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“not so grand at the grand”

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 25 April 2014

Just recently returned from this hotel after staying 14 nights 22/03/14 - 05/04/14 in one of their ocean view front junior suites 7049. We have over the past 35 years been fortunate enough to stay in some very good 5 star hotels throughout Europe, the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. We are RIU Hotel and Grecotel club class members and their quality of service - food etc is well known.

So what is wrong here - their international buffet restaurant is one of the worst we have ever experienced and anybody who thinks differently is very easily pleased. A poor selection of food, lack of quality and cold, not one serving plate was heated and what food was available poorly presented on small trays under warming lamps. we put up with this on four seperate occassions before refusing to eat there again. We were not the only ones complaining about this food - read other reviews on this site. Of course after seriously complaing to the General manager he gave us the usual tapdance on how things can go wrong from time to time and he would be having a meeting with the executive chef to voice our concerns. Well the very next morning and four mornings after that there was only hard bread in the breakfast buffet. It was so bad we placed one of the buns and a slice of French bread in a bag and took it to the management. We were then told they were having problems with the bakery and normal service would be resumed.

So much for the fabulous experiences that some reviews seem to suggest, who is writing this stuff??? Another very disturbing fact was during our second weeks stay the hotel staff came around asking clients to give them a good review on the questionnaires given out in the restaurant that night - a disgrace really. We used the a la Carte restaurants for the remainder of our stay - 10 visits in all. Yes the food was better and after telling them that we prefered our food hot we fared a lot better!

In general the rooms, grounds, and public areas are good. The main salt water pool is a bit loud with pool games and the local clients drinking and shouting from 1.30pm - 7.30pm, but there is a lovely quiet fresh water pool in the main garden area where you can relax. a lovely beach front location with white sands and clear blue water. Also the lunch time meal at the beach restaurant was good, no complaints, so they can do it when they try!

They had five restaurants open when we arrived rising to six just before we left, and here lies the problem - they are trying to offer too big a selection at the expense of a good quality international buffet with a couple of a la carte restaurants to choose from.

We paid £7000 to stay here and in September we are returning to the Kaliston Hotel in Crete costing £3500, which by the way provides a lot better food quality than this hotel. We have read several other reviews on this site complaining about the buffet meal, saying how poor the food was. They need to get a grip of this restaurant or shut it down.

We also paid an extra £800 for the ocean front sea view - well I hope you like palm trees because there are quite a few blowing around these rooms, blocking the view.

So there it is, a true honest valuation of the Iberostar Grand. Will we fly eleven hours, fill in three pages of immigration forms, get hasseled by airport touts, and spend five days feeling unwell on our return with stomach trouble and pay £7000 for the priviledge - I don't think so. So, roll on September! Just looking forward to the reply from public relations, should be classic. (see other reports on this site that seem to agree with our views, would certainly not return or recommend this hotel)

Room Tip: Ocean front sea view rooms can be obstructed by Palm trees in our experience
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled as a couple
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43  Thank Frederick F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 30 April 2014

Dear Guest,

First of all thank you for choosing IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso.

Our main commitment is to offer the best vacation to our guests, based on the service provided by professionals and the delivery of high quality products. We listen to all our guests' feedback and work on exceeding expectations every day. So we are sorry for not being able to meet your personal expectations this time.

We appreciate the time you invested in sharing your feedback with us; our best wishes for your next vacations.

Kind regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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2,322 - 2,328 of 6,028 reviews

Reviewed 23 April 2014

We had our third visit to the Iberostar Grand in mid-April and the resort continues to deliver. As other reviews mention the staff makes this resort so special. I didn’t think the service could improve over our last visit but they continue to raise the bar. It’s amazing how much of the staff remembers you from year to year. The entertainment teams works hard and does a great job to keep you laughing. The shows were very good and the live band is fantastic. The band played an extra 30-45 minutes this visit after the show and they are very talented musicians and singers.
I did find the food a little more hit and miss this visit. We had a disappointing meal at Toni’s but when we informed the staff that dinner was a little off they took serious note of our concern. When we returned a few nights later we enjoyed one of the best meals I’ve ever had at any steak house. The Italian restaurant was much better than our last visit. I also found the lunch buffet to be hit or miss this visit but the selection is so good there is always something to eat. The lunch grill setup outside is very good and they are always grilling some steaks and lamb chops. Breakfast buffet continues to be amazing with great service by Olivia and the team. The fresh juice bar is great (it goes great with a little vodka in the am).
The resort wasn’t crowded after our first 2 days so we didn’t have an issue with chairs but we were notified by our butler upon arrival that chairs wouldn’t be held after 2 hours if they are not occupied. This is a good policy. They do need to add additional chairs around the pool. There are not enough chairs when the resort is crowded. The new cushions on the pool chairs are great but there were only a few updated on the beach. I hope they continue to replace the older pads that just slip off the chairs.
Our dinner reservations, golf, and transfers were all arranged by our travel agent Mitch from tripguy.com. Mitch continues to do a great job for us when we travel.
We’re already looking forward to our next visit.

Room Tip: Building 70 Ocean Front is great.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank j80rice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you for your loyalty and lovely feedback about your recent stay at IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso.

We are delighted to hear that you have enjoyed your stay with us. Our Managers and staff work hard to accomplish our guests’ expectations. We sincerely appreciate your recognition.

We regret to read about your initial deception at our surf and turf restaurant; however we are glad to know that we were able to make it up to you in your next visit.

Thank you for pointing out the policy that we are applying for our sunbeds, we are working very hard on this topic and it is good to read that you noticed it.

We hope that you will visit us again soon to see the changes we are making, thank you once again for your detailed feedback; we look forward to welcoming you back.

Kind Regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

I have to start by saying I rarely write reviews. I have to be either very unhappy with something or very impressed with something. On this occasion I have been bowled over with this hotel. My family and I have been fortunate enough to have stayed in some wonderful hotels worldwide. The position of this hotel, with its white sandy beaches, and aqua blue sea is idyllic, and the service is above and beyond. It is well worth the extra to upgrade to an ocean front room and you are still close to all restaurants and amenities. We were in block 70 and our butler Charly is fabulous. All the staff are v friendly and go out of their way to accommodate. Eloise one of the hostesses has been especially helpful too. Our only downfall is that we booked for a week instead of two!!! We are already looking at booking our return trip.

Room Tip: Block 70 is beach front
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank nugs7068
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear guest,

Thank you very much for your delightful review, your comment makes us feel truly proud of our service.

It is pleasing to read that you enjoyed your stay, and that you tried some of our facilities and services. We appreciate your special mention on the beautiful beach, our ocean front room, our restaurants, amenities, and on the gentle service provided by our staff.

We are glad to read that Charly and Eloise were part of your outstanding getaway, be sure they will receive your nice compliments.

We hope that with your last vacation we gained your trust and confidence to come back and allow us to exceed your previous experience.

Sunny regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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Reviewed 22 April 2014

I wanted to surprise my fiancee to celebrate our engagement and take her to an all-inclusive resort where we could relax and not worry about having to plan or do anything during the six days we would be there. The grand delivers that and more. The service is literally falling all over you from the moment you get there until the bellboy picks up your bags to leave. The room was cleaned multiple times a day, and it seemed like the butler service could anticipate exactly when you would be out of the room for meals etc. and have the room cleaned without you even knowing they were there. Consistently the staff added small, thoughtful touches that made it a really special experience, like the bottle of champagne that was brought up to our room without us even asking when we stayed in one afternoon. Also, if you press the butler button on the phone and ask for anything, they deliver. I surprised my fiancee by requesting a romantic jacuzzi to be prepared at 5:00 p.m. for after the beach and it was done on time without question, rose petals and all.

I had heard that some all-inclusives leave a lot to be desired by giving you second-rate food and drinks, but the grand delivered exceptionally. The food was varied and incredible across the board. Grilled lobster for lunch? You got it. Delicious shrimp tacos later on by the pool? Done. The Surf and Turf and Mexican restaurants were good but if I could do it again I'd skip those in favor of a second night at the Japanese or the Italian restaurant. At dinner, I'd typically get a pretty decent cabernet at dinner and then for dessert a double espresso and a Grand Marnier on the rocks. If you can think of a type of drink you'd like, they make it happen. Also, make sure you try out the martinis, they have an unusual way of serving them to keep them cool in the heat (you'll see what I mean).

As for the shows, they were all pretty good. We considered skipping the Pre-Hispanic show, thinking it might be lame, but I am so glad we didn't. It turned out to be our favorite of the week.

Also, if you are considering going to one of the other Iberostar resorts in the complex, we walked around and it seemed like a totally different experience. Cheaper liquor, kids running around, lower quality food. Probably still a good time, but much more crowded and lower-end, so just be ready for that. The grand is in a class by itself. BTW, the beach and water are PRISTINE.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Iberostar
8  Thank NJWayfarer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Dear guest,

On behalf of the entire team we would like to thank you for the confidence you gave to us to celebrate such an especial moment like your engagement; congratulations once again!

We are very proud to read that we surpassed your expectations; the professionalism and genuine helpfulness of our staff is certainly one of the main assets of our luxury hotel and we thank you for pointing out this aspect of your experience among us; we are glad you felt well looked after throughout your stay, this being our main goal. It is great to know that each detail made you feel surprised!

Moreover, we greatly appreciate your praising comments about our restaurants. It is great to know that you were satisfied with the food and beverages we offer as our gastronomy is one of the prime pillars of our company.

Last but not least we are grateful that you pointed out how much you enjoyed our shows, especially the Prehispanic night.

Once again thank you for posting your review, we hope to have the opportunity of welcoming you back in the near future.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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Reviewed 21 April 2014

We just returned from a fabulous week at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso! Everything was top notch, and the staff is so friendly and accommodating. We enjoyed each buffet, especially the international buffet, even more than the ala carte restaurants. Since this is an adult only facility it was nice for us as a middle aged couple. The only disappointment was the spa facilities, which are shared with the other Iberostar resorts. It was NOT in the same luxury category as The Grand, and I've had a better experience in many other spas.

I absolutely loved the bed sheets and meant to look for a brand before we left. I need those sheets!! They were so soft and comfortable. Made the sleeping experience even better.

We had an ocean front suite, which was fabulous! We definitely would love to go back again!!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Iberostar
4  Thank Kmay2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Dear Guest,

We are so happy to know you had a great time with us at IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso; it is always pleasing to hear that we have achieved our main goal which is to fulfill your satisfaction.

We are proud of creating memories that last a lifetime and we are very glad that you found our hotel to be relaxing with a delicious variety of food.

Regarding the Spa facilities we are extremely concerned as this is one of our strengths; please rest assured that we will let our Spa Manager know about your feedback. We would like to know more about your experience as it gives us the opportunity to work on this.

We hope that your experience about this topic will not dissuade you from staying with us again as we hope to have the opportunity to welcoming you back in IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso and show you in future visits that we improve day after day thanks to our guests’ feedback.

Kind Regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2014

We very much enjoyed our stay at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso. There were a lot of couples who, like us, were on their honeymoon. Being a guest of the hotel gives you access to the other Iberostar hotels on the complex, which is quite nice if you fancy trying out some of the other pools / restaurants / beach areas. The hotel complex is vast and it can take a good 15 minutes to walk from one end to the other, but there are free golf buggy taxis to help you get around.

The hotel staff were always very friendly and helpful, and always at hand on the beach to bring you fresh drinks. The hotel itself is stunning, couldn't fault it.

The entertainment was pretty cheesy, although we largely enjoyed it anyway. The beer helped! The cocktails could be better though. They tended to be slushy ice with a couple of shots and a straw. However, there is a huge choice of drinks available, and there's always something new to try including a lot of local beers.

The French restaurant was probably our favourite. The Japanese is also worth trying too, but mostly because of the novelty of having the chef cook up your meal right in front of you while you watch. They have 8 people per chef / table. Each table seats 8 people, two people on each side of the chef who cooks in the centre of the table, so it was a good opportunity for a nice chat with some of the other guests. The buffet restaurant was also very decent with a very large selection available every night.

Playa Del Carmen is great, but be aware that people will see you coming with your hotel bracelets on and use it as a pretext to get chatting to you / try to sell you stuff. One guy tried to convince us he was our barman from a previous evening at the Iberostar to try to lure us in to his shop. It was only when we walked away that I realised he must have seen our bracelets! The town itself has lots of restaurants, shops, bars, and some nice beaches

Other people have mentioned the rocks in the sea in front of the grand, they're right, it was better if you walked down the shore a little.

The gym was pretty decent, and the spa pool was very nice too. I'm not sure if it's always quiet, but it was during our stay which was definitely a bonus. Overall, awesome hotel - highly recommended.

Room Tip: If you can, get a beach front room. You won't regret it - the view is incredible
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  • Stayed: May 2013, travelled as a couple
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8  Thank Delieee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 29 April 2014

Dear guest,

First of all, we would like to thank you for sharing your kind review with other travelers. On behalf of our Management and staff we would like to thank you for giving us the honor of hosting your honeymoon.

We appreciate your kind words as it pertained to our rooms, food in our a la carte restaurants, beverages, pool and beach and especially to the excellent service of our staff.

We are proud in creating memories that last a lifetime; it is pleasing to see that we have reached our goal.

We appreciate your recommendations regarding cocktails; we will share them with our Food & Beverage Manager for his consideration.

We do hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you again in the near future, please know we remain at your entire disposal.

Best regards,

Quality Manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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Reviewed 19 April 2014

I got married at the Grand Paraiso on 4/11/14 and we couldn't have been happier with our selection. We had not been to the Grand before but made the choice based on a variety of factors. Note that this is the adults only resort and guests from the other Iberostar hotels on the property are not allowed to come to the Grand, but Grand guests have free reign of the whole place (we never left the Grand for anything besides the shopping center and golf course)

Resort - it is a really beautiful resort. Mexico meets Vegas meets Venice. Both pools are spacious and the swim up bar at the main pool was a great time every day. There was plenty of space lounge chair space each day, though we did have to go down fairly early to reserve prime spaces.

Beach - There is private beach front for the Grand with lots of cabanas. The water was gorgeous but not great for swimming. Our ceremony and reception was on the beach and the set up was perfect.

Rooms - all the rooms are suites and have the same layout plus balcony, only difference is which view you select. We had ocean front and it was awesome. Some others in our group had views of the tranquility pool, which were also very nice. The beds were comfortable and they have many different pillow options to suit anyone. Bathrooms are huge with dual sinks, rain shower heads and Jacuzzi tubs.

Food & Drink - everything was fantastic. All the bartenders are friendly and aren't looking for tips. Liquor choices are top shelf and they will make any customized drink you want. They even poured tons of Don Julio shots for us, which I wasn't expecting at an all-inclusive. The breakfast and lunch buffets had lots of options that were all tasty. There are four specialty dinner restaurants at this particular resort, with others available on the rest of the Iberostar property. The food at each one was five star and they provide plenty of different options. My wife has a very strict diet, and one woman in our group is a gluten free vegan, they were able to find plenty of viable options to eat.

Service - everyone working at the resort was amazing. They would drop everything to help you if needed. All spoke English very well and we never came across anyone that was fishing for tips. In fact, everyone I did tip was extremely surprised and appreciative.

I want to give a shout out to three specific people that did a lot of work to make sure we had a great time:

Viri - Wedding Coordinator
Raul - Public Relations Manager
Saray - Group Outings Manager

If you are looking to have a wedding or take a trip to Riviera Maya, don't hesitate to choose the Grand Paraiso.

Room Tip: Ocean front views are amazing but you really can't go wrong with any room in the place
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Quality manager I, Quality Manager at Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, responded to this reviewResponded 28 April 2014

Dear Guest,

Thank you very much for your kind and detailed review, comments like yours really motive us to always keep working hard to surpass your expectations and continuously enhance your vacation experience.

We are truly grateful to have had the honor to host such a special event for you and your wife and for all of your guests. We sincerely appreciate your confidence in IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso; it is great to know that you all enjoyed our facilities such as the pools, the beach, and our bars. We are also thankful for your recognition of our hard working staff, especially to our Chefs who are always willing to satisfy any special needs, and to Viri, Raul and Saray for providing such delicate attention.

Once again thank you for your review and we hope to be able to offer you our hospitality at IBEROSTAR Grand Paraiso for your anniversary or maybe sooner.

Kind regards,

Quality manager
IBEROSTAR Mexico

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: £292 - £758 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso 5*
Number of rooms: 310
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Directly on the long, fine, sandy beach of Playa Paraiso in Mexico's Riviera Maya. Top 5-star luxury. Quiet and relaxing. Personal butler and concierge service. 24 hour all inclusive service. 4 a la carte restaurants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Playa Paraiso Iberostar

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