I get asked questions about the Grand on a regular basis. Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions. If you think of something that should be here, send me a comment and I will submit it to the board of directors (that would be me).

What is the email to make room requests and dinner reservation requests?

Please remember, these are requests. Dinner reservations depend on which restaurants are open on a particular night and what is available. Room requests depend on what you booked and what is available when you check in.

What ala carte restaurants are available?

Toni’s Steakhouse. Venecia (Italian). Haiku (Asian, with teppanyaki tables and regular tables). L’Atelier (French or Gourmet), La Brisa Mexican.

When is the dinner buffet available and what are the themes?

Availability depends on occupancy. They have a Mexican buffet on Sundays and an International buffet on Wednesday. Weather permitting, on Wednesday they also have a party by the main pool with live music and bars.

What times are available for dinner reservation?

Seatings are at 6;30, 7:00, 8:30 and 9:00.

Is there a dress code for the ala carte restaurants?

Men are required to wear long pants and shirts with sleeves.

What are the options for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

Bella Vista is open for breakfast with a buffet and an ala carte menu. It is also sometimes open for lunch with either a buffet and outdoor grilling or ala carte. Las Brisa is open for lunch with a buffet and ala carte menu. It also sometimes has an outdoor grilling station.

See above ala carte and buffet information for dinner.

There is 24 hour room service.

They will bring food to you on the beach and poolside. I have never seen a menu, but have ordered chips, guac and sauce, nachos and hamburgers.

The shopping center has a taqueria (tacos), a hamburger restaurant and an ice cream and crepe shop. Hours vary. The taqueria is open during the day and evening. The hamburger place is opened later in the evening and early morning (after the disco closes) and the ice cream/crepe place is open from late morning into the evening.

What are the options for between meal snacks?

See above for shopping center options. There is cake/desserts served at the pool around  5 pm, with coffee.

The spa serves fresh juices and smoothies.

There is 24 hour room service.

The Lobby Bar has a case with snacks, sandwiches and pastries, 24 hours a day.

Olivia brings popsicles around the beach (and maybe the pool – I don’t go to the pool much) around 11 am.

It’s an all-inclusive and it says tips are included. Do I still need to tip?

Tipping is an option, as it is anywhere. And as anywhere, you should tip for good service. I can assure you, you will receive outstanding service at the Grand.

Should I tip in dollars or pesos?

This is my opinion – the peso is the national currency. You should tip in pesos. But if you don’t have pesos, tip in dollars. They can convert money for you at the Lobby.

Is there an ATM?

There is an ATM at the Grand, right off the Lobby. It charges exorbitant fees, which are not all disclosed when you make your withdrawal. Use at your own risk! There is also an ATM at the shopping center. I don’t know what the fees are for this ATM.

What is the Playa del Carmen shuttle schedule and cost?

The shuttle leaves from the Lindo Lobby. 50 pesos is roughly equivalent to $5.

Iberostar Playa Paraiso Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen Iberostar Playa Paraiso
Salida / Departure Precio/ Rate Salida / Departure Precio/ Rate
9:00 AM 50 pesos 12:00 PM 50 pesos
11:00 AM 50 pesos 3:00 PM 50 pesos
2:00 PM 50 pesos 6:00 PM 50 pesos
5:00 PM 50 pesos 8:00 PM 50 pesos
Salida / Departure:
Lobby Lindo

What does the butler do and what does the concierge do?

There is quite a bit of overlap. The butler will come to your room and orient you to it. He will take your pillow order (see the pillow menu) and customize your mini bar. He will take requests for full bottles of liquor. He will take requests for ice in the room at 5 or 2 or whenever you want it, champagne in your room when you get back from the beach or dinner, a bubble bath…things like that. The concierge can make dinner reservations, and spa reservations. The concierge sits at her desk and the butler is walking around most of the time. But if you ask one, and it’s not their job, they will make sure it gets done.


This Post Has 75 Comments

  1. Hi Andrea,
    How about explaining exactly what the butler does and how his job differs from the concierge?

  2. Hi, are you writing this blog in real time while at the resort, or after the fact? Thanks.

    1. No, these posts are from my trip in January.

  3. Hi Andrea, first off thank you for all of the great information… secondly, did you hear about a special dinner that is actually held on the beach? It is supposed to be a romantic buffet style dinner that is very limited to the number of guests.

    1. I haven’t heard anything about that type of beach dinner. Sorry.

      1. Thats any other suggestions to try at this resort? I have been to many others in Riviera Maya and decided to try this one this year. Maybe recommendations on a quiet room?

      2. Try the bike ride (at 10&4) if weather permits. I’ve had rooms all over and never had a noisy room. Upgrade to oceanfront if you can swing it. The views are breathtaking. Try all the restaurants.

  4. We are from Germany and will stay in the IGP in january next year. What´s going on with the towel game? Do they offer a reservation Service for the beach loungers?

    1. The towel game varies. In May, people said it was really bad, but when we were there in June, there was hardly any. It often gets worse with higher occupancy, like January. And it’s worse at the pool than the beach. They do not have a reservation service. If you are having trouble finding a place to sit, i would ask the beach butler or security to help you find a place. Part of the problem is that people leave their chairs and leave the towels on them and it’s hard to tell if they are occupied.

      1. Thank you very much for your info.

  5. Love your blog and all your pics! What kind of camera do you use? We are looking for a good waterproof digital camera for our upcoming trip to IB Grand!

    1. We have a Nikon Coolpix S9500. We just got it before the trip I am currently blogging. It’s not waterproof though.

  6. HI I enjoy following your blog I think we were in that same room Feb 2014 at the Grand. It was a bit rainy and chilly for us as well, bummer but still beautiful. Question how do I find the live thread you did on trip advisor? And did you see the New CD’s of Iberostar Music? I forgot to take a pic of it and post on the site. Its nice

    1. Usually you can do a search “Live from the grand” but that’s not working for me today. You could go back to late January and look for it too. It’s on the Playa Paraiso forum. I didn’t see the IB music CD.

  7. Enjoyed reading your blog. Lots of good info. We are scheduled to arrive on May 27th and are greatly looking forward to it. Can you tell us if there is an additional charge for in-room internet usage. I seem to be getting conflicting answers. Thanks so much.

    1. No charge for internet. Wifi available throughout the resort, although I couldn’t get it on the beach. They will provide you with a password for each device.

  8. Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

  9. Our day 5 of 7 at the Grand, cold food is warm or hot and hot food is cold at all the buffets. Do you have any advice?

    1. That’s unusual. I would bring it to their attention and ask for fresh cooked food. They are generally very happy to make their guests satisfied.

  10. I will be there in October with my GF celebrating my 40th birthday. I am an avid football fan an would like to know if anywhere on resort will show NFL games or if we can get them in our room.

    1. They show games in the music bar I believe. I know they show them somewhere, it’s just the location I am unsure of.

      1. Thank you!

  11. I can confirm that the games are shown in the music bar.

    1. Thanks I will look for that then Broncos Play twice that week 🙂

  12. Are the bottles of champagne brought to your room part of the all-inclusive package? This will be our first trip to the Grand. Thanks for all the good info.

    1. There are several sparkling wines that are part of the all-inclusive. You should love the Grand. I do, but I guess that’s obvious.

  13. Do you know the name of the best included sparkling wine? We are going in January and it’s my drink of choice throughout the week. (third visit, but haven’t been there in three years)

    1. The included wines can change. You could see if they have several kinds at the bar and try them that way and pick your favorite.

  14. Are Capris acceptable attire for women at the dinner a la carte restaurants?

    1. Nice capris are absolutely acceptable.

  15. I have the romantic dinner options, menus and prices if you are interested in posting or if anyone is interested in booking it. The arrangements are made with the front desk prior to arrival (same email as the restaurant requests) or through your butler. There are three options for location: on the beach, in the Presidential Suite or in one of the Honeymoon Villas. Each location has a different menus and there are three or four menus available for each. If you book the Presidential Suite, you have the option of also staying the night (for additional cost of course). The Honeymoon Suite romantic dinner has an optional massage and you can also have the option of staying the night (again, for additional cost).

    We are a same-sex couple and have always felt welcome by the staff but on my last trip to the Grand I had planned on proposing to my long-time partner (we got married on our 14th anniversary in October, 2014). I knew the staff would be fine about it (we’ve been to the Lindo 6X and had been at the Grand 5X and this trip was going to be our 6th at the Grand Paraiso) and we always felt welcome. I worried about the reaction of some of the guests staying at the resort however and wanted to ensure the evening was special and memorable and that no one’s reaction would be negative to ruin the memories. When I contacted the PR team, they were extremely helpful with booking the dinner and I opted for the romantic dinner in the Presidential Suite, on the balcony. I’m a planner by nature and chose an evening with a full moon to make the evening even more special. The dinner was fantastic and we had our own chef preparing our meal in the suite. I opted to book the suite for the night and that really made the whole thing even more special. The staff were fantastic and kept the secret for me until they came to pick us up and escort us to the suite (we always stay beachfront on the top floor so the suite was just down the hall from us.

    The dinner and the stay in the suite cost me approximately $500 Canadian Dollars ($300 for the meal and $200 for the stay in the suite) so it wasn’t that bad for a special occasion.

    BTW, the presidential suite is breathtaking and is the size of 4 regular oceanfront rooms!
    We ended up ordering room service for breakfast the next morning and had breakfast in the dining room of the suite.

    We are heading to the Grand Paraiso for our 7th trip on December 6, 2014 – and this one will be our honeymoon! I’m looking forward to seeing Olivia and getting updates on her little one, chatting with the bartenders, getting great beach drink service from the beach waiters, seeing and catching up with the butlers from building 71 (our favourite beachfront building), having my drink order memorized stay after stay by the cocktail waitresses in the lobby bar and just knowing everything will be great…and if it’s not, just asking and everyone will do their best to get it perfect. Even if they can’t, how can you complain when you have a great drink, great people, great beach and warm tropical sun!

    In my opinion, the Grand Paraiso is heads above the Grand Bavaro – the Bavaro has a nicer beach but that’s all it has going for it. What makes a memorable “grand” vacation is the staff the decor, the atmosphere and the food – and all are much much better at the Grand Paraiso.

    TIP: check to see if there is a full moon on during your stay and book the romantic dinner on that night – the moon on the ocean is breathtaking!

    1. Thanks for all this great information. I will have to do some cutting and pasting. Or if there is any more information you could email it to me. Thanks! Sounds like it was a very memorable event.

    2. My husband and I were married at the resort last year and it was wonderful. We even had hundreds of spectators on the beach and they all loved watching the ceremony. We were their first gay wedding. I feel it’s important for any other sane sex couples to know that this resort is very friendly and accepting, and they deserve or business!

  16. Hi, We stayed at the Grand for the first time in January 2015 and loved it. Does anyone have suggestions on what month of the year has the best weather, is the most economical, least crowded or whatever thing made it a great vacation in your opinion. I’m ready to plan our next trip.

  17. Hi –
    My wife and I will be going to the Grand in the middle of April with two other couples. When is the earliest we can make reservations for dinner? Any help would be great! Thanks.


    1. They will usually accept reservations a week before your arrival. Have a great time!

      1. Thank you so much! We were able to make all of our reservations for this coming weekend/week. My wife and I will be staying in Junior Suite since we don’t stay in the room much during vacation. Is there a certain area you would suggest that we stay? Also, does every guest have access to the butlers/concierge?


      2. Ask for as high a floor as they can give you. The resort is nicely landscaped so even if you don’t have am ocean view you will still have a nice view. Every room has both a butler and a concierge. There duties overlap quite a bit. Your butler should visit you shortly after you get to your room to orient you and see if you want something from the pillow menu and to customize your mini bar.

      3. Thanks so much for the advice! My wife and I will be staying in a standard junior suite since we do not spend much time in our room during vacations. Would you suggest one area over another at the resort? Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Have a great evening.

  18. Hi – we are going over Christmas with our 1 year old twins. We just got back from a disaster at an all inclusive in the Bahamas and was hoping you can help us avoid this again. I have a few questions:
    1)is there a babysitting service?
    2)is there a casino?
    3)how do you get reservations for dinner on the beach and is there a charge for this?
    4)do you have the concierge’s email?

    1. The Iberostar Grand is an adults only, so this won’t be the hotel you are going go with babies. Perhaps it’s one of the other Iberostar hotels? They do have childcare, but I don’t know specifics or what the age requirements are. The was a casino open in the shopping center, but the last I heard was it was closed for now. There is a charge for dinner on the beach, but I don’t know if that is an option for all the hotels. You might try asking these questions on Trip Advisor. Make sure your specify which hotel you are going to. Have a great vacation!

  19. Do you need reservations for the buffet?

    1. You do not need reservations for the buffet. In fact, you could eat at an ala carte and then go to the buffet.

  20. I love your blog! Maria and Neil, also from Boulder, were just at our house and saw our family pictures from the Iberostar Lindo. They told me about your blog, so it is so nice to meet another Grand enthusiast! I have been there only twice because we are usually with our kids at the other four properties on site. But, the Grand… I LOVE the Grand! Thanks for creating this blog!

  21. What time(s) are the evening shows and do you have a schedule for those? Thanks – truly awesome site and info!!

    1. The shows are at 10 pm. Sometimes, especially before the Vegas show, they will have a casino night in the theatre. Wednesday night the show is outdoors with the party they have that night. On Sundays they have a Mexican show.Other than that I don’t know the schedule, and some shows are only every couple weeks, so it’s good to check the schedule when you arrive if there is a particular show you want to see. They have them posted by the towel hut near the main pool.
      Glad the site is helpful! Thanks.

      1. Thanks so much – IGP bound!

  22. Hello. Great blog. I have to ask—-Do you live there permanently? You seem to post blogs quite frequently, and I’m confused as to how that is? Thanks for all the info you’ve provided. Great job.

  23. Fantastic blog! I’ve got a question regarding what ladies generally wear of an evening. I love to get dressed up, but find at some resorts, I’m the only one. In your pictures, you look like you dressed lovely with heels for dinner – is this common among the crowd? Thanks so much.

    1. I would not say this is common, but there are definitely always some people who take advantage of the elegant atmosphere and dress up. I never fell out of place. And my shoes are legendary!

      1. I did notice your shoes – loved them! Thanks so mujch, appreciate your input.

  24. Hi Andrea,
    Your blog is wonderfully helpful and I love reading about your travels! My husband and I are traveling to the Grand next week to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We got married at Secrets Maroma last July and cannot wait to return to the area!
    We’ve stayed at the Lindo twice over the past few years and if I remember correctly I could wear a caftan or bathing suit cover up over my swimsuit in the restaurants for lunch. Could you please tell me what is acceptable to wear for lunch at the Grand?
    We have also booked a romantic dinner on the beach and massages. Can you recommend anything else to make this trip extra special?
    Thank you so very much!

    1. You can definitely wear a caftan or cover up to lunch. Just let them know it is your first anniversary and are hoping for some special touches to make it memorable. They usually do a great job.

  25. Hi, we will be staying at the Grand in November. Do you know what brands of whiskey the hotel offers? Do they do anything special for anniversaries? Thank you & love your blog!

    1. Thanks!
      Sorry, I’m a rum drinker, so I can’t help with the whiskey, other then Johnnie Walker and Glenn Fidditch. They usually will decorate your table at dinner and your room, and put a bottle of bubbles in your room, and draw a bubble bath.

  26. Hi Sharon
    I remember some good stuff
    Jacky, Crown Royal, Black Label ,
    Chivas Regal, some Irish stuff…
    Enjoy your Stay and have fun

    Rudy from Germany

  27. Hi Andrea!
    My husband and I are returning to the Grand in January and I am counting the days (literally)! We usually go in May, but this year decided to add a winter stop as well. I love your blog! I live through you vicariously until I can make it back myself! This year I want to do the romantic dinner. Given your experience, would you recommend the presidential suite or the beach dinner? Also, is 9:00pm a good time in January or would the earlier time be better that time of year?
    Thank you so much for your help!

    1. That time of year, I would probably go with the Presidential suite. I’m pretty sure there is an upcharge for that though. Eating time is subjective. We tend to be earlier eaters, so you should do what you enjoy most. Have a great time!

      1. I’ve booked the romantic dinner in the presidential suite and it was awesome. That’s where I proposed to my husband. For a small up charge you can also stay the night. Tip: look if there is a full moon during your stay and try to book the dinner for that night.

  28. Hi Andrea, love your blog!! My husband and I are going to the Grand this January and I wanted to book a romantic dinner. From your experience, would you recommend the presidential suite or the beach dinner? Also, what time is good that time of year? The choices are 6:30 and 9:00 pm. Thank you!

    1. Hi! I replied to this question, as did someone else. Look at the previous two replies. Have a wonderful trip!

  29. Hi Andrea,
    I have been reading your blog for about 3 years now. How long after you get home do you add to the blog or do you add to it each day from the resort. My wife and twin daughters stay in 2 ocean front suites every Christmas. We will be back again for 12 days this year. Will you be on site at that time? Would love to say hello!

    1. Hi Jeff,
      Thanks for being a loyal reader!
      I add to the blog once a week (or try to). I just do trips as I get to them. Right now I am doing the trip I took in May. When I finish this one I will start on the trip I took in September. I also throw non-IB trips in occasionally.
      I don’t expect to be there for Christmas, as all my kiddos will be home this year. I’ve never been for Christmas, since at least two have been home. I have told the hubs that if there is ever a year that none of them are home, it will be off to Mexico we go. New Year’s is another story! We enjoyed our New Year’s Eve visit last year and would love to do that again. No reservations have been made yet, though. I always love to meet the people who read my blog!

  30. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you so much for this website and the wonderful information. I was at the Grand in 2013 and it was everything you said it was going to be. We are returning in a few weeks and I just have a few questions. The Iberostar website says there are only 4 ala carte restaruants at the Grand, but I remember 5. You also list menus for 5. Has one been closed? Also, I don’t remember, does the Japanese restaurant have a hibachi table that one can make reservations for? Thanks!

    1. There are five ala carte restaurants. The Surf and Turf, Asian (where they have hibachi tables), French/Gourmet, Italian, and Mexican.
      Have a great time!

  31. Can you help with paraiso maya? Will be there over Christmas and nye. Wondering about dinners on those days, reservations at ala carte or are there festivities? Do you know the email address for dinner reservations if you are staying at the maya? Any other pointers appreciated.

    1. I haven’t been to the Maya in about eight years. There is a Facebook group, Iberostar Paraiso Maya, that you can join. They would have more current information than I could give you. It’s a lovely hotel! Have a great time!

  32. Andrea, i am bringing my team of nine and their spouses for three nights in February. Due to the size of the resort and the countless dining and recreational options I fear we are never going to see each other! Do you have any tips for me on how we could organize our stay so as to have at least one or two rendezvous opportunities every day? Thanks

    1. How nice! You could arrange to meet for breakfast at Bella Vista. You could also talk to the PR manager about whether it would be possible to meet for dinner at one of the ala carte restaurants for dinner. If you are too large a group for that you could meet for lunch asset Bella Vista. They do a grill outside usually for lunch and most people eat outside so they possibly could put together a table inside. I’m not sure if they can or not but you’ll never know unless you ask!
      Have a great time.

  33. Quick question – what can you say about the casino in regards to their regulations? I hear gambling outside the US is considered too risky and that they aren’t held to the same standards here.

    1. The casino has closed and wasn’t open for very long.

  34. Anybody stay in the superior oceanfront corner suite. How were u able to reserve it

  35. I’m headed to the Grand Paraiso in a few days. Any suggestions? Also, has the email address for dinner reservations changed? I’m also getting a little nervous reading articles about tainted alcohol in Mexico. How do I ensure we stay safe at the resort? Thanks

    1. I’ve heard they are changing the email addresses, so I’m not sure. They don’t have the restaurant schedule until a wrk before, at best. Even then it has changed last minute (I’m here now). Best way to stay safe is to not drink too much, stay hydrated, and don’t take drinks from anyone but the bartender or waiters.

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