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“Absolutely Exquisite”

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Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita
Ranked #5 of 25 Hotels in Puerto Morelos
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed March 29, 2007

My husband and I had the most exquisite, truly relaxing vacation of our lives at the Paraiso. We're luxury adventure travelers (Burma, Tanzania, Inca Trail) but, this time, we just wanted pure luxury and perfect service - and that's what we got. Our daily routine consisted
of an hour of yoga (complimentary) on the grass overlooking pristine beach (watched by a thoughtful iguana), then a workout in the nice fitness room, followed by a treatment (thai massage, uxmal massage, seaweed exfolation, etc. - all were lovely) in the absolutely immaculate and truly beautiful Thalasso spa. (I mean immaculate - if I dried my hands and went to change, by the time I got back the little pyramid of handtowels had been restored to perfection - and I also mean gorgeous - the spa is spacious, the steamroom is truly hot and suffused with aromatic oils to clear your head, there are several
beautiful areas to relax inside, by the plunge pools, outside on a secluded patio facing the ocean.) Then we were on to lunch - sometimes having perfectly grilled Agentinian-style meat at the restaurant next to the beach, sometimes a delicious ham-mushroom quesadilla at the poolside bar while playing backgammon, always with attentive staff who knew our names and how we liked our margaritas. We'd read books on the beach beds (four-posters literally on the beach, comfortable mattresses, side curtains to shield from sun and breeze), walk down the pristine beach (pure white flour sand, not too deep to make walking difficult) (staff cleaned out the seagrass at the shoreline daily, so the beach truly was picture-perfect), borrow a dvd to watch on the sunbed by our suite's splash pool. Our suite was delightful: light cream fabrics, nice living area with tv/
dvd, spacious desk and free internet service, large bedroom with another tv, a grand bathroom with a tub for two and separate shower (with excellent water pressure and plenty of hot water!), lots of fresh bottled water. We usually had a cocktail at the library before dinner before a quiet dinner at La Canoa (lovely food, but try to eat
outside to enjoy the air) or even sandwiches in the library. (One night we went to Playa del Carmen at the recommendation of friends, but we thought it was too far for too little - and too touristy - and otherwise stayed at the resort - why leave paradise?) The absolute best part of Paraiso, however, is the lovely, kind, attentive staff - they quickly learned what we liked, answered every request, were always there but never in the way - and said, in response to every request warmly said, "It's my pleasure." Yes, it's expensive, but it's worth every penny to be surrounded by quiet, uncrowded, beautiful, thoughtfully-planned spaces, friendly professional staff, perfect weather and a private pristine beach, with birds calling and pheasants and geese strutting around, just a few other pleasant fellow guests enjoying themselves, too. It was truly the most relaxing mind-resting vacation we've ever enjoyed. Absolutely exquisite.

  • Stayed: March 2007, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Pasadena1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 9, 2007

The Paraiso de la Bonita was almost perfect.
Here's what we loved:
The best and friendliest service we have ever had.
Towels and beach chairs in profusion, no need to scramble for a location
Beautiful rooms - all suites
Birds on the property! in cages, wild, and loose
Low key
Food ranging from good to excellent, several restaurants
Very clean and well kept
Nice grounds
Xmas Eve was well done

Here's why it's not perfect from our point of view:
Too quiet - music at a bar before dinner or after would have been nice. we feel some light entertainment would have been good.
New Year's eve was a bust from our point of view VERY expensive and not that festive . No favors, confetti, etc., and the band was OK but not great. For $265 each we expected more.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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7  Thank IndyMarion
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 7, 2007

Paraiso de la Bonita: Broken Paradise



The fact that Paraiso de la Bonita is so immediately beautiful and captivating only makes its flaws that much more heartbreaking. However, on balance, those flaws are so disheartening that one would be better to stay in a two-star resort with two-star expectations than to be constantly disappointed by PdlB and its staff. My wife and I habitually stay in small five and six star facilities and therefore have an excellent frame of reference.



On the plus side, this is one of the few resorts on the Riviera Maya that actually fronts the ocean, with essentially private beach. The small size of the resort means that guests rarely collide with one another. The resort is physically spectacular, a merger between Mayan and Thai motifs. The staff is trained to be polite and engaging to a fault and it is nearly impossible to greet a staff member without being greeted. As you walk the path along the rooms, you will encounter peacocks and their mates, parrots, koi, turtles, etc.



That’s the good news. The bad news is what makes the place a heartbreaker. It breaks down into three categories: 1) Atrocious ergonomic design with a bit of fraud thrown in, 2) Outrageous charges for food, beverages, and services over and above the room rates, 3) Stupidly poor coordination between staff who have established their petty fiefdoms.

1. Atrocious Ergonomic Design

Atrocious ergonomic design: We were initially drawn to the hotel because of the beach front suites with “private plunge pools.” In fact, I found the property while searching for resorts with private pools. Imagine our surprise on check-in when we discovered that the 5’ x 7’ private pool was about 12 inches deep. Even a duck could not plunge into that. Moreover, there is nothing private about the pool, since it is visible to every other suite in the hotel. Privacy is a huge issue for the ground floor suites, since there is no way to avoid getting up close and personal with the gardeners and other guests, other than drawing light-tight shutters and curtains, creating a dungeon. There are numerous, architecturally tasteful ways the hotel could create cabana-like privacy for its guests without depriving them of air and the ocean view they are paying so dearly for.

The ergonomic offenses continue inside the rooms. While the décor is pleasant and seems to have benefited from a Feng Shui expert, the beds and bathtubs will make you cry. The beds consist of extra-firm mattresses on a concrete platform. The best you will get to relieve that situation is a foam pad. Forget the down mattress-topper that is standard at every Westin and Marriott these days. Comfortable, jetted tubs are de-rigeur at resorts of this caliber. There is certainly room to put same on the outdoor balconies. The tub in these rooms is another Feng Shui heartbreaker. First of all, it’s rough (not polished) limestone. If you happen to have problems with heel calluses, that comes in handy. Other parts of your body are less appreciative. Not only is the interior of the tub painful, the whole tub is less than a foot deep at maximum water level. Forget a leisurely soak. To top it off, the tub surround of polished stone has a one inch lip that protrudes over the edge of the tub. If you want to know what that feels like, take a one inch pipe into your bathtub, but it behind you and lean into it.

The ergonomic atrocities continue outdoors. There are four magnificent pools, connected by shallow areas on the back veranda of the hotel. The problem is that they are 3-4 feet deep at best and relatively small circular affairs. There is nowhere other than the ocean where it is possible to actually swim. The heavy surf of the ocean makes that quite difficult.

The resort can only be navigated by a single path, the width of a golf cart. There is a constant parade of carts – bell boy, housekeeping, and room service – along this path, making a leisurely stroll all but impossible. The hotel could carve a foot-path on the beach side of the property, but there is almost no access from the guest rooms to that side without walking to the main building.

2. Outrageous pricing for meals and services

People who stay in high-end resorts become accustomed to paying for value, but resent being raped on a regular basis. The restaurant and spa prices at Paraiso are higher than those we have encountered at any top end resort in the world. For example, a 50 minute massage costs $175, for a therapist who clearly has not been to the best massage school in the world and is unable to interact with the guest in any meaningful way. As a point of comparison, I paid about 2/3 that price at the Venetian in Las Vegas just a month ago and they clearly have higher personnel costs. The spa is very unaccommodating when it comes to scheduling treatments. At the prices they are charging, you would think they could dig up extra therapists on short notice, but they have no interest in accommodating guests.

The restaurants are equally rapacious. The menus have been arranged so that dinner is designed to cost $100 per person plus wine. That’s pretty steep for Mexico. Mixed drinks are $10 and up. You are constantly nickled and dimed on food service. The restaurants are offended if you don’t want to buy fancy water at fancy prices. The hotel water is purified, but they refuse to serve it. A drink of water by the poolside costs you $5. Obviously, if you can afford $1000 a night for a room, you can afford $5 for a glass of water. There’s no way to feel good about it, however. It would be nothing for the hotel to private-label some bottled water, give it away, and make the guests feel cared for.

3. Poor coordination between staff

Despite the fact that all the staff has been to smile school, they are remarkably inflexible for a property that seems to have a 2:1 ratio of staff to guests. There are three restaurants in extremely close proximity. Heaven help you if you ask for a dish from one of the other restaurants to be included in your meal. Not a chance! The straw that broke our camel’s back was the couples massage that we booked in advance on the end of the pier for our last afternoon. All week long, it had looked so idyllic and seemed the perfect end to our week. An hour before our scheduled massage, the hotel’s 45 foot catamaran tied up to the pier, not ten feet from our secluded massage tables. We suggested that, since we had booked this facility in advance, perhaps the catamaran could use the other pier-head, or even go sit on anchor to give us some peace and quiet. Nothing doing – the boat captain wasn’t yielding his machismo to the spa manager! All this in an 80 person exclusive resort with staff coming out of the woodwork.
The only good news, is that Lucy Ruiz, graduate of a top Swiss hotel school has taken over this mess and is determined to turn it into the top property on the Riviera Maya. We wish her luck.

P.S. Beware the Chaya juice on the breakfast menu. According to US Agriculture experts, raw Chaya leaves contain cyanides and the leaves should only be eaten after cooking!!!!!

  • Stayed: January 2007, traveled as a couple
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28  Thank DC_Connoisseur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 2, 2007

8 of stayed at Paraiso over Christmas and New Years--we ranged in age from 80-14. We ALL loved this resort! It is beautiful and the people that work at Paraiso are THE BEST STAFF of any hotel we've stayed at in Mexico or the Caribbean (Caneel Bay, Peter Island, Villa del sol, etc.)

Best things:
1. The staff--THE BEST
2. The rooms--all lovely
3. The beach is lovely--lots of white sand, wide, long beach--great for walking--yes there is a bit of seaweed, but nothing that would affect anyone! Great walking and great swimming. The beach chairs are not as comfortable as pool chairs, but they also have "beach beds".
4. The boating/snorkeling! The hotel has a lovely catamaran which is great, and we also went on a wonderful snorkel trip.
5. The food is also very good--loved the grill by the pool
6. Pool is just lovely--no rat race to get chairs, and they'll bring you an umbrella anywhere--on the pool or at the beach.
7. Great spa

Needs Work:
1. It's very quiet--we would have liked more evening entertainment--it's the 1st resort we've stayed at over Xmas/New Years WITHOUT a manager's cocktail party, very quiet at night.
2. The New Years Eve party was a dud and way too expensive for what we got. It was $265/person--which would have been fine, if it was fun! There were no party favors--no hats, no noisemakers, nothing. But worse, for the "cocktail party" you had to BUY your cocktails! Same w/ Champagne at Midnight! Sorry but for $265 per person, that should include a cocktail at the so-called cocktail party, and it should include a glass of champagne at midnight! There was an ok, non-descript band, and basically nothing else. Whereas we all loved the resort, and would all return, we will NOT return over Christmas and New Years--based on the lousy party. O

Otherwise, we will return other times of year, and we still loved the place and the people

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled with family
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3  Thank el04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2007

Looking at the website, the hotel looked exactly like our style, high-end, boutique, not generic, etc. Arrival was terrific, picked up at the airport, given cold water bottles and refreshing towels. Our room was very beautiful, just as it appears in the website. The housekeeping is also excellent, putting flowers in our robes every evening and setting up room service meals impeccably. The resort is very quiet, to the point that couples don't even converse with one another. My husband and i were very happy to have intimate meals etc but the hotel seemed almost dead, it didn't make you want to go down for a cocktail or linger in the restaurants. The food was mediocre at best and the "free" breakfast consisted of a bit of yogurt, a slice of fruit and a roll. Watch out when ordering bottled water as they'll get you at $10 US per bottle. Best to rent a car and buy some water and even alcohol for your room and save yourself hundreds of dollars. The service was very nice, overly helpful, to the point that you feel like they are always there. Your food gets removed from the table before you are finished if you simply pause for a moment. The ocean is not swimable, all full of seaweed, no shells on the beach. The snorkeling for $174/hour also left a lot to be desired, very few intersting fish. However, given the hotels i saw in the area, i would say this is probably one of the best there.

  • Stayed: December 2006, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank jacqpaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 27, 2006

This resort is exquisite. The common areas, the rooms, the architecture, the spa, the pools... everything is beyond beautiful. And the service is impeccable. No request was too small or large -- always met with a smile and an "of course."

I would -- and will -- come back. This is truly paradise.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank oliver_chance
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 19, 2006

My wife and myself just returned from Paraiso del la Bonita the resort itself is nice and in a secluded area about 20 minutes outside of Cancun, however the prices isoutrageous and definately not worth the price. The room itself is spacious but I myself don't care for large flower print curtains,headboard and comforter. I myself don't mind spending money but when breakfast runs over 60 dollars for eggs that are average with a few pieces of unripe fruit and juice that is watered down I seem to wonder. Dinner isn't any better on one evening I ordered a menu pre fix for that particular evening which included beef carpaccio for appetizer and grilled duck breast with foie gras and chocalate torte for dessert each course came with wine for a mere 130 dollars plus the waiter brought the wine after each course was halfway finished, nothing special about the food nice presentation however flavor lacks. If you want a meal with a tasty flere please go to John Grays Kitchen in Puerto Morelos my wife and myself had a goat cheese pizza with carmelized onions for an app for entree had lobster grilled with caribbean spices over grilled asparagus with a truffle mashed potatos. Grilled Veal Loin with a wild mushroom red wine demi-glaze sauce. Dessert a excellant sponge cake with warm rum buttered mangoes,Chocalate Torte that served warm with fresh figs melted in my mouth for a mere 100 dollars. Dress casual elegance we made the mistake of over dressing for the occasion. The pool at the resort was beautiful and the grounds are kept spotless. The spa is overpriced for massages starting at 160 dollars plus dont forget everything and I mean everthing gets 10% tax added to it plus 15% gratiuty even for a massage plus then it stated extra gratiuty added. Plus they have a small hobie cat on the beach for guests to use however when I made my reservation they said they had one at no charge. However when I inquired about it at the resort they stated 80 dollars but back in the room the brochure stated 60 dollars. So to some it up if you want to be overcharged and nickeled and dimed to death stay at Paraiso del la Bonita, but if you want to stay somewhere in the Rivera Mayan that has luxury and food the is amazing please stay at Ikal del Mar went there in March and I made a huge mistake at staying at Paraiso Del la Bonita this time.

  • Stayed: November 2006, traveled as a couple
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9  Thank loftylefty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita

Address: Carretera Chetumal _Cancun Km 328 | Bahia Petempich, Puerto Morelos 77580, Mexico (Formerly Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita)
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Puerto Morelos
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Romantic Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 Luxury Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 Spa Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#6 Green Hotel in Puerto Morelos
#8 Family Hotel in Puerto Morelos
Price Range: $484 - $1,342 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Zoetry Paraiso de La Bonita 5*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, an ultra-luxury boutique resort, offers a completely new kind of vacation experience focused on wellness, serenity and romance, as well as social and environmental responsibility. Set on 500 yards of beautiful beach, this exceptionally unique property features 90 beachfront suites; La Canoa, a AAA Four Diamond award-winning restaurant; the first certified Thalassotherapy Center in North America;in-house scuba diving center, a private 48 ft. Catamaran. Zoetry Paraiso de la Bonita, one of the Leading Hotels of the World, has also earned the AAA Five Diamond Award for 13 consecutive years. Each of the 90 lavish oceanfront suites is uniquely decorated with hand-picked treasures from around the world and feature private ocean front view terraces, Bvlgari® bath amenities, fine luxury linens, sparkling wine and fresh fruit daily, 24-hour private, in-room dining, maid service three times each day and a welcome bottle of Tequila. For an added measure of intimacy and romance, a selection of suites also offer access to private terrace plunge pools and outdoor honeymoon showers. Endless Privileges® provide guests limitless access to personalized, private chauffeured airport transfers; unlimited worldwide calls and concierge service; daily breakfast, lunch and dinner gourmet dining options with an assortment of organic, local and gluten-free food and beverage selections plus 24-hour dining options allow guests to enjoy late night bites at Restaurant Kaax or stay in and order room service. The Sip, Savor & See Dining Experience provides 60 more dining and entertainment venues at nearby sister resorts; complimentary cocktails and specialty beverages from a variety of domestic and international top-shelf brands and top-shelf spirits; sunset catamaran sail; shopping excursions by boat; complimentary 24-hour laundry service; relaxing 20 minute Thalasso Experience per guest; as well as complimentary greens fees at nearby Grand Coral Riviera Maya. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita Hotel Puerto Morelos
Paraiso De La Bonita
Paraiso Bonita
Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita Riviera Maya, Mexico - Puerto Morelos

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