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Iberostar Paraiso Maya
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Reviewed January 13, 2013

Just back from a week at the Paraiso Maya and if it weren't for our Olympus rep Kata and the excursions she recommended, we would have left feeling very cheated. We have 2 sons ages 18 and 22. We have stayed at other all-inclusive resorts (loved Secrets Capri) and have enjoyed Royal Caribbean cruises so we get the good and bad of the all-inclusive concept, but we will never ever return to an Iberostar resort.

The only positives were that the resort was fairly clean, the rooms were spacious, the pools were gorgeous, and the beach was lovely. And our Olympus rep went above and beyond the call of duty to help us choose off-site excursions that were perfect!

The food was horrible. We made reservations to specialty restaurants for the entire week when we arrived and still weren't able to get into the Mexican restaurant. There was no flexibility to change times once they were made. The meals were awful with some that were even inedible. The gourmet restaurant (L'etoile) app was lobster overcooked to leather status with cubes of pheasant that tasted like Campbell's Chunky Beef soup with mixed vegetables. The Snapper looked and tasted as I imagine cat food might. The waiter felt badly that I wouldn't eat it and brought me shrimp risotto which was overcooked with a slimy sauce. Dessert was okay.

El Rancho steaks were tough and again, served with canned green beans! Salmon at the seafood restaurant was mealy and had a congealed icky sauce on top. Just awful. I dreaded going to the buffet as much as the restaurants. The best meal we had was at the Jambalaya and it was only mediocre.

The service was hit or miss. Our housekeepers were great and very friendly, as were several of the activity leaders and some of the bartenders. The waiters never asked if we needed anything or how our meal was. The service felt perfunctory. I saw one waiter yell at a guest who tried to bring food to her room when all he had to do was explain politely that she needed to use plastic plates. It felt like the wait staff had a basic job to do but never made us feel taken care of, or like they were responsible for our vacation experience.

All in all, we were very disappointed with the resort. The beds were hard as a rock, the place is enormous and although they had many amenities we wanted, it took forever to find them and walk to them. We were told we had reciprocity with all hotels but the Grande, but we couldn't use wifi anywhere but in our hotel's lobby....very cheap.

When we go on vacation we expect to be treated as though the employees recognize their role is to make us feel pampered, and Iberostar markets themselves as making you feel like "a star." They don't. I am shocked it had gotten some really good reviews....were we at the same resort??

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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3  Thank julieeks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2013

We just stayed at this resort over Christmas. We loved it!! We have recommended it to several other families since coming home. We were a little anxious about staying in Mexico with all the reports of it being unsafe. We didnt find this at all. The food was good. Our rooms were great. LOVED the beach and pool area. The tips I read from other tripadvisor people were very helpful. We did reservations for dinner prior to getting there being Christmas it was VERY busy. One complaint was the beds are rock hard. We would go back.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank Queenbee4067
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Dear Guest,

First of all I would like to thank you for choosing Iberostar for spending your Christmas time, a very important time in the year.

Thank you for your generous review. We were happy to know that you had a wonderful vacation. Regarding our beds, foam toppings are available at request for guests that find them too firm for their liking; however, we take good note of your comments.

It was our pleasure to have served you and we hope to welcome you once again to this paradise.

Kind regards,

Quality Manager
Iberostar México

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 11, 2013

We stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso May from 12/28 until 1/3/13. The transportation from the airport was seamless, thanks to Lomas Travel. The check in was quick. We had 2 adjoining rooms, one for adults and one for the kids. The mattresses were firm, which is great for my back. There was a concierge desk at the end of the corridor to address any visitor questions/concerns, schedule dinners, etc. Any minor issues were handled promptly. Nearly all the staff spoke very good English and appeared happy. The restaurants were good and the buffets were fine. One piece of advice breakfast buffet at "Marina" restaurant is the best. All of our dinners were scheduled in advance, thank you TripGuy. The beach areas were great with lots of shade. The resort has a tremendous pool area with lazy river, ice cream bar, wave pool and pool bar. The kids club had great programs. The New Year's Program was amazing. My wife loved massage on the beach. The SPA experience was average. The waverunner/snorkeling trip at the nearby Maroma was great.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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6  Thank Scuba_Do_NJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear guest,

We are very happy to hear that you and your family had a great time at the Iberostar Paraìso Maya and enjoyed the services provided by the hotel.

Therefore we thank you sincerely for taking the time to let us know. It is reviews like yours that help us see what areas are appreciated and what we can work on improving.

Once again many thanks for your review and we hope to serve you again at Iberostar.

Kind regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

We spent Jan. 2-9 at the Maya. Traveled with two grandmas, my husband and I and a family of 4 which included a 3 1/2 year old and 7 year old. We had a wonderful time. Let's start with the rooms. Thanks to other reviewers I knew I wanted building 63 or 64 and top floor. We got room 6373 and I would ask for it again. Heard no noise, overlooked the private pool and had a wonderful breeze down the hallway. Yes, we walked up the stairs but we were eating so much it didn't matter. These buildings are in the middle of the resort- close to the wave pool and midway to the restaurants at the front of the property. Beds are hard for sure but we got used to them and never asked for a mattress topper. Nancy was our maid and never have we had better maid service! She made sure things were clean, provided beautiful towel art everyday, and I felt she went out of her way. I tried to have a conversation with her but I don't speak Spanish and she doesn't speak English. We gave her $2 every day and surprised her with $20 on the last day. She was wonderful! We asked for extra towels and water the first day and she provided that the rest of the time.

The concierge in our building was Mar. She was excellent as well. She helped us make dinner reservations, spa reservations, laundry service and always remembered our names. She was very professional.

We participated in the evil seat saving. The first half of our trip the resort seemed busy so if you wanted a seat by the pool you play the game. I was up early to walk so took care of that for our group. It became unnecessary the second half of our trip as numbers seemed to go down considerably. Pools are beautiful! I am a pool sitter from 9-5 and we loved every minute of it. We stayed by the wave pool as there were little ones with us. It was also quieter than the mid pool area where the star friends keep the entertaining going. That is fun too but the music being played there was often inappropriate and too loud. We took several swims but preferred the family atmosphere by the wave pool. The bar tender at the pool bar worked his tail off! We don't drink alcohol but enjoyed mojito's, diet coke with lime, and several other fruity drinks. My husband loved the fresh fruit and veggie smoothies they made there in the morning as well.

We went to the beach one day and played in the waves. It is beautiful and seemed to have plenty of seats. Lots of activities there as well.

My husband and friend golfed and loved it! $49 for after 1 pm and they said it was one of the toughest courses they have played. They said it was in immaculate shape and enjoyed 3 rounds there.. They play a lot of golf and have played some well known courses so I was happy they enjoyed it as much as they did. And it's right on site!

The kids we were with enjoyed the kids club. Their mom is picky and she had very good things to say about the staff there. She was impressed with their diligence and the fact that they stuck to the rules.

Grounds are kept up very well and the gardens are beautiful.

Now to the food. It was disappointing. It hurts me to say that and we didn't go hungry but it definitely was lacking. Breakfast at the restaurant in the lobby was the most enjoyable meal. We found it after the first two mornings of eating in the poolside restaurant. Stay away from the pool buffet if possible. Lunches we always ate by the pool as we were wet from swimming. There were always burgers, chicken, hotdogs but the quality was poor and I was disappointed in the fact they didn't serve Mexican food. Chips out of a bag, nacho cheese sauce from a tin can, and they always were out of Mexican salsa. There was always fresh fruit which was good but the atmosphere there is yucky. We ate at the buffet at the Lindo 3 evenings. It was good but you really have to watch the kids who put their fingers in the food. That kind of grossed me out. Ate at the mexican restaurant twice. The first night the service was bad and I felt they were rushing us out. The second night it was better and I recommend the Arrachara steak. It had good flavor. Our last night we ate at the steakhouse and that was the best meal of our week. Great service, and the steak was surprisingly good. I had the salmon which was also good.

My reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is the food. But again, we never went hungry. It just could stand improvement. I recommend they go back to their Mexican roots and serve some really, authentic food. I craved chicken fajitas like we had at the iberostar in Cozumel but never saw them served.

Can't finish this without a word about the spa. I broke down and had an 80 minute massage with Erica. Oh my word! Heaven!!! The spa is beautiful! And she was wonderful. I don't usually do things like that but am so glad I did. It felt very luxurious!

I would go back. I don't know what the difference in rooms is between the Lindo and Maya and not sure about the cost difference but don't think there is much. Either seemed to be really good. Oh, and we looked in on the fitness center and it was busy with lots of people. Looked like good machines and weight lifting equipment. I stuck with walking outside.

I hope we can return soon. It was a wonderful treat!

Room Tip: Choose building 63 or 64 and top floor for less noise.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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9  Thank MichiganCozumelfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for taking the time to send us your comments on your experience at our hotel. We are glad you vacation has been agreable and you enjoyed our service and grounds.

Of course we will also take in consideration your feedback about the meals and restaurants. Our chef and food and beverage manager will consider your comments for future renovations.

We will forward your comments on the wonderful staff you mentioned such us Nancy and Mar. They will surely feel motivated to hear you were so happy with their service.

Thank you again for your time and hope to see you back soon.

Best regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 10, 2013

I don't have a lot of experience at all-inclusives and apparently the food is often a problem and many say that this hotel has food better than most. However, I found that the food was the only weak spot for this resort. I think they try and make very good and sophisticated meals. The problem is that very fancy and and sophisticated food is also very unforgiving so if it is not perfect it can be very bad as opposed to more simple dishes which are easier to execute on a mass scale and can still be good even if not perfect.
Other than this one complaint, I would highly recommend this resort.

Room Tip: The Paraiso Maya is considered comparable to its sister hotel on the same property, the Paraiso Lindo. However I found many differences that make the Maya superior including the fact that the building at the Maya have elevators as opposed to the Lindo which doesn't. The Maya also offers free wi-fi in the lobby and access to spa facilities which the Lindo does not.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Zonko33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IberostarMexico, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this reviewResponded January 21, 2013

Dear guest,

Thank you for sending your comments about your stay.

It saddens us to hear you did not enjoy your meals at the various restaurants at the hotel and the complex. We try to attend all tastes as we have a diversifed number of cultures and tastes but, your reviews are very important to us to keep improving each day and achieve our main goal which is the complete satisfaction of our clients, so we will forward your comments on to the executive chef of the hotel.

We hope you give us another chance and come back to our resort, it would be a pleasure to welcome you back!

Best regards,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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