We are spoiled, but not ugly Americans who have been to Sandals, Dreams, Beaches, Secrets, Couples, Excellence, etc. This is truly a wonderful resort.
We particularly appreciated the universally gracious and helpful staff. The word "No" is outside of their vocabulary! And this strikingly beautiful resort was immaculately groomed and extremely clean. The beach is huge and clean and the pools are tremendous. There is a cute little shopping area in the central Iberostar complex.
A couple of critical/helpful suggestions and observations. A dive into the pool revealed that it is not salt free. And the best chairs around the pool and beach front are reserved (cruise-style) by 5:30am. (I discovered this time on our last day when I went for an early morning run.) I generally was able to get one of the last cabana chairs at 6:20am, but saw a lot of folks wandering around with towels after breakfast. Chairs sat empty for many hours with no enforcement. I was looking forward to some snorkeling. There was nothing much worth seeing just offshore of the resort, so I checked with the dive shop. Yes, they have a daily 90 minute snorkeling trip, and for a mere $80.00 my wife and I could join them. Ouch, I'm familiar with this being a free "non-motorized activity." And while the average age appeared to be 50-something, most evening activities started at 10pm, a bit late for those of us in that age group. There was generally nothing to do but hang out at the bar after dinner. And the entertainment that we attended was a bit cheesy . . . the magician was worthy of a bar mitzvah. We would have appreciated a daily paper with the day's activities, something that most other resorts do.
In general, the food was excellent, near the best we have had. There is only one option for breakfast, the buffet, but I found that you could order Eggs Benedictine off the menu. One pet peeve of mine is attempting to make an omelette on a griddle, which they did. But the overall quality and breadth of the food was great. We enjoyed both buffets for lunch (the only options), especially the grilled lobster, the Kobe burgers, the Caesar salad, and the guacamole. The themed evening buffets ranged from so-so (Mexican and Italian) to great (International). The show around the pool after the International buffet should provide a model for the other evenings.
Of the other restaurants, we most enjoyed the Japanese (a la carte). The sushi was fresh, the tempura perfectly made, and the banana dessert out of this world! The Italian restaurant was also very good. The Surf & Turf was a bit weaker for us. I found it weird to get my salad served along with my steak. The Gourmet restaurant was not very good nor very well named. My crepes Suzette flambe were particularly disappointing . . . no flames and apples the consistency of apple sauce.
Or room was fabulous. It was definitely worth it to get an ocean front room. The cleaning and turn down service was excellent.
Overall, a great place that we would recommmend to others.
- 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