I chose the Iberostar Del Mar based on recommendation from Apple Vacations. This was my first time to the Riviera Maya and to any Iberostar resort. In short, I would recommend and consider another Iberostar for a future vacation, as well as Riviera Maya (although Playa del Carmen and Cancun would be top 1 and 2 choices over Riviera Maya for the next go-round.) I met several friendly staff, visitors and had a 7 out of 10 level experience.
What I was looking for:
Superior beach access, beach relaxation, all-inclusive, safety/security, mild to moderate level of on-site partying. I went with a travel buddy.
*** PROS: ***
* Very friendly, helpful staff. The Iberostar entertainment staff, dubbed “Star friends” go out of their way to check up on you, invite you to games, performances, and be part of the nightly entertainment.
* There are always activities going on – on the beach as well as the many pools on site – you won't be bored unless you actively seek to avoid all contact with hotel staff. I played beach sand volleyball, danced meringue lessons etc – the variety, frequency and type of activities exceeded my expectations. This easily competes with a ClubMed like experience.
* The people/visitors are friendly = I met several international travelers, and the atmosphere is definitely singles-friendly.
* The beach is beautiful. There is always seating available, whether beach-side or pool-side. Crystal clear bright sand. You have to watch out for some corrals so you don't step on them and get scratched up (like I did, the first night.)
* The 9:45PM nightly shows are average. If nightly cruise ship shows are a 6 and Vegas shows are a 10, this experience was a 3. They make a decent effort to involve the audience. Pina coladas, daiquiris, and other alcohol being proffered by the waitresses walking around at opportune times, helps. It sure was nice being greeted as soon as I walked into the hotel lobby, with a mimosa.
* There were not as many children as I had expected to find, in this family-oriented resort. Someone reported the resort was only 30% full during my stay.
* The grounds are stunningly beautiful, there are cute, harmless anteater/antelope like animals and peahen running around everywhere.
* The grounds are massive – lots of walking – good exercise
* I booked this trip via Apple Vacations – they have their own desk onsite for booking excursions, etc
* Although I did not, I learned that you can take a free Iberostar operated shutte to a neighboring Iberostar in Playa Del Carmen or Cancun, etc.
* I experienced only minor rainy weather – I enjoyed hot, sunny weather 80% of the time, despite having traveled during hurricane season.
* The atmosphere definitely did not prove to be a wild, party scene.
* I met lots of Texans – wearing cowboy hats, Dallas Cowboys fans, etc. The many pools and swim up bars are a lot of fun and there is plenty of socializing and mixing going on to not get bored.
* Daily room service, cute towel animals left by room maids.
* The standard room I booked looked nice and was plenty spacious enough for me (rooming just by myself.)
* The in-room Minibar was always stocked with Dos Equis bottles and soft drinks and water. You must always drink bottled water, the tap water is not potable.
* The voltage is 110v, I plugged in my iphone 4 and it charged up just fine. I used it to take all my pictures.
*** CONS: ***
* I woke up in the middle of the night – one of the 6 nights I was there – and saw a 1.5inch dark cockroach scurry merrily from across the floor to under my bed
* Alarm clock theft must be a problem, b/c the way it was set up – the outlet/plug was built into the wall itself, preventing you from being able to unplug it. I struggled at 2am with a broken alarm on/off switch, and resorted to moving the clock forward by 6 hours to shut the darn alarm off.
* I used the in-room Domitech electronic safe deposit box every day. After 6 nights (the night before my departure) it stopped working, displayed ERROR2 on the screen. After a nerve-wracking 1.5hrs of a 3-man security team in my room trying everything they could to open the box, one man finally succeeded by slamming into the box very hard with his fist and that got it to finally open. Not very comforting…
* The restaurants felt more like 3.5 star than 5 star.
* The restaurant reservation system is antiquidated and artificially rigid. Their policy is to let you reserve up to 2 restaurants (2 nights) based on my 6-night stay. If I stayed longer, I could make more reservations. It took 45mins to make 2 reservations. It took another 20 minutes to make standby waiting list reservations for the other nights (none of them panned out/came through.) The restaurants each had several open seats and it was ridiculous that I couldn’t reserve more than just 2 restaurants. I chose the Italian restaurant (my experience was 1 out of 5) and the Mexican restaurant (I’d rate it 4 out of 5).
* All the alcohol was low to mid shelf liquor, at best. Dos Equis it is, stay thirsty my friends…
* The onsite night club disco was a joke. It was 80% men smoking up a cancer fest every night…
* The resort was mostly couples, I observed/met extremely fewer singles than I initially thought I would.
* The Iberostar del Mar side felt cheaper (less wood paneling, older/cheaper feeling lobby) than the immediately adjacent/connecting Paraiso side.
* I stayed for 6 nights = next time I might opt for 4 nights – that would be plenty
Overall, I would recommend this resort to a friend and would consider staying there again, but I would definitely try a different chain altogether or a different Iberostar.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Cancelon, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, TravelUp, Hotwire, Evoline ltd and HotelQuickly so you can book your IBEROSTAR Paraiso Del Mar reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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