Hola! Welcome to my blog where I will share my experiences and knowledge about the Mexican Iberostar hotels I have visited. This includes the Grand (this is where I have visited most often and know the most about), the Maya and the Lindo.

Some of my information is from my experiences and some of it is from others who have visited this great resort. It is located in Playa Paraiso, midway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

If you want to know something specific, feel free to ask a question in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it.

Thanks for reading my blog.


This Post Has 108 Comments

  1. My husband and I are going to the IB Grand for our first time in January. Found the link to you blog from Trip Advisor, I am (caribe-harlequin46) on TA. I am really enjoying reading about your adventure and your pictures are great. Keep it coming!

  2. Thanks for an interesting blog. The pictures of Paraiso, your family and your rockstar shoes were a great addtion.
    We are DelMar/ Beach addicts . It’s nice to see how the other half live.
    Best wishes for your upcoming 25th /25th. Keep up the good work.

  3. Hello! I came across your blog when researching the lindo on tripadvisor. My husband and I stayed at the Lindo 5 years ago and loved it. Since then we have visited Secrets Capri and Excellence Riviera. This year (in one month, actually!) we are going to try taking the kids to the Lindo for a week before Christmas. My question is this: do they allow more than 4 guests in a room? I can’t find the answer to that question online. we have three kids, ages 8, 6 and 1. The one year old will only need a rollaway crib…??? Do you happen to know if this is acceptable, or know where I can find this answer? Thanks so much! Your blog is phenomenal!

    1. Don’t think the Lindo allows 5 in a room.

  4. wow this site is great. trying to figure out how and when to squeeze this in this year and get hubby convinced!!!

  5. I noticed on the Grand Forum you posted that you take a probiotic a week before you go, while you’re there and then the week after you get home. Any particular brand/dose that you use or does it make a difference? Thanks so much!

    1. I usually get Mega Flora or New Chapter. I’ve also used Jarrow. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, which is always an issue getting it to Mexico. I like to take one that requires refrigeration before and after though.

  6. Hi Andrea! I am booking the Grand next January and I can’t thank you enough for all your trippies- I am having a BLAST reading them, and you are really helping me to plan my vacation (along with choose my cocktails!). 🙂 I write TRs, too, but not in a blog. I’m a Disney kind of a girl. Anyway- you were a BEAUTIFUL re-bride, you seriously rock your bikini, and you have some STUNNING shoes! Thanks for helping make my choice of AI sooooo easy. I know my husband and I will have a wonderful time. -Ellen

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. I’ve made many a trip to Disney. It’s one of our favorite family vacation spots. We’re just too lazy to go now – LOL. I hope you have a great time at the Grand.

  7. Hi Andrea! Your blog cracks me up…especially your love of the sun, surf, shoes, and cocktails!!! I was glad to see the recently updated blog as I am headed to IBG in 2 weeks for my ‘2nd- 20th’ birthday celebration. (I guess we just missed crossing paths)… Anyways, 2 other couples are coming along to celebrate with me and my husband, so we’re looking for a nice fun time! Your blog is very helpful for showing/telling us what to expect. I saw that you recommend Tonys, the japanese steakhouse, and the Italian for dinner. I was also wondering about venturing out into downtown Playa. Do you recommend that, or do you mostly stay inside the resort? We’re going for 7 days and I was just trying to decide if we should venture out one of the days….an excursion or local adventure. Thanks!!!!

    1. if you are there for a wek I would definitely try the Gourmet as well. It’s my least favorite, but only because one place has to be. We always eat there at least once.
      I would recommend venturing into Playa for some shopping and maybe lunch. I have a friend who lives there, so if he is around I meet him when I’m there. The vendors are aggressive, but I have learned to jus ignore them and go into the stores that look interesting to me. I was there in October in the afternoon and left in the early evening and it looked like it could be very fun to spend an evening there. But if my friend is not in town, I don’t go in because I have such a hard time leaving the luxury and comfort of the Grand. I like the familiarity. We’ve gone on excursions and while they have all been fun, I usually think I would have been just as happy just staying on the compound. Snorkeling in Akumal, going to a cenote, a sailboat trip to the reef are all things I can recommend. I DO want to go to Tulum for the beaches. Have fun!

  8. THANKS so much for your help!!

  9. Hi,

    First of all, your trip reports are great ! Thanks for sharing.
    My wife and I are going for a week at the Grand in March.
    I was wondering about the “tipping” policy / attitude at the Grand and what is the prefered money for the staff (USD or pesos) ?

    Vincent and Isabelle

    1. I can only speak personally about tipping. The service is so above and beyond that I wanted to tip and tip well. I always tip in pesos because that is the national currency. Certainly, the employees are grateful for any tips, but I didn’t want to burden them with having to exchange money on their one day off. People who use USD will say, “Well, they never turned it down. ” Well, DUH! I always exchange money at the lobby desk when I check in. It’s never been a problem. But, again, any tip is appreciated.

      1. Thanks for the tip 😀

  10. Hi Andrea! Thanks so much for your blog. I know it requires a huge effort, but I am grateful for all of the information.

    I am going solo to the Grand next week and wanted to get your thoughts. Two times each year, my husband meets guy friends for a golf weekend. On one of those weekends, I go on a big girls’ trip. The other weekend, I just want some quiet beach time to read, rest and relax. So, I booked the Grand. It seemed like a good choice where I didn’t have to “think” too much. I am a little concerned about traveling alone to the resort, especially after you mentioned your “encounter” with the gentleman who was traveling without his spouse “because they do that”. That is DEFINITELY not my story and I hope I will not be uncomfortable in the resort on my own.

    Have you seen other travelers who are alone who seem to enjoy the resort? Are the restaurants and bars accomodating to single travelers? I travel for a living, so I am not self conscious about eating alone or parking at the bar and engaging in conversation with the bartenders. I guess my biggest concern is that I am going to a “romantic” resort where there will be no others there except couples. Any reassurance you could provide would be great! Or, if I need to take extra books because I need to stay heads-down on the text, I guess I should prepare for that, too!

    Thanks for your help and I hope you are already prepping for your next trip South.

    Best regards,

    1. Elizabeth – no worries at all about traveling to the Grand solo. I have encountered many single people there and they all report a good time. I’ve also seen groups and of course Karen and I do our girlfriends getaway. I think you will have a great time. And I’m so happy you enjoy the blog. It’s a labor of love for sure. Have a great trip!

    2. Elizabeth,

      I’ve traveled solo for 2 weeks for over a decade, well the last few years one week has been with friends and one solo, there’s nothing to be worried about at the Grand. They are always accommodating even if they think its odd that someone would travel alone. Never had a problem with reservations or at the bars and if you want to you can find people to talk with or just “veg” out and read. I’ve met people and talked with them at the bars etc and then had spontaneous group dinners with them, 1 year I think there were 4 couples and me drinking at the pool bar and one suggested we all have dinner together and it was a fun way to spend an evening.

      The staff has always been friendly and takes an interest in the guests so you may get a few “why is a lovely lady traveling alone” but I think they trying to make conversation and that’s an easy starter. Since you’re used to traveling and dining alone you should be fine at dinner my first solo trip I was worried it would be awkward but its not and the staff can be fun to talk with during meals and they are good at suggesting things to try off the menu.

      Basically my advice is not to worry, go and have fun. I don’t think you’ll feel awkward but you may get asked why you’re alone out of curiosity not to be “mean” by both other guests and staff. You can spend the time alone or make new friends or both, I usually read and relax most of the day and socialize at the pool bar and lobby bars later, the bartenders are usually a fun bunch and enjoy talking to pass the time when the bar is quiet. I’ve met people at the Grand and the other resorts traveling alone, on girlfriend/guys trips etc. it’s a mixed crowd and if you find the Grand’s night scene to be too quiet or romantic you can head to one of the other resorts – which I’d recommend if you have time since each lobby bar has its own vibe.

      Enjoy your trip, I’m confident you won’t have any problems and will enjoy your stay.


  11. Hi! I am loving your blog! I have been to the Grand and Mexico (with my husband) and in Jamaica (girlfriend trip) and am hoping to go back to the one in Mexico later this year for another girlfriend trip except they are scared of Mexico (I’m working on convincing them otherwise). I loved the one in Mexico, except for the food. Jamaica was nice but the food was even worse (buffet only at lunch) and I likely wouldn’t go back. I’ll be writing more comments on some of your posts as I work through them.

    1. I have been to Mexico 17 times and I have never felt unsafe. There are areas in the US I would never go to, but that doesn’t mean the whole country is unsafe!

      1. I totally agree. I told them I felt safer in Mexico than a recent day where I had to drive into Baltimore.

  12. Hola Andrea,

    Guess who’ll be at the Grand August 17th-25th ????
    That’s right Dave & Laurie !!!!!!!

    1. That’s awesome! Can’t wait to meet you guys in person.

  13. We’re looking forward to meeting you 2 also,I booked this last week and it wasn’t until today that I saw that you were going to be there at the same time for a couple of days.
    I also forgot to tell you we met a friend of yours when we were there in March Tim Cooper

  14. Hi Andrea~ LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog. Any personal messages needed delivered to the Grand. Ralph and I are returning next week. Your BLOG has reunited my excitement.


    1. Thanks! Hugs and kisses to Daniel and Humberto and Ahleli. Tell them I’ll be there the last week of August.

  15. Andrea, this is Tom. I’m the Colorado guy with family that recognized you from your blog while at Ibero about 2 years ago. (maybe you remember?) I have Mexico on my my mind since we’re headed to Cabo in the coming weeks and thought I’d check your blog, and I’m left with a question. It seems like you travel to Iberostar about once a month? How is that possible? (I ask only out of extreme envy!)

    1. LOL! Of course I remember you. I think that was one of my first rock star moments. Actually, the very first one where I didn’t see it coming at all. It was awesome! Once a month? I wish. It’s been almost 4 months since I was there and it will still be another three before I get back. The trip being currently blogged was 5 years ago. I am lucky enough to get to go about three times a year, and am working hard to maintain that. Waht’s in Cabo?

  16. Thanks for the reply. Well that explains it. I thought perhaps you worked in the travel industry! We’ve been to the Riviera Maya many times and thought we’d try something new this year with a trip to Cabo. We’re going to the Barcelo. It’s very new and we’ve had good experiences with them on the Maya side. Very different climate, desert and dry vs jungle and humid. As a scuba diver, I’ll miss the Caribbean though. Thanks for maintaining the blog. It’s nice to vacation vicariously! Tom

  17. Hi Andrea, Love the blog! My husband and I went here last year and fell in love. We are going again in 3 weeks and taking a few other couples with us. I have a couple of questions for you. Would you mind sending me your email address so that I can contact you?

    1. Hi Lisa – the best way to contact me is via private message on Trip Advisor. My screen name is actran.

  18. Andrea- I just wanted to thank you and tell you how much I enjoy your blog (as well as your posts on tripadvisor). It feels as if I know you and your family. I have read your blog for several months and “heard” you refer to the heartattack trip on occasion and just went back and read the all the posts from that trip the past day or two. I just want you to know how much I feel for you and am so sorry you, Zung and the rest of your family had to go through that. I cannot imagine how scary it must have been, but thank goodness you had such an incredible physician. I’m so glad that everyone seems to be in excellent health now! Anyhow, I wanted to thank you for the entertaining and informative posts; I’m in the process of booking my first trip to the Grand and thanks to you I know my first two drinks (a cucumber mojito and chocolate martini of course!). Happy travels!

  19. Thanks Stephanie! And, yes, the heart attack trip was the vacation from hell, but ultimately had a great outcome! A word about cucumber mojitos – the bars are not stocked for it and not all the bartenders know how to make it. Daniel, of course, does, but you need to give him some time to get the cucumbers. So, it probably won’t be your first drink. The Chocolate Martini can be made anywhere, but I swear, I’ve had as many different ones as I’ve had bartenders make them. Humberto is my favorite by far, but not everyone likes the way he makes them. Maybe that will be the theme of my next trip – having a Chocolate Martini by as many different bartenders as I can!

  20. Hi Andrea! I am getting ready for my first trip to the Riviera Maya (not the Iberostar but the Barcelo) and came across your blog very randomly. Thanks for writing such detailed posts and taking such beautiful pictures. I really enjoy reading your posts! Keep up the great work.

    1. Thank you. I hope you have a great time!

  21. Hi Andrea ! Love your blog – very entertaining and informative. We are taking our first trip to Mexico 3 weeks from now. My wife and I, and our two teenage boys (15 and 13). We are staying at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya. We are looking for an excursion to some ruins, but thinking Chitzen Itza is a bit more of a time commitment than we want to make. Any recommendations? I’ve heard Tulum is pretty nice. Also, have you any experience with the kids programs at the Maya? Just hoping my teens have some things to keep busy with so Amy and I can relax ! 🙂 Last thing – food at the Maya. Any places we should avoid, or, alternately any you would highly recommend? Thanks again for taking the time to blog about your trips. It’s really helped me as I prep for our trip. – Tim

    1. Hi Tim! thanks for reading my blog. You will love the Iberostar Maya. It is a great place for families. There are tons of activities for kids and the Star Friends are great about recruiting. Your kids could be doing a different thing every our and never even see the beach. I have to confess, I have never been to any of the ruins. We went to Tulum our last trip, but just to lay on the beach. I have heard the ruins are nice but get there early. My favorite restaurants are the Gourmets (both at the Maya and Lindo – they have different menus), the Asian and the Cajun. The Seafood restaurant was decent and I was disappointed in the Steakhouse. I have had mixed experiences at the Mexican, but I would recommend trying it. I didn’t like the Italian much. Make sure to to to the shopping center for tacos and crepes (two different places). They are part of the all inclusive. There is a buffet near the pool and beach, but try to get to the main Lindo buffet by the lobby for lunch a couple times. That was usually our choice for breakfast as well. I hope you have as great a time as we have at Iberostar Paraiso.

  22. Nice blog. We are heading to the Grand for the first time in Nov. Unfortunately all the Oceanfront rooms are sold out, so I’m wondering if you may comment on if there is really so much difference in views between the Regular suite and the Oceanview (I understand there are 3 levels of suite: Regular, Oceanview, and Oceanfront). Further to that point, what has been your experience on being upgraded upon arrival? Thanks in advance, hadn’t had a chance to read through everything so apologize if it is covered in your blog elsewhere. Think I may go w/Cancun Valet BTW basis your comments!

    1. I have only stayed in Ocean View and Oceanfront rooms. The whole upgrade thing is a crapshoot. I have always been offered at least an upgrade from a regular room to Ocean View. Although now I just book Oceanfront to begin with. My recommendation always is, book the room that you will be satisfied with. If you have your heart set on an ocean view, then book that. All the rooms are the same for the most part, it’s the views that differ. Have a great time there! Thanks for reading.

      1. I’m more of a gambler, but my wife looked at me like I was crazy so I relented and re-booked the oceanfront. Would I be correct in thinking bldg 71 may have a little less activity going on in front of it than bldg 70–even if ever so slightly? My rationale would be that the area north of bldg 71 is another Iberostar property while the area south of 70 appears to be undeveloped. But, maybe there’s no difference. Have you ever walked the beach south down to Maroma Beach from the Grand (like down to by Secrets)? Seems like that may be about a mile or so and looks like it should be walk-able.

      2. I do think Building 71 is quitter. The volleyball area is in front of 70. We have taken many walks down to Maroma beach. It’s beautiful down there and an interesting walk along the way. Take water!

      3. Dave, I’m sorry the weather wasn’t good. It just means you’ll have to go back again soon. Very, very cool video!

  23. Hi Andrea,

    Thank you so much for the amazing information on the Blog… I haven’t had a chance to review all your posts but have you travelled during December ? We are going on our Honeymoon from December 15th-29th and were hoping the capacity and weather will be on our side 🙂 Do you have any tips for making our Oceanfront room/Honeymoon extra special?? We want to make sure everything is nice and smooth 🙂

    Thank you

    1. Cassandra,
      Thanks for reading! Reading ALL my posts would be quite a commitment. Feel free though 😊. I have been to the area in early December and the weather was some of the nicest ever. Not blistering hot, but nice enough that I enjoyed floating around in the pool. I have also been in the later part of January and those trips have not had great weather. The grand is not a bad place to be on a rainy day though. The spas have jacuzzis and heated (usually) pools. The week after Christmas might be busy! but even when the occupancy has been high! it hasn’t felt too crowded. The grand wil take good care of you. They are used to people being there for special occasions and make everyone feel special. Have a great time.
      I have done a couple beach dinners, even on the colder January trip! and it’s very nice and romantic.

  24. Nice blog! We are planning a trip with 2 other couples for the end of march beginning of April we have been looking at the Valentin and the Grand, I want to go to theGrand but it is $450 more than the Valentin so I’m having trouble swaying the other two couples.

    1. I’ve never been to Valentin. But I looked long and hard at it a couple times. Decided I wouldn’t be happy there. But I have heard good things about it from people I know. I would say the $450 would be money well spent.

  25. Ok we booked the Grand! In April! I can’t wait, any pointers?

    1. OMGOSH. Have a great time. Visit the spa. Ask for a bottle of sparkling wine in your room, just because. Tell Daniel at ghetto lobby bar you are my very best friend and I said he’d make you a cucumber mojito. Ask Olivia about her sons. Ask Ahleli about her dog. Ask Eduardo and Eder anything. Walk through the Beach/Del Mar grounds.

  26. I can not wait! I’ve already emailed them to ask them silly questions and they have been great! I had to ask them about Coors Light because the darling husband has to have it and they serve it, perfect! So is it worth a spin around the bars at the other resorts? I’ve been reading your blog trying to pick up special hints or tricks!

    1. I have never done the bar crawl, but I think it would be fun. The snake bar at the Maya is not to be missed. When we stayed at both the Maya and Lindo, I really enjoyed sitting outside the Lindo lobby bar because I like the sound of the fountains and the people watching. We stopped at the Beach or Del Mar bar (can’t remember which) one morning when we took a walk through the property. It wasn’t that noteworthy IMHO.

      1. Hey, have. Fun we will be there in 3 weeks! I’m wondering if you can give me advice on transfers I see who you use but I was hoping for a cold beer for the ride, can you recommend one?

      2. There’ said bar right outside of the airport, Margaritaville. You could get a beer there or ask Cancun valet if they could have some waiting for you in the van.

  27. Andrea,
    Have you heard anything about the Grand closing down Toni’s? It’s bee a few years since we were there but our folks are going in a week and there is no Toni’s menu on the web site? I knew you would be the right person to ask who would know!

  28. I can’t imagine them closing down Toni’s. It seems to be the most popular restaurant. We have reservations there this week. I’ll see if the menu is different. They have been changing. The menus at the other restaurants.

  29. Love this blog. I just found it. We are headed down to the Grand for our 40th anniversary in May. We booked an oceanfront. FYI we have stayed in a Golden Suite at the Valentin and were very happy there.

    1. Oceanfront at the Grand is amazing. You will love it. Get a dinner on the beach. It’s amazing.

  30. Have been reading through a lot of your blog. Just viewed the renewal of your vows… Awww, you were obviously in your happy place with the people that make you most happy. You mentioned that when you went in January, the weather wasn’t the best. Am I best to change my plans to go there at the end of January 2015 to another time. If so, what is the best time? Will it be more crowded at the rescheduled time? I hope you are enjoying your vacation right now (March 2015) following that as well. I am following that as well. I am a solo traveller, married for 26 years but husband finds these vacations “pretentious” so I’m not letting that stop me from enjoying the Good Life, which I hear I will find at the Grand. I was at the Excellence Punta Cana this year and had a great time.

    1. I’ve been there four times in January and had at least one day of rainy and cold weather on three of those trips. But the weather is great when it’s good. June doesn’t usually get much rain other than a quick shower, but it’s much hotter. January is pretty busy, but I’ve never been there in March, so I can’t say what that would be like. I hesitate to recommend changing your dates because the whole weather thing is so unpredictable.
      I think it’s great that you take solo vacations that you enjoy. I want to go to Mexico one time by myself.

  31. Thanks so much for your blog and all of your helpful advice! We’re headed to the Grand next month and I’ve had fun reading all about it!

    I did have a question about your post above re: exchanging dollars to pesos: I’d originally planned on bringing a bunch of smaller US bills. Does the front desk have an issue changing money into small bills (e.g., 20 and 50 peso notes)? Should I bother bringing small US bills or just have them break it into smaller bills when converting? Sorry for the silly question – we’re newbies!

    1. There are no silly questions! The front desk can exchange money and there is no issue with them providing $20 & $50 peso notes. I do not think they have many small USD. When I was there last I had asked to exchange a $20 USD and she misunderstood and thought I want to change if for smaller USD and she said they didn’t have it. When I made it clear that I wanted to exchange it for pesos, it was no problem.
      Have a great time!

  32. Dear Andrea,

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experience with us about the Iberostar Grand Paraiso. I just came back from a 5 days trip to the Grand with my mom and it has been a truly wonderful stay! The people, the food, the resort… we don’t have anything negative to say.
    I have to say that your blog (and all your posts on tripadvisor forums!) played a great role in our decision about the resort where we would stay. We were looking for a 5 stars hotel with premium service and that’s exactly what we found at the Grand. And the tips from your blog made our stay still more memorable!

    Best regards,

    PS – Sorry for my bad English; it’s not my mother tongue!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad your enjoyed your visit at the Grand and that my blog was helpful. And your English is perfect.

  33. Hi all need help. I have stay at the del mar once Lindo once and maya 5 times so as you can see love the iberostar parasio resort. I’m from uk and can no longer book my 2 weeks for janaury. Thomson the travel agent have dropped the hotel and I can not find a site to book for January 2015. Not even the iberostar site. I have emailed the hotel10 days ago and not received a reply.

    Any advice, is something happening to the hotels?

    Thanks michelle

    1. Sorry Michelle. While I can reassure you that the hotels are doing fine, I am not familiar with that travel agency. You might try another one.I would also try the Iberostar web site.

  34. I have only just dipped my toes into reading your blog but so far I LOVE it! My husband and I stayed at the Grand in Punta Cana last fall and are going to the Grand in Cancun this year. Here is my pressing question. Wine: In PC I drank the house wines, and they were okay. This year I’d like a little more variety, do you have to pay extra for the non house wines or is that part of the all inclusive?

    1. Kristi – Yay! Another blog groupie! The Grand is not actually in Cancun, although there is an Iberostar in Cancun, it is not the Grand. I am going to assume you mean the Grand in Playa Paraiso. There is an fairly extensive wine list of included wines. i have some pictures in my blog, but I’m not sure where and they change the wine list fairly frequently so it is hard to keep it current. I will say that there are at least a dozen different reds and a dozen different whites and maybe half dozen sparkling wines on the included lists. Some are quite good. There is also a list of wines you can pay extra for. We have gotten a couple bottles of those and they are good as well, although pretty expensive. They have a wine tasting on Wednesdays where you can taste the included wines. At lunch they often have several bottles open, so that’s another good opportunity to taste some wines. We like reds primarily and our favorites are the Daimon and the Amaranta Merlot and Cab. We like the Amaranta Sauvignon Blanc for white. I’m not a Chard fan generally.

      1. I used Cancun as a generalization 🙂 We will be going to the Grand in Playa Paraiso. Thanks for the information about the wines. If you ask for a wine list is it the pay wines or both and will it indicate? That’s great to know about the wine tasting, I always find new things I like at those!

  35. There is one wine list with both the included and pay extra wines. The pay extra are in front and they will open the list to those. The included wines are a couple pages in. It’s really a decent list with many choices of certain varietals.

  36. We are going to the iBEROSTAR PARAISO DEL MAR in a week. What is the smoking policy, after about 8pm I want to go to my room sit on my balcony smoke and drink my beer. do they deliver a couple of cases of beer to your room when ever you want? I read you can only go to 3 reservation restaurants is this true? How are they about upgrading you room, there are 4 of us 2 teens 2 adults are there any room with 2 bathrooms? I want to have an enjoyable vacation with no hassles.

    1. I am not a smoker, so I don’t know what the policy is. I believe it is permissible to smoke anywhere outside. Beer is stocked in your mini bar, but I doubt they would deliver a couple of cases to your room. Yes, it is true that ala carte reservations are limited to 3 or 4 per week at the Beach and Del Mar. If they are not booked they will do more, based on availability, I have heard. Upgrades are pretty random. Have a great vacation.

  37. thank you gave me more info than the travel agent thanks

  38. Hi Andrea! If you can believe it I have read your entire blog! Every post. It did take me a while….but it is very addicting. I even took notes on what dishes to try. My husband and I are travelling to the Grand in a few weeks and it will be our first time. We are pumped! We have been lucky enough to fall in love with Mexico like yourself and even got married there in Jan 2013(at The Royal Playa del Carmen). We really wanted to have our wedding at the Grand but it was just too pricey. We finally took the plunge and booked! I am also a nurse and work in Public Health postpartum, I am not a LC but one day hope to certify! I have found your blog so helpful so thank you. Like yourself I enjoy a vacation countdown. We have brutal winters too(Calgary, Canada)I can’t wait to try a cucumber mojito lol :))

    1. Jennifer – Reading my whole blog is a commitment! Thank-you. I hope you love the Grand as much as I do. The employees are what make it so amazing. We are returning – going home – in just a few days. I hope you have great weather and thanks for reading. And we definitely need more LC’s!

  39. Luis says you will be here tomorrow! Safe travels!

  40. My husband and I are taking our 3 teen kids to the iberostar paraiso maya this March. I’m a little nervous about someone getting sick, and was wondering what you would suggest as far as meals…ie which dinner restaurants to reserve, where to eat breakfast, lunch, etc.

    1. We ate everything. My first several trips to Mexico I would have tummy issues at some point on my trip. My husband never did. I started taking probiotics a week before, the week I was there and the week after I got home and I stopped having issues for the most part. I now take probiotics everyday. My top three restaurants would be the gourmet, the Cajun and the Japanese. But if you are there longer try the steakhouse and seafood restaurants. I didn’t care for the Italian. The Mexican was good too. We ate breakfast at the Lindo buffet. They have everything. We never did check out the Maya buffet. We’d eat lunch either at the buffet just off the pool or the Lindo buffet by the lobby. Sometimes we’d eat food from the grill in the beach. They have a beach party on Wednesday where they make a big pan of paella.

  41. Hello Andrea! Like many others, I have also enjoyed reading your blog. During our visit to the Iberostar Paraiso Beach last October we were offered a complimentary upgrade to the Lindo for the last two nights of our stay. After getting such great insight from the information you have shared here we inquired about the possibility of the Grand instead and opted to pay a little extra for experience. I work in the industry and was completely blown away with the quality of service and food. We had such an amazing time we are now going back to celebrate our 10th anniversary in April for six nights and look forward to exploring everything the resort has to offer. Hope you are having a great time and I look forward to reading your upcoming posts. If you happen to catch any photos of current wine lists I’d love take a look. Thanks! Derek

  42. Love your blog and we are so excited about our 4th trip back to the grand!!! We have used lomas travel the last 3 trips for our airport transfers, but my brother-in-law and sister-in-law didn’t have a great experience with them. Who do you recommend for airport transfers?

    1. I’ve had many good experiences with Cancun Valet, but the last couple trips I have used Canada transfers because they are quite a bit cheaper. They have provided great service too!

  43. Hello! I just discovered your blog as I was learning more about the Iberostar Grand. We will be there next week for our first vacation w/out kids! I’ve read much of your blog, but have not come across any info regarding drinking the water or using ice in beverages. What do you think? Stick to bottled water? OK to have them put ice in a soda? Thank you.

    1. I’ll be there next week. I drink bottled water. I let them put ice in my drinks. I use the tap water to brush my teeth. It’s all good. Start taking probiotics if you don’t already and continue until a week street yippy get home. It usually helps me. Don’t deal swallow ocean water. Or pool water, there are people who sit at the pool bar, drinking, for a very long time. If you know what I mean. Have a great time. Say hello if you see me.

  44. Hola,
    interesting blog!
    We are thinking about to book the IGP. We read a lot of reviews, and are a little bit concerned about the beach situation with the rocks. We are beach lovers and want to swim also at the beach. We are also considering the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana due to the beaches. But we have been in Punta Cana twice and there is not so much around the resorts.

    Could you provide me with informations. Also If there is a possibility to sit outside at the evening and take some drinks at the Paraiso.

    Thank you

    1. There is a really nice swimming area just to the south of the Grand, past the rocks. The really isn’t an outdoor sitting area for drinks at the Grand. The beach is actually quite nice and there are areas where you can safely go in the ocean.

  45. My husband and I booked the Iberostar Paraiso Maya for June and are contemplating upgrading to the Grand when we get there. We’ve stayed at the Grand in Jamaica and Punta Cana and loved it. Any idea how much the upgrade would cost?

    1. I have no idea as this is something that can vary depending on occupancy of both hotels. Have a great time!

  46. We are going next week and it is our first time at the Grand. First, I really want to thank you; reading your posts have given us TONS of tips and ideas. We have made our dinner reservations and are going to be celebrating our 20th anniversary. We don’t necessarily want the dinner on the beach, but is there anything else they provide/you suggest that we do to celebrate? And any other first-time-visitor tips would be great. Thank you so much for continuing to write about your experiences!

    1. Congratulations! Let your butler know about your anniversary and ask for something in the room. You can ask specifically for champagne and a bubble bath and rose petals. Make sure you check out the spa pool! We missed this our first visit and it is a real treat. The bartenders and beach waiters give great suggestions for drinks. If something is not right, let someone know. They really do aim to please.

      1. Your advice was perfect! The Grand upgraded us to an ocean front (will never go there again without getting one), and our butler Victor was amazing and did two nights of bubble baths and champagne. Our beach waiter Nonberto did a great job of suggesting drinks (I don’t like overly sweet ones). We met Daniel at the lobby bar and told him he was famous. 🙂 I had never had Cucumber Mojitos and now they are on my list of favorites. Really, so much guesswork was taken out since I had read lots of your posts. Thank you, and we do plan to visit the Grand again.

  47. what is the difference between a superior suite and ocean front suite?

  48. Hi there….we are heading to the Paraisio Maya in less than 2 weeks for 5 nights, traveling with teens, kids, and a toddler (almost 2). Any advice on room locations or what to request to make our stay easier? Should we make any requests or just take it all as it comes, lol? There will be 2 families (6 kids, 4 adults) traveling together. Thanks so much for your advice!

    1. There are pros and cons to being close to the beach and closer to the restaurants. All are pretty close to the pool. Will trying to get everyone close together be a priority? If so, I would just tell them that. I always feel sorry for the front desk for all the requests they get. LOL!

  49. Just a quick question… I cannot decide on Valentin Imperial Maya or Eldorado Royale or Iberostar Grand. We are celebrating our 7 yr anniversary on October 6 2016. We love the beach and body surfing.. but we are major foodies too. Thank you in advance.

  50. I will be at Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar in March with my 7 yr old son! Never been to Mexico at all. Any experience out there with this particular hotel?

    1. I do not, other than walking through its beautiful grounds. Iberostar is a great product across the board though. Have s great time!

  51. hi. I’m trying to get a handle on the difference between wine lists at the Grand and the Maya. Even more specific, the wines included in the Star Prestige upgrade. I got the list from the Grand, but can’t seem to get it from the Maya. Any insight into the differences in the Star Prestige upgrade (with regards to wine) between the Grand and Maya? Thanks!

    1. I’m sorry, I can’t help because I’m not a Star Prestige member nor have I ever purchased the day membership. I am c considering it for our next trip, because of the wine. I’ve turned into a bitoif a wine snob after multiple trips to Napa.

  52. Great posts!

    We are booked to stay at the Lindo. As it is listed as premium gold (the same as the Maya) does that mean we could use the restaurants at the Maya as well?

    Also, could we book dinners at the Cancun, Quetzal & Toucan if we knew that we would be in those areas?

  53. We are looking at the Iberostar resorts for a family trip in June. My husband, myself and our 4 year old. Which is the best for kids. We want a nice beach, kids pools with water slides, etc. my son can swim very well so that’s not an issue. Thanks so much.

    1. If it is in your budget then I would stay at the Maya.

  54. Is there somewhere I can go that comparers resorts side by side? For example, size, number of rooms, pools, beaches, children’s activities, food, liquor?

    1. You might try Trip Advisor. Check the FAQs on the right. They basically step down in price and amenities. The Beach and Dell Mar share a lot of restaurants and a pool. The Lindo and Maya share a couple of pools, the main pool, the lazy river and wave pool. Not she if they’ve added anything. Several restaurants are exclusive to the Maya. With each step up, you can use all the restaurants and facilities below that price point, but you can’t use those above. The Lindo also had a very cool aquarium in the lobby bar.

  55. Another Question. What type of liquor is served at the Iberostar Lindo and Maya? Do we get top shelf?

  56. Wife and I are wondering if you know anything about the new Iberostar Cancun Star Prestige? Looking to book something in the next day for a quick trip in December. We stayed at the Grande a few years ago and loved it; want to try something different. Please let me know. Thanks.

    1. I don’t know anything more than what they have online.

    2. I don’t know anything other than what I’ve seen online.

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