This was our first trip to an iberostar. My wife and I have stayed at now hotels, secrets, gran Bahia principe, dreams, and now iberostar ( at least in Mexico anyways). So I am basing my review on past experiences at the other resorts up and down the coast over the last several years and this is our eighth time in this area.
First, apple vacations was great once again. No problems getting here, getting from airport to hotel, etc. the pricing is always really reasonable especially if you watch the last minute deals which are sometimes several months out.
Now for the hotel. The grounds are beautiful and very well kept. It is a very up to date hotel on par with the rest of the hotels in the same apple rating range. We paid a little extra to stay in maya instead of lindo and realized, there was no good reason. In fact, we toured all properties and found them to be not much different, especially since the pricing jumps quickly. The food was good for an all inclusive, but extremely repetitive. We have stayed at other all inclusives just to be clear and this was the worst at variety. The best variety was the lunch buffet as it changed a little bit daily which I found odd because usually it is the dinner with the most change in menu. The wait staff were okay at best. The restaurant managers watched more like hawks than friendly greeting helpful people. In fact, we were asked to move during lunch because we sat in a section that was apparently closed off. Not that there was a sign saying closed, or a greeter to direct you to the "open" section of the wide open room. Instead, we were rushed to in order to pick up our plates and carry them to another part of the room. This by the way was the fastest service we had at any restaurant. The staff looked more management beaten than happy which could be a cause. The hotel was relatively empty which would normally mean that the restaurants would have wide open reservation times. NOPE. Very limited restaurant open times despite the concierge in each block of buildings. Asa note though, food quality is good and whoever does the bakery is the best. We had a tv that didn't work in our room (6333 in case anyone else gets it). We reported this four times in various ways since day one. To date, we still assume it does not work because it was never fixed during our seven night stay. I know tv isn't usually that important on vacation, but I really like to watch a little right before bed and as I said, we paid a little more to stay here. They can get me across the Caribbean to an island and back in less than a day but getting a tv is apparently a touch more tricky. I am guessing it is due to the fact that getting around anywhere at the hotel can be a bit tricky. I know that golf carts exist in the universe and actually here at the resort. I even saw trans stops at the resort ( at the lower end ones go figure). But no trans here at the upscale ones. I like to dive so I had to carry my equipment quite far every day to the ocean. I carry it at home where no one carries stuff for you, but at home I don't park 3/4 of a mile from where I dive either. I have done this at other resorts and staff have picked me up along the way in the golf carts and helped out. I also tip pretty decent but this is the first trip I had more than half my tip money reserve ( yes I actually bring a certain amount just to give in tips usually about $500) but I didn't really get any opportunities as the staff was not very engaging. Most hotels on check in also do a great job explaining where to eat, transportation, shows, etc. not so much here. Got lost finding our room on day one. If the resort maps were actually accurate, it may have helped, but the correct mapping process is still being held up by the tv repair service. This resort does offer a lazy river and a wave pool which look awesome in the photos. Don't be fooled. If you have experienced a lazy river in your life you expect that entering at one point you will eventually drift around to another point. This isn't the case here. It is a lazy river because it is truly the laziest river on the planet. Swamp lands in the Everglades with stagnant water have more drift. If you want to move around this "river" which we referred to as the donut pool, it will be under your own power. The wave pool is nice however for little ones if you don't want them going in the ocean. If your over 6 however, there really is an ocean here with real waves and everything and you don't have to wait for the buzzer to get a wave.
Finally, the saving grace. Dressel divers is the name of the on site dive shop. My only regret with this dive shop is that they got affiliated with this hotel. The dressel staff is great. The boats and rental equipment ( at least what is awash have my own gear) are top notch for rental stuff. Very safety conscious ad great personality guides and instructors. This is the best of the five dive shops I have been to in the yuca tan peninsula. I just wished they were paired with another resort. I highly recommend the cenotes and Cozumel excursions. It doesn't matter which guide you get,they are all great.
My conclusions to date on area resorts are as follows. For best inviting feeling, friendly staff, ease of access and best property, go to gran Bahia principe. Best rooms,secrets. Best food, Now. Best dive shop , iberostar.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the beautiful beach ofPlaya Paraiso" (Mexico). All junior suites with Jacuzzi, DVD player, upgraded amenities. Exclusive dining plus dine around privileges at over 16 restaurants, 17 full service bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Riviera Maya
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Maya
- Iberostar Maya
- Iberostar Grand Paraiso
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico