I travelled with a friend and stayed for one week. I think this resort has something to offer to anyone. We had a great time - here is a breakdown of my opinion of the resort.
Beach: Really fantastic. It's quite large - you can walk for quite a ways in either direction. There are no rocks in the roped off swimming area. Sand is lovely. There are some cigarette butts (and straws) here and there in the lounging area - sad that people who smoke can't discard their butts responsibly. Water was warm and awesome! Lounge chairs were always available and there were quite a few huts for shade. There is a snack shack and a bar on the beach - food was good. There was a good selection of food – everything from hamburgers and hot dogs with fries to fresh fruit, salads, cooked fish and seafood and vegetables. Also guacamole, salsa and chips! Ice cream was great! Drinks were very good. Banana daiquiri was a fave or ours. There is also non-alcoholic beverages available (ice tea, juice and pop). Lineups were not very long and went quickly, and there was also a server providing chair service. Massage was available on the beach (for an added cost). There are vendors who travel the beach too – just don't make eye contact if you are not interested in being solicited. Otherwise, they don't linger and leave you alone.
Pool: Very large - cooler, but I would not say cold. It's fine once you get in. They were nice, but we preferred the beach. Lots of people did the "towel saver" and held spots around the beach. Keep that in mind if you desire a certain area. But there seemed to be a lot of seating. There were scheduled activities and games, but we didn't partake - looked fun though.
Rooms: Very clean and comfortable. They say "queen" size beds but they are double. Very comfy though. We didn't spend a lot of time in our room! There were a few English channels with movies and sitcoms for those wanting some t.v. time. Drinks were well stocked in the rooms. We had no problem with hot water and the air conditioning worked fine in our room – but we didn't really use it or need it. The rooms are fairly cool and it does cool off at night.
Restaurants: The Japanese was amazing! It is also quite entertaining to watch the cook – fun for everyone. Very good food. The Seafood/Mediteranean was also very, very good. We had fish and it was cooked very well - not dry at all. The desserts were very good also. Lots to choose from on the salad/appetizer tables. The buffets were great. There were always lots of choices! I can't imagine anyone would go hungry, I think there was something for everyone here. Fresh fruit, salads, veggies - amazing fish and chicken. Desserts were incredible. There may seem to be a lot of repeats - but in fact, we found that there was something different every night. Breakfast and lunch were also great. The only restaurant that we didn't care for was the Italian - it was very salty. I had a shrimp risotto (and I'm not that picky). Everything else was very good.
Service: Amazing staff on hand. Everyone was helpful and extremely friendly. Daniel at the front desk started us off right! Very, very friendly and helpful. He granted our request for a room close to the beach. They have a courtesy suite (as we travelled overnight on a red eye and the room wasn't available for us to check in at 7:00 am) where we could shower and change. Servers at buffets were so kind and friendly. Everyone really works hard here with a big smile on their faces. The entertainment staff was lots of fun also!
Wifi is not available in rooms, which was a little disappointing in today's day and age. However, you can purchase wifi packages and they are reasonable. We bought 24 "log in-log out" hours for $16 US. You can log in and out for the week. Will allow you loads of time to check email, facebook, browse internet etc.
Grounds: Very beautiful grounds. Amazing lush vegetation and wildlife. They have resident peacocks, flamingos, swans…and those creepy things that look like raccoons – some people seem to enjoy feeding them. The grounds are very large – so be prepared to walk. Not a problem at all for us – we enjoyed every minute of it. There was also some kind of shuttle (we didn't use it so I 'm not sure how often it came and where it went).
There is a little mall area and shopping is available on the grounds. Souvenirs, clothes etc. Also ice cream and tacos were available there (included)
Spa: Was nice and the employees were all very professional. I thought it was a little expensive, 80 min massage was $150 and that included use of the spa (hot pools, salt water pools, sauna and steam room).
Night club: It was fun. Played good tunes – and people of all ages were there.
Location: The resort is about 30 min drive from the airport. We were the first to be dropped off on our way to start our vacation, and the last to be picked up when it was time to go home– which was an incentive over other resorts since we didn't want to add more travel time.
The resort is about a 20-30 min drive by resort shuttle bus Playa del Carmen. Check at the concierge for departure/pick up times – cost was $5 each way. Lots of shopping and restaurants etc. in town. Be prepared to barter!!
On another note, I would recommend bring some $1 bills. We tipped our house-cleaning person daily, as well as servers at the restaurants – even the buffets. It was our opinion that the people who went out of their way (and didn't expect anything in return) deserved a few bucks. They really do work hard to serve – and to make your experience a great one.
We had a really wonderful vacation at this resort – and I believe that it offers something for everyone. There were families with young children, couples, singles, and college students on spring break. I would recommend it to others for sure – and I would go back myself.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraíso" (Mexico). High standard of comfort. Wide gastronomic variety. 18-hole golf course. PAD/SSI – diving school, massage at the beach and the pool. Spa. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Mexico
- IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico