Let me start off this review by saying that I have stayed at a few different all-inclusive luxury resorts in the Caribbean (Cancun & Jamaica) so I have a bit to compare to. The Grand is HUGE in size and as many of you, I looked to TripAdvisor reviews to help me make my final decision. Upon arrival we were greeted quickly with a cold towel and drinks. Check in was fast and Daniel was very funny. He gave us a brief run-down of where everything is but honestly, the maps don't help much you have to find through trial and error. The hotel was almost at capacity so our room was not ready until 3. Perfectly fine. We were pointed to a room where we could change into some beach clothing and head on our way. I am going to break down the review into sections so that you can better understand the different areas:
Beach - The beach was beautiful! There are plenty of huts for everyone. I will say that the waters are pretty rough but there were no red flags while we were there. You may order chips and salsa to your hut which is a very nice touch. Great place to take a nap during the day. The beach is only steps away from the buffet and pool, and there are showers to rinse off.
Pool - There 3 different pools. The indoor spa pool (located inside of the spa). Large space and nice warm water which was great given that it rained our last two days. The main pool is very large and is a salt water pool. There are two jacuzzis on each end and basketball courts on each end as well. There is a swim up bar what can seat about 9-10 people on the pool end and about 9 on the ground side. Lots of top shelf liquor available. Please do order the Kobe Burger at the pool bar you won't regret it. So many fun activities by the way, the StarFriends do an awesome job of keeping everything entertained and selecting games that are fun for everyone of all ages.
Room - The Room was perfect. We were in building 72 which I highly recommend. It is close to everything. We've had ocean front rooms previously and didn't feel the need to spend the extra money this time. The fridge was stocked, lots of pillows, and the bathroom was just the right size for the two of us!
Restaurants - You cannot go wrong with any of these restaurants! I've tried them all and I think that all of the previous reviewers pretty much covered everything about them. Our favorite was the Japanese and Tonis Surf and Turf. I highly recommend making your dinner reservations when you arrive or prior. The dress code is typical, long pants and collared shirts for mean.
Bars- We tried the cigar bar, Sports Bar, and Lobby Bar. All were fantastic to chat with others and watch some NHL or NBA games.
Service- Okay here is the part where I have to be very honest. This resort is beautiful with great amenities but they were completely understaffed. I do understand that they were almost at capacity, but there were just a lot that went noticed. I had to call over 4 times and get just a tad bit stern in my voice in order for them to come restock my fridge. What was frustrating was that the 3rd time I called, a young lady took down my requests and 2 hours later..I had to explain again to the next Concierge staff! This is something that should not have happened at a 5 star resort and I am not a picky person. Turn down service was so-so. Inconsistent. We did not get the rose petals and bubble bath set for us like some others. I don't mind, but I do think that maids should treat all rooms the same and we did tip! The pool and bar service was excellent so no worries there, however, the drinks...I am not sure again if this had to do with capacity but I am a very light weight drinker and I only remember feeling a bit "tipsy" ONE time the entire trip. That includes shots of Don Julio...Long Island Iced Teas...and Fruit drinks. Even when I let the bar staff know to add a little kick to it, the drinks still were very very weak! Very Disappointing especially having pre-paid for this all inclusive alcohol luxury. What was odd was that when I made my own drinks using the mini bottles in my room...that did the trick! With the same amount of alcohol? I would hope that this resort is NOT watering down their liquor or swapping out bottles if you know what I mean.
All in all I had a great time but I would not return to this resort unless it was only 50% full or more staff on hand. Please do experience it if its your first time!
- 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