We just got home this past Monday, the 22nd, and are already planning another trip back!
This resort delivered, and then some. We stayed five days and four nights, and all in all, I have very few complaints, most of which I could take care of on my own, on our next visit, or won't exist next time, since I know how the resort works and its layout.
The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, with the exception of a simple corkscrew and bottle opener. They'll supply you with wine and Corona beer for example, but don't supply the items to open them up with. I've heard complaints from others who asked for the items and never received them, but I never had the need to push the issue, thanks to my husband's Reef flip-flops that had built-in bottle openers on the bottom of the soles. As for the wine, I just got what I needed from the bar and would forget about the bottle until I walked back into the room and saw it sitting there.
The IB* employees are exceptional and truly make this resort as special as it is. We had an excellent butler, and he, the Star Friends and the bartenders are already missed. Wonderful, genuine people, each and every one of them.
There was always an attendant in the pool/beach area taking, and consistently filling drink orders. No complaints there at all.
I parked myself in one of the many cabanas near the beach, right next to where the Star Friends did their water games, and close to the area where the ping-pong tables are located. I never once heard the music get too loud, nor were they ever in the least bit obnoxious.
As for the beach, yes there are flat boulders towards the edge of the beach, and under the surface of the water in front of The Grand, but they in no way detract from the water's appearance. I'm not big on getting in salt water, but if you wanted to get into the water, it's maybe a 3-5 minute walk to The Maya next door. Honestly, after eating all the good food there, the walk will do you good!
We ate at all the restaurants, with the exception of the gourmet. They were all good; Toni's being the best, followed by the Italian restaurant. The only complaint I have about the food, is the breakfast buffet. It was not good at all, in our opinion, but the lunch buffet more than made up for it. The grilled shrimp (not on the menu) is out of this world.
We caught the magic show, the musical show, and the broadway show and all were good. The lobby bar had some good crowds a few of the nights, and was laid back. No falling-down drunks here, which is exactly what we were hoping to avoid. I'd say the crowds ranged from mid-20's, to early 60's, with the median age being around 35.
The hotel itself is beautiful. Everything from the tumbled marble tile work in the outdoor pathways, to the marble floors inside the main building; it's just beyond beautiful. The atrium is breathtaking.
We stayed in building 71, which currently is the only ocean front building open. I would have preferred a room on the second or third floor, to clear the view of the palapas, but there wasn't one available the first night, and we didn't want to move. Personally, I won't upgrade to oceanfront again. We just didn't spend enough daylight time in the room to justify its cost. Most of the restaurants are in the main building, where the majority of the rooms are, and this is where I'll be when we return.
All in all, we felt pampered, special, and at home at The Grand, and I don't think you can ask for much more than that. We'll be returning to celebrate, and hopefully renew our vows, for our fifth anniversary next October. We can't wait!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the long, fine, sandy beach of Playa Paraiso in Mexico's Riviera Maya. Top 5-star luxury. Quiet and relaxing. Personal butler and concierge service. 24 hours all inclusive service. 4 a la carte restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Playa Paraiso Iberostar
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico