Old Reviews – Iberostar Paraiso Maya

  Iberostar Paraiso Maya   Chuck and Sharon ~ Saskatchewan, Canada

February 2009

Arrival: My wife and I stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya for 2 weeks the beginning of February. As such we used all of the Iberostar properties during our stay. For our review of the other Iberostar properties see their listings.

Even though the properties have similar ratings the quality of the amenities, food (shrimp vs. lobster), drinks, etc. and rooms increase as you move up from the Del Mar, to the Beach, to the Lindo, to Maya, and then Grand. The Grand is adults only and others allow kids. We found an abundance of kids likely because of their Star Friends program (one of the best) and the wave pool / lazy river. Each resort has its own lobby and lobby bars so where you stay determines how many you can use. The common snack is Mexican caviar (popcorn) and sometimes peanuts. A shuttle runs between the resorts (also a short walk) and an Iberostar shopping Center and Spa. They also will take you around by golf cart if you ask. There’s a 24 hr medical clinic as well. Cost is $125 US at night and $105 US during the day. If you have insurance they look after all the paper work for you and there’s a pharmacy in the mall to fill prescriptions. We used their service and it was very good.

All properties share the same beach the only difference is that you can only get food and drink from the ones you have privileges at. Every beach snack bar had the same food. The sea was very rough the whole time we were there. The snorkeling is fair (poor when the sea is rough) and there was only one spot where you could walk into the ocean without stepping on rocks. There’s a dive shop on site but the dock was destroyed by a storm so you have to wade out to the boat. Not fun in rough surf. The beach in front of the Grand like the resort is exclusive but very rocky under the water.

The 4 resorts are really 2 and can be grouped as the Del Mar – Beach, and the Lindo Maya. Each share buffets, pools, beach, and theatre. Because the sun sets to the south, the most popular side of the pool was the Del Mar and the Lindo sides. The Grand stands alone and is very exclusive.

Taxi’s will cost you 250 peso for up to four to take you to Playa del Carmen. Rates are posted. The exchange rate is much better now so don’t use the 10 peso = 1 US. In the resort they used the proper exchange rate but outside use pesos rather than US.

The buffets and ala carts at the Lindo and Maya are all indoors. We found the buffet was very lacking in variety compared to other buffets at other all inclusives but that’s likely because of the abundance of ala cart you can choose every night of your stay. As seafood lovers we were disappointed with the Seafood ala cart. We only ate there once but it was all overcooked. There’s an abundance of seafood at all ala carts and the best cooked was at the Japanese.

The Maya is in the jungle (less manicured gardens) and has a giant pyramid which also serves as their bar. There’s also a sports bar with a massive projection tv. The Lobby of the Maya is huge and impressive but there’s a lot of empty space, nice to look at but we didn’t use it much. We found ourselves most nights at the Lindo as that’s where the theatre is. Each block of rooms at the Maya also has its own private pool (rarely used but quiet) private breakfast buffet and a concierge in every building to attend your every need. No line ups and no need to book restaurants more than a day before. The rooms come with robes (no slippers) but they were uncomfortable and the biggest size we could get was a medium and the beds are hard. The 24hr room service menu is sparse but something if you’re hungry. Once a week at the Maya/Lindo beach they brought out a mechanical bull.

Other Comments: We would have enjoyed staying at any of the Iberostar properties but if you want a little higher end spend the extra money for the Lindo or Maya, you won’t be disappointed. If you want a special treat upgrade to the Grand for a special ending to your holiday.

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  Iberostar Paraiso Maya   Kim ~ Columbus, Ohio

May 2008

Arrival and Flight: May 4, 2008 on USA 3000

Rooms: I loved the room. Only a couple of complaints. The door between the foyer and bedroom area not necessary. It blocked the one closet when it was open. The hair dryer provided was awful. Bring your own.

Restaurants: We ate the Seafood, El Rancho Steakhouse, Mexican and Italian. Breakfast and lunch were at the buffet. This is the one area that I think could use some improvement. The seafood restaurant was horrible and the steakhouse restaurant was mediocre. I enjoyed the Italian restaurant. Mexican restaurant was forgettable. The buffet for breakfast said it opened at 7 am but was not a full buffet until 8 am. There was a nice place for snacks on the beach also.

Bars: We drank at the lobby bar every night and sometimes it was very understaffed. The service that was available was great!!

Beach and Pools: The water is so blue and beautiful. Some coral , had to watch where you were stepping.

Grounds: Fantastic!! This resort is immaculate. Wild animals are on the grounds. Conclusion: The Iberostar Paraiso Maya is a great resort but could use some help in the area of the restaurants. Would use the buffet next time instead of the specialty restaurants.re

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  Iberostar Paraiso Maya   Klaus ~ Renfrew, Ontario

April 2008

Hello. We are from Renfrew ontario Canada. My wife and two kids (11 and 14) went for march break 2008 to Iberostar Paraiso Maya. This trip was wounderful. Everything at the resort was really great. The resort itself is unbelievably beautiful as are the rooms, restaurants, pools, and service. The beach is where we loved to be because the beach sand is great and the water is as blue as can be. We loved going for walks which we could do for miles. We walked to the other Iberostar resorts such as the Lindo and Beach and found our resort to be the best waterfront. The Lindo had the best night family live entertainment which you could enjoy because when staying at the Maya you can go to all other resorts. The Maya is the place to go even though it is only a little bit more expensive. Trust me I looked at all four of the Iberostar resorts. We would most definetely go back again as this place is hard to beat.

Here are some tips for the next time. 1. Bring lots of small us dollar bills for tips. The people there work for five bucks a day. 2. Bring your own hair dryer. 3. For a family of four bring a bottle of sun block for every 2 days there. It is 28 dollars down there to buy it. 4.Bring a good pair of sandals as the resort is very big.

5. Stay at least 10 days because there is lots of stuff to do.

Hope this helps

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya S. Anderson ~ Los Angeles, California

November 2007

Hi Debbie
I recently stayed at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya, week of Nov.15th, I travel alone because I simply have more fun!! I just want to say the accommodations at this resort/hotel were much more than I expected!!! The Jr. suite room was breathtaking. The food in this all inclusive was over the top delicious. Even the buffet food was great quality. The hotel booked all my excursions which were reasonably priced especially for what I received. Swimming with the Dolphins was a memory of a lifetime!!

I mentioned to someone at the front desk it was my 59th B-day, when I returned to my room from sight seeing, the bed was all decorated with red rose petals, lots of towel art and a bottle of champagne and the spa tub was filled with a bubble bath and more rose petals!!.

I would gladly stay there again.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Joyce ~ North Adams, MA

May 2007

This is the very first time I have ever written a review of any vacation but since this one was so exceptional I just had to write. My adult daughter and I went on a mother/daughter week long, all inclusive trip to Maya on Parisio Beach next to Cancun, Mexico. It was everything I expected and more. If cleanliness is next to godliness than this place is surely heaven. The service was impeccable and the food, with one exception at the El Rancho, was wonderful. We actually read the useful instructions and made our reservations with the concierge almost as soon as we arrived.

The beach was beautiful even though the waves were a little too much for me but not my daughter and the red flag was flying most of the time. However, since there were several pools available it did not create a problem. The clientele was a diverse group which made for interesting chats and, if you care to participate, free dance lessons, scuba diving, water sports, aerobics, etc.

Above all the service provided by the staff was top notch. You don’t need to speak Spanish but a few words wouldn’t hurt; not so much that you need to make yourself understood but that you understand questions being asked of you. Fortunately my daughter used her high school Spanish and we got along fine. I cannot recommend this resort highly enough. You never need to leave the grounds but we did go into Playa del Carmain which was a lot of fun. The resort provides the bus on a regular schedule. Apple Vacations made all our arrangements and were easy to deal with even after we got there.

One thing you need to be prepared for is a lot of walking since the area is huge and, in fact, you could get lost going from the spa to the beach. The map you receive of the grounds is not adequate. You are better off plotting your own course. The only problem we had was with, of all things, the hair dryer. I strongly urge all guests to bring their own. We asked for another type but were told there weren’t any and whenever we commented on them we got a smile so they are aware that the dryers are just terrible. But, since that is my only complaint it can be understood that this was a marvelous vacation.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Donna ~ USA (Pennsylvania)

March 2007

My boyfriend and I returned from a 7-night stay at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya on February 15, 2007. (We are 46 and 50 years old.) This was our 2nd visit to Riviera Maya. Last year we stayed at the Bahia Principe Akumal Club Golden. We loved both of our visits to Riviera Maya, Mexico. The Mayan people who we met at the resorts and on the excusions were extremely friendly and really seem to go out of their way to make the tourists happy.

We arrived at the resort before 11AM. Check-in at Iberostar Paraiso Maya was fast and our room was available right away. We received our complimentary drink while we were checking in. Since there are 4 hotels are this resort and we weren’t sure of our way around when we first arrived, we had a bell-boy drive us to our room with our luggage. Soon after we arrived in our room, the concierge called us to make sure our room was satisfactory. We asked for some extra pillows and bed pad because the mattress is very hard. A maid was at our door within a few minutes with both.

Our room had a view of the lazy river and 2 of the smaller pools. There are no rooms (yet) with a direct view of the ocean, which was a little disappointing after staying at the Bahia Principe Akumal last year with a room & view right next to the ocean. But we were very satisfied with our junior suite room at Iberostar Paraiso Maya including the jacuzzi in the bathroom. The only negative thing to say about our room was the teeny tiny little bugs that were on the counter near the coffee maker. The refrigerator was well-stocked every day with beer (cerveza), soda pop and water. I wrote a note to the maid asking for "mas cerveza and coca-cola light" (along with a little tip) and I got exactly what I asked for each day.

The grounds were absolutely gorgeous. It took us a few days to find our way around this huge resort. Most people do walk between the 4 hotels & the shopping area on the resort, but you could ask the bell-boy at the lobby for a ride in one of their carts if you didn’t want to walk. Because we were at the Maya hotel, we had privileges to all facilities at the other 3 resorts. The pools were beautiful at the Maya. There was a wave pool, a sports pool, an adult pool, swim-up bar, with lots of chairs around all of the pools. We love the beach/ocean so that’s where we spent most of our time. We went to the beach at all times of the day and never had a problem finding a couple of empty chairs to lay on. The beach was big and very nice. There’s a place to rent wave runners and go parasailing at the far end (opposite the Maya resort). There is a mini-buffet area on the beach where you can get something to eat most of the day without having to leave the beach area. And of course there are bars along the beach.

We ate dinner at several restaurants in the Maya hotel – the French, the Steakhouse, the Japanese, the Mexican, and the Seafood. All were very good. We liked the French and Steakhouse best. We also ate dinner and lunch at the buffet restaurants in all 4 hotels at the resort (Maya, Lindo, Del Mar, and Beach). We thought they all were good.

We took a half day snorkeling excursion at an off-site private island which included a Mexican lunch and unlimited beer/rum/tequila, etc. This was very nice. My recommendation is to do an off-site snorkeling excursion on a weekend when it tends to be less crowded. We went on a Saturday. The locals said that normally they get over 100 people at a time for this excursion, but we had less than 30 on the day we went because of the weekend. We also went into Playa del Carmen for an afternoon. The Iberostar Paraiso resort provides free bus service to/from Playa del Carmen, but be prepared to take a taxi back if the bus is full. The bus runs every hour in the morning and evening, but only every 2 hours in the afternoon. We had a heavy rain during the afternoon and there were way too many people waiting for the bus than what the bus could hold. We decided to get a taxi back which cost us $18 plus tip. He dropped us off right at the door of our hotel. (The bus has one stop at the resort – at the shopping area).

I did enjoy my stay at Iberstar Paraiso resort and I thought the beach was nicer here than at Bahai Principe. However, overall I would probably have to say that I enjoyed my visit to Bahia Principe Akumal a little more. I felt we were pampered a bit more at the Bahia Principe, although I don’t know if it was because we upgraded to the Club Golden there. We got a beautiful basket of fresh flowers when I arrived at the Bahia Principe and a complimentary fruit basket & bottle of champagne on our last night there. Also at Bahia Principe Akumal we had turn-down service in our room at night, sometimes with a little something special like chocolates on our pillow or rose petals on the bed. I already mentioned that we had an excellent view of the ocean from our room at the Bahia Principe Akumal. But I would recommend staying at either Iberostar Paraiso Maya or Bahia Principe Akumal…both were excellent places to stay.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Michael ~ Canada

February 2007

Just returned from the Iberostar – Paraiso Maya resort. This is a great resort and facility. The Paraiso Maya is the #1 resort (most exclusive). The Iberostar has four resorts that make up the property. The Paraiso Maya #1, Lindo #2, Del Mar #3 and Paraiso Beach #4

Background: We have have stayed at the Grand Colonial Palladium and Moon Palace on the Mayan Riviera,(both excellent choices as well).

Resort Property:
It is Big and Beautiful with a manicured property that is very clean and visually impressive. One example of many is the huge Mayan temple that doubles as the main bar and lounge once your inside the main lobby. When you stay at the Maya you get unlimited access to the other 3 resort properties, bars, restaurants and facilities. Not so if you stay at the Del Mar or Beach resort. If you stay at the Lindo you get access to the Del Mar and Beach but I’m not sure if you can dine at the Maya. You’ll have to check.

All four resorts are side by side so this makes the resort property huge. If you have problems walking you may find this resort overwhelming. Wheel chairs or electric scooters could get around no problem. It will take you a couple of days to get used to the size but you’ll soon learn how to get around and you’ll master the shortcuts.

The Maya shares it’s pool with the Lindo. The pool separates the two resorts. Like the property the pool is also beautiful and huge. Lots of chairs and palapa’s (large grass umbrella’s). Always chairs available around the pool. Never full. No need to reserve spots around the pool. And of course a swim up bar under a waterfall.

There is also a wave pool for the kids(another giant Mayan Temple), lazy river for everyone, a pool just for volleyball or basketball and a small pool for anyone. It’s a parents and kids pool paradise.

The pools are surrounded by restaurants, bars and your rooms so you never have to go far to get something.

The Beach:
The beach is nice. Good sand. It’s deep and wide. It covers the entire width of the 4 resorts. Food and drinks are available all along the beach area and there was a waitress bringing drinks onto the beach, but there was only one so you’d wait awhile. The bars are so close it was easy to get your own drinks, food etc. Lots of chairs and palapa’s available. Beach wasn’t crowded.

The Water:
Blue & Green. No seaweed. Once your in the water you have to watch out for coral reef that is mixed with the sand. The coral is sharp and rocky. You can walk around it but you have to be careful. We played in the waves without any trouble but were always mind full of where the coral sections were. Waves were big and there is an undertoe. Common sense will keep you safe.

The Food:

Buffets – Good food. Big. Never had trouble finding something I liked. The quality was good. Never got sick. If you can’t find something you like your to picky.

Restaurants – Very good. Each resort have their own and since your staying at the Mayan then you get to go to all of them UNLIMITED. You must make reservations but that’s easy. Dress code in effect(long pants and button down shirts for guys).
Restaurants – French, Steakhouse, Seafood, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Italian, Cajun. Those are listed in order of Great to OK. Again if you can’t find something you like your to picky.

As a point of interest, the Cajun restaurant caught on fire and burned down the second day we were there. Major fire. The resort grabbed a bunch of local workers and they were rebuilding it before the place stopped smoldering. No fire investigation like back at home. Just get it fixed ASAP. This restaurant was at the Lindo resort.

Rooms: Great. There all junior suites. I don’t know what that means but all the rooms had balconies, small sitting area, King size beds, Jacuzzi tub, glass shower, room safe (use it), fridge stocked with beer, pop and water. Fridge restocked every day so drink up.

The mattress was FIRM / HARD. Got used to it after a couple days but if you don’t like it firm there’s not much you can do.

The Spa – Across the street from the Mayan or Lindo lobbies there is the Spa. I mention this because you can use their "wet services" at no charge. IT IS WORTH IT!!. The wet service includes wet and dry sauna’s, 3 different large hot tubs each doing something different, 3 specialty showers, regular showers and a large indoor pool with built in water treatments. This place was great and never busy. I don’t think many guests know about it because it’s not directly attached to the resorts. It’s a short walk away. There’s also regular spa services you pay for. My wife says her massage / full body exfoliation was awesome.

Resort Staff – Friendly, Polite, Great, they’d give you the shirt off their backs. Don’t be cheap throw them some tips. You’d be shocked at how little they make.

OVERALL: This is a 5 start resort all the way. Great property, good food, good beach, great facilities and staff. Family friendly resort. Enjoy.

Any questions ? Email me at oldbenkenobi@cogeco.ca

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya B Thoms

January 2007

Hi Debbie!!

We have just returned from THE IBEROSTAR -MAYA on the Reviera Maya Mexico. It is a beautiful place worth evey pennie !

The only thing we did not like is the ”sloppy dress code from ******** Men”. I mean you spend 4000.00$ and have to wear dirty Jean &flip flops!!!!! It is so nice to dress up for a candle lite Dinner !! I guess the ******** still have a lot to learn about going out!!!

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Randy & Terry ~ Canada

January 2006

We had some reservations about going to Mexico after Katrina but they were soon put to rest after we arrived,this resort is huge,the food at every restaurant was very good,the for breakfast was excellent,can not see anyone not finding something to their liking for breakfast ,lunch,or dinner,no disappointments here folks.The staff was very pleasant,always happy to help you in anyway they could.Would recommend you learn some Spanish,although we had no problems finding staff that spoke very good English,would advise anyone going to bring a pair of water shoes-wet shoes as the coral along the shore is starting to be exposed,I am sure the resort will be building up the sand on the shore line soon,all the beach huts are replaced as well as the beach bar,great resort,great food and of coarse plenty of liquid refreshments to drink.Wife and sister-in-law went to Xel-Ha for snorkelling and swimming,they said it was fantastic and highly recommend it .Hope this review helps anyone out as we relied on the reviews before we went,great resort had a great time,hope you do too.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Paul ~ Canada

April 2005

Having 3 children, my wife and I are always challenged to find accommodations for 5 when we travel as a family. We have done many cruises and have stayed at only one other resort (Beaches) in Jamaica. We consider ourselves experienced travelers. Our main concern when we travel is not having adjoining rooms to accommodate the 5 of us. I had sent several emails ahead of time and requested my travel agent to do the same. There was never any confirmation of having adjoining rooms as there was no response to our emails. We just had to hope, that they heard our many requests. Well they did not. We arrived to find that we were either separated as spouses or separated from our three children. Immediately we complained. The next day we were moved to adjoining rooms. The problem was solved. TIP 1) If you are not happy, Complain – They do aim to satisfy you.

We are beach bums and the beach was very nice. Big enough waves for the kids to enjoy (I did too) but safe enough to not worry. TIP 2) – When you arrive they will give you "beach cards" trade these cards in for your beach towels. Reserve your beach chairs before 7:00 a.m. by placing the towels on the chairs and then go for a nice healthy walk and then do breakfast. – The best chair positions are around the grass umbrellas. At the end of the day trade your dirty towels in for clean ones. Do the same the next morning….

If you have children and love to make sand castles etc. on the beach TIP 3) Bring a pail and some plastic shovels in your suitcase with you.

The Food: Gourmet – absolute 5 star (they do not allow children under 12) We lied, and got them in. Japanese – 4 star. The Banana desert is very good Dinner Buffet – 4 star (I thought I would never say that about any buffet – it was very good!) SeaFood – 3 star

Steakhouse – 3 star (we had booked twice when we arrived and canceled the second reservation to go back to the buffet)

Excursions:
We paid for a private van to tour Chichen Itza. (less expensive than 5 people on the bus) After being both in Pompeii and Rome, It was just ok. Kind of like "been there done that" – one less thing on my list to see. If you have never seen ancient ruins then you should go. Take the opportunity. TIP 4) Its HOT there! No wind to cool you. It was hotter than Rome in 2003 during the heat wave. Bring lots of water to drink and pour over your heads.

The People:
I cannot say how I appreciate the Mayans, They are visibly different than the rest of the Mexicans. They are hard workers who are born to please you without any expectations. It was pleasant not to be in the the tropics and being harassed for money. They keep to themselves and are very low key.

The Resort:
Stunning! My business brain attempts to calculate how much money it costs to build such a complex. Must be hundreds of millions. Huge! If you enjoy going for walks then you will love the choice of paths. CLEAN! like Disney World.

Fellow Guests:
All ages – Very family friendly. Not very rowdy.

Rooms:
BIG and clean. What’s up with the shower doors??? They all leak water into the main area of the bathroom. TIP 5) Place towels at the base of the door to absorb the water run off.

Night entertainment:
Do not know as we enjoy early to bed and early to rise to reserve our beach chairs.

Safety:
Never once felt unsafe. We allowed our children free range without any worries.

Money:
There is NO money banking machine at the resort. TIP 6) Take enough cash. They will exchange Canadian Cash and American Cash for Peso’s.

Clothes:
Men will need long pants for dinner.

Pools
Wave pool is unexciting and the lazy river beyond lazy. Its hardly moves. This is not a water park although it is very very impressive to look at it. Water is too cold. The beach is warmer.

Bugs and insects:
In March – NONE at all

Local Vendors:
Set up there stands every evening at different parts of the resorts on different nights. They will negotiate. example: 25 down to 15 peso’s TIP 7) Offer half price then move up 10% and then walk away. They will call you back! Like many places around the world these souvenir tourist traps are all the same. Same stuff at every location. Wait till the last day and buy only what you will appreciate owning 10 years from now. Which is not much!.

Closing comments. I would recommend this resort. We most likely will go back and stay longer than the week as it takes 5 days to adapt to the climate and appreciate the mood. We were sad to leave. That’s a good sign.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Bob ~ Canada

April 2005

We were booked into the Lindo. On our arrival we were upgraded to the Maya. What a wonderful resort. My view on most resorts are that they represent a Holiday Inn standard. Once built they are allowed to age without much regard. The Maya is a 5 star. I would compare to a Hilton suite upgrade. The buildings have their own private pool with drink service. Very nice way to spend the late afternoons when you want less people around. We had cocktail hour there every afternoon with friends. Dinner was great, except for the Mexican restaurant, skip that and double up anywhere else.

Service was great. The people who work there are beyond comparison. They do not hold out there hand for a tip. You have to hunt them down to give it to them. Very refreshing. The grounds were great. We walked every morning through all 4 resorts. Took approx. one hour we had a lot of fun looking at the wild life.

We will be back next year however for two weeks, one week was just not long enough.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Debby ~ Canada

March 2005

I just returned with my kids 6 and 12 years old and my mother and sister. What a resort it is huge and stunning. The rooms are very big clean and nice. The food was very good we all gained weight. My kids really enjoyed the ice cream parlor went there twice a day they also LOVED the lazy river and wave pool. The only restaurant we did not like was the Mexican they did not have hard taco or fajita. I only have two complaints about this resort and I have been to a lot of 4 and 5 star resorts with and without my kids…that is there is no garbage can in the pool area and phoning home was a nightmare. My sister and I had bought phone cards for our Air Transat Rep when we tried to phone home they did not work and I had to pay $5.00 us every time I tried…the next day the rep gave us new cards that did not work again…so we needed up buying cards from the Apple rep that did work. We found the service to be very good…they really want you to be happy…one night at the dinner buffet I complained that they should have more then two sauces for the pasta…they only have butter and a white sauce…within 3 minutes they had brought red sauce. The maid service was great…my kids could not wait to go back to the room to see what the maid had made us with the towels…she also fills the bath with flowers and bubbles…my kids would go straight to the bath after their day in the sun. I would defiantly recommend this resort to families…if you want a resort without kids around this is not the resort for you. We loved it soooooooooooo much we are thinking of going back in September with our whole family.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya Dean and Cindy ~ Saskatchewan

March 2005

We just returned from a 7 day trip to the Mayan Riviera and stayed in the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. This resort is truly breathtaking. We were supposed to be in the iberostar Lindo (sister hotel) but when we arrived they told us they overbooked the Lindo and gave us a free upgrade to the Maya. I think this is their way of endorsing the new hotel as it is only a couple months old. All in all though, I could’ve stayed at either hotel as they are both equally great. The 2 hotels are so close together that sometimes you don’t even realize which resort you are really in.

The food was pretty good. The only one none we didn’t care for was the Gourmet probably because you really weren’t sure what you were eating. The best ones are the Japanese and Italian. Try to hit these 2 if you can and book with your concierge on the day of your arrival to get good times. If you wait too long you may not get into the more popular alacarts, or if you do it might be later like at 9 PM.

The pool was pretty cold dispute the hot temperatures. It was hard to get a lounger unless you got there first thing in the morning. This wasn’t a big deal for us as we spent most of our time at the beach. The beach has tons of loungers and the bar is really close. The drinks are really sweet and strong so by the end of the week we started ordering Canadian club and coke. If your drink is too strong just ask the bartender to make it weaker. They are pretty accommodating.

The rooms were immaculate. They are large with a whirlpool tub and hammock on the balcony. The maids stocked the fridge’s daily with bottles of water, pop and cervasas. We tipped the maid $2 US per day and she in turn would leave fancy animals made of towels on our bed. She even fancied up the toilet paper roll and Kleenex box.

I only had one problem with this resort but it is ofcourse personal preference. I found that a majority of the guests were either families with kids or older people. If you are younger like 20 -35 and are looking to party and dance you may want to consider staying somewhere in or close to playa del carmen. The Maya and Lindo didn’t really have much to do in the evening. There is usually a show every evening but it is local talent and some of the shows were just plain amateur. Once the show ends the only thing left to do is sit in the lounge. There is a disco but there was never any one in it. You could go to playa del carmen for a bar scene by shuttle bus but they only run until 9PM so you would have to take a taxi home which is $17 US. So if you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere this may not be the place for you.

I cannot stress enough gratitude to the staff. They are all wonderful especially our lobby bar waitress Cyndi. We were always treated like royalty.

If you plan on doing any excursions Xel Ha is an absolute must. We were there one full day but could’ve easily spent another day. I wouldn’t recommend the combination tour of Xel Ha and Tulum because there just isn’t enough time. A lot of people who had planned on going to Tulum ended up staying in Xel Ha anyway. Xel Ha has the most amazing snorkeling. We saw barracudas, stingrays and tons of large tropical fish. One word of advice though, bring your own snorkeling gear. We brought our own head gear but borrowed their flippers which was fine as they are really bulky to pack. They supply head gear to use but I heard a lot of complaints from people who used them that they were constantly fogging up.(They are disposable by the way so you don’t have to worry about sharing with others.)

We also went to Chichen Itza. This is an extremely long trip. 3 hours by bus each way and you only spend 3 hours looking at the ruins. The ruins are spectacular and I would recommend going if you can handle the long bus ride. Hope this helps.

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Iberostar Paraiso Maya USA

January 2005

Hi we (Myself and my wife and 2 kids) went Dec 28th 2004 and stayed until Jan7th 2005 at the Maya. I want to say that the grounds were great and the people were very friendly. The rooms at the Maya are also very nice. When we first checked in the room they gave us had a view of a bush and a small swamp, I went and complained but the hotel was all full until the next day. The manager did a good job of moving us to a very nice room with a view of the pool the next day, and sent a bell boy to help us move our luggage this was much appreciated.

The pool itself is very nice but seemed to be cold even though the outside temps were in the high 80s every day, my 2 kids still went swimming even though we would have preffered it a little warmer. The pool is not like a water park at all even though they have a wave pool, but it is sill nice for relaxing. They have quite a few activities planned every day for adults and kids, and you need to get involved to have fun.

The beach is very nice with lots of loungers and good service. The wind seems to never let up, so swimming was always a red flag and my 2 children could not swim, although many people went in anyway. We went to Tulum and XeHa and it was worth the trip, however we needed more time.

I guess the biggest disapointment was the food, at all the restaurants. We all thought that it was just OK. The best meal was breakfast which is pretty hard to screw up. My kids liked the Japanese (cook in front of you) so we went there twice. Plan on making dinner reservations asap when you get there, because all the restaurants book up fast if its a busy time.

We probably would go back again but might try to find a resort with better food, all in all it was a good trip probably a 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Apple vacations did a great job with the flights and transfers and would recomned them to anyone again.

Iberostar Paraiso Maya Natalie ~ Toronto, Canada

January 2005

My husband and I (along with another couple of friends) just returned from an absolutely incredible vacation at the Iberostar Maya. I have traveled to various resorts quite frequently, but must say that this was one of my favorites.

The weather was very nice. The first couple of days it was cloudy and it rained at night, but the remainder of the trip was perfect.

The resort itself is huge and beautiful. You would never get bored, as there are so many things to do. There is also a daily shuttle that takes you into Playa Del Carmen for shopping (great deals).

The food was incredible. You have 14 a la carte restaurants to choose from (this includes the sister hotels of the Iberostar located next door). Reservations can be made with your concierge, who are conveniently located on the main floors of each building. If you do not have any reservations, you can enjoy the Buffets, which are wonderful.

The rooms are breath-taking. King size beds (or doubles), a separate living area, a huge bathroom (with Jacuzzi tub). I suggest you request building # 61/62/63/64 which are the closest to the pool area.

The pools are gigantic, and again you may use the other Iberostar facilities. It was very convenient that there were waitresses on hand to take your drink orders by the pool, if you did not want to get up. And if you are more of a beach fan, the water is warm, clear and no rocks in the way. Towels are always on hand, and there are more than enough pool and beach chairs.

The service is impeccable. The check-in was fast and efficient. The rooms were always very clean, products were never missing, a newspaper was delivered daily to your room. The staff was completely up-to-date with everything, and were very particular to detail.

The entertainment staff are phenomenal. We found it hard leaving them behind on the last day. I cannot explain how wonderful these people were, especially Alejandro, Dio, Marcelo and Mauris. The activities never stopped, nor did the dancing lessons, nightly entertainment and so forth.

This resort is rated a five star, but I truly believe it to be much better. I strongly suggest this resort to everyone (families, couples and singles).

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