Let's get the food out of the way: It was terrible. Consistently, no matter where we dined, we could expect food that ranged from mediocre to inedible. The buffets were never fresh or cooked well, and leaned a little too heavy on the American-taste. We came to Mexico for Mexican food, not poorly-done American food. Like other reviewers, we found better breakfast at the buffet near the lobby. The other place near the pool was inedible.
The specialty restaurants were a disaster. We were constantly told that they were "booked" and we would have to wait until late to eat. Besides for the Japanese place, every single restaurant was pretty empty. I simply don't know where people ate, I suppose they all left the resort.
The steak place had some promise, but my tenderloin had the consistency of eggs (it was bizarre), and was covered in some sort of artificial smokey flavoring.
The French place was by far the worst--nothing was hot, even though there were only 2(!) other tables occupied. My lamb was more bone than lamb. The fish smelled so foul that it almost made one of my family members vomit.
The seafood place's best dish was their Brazilian-style beef....it wasn't half bad.
The Japanese place was very slow....too much time playing with the food and not cooking it. In fact, our chef ran out of beef and had to go run and get some more while 4 of us sat with empty plates.
For Christmas Eve dinner, we were served a steak that was for all intents and purposes still living.
Other things about the resort:
Really weird. Almost like a Mayan Disneyland. Fairly tacky, although some nice materials were used sparingly. The other hotels had nicer common areas and designs. The layout of the hotel was claustrophobic and ugly. To walk toward the buildings near the beach, you had to walk through all the other buildings, connected by covered walkways. The amount of concrete surrounding you makes it feel like you're in a decaying city, not at a beach resort. Your other alternative is to walk on the road the golf carts use, which is ugly and not really meant for pedestrians. Walking between the Lindo and the Beach hotels was a pleasant experience, for once. The walkway was outdoors and not surrounded by concrete on all sides, and the buildings were spaced further apart it seemed. You can tell those buildings are older, but the architecture is less tacky.
Not too many complaints here. They are nicely sized, but a little dark. Build quality is iffy...we had some small problems and annoyances here and there. The jacuzzi was corroded and ugly, the shower door wouldn't close, and the phones did not work well. The TV looked like a demo model but it did turn on.
I feel the other reviews covered other aspects of this property adequately (great service, etc). We did not have an enjoyable stay due to the simply atrocious food. The bad architecture/layout of the hotel simply compounded the experience.
I have stayed at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana....now THAT is how you do a hotel. Fairly decent food, but excellent architecture, design, build quality, and layout. Simply beautiful. The Maya? Pretty darn ugly.
- 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