To start off, in rating this resort, I was torn between giving it a 3 (Average) or 4 (Very Good). I am just thankful to get to travel, so I am never terribly critical. We travel with our children (3 and 6 years old), so when we pick a resort, are primary concerns are for the kids (good kids pool, kids club, kids shows, etc.). We travel to Mexico once a year, so I am comparing this resort to the others we have stayed at.
Grounds: We loved the animals walking around and the trees throughout the resort. Each building had a courtyard with a different design feature. Yes, the resort is VERY big and spread out, but at least it was pretty to walk through. I am bad with directions anyway, but after a 10 day stay, I still seemed to get lost. Our 3 year old, who is usually full of energy and enjoys walking, needed to be carried a lot because he was tired of walking. We've stayed at other resorts that are considered "big", but the Iberostar's layout just didn't seem as practical.
Rooms: We knew when we booked our trip that the Iberostar was in a "jungle setting", so rooms weren't going to be ocean view. We stayed in a regular room, and it was very spacious. It was clean and had a patio.
Pools: The pools were huge and the Lazy River and Wave Pool were nice. I booked this resort mainly because of the Pirate Ship Kids Pool, which is where we spent most of our time. The kids pool is gated and didn't open until 10:30 AM and then closed at 5:30. It was shallow enough that I didn't have to worry about the kids being in the water on their own. I don't know of any resort that heats their pools, but I was actually able to get into the water this vacation without freezing (it was fairly warm weather). The shallow water of the kids pool made the water warmer. The kids pool was big enough to keep them entertained and it was actually peaceful over there. However, of the 10 days we were there, we only had a waitress one day to take drink orders. We'd have to walk 5 minutes to the closest bar anytime we wanted a drink. The main pool had games/activities going on and played music.
Beach: The beach was very nice. The sand was clean with no kelp or rocks and the ocean was shallow pretty far out so the little kids could go in on their own. There are tons of chairs and palapas (however, they were already taken whenever we'd make it to the beach around noon). There is a little snack area at the beach and it's own bar. They have different activities/games at the beach and also Beach Parties.
Shows: Every night there was a kids show at 8 PM, and a real show at 9:30. Compared to the shows we saw at Moon Palace last year, the Iberostars shows weren't as good. However, their Theater was very nice - nice tables/chairs to sit at and a big bar and waitresses that came around to take drink orders and hand out popcorn.
Kids Club: My daughter only spent an hour in the Kids Club during our whole vacation. Their staff seemed nice and they displayed a weekly calendar of what activities they were going to do during each hour of each day. They had some really fun activities planned and they would watch your kids from 6-8 PM, taking them to dinner. On certain days, they would have "Show Rehearsals" and the kids would do their performance at the nightly kids show in the theater. At the Kids Club, there was also a little pool and a playground that anybody could use.
Staff: The staff wasn't rude, per say, but I wouldn't say they were as friendly as some of the other resorts we have been to. At Moon Palace, the staff learned our names and always talked to our kids. At the Iberostar, I felt they were really there just to do their jobs and that was it.
Food: I've learned through our many vacations, that I never expect a whole lot from all-inclusive resort's food (unless paying the extra money to stay at a "gourmet" resort). My main reason in wanting to rate this resort as "Average" was because of the food. It really wasn't good. I think the saving grace for us was that there is a Shopping Center that you can go to in the resort and they have a taco place which was really, really yummy. My kids look forward to having cheeseburgers and guacamole, and neither of them were all that tasty. However, their cocktails were some of the best we've had at an all-inclusive resort (which probably made up for the food). The mojitos were the best I've had anywhere. They have drink menus with some fun cocktails.
1) You can email the Resort Concierge before your trip and make dinner reservations. It saves time of having to make reservations upon arrival and it helps avoid the dinner time you want already being full/booked.
2) Men over 18 MUST wear pants to restaurants requiring reservations. We've been to other resorts that aren't strict about that rule, but they will turn you away at the Iberostar. They can wear jeans and flip flops, but they MUST be in pants.
3) Make sure to check out the Shopping Center. There are shops, but there is also a cheeseburger place (not that good) and the yummy taco place I mentioned, as well as an ice cream and crepe place. They have live music sometimes, and there is a little carousel for the kids to ride (all included with the all-inclusive package of the resort).
4) We didn't realize it until 4 days in, but there is an ice cream parlor above the main swim-up bar at the pool.
Overall, we had a nice vacation. The Kids Pool, nice beach and cocktails were our favorite parts of the resort. We will probably try a couple other resorts before we go back to the Iberostar, though.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, Hotels.com, TravelUp, Cancelon and Hotel.de so you can book your Iberostar Paraiso Maya 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 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