My husband and I chose the Grand for our very first trip to Mexico. We had friends who had just stayed there in August and highly recommended it. So, from their recommendation and reading reviews we went ahead and booked the Grand for September 20-26th. I then read some negative reviews and was starting to worry. I can now say I was worried for nothing. The place is incredible.
When we first arrived we were greeted with a cold face cloth and a choice of champagne or a tropical drink. Our room was not yet ready so we headed over to La Brisa for lunch. The place is massive and at first a little intimidating, but it didn’t take long to familiarize ourselves.
Since the weather was beautiful we sat outside and soaked up the gorgeous view while we enjoyed our lunch. I had the shrimp fajitas which became my lunchtime staple.
We made our way back to the lobby for our room key. I’ll be honest, I was hoping to get an oceanfront room but availability was low since bldg 70 was under maintenance. We were given room 7283 which overlooked the tranquility pool and was a gorgeous view. The room was great. I appreciated the closet space and the double vanities. Housekeeping did a wonderful job every day. We had turndown service all but one night (they knocked on the door late one evening and we were already in bed). The a/c worked well except our last night, don’t know if that was a power issue. The bed was very comfortable, wish we knew about the pillow menu earlier.
Room service was great. We ordered coffee and pastries several mornings to get our day started. We ordered in lunch once (burgers, fries and chips/guac) when we didn’t feel like getting out because of the rain and it was delicious.
The food, oh the food, was absolutely wonderful. We both said to each other, we never had one bad meal and I consider myself picky. As far as buffets go, these were every bit as good as buffets I’ve had at the high end hotels in Vegas. There was so much variety anyone would be pleased. Various meats, fishes, fresh fruit/vegetables, fresh baked breads/pastries, juices, made to order omelets, crepes, seafood, grilled lobster, etc. I don’t know if many know this but there are also menus available at the buffets. My favorite for breakfast was the lobster blinis, lunch was the shrimp fajitas. There was an outside grill every day at lunch that offered up ribeyes or lamb chops. Domingo did an awesome job every day!
The a la carte restaurants were terrific. We tried the Italian, Surf & Turf and Japanese. Did not make it to the French restaurant since we weren’t feeling well. We loved our appetizers, entrees and desserts at the restaurants. My husband especially loved his dessert of bananas tempura at the Japanese restaurant. We also loved the Mayan coffee we had after one meal.
Drinks were also very good, used top shelf liquor. If you wanted it extra strong (which I asked for several times) they were happy to oblige. My favorite places were the pool bar and lobby bar. Wish I remembered the bartenders names, but they were all nice and friendly.
Service/staff was outstanding. Everyone we came across from housekeeping, star friends, waiters, maintenance always greeted us by saying “Hola, buenos dias”, even the groundskeepers. We had excellent beachside service in front of bldg 71, we noticed in front of 70 it could be lacking some days. Poolside service was very good too. We never waited long for a waiter/waitress to take our drink order. Same goes for inside the restaurants as well. Drinks were refilled frequently, dirty dishes taken away as soon as you were finished. I have to give a shout out to a couple of our favorite breakfast/lunch waiters Jorge and David.
The grounds are beautiful surrounding the Grand. They are always cleaning and maintaining the grounds. We loved just walking around enjoying the view. The beach is rocky out front, but walk down a bit and you can find a clear area to get in the water.
We loved the Spa, my husband enjoyed the gym and worked out there every morning while I sat in the hot tub or swam in the indoor pool.
We also swam in the tranquility pool area twice but our favorite hangout was the main pool. This is where most people seem to be and where the majority of the activity is at. Star friends do a good job of making sure you’re having fun and are always walking around trying to get you to join in on a game/activity or just talking to you finding out how you are enjoying your stay. We had a blast joining in the water balloon fight on Monday. We only caught one show, The Beatles tribute, which was pretty good. We loved the Stars Under the Stars on Wednesday night, such fun!
The décor of the Grand, I read some people complaining about it saying it was over the top and extreme. Yes it is, but we loved it and found it jaw droppingly beautiful. Maybe it just isn’t for some people, but we had seen pictures of the place before arriving and knew what to expect. When we first saw it, we immediately thought of a combination of Venetian, Caesar’s Palace and Bellagio in Vegas. We thought the Grand was gorgeous.
All in all, we loved every aspect of the Grand and vowed to one another to make this an annual trip.
- 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