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“SLAMDUNK” 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
Smithton, Il.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“SLAMDUNK”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2009

No need to repeat what others have written.
Based upon ones own expectations, previous experiences, and attitude going in, you alone will set the tone of how enjoyable your time at this resort will be
.
In my opinion, having visited seven other Mayan Riviera resorts considered in the upper tier, this one raises the bar way up there. If you've done your homework, there really shouldn't be any surprises going in. Email ahead if you have a question, or want to request a certain building to stay in.
For example, there currently isn't a dinner buffet at the Grand. The specialty restaurants are the only place to have dinner. However, next door at the Lindo, a very good buffet is available for dinner. Having said that, I preferred having dinner at their marvelous restaurants. Check out the menus before you decide on which specialty restaurant you dine at that evening. Sit down at the concierge desk early in the trip, make your decisions then, at least for a couple of nights at a time. Most of these restaurants were 25% full when we made our reservations for at 8:30. Just a tip, I ordered 2 fillets and a lobster tail ever afternoon at the Las Brias for lunch. My waiter was Francisco. I tipped him well!! At the pool bar, I sipped Don Julio. Roberto , Norberto, and Daniel kept us "fully fueled" at any given point. I tipped them everyday. I brought ball hats from home and passed them out to bar tenders, maids and dive boat sailors. I always take plenty of ones and fives to spread around . I wonder if that had something to do with us being treated like a king and queen.?
Most of the 10 pm shows are worth attending, especially the Rock and Musical Shows. The Disco, about 2 minutes away by golf cart is great, if you like that type of thing. Incidentally, I took golf carts everywhere I went. Even from the lobby to the pool, dive shop, even dropped me off near my room after an evening at the disco. Give them a buck for each trip, they'll be there for you in seconds.
Everybody we ran into , were very friendly and wanted to interact. We all go there to have fun, that's the key to the whole trip.
Something I didn't know ahead of time. If you are a "certified" scuba diver, and plan to use the Dressel Dive Shop, understand that for the 8:30 am dive, they will take out students doing their open water thing, along with the certified guys. Three dives out of my total of six, this was the case. Personally, I like going out with just experienced divers, doing deeper wall dives. However, sites they choose were all good, and , overall a good shop to deal with. Horge, Lu, and Paulo were great dive masters and instructors to go down with. Price is negotiable based upon how many dives you do.
One thing you also need to understand, the action around the pool is on the quiet side, with the exception of the pool bar which generally became "charged up" around 2 pm. They do play water polo, basketball, volleyball, etc in the pool which was fun. Eder and Pamela do a marvelous job coordinating all the pool activities.
Do spend some time at the Tranquility pool, especially if you feel like napping in the afternoon. Pool side service is provided there as well.
Another tip, order a B-52 at the lobby bar.
We"ll in conclusion, certain WORDS come to mind when people ask me , "hey, what did you think of that place you stayed in Mexico." MIND BLOWING BEAUTIFUL, EYE CANDY, ELEGANT, DELICIOUS, SPIRITUAL ENVIRONMENT, (WELL TRAINED, POLITE, HAPPY EMPLOYEES), and SATISFYINGLY EXHAUSTED CUSTOMERS. That is what we came away with, and can't stand not being there. For the record, the Brits are not unfriendly as reported earliar. The Germans, well, we didn't run into any this trip.

  • Stayed October 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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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English first
Saint Charles, Missouri
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
74 helpful votes 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 13, 2009

My wife and I found heaven in the Riviera after one trip to the Dominican and six trips to Jamaica.

What a great place, the Grand Paraiso. We booked the Jr Suite Beach Front and we were treated like the King and Queen for 5 days. The food was great at all six Iberostar Resorts. No problem with reservations because the Yucutan was only 38% booked and the Grand at 44%.

I am very critical of resorts and their offerings but the only negative I have to say about the Grand is the concierge senioritas need more training with off-property situations. Worry-Free screwed up the departure and the front desk and concierges were having trouble helping fix the situation. They are fantastic with on-property bookings and help.

A big hug to Reyes on the beach who kept our drinks refreshed, the "Albertos" who were our butler and drivers and Daniel at the lobby bar. Super folks with super service.

Great job Iberostar, see you in March. You have my business and Butch has lost it Jamaica.

  • Stayed October 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 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Youngstown OH
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 9, 2009

The hotel was absolutely gorgeous. If a leaf were to fall off a tree, i swear a gardener would pop out of a bush and pick it up. Everything was immaculate, spotless, beautiful.

I don't know about any other time of year, but we went in December. You had to get up early and go place a towel on a chair you wanted by 7 am if you wanted to get a spot on the beach, or a good spot by the main infinity pool (which was cold by the way). They did have an indoor pool at the spa that was heated that was free and very nice, and another pool that was quiet and maybe a little warmer. But everything pretty much closed down by 5pm when the sun went down. They shut the hot tubs off and the place became deserted. The buffets didn't open until six, and dinner reservations started later than that i believe. My husband and i were tired from getting up early to get a spot and eat breakfast and by 5 o'clock we were ready to eat dinner and go to bed. We had early dinner reservations twice and then just did the buffet or ordered room service the rest of the trip. We were absolutely bored out of our minds and never stayed up late enough to head to the shows (which were at 10pm or something). We did go to the complex commercial center a couple of nights to kill some time. Not much there but something to do (and the crepes there were definitely worth it!).

The beach was gorgeous but you could not go in the water at all (all rocks). We did walk down the beach to some of the other resorts to swim once or twice, and took a kayak out into the ocean (sooooo fun!).

The service was horrible though. I heard stories about people getting upgraded and this and that. Don't expect much so you aren't disappointed. My travel agent even told them how it was our 10 year anniversary. The first day, my husband asked the butler if he could get a bubble bath with rose petals and champagne for me and i believe tipped him 20 bucks. We never saw that butler again. Throughout the trip my husband checked with the concierge in the hall and they didn't have any record of it, so had him speak with a new butler (with whom he tipped again) and still nothing. Finally the last night he told me of the surprise and went to the concierge and had to argue with them to get one, in which case they told us to leave the room until after a certain time, so we went to the commercial center, came back, and nothing. Again they forgot. This time he argued again and they had us step outside for 15 minutes and so we walked the resort and by then it was ready.

Also, our shower's drain did not work on the second day. My husband was in the shower and it flooded the whole bathroom and out into the hallway. I was walking into the bathroom to put my makeup on and slipped and fell on the unknown water and hurt my wrist. A butler came, but never fixed it until the third time we complained.

I saved up a fortune to have a wonderful vacation. I would rather saved my money and just went anywhere to have a good time. I picked this place because of all the wonderful reviews i had read on here. I'm so disappointed. Plus, Mexico is a dump. My husband and i went into Playa del Carmen for souvenirs the one day and prayed to God we would make it back alive. The taxi driver was scary, a lady we ran into in one store said she had to buy all new souvenirs because the cops pulled them over for no reason and took everything from them, plus all the other crime you read about there. I know you have crime everywhere, but it was bad.

If all you plan on doing is laying on the beach and/or site seeing, i wouldn't waste your money here. You can lay on any beach and site see at a cheaper resort with money left over to go on a second trip somewhere.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ok
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

My husband and I traveled July 4 and stayed at this beautiful hotel for 5 nights. It was paradise. The staff was so friendly and welcoming; everyone seemed to really enjoy their jobs. The atmosphere was so peaceful, quiet, and relaxing. The poolside staff made us feel so welcome and had fun activities in which we could participate. The beach was so clean and nice (not crowded at all.) I would definitely come back here again. It is a wonderful beach vacation spot!

  • 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.
U.S.A
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

...then this is it.

I am the kind of guy who researches purchases, and my honeymoon was no exception.

The other positive reviews on this site were not overblown; my stay was exactly what I'd hoped for.

The property was immaculate, the service excellent, and the food/alcohol were also very good. One thing which I didn't see in the reviews though is that unless you want to eat buffet or room service, you need to make a reservation at one of the restaurants for set seating times.

My wife and I could not possibly have had a better time, the only thing we did not get to do was enjoy the beach due to a tropical storm offshore which was creating undercurrents.

The interior of the hotel is drowning in marble, the property's unique pools are sights to see, we absolutely loved our stay.

One other tip...make sure when you book the room you specify you are honeymooners. This will result in you getting some special treats from the hotel to help you celebrate.

Since this is an adults-only spot, it was truly serene and dinners very romantic. Two thumbs (way) up.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kew Garden Hills
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

hotel and amenities were 5 star all the way. cannot wait to return.

  • Stayed December 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Tx
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2009

Pros:

Excellent staff. Friendly and always ready to help and greet you. A++. Hotel is very clean and spottless. Seems like there was always a cleaning crew cleaning something out in the hallways or outside area.

Cons:

My impression of Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso in Riviera Maya was not all good. Before choosing this hotel for my honeymoon destination I did some research as well as hear first hand experience from someone that it was a really nice place to try especially the food there. Well I've learned that not all people have the same taste buds especially if its coming from white american person which I am not. (I'm asian). The food there was either mediocre or just horrible for me. There was only one restuarant there that I truly enjoyed and that was the Japanese restaurant. Quite good I would say. Granted the service at all the restaurants was excellent but I just did not like the food. Presentation of the food on the dishes was very nice but when you bite into most of the food it was not so good.

Another issue I had was with the concierge services. They seem to not give you advice on what is good around the area or help find you good deals on activities around the area but rather all they did was book reservations for your eating and read from what they find on a computer. I asked them to find the cost of an Eco Park (Xcaret) and the young lady didn't even know the price. I would figure a person that lives there and does this for a living would know the price of a fun park aventure. She said she will look it up and get back to me. She said she will call me in my hotel room and let me know later but she never did. I had to go back out there and ask for it. She quoted me $129 per person to go to Xcaret. I asked her if she could get a better price and all she did was call the tour people again and verify the price was $129 per person. Right there I knew that this concierge was just a useless person to help me figure what to do or get help on what to do around Mexico. There was a few concierge personals there and they are all young ladys between 25 and 30 I would guess and seem not to be helpfull with giving you advice but rather just give you pamplets and readings straight off the books. Whatever the case I went online and found a better deal to go to Xcaret Eco Park for $114 per person with transportation. Saved myself 30 bucks and just ordered it online and printed out the tickets. I told the concierge that I found a better deal online and asked her if she can get a better deal then that and she said no. $129 was her price.

Another issue was also with the front desk. When we arrived there, and like I said this is me and my wife's honeymoon. We asked if we can get an upgrade on our room and the clerk said she's not sure she can do that but will ask the manager. From being in that hotel it looks like the amount of people staying at the hotel was quite low maybe around 30 percent capacity I'm guessing. It was pretty much empty. Barely saw anybody walking around in the hall ways or at the pools. The clerk went and asked the manager and came back and said they cant do and upgrade for us but if you want and upgrade then they can give that to us for 70 bucks more per day. I said forget that. So we went to our room and found that the room was nice but the locatoin and view was not that great. We had a corner of the building room so we barely say the pool unless we stuck our heads out the balcony and looked to the left. For a hotel that's pretty empty thought they would of given us a better location.

Another issue is the romantic dinner we had reserved. We asked about it with the concierge and she said the hotel can do that for you but she never mentioned how much it cost. I thought it was something they would do free for us since it was our honey moon but after the fact and the next day they sent us the bill and slipped it under the door of our room. The bill by the way was for around $350 roughly. The setting and day or night I would say was perfect. Light wind and it was around 6:30pm so the sun was coming down and the dinner out on the beach by ourselves seem to be romantic until the food came in and thats when it wasnt so good anymore. They only offer you two menu courses for the outdoor at the beach dinner so I chose menu 1 and my wife chose menu 2. I ended up getting the crap menu dinner. Almost everything they brought out for me was horrible. The worse dish was the Sherry soap or something like that. I almost threw up trying it. I had to go to the side of the platform and spit it out in the sand. They gave me the main dish which was a lobster lasagna dish which was the exact same thing I tried when I was at the French restaurant the other day at the hotel which I didnt like there either. It tasted weird and reminded me of my dog when he is wet and stinky. It just put this aroma in your mouth that goes up to your nose that makes it smell like an impression of my wet stinky dog. They had music playing which was romantic until it made some scratchy noise and went out and no more music. The waiter and other personal there spent probable another 15 minutes or so to get the music back on and they had that personal messing with the wires or speakers in front of us during that whole time for our dinner. after the music was fixed and near the end of the dinner they brought the chocolate fountain thingy where you can dip it with your fruits for dessert. when they where setting it up the wind got a little more breezier and started blowing the chocolate liquid all on the table and floor. Lucky it was on the side table and not on our main table. Haha. Man I told my wife this is not a romantic dinner! They should of put on the binder that they showed us and call it "Romantic Crappy Dinner." Haha. Me and my wife just wanted to get the hell out of that dinner so we left as soon as we could.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
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: 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 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts 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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