I must tell you I read about 100 reviews on this hotel before I picked it for our vacation. We went on the REGENT Cruise line (the best in the world really) last April and that was so mind blowing that I had to have an amazing resort this time. Well Iberostar Grand is it! There are only three Grands in the world and this one is the best, so look no further.
FOOD ---- is really 5 Star. The Gourmet Resturant was my favorite with a dish my waiter told me about that involed filet mignon and foie fras, truly wonderful. I would go back for that! The Japanese resturant had and amazing view so go there before the sunsets. We ate at every fine dining resturant and had great food and service in all of them. The breakfast buffet was one of the best I have ever seen.
SERVICE ---Everyone that works here has a smile on their face and they are happy to have their job. They work long hours from 6:00am until about midnight! All this time with a smile on their face and on their lips,"may I help you?" I had a waiter at 7:45 AM breakfast who got me coffee and he also got me wine at 7:30pm at my dinner! Really long work days! But still a smile on his face. I have to mention that everyone is health conscious and no one touches anything with their hands or fingers. The bartenders use small tongs to squeeze the limes into the drinks. I will have to say this is the only trip to Mexico that did NOT include me getting sick from something so they really are doing a great job with the food and drinks. The place is always clean and someone is always cleaning something to keep it nice.
DRINKS---The wine included on the deal was fine. I am a wine snob but truly the wine was more than fine with food. The price of the upgraded wine was not worth it at all. They really did have Grey Goose at the swim up pool bar, which opens at 9:00AM. If you do not call the brand you want you will get a cheaper brand. They also have really nice high end tequila. Again point out which one you want in your drink each time.
ROOMS--- are all great. Every location of every room has a good thing about it. The beach rooms in building 70 and 71 are great for ocean views of course but hey that is a really long walk to the resturants at night in your nice clothes and men in long pants. Building 72 is located near the spa and the tranquilty pool but still 1/2 the resort walk to the beach. I was in the 73 building. Close to the spa pool. I still could see a small view of the ocean from my room and from sitting in that swing on the balcony too. But not everyone in the 73 building gets that view. Most people have a jungle type view. That swing on the balcony is big enough for two people! Nice. The walk to the beach was very long but hey I needed that after eating all that great food.
OCEAN--- I know many people said the ocean had rocks in it. Now really the water is so clean you can see the BIG rocks and not step on them at all, so really no big deal. Just go a little to the left or to the right and you will get in the ocean with no trouble at all.
LUNCHTIME--- Make sure you check out both places for lunch. One has that amazing ocean view (number 16 on the map) and if you eat there after 2:30 you can sit outside in the shade with an ocean breeze and sip wine while looking at the pretty ocean and hearing the waves. The other lunch place is also the breakfast place and they do the grilled food nicely. If you have a hungry husband you could do a light grilled lunch at noon time then between 2:30 and 4:30 you could sit outdoors at the ocean front one and get wine and a small plate of something. The oceanfront one stays open until 5:00 but the grill one closes at 3:00 I think.
This place is great for all types. You could sit and read in peace or you could get involved with the Star Friends all day long. They really try to include and talk to everyone. I went on the bike tour in the morning and it was nice and not too hot yet. I do want to mention here that the bikes are nice but have no kick stand, so when you stop to get off you cannot stand the bike up at all. If you try to lean it on something it falls over. So hotel management why not get the kick stands put on and save the bikes? Also you could add the water bottle holder too! I have no complaints about this hotel (which if you knew me you would say that is amazing!) This is the first time in a long time that I did not check into a hotel and then have to change my room for some reason. Every one is correct that the aircon will only go to #18 which is about 68 but the room never got as cold as I wanted it. We were still ok though. One night we came back to our room to find someone had reset our number to 21, did not notice that until we were in bed. That was way too hot for us. It took three phone calls and a walk to the front desk to get our number back to 18.
The BUTLER--- I have no idea what that is about. I thought he would help me unpack my stuff? NOT! I did tell him I needed more hangers and it took a while and they came after I was done unpacking and had been out of the room. I did let him know I wanted chardonnay in my room and he said that is room service and he made the call. It did come. I did call that butler line a few times during my stay and got no answer and I NEVER saw my butler again. I just wish they did not advertise that you have butler because you do not. The bell boy, my maid and the front desk did everything for us that we needed. So you really do not need the butler anyway. Maybe they do more for the ocean front rooms or the more expensive rooms? I do not know.
SHOPPING MALL-- right there. They will drive you there in a golf cart. The food in the mall is all part of your all inclusive deal so have the taco, the ice cream or what ever. If you see a very thin black cat order her a plain chicken taco and she will eat all of it.
RACCOON- They have wild raccoons that live in the jungle trees, we watch them come down off the trees in the morning and slowly head for the breakfast buffet. The hotel doesn't want you to feed them because they get too close to the food and the tables. One jumped up on my outdoor table one morning. I got to say I loved that! I would go back to see them. I found they love fruit loops and I would just take a box and walk away from the resturant and feed them away from everyone. Do not hand feed them they will bite your finger because they do not know any better. They are so cute. They were following me around. If you do not care for them just walk away. They only want the food not you.
SCUBA DIVING-- My husband had the best dive ever with the Dresser divers located at one of the Iberostar hotels there. Just a golf cart ride away. Do not stay at that Iberostar it is the oldest one and it shows. Stay at the GRAND only.
WOULD WE RETURN? Yes. (I did check out all the Iberostar hotels that were located right there and The Grand is by far the best). The other hotels had too many people on the beach and food looked awful too. One night a couple from my hotel went to dinner at the Rancho (which is at another Iberostar) they only went their because they wanted to redo their honeymoon dinner from a few years ago. I tried to tell them that was not a great idea because they were alreadly staying and paying for the BEST hotel. Well two days later I see them and the man told me he got very sick and had to stay in his room after that dinner! So eat at the hotel you paid for!
Note to management: The Star Friends should get new and better outfits for their night time shows the clothes are worn out and made of cheap material. You should have new and better ones made for them! I also think more people would go to the shows if they started at 9:30. I want to thank all the hard working people that made my vacation wonderful and a special Hello to Samatha a Star Friend. Ok I will start thinking of my next visit to THE GRAND!
- 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