Just got back from spending a week at Paraiso Maya (November 9-16) and our group had a great time. All of the comments you read about the immaculate condition of the resort and the wonderful attitude of the staff....I found all of these to be true.
Let me get to the heart of the review. I have found that what a descriptor really means can often make a difference in your review of the resort. For example last year I stayed at an "Eco-Friendly" resort. Translated that ment they didn't cut back the jungle, and didn't spray for bugs! This year I stayed at a "Family Friendly" resort which translated to far too many small children for an adult vacation. If you travel and feel you must or from an economic perspective must take the small children along....this is the resort for you.
I am not a grumpy old man that can't stand children. I have five wonderful grandchildren all under 8 years old. However, when on vacation with other adults I don't care to see small children running around naked by the pool, to hearing children crying while eating dinner at one of the reservation only restaurants (all very good by the way), finding messy disposable diapers under a chair by the pool, being down wind of children throwing sand on the beach, or sitting next to a five year old at the Snake Bar at 11:00 at night. None of what I stated is the fault of the management of the resort, as they provide tons of things for small children to do. There are even play areas for the toddlers.
OK...if you can ignore the kids and want to come, you might want to play golf. Don't be thrown off by the on-line cost of almost $200.00. If you stay at the Iberostar Complex you can play for around $50.00. You can rent premium Ping clubs for $65.00 or an old set of Nike's (some in very bad condition, others, not so bad) for $40.00. The course is long, challenging, and will eat balls. However if you are used to good or decent courses back home this course is certainly worth playing. Avoid the afternoon heat if at all possible...even in November the sun was brutal.
As noted above, the specialty restaurants are as good as most finer restaurants back home. The Steak and Seafood restaurants you can make a meal on the appetizers alone. The buffet is OK, but even the most picky should find something good with all the choices. Watch the kids as I saw children try something and put it back in the serving area! Where are the parents?
I didn't get a massage but one of our group said he had a wonderful deep tissue experience and wanted me to include the comment if I posted something to TA.
Would I recommend the resort...absolutely. The complex as a whole is great. The place does get a little dead at night after the "show" is finished I guess because children and parents go to bed. Maybe next time I'll go the "adults only" Grande (the top resort at the complex) and my review will include less whine.