Located 10 min. north of Playa del Carmen, Ocean Riviera Paradise is a new resort which opened Dec. 2016. With almost 1,000 guest rooms, it is a large property which is situated perpendicular to the beach consisting of four separate guest room sections, each with its own pool, swim-up bar, and separate snack area (with the exception of the Privilege section which has its own private lounge instead of a poolside snack area):
- Daisy: the most economical part of the resort, the Daisy section caters to families in particular since it has the playground and water park within easy reach. This section sells out fast and at times gets overbooked because it typically is the lowest price.
- El Beso: the adults-only section offers a pool foam party every Tuesday afternoon in addition to DJ’s and energetic activities personnel.
- Eden: this section is located close to the beach and offers some ocean view rooms.
- Privilege: the most upgraded section of the resort close to the beach with many special amenities.
Guests in the Daisy, El Beso, and Eden sections may make use of each other’s amenities while Privilege guests are also free to visit other sections; however, only Privilege guests can use the Privilege pool, Privilege Lounge, and Privilege beach area with Bali beds. Given its size, Ocean Riviera Paradise does offer shuttle service–shuttle stops are easily recognizable given their lengthier benches and overhead circular shade structures. Since the resort is new, shuttles can be a little slow so be prepared to walk if wait times get a tad lengthy. While the grounds can initially appear intimidating, it only takes 10 min. to walk from the lobby to the beach.
Vacationers who enjoy contemporary décor will enjoy the resort’s aesthetics with its use of modern yet comfortable furniture, lively patterns of color, and simplistic lines and forms. The lobby is a large, circular space with whimsical art pieces and lots of seating available, while the lobby bar area is a showpiece with its floor-to-ceiling glass panes/designs and unusual pendant lighting; guests can sit around the huge circular bar or in one of the many armchair groupings. The outdoor Main Plaza is a good meeting place for groups of travelers with its shaded tables and chairs all with easy access to many amenities including the spa and fitness center, nightclub and sports bar, coffee shop and ice cream parlor, theater, bowling alley, the casino (open as of May 19, 2017), shops, and many restaurants. While not immediately adjacent to the Main Plaza, other resort amenities include several tennis courts (lit at night), a multiuse sports court, a dive center, and use of non-motorized water sports.
Children will have a blast at the large water park complete with multiple waterslides, overhead water buckets, and fountains all with a jungle theme, while the adjacent playground provides swings and additional play equipment. Alongside the water park is the Daisy section pool with its own swim-up bar and snack station; Daisy guest rooms are only steps away. Children also have complimentary access to the Daisy Club (children younger than four years of age have been known to play here as long as a parent is present), and the Teen Club. Teens have access to PlayStation and Xbox video games, a movie room, foosball, table tennis, and air hockey.
Guest rooms at Ocean Riviera Paradise are beautifully appointed with a canopy king or two double beds, wood beamed ceilings, white linens and walls with pops of color through the use of tiles, armchairs, or throw pillows, and sitting room areas with sofa beds. Room categories are diverse and include such amenities as swim-up suites, rooftop terraces with Jacuzzi tubs, Jr. Suites with ground floor daybeds and hanging chairs, and ocean views (although this type of view is scarce given the overall layout of the resort). All rooms include vacation basics like a digital safe, mini-bar, flat screen TV, coffee maker, and fast free WiFi, but room service for non-upgraded guests has limited hours. One very big advantage of the resort is that guest rooms can accommodate larger groups with some suites being family-of-five friendly.
While there are nine restaurants, guests don’t have to stand in line to reserve dining options with the exception of Sakura restaurant (teppanyaki show tables need reservations). In addition to seven a la cartes, guests can access two buffets, three poolside snack bars, overnight snacks at Pez Vela, along with an ice cream parlor for an extra dessert or snack. Upgraded Privilege guests also have access to breakfast and snacks at the private Privilege Lounge, while El Beso section guests can enjoy a special breakfast at the Bluemoon restaurant. Bars are plentiful (there are 11) including four swim-up bars, a lobby bar, sports bar, beach bar, and piano bar. Upgraded guests can enjoy libations from the rooftop bar area at the Privilege Lounge.
Pool lovers will enjoy the five swimming areas this resort has to offer–one for each guest room section in addition to a beachfront pool. All sundecks have loungers and shade umbrellas; however, there is quite a bit of early a.m. lounger “saving” going on (think 6 a.m. during busy times). The same is true of the beach–late risers will have a very difficult if not impossible time finding loungers (with the possible exception of the upgraded Privilege beach area, but this is for upgraded guests only). The beach is suitable for long walks, but ocean entry can be difficult due to rocky areas so water shoes are a must. While there is a beach bar, it is located indoors right off the sand.
Wildlife can be found at Ocean Riviera Paradise with monkeys being seen at the cenote and coatis being seen at various places around the resort. Guests who want to save some money on massages can find a cheaper alternative a bit south of the resort along the beach.
Type of Resort: Family-friendly, adults-only section
Pro: Lots of restaurants, adults-only section, bowling alley, casino (not open yet), free WiFi, family-of-five friendly
Con: Rocky ocean entry, understaffed, beach lounger shortage, lengthy delays between shuttles
Best Suited For: Couples as well as families, common age range for adults is 30-45.
No. of Rooms: 974
Room Amenities: King, queen, or two dbl beds, A/C, balcony/terrace, sofa bed, coffee table, two chairs, desk, mini-bar, digital safe, flat screen TV, telephone, coffee maker, iron/ironing board, umbrella, hair dryer, dbl sinks, shower, Jacuzzi tub, toiletries, free WiFi, and complimentary room service from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Room categories include the following:
- Jr. Suite Daisy Family Club: Queen or two dbl beds. Ground floor rooms have access to a daybed, some balconies have a hanging chair. Pool or garden view.
(El Beso Section–Adults-Only)
- Jr. Suite: King bed, bathroom shutters can open up into the bedroom. Pool or garden view.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Up: King bed, direct access to the swim-up pool, bathroom shutters can open up into the bedroom. Pool view.
- Rooftop Jr. Suite: King bed, rooftop terrace with Jacuzzi tub, two full loungers, sofa, and full bathroom, Nespresso coffee maker, pillow menu, robe and slippers, bathroom shutters can open up into the bedroom. Pool, garden, or partial ocean view.
- Jr. Suite: Queen or two dbl beds. Pool or garden view.
- Jr. Suite with Balcony Jacuzzi: King bed, balcony with Jacuzzi. Garden view.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Up: King bed, direct access to the swim-up pool. Pool view.
- Rooftop Jr. Suite: King bed, balcony with hanging chair, rooftop terrace with Jacuzzi tub, two full loungers, sofa, and full bathroom. Pool, garden, or ocean view.
- Master Suite: King bed, separate sitting room area, Nespresso coffee maker, balcony with Jacuzzi, upgraded toiletries, pillow menu, robe and slippers, 24-hr. room service, alarm clock with iPod dock, 10% spa discount and complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit, access to the Privilege Lounge. Pool, garden, or ocean view.
(Privilege Section Amenities)
- private check-in/out
- concierge service
- access to the private lounge with bar and rooftop seating area, books and DVD access
- breakfast and dinner served in the private lounge
- a la carte reservations
- 24-hr. room service
- butler service including packing/unpacking, shoe cleaning, laundry collection and limited ironing, dining and spa reservations
- in-room beach towels
- in-room DVD player
- robe and slippers
- Nespresso coffee maker
- upgraded toiletries
- welcome bottle of wine
- complimentary top-shelf liquor and upgraded menu items
- private beach area with Bali beds and drink service
- 10% off spa services along with complimentary access to the hydrotherapy circuit
- Jr. Suite: Queen bed. Pool or garden view.
- Jr. Suite Swim-Up: King bed, direct access to swim-up pool. Pool view.
- Rooftop Jr. Suite: King bed, rooftop terrace with Jacuzzi, two full loungers, sofa, and full bathroom. Pool, garden, partial/full ocean view.
- Master Suite: King bed, separate sitting room area, balcony with Jacuzzi. Pool, garden, or partial ocean view.
- Master Swim-Up Suite: King bed, separate sitting room area, balcony with Jacuzzi, direct access to swim-up pool. Pool view.
Physically Challenged Rooms: Available
Resort Amenities: Five main pools (one for each room section along with a beachfront pool, four swim-up bars, plus a separate smaller spa pool), water park, waterslides, playground, spa, beauty salon, fitness center, tennis courts (lit at night), multiuse sports court, bowling alley, non-motorized water sports, dive center, pool and beach wait service, Bali beds, Daisy Kid’s Club (ages 4-12), Teen Club (ages 13-17), sports bar, hammocks, theater, nightclub, casino, shuttle service, concierge, tour desk, gift shop, clothing shop, photo shop, car rental, medical services, and ATM.
Restaurants/Bars: There are two buffets and seven a la cartes, three poolside snack areas, a beach snack area at Pez Vela restaurant, and an ice cream parlor. Here are the restaurants available for each meal:
- Early morning breakfast: Amaranto (buffet)
- Breakfast: Villa Marina (buffet), Amaranto (buffet), Bluemoon (a la carte) for El Beso guests, and the Privilege Lounge for Privilege guests
- Lunch: Villa Marina (buffet), Amaranto (buffet), Pez Vela (a la carte) for snacks, poolside snack areas, and a daily beach BBQ
- Dinner: Amaranto (buffet), La Locanda (Italian), Route 66 (American), Margarita (Mexican), Steakhouse (grill), Pez Vela (Caribbean/fish), Bluemoon (gourmet fusion, adults-only), the Privilege Lounge for upgraded guests, and Sakura (teppanyaki show tables only, reservations required, show up at the restaurant by 3:15 p.m. to sign up)
- Overnight snacks: Route 66
Guests can also have an ice cream at the Ice Cream Parlor, cake or pastries at Mike’s Coffee Shop, or complimentary room service from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (upgraded Privilege guests have complimentary room service 24-7). There are 11 bars located around the property with the lobby and piano bars open until 1 a.m.
Entertainment: Nightly shows at the theater, karaoke, Main Plaza shows (fire and circus shows, live music), bowling, and casino (not completed as of April 2017).