This was a great choice if you're taking kids between the ages of 2-17. We live in Texas so it was a quick direct flight and reasonably priced for what you get. My husband and I stayed at the adult only sister hotel, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, a few years ago and we were very impressed so we chose Paraiso Maya for our beach vacation with our seven year old. While Paraiso Maya wasn't as luxurious as the Grand Paraiso, it was still clean, well kept, and offered a fun "sensory overload" for our daughter.
--Grounds are beautifully kept and offer a lush tropical setting everywhere you walk so you truly feel like you're on vacation.
--Buildings are color coded and numbered so it helps you keep track of where you are, which is helpful because the place is enormous!
--Keep your eyes peeled, there are critters everywhere and they are not scared of humans! They look like a cross between an ant eater, monkey, and raccoon. On our second day my husband saw an iguana the size of an alligator resting on a branch. Think of it as a beach/zoo adventure all in one!
--TIP- Before you arrive, request building 61. Based on other reviews I made this request by emailing the hotel a week prior and my husband thought I was a hero!!! This building is right next to the main pool, closest to the beach, and next to two of the buffet restaurants. I requested the third floor so it was extremely quiet. The only downside is that it's further away from the main lobby which is where the main dinner restaurants are located.
--The rooms weren't anything fancy, but they were clean. Keep in mind it's a family resort so there is a little more wear and tear from all the kiddos. The mini fridge was fully stocked with bottled water and juice daily. Our daughter loved the animal shaped towels left on her bed each day, as well as the mini hammock on the balcony. Another plus, which saved us when we needed to convince our daughter to take a break from the sun, was the English channels on the room TV. While we had hoped to get away from technology, it was nice to turn on cartoons she could understand.
--There certainly are no shortage of pools!!! Everywhere we walked we came upon new pools. The main pool, next to building 61, was always PACKED! if you want good seats you literally need to save them at 6 am, this goes for the beach huts too. SET YOUR ALARM!!!!
--There is a lazy river that is a lot of fun. The resort will rent you floats (outrageously priced), or you can take your own floats and blow them up at the beach shop directly across from the wave pool for free. I bought $3.99 round tubes at Target, blew them up when we got there, then gave them to an arriving family the day we checked out.
--Pirate Ship pool- you must find this pool! It has slides and a 100 gallon bucket that fills with water and then dumps all over the kids every 2 minutes; it's a blast for the kids.
--The beach had plenty of seating, but get there early if you want a hut. The sand is nicely raked every morning, but you won't find any shells. While there are no sand bars in the water, there was a lot of seaweed and rocks in certain spots. Overall, the beach was great for swimming once you got away from the seaweed.
--Excellent snack bar that's open all day. Friendly bar tenders.
--Fun beach activities hosted by the hotel staff for adults and kids.
--The food was my biggest complaint. However, given that this is a family resort, the food was catered more to the kids. If you ask our daughter, she'd tell you it was one of her favorite parts of the trip! It was mostly buffet with a bunch of very random stations so be prepared to have ballpark style nachos, deli meat, and perhaps an occasional salad. We noticed at breakfast there were a lot of dinner leftovers from the night before. Again, kind of random, but okay if you're flexible enough to just go with it.
--Main lobby restaurants *VERY IMPORTANT* there are some nice seated restaurants in the main lobby, but be sure to BOOK RESERVATIONS AS SOON AS YOU ARRIVE.
- 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