We rated the Iberostar Lindo very good because of the price we paid, which was very economical, the staff, which were mostly very friendly and helpful, the great beach and grounds, and the multitude of activities included in the all inclusive price. We were disappointed in the food and there were a couple of other negatives, but at the price we paid, we felt they weren’t enough to down grade our rating to good.
This was our first stay at an Iberostar all inclusive. We booked through Apple tours for a week at the Iberostar Del Mar. Our trip was $2258 including airfare from Cincinnati. (As a comparison a trip to a Sandals in the Caribbean could be $3500 for the lowest priced room with airfare.) Just a few days prior to our departure we got a call offering us an upgrade to the Lindo, which we took. There are 5 hotels on the same Iberostar property which is located between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. The Del Mar is the lowest of the 5 and the Lindo is in the middle. (Although, on line, there appear to be cheaper rooms at the Lindo, in everything we read this hotel is considered higher grade than the Del Mar.) Each hotel runs side by side from its lobby to the beach. In other words no matter which hotel you pick you have a chance of getting a room in a building at the beach with a view of the ocean. (We didn’t.) The hotels vary in the level of service, type/grade of room, restaurants and bars that you can access and so on.
Check in – We had no trouble. It was a little rushed, but overall was fine. We have been to other resorts where the check in was friendlier and more informative. There was no confusion due to our upgrade. They had us on the Lindo list.
Rooms - We didn’t see other rooms so we can’t say how our room at the Lindo compared to the other hotels on the property. Our room, 5556, was bad. We were hit with a strong musty odor as soon as we entered. The sheets, seat cushions and all felt very damp. Secondly, it faced toward the theater where there are very loud shows every night that run from 8p to about 11:30p. We went to most of the shows but on some times one of us went back to the room early. Finally, the room had 2 double beds and we prefer a king size bed. We asked to be moved. We were told no room was available at the time, but that they would at least have housekeeping come and move the beds together. Housekeeping never came. The next morning we again requested a new room and this time we were told they would have a room for us after check out and cleaning, i.e. 3p. This all worked out and we moved to a nice room on the 3rd floor of building 54. It was on the side away from the pool, which is something to consider, as rooms by the pool would be noisy during the day. The room had a king size bed and a sofa and 2 chairs and a nice balcony. Our housekeeper, Florentina, did a great job keeping it clean. As a result of a review that Iberostar requested during our stay, I discussed how bad our first room was with our concierge,( each building has a concierge to make reservations for restaurants etc for guests), she stated that building 55 is only used during high season and that it may have just been put in service recently. So not having had AC on in the room and having been just recently opened up, may have accounted for the musty odor and dampness of the room. However, in my opinion, Iberostar should never have created a room that faces a noisy theater.
We also had an issue with the safe in room 5556. We called about this and security arrived within about 15 minutes. However, security couldn’t fix the problem and had to call maintenance. All in all it took about 40 minutes to get the safe fixed. Hopefully, it worked for the next occupants. The safe in our next room was a little quirky in that we had to punch a number several times to get it to connect, but it worked fine otherwise.
I agree with another reviewer, that the towels were not great quality in that they were thin and scratchy, not soft. It wasn’t horrible but I think they could have been higher quality. The mattress was hard, but not enough to ruin our sleep.
A warning about the hair dryer: At the Lindo the hair dryer is a unit attached to the wall with an accordion hose for the blower connected to the unit. It was very awkward to use and had no option for setting heat level or for force of the air. I would recommend taking your own hair dryer unless this isn’t much of an issue for you.
Food - Here is our conclusion after our week: The main courses that we had at most of the restaurants were bland and very average. We ate at La Hacienda, El Puerto, Jambalaya, Hashiru Japanese, El Fogon Mediterranean, El Fogon Steakhouse, at the beach, and the main buffet at the Lindo. We liked the Japanese the best and thought it was very good. The appetizers and desserts were buffet, no matter the restaurant. In my opinion, the appetizers/ salads were better than the main courses and if I returned I would make my meal from the “appetizer” buffet. The appetizer foods and preparation varied from restaurant to restaurant but usually included several salads and vegetable choices along with shrimp, calamari, mussels, soups, cheeses, deli meats etc. The breakfast buffet was always very good with a multitude of choices, great fruit, custom omelets or fried eggs, pastries, and on and on. The evening buffet was a mix, some food good some less than. A fun thing at the beach: Twice during our stay they made paella on the beach in a huge pan over hot coals. It was good.
Here’s an example – At El Puerto, which is a Del Mar/Beach restaurant, we were served corn on the cob and baked potato with the main course. The corn was totally cold and the baked potato was half a potato that looked and tasted like it had been cooked several days earlier and reheated to lukewarm. The appetizer buffet had some very good salads and ceviche. In contrast, at the El Fogon Steakhouse, the corn was hot and tasty, and the baked potato was a whole fresh potato. However, my chicken was everyday white meat with some barbeque sauce on top. Not bad, but nothing special.
The ice cream that was available in many of the restaurants and at the pool was delicious.
All our waiters and waitresses in the restaurants and bars were friendly and efficient.
Overall all I think that the food was average. However, there were others in our group who would rate it higher.
Activities – There was lots to do. The Star friends were mostly very friendly and worked hard to get people involved in activities. There’s yoga, aerobics, games by the pool and a separate pool for volleyball, basketball, and water polo. There is archery, darts, ping pong, the wave pool, bocce ball, and many more. Oh there are bike tours around the property which is pretty big and spread out. Or you can walk all around the property to the different hotels and check them out. You can’t get a drink or meal just anywhere however, as your bracelet IDs your hotel and thus if you wander into a bar at a higher grade hotel you won’t be served. Of course there is also the spa, the fitness center and tennis. At the beach there are Hobie cats and other water toys for use. While we were there the seas were pretty rough so the water activities were limited especially on red flag days. There is also golf. You can play a round or just for fun , you can get a $10 bucket of balls and some clubs and just use the driving range. There’s also the shopping center which has a merry go round.
Dressel Divers provides onsite access to scuba diving and snorkeling which are not included in the all inclusive package. The diving in this area in Mexico is highly rated. My husband was happy with the service and the dives. He and I snorkeled one day and although the sea was rough and it was cloudy, we saw lots of fish and pretty coral.
We didn’t do any tours off the property. We had been to Chichen Itza on another trip and would highly recommend it.
We don’t have children but our friend’ daughter enjoyed the Kids activities so much she didn’t want to hang out with us. In regard to the wave pool the staff at the kids’ check in asked about the child’s swimming ability and if there was any question asked that the parent provide a life jacket or be present at the wave pool at the time the kids were there.
We attended every evening show at the Lindo. We didn’t go to the other theaters. The early show involved the children and was fun to watch. All the shows were good or very good. Some involved guests of the hotel such as the couples spoof involving bursting balloons etc. (If you’ve been to many all inclusive or on cruises you’ve seen similar versions of the newlyweds/couples games.) and Miss Iberostar. They were good for some laughs, but I enjoyed the singing and dancing and the magic shows the most.
There are no hot tubs. We missed them especially as we had some cool weather while there and after snorkeling and scuba diving a hot tub is a nice way to warm up. There were tubs with jets but they weren’t hot.
Tipping – Here is the Email response I got from an employee at Iberostar – “Thank you for your interest in Iberostar Hotels & Resorts. The tip is included in the price but tipping is at your discretion, however our employees at the resorts can refuse to be tipped extra by a guest. If you have further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.” Not a real clear answer. I think it is a failure of Iberostar management to have a such a wishy washy policy. When we stay at an all inclusive that states the tip is included, we do NOT tip unless it is a very, very special circumstance. We tried to tip once at a Sandals for extra special service and the employee wouldn’t take it. They are not supposed to take tips and Sandals management makes that clear.
There are so many background employees at these resorts. They are working day and night to clean up the beach and the grounds, the floors, and just a multitude of other jobs. How are they being tipped? The nice thing about an all inclusive where tips are included is that you don’t have to worry about it – It is done in what you pay up front.
Other - While we were there we were asked to complete an evaluation of the restaurants and the property. I made negative comments about the food. Later in the week our concierge asked me to provide more detail about why I down rated the food. I thought it was a good sign that they were following up with me on my comments. We also noted that there is always something being cleaned, painted etc. This is a huge property and it seems they are working hard to keep it beautiful and nice.
Lost items – First let me say I know I am responsible for keeping up with my stuff. However, as a warning to others here is my lesson: I lost 2 items at the resort. In the first case, I left my hat lying on the concrete by my chair at the volleyball pool. I returned about 15 minutes later and it was gone. I asked at the nearby bar and asked security and it hadn’t been turned in to any of them. The second time I left a pareo that I was using as a shawl, (evenings were cool) at the theater. It had slipped off my shoulders while we were seated and I forgot and left it in the chair. I didn’t realize this until the next morning and when I went back the chairs had all been straightened and it wasn’t there. The process is to report a lost item to your concierge. Items found by employees or guests are turned over to security who makes a list which the concierge reviews to see if your item is on the list. Neither of the items I lost turned up by the time we left. Thankfully, although these were items I use and like, they weren’t pricey or keepsakes. (I also left my camera at the table one day at breakfast and it was quickly returned by our waiter, I think it was Juan, as we got to the door. ) I don’t usually leave things like this but I was definitely having a bad run on this trip. At any rate, it pays to be very attentive to your stuff and don’t leave it lying around. Your fellow travelers or staff don’t seem likely to return it to you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the beautiful beach of "Playa Paraiso" (Mexico). With the only wave pool on the Riviera Maya. 16 restaurants, 11 of them A-la-Carte. 18-holes golf course and convention center. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Lindo Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Lindo
- Iberostar Paraiso Lindo Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico