We went to the Maya for a family vacation to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Our group consisted of 9 people; my husband and me, our son and daughter-in-law, and 5 grandchildren ages 3-17. We traveled from St. Louis, and the rest of our party traveled from Milwaukee. My husband and I arrived around 11 AM. We were greeted by the Apple rep at the hotel, and at check-in were given a nice fruit punch drink. Our rooms were not yet ready, so we were given bracelets to have lunch and explore the resort. We changed into our suits in the hospitality room, and walked to the beach and had lunch at one of the grills. By the time we returned, our rooms were ready. We had reserved two sets of 2 adjoining rooms each to accommodate our group of nine. Each of these sets of rooms had one King junior suite connected to a junior suite with two doubles. We had asked for the suites to be in the same building if possible, and they would not guarantee that they would. However, they were not only in the same building, but rooms right next to each other, so we had 4 suites right next to each other on the third floor of building 65, nearer to the lobby and restaurants. We were greeted in our room with a chilling bottle of champagne, and a welcome fruit plate. We all received invitations to an Apple Vacations dinner on the beach that evening which was wonderful. The rest of our group arrived around 4 PM and their check-in went smoothly.
The kids loved all the pools and the beach also. The wave pool only runs for about 15 minutes per hour on the hour, so we didn't use it much as you would have to plan your day around when it was running. The other pools were great though. There were lots of activities if you chose to participate. The ice cream stand by the pools was a favorite.
We had another chilling bottle of champagne on the second day, and some amazing towel art. The housekeeper did love-birds for our anniversary. She did a birthday cake for our son (in towel art) whose birthday was that week also. Many different animals, people and other things were done very well in the towel art.
We ate at El Rancho and loved it so much we booked it for a second time. The second time was not nearly as good as the first, so there can be some inconsistency in the restaurants. Another thing that was different about the two times we ate there, was that the waiter the first time was excellent and the waiter at the second dinner there seemed hurried and dis-interested. We ate at La Marina and it was very good as was La Geisha. We ate at La Geisha for our last night, and the food was excellent, as was the entertainment, but we all felt rushed to finish each course. They were grabbing your plates before you were finished. Breakfast was great in the buffets.
We went into Playa del Carmen one evening and missed the last shuttle to town, so took a cab. It cost us $100 round trip for 6 people in a larger car, so it is definitely worthwhile to take the shuttle for $5 per person.
We used the resort photographer for a family photo session and it went very well. They took lots of photos for us to choose from, and the prices were reasonable.
The only really negative thing anyone mentioned was the lack of clear signs and directions to find your way around this "HUGE" property. The signs were few and far between and not very helpful. We didn't notice a single sign that marked "You are Here" to make it easier to figure out where you were. It takes a few days to feel comfortable finding your way around the resorts.
Overall, our week was wonderful family time together, and hopefully will be remembered for a long time to come.
- 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