"Third visit - Superb resort still, food was lacking this time"
Just returned from our 3rd visit in 3 years to Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso. Don't get me wrong, this hotel is the epitome of luxury and cannot be beat in the Riviera Maya/Cancun area. To make this easier for everyone, I'll list the pros and cons for this visit:
Service was impeccable. Even better than the last two stays. None of the staff ever said "NO" to any request we had. For instance, if a bartender didn't know how to make a drink, they found out and brought it to us. If my wife wanted a special dish that wasn't on the menu, it was prepared for her. If we wanted 10 bottles of water delivered to the room each night, it was done with a smile.
The grounds are gorgeous and well manicured as ever.
Top shelf liquor was more than abundant and available at all the bars.
Star Friends were exceptionally friendly and took time to talk to the guests. We learned a lot about them. Amazingly, Eder remembered our names from our previous two visits.
The rooms were immaculate. Maid service and turndown service was incredible. Not a piece of dust could be found anywhere.
Overall, the staff was incredibly friendly. Especially Olivia, one of the chefs. She remembered us from previous visits as well. One day, my wife wasn't feeling well and didn't want lunch. Olivia prepared her a bowl of plain white rice with some carrots just so she would eat something. It was such a nice touch. The rest of the staff was always smiling and willing to assist with anything one could possibly need.
The food has gone downhill severely! We were blown away by the food at all 4 restaurants and the buffets during out last visit in September 2011. This time, we were very disappointed and actually lost weight for a 6 day stay at an all-inclusive. The Italian was inedible as everything was cooked in either a cream or butter sauce. The lamb was hard and had no taste. Japanese was dull, with the quality of the sushi tasting somewhat downgraded from our last visit. The Gourmet too was not up to par, especially as this was our favorite the last 2 visits. The french onion soup tasted like bathwater, the lamb again was hard and had no taste. The other dishes our party had were all sent back or not eaten. The breakfast buffet was still pretty good, although they really need to change the options every few days...its the same food over and over. Of all the restaurants, Tony's was the best--with the steaks, scallops, and fish all being cooked perfectly and very tasty. Still, overall, we were very disappointed in the food, and might not come back for a 4th visit because of it.
There was more a problem getting lounge chairs by the pool during this visit. After 8am, all the cabanas were taken (with nobody sitting in them, just books reserving them), and after 9am, all the other chairs were taken. The resort really needs to monitor this and remove towels that have not been used after a certain amount of time.
Overall, the visit was great and we enjoyed every moment of it. The food was a big disappointment, but we tried to not let it ruin our trip. I would still recommend this resort out of all the other 5 star resorts in Riviera Maya. Hopefully, the resort will invest in better quality food and/or change their menus.
reedycreek from Long Island, New York, USA