This was our third time at this Iberostar property, first in 2005, then 2010. We have stayed at the Maya, the Lindo and the Grand. My husband and I like Iberostar, their resorts are very well-run. Our check-in was seamless, as usual. The resort seemed fairly quiet, no issues getting loungers or reservations for the a la carte restaurants. I think it was at 50 per cent occupancy.
One of the reasons we chose to stay here, was the free wifi in the rooms and at the pool. Well, no wifi in our room. Could not connect to a network the whole time, pool was very slow access.
As others have mentioned, if you are staying at the Maya you can access all the other properties, except for the Grand. We spent one afternoon at the Del Mar for a change of pace. It has a beautiful pool area as well. The beach is great, nice snack bar and picnic area. There are little animals called coatis everywhere. They hang out and beg for food, despite signs everywhere asking people not to feed them. They are pretty cute, and have become very tame. I saw one little guy allowing himself to be petted.
One thing I love about the Maya, is the huge pool area, with tons of loungers to choose from, shady or sunny. Other resorts we have stayed at it is sometimes difficult to find a lounger in the shade, unless you get up very early in the morning and attempt to reserve one. No need at all to play the towel game here, possibly because of low occupancy rate.
Read lots of Trip Advisor reviews before we came. Quite a few were critical of the food. I sometimes read these and wonder what people are expecting. However, this time I had to agree with them. The buffets were generally good, but was extremely underwhelmed by the a la carte restaurants. Here's our experience:
Steak restaurant can eat there with a reservation or choose the buffet. To me the a la carte experience would be a little more special if one can order everything off a menu, instead of just heading up to the regular buffet. Anyhow, I ordered the fish of the day, grouper, for my entree. It was just so so, accompanied by some frozen green beans, a cob of corn and some rice. My husband ordered a rib eye steak, which he said was pretty good. The decor is really tired, and needs an update.
Seafood restaurant. Again, doubles as a buffet so you only order the entree from the menu. We ordered barbecued seafood for two, which I thought would be really special. Lobster, some shrimp, more grouper, salmon and a little calamari. Since the lobster and shrimp were in their shells, required a bit of work to eat them. A finger bowl or extra napkin would have been nice to have since our hands were covered with grease afterward.
We weren't able to go to the French restaurant in the Maya, L'Etoile, so we booked a reservation at the Lindo gourmet restaurant, El Museo. We had an 8:30 reservation. We were all herded in together at 8:30. Our server barely spoke to us, and it felt as if we were part of an assembly line. Appetizer, main course and desert and we were out the door in less than an hour. No music in the restaurant, just a mechanical hum in the background. I had to request a refill of my wine, and my husband wasn't even asked if he wanted wine.
So, a bit disappointing, since so much else about the Maya is fantastic. The grounds and architecture are outstanding. Apart from the gourmet restaurant, service from all levels of staff is friendly, charming and enthusiastic. We love the snake bar, great service and spectacular surroundings. Anyhow, we have moved on to 4 nights at the Grand, so will post from there!