Just came back from a great week at the Beach from Dec 6th to 13th. This is my 6th time to the Mayan Riveria. Previously visiting: Barcelo Colonial, Sunset Princess, Gran Sirenis, Occidental X Caret, Palladium Kentaneh. I’ve been to an Iberostar (in La Romana) in the DR and had high expectation of the Paraiso Beach. Iberostar chain usually demands a premium compared to other chains and they did not disappoint again. Service is top notch 10 out of 10. Workers actually like working there and take pride in their work whether they receive tip or not. I guess that’s why they rarely discount this chain of resorts and there is great loyalties of the guests to come back. Comparing to other resorts I stayed I think the pool is the best of any. Service is the best of any. I was a bit weary as I knew this resort was a bit older than ones I stay at before. It’s prob 10 yrs old but in immaculate condition, even the rooms. You would only think that it’s like 5 yrs old, it’s that well kept and more importantly, maintained. The Beach and the Delmar is basically the same resort and shares the grounds like a mirror images (similar to other resorts). Summary of Rating out of 10: Beach 9 Buffet Food 7 A La Cartes 8.5 Facilities 9.0 Rooms 9.0 Service 10.0 Overall 8.5
THE GOOD:: * Amazing pool. Covers Â½ the resort. It’s got waterfalls, lazy river like sections (only 2.5 ft) to activity pools to lounges in the pool. It’s like an amoeba, free forming pool. The waterfall area is very quiet and the other end is where the action is. The pool is salt water rather than chlorine * Fine white sand on a long stretch of beach. The north end is kinda ugly with new building going up. * Amazing housekeeping. First time when I never had a problem in the room. Towel art everyday, lots of towels, tons of water & beer and spotless washroom. A/C worked well the first 4 days but sort of got humid in the middle of the night thereafter. Actually felt cooler with fan only * Great service at restaurant. Not sure if due to low occupancy. But they were constantly taking my plates away and asking if I needed another drink. * Nice shopping center that is shared by Lindo/Maya & Palace & Beach/Del Mar with free Carousel for kid, nice crepe & ice cream bar (included), taco stand and burger joint (all included). The dance club at the shopping center is wild with star wars theme. There’s also a kiddy club but never had anyone the underground. * Good selection of international alcohol * Amazing grounds with so much wildlife coatis (raccoon like badger), flamingo, macau, hens, swans, egrets, turtles, and tons of peacocks. * Star friends are really friendly always with a smile. They enjoy their job unlike other resorts.
* Gave what I requested. Room 3546. I’s midway between lobby & beach so very convenient. Minutes to the pool.
THE BAD: * Buffet food not too good. Meat’s dry and cold (not sure if due to low occupancy). But few grilling stations and many things are pre made. Still acceptable. The variety is not as big as other resorts. But you won’t starve!!! * No snorkeling as ocean was wavy with red flags everyday. * No watersports given waves * Poor breads at buffet and restaurants. Drier type, not fresh or soft. Like local cheap breads and buns/pastries * No Air conditioning in Buffet. It was ok for us for breakfast but I could see it being very uncomfortable in the summer months or periods of high humidity to eat at the main buffet. We were lucky to get 7 a la cartes and therefore always had A/C for dinner.
* Themes (subject to change) didn’t seem to coincide too much with the food offered.
FOOD: * Breakfast was your regular fare. Bread poor, only sugar free yoghurt, no cappuccinos to order, omelettes ok but tend to be browned too much given old grill and overcooking. Scrabbled look better. Fruits limited as probably out of season so everyday was pineapple, cantaloupe, honeydew, papaya, bananas, passionfruit. * Lunch was ok at the main buffet near the lobby. Very similar to dinner quality/quantity. * Lunch near the pool was more busy. The del mar pool bar is better. Brighter and busier so fresher food. The outdoor patio looks better on the Delmar side rather than the Beach side.
* Lunch at the beach is at open snack bar. Good burgers, fries, sausages, jalapenos cheese balls, hash browns, soft ice cream and bbq chicken. Prob fresher food as always busy.
Drinks:: * Wines are drinkable unlike other resorts. They are drinkable but light both red and white. From Spain. Sparkling white is more drinkable. Passport scotch is avail and if you manage to order from the Lindos, eg at the theater, Hennesy congacs were nice!!! * As other say the lobby bars made better drinks. Cappacininos a bit weak but just tell them a little stronger and they’re great
* Lots of top shelf liquor if you just ask or point!!
A La Cartes: * As I said before, I managed to snag 7 a la cartes due to low occupancy as typically only 3 for 7 day week. Also managed to prebook the reservations even before arriving not normal but they made an exception. In order of favorites: a) Steakhouse: (10 out of 10) Had good appetizer buffet with smoke salmon, soup, chicken wings, mushrooms, salad and some seafood, black & red caviar too!!. Oh yeah good onion flower. For Entre best is Tenderloin. Melted in my mouth. I’ve been to Ruth Chris and Mortons and the tenderloin tasted better here. Actually ate here 2 times as sooooo good. Had Rib Eye the other night and very good too. Lots of flavor. Apple pie a la monde was very good for dessert . b) Mederterreanean (9 out of 10) All you have to do is eat the buffet and that’s it. Amazing selection of seafood Including great stone crab claws, giant fresh prawns, squid, octopus, fried fish, procuitoo, avocado with caviar, yummy oyster mushrooms etc For entre had tenderloin (small) and Â½ lobster (ok but liked prawns better). Also had some lobster bisque. On my second visit to the restaurant we had a 40 min fish baked in rock salt and foil for 40 min. It was about 1 1b and was to be shared for 2. Enough and perfectly done. Ok Full? No leave room for the best ever chocolate covered mouse. The best ever ever in my life. It’s hard chocolate covered in an amazing mouse. It’s big and prob 2000 calories alone but amazing. c) Japanese Hisashi (7 out of 10) Everyone raves of this place. Yes it’s fun but the food is passable. There will always be a rowdy one at the table. The table it double the size of normal resorts so you will only see Â½ the show as he has to show both sides. Our chef was pretty boring and quiet. Get the teppanyaki (eg beef/chick/shrimp). Tender beef, sometimes stuff could get overcooked as the chef is too busy doing his show on the other side. Fried rice ok, Sushi acceptable. Tempura was disgusting and soup not exciting. Very limited sake (only cup by cup). Desert was boring and buffet style. It’s ok but not great. This is not just because I’ve lived in Japan. d) Mexican (7 of 10). Fill yourself on the buffet as the entrees are boring and limited. ONLY tacos for entrees. Ok but not really an entre. Snapper ok but not exciting. The appetizers was the best with all sorts of Mexican yummies , quesedias, Chimichanga, tamale, shrimps, etc. Dessert was ok but nothing great. Big disappointment was that they did not make me a Mexican coffee like other resorts. They did not do the show with the cart of flames. It was just made at the bar and not too exciting. e) Italian (6 of 10) Very fancy place. I believe it was the gourmet restaurant before. Calamari not crunchy, beef carpaciao ok. Entrees were salty risotto, gluey seafood linguine. Best dessert was the brownie. The tiramisu was disgusting. This was prob the worst a la carte out of the ones I attended but it’s better than the buffet I guess!
So I was a very happy camper being able to do a la cartes everyday.
Other FOOD:: Good hard ice cream at the icecreame shop. Cones actually crunchy here as A/C. The crepes are also good there and free!! Had fries at the burger stand but didn’t try the taco bar. Looked dead and there was a small dried out meat on the rotisserie.
Paella on the beach was great during the Beach party. You can contribute to cooking it with your own hat. To my surprise it was good too. Not dry as most paellas I’ve had.
ENTERTAINMENT:: Kids disco starts at 8pm so if you have kids have an early dinner. They took kids to the shopping centre to carrousel and underground disco for kids and a tour off the Star Wars main disco. There is a band playing til 9pm outside at the shopping centre with bar service. The nightly entertainment started at 9:30 or 9:45. There are pre shows with games before this. The shows were not too exciting compared to other resorts like the Princess or Xcaret resorts. Boogie night so so, Ms Iberostar funny but typical resort stuff, Lover match funny but similar resort stuff. Hollywood night was lipsycing and dancings so so, Same for Movie night. The only really worth show was the Magic show. We preferred the theatre at the Lindos/Maya better than the Beach/DelMar so watched the shows there. They don’t care as long as you don’t use their bars. I did get my congac there as many waitresses don’t care and it’s too dark for them to see your band colour. Besides like the booze better on the Lindo side, it was closer to our room and I liked the layout of the theatre better.
Note there is a fiesta night with Mexican games for kids to play at the shopping center one night.
POOLS: As I said this had the best pool I’ve been to. Something for everyone and it’s so vast that it never seemed crowded except near the activity pool. Lots off areas for quiet/action or kids to play.
We did try the lazy river on the Lindo side. No one monitoring you so no biggy. It was the star friends who suggested to us and said don’t worry no one checks. Did it a few days. It was pretty lazy and slow and not that long like other lazy rivers I’ve been to like Gran Sirenis. But nice change. The wave pool was also ok but never went when on as off most of the time. Not sure why you would want to use a wave pool if you got great waves in the ocean.
Long beach, lots of seats but slight incline up so tough to watch kids from where the lounges are of kids on the beach.Water was wavey all week. Fun to play in waves. Few rocks in ocean but most was nice sandy bottom. No seashells for pickings on this beach unlike some resort but neverthess, nice in its own way.
ROOMS: Rooms are avg looking but Air conditioners worked amazingly unlike some resort which would turn it off in the middle of the night so you only have a fan -to save $$$. Well I actually spoke too soon as it happened on the 4th night that the A/C started feeling like a vent. Tons of towels and towel art every day. The mini bar was packed everyday. Free safe too unlike some resorts. Bed firm but nice. Flat but there are extra pillows in the closet. Washroom was nice and caulking very nice esp given 10 yr old hotel. The hair dryer was the vacuum type. Gets hot to hold and is not too strong. Overall very happy with the room. SUMMARY: Overall, this resort is great for the price. They seem to now be discounting this place and it’s in the same league of other resorts probably giving occupancy rate and age of the resort. This resort use to demand a premium and was usually quite a bit more than the Barcelos/Palladiums/Bahias. Given the great service/pools/a la cartes/impeccable grounds, it’s a bargain. Don’t just get stuck in the heat at the buffet.
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