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“Perfect Paradise” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
4.5 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Irvine, California
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Perfect Paradise”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

We stayed in an oceanfront suite from June 30th-July 6th and had an amazing time. The service was fantastic and everyone was always so happy to help. The check in process was simple, convenient and from the comfort of our suite. We absolutely recommend upgrading to an oceanfront suite. The butlers were extremely attentive and always looking to please.

The main pool was pretty calm and it was always very easy to find a chair. There were never any lines at the pool bar and drinks were easy to order. The "Star Friends" were so great and so hard working. They were on the go from 10am to midnight and always had upbeat attitudes...even after being in the sun and conducting pool/beach games for 6 hours a day. We were very impressed that they remembered our names and it made us feel like important guests.

The food was great and there was always a great selection to cater to everyone's palate. We had room service for breakfast for 2 days, but recommend the breakfast buffet over breakfast room service. We had lunch at the pool and in the restaurant at our own leisure. Lunch options included a buffet, along with menu choices that included lobster. We had wine with dinner every evening, with a new bottle being brought to our table for each type of wine request. My favorite dinner experience was at the Italian restaurant where our FAVORITE waiter, Rene, was serving. I cannot say anything other than positive things about Rene. He always had a smile on his face, explained every detail of the menu in detail and provided us with exceptional service. He was our favorite Iberostar employee....by far.

The only minor complaints we had were the following: the hairdryer in the room (for us ladies) were not ideal. You have to hold a button down the whole time you're drying your hair...and for someone that has long hair, my finger got pretty tired. Another issue that we had was when we requested a laundry bag from our concierge (requested 3 times) and it took an hour to receive. Again, these were pretty minor issues in our eyes.

Another recommendation I have is to try and upgrade your room once you get to the resort as you may be able to save a lot of money versus booking it upfront. Our friends had the opportunity to upgrade when they arrived and paid about $1000 in total less than us.

All in all, this resort was awesome...we will definitely be back.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
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Montreal, Canada
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
103 helpful votes 103 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

Well, what can i add to the fact that this was the 3rd visit to the hotel in less that 7 months. This time we went for 10 days. The reasons why I returned were all true again - friendly staff, great food, very clean and no kids. Overall, we had a great trip and were scheduled to return in November for a reunion with friends we met there last November. However, that may not happen because of as little glitch.

What concerned me was the disappearance of a T-Shirt. While this may seem insignificant, it was a gift from my wife especially for this trip related to scuba diving. Once I made the "report", it was found in an area I simply did not frequent. This left a bad taste in my mouth and will have me thinking about the next trip. Too bad really cause it is a real nice place.

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Louis, Missouri
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2011

My husband & I spent our honeymoon at the Iberostar Grand hotel, and could not have enjoyed it more! The pool and the beach were BEAUTIFUL! Our room was amazing, although we only slept in it (had no need to spend any time other than that in the room!). The food was DELICIOUS! My husband is a "meat guy", and could not stop talking about the quality of the meat. The theatre was a lot of fun! The shows were done VERY well, and were definitely not "resort quality" shows! But, what topped it off for both my husband and I was that the service was OUT OF THIS WORLD! ANYTHING you could possibly need, they were more than happy to provide you with. My husband & I made a couple of bizzare requests (things we had forgotten at home, etc.), and they did everything in their power to get it to us. There were also a couple of nights where my husband requested that they have the jacuzzi filled with flowers surrounding it, etc., and they would have it all set up just before we would get back to the room. Also, they would make your reservations to ANYWHERE you wanted to go. Since we were at the Grand, we were able to go any of the other Iberostars that we wanted. We decided to go to the one just beneath our resort, and they had everything totally set up for us (prepared a golf cart for us to go at the correct time, had reservations made, etc.). (which, after the first time we left our resort, we would never do it again... nothing else compared!)
My husband and I could not recommend this resort enough to anyone who is looking! We had SO much fun! We loved the casual and relaxed feel that you got during the day (we would wear our swimming suits - no hair or make up - with a cover over them to lunch) and the nice & elegant feel that we got during the night (cute dresses, flats &/or heels - husband wore button down shirts with nice dark jeans).
The trip was AMAZING, and we can't wait to go back! : )

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Bloomington, Illinois
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2011

Trip details: June 29 – July 8, 2011 (9 nights) in an Oceanfront Junior Suite

ROOMS: What more could be said about these rooms? You’ve seen the photos. You’ve read the reviews. Well-appointed and spacious, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your room.

If you travel with gadgets that need power, bring an extension cord (or two) and a power strip (or two). A recent reviewer commented that they were able to get one from the butler, but we’re used to a vast shortage of outlets so we travel prepared. There are lamps on both sides of the bed, but they are hard-wired, leaving no outlet on one side the bed, and only one outlet on the other, which has the iHome model HiH66B plugged in (which won’t charge most newer iDevices). The over-bed accent lighting is controlled by a wall switch on each side of the bed, and another switch is a handy all-lights-off switch. Other available outlets include one where a floor lamp is plugged in by the chaise, and one by the table/desk. I didn’t try the outlet on the balcony to see if it was live.

A door separates the dressing area (closets, bar, bathroom, entry door) from the sleeping area. This is especially helpful in the oceanfront buildings, where you may be awakened by birds chirping or service carts rolling right outside your entry door.

Your balcony door should glide freely on its track. Ours initially required two hands and a bit of muscle to get it to budge (more on that issue below), which was even more difficult from the outside where there wasn’t much to grab onto. As in most newer resorts, your balcony door must remain closed for the A/C to continue running. In the July humidity, leaving your door open for just a few minutes will cause condensation to form on the cool, slippery tile inside, so please watch your step!

Balconies are comfortable while the breeze is blowing. When it’s not, the oceanfront balconies can get a little stuffy, especially in the heat of the summer. The oceanfront rooms have had their balcony ceiling fans removed when the first big storms arrived shortly after opening, but the remaining rooms still mostly have the fans.

SERVICE: We were fortunate to have been assigned the infamous Victor as our butler. He gave us a very thorough run-through of the room during our in-suite check-in, made notes of our preferences and immediate room needs, and took ownership of our sliding door problem until it was resolved. After the first service call only fixed the non-functioning lock, and the second failed to get the door moving by greasing the track, they finally got it working by adjusting/replacing the rollers on the 8’ tall door. But no good deed goes unpunished, and the glass was cracked in the process. Victor had already noticed this by the time we saw him the next morning, and I asked that it at least be taped for safety. We were surprised to find a complete replacement door installed by the time we returned that same afternoon. Victor was also relentless in tracking down the few remaining bottles of Bohemia Clasica for me—even though this regular version was on their cerveza menu, they mostly had the dark Obscura version.

We didn’t get to meet the infamous Mirna until our last day at the Tranquility Pool (the last few days were spent indoors and/or at the main and spa pools due to morning rains). It’s too bad she wasn’t there the entire time, because it was there where we experienced our only service “misses”. After receiving our customary round of bottled water one day, we didn’t see another bar service person the rest of the morning. I finally walked to the pool bar to pick up drinks and order food, and explained that we hadn’t seen anyone all morning. The bartender took note of this and delivered our food personally, and we had consistent service for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, the bartender even showed up with an extra round of drinks when he realized he gave a waitress the wrong order for us once that afternoon.

The other service issue was really an issue with rude (or oblivious) guests, but I place partial blame on the staff for not noticing the issue and correcting it. For 3 days in a row, our afternoons at the Tranquility Pool were interrupted by loud guests who didn’t use “inside voices” at the quiet pool. The first day, it was a couple where the man would make his female companion giggle, squeal, and laugh loudly while they enjoyed the bubbling cool tub for a short time one afternoon. Fortunately they moved on after a few minutes. Then there were the two girlfriends who couldn’t hold a conversation unless they were at least 15 feet apart from each other in the pool, and the one with the distinctive regional US accent had a voice that carried to the far end of the pool cabanas where we were seated. I enjoyed hearing about how hot the wooden walkway was that afternoon as she brought her drink and ashtray poolside.

The worst offenders were a 6-pack of rudeness—one older couple and two younger couples, probably the adult children of the older couple. It was obvious they had come from a long day at the main pool, enjoying the all-inclusive beverages a little too much. One of the Bubba-Keg-toting younger men did a small dive from the cold tub bench into the middle of the tub, much to the delight of his overserved companions. I fault the waiter that afternoon who kept bringing the group round after round (they had him getting something for them each trip back to the bar), without mentioning that it was a quiet area. There are two signs indicating the quiet area, but they aren’t very prominent. My suggestion would be a few more signs in noticeable places, reminding guests to be quiet. The bubbling tubs are not conducive to holding quiet conversations among guests, so that would be a good place to start.

The only other “miss” was being told “no” to what I thought was a simple request. We wanted to pool-hop one afternoon, so I asked the waitress servicing the Tranquility Pool if she could call a cart for us to pick us up at the pool and take us to the Beach/DelMar pool. She said she couldn’t do that, and suggested I go inside by the restaurants to call. After I called, we waited about 10-15 minutes for a cart before Mrs. Geek walked back down to building 71 to find they had never received the message from Reception.

Overall, we found the service to be excellent and the staff to be very friendly. Two that deserve to be called out by name for their sweetness and cheery dispositions are restaurant hostess Paola and Chef Jessica, whom we saw almost every day.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: We never met a meal we didn’t like. We booked 4 a la carte dinners via email one week prior to arrival, and two more on our 4th day. We also booked one meal at the Maya’s seafood restaurant on a Wednesday night (during the Grand’s international buffet).

Breakfasts were served in the Bella Vista buffet, as La Brisa was closed for breakfast during low occupancy. Jalapeno poppers for breakfast? Sure! They go well with mimosas. My favorite indulgence was adding some maple-flavored glaze to my churros. Smoothies were served a few days each week, and Chef Olivia usually had some traditional Mexican breakfast dishes being whipped up at the made-to-order eggs station.

We ate lunches at the La Brisa buffet only twice, as we normally ordered a light lunch of chips, salsa, and guacamole, along with a couple Chicken Caesar Wraps served to us poolside. Skip the “nachos and cheese” normally included with the “nachos” order, as they usually show up soggy. Instead, ask for 2 bowls of the sturdier chips by name: totopos (toe-TOE-pose). You’ll need extra for the generous servings of salsa and guacamole.

A cake and coffee cart is wheeled poolside at the main pool around 4pm. If your swimsuit is dry, you’ll find a better selection of desserts inside the nearby La Brisa.

We ate dinners at each of the a la cartes, and went back to the Italian and Surf & Turf a second time each. Serving sizes were perfect for us, considering we always had appetizer and dessert courses. Mrs. Geek reports she had an excellent filet mignon on our second visit to Toni’s, while I chose surf & surf—two tails. I should have stuck with the chocolate cake for dessert again—while the Apple Crisp had both apples and something crisp, it was nothing like a traditional Apple Crisp, and the frozen element (ice crystals of frozen apple juice, perhaps?) took away from the quality of the dessert, especially if you let the ice melt.

As for drinks, we tried many of the cocktails on their menu, and several of the beers. We’re not hung up on name-brand booze, and we enjoyed everything they served us.

On our arrival day, we ordered room service for dinner and it arrived promptly, still hot and delicious. On our checkout day, we ordered room service for the coffee—and I ordered a pot of espresso and a pot of hot chocolate to make my own caffe mocha.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: The only threat to our safety came from the mosquitoes which swarmed the resort during a dry spell, while winds were calm. Bring your DEET-rich bug spray! The resort fogged the property, but not until the second bad night of bugs.

Due to the issues with our patio door, we had an untold number of people in and out of our room, with no problems whatsoever. I left my netbook out the entire time, unlocked. I know we left our safe unlocked at least once during our stay, and it went untouched.

We had two separate incidents of one of our two room keys not working, and the concierge had them replaced quickly.

OVERALL COMMENTS: We were very pleased with our choice. We decided quickly and booked the Grand about 9 months prior, due to an unbelievable deal that was available at the time. We may return to the Iberostar Paraiso complex sometime in the future with our kids in tow. We could tell from a visit to the Maya that only the best & brightest “stars” are selected to work at the Grand.

Room Tip: Rooms in the main building still have ceiling fans on the balcony-- oceanfront rooms do not! Helps...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reston, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2011

Stayed there with my husband. Great staff, great service, beautiful property. Food could've been a little better but quality of the service definitely made up for it. Overall very happy and will definitely come back soon

Room Tip: Building #71 is directly on the beach. Wonderful view.
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, UK
Top Contributor
99 reviews 99 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
146 helpful votes 146 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2011

Went with First Choice from Manchester, 16th June for 2 fantastic wks. Flight was very good and on time. We traveled in the premium cabin very good service and leg room.

Transfer from the Airport to the Grand took about 30mins.

Arrived at the hotel to a nice glass of bubbly and a cold towel, check in was very quick and we were soon in are room in building 72 top-floor overlooking the spa. The room was beautiful, quiet and had everything we needed. The bed was big and so comfy and we got the perfect pillows from the menu.

We met the butler who was very helpful and informative and was there to get us anything we needed, Thanks for making my husband's birthday special with all the nice things you did.

I took my own LAN cable for the inclusive wired internet access in the room (Wifi was patchy in reception), but your butler will provide a cable if you don't take your own. Very fast speeds of over 10mb/s was great for Skype.

This hotel is beautiful and so clean, in fact I have never seen anything so clean.
The indoor garden was amazing and it was so nice to sit there with a drink.
We loved the lobby bar it was nice to go there for a drink before and after dinner, and Perfecto you are the best barman, we miss you.

Restaurants are great and the food so nice and lots of choice. We never had a problem with reservations.

The wine on the AI menu was just ok, my husband liked some of the reds, but the whites where not to my taste at all such a shame as white wine is my drink of choice. I did fall in love with the apple martinis so this made up for it.

We really enjoyed the shows and saw all of them; the singers and dancers are so talented. Casino with the Star Friends before the shows was so much fun.

I loved the Star Friends and enjoyed all the activities like yoga, aqua-gym, they are so funny and work very hard to ensure you have a good holiday.

We spent our days on the beautiful beach, nobody was playing the towel game so lots of beds, the pools are amazing and we always finished the day off with a nice swim in the tranquility pool, this is such a nice area very relaxing.

We had five days of very bad weather (bad for guests who where there for just those days) it is a chance you take going in June, the spa pool came in very handy on these days. Star Friends brought all activities indoors so there was lots to do, we also brought DVDs with us so we would watch films and enjoy the mini bar in the afternoon.
The weather on the other days was very nice and I got a nice tan.

Staff at the hotel are all very nice and always smiling, thanks to you all for making are holiday special, you work very hard to make sure your guests have a great time.

We had a fantastic holiday at the Grand it is the best AI we have been to (and we have been to a lot) its good for all adults no matter what age, and its so nice not having kids everywhere (I do love kids honest).

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tahlequah, Oklahoma
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2011

My husband and I go to an AI in Mexico every year on our honeymoon. This is only the 5th one we have been to, but may be the last time we try any new resorts.
We are already working on a Dec trip, we just can't wait a whole year to return to the Grand.
Service is outstanding, the grounds are impeccable and the food is great. I wish I would have written this earlier to describe a little more in detail, but I will just make a list of things I think are worthy of a mention.

Restaurants in order of our preference. I am somewhat of a foodie and if I hadn't tried the Japanese restaurant due to only reading the reviews I would have been so upset:
1. Japanese
2. Gourmet
3. Surf and Turf
4. Italian
We thoroughly enjoyed the lunch buffet every day(husband had grilled lobster every day). Sea Bass wins hands down.

We loved the Hobie Cats we will do them every day next time weather permitting

I prefer the quiet pool over the main pool because it was much cleaner

Pool and beach drink service was outstanding.

We went on a pub crawl on our first day so we could check out all of the other resorts, the snake bar at the maya is a must see.

We were so worn out by 10 we only made it to one show(the last night), but it was so good we plan on going to them every night of our next visit.

The star friends were amazing! They wanted you to participate, but didn't hassle you like I have seen at other resorts in the area.

The gym had great equipment for cardio lovers and weight lifters alike

A little evidence of towel game, but not enough to inconvenience us.

My husband loved the minibar replenishment and the fact that he could have anything he wanted in no time at all.

The cons are very short, but should still be mentioned. The ala carte reservation system is bad. If I hadn't known to book ours in advance we would have been in trouble. I wish they would do away with it because it doesn't seem fair. The main pool could have been a little cleaner, we spent most of our time at the beach but when we did swim in it there was an awful lot of tiny debris and algae on the bottom, but no big deal because the tranquil pool was great.
Not really a con just an aside: Our friends got upgraded and we didn't. This did not ruin our trip by any means because well, we didn't pay for it, but it was a little annoying since they were with us and not even celebrating anything. They did tell us we were next on the "list" but never heard anything else. I probably wouldn't have wanted to re pack anyway, Haha.

I will continue to tell people to stay at the Grand. We will return one more time then try out another resort just to compare, but I have a feeling that will be a one time thing.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso 4.5*
Number of rooms: 310
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

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