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“Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar, Our first trip to Mexico”

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IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Hamilton, NJ
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar, Our first trip to Mexico”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2010

My husband and I finally took our first trip to Mexico at the urging of all the friends we met in Punta Cana. You'll LOVE it they said, so we had to eventually. We've stayed at Iberostar resorts before in Punta Cana so we knew we'd get great service (they're known for it) and we did. The resort is VERY lush and very large. There is a tram that runs pretty regularly so getting around wasn't too bad. There are actually 4 resorts all lined up next to each other so it seems even larger. We stayed at the Paraiso Del Mar but there is also the Del Beach, Lido and Grand all in a row.
The grounds were very well maintained, a good thing as there was soo much vegitation on the property that you really can't see very far. I prefer things a bit more open so you get the ocean breezes. We didn't get that here but the weather was fine. I also like to feel like I'm on an island so I like to be able to see the ocean. The vegitation was so thick that from the pool, you'd never know the ocean was just a few hundred feet away. From the pool you also could not see any of the room buildings so you really kind of felt like you were in your own world. Not really a bad thing but... We did have issues with mosquitoes (we were on the ground floor) but did bring bug spray with us. Only problem is you don't feel them til it's too late!! Came home with several bites.
FOOD: service in the restaurants and buffets was good but the variety of food was not what we expected. From other Iberostars we expected more on this front. In PC they always had tons of variety and it was ALL great. Here, it was good but got old quickly. My hubby loves veggies and was a bit frustrated by having almost none at dinner in the buffet but found it odd that often there would be several options at breakfast??? Other than that, no issues, tasted pretty good to me and I'm picky.
POOL: HUGE and wonderful with at least 1 swim up bar that was well manned by several bartenders while we were there. They kept my glass full. A suggestion for Management, try serving bottled water at the swim ups. We could only get it by the glass so we started bringing an empty bottle from our room and having them refill it, but didn't think of that til we'd been there a few days. Music was nice most of the time but often way to loud to sit and talk to people we met at the bar. Had to go to the other side of the pool to hear them. We're not beach people but we did go down to the beach to check out the water. Not impressed. Water was cloudy and not that blue, sand was OK but the way the beach is done (big slope down to the water) was actually uncomfortable to walk through. I did think the decking from the beach buffet to the edge of the upper section of beach was GREAT. Made that part of walking much easier.
MAINTENANCE NOTE FOR MANAGEMENT: The bathroom by the pool REALLY needs additional mats. The wet marble floor (from people in wet suits) is VERY slippery. Mix a wet marble floor with alcohol and it's a disaster waiting to happen. In fact it did. On our last day in resort I fell and tore a ligament in my foot. Spent that night at the hospital and got to fly home the next day on crutches. Not the suveneir I wanted to bring home! I slipped several times in there (with and without having drinks) but the last time I actually feel pretty hard. PLEASE put additional mats on the floor by the stalls, not just in front of the sinks and entrance. You could save a nasty law suit by that small investment.

All told it was a very nice resort but Mexico itself was not really what we expected. We'd go back if the right deal came along but think we'll stick with Punta Cana.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beth S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
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Dallas
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2010

We loved having our wedding ceremony and reception at Iberostar Paraiso del Mar in Riviera Maya!

The resort
The grounds are SPRAWLING and beautiful with lots of lush, jungle landscaping, beautiful ponds, and animals like flamingos and swans. Bring bug spray, because we were eaten alive, but the landscaping is gorgeous. The massive resort does advertise shuttles to get you back and forth from the entrance lobby all the way to the ocean-front rooms, but the shuttles were few and far between. I always think people are lazy when I read complaints about having to walk, but believe me, this resort is so huge that it’s A LOT of walking, especially when you dress up for dinner or events and then sweat as you hoof it to the other end of the resort. The buffets, snack bar and restaurants are good, with our group of 60 travelers agreeing that the Japanese was the best—excellent food and even better presentation. (You get a certain number of dinners at the reservations required restaurants based on how long you are staying at the resort. For our 5-night stay, I believe we got three reservations.) The pools are great with plenty of seating and bars. The drinks are appropriately strong. The STAR Friends are entertaining both at the nightly shows at the open-air theater and during daily activities. The rooms are comfortable, although you cannot cool them below a certain level and ours was a bit warm.

The wedding
Reyna, our wedding coordinator assigned by the all-inclusive resort, was very helpful/responsive once we were at the resort, and we loved her; My only frustration was trying to plan the wedding in advance from afar. Details and specifics were hard to come by until we arrived. I think most destination wedding couples must just show up and go with the flow, but I wanted a few things, such as table numbers, or answers to simple questions, such as what color are the table linens, and they seemed slow to provide details for me until we were there. The front desk staff was very helpful and distributed our “welcome bags” to our 60 guests as they arrived and checked in. I had my hair and nails done at the spa on site and thought they did a great job. If you want to bring your own photographers instead of using the resort-recommended Photo Caribbean, you will have to pay a penalty fee (even if you still pay for video with the required photographers, Photo Caribbean). The video was good although the Photo Caribbean staff was not very friendly (probably because they were mad that we brought our own photographers) but the videographer they sent was good. The flowers, ceremony and cake were all part of our package and were wonderful. (Buttercream frosting is not available, FYI. It’s the whipped kind.) We wished the officiant would've attended the rehearsal so we could have better anticipated the flow of the ceremony, but that was okay. We paid extra to rent the open air restaurant for our reception. The reception food was delicious and we regret not taking pictures of each course because the presentation was beautiful. We paid extra to hire a DJ, and that was great, too. (Although we brought our own music playlist on an iPod and just asked the DJ to play it, because he was unable to provide a list of his available music in advance of the wedding.) The DJ is the same one who works at the disco beginning at 11 p.m., and the music there is good, so I think it would've been fine without our playlist. After our reception, the staff carried all of the flowers from the table decorations to our room for us. We all continued the party at the disco and had an amazing time.

After our wedding, we honeymooned at the nearby Iberostar Grand, which was incredible, but for our wedding party, which included children, the Paraiso del Mar was the perfect low-key, fun environment.

We loved this resort and plan to vacation there again in the future. Can't say enough good things about Iberostar Paraiso del Mar for your Mexican wedding venue! I would be so happy to talk to any brides considering this venue, and I'm happy to share more pictures that can better illustrate the venue, flowers, etc.

  • Stayed December 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
13 Thank ESam4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia
Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Linda H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 6, 2010

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

Stayed January 2010, traveled with friends
Helpful?
Thank Trombone76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pittsburgh, pa.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank laurenPittsburgh_Pa_
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elmhurst, Illinois
Level Contributor
17 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sk8ermom2006
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansing, Michigan
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank mauigirlLansing_MI
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

Property: 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 Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#6 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#7 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#8 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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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