, but we still managed to have fun and it was refreshing after a day at the beach.
BEACH: The beach is large and LOTS of chairs and shade cover. We were up early for a walk on the beach so we were able to get chairs in the shade. Never had a problem finding a chair later in the day, although not in the shade. Beach was long and for the most part sandy, a few sections of rock but easily avoidable.
ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES: The Star Friends were very well organized with activities all day – both at the pool and beach (bingo, volleyball, soccer, Spanish lessons, ping pong, archery, range shooting, dance lessons etc.) At night they performed in the shows in the huge theatre. They were cute and changed regularly. There’s a disco in the shopping plaza as well for later nightlife.
FOOD: The food was okay. The buffet by the lobby had the best breakfast selection and opened early. Never had a problem getting a seat and never waited in line for food. We tried a few of the restaurants and the best was the Japanese one in the Beaches hotel. We also liked the French, this is a small one so very quiet and no kids under 12. We booked all our restaurants when we got there but there always seemed to be empty tables, so not sure if people just didn’t show up, but good to book when you get there so you’re not disappointed. The beach grill was good and always fresh. It looked as though they were just about to open 2 new grills on the beach as well.
EXCURSIONS: We went to Xel-ha (Shelha) and thought it was well worth the money. Spend the day and take it all in. It’s very clean and lots to eat and drink, walk, snorkel, bike, cliff jump, tube, swim. We booked through our tour operator at the hotel once we got there.