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“Grand hotel, Great staff, Amazing vacation!!” 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)   |   Carr. Chetumal-Pto Juarez km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 10 hotels in Playa Paraiso
Edmonton, Canada
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Grand hotel, Great staff, Amazing vacation!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2013

We travelled to the Iberostar Grand Paraiso for our wedding, late Oct. First impressions were: WOW! What a beautiful hotel. Facilities are amazing. Check in was our first interaction with staff, where we were offered drinks and the staff was absolutely charming. Our room in Building 71 overlooked the Ocean and was steps (literally) to the beach.

The beach was clean and had plenty of chairs and beds to choose from. Even though we had many days of rain, that simply did not matter as the hotel is gorgeous with lots to keep you busy.

The buffet is by far the best all inclusive buffet we've seen. Having travelled to 9 different all inclusives, this one is top notch, especially for an AI resort. If you can't find a variety of things to eat here, I'm not too sure where you eat normally. We really liked the Buffet for dinner and preferred it for our meals, we didn't really care for the A-la-carte restaurants, though the experience was nice, the selection at the buffet was much appreciated. TONS of seafood and meats, though that is not my thing, as a vegetarian (or "flexitarian" as I became on this trip!) and a picky eater, there was options to choose from, including a variety of Gluten free. The food only started to become repititive by our 9th or 10th day, pretty impressive as I am usually tired of the food by day 4 or so...

We reccommend taking advantage of the room service. We loved eating breakfast in our rooms at our chosen time in the morning. Or having a bottle of sparkling wine waiting for us at night.
The individual concierges in the buildings are fantastic and truly add to this hotel's 5-star experience.

The drinks are brand label alcohol and mixes. The wines are actually quite tasty! But protip: Daniel at the lobby bar makes the best drinks.

Our only problem at this resort involved our wedding, which we do believe to be an individual experience and WOULD reccommend this resort to anyone looking at it for their own ceremony. We don't wish to write it here as we do not believe it is a reflection of the resort as a whole.

Enough cannot be said of the staff at this resort and how they go above and beyond in everyway to ensure you have the best time. They really do make this hotel as fantastic as it is. nds with the staff and we hope to come back here again next year. 10 days was just not enough!

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your valuable feedback on Trip advisor and for choosing Iberostar Grand Paraiso for your recent wedding.

We are delighted to hear that you had an unforgettable experience with us and we will pass on the message to the team. We thank you for your recommendations and look forward to welcoming you back at Iberostar Grand!

Best regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
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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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new york
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

I will start by saying this is the first all inclusive hotel I have ever stayed at but, the reviews of this property overrode any trepidation I had. It is expensive to stay here and I had high expectations.

Let me begin by giving you the overall impression. It's big, grounds are taken care of but the property could use some painting and freshening up. Lots of flaking paint, water stains, worn, faded rugs, furniture was an odd mixture of contemporary and traditional...many pieces showing their age. You get the idea. I will agree with one reviewer here...the mats for the lounge chairs are thin, hard and uncomfortable...not luxurious in any way...I doubled them up and it sort of worked. The beach and main pool area were very pretty...I didn't go to the Serenity pool because the walkway over there from the main pool had a strong rotten egg smell...an adequate deterrent. The hotel also had a lot of water leaks from rain getting in from the ceilings. It was also off putting that even after sunset...many of the chandeliers in the entryway to the main building were not on...kind of desolate looking. Perhaps they were conserving energy? The gym was small and hot but, adequate for my needs.

The rooms themselves were large, very comfortable with private balconies. This was a plus. When we checked in...I asked for an upgrade since we were celebrating an anniversary. I was told the hotel was at capacity (didn't see many people though) so they couldn't do an upgrade. It was okay...we were checking in early (2pm) so I was happy they had a room ready. My happiness was short lived once we arrived at the room...it was nice but smelled like a musty basement. We asked for another room and were told we would need to wait an hour. Ok...we had our suits and despite the gray skies...headed for the hot tub to wait for our room. We were told an hour later after we called to check in that the new room wouldn't be avail until 5:30pm. If check in is at 3, I found it hard to believe that at 3:30pm there was no other room ready. Even more annoying was the lack of manager involvement despite my request to speak to one. We did get an "ocean view" room by the Serenity pool in the main building...view wasn't great...barely any ocean to look at but, at this point we wanted to get settled. No butler came that day after our room was switched.

The staff...(with the exception of the check in staff)...they were wonderful and really aim to please...all in all a pleasant bunch. Our butler Fernando who was assigned to us the next day did his best to make up for our check in debacle...he was wonderful to deal with. Natalia, our concierge was a pleasure as well. We did get massages at the spa at the shopping center and it was awesome. One issue we did have was how long it took to get things brought up to us. Over an hour or more in many cases. I don't blame the staff, I just don't think management handles things in an efficient manner. We were also put off by the hotel's unwillingness to make change. At the rates they charge, having that amenity should be a no brainer. Especially since the staff depends on tips.

Now for the big one...food. The only restaurant worth eating at was Haiku...the Japanese restaurant. It was ok...sushi was sub par but hibachi items were acceptable. Nick & Toni's was a letdown. Didn't eat at the the other places based on what fellow travelers said. Had buffet for breakfast and it was fine. The lunch buffet wasn't great but, ask for fajitas...they will make them for you and they were decent. Dinner buffet was forgettable. As some pics on here show paella and steak grilling by the pool...I didn't see any of that taking place. Drinks were hit or miss...pool bar closed at 6. Kind of early.

I was not impressed by the Grand and will go as far to say definitely let down. I was not the only one as many of the other guests felt the same way. Overpaid and underwhelmed. I really wanted to love this place but, it didn't live up to the hype. The saving grace was that we didn't pay $3000.00 on a package like many others who stayed for 4 days because we used JetBlue points. We tipped the staff very well because they deserved it but, I don't think we will be returning. Sorry.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your feedback and for taking the time to post your comments.

We are glad that you found the hotel is relaxing, clean and the employees friendly. Your special mention of Fernando, Natalia and other members of staff is also greatly appreciated; we recognize that our staff plays a valuable role in the vacation experience of our guests, so they will receive your comments as a great motivational tool. We aim to create memories that last a lifetime and give unforgettable experiences to our guests, so we are pleased to see that we reached our goal in this respect.

However, it remains in us the concern that some of your expectations were not fulfilled. We are certainly aware that although we always try our best, there is always room for improvement. Concerning the room upgrade, as we mention to all of our guests that request any particular room or upgrade, those requests are subject to availability at the time of their arrival. Please, rest assured that if availability allows it, we always do our best to meet your requirements once you arrive. We are regret that on this occasion it was not possible and that you had to wait.

In reference to the maintenance of our resort, we would also like to mention that our Management and Maintenance Department are constantly working on areas to be improved. All our facilities follow a maintenance standard roll in order to try to keep our areas and rooms impeccable. However, at times, certain areas take longer to fix because we are open all year around and we do not want to disturb our guests, so we are gathering efforts to speed up this process, thus having all areas in perfect shape for you. Thank you for bringing up this important point.

We are also concerned to read that your experience with us did not live up to our usual level of service concerning our food quality. We have already shared it with our Executive Chef for his consideration. He continuously strives to offer the best quality so your comments will be useful. If you could give us more information on what items you did not like, it would be greatly appreciated, as our guests’ feedback help us achieve our main goal, which is your complete satisfaction.

We hope that your experience on this visit will not dissuade you to stay with us again; we hope to have the opportunity to restore your confidence in IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso and show you in future visits that we improve day after day thanks to our guests’ feedback.

Best regards,
Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
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Frederick, Maryland
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

We stayed at this resort in April 2013 after staying at the sister property Iberostar Grand Bavaro in the Dominican Republic in October 2012. This resort is much larger than its counterpart in the DR. The main pool is massive and looks like an extension of the ocean from the main buffet. The grounds are lovely and well maintained. The staff is exceptional in every way. We didn't see much of our butler but we aren't the type to use that service. We did upgrade to an ocean front room and the view was worth it. Our biggest issue was that the room did not stay very cool, which we found made it difficult to sleep at night because of the heat and the humidity. Otherwise rooms were beautiful and spotless. I found the food to be of better quality at the Paraiso than at the Bavaro, but the menus are essentially the same between the two hotels. I thought the breakfast buffet at the Paraiso was phenomenal.

The Star Friends are fun and engaging here but not a lot of people get involved in the activities (at least not when we went). You never feel hounded to play or participate, but I would encourage you to get to know some of the Star Friends as they will make you feel welcome and all of them are really fun and lovely people.

I had a short massage on the trip and the spa facilities and staff were great.

The beach is very rocky (reef offshore); keep that in mind if you plan to swim. Beach in front of the resort is clean an beautiful. Be careful going off the resort up the beach. A lot of trash washes up on shore and I almost stepped on an uncapped syringe in the sand.

Overall, this was a great stay. We will definitely return in the near future.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for taking time to share your experience at our hotel during your last vacation.

It is our biggest pleasure read that you really enjoyed the service, food, facilities and beach, this is the reason for what we work every day. We are glad to read that you did the upgrade to the ocean front and gave you the opportunity to felt the sensation of the first breeze in the morning looking the Caribbean Sea on the paradise.

For your next visit we would like to suggest you call the concierge service from 7:00 am until 11:00 pm so they will help you verify all the options available regarding the A/C in your room. We have a standard temperature in the rooms but it can be regulated.

Iberostar has some of the best chefs in the tourism industry and your appreciation is proof of it. All the staff really enjoys working here and we are so happy that you allow us to be part of your great experience. We have a strong compromise with the environment by taking care of our beaches for that reason we are part of the Green Globe certification working together with all our guests.

Thank you once again for your constructive feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back to Iberostar Grand Paraiso hotel in the near future.

Best Regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
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Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

ahhh. just home from 11 nights in the swanky cocoon of iberostar grand. our 27th wedding anniversary trip. thank you to all of the charmers there who do their job so happily..professionally. our room (bldg. 72) overlooking tranquility pool was perfect. did look at beachfront room to upgrade, but liked our location better--- handy to restaurants, closer to lobby bar, show theatre. the food was very very good. we enjoyed the buffets as much as the restaurants. felt cheerfully welcomed by the happy staff wherever we went. i'd say for the most part people dressed well, but wasn't impressed by those in beach gear in the pretty dining settings(even at breakfast). hey men, t-shirts aren't resort wear.

the grounds of the GRAND are gorgeous. constant attention to greenery and pathways.
STAR FRIENDS were great. always enthusiastic,happy to chat. activites for everyone, but we mostly loafed under beach palapa. did have fun at rainy day bingo. the lobby bar was a good gathering place pre or post show...which were all terrific.

our butlers Cesar & Victor were always on top of our wishes & wants!
huge thanks to housekeeping staff. we were dazzled when, a couple of times we came back to our room to have a HOT bubble bath waiting. champagne, roses, fancy towel swans, candles. a mystery still as to how they knew to time this treat!


we've stayed at SECRETS MAROMA and MAROMA on the same stretch of beach & would have to say the GRAND has topped them both. it is a very classy hotel. outstanding service. happy guests. no grumps!!
from check in to check out we were completely impressed. picture perfect tropical holiday bliss! cheers from chilly wet Vancouver!

Room Tip: ocean front rooms pretty, but better location in bldg. 72.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for your kind review. We appreciate that you took the time to remember us; your memorable 27th anniversary experience is a true testament of the dedication of our staff to ensure that you have all the necessary ingredients for an unforgettable vacation.

Thank you very much, also on behalf of the team, for recognizing and praising their work, efforts and friendliness so much.

We hope that you will continue to give us the pleasure for hosting you when next you are planning your vacation as we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Best Regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Missouri
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2013

This is my 3rd visit to this beautiful resort! Hard to say anything bad at all, it constantly amazes me how consistently they perform. The golf, tennis for recreational activity is excellent, the food is amazing from the Haiku Japanese Tepanyaki to Toni's Surf N Turf, 5 star is a very accurate depiction of this entire adults only resort!

Room Tip: Whether you get an Oceanfront or just their standard Jr Suites you will be in for a convenient locat...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your loyalty towards our hotel, it is a great pleasure to read that you had a great time.

It is great to know that during you stay you had the opportunity to enjoy different aspects of our hotel, such as the entertainment and gastronomy, these are some of the main pillars of our organization, and to read that we fulfilled you expectations is the best award.

We really appreciate the time you took to share your comments with other travelers. On behalf of all our team, we look forward to seeing you soon.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico.
Report response as inappropriate
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Chicago, IL
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

My wife and I recently returned from our second trip to Mexico after having stayed at the Grand for 5 nights in October. We had a wonderfully relaxing time at the Grand, enjoying the beauty of the resort. The resort is an excellent place for couples who are looking to relax and be by themselves for an extended amount of time. While we enjoyed our time at the Grand and would likely go there again sometime, there were a few things that were a bit disappointing considering the amount of money we spent on the trip that perhaps could be adjusted to make the trip even better next time. We have stayed at the Secrets Capri resort, so that is our main point of reference of resorts in Mexico (Our Costa Rica resort stay in 2010 is not a truly comparable resort, so it does not factor in our opinions of this hotel). Here is a review of the various components of the hotel -

Rooms:
The rooms were beautiful. They were comfortable and spacious. The bathrooms were beautiful as well, and the two sinks on opposite sides of the bathroom was nice. The only negative thing I would say is that the walls are not particularly thick, so when the cleaning lady was cleaning next door and moving furniture around, it was loud and annoying. My wife was not feeling well one day (she believes it was sun poisoning from too much sun the second day) and was trying to relax. However, she was unable to do so because she was constantly hearing the cleaning going on next door - the cleaning lady was dragging tables and chairs across the marble floor.. A little disappointing for a place where you spend a lot of money for comfort and relaxation. Aside from the thin walls, the rooms themselves are among the nicest we have ever stayed in. During the offseason, the thin walls are not as much of an issue since there are less people, but if there were people in every room, it could get loud.

Pools -
The pools were nice, and the tranquility pool was nice and quiet. We enjoyed our time spend at the tranquility pool. The server came by often to make sure we were taken care of, which is nicer than some other resorts we have been to. The salt water in the main pool takes some getting used to, but it is not really a selling point or negative point. I will say we were a bit surprised at the state of the tile in sections of the pool, considering it is only 6-7 years old, but it is not something that would keep us away - just an observation. The pool bar was hit or miss as far as drinks. Some bartenders were pretty good, and others left a lot to be desired. We are not huge drinkers so it is not like we have high standards - they were just lacking on many drinks we tried which disappointed us considering the cost to stay at the resort.

Food -
The food was where we were most disappointed. Again, like many parts of the resorts, it is not something that would keep us away from going there again, just disappointing considering the level of resort and the price to stay there. The Japanese restaurant and the Surf and Turf restaurant were nice, with decent food. We know all inclusives are not going to be top cuisine, so it is not as though we expect Top Chef level quality food. The gourmet restaurant was okay, but the Italian restaurant we were very disappointed in. We have said, and many agreed with us who we spoke to during the trip, why don't these resorts do a high end mexican restaurant? I can get Italian and hibachi at home, but high level Mexican cuisine is harder to come by. This is not just an issue at the Grand but at a lot of resorts in Mexico. The breakfast buffet was decent, but by day 5, I was sick of the same options put out everyday. The lunch option inside by the water was also disappointing. Beautiful view, but the food was average at best most days. That was the first place we ate when we arrived and were worried that the food was going to be like that the whole trip. Thankfully it was not, but it was still hit or miss. What we missed was a nice outdoor place to eat like we had at Secrets Capri, where it was on the water and they served delicious tacos and ceviche. We both stated that the food was not any better than Capri, even though we paid almost $1000 more to stay there than when we stayed at Capri two years earlier.

Beach -
Large beautiful beach with lots of places to sit. Very relaxing place to sit and read or take a nap.

Grounds/Looks of the Resort -
The grounds were very beautiful, and was the best part of the resort by far. It made up for the average food and hit or miss drinks. It may have been a bit over the top but it was at a level where they could at least try and justify the high prices. If it was not for the clean and quiet grounds and the beautiful buildings, we would have not been very happy considering the cost you pay to stay at such a resort.

Staff -
The staff was very courteous and worked extremely hard to make sure you had all that you needed and then some. Outside of the bartenders who did not always do great at drinks (they were always happy and polite though), the staff did everything one would expect and more. We would often see the staff from breakfast working at lunch as well, and many of those also worked at dinner. We were always amazed at their hard work and dedication. We wish our young kids could see them at work and witness a true work ethic. Only other comment would be was something others have raised in other comments - the whole "butler/concierge" is overrated. Very little contact with either of them the entire time.

Entertainment -
Not much to be said about the entertainment. They tried hard, but everyone knows what you get with resort entertainment. Some nights were better than others - the Rock Show and the magician were the best of the shows.

Overall impression -
We enjoyed the quietness of the resort and the fact that you could almost always find a nice quiet location to go to just relax together. It was a beautiful place to walk through and the rooms were everything we hoped for when booking the place. Would we stay here again - most likely. We had a mostly positive experience. Our only nagging thought in the back of our mind is whether or not it was worth the extra money when compared to staying at a place like Secrets Capri. It was more beautiful and it was larger, but many aspects were exactly the same, which warrants the question of is it worth it. That is something to consider. It is not a resort we would stay at if we went with another couple - it is just not that type of place. It was great for just my wife and I to be by ourselves. Would recommend the resort due to its beautiful grounds and buildings and its quiet atmosphere, but would caution you to take a long hard look to see if what you are looking for is worth the extra cost of staying at the Grand.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 4 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.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to post your review. We take our guests’ comments very seriously as they help us pinpoint areas that have room for improvement.

We are glad to hear that you enjoyed our beautiful facilities, rooms and grounds. Your special mention of the staff kindness that enhanced the quality of your trip is also greatly appreciated. We recognize that our staff plays a valuable role in the vacation experience of our guests, but reviews like yours serve to motivate us even more.

We are sorry to hear that your wife could not relax because of the noise of our housekeeping was making and also about our bartender service at the pool, we will share your experience with the Department heads, in this case Housekeeping and Food & Beverage Department Managers, who will take corrective actions in order to avoid this situations in the future.

We are concerned to read that your experience with us did not live up to our usual level of service concerning the food, specially our Italian restaurant, we would like to know more details, as it helps us to improve specific areas. However, we have shared your review with our Executive Chef for his consideration.

Our staff is committed to a high standard and offers a personal service to ensure continuous customer satisfaction, we are sorry to hear about your impression of the concierge and Butler service.

Thank you once again for sharing your feedback on Trip Advisor and for giving us the opportunity to enhance our service quality. If you decide to give us an opportunity to welcome you back in the future.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
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london, uk
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

This was our second trip to Mexico. The first time was for our honeymoon at Iberostar Quetzal and this time for our 10th wedding anniversary. 10 years is a big milestone, so we decided to treat ourselves to “The Best Hotel in Mexico” (they have plaques in the lobby to say this from various travel websites!). It was indeed a great treat.

Flight and Cancun airport
We booked our holiday with Thomas Cook. The flight was just over 10 hours. The seats on the A330 are surprisingly roomy, with enough legroom even for my tall husband. About half way into our journey, we were handed all the immigration and customs forms with clear instructions on how to go about completing them. The customs procedure is an interesting one. Everyone is stopped. You hand in your customs declarations form and then you press a button. Apparently it is luck of the draw whether you get a green or red light, determining whether or not you will be searched… Between luggage reclaim and the exit of the terminal building, there is a large section full of counters manned by people in uniforms. Unless you want to buy a timeshare, don’t stop until you reach the outside of the airport.

Arrival at hotel and check-in
After a short 25 minutes on the coach, we arrived at the Grand. Just the approach leading to the entrance is already grand! As soon as we stepped off the coach, a young bellboy named Ivan greeted us with a broad smile and a “Welcome home!”. We were led into the lobby area and offered cold towels and drinks while the receptionist quickly checked us in.

Room and Butler
Having written to the hotel to inform them of our anniversary, we were assigned a room with seaview in the main building on the top floor facing the tranquility pool, room 7281. I highly recommend this room, as it is one of the most centrally located rooms closest to the restaurants and the main pool. As soon as we stepped into our room, I knew we had made a good choice. The décor is elegant but not over the top. Hands down the most comfortable bed I have slept on away from home. Everything spotlessly clean. Bathroom well equipped with jacuzzi and big walk in shower. Good quality toiletries from Gilchrist & Soames is supplied. Our young butler Cesar arrived shortly to introduce himself and the services he can provide. Having read some previous reviews, I expected not to see him again, but during our 7 night stay I think we saw him at least 5 times. And for our anniversary, they decorated our room with rose petals and gifted us a bottle of bubbly!

Dining
Food is very important to us, especially while on holiday. I am known for only taking holidays where there are good food... We had very high expectations and I would say they were certainly met. The best meal of each day by far, was breakfast at Bellavista. The selection of food on offer was mind boggling. So my types of bread and pastries, all the different cheeses and cold cuts, the fresh fruit selection, freshly made crepes, pancakes and waffles, eggs cooked to order however you like it... We particularly enjoyed the fresh juices on offer. Apart from the usual orange and grapefruit juices, they had canteloupe melons, honeydew melons, watermelons, papaya and even green juice and aloe vera! On top of the buffet selection you can also order from the menu. Lobster blinis anyone? Yes please! Las Brisas is a smaller buffet for lunch, open from 11am to 5pm. They options are lighter, with almost half the food offered being salads, ceviches and other seafoods. A chef continually grills up fresh lobster, shrimps and steaks. But best of all is the view of the sea from this restaurant. For dinner we ate at 3 of the a la cartes: Toni’s, Venecia and Haiku. Our favourite was Haiku. The other 4 nights we ate at the buffet. While the variety and standard of food were consistently excellent, on 2 of the nights we did struggle a little. I think they were Mexican and Latino nights with mainly spicy food too exotic for our UK taste buds.

Grounds and other hotels
The grounds were always immaculate and while we were there, extensive repair work was being done around the exterior of the buildings. Lots of wildlife roaming around, great for photos. Coatis can be a bit of a problem for those who choose to eat outside, so don't feed them as it encourages them. We also visited the other 4 hotels and ate lunch once at Maya. All 4 hotels are well designed and beautiful, however, the lunch at Maya was of much lower standards than we had been used to at the Grand and made us appreciate the Grand more!

Beach
Powder white sand, turquoise blue sea, what more can you ask her? Ok, so there are some rocky bits at the Grand’s beach, but we loved looking at the creatures trapped there during low tide. We thought it made it much more interesting. We are not beach people, but when we were at the beach there were always servers asking to take our order. This is the same at the pools. In fact, we felt they came around too often… Make sure to wake up early to watch the perfect sunrise at the beach.

Activities
There is a packed schedule everyday at the Grand. My husband went on the bike tour around the hotels. Unless you are a proficient cyclist and at least 5’3”, I would not recommend it. He also took part in archery and won a medal, but sustained an injury. Be sure to wear the correct length arm shields to avoid bruising… We used all 3 pools and much prefer the tranquility pool with its fresh water and calm surroundings. The gym is small, but since there is never anyone there, you get to use all the equipment whenever you like. There is free wifi throughout the hotel and even on the beach. The signal is generally strong, but there was a short period during one day when there was no wifi.

Shopping Complex
If you do not intend to leave the resort, you can go to the Paraiso Plaza to do all your souvenir shopping. Apart from souvenirs, there are also a couple of clothes shops, jewellery stores and a shoes store. If you get hungry or thirsty there are bars, burger place, ice cream/crepe shop and taco bar here also included in your all-inclusive. The teens disco and adult disco are also here. We visited the shopping complex a few times, on each occasion it was deserted. It seems such a wasted space. Maybe during peak season this area is better utilised.

Excursions
During our stay we used the shuttle to go to Playa del Carmen a few times and we visited Tulum using the Colectivo minibuses. We heard complaints from other guests about how our hotel was located too far from anything. I think an easy 20 minutes shuttle ride into town at $5 or 50 pesos is reasonable, unless you want to go to town everyday. In which case Playacar would be much more suitable a base for you. We also visited Iberostar Quetzel while we were in town. It is a short taxi ride from Playa del Carmen and being an Iberostar guest you can visit and use their facilities for free until 6pm.

Service and Staff
We have stayed in many hotels over the years and we may not be frequent 5 star hotel guests, but we felt that the service here really is excellent. You only need to tell them your name once and they will remember you. If there is any cause for concern, they will do their best to resolve things for you. We had left our camera on a taxi at the Iberostar Quetzal. Alan in reception spent days calling the taxi station for us to try and locate the taxi driver. Whenever we called guests services, whoever picked up the phone would ask about the progress of our camera search. Priscilla also helped us call several shops in town to find a replacement camera. Eduardo and Jenny of the Star Friends teams were very concerned about my husband’s arm injury and asked about his recovery everytime we saw them. They make you feel like they really care and that’s very rare nowadays.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and can recommend it to anyone who wants to relax in beautiful surroundings, eat delicious freshly prepared food and where every member of staff will genuinely smile and say "hola!". Although we had a wonderful time, not sure if we would stay at the Grand Paraiso again because we feel we know the hotel and the area too well now. Maybe we will try the Grands in Dominican Republic and Jamaica!

Room Tip: Top floor rooms facing the tranquility pool with sea view.
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  • Stayed October 2013, 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this review, November 20, 2013
Dear Guest,

Thank you for your generous review. We were happy to learn that you had an excellent vacation and that you were pleased with our service. We appreciate that you have allowed us the honor of serving you again and that you decided to celebrate this special occasion with us, your evaluation is of special importance to us as you have had the opportunity to compare our property and services.

We really do hope your husband keeps doing well with his injury, as you know all of our guests are the most important for us as being part of our family, we appreciate that you have taken the time to acknowledge the efforts of our dedicated team and no doubt will they be motivated by your kind words.

We consider it to be a great honor that you endorsed our property highly, is very motivating our Managers and Staff to keep on going the extra mile.

It was our pleasure to have served you and we hope that you will consider us as your vacation destination the next time you are thinking of visiting the Riviera Maya.

Best Regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar Mexico
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

Address: Carr. Chetumal-Pto 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 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso 4.5*
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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