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Iberostar Paraiso Beach
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All reviewsparaiso beachspecialty restaurantsstar friendsplaya del carmenjapanese restaurantice creamother resortsmain buffettacoslobby bara la cartesquiet areabuffet foodcrepescloser to the beachtaco shoprecommend this resort
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Reviewed 18 December 2011

Our second stay with Iberostar ( the first to Iberostar Tucan) and our 5th AI in the Mayan Riviera.

Layout/Room- Biggest resort we have stayed at so far. The golf carts are available but we chose to walk everywhere, and I mean ALOT of walking. We did see some people with mobility issues, but I would not recommend it. Maps were easy to follow, and the restaurants and bars were well laid out and food/ drinks were available all the time. Had a room on the top floor of building 35 as recommended by others, and it proved to be a great spot. Alot of the lower floor balconies were occupied by birds, yuck. Fridge was stocked everyday and cleanliness was fine. We did find it a bit difficult to go to places farther west than Playa as you had to take 2 collectivos to get there, I would prefer just to get on an pay once to go back and forth along the highway from our resort and back.

Wildlife- Did not even come close to the Iberostar Tucan if this is important to you. Has a bit of a jungle feeling around the paths but not much, and far too many people feeding the coati mundis (sp).

Pool- By far the largest pool we have ever seen! Pool was lively and had lots of fun games to watch. Salwater was fantastic and didn't leave your skin all dry and smelling of chemicals. As for cleanliness, we have seen much worse and better, but for a pool of that size do expect leaves and bugs etc, I think it would be impossible to keep it much better, especially with the large amount of guests in it. No towel games at all, LOVED THAT! Only one or two of the swim up bars were open during our stay but it was more that enough because it is very well laid out. The only children we saw in the pool were very active swimmers, I would not recommend little ones in here at all.

Beach-Thought the beach was great! It is a bit rocky toward the Del Mar side, but no problems at all. I personally enjoy the nice and wavy so it was fine. Apparently you have to pay for boogie boards and I think that should be included.

Food-What happened? These were the worst a la carte restaurants we have ever experienced. We had debated booking the Lindo for a la carte options every night, but I am very glad we didn't go that route. Go have some fantastic food in Playa instead! I took all the reviews with a grain of salt but seriously, not good. On the other hand for a two week stay I found the buffet and particularly the pool snack bar to be fine, repetitive but you can definitely find something. The taco stand in the commercial centre was fantastic! Best queso and chips too! Soft ice cream by the beach and hard ice cream by the pool very good too.

Drinks-Drinks were fine and plentiful and all the bartenders and servers were fantastic! Popcorn is available at the lobby bars in the evening, nice touch. Dos Equis on tap so that is great. We went to the show almost every night and although amateur they were entertaining, especially the pirate show. Bartenders there were excellent!

Overall we got a great deal ($1500 ea for two weeks tax included) and had a great time. This hotel is very comparable to the other hotels we have stayed at, and I think that any packages in this price range will be about the same.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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4  Thank punkycanuck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2011

I recently suffered a great loss and needed to get away for a while. A lull in my work schedule allowed me to take advantage of an incredible discounted package in mid-November. I had considered various properties and not having been to the Riviera Maya previously I really put weight in other reviews. I also wanted to be relatively close to the activities that interested me including visiting friends in Playa del Carmen.

Due to the last minute nature I ended up travelling alone so the all inclusive resort concept seemed the safest bet. The Iberostar did not disappoint!

Check-in was a bit disorganized after arriving on my tour operator's shuttle as there was no formal queue, but hey, it's Mexico and you're on vacation. The lobby bar was happy to serve cocktails even if you did not have on your resort bracelet yet. The desk clerks usually group guests to go over the property amenities and information. (Note that the exchange rate at the hotel was very competitive however US dollars are accepted everywhere.)

Rooms are in blocks with multiple buildings between the main building and restaurant complex and the beach. I requested and received one midway near the pool (bldg 36). It is a huge resort so if you want to be nearer the food and lobby request a higher number building. I also requested a room facing the pool area as opposed to an outside room that faces the cart path and sister resort next door. All rooms have balconies and it's not unusual to see the peacocks taking perch on a main floor railing - so you might want to consider the 2nd or 3rd floor (there are no elevators however). Rooms are a great size with a couch, chair, small table and desk. There are no real drawers for clothes but ample shelving. Everything was clean, bright and in good repair. The housekeeper made a new towel animal everyday.

The grounds are beautiful with lush greenery and colourful birds and small mammals roaming free. In talking to other visitors staying elsewhere this resort's grounds do rank up there.

The staff is very friendly - EVERYONE says "Ola" and smiles, which on a trip like a did, was a great mood booster. The pool area is large, well designed and very pretty, with a great swim-up bar. This was a slower season so there were ample chaises and "huts" to park yourself. The beach was beautiful, with a bar, lots of chaises, trees and a great view. Swimming was not ideal right in front but a few feet over it was quite nice. It seemed to be windy on the beach all the time so beware little ones and the strong waves and undertow! I was not on the beach too much but it was nice not to be harassed by vendors all the time.

The food, as mentioned in other reviews was not necessarily 5 star but it was good, varied and tasty. And the set-up and view of the grounds from the restaurant could not be beat. With a 7 night stay I was allowed reservations at 3 à-la-carte restaurants. Skip the Italian (I was not the only one who thought so when I was there!). But the Japanese and Steakshouse were excellent.

There are quite a few bars however only one is really open in the evening and the one late night is a bit of a hike away (at the disco). Bring lots of dollar bills to tip the bartender and be sure to request premium brands for straight up drinks (not available at the beach though). The mixed drinks are great and you can ask them for extra tequila no problem.

The main gift shop is actually not badly priced. There is a whole shopping complex and other higher end stores on the site as well. I also found the sister resort next door's gift shop had a few different products.

Could be better:
Even with all the restaurants there are certain times of day where the only place to eat is the pool restaurant or some other small option. So don't miss breakfast! (However there is always 24 hour room service.)

The room service menu is a bit weak but I did try it once for a snack and it was ok. Took the edge off before my late dinner reservation. It came extremely quickly and with a nice presentation.

The mini bar is only restocked every second day (they say). There was always plenty of water however only 3 beers which would not go far if a couple wanted to have cocktails on the balcony before dinner. Ultimately I did not drink even one during my entire stay. (Hint: grab a beer or drink at a bar before heading back to your room and ask for a 2nd to put in the fridge for later.)

I had a running toilet that they came to fix without my asking (not sure how they knew!) however the problem persisted on and off throughout my stay. They ask you to be sure to take any concerns to their attention immediately however just when I would think to call the problem would stop.

The shuttle throughout the resort is not frequent or regular. I gave up and started using the more direct interior path as opposed to the outside path that the shuttle and all the carts use. The walk is very pleasant so this was really not an issue.

The cab shuttle to Playa del Carmen was cheap however the last return is at 8 pm which is quite early if you want to enjoy the night life. A regular cab ride back is $25 however I am told you can negotiate in advance. Not bad for a 25 minute ride!

If you need to talk to the desk staff just hope you don't have a chatty couple in front of you as during off hours there are only one or two staff.

Internet is not included. Wifi time can be purchased and used in the lobby at a cost of about $3 for 15 minutes. Whatever time you buy has to be used in one "sitting" so unless you plan on surfing don't buy too much at one time. The cost can be added to your room bill.

The nightly shows were well attended and I did pop in to see what was going on however they seemed a bit amateurish. Everyone was having fun though and the staff works hard to have a lot of interactiveness in the programs.

You have to formally check out and when I saw a long line one morning I decided to try and clear my bill the night before. This was fine for outstanding charges and returning my pool towel card, however you do still need to turn in your key card in the morning. Fortunately this took no time at all on my check out day.

Overall the concerns were minor and I would highly recommend this property to everyone. I'm not sure what the cost would be during peak season but the value I received was incredible.It is easily a 4 star resort.

  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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5  Thank Roadtriplover64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2011

My review and rating are based on the price which we paid. If you get it for a good deal (as we did) it will be worth it. If you pay a high price, expecting it to live up to other Iberostar Resorts, you will be disappointed. Other Iberostar resorts we have stayed at have been supieror.

Service: This resort has impeccable service. Any issue that occurred was resolved immediately.

Room: We changed our room because the cabinet door to the refrigerator would not open. Our shower in the next room was broken and had to be repaired. Both things were taken care of immediately. Rooms are large, but there aren’t any drawers to put your clothes in. There are a few shelves in the closet. The shower head is only around 5'5" tall but it is hand held and the head is removable.

Pool: The pool is very nice. It's large with plenty of shade spots under palapas. The quiet pool is winding and narrow, while the bar and activity pools were larger. The animation staff members are very personable. They work very hard to make sure you are having good time. I believe this is one of the main reasons why the resorts receives its high marks.

Food: Quite horrible considering this is a 5 star resort. The meat and seafood were often undercooked and they did not replenish the food quickly. There was not a large variety of fruit or deserts. A lot of the meat had bones and was over salted. The seafood selection was low.
The specialty restaurants were not very good, we preferred buffets. The specialty restaurants were very disorganized even though reservations were made. When it was time to let people in we would have to stand huddled near the attendant so we didn't get passed up in line. There was no organization as to who arrived first or later.

Beach: The beach does not have palm trees, only palapas. We were always able to find a seat under one. I'm not sure if it was because of the weather, but the waves were very rough. It created a steep erosion, so it was hard to walk up and down the beach. I enjoy the waves, but as I saw, it would not be fun for older people who were easily pushed down by them.

Trolley: The trolley runs all day, we never waited more than 5 minutes for one. This was a very nice feature since the resort is so large.

Collectivo to Playa Del Carmen: It meets at the lobby of the Del Mar during scheduled times. It's $5 one way, $10 round trip, per person. It lets you off at the start of phase 2 in Playa Del Carmen at a bar restaurant.

Shopping Mall across from the Iberostar Lindo: It looks like it was a nice area at one time, but has declined. Only a handful of stores remain open which charge outrageous prices. Many reviewers said to try the crepes and ice cream place. We did but it did not taste good at all. They have a merry-go-round for children, but it was deserted most times we visited.

Drinks: Not a big selection. They only had alcohol and wash drinks. We were hoping for a more fruity drinks.

Two tips: bring sneakers and bug repellant. The resort is in the middle of the jungle so even if you catch the trolley, you will still be doing a lot of walking around the landscaped jungle. While walking, is when the bugs like to attack and you will get bites.

All in all it was a great vacation because of the animation staff and price.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Frutta00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2011

Just got back, highly recomend this resort, hotel-10
Grounds-10
Pool-12
Food-9
Service-9+
Rooms-9
Bars-9
1-low, 10 great

  • Stayed: December 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank cancundec2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 December 2011

This was our 2nd visit to the Iberostar Paraiso Beach and of all the hotels we've been to in the area, still consider the Iberostar family one of the best. Beautiful hotel with nice jungle-like grounds (unlike some of the newer resorts), good food and mostly great service. Great place if you have small children. My daughter loved the clown who goes around making balloon animals and the kids club there really tries to engage. A clown who makes balloon animals might seem like a small thing, but it shows an attention to detail that a lot of other Riviera Maya resorts lack (we've been to the area more than 5 times).

We only have 3 gripes: (1) unlike our last visit, the mosquitoes were a problem this time, (2) the mattresses were way too soft (Iberostar management - this property has been around for close to a decade now, please put down a few bucks for some new mattresses!) and (3) trolley frequency was a joke. My husband, daughter and I all have about 10 mosquito bites each, which really put a damper on our vacation. The mattresses were so soft that my husband had to get 2 massages. As for the trolley, they come so rarely, good luck getting one. We waited a half an hour for one the other night.

Overall, it's still a great resort though and one that we would definitely revisit!

Stayed: December 2011, travelled with family
7  Thank alice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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