This review has been a long time coming, since we stayed at the Grand end of June/early July 2011. After staying at many other high end all inclusives, we had very high hopes when booking after being told by our aunt/travel agent that Iberostar Grand was simply the best. Our expectations were met and exceeded. The resort is absolutely breathtaking and the staff is reason alone to come back.
Our room: We chose an oceanfront room which was beautifully adorned with a very comfortable king bed with a gorgeous view of the Caribbean sea. Well worth the upgrade however we imagine that all the rooms are just as nice.
The beach: The beach was absolutely gorgeous but there were rocks directly in front of the south oceanfront building, so just walk north on the beach to avoid them. Only downside is that you mix with children from the other Iberostars. Stay right in front of the north oceanfront building and you should be fine. Water is crystal clear and warm. Beach attendants are right there to take your orders and drink service is very quick. We were never bothered by people selling things on the beach.
The pools: The main saltwater pool is absolutely gorgeous and its huge with plenty of room for everyone. During the day, different events take place like water aerobics and water volleyball, even a kayak race. It's so big that if you didnt want to be involved, you wouldn't be-there is plenty of room to float around and keep to yourself. The swim-up bar is a great spot to socialize and make new friends. The Tranquility pool is peaceful and more secluded feeling, it's surrounded by two enoumous hot tubs, theres no bar located there but staff is always nearby to bring you food or drinks if you need (this was our favorite of the two pools).
The Spa/Indoor Pool: This was one of our favorite features of this resort. The first day and a half of our trip there was a tropical depression over us and if we werent at the Grand we would have likely been stuck in our room because of the rain. The indoor pool was great, it has all sorts of water jets and shower heads located thoughout it. The pool was never crowded and was large enough to swim laps (however we chose to just relax). We also used the spa for a 1 hour couples massage that was worth every penny.
The restaurants: For breakfast, Bellavista is located at the end of the main building on the main level. Excellent choices of everything you could possibly want for breakfast served buffet style, as well as eggs made to order and an a-la-carte menu with options such as lobster bellinis. Lunches were served at either Bellavista or La Brisa which was oceanfront. Both served elaborate buffets with the option of an a-la-carte menu that included everything from fajitas to colossal shrimp and whole grilled lobster. By far, the best thing about breakfast and lunch was our waiter, Martin. By our 2nd day he was looking for us and reserving "our table" with our drinks all ready. We spent every breakfast and lunch with him. He went above and beyond at every seating to make us feel 100% at home and he treated us like family. We were sad to say goodbye. Words cannot express the level of gratitude we have for him. All the amenities that the hotel has doesn't even compare to the way that we were treated by Martin. He alone made it a definite for us that we will be returning this summer.
Haiku: The Japanese restaurant was simply hibachi with a fun show. Its not something that we usually seek out, but if hibachi's your thing, you will like it.
Gourmet: Food was good, menu slightly limited.
Toni's: Get the cold seafood sampler appetizer. Steaks are good, they will accommodate special requests.
Italian: We thought that we wouldn't want to eat here considering we are from NY and have access to some great Italian food, but this restaurant actually turned out to be our favorite. The lamb chops and ossobusco were to die for. The lobster risotto was delicious. This is where we ran into our other favorite waiter, Rene. He was super friendly and made us feel at home every night. He works with such a classy demeanor and as such, would be an asset at any world class dining establishment- a true professional!
There are also a few theme night buffets during the week. Our favorite was the Mexican night, where they had all sorts of authentic and more Americanized Mexican dishes. The Mayan pork tacos were awesome, as were the tamales!
The only thing that really needs improvement with the food is the sushi. We've stayed at other resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean which did sushi much better.
The entertainment staff: They are great and keep you involved in fun activities throughout the day. They always have a smile and seem to enjoy what they do.
The shows: Much better than any other resort that we've stayed at. The choreography and level of professionalism that goes into the shows makes you think you are at Broadway or Vegas. So much fun! We stayed at Secrets Maroma Beach and the shows there do not compare to Iberostar, plus Iberostar has an air conditioned theater. Secrets' theatre is outdoors and very uncomfortable.
Overall, this resort lives up to its name in that it is Grand in every aspect. But again we want to state that the most Grand thing about it is the service. We will be coming back on June 26 and staying 9 nights- we can't wait!!!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the long, fine, sandy beach of Playa Paraiso in Mexico's Riviera Maya. Top 5-star luxury. Quiet and relaxing. Personal butler and concierge service. 24 hour all inclusive service. 4 a la carte restaurants. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Playa Paraiso Iberostar
- Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya, Mexico