We had very high expectations after reading all of the reviews and forums about this resort and were not let down at all! From the time we arrived, with welcome drinks in hand, to the time we left, with our luggage being loaded for us, it was truly a Grand experience that made us feel like royalty!
We had inquired about upgrading our room previous to arriving, we booked with chase rewards and only had one room option, the emailed back very promptly with prices. We decided to wait until we got there to see what the resort was like and make sure we wanted to upgrade. Upon arrival, we were offered the ocean front room, that we had inquired about, for a less expensive price than given via email. We were thrilled!!!!! The room and view was beautiful. Room 7049! Third floor perfection!
The butler did not mention that we had a pillow menu, so we did not discover it until our second night. We called and got down pillows, they arrived promptly.
We made dinner reservations ahead of time via email. If you do so, be sure to consider excursions you may do and the fact that the pool closes at 8 and is very relaxing in the evening. We had all of our dinner reservations scheduled for 7, meaning we would need to be in the room around 6 to get ready and that ended up not being as ideal as we though. We really loved the pool and laying on the beach early evening. We were able to reschedule some of our reservations, but other places were full for the later times, so we chose room service and the dinner buffet for those nights and were not let down by either. We did a repeat of the Japanese a la carte, the second cook was so much better than the first! Toni's Surf and Turf is another solid choice; however, we were not impressed with the Italian a la carte. Service was always prompt for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner services. Room service took about 30 minutes and food was warm when it arrived.
The beach was beautiful!!!!! A couple of large rocky sections, only made for wonder photos! Roped off sections to swim in. If you look to the right, facing the ocean, you will see Cozumel. You can walk the beach for a good length of time.
Service on the beach can be a bit slow. Perhaps there are more servers in the highly populated travel seasons. The resort was approx 60% percent full and I only saw 1 server on the beach. You must remember that the server is going back to the pool bar to get your drinks though, which is typically a happening place already. So, I wouldn't punish the servers when it takes them longer to bring your drink than anticipated. I assure you, they are going as fast as they can to bring you your drink to the beach!! My suggestion for the resort is to build a beach bar or a small bar behind the concierge desk of each ocean front building that is only for the servers of the beach to get drinks! This is where the only down fall of the entire resort is and it wasn't THAT big of a deal. We still got our drinks handed to us on the beach and didn't have to get up and get it ourselves! My suggestion is to get your own on the way to the beach, and then order one when you get there and another when he/she hands you your first, if you are constantly wanting a drink.
The concierge desk was always so friendly and helpful! They always asked up how we were and told us welcome home! It was pleasing and refreshing to be around so many friendly and welcoming people! Remember that most of the workers actually live on site and serving you is literally their life. They are so grateful of tips, though it is not required or expected.
Maid service was fantastic- nothing stolen like I read about at other resorts. If you are going to tip, be aware that there are two maids cleaning!
Our mini fridge was always restocked. We left a note for more coke and beer and less of everything else, and got just that!
Anytime we wanted a golf cart ride to another part of the resort, even if it was just to dinner, the bell boy was there in a jiffy to pick us up and take us. We always tipped him for his service.
There are plenty of activities going on throughout the day including yoga, water workouts, beach volley ball, beach soccer, archery, cooking lessons, dance lessons, wine tasting, etc! At night, there is the show at 10 and typically something in the theater after at 11. Sometimes, there is something in the theater at 9. Twice a week, there was poker scheduled at 9. We went to that and enjoyed it! No money thrown down, just fun!
Remember you can use all of the amenities at the Iberostar family resorts on the property. While kids are allowed at the other resorts, we did not see many on the beach near the grand. Occasionally a few would walk by, but they were calm and did not stop to get in the water or dig in the stand, so it was still peaceful. Most of the swimming is done at the resort right next door, the Maya. There is a roped off area in front of the Grand, but I saw very few people in that section.
We got a massage at the shopping center spa (shared with all the Iberostar Resorts) and it was great. We also had tacos from the taco shop there and crepes. You can watch them make both. Different location within the shopping center but very close to each other. There is also a coffee shop over there making anything your typical coffee shop would make. Other places within the shopping center include a cigar shop, jewelry store, several souvenir shops, etc.
We also got a massage at the spa on the Grand property. I enjoyed the mayan massage I received there over the other at the shopping center spa. Both were great though. The spa pool at the grand is something to experience!
Don't book your week so full that you don't get to enjoy the Grand enough. We went to Xelha one day, Xplor another day, and spent a couple of hours in Playa del Carmen another day. We wished we had stuck with one excursion instead of two because it was so wonderful that we didn't want or need any other entertainment. If you do choose to book excursions, I say don't do it until you are bored with the resort, if you even get to that point. And if you are like us, and only plan on visiting the area once and want to experience other parts of the area, I suggest going to the Iberostar hospitality desk the day you arrive, because it may take longer than you think and be best to get the booking out of the way.
Although we planned to only visit an area once, we will be back to the Iberostar Grand Paraiso again someday to enjoy the resort and only the resort for the entirety of our stay! WE LOVED THIS RESORT, YOU CAN'T GO WRONG AT 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