My husband and I stayed at Iberostar Paraiso Beach in early December. We have stayed at Iberostar Costa Dorado in Puerto Plata, D.R. and really liked this resort chain.
We weren't disappointed. We requested a room close to the beach and were given a free upgrade to an ocean view room in the building closest to the beach. The rooms aren't suites like some of the newer properties but are very clean and there were never any musty smells.
The beach is really pretty with soft sand but there are a few rocks and coral when you go out into the swimming area; so be careful not to hurt your feet or be safe and wear water shoes in the water.
There is a place that serves hot dogs, burgers, fries, nachos etc right on the beach if you don't want to go back to one of the restaurants for lunch. The drinks are fabulous at all the bars. There are 2 swim up bars; one on the Paraiso Beach Side and one on the Del Mar side. My fave drink of choice was the Mojito! The bartenders almost always had fresh mint stocked at the beach and swim up bars so I did not go thirsty! My hubby loved the CocoLoco drink; a bit like a pina colada but with chocolate.
Every day at 11:30 I did water aerobics in the pool; the instructor was FABULOUS. They played great upbeat dance tunes and really got you moving!
Our favorite ala carte restaurant by far was the Asian Tepanyaki grill; I highly recommend it. We also tried the Steakhouse which is also an outdoor lunch restaurant and bar during the day just a few steps off the beach. It was good but not as good as the Japanese. We also went to the Tropical restaurant on the Del Mar side; it was OK but no better than the buffets in my opinion. You are allowed 3 ala cartes for a week's stay; you can try to get reservations for more depending on availabilty but they were all too busy when we asked.
One of the real pearls of this resort is the nice shopping center just outside the main entrance of the lobby to your left heading towards the Lindo resort; you can get wonderful crepes and ice cream at the Creperie included in your AI package. Very tasty!! There is also a burger place and a taco place here you can try. We tried the burger place and had milkshakes to go with; they were so good!! I wanted to try the taco place but didn't get back before our week was up.
There are trains that will take you to and from the lobby, restaurant and beach but they don't run on a set schedule so are hit or miss. Often times it was faster just to walk; not bad if you are healthy but as my husband has had several back surgeries this was a bit painful for him.
The animation team (Star Friends) do a wonderful job organizing daily activities if you so choose to participate. My husband enjoyed archery and shooting guns each day; and we played and bocce ball, horseshoes and darts. There is a board by the towel huts that tell you what games are going on which days and times. At night at the theater they present the winners with a prize (an Iberostar Star Friends ball cap).
The nightly shows were fun to watch too; the dancers and singers were really good and it was a great way to relax and end the day.
The pools were pristine and beautiful but the water is very cool during the winter months so if the sun isn't out and the wind is blowing you might not want to jump in.
The best thing about this resort is really the way they preserve the natural beauty of the surroundings. There is lush foliage to see at every turn as well as wildlife such as parrots, flamingos and other wild birds, and those strange raccoon/anteater type creatures known as coatis.
The only excursion we did was right from the hotel; a 2 hour snorkel trip ($38 pp) to Playa Maroma. It was a bit of a disappointment because the water was quite choppy and it was cloudy and cool. We were told not to bring towels or any extra clothing so the ride back to the resort was really chilly for us.
There was some nice fish and coral to see but I've seen way better in Akumal MX and Cozumel without paying a 3rd party.
If you are willing to spend the money I think you'd be better off doing Xel Ha. Better yet; wait and go to Akumal Beach and snorkel with the sea turtles if you ever happen to go to that area for a vacation.
All in all, we were very pleased with this resort for the money we spent and highly recommend it to future travellers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Directly on the beach of "Playa Paraiso." Imaginatively designed lake – pool. Convention centre. The holiday complex is perfectly integrated into the tropical landscape. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Beach Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Beach
- Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar