We've been to many all-inclusives and have come to the realization that everything starts to look the same after a while. This hotel was beautiful, but not warm and cozy like you want to feel when you're on a special vacation. It's just too darn big and is there to serve the masses rather than individual tastes. We would've liked the same waiters and the same bartenders to establish a relationship with those who you'll be seeing all week long.
We found it to be very corporate, which is a common feeling when you're dealing with thousands of guests (or so it seemed). Unfortunately, we had the experience of being surrounded by hundreds of spanish-speaking business people, who were there, not to relax on vacation, but were hustling to their next team-building exercize or meeting in the convention centre. It affected the overall ambience of the place.
Here now, is the definitive review of this resort by two people who know what they're talking about.
Palatable and somewhat varied. If you're going to be there for a week, you will no doubt see many of the same dishes. Having said that, the ice cream, chocolate mousse, roast chicken and guacamole were standouts. Oh yes, and the donuts too. Also, the porridge at breakfast was pretty good along with the eggs. Try to order something fresh, as the food gets cold and stale if it's sitting in the trays for any more than 20 minutes.
No complaints here. Clean and beautiful. Great bed, nice balcony but as with anything else, it's all about location. Ask for a room that faces the pool, where it's quieter. Any room that faces the road is noisy, as the golf carts are constantly going by carrying all manner of items and people. We were unlucky enough to be caught in a complex that had all these conventioneers who couldn't have cared less about peace and quiet. We had to pay another 20 dollars a night to be upgraded to a junior suite (which is the same room but with a nicer TV and a quieter location). We moved after one night, and it was well worth it, but I think the front desk should've bumped us up with no charge considering the disruption caused by these people. Oh well, it was worth the money to get a nice, quiet room.
Since we're early risers, we never saw one show. They started too late for us.
One of the highlights of the resort. Make sure you take a catamaran ride if you really want a joyous experience. The water is a bit rocky near the beach, so watch where you're walking. The Beach Grill offers good food from Noon until 5. Plenty of lounge chairs to be had.
It was darn cold for the first few days, but then got warmer as the week went on. A couple of swim-up bars, but no waiters to take your drink orders. You actually had to go to the bar yourself to get your drink. Bring your own mugs, because the cups they give you are chintzy.
Don't bother with the a la carte restaurants as they are all very average and the service is so-so. We did Mediterranean (two stars) Japanese (two and a half stars) and Steakhouse (no stars, horrible table, terrible service, we walked out)
The Del Mar has the best buffet atmosphere, and their lobby is more welcoming than at the Beach. Also, the Del Mar's poolside buffet is great, and is right next to the pool (hence the name)
Plenty to do, but nobody's going to come up to you to ask if you want to play volleyball or pool basketball. If you want to be involved, you've got to get up off your butt and go find the activity. The Star Friends are very nice, but pretty much hang out with the other youngsters at the resort.
We did play tennis every day and had fun, especially the free clinics offered by Peter, the tennis pro. The courts have a rubberized surface which are easy on the knees. You can also play at night.
We went to Playa Del Carmen on one of the cloudy days. Just go out to the highway and take one of the air conditioned vans that drive from Cancun down to Playa. Two dollars U.S. per person each way. Don't take a cab, it's too expensive. PDC is a fun place and 5th avenue is a great shopping area. PDC is where you catch the ferry to Cozumel.
It's lovely, but expensive. When we were there, you could've shot a cannon through the place. Very few guests there, and the refreshments were flavorless colored water. Nothing to write home about.
Well, they do have a bunch of shops, but it's in such an out-of-the-way place, there's nobody there. I swear, I don't know how these shops make money. Their prices are nothing special, and the atmosphere is quite blah.
We went with Air Canada vacations and the flights and ground transportation were first rate. The hotel is only 35 minutes from the airport, and a breeze to get in and out.
It's very nice, but nothing spectacular. Meets the needs of most people who want an all-inclusive vacation.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraiso." Imaginatively designed lake – pool. Convention centre. The holiday complex is perfectly integrated into the tropical landscape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Beach
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico