I recently returned from a relaxing 3 night stay at the luxury, adults only all-inclusive resort Iberostar Gran Hotel Paraiso, which is located in the Riviera Maya area, just north of downtown Playa del Carmen.
The Iberostar Paraiso complex is a series of 5 resorts that share a shopping center, golf course, and conference facility (all located on the side of the complex that is interior/away from the beach). Iberostar Grand Paraiso is the top of the five, and is the only resort that is adults only. And while guests of the Grand can use the facilities at the other resorts, why would you? Just about everything you want is right here. And, in case you are wondering, the guests of the other Iberostar Resorts cannot use the facilities of the Iberostar Grand.
The property is made up of creme colored buildings, with muted sherbet tones and an occasional shock of color. It is a classy version of “Art Deco Meets Sistene Chapel,” eclectic yet tasteful. The first thing you’ll notice when you check in is the service level. You’ll be escorted to your room with a tour, and shortly thereafter the butler will introduce himself and go over the features of your room and the services that the concierge desk (in conjunction with your butler staff) will provide for you. The rooms are oversized and well equipped, and the beds comfortable. Room service, pillow menus, shoe shine service (complimentary), and easy dining reservations make this property stand out above most others.
The food here ranges from very good to excellent. Tony’s Turf and Surf for dinner is a gem. Order ribeye and lobster, yum! You can also find lobster on the breakfast and lunch menus. The buffet restaurants have an a la carte menu, which I found to be better quality than the food on the buffet line. Room service menu is 24 hours and takes about 30 minutes to be delivered (longer during peak times).
There are two outdoor pools. The Main Pool is salt water with several warm tubs (not hot), and has a swim up bar and activities during the afternoon. The activities serve to pull the guests together, and aren’t overbearing or obnoxious. The guests were typically couples in their mid 30′s to mid 60′s, and everyone was relaxed and having a great time (always a good sign). Friendly staff and friendly clients.
There is also a Tranquility Pool and does not have a swim up bar and no staff or activities. The individuals and couples here were enjoying the solitude with a good book or sun nap, and it was very peaceful in this area. The spa has an indoor pool, which also had a peaceful, introspective atmosphere.
The resort had a show or entertainment every night, and the place comes alive in the evening without any noise trickling into the guest room areas. So, you can go to bed early or stay up late as you like.
I especially liked that the minibar could be restocked as you requested, instead of waiting the requisite alternate day (like you’ll find in many 4 star all-inclusives). Service levels were focused on making the guest happy, which is refreshing.
And while this resort is a great choice for the honeymoon or anniversary couple, it’s equally suited for the couple (or several couples traveling together) looking for a top quality vacation for the grown ups.