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“8 fun days at the Maya”

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed April 2, 2009

Just got back from 8 fun days at the Maya. Have stayed at the Lindo before so kinda knew what to expect. Chose the Maya side this time for something different. The rooms were fabulous. We had 3rd floor section 63 in the middle of the resort. There was a garden view from our balcony with a beautiful water fountain in the middle. When we got there, our room was not occupied the night before, so it was available at 9:30 in the morning when we got there. That has never happened before. Always had to wait till after 3:00. Went down to the conciere right away and made dinner reservations. Got all the times I wanted every night. Either 6:30 or 7:00. Booked a different restaurant every night. The conciere girls for building 63 was so friendly. Was bathing suited up and down to the pool at 10:00. With all the excitement of the first day, be careful not to drink too much. Take my word on this one. Ha! Watch out for the tequila shots!
Day 2
Got up early and walked the beach and went to the LIndo breakfast buffet. After that, went across the street to the shopping center to investigate. Checked out all the shops and went to the crepe place. They were wonderful. Toured the spa area. Very beautiful. The pool and jacuzzi's looked great. Were so busy during the week, we never got to use the spa facilities. Then went walking around the Del Mar and Beach side property. This night had the Maya japonese show table booked. Ordered lobster, shrimp and scallops.
Day 3
This morning went over to the shopping plaza and caught the 9:00 shuttle to Playa Del Carmen for shopping for the day. This was $4.00. I have been to Playa many times, but my friend had fun shopping and picked up souviners for her family. Went back to the resort at 3:00. The shuttle will give you a schedule of drop off and pick up times. This night we had the Maya Gourmet dinner booked. I got the lamb and my friend got the shrimp. Both dinners were wonderful.
Day 4
Got up early and went to the breakfast buffet right at 7:00, because we had a excursion pick up at 7:20. Booked a tour with Alltournative company. There were 10 of us booked for the day. This is a full day. Got back to the resort around 5:00. First we drove to Coba. Climbed the pyramid. Then went to another place in the jungle and did a short kayak tour. Climbed stairs down into a cenote and swam. Such a beautiful place. Got back into the van and went to a mexican village. Here we rapalled, did 1 zip line and had lunch in the village. Very cultural. This night for dinner we ate at the steak house. Ordered rib eye and a potato, roll and corn came with it.
Day 5
On this day we decided to go over to the sister resort in PlayaCar, the Iberostar Tucan and Quaetzel. Went to the shopping plaza and caught the 9:00 shuttle. At their front desk, they gave us red bracelets to wear for the day and towel cards. Really liked the jungle feel there and loved walking on the beach in Playacar. Had lunch at their buffet and joined in on some of their pool games. Left around 5:00. Had a fun day there and a nice change of environment. On this night we ate at the mexican restaurant. We both ordered the lobster which we loved, and split an order of tacos. Here we ordered mexican coffee after dinner. Tequila and kalua is lit on fire then poured into coffee. Try this if you have never had it. The snake lobby bar made it for us also. The Lindo lobby did also but could not light it on fire. Upon leaving the other Iberostar resort, we took a cab back to the Maya for 20.00.
Day 6
This day is Wednesday. We stayed at the Maya/Lindo for the day and floated in the pool. At noon we went to the beach for the beach party. This was a very fun time. They cooked paella in a very large pan, danced with the star friends, and there was bull riding. At 3:30 we met other people in the lobby and rode a golf cart to the Grand next door for a tour. You can book this tour at the same desk where you make the dinner reservations. Very elegant resort, but a little too quiet atmosphere for me. The rooms , pools,lounges,and theater area was beautiful. On this night we ate dinner at the Lindo Gourmet. Get the lobster soup for appetizer. Finally took the time to see a show at the theater. It was the Boogie Nights theme. I liked the 70's music. Show at 9:30 .
Today just stayed at the resort all day in the pool. It was time to relax a bit. Had breakfast at the Beach outdoor buffet. Went here 3 times for breakfast during the week. Its seemed to be the favorite. Liked the outdoor dining. Alot of nature there. Seen alot of peacocks, cats, and in the water area around the buffet were birds, turtles, fish. This night ate at the Cajun restaurant. Had shrimp and pasta.
Day 8
Ate breakfast again at the Beach side buffet. Then went and floated in the DelMar/Beach pool till noon. Then back over to the Lindo/Maya pool for our last day. Spent alot of time in the lazy river. I think that was my favorite. A couple times toward the end of the day, we went and relaxed in the Maya private pool in our section. Warm water and very clean. The pool chairs are nice and cushioned. Just no bathrooms in this area or a bar. Had dinner booked for the second time at the Japonese again. After dinner went to the snake Mayan lobby and had mexican coffees. Needed the caffeine. We were going to Coco Bongos in Playa Del Carmen. Someone from the entertainment team went with a group on a tour bus. Got picked up at 10:30. The cost was 60.00. Included the bus there and back and a reserved section for seating and all you can drink. I have been to Coco Bongos in Cancun last year, this one is the same but a little smaller. It you have never been, its worth seeing . The shows and music is amazing. At 3:00am we left there in a group and went back to the bus. The bus was not there so a few of us ended up splitting a cab and $5.00 each ( 4 of us ) and went back to the resort about 3:45. Not sure when the bus showed up. Went to bed at 4:00am and had to get up at 6:00am for continental breakfast and a 6:45 shuttle back to the airport. Not much sleep that night. Ha!

All in all , the week was very nice and fun. My friend has never been to Mexico and she had a blast. Got to see and do alot. We met some wonderful people. Two couples from New York, and a couple from Michigan. Really enjoyed getting to know them. Take alot of ones for tipping. Also if you can , take comfortable rafts from home. Ours folded up in a circle with feet and head rests and cup holder. Fit perfect in the suitcase. The rafts were admired all week. Loved the Iberostar properties, Yes, I would go back if the opportunity arises, but usually every year I book a different resort just for a change. Would not hesitate to stay here.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with friends
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5  Thank Garnet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 1, 2009

The Maya lived up to our expectations and beyond. We visited the Del Mar 3 years ago and loved the Iberostar properties at Playa Paraiso. There are now 5 properties here, with the Maya and Lindo being a cut above the Del Mar and Playa. The Grand Hotel is for adults only and off limits to families.
During our trip I asked myself what I could criticize about the Maya and found very little. The grounds are exquisite, the pools immaculate, the service first rate, food overall very good, 24X7 on premises medical service, shopping center, tennis, golf, you name it. Everything was so easy.
A few tips: 1. Allow the servers to fetch your beverages. If you get them you will be intercepted with a polite "what are your doing" look. 2. Well drinks suck, but the Spanish wine, Mexican brandy and Dos Equis cerveza is great. 3. Tip the servers. I was embarrased by those who didn't. 4. Beware of the power of the sun. Sunscreen will only work for awhile. 5. The beach has rocks. You may want to wear shoes in the water. 6. Do not go beyond the ropes. I had a scary incident with my son. 7. Although the exchange rate is 14 to 1, the Mexicans treat it as10 to 1 and pocket the difference.
I can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank SuitsMeColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2009

The Ibersostar is a beautiful hotel with a great beach and pools, wonderful food, and a gracious staff. We moved to this hotel from the Moon Palace Golf Resort due to the awful food at The Moon. We travel frequently with our three teenage boys both in Europe and the US. We have stayed at five star hotels and have also enjoyed above average three star properties discovered on trip advisor.

The positives of this hotel are many...
- Beautiful, tasteful decor in the lobby, common spaces, and rooms. Think on the level of the Four Seasons with a Mayan theme.
-Spectacular grounds which are beautifully kept with flowering shrubs, and fountains.
- The rooms are very nicely appointed with balcony, comfortable beds and above average amenities.
- Everything in this hotel is absolutely spotless.
- The staff are gracious and accomadating with each cluster of rooms opening to a common courtyard with their own concierge.
- The pools, including the wave pool and lazy river are great. There are also private, quiet pools throughout the property. The beach is wonderful.
- The food is very good with a great selection at the buffets for all meals. The reservation only restaurants are also quite good. Our family favorite was the Japanese Steak House. Realize that we are not talking Michelin Stars but rather very decent quality food.
- There are water activities at the beach along with Tennis, ping pong, pool etc.
- They have shows nightly. The magic show that we saw was of very high quality.

The negatives are virtually non existent.
- The Gym was somewhat sparse and needed a few more functioning ellipticals and weight machines.
- The wines served are average ?$10-15 range. Oenophiles might be disappointed with the "cellar".

Our family, including our 13,15, and 17 year old boys highly recommend this property for a relaxing beach getaway.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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4  Thank Alevky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2009

Just returned to Chicago where it snowed 5 inches last night and wished we were still in sunny Mexico. How could you not like this place - the beach is great, the weather is wonderful, and the people who work there are very friendly. I read every review for the last two years and really appreciated the comments and tips and will leave mine too. For some background knowledge, I have two teenage boys (13 and 15), and I am a very picky traveler (kind of a hotel snob) so this is our take on the resort:

1. Hotel is gorgeous like everyone says. Rooms are huge and beautiful. There is a lot of walking. That is not an exaggeration. We are in fairly good shape and my hamstrings were sore from all the walking. Bring good shoes like suggested. Women - Don't bother packing high heeled spikey shoes since most of the walking is done on stone walkways and heels can get caught in them. Didn't mind the walking because you eat so much that it's nice to walk it off. It is confusing, but can figure out by 2nd day.
2. Food is pretty good - not great. The buffets are actually decent because there is so much to choose from. My family loved the fruit and the I loved the payaya with shrimp and scallops and the corn fritters. None of us got really sick (just a little bit, which was normal - nothing that we couldn't deal with). Bring Pepto Bismal. Brought Cipro too and none of us needed it. Good restaurants - French, Japanese, Seafood Just okay - Steak house (my husband said it reminded him of Ponderosa). Book right away - hard to get times you want.
3. It was so windy and because of that, the beach activities were canceled, which my kids were bummed out about. They couldn't kayak, snorkel, Parasail, go on Wave runners, etc. Plus you have to be 16 to go on the Wave runners or ATV's (which cost a lot of money). They ended up going scuba diving with Dressel Divers, who are just wonderful. Jorge, Vanessa, Ben, and Paul were so nice and accommodating and took my family scuba diving in Cozumel because it was too windy to go in Riveria Maya. They loved it! Watch undertow at beach if windy.
4. Other reactions from comments I had read : Beds are hard, but pillows are good. Water pressure is shower is fine. Blow dryer gets too hot to use so bring own. Shows are cheesy, but they try hard. Can get TV in room - sports channels in Spanish, but at least had NCAA games, make up mirror in bathroom lights up, beach not rocky close to Grand so don't need water shoes, We tried everything - Spa, bike ride, fitness center, yoga classes on beach, Bingo, shopping center, ice cream, walk to other hotels, beach party, smoothies, etc. They were all fun and I recommend them all.
5. Go to Playa De Carmen - fun shopping and good restaurants.
6. Sun is very intense - bring lots of sunscreen- at least 50 - saw so many people sunburned badly.
7. Star friends are so sweet and work hard - we loved Gerado, Patti, Franceso, and especially Daniel! Everyone is very friendly and work so hard to please.
8. There's so much more to say because this resort is awesome, but don't want to go on too long. Read all the reviews- they are very helpful. We had an excellent vacation and thought this was definitely a 4-5 star hotel.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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5  Thank Leeny48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2009

My boyfriend and I were there the first week in March and have this to share: Top ten things we liked about Iberostar Paraiso Maya:
1) Lazy River!!
2) Great bartenders, esp at the pool bar
3) Beautiful property and amazing art -- very clean too
4) Gorgeous beach, though the surf is a bit rough
5) Plenty of beach palapas and poolside ones too
6) Star Friends are adorable
7) Our junior suite was palacial - loved the shower and in-room jacuzzi
8) Glad we stayed in Bldg 61 by the beach (and breakfast buffet)
9) Great coffee at the breakfast buffet
10) Lots of fresh yummy papaya and even room service 24/7
Ten things they need to improve:
1) My key card suddenly didn't work halfway through the trip and I felt lucky it was daytime because otherwise I would have had to walk to the front desk a mile away
2) Our balcony looked into mangrove trees and not much else
3) Getting a cocktail from a poolside waitress was a futile exercise
4) The reservation system is rigid and really ridiculous to obtain dinner every night -- good luck with that. Felt like I was in a rat race to get supper every evening. Nightlife for grownups does not even start until 11 p.m. anywhere on the property which was weird.
5) Property is too spread out and there is no shuttle so be prepared to walk off your pina colada calories
6) No coffee service automatically in the room, even though there is a small pot there
7) Pool is too cold but then again they don't heat any of them
8) Both outdoor pool jacuzzis were out of order our entire trip
9) We liked the seafood restaurant's cold buffet, but skip the entrees there - overcooked and unappetizing
10) NO free Internet access AND spa services were way overpriced

Finally, a bonus tip: all inclusive-guests CAN use the spa (in the shopping center there) for free to swim in the AMAZING salt water indoor pool (which is the only warm pool on the property) and use the indoor jacuzzis at the spa facility...no one tells you this but it's an experience you won't want to miss (and the nearby gym on the property is great too. V. state of the art)

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank TravelingtheWorld1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 28, 2009

Just returned from a great stay at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. This resort is beautiful, lots of lush tropical vegetation, manicured landscaping and lawns. Cats, Peacocks, Flamingos and Catimundi on the grounds. They go above and beyond in keeping it clean. The pools are large and plentiful. There is a private pool, lazy river, wave pool, sports pool, and a few other pools with a pool bar. The beach is gorgeous, lots of sand, lounge chairs, and activities. The gulf was a little ruff with a pretty good rip tide causing diving to be cancelled for the week, but you could still enjoy the water and beach. The entertainment team did a great job of getting people involved thru the day, lots of activities offered for kids and adults alike. They also put on some pretty funny shows at night. The rooms were clean with lots of space. Mini bar was stocked daily and within the first few days they figured out what you drank more of and made sure you had extra. We had asked for extra towels the first day and never had to ask again. There were plenty of restaurants to choose from. Breakfast was pretty similar at all with lots of fresh fruits, breads, eggs, meats, cheeses, pancakes, waffles, omelets, etc. Wide variety of lunch buffett and of course the beach bars with food area had typical grab and go type food. Room service was available 24/7, with a limited selection, but it was nice to have that option after being worn out in the sun all day. We only went to 3 of the restaurants while we were there. The Japanese was excellent, the steak place was good and the seafood place left a lot to be desired.
All of the staff was smiling and friendly, even if there was a language barrier at times. The representatives at Lomas Travel in the lobby were very helpful and gave us great prices on the excursions we did. If I had to complain about one thing it would be the comfort of the beds, they definitely were not the heavenly beds at the hilton, much to hard for my taste. But all in all, we had a fabulous time and I would highly recommend this resort to anyone. I will definitely be back.

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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3  Thank divingrn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2009

My family and I just returned from a one week vacation at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. I am not one to write reviews but felt I had to in this instance. Our family has travelled extensively throughout the Carribean but this was our first trip to Mexico and we chose this resort because of the 5-star rating since this is what we are accustomed to. Esthetically, the hotel is beautiful but it is far to big. We stayed in building 61 which is the closest to the beach but the furthest from most of the specialty restaurants. We travel with my mother who is a senior but quite fit. Even she found it difficult to walk such distances to get to the shops, lobby and restaurants. Getting lost is very easy and what was very frustrating was that staff a driving around the entire resort in golf carts, and they do not stop to even ask if you need assistance or even a ride. I am at a loss to understand why the resort makes their guests walk such distances but not their staff. Other resorts we have been to offer shuttle services to and from places like the beach or restaurants in the event you don't or can't walk the distance. Although this was a frustrating issue it is not my main complaint. My eleven year old daughter became very ill the last 2 days of our trip. We were very careful with what we ate and instructed the kids as well. After eating breakfast she came down with stomach cramps which got progressively worse and eventually lead to severe abdominal pains, vomitting and diarrhea. Luckily my doctor had recommended we take medication with us for traveller's diarrhea and after a call to the pharmacist at home to confirm the symptpoms, I started her on the antibiotics. We spent the last 2 days in our hotel room because she was unable to even get out of bed. It was extremely worrisome and stressful and needless to say, we just wanted to come home! I reported the incident to the hotel and was politely told "this can happen". I realize it can happen but certainly do not expect this from a 5 star resort. I have to say, looking back, I'm not surprised since the food, in my opinion was inferior. Others on the resort had told us that they had been to the Paraiso Maya before and that the food is definitely down graded. The Mexican Restaurant was awful. I had lobster that was so rubbery I couldn't even cut it with a knife! Towards the end of the trip, our meals basically consisted of pasta and rice because we were so unsure about the meats and fish. On the last day, my mom also came down with the stomach cramps and still has them now. I would definitely not recommend this resort to anyone and am sorry that we wasted our entire vacation savings on this place !!!!

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled with family
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1  Thank pat094
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Paraiso Maya

Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $252 - $647 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Paraiso Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 434
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

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