Let me start of this reviewing by saying that my last two all inclusive stays have been at the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana (IGB), so my review will be reflective of the expectations I had of the Iberostar Grand Pariaso upon booking. My husband and I booked this hotel because we absolutely LOVED the IGB- the service there was amazing and we "felt like somebody" while there; so we expected the same at the IGP. Our stay was from April 29 - May 6th.
First off, the resort is stunning! Absolutely beautiful. Our room was on the 3rd floor, overlooking the serenity pool, which was a great location. I loved the his and her sinks on opposite sides of the bathroom...made getting ready for dinner very easy!
The food was anywhere from good to great. We ate at the buffet for breakfast and the grill for lunch. We did eat at the steakhouse twice. The first experience was phenomenal. Juan was our server the first time at the steakhouse and he was great! We ate there again a few days later and the food was good, although our order was messed up and we were missing items we ordered, even after requesting them several times. We also ate the japanese restaurant and that was EXCELLENT! We missed our reservation time, but the staff was kind enough to let us still come in for dinner and sit at the sushi bar. We really enjoyed that.
We picked this resort because we thought the service would be outstanding, however the service was very inconsistent and lacking (especially during breakfast and lunch). We would wait an extensive amount of time for water/coffee/drinks at breakfast and lunch. So much so, that I began to bring water bottles down from our room so I could refill our glasses. At a 5 star resort, that should never have to happen. I noticed that the servers were not only getting the drinks, but also having to clear the tables and reset the tables; which may be the reason the service was slow. But, I do want to recognize Mauricio, who was our server one day at lunch and he provided excellent service.
The pool side service at the serenity pool was EXCELLENT. Mirna took great care of us during the day and we were never without a drink in our hand while at the Serenity pool.
The pool side service at the main pool was terrible. We had lounge chairs on the opposite side of the swim up bar and the waitress only came by once in the 2 hours we sat there! It appeared that there was only one server and by the time she would get part way around the pool, she would have to go back to the bar to fulfill the orders she had taken and never seemed to make it back to where we were sitting. Disappointing.
The lounge chairs at the main pool are excellent and comfortable. The lounge chairs at the serenity pool are terrible. They are hard plastic with a cushion that will not stay in place. I would imagine the resort will be replacing them soon with the ones similar to the ones by the main pool. If they are not, they should.
We did see 2 shows while we were there and they were enjoyable (we saw the Rock show and the 70's music one).
I understand the resort was at 100% capacity, which may account for the poor service at times. I spoke with another couple we met while there and they stated they stayed at the IGP last year and said the service was much better then.
Overall, our vacation was still very nice, but it was not the vacation "experience" we were looking to have. Being that this a 5 star hotel, I only gave them 3 stars because of the lack of service, which to me is a high expectation when paying top dollar for a resort.
And we did tip throughout the entire stay, regardless of service. Every meal and every drink, so I know that was not the issue with the service.
A recommendation to the resort: Place tasteful looking bins or cubby areas where patrons can place their items if they want to stay in the pool, but not take up a lounger or cabana bed. When my husband and I arrived at the Serenity pool one day, there were no chairs/cabanas available. We still went into the hot tub and placed our 2 hotel issued towels and black beach bag next to the pool. Shortly after, a staff member asked us to move the bags to a cabana and that "there is one open now". Understandably the resort doesn't want the pool area to look cluttered. However, I felt bad taking up a whole cabana just to place my towels and beach bag on, but did not plan on using. If there was a type of bin (maybe near the bathrooms), I would of gladly placed my stuff in there and allowed the cabana to stay open for someone to use. Just a thought.
- 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 hours 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