Vacation in the Mayan Riviera
Are you looking for a wonderful get away with that special someone? I have the most luxurious all-inclusive resort to recommend. It is so wonderful my husband and I have been there twice. Both times we have vacationed with another couple and it has been so fantastic we use it as the basis to rate all of our other vacation destinations. Let me tell you about the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.
From the moment you arrive you are greeted with scented wash clothes and sweet rum punch. The staff make it quite clear that you should expect the royal treatment while staying with them.
The lobby has beautiful seasonal decor and is always well cared for. Both times we have stayed at the Grand it has been in the month of December and the resort wasn’t crowded.
This is a view of the same atrium as you enter the resort during a different time of year. The air is scented from the fragrant flowers. Also located in the lobby atrium is the front desk, lobby bar, and excursion agents offices. The Lobby bar is used to play games in the afternoons and serve tasty snacks as people wait on their dinner reservation. People often stop in before they go to the theater for the nightly entertainment. I definitely recommend Bogie Nights.
The Lobby bar is a fun place to go before or after dinner. The bartenders serve colorful drinks and there is often live music. It’s a great place to meet new people and join in lively conversations late into the night. This resort is adult only so the bar is full of other adults that are enjoying their vacation without the distractions of entertaining families. I think it shows at night when people gather here to unwind. People are always friendly and both times we have made new friends at dinner or in the various bars on the resort.
After you check-in to the resort you will be taken to your room. There is a lobby at each beachfront portion of the resort. We have requested beachfront both times we have stayed. The view is amazing! We think it is worth paying for the upgraded room to enjoy the balcony and view of the ocean. When you arrive at the lobby you will be able to make your dinner reservations for the week. The resort has 5 fabulous restaurants besides the buffet that is offered every night. I highly recommend the Japanese restaurant. We try to eat there twice during the week because it is so good. They also have an Italian, French, Mexican and Surf & Turf restaurant to choose from.
This is a view of the Japanese restaurant. You can sit at the tables or around the Hibachi. Just like on a cruise you can order as many items off of the menu as you like. If you would like to try all four appetizers or two of the desserts, you can. It’s all-inclusive, so enjoy.
View of the Italian restaurant.
One thing I enjoyed doing during our last visit was trying as many different wines as I could. Each night at dinner I would try a different variety of wine. If you are like I was you may stick to the wine that you know you like, such as a zinfandel or pinot grigio. I decided to use this trip to sample Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir. What better time to try new things than on an all-inclusive trip? If you don’t like something it’s okay, you can order something else and because all the food and alcohol is included in the price you won’t feel bad about ordering something new. I loved all of the wines I tried on the trip except one. Now I know my taste in wine better so I can order with confidence when I am at a restaurant. Each night at dinner I tried to match my wine with the food I was eating. It made the trip a little extra special for me. It gave me something to look forward to each evening.
When you enter your room the first thing you see is the bathroom on the right and the mini bar and double closets to your left. This hotel provides house slippers and robes for both guests. The shower is wonderful and I really enjoy soaking in the tub before dinner.
Each day your fridge is stocked with your favorite alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages. Just let your butler know your preferences. They also leave chips, crackers and nuts which are great to throw in your beach bag as you head to the beach or pool for the day. You will never be hungry at this resort.
The next view of your room is the main bedroom. The beds are extremely comfortable. You also have a desk and a chaise lounge.
It is so nice to have a balcony so that you can open the curtains and let the ocean breezes fill your room in the morning. The balcony is furnished if you want to order room service and eat outside, or better yet take a nap in the padded porch swing.
Right outside your room are the beach chairs. There is a place to check-out equipment such as kayaks and jet skis. You can also get couples massages in a bungalow on the beach. Your butler follows you to the beach and will bring you all the Bloody Marys or Mojitos your heart desires. I recommend bringing some cash in your beach bag to pay for the massage or to buy hats, jewelry, blankets, etc. from the locals that peddle their wares on the beach.
If you feel like lounging around the pool this will be your view. The resort has activities all day long. Music playing, outdoor entertainment, and a freshly prepared lunch served pool side each day. There is a wonderful breakfast and/or lunch buffet available as well. You can take dance lessons, play putt-putt golf, ski shoot, or scuba dive in the pool. There is always something to do if you are the type of person that can’t just relax by the pool. I always found a great place to soak up some sun while reading a good book.
We like to end our afternoon in the swim up bar. It is usually lively and a great place to try a variety of specialty drinks. I recommend the dirty monkey or Miami vice. More than likely you will meet new friends at the swim up bar and I guarantee you will know the bartenders by name within a day or two. There are two hot tubs to enjoy as you watch the sun start to set. When the sun goes down everyone heads back to their suites to get cleaned up and dressed up for dinner. There is a dinner dress code that they enforce so keep that in mind when you are packing. They won’t let the gentlemen enter the restaurants in shorts.
Each night as you travel down the main resort building hallways, (this is where all the people that didn’t request beachfront rooms sleep at night) you will head to one of the 5 restaurants, main buffet, or theater. There is also a disco, and excursions that include Coco Bongo and Senior Frogs in Cancun.
On Wednesday night all the restaurants are closes and only the buffet is open. This is a very special night because all five of the resort’s restaurants showcase their food at the buffet. You get to try dishes from all five of them. Eat a light lunch on this day. You don’t want to miss the buffet.
Included in your stay is two rounds of golf at the beautiful resort golf course. It was designed by Pete Dye and is quite challenging. You can rent clubs at the pro-shop. Your cart, lunch, and beverages are still all-inclusive. There are little shops where you get your ride back to the resort. It is only a short golf-cart ride away from the resort. If this interests you then set up your tee times when you check into your room. You can do this at the same place you set up your dinner reservations.
Another fun thing to do during the day is visit the spa. Some aspects of the spa are free and others are available at an additional cost. Spend a little time in this glorious spa pool. The different jets and relaxing whirlpool make it worth the short walk off the main pool. This place truly is heaven on Earth.