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Reviewed January 16, 2012

This was our first visit to Playa del Carmen and we will be back. Paradisus staff goes above and beyond any place I have ever been. We had a ocean view room but changed to a swim out as I did not care for the view on the far west side. The blocks of rooms very greatly in price, but check your view. You only see a little of the ocean, a lot of the Mango groves (which is also very beautiful) but then you also see the houses on the excess road before the resort. I didn't care for that. The swim up room, well let me tell you, if you love the water, you will love this! Swim out your room and under the bridge right to the swim up bar. Not ALL rooms connect to the main pool, be aware. We stayed in 1047. Very fun. I would choose this again over ocean view even in the Royal Service section. The resort has great live entertainment nightly (9-11) at The Gabi Club. Very fun. They had amazing dancers and DJ's that get, even MY husband up and dancing. Fire dancers, Mayan dancers, disco dancers...it was cool. We are in our late 40's yet enjoyed the great mix of music and specaility drinks. The bar tenders will make up drinks, just for your taste, with fresh fruit and they are amazing. The food was good. I am a very picky eater so I may not be the best person to tell you about that but my husband loved all of it. The staff was there at your every need or want. They were only about 30% full during our stay (Jan 7-14) but I am sure no matter how full they are, you will be taken care of. The rooms DO look exactely like the pictures. Fish tank above the beds are not real but you can't tell. They are amazing. The setting and decor is beautiful. Beds are comfortable, showers huge and wonderful. Maid service perfect! They have beds everywhere through out the resort with shade over them. This is great for people like me that use a lot of sun block and need to be careful of the sun...beach, bars, pools....we took naps and unplugged! Amazing. A word of warning~~ be aware, the pools are NOT heated but for us, that was not an issue at all...we swam everyday, most the day but some quests didn't like that. It really was fine. I swam from sun up to midnight. Another warning~~The beach is narrow and long, NOT like the pictures. The reef is just off the coast so they have areas marked and flagged where you should go in. The water is clear, blue and green and warm. The sand is very deep and difficult to walk in unless you are in the edge of the water. It is not the best beach I have ever been to but we still enjoyed it. If that is your main idea for activity, you may want to stay somewhere else. Beach excess is in the middle of the resort behind the Gabi club or at Royal service side and at Family side. Easy and not far from any of the rooms at all. They have bridged walkways over the Mango trees to the sand. That's pretty cool. There are walking trails throught the trees as well. The resort is set up like a W with royal service and adult only side on the west of the W. Restruants/Bars/Gift shops/Spa in the middle of the W and family side on the east side of the W. Easy to get around. Fun to walk around. The Spa, wonderful...steamroom, suana, private pool with waterfall and two hot tubs (also not heated). Masages average around $200,00 for 80 minutes. It's pricey but worth it. Cab ride to 5th Street, where all the shopping is, $10-$15 and takes about 15 minutes. Cab to the airport is $65-$70 and take 45-60 minutes depending on traffic. Overall, best week ever...service, sites and sun....all amazing.

Room Tip: Swim out rooms on the inside westside connect to main pool...not all do. Ocean views are only straight on to ocean in Royal Service area on top floor.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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10  Thank canwegotothebeachnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2012

My partner and I had the pleasure of staying at the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla from January 6th through 10th. We plan to return this summer. This resort really set the bar for all inclusive. The staff were earnest in trying to make our stay exceptional and they succeeded. Our experience with service was top notch. Everyone we encountered was polite, professional, and responded to our requests.

Our Room-
We reserved a room in the Royal Section and upgraded during check-in with our promotional resort credit to ocean view. We stayed in Room 1291 in the Royal building which had full ocean view. Rooms ending in -90 through -99 are full ocean view. The 1200 rooms are actually on the third floor (European/Mexican way of number floors – ground floor, first, second, etc). So if you’re checking in and the staff tells you’re on the second floor, don’t worry about the view cause you’re on what Americans call the third floor. The attached pics don’t do it justice as I took them with my cell. The rooms are exactly as pictured and quite spacious. The deluxe rooms are quite spacious and we love the soaking tub as well as the Jacuzzi on the balcony. We’ve had our fair share of beach resort vacations and this room has to be our favorite. It’s very modern and luxurious. Ample closet space and room to spread around. The bath tub is fantastic. If I were to offer one suggestion regarding the room, it would be to have softer sheets. They’re comfortable – just not to the same standard and quality as the rest of the resort. By the way, we had zero problem with noisy neighboring dogs mentioned in previous post.

Royal Service Staff
Karen at Royal Service check-in was great. Our “butler” Sharron was also excellent. Sharron took care of everything we needed, made our dinner reservations at the time and locations we wanted and accommodate changes without any problems. We’ve stayed at other all-inclusive resorts including the Dreams and Palace chains. The Paradisus is far superior in terms of food quality. This goes for the Paradisus Palma Real in DR as well.

Restaurant –
The ala carte breakfast and lunch restaurant for the Royal quests was excellent.

I highly recommend Passion. This is Spanish celebrity chef’s Martin Berasategui's restaurant. His restaurant in Spain received 4 stars from Michelin. This is molecular gastronomy as its finest. You get one complimentary visit for every 4 nights you stay in the Royal Service section. Non-Royal Service guests additional dinners are $40 per person up-charge. A bargain considering you would be paying roughly $200 euros for the same meal in his restaurant in Spain. We love all 9 courses. Think sea bass perfectly cooked and not oily. Mushroom ravioli with foie gras and sauce. We loved it so much we ate there again. The chef was informed of our return and he created a new tasting menu for us. Awesome!! Passion would be one of our top reason for returning. Juan and the rest of the waiters (sorry I forgot the names) were all excellent without being formal/stuffy.

Beach –
Gorgeous bay. And ample seating while we were there. Yes there are large rocks in the beach immediately in front of the Royal Service section. 2 minutes walk south from our lounge and there its completely sandy and great for swimming. The quality of the lounges and beach beds were quite high as well. Gonzalo took care of our food and drink orders each day. He’s fantastic as well.

One minor complaint - This has to do more with guests then staff. Guests that are not in the Royal service section still came and took all the good seating in the “Exclusivo” area reserved for Royal service guests. This is akin to coach passenger showing up at 7 a.m. claiming first class seats. This didn’t happen so much when we were at the Paradisus Palma Real in DR. Maybe because it was roped off. A minor annoyance. The staff could have enforced the policy but risk pissing off disgruntled and entitled guests.

Recommendation regarding reservation. I recommend you go online and join the chain’s MAS Rewards Program. It’s free and there are often great perks including better prices. Also, there were some complaints from other posters regarding bed selections. Their website clearly spell out the bed configuration for each of their room categories. I believe the Royal service concept is intended for romantic partners. There’s the family section and even other bed type options within the La Perla resorts.

Finally, we were late celebrating our anniversary because we had a super busy 2011. They sent a lucious chocolate cake and champange to our room and to our table. Loved the cake. We don’t drink champagne but appreciate the gesture all the same.

Again, excellent service, beautiful rooms, and gorgeous beach. We will return.

Room Tip: Royal Service. Rooms ending with -90 through 99 are full ocean view except the ones on the ground floors. These are swim out to the very private Royal Service pool which would be ideal in the summer months.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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14  Thank TMicahT9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

Ultimate luxury! This resort opened November 15th, 2011. My husband and I stayed from Dec. 9-17th, 2011. We are in our early 30's. We've stayed at many all inclusive resorts and this one sets the bar to the highest standards! Let me tell you I'm a hard woman to please and extremely picky! I'm in real estate sales and my husband is also in the industry so we have that eye for detail.

There was MINOR construction at that time. I don't know what many people were complaining about in some of the reviews. The main board walk was completed that leads to the beautiful ocean the day we left. Other than small landscaping is some landscape beds, they will be done with all of their construction (and I walked around the whole resort, Esmeralda as well!) . My husband and I stayed at another resort that "was under construction" and let me tell you... half the hotel wasn't even completed! So La Perla is 99.9% finished! You do have to wear wrist bands (so they can tell if you are royal service or not). You can tell Paradisus really paid attention to every detail, even their wrist bands were classy and even pretty! Yes, pretty!
Anyways, on with my review. We were greeted by a big smile and a great glass of Champaign by Marisol. She was so warm and gentle, showed us where everything was. She also made reservations for us for 3-4 nights out, so think about what you'd like to do in advance, if not go with the flow. They will guide you along the way.

ROOMS:
We originally booked the standard swim out suite and it looked just like the pictures! (No the fish tank above the bed isn't real, ha!) It looks so neat! Nice background and mood lighting everywhere! Lots of storage/closet space ladies! You can tell a woman must have designed it! Mirrors everywhere and even a shoe rack in both closets! (no offence men) . The shower has a nice seat that you can shave your legs on and it's a 2 person shower (huge and 2 shower heads!) LOVE their toiletries! They smelled so good! Even their towels have a special scent on them! I can't tell you that I think the swim out suite is the ONLY way to go! However, if your not big on swimming or laying out, I would recommend if you want an ocean view room, only 3rd or 4th floor. You won't be able to see the ocean on 1st or 2nd floor because of the pretty mangrove between the ocean and the resort.
Our first night we stayed in the standard swim out suite! Very spacious and loved everything about it! For this night we stayed in room number 1051. We were impressed by how large of an area there was for the swim outs! Your room for this category has a built in lounge chair in the water for 2! SWEET! This was located in Section D (rooms 1038-1053). One thing I would do differently is to be on the opposite side of the hotel. The Sun in this direction would fade the fastest so we had to move to the other side.
Since I have a resort layout to reference, here's where I would recommend you to stay:
Section C (rooms 1026-1037). Here you are literally in the center of everything. Right near the bar/cafe and main pool. You can swim out off your swim out and swim to the main pool. So if you like to be social and like more people around, this is your section.
Also very quite at night here. Great Sun too!
Section B (rooms 1014-1025). Here you are still near everything. Maybe a little less quite. A short walk to the cafe/bar at the pool. Rooms are quiet at night here too. in my opinion the Best Sun if you are looking to get sun!
Section A (rooms 1001-1012). This is your more secluded area if you like more privacy. There's people walking by but still more private if you don't want to be bothered. These rooms at night you can hear a little bit of the music from the main bars (Gabi Club) but they stop at 11:00pm. You're on vacation right? Enjoy! Great Sun here too!

The second night we got upgraded to a One Bedroom Swim Out Suite! WOW! HUGE ROOM. This had more the of traditional neutral, light tan colors... still very modern (like the whole resort!).
We had a small size apartment to ourselves and boy was it a royal treat! For the remainder of our stay, we stayed in room number 1007. We really liked the location!
When we stayed there, we ordered room service our first day since we arrived about 2:00pm. Room service they do charge you a $5.00 service fee, but you can order as much as you'd like. Flat screen TV's in all the rooms.
We did experience a couple mesquites but we read the reviews and knew to bring spray. We used it and worked like a charm. Just remember your in the tropics so this can happen. No big deal. They actually have someone going around and in the rooms to spray if you request it! :) Such great service.
Cleaning service was great every time. This is a green hotel (YEAH!) but if you want your bedsheets cleaned every day just let them know. Otherwise they will do it every other day.

FOOD:
We are from Chicago and we are big foodies! AMAZING when describing the food is an understatement! We went to MOLE the first night! Service was excellent and I feel horrible since I cannot remember many names! :( Atmosphere was spectacular!) Food was so great! This restaurant they had an upgraded wine list that you can order from for an added fee. You can ask for their house wines if you'd like and they were really good (included in their all inclusive plan)! This was the most upscale restaurant out of them all. So if you have a really dressy outfit, I'd recommend wearing it here.
The second night we went to FUEGO! OUTSTANDING! We had to go their twice since it was sooo good! Nice vibe too! This is also a restaurant they require you to dress nice. (There's two Mole and Fuego that have a dress code). Men have to have a collared shirt and pants. Girls, no rules just look classy as you normally do! I wore another dress but I felt was a bit more relaxed than Mole. Fuego they have their own ceviche bar where you can see them make it! They have about eight different kinds!
Then we went to BANA. Really good! We didn't do the hibachi, we sat on the sushi side.
NAOS- was the Mexican (Gosh I hope I'm getting this right!). Also good!
My favorite was VENTO (Mediterranean) ! We also went there twice! You have to try their tomato soup and their risotto! OUT OF THIS WORLD! (I'm not a vegetarian either).
We went to the bar in between VENTO and NAOS after and before and met a very nice gentleman (bartender), Carlos! He had such a warm smile. Told us stories of him and his family. He made us the two best drinks of my life! Shout out to Carlos! Sorry we never got to say bye since we were at Mayan night. The second time we went back, he remembered our names!
Breakfast and lunch are great! We really liked the grill. (the market and grill are very similar) and haddar and esmeralda breakfast place are pretty much the same). They have a great variety and you'll never get boared! We also never were bothered from families with kids from Esmeralda. They had planned these resorts very well!

Anything you make mention of, within minutes they are running to meet your expectations! There was someone walking around with wash clothes during the day to you can refresh your hands/face if needed to! There are outdoor showers all around the pool areas that you can use if you get sandy from the beach.

The Beach:
The beach is beautiful. Tourquise blue/green water! The sand is very soft and you can tell it was fresh. My husband and I took a few walks along the beach. If you go to your left (when facing the beach) there's not much over there. It's a bit slanted and but yet very secluded. We usually went to the right. We walked actually to 5th avenue. It's about a 20-30 minute walk depending on how fast you walk. It is not that close but if you are looking for a nice stroll or some excersize do it! To give you an idea on how far you will walk, when you arrive at the beach you from the resort and look to your right you will see where it curves out (I think there were boats around there). That is about your half way mark. You will also see other people and pass a few developments and hotels. The other hotels are a lot busier and more of a wild croud. Fun to see! Once you pass this big bar, you go right and take the street up. Bam your at 5th Avenue.
I would tour 5th avenue if you haven't before so you can experience it for yourself. Otherwise it's about a $10 cab ride each way. People say it's a different vibe at night than it is during the day. They say if you walk to beach to walk it during the day and cab it back at night.

SPA:
We didn't do the SPA. But the menu looked wonderful!

There are some mixed reviews, mostly all great. You can't please everyone and I understand that. You are on vacation and you make what you make if it. There wasn't anything I would have changed or a service I wish I had. There is a new resort they are building in Costa Rica coming in 2013... We will be waiting for this to come!!

PLEASE. . . PLEASE leave a tip. These people travel so far to get to work and would give you everything they can! (They would give the shirt off their back if needed). They say the average daily wage is $6.00 a day. They never expect it but you can tell they appreciate it very much. A little something will go a long way.

I hope this review was helpful to you.

I only mentioned a couple of names,and apologize for everyone I had missed! LET ME FINISH BY SAYING THIS: Everyone has fully exceeded our expectations beyond belief. This is our first time at a Paradisus resort and will we continue to stay here. I get excited to see many more reviews and great reviews too! This resort really deserves nothing but 5's! Thank you so much Paradisus for a memory of a life time!

Room Tip: Either of the swim out rooms! Highly recommend. Read the review for location preference too.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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27  Thank tag1315
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

the hotel is located in a wonderful piece of the playa del carmen, the beach is so nice...the structure and services are simple perfec, food is great have about 8 diferents restaurant to have a really nice dinner, breakfast really good and always the service is the best part of it...just loved this place...so new and beautifully decorated...an amazing place to go...

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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4  Thank negadestri
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

I went to La Perla the week of Christmas to have a divorce-cation with my best friend who had finally finalized a divorce with a horrid man. Since we needed some pampering, I was very excited to stay in a brand new resort and take advantage of the pre-packaged upgrades.

I did read the reviews prior to my arrival, so I knew that the "Upgrades" were really just coupons, but unfortunately, the Spa Services we received, which were good, were not discounted with the coupon; we were charged the full amount even though we had 5 $40 coupons. I only expected 2 of the coupons to be used on the services, but upon review of my charges that was not the case.

Now, here I sit in DC and I have tried to contact the hotel, but I have not heard back and the reservation line, of course, cannot assist me.

If this issue gets remedied, I will rewrite this review, but buyer beware that while you may have the "upgrade" (coupons) they may fail to apply them. I should've looked more closely upon checkout, but I was also running to my shuttle to make an early flight and the front desk was slow to begin with, so my impatience got the better of me.

Room Tip: I brought my Tervis Tumbler, so that my drinks would stay a little colder longer and the staff was perfectly happy to fill it with my fantastic drinks. (I think some of the other guests were either jealous or thought I looked dippy... I was happy so what do I care?)
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled with friends
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6  Thank Off_the_beaten_path2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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