Just came back of 2 weeks (November 17th - December 1st 2010) from the Iberostar Grand Paraiso, Mexico. We did all our reservations with Mr Iberostar (internet), very competitive price, very good service....
First of all, I am sorry for my english, I am french speaking, but I really want to write in english for everybody to know what is nice to do or go etc.... I will not repeat what everybody says, we all know all about the hotel and the nice features (warm cloth and champagne, confy bed, clean place, beautiful pools, big rooms, etc).... I will let u discover it, it is magical!!! My main pros and cons for me was:
1) Service (except for 2 persons -1 barman and 1 waitress- everybody was smiling all the time, helping us, fast service...)
2) Shows (except for the Mayas -sorry guys- all the other one were fantastic-) they are late at night, but you really need to see them, they are really really good.... and you have a bar service!!!
3) Food : (Except for the dessert -which is in my cons-) I do suggest to do all your reservations to the restaurants the first day. You'll see that they will try to send you to other hotels Iberostar : DON'T GO!!!!! It is NOT GOOD... you paid for quality, eat quality! We tried other hotels couple of times and talked with other couples who did too, we all think the same: it is a NO NO!!! Better eat at the buffet at the grand, really! The food taste better, you can see and taste the difference anyway.... you can try once and you'll see by yourself! The best restaurant for us was the surf and turf (the filet mignon is just the best!!!) Also, try the coconut ice cream and the spaghetti bolognese from the room service menu-soooooo good-
4) all the little things that you can read from the other reviews (clean place, most confortable bed ever, beautiful gardens, super pools, activities, etc)
Couples of extras before the cons that you need to know:
- If you want to eat at a certain restaurant, but there is no availability, you can always show up 20 minutes after the time of reservation : if they still have some space, they will take you!
- The best activity to do around if you are the kind of person for a little of action is XPLOR (we really did them all and it was our favorite), you drive an amphibicar in the jungle and in caves, you swim in beautiful caves, you do raft in cenote (caves with a lot of light -beautiful!!!) and you can do ziplines -they have 14 lines!- and an all inclusive buffet-
-The other activity that we do recommend is the chitchen itza, first because the pyramide is really nice, but also because they do combine a swim in a beautiful cenote (looks like the movie avatar!). The only problems: they advertise that we visit the city of valadolid, which is false, we do not visit it at all, the cenote is in the city but that is it and all around the pyramide (chitchen itza), there is tons and tons of sellers, you will have people all around you all the time, there is NO control, it is a real pest.... BUT it is the best place to buy your souvenirs, it is the cheapest place REALLY, we did visit tons of place and the price is nothing to compare.... and you can bargain.... so buy your stuff there!!!
- The cheapest place to buy tequila and find all the kind of alcohol you want is at the museum of tequila in playa del carmen on 5th avenue
- At the hotel, if you like sweet drink, try their mandarin sour, it is really good!
if you have other questions, I try almost everything, did almost all the activities, so do not hesitate, back to the cons:
1) Beach: No bar at the beach, there is a guy who do the service, but I would like to have a bar also like the other hotels Iberostar... but no.
2) Beach again: Lots of rocks, you cannot swim in front of the hotel, forget it, there is big huge rocks in the water, you'll have a concussion if you go in the water there, you need to put you towel down and walk 10-15 minutes to go the Iberostar Maya to swim there where there is no rocks and cords and tons of kids running everywhere (I don't mind kids, there funny to watch, but if you prefer calm, hummm) then walk again to your towel and so on, back and forth. I don't know why they chose this location. This is ridiculus... anyway...
3) Certain drinks: lots of ice and watery, it seems that they should know how to do the best of the best. I wanted a tasty pina colada, but no, I had one in a little cheap restaurant in valadolid!! I would like to taste real strawberries in their daiquiri, but it taste chemical, they need to improve that.... but they put a beautiful pineapple on the top of each glass!
4) Pools : Just the fact that they are cold (for my taste...)
5) $ activities : you need to know that if you want to do parasailing or jetsky through the hotel (by the beach) they will charge you more because you stay at the grand (compare to the maya or the lindo) - better to go to Maroma beach, better price!!!- that is sad!!
6) massage price : really expensive spa.... they need to reduce their prices, a lady who works there told me that they are not busy at all, everybody complain of the prices!!!
7) Dessert in the buffet: the only food that I didn't enjoy, it looks good, but it does not taste good, they need to improve that. The ice cream, though, is good and tasty
8)A little bit far from everything:35 minutes from playa del carmen, almost a hour from cancun, 3 hours from chitchen itza, etc. so, lots of money to travel, But if you plan to stay at the hotel only, you'll be fine
In general, really good, I would recommend the hotel 100%. It was the most memorable 2 weeks of my life (and I traveled a lot as you can see in my profile)... Do not hesitate to ask me questions! Have a nice trip!!
- 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