To start off let me introduce myself, we are a very well traveled family, vacationing at least twice a year, mostly in the Caribbean or Mexico. We have been on a half a dozen cruises, have stayed or visited 15 islands, and three cities in Mexico (some twice). It is myself, my wife and our daughter 6, who did not accompany us on this trip. The following are my opinions, I found this website to be very helpful in picking my destination after Hurricane Emily closed our initial hotel, the Grand Xcaret, and I want to give others a chance to choose this property first.
Yes there is some sea grass; no it is not enough to ruin the beach experience. The water may not be as clear as some areas of the Riviera Maya, but that is due to the beautiful coral reef a few miles out that provides some of the best snorkeling I have ever seen. So you have to give a little to get a lot. The beach has soft white sand, small waves great for children (again I believe due to the reef), you hear the waves gently lapping against the sand, the sun shining in a cloud free sky and any concern about the small amount of sea grass just floats away. They were building more palabas the week we were there to help relieve any overcrowding of which I saw none.
The main pool is very large, with a swim up bar with stools, and loungers built into the pool so you can immediately cool off if you’ve had too much sun time. It has a zero entry for the kids, (the bottom slowly drops off, like walking into the ocean) and a small horseshoe shaped Jacuzzi like structure on one side to enjoy. The activities pool always had something going on, it was great having a separate dedicated pool so that you never felt bad about ruining someone else’s time. There is also a Royal Service adult only pool, but I’ll go into that in the Royal Service Review.
Now you may think that food is not one of the most important parts of a vacation, but you would be very wrong. If is not prepared properly, your trip can be ruined by illness. If the food is not good enough to eat, you will spend money elsewhere to buy more. If the food is not constantly changing, it can damper the feeling of being pampered on vacation. All of the a la cartes were excellent, the French (yes I know I was surprised too) was outstanding, the duck was just as good as my local snobby 4 star restaurant with much better service here in Mexico. The buffet always had at least one hot station where they cooked your meal to order, a healthy choice section, fruits, salads and entrees. Nothing was repeated, that is some buffets will have the same thing on each side to move people through quicker but here everything was unique and delicious. You must remember for the most part this is a buffet, it is better than your local chain buffet restaurant back home but it is not gourmet.
Really outstanding all the way around. Special recognition must go to Juan at the Capri restaurant (Mediterranean), Rosalino at the buffet was always spectacular we looked for him every time he should be given a promotion or something. Hector at the Royal Service was alone worth the extra money; he made our stay so much better as our concierge. Roman at the Royal pool was excellent he really went out of his way for us several times, even the few problems we had (too small to even mention) were washed away by his outstanding service and excellent drinks. The butler and maid service was always right on top of any needs we had. Room service was prompt and better than many hotels I have stayed at. Everyone from the gardeners to security to bell boys was excellent, we felt welcomed and never felt as though they were fishing for a tip (although we did tip). The animation staff was fantastic always getting people involved and doing a good job of getting the party started and then maintaining that atmosphere.
The grounds are nicely landscaped, with informative signs on the plant life around you. I tend to like more of a natural or wild landscape but it is hard to argue with the work that obviously went into creating a really nice environment that helps to constantly remind you that you are on vacation in a beautiful part of the world. The lobby was wonderful, nicely put together and the lobby bar was terrific. The little ponds found throughout the property added nicely to the overall ambience of the hotel. The rooms were outstanding; I’ll save the extra features for the Royal Service review. The rooms were cleaned thoroughly, everything was always stocked, the furniture was well kept and in good shape, the king size bed was firm, but I prefer that anyway.
Royal Service (A++):
Worth every penny. No standing in line to make reservations, a private adults only pool with reserved cabanas, in the main pool there are maybe two and you won’t get them unless you’re up by 6 am. At the Royal Service, there were plenty, one call the day before got one reserved for with your name on it, literally. Roman at the pool and Marcel deserve another thank you. The beach was the same way, you had a reserved palaba, and a bartender on hand to cater to your needs, the beach was private for Royal Service. We had the Jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the ocean, in one word AMAZING. We used in several times; the butler will come put candles, incense and set it up for a romantic rendezvous. All in all worth the extra money, you can’t really put a price on it, there were many advantages to being royal service, if available we use it at any hotel or cruise and this easily compares to those plans as well.
I am glad that we switched, I was really impressed by this hotel, and I will recommend it to my friends, my travel agent and this website. You will have a good time, any negatives you hear are grossly exaggerated, and are usually from people who do not know how to relax, it’s a vacation, enjoy it. By all means if there is problem, they will fix it, a couple had a complaint about their room and they were promptly moved. I want to say hi to Erin, Rob, Stacey and Tate who we met down there and had a great time with. Go to the Paradisus knowing that you will have a great time and it is well worth the money.