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Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Ranked #4 of 11 Hotels in Playa Paraiso
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed 10 April 2006

We stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Mayan from April 1-8, 2006. The place is gorgeous but massive. At first we were in 6405 but asked to be moved closer to the beach. We were immediately given 6117 which is one building closer to the beach. The rooms were very nice and well kept. The housekeeper insured that our refrigerator was stocked every day with bottles of water and beer. Little towel animals or flowers were made daily, very impressive. We didn't have a view from our veranda only that of the new hotel going up. We were close to the morning buffet. You had to walk over a bridge, not far, to get to the beach. Warning always wear your sandals since it gets very hot. The beach was very nice but there were loads of rocks to the left of the lifeguard tower. Just look to where the people are swimming. Both my husband and I payed the price of getting some scraps. The water was so rough that day that you couldn't see the rocks. The food was so so except in the Japanese and the Jambalaya a Cajun restaurant that were excellent. I didn't like the Mexican Restaurant which is one of the luncheon buffets turned into a speciality restaurant at night. A couple we met up with didn't like the steak house and said the portions were small. The appetizers were very good though. We've been to the Iberostar in Punta Cana and the food was much better at the buffet. The shows were very good but the Mexican show that they had twice, different variation, was kind of repetitive. However, I did enjoy the other shows and the Mayan feather dance. The weather was unbelievable and the water nice. I've read a couple of the reviews that indicated that the pool was cool, not so, it was just right and refreshing. I mentioned that it was like a waterpark and there were loads of children. So if you don't mind them everywhere pick an adult only. The wave pool was broken, not that I would have gone in it. The lazy river was ok. As I said the place was huge and took us a couple of days to get use to it. You'll need sneakers or comfortable shoes if you are in the buildings closer to the beach or visa versa just to get back and forth. I can't believe the grounds and how lovely all the buildings and surroundings are. However, I only saw one peacock and a cotamundi family. We still had a wonderful time and met some very nice people. We'd probably go to the adults only that's being built. Also, take the shuttle to Playa de Carmen it's a short trip and there's plenty of shopping to be done. We would definitely stay at another Iberostar, they make you feel like family.

Stayed: April 2006
20  Thank LindagSalem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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3,660 - 3,664 of 5,078 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2006

Our family of 4 (parents + 2 daughters, 14 & 11)stayed at the Maya from March 24 to 31. Each of us had a tremendous time!

We had requested by email at the Iberostar website a room in building 66 (farthest from the beach and near the Maya and Lindo lobby areas)facing the lazy river and this is exactly what we got PLUS it was a corner room with lots of balcony space. We specifically requested this building so that we would not be bothered by construction noise and we weren't! You can get a map of the hotel grounds at (---)

SHOPPING CENTRE We spent some lovely afternoons here eating tacos made from grilled-to-order meat and seafood, crepes, ice cream and grilled food from the "Diner". While there are not many shops open yet, the atmosphere is lovely (like a Mexican Village town square) and the food is great (all part of the all-inclusive, so no additional cost).

TRANSPORTATION The free shuttle to Playa Del Carmen is great and leaves and returns to the hotel on a regular basis - get a schedule from the front desk. You can easily connect with other transportation in Playa Del Carmen (e.g. the public bus - Collectivo or MAYAB), The public bus is much more comforttable than a taxi and way less expensive (25 pesos per person vs. 30++ US $ to get almost anywhere). You can travel up and down the highway from Tulum to Cancun on the bus.

It is fun to travel on the Paraiso Express (tram) around the resorts. The bus does not yet travel up and down on the far side of the Maya, but it travels between the Beach and Lindo, which gets you close enough to the Maya. Get over to the Beach and Del Mar to look at the turtles and flamingoes. Peacocks are everywhere. Walking around the resort is easy, too!

RESTAURANTS The food was very good in every specialty restaurant we ate in. There is ample selection and every one can find something they like (e.g. great beef ribs in the Mexican, perfectly cooked lobster in La Marina (seafood restaurant), delicious grilled scallops and smoked salmon everywhere!). What is especailly nice about the restauratns is the decor - all are decorated to represent the food origin, waiters are often dressed in representative outfits, and each have specially designed charger plates, some are exquisite! It was fun to discover how each restaurant looked! The concierage was vey helpful in booking the restaurants, and provides you with a reseervation slip that gives directions to the restaurant. People have reported that the breakfast buffet in the "Lindo Lobby" is the best - it is not really the loby area, but across from the theatre in Maya restaurants 9 and 10 (at night, the Oriental and Italian restaurants) and breakfast is better there than the buffet near the pool (El Fogon). The food at the beach is nice (Coco Bar). They always have nacho chips, fresh salsa and guacamole as well as burgers and some nicely seasoned grilled meat (beef or pork) or chicken. Las Olas bar (near the wave pool)does have great fruit and veggie smoothies. There's a menu of smoothies available, so ask for it.

SHOPPING We're not shoppers, but the little we did revealed that you can find any t-shirts or trinkets at one of the many Iberostar shops or at the on site Shopping Centre for a reasonable (if not lower) price than in Playa Del Carmen. Also, Artisans set up their stalls at some place in the resort on any given night.

BEACH & CHAIRS We never had trouble getting a chair or palapa at any time in any place. We were there during Spring Break season and the resort was full and still had no trouble. Others who have reported they did must have wanted a chair in a small specific area all the time.

STAFF The staff are truly wonderful. They have a lot of very rude people to deal with and they remain smiling and pleasant. Amazing that they don't ever lose their tempers, because they sure could have with some people!

GROUNDS - beautiful and always being maintained! There are about 8,000 people at the 4 resorts when full (and 4,000 staff).(We were told this by a Star Friend who joined us at our table one morning for breakfast. These young adults are very accomplished dancers, actors or singers and it is really great to spend some time talking with them over breakfast - do accept their request to join you one morning!!!) Our concierage said the resorts were full during our stay. Yet, you never, ever feel that it is crowded (except maybe at the activity pool during mid-day). There is always lots of room to swim and walk and restaurants always feel spacious.

It is hard to imagine what anyone would find to complain about. This is paradise!!

  • Stayed: March 2006
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31  Thank scourtice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2006

I apologize in advance for this lengthy review but I feel this really could help some people. I need to start by elaborating on my feelings explaining why some of the reviews on this hotel have been mixed.

In my opinion the travelers that have not liked this hotel may not like all inclusives regardless of the location, service or caliber of the hotel. I fall into this catagory and will never attend an all inclusive again. This was my second all inclusive and have found that I prefer to dine in the local flair, meet the locals and enjoy off the grounds excursions without 25 people in a shuttle bus. I enjoy intimate mingling with local people. On this trip I felt like I visited the Iberostar not Mexico.

I was very disappointed in the begining but soon realized it was my preferance in the style of trip that was the problem and not the hotel. With that being said I will review the hotel as objectively as I can. After all the hotel was very nice and the staff worked hard.
TIPS: Must do. The staff does receive tips from the hotel but they deserve more if the service is great. I tipped in the following manner and received great service....$3.00 per day for the room, $1.00 for each drink served. Just do what you can and feel good at helping others.

ROOMS: The Maya has bigger rooms but do not seem worth the extra money. Also the grounds and entrance at the Lindo seemed nicer. Pay for the Maya if you want more dining options.

DRINKS: Weak unless you ask. But after asking they will do what you ask with a smile. ALL the staff was nice. The best bar is off the Maya lobby by the restaurants. The serve many premium alcohols. The bar by the beach makes it easy when basking in the sun.

CHAIRS: They fill up very fast. In fact by 6:00 a.m. many people are placing items on chairs. Get up early if you want a good seat. I suggest seeing the sun come up on the ocean and saving some seats before breakfast. My son and I woke early watched the sun come up and played the hotels huge chess set before the rest of the family woke up.

FOOD: In my opion the food gets old. But again I do not like this style and prefer local food. If you like buffet food you will enjoy this. The best anology I can give is that it is much better than Old County Buffet but not as good as the best buffets in Las Vegas. Make reservations early...I hated the italian and liked the seafood very much. I thought the Japanese was good. Like another traveler stated it is Mexican cooks preparing Italian, Japanese and other ethnic food. Go to geocities[--] to download the menu. My best meal was at the Playa De Carmen at La Parrilla. WOW!

STAFF: Awesome! All friendly. Invite a Star friend for lunch to sit at your table. Learn from them and broaden your culture.

SHOWS: This is great. The hotel does a great job with entertaining the kids and adults. Take advantage of this and you will not need to leave the hotel.

In summary....if you want to lay by the beach and not worry about anything but spending a few bucks on tips then this is paradise. Just be sure to take advantage of all the hotel offers. But if you want to visit Mexico, dine in authentic restaurants and see the sites then do not go here. I am sure other may have a differant opion but I did not notice any other reviews spelling it out like this. Good luck and have fun. If this review worries you because you booked then just visit Playa De Carmen to eat and remember "The worst day of vacation is better than the best day at work!" If you have questions to do hesitate to write.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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44  Thank DAC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2006

We were at the resort from 18/03/2006 until 25/03/2006. Initial impressions were favourable. The very next morning(around 7 a.m.)we were rudely awakened by loud construction noise, just adjacent to our hotel block. As we insisted on a non-smoking room, we could only be moved around the same hotel block(this large complex has only 1 non-smoking block/be aware of this when travelling with children). Our first room had multiple problems such as barely functioning airconditioning, and a broken showerhead. The 2nd room had a non-flushing toilet! Towels and bedsheets always had nasty stains on them. So much for being 5 star.
At the tidal-pool bar, we were invisible to the rude barman, who totally ignored us for 10 minutes, until I verbally made my presence known.
The food, although fresh, could benefit from better spices and seasoning. The japanese restaurant was by far the best. Restaurant service was generally very good. Breakfast was mediocre. All the buffets are inundated by flies.
I believe that I could have found better value for my money at a different resort.

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
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15  Thank disneylover777
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2006

This was our 3rd time back to the Iberostar group of hotels in Playa Paraiso, and the 2nd time back to the Maya in as many years. The Maya is still a great destination for families, and, as a resort has recently become even more attractive with the addition of its new (6 months)Pete Dye golf course and driving range.

There are a few gotcha's though that any newbie should be aware of:

i) watchout for the construction next door; the chain is constructing an all Adult's complex directly to the south of the Maya, and, if your not vigilant on check-in they will put you right next to it! Insist on knowing the exact location of your room, and do not accept a room on the "construction side" of the complex,----if you do, you will be sorry, construction starts early in the a.m. and is slated to continue until the end of this year.

ii) the concept of fighting for the resort restaurant reservations while on holidays is still bewildering to me. It is still a mystery why they make it such an ordeal, and then when you finally get in, you realize the place is running at approx. 25% capacity. A word to the wise: make some (at least your first three nights)reservations before heading down through your travel agent( a good travel agent should do this for you). The Cajun, Japonese & Steakhouse are three perennial favourites. Try the Mexican too!

iii) if you are attempting any serious communications with the office while on holiday, bring a gsm capable cell phone, otherwise good luck. Although the resort gives one the impression of being high tech (Wi-fi in the Snake Bar, ethernet in the rooms) its really just smoke and mirrors. The internet connection is not high speed and went down several times during our stay. Receiving faxes turned out also to be a problem.And be forewarned the connection cost for dialing long distance is $5 U.S. per connection.

On the brighter side, the Mayan Riviera is a wonderful destination for anyone looking for some Fun & Sun. Its got great diving and snorkling, but don't make the mistake of staying on the resort your entire time. Get into to Play Del Carmen, discover Puerto Morelos (just 10 minutes north)or check out some of MR's many cenotes, eco parks, and tours!

  • Stayed: March 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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27  Thank Orion33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about 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
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 Green Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#3 Luxury Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Family Hotel in Playa Paraiso
#5 Romantic Hotel in Playa Paraiso
Price Range: $350 - $949 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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
Iberostar Paraiso Maya Playa Paraiso, Riviera Maya

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