My husband and I stayed at the Del Mar Nov. 29th – Dec 6th. This was our 3rd time staying at this resort (2002 and 2010). We have also stayed at the Iberostar Tucan in Playa and Iberostar Cozumel. We prefer this resort over the others. It was a nice touch when we got off the bus, there is a board you walk past to go to reception that had our name on it welcoming us back as repeat guests. We arrived around 1:30 and were given welcome drinks as we checked in. Check in was fast and our room was ready. The bellboy took us and our luggage to our room. I am going to add a few more details than other reviews since some people might be traveling to this resort for the first time.
ROOM: We were assigned to 1547, top corner floor, which I requested when I wrote them before we left home. It is centrally located between the beach and lobby. This room is nice because there is only one neighbor on your side and no one above you. I had heard complaints about people being able to hear their neighbors early in the morning and late at night. We didn’t hear anyone!!! We had a nice view of the pool. The maid made us different towel art every day, which was really neat. We had a king bed, which we found really comfortable, unlike other reviews I have read. There is a sitting area with a long bench and a table and chair for extra room. They provide you with a coffee maker, coffee packets, cream, sugar and flavored tea. The mini fridge was stocked with Coke products, water and 2 Superior and 2 Dos Equis beers. Everything in the room was replenished daily if it was used. In the closet there was an iron and ironing board along with about 12 hangers and a free electronic safe. I would suggest bringing more hangers if you will need them. The bathroom had shampoo and shower gel mounted on the wall inside the shower. There are two shower heads, one mounted on the wall and a hand held one, that was nice. They also give you little bottles of shampoo, shower gel and lotion along with bar soap, shower cap and sewing kit. They also restock those daily. There is also a hairdryer. We never had a problem with a shortage of towels or wash cloths. The rooms are a bit outdated, but how long do you spend in your room anyway? We were given two tee-shirts and a bottle of tequila for being repeat guests, which was really nice. They also made my birthday special by having a bottle of chilled champagne waiting when we got back from dinner. Thank you!!!!
GROUNDS: Just so beautiful!! Everything is so much more mature since the last time we were there. It’s like walking through a jungle in some areas, so pretty. Everything is taken care of so nice. The smell of fresh cut grass, flowers blooming, birds, crickets and frogs all singing are awesome. We have to wait for 6 months to enjoy that again at home. The flamingos and swans that are up by the lobby in the pools are fun to watch. Peacocks are just roaming all over the property. I didn’t realize they fly, but saw them up on people’s third floor balcony’s hanging out. There are tons of Coati’s (Coatimundi) throughout the property. They look like a cross between a Lemur, raccoon and an anteater. They beg for food around the pool snack bars and beach snack bars. They should not be given human food. Many people feed them because they are so cute and they want to take pictures. They make themselves look so adorable, that people feed them all the time. They will also climb up on your table and try to steal food off your plate. I swear they know the difference between men and women. Whenever my husband would get up to get seconds, they were all over our table, I had to stand the whole time and clap to get them off. They didn’t do that to him though, when I left. I think it’s a losing battle trying to get them not to do that. So many people feed them and if tables aren’t cleared right away after you leave from eating, they are all over it. They can seem kind of intimidating, but we never had a problem with them trying to bite.
POOLS: Or should I say “one giant pool”. It is huge and winds through about half the property. There are two swim up bars. One is by the activity area and the other is in the quiet area. I had read reviews before we came down here that said portions of the pool were shut down for retiling. The entire thing was open while we were there. It looks like they still need to redo the area by the activity area though. There is an island in the middle of the pool that they added swinging beds to. It’s really neat looking. Those went first thing in the morning with people reserving them. It’s about 2 ½ - 3 feet deep to walk out to (no bridge). A cave type waterfall is at the furthest end of the pool with a Jacuzzi inside (cold water). The pool seemed very clean and they were always working on it at night skimming and treating.
BEACH: While we were there, they had the red flag out every day, but one. The ocean was really rough and it was windy. If the sun went away, it was kind of chilly. The life guard on numerous occasions was walking up and down the beach blowing his whistle to try to get people to come in closer to shore because of rip currents. Those waves were huge!!! I was knocked on my butt one time and swallowed a bunch of water and panicked. There were areas with rocks on the bottom. It was hard to see them because of the waves. On the one calm day we had, you could see them in the water and avoid them. We brought all of our snorkeling gear, but never was able to use it, bummer! We didn’t have a problem getting a palapa (huts for shade) during our stay. The front row, closest to the ocean was always taken early in the morning, but you could almost always find one somewhere. It’s a beautiful beach, with turquoise water. They have two beach snack bars. One is in front of the Del Mar and Beach side and the other is in front of the Lindo and Maya (the sister resorts which we can’t use). We were using the snack bar by the Lindo and Maya almost the whole trip until one day we got yelled at. Ooops, didn’t realize it. Just a heads up!!! They also have bathrooms in the back of the beach bars. The one thing I found real annoying on the beach was the seagulls and birds. They are smart!!! They sit on top of the palapa’s and watch for people to bring food back to their chairs. People will feed them and they swarm to try and get fries or whatever they can get. They crap all over everything!!! On your chairs, towels, clothes or anything that is not under the palapa. One lady brought back a plate of food and walked away for a minute to do something and they ate her entire plate. She was shocked when she walked back up. The star friends have different things going on each day down by the beach. They had a paella with seafood a couple of times and a taco cook out. That was fun, they played good dancing music. I think the rainy season is lasting longer than normal. It rained on and off throughout our stay, but never changed anything we were going to do. It was also windier than normal during this time of year.
RESTAURANTS: We ate at 3 specialty restaurants during our stay. They were all really good!!! The Mediterranean “La Dorada” we had the surf and turf which consisted of a tenderloin that you could cut with your fork, a small lobster tail and 3 shrimp. You also get to go up to the salad, snack bar before your dinner is served. The Japanese show table “El Hashiru” where you have a choice of octopus, beef, chicken and shrimp. We got beef, chicken and shrimp and it was awesome. They put on a good show. And finally the steak house “EL Puerto” I had the tenderloin and my husband had the Rib eye. They were both good. The rib eye was kind of fatty, but they gave him a large piece, that it didn’t matter. This one also had a salad/snack bar to visit before dinner. All of them offered dessert too. During the day we mainly ate at the pool or beach snack bars. The pool snack bars have much more of a variety than the beach snack bar. We preferred the pool snack bar “El Faro” on the Del Mar side, there seemed to be a little more of a selection than “El Puerto” on the Beach side. You have to wear a cover-up or tee-shirt over your suit when you use the pool snack bars. The beach bar consisted mainly of hamburgers, hotdogs, fries, salad, chips, salsa and guacamole. You can just go up to those in your swim suit.
SHOPPING MALL: It is included in your stay. There is a taco, hamburger and crepe restaurant. We ate at all three of them and they were good. The teen and adult discos are also located in the mall along with shops. The disco was pretty fun, we went more than we normally would go on a vacation. The lobby bars would close and everyone would go to the disco. The thing that was nice is the hamburger joint would stay open until 3:00 am. You could grab a burger before heading back to your room. There are shops with an assortment of Mexican souvenirs if you don’t want to leave the property to shop in Playa. The prices in Playa are cheaper though.
SHUTTLE TO PLAYA DEL CARMEN: The shuttle runs daily down to Playa at: 9 am, 11 am, 2 pm and 5 pm and returns at: 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm and 8 pm. It is $5 one way or $10 round trip per person. You pay them separately each way when you get on the van. If you take a taxi, it is $25 each way. With the van, they drop you off in a fenced parking lot at a Silver shop. The nice thing is, they have restrooms in the parking lot to use for free, which are EXTREMELY hard to find in Playa. You are not allowed to go into a store or restaurant to use their restrooms unless you purchase something or eat there. The bad thing is you have to walk through the Silver shop in order to get onto 5th avenue. The employees will hound you the entire time you walk through the shop. Just tell them you only wear gold, LOL. Remember where the Silver shop is and make sure you get back there around 10 minutes before the van is supposed to pick you up. The people who are going back to the Iberostar on this van act like a bunch of animals and will try to push and skip you to get on the van.
There are a few people who I would like to mention who made our vacation special and fun. Thanks to Anny Morales who helped us with dinner reservations, much appreciated!!! Cristian who gave us a great room and location. Julio who worked at the Del Mar reception. Always smiling and helpful!!! The bartenders at the Del Mar lobby bar: Eduardo, Jorge, Orlando and Demetrio “Big D”. We had so much fun with them, they are crazy!!!
Your vacation is what YOU make of it. Things can go wrong and not be exactly what you expected at times or not, but you are in a different country. Just enjoy being in warm weather and the beautiful surroundings. Treat the staff as you would like to be treated. They work long hard days/nights (12 hour shifts, 6 days a week) and always are smiling and trying to be accommodating to you. Tipping is not required, but goes a long way. They will remember you and what you like to drink and so forth and go out of their way to serve you. This is not a place where you can expect to be waited on hand and foot. Do your part like you would at home and clean up after yourself, don’t leave glasses, plates, straws and cigarette butts laying all over. They have plenty of places to dispose of these items. It makes it easier for the workers to clean up each day if everything is put in its designated area, garbage. A resort of this magnitude, with how many people are staying has to be a challenge cleaning up each and every day/night.
The only complaint I had during our stay and it HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE RESORT and you will find this anywhere you go in Mexico or other Caribbean destinations are the Europeans. It is all about them and you better get out of their way. The pathways inside the resort only allow two people to walk side by side because of their width. My husband and I would be walking side by side and a group would come walking toward us. One of us would always go behind each other in single file to fit. They would not move. They expected you to go off into the grass in order to let them pass. That got old real quick!!! We started stopping in our tracks when they approached. Some would literally ram into you with their shoulders!!! Then they would look at you and say things you couldn’t understand like you were at fault. Unbelievable!!! It is the same way in the buffet lines, the line is all going in one direction and they walk up and skip you and practically take the serving spoon out of your hand. Just don’t move out of their way and give in, let them get out of your way!!! We all paid to be on vacation and the hell if they are going to think they are any better than anyone else. I have no idea what country these people are from, so I can’t fairly point out anyone. All I know is there are good and bad people from everywhere in the world. We have met so many people over the years from so many different countries who are great people and we still keep in touch, but some think they are above and beyond everyone else. Don’t let them get away with it.
If you are arriving at the resort during the holiday, you will be in for a big surprise!! We were really bummed out that they didn’t turn on their Christmas lights before we left. Our last full night was on Dec. 5th and they still didn’t have them on. Everywhere you looked, they had lights. On the trees, bushes, lobbies, pathways, you name it!!! It has to be amazing seeing all the lights turned on!!! I can’t even imagine how cool it has to look!!! The whole resort has to be lit up with how many they had strung. I’m looking forward to seeing other people’s reviews with pictures to see them.
We will definitely return to this resort in the future.
- 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