My husband and I have now visited the Iberostar Paraiso Maya 4 times; we enjoyed it so much on our first visit in 2008 that going back again and again has been an easy choice.
I'd recommend pre-arranging an airport shuttle when you book your trip-- it just makes it easy to walk past all of the "excursion" vendors when you exit the baggage claim and immigration at Cancun airport. The ride to the Iberostar Playa Paraiso is a pretty short drive (roughly half hour, depending stops for passengers at other resorts).
The Maya lobby greets you with amazing marble floors and huge replica statues. Check-in usually moves pretty quickly. Let them take the luggage to your room and since you now have the "magic bracelet" on, you should head into the Pyramid Bar and let your vacation begin. FYI if your arrival is little early, and you are hungry, have a staff member drive you over --or take a quick walk-- to the Lindo lobby; their lunch buffet is good until you can get to your room.
The Maya has multiple buildings stretching along the pools (the other side of the pools is the Lindo). We've stayed in different buildings each trip. Closer to the beach is nice, but its longer to get to the lobby, of course. And staying by the pool does mean you will have pool noise (and music) until it quiets down just before dinner. I most enjoyed the stay when we faced the small courtyard...quiet balcony time in the morning is great with my cup of coffee.
The pool closest to the beach has a wide shallow area along one side, and nice waterfalls that muffle some of the resort noise and we've never found it to be crowded. Chairs on the Lindo side on the back of the wave-pool pyramid also have great waterfall ambiance. We tend to alternate beach and pool time... the wind on the beach feels great when the sun starts scorching. Regardless of pool or beach, we've never experienced a lack of available chairs, and we don't play that game of running and reserving them first thing in the morning; some chairs do have towels on them by people you never see, but again, we always find place to sit.
There are activities for those who are interested, and the resorts "Star Friends" do a great job entertaining guests... never pushy, always friendly. Friendly is a good point and one of the draws for us here; from the lobby to the maid service to the landscapers...everyone always is smiling and stops their task for a moment to offer a Hola as you pass by,. Just great people! The beach and pool waiters/waitresses are also super friendly and never let us go thirsty. (While you do not have to tip, we do -- just a dollar or two for our drinks. These hard working people appreciate it... but service is *never* worse if you don't tip.)
The grounds are lovely-- take time to walk around... they are meticulously kept...flowers and statues around every turn. The courtyards of the buildings even have great detail!
Drink is plentiful... may not be "top shelf" at the pool bar... but I've never had anything of poor quality. The restaurants and sports bar offer additional selections. Food is good. Has been the same menu each of our visits, which is okay; it's what I expected. Again, never anything bad... always some option to select even for a picky eater. Vary your evening dinner location to mix up the food options. (Make reservations with the concierge at your building...super easy process!!). The Japonaise hibachi place is fun, and the seafood place has never ending crab legs and lobster. I have to also say I am a sucker for coconut and Iberostar has a delicious coconut ice cream!
The shows that the staff puts on are fun...though by the end of a full day of sun and swimming, after a meal and some cocktails, we usually enjoy walking around the resorts. The Paraiso Beach and Del Mar are past the Lindo; staying at the Maya gives you access to all four... Check them out... even just to see the different decor. We still like the Maya best.... but the Lindo lobby is lovely too. The Grand is the only property above the Maya, so you wont have access there but can arrange for a tour if you are so inclined.
Rooms; clean, spacious. Large bed if you get the King. Couch/chairs in a sitting area and chairs on the balcony. Bathroom has large tub and separate shower; basic toiletries, hair dryer. Mini bar (included-- and ask for what you want; maid service will stock it to your request, i.e. all diet soda or more water, or certain beer that they offer). Coffee pot, iron/board and in-room safe.
I would recommend Iberostar Playa Paraiso for couples, or families with our without kids (of any age), as we have seen all these during each of our visits and they all had plenty to do (or not...if relaxation is the goal) and looked to be having a good time.
(BTW- most recent trip was actually June 2012, but just now started putting reviews on Trip Advisor.)
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located directly on the beautiful beach of Playa Paraiso (Mexico). All junior suites with Jacuzzi, DVD player, upgraded amenities. Exclusive dining plus dine around privileges at over 16 restaurants, 17 full service bars. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya Hotel Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Playa Paraiso
- Iberostar Riviera Maya
- Iberostar Hotel Paraiso Maya
- Iberostar Maya
- Iberostar Grand Paraiso