We have just returned from our third visit to the Grand Paraiso and it keeps on getting better every time. We didn’t even have to tell the reception staff who we were when we arrived – they greeted us by name as we were crossing the lobby!
Service at this hotel truly is 5 star. When we got to our (free upgraded ocean front) room, our butler Alberto went through our pillow, drink and snack preferences. He had in his hand records of what we had liked most in our mini bar from the previous trip and checked if they still applied. He noted that we had ordered a bottle of champagne before and so this trip, a chilled bottle and glasses turned up every day without asking. He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time! The staff are so lovely here.
I don’t want to just repeat all the information given by other positive reviewers, so what I will do is address some of the negative comments made by a handful of reviewers in an attempt to help you make the right choices for yourselves. Often people don’t enjoy a place not because it is intrinsically bad, but because they did not do their homework and end up picking somewhere that’s not suitable for their particular desires and interests.
The beach is too rocky: it is true that there are large rocks at the water line at each end of the Grand’s beach, however, the beach is long and all of the middle section offers completely He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time. He even apologized for the fact they were out of the pistachios we had eaten so often the last time. unrestricted access to the sea. You end up with the best of both worlds - a beautiful, long, wide, soft, sandy beach with easy access to the water plus picturesque rocks which are great for snorkeling around. There is no property to the south of The Grand so you can go for a very long walk along a more natural, less manicured beach (take bug spray though as the uncleared seaweed attracts gnats).
It’s not very Mexican: very true – this is not a Mexican themed hotel, it is an extremely upscale international Spanish chain hotel (Iberostar has Grands in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and The Canary Islands). The styling is reminiscent of The Bellagio and Wynn in Las Vegas. If you want Mayan styling you can hang out next door at the Maya (very cool bar in a massive pyramid there). If you want that slightly more rustic and exotic thatched hut in the jungle style than choose a different luxury hotel – possibly El Dorado Royale Seaside Suites.
The food is bad: no, the food at this hotel is fantastic. Occasionally someone is going to have a poor experience at even the best of restaurants and I feel bad for anyone who gets sick through no fault of their own, but you need to put that in perspective. Also, if you don’t like seafood and fancy gourmet food then you won’t like this hotel. If you want to eat TexMex go somewhere else – although they do have great made to order fajitas at the lunch buffet.
You have to cover up your swimwear at the lunch buffet and men have to wear long pants to dinner: err, yeah, this is a 5 star adults only hotel, what do you expect? I do not understand people who want to go somewhere really posh and then complain that they have to dress up when they get there. And we are only talking resort casual, not black tie! Get stocked up at Tommy Bahama before hand or buy some cheaper copies from Sam’s Club. Otherwise, choose a different type of hotel.
The hotel lost my reservation: not good and very frustrating when that happens. Again this is a rare thing and is not going to be the experience of most people at the Grand. Be proactive in trying to prevent this kind of thing from happening. I usually travel to Mexico with Funjet and I always make a point of emailing them prior to the trip to ask them to remind the hotel I am coming and tell them of any preferences.
I am happy to try and answer any questions you may have as I spend a lot of time on the Riviera Maya. Next month I am taking advantage of an extremely cheap deal to the Valentin Maya and will let you know how that compares to The Grand.
- 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