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IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar
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Reviews (5,035)
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2,501
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All reviewsdel marspecialty restaurantsstar friendslobby barapple vacationsthe mediterranean restaurantrock cafeice creamtacosbuffet foodother resortstaco barbeautiful groundscrepesate at the mexicanquiet areaopen air
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Reviewed January 14, 2010

At an all-inclusive, especially one located at a distance from the main town, the food and bar services make all the difference in a vacation. Dinner at the Paraiso del Mar's main buffet was boooring: The uninspired dishes varied little from night to night and often were unappealingly presented. I traveled with my husband and our 22-year-old vegetarian daughter (whose spartan choices were limited mostly to sliced cheese, eggs, french fries, bread and salad). We were OK with breakfast and lunch, which we usually took at the smaller pool-area dining area, but dinner became a chore. Our one specialty excursion was to the Japanese restaurant, which was just OK. (The other specialty restaurants were mostly meat-centric. Oddly, the hotel doesn't have menus to peruse in the lobby where you make your reservations and the restaurants don't post menus outside. The lack of specifics makes it very hard for diners with dietary restrictions.)

As for the bar service, let's just say that the resort doesn't have much problem with drunk patrons. I tasted virtually no alcohol in the mixed drinks. To test my suspicions I ordered tequila shots a few times and they had zero kick. I'm positive that the liquor was diluted.

I'm sad to sound so negative. The resort is laid out like all the Iberostar properties I've seen, which is to say that it's lushly landscaped and beautifully maintained. The rooms also are attractive, though far from soundproof. We got lots of noise from the room next door and my daughter heard coins hit the floor in the room above hers! The pool is very large and the beach scene was lively -- even during the unseasonably cool days we spent from Jan. 5-10. The young Star Friends staff seemed a bit depleted -- some scheduled activities didn't come off because, I was told, there were fewer staff members now that the holidays were over -- but those who were there always had a smile. We learned that they work 14 hours a day, six days a week. Their stamina is incredible.

The nightly shows were PG-13 fun -- a little ribald now and again, and often hokey, but nothing inappropriate for family consumption. Our daughter founds the on-site disco to be fun until the witching hour when the Star Friends finished their shifts and left the club. Then the party shifted to the hotel lobby bar. I'll have to trust her on that one: We parents had been asleep for hours by that time.

But, oh, I can't get around the food issue. For value, a bit more food variety and a better shot at warm January weather, I would recommend the Iberostar at Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic over this property. Alternately, the Iberostars on the Playacar in Playa del Carmen at least give guests the opportunity to walk into town for a meal or two. On the Paraiso properties, you really are stranded.

  • Stayed: January 2010
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2  Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2010

Great food, very good service, nice beach, good animation programme !

Stayed: January 2010, traveled with friends
Thank Trombone76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 5, 2010

Loved the hotel and the wild life on the grounds. My girls age 23 and 17 thought they were in paradise. Could not wait for the show at nite. Food was wonderful as well. Many different cheeses and meats. Staff was so much fun. They love to have picture taken with guest and love tips as well. Take many one dollar bills. Ask them how muchthey make and our all inclusive tips do not reflect on the wages. The horse riding in the ocean was great and thank god we all know how to ride. The horses were wild and wonderful. The maya ruin trip, authentic mexican restaruant and mayan village with a swim in a cenote was a all day trip and one of the most memorable for my kids. These families in the village live off of the land and have hammocks in the main room for sleeping and a oven run by wood for cooking in the same room. The goverment built them a house to live in but it is made of brick and way to hot to live in. '

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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1  Thank laurenPittsburgh_Pa_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2009

Our family (my husband, me, my mother in law and my two young kids, 5 and 12 yr old) stayed in this resort from Dec 12 -19. We used to go to Iberostar Dominicana every year around this time. But this year, I booked late. Del Mar had better price than going to Dominicana. We love Iberostar Dominicana. We thought with Iberostar, it should not be too bad. And yes, this is really nice resort. Very clean, nice service, nice beach. The only reason I gave 4 star overall was because I compared it to Dominicana, the food variety is less, especially for fish dishes. However, it still provides plenty of food choices. We just had been spoiled in Dominicana.
Pool is better than Dominicana. It's big and most of it is shadow. My 5 year old son can stand up there. We also like there is bar in the pool area.
The beach is narrower than Dominicana. In Dominicana, my MIL could walk hours. There are other resorts next to Iberostar Dominicana. But in Del Mar, it seems just Iberostar properties here. Also, closer to Iberostar Grand side, the beach is kind of rough.
It is longer walk from front lobby to beach. Our rooms were very close to beach. Eating areas are mostly close to lobby. But we don't mind walking. Too much food, good to walk it off. The ground is maticulous just like Dominicana. A little bit style different compared to Dominicana. Here the setting is more natural. They keep local vegitations a lot of areas. I like to walk in those paths leading from front lobby to the beach. Trees, schrubs branch out. But because of that, it is not as open as Dominicana.
People there work in the properties are very nice. They work very hard to keep the resort clean and nice.
Fitness center here is better than Dominicana. My daughter and I worked out there 4 days for the 7 days stay. However, I heard Iberostar had major renovation in Dominicana. I heard they also re did the fitness center. But I did not get a chance to see it.
Next year, if price is still better than Dominicana, we will be back here.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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2  Thank sk8ermom2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 29, 2009

My husband and I traveled to this resort with my brother, his wife and their two children, 14 and 9 (12/17-12/24). After reading reviews for several months, we were prepared for the long walk to the beach/pool area. We were in building 20, right near the lobby which worked great for us in having all of the restaurants and the buffet very nearby. When we went down to the pool and/or beach, we brought all of our stuff and stayed for the day. the walk didn't seem to be as long as we had expected. The pathways are very exotic and charming. We ate at the Japanese, Steakhouse and Mexican restaurants and enjoyed them all. Staff was very helpful and always greeted us with a smile and an "hola". The rooms were very clean and neat, and we were given rooms right next door to each other which was very helpful and just what we wanted. Went snorkeling and shopping in Playa Del Carmen. Tips are not necessary but they do such a wonderful job, you want to tip them...a few dollars do go a long way. We struggled to stay up each night being tired from our days in the sun...we did not go to any of the evening entertainment so I cannot comment on that. We had a great time and would definitely return to this resort.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled with family
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Thank mauigirlLansing_MI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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