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“After 9 A.I. vacations, I think we've found a favorite - best value by far.”

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IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar
Ranked #7 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed December 13, 2009

The short:

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.

The Lengthy

We stayed for four nights/five days and loved every minute!

The Room:

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.

The service:

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/pools:

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.

Shopping Center:

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.

Restaurants:

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!

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank mixin16
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 11, 2009

We traveled 11/27-Dec 4th. We made some notes since I rely on this site for accurate reviews so much.

We booked through Apple Vacations. Definitely buy the airport transfer through them, for 60 round trip for a couple, you can't go wrong. This resort is about 30 min from Cancun airport.

When you land at the airport, no matter who you book through, do not DO NOT stop for anyone who asks who you are with. These are timeshare salesmen and they are aggressive. Just walk right by them and head outside, you will see all the tour operators/resorts with signage and that is where you should go. The timeshare salesman acts as though they are with your resort to get you over there. It's awful. If you are with Apple, look for the people in the flowered shirts (and they also have signage).

Check in was a breeze, they bring you a welcome drink. The grounds of this resort are immaculate. Very lush, very green and well manicured. The rooms are very clean, building are well maintained. Service is great. I cannot stress bug spray enough. You are in the tropics, humidity is high, and the grounds are lush with ponds and wildlife. Bring a bottle of skintastic or something and you will be good to go.

NOTE: All floors are smooth stone. Wet feet from pool, beach or rain makes this treacherous. Use caution.

The resort is very large and very spread out. We were in building 15, good placement in the middle between the lobby and the beach, and right behind the quiet pool. There is a trolley and we were able to catch it on occasion--but the best advice I can give you is to wear comfortable shoes. The walk is beautiful and will be good for you after all you have eaten and drank. If you are by the lobby at night, usually a bellboy will bring you in a golf cart to your building.

Although signage in your room says that your fridge will be restocked every two days, I left a note with a dollar on my desk "Mas Agua y Coke Light por Favor" and it was filled every day.

There have been some comments about the A/C in your room: This resort does use energy saving technology, for instance, if you have your slider open, your A/C will switch off. Once the door is closed, the sensor will kick on and so will your A/C. Also, when you leave the room, the a/c will switch off. When you open your door, your A/C and lights that you left on, as well as the ceiling fan will kick on. This wasn't so much an issue in the end of November/beginning of December, but I don't think I would appreciate it in the summer. Not sure how it's handled at that time of year, but I would not be happy if the A/C was off all day in August. Another tip: Put your A/C on Fan III instead of "Auto" because the auto kicks off in the middle of the night, around 2-3am. If you want it on all night, put it on Fan III.

Food: Eh. I'm never impressed with food when I go on a cruise or all inclusive resort. I will say that for what you pay here, the food is fine. There is plenty of it--the dinner buffet has a theme every night that accompanies staples. We had dinner at the buffet 2 nights, and we were able to get 5 nights at the sit down restaurants b/c the resort was rather empty. Just book your three nights, and then ask to be put on the waiting list for the rest of the nights. They will slip a note under your door if you get in. Trust me, at the end of the week you are going to be done with the buffet situation. Esp. since you eat buffet for Bfast and Lunch. There is A LOT of fried food. If you are with someone who has issues with greasy food you are going to struggle finding different things to eat every day. That said, the ratings of the Restaurants are as follows (Brazilian was closed due to low occupancy)
1) Steakhouse (best)
2) Mediterranean (good desserts)
3) Japanese
4) Mexican
5) Italian (don't recommend unless you have to get away from the buffet)
That said there is a decent taco stand in the shopping center that is included if you want to take a ride on the trolley over there. Room service is not meant for a meal the menu is rather pathetic. OK for a snack between meals after a long day in the sun.

Service: Fantastic. Everyone is very eager to help and to serve. They do rotate out bartenders at the bars so you don't get to build that relationship with one bartender, which is unfortunate. But we brought $100 of $1 bills just for tipping. These people work very hard and $1-$2 means a lot to them. For the sit down restaurants, we tipped $2/person.

Pool was chilly, but warmed up by Tuesday/Wednesday of the week. They could have skimmed it more, but we still enjoyed it, and the swim up bars is nice. The top shelf liquor was in the lobby, but being able to swim up to the bar and get a drink was nice. Worth the trade off.

The beach--there was a red flag warning every day and the water was rough. The beach was very clean, and the facilities were nice. However, if you are really someone who enjoys the beach, I would not recommend this resort. The undertow was pretty bad and the erosion made for interesting/treacherous "shelving" of the shore in the water. (i.e. one minute you are up to your knees, you take a step and you are up to your waist, another step you are back to your knees--it's kind of bizarre.) We were bummed, it was so rough we couldn't rent jet skis because they shop said the waves were too rough. There is a rocky area that is roped off from swimming. In all, this is not the best beach in Mexico, I recommend La Playa which is closer to town. The resort can direct you and you can take the shuttle there. The beach is protected from the Island of Cozumel and the water is real calm with little undertow.

Excursions: If you are using a tour operator, they will push excursions on you. If you are really interested on leaving the resort, push back on the price, they are usually negotiable. We saved $30/pp on Xcaret just from asking. Worth a try.

This resort was probably 50% occupancy. It made it very relaxing, always space on the beach and by the pool, loungers, etc.

We really enjoyed this resort, they could do a little better with communication about where things are and when things are happening. I think they could put a sheet in your welcome packets that list all the activities with Star friends (i.e. ping pong tournament, archery, air gun range, Spanish lessons, etc) it would help people plan a little more.

I’m not sure I would pay peak season prices here just because of the food and the beach. I can’t hold that against them—but if I had paid the published price of $3800 in February, I probably wouldn’t be as happy. Also, I wouldn’t go in the summer, since everything is outside (buffets for breakfast, lunch and dinner too). I would be miserable. I don’t like that much humidity.

This was the perfect time to go—not busy, not too hot. Bottom line: If you want to get away and have total relaxation with your biggest decision being beach or pool, this is the place to go. We came back completely refreshed and would recommend this resort for the budget conscious traveler.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank Tarainga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2009

We went to the Iberostar del mar the week before Thanksgiving with a group of friends, 3 couples, and had the best time. We loved everything. Stunning grounds, immaculately clean, extremely friendly service...couldn't have asked for more! We hung out in the lobby almost every night, before and after dinner usually, bc the top shelf booze is there. We fell in love with pina coladas and tequilla slammers. We took a day trip to Isle de Najaras and went to Garrafon for snorkleing and zip lining, and had a great time--the water was crystal clear. The staff went above and beyond for all requests...we are die hard Husker fans, and they spent about an hour trying to get us the husker game on the big screen in the rock n' roll theatre room. We loved the beach, the sand is so soft. We really enjoyed the swim up bar in the pool, and we fell in love with the taco bar that is in the shopping center right next door--the pork tacos can't be beat.

We went to the Japanese restaurant, the steakhouse and the seafood--everything was good, just different. Nothing tastes the same there, including pop and juice, so you have to have an open mind. Burgers are definitely different, so is the pizza. But you can always find something to eat, at any hour of the day, and we enjoyed that.

We had no problems with the room, it was sparkling clean every day, we asked for more water and cervesas every day, and it was filled every day. We didn't find the beds to be too hard, thought everything was just great.

We would go back again for sure! it was a really kid friendly hotel, which is great for families, but next time I think we would go to a all adult hotel. But the price was right, and it was worth every penny!!

I definitely wish i was still there, it was absolutely paradise.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with friends
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2  Thank ktred
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2009

We had a great vacation. We went here with friends and had a great time..

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with friends
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Thank Zoffette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2009

We just returned from spending the Thanksgiving weekend at the Paraiso del Mar. This was our first experience with an all inclusive hotel so we didn't know what to expect. Everyone was very impressed with the grounds, the food, the excellant service and the wonderful weather. It was a very relaxing vacation yet there was the beautiful beach, the pool and other activities for those who wanted to be more active. We ate at the Mediteranian, Japanese and Steak restaurants and were pleased with all of them. The buffet, too, was very good and there were lots of comments about the great variety of food. There are 20 of us ranging in age from 14 on up and everyone was very satisfied with the whole experiece.

The one thing that no one enjoyed was the nightly entertainment. I was expecting something along the lines of what you see on a cruise ship. It was not. It was audience participation, silly, but good for a few laughs. We never stayed very long. With so many of us we provided our own entertainment...gathering in the game room to play or cheer on family pool players.

The resort was very good about accomodating our family with the kind of rooms we requested...king, double, triples...in one building. The Paraiso consists of a series of small building not just one large building. We were in building 19 which was fairly close to the lobby and restaurants but a longer walk to the beach. That was fine since we're all walkers and the grounds are lovely and we needed the exercise after all the good food and drink..

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Family-of-18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 29, 2009

We stayed 11-16 to 11-22-09 for our wedding. My husband and I were married on the beach at the del mar. We had the time of our lives! From the moment we entered the grounds we were impressed.THe grounds were gorgeous and the staff was SOOOO friendly and would go above and beyond for us as a wedding couple. For example, we had asked if there was american beer at the resort and the lady at the front desk said she would go to walmart in her time off and check for us! It was my husbands b-day the day we arrived, and our room was decorated from head to toe! It was amazing!
We were not alone for our wedding, wehad 30 people join us and I can honestly say everyone had fun. The age range of our guests were from 2 years old to 78- quite a range,but I have not heard any complints from anyone! There was something at this resort for everyone ranging from the live instumental music in the lobby in the evenings to relaxing on the beach just walking around the spectacular tropical grounds. Overall this resort was a wonderful choice and if we were to do it over again we would chose this resort in a heartbeat for our wedding. Few things to be noted...

If your planning a wedding.... They did a great job. Our wedding coordinator did amazing. She had everything planned out by the time we got to the resort, we only spent 45 min. in her office going over last minute details. We did'nt run into any hiccups with the wedding. One thing to be said, if you want a PRIVATE ceremony. DO NOT choose the beach location, you may want to do the gazebo or church. I had MANY MANY onlookers while I walked down the isle. I actually got appauded from people in their swimsuits! It worked out for me and my husband, we didnt mind and it makes for great memories, but others may not like this. Also, if you can afford it, have a private reception at the tropical resturaunt. It was amazing an the dj was awsome! Everyone that was there danced the whole night through! We also had a mariachi band play for our private cocktail hour before the reception. Big hit!!! They did an amazing job and knew all of our requests. This is a must if getting married in Mexico! Overall we were very happy with our wedding.

Food... Very very good! The buffets were delicious. They had a lot of variety for every meal. Everyone was able to find something they enjoyed. Be prepared to gain a few pounds! The buffets did start to get a little old after a week though- but anything would if you eat it the consitstently.
The A la Carte restraunts were very good as well. We ate at the Japanese and Mediteranean twice. They were both delicious, and the Japanese was very entertaining! It was my husbands birthday and they had him do a shot and he recieved a birthday dessert! Very fun!
Also, the lobby bar has top shelf liquor were the other bars do not.... something to keep in mind. All the drinks were very good. The mojoito was the best, you must try it if going to this resort.

A few minor things.... There is a TON of walking involved. It didn't bother us or our younger friends, but we had a few older guests that needed transportation. THey had golf carts that ran around the perimeter of the resort, but they were unreliable. If there was one thing to change about this resort, more golf carts would be nice.
Bring bug spray... everyone had a lot of bug bites by the end of the trip.
It is open air and only airconditioned in the A la carte restraunts and rooms. In novmeber it was very comfortable, but may be too hot in the summer months.

Overall this is an amazing resort and we are all looking forward to going back!

  • Stayed: November 2009
    • Value
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1  Thank ssuko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 18, 2009

Vactioning in Mexico was great I loved. I loved the wave pool and the lazy river. Everthing was great. You will love it.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank VactionPrincess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar

Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $188 - $550 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar 3.5*
Number of rooms: 388
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

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