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“Third Stay At The Grand!” 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)   |   Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 10 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
35 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Third Stay At The Grand!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2009

We have just returned from our third visit to the Grand Paraiso and it keeps on getting better every time. We didn’t even have to tell the reception staff who we were when we arrived – they greeted us by name as we were crossing the lobby!

Service at this hotel truly is 5 star. When we got to our (free upgraded ocean front) room, our butler Alberto went through our pillow, drink and snack preferences. He had in his hand records of what we had liked most in our mini bar from the previous trip and checked if they still applied. He noted that we had ordered a bottle of champagne before and so this trip, a chilled bottle and glasses turned up every day without asking. He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time! The staff are so lovely here.

I don’t want to just repeat all the information given by other positive reviewers, so what I will do is address some of the negative comments made by a handful of reviewers in an attempt to help you make the right choices for yourselves. Often people don’t enjoy a place not because it is intrinsically bad, but because they did not do their homework and end up picking somewhere that’s not suitable for their particular desires and interests.

The beach is too rocky: it is true that there are large rocks at the water line at each end of the Grand’s beach, however, the beach is long and all of the middle section offers completely He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time. He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time. unrestricted access to the sea. You end up with the best of both worlds - a beautiful, long, wide, soft, sandy beach with easy access to the water plus picturesque rocks which are great for snorkeling around. There is no property to the south of The Grand so you can go for a very long walk along a more natural, less manicured beach (take bug spray though as the uncleared seaweed attracts gnats).

It’s not very Mexican: very true – this is not a Mexican themed hotel, it is an extremely upscale international Spanish chain hotel (Iberostar has Grands in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and The Canary Islands). The styling is reminiscent of The Bellagio and Wynn in Las Vegas. If you want Mayan styling you can hang out next door at the Maya (very cool bar in a massive pyramid there). If you want that slightly more rustic and exotic thatched hut in the jungle style than choose a different luxury hotel – possibly El Dorado Royale Seaside Suites.

The food is bad: no, the food at this hotel is fantastic. Occasionally someone is going to have a poor experience at even the best of restaurants and I feel bad for anyone who gets sick through no fault of their own, but you need to put that in perspective. Also, if you don’t like seafood and fancy gourmet food then you won’t like this hotel. If you want to eat TexMex go somewhere else – although they do have great made to order fajitas at the lunch buffet.

You have to cover up your swimwear at the lunch buffet and men have to wear long pants to dinner: err, yeah, this is a 5 star adults only hotel, what do you expect? I do not understand people who want to go somewhere really posh and then complain that they have to dress up when they get there. And we are only talking resort casual, not black tie! Get stocked up at Tommy Bahama before hand or buy some cheaper copies from Sam’s Club. Otherwise, choose a different type of hotel.

The hotel lost my reservation: not good and very frustrating when that happens. Again this is a rare thing and is not going to be the experience of most people at the Grand. Be proactive in trying to prevent this kind of thing from happening. I usually travel to Mexico with Funjet and I always make a point of emailing them prior to the trip to ask them to remind the hotel I am coming and tell them of any preferences.

I am happy to try and answer any questions you may have as I spend a lot of time on the Riviera Maya. Next month I am taking advantage of an extremely cheap deal to the Valentin Maya and will let you know how that compares to The Grand.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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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Clinton, TN
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2009

We are returning Iberostar guests. We stayed at Lindo last year and looked at the Grand and were blown away. Had to book there this year. We stayed 5 nights in August and upgraded to Building 71 oceanfront. Stayed on 1st floor first night and management said they would move us to 2nd or 3rd after that which they did. Both 1st and 2nd floor oceanfront were awesome. When we moved to 2nd floor we wondered if they would remember our fridge requests. We left for the beach and returned and it was done. They were always one step ahead of our thoughts. They paid attention to detail. Conciere and butlers would know what room you were staying in if you had any requests even if you had not ever seen or spoken to them before.

Beach service was WONDERFUL! Marzita is the BEST!! She would bring drinks and refresh ice in buckets all day. She even brought us chips and salsa on the beach. We even received poolside drink service at all pools. We returned to Maya Lobby "snake bar" to get a drink since we loved that place last year and noticed a big difference in the quality of the drinks. It was like a slushy fruit drink. The Iberostar Grand drinks are all made with top shelf liquor and you don't have to ask for it. Butlers were great and work together with the conciere who we found to be as helpful as the butler as they arranged for grey goose and cranberry juice in our room daily and provided more than enough. Our butler arranged for us to have a romantic evening and while we were gone for dinner had rose petals on the floor and in a heart shape around swan towel art on the bed and a bubble bath drawn. They even brought a bottle of champagne to the room.

ALL staff who worked at the Grand from landscaping to pool to butlers to housecleaning to security to maintenance - ALL staff would look you in the eye and smile and greet you and ask if there is anything you need. We have traveled to other resorts and have never received this.

As returning Iberostar guests we received a fruit basket and bottle of liquor with a nice welcome back letter and then the next day came back to the room to find golf shirts. Very nice surprise.

The beach, grounds, buildings were all meticulously maintained and clean. Beautiful marble floors shined like glass. Beach is beautiful white sand that feels like you are walking on powdered sugar.

We found food at all the restaurants to be wonderful. We liked the Japanese the best.

This was supposed to be a relaxing vacation as a celebration for selling our home and it turned out to be a dream vacation. We will definitely return.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
England, UK
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2009

My husband and I have just returned from two weeks at The Grand Hotel and all the reviews you read here are spot on.

Our welcome to the hotel could not have been better - we were greeted with champagne and a hot towel and taken directly to our suite within 10 minutes. Our butler Hugo arrived shortly afterwards, and couldn't have been more helpful throughout our stay.

The hotel was very quiet, approx 25% full which suited us. Added with the bonus of adults only, you felt you could relax and enjoy your break in style.

The beach was breathtaking, long white sandy beach with blue waters. Beds were easily available and butlers readily available to provide you with refreshments all day long.

The tranquillity pool was by far our favourite, at one stage we were the only two people enjoying it! The main activity pool was huge and had a gorgeous aspect towards the sea.

The hotel food was fantastic, we had no problems reserving a table at any of the four a la carte restaurants. The buffet restaurants were closed due to low occupancy but this did not concern us. The hotel laid on a Mexican night one evening which was brilliant - excellent choice of food and wine and were entertained by a Mariachi band during our meal.

Our favourite restaurant had to be the Gourmet - delicious, well cooked food and amazing service. It was closely followed by the Japanese, but it is very hard to choose where to go each evening.

The main area that stood out for us was the staff and the service we received, even though the hotel had a low occupancy they continued to pull out all the stops to make sure we enjoyed our break. They were always very friendly, and seemed very happy in their work.

The Star friends are the entertainment team for your stay - excellent choice of activities and contests. We did not join in everything and they did not mind you saying no, there was no pressure to join in with them. They made a great effort to remember your names and made a point of stopping by during the day for a chat. At night you would find a small group in the lobby bar to try and encourage you to the evening's show. We went to the Rock Show twice, which was absolutely fantastic and The Boogie Night Show, again fantastic. Even though the shows were not full - approx 20 people at one, you would not have known it - the entertainers were very impressive. To name a few of our favourite Star Friends…Fannia, Edgar, Jorge and Pamela made us really welcome at the hotel.

I cannot say enough about this hotel. We cannot wait to go back….book your trip you will not regret it !

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
dallas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

I stayed at the hotel for a week for my honeymoon. Amazing is the best way to put it. I won't go into long detail, cause others have and done a pretty thourough job. Basically, this is the best place I have ever stayed. My new husband and I stayed in one of the villas and it was awesome. expensive, but worth the splurge. The butler service was great, we LOVED the the hibachi grill at the japanese restaurant, the star friends were great, esp. Nicole, Eder and Fannia. My friends couldn't get over how amazing the pics were that I posted. And it was only 28% occupancy, so it wasn't crowded, service was great...Not one bad thing to say about it....

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
32 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2009

My wife and I just returned from a fantastic week-long stay at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso (IGHP). The IGHP is so incredible and special that you wouldn’t be wrong to want to write a review downplaying or hiding its splendors so that too many people didn't head here, but when 462 of 558 people have already given it a five-star review as of today, you have to just join the other reviewers in acknowledging how wonderful a resort it is. And unlike the other “blow-for-blow review of our stay” reviews you’ll read about the IGHP, I thought I might provide some additional insights about the resort.

RESORT & ROOM: Initial impressions of the resort follow what you’ll read elsewhere on TA. The resort and grounds are beautifully designed and well maintained. While it is not uncommon to see some wear and tear things here and there, the buildings and grounds are very well kept and clean and it is common to see staff cleaning or fixing just about any corner of the facility. We had a junior guest suite in Building 72, which is the central building located between the main pool and the lobby and houses 4 of the 6 restaurants at IGHP, with rooms overlooking the spa building or tranquility pool. From what we can tell, our room was the standard room throughout the resort in terms of design and appointment. All of the rooms have generous balconies that warrant spending a little bit of time on and beautiful, spacious bathrooms. We opted not to upgrade to an oceanfront room during our stay but understand from friends we met at Grand who were in Building 71 that most of the rooms were the same design and appointment but with the obvious view of the ocean off your terrace. One complaint we heard about the oceanfront building was its distance from the restaurants (except La Brisa) and the lobby, though we heard that butlers would give rides when they could.

One other note on the room: Rooms are essentially made up twice a day, with a main cleaning in the early day and a turn-down tidying in the evening (including trash emptied, bath wiped down, etc.) when you are at dinner or late at the pool bar, which my wife and I frequently were.

FOOD & DRINK: Simply put, IGHP excels in this area, with generally very high-quality food and drinks and generally very attentive service. One area of possible complaint is that the breakfast offerings were overwhelmingly the same every day during our seven-day stay, which lead to some unexciting meals towards the end. There was considerably more variety at the lunch restaurant, La Brisa, and the food there was generally quite good overall while the view of the ocean was incredible. Humberto, the lunch bartender, also makes a very good margarita.

As for dinner selections, the buffet was closed during our stay due to low occupancy, which was fine by us. Toni’s is worth the praise heaped upon it in other reviews, with top quality steaks and great seafood if you know what to ask for. The seafood selection appetizer is not to be missed and features excellent North Atlantic lobster. The lobster tail with the steaks, however, is a Caribbean variety that is tougher and not as succulent and should be avoided if you can. Without giving away trade secrets, you can ask to upgrade or substitute the lobster served with your beef if you know how…

Our second favorite restaurant was the Italian restaurant, which has very nice food in a nice setting. Some folks have written mediocre reviews of this restaurant and I think it owes to the fact that there are good Italian restaurants in most large communities, and while the one at the IGHP won’t be called the best in the world or even stack up with your favorite joint back home, it is very good. The ossobucco and both risottos are excellent. The fine dining restaurant is worth a visit and has enjoyable food, but a lot of the menu seems ill-suited to a warm tropical environment due to its richness. Management should consider a little more seasonal variation for the menu at this restaurant, de-emphasize the five-course aspect, or make it a tasting menu. The Japanese restaurant has nice food, but given the exceptional quality of especially the steakhouse and Italian restaurants, this one seems like a fallback for nights when you can’t get into the others…

One last dining note: Sorry to be the potential bearer of bad news, but the Kobe beef burgers probably aren’t. Yes, they are tasty and we figured they were grass-fed, high quality beef, but it seemed unlikely they rose to the level of Kobe. One must ask why you would take potentially the world’s finest beef and grind it into a pre-formed frozen patty to be served on a standard bun with lettuce, tomato, onion and American cheese.

As for drinking, the liquor is all top-shelf or better and the all-inclusive wine list is very good, featuring a lot of wines you’ll find at your local liquor store for between $10-$15 a bottle. BTW, some of the “extra” wines were actually mediocre and not worth the additional charge. The bartenders were generally willing to give advice on what to drink, which was a help and aided me in finding my new favorite tequila, Don Julio. (FYI: Jose Cuervo is practically rail tequila at IGHP and you are advised to sample some better stuff while you’re here!)

VIBE & ACTIVITIES: We read some reviews before we came down that suggested that folks at the Grand largely stayed to themselves and that it was a pretty quiet place. However, that was not the situation we found. While there definitely were some folks that you would see at breakfast that you might never see again during the day, we encountered a lot of outgoing, gregarious people that made our trip. The main pool is stellar, with an infinity effect looking out to the ocean. The pool bar was the site of great happy hours every day, where those who wanted to could come to get their drink on and make some friends.

Owing largely to late dinner reservations and those great happy hours at the pool, we missed the 10:00 shows (sorry honey!) but did get to the karaoke twice, which was a lot of fun. The lobby bar was nice but more subdued than the pool bar. We did go down to the dance club at the plaza one night with some of our great pool bar friends and found it to be pretty lame. The drinks are not as good and the Star Wars theme is pretty questionable. We were back to the Grand within 45 minutes.

The beach is nice and quiet, but the water is choppy, with rocky entrances along the shore. Service on the beach was excellent and very attentive – much more so than at the main pool. One word of caution are the sand fleas and small flying insects at the beach, which chased us away one of the two days we went down there. Take some bug repellent with you; the wipes in the room didn't do much as far as we could tell.

Lastly, the spa services are a can’t miss. We did a couples massage at the Grand spa (which also houses a nice workout room) that was great and then went over to the main spa at the plaza to use the steam rooms and specialty pools, which was time well spent. (You also don’t need to buy a spa service in order to use the pools and saunas at the main spa, so you have no reason to not check it out.)

STAR FRIENDS: Oh gosh, what to say about the Star Friends other than they are everywhere all the time. While my wife and I can understood their value at the other, larger Iberostar resorts, which allow and/or cater to kids, but it seemed like the Friends were a little over the top at the Grand. Still, we had to admire their stamina, as it seemed like they were going from 11:00 AM to 3:00 AM every day.

TIPPING: We did it and would encourage others to do the same. We spent about $225 (in American funds) over seven days and think it did slightly improve our service, especially at the bars (just the way it does at home!). Do you have to do it? No. But when you see how hard the employees at the Grand work, I think you’ll want to reciprocate. They are unfailingly nice and very good at what they do, so if you like the person and/ or the service, do tip. In general, we would give $2-3 for a breakfast or lunch server, $5-10 to the bartender when we got to the pool each day and $1 per drink for pool/ beach service away from the bar, $4 for the chambermaid and $10 for dinner servers. We also tipped the bellhops a couple of bucks for baggage handling or golf cart shuttling to the plaza.

In closing, my wife and I really, really enjoyed the Grand and will be back as soon as we can. Almost everything is top-notch and well done and any complaints we might have are so insignificant, they don’t bear mentioning. This place is so nice, you'll never want to leave (we didn’t leave for any day trips off campus – we just didn’t figure it was worth it!) While we are always open to exploring new places, the Grand is as close to perfection as I think we’ll find are we are not want to mess with that. Cheers!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boston
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2009

We were booked for Bermuda for our 5th wedding anniversary. Hurricane Bill made us change our plans and what a blessing it was. Garavanian travel recommended Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso and I must admit I was skeptical. It was a longer flight than we wanted and I was interested in good food, not the run of the mill all inclusive buffets. Gabe assured me this was the place for me. He was 100% correct. from the welcome champagne & moist towel to our personal "butler", we were pampered for our all too brief stay. Maine lobster tails and double cut filets were endless, Kobe beef burgers for lunch. All served by the most courteous of staff. The atmosphere was whatever we wanted it to be. Wether enjoying water activities (Scuba) or relaxing by the tranquil pool or golf. We were amazed at the beauty and service provided. The Japanese restaurant was as equally impressive as the Surf & Turf. The wine selection that was included in the package was more than adequate. An overall pleasure. We will be returning here again.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ny
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2009

My fiance and I stayed at the Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Riviera Maya, Mexico, adults only. Our relatives stayed at the Iberostar Del Mar & Iberostar Beach.
We had a beach wedding on the 4th of July and it was better than expected, it was like a dream, it was magical..Our wedding planner had everything set up perfectly and as planned via e-mail prior to our arrival. We confirmed last minute arrangements upon arrival and everything was perfectly in place the BIG DAY..The photographer & videographer's work was professionally done. The service was excellent & the resort was spottless.

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. 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 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso 4.5*
Number of rooms: 310
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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