With cooler weather setting in, I was more than happy to head down to warm, tropical Riviera Maya, Mexico earlier this month! I was definitely “Magically Distracted” by the beauty of the Iberostar Paraiso Beach Resort! This was my first trip to Mexico, and it did not disappoint!
We spent 5 days and 4 nights at the all-inclusive Iberostar Paraiso Beach Resort located directly on the beach! The grounds of the resort were nothing short of paradise! The predominantly open-air resort allows wildlife such as peacocks, swans, flamingos, and coatis (local raccoon-like creatures) to roam freely throughout. We arrived at the resort and walked through the open lobby to the check-in desk. Our check-in process was seamless, and we were presented with a signature welcome drink while at the front desk. Next, we waited at the concierge desk to schedule our dinner reservations for our stay. While waiting, concierge offered us another beverage of our choice. Talk about stellar customer service right from the start! An employee then carted us to our room with our luggage, and got us all set up in our room.
We entered the room, and a view straight out onto the lush, green grounds of the resort greeted us! The room furnishings need an update, but it didn’t have a negative impact on our stay. The standard room included a King size bed, couch and chair, a lovely, large patio with seating, bathroom with walk in shower, coffee maker, and mini bar stocked with sodas, beer, and bottled water. The room was very large. I also appreciated the tile floor in throughout the space, since we were frequenting the pool and beach daily. Our location was near the restaurants, lobby, and the theater. Until about 10 PM each night, the show in the theater could be quite loud. That could bother some guests, but it did not disturb us. Housekeeping did an excellent job servicing our room daily. Everything was straightened, towels and mini bar restocked, and an adorable towel animal was left on our bed everyday!
Paradise! The only word to accurately describe the resort’s pool area. The large pool winded through the property to create different areas for lounging. There were two quiet areas–one with a waterfall over a grotto area containing the hot tub, and one with an island in the middle. We enjoyed the day we spent in the quiet area under one of the straw huts. The staff could have been more enforcing of the “quiet rule,” as it did get rather noisy a couple of times. We spent most of our pool time in an area near one of the three swim up bars. The Star Friends entertainment team interacted with guests and played pool games nearby. We stayed in the shade underneath a straw umbrella, which also kept us dry during the short rain showers that passed through during our trip.
We did not spend much time at the beach during our stay. We spent maybe an hour total there on our last day. Many straw palapas dotted the shore. Even early in the morning, we found it hard to find chairs near the ocean. Obviously, most people wanted to spend their time there. The sand texture was like nothing I had experienced before; comparable to the consistency of brown sugar. Sitting in the cool sand with the breeze coming off the ocean was something that vacation dreams are made of! A snack bar and drink bar were conveniently located at the beach as well. Vendors set up shop with merchandise, but did not harass any of the guests.
Many different dining options are offered to guests. Three nights of stay entitles guests to one ala carte dining reservation. We chose to eat at the Japanese restaurant, which was delicious! We eat hibachi in the United States, but the chef here went above and beyond with the entertainment! Our other choice was the Brazilian restaurant. We found it disappointing. The meat was overcooked, and the serving format was confusing. Without a dinner reservation, there were still many options available. For breakfast, we ate at the buffets. We always found something we enjoyed. For lunch and snacks, we wandered over to the shopping area on property. A taco shop, coffee shop, and crepes restaurant were available for guests at no extra cost. We enjoyed the sandwiches at the coffee shop. We found them perfect for a small lunch. Overall, the food was good, not great, but a lot of variety.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Iberostar Paraiso Beach! The beautiful scenery and impeccable service won us over! We are already planning a visit for next year. This time we will be bringing our daughters with us. The Kids Club looked impressive even though we did not deal with them first-hand. My girls are so very excited to travel on their very first international trip! Have you visited Riviera Maya before? Would you consider it if you haven’t? I’d love to hear your thoughts or answer any questions you have in the comments!