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“Generally disappointing”

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
la honda, california
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Generally disappointing”
Reviewed 29 August 2014

Not sure what all the fuss is about. My family and I stayed at the Paraiso Maya in August 2014. There were 8 of us all together to celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. I don’t usually stay in large all –inclusive resorts, but the choice made sense for our group. In advance of our arrival, we attempted to make dinner reservations for our group and the various concierges that answered our emails were a bit difficult to deal with and would only confirm 3 reservations in advance. In addition, they told us that they would seat our group in the same section of the restaurant, but not at the same table. I would understand this if we were a group of 15 or 20 people, but it is not unreasonable to expect to be seated as a group of 8 for dinner. It turns out that this was not an issue at all once we were at the various restaurants, but it certainly caused unnecessary stress in anticipation of our travels. A couple of times in one of the buffet restaurants at lunch, we were told that they couldn’t seat us together, but a few dollars to the busboy made it magically happen.

Unfortunately, although sitting together at the restaurants was not an issue, the food quality certainly was. Honestly, the food was mostly terrible. At El Tapiato Mexican restaurant, the steak was like “Steak Ums”—thin pieces of overdone meat that were completely inedible. We had to reorder different entrees and wait another 20 minutes. It was not much better at La Marina seafood restaurant. The cajun restaurant was passable, as was the El Rancho steakhouse. We did not try the Gourmet Museum or Etoile Restaurant as we had an 11 year old with us and she would not have been permitted. The buffets were all pretty similar and nothing interesting. The El Fogon buffet on the Lindo side had the most options and had different themes each night. The Asian theme was horrible but the Italian night was okay. There is always a pasta station there where you choose the ingredients and it’s made in front of you, which was decent. La Geisha Japanese restaurant was fun and smaller with interesting décor, but the only seasoning they used was soy sauce, so everything was very salty. In addition, of our group of 8, 6 of us were sick with stomach issues at various times during the week, which I can only assume was caused by the food since none of us are heavy drinkers.

The pool was huge with a lot of different areas to it. It was too warm, but I don’t imagine there is much they can do to make it colder when it’s so hot and humid outside. The wave pool was boring and the lazy river was super slow. As others have mentioned, there were absolutely no rafts for the river, but we managed to scavenge some that were left behind by other guests throughout the week. We went to Aqua Gym class twice daily with Claudia who is awesome. The classes were only a half hour, but fun and easy to follow and I felt like I got a bit of a workout. The day she was off (Saturday), they had someone fill in for her and he was awful. He admitted that he had no idea what he was doing and it showed. It was a waste of time. They should just not hold the class when Claudia is not there unless they have someone who can actually lead the class.

We stayed in building 61 which was the ideal location. It is located close to the pool, beach and buffet restaurants for breakfast and lunch (one becomes the Mexican restaurant for dinner and the other on the Lindo side alternates between Italian and a Steakhouse, but we did not try it for dinner). It is a longer walk to the nicer sit down restaurants, lobby and Lindo buffet, but it’s better to take that trek once a day rather than back and forth all day long. Plus, since we had to put some belongings on beach chairs to snag our shade early in the morning, it was convenient to be close to the beach.

We went to the bar in the lobby every evening, so this also made the hike to the lobby worth it. It is pretty with a huge snake in the middle. This bar seemed to have one of the better liquor selections at the resort and we were able to get higher end liquors and nicely made cocktails. The bartender was very sweet to my nieces and invented drinks that they enjoyed. One night, the magician came by our table and it was fun entertainment, especially when he “disappeared” my 16 year old niece’s cell phone!

The rooms were nice and big with a sleeping and sitting area, deck, hallway with closets and large bathroom. They were kept clean by the maids and there were beverages in the mini-bar. They seemed to restock every 2-3 days. There was plenty of water, some sodas and beers and a coffee maker in the room. When I asked for extra soda water, the concierge said no problem, but it never arrived. But, when I needed to get my shower drain snaked, maintenance showed up within minutes and cleared it, which was impressive service. I was in room 6133 and there was a crazy noise that woke me up every morning at 5:00am. Not sure if I was near the garbage pick up or something else creating a lifting/beeping sound but it killed my snooze every morning. (I was not near the broken ice machine or elevator, so that wasn't it).

One positive is that the Wi-Fi is now available everywhere and free, so it seems that the hotel has listened to some complaints and has made an effort to remedy the situation. Overall, the options available for a diverse group made this hotel workable for our family, but I certainly wouldn’t stay there again.

Room Tip: Building 61 is close to the beach, pools and breakfast and lunch buffets. It is farther from the lob...
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
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1 Thank merrypranksters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Princeton NJ
Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2014

I'll try to add a little info, beyond what you have already read. On August 20-27 I traveled with my 2 kids (10 and 14) and another family with a 16 year old. My 10 year old (almost 11) had no interest whatsoever in the star friends program. She felt that the program was geared toward younger kids, and she was probably right. If you have a 10+ kid then they might do just fine if they are the more outgoing type.

The teenagers enjoyed themselves tremendously, for day time and evening activities. They found a group of kids to hang out with and they were set for the week. Parents: you must set limits and boundaries with your teens and discuss BEFORE arriving at the resort. Some teens got their hands on alcohol (I don't know how), so this is a scenario worth discussing before hand. However, I feel the resort did what they could to keep teens safe. One of the teens in my son's group tried getting into the adult only night disco/bar and she was escorted out and handed over to her parents. You cannot rely on the resort to discipline your teens, you must be the one ultimately in charge of the situation. If you do not trust your teen to make smart decisions independently of you, then this is not the right place for you.

Our room had a pull out sofa and the plan was for my 10 year old to sleep in it. It was horribly uncomfortable! We asked for a roll away bed instead and they brought in a very comfortable, sturdy bed. She slept well for the rest of the week. My opinion: don't bother with the sofa and ask for the roll away.

We ended up spending about $600 in additional excursions and pool gear (boogie board, balls, snorkeling gear, etc). I hadn't really planned on this before arriving at the resort, but my kids wanted to do more than simply relax at the pool and beach. The excursions were all good quality and if you are interested in knowing more please send a private message.

We had no trouble finding good seating in the shade, when we wanted it. I was relieved that we had no need to get up early to save a seat. Maybe it would be different in the winter thigh season.

Wifi was spotty, even in our room. No big deal for us, but this may annoy others.

I like to experience new resorts for each vacation so we will most likely not be back to this one. I'm not rushing to any Iberostar properties, in fact. Next time I might consider a smaller, more high end brand.

Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
3 Thank 4happyfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
20 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 August 2014

keep in mind, as my first time at an all inclusive, I do not have a good basis for comparison. There is a lot good about the Paraiso Maya, some ok, and some not so good. I will try to lay out everything for you to help make your decision.

Facility / Layout - the property is beautiful and HUGE!! Be prepared for a tremendous amount of walking. The central pool area (shared with the Lindo) is very nice, complete with wave pool, multiple bars (including a swim up), a small lazy river, and several waterfalls. Get to the pool early to make sure you get a good seat. They fill up by 8 a.m.

Beach - easily one of the most disappointing features of the hotel. The beach, while beautiful, has a very small swimming area (although you can walk down to the other Iberostar's beach fronts as well). Once in the water, it is rocky, so watch your toes. The sand is beautiful crushed coral and the water is magnificent. The problem is there is very little shade, the lower scale hotels have better beach facilities (like beds on the beach), than the Maya.

Activities - this is where I give the hotel a major strike. Around the pool, they keep you constantly active with all kinds of games, water events, exercise, etc. There are large boards posted with the activities of the day, however, THEY DON'T TELL YOU WHERE TO FIND THEM! At a hotel the size of this one, there should be some kind of guide telling you where the activities are located.

Watersports - MAJOR DISAPPOINTMENT!! Strike 2 for the hotel. While they list tons of watersport activities, be prepared to pay. You want to take the hobie cat out? Lessons are $45 PER PERSON - for a family of 4, that was $180, and you can only take it out for 1 hr per day. You want to snorkel, sure, we'll give you equipment, but there is no where to do it at the hotel. You can take an excursion which starts at $50 per person. You want to jet ski, extra. Banana boat, extra. Sailboard - free, unless you've never done it before - then it's $45 and only 1 hr per day. Ocean Kayak - only when the flags are green... funny how we were there for 7 days, the ocean was flat, yet the flags were never green.

Food - I read the reviews ahead of time so I wasn't expecting much here. The food quality was OK at best and there was a wide range of qualities. Best restaurant - El Tapatio - the Mexican. Bad news was we could only get a reservation 1 of our nights. Second Best - La Marina - seafood. The rest were just ok. Had dinner at the Italian place one night at the Lindo - low marks. They have serious refrigeration issues at the buffet - be careful there and elsewhere on site. The taco place in the shopping center may have been my favorite.

Room - We had the basic family suite and it was ok... word of caution - the beds are doubles, not queens, so with my wife and I and 2 kids, it was tight at night. We did not spend much time in the room but it was spacious enough, just not in the beds...

Entertainment - the nightly entertainment was at the Lindo and ranged from good (magic show) to downright awful (rock night). The major downside, the entertainment hall was not air conditioned and was super hot the nights we were there. There was not enough cerveza in the world to stay cool.

Staff - There was a tremendous range in the quality of the staff. Some went out of their way to make you feel welcome. Others, it seemed like you were offending them if you even asked a simple question. In general, we found the staff to be very pleasant though.

Overall, we truly enjoyed our stay at the Maya. The place is beautiful, if you want to just relax by the pool and drink all day, it's perfect. However, we felt compelled to go offsite due to a lack of activities at the place (that we didn't have to pay for). Our sons, 10 and 13, spent most of the time in the pool when were not offsite. Book your excursions online before you come! If you book through the hotel, you will be paying at least a 20-30% premium or more... The dive shop, while nice, is particularly at a premium. Their rates were 2x those of the dive shop in Playa Del Carmen... A couple of examples - whale shark snorkel - $160 at the dive shop in Playa - $230 at the hotel. PADI certification - $299 in Playa - $490 at the hotel. Get the idea?

One other note - you may want to consider the Lindo - they share all of the facilities with the Maya and it is less expensive. I actually found their lobby area to be more beautiful than the Maya. Save a few bucks and stay there... The food is about the same throughout the property.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Dnatkin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2014 via mobile

Our family (girls age 9 and 12) was at the hotel for 6 night starting August 7,2014. We slept in a junior suite with 2 double beds. Very spacious (had a living rm area w/ a sofa, chair, table and desk). The bathroom had a big jacuzzi which the girls loved. Building 60 was a perfect location- close to the beach and the pools. Room was always super clean w/ fresh towels everyday. AC worked well.
The beach was beautiful, however, it was full of seaweed, which made it quite unpleasant to go in (maybe it's a seasonal thing). The pools were nice, most of the time we spent by the wave pools which was lovely (waves were operated on intervals). There was plenty of shade if you rather escape the sun.
I found the hotel to be beautiful but a bit old and felt like it needed some TLC.
Food at the Buffett - breakfast was quite bad, lunch was nice and dinner was great (lots of dishes to choose from). We tried one evening the steak house restaurant which was awful. Another night we tried the Japanese, which was a cute experience, but very mediocre food. Stick with the Buffett restaurant and you should be fine!
Wine was bad, cocktails were ok.
Overall we enjoyed our stay, the stuff was super friendly and helpful, I just expected to get more for my $$$...
One day we took a day trip, which was organized by a tour company located at the hotel's lobby, to Tulum. We did zip lining, swam in a cinote and went to see the ruins in Tulum which was lovely ( not amazing).

Stayed August 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank RNANYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Larchmont, New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 August 2014

We just came back from an amazing week at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso! We enjoyed every second! We did have a little glitch upon our arrival which wasn't our fault or the hotels fault so that put us in a bit of a funk. Our travel agent straightened it out immediately and then the party began. As soon as we walked into the Paraiso Maya lobby I could not get over the scent. All the lobbies have this amazing scent that is so beautifully fragrant, it should be bottled!!! We have two boys ages 14 and 11. They were constantly entertained and kept busy. YOU CANNOT BE BORED HERE!!! There is always something to do. The activities whether by the pool or on the beach seemed endless. My kids participated in many of the pool games... golden goal, (my 11 year old won the golden gol) football, volleyball, basketball, team games and much more. The STAR FRIENDS that ran the activities were awesome. A huge shout out to Javier, Carlos, Lalo, Brenda, Serai, Gilmer, Roco, and if we forgot anyone our apologies... You are all fantastic!!! They knew my kids by name by the second day! Always friendly and professional.
Now the Beach!!! OMG what can I say? just beautiful! I must say there was a lot of seaweed when we first got there, I mean tons. The beach was not very nice. Since we are "pool" people it wasn't a real issue for us. What impressed me however, was the next day when I went for a walk on the beach I saw rows of black garbage bags filled with seaweed and being carted off the beach by the staff. Very impressive! After that there was very little seaweed on the beach. Some of the activities on the beach were beach zumba, beach volleyball, beach soccer, archery, rifle shooting, bocce balls, horseshoes and many more that I can't remember. The buffets were well stocked and delicious. The restaurants were also wonderful. Beautifully decorated and CLEAN!!! The service was great also. Everyone went out of the way to make us comfortable and extremely relaxed. We stayed at the Paraiso Maya part of the hotel and had access to the whole resort. If we wanted to go to the Lindo part or any other part we called for pick up and they drove us to the other parts of the resort! We cannot wait to go back! What a great experience!!! One week is just not enough!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Pina F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lake Orion, MI
1 review
Reviewed 26 August 2014

I stayed at the hotel with my two children age 10 &15. We originally booked the neighboring resort but got upgraded to this one. So it was really great for the money we spent. The activities at the pool were suitable for any age group. The beach was very nice and we enjoyed the kayaks and the bar. The restaurants had a large variety of foods.Lot of vegetables, fruits, fish, etc. For dinner we made reservations for different places. Enjoyed the El Hashiru the most. We made reservations in advance by emailing the resort ahead of time, but had no problem obtaining some even after our arrival. All staff was very friendly and helpful even though the temperature kept at 90 F. Overall a great vacation!

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Review collected in partnership with Iberostar

Helpful?
Thank macomich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this review, 1 September 2014
Dear guest,

Thank you for giving us the privilege of being your hosts by choosing IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya for your most recent vacation.

We would also like to express our sincere appreciations to you for taking the time to send us your comments on how your holidays went at our resort. We are more than glad to know that you enjoyed our fun activities around our resort, our delicious culinary offerings and you were pleased with our lovely staff.

Thank you very much for trusting us, we are confident that you will be visiting us soon again.

Sincerely,
Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 August 2014

This was a great experience one year after doing Grand Palladium also in Riveria Maya. Both are great for older families, especially those with teens or young adults. This resort is very large and took 3 days to find our way around which is what we like. Both Iberostar and Grand Palladium are the best in Rivera Maya. You can't go wrong with other. There is nothing to dislike here unless you're picky or looking for a gripe.

Room Tip: Choose #61 or #62 which will put you in the middle of restaurants and beach.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with friends
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank bds50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Paraiso Maya, responded to this review, 1 September 2014
Dear guest,

We would like to thank you for sharing with us your comments about how your holidays went at IBEROSTAR Paraiso Maya.

We are glad to know that you and your family felt like at home during your visit; and that you enjoyed our facilities and our services.

We hope you will be staying again at our hotel, to pamper you once again!

Best regards,
Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Paraiso Maya

Property: Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Address: Carretera Chetumal - P. Juarez Km 309, Playa Paraiso, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Region: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen > Playa Paraiso
Amenities:
Beach Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £££
Hotel Class:4 star — Iberostar Paraiso Maya 4*
Number of rooms: 434
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

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