Service, service, service!!! The Grand is hard to compare to any other resort in the area. We've stayed at a Karisma Azul Fives, Barcelo, and Catalonia Royal Tulum and all are within close range to the proximity of this resort. While each had unique qualities that made them special, if you need a true break from the reality of doing it all yourself, then this is the place. You don't have to do anything, they do it ALL for you.
I could repeat everything you're going to read, but I'm just going to give you some highlights.
True story. First night we arrived, (free upgrade to oceanfront view) we were in such a hurry to get to dinner that we not only forgot our key, but also what our room number was. I'm not sure we even looked to be honest because we were in such awe and excited to be there. There were a host of staff that was more than willing to help us figure out where we belonged. After driving us around in the cart and finally figuring out we were in building 70, Gonzalo, our personal butler, more than obligingly led us to our room. This happened two other times. We forgot our keys, not our room location and number and each time, he was welcoming and made it a point not to make fun of us too much!!!
The second night, he made sure my husband and I had our favorite bottle of adult beverages. Top shelf beverages, I might add.
The third night, we had a wonderful bubble bath with roses petals strewn all over the room waiting for us after dinner.
I could go on and on about Gonzalo, but wait there's more.
Thank you for making our breakfast and lunch a bright spot everyday Jorge. You are a quality person. Eduardo, you are an amazing teacher and made us feel special every night. Darwin, you make the best Mayan coffee and have the most beautiful smile. Alidia, our beautiful concierge, you were so patient and accommodating with every request. Jenny from Germany, your personality, smiles and hugs made my day and are invaluable addition to the recreation staff.
There are so many more to name, but every person we came in contact there is just quality.
The tranquility pool at the main spa was my favorite place to start my day. The main spa is at the shopping center and every staff member there deserves a shout out. Well done. I would first float on my back at the pool for about an hour while listening to Enya and other relaxing music that was played in that area. Then I would move on to the wet steam room and the four different Roman baths. Yes, I said four. (There's a dry steam room too, but I prefer wet).
There's a juice bar there and I recommend the pineapple/cucumber juice.
While the Azul Fives Spa is a much newer, more aesthetically pleasing and it also offered a larger number of treatments, The Grand is only somewhat of a letdown in those areas. It's still very nice. The Azul Fives does NOT have the Roman baths or tranquility pool. This was huge for me.
The beach in front of building 70 is amazing. Look at the photos. Very good beverage service.
We didn't spend much time at the big pool, but my husband played a game of water polo and had a blast. There are lots of activities going on. If you want something to do, you'll find it there.
We hung out at the beach reading most of the time.
The hotel photos of the room don't do it justice. We've stayed at some fancy hotels and this is right on the money. The beds are VERY comfortable compared with the other resorts in the are. They offer a "pillow menu." I believe there are 14 different choices you have. Yep. That's incredible. I fell asleep twice in the outdoor swing and on the outdoor bed. Every room has one no matter if you're oceanfront or garden view. Amazing.
The cleaning staff is amazing. Thank you Olivia. You are a sweetie!!!
Our favorite restaurant was the French gourmet. Get the fried Brie, Lobster and Mayan coffee. The Pate is excellent also. We ate there twice. The Surf and Turf was our next favorite. Get the seafood medley. The Italian was good and the Haiku was our least favorite because I think we're spoiled in our area with great Japanese hibachi and sushi, but it was still pretty good.
We ate at the buffet several times because it was convenient and very good. Breakfast, lunch and dinner leaves nothing to be desired and make sure you don't schedule dinner at a restaurant on International Cuisine night.
Azul Fives has the better restaurants, but they don't do the volume or quantity that The Grand does. So, you can't compare apples to oranges. The Grand does the best bulk I've ever had. LOL!
The shows were OK. They have some great singers and a wonderful magician. The Mexican night was fascinating with an abundance of Mayan history, which I love because I teach it. Casino night was good. The dealers are patient teachers.
The bar in the lobby is the BEST. Karaoke night is a blast. Even the cigar lounge is quite nice.We went across to the bar at the Mayan next door and it's filled with small kids. Don't go if you're looking for a kid free night. Just go to take pics. We went over to the disco because we needed to use the ATM one night. We didn't get to go inside, but it looks like mostly a late teens and 20's crowd. Not appealing to me in the least at this point. It would be nice if The Grand had their own smaller disco that was separate from their other resorts. I'm not complaining though.
If I left anything or anyone out, forgive me. Like I said, overall this is about the service. You can't go wrong here. I'm posting a few pics for you curious viewers.
By far, for the money and what you get, this is so far the best I've ever had. Till we meet again. Hasta luego.
- 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