We stayed here for two weeks in early March. On arrival we were greeted with a cold flannel and a welcome drink and taken to reception, where we checked in. We were taken to our room by a porter with our cases. Within a few minutes our butler arrived at our room and showed us around informing us of everything we needed to know. He asked us what bottle of spirit we would like in our room and this was delivered within 5 minutes. However we never had anything to do with the butler again, as we had no need to. Our room had a garden view which was nice and quiet. The room was spacious and clean. Ironing and ironing board supplied in wardrobe. Nice large safe big enough for I pad and other bits. Also an umbrella in case of that downpour. Plenty of hangers. The mini bar had plenty of water, soft drinks, beer, white wine, red wine and three miniature bottles of spirits along with your large bottle of spirit of your choice. Also crisps and nuts and tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom was huge with his and her sinks, hairdryer which very good for long hair, make up mirror, walk in shower, Jacuzzi bath tub and toilet. Nice white towels and the usual toiletries. The bed was huge and very comfortable. You have a pillow menu if your not happy with what is supplied. Go down a few steps to a another area with a desk and two chairs and a chaise longue. This leads to sliding doors to the decked balcony area which has a swing chair another seating area with a mosquito net and a table. Also a ceiling fan outside and light. There is good air con and also a ceiling fan in the room. The maids cleaned the room daily and we had a nightly turn down service where they changed the towels and turned your bed down and left a couple of chocolates on your pillow . This was always done after 8pm when we had left the room which was lovely as many hotels knock far to early and we end up sending them away. The sea view rooms are exactly the same inside but just have a sea view. They wanted 80 dollars a night for the upgrade from our room which we felt was not worth it. The seaview rooms lose the sun around 2pm as the sun sets at the front of the hotel.
The entrance to the hotel from outside isn't as Grand as the Punta Cana Grand. Nice big water feature outside. The lobby bar is lovely and in the evenings they have either someone playing music or singing. The entertainment staff work really hard and we became good friends with them. The shows they produce are fantastic. There must be at least another 30-40 people that sing and dance along with a live band. We saw the Boogie night show, The Broadway show and the Rock show. All were terrific. They were that good we saw two of them twice. There was a magic show and a folklore show which were very good if you like that type of thing. It would be good if they could do different shows over a two week period for those that are staying for 2 weeks. They are trying to do more shows but it takes a long time to prepare all the music, costumes and lighting and then find time to rehearse. Entertainment around the main pool was very good and very funny. Especially the balloon fight in the pool. Those poor lads don't get paid enough !! We would like to thank Jayzee, Andy, Ender, Edwardo and the two girls, sorry I forgot your names for making us laugh so much. There was also a pool table inside and table tennis outside.
The main pool was nice a clean. The jacuzzi's could have been a bit warmer. The pool was quite cold but we soon got used to it. One side of the pool loses the sun lunch time. Beds are normally reserved by 9am. There are spare beds later in the day if your not fussy about sitting in the sun as there is plenty of shade. Beach towels are available and you can take as many as you like. Also at the towel hut they have books you can borrow and sun tan cream you can use. Make sure you leave your books and unused sun cream with them when you leave for other guests to share. Very good idea. The pool bar did get very noisy on a few occasions when large groups of people got together who had obviously had far to much to drink and a couple of times the music around the pool we felt was far to loud and not relaxing. There is also a quiet pool at the side of the hotel but we never went there. There is a spa but again we never visited it.
The beach is nice and sandy. There are quite a lot of rocks and coral on entry to the sea but there are spaces to get in easily. The sea however was quite cold and rough at times. We used to go for a beach walk every day to Maroma beach. It is beautiful, there are no rocks and the sea was calmer. It took about 30 minutes to walk then we used to have a swim then walk back.
Sunbeds on the beach were a bit of a problem. You had to reserve a bed by at least 8pm. Again usual story of people reserving beds and not appearing till after lunch. We stayed around the pool because of this which is a shame as we are beach people. However we found the sunbeds on the beach to be uncomfortable as the cushions really do need replacing. They having started renewing them around the pool and they are much better. There is free wifi everywhere in the hotel even on the beach.
The buffet restaurant was amazing. So much choice. You would have to be really fussy if you couldn't find something to eat. Three stations in the mornings for cooking eggs and omelettes so no queuing. There is also a menu you can order from at breakfast with things like Lobster Billinis on. I did ask if they could do me poached eggs and sure enough I got them cooked just perfect. Plenty of choices of different breads and I have never been to a hotel with so much choice of fresh fruit. Lovely fresh milk shakes and juices also available. The main buffet restaurant was open lunch times for our first few days, this was due to the hotel being so full. After that just the beach restaurant was open of a lunch time. Again they had plenty to choose from and also a menu to order from if you wanted. Most days there was a BBQ as well outside. My only criticism would be there were not enough seats to sit outside the main restaurant and also the hot food could have been a bit hotter. There is plenty of freshly cooked meat and fish all the time, so we just stuck to that with salads. One day a week they have three types of Paella for lunch This was amazing. Lobster was available every day. One lunch time I asked why there was no mango in the fruit chiller. The waiter went away and a chef went to the other kitchen and brought me out a huge plate of prepared mango just for me. Now that is service !! The choices of cheese is also very large, and the fresh guacamole and nachos were amazing. There is a very large range of white, red and rose wines. They were all very good. Bottles are not left on your table but they do refill your glass very quickly.
We booked all the A la Carte restaurants twice. We never had a problem getting the time of our choice. There is supposed to be a dress code for men of long trousers and no open sandals, however this was not adhered to in the Italian restaurant which is a shame. I think it is nice seeing people dress up of an evening. The food in the Italian was nice but we preferred the other restaurants. The Surf and Turf was our favourite. The steak was so tender. Service could be a little slow in there but we were not in any rush. The Gourmet Restaurant was just off the main buffet restaurant. The food again was very good especially the Lobster Thermidor and the Rock Fish Soup. Our first visit to the Japanese restaurant unfortunately wasn't very good. We had booked a show table, and we were very rushed. I had not even finished my starter when they tried to clear my plate and serve my mains. We were in and out within 45 minutes. The food was also extremely salty. We complained to guest relations about this and we said we would try it one more time but not on a show table. On our second visit the staff were very attentive , they had obviously been informed about our last visit. However this time our experience was most enjoyable. The food was very good and the service was excellent. We did go back to guest relations and asked them to inform the staff how much we enjoyed the meal this time.
There is a small shopping centre in the middle of the Iberostar complex. All the food and drink there is free on the all inclusive. Most of the shops sell the normal tacky holiday souvenirs . You do not need any money the shops can book things to your room at your hotel.
You can use all the other Iberostar hotels bars and A la carte restaurants if you wish.
We would definitely go back again, mainly due to the excellent staff and the quality of the food and drink.
- 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