The Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar is part of a 2,000 guest room mega-resort complex located approximately 30 min. south of the Cancun airport. The Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf and Spa Resort (the official name of the mega-resort) consists of five separate resorts which comprise this complex–the Paraiso Del Mar and Paraiso Beach which share resort amenities and restaurants, the Paraiso Lindo and Paraiso Maya which share beach and pool amenities, and the adults-only Grand Hotel Paraiso which is off-limits to those not staying there. Overall, guests at this mega-resort have access to all resorts to the north of the resort at which they are booked; the Paraiso Del Mar is an exception since it is situated at the most northern end of the complex–guests therefore have access to the neighboring Paraiso Beach but not the remaining resort properties.
The open-air lobby at the Del Mar is quite attractive and calming with its pastel shades of aquamarine, orange, and peach, while the tan pillars topped by elaborate white capitals bring a flair for the dramatic into this public space. White wicker armchairs and sofas topped with multiple pillows create a comfortable and inviting place for one to sit under the domed lobby area–a lovely wrought iron chandelier, painted suns, blue tiles, and painted greenery on the dome’s interior make a great conversation piece in themselves. The reception desk is reminiscent of the beachfront location of the resort with gargantuan shells on the walls, counter, and above the reception desk. Adjacent to the lobby is the lobby bar, cigar bar, internet room ($), games room, numerous shops, and the sports bar (stop by just to play a few games of pool). Just off the lobby are ponds and fountains which are home to various turtles, swans, and flamingos, while the remaining grounds are the natural habitat of many coatis, peacocks, iguanas, and other wildlife native to this habitat.
The major highlight of the Paraiso Del Mar is the enormous meandering pool situated between the Del Mar and the Paraiso Beach. There are two major pool sections separated by Las Olas swim-up bar and the ice cream shop; an adults-only section, two additional swim-up bars, two in-pool Jacuzzis (non-heated), an activity section, as well as built-in tiled loungers at the end of the pool closest to the beach make this pool special. The most outstanding water feature (and one of the most photographed spots at the resort) is the grotto-inspired double waterfall at the westernmost pool section nearest to the lobby. The double waterfall hides a Jacuzzi (non-heated) in its center giving guests a secluded and shaded retreat. Surrounding the pool are loungers, shade palapas, natural shade, and several swinging and non-swinging Bali beds (first-come first-served). There are many pool entrances/exits at various places along its periphery including a gradual entry and multiple sets of lengthy pool stairs.
Although the pool may be a highlight of the resort, the Del Mar stretch of beach is not with its rocky ocean bottom making swimming and even entering the water impossible. Since this is a shared beach area with the Paraiso Beach resort, guests don’t have to go very far to be able to access ocean entry. Water shoes are still advisable here as well due to occasional rocky outcroppings. Regardless, the sand is white, the beach is wide, and there are plenty of loungers with shade palapas as well as a beach hammock section on the Del Mar side. A beach bar, snack shack, air rifle and archery range are located on the Paraiso Beach side, while the massage tables and dive shop are located here at the Del Mar.
Paraiso Del Mar guests will be glad to know that their resort section offers rooms with decent ocean views–there are even rooms with beach access. Amenities and furniture are basic and in need of updating; some guest rooms lack a clock so be sure to bring a travel alarm clock or phone with an alarm feature. Despite needing a renovation, all rooms have a digital safe, mini-bar, shower, flat screen TV, coffee maker, iron, and a separate sitting room area. Guests with mobility issues or families with very young children may want to request ground floor rooms since there are no elevators in any guest room building.
All Iberostar Paraiso guests have access to additional amenities including the newly renovated gym with its amazing fitness classes (located on the Lindo property), the P. B. Dye 18-hole golf course and driving range across from the Paraiso Maya, along with the spa and all shops at the commercial center located west of the Paraiso Maya and Lindo lobbies. Here is a short list of amenities at the commercial center:
- spa and beauty salon
- disco (teens and adults)
- restaurants (tacos, hamburgers, crepes, ice cream); all food and drink here are included in the AI package
- souvenirs/clothing stores
- cigar lounge
- small merry-go-round
- Casino (this amenity is in question given its history of limited availability)
Since the complex is extremely large, there is a shuttle service which stops at various locations around all resorts as well as the commercial center and golf course facilities. Most shuttles originate from lobby entrance areas, but can also be summoned by calling the front desk. Those who want to go offsite can take advantage of the shuttle service available to Playa del Carmen ($) with its shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Want to visit other Iberostar resorts? Guests are free to visit the Iberostar Cozumel or the Iberostar Tucan/Quetzal for the day–transportation is an extra cost, however. Those who want to find out more details about the resort can do so at www.ib-board.com.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly
Pro: Stay at one play at two, good for golfers, free WiFi, large pool with three swim-up bars, rooms with ocean view
Con: Rooms need updating, no A/C in many restaurants, a la cartes are limited, slow WiFi speed
Best Suited For: Families with children ages 4-10, golfers who don’t mind vacationing around lots of kids
No. of Rooms: 388
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, sitting room area with small sofa and armchair, workplace station, ceiling fan, digital safe, mini-bar, flat screen TV, coffee maker, telephone, iron/ironing board, hair dryer, shower, toiletries, room service from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and complimentary WiFi for one device. Here is a rundown of guest room categories:
NOTE: All guest rooms (with the exception of the Presidential Jr. Suite) that have a king bed have a shower-only; rooms with two dbl beds have a tub/shower combo.
- Standard: King or two dbl beds. Garden or jungle view.
- Superior: King or two dbl beds. These rooms have a “preferred” location–closer to the pool or the beach. Garden or jungle view.
- Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, robe and slippers, access to spa “wet” areas. Garden or jungle view.
- Oceanfront Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, robe and slippers, mini-bar snacks, access to “wet” spa areas, turndown service. Ocean view.
- Superior Oceanfront Jr. Suite: King or two dbl beds, robe and slippers, mini-bar snacks, access to spa “wet” areas, turndown service, in-room beach towels, unlimited a la carte reservations. These rooms are on the ground floor and have direct beach access.
- Presidential Oceanfront Jr. Suite: Two dbl beds, tub and separate shower, dbl sinks, bidet, CD/DVD player, robe and slippers, mini-bar snacks, access to spa “wet” areas, turndown service, aromatherapy, in-room beach towels, Nespresso coffee maker, unlimited a la carte reservations, welcome gift. This room is on the top floor with an ocean view.
- NOTE: There are no elevators. Buildings #19 and #20 are closest to the lobby, restaurants, and theater, buildings #13 and #14 have easier access to the Kid’s Club, while building #10 is beachfront–some ground floor rooms’ views are obstructed due to the dive shop and water sports hut.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Large freeform pool (three swim-up bars, an adult’s-only area, built-in tiled loungers, and two in-pool Jacuzzis), grotto dbl waterfall with center Jacuzzi, small children’s pool, spa and beauty salon at the commercial center, fitness center south of the lobby on Paraiso Lindo grounds, tennis and basketball courts at the Lindo, bicycles (located next to the tennis courts and where the Segway tours begin), motorized and non-motorized water sports, archery and air rifle range, mechanical bull riding on the beach (seasonal), Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), playground, theater, games room, pool and beach wait service, beach hammock section, sports bar, resort shuttle service, shuttle service to Playa del Carmen ($), golf with complimentary food and beverage north of Paraiso Maya, complimentary WiFi for one device, gift shop, concierge, tour desk, car rental, ATM. Guests have full access to all amenities at the Paraiso Beach as well as the amenities at the shopping/commercial center.
Restaurants/Bars: This resort offers one full-time buffet restaurant (El Mercado), a lunch buffet restaurant (El Faro), and two a la cartes including Mediterranean cuisine (La Dorado) and a steakhouse (El Faro). A la cartes require advance reservations and are limited according to a guest’s stay–one a la carte reservation for every three nights’ stay. Food may also be obtained at the beach snack shack, while ice cream is also available. There are three swim-up bars, pool bar, beach bar, a lobby bar, sports bar, theater bar, and cigar bar. Paraiso Del Mar guests have access to all bars and restaurants at the Paraiso Beach and the shopping/commercial center.
Entertainment: There is an onsite theater shared with the Paraiso Beach with two nightly shows–the first show is tailored around the performances of the children/teens who are guests, while the 2nd show is composed of variety acts for all family members. There are pool tables at the games room and the sports bar, and two discos at the commercial center (one for adults and one for teens).