Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Perla is actually the adults-only section of the Paradisus Playa del Carmen resort which is situated about five min. north of Playa del Carmen. The other half of the resort is called the Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda which is the family-friendly section of the same resort. Both resorts share many restaurants, bars, spa space, theater, and fitness facility within the area located between the two resorts called the “El Zocalo”; both resorts have exchange privileges with one another, however, guests under the age of 18 are not supposed to go past El Zocalo onto the La Perla side. (Sometimes this is not strictly enforced to the chagrin of La Perla guests).
The entire resort is carved out of a mangrove forest with part of the forest left intact between the beach and the resort–a reminder that one is in a beautiful tropical destination, but at the same time an impediment to enjoying full ocean views from pools and most guest rooms. Since the resort is so close to existing mangroves, ocean water can be a bit murky at times depending on the tide and weather conditions, but this is not always the case. The shoreline on the adults-only side can be a bit rocky so be sure to bring water shoes.
Those who love chic, contemporary design with an Asian flair will most likely enjoy the overall look and ambiance of this resort. From the moment guests step onto the property they are met with a multitude of textures, sculptures, lighting, and other design elements which blend harmoniously together to provide a lush, visual feast. Most public spaces are stunning with subtle neon lighting, sleek-looking furniture, and vivid colored walls or accent pieces. Even the configuration of overhead lighting definitely deserves attention–be sure to check out the gorgeous chandelier in the lobby entrance.
A definite highlight for most Paradisus guests is their guest room with in-room double soaker tubs, large balconies with Jacuzzis (most rooms), faux aquarium headboards in Jr. Suites, sliding shoji doors, dual rainforest showerheads, and more than enough space for a couple to comfortably enjoy. Guest room décor echoes the contemporary feel of the resort without sacrificing style or comfort. Guests who want to be pampered will want to upgrade to the Royal Service experience which offers butler service, private check-in/out, preferential dining and spa reservations, and access to a private pool, beach section, and VIP Lounge.
Dining options are another definite plus with over 10 restaurants to choose from. The Passion gourmet restaurant is an additional dining choice; it is run by a six-star Michelin-trained chef, but it costs extra (USD $50 pp) and is also open to the general public which may make reservations hard to come by.
Type of Resort: Adults-only
Pro: Large suites, gorgeous contemporary design, free WiFi, lots of dining choices.
Con: Limited ocean views from rooms and pools, rocky shoreline, children on adults-only property at times, pricey (rack rates start at USD $700).
Best Suited For: Affluent couples, destination weddings, honeymooners.
No. of Rooms: 394
Room Amenities: King or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, marble floors throughout, living room area with sofa/coffee table, table and two chairs, mini-bar, in-room safe, flat screen TV, telephone, CD/DVD player, radio alarm clock with iPod dock, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, robe and slippers, hair dryer, deep soaker tub, dbl rainforest showerhead in most suites, toiletries, 24-hr. room service, and complimentary WiFi. Here is a brief rundown of guest room categories:
- Luxury Jr. Suite (changing to Paradisus Jr. Suite at the end of 2014): King bed. Jr. Suites have a recessed headboard area which looks like a real aquarium.
- Luxury Jr. Suite Ocean View: King bed. Partial ocean view due to the mangroves.
- Luxury Jr. Suite Swim-Up: King bed, direct access to a communal pool which leads to the main pool via a small channel, in-pool lounger.
- One Bedroom Suite: Two dbl beds in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi.
- One Bedroom Suite Ocean View: Two dbl beds in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi. Partial ocean view due to the mangroves.
- One Bedroom Suite Swim-Up: Two dbl beds in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi, in-pool lounger, direct access to a communal pool. Some may not directly access the main pool.
- One Bedroom Master Suite: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, writing desk and chair, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi.
- One Bedroom Master Suite Ocean View: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, writing desk and chair, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi. Partial ocean view due to the mangroves.
- One Bedroom Master Suite Swim-Up: King bed in separate bedroom, living room with sofa bed, writing desk and chair, kitchenette with dining area, two flat screen TV’s, balcony Jacuzzi, in-pool lounger, direct access to a communal pool. Some may not directly access the main pool.
- Two Bedroom Master Suite: King bed in one bedroom and the other has two dbl beds with a connecting living room with sofa bed, writing desk and chair, kitchenette with dining area, two full bathrooms, three flat screen TV’s, two coffee makers, two in-room safes, two private terraces each with its own Jacuzzi.
(Royal Service Experience)
La Perla also offers an upgraded room category and level of service known as the Royal Service experience. Amenities for this class of service are as follows:
- private check-in/out
- butler service
- complimentary cell phone use with direct access to your assigned butler
- preferential restaurant and spa reservations made by your butler
- access to La Palapa restaurant
- access to private lounge with continental breakfast, hors d’oeuvres, premium drinks, computer access, and newspapers
- access to private pool with swim-up bar and poolside grill
- private beach area with wait service
- access to Yhi Moves, a gym area especially for Royal Service guests
- exclusive massage area
- personalized in-room mini-bar (choice of bottle of liquor)
- in-room Nespresso coffee maker
- pillow menu
Royal Service can only be obtained with the following room categories:
- Paradisus Jr. Suite/Luxury Jr. Suite
- Luxury Jr. Suite Ocean View
- Luxury Jr. Suite Swim-Up
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Main pool (swim-up bar), Royal Service pool (swim-up bar), spa (wet areas are accessible to all resort guests), sauna, steam room, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts, motorized and non-motorized water sports, pool and beach wait service, Bali/cabana beds, Gabi Club (location for some live music and shows), theater, concierge, tour desk, gift shop, car rental, business center, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: Three buffets (Naos, Gabi Beach Club, and Hadar–breakfast only), a poolside grill (Sunset Grill at the main pool), and eight a la cartes including Asian (Bana–teppanyaki tables for all guests but the sushi bar here is adults-only), Latin fusion (Fuego), Mediterranean (Vento), Mexican contemporary (Mole), Rodizio meat skewers and wood-fired pizza oven (The Market), Italian-Argentinian (The Grill), La Palapa restaurant for Royal Service guests only, and Passion gourmet restaurant ($50 pp). A la cartes require reservations.
Adults-only restaurants include the following:
- Sushi bar at Bana even though the restaurant is not adults-only
- The Grill
- There are no children allowed at the Gabi Beach Club after 9 p.m.
Bars at La Perla include two swim-ups, poolside bar, Gabi Club Bar, Blue Agave (specializing in tequilas), South Ave. Bar, Toji (specializing in sake), M Bar (specializing in martinis), and the Red Lounge (nightclub located on restaurant row). Adults-only bars include Red Lounge, M Bar, and the Toji Bar after 8 p.m.
Entertainment: The theater and Gabi Beach Club hosts most of the major entertainment; bars such as South Ave. also host live music. There is a pool party on Thursdays, and a more active pool scene on the weekends.