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“We're going back in 4 weeks!!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Paraiso del Mar

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Iberostar Paraiso del Mar
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
Ohio
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“We're going back in 4 weeks!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2009

My husband and I went for an extended weekend and were only there 4 nights... not enough time. The resort was beautiful and there were tropical gardens everywhere you looked. The lobby was gorgeous and the service was top notch. Every detail you expected and that much more! Our room was spacious, with a double head shower, fully stocked mini-bar that was refreshed daily with towel art left by the cleaning staff. The food was very good. I am a vegan so the chefs accommodated me for my meals daily above and beyond what I expected. This is a very family friendly resort with everything to offer!!

  • Stayed April 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • 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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Colorado Springs, CO
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2009

We stayed at the del Mar from 18-25 Apr 09. Almost everything about this resort was top notch. The room was great, clean, and well cared for by the staff. The beach was magnificent as were the grounds of the resort. The pools were nice, but water slides and such for the older kids would have been nice. The food in the main buffet (Mercado) was unfailingly delicious and the dessert bar was unbelievable (as in why have 1 piece of cake when you can have 4)! The only negative experience we had was in the Mediterranean specialty restaurant. It was so bad that we and several other families walked out (and went straight to the Mercado buffet). That was our only negative experience all week.
Our day trips included a half day of snorkeling 30 minutes from the resort and a whole day trip to Chichen Itza. It was absolutely stunning and we learned a lot.
If you are looking for a total escape from the usual grind and want to have everything taken care of for you, this is the place to go!

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 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.
New Jersey
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2009

We were on our vacation April 9th thru the 14th got the earliest flight in and the latest flight out. We were just here in November we loved it so much we decided to come back this time we traveled with 2 couples and 2 18 year olds. We had a GREAT TIME. Although I prefer November it isnot as crouded we had the hardest time getting chairs and forget the huts we had to play the towel game I was up at 6:30AM to get chairs or you'll never get them.This is such a relaxing resort the pool was nice and warm where in November it's very diffuicult to get into the water so it was nice to experience both I just think Easter break was to crouded,my mom is going in the beginning of June I think this will be a perfect time.The Steakhouse is still my favorite and Japaneese second this time I didnt make a massage appt. right away and got sun burnt and I was unable to get a massage that is the only disappointment I had my suggestion make an appt. right away its was one of the best massages I had. Star friends make your trip they are hard workin nice peoplethey want you trip to be the best . We were in Blg #36 this tome I personelly liked # 33 were were in Nov the building seemed much newer and not musty were #36 was a little musty and not taken as good care of as #33 I would Bld # 36 thru #33 is a perfect location for pool and beach lovers. the walk there is not as bad as people say its 5 min walk to the buffets up front. Over all we love this place and will definatlly be back again but next time I think we will try Iberostar Punta Cana beings we were just in Mexico twice in one year but we will be back to Mexico soon after. So kick back get a massage have a Mojito relax buy the pool and enjoy your vacation

  • Stayed April 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

Pros:
Great beach - sand is beautiful, ocean is aqua clear - like a postcard.
Great service - resort staff is typical Mayan Riviera - happy to help, fun, always smiling.
All inclusive - food is expected for all inclusive. As long as you know that you'll have good food but not excellent food you'll be fine. Drinks were great - Mojitos with fresh mint right at the beach, top shelf liquor at the lobby bar. Can't argue with an Absolut Cosmo before dinner.
Krystal and Josh - two of the most fun Star Friends - they keep it fun every day!!

Cons - The pool chairs - they don't have enough, and the ones that are there are mostly broken. I don't like having to get up at 6:30 AM to head to the pool to get chairs. When we were there (Easter week) if you were there at 7 you wouldn't get chairs together in the shade. We had several instances where we sat on chairs that were broken - you could either fall through or hurt your back. I'm really surprised that they haven't had major legal issues with these chairs since I saw several people get hurt when we were there.
-Really, I'm not that picky, but the mattresses on the beds were so uncomfortable that we joked that they use them so you'll end up paying for a massage just so you can get the kinks out of your back! Pillows were just as bad. Just a little upgrade would be appreciated.
-Reservations for dinner - we were used to the Moon Palace where you just go to the theme restaurant and have dinner. Here you have to reserve dinner and it took hours in line (what?) and then we couldn't get the 3 dinners we were 'guaranteed' because on the FIRST DAY they were booked. I think it's ridiculous. As it worked out, the restaurants weren't any better for a group than the buffet anyway.
Overall though, we had a great time with a group of 11 including grandparents, parents, teens and younger.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southern Maine
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
65 helpful votes 65 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

This was our second visit to Iberostar Playa Paraiso Del Mar in two years Both times have been in April, and we have previously visited the Iberostar Quetzal.

Our travel agent booked us with Gogo Vacations- flights with US Air and ground transport with Olympus.

Airport timeshare sharks wear a uniform tan shirt and tie ensemble. The male shark sounded very official and intimidating when asking husband for his immigration papers and it worked until we got pulled into a side area and started to hear the sales pitch. When the female shark said she had a paper for the lady, we were out of there fast. If you enjoy negotiating for a used car, you will enjoy sorting out the tourism offers. The culture seems to prey on the balance between fear and trust and doesn't hesitate to exploit either. The line is that whoever is talking to you at the time is the only person you can trust and everyone else is out to get you. They are all in the same business and if you wanted to take the time to compare, I bet you'd find all of the excursion deals were about the same. Only you can decide if you want to take the time to save a few dollars.

We upgraded to private transport through Olympus. It was worth it -we were at the resort in 30 minutes and left to go directly to the airport three hours before our flight time.

Check in was pleasant, polite and accomodating. We emailed building requests two weeks in advance, and although we didn't get a response, we were placed in the building of our choice. For us, 13, 14 or 15 is best- about half way between beach and lobby, quiet and facing the pool for a nice view. I would not want to be any closer to the lobby as we could hear the evening show all the way down to our building if we were outside. Also, the peacocks are not shy about visiting the balconies.

Rooms were spotless. We had a shower/tub instead of just the shower- I prefer the walkin shower. Beds are hard, pillows are thin- but we were so tired we didn't care and I bet we could have had more pillows if we had asked. The built in couch was large enough to accommodate my 6'1” son as a bed.

There are plenty of feral cats and coatimundis to keep you amused. I saw a few iguanas and geckos and one enormous spider- all outside and running away as fast as they could go. The coatis can get a little creepy and assertive as they approach in herds of 15-20, but they can be shooshed away and won't bother you if you don't feed them. (Please say a nice word to the white tiger cat with the striking blue eyes.)

We had no problem booking alacartes. We went to the lobby at four the first day and was received by a reservation agent immediately. For our four day stay we could have had three alacartes but only opted for two. We told the agent where we wanted to eat and we chose from the times that were available. The Mexican restaurant was very good (we enjoyed it on a previous trip). The server was attentive and personable without being annoying. The food was very good- excellent appetizers (I enjoyed the chicken mole) and entrees. The servers flambe one steak dish- that was fun to watch. The Mexican coffee ( a blend of Kahlua, tequila and brandy) was also flaming and very strong! We also enjoyed our first visit to the Japansese Restaurant. The rituals were a little confusing and the servers moved so quickly it was hard for us to order- I felt somewhat rushed. The food was very good though and I would go back there again.

Our first night at the buffet was not too exciting, but the second night was “Mexican Night” and we enjoyed the variety of tacos and enchiladas. I wonder how many form their opinions of the food based on how it looks; many of the best selections were not very pretty, but tasted great. None of us were shy about eating new foods and we tried a little of everything. No one got sick. The wine tasted better this year.

On our last visit, we were obliged to be at the beach by 7 if we wanted a chance to have two chairs under a palapa, but that was not the case this time. We had no trouble getting four chairs pretty much anywhere we wanted, but by 9, all the best seats were gone. As we walked past the pool, we saw that the big palapa beds were still open at 7-7:30. Only one woman was sunbathing without a top.

The weather was definitely windier than we remembered. Most mornings started calm, but only one morning was clear with flat seas. Each day clouded up and got more windy as the day went on. There was a brief shower one day, but it didn't chase us off the beach. Don't skimp on the sunscreen. A huge difference from last year was the insistence of the security guards to keep people out of the water in the morning. The water was flat as glass, but those guards whisted people out of the water until exactly 9. We expected they wanted the lifeguards to appear, and expected them to show up at 9, but that wasn't the case. The guards told people the ocean opened for swimming at 9, but you can't tell me what the difference was between 8:45 and 9. There were red flags one day and red and yellow flags another. (Mixed messages)

Drinks at the pool and beach were alcohol flavored, which is ok since the bars open at 10 and really don't ever slow down. My new breakfast juice of choice is Campari and orange juice and it is possible to make a good iced coffee if you dissolve the sugar in the hot milk before you add the ice and coffee.

There have been some changes in the service hours for breakfast and lunch- the continental breakfast at the beach palapas is reportedly scheduled to begin at 10, but really gets going sometime between 8 and 9. There's no lunch at the main buffets and the big lunch buffet at the beach palapa starts at 12:30- it's roped off before then. Burgers and dogs are available at the beach snack hut before that. If you're still on vacation, that's not a big deal, but a few families (ours included) planned to eat lunch at the resort before our ride to the airport- after we checked out, we had to traipse down to the beach (in full travel clothes) to eat a hurried lunch before we hustled back to get our ride. We could have gone all the way down to the beach to grab a burger though.

As mentioned in my forum post, my teen sons had a great time and are thinking of ways to save money so they can afford to go back. The key for them was meeting other people and hanging around with them. My 13 year old would examine the activities board each morning to find out when the beach volleyball and pool basketball would be and then he set the rest of his schedule by that. Our biggest problem with him was keeping track of his sunscreen applications- he didn't want to slow down for a minute and as a result got a nasty burn our last day there.

Our 18 year old enjoyed the freedom of being able to have a beer (legal in Mexico- not legal nor allowed at home) and talk to the Star Friends and other teens his age in his very very limited Spanish. The Star Friends made it easy for both boys to be a part of the action. They remembered their names and asked for them when they weren't with us. They remembered what activities they enjoyed and sought them out to play. Several were suffering from colds- it's amazing they can have that much energy even when they're sick.
As a young adult, the 18 year old visited the adult disco one night. I went to collect him at about 1:30 am and was very very impressed with the level of security both in and around the disco, the commercial center and the resort at that hour of the morning. There were guards outside and bouncers inside. IB* was taking no chances with underage drinking. My son noticed his armband was checked to see if it was the right color- and his passport was examined twice at check in. Because I was less than impressed by the behavior of the older adult guests (guessing those drinks were not watered down in the least, based on the slurred speech and staggering I saw. Also no less than three guards kept a close eye on a female guest as she loudly berated her boyfriend at an outside table), my son was not allowed a return visit. It's too bad there wasn't something in between the young disco and the independent adult disco, but you can't have everything.

The evening shows have been exactly the same the four times we've visited IB properties since 2002. It's ok though- like watching a favorite movie over and over. The live bands are really good but can someone tell me how they get away with all those copyright violations???!

The Commercial Center was pretty quiet- hardly anyone around. The carousel wasn't open at all. We didn't see the shuttle to PDC, but that doesn't mean it wasn't there. Don't be surprised at just how much walking you will do- this is no place for high heels, but we saw people with canes and wheelchairs. Lots and lots of babies and toddler in strollers!
Because the resort is so big – it is entirely possible for twenty different people to be there at the same time and have completely different experiences. If you are seeking a great time, you will find it- and the reverse is also true. We stuck to our routine: early to the beach, breakfast and lunch at beach, only a little pool time, no swim up bars, predinner drink at the lobby bar, dinner and show. Considering the thousands and thousands of people who move through the resort each week, Iberostar does a great job. This review reflects our family's positive experiences this past week- we loved it and as a result, we are planning our next vacation to Iberostar Playa Paraiso Del Mar.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Boston
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2009

My husband and I stayed at the Del Mar from April 11 thru April 18th and had a great time. We travelled from Boston and had an early morning flight so we were in Cancun by 9:45 am. Off to the resort we went. This trip was to celebrate my 50th B-Day and was so well worth it. The resort is beautiful and as other reviews have stated there is a lot of walking to be had. We were in bldg. 11 and it literally took us about 12-15 min. to walk to the lobby but it was fine since we would walk off all the eating we did.

The only negative thing I would say about the resort is the "towel game". We were really close to the pool and the first morning didn't go get our chairs until about 7:00. We found two near the pool bar which was great to watch all the activities throughout the day. The second day we were up early and went and picked the same spot. After that it went downhill. We would go up early, pick our spot then go have breakfast only to find when we returned that someone had taken one of the chairs along with the towel. This happened the last two days we were there. I just can't believe how ignorant people can be (you know who you are). One day there were two families arguing over one of those huts. The Security guys were called and stood there for sometime before they gave in to one of the families. That is really the only thing bad about this trip.

The week we were there there was a large group of teenages and that got a little annoying after a while. They totally took over the pool bar and were very loud by afternoon since they started drinking by 10:00 am. Luckily their parents were there and tried to limit their drinking.

FOOD - I am a picky eater but found the food to be good. My husband enjoyed it all. The only specialty restaurant we went to was the Mediteranian and it was just ok.

DRINKS - It is true that the quality at the pool bars is not that great but if you go see Demetrio at the lobby bar he will set you up just fine with all sorts of top of the line drinks.

ROOMS - The room had a king size bed which I did not find to be that hard and there were extra pillows in our closet. There was a safe in our room as well as a stocked mini bar which if you leave a tip will be filled every day instead of every other.

STAFF - Star Friends were great. They made it very entertaining at the pool bar with pool/beach activites as well as just roaming around hugging/talking with all the people.

This was our first trip to Mexico and to an Iberostar and hopefully we'll be going back soon. Enjoy your trip!!!

  • Stayed April 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2009

First of all, this is not a good hotel for people who cannot comfortably walk at least a 1/8 of a mile. The resort is huge, with the beach at one end and the lobby and buffet at the other end. There is a trolley that will take you from one end of the resort to the other, but just like everything else in Mexico, you never know exactly when it will show up or if it is broken down that day or not. You can call the lobby to ask that they send it to you, but it could still be 20 minutes until it shows up.

Secondly, everything else about this place was just okay. The beach was nice enough, but crowded (since it's such a huge resort) - there are rocks, though, in the ocean under the water - so it's not the best swimming beach. The pools were nice, but COLD (we were there at the end of January). And there are no "hot tubs" unless you want to pay to go to the actual spa on the property. The food was just okay - not bad, not good - but there was definitely a large selection, even though it tended to look the same after several days/nights. The Japanese grill (where you have to make reservations) was actually pretty good, though. The rooms were as expected - nothing fancy. They were clean enough. The beds were hard and the pillows had no substance to them. The grounds were well kept.

Lastly, they offer the internet - but what they don't tell you is that it's fairly expensive - and that they only have 4 or 5 computers (the monitors BARELY work on them) to use. You can use your own computer, but you still have to pay for the internet access. And the wireless is basically only available around the lobby area.

Overall, we had a nice vacation, but we wouldn't go back to this resort. We have been to better ones in Playa del Carmen and would go back to those before going back to this one. Yes, this resort tends to be cheaper than the rest, but you get what you pay for, as they say.

  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Paraiso del Mar

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
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#3 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Iberostar Paraiso del Mar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 388
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraíso" (Mexico). High standard of comfort. Wide gastronomic variety. 18-hole golf course. PAD/SSI – diving school, massage at the beach and the pool. Spa. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Hotel Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Hotel Playa Paraiso
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Mexico
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico

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