Updated: Sep 28, 2020
There are literally thousands of options when it comes to choosing a hotel or a resort in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico. From Cancun to the ruins of Tulum, the beaches are filled with hotels and rental properties from inexpensive to luxurious.
We decided on Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, a large resort property that is connected and surrounded by other Iberostar properties.
Iberostar Paraiso del Mar is the least expensive of the group, shares the same beach and many of the amenities, but is well below the room price of its neighbors. It boasts a 5-Star experience and it is close. As always, hotels manage to squeeze in their own star rating, but this hotel is still above average and we would rate it 4 Stars.
Our immediate draw to the del Mar hotel was the grounds. The hotel is situated right on the beach, but the entire property is absolutely gorgeous. The developers decided to work with the natural landscape and jungle atmosphere where trails wind their way through to various locations on the property.
Animals such as swans, ducks and geese swim in the large pond areas and coati, the cute raccoon-like critters run in large groups in the forested areas.
It is not uncommon also to see dolphins or whales from the beach.
Our next consideration in choosing a property was the beach. Iberostar Paraiso del Mar's beach is a little disappointing as erosion has turned a soft-white sand beach into somewhat of a hazard. There were many injuries from swimmers hitting underground rocks or spraining their toes and ankles on the uneven beach floor. I would definitely recommend water shoes.
If the beach is not your thing, the hotel offers the largest pool in the Riviera Maya. The 3,280-feet-long pool makes its way through and around the resort offering plenty of space for guests to enjoy. Swimmers will delightfully find pool bars scattered throughout the resort and even the though bar areas were busy and activities were ongoing there was always room and places to go for a quiet swim. At one end of the pool there is a large cave area with a waterfall and hidden away is a Jacuzzi. It is too bad, however, that this feature does not offer up anything other than a wading pool for small children. The Jacuzzi was not turned on and the water temperature the same as the pool.
Dining Options at Iberostar Paraisio Del Mar
The culinary offerings at the all-inclusive Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar Hotel are sure to win over even the most discriminating of palates. Cuisines from around the world, as well as outstanding dishes with the authentic flavors of Mexico are featured at our buffet and a la carte dining venues.
The buffets at breakfast, lunch and dinner offer a variety of options, but like most resorts, the same dishes sometimes are presented. Nearly everything was delicious and our only complaint was that some dishes needed to be heated up more as by the time they reached our table they were luke-warm at best.
The check in at the hotel was very simple and fast. It was well organised and we opted to upgrade our room to a suite overlooking the ocean. The check in staff were friendly and knowledgeable and offered a great upgrade price. During peak times, it is probably best to pre-book if upgrading is in your wishes. We like to chance things, and talk in person, so we got a really good deal for the best possible upgrade.
After check in we were assigned a concierge who organised our dinner plans. He had many options available but we went with a Brazilian All-You-Can Eat Meat Restaurant, a Mexican Restaurant, a Japanese Restaurant and a French Restaurant. We were also told that just over in another part of the resort is a fantastic crepe restaurant, a taco eatery, an ice-cream parlour and a coffee and desert shop.
Our first meal was at the Star Rock Café, a rock-a-billy inspired al le carte restaurant. The service was always very slow here, but the food was always fresh, piping hot and amazing. It was our go-to restaurant when the buffet was disinteresting. You do not reservations at this particular venue.
El Rodizio, the Brazilian restaurant was fantastic with an amazing assortment of BBQ meats that was brought to table-to-table in an all-you-can-eat style.
The Mexican Restaurant, La Hacienda, offered Mexican dinner entrees and appetisers. We had already visited the small taco eatery on the resort and we found the eatery to be actually more authentic and tasty. If you are craving tacos, head the eatery anytime!
The French Restaurant, El Colonial, has a beautiful atmosphere and the food was delicious, but the portions were absolutely comical. We had to make our way back to the buffet to actually have a meal.
Hashiru, The Japanese Restaurant, was an interactive and entertaining delight. The food was prepared in front of you with style and comedy and was very tasty. It is highly recommend that you reserve this restaurant.
We heard the Mediterranean and Italian were sub-par and we chose not to reserve those options.
The other food options are the amazing Crepe Restaurant, The Ice Cream Parlour, The Coffee and Desert Cafe as well as the Taco Eatery. These all are included as part of your all-inclusive package and they are located just a short walk through an amazingly beautiful landscaped parkway or you can take a free golf cart ride to them. This area is pretty much a quiet zone and even the park in the center area was void of children. There are souvenir stores in this location filled with the typical items.
Activities & Entertainment At Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar
Besides the endless activities on the beach and at the pool, the resort also offers many options that are sure to keep you fit, healthy and active.
Diving in a sinkwell is something you can only experience in the Yucatan peninsula. With the Dressel Divers center right on the hotel premises, it’s easy to make this adventure part of your next vacation in Riviera Maya. You can also take PADI courses and, in certain times of the year, even swim with sharks. Spa Sensations
If you’re seeking a relaxing vacation, try dedicating time to the hotel’s Spa Sensations. Start the day in the hydrotherapy circuit and soothe your muscles in the hydromassage and multi-jet tub, the Turkish bath, Roman bath, sauna, or sensation shower. Continue the experience with a tea, collagen or caviar facial, and then treat your whole body to a Jin-Shin Shiatsu, Thai, or warm stone massage. There are over 20 spa options. Prices are above average as are typical for resort spas.
We chose to have a beach massage and we negotiated a price with the spa staff that was far below the posted rates. The staff are the same highly trained individuals from the resort spa and offer most of the same treatments.
Golf lovers will enjoy an 18-hole professional golf course within the hotel complex. Designed by Pete Dye, it offers four tee boxesto accommodate pros and beginners alike. It’s also home to a golf club with shops and restaurants, as well as packages and preferential rates or Iberostar guests.
There is a nightly dance party with DJ and live music on some occasions. The Disco is located far enough away from the resort and does not disrupt sleep as is in some cases with resorts. A 24 hour snack bar is located just near the disco to offer those needing energy a chance to grab some grub. Sports Facilities
If you want to keep up with your regular workout routine while you’re on vacation, Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar has all the facilities and equipment you’ll need. You can do strength training exercises at the fitness center or sign up for TRX classes, pilates, stretching, etc. You can also play tennis on the hotel’s courts or practice water sports. At the beach, you can rent kayaks or windsurfing equipment. The pool hotel has organized water-pologames and also offers AquaFit classes.
The resort offers stage performances that are typical of resorts. From dancing to singing and tribute bands there is something for everyone, especially if you have had a few cocktails.
For Children and Teens Star Camp Children and teens have their own little paradise as well as dedicated facilities at Star Camp. They can learn to cook at the mini-chef kitchen, put themselves to the test on the multi-adventure course, play basketball, video games, board games, foosballand ping pong, or lounge on the hammocks, bounce on the trampolines and enjoy many other fun Star Camp activities.
Star Camp is a complete program with different sections arranged by age group, so that children find the activities, friends, and atmosphere that’s right for them as they infuse their vacation with fun.
In Monkey, children from 4 to 7 experience exciting jungle adventures, while in Dolphin, kids from 8 to 12 get to explore an underwater world of fun. Both groups are supervised by our monitors. Older kids between the ages of 13 and 17 can participate in Eagle, an interactive program packed with exciting experiences.
The littlest ones also get to enjoy a separate kids’ pool just for them, a children’s menu at hotel restaurants and a carousel. And if parents want to dine alone, they can request babysitting services and enjoy a more intimate meal.
Check Out & A Word of Caution
This is where Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar absolutely failed. Check out was easy, but the breakfast area was not set up so there was no food in the morning. We were told to go to a different area on the Paraiso Beach portion of the property only to find the breakfast there was not open as well. No one had a clue why these were not open.
The Front Desk staff called a manager, but they failed to rectify the situation and told us to go back to the restaurant, which was not open, even thought they said it would be. We walked back to the Front Desk and the manager refused to come to help. Our bus appeared to take us back to the airport and the Front Desk staff called us over to tell us our breakfast was ready at a different restaurant.
We had to wait until we reached the airport and paid for our own breakfast. When this situation was relayed to the manager of Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar they chose to not reply.
This is very discouraging as the property and the over all experience was great up until this point and the fact that neither Front Desk Staff, a Manager or anyone could help rectify the situation is a little alarming. Consider that you had a more serious issue or problem? How would they handle it?
Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar is a good choice for those looking for value while vacationing in the Riviera Maya of Mexico. Here is our quick breakdown of this resort:
Overall Experiences 86.6% Room 5/5 Maid Service 5/5 Beach 2/5 Pool 4/5 Grounds 5/5 Food 4/5 Drinks 4/5 Friendliness of Staff 5/5 Activities & Amenities 5/5 If you are considering Riviera Maya in Mexico for your next vacation consider searching for flights using our Cheap Flight Finder or looking for hotel rooms and rentals using our
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