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“Fun, Fun, Fun” 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
1 review
“Fun, Fun, Fun”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2010

Nice place to relax, a lot of fun, beautiful place, scuba diving, entertainment +++++

Stayed January 2010, traveled as a couple
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3,095 reviews from our community

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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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Denver, Colorado
1 review
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2010

My wife, son and I just returned this past Friday from this resort. This was my son's first trip(2.5 yrs old) to Mexico and my wife and I have been to the area, including Cozumel, six times now. In fact we were married at the Riu Palace in Playacar. Now, I know people love this place but we were left feeling as though this place was just OKAY. I will list likes and dislikes below.
Likes: #1 Activities for kids including a play ground.
#2 The beach was nicely groomed, clean and had a grill/snackbar centrally located.
#3 The lobby bar stocked Glenfiddich.
#4 The staff and employees were very kind and courteous.
#5 The room was kept very clean and tidy each day with a different towel animal on your bed each day.

Dislikes: #1 The food was very mediocre. Most everything was either extremely salty or extremely bland.
#2 The drinks were inconsistent throughout the resort bars. I don't think I had one Bloody Mary made the same as the next. Also, the mixed drinks were watered down.
#3 The resort is situated on an absolutely gigantic property. This is a nice feature if you want to walk off your meals... The problem is it takes forever to get anywhere. They claim there is a golf cart trolley transportation service but this was extremely inconsistent at best and you were better off just walking. If you did happen to catch a trolley, you were inhaling gas fumes from the lawn mower motor the trolley was powered by. Don't get me wrong, the grounds were nice, we just didn't enjoy walking that much EVERY time you wanted to eat or go to the beach.
#4 The water temperature at the pool was very cold. Too cold for a 2.5 year old... Also, the pool was so massive it made access around the pool a huge pain. It is set up sort of like a meandering stream. So, if you enjoy beverages regularly and close by food, plan on setting up somewhere close to the snack bar or ice cream parlor/swim-up bars. Otherwise, you will have to walk all the way around the perimeter of the pool everytime you want a drink.
#5 Had a bad experience with an employee at the on-site dive-shop/para-sailing desk. This may be an isolated incident but still incredibly innappropriate. A family member and myself purchased a two-person para-sail ride($120.00 US) The young lady at the desk that took our money kindly told me she did not have change for my cash and to come back after our ride to claim my change. After our ride, I returned to the desk and spoke with a different lady and asked for my change. The employee then stated "Wow, what a tight wad." Believe me, being a firefighter, I can take a joke. But this is rediculous. I just spent so many thousands to take my family down to Mexico, let alone the $60.00 I just dropped on a five minute parachute ride. The last thing I want to hear is that I'm a "Tight Wad"!!!! Inexcusable...
#6 This resort is about midway between the airport and Playa Del Carmen. This translates into a $22.00 one-way cab ride to Playa or a $4.00 one-way shuttle to Playa from the resort shopping mall. The shuttle is handy but only has specific pick-up times to and from Playa Del Carmen. Not convenient with small children on some type of schedule and those folks who may want to take the ferry over to Cozumel for a day of diving. Unless you are sharing a cab with several people or just want to go shopping for two hours, it is not very convenient getting to Playa from here.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2010

I traveled to the Iberostar Del Mar with my husband and teenage daughter on March 13th, we were there for 7 days. We are from Minnesota and flew on Sun Country Airlines, on our way there 30 minutes into the flight the plane had to divert back to Minneapolis because one of the flight attendants was having a "heart attack". Needless to say, we found out on the way back home that she will be okay---but because of this we arrived at the resort a few hours late from our original time. One of the first places we went was to the buffett for an early dinner. Our daughter has a severe nut allergy that can put her into full blown anaphylaxis. We asked the staff about nuts in the foods at the buffet, but apparently there was a breakdown in communication due to a language barrier. Our daughter ended up having something with nuts and ended up having an anaphylactic reaction anyway. Thank goodness for the epi-pen and benadryl, but she still needed to be seen by a mexican doctor. Ironically his name was Dr. Corona. They have a medical facility right on the grounds of the resort. They were wonderful in helping us--they came right away to bring us to the medical center, they were very concerned and typed up a letter for us in spanish, about her nut allergy, to give to the cook and/or wait staff to prevent the breakdown in communication from happening again. If anyone has any food or other allergies that require the use of an epi-pen then please bring lots of extra ones. They do not supply replacement epi-pens in Mexico. We had 2 extra, but I was still worried and thought we should have brought more after the incident, but she ended up being okay.

The weather was excellent! We had only 1 day of bad weather of rain, and it was a little chilly that day, but otherwise perfect all the other days!

1) All of the wait staff were excellent, but my favorite waiter was Selomit--he works primarily at the buffett on the Del Mar side. He likes it when you try to talk to him in spanish--I think most of them do anyway.

2) Prepare to walk a lot at this resort. I didn't feel like I needed to work out at any gym because of all the walking we had to do. I think we literally walked approximately 10 -15 miles in one week at this resort---I'm so glad I brought walking shoes!

3) It is not mandatory, but we did a lot of tipping. I think that the mexican staff at this resort work very hard to make your stay comfortable and I felt like they deserved it anyway.

4) It was a little more crowded than I expected, but we were there during peak spring break season. It was not impossible to find chairs at all, but there were a lot of people.

5) Lots of wild life at this resort, from parrots, to peacocks, to coatie's (racoon family--very friendly--you can find them by the beach buffet), iguanas, swans, flamingos, etc. There are cats at this resort also, but one of the waiters said that they are more of a nuisance than the others.

6) We did a couple of excursions through Apple Vacations. It is expensive, but well worth it! I seriously recommend doing Xel-Ha water lagoon for snorkeling. We did the Xel-Ha and Tulum experience on the same day to save a few bucks. I would recommend doing them on separate days because we felt rushed especially at Tulum. I would have liked to go down to the beach at Tulum, but we didn't have time. I would recommend doing them on separate days.

7) The entertainment on the second night we were there was excellent! They had a Las Vegas theme. All the other nights were either okay, or sub-optimal.

8) The water in the pool is cold, but once you get it is very refreshing especially after sitting in the sun--it gets very HOT!

9) The food at the buffetts was okay to sub-optimal. Since we were there for 7 days we had reservations to go to 3 restaurants. We went to the steakhouse, japanese, and italian restaurants; the food at these restaurants was awesome!

10) I thought the pool was nice, but it was very big! It had quite a few bugs, leaves, and debris in the pool. I also thought that the pool tiles were deteriorating in some areas. I thought the pool could have used a little extra maintenance, but overall it was okay.

11) Amazingly I thought that the beds were quite comfortable! I have been to other mexican resorts in which the beds felt like sleeping on concrete.

12) If you like snorkeling I would also recommend snorkeling right off the coast of the resort. You can purchase a snorkel excursion from the dive shop. It's about $40.00 a person and lasts about 1-1/2 hours. I saw some amazing coral that I haven't seen elsewhere in quite awhile. There are supposed to be sea turtles to see also, but we didn't see any---the other people on the same excursion as us saw them though. They take you out in a boat about 10 minutes from shore. It's a lot cheaper than Xel-Ha, but Xel-Ha was still worth it.

13) Bring bug spray! There are mosquitos there at night.

Yes, I would go again, but overall me and my family like to go somewhere different everytime we travel! Iberostar is in a perfect location, it's far enough away from Cancun where most of the young spring-breakers stay and very close to Playa Del Carmen for shopping! The Apple representative said that Cancun is not a good place to do any shopping.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Saint Louis, Missouri
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 20, 2010

We had a great time at the Paraiso del Mar. We booked it as an Apple Vacation so we had transportation from the airport. We only stayed 3 days and one day was rainy.

What we loved:
- the resort was gorgeous
- the beach was beautiful; the sand that doesn't get hot was a new experience for our family. But make sure you get there early to save you spots for when you come later.
- enough food for hungry teen boys
- the staff were friendly

What was OK:
- the food; we were warned ahead of time from all the reviews we read but we thought they may have been picky.
- the entertainment; fun but not great.

What was disappointing:
- the immediate pitch on the bus for us to tip everyone. We would have anyway, but the way it was stated was designed to make you feel guilty if you didn't.
- the shows were all scheduled later in the evening so we only caught one. We are an early to bed early to rise family so most people wouldn't be bothered by it.

Overall, a relaxing three days in paradise. It was great to be at an all inclusive because we didn't have to bother carrying money except for tips. I would recommend the resort for those who are "joiners" for all the different activities and families who would get their money's worth in food and drinks.

I've gone on a girlfriend vacation to Cancun in the hotel zone. If my husband and I go back on our own, that's what we will do.

Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 19, 2010

We just love this resort. This was our second time here ,and we are going back this May. unlike one of the cheaper resorts we have stayed at, it is nice to go to a place where people are treated with respect. We stayed at a more economical resort in the area a few years ago , andas the night wore on, the action team guys tried to "pick up" any single women. i am no prude, but it got sickening. i did not see this happening so much at this resort. the resort is beautiful, and the beach is great. one word of caution- watch out for the eggs! I have a very strong stomach and never get sick, but i got the sickest i have ever gotten on our last trip. I am almost positive that it was caused by eggs that were under cooked. other than that, this is an outstanding resort.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 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.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

My wife and I (along with 11 other friends and relatives) had a great time at the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar in early March. We go to the Riviera Maya every year, and this resort has the nicest grounds of any we have ever stayed at. We arrived at noon, and our rooms were ready for us. The resort was only half full, so that’s probably why.

There are beautifully manicured native plantings, wonderful walkways winding through the jungle, and a great beach and swimming area. We also saw lots of wildlife including coati (raccoon-like animal with a long nose), agouti (looks like a large guinea pig), peacocks, flamingos and iguanas. The coatis near the beach grill would sometimes beg for food. You weren’t supposed to feed them, but some people did anyway.

We stayed in building 18, which is half way between the pool and the lobby. They were able to get everyone in our group into the same building, which was perfect. Each day, we had a different towel animal on the bed, which pleased my wife no end.

We split our time between the pool and beach. We never had a problem getting chairs, which is a benefit of the resort being only half full. There are 3 swim-up bars, and we were always able to find space to sit at one of them. This is a great place to meet people from other countries. Be sure to check out the area between the two main swim-up bars. They have ice cream (love the coconut), cold cappuccino and something called honey milk. On Monday, they had seafood paella on the beach, along with a live band and other fun activities led by the Star Friends.

We snorkeled right off the beach and saw quite a few fish just out from the remains of the damaged pier. There is no reef here, but lots of rocks and old pilings from the pier where the fish are hiding. Fresh water seeps into the ocean here from somewhere underground, so the hazy mixing of fresh and salt water is visible.

There are lots of activities including archery, air rifle, bocce, volleyball and various pool games. The Star Friends coordinated these activities, and work hard to make sure the guests are having a good time. They work long days, but were always very enthusiastic. Liliana took us on a bike tour of the resort, and Nicole was very entertaining at the archery competition. Nicole recruited us for the pre-show one night at the theater. It was lots of fun making fools of ourselves in front of the audience!

Service at the resort was excellent. The staff went out of their way to be friendly and helpful, and they are one of the biggest assets of this resort. The lobby bar and cigar bar have name brand liquor. The cigar bar has big leather chairs, and is a nice place to relax with a drink and cigar.

The buffets had a large selection of food. It was good, but not great. However, I was always able to find something I really enjoyed at each meal. Since we stayed for 7 nights, we were allowed 3 specialty restaurants. Since the resort wasn’t full, we were able to get a 4th specialty restaurant. The Japanese chef provided us with a great show and very good food. One person in our group had a birthday, and we had asked ahead of time for a birthday cake, which they provided. The Italian was good, but nothing special. The Mediterranean specialized in seafood, and had some very interesting and tasty items on the appetizer bar. We had the surf and turf, which was an excellent beef tenderloin and lobster tail. The Mexican was lots of fun and had very authentic food (not Tex-Mex like back home). A Mariachi band strolled through each of the restaurants, and provided a real Mexican atmosphere.

During several evenings, there was a local band that played in the courtyard of the shopping center. They were very good, and it was a nice place to relax with a drink and listen to good music. The disco had a Star Wars theme, and is also located at the shopping center. On some nights, there were only a few people there, and other nights it was packed. If you go, check out the X-wing fighter that flies overhead every once in a while.

The nightly shows were generally very good. The performers were talented, and seemed to really enjoy themselves. They have a live house band, which performed throughout the evening. Outside talent was brought in for the Mexican dance show and there was a Magician who was pretty good. Boogie Nights was the only show I didn’t really enjoy that much because all the music seemed to be the same. Stay around after each show for the resort dance. They invite the audience up to dance with the performers and Star Friends, and it’s a blast.

If you want to go to Playa del Carmen, the hotel has a bus for $8 round trip per person on a set schedule. We had 13 people, so I had the bellhop get us a private van. The total cost also came out to $8 each for the round trip, and we were able to select exactly when we wanted to go and when we wanted to get picked up. Keep this in mind if you have a large group. They have the rates for several different vehicles posted at the bell stand.

I would definitely recommend the Iberostar resorts to anyone who wants a fun, safe, relaxing and eco-friendly vacation in the Riviera Maya. I would return next week if I could.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2010

My wife, 5yo daughter and I stayed in Iberostar Paraiso del Mar February 12-23, 2010 and had a pretty good holiday; overall this is a wonderful resort. Everything was perfect w/ two exceptions: the beach was overcrowded - it was hard to get any comfortable place unless this was taken care of in early morning. The other problem is way more serious - BEWARE! There are two booths in the hotel area offering so-called "temporary henna tattoos", promising that those would go away in 2 weeks and wouldn't leave any marks. Please stay away from them! My little daughter and myself decided to fool around a bit and both got the tattoo. Both developed terrible allergy ~ 2 weeks later, upon coming back to the US. I am afraid we will both have permanent scars on our shoulders.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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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
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 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts 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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