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“Paradise...beautiful resort, loved it!”

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso
Ranked #1 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Edmonton, Alberta
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Paradise...beautiful resort, loved it!”
Reviewed 28 November 2010

We had a wonderful vacation and really loved the resort. Was it good value? I would say yes but a little bit hesitant because of it's steep price. But we will likely return next year.

The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable. One small complaint is that the desk chair makes a loud noise when you move it. I heard the room above us several times. Other than that very minor thing...it was perfect.

The food is wonderful at every restaurant.....had lobster almost every day! We loved Toni's restaurant...best food and best service...Gotta love Luis! The Japanese restaurant had good food but terrible service. The teppanyaki chef cooked 2 tables at once, alternating between 2 stoves...hence we only got half a show and watched his back end half the night. Food was still good though...just a poor chef show and servers were only average. All buffets were really good but save them for daytime...eat at the a la cartes in the evening. (Special thanks to chef Jessica...saw her at the buffet restaurant often and she was so kind to share cooking tips!

The pools are perfect as is the bar staff at the pool.....that made our trip!!! Pool towels are soft and abundant as were chairs and cabanas...best we have ever experienced. (Sara and Mirna are so sweet and kept us hydrated!)

All hotel staff in general were very, very good.

Shows were good, but AI standards. Staff tried very hard in this area. One small complaint...the pool games staff only played water volleyball twice in a week even though it attracted many patrons including us. Not sure why they opeted for the other types of games that were less popular and were individual games???

We brought our laptop and used it in the room with a cat5 cable. Worked great! Many resorts do not offer this feature.

This is a beautiful resort on a beautiful spot onthe ocean. It seems like this is a chain that tries very hard at providing good service.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
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    • Service
2 Thank Taryn-Rick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Sheboygan, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 November 2010

I just completed my 10th visit to the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso. I was there from November 19th through November 26th.
The luxury, quality and selection of food, top shelf liquors, amenities, cleanliness, activities, nightly shows, pools, and the 110% effort given by the friendly staff at this resort, do indeed make it a Five Diamond Resort! If you are looking for a relaxing vacation, this is indeed the place to book your trip!
The manager, Mateo along with assistant managers Alberto and Wendy work day and night to make this 5 Diamond Resort the best all inclusive vacation spot in the world! Try it for yourself and see why there are so many repeat customers coming back year after year.
Trust me, you will not be disappointed!

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank Gary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Level Contributor
96 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 November 2010

We arrived back in Calgary last week to a minus 23 degree Celsius day and a foot of snow. My husband is busy trying to figure out what stocks to invest in so we can live out our retirement at the Grand.
We stayed at the Grand from Nov 7-14. We decided to splurge on the Grand in the off season as we were celebrating our 20th Anniversary, as were our friends that went with us. By about our third night in the resort we agreed that we needed to return together in 5 years to celebrate our 25th Anniversaries. A night later we amended this agreement and have decided to return next fall instead. I am not the type of person to stay in the same place twice as I am always looking for new adventures. But I don't think the Grand can be beat for a quick, warm, problem-free, relaxing week with good food, good drinks and lots of activities.
-It is a good idea to book your a la carte reservations ahead of time (rpgrandparaiso@iberostar.com.mx). In November there are Buffet only nights on Sunday and Wednesday and then 4 a la cartes (Gourmet, Surf and Turf, Japanese and Italian). We booked two weeks ahead and we were given our requested time of 7pm for all 5 nights.
-We enjoyed all of the restaurants. We thought the Japanese was particularly good and we really liked the sushi, the steak and lobster tepenyaki, the fried rice and the banana tempura with vanilla ice cream.
- At the Surf and Turf restaurant the Seafood Selection appetizer was a large selection of chilled seafood that everyone enjoyed. The Lobster and Steak Tenderloin main course was very good and the winner for dessert that night was the Soft-centered Chocolate cake. (Between the four of us we would try to order a range of items.)
-The Lobster and Seafood salad appetizer at the Gourmet restaurant was a winner and we all enjoyed the fish dishes we ordered (Salmon and sea bass).
-At the Italian restaurant the Veggie Grill with cheese and shrimp appetizer and the Shrimp Risotto (we ordered to share) came out on top. The Tiramisu dessert was tasty but our friend raved about his Beet Ravioli with chocolate mousse dessert.
-This resort had a decent wine selection for an A.I. resort. There were at least ten red wine choices, 6-8 white wine, 2 rose and 4 or so sparkling white wines. The guys had a different red every night and they enjoyed them all. One night my husband ordered a bottle that had an additional cost of about $50 and they didn't think it was any better than the free wines.
-If you don't like your dinner you can always order room service after.
-If you don't enjoy your dessert you can always take the trolley or walk over to the Shopping Center complex and order some ice cream or dessert crepes at the A.I. Ice Cream shop. There are also a free hamburger bar and a free taco restaurant, both of which are open until 3 a.m.
-We loved the lunch buffet restaurant near the beach. It had a beautiful view of the ocean and a good selection of food for lunch. We liked to order from the menu and our favorites were the SHRIMP FAJITAS, the enormous grilled shrimp plate and the tenderloin steak with fries. Also they have these great CHOCOLATE COVERED ICE CREAM BARS (think mexican Hagendaz) that you have to order from the waiters.
-There is a Spa on site at the Grand but while we were there the sauna and steam rooms weren't operating. At the larger Spa located in the Shopping Center area there were numerous soaking pools heated to different temperatures and they also had a large sauna and steam room in operation. These are free to use.
-The Gym at the Grand had 2 or 3 treadmills, 2 cross-trainers, a step machine, assorted dumbells w/max weight of 60 lbs and an assortment of weight machines (eg. leg press).
-If you like to work out with barbells and heavier weights head over to the bigger gym that is on the road near the Paraiso Beach lobby.
-Kudos to the hard-working Star Friends. We spent time with Eder, Fania, Gabriel and Luigi. They were a big part of why we felt so welcome at this resort. The activities that they lead start at 10 a.m. and finish at 6 p.m. (they also often have small parts in the 10 p.m. entertainment shows).
-Our favorite activity was the Spin class everyday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. This class would work up a sweat even in the most fit person.
-There was a great yoga class at 10 a.m. near the tranquility pool and at 4:30 p.m. on the beach.
-There was an aqua-aerobics class in the main pool at 11:30 a.m. and it was a good workout for all fitness levels.
-They had an archery/air gun range that we participated in and we found it was a fun way to meet other people from the resort (11 a.m./3 p.m.)
-Of course they had Water Volleyball and Sand Volleyball.
-The Star Friends knew us all by name and encouraged us to participate in their activities but they were never pushy about it in the least.
-There were two ping pong tables and a foosball table near the Towel Booth and two pool tables near the Lobby Bar.
-The resort has kayaks and catamarans that you can sign out for one hour a day for free. These are located on the beach between the Grand and the Iberostar Maya. They will give you a lesson on how to use the catamaran for US$40 if you need one.
-We signed out two, 2 man kayaks and paddled over to Maroma Beach and back within the hour. They did tell us we needed to stay in sight of the rental booth but no one came after us.
-We went parasailing (US$120 for 2 people) and rented Jet Skis (US$80/ 30min) at the Main Dressel Dive booth which is located down the beach in front of the Iberostar Del Mar.
-There was a boat that was scheduled to take snorkelers out to a nearby reef for 90min that left twice a day at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for $40 but it was cancelled three days in a row because of rough seas.
- Great Mariachi band in the Buffet restaurant for the Mexican night on Sunday.
-Star Band performed out by the main pool on Wednesday night starting about 8 p.m. and there were lots of tables set up around the pool with table service for drinks from the bar.
-I made it to three shows in the Theater that started at 10 p.m. The magic show was entertaining and the magician was very good. He conjured up numerous doves a couple of rabbits and a large goose. He also cut his assistant up many times for our enjoyment.
-Our favorite show was The Rock Show. The Star Band is very good and they have 4-5 lead singers. They covered all sorts of rock music (AC/DC, Stones, Beatles, U2, etc) in costume with back up dancers.
-We also saw a Best of Broadway Musical Show that was well done and The Big Band Show (Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Glenn Miller) which again was well worth staying
up for.
-I really enjoyed watching the dancers. They really put their hearts into this show and they work so hard.
- Great free entertainment, the waitresses come around for drink orders often, the theatre is air conditioned and the booze is free. How can you go wrong?
-The golf course was very nice and each room has two free rounds per person per week.
-Spouses can transfer their games between each other.
-We booked our 2 free rounds about a month in advance (you can book 60 days ahead) as we wanted to start at 7 a.m. and avoid the midday heat.
-Email golfparaiso@iberostar.com.mx
-The breakfast buffet doesn't open until 7 a.m. so if you have an early tee-time remember to fill out the room service breakfast order form and put it out on your door handle the night before. What ever time you ask for it to be delivered it will be on time or 10 minutes early from our experience.
-Bring golf balls from home because they are expensive to buy here.
-There are women's and men's clubs available for rent (Nike in good shape) for $500pesos
-The snack cart that comes around had bottled water, pop, beer some hard liquor and tasty toasted ham and cheese sandwiches. I think they had one other kind of sandwich and chips.
-The service here really stood out from the other resorts we have been to. Everyone was very helpful and friendly.
-If you get a chance ask for Alex or Charly's section for breakfast and lunch.
-Visit Daniel the bartender in the Lobby Bar. He is a very nice guy and we had fun hanging out at his bar talking to him and meeting other people staying in the resort.
-My water glass was constantly filled in the buffet and a la carte restaurants. My wine glass was never empty for long and my lattes were delivered quickly at breakfast.
-In all the hotels I have visited, the bellboys and the room service people hang around looking for a tip. At the Grand I actually had to chase behind them into the hall to tip them.
-After our couples massage they gave us a bill and asked us to sign and write down our room number. No mention of possibly leaving a tip. I had to locate the small tip line myself and add it.
-We rented a car in the Iberostar Del Mar Lobby from Thrifty Rentals for US$100 with extra insurance included. We picked it up at 8:30 a.m. when they opened (we arranged this the day before). We drove to Akumal and rented snorkel gear from a dive shop on the beach in Akumal Bay. We decided to hire a guide to take us out to snorkel with the turtles. They charged US$20 each and we saw some manta rays, a couple of turtles and a bunch of fish in a small coral reef. The guys stayed out snorkeling longer and we swam back to the beach. You don't have to hire a guide you can swim out to the snorkel area from the beach easily. We just thought it might be quicker to have someone who knew the area well with us. From there we got back in the car and continued down the road to Half Moon Bay where we had lunch in a nice beach restaurant called the Buena Vida (they take Visa here). Next we went to Yal-ku Lagoon. I think it was about $8 each to get in and we used the snorkel gear we had rented for the turtles as we had to pass the shop again to get back to the main highway. One end of the lagoon is fed with fresh water and the far end of the lagoon opens up into the ocean. I stayed in the fresh water end and I saw amazing
fish. If you like to snorkel this is a great place and it is good for beginners as they can get out any time and there aren't any waves. The guys chose to snorkel all the way out into the ocean where they saw a 3 foot Barracuda that was sizing them up. If I had been with them I would've learned to walk on water at that moment. There are showers and bathrooms to use here. On our way back to the Grand we took a small detour into Playacar near Playa del Carmen and checked out the Iberostar Quetzal and Tucan. We could've eaten there if we liked because if you are staying at the Grand you have full privileges at all the other Iberostars in the area including Cozumel.
If you haven't been here before and you are considering this resort I highly recommend you give it a try. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't be very happy relaxing here. If you are already booked in and just counting the days before you go - Have a great time!!!
I will be back next fall and I can't wait.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8 Thank passionfortravel9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2010

Have been to Valentin last two years and decided to make a change this year and was not disappointed! Although the Grand cost about 30% more it was still a great value.

I think the Valentin wins in these areas

Pool was layed out better and WARMER
No reservations needed at restaurants (we were told no room first three days of our stay)
Public spaces better and consolidated into one area ie sports bar
Breakfast buffets

Grand Wins

Food Quality....In order of first to last 1)Italian 2) Surf/Turf 3) French 4) Japanese 5) Buffet

All Top Shelf Liquor And great wine choices at dinner


Rooms... especially the ocean front...spectacular view of water and great balcony with daybed and swing. Worth the extra cost

Golf.. You can walk to course and free golf for two night promo was offered

The service in both resorts was perfect except Grand had Butler service but after the first day and a $20 tip we never saw him again.

The Grand is connected to their other resorts and kids wander but not a distraction except for one group of 20 that decided to have a screaming yelling football game in a very quiet relaxing area.

We were there for the rescue 007canadianEh mentioned and the three guests that swam out truly saved a life. Two of the three were injured and arrived back at the hotel in casts but said the hotel took care of everything.

We have been to Mexico 3 years in a row and cannot say enough nice things about the people and the area. Absolutely safe and a great value!!!

Only question is when do we go back.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2 Thank thegoodlifeNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 November 2010

I cannot rave about this hotel enough. From beginning to end, our experience was perfect. I traveled with my boyfriend and his parents last August. Between the four of us, we've traveled to dozens of countries across the globe, and we all agree that this is the most beautiful hotel we have ever stayed in.

There's never a lack of things to do. Your wristband allows you to go to all the other Iberostar properties. We spent an afternoon at the Maya (they have a wavepool, which was fun to watch!).

The food was much better than some have described it. I enjoyed everything, and I'm not always easy to please. If you don't like the offerings at the Grand, you can make reservations at any of the other hotels on property. There's a Mexican restuarant at the Maya that was amazing.

There's not much left to be said; the other reviews are correct in saying that this place is gorgeous, well maintained, and has amazing service (thank you Alberto and Eder). I often have dreams about going back!

  • Stayed December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2 Thank rstas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 November 2010

1st time at this hotel, was concerned if would be as enjoyable as the Grand Velas RM which was over the top service, food and accommodations. Pleasantly surprised though - although not as good as Velas, it certainly was good value for money. Food was not bad, Sun & Wed buffet's were very good, and very nice staff - although they could use more, especially for the restaurants - was told a couple nights no reservations available due to lack of staff? Ocean front room has great view, and golf course was better than expected. Vacation could have turned out much differently though if not for response of lifeguards and fellow tourists that rescued my friend and I from an unexpectedly strong undertow when swimming out in the ocean on a very choppy day. Heartfelt thanks to our known and unknown benefactors who rescued us - you guys are heroes! Ocean is nice but be careful and pay attention to flags.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1 Thank 007canadianEh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Leeds UK
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2010

Firstly a couple of caveats about my review.
I was lucky enough to win a week at the Grand, including flights. So i can't say whether it was good value. Obviously at £0 it was great for me.
Also, this was my first experience of Mexico, all inclusives and was my first beach holiday since i was a child around 20 years ago. I normally take city breaks.

Following on from most other reviews, i don't have much to add about this excellent hotel. The large rooms, amazing buildings, great beach, wonderful pools and, above all, exceptional staff.

Our trip was from 6th-13th November. We stayed in room 7336. On the top floor with a view of the indoor pool/spa and a miniscule view of the ocean. I don't know if this room was classed as oceanview. If so, it certainly wasn't worth paying any extra for the view. Irrespective of this, we often enjoyed just spending time on the balcony making use of the minibar, room service, very comfortable sofa and swing.

Food is a subjective matter. Overall we found it excellent - with a couple of exceptions;
I like to have either a bacon or sausage sandwich for breakfast. They had bacon here but it was nothing like English back bacon, and the selection of sausages all seemed pretty strange. I appreciate that i was in Mexico so it was never going to be like home. I just found it a shame personally. On the plus side i just had fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, which removed any guilt about the rest of the food i'd eat throughout the day.
Lunch was great every day. I generally ordered from the a la carte menu and almost always picked the fish of the day, and sometimes the steak if i'd had a particularly tough time lying in the sun.

From earlier research on here, we made dinner reservations before we left by email. I'm glad we did this as i noticed a couple of guests trying to make reservations with the concierge, to be told there were no restaurants available for the next 3-4 days. I think this is the one area where the hotel has a problem. Guests really should be made aware when booking that they can, and should book their evening meals before they travel. It's something that could ruin somebody's holiday.

We ate at the Surf and Turf twice, enjoyed it both times. The Japanese once, again very nice. The international buffet on a Wednesday was probably our favourite as it provided the best of all the a la cartes in one place.
We also ate at the Gourmet once. If i'd just had the starter and main course this would have easily been my favourite, it really was superb. Unfortunately the dessert seemed like it had simply been opened from a packet rather than been prepared by a chef. A fancy pattern with the sauce couldn't hide that. I would still recommend the Gourmet, just not the desserts.
We had some good, and some indifferent wines throughout our stay. I particularly enjoyed the Australian Cabernet Sauvignon (Can't remember the name but it's at the bottom of the red wine list)

Most of our days were spent at the tranquility pool. We loved it there. Never a problem to find a spot whether you wanted shade or not. And Mirna the pool waitress was an absolute superstar, always making sure we never had an empty glass. Absolute heaven.

In the evening we'd head to the lobby bar. Always had a fun evening sat at the bar with Daniel, a great bartender, and meeting other guests from around the world. Spoke to some really lovely people and had a great time. Many were repeat visitors to the Grand which i think says something towards how good the hotel is.
As a smoker i really appreciated the smoking room/cigar bar next to the lobby bar. It was nice to have a drink and smoke in comfortable surroundings without annoying other guests.

We had an amazing time at the Grand. I think the highlight (amongst many other highlights) are the staff who work incredibly hard to make sure your stay is as near to perfect as possible.
I'm not sure if i'll ever be able to afford a trip here if i paid myself. I never thought i could be converted to a beach or poolside holiday person. But i'm already saving for a return visit.

  • Stayed November 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5 Thank LUFCkev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso

Property: 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
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 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#1 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
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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