When I am planning a trip a do a LOT of research. I put a lot of stock in what I read (of course you have to chuck the reviews that are "way out there" in either direction). So...when I started researching the IBEROSTAR PARAISO BEACH I was a bit concerned because there were a fair number of negative comments. I wanted to address some of the negative statements while the trip is fresh in my mind.
There were sporadic comments about poor service. Yes, some people had to wait for their rooms and some did not get exactly what they wanted when they wanted it but I must say that I felt the service was usually quite good. I found the staff friendly, helpful, and anxious to please for the most part. Since I went during Spring Break the resort was just about full yet the service was still quite good!
There were a lot of negatives about the food. OK, if you are interested in gourmet food, fancy restaurants, unusual dishes, etc., this is NOT the place for you! The food is good but NOT "top notch." But you are NOT paying "top dollar" either!
We ate breakfast daily at the lobby restaurant at the Paraiso beach (La Plaza). There was always a good selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, breads, pastries. Plenty of hot dishes. Omlettes and eggs made to order, great bacon, etc. MORE than enough of variety and quantity for me!
Lunch was usually at the beach buffet. Nothing special but certainly edible. Since I had had a large breakfast I usually did a light lunch. Good selection. There was a grill right on the beach for burgers, fries, hot dogs, ice cream. Fine for me!
We did dinner at the Brazilian, Italian, and Japanese restaurants and I would recommend all three. When you go to the Brazilian don't fill up on the buffet as we did. They cook skewars of beef, chicken, lamb, etc and they are actually the main course.
Regarding the restaurants: MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS THE MINUTE YOU HAVE FINISHED CHECKING IN WITH THE CONCIERGE. The restaurants fill up quickly.
Overall, the food was fine with me but, like I said, I didn't go there for the cuisine. So unless food is your life, I would not worry about it.
Drinks were weak but I am not a big drinker. Just order doubles.
There are plenty of beach and pool lounges BUT...YOU MUST GET OUT VERY EARLY IF YOU WANT TO GET "A GOOD SEAT." I think that this would be my only complaint. I swear, people left their towels on the pool lounges overnight just to keep a spot. I think that's crazy! I'm an early riser and so I was out of the room by 6:30 AM daily. My first stop was the beach where I easily got a choice spot under one of the shaded thatched "umbrella things." There were a few days where if you came to the beach after 10 AM there were NO available lounges but, again, this was Spring Break and the resort was full. I turned in my towels every day but I believe many kept their towels so they would have something to put out on the lounges in the early AM (the towel shack does not open until 8 AM). I brought a large beach towel from home and used that to "reserve" my spot each day along with a few old shoes, book, water bottle, etc.
There is a lot of walking so have comfortable shoes.
There are rocks in the water and the surf can be quite strong so be warned. There are "pathways" that you can find between the rocks to get out to the sandbar.
The grounds are gorgeous and incredibly well kept. Manicured in fact. I really enjoyed just walking around the resort since it was so pretty. There are peacocks, parrots, and these weird little guys that kind of look like a cross between anteaters and racoons.
We did NOT make any of the shows. We were just too tired after dinner so I cannot comment upon the entertainment.
Although I preferred the beach the pool is huge (goes on forever!) and very nice.
I brought about $200 in one-dollar bills. As many others have said, the locals work very hard and DESERVE to be tipped. I left two dollars for each buffet meal for breakfast and lunch, $5 for the dinner buffets, and $10 for each of the three restaurants meals we had. I tipped $1 about every other drink and left $3/day for our maid. Our room was kept very well (don't know if that was because we tipped) and our frig was kept well stocked with water, soda, beer.
It took 45 min to get from the airport to the resort (we had to make two stops ahead of us) and about 30 minutes to back to the airport on the way home. We used LOMAS for our transfers and I would highly recommend them.
All in all this was a good trip and well worth the money. It is NOT a high end, luxury-fine dining resort but it is a lot of fun for a family trip. If you have teenagers it would be good to get 3-4 families together to make the trip. I saw that many went this route so the kids had lots of friends to be with (as did the adults). All five of us felt we would go back again.
- 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