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“Relaxation delivered in a beautiful resort”

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Erie, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
28 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
“Relaxation delivered in a beautiful resort”
Reviewed July 13, 2007

This was our 7th visit to the Riviera Maya, and our first stay at an Iberostar hotel. Royal Hideaway had set the bar for a luxury AI and we were anxious to see how the Grand would compare. All the reports were so glowing, we had pretty high expectations.

Facility: It's gorgeous and not too big. Inside and out it is very luxurious and there are lots of lants that are going to grow and just make the Grand more beautiful. I was surprised by how much maintenence/repairs wre being done on such a new resort.

Room: We upgraded upon check-in to an OceanFront room.We had booked a jr.suite and I asked if we could be upgraded and we were offered a "partial oeanview" but we had to pay for the OceanFront. It was totally worth it. Not only was the view gorgeous, but I'm sure the balcony was cooler and it was more convenient to the beach and pool. The room is very nicely decorated, the bed is comfortable and the bathroom spacious. A few more drawers woould have been nice though, they only had 2.

Food: Dinners were all delicious. We ate at all 4 of the ala cartes. The only one we did not return to was the Surf and Turf. Although the food was good, it had less impressive service (a bummer since this is where we celebrated my husband's 60th birthday). Service at the other restaurants was very good to outstanding. Breakfast at Bella Vista and lunch at La Brisa were fine. My husband liked them better than I did. I don't get into buffets that much. You can order from an ala carte menu and at lunch I got the Kobe burger 4 days. It was that good. The other options were a little more involved than I like for lunch. A simple sandwich would have been nice. We actually went back to our room one day and ordered room service so we coould have a club sandwich. We also ordered the shrimp and avocado salad which was to die for. Breakfast room service was also outstanding. I believe you can also order room service from the pool and beach.

Drink service at the pool/beach: Big disappointment. We wouold see someone first thing in the morning when we got out there, but most days only one more time, MAYBE. That was why we went to our room to order room service.

Butler service: Divine. We had several different butlers, but they were always asking if we had everything we needed. They make your dinner reservations too.

Minibar: I'm onlymentioning this because several other reviews have talked about getting a full sized bottle of wahtever they wanted. I asked for Havanna rum and never got a full bottle and after asking about 4 times fianlly got a third of a bottle. Little bottles of liquor were never restocked after we used them.

Beach: Nice sand. But you can't jump up and go in the water because of the rocks. You either have to walk north, south or to the pool. None of them were as close as I would have liked.

Pool: We only went in the main pool. It was perfect for floating around in for hours., which I did most afternoons. The hot tubs were of varying levels of heat, just barely to "Yikes!"

Chairs by the beach/pool: Much more comfortable loungers by the pool than other places I've been. Plentiful number of palapas. Few people got to the beach, so no trouble getting chairs. The pool has looungers and beds with canopies. Most were taken by lunch time. With the occupancy being pretty low, I see this as a potential problem wwwhen it is busier. Also chairs in a little bit of water.

Overall: Great place. We would definitely return.

  • Liked — Food
  • Disliked — Drink service at pool/beach
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
14 Thank actran
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2007

Hubby runs a fine dining restaurant and I travel for business extensively - so we know food, service and hotels. We were there from 7/2 to 7/6.

Food - We grew VERY tired of the buffet for breakfast and lunch. None of the hot food on the buffets was hot. By the time you took it to your table it was cold. There were stand up cards next to sections of the buffet to help diners understand the food. On many cases there would be 5 or 6 plates of unidentifiable food, the descriptor card would list only 3 and on many occasions neither hubby or I could figure out what was what. The lunch menu lists lobster, but they do not have it and we were told it was "prohibited" - whatever that means. The best thing I had for lunch was a hamburger, not exactly my idea of a top tier property meal. The nachos were pretty disgusting. There was no decent Mexican food to be found - anywhere. We tried all 4 of the restaurants for dinner. The descriptions of food on the menu do NOT match what you will be served. My favorite example of this is the dessert with a description of "bacon from heaven" that didn't contain any bacon at all (thankfully). All of the dinner restaurants were good, none great, and we didn't care for the Japanese restaurant. The tableside chef slathered everything, including the delicate lobster and shrimp, in soy sauce. They have over 40 wines available in the all-inclusive price, but be wary if you decide to pay for a bottle of wine. We spotted a $15 bottle of wine priced over $100..... We tried room service. Very few menu options.

Service - This is a new property and we noticed some service issues. The butler concept didn't work for us. He briefly visited us when we checked in and then we basically never saw or heard from him again. Given the low occupancy of the hotel, they may only have 1 butler for the whole resort. We did see him in the hallway 3 days later and asked for a premium liquor to be sent to our room, which we did NOT receive. If you don't speak Spanish, expect some language barriers. When we arrived we didn't know which way to go to get to the beach. We spoke to 3 staff members and none of them could even point which direction to go. We also had language issues in restaurants as the staff could not adequately explain the ingredients of menu items or interpret our requests. With the exception of the surly waiter we had at the Surf & Turf, all were friendly and well trained on service - but the white glove thing is really hokey and adds nothing to the experience.

Hotel - Yes, it's beautiful. The rooms are kept sparkling clean. There is a lot of marble but the main hallways are carpeted and that helps reduce noise. The linens were of the highest quality, but you might want to ask for extra towels up front. The bed was very comfortable. The chaise lounge was pretty useless even though it looked very cool. We would have preferred an oversized chair in its place. We had 2 maintenance issues and both were remedied within 15 minutes. We had a lot of fun with the "Star Friends". They are a genuinely nice bunch of young people dedicated to enhancing your experience. We danced, did aqua exercise, shot air guns, played basketball and much more. The entertainment was excellent. The 8 piece band and 3 singers are from Cuba. The 15 or so dancers are from Brazil. We enjoyed the big band night the most. We're in our early 40's and didn't expect to like it, but I gotta tell you - it was GREAT. The magician was very good. They have karaoke with lots and lots of song choices. What a hoot. We were too tired to go to the any of the disco's but other guests said they had a lot of fun.

Beach - Not great, in fact we were very disappointed. The beach in front of the hotel is so rocky that no human dare wade into the water. Expect to walk a football field length to find a place to swim in the ocean. There is no drink or food service on the beach.

Bottom line - this property may need a little more time to mature into a truly world class resort. For the money, there are other properties that are better.

  • Liked — Comfortable room and great saltwater pool.
  • Disliked — The beach.
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
11 Thank Crstbl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Woodlands
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2007

We just returned from our stay at the Iberostar so wanted to share our experience with you. Reading the reviews of others helped us pick this resort. First, as you read this, you must keep a couple of things in mind. The was our first visit to Mexico and only our second stay at an all-inclusive resort. Therefore, we don't have a lot to compare it to but we did have high expectations based on the reviews and cost.

Pros:
-Not crowded so you could always find a lounge chair, hut on the beach, or covered chaise lounge chairs by the pool. That was very nice as a lot of reviews of other 5 star places made it seem that you had to claim your pool space by 8am or miss out. That was not the case here.

-They did some extra touches like draw a bubble bath for you and put rose petals on your bed with some champagne. That was a nice touch.

-Very nice to be able to see a show at 10 each night. You can also easily visit the nightlife at the other resorts.

-The bar was never crowded and they always did their best to make what you wanted. I was disappointed that they had no diet Sprite or 7up and only had diet Coke, however, but I'm probably not in the majority when it comes to watching what I eat on vacations!

-We never had trouble making a reservation for dinner and the food was always good. We did enjoy all of the restaurants but the Italian was our favorite. The portions are small but that isn't a problem. Room service was great too but you do have to request a menu for it.

-The staff was always helpful and went the extra mile to ask how you were doing (with the exception of one waiter at the Surf and Turf restaurant who was actually rude when HE got our order wrong). We actually only saw our butler the first day which was surprising as I expected him to check on us more.

-We liked the breakfast and lunch buffets. We are not picky eaters and we could always find something to eat. If you are picky, I can see where you would want to order off the menu for lunch. For breakfast, they had all of the basic items and you would always be able to find something.

-The pools were nice and large. Nice view of the ocean. The salt water pool took some getting used to and seemed a bit too salty.
The tranquility pool could use a bar too. No one really used the spa pool that I saw...probably b/c it's like being inside a sauna!

-The hotel, grounds, and the rooms were always clean. The hotel is new so everything looks nice but I must say, it is decorated in a very "odd" way. Lots of contemporary stuff with old world stuff. It just seems like about 5 different decorators worked on it. Not anything I'd worry about but I found it interesting to say the least.

Cons:
-The workout room is extremely, extremely hot! The room is located in the building that has the indoor spa pool and they keep the door open. Therefore, all of the hot, humid air from the unairconditioned pool area flows into the workout room so it's unbearable (note I'm used to running in Houston heat and I couldn't even take it). I was told they had another workout room at the resort but it didn't have any AC at all! Just be prepared to have tougher than usual workouts!

-The maid service was a bit inconsistent. They would come and turn down your bed but forget to pick up the dirty glasses in your room. Or they'd forget to replace the coffee cups if you had removed them (one morning I had to drink my coffee out of a wine glass!). Or they'd get there at 11 pm as you were arriving back to your room.

-Several things in our room didn't work right. Our shower door kept coming off the top hinge which would result in us not being able to open the door at all (I even got stuck once!). We had to call them three times to fix it. They finally got it fixed the last time. Our toilet also needed to be repaired as well. On the last day, they left a note apologizing and left a large basket of fruit.

-The temperature setting will only go as low as 20 degrees C. That might seem cold but it isn't. I didn't mind that it shut down when you left the room but I did not like that I could not turn it lower at night.

-The pool bar staff was not that nice or quick. I found that going into the bar in the main hotel or where the lunch buffet was served was much better as there was never a wait or line.

-Minor snafu with the water being turned off in the hotel one morning. It might have been a leak as there was a bucket in the hallway collecting water. Also, when it rained one day, I did see another leak. It didn't impat us negatively as the water came back on in about 30 mins but still.

-We booked a trip to Xel-Ha and Tulum through Funjet at the resort but were not told there was a similar tour through Iberostar that was like $26 cheaper per person. The front desk had tried to call the Iberostar office to book the trip but they never answered so they sent us to the Funjet rep. It is our own fault for not realizing they weren't the same but I don't suggest the Funjet tour to Xel-Ha and Tulum. They visit Tulum last at the heat of the day and you nearly have a heat stroke as you are out in the hottest part of the day. If you do intend to go to Xel-Ha, bring your own biodegradable sunscreen or you will have to pay $20 to buy it at the resort.

-Our van with Funjet broke down on the way to the airport for our return flight home! It got a flat tire. They did call out another van and luckily, we made our flight. That is obviously not the hotels fault but just make sure you plan to leave your resort with plenty of time for the unknown!

Overall, it was good and I would recommend it. I believe we would go back again but I'm sure it won't be as good as this time as it isn't at capacity yet.

  • Liked — Accomdations and Food
  • Disliked — Workout Facility
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
12 Thank AnimalLover40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
USA
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2007

The Grand Paraiso is a fantastic 5-star hotel as far as delivering service. The attention to detail -- making sure you never wait for anything whether at a restaurant, checking on or out, pikcing up your bags -- is perfection. Even beach service is speedy and unlike reviews for other places Grand puts alcohol in all their cocktails. In additon, their included wine list is much more extensive and contains drinkable wine (unlike the Playa Lindo for example or Dreams which has only 4 choices).

The food was delicious particularly at the Gourmet restaurant. The risotto at the Italian restauant wasn't great but the seafood lasagna was tasty. The filet at Tony's was delicious as was the chocolate cake.

The hotel was beautiful and pristine. The quiet pool was fantastic for swimming as no one was ever there.

The only possible negative is that the cardio equipment (good quality unlike Dreams for example that had only one functioning treadmill) is located in the spa area. That meant working on that equipment was akin to working out in a sauna. My workout clothes were soaked through at the end of session. I would close that area off and air condition it.

  • Liked — Service, quality of food and wine
  • Disliked — Cardio equipment not in a sufficiently cool location
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank froggin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
Reviewed July 9, 2007

We stayed from June 27th to July 6th, and there's not really much more than can be said that hasn't been already.

After showing us around our room, our Butler brought litre bottles of Rum and Gin to the room, and mixers were constantly replenished.

It seemed that most people rate the Japanese and Surf & Turf restaurants as the best, but, whilst these were excellent, we found it hard to choose between the Italian and French as the best. The level of service in these two was incredible, and the presentation and quality of food outstanding.

There are still teething problems within the hotel, but it's amazing already. We had to change rooms due to a problem, but it was handled efficiently, and they put a fruit bowl in our room with a letter of apology, even though there was no need to do so.

Not many people have mentioned the Spa, which was very under-used and offered a very peaceful time. We also tried the main Spa in the Commercial Centre, which had more facilities and again, was under-used. We were the only people there at the time.

We didn't think much of the Commercial Centre, which is perhaps the only negative comment I can make and not specifically to do with The Grand.

The Star Friends were great, organising games in the pool and other activities and the Theatre provided welcome entertainment in the evening. We enjoyed every show, but particularly the Big Band Show and the Tropical Night.

All the staff we came in contact with - and there are a lot of them - were friendly and incredibly helpful. The young waitresses in the Lounge Bar were good fun, often bringing drinks without even being asked to!

If you're reading these reviews because you're going to The Grand soon, then I envy you. If you're still looking to find somewhere, look no further, because it's hard to imagine better than this. I found the best rates on the Iberostar website.

  • Liked — The great food....
  • Disliked — Trying to get rid of the extra weight we've put on as a result of the great food!
  • Stayed June 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
21 Thank TheEvertonian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
gogirl50
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2007

This resort was unbelievably luxe and service oriented. Partially because it had only been open a month and was maybe at 30-40% capacity. The staff couldnt do enough for you. I actually went all alone and never felt funny about it at all. Instead I felt like royalty. The food and drink was incredible to say the least. The grounds were gorgeous - altho maybe a little underdeveloped around my building - but only due the newness. My only complaint is this: I am on a Quest to find the most sublime beach - meaning CALM, isolated, gradual slope. And this was too rough.Not where you could go lay in the water and not get tossed around. Wouldnt have been safe for my autistic son or any non strong swimmer. But still I'd like to go back.

  • Liked — Overall Beauty/Service
  • Disliked — Rough surf
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
7 Thank gogirl50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new jersey
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2007

We stayed at the Grand from Jun 28 till July 4th. 6 nights of absolute luxury. Through my business I am familar with all of the luxury hotels in NYC (ie The Pierre, The Caryle, The Plaza, The Waldorf Astoria). This hotel beats them all. The total experience was paradise.

Yes, this is a new hotel and has some kinks to work out. Such as running out of mixers at 4:30pm at the poolside bar and having to wait 10 minutes for replenishments to arrive. Or having a blackout in the middle of dinner and watching a wait staff handle a very diffcult situation with the highest professionalism one could ever imagine.(all meals were still prepared and served under candlelight and was excellent).

This hotel is the top-of-line. No better IMO. The meals were absolutely flawless. Each restuarant could easliy be a major hit in NYC. The Gourmet restaurant was the best, IMO. When the wait staff remembers your drink from two nights earlier you have to say this place is special(thank you Hugo).

The rooms are immaculate. The balconies with the couch & hanging chair for two with the overhead fan was a great place to really relax. The bathrooms were spotlessly clean. Closets and safe plus a fullly stocked frig was a pleasure.

We are already planning a return trip.

  • Liked — service
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed July 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
23 Thank mjc81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

Property: Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso 5*
Number of rooms: 310
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

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