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“5 star all the way!” 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
Calgary, Canada
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“5 star all the way!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2011

I stayed at "the Grand" over Christmas and New Year. The weather was perfect, the people all over the complex, were amazing. The only hitch was the butler, who didn't feel like fulfilling most of his duties. The rest of the staff were A1+.
As in most resorts, beach chairs are hard to come by after 8:00 am. A beach towel worked just as well for me.
There are a lot of choices as where to eat at the complex, and again, as with any All Inclusive, the food does become it little monotonous if you eat in the same restaurant every day. My preference was the buffet as there were always great choices.
I booked and stayed in an ocean front room and it can only be explained as heaven, while having the ability to listen to the waves at night in total peace and quiet. Good size room, clean, stocked with soaps and shampoos along with slippers and bath robes.
I did not experience any mosquitoes during my stay, even when I toured Chitchen Itza and Tulum.
Be aware that Iberostar has sister complexes attached, that cater to families and children, who tend to stray and play on the adult beach. (Different coloured wrist bands doesn't deter them). If you feel the need to complain, I am sure the staff would be more than willing to enforce the adult only rule.
Evening shows are entertaining and fun. The New Year's party was exceptional.
I took a taxi (on a recommendation of a valet ) to deliver gifts to an orphanage. Once we left the hotel, the driver admitted he did not know where the orphanage was and we drove for over an hour looking for it, even though we had an address. Ask your tour guide/planner for transportation tips as hotel staff can make "a killing" on naive travelers.
The pools are large and seem to be the favourite of the young crowd - but I never had any complaints.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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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Archbald, Pennsylvania
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

Our trip to the Iberostar Grand was in Oct 2011. We were upgraded too ocean front room's.The service from the front desk to the beach was great.The staff and workers in every area were the best.The food wasthe Best Breakfest,Lunch,Dinner, no problems getting in any restraunts.The grounds were beautiful and well keeped. The employes at the Grand from the famous bell captain Ricardo,and Irving,to the front desk girls Samanya,Ioana,and Noemi, couldn't do enough to make your stay the best ever..Thank's to Alberto Herrera we will be back soon to enjoy another great vacation..

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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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Toronto
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2011

I just got back from my one week vacation here, and let start this by saying my girlfriend and I had an amazing time, and if I have my way, we'll be going back here again. If that is all you need to hear, read no more. That being said, if you go here with amazingly high expectations, you will find yourself being disappointed by some things (but then presently surprised by others probably.)

I'm not giving this resort 5 stars, because I feel it was not a perfect experience for me... there were things that could have been improved, for sure. I will now try to just give the facts about what was great and what went wrong, maybe my problems wouldn't bother you. My girlfriend would give this place 5 stars... so my opinion might be different than yours.

Arriving, we were given a cold towel and a drink. These were nice. I asked for an upgrade to Ocean view. The upgrade (which was on a half-off special that week) was going to cost $80 per night on top of what we had already paid. This wouldn't budge. We stuck with the room we had been given (Junior Suite - King Bed) and found this room to be perfect. It looked out to the tranquility pool area, but the view of the pool itself was obscured by trees. The view was still nice, though.

The room is BIG with lots of storage. The bed is big and very comfortable. I'm fussy when it comes to pillows, but out pillows were perfect. I was upset about that, because I had wanted to try the pillow menu, but didn't need to. The bathroom was nice, with a 'his' and 'her' side, with their own sink. The 'her' side having a makeup mirror and hair dryer. My main complaint is the toilet was walled off in its own stall, but the walls were transparent glass. Didn't make sense to me. The balcony was very nice, with both a wicker swing hung from the ceiling, and a comfy couch. My main issue with the room was the motion detector. All of the lights (maybe some power outlets too?) went out when it didn't detect movement. This was especially annoying when you are alone in the room, in the bathroom. If you are on the toilet or in the shower, the lights WILL go out on you. Very annoying. But again: we loved our room.

Room service is fast, and accommodating! Great tasting food too. We are two dinners ordering from room service, and weren't disappointed at all. For dessert, try the Chocolate Tart! It is basically a very delicious chocolate cake. It isn't pastry... it is chocolate and mouse. Again: soooo delicious.

Our mini fridge was always well stocked, but we had to leave a note each morning (along with a tip) asking for what we wanted. The days we didn't do this, they didn't adequately restock the fridge. If your notes are in Spanish and you leave a good tip, expect even better service here.

We didn't really use the butler service, except once to get some ice. Service was very quick.

Wireless internet is in the lobby, and also (not officially) near the desk you go to in the middle of the building, for making dinner reservations. (Called 'linksys' - has no password.) In your room you have a wired connection, which is useless for smart phones and tablets. The wireless in the main lobby fails a lot. Going to the front desk and asking them to reset it fixes the problem in less than a minute.

The weather was perfect we were there (high 30s, hardly any rain) but I think we got really lucky. We got there at the end of one storm, and left at the beginning of another big one. Note that the resort's roofs leak. If it rains, you'll see yellow patches everywhere on the floor. Not a huge issue... just watch your step.

Every night at around 10pm there is a different show. (Boogie Night, Magic, Rock Show, etc.) The magic show was nice. The other shows I went to (not all of them) were really horrible, but in a funny way. Worth going, but expect to walk out before it ends unless you like cheesy repetitive dance moves. If you skip the show, you'll find other ways to have a fun night. I should note that it gets dark around 6 or 6:30pm this time of year. Don't expect much English programming on the TV, almost everything is dubbed in Spanish. But really, if you are here you shouldn't be watching TV.

The indoor pool was very nice. I think it is advertised as salt water, but it seemed to be fresh water to me. The water is really warm, like bath water or even warmer. There are buttons around the pool just above water level. Pushing the buttons does a different thing there, depending which 'station' you are at in the water. All of them massage you in one way or another... it is really neat. Some are shower-type things with different streams, all very strong water pressure. Some are underwater benches that massage your back with jets, etc. There are also two hot tubs, one on either side. Furthermore, there is a gym in the building, and each bathroom has a sauna in it.

The tranquility pool is amazing! So relaxing. It is off to the side, out of the way of the beach and the main pool. It is well sheltered (building on two sides, tall hedge on another side,) and had lots of beds with tents over them. The water is fresh water, and the pool is huge. There are two large hot water hot tubs, one on either side. The very large chess board, when out, is fun too. Well, I didn't play it, but it was a nice feature. This area was my favorite place most days, although I also spent a lot of time around the main pool, at on the beach.

The main (salt water) pool is a lot of fun, too. Just a heads up: the four hot tubs around this pool (one in each corner) are cold water. Still nice, but you'll get an initial shock if you expect hot water. I did, anyway. The swim up bar is enjoyable, but the stools are further out of the water than I'd like, and even with the resort only having 36% occupancy (I was told that figure, but it really seemed more like 20%) it was often too full to swim up to. Service is slow at times, depending on time of day and how busy it is. You can also walk up to the bar from the other side (not in the water) and order a drink.

While laying around a pool or on the beach, drink service comes very regularly. Tipping goes a long way here, as well. I found service on the beach not quite as good as by the pools, but still very reasonable. The servers are very nice (especially the girl we had around the tranquility pool.) Tip every once in a while, and you'll never find yourself thirsty without a drink at hand.

The first day and the last day a red flag was up on the beach, and the waves were too high for swimming. Every other day, it was a yellow flag was up. The waves for a yellow flag were small, and added to the enjoyment of swimming in the sea. The right side of the beach has rocky water. This doesn't mean small pebbles or anything... these are large jagged stones... very dangerous to swim here. If you use the left side of the beach, there are very few of these rocks, and it is very safe and pleasant to swim. When walking from the main salt-water pool, you literally only need to walk 5 or 6 meters to the left to be in the nicer area of the water. Walking from one end of the beach to the other only takes a few minutes... it isn't as large as some photos suggest. Another resort is on the left if you keep walking, with nothing to divide the two. We didn't have any problem with people coming on to our beach from the other resort, except for a few children with their parents. But this was rare, and the kids in these cases were well behaved.

Activates are scheduled every hour of every day pretty much. These is a full week schedule available. Things like: archery, air gun, volleyball, yoga (on beach and at tranquility pool, different times of the day,) aqua aerobics, water volleyball, etc. The aqua aerobics is just going into the main pool with one of those water noodles between your legs, and doing jumping jacks and weird hand gestures. The other activates are more enjoyable. Not many had good attendance during our stay, but it was the down season after all.

People go around the resort offering to take your picture with various cute animals. If you then want a copy of any of the pictures, they charge you $15 a picture, even if you just want them on a CD instead of printed. A huge ripoff.

The staff were all very friendly, and for the most part it didn't come off as the fake 'I get paid to be nice to you' kind of friendly. They seem to genuinely want you to have a good time. Many are in their early 20s, and live on the resort with roommates. They work 6 days a week, from 8am to 10 or 11pm, with a couple hours break in between. There were a few I enjoyed talking with (Augustine and Mayra are the only names I remember) but for the most part, I didn't have the same experience other reviewers mentioned, where they had amazing servers, and knew lots by name. I am not sure if you'll have that type of experience, unless you are a regular at a specific bar, or are coincidentally lucky enough to have the same waiter many times over for meals.

The food there was good. Room service and the breakfast buffet were by far my favorites. The breakfast buffet has an amazing selection, I enjoyed it every morning, and don't think I'd ever get bored of it.

The lunch buffet was very sub-par. Most of the food you'd expect to be hot (meat, fish, potatoes, etc) is cold or just barely warm. The selection isn't anywhere near as good as the breakfast buffet, and I often found myself eating cold food and wishing it was breakfast time again. You can order from the menu at lunch, but there are only 6 or 7 options, and they screwed up my order all 3 times I ordered from it. If you order from the menu, you can still have the buffet. If you order a 'Medium Rare' steak at the buffet, expect it to not even be pink on the inside. The ice-cream is great at the buffet.

It is a good idea to make dinner reservations a week before you arrive at the resort. You can email your reservation requests to rpgrandparaiso@iberostar.com.mx. IMPORTANT: verify your reservations as soon as you get to the resort. I was given confirmation numbers for my 3 reservations by email, but found at the resort that 2 of my 3 reservations didn't exist! One day the restaurant I successfully made the reservation for wasn't even open. Even though my birthday dinner was ruined because of this, they didn't seem to care, and I got no special treatment or anything to repay me for the trouble caused by their error. I did complain about this, but they simply didn't care. (one of the reasons this isn't a 5 star review.)

The only dinner restaurant I really liked was Tony's (Surf & Turf.) It was very nice. The others didn't have much on the menu I was interested in, but were okay as well. I don't even remember what the dinner buffet was like. I remember it being better than the lunch buffet, though. More selection, at least.

The last thing I can suggest is getting off the resort a bit. I did one trip package that was: Tulum Ruins, zip lining, repelling and snorkeling in an underground cave. Tulum was a bit boring (the nicer ones are about a 2 and a half to 3 hour drive away. Tulum is about 90 minute drive,) but still nice. The other parts of the trip were amazing. The snorkeling ranks extremely high on the list of things I've done in my life. I think everyone should go into one of these caves at least once in their lives. the trip cost about $120 USD each, I think.

We also did parasailing on my birthday, and this was a lot of fun. It costs about $65 USD each, and you get about 12 minutes of air time.

All in all, it was an amazing vacation, and I'd definitely go back to this resort.

Room Tip: Ocean view might be nice, but if you can't get it for free, a room looking to the tranquility po...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Taunton, Massachusetts
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2011

We stayed a the Iberostar in late September. We've been to most of the resorts in the past and our original destination was the Maya and when we got there we decided to upgrage to the Grand. We felt me made the best choice and had no regrets. We enjoyed the slow season and the privacy of our room. We loved how the restraunts where situated. The food was good and we liked the idea that you could go to the other resorts if you desired. The restraunt we enjoyed the most was the Surf and Turf the service provided by Luis Davis was above and beyond. We spent most of our time at the pool because we loved the service and entertainment provided by the star friends. Augustino would motivate us when we needed it, playing beach and pool vollyball almost everyday. We have to mention our butler Luis because he went out of his way to make our stay more pleasurable. We are looking forward to coming back in the future and hope that we recieve the same service and have the experience we did in September. A big thanks to Alberto Herrara. We recommend the Grand Hotel for a quite relaxing vacation.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2011

My fiance and I just got back from our fifth trip to this hotel this and we love it so much we will definitley be back again soon. It is by far the best all inclusive I have been to. The food is great with a wide variety and the waiters offer the best service I have seen in a long time. The overall service at the resort can't be beat. They are incredibily polite, attentive and eager and happy to fulfill any requests we send their way. We came back from a day at the beach and not only did they do a beautiful job of the turn down service but they ran a bubble bath with rose petals for us! The beach is perfect and water is sparkeling blue and the pool is fun and relaxing depending on what you are in the mood for that day. The drinks are made perfectly. There are shows in the evening and entertainement at the pool every day (but not too loud and obnoxious like at some resorts I have stayed at). Both times I have gone the massages at the spa were incredible and so relaxing The gym is amazing as well. I would recommend this resort to anyone wanting a relaxing, fun get away!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Colorado
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2011

I stayed at the Iberostar in late September which appeared to be a slow season for the hotel (about 30% occupancy). The hotel was about 30 minutes from the Cancun airport. The grounds are beautiful with a great pool and beach area. It was very quiet throughout the resort due to the low occupancy which was both good and bad. A little quiet for the nightlife but nice to have no problem getting beach chairs, drinks, etc. The hotel is definitely a couples resort - not as fun for a girls weekend. The staff is outstanding - everyone was very helpful and friendly. The beach does have some rocks in the water but there is plenty of sandy areas for swimming. A couple of things that are helpful to know in advance include the water sports (kayaking, snokeling, sailing) have limited timeframes and some charges (ie a charge for someone to show you how to sail). I can understand the timeframes in a high occupancy time but its probably not necessary with less people. The resort grounds includes several Iberostar hotels that share a shopping area and the disco. Because the Paraiso is limited to adults, residents of the other hotels could not use Paraiso facilities however Paraiso residents can use facilities at the other hotels. The food was wonderful, especially the Japanese and Italian. Overall, this is a great hotel and I would recommend it to couples looking for a quiet, pampered weekend.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Chicago, Illinois
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2011

We decided to get married destination-style and luckily chose the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso south of Cancun. The resort is all-inclusive, which was important to us because we paid for 15 family members to take the trip with us.

There are actually 5 resorts on one property, and The Grand is far above the others for quality and value. It is an adults only (18+) resort and caters to "adult" activities (scuba, snorkeling, para-sailing, volleyball, water polo, aqua aerobics, etc. Our guests ranged from 18 to 73 years of age, and everyone (according to their comments) had a great time. My parents, who are seasoned travelers, said that they didn't know what to expect but the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso surpassed their expectations and was by far the finest hotel they'd been to in Mexico.

The resort is beautiful and the staff ensures that everything is perfect. A couple of notable staff members who made our stay fantastic: Martin was both waiter and source of information. Originally from Mexico City, he moved to the playa to enjoy the air. This guy is phenomenal; he handled our group with careless ease and ensured that everything that we desired was provided. Mario took care of all of our dining requests at our initial dinner, our rehearsal dinner, and our reception. Like Martin, he was fantastic and ensured that everything ran flawlessly. No one waited for a cocktail or drink, and his service was impeccable. Paulina was our wedding coordinator. With the exception of a few small bumps that we requested outside of her capabilities, she was on top of the wedding details from start to finish, ensuring that we were happy, comfortable, and without care. She took care of our party's golf reservations, all of our dinner reservations, and minute details such as champagne in the room every night, chocolate-covered strawberries, warm baths, and rose petals on the ground/bed for the wedding night. She's a consummate professional who will make your stay awesome. Jasmine at Adventure Photos. We had our doubts about Jasmine because we did not speak to her prior to the wedding. She was a bit unorganized, but I don't think we could have chosen a better photographer for the wedding. Our pictures are amazing! The only thing I would recommend changing is to talk to her before having pictures taken (something we did not do) so that you have a better idea of how she operates.

Room Tip: Upgrade from a Junior Suite to a Junior Suite on the ocean. The money is well worth it; beach cabana...
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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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 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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