Let me start by saying I do not like writing bad reviews and I usually don’t. However, after our stay at La Perla over the Christmas week, I feel I need to do it because I figure that maybe other people felt the same way and that might be one of the reasons we picked this resort. It really makes me wonder where other reviewers have stayed before this one. Do I think it is a horrible resort? I don’t. Nor do I believe that no one could really enjoy their time there. For us, it was the worst value in Riviera Maya, compared to other resorts we have stayed at in the past. I guess it is all relative so as I have mentioned in previous reviews, take this one from someone who is indeed very picky, but also someone who knows the area (it was our 11th visit in the last few years) and what it has to offer. Adults only resorts that we have stayed at in the past in the area are El Dorado Royale, Royal Playa del Carmen and Valentin Imperial Maya. El Dorado and Royal are far superior. Valentin is comparable to the Paradisus, but much cheaper, which makes it better value in my opinion.
First of all, the location is weird, as other reviewers have mentioned. I do not agree that the neighbourhood is shady and you would not want to walk there, but it is further than I expected from the shops in Playa.
The general look of the hotel is modern and sleek, maybe a bit “sterile” almost, but there is nothing wrong with that. Not that hacienda feel you may find at other places, but again, it is a nice looking hotel, more of a city hotel look. Same thing about the rooms (we stayed in Royal Service, regular junior suite): they look good, but we did not find them to be very practical. The “toilet” room is pretty annoying as there is no sink in there so you need to go wash your hands in the bathroom which I don’t think is overly hygienic. And what can I say about those beautiful frosted glass sliding doors around the bathroom? They are so heavy and would always get reopened whenever housekeeping would come by! It seems like it was the only thing they did too as our room was filthy from the get go. I could actually write in the dust on the coffee table and on the shelves in the bathroom. They only came twice for turndown service, leaving treats once: fruit salad with no cutlery. They would never leave enough towels either and we would always have to ask for more. You’d think that they would get annoyed at us for asking all the time and would replace the ones they removed by the same number, but I guess that would make too much sense. If you like a soft bed, you’ll be happy there, too soft for me, but that’s just a matter of personal taste. The bedsheets did not cover the entire mattress which grossed me out, but I get grossed out easily. Mini-bar was very good, a bit inconsistent as to what would get refilled and what would not, but not a big deal.
We had requested a top floor room, but Expedia messed up and asked for a ground floor room, which actually was a happy accident as the terraces are way bigger than the balconies. Room service was generally good, but they need to do something about the fact that it happens very often that you get a busy signal when trying to order and that can last for a long time. There was one time that it took about an hour and a half to get our food and it was unsurprisingly ice cold.
Karen was our butler and she does know her stuff and will go out of her way to help you out. It was a whole other story when she was not there as some of the other people sitting in the Royal Service lobby knew nothing about the resort and could not have given us a useful answer if their life depended on it.
The beach is bad. I’m not a beach person so it was not an issue for me, but I can see people being very disappointed. It is tiny. Not wide nor deep. The pools are sufficient, they weren’t really packed even during the Christmas week.
Food is the worst thing about this resort. For an adults only resort, it is quite bad. It is comparable to any a la carte restaurant in a regular Bahia Principe/Riu type resort. I really wonder what other reviewers are comparing the food at this resort to when they say it’s good. Ironically, the worst restaurant in our opinion was La Palapa, the “exclusive” Royal Service one. Service was always incredibly slow and food was cold and bland. The Grill had the best service and Fuego had the best food. I’m not sure why they are still doing the whole reservation thing either. Seems a bit archaic. The better resorts have been using the pager system for years and it seems to work a lot better, especially since, at Paradisus La Perla, your table will not necessarily be ready when you show up at the time of your reservation. What gives?
I know it may seem a bit harsh to give this resort a 3 star rating, but I gave the Royal 4 stars and the Paradisus does not come close to it as the Royal did not come close to the Dreams PV so I have to be consistent. I base my reviews on value, which is why I also gave Bahia Principe Tulum a 4 star rating as it is dirt cheap to stay there and I am a true believer of the “you get what you pay for” philosophy. Well, not here, you don’t.
I will be happy to answer your questions!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is a hotel catering to the discerning all-inclusive traveler. With 58 swim-up suites, opulent furnishings, and international cuisine prepared by award-winning chefs, this adults-only hotel is a crowd pleaser. Rooms feature special touches like deep soaker tubs and rainfall showers. Marble floors, flat-screen TVs, Minibar, in-room safe, free Wi-Fi, coffee maker, bathrobes and slippers, cable TV service and a DVD/CD player compliment the trendy interior design. Stay active with water sports like aqua aerobics, yoga, zumba and volleyball, or visit the spacious fitness facility. The Spa offers a wet and dry sauna($). Try a different menu every night with 14 restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Perla Riviera Maya, Mexico