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Reviewed February 2, 2012

We stayed at the Paradisus La Perla the week of January 14th. We had a great vacation. At check in we were upgraded from a Luxury Jr. suite to a one bedroom suite. We saw the luxury Jr. Suite and it was beautiful, one long room, but the master was very large and spacious. The bathroom area was spacious as well with a double sink in one area where there was a jacuzzi tub.... and another sink in the shower area. The toilet is there too. This bathroom connected to the living room/dining room, where there is a pullout sofa bed....convenient for another guest but all have to share the bathroom. There should be a half bath accessible to the living room area for a third and or fourth person. The shower was a double"rain" shower and thetemperature was always perfect. We enjoyed that.
The hotel grounds, the pool the lobby are all beautiful. The architect....designers really did a wonderful job. There is so much to look at in the lobby areas, but somehow it all harmonizes as a perfect composition. The atmosphere is peaceful and luxurious although there was so much going on in the design.
The staff is perfect. Every person we delt with was a 10. We had a personal concierge assigned to us ..not part of the royal service....who was a joy. His name was Markos. He was fun and made sure everthing we needed or wanted was taken care of or arranged. He found us every day and asked if we needed anything at all and made perfect suggestions.
The food was excellent. Breakfast was fun and delicious and dinners were beyond our expectations. Our favorite restaurant was Fuego.
At night there was always something to do....dancing or enjoy a show. We went into town once and had a great time. It is perfectly safe, busy, buzzing and fun. We shopped, ate and danced. Take a taxi there. Or your could walk there on the beach which is fun.
There were a few things we were unhappy about. The beach is not one of those beautiful beaches you imagine going to, but it is okay and it was relaxing enjoying the sea. The sand is soft and smooth and fun for long walks. There are still some areas of rocky coral that guests have cut themselves on, but the management is working on that. We found areas to swim in and enjoyed the water. Secondly, the pool is freezing and was usually empty.....good for polar bears! The ocean is much warmer than the pool and we did swim there a few times. The pool really has to be heated. The pool area however is wonderful. There are palapas everywhere and you can luxuriate in them all day. They are like thatched beds or couches. We loved that.
The last thing I was unhappy about was the entrance to the hotel. The entrance is not impressive and you cannot miss the obvious poverty immediately on the outskirts of the resort. This is often apparent in poorer countries...always depressing.
However, we had a truly great vacation. The wonderful food, outstanding service and the striving for excellence made this a favorite vacation of ours. We always stay in 5 star resorts and this is certainly one!

Room Tip: All rooms are great...only the view or location is different
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Vacationer329
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2012

The Paradisus is absolutely wonderful. The resort is 100% complete and everything felt so nice and new. We truly felt like it was a splurge. My husband and I went with another couple (all in our late 20's) and it was the perfect place to relax. We loved sitting in the cabanas by the pool and my absolute favorite thing was that the resort was not over crowded. We never had trouble finding a spot to sit and relax and there was always a staff near by constantly asking us if we needed anything - it was almost like having a personal butler service. We did not have the Royal Service and felt like we were getting exclusive treatment.
The room was perfect. The beds had fresh linens, everything was so clean and I loved the complimentary new slippers. The dual, rain showers were amazing and we took pictures so we could build an exact replica in our own home.
The beach was okay - the sand was really soft, but there is quite a bit of seaweed and branches in the water/on the beach each though they spend a lot of time raking. There was sand volleyball on the beach, which the boys really enjoyed. My only complaint is that there's no seating to watch! The Family Conceirge section is right next to the volleyball net and although the seating was open we were kicked out from sitting there and had to sit on the ground to watch volleyball - seems like a simple fix to put some non-restricted seating next to volleyball for people to watch.
Really we just stayed by the pool most of the time so it wasn't a big deal. Ivan instructed the Pilates and Water Aerobics and was fantastic!
The food was wonderful - I recommend splurging on Passion - it was the nicest meal we've ever eaten and the 4 of us had a wait staff of 3 all to ourselves. It really made for a special evening. The guacamole at Mole was the best as well! Skip the Grill and try the other (non-buffet) restaurants...they were all really good. The fish was my favorite dish except at Vento get the steak!
We would definitely go back and recommend this to anyone wanting an exclusive, relaxing, non-crowded resort.

Room Tip: Swim out suites did not seem worth the money. We got a basic room and thought it was fantastic. Every room gets the dual showers, which was my favorite part.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank ktsdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2012

We just got back from a week @ Paradisus. Most of the prior-written reviews are spot on in my opnion. Food was great, weather is great, hotel is brand new and beautiful!. Pros- rooms and grounds are JUST like you see in the photos. The place is kept immaculate. Palapas are awesome and the main pool and sunning areas are large and relaxing. Drinks and food kept coming and they were great as well. We hit a different restaurant every night. Everyone went out of their way to say hello and ask how everything was going. They generally seemed concerned if we were having a good week.
Cons-they do not enforce the "no kids" rules on the Paradisus side, nor keeping non Royal-service guests out of that area. We ate dinner a few times with small children screaming in the background, or large groups of 10+ parents, friends and kids all eating together. And I'm refering to an upscale sushi restuarant where we were dressed up....not the buffet! Between 6-8pm most places allow kids onto the Paradisus side to use the restaurants and vice versa. But several times we saw kids, parents with strollers, etc. walking through our pool and resturant areas during the day. I have nothing against kids, but I went there to get away from them for the week.
We got a swim up suite which was very nice, but the water is COLD! You might thtink this is nit-picking in a 90 degree paradise location, but it's not. Our side was in the shade all day and even the big main pool was rarely used by guests all week while we were there due to the temperature. No heated pools, no hot tubs at all on the grounds (other than the spa which you have to pay to use). Ocean seemed warmer than the pools. I would have saved my $$ and gotten a balcony had I known. Beach, nice, but small and dangerous. There is only 6 ft. or so seperating your chair from the water and there are several submerged logs and coral/rocks throughout the beach. All week you could see people stumbling to try and find clear passage into the water. If your going for the beach alone...be forewarned. Outside the resort is scary. It is humbling to see the locals and how they live. We were 'warned' several times to be careful if we went out in a cab and were advised not to walk off the grounds.
I'd recommend the resort, we had a fantastic time. I just feel like they should work on improving the beach somewhat and do a better job of enforcing Royal Service and adults only sections. We did have some issues which we did not report to management about a strange sulfer odor in our room the last night, and the noise level from the neighboring rooms seems to be amplified off the limestone flooring. Minor issues, but it did keep us up the last 2 nights we were there.

Room Tip: Get a swim up suite during the hot season only, it's nice. Otherwise the water is too cold, we didn't use it once and I don't think anybody else did either. Save the $$, get a nice balcony.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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13  Thank Ryan T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 28, 2012

Every time I read one of these reviews I always wonder about the background of the person writing the review. Age, gender, how often they travel, to where, expectations etc. So to begin so you guys have an idea..I'm a 24 year old female. This vacation was me, my 26 year old boyfriend, my 28 year old sister, her 29 year old husband, my 55 year old mom and 63 year old dad. We have been traveling our whole lives on family vacations, mostly to the Caribbean. We have never been to Mexico or stayed at an all inclusive resort. My parents owned a restaurant for 18 years so we are pretty critical of food and service. That being said, we are not snobby. We love to have fun and enjoy ourselves on vacation. So now on to the review....

My boyfriend and I have been reading reviews on here for months prior to the vacation. Most have been good but there had been a handful that have suggested there was still construction going on, you could hear dogs barking while you slept, food and service were average, the beach wasn't good, and there were a ton of mosquitoes. We were extremely concerned by this, to the point we almost switched resorts we stayed at. We decided to take a chance and hoped that by now they had it together and things would be okay. THAT WAS THE BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE.

We stayed at La Perla from January 14th-January 21st. Here is our run down of our thoughts. We're going to try to cover everything.

Booking: We booked the reservation through cheapcaribbean which included our hotel stay, airfare and transportation to and from the hotel. Everything they booked for us was perfect. We had no problems or issues at all. They booked us transportation through Olympus Tours and they were on time for both pick up and departure, were friendly and knowledgeable. (If you use them they were navy blue pants and orange shirts so you can find them at the airport.) It's a 45 minute ride from Cancun airport to the resort. FYI: Don't panic about the drive onto the resort. The main entrance is still being constructed so you will drive through what looks like a very shady, run down area with lots of construction going on. This is no way a reflection of the gorgeous resort you're about to step foot on!

Check in: We were greeted with cold towels and champagne. They took our luggage immediately. We booked 3 Luxury Junior Suites Ocean View. We had heard about different problems noise wise depending on where your room was, we requested to see our room. They offered to let us see all of the different room types so we could decide if we wanted to change/upgrade. Mario at the front desk was more than accommodating for all of our needs and worked with us to get us what we wanted.
Vouchers: We each got a packet of vouchers for staying 7+ nights. They were kind of pointless. I only used one at the spa that was $40 off a treatment. They had some others for $10 off bottles of wine not included in the all inclusive and one for $$ off a romantic dinner. The dinner was over $300 to begin with and you only got around $80 off. Vouchers don’t help you much.

The rooms: We viewed all of the different rooms you can choose from. Originally we were a little dissapointed with the view of our room because you can't see the ocean very well and it overlooks mangroves, as well as has a view of the run down town located directly outside the resort. That being said, we definitely recommend an interior facing room. The pool view is better then the ocean view. We ended up getting 3 swim up suites. They were a perfect location. We could LITERALLY swim from our room to the swim up bar. The rooms itself are aboslutely stunning. They have gorgeous double rain showers, big jacuzzi tub, king size bed, flat screen TV, couch, double his/her large closets and sinks, stocked fridge (beer, soda, water, juice.) One thing we were concerned about is that we wouldn’t have enough privacy in the swim up suite. This was not the case at all. We had plenty. They have perfect drapes you can close at any time. Privacy is not a problem. Wi-fi worked perfectly in our room and by the pool. We never saw mosquitoes and never heard a dog bark. We never heard any construction. We saw a few people doing work on little things around the resort that were no big deal at all.

The décor: Sheek, modern, beautiful. Every time you walk through you notice another detail you didn’t before. So much time and money must’ve went into the architecture here. It is absolutely stunning everywhere you look. From colors to design…the list goes on and on.

Restaurants/Bars: When we checked in Ingrid, our concierge asked us where we wanted to eat etc. and said she would book our reservations for us. You could only book reservations 2-3 days in advance. However, this created no problems for us and we were able to eat exactly where we wanted and when we wanted to eat without an issue. One of the biggest things to remember, that we were unaware of is that ALL of the restaurants except The Grill and The Market required LONG pants and CLOSED toed shoes for men. Women can pretty much get away with mostly anything semi formal. However, this dress code wasn't always enforced and sometimes they would actually tell you, you needed to change, while other times we'd see men in shorts. I think they're still trying to work this out. However, for the men, it wasn't a big deal wearing long pants because the temperature at night was comfortable for this. Okay, we were blown away by basically every bar and restaurant which shocked me, because as I mentioned, we're pretty food and service critical. Here's a rundown of our thoughts:

Sunset Grill: Outside and casual dining by the pool (Sunrise Grill on La Esmeralda). Served great sandwiches and pub style food. Must have: Chicken Wings, Chips & Guacamole. Best guacamole I’ve ever had. The bar here is the swim up pool! We loved sitting at the swim up pool and getting drinks and hanging out with the great bartenders.

Hadar: Amazing breakfast buffet. Anything you want from eggs, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit, yogurt, smoothies, omelets, etc. Must have: Chocolate Croissants

Fuego: Our favorite restaurant of the week. It was so good we actually went back for dinner our last night there. Modern Latin cuisine. Must have: Appetizer - Travel the Americas, Soup Main – Pork Tenderloin, Dessert – Coconut Crème Brule. If you have a large group request the private room and Nikkolas as your server.

Bana: There are three different types of dining here – Sushi Bar, Hibachi Grill & Asian Fusion. Be sure to identify which place you would like to dine at when booking your reservation. We went to the Hibachi Grill and were as impressed with the food as we were the entertaining presentation. There is no menu here as it is family style cuisine. We had Springs Rolls, Sushi, rice & a delicious combination of beef tenderloin, chicken & shrimp. My favorite dessert of the trip, the Fried Tempura Ice Cream with a raspberry sauce was served here and was exceptional.

The Grill/The Market: Great steaks, chicken and pasta dishes. You can sit here and see the ocean over the mangroves if you sit at an outside table.
Vento: Greek/Mediterranean Restaurant. Beef Filet and the Lamb dish were two of the best main courses we had. Baklava with caramelized apples was my 2nd favorite dessert of the trip.

Gabi Club: Tapas Bar with a plethora of choices. One of the best places on the resort to go for drinks, dancing and fun at night. You can also purchase hukka and cigars here. We didn’t, but I think it’s $25 for hukka.

South Avenue Bar: This is centrally located between restaurants. The biggest bar with seating all around it including beds/couches, etc. Large drink choice. They have most of the entertainment after hours besides Gabi Club. A good place to go after dinner or with a group. It is open air, so you kind of feel like you are outside which is nice.

Red Lounge: Very creatively decorated, very comfortable beds/seats if you want to lay or sit down. Not too many people were here when we were here however and one night they had a DJ which was just a little too loud and only played Techno. Good service and they’ll put TV’s on whatever you want to watch.

M Bar: Martini bar with an extensive martini list. Very creative. It is located between Passion and Fuego. Good place for a drink before dinner at either.

Blue Agave: Located between Vento and Mole. Excellent margaritas here!
Alcohol: They have all top shelf liquors, including Grey Goose etc, for free so feel free to request it in every drink you get. Their beer choice is limited to Tekati, Sol, and Dos Equis. We both like to drink beer so this was a little disappointing but the Sol and Dos Equis were fine for the week.

Room service: 24-7, anytime you want it, for free. I think weird hours may be a $5 up charge. If they’re really busy it can take a while (an hour) We ordered twice late night. Definitely not as good as the food in the restaurants, but none the less does the trick.
Service: We can’t say enough about the service!! It was un-real!! Everyone here is working to do whatever they need to do to make you happy. They will go out of their way to do anything you ask of them. Whether you call the front desk, are sitting by the pool, or at a restaurant, your wish is their command. They do everything with a smile. They all seem to enjoy being at work and genuinely want to learn about you. We had 6 people in our group and even with a language barrier we NEVER had one thing confused or messed up regarding food or drink! There are a few people I feel I must mention that stood out throughout the week.

Ivan: He helps run a bunch of the free activities they offer throughout the week. He was extremely personable, friendly, fun and was always telling us what was happening where and when. We had so much fun when he ran activities. He was such a pleasure to be around!! We asked Ivan his secret to being so happy and he said: “No 2 for 1's, no happy hours, life is life. One chance. One shot. Got to make the best of it. The secret is to enjoy it." That’s for sure. He knows how to live.

Juan/Emanuel: Two bartenders at the pool bar. They were so much fun! They would laugh and sing and dance. They mixed us up all types of shots and were attentive and willing to get you anything you wanted. They made our pool bar experience what it was.
Nikkolas: Our server both times at Fuego. Probably the best server I’ve ever had anywhere. We requested him the 2nd time we went and requested the private room. At the end of our meal my dad and boyfriend asked him if he could get them desert from Bana because they loved it so much. His response was, “Anything is possible.” And of course, he made it happen. Could you ask for anything more?!

Moises: Server at Sunset bar and grill. He served us when we ate there and when we sat by the pool. He is very interested in learning better English and will help you with your Spanish. He is always smiling and pleasant and working hard.

Pool: We read a lot of reviews about the pool being very cold. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Needless to say we spent a significant amount of time in the pool. It was like any other pool I’d been in….cold when you first get in and then you get used to it. The earlier reviews could’ve been because the pool was just filled a few months ago and it needed some time to warm up. It is large and has loungers with mini tables in it if you want to lay in the water and eat/drink. As mentioned earlier, the main pool is connected to the swim up suites so you can swim through the pool to your room. Our favorite part of the pool was hanging out at the pool bar and dancing on the days they had DJ’s. FYI, Royal Service / Family Concierge have private heated pools. Later in the day we usually relaxed in the private huts around the pool where we could lay down. Extremely relaxing and comfortable.

Activities: They offer a series of free activities every day. My boyfriend and I actually had a really good time participating in a bunch of them. We did beach volleyball, Mexican wine tasting, water aerobics (my whole family did this with Ivan after having a few cocktails and it was the funniest thing ever..), salsa lesson, merengue lesson, kayaking, and yhi spa massage lesson. They also offered yoga, Pilates, tequila tastings, cocktail making, sushi making, painting, etc. They had a DJ at the pool on Sunday and also again on Friday. On Friday they had dancers around the pool as well. This was our favorite activity. It really lightened up the mood at the pool and got people grooving and drinking. They also had nightly entertainment when we were there including: 60, 70s, 90s go go dancer party, fire show, different bands every night at Gabi Club, belly dancers, Mayan party, etc.

Yhi Spa: Beautiful, beautiful spa inside the hotel. I got a 50 minute Mayan massage and chose to have mine done outside. They have an interior spa and then they also have a spa set up that is open air. It is set up kind of in the middle of the hotel. (hard to explain) but they have a Jacuzzi and pools in this area with water jets with water coming down and music. Even though people can still walk by this area (privacy is achieved through huts and curtains) I chose to have my massage here because you could barely hear anyone over the sounds of water and music and I thought it was extremely relaxing. My massage was amazing and well worth the money. It was $145 to begin with, and I used my $40 off voucher to make it $105. I did tip in addition to this.

Beach: The beach, while narrow is beautiful. Beautiful blue green water, soft white sand. The chairs and umbrellas are comfortable and plentiful. They have servers walking on the beach they can serve you drinks. They have a bar set up as you walk onto the beach so they don’t have to go far to get drinks. Non motorized water sports are free (kayaks etc,) while motorized (jet skis) are extra. The motorized were very expensive (kind of a rip off) so we didn’t do them. We got up one morning and watched the sun rise. The sun rose about 6:30am. It was absolutely beautiful and worth it. Some people in earlier reviews wrote about rocks, sticks that stick up in part of the water when you walk in. this is true and you need to be careful of these!! It’s not life threatening, but something to be cautious of! I recommend swimming directly in front of the life guard tower. The water was warm, warmed then the pool and very comfortable for swimming.

Weather: Obviously the resort can’t control this, but just an FYI: It was beautiful. Sunny and around 75-80f every day. Pretty breezy our first few days which was actually nice. It poured the first day we arrived but that didn’t affect us much. Temps at night get a little cooler, but very comfortable. Probably 60-65.

Off site activities: There are a lot of activities available off site. There is a travel agent from “Best Travel” sits near the lobby and you can book through him. Some of these activities include swimming with dolphins, visiting Mayan ruins, ATV tours, jet skiing, snorkeling, zip lining, repelling, etc. We actually didn’t end up going on any tours. We were considering a combo tour of ATV’s, jet skis and snorkeling, but decided against it. The tour ran about $150 per person.

We booked a tour before we went with paradisecatamarans.com. We rented a private catamaran for the 6 of us. I can’t say enough about how great this was. We has transportation pick us up from the resort, drove about 35 minutes to the marina and boarded a HUGE catamaran (probably could’ve fit 50 people) We had a crew of 4. One of our crew members, Steven was a young American who travels all over the world doing a bunch of different stuff. He was so pleasant. We sailed out about an hour, stopped in a cove and went snorkeling. We saw a ton of fish including a sea turtle. We then got back on the boat, had a great lunch, and sailed back an hour. We even got to see the sunset as we sailed. A great, great day with no glitches. (Well, I got stung by a bee, but whatever, haha)

Going into town/Playa Del Carmen: One day we all walked the beach from the resort and walked about 40 minutes into Playa. We ended up eating a restaurant called “Fusion” (of course recommended by Ivan) it was right on the beach. The service was great! I had the best chicken fajitas I’ve ever had in my life. Highly recommend. We also walked around 5th avenue (the famous street in playa) for a little while. We went into a bar called “Tequila Barrel” where they do sports betting. We had fun betting on some horses. My boyfriend and I took a cab back into Playa one night ($10 cab ride each way, about 7 minutes from hotel, negotiate price before u get into the cab) We had a fun night bar hopping. We went to Cocoa Maya, and a few others I can’t remember the names of. Cocoa Bongo is the most popular bar in Playa but we decided to skip it because it was $65 per person cover charge. (granted it’s all you can drink and free entertainment) Playa is fun but definitely don’t go alone. I don’t even know if I’d go with a group of girls. It seems like it can be pretty unsafe if you’re not careful. We also went back one day and grabbed some souvenirs. LOTS of places to shop. Bargaining is definitely possible. Don’t get ripped off.

For the most part we didn’t leave the resort much, nor did we feel the need to. Plenty to do!

Superbowl: If you’re there during it and want to watch it they will show it at the resort or you can go into town and watch it at Tequila Barrel and a bunch of other bars. We watched the Patriots play off game at the resort while we were there.

Okay, sorry this was so lengthy!! We relied on these reviews before we went so we want to make sure others have as much information as possible. We can’t say enough about this gorgeous resort and awesome staff. We are counting down the days until we get to go back. Please feel free to message me for any additional information! Have a great trip! Thank you Paradisus La Perla!

Room Tip: Choose an interior view/swim up suite if possible
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
33  Thank Jill W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2012

I was cautiously optimistic, which helped during check-in. The "credit" I was supposed to get was not the greatest and I didn't end up using any of it, because of all the restrictions. Once we got passed the "credit" and got into the room and pool area, I quickly forgot about it. The rooms are very nicely finished and the pool area has a really chill vibe.

All the restaurants were good, however like the whole hotel, they need to find their groove with the service; I think there should be more emphasis on training and shadowing, to ensure the service becomes 5 start, to match the amenities.

The ocean isn't the best I have seen in 5 star resorts, however it was good enough, the beach is clean and there is plenty of places to lay and sun tan. the beach is narrow and some places in the water have sharp branches and rocks; just an fyi.

All and all the place was good and will be great if they continue to improve and if they can fill the place.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank Early_30s_Couple_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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