Our first A.I. experience was at this resort in 2001. Now in 2009, the resort is even better in many different ways. Every area of the resort is CLEAN and very well kept. Food quality is excellent in the buffets and the ala carte restaurants. Top shelf liquor is available throughout the resort as well as nice spanish and argentine wines. Our room had full amenities, was clean, well maintained. Resort was very well staffed - even in the off-season when we were there. Except for the beach and pools, anywhere we sat had drink service. To reinforce what others have said - bring walking shoes as the resort is laid out in a way that you will have to walk quite a bit. We didn't mind - talking and taking in the beauty of the resort night or day (even better at night I think). Trams are available but only ran during dinner hours when we were there. If you call 8125, I'm sure the bell boys would be happy to pick you up at any time. Keep in mind the resort was very low in number of guests at the time of our visit due to the off season etc.
We stayed for four nights/five days and loved every minute!
We stayed in building 12 which was near the beach - a good walk to breakfast and dinner restaurants, but right next to the pools and beach. Our room had a hairdryer, iron, easy to use safe, minibar with water soda and beer, cable tv with movies to order and lots of english channels. The king bed was very comfy and not hard as most in mexico are. The bathroom was nice with a large dual head, tile shower. The minibar was stocked every two days - a tip in the fridge will get you whatever you want. We didnt care about the fridge, but tipped our maid $2 every day - I think $2 to $5 a day is fair depending on your personal preference and ability.
Since the resort was at a very low occpancy level, I was very surprised by the large number of staff at the resort. Service was excellent both in availability and quality throughout our experience.
The beach was great - all white sand, lots of palapas, hammocks and a food stand for lunch with ice cream and of course a large bar too. Fresh water showers to get the salt/sand off. Go to the beach party on Monday around lunch time - very fun with acitivities and a full band and they make a huge paella over an open fire and homemade sangria, it was awesome. Pools are large and stream/lake like with two pool bars. The pools vary in depth as you go around which is nice. Lots of chairs.
Other Iberostar resorts:
Since we had stayed in 2001, Iberostar has added three other connected resorts to the paraiso del mar/paraiso beach resorts that are progressively nicer and more $$. Despite the posted signs, we still went to Parasio Lindo knowing we could not get drinks there - we left del mar double fisted. But it was fun to ride around in the lazy river and check out their pools - amazing pool bar with a water fall over your head ( a must see) - but no one was there - del mar/beach was more active with guests which was kind of comforting as Lindo, while amazingly beautiful, seemed like a ghost town.
A large "shopping center" was also added - we loved it! It was built in a Hacienda style with a large raised gazebo in the middle for bands at night (with tables and drink service) surrounded by pools/fountains. The building structure surrounded the very large outdoor gazebo area and contained nice shops (jewelry, leathers, trinkets, clothing etc) AND had many all included food shops (ice cream/crepes, made to order tacos, 50's diner and tapas - tapas was closed for the off season) a lighted carousel for the kids was very fun for all we saw using it. The center also housed the resort's spa and two night clubs. One night club was for the kids with no alcohol and the other was adults only. The adult night club was the best of any resort we have been to. It was decorated with a Star Wars theme with large scale replicas of characters and ships - very cool. The bar service was great and drinks were well made and stiff. The best part of the club was the music - all Hip-Hop and rap club re-mixes of newer songs played loudly on a good speaker system with lots of bass. Videos of the songs were played on plasmas all around the dance floor. Decent lights too. Amazingly, you can barely hear the club outside of the front doors and it is very far away from any rooms - which is not the case at many resorts - a big plus for early risers like us.
We stayed for four nights and made reservations for the ala cartes the day we arrived at 4:00. We got a free reservation for that night at the Japanese and used our two reservations for the Mexican and Steakhouse restaurants. The brazilian restaurant was closed for the off-season, but the buffet had a brazillian night which we went to. All three ala cartes we went to were excellent in food quality relatively speaking in comparison to the other 8 resorts we've been to. Our fav was the mexican - the little chimichangas at the appetizer bar were literally the best I've ever had in my life.
"least" favorite thing(s): We have our expectations based on prior excellent experiences, but we are "glass half full" people at heart - that being said, there was nothing that we experienced that we would take away as a negative memory of our vacation. The only thing I can think of would be the $60 we paid Apple Vacations for private ground transportation - we still ended up getting lumped in with everyone else. I would have said something, but chose to take it up with our travel agent later since I wasn't going to turn down a ride to the resort or airport only to wait longer for a "private" one. <--- buyer beware on that one.
Favorite Thing(s): The shows! These are a yawn at every other resort we have been to. The only show we saw was "boogie nights". It was simply amazing. A full band with horns played 70's era disco top 40 hits while 6 lead singers took turns singing full length songs one right after the other for what seemed like an hour and a half by my best guess. The singers and dancers had excellent costumes that changed on the fly throughout the show. There was a great set on the stage, three back up singers, probably six good pro dancers. Even some pyrotecnics!!! Not to be missed!!!
In all, the only resorts we have been to that could possibly top this one were almost twice as much $$. We loved every part of this resort and when you consider the price - forget about it...JUST BOOK IT!
- 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