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“Gorgeous resort, best service I've ever had- but the future of the buildings?” 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
New Hampshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Gorgeous resort, best service I've ever had- but the future of the buildings?”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2010

Stayed at the Grand June 24-28 to celebrate my 5th anniversary. We did not have an oceanfront room (which was fine), but we loved our balcony that looked out over the spa building, and to the right, the ocean could be seen. I spent many afternoons in the suspended wicker chair, since we were there during Tropical Storm Alex. Occupation was at 60% (I asked during check in).

I was so happy with the Grand. It was our first all inclusive and we were afraid that we'd encounter a lot of gluttony like we have on past cruises. I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case. The buffets (which we ate at for breakfast and lunch daily), were lovely. On one day lunch selection was not along my preference, but I was able to make a nice cold lunch for myself quite easily. We made two reservations (surf and turf and Gourmet) ahead of time. I did my research on the resort and saw the recommendations for this, I'd recommend it as well. We were able (barely) to make reservations for the other two during our stay. We both loved the Gourmet restaurant, it was our favorite. Surf and Turf was good, but not spectactular- a solid meal. The Japanese was a standard Teppanyaki/Hibachi kind of thing. My least favorite was the Italian. It was still decent, just nothing I would really crave.

The standout of the trip for us was the service. Not once did someone pass us and not greet us and ask if we needed anything. It was wonderful. The weather was not good for us and we made good use of the spa pool, but the grounds of the Grand are truly lovely.

One concern I have is with regards to the future. During our stay, the ceilings in the main hotel were leaking. They also had several drainage issues with outdoor hallways leading into indoor areas. I noticed signs of wear and tear in our bathroom and inside our suite. Despite constantly seeing employees cleaning and serving guests, I do worry about the integrity of the building and it's design, gorgeous though it is.

All in all, we are positively salivating to go back. Hopefully, the next time will be sunny. Iberostar has sold us on the all-inclusive option. I don't know that I've ever relaxed so much on a vacation- truly lovely.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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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boston
Level Contributor
28 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2010

This was our third trip to Mexico. We stayed at the Royal Hideaway and Le Blanc the past times. The hotel was beautiful and the rooms were nice but there were a few things that greatly disappointed me which would make me never go back. Firstly after traveling a whole day to get there we decided to have lunch at the ala carte restaurant. It was terrible. We tried to get a reservation for the first night and we were told there were no reservations available and that we would have to go to the buffet, even worse. After dinner we walked over to the concierge and asked to make a reservation for the following night and we were told they only had one reservation and it was at 6:30. I was upset and told her that I was planning on an eight day vacation and that I come to eat in nice restaurants and that she was offering my no options. She could of cared less. I wanted to check out the next day but my husband convinced me to stay. Can you imagine that in the seven night we spent there we only ate in three of the ala carte restaurants and had to eat at 7:00 every night. Now understand that when you eat in these restaurants there are hardly any parties eating in them. They tell you they are booked and there are a million empty tables. While you will not go hungry at this hotel you will also not be wowed. I did not taste one thing that I thought was wonderful and special. Cafeteria food. Breakfast and lunch are buffet and depending what day of the week it is you might get hard rice leftovers. The desserts are horrible. Room service food was the best food in the place. One night I was feeling a bit queasy and asked if I could come a bit later for my reservation and they told me no, that is why I had room service that night. I am in the food business and I can tell you that if you are a foodie and you are looking for sensational food than this resort is not for you.
The things I liked about the resort were the pools, beach and the spa. I had many nice massages by a very qualified and lovely woman. The woman who did our turndown service at night was wonderful and sweet. Our butler was lovely too. The drinks were just ok and not the tastiest. Yes they use top shelf booze but the mixers are pretty bad. If you are looking for amazing food and service check out Le Blanc in Cancun because that is where I should have went. This hotel is lacking in the quality of their concierge and the ability to get their guests into restaurants. If I wanted to eat a buffet every night I could have gone somewhere a lot cheaper. Also the buffet food is so boring that many days we HAD to eat it three times. Looking at the same stuff over and over made me sick. One night we took a Taxi to Playa Del Carmen and had dinner at a lovely restaurant called Mosquito Blue. It was the best meal we had the entire trip. I would never stay here again. I am in my mid 40's and have traveled before while many of the guests are young and probably think they died and went to heaven but I have seen and tasted better. The kindest and nicest and most professional people in the resort are the ones with the hardest and most back breaking jobs. This is not a 5 star resort by a long shot.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

Let me start off by saying that we had a nice time, the resort was beautiful, clean and grounds were kept nice etc. We stayed in building 71, had an ocean front"smoking room (we do not smoke) but the rooms are very nice, view great. That being said, there were a few things that I was greatly disappointed in for a 5 star hotel..and I really hate to write a negative review..but here goes:

1) Our first day, we met our butler who was very nice and informative- Julian. After that, we never met or spoke to another butler. When I would ask our concierge about dinner reservations or making changes, or making a spa appointment, she would say that she would check and call me in our room. On three different occasions this happened and she never called, so I would end up going to the restaurant directly to deal.
2) Our room was not cleaned on our second day there. By 4 pm, we had returned from a day out, only to find our room had not been touched (and no, we did not have the do not disturb sign out) I called down to have it cleaned, which they did..but then they never did the turn down service that night. We had been out and came back at 11 to the same room. I called and said we wanted the room cleaned every day/evening..and then it was done from that point forward (but didn't know you had to ask for this to be done)
3) This is my 4th time to mexico and various all-inclusive resorts, every other one I have stayed at, the staff is swarming around the pool asking if you need anything. It seemed as though there was only one person manning the entire salt water pool area, and they came around once every hour...if that. if we wanted a drink, we had to go to the swim up bar, which had two bartenders, and this made it no fun to get into the water and swim over everytime you wanted something to drink.
4) the food was just okay. I did love the surf and turf restaurant and we had the most delightful waiter there.. luis david, I believe. He was the best staff person we encountered our entire trip of 5 days. The japanese restaurant was also very good, we ate there twice. The lunch buffet and breakfasts were lacking in my opinion. Same limited choices every day and very slow to make you something at the station (i.e french toast, omelettes)

Positives:
My husband is a huge golfer and said this course was in the best shape of any course he has ever played (and he's played in Hawaii, Cypress etc.) if you are a golfer, you should check it out. Bathrooms were spacious and clean. Loved the size and the rain shower was nice. If you laid out by the ocean, which we did for a few hours each day you got WAY better service. The guys came around about every 20 minutes to check on us, but I think that's because there were only about 4-6 of us out there at a time (the waters were rough and they had the no-swim flag up, so most people hung around the pool) It was toss up because you wanted to swim, but you wanted the service.. so we split our time each day. Spa- we did the couples massage and that was great and relaxing. I had a facial by carmen and thought she did a great job.

In summary, I think we paid a little too much for what we got.. and if you are really use to 5 star treatment, you may be disappointed. If this is your first trip to mexico and you have no frame of reference, you will think it is amazing! If you are an avid traveler to mexico and like to be pampered, then you may want to take this into consideration.

  • Stayed July 2010, 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S.E. Pa
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2010

We recently stayed at the IB* Grand Hotel Paraiso and I would have to say it is a fabulous property. Our room was a standard Jr. Suite and personally I think the upgrade to ocean front would be nice but we feel that we completely satisfied with our room. The Butler service was non-existent and the only time we saw him was during check-in. This was the same experience we had last year at the Grand In Jamaica. It wasn't an issue with being overly busy as the resort was running at 50.4% ( I needed to print our boarding passes while we were there and they had this info on a white board in the office along with all the VIP's in house and their room numbers).
We also had an opportunity to tour the kitchen facilities thanks to Olivia and must say the the operation is quite impressive and very clean! All the restaurants have separate prep and refrigerated areas. There are different refrigerated areas for fruit,veggie and meats too. High marks from us!! We consider ourselves "foodies" and the food here was exceptional! I preferred the Gourmet followed closely buy the Surf and Turf. The Gourmet servers a pheasant appetizer and I highly recommend it. On a side note we met some fun folks from Florida and decided to dine with them (they actually changed our reservations for us) .... haha! ... Well, there were six of us at the gourmet and one of the guys ordered a few things in spanish and asked the waiter for an extra order of Lobster Thermador "for the table to share". There was some hesitation from the server but he finally agreed and when we were served we found out why. Apparently he thought we wanted three extra orders and indeed delivered them. We made sure to eat everything and tip very well! No one went away hungry that night. From everyone we spoke to the general consensus was the Italian restaurant was their least favorite. We had a great meal and excellent service there too. The Japanese was good but I found the food (Teppanyaki ) to be average.
The beach is just slightly north (within viewing distance) of Maroma Beach and it always winds up on the top 10 beach shows....needless to say PERFECT! All in all a great trip with zero issues, a great value. We booked thorough Kellie @ goIberostar and would recommend her.

Our photos of the property can be seen @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/8582462@N05/
click on the "sets" on the right to see al the pics.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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.
ohio
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

We just returned from the Grand yesterday and we think by far this was the best all-inclusive we have ever stayed. We have stayed at Secrets Maroma, Secrets Capri, Moon Palace, Sun Palace, Barcelo Maya Beach, Barcelo Maya Palace, and Riu Palace and we never felt this satisfied and happy. The grounds are beautiful! The hotel itself is impressive, beautiful murals and paintings on the wall. The rooms were great, the bed comfortable, the bathroom large and very clean. The food was very good. The best part of all was the staff. The people were so very kind and genuinely helpfull that it was easy to relax and enjoy our vacation. If you want to relax this is a great place. If you want to party you can do that here to. There is a disco opened until 3:00 a.m. The fitness center was state of the art, including spinning classes. We would highly recommend this resort!!!!!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wichita, Kansas
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

We just returned from 7 nights & 8 days at the Grand Hotel Paraiso located about 25/30 minutes south of the Cancun airport. Prior to our trip, we religiously checked this site for tips and information. We were not disappointed but we would like to point out several factors:

Upon Arrival:
You'll be greeted with a cool washcloth & a glass of bubbly. We did not get to go to the main lobby upon arrival but instead was taken directly by golf cart to our to our building. This was surprising as we were excited about the seeing the lobby.

After hearing all the positve feedback about building 70. We requested an ocean front view in building 70. We did not know until our arrival but due to low occupancy - building 70 was closed. We were booked in building 71 instead.

The down side about building 71 is the beach.... its rocky so everyone sits & swims outside of building 70 vs. building 71.

We had requested when booking our reserveration an "upper floor" (since we wanted an ocean view) but upon arrival were taken to a first floor room. After reminding them of our request, the bellman makes a call to the main desk and speaks in Spanish (which made us feel uncomfortable cause we weren't sure what exactly was being said on our behalf). We were then taken to another room on the 2nd floor. The downside was it was a "SMOKING" room but we had requested a "NON-smoking" room. So, whatever you do.... make it very clear when booking your reservation what your preferences are and confirm again & again for accurancy... We settled for the 2nd floor - smoking room since we were given only those 2 options (1st floor - nonsmoking or 2nd floor smoking). The bad news is the room we ended up with was not cooled in anyway. It was very hot in the room as it was 91 degrees on this date. It took several hours & two phone calls later to actually cool the room to where it was comfortable for us to stay in the room that night.

Butler service:
Everyone talks about the "butler" in their reviews but we never saw our butler and to this day we could not tell you his name. We think our butler was the one that brought us ice on one occasion. Even this request was odd... because we picked up the phone and requested ice, after 10 minutes there is a knock at the door and the person asked for our ice bucket. He later returned with ice. One would think they would appear with an ice bucket FULL of ice then ask you for the empty one. Which brings me to the small refrigator that is located in your room. It appeared to not be working but we were informed they are "coolers" NOT refrigators. So, do not expect your cold drinks to be cold but instead luke warm. The good news is they will fill it with whatever is your request. For those of your that drink pop or soft drinks - your option will be coke products only (No Pepsi or Dr. Pepper products will be found on this property).

We never had anyone offer to unpack our bags as we had other guests mention this. Other guests went on & on about their butler and the special things they would do but for some odd reason we were not accommodated in this area.

Room accommodations:
The good news about the room is the "bed". It is very very comfortable - you will love it! The pillow menu (you'll have six options) is a good idea. They will clean your room in the morning timeframe and turn your bed down in the evening. You'll even get dark chocolates on your bedside. We never got the towel animals or the rose petals as seen in other reviews.

The bath rooms are very spacious for two people. On one side, you'll receive shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bubble bath, bath salt even bug repellent.

They will bring you a daily newspaper but note it's a minature version of the USA Today. Room service is available 24/7. We used it daily for breakfast but 2 of the days the order was not correct. The breakfast always arrived at least 5 to 10 minutes early so the big white comfy robes came in handy (note: you DO NOT get to keep the robes). You'll fill out a breakfast request card each night and place it on your door for delivery the next morning. We noticed some people received that "special touch" with a flower in a bud vase with their room service but we never got this.

Resturants:
I would suggest emailing your dinner reservations in advance if possible and keep copies of your emails as they contain a reservation number. Two of our reservations they did not have upon our arrival but we had the reservations numbers so there was not a problem.

We arrived just in time to get cleaned up for our dinner reservations at the Surf n Turf. We both had steak & lobster and found it to be very good. Our service was great and the chocolate cake is excellent. Our favorite was the Japenese restaurant (which surprised us but it's really good). The Gourmet resturant was also one of our favorites. We leaned on our waiter for recommendations and we were not disappointed.

Service:
Speaking of service, we can not say enough good things about three people that stood out during our stay... They are: Mirna, Fannia & Eder.

Mirna is a waitress that works around the quite pool. That girl works very hard! She comes around every 10 minutes or so and will always greet you with a smile and will bring you a refreshment as many times as you would like. Our thanks for Mirna for being so nice. Can not believe she wears panty hose in the hot hot sun everyday.

Fannia & Eder - they are "Star Friends"
We met them on day one (I hope I spelled their names correctly).
They are both super fun and full of information about hotel. They were very helpful in many ways; telling us about the evening shows in the theatre, Mexican night & buffet, inviting us to Casino night, activities around the pool and general information. They full of energy and always looking for ways to assist. They were so nice and very friendly. Our thanks to both of them for making our trip enjoyable :)

Pools:
We spent the majority of our time at both the huge salt water pool and the quite pool. Both are very nice but we found the service around the quite pool to be excellent (thanks to Mirna). Also, around 11:15 or so you can order snack food around the pool such as nachos, hot dog, hamberger (again Mirna, the waitress, told about this feature). You'll also find both pools to be "warm" water - we wished the water had been a little cooler.

Please note: you can bring your own raft for "bobbin around" the pool. They are NOT available unless you bring your own. You can purchase one in the hotel lobby for about $15 US dollars. There are also very few "noodles" available around the pool (8 of them to be exact). So, they are hard to come by... Our favorite thing to do was just hang out on our rafts and floot around pools.

Now the down side to the pools is.... they allow smoking in the pools!!!!!!!.. Could not believe people were allowed to smoke cigars & cigaretts in the pool. They carried around ash trays but "yuck". You'll also see the heavy smokers hanging out at the swim up bar.

The occupancy was low so we never had problems getting chairs near the pools but we found most people will reserve them first thing in the morning. So if you find your favorite spot, you'll want to come down early prior to 10:00 and mark it with a towel. We never had any problems with anyone bothering our stuff.

Beach
The Beach is well taken care of. You'll always see maintenance guys doing something around the beach to make it better. They even "rake & spead" the sand at night so it looks nice the next day. You'll also see plenty of towels & chairs around the beach. The waiter around the beach works hard too!! He will bring you bottled water and put it in an ice bucket so it stays cool. Can't remember his name but very nice and accommodating.

Spa
We took advantage of the "couples massage". We found it to be very professional and relaxing but expensive. It cost us $130 US dollars EACH for an hour and 20 minute massage and not a minute more.... It was good but probably would not do it again based on the price. We were told later you could get a hour massage on the beach for $70 US dollars and she too is associated with the hotel. She located near building 71.

Disappointed features:
There was no option to do buffet for dinner - your only option will be the resturant or room service.

Also, wished they had provided a list of activities available at this hotel as well as the "sister" hotels next door (perhaps a newsletter). We relied on our Star Friends to keep us informed.

It would be nice if Wi-Fi was all over the complex and NOT just the main lobby area.

For as nice of a resort, we were surprised the towels in your room were NOT extra fluffy soft. We think this would have been a nice touch. You'll find them to be just your standard, white basic, scratchy towels.

We also found it odd that a comment guest form is not available upon completion of your stay. When asked at the front lobby when checking out we were told no forms or comments cards are available but we could submit our remarks on Trip Advisor. Ummm seems odd - I would think they would like your ideas, comments and suggestions while they are fresh in your mind and you're just sitting around waiting for your airport pickup.

Another suggestion would be to order "bendable straws" for those fruity drinks which everyone looks forward to.

We were also surprised there was no mention of "time shares". Wow, this would have been great considering all the Iberostar hotel options that's would be a available as we would have totally been interested.

Overall rating:
Good - would give it a 4 out of 5.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Florida
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

First let me tell you about us. We are an anctive 30 something couple who have been to several other all-inclusives. This was the most expensive trip, so we raised our "PICKY" meter to equal the price.

Arrival-It was dead when we got there. I guess it was on ly 30% full. That made it kind of depressing because we like activity. But, that only lasted a day and it was up to 50%. Anyway...we didn't touch our bags and were quickly escorted to the lobby where we got warm towels and cold drinks. I was informed we were granted an upgrade request to an ocean front room...top floor. We were thrilled. But, don't be disappointed if you try and don't get one. The other locations are just as beautiful and again....it was very low capacity when we arrived. We were whisked off to our room via a golf cart and when we arrived our bags were already there.

Room-the room is laid out great. The bathroom is separated by two doors which makes it almost like a mini-apartment. The balcony is huge with a couch and swing. There is sitting area and table that had a fruit basket and wine waiting for us when we arrived. We also received a glass of champaigne when we got to our building. The bed is super comfortable as well as the pillows. You also get a pillow menu with 8 different pillows. I loved the his and her sinks, robes, and slippers. They even have nightlights that lead to the bathroom, so you don't have to turn on the lights.

Mini bar- this is one of those things we think is so cool...but never really use. The butler asked us what we wanted for liquors...so we stocked it with all our favorite alcohol and only used the Kahlua with coffee the first night:) We drank so much at the pool and the bars at night...the last thing we wanted was another drink when we got back to our room. We also got wine...but only drank some the first night. We obviously are not huge drinkers. I did love the fact they use Coke products.

Butler-This is a joke! I was very disappointed. Our butler gave us a tour of our room when we arrived and got our mini bar and pillow orders. That was it! We saw him the second day and never again! We ran out of water in our fridge and it took a day to get more. I finally started going directly to our concierge, Irma. (each building has its own) and she made sure we got everything we needed. She was great! She knew what room we were in and even took pictures of us on the beach (Karen). In my opinion...they should eliminate the butler position and add busboys at the buffets. (I'll get to that in a moment)

Room Service- Many of our vacation friends ordered breakfast every morning and loved it..but we always forgot to put out our order form at night so we never used it. We did have our consierge send up some fruit and seafood on the last day. It was nice.

Buffets-
BREAKFAST was disappointing. The first day we were excited to have fresh French Toast and speciality omlettes. But, it never changed! Everyday it was the same....and we got tired of standing there waiting for them to make them. We kind of wanted some french toast pre-made or on the menu. We also just wanted some scrambled eggs on the buffet and there never was. The pancakes and waffles were disappointing. They were like whole wheat ego waffles. I thought we would have Belgium Waffles one day, Vanilla Pancakes another. It's a 5 star resort after all....mix it up! The only thing that changed was the weird lunch food on the breakfast buffet. I think this is for European visitors...cold meat, cheese, etc... Before you think I'm unreasonable....the less expensive resorts we've been to have had so much variety at breakfast. That's why I expected more! Now, I do need to mention there is a menu at the buffets. And while I couldn't find exactly what I wanted...I did learn the last day anything you ask for you will receive they weren't on the menu.
LUNCH-was great...the menu options were delicious like the grouper, fresh shrimp and shrimp fajitas. The pizza on the buffet was really good, too. They under cook the burger which didn't bother me...but my husband hates any pink. So ask for it well done! We wished they would cut the lettuce. I saw one woman tearing her lettuce before she put dressing on and so that's what I did, too. I also wanted blue cheese dressing.
SERVICE-The waiters were hit and miss. We felt they were more focused on getting the tables cleared and set, than making sure we were ok. This is why I think they should get a few busboys. We ran out of coffee several mornings and waited....as well as ran out of drinks during lunch. AGAIN....the less expensive resorts have had better service, they always made sure our drinks were full, that's why we were surprised that we were waiting for drinks all the time. It wasn't busy! We went to the Lindo next door twice for the dinner buffet because the Grand was only open on Sunday. Their waiters were so attentive, I even told the manager of the restaurant there. We just expected more from the Grand. Now, on the last day it was a different story and the waiter we had was much better. He offered us cappuccino at breakfast...and the one at lunch brought us the most delicious MAGNUM ice cream bars.! Make sure you get one.

Ala Cartes-
The reservation system is easy compared to other resorts we have been to. We ate at the Italian...Ok...Japanese...the Best...Surf and Turf...good. Let me say we are not ala carte vacationers. We actually like the buffets for variety and the fact we can go whatever time we want. I forced my husband to go and in hindsight I would have just gone to the Lindo's buffet. All 3 nights we had reservations... we were having fun in the pool or on some excursion and had to hurry to make our reservation. This is just us. I realize some people really like to sit down and be waited on. This resort does do a much better job on the Ala Cartes than others we have been to.

Pools-
Two big pools. One is tranquility and one is activity. We only hung out at the activity.....which is salt water. This grossed my husband out because he was worried about germs LOL. It didn't bother me. We had hoped for more activities, like pool volleyball. They did do contests twice a day. But, I wish they just had a net up so we could play when we wanted to. We did enjoy the kayak races and football toss. Pool bar is nice. It's shaded. We never had trouble finding chairs although we weren't the people up at the crack of dawn reserving them. My tip is to bring a cheap floatie. They have some available from previous guests. You don't need towel cards here, which was kind of nice. We went over to the sister resorts next door and the kids drove us crazy. We thought there would be more organized activities going there, but we must have missed them. It was super crowded an we were glad to come back to the Grand.

Atmosphere-
Gorgeous....check out the bathrooms. Each is decorated differently. The decor around the resort is classic mixed with modern. We thought it reminded us of the Bellagio in Vegas. We took the bike tour the first day with Eder and that was fun. It's a great way to see the entire complex. The resort is huge, but staff will take you wherever you need to go via golf cart if you don't want to walk.

Entertainment-
The Magic and Rock show were great. That's all we went to, but the Iberostar entertainment is much better than other resorts. ( If I have to watch another lip sync version of Grease....I'll scream! ) I realize the Grand is a higher scale. But, I wish they would have had some sort of audience participation.

Drinks-
while they use top shelf liquor....I thought the daiquiri base was lacking. Their frozen drinks weren't that great. Other resorts we have been to have margarita/daiquiri spinning machines so there is more consistency. But, it was nice that they didn't measure the liquor at all...they just free poured into your glass.

Spa/Gym-
Hot! But, nice. They have spinning classes, free weights, plenty of cardio, and a juice bar. But, the best part is the pool. You must try the jets. Each is different. We almost missed out, becuase it was so hot we didn't want to get into a hot pool. But, our vacation friends told us to try it, so on the last day we did. We enjoyed it so much we went back at the end of the day again.

Don't Forget-
Cake cart everyday at the pool at 4pm. Magnum ice cream bar. And "ask and you shall receive". They really try to accomodate you in everyway. Also...check out the other resorts in the complex. The first night we went bar hopping to each resort. The snake bar at the Maya is cool. We also did Karaoke at the Grand. It's every other night. You can also get ice cream, tacos, crepes, or burgers at the Shopping Center that are included. Check out Playa Del Carmen's 5th Avenue. You can take the shuttle, but we just hopped on the bus (collectivo) across the street from the main gate. Also, walk to the right on the beach. There are some little shells as well as a flip flop graveyard...where tons of shoes got washed ashore. Maroma Beach is about a half hour walk.

Overall...this is a great resort. I will recommend to my pickiest friends. The little things make this 5 star. But, I'm only giving it 4 because they could improve the breakfast buffet and service at the buffets.
We liked it, but FOR US we're not sure it's worth the extra money for the extras. We have been to resorts just as beautiful, for much less and have had a wonderful time. We also like the resorts in Playacar better because you can walk to town. Playa is at least a 25 minute ride. We like being closer to town. The Iberostar complex is secluded. Some may like this.

This is just my opinion. If money is not an object, go for it. If it is...I can recommend a cheaper option. Feel free to email me with any questions.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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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 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family 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*
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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