Apologies for the delay in sending this review. We spent 2 weeks at this resort at the end of May this year, and having enjoyed some good holidays in numerous all inclusive hotels in Mexico over the last 15 years, we were really looking forward to celebrating our ruby wedding anniversary in one the top rated hotels in this region.
To put some perspective on this review, I am comparing this hotel to the Moon Palace, Riu Palace Mexico, Riu Palace Riviera Maya, as well as the Iberostar Lindo amongst many others in Mexico and elsewhere.
There were many positives aspects to this hotel :-
The rooms were the best we have stayed in, we especially enjoyed the large balcony during the numerous wet days we experienced.
The service around the pools, and in the lobby bars was excellent.
The staff were pleasant and helpful without exception.
The quiet pool where we spent most of days was very relaxing, and enjoyable.
The evening shows and lobby entertainment were excellent and better than anywhere else we have stayed.
The negatives were few and far between, but unfortunately the standard of food lets this hotel down,and I have detailed my concerns below:
The concept of the cabanas is very good but the execution was poor, in that the mattresses were generally worn, left uncovered in the rain, thus unusable for hours until they have dried out.
The design of the single woven sunbeds is very poor and make an uncomfortable rest around the pool. I cannot remember any other hotel which leaves the sunbed mattresses out overnight to get wet, and accumulate dirt, so why do they do it in a five star hotel?
The food is very disappointing.
Neither myself nor my wife are fussy eaters and we both enjoy good quality food. So this is an important part of our holiday and we were especially looking forward to some the "gourmet prepared" food at this hotel.
Unfortunately, we were disappointed on many occasions at this hotel:
Breakfast was quite poor, other hotels are better. The fruit juices were watered down. The fresh doughnuts were hard, dry, or overcooked we gave up on these.
Lunch was very hit or miss. On some occasions the buffet restaurant provided some nicely prepared BBQ steaks, lobster, or shrimps, but on two occasions we were served uncooked lobster and shrimps, which we didn't eat.
Dinner at the buffet was on most occasions disgracefully poor. Every time I asked the counter Chef for a beef steak, or salmon steak, he proceeded to remove what appeared to be a cooked item from the heated display shelf, and started to reheat it or recook it on the griddle. I prefer my food cooked once, rather than twice, so on each occasion I refused the food. Hardly gourmet standard.
The vegetables were lukewarm at best.
The chilled seafood on the self service counter was not stored on ice, but merely at ambient temperature. This is a totally unacceptable practice and risks food safety.
The Japanese Restaurant was nothing special.
The Gourmet Restaurant was nothing special.
The Surf and Turf was very good, nice steaks, but please do not try to con me into buying an overpriced bottle of wine.
The Italian restaurant was just about OK. I ordered calamari, and was served one of the worst starters I have experienced, very chewy, and tasteless.
I could go on, and on, and on, ( some will say I have done,lol) but in summary we both felt that the food at this hotel looks amazing (style), but doesn't deliver in taste (substance).
When I read some of the reviews about how amazing the food is here, the fact that they serve lobster every day for lunch and dinner, seems to influence the review. I enjoyed the lobster, but it was not excellent and often lacked flavour, and it cannot disguise the the poor standard which we experienced.
I did take concerns to the customer services desk, and they stated that they would take the matter up with the Executive Chef. Hmmm, I will not risk a return.
They should send their Executive Chef to the Riu Palace to see how good food is prepared and served.
I could see how someone who was here for a short stay could see a five star hotel, but when your are here for two weeks, the flaws become apparent.
We shall not be returning.
- 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