If you're looking for a very large, very kid friendly all inclusive somewhere between Cancun and Playa Del Carman, you could do worse than this hotel. My impression is that this hotel is really designed to create the illusion for middle class families with kids to feel like they are experiencing Mexico in an opulent, luxurious fashion, but without taking whatever small risks may be associated by stepping out of the resort and actually experiencing the culture first hand.
There is certainly nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the beautiful beaches of this area in total comfort and with an endless supply of meals and drinks. The lobbies and hallways of the hotel are enormous, impressive, and impeccably clean. The faux Mayan design is on a grand scale and is really quite evocative. The rooms are huge and generously appointed, if slightly worn at the edges. The food at the buffets is not so great (breakfast excepted- GREAT selection), but the food at the slightly ridiculous Disneyfied "foreign" restaurants is pretty good. The French one had the best food with the Japanese steakhouse running a close second.
The beach area is nice, but felt a bit crowded. The other issue I had on the beach is the incessant smoking- worst of all the cigars! Hello, no one is impressed, you know you are not really enjoying it that much, you do not come off as a "living large" Rush Limbaugh or Fidel Castro or whoever, you just look like a sucker who got ripped off buying cheap cigars from a beach hustler in a Mexican tourist town, and by the way you are ticking off everyone else in a fifty yard radius of your chair!!! Please, just enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and beautiful water instead. Ok, sorry. Had to get that off my chest...
The nightlife at the hotel was a bit subpar- they have a cheezy euro-style disco and tacky tourist shows in their theater. There is a sports bar where you might be able to catch your game or do karaoke. The large lobby bars are very cool, but were surprisingly lifeless most evenings I was there. They do have shuttles that run semi-regularly to Playa Del Carman and the cab fare to Cancun or Playa is fairly reasonable. It's about twenty minutes or so to either town.
The vast majority of the hotel employees were VERY friendly and helpful. The concierges in my building, 62, were phenomenal. The only problem I ran into was with the front desk. This hotel does not cater to independent travellers at all. I had rented a car from an outside company and notified the desk and the lobby concierge that they were coming and at what time. They assured me there would be no problem and the guy could bring the car right in. After waiting and waiting and trying to call with my own phone, I finally got through and it turned out the rental car guy had been waiting out at the security gate for over a half hour because he wasn't allowed in. I went to complain to the manager at the desk and he STILL would not allow the guy in, gave me an attitude, and did not even offer to bring me out there, so I had to walk the best part of a mile to the gate with all my stuff in the 90 degree heat to get my car. One other somewhat disappointing aspect of the hotel is that you can only use your computers in the front lobby and to get a high speed line in your room is $15 per day. Not a very up to date policy, in my view.
So all in all, while this would not be my personal first choice for a hotel in this area, there are a million ways to enjoy yourself here, and overall I had an excellent time in spite of the criticisms. You can't really go wrong here and if you are getting a good deal, I would go for it. It's the kind of place where anyone should be able to have a good time.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the beautiful beach of Playa Paraiso (Mexico). All junior suites with Jacuzzi, DVD player, upgraded amenities. Exclusive dining plus dine around privileges at over 16 restaurants, 17 full service bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Riviera Maya
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Maya
- Iberostar Maya
- Iberostar Grand Paraiso
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico