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“Top-notch everything - and FUN!!!!!” 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
Bonita Springs, Florida
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
39 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
312 helpful votes 312 helpful votes
“Top-notch everything - and FUN!!!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2007

My husband and I stayed at the Grand from 25th Aug - 1st Sept. We've travelled all over the world and stayed in many all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya over the last five years (12 in all) and this place tops the lot! Just to give you an idea of comparisons, we've stayed at Secrets Capri, Iberostar Maya and Royal Playa del Carmen amongst others. Arrived in hotel at 9.30am (early), to be greeted with the expected cold towel and either champagne or fruit drink - what the heck, champagne it is!)). They gave us a complimentary upgrade from standard room to oceanview room (we are 3rd time IB* clients and it was our wedding anniversary trip). Room 7434 was great with a nice distant view of the ocean and overlooking the quiet pool. I enquired about paying for ocean-front, but the building had been closed due to the expected hurricane and guests were only being moved back in on Sat. evening. I did go and see one that night (Sat) but had already unpacked and decided our allocated room was fine. They were allowing people to walk on the beach but not to sit - bulldozers, tractors, workers - all in the clean-up mode from the rain and sea-surge from the outer bands of Hurricane Dean. Seemingly, the pool had been full of sand, and closed for 3 days, but was open on Saturday. No structural damage that I could see, but foliage was destroyed - they replanted many things and cut down some palms trees (wind, sea-water and sand damage). They worked very hard at shifting and flattening the sand and clearing the seaweed (lots of it every day!); plus, the ocean was full of little bits of debris. By Wednesday it was much better and by Thursday we were able to sit on the beach and enter the ocean. The good news is, that there is now a sandy area right in front of the Grand between the two front buildings where you are able to enter the water - to the right of the rock outcrop - seems that natural sources due to the sea surge brought in sand and covered the rocks on the seabed. Drink service on the beach was frequent.

We are "beach" people, but have to say that because of the salt-water infinity pool, it was ok to sit by the pool the first 5 days - we had a cabana and loungers nearest the beach, still with the view of the ocean and were able to take walks along the beach - tho, it was roped off in front of the most northern hotel in the complex (much more sand and seaweed, but they were working on it). We found pool service more than adequate, but usually went ourselves to pick up drinks - met more people that way! Entertainment was a wee bit sporadic; they announced what would be taking place sometimes; other times....nada. I didn't find them pushy for you to take part; encouraging, yes....pushy, no. There was a printed list of all activities that are offered, with times and locations.

As other reviews have mentioned all dining choices, I just have to add that there was NO buffet during our stay (low occupancy) and also only three a la cartes - Italian and Surf & Turf every night, with the Gourmet and Japanese open on alternate nights. This was no hardship......The Las Brisas buffet for lunch was wonderful - what's not to like having grilled lobster overlooking the ocean in an air-conditioned building!))...plus the chefs will make anything you want if they have the ingredients - try the coconut shrimp and lobster fajitas (not on the menu). The all-inclusive wine list is quite extensive (ask for it.....sometimes they don't offer it, just ask red or white). There is a buffet for breakfast and also a menu (again they don't often offer it, ask...it has lobster bilinis!)) We found the food to be excellent for the most part.

All staff are friendly and can't do enough for you - some are more experienced than others!...so a couple of little glitches, but nothing major. We saw our "butler" after check-in; he explained about the hotel and asked for our "in room" drink choices, but we never used him after that - they seem to switch buildings and whichever one(s) are working are pleasant and always ask when passing if everything is ok etc. We made our own dinner reservations at the concierge desk in our building (two concierge desks) and had no problem getting the time and restaurant we wanted each evening (and usually didn't make up our minds till 6pm!).

The entertainment staff are friendly and do their best - however, guest participation in activities is quite low....... We attended 6 shows out of 7 nights there, and enjoyed them all. The theatre is very comfortable, with frequent wait service, plus popcorn and nuts are served along with the drinks. We frequented the lobby bar each evening and they have a piano player early and a saxophone player later (both excellent). Plus, after the show in the Music bar, they have Karaoke some nights. We also went to the Galaxy disco in the Commercial Centre a couple of nights - golf cart takes you and brings you back (one of the "Grand" perks!)).

The rooms are sumptous - the bed is the most comfortable I've ever slept on! Bathroom has two sinks, jacuzzi tub, shower and toilet and is spacious, with robes and slippers plus toiletries provided. There is a well-stocked mini bar and you can get most any other alcohol for it when you arrive via your butler. Rooms were made up most days by 1pm and then there was turn-down service every night - however, just be careful......the evening turn-down maids don't seem to pay any attention to the "do not disurb" sign on the door! We heard various complaints about them entering the room and we witnessed it ourselves......they still knock, despite the sign, and, if no reply...go in!! Could lead to some embarrasing moments (or a source of amusement!)))).

The hotel and grounds are spectacular and everything is super clean.....check out other guests photos.

We met some really fun, friendly people from honeymoon couples, to people our own age (50s) (you know who you are!))) and had a wonderful, fun week in the lap of luxury! Hopefully the prices don't sky-rocket when the occupancy rises and it'll be within our budget in the future!

I'm sure I've missed out some details; if you need any other info., please PM me as I've rambled on enough!))......Suffice to say, we LOVED it, hope to return and would recommend it to anyone.

  • Liked — everything
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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  • 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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new york
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2007

stayed at the grand 2 days after hurricane. before departing called the resort up to see what damage was done. they assured us that there was only sand in the pool. upon arrival we were then told that the pool was closed ,no ocean swimming ,no sailing,no oceanfront rooms were open and only 62 people were staying there. i feel that a 5 star resort would want to inform you accurately. if we knew the above we would have booked another date. who wants to go out to eat with only 2 tables full. the shows on some nights had 6 people watching.the only competsation the iberostar gave us was a 50 minute facial. wished we had gone some where else.
the resort is beautiful. the food ok. they need more variety.the service great. rooms beautiful. but the place is empty. from what i heard it has been like that .only tops 30 % full.a resort is not fun when you have 4 people at keroke ,empty show room .one night having diner at the italian restaurant alone at 8 with a flute player playing for us. sad. dont think i would recommend this resort until they truely become a 5 star with at least 60% booked on resort. as we all know this resort is not cheap. look around

  • Liked — space
  • Disliked — no activities no people
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portage, Wisconsin
1 review
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2007

Absolutely the best! My friend and I were at The Grand immediately after Hurricane Dean went through. Although it did some damage to the beach it had no great effect on the hotel. The staff, the accomodations, the food, drinks and entertainment were superb. Have never had such pampering attention! Would go again in a minute! Nothing to complain about except that our stay was too short!

Even had special treatment from Chef Rodrigo Vazquez in the Bella Vista Restaurant where the presentation of the buffet was exquisite...as were the white and chocolate covered strawberries he prepared especially for us!

Stayed August 2007
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Los Angeles, CA
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
128 helpful votes 128 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2007

This place is gorgeous. My husband and I went for our anniversary and thank goodness for Tripadvisor! I think this place went beyond our expectations, even though we read every single glowing review here. We've stayed at the Ritz, Four Seasons, etc. etc., but the Iberostar Grand Paraiso beats them all because of the fact that they are all-inclusive without compromising on quality. We loved the fact that it was adults-only and because they didn't open too long ago, they aim to please. The staff bend over backwards to accommodate their guests and we felt like they really care about making sure that their guests are taken care of.

Staff: Having a butler, in addition to the wonderful concierge, was nice. If you need anything, these are the go-to people. If you want to go do any excursions or anything, the APPLE people are VERY hard to locate. They are NEVER around. This was an annoyance, because they are always at the other Iberostars, so we had to hunt them down in order to book our excursions.

Trips/Excursions: If you book your excursions with FunJet or any of the other companies, just make sure and double check your pick-up time and all of that. Double check to see if they have confirmed everything because on one of our outings, our driver forgot to pick us up and we had to wait an hour for another driver. Chitzen Itza is far from the Iberostar. The closest ruins is Tulum. Tulum supposedly had swimming available, but everything was roped off, so we didn't get to go swimming. Also, we saw some stupid tourists trying to take a picture by actually sitting on the ruins! We had also heard about tourists graffiting the ruins! How sad that people have to ruin it for the rest of us. The closest horsebackriding place is Rancho Loma Bonita and if you're an experienced rider, don't go. You'll be walking with a group of like 20 other people in a line. The dolphin experiences are fun. They gouge you on the prices of the photos/DVDs.

Pools: The pools are absolutely gorgeous. The water is always pristine clean (as is everything else- they even have a staff member go around doing the white-glove test on everything). I could have lived in any one of those pools. There is a saltwater pool, an indoor pool with jets (cool feature!), and the tranquility pool. There are juice bars and a swim-up bar. SO nice.

Ocean: Be careful of swimming right in front of the Grand Paraiso because of the rocks. Go a little to the left, near the Iberostar Lindo, and the swimming is much better there. But like someone else said, because there is no one swimming in front of the pool, you have a clear view of the ocean. The guests of the
Grand Paraiso have access to all the other Iberostars, but not the other way around. We saw several people trying to come onto the grounds and they were turned away by the security people.

Restaurants: All of the food was great here. In addition to the restaurants that are on the grounds of the Iberostar Grand Paraiso, you can also go to the other Iberostars to eat. Try to taste a little bit of everything. The italian restaurant, japanese, french, etc. The chefs do a great job of presentation and the flavors of all the foods are lovely.

Room: It's nice to have a his-hers vanity sink area. The rooms are spacious and the beds are comfortable. The rainfall showers are great also. We didn't even use the huge tub because we were spending all of our time by the pool or ocean.

Shows: Try to go to at least a couple of the shows. The Star Friends and the entertainment staff try very hard to ensure that everyone is having a good time. We enjoyed the magic show very much. Great tricks! also, they have a variety of things going on throughout the day (classes, activities, etc.), so there's never a dull moment.

You'll be tipping a lot. Not because you have to, but because you want to. And a little goes a long way. Everyone is so polite and nice and they remember your name and even what room you're staying in. I will recommend this resort to all of our friends. It was a WONDERFUL vacation and time just flies by!

  • Liked — Pools, staff, room, food....
  • Disliked — the Apple people, travel exursion people....
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2007

Amazing resort, beyond belief! The Paraiso Complex contains a few resorts and the Grand is certainly the jewel of the bunch. I am a travel agent and have been to a bunch of resorts- this by far is the best I have been to. The service, staff, pools, grounds and food could not be better. Mind you, I only spend two days because we had to leave due to the hurricane. I cannot wait to go back.

  • Liked — The super staff and the amazing food.
  • Disliked — Nothing, except the hurricane evacuation.
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 14
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1 review
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2007

My husband and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary in Playa Del Carmen last week. We stayed at the Iberostar Grand Hotel, I can't say enough about this posh place. It is brand new, only open since March. We were greeted at the entrance with a cool towl and champagne. After checking in we were wisked away by our butler ( yes we had our own butler!!!) on a golf cart to our ocean front room. This place is adults only, and it boast beautiful landscaping ocean views, pools, lounge areas, spas and restaurants. No detail was left untouched. We even had a pillow menu. We were waited on hand and foot, and we just felt special!!! The staff were so friendly and we enjoyed making friends with them. The restaurants were fancy and romantic. Every night there were Vegas style shows, awesome singing and dancing! My husband and I played golf (with our butler) and we enjoyed a couples massage that was wonderful. Also the beach was private, and we felt at times like the we had our own private island. I hope you can go and experience this place, we can't wait to go back!! From Tyler, Texas ................:)

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Morgantown, West Virginia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2007

This was our 4th stay at an Iberostar property in Mexico. The Grand is fantastic and it would be hard to go back to one of the others.
We stayed in the OceanFront room, building 71 and my brother stayed in building 72 near the quiet & spa pools. Upon arrival we were greeted at the entrance to the main lobby by our butler and the head bellman with fresh lemon scented cool towels for our face and a cold drink. Our butler knew our names and where we were going to be staying without us ever saying one word. My brother had to go to the front desk for his check in then a butler showed him to his room. We were taken by gold-cart to our room by our personal butler. The check-in is done in your room with your butler (very personal touch) while you enjoy a bottle of champagne. We were then brought a large basket of fruit. On another occasion we were brought a bottle of red wine to our room by our butler b/c we were returning guests.

The room was spectacular and the view was breath taking. I'm not sure what else you could possibly want in a room or service. We were totally pampered by the butler and the rest of the staff here. I did notice the staff here seems to speak better english than at the other Iberostars in Mexico. They are smart and cater more to American's.

Our room was visited on some days by the maid service 3 times a day. The room was always clean and fresh. Turndown service every night was around 7:00 but you could ask for any time you wanted. My brother's turndown service was sometimes done and sometimes not. The maid was only in his room once or twice a day. The butler service was also different for his room. Ours was more of a personal butler and his more of a building butler.

The restaurants were all white glove service with 4 or 5 course meals. Our fav was the Italian and my brothers was Surf & Turf. The gourmet restaurant we didn't like at all and I agree with the other review of turning it into a first class Mexican restaurant. None of us cared much for the buffet's but I'm not sure why. Food quality was good at them but it seemed I could never find something I really liked. But it was not a big deal with us b/c we loved the dinner restaurants and ate plenty there to keep us full. My brother even ordered us nachos w/cheese while we laid by the pool. I have to agree that there is basically no drink service at the beach. We ordered drinks from a waiter and never saw him again. We stayed 7 nights and went to the beach everyday and only saw drink service there 3 times.
The beach is beautiful. If you take water shoes you can get across the rocks where you can swim. Or, walk a few yards down the beach to Maya and swim there.

Security was tight. People staying at the Grand have access to all the other Iberostars connected together. You can eat, drink, swim, play at all the others but if you're not staying at the Grand you cannot even walk on the property of the Grand. We watched security stop several people from accessing the grounds of the Grand. We really liked this fact.

The large salt water pool is where all the action is. Very laid back but can get busy at times to. They did a great job of matching the pool tiles to the colors of the ocean. If you're in the pool looking toward the ocean it looks as if you could swim right into it. Still my only real complaint with all the Iberostar properties is they close the pools so early (7:00pm). I know they clean them and add chemicals but especially at a romantic resort like the Grand I don't like this rule.

The theater has a nightly show and we watched all but one. Out of the 6 shows we attended we liked all but one night (because they left the live band standing on the side of the stage most of the show while they played canned music for the dancers). The musicians were fantastic, costumes were beautiful and plentiful. The dance quality was just ok but it was entertaining and didn't make you want to leave. We'd just come from watching a "Dancing with The Stars" tour so we may be a little hard on them.

We took 6 dives (3 days) with Dressel Divers at the Del Mar. Out of 6 dives we did Tortugas and Cabazos 2 times each b/c they didn't offer any other mornings that 2 tank dives were going. I really didn't like that. If we didn't do those 2 dives again we would've had to dive at 8:00am and then again at 1:00pm. With the boat rides to sites averaging 20 - 30 minutes we'd have wasted our resort time waiting around to dive. I really wish they would try some different scheduling or something so people can dive more 2 tank dives. I think they may do this b/c the majority of the divers seem to be beginners/newbies (I guess).

We will be back to the Grand in 2008. Our favorite thing about it was it seemed so empty while all the other resorts were packed. Loved it!! Thanks so much to the staff for making our stay wonderful.

  • Liked — Cleaniness of the entire resort
  • Disliked — Pool closes at 7:00pm
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 19
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
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 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic 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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