New Iberostar Hits Riviera Maya

The new Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso (+52-984-877 2800) is the fifth and final addition to Iberostar Playa Paraiso complex of resorts on the Riviera Maya in Mexico and will raise the bar as the first of the new five-star Iberostar "Grand Hotel" series. This brand extension will elevate the all-inclusive model to a level of luxury not currently seen in the hotel's portfolio. The adults-only luxury accommodation is perfect for honeymooners, couples and those celebrating anniversaries.

Guest room at the new Iberostar Grand Hotel

Book one of the 10 villa suites each with private butler service and personal plunge pools. The villas are separated from the rest of the hotel to ensure the ultimate level of privacy. However, the villas do not face the water, so for those travelers looking for the best views, there are two buildings with 60 rooms each that face directly over the Caribbean Sea.

All of these rooms are exactly the same size and have the same views; it's a matter of preference whether travelers like to be on the ground floor with a patio or if they'd prefer to be at a higher level with balcony.

All the suites in the main building are also exactly the same; the only differences are the views. Concierge service is available during the day in each building to assist guests with booking activities or dinner reservations as well as attending to any special requests. There is also butler service for each room; among other duties, the butler handles the mini-bar service, stocking it with guest's favorite wine, beer, sodas, liquors and snacks.

The hotel's main pool has a swim-up bar, day beds and butler service

Rooms are all quite spacious, with a separate bedroom and living room area, a large bathroom with Jacuzzi bathtub, a separate shower and double sinks at opposite ends of the bathroom—so two people can get ready at the same time without bumping into each other. All the rooms also have balconies complete with a day bed and swing.

There are four à la carte restaurants including the Teriyaki/Tepanyaki Grill, an international gourmet restaurant, a steak and seafood fine dining and an Italian restaurant. The hotel has Greco-Roman style architecture and three swimming pools: one heated indoor/outdoor pool with a retractable roof; a saltwater tranquility pool, which is peaceful and set away from the main courtyard; and a large main pool where most guests seem to congregate. The main pool has a swim-up bar and various day beds situated throughout the pool area. There is beach and pool butler service.

Spa Offerings

Iberostar Grand Hotel has a private mini-spa offering couples' treatments and massages. For those looking for an extended menu of spa services, hotel guests have access to El Spa, a European-style spa across the street at the Playa Paraiso shopping and entertainment plaza.

El Spa is well worth a visit. The spacious two-story, 27,000-square-foot spa features 28 treatment rooms and a large variety of treatments including coffee and chocolate wraps, various massages and facials. There is a series of hot and cold plunge pools, a sauna, Jacuzzi, hamman (Turkish bath), and a large indoor pool perfect for swimming laps. Book the Clay Massage, a warm exfoliating massage that will leave your skin feeling soft and refreshed. Request therapist Lilia Chan for your clients. Spa director Juan Jose Villasenor (+52-984-877-2800) is the contact for VIP clients.

In addition to many dining and relaxation choices at the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso, guests of the new hotel will also have complete access to all the restaurants and activities at the adjacent four other Iberostar properties. The other four properties, however, will not have access to the Grand Hotel amenities or dining.

While the other properties are open to the Grand guests, we found that most couples preferred the ambiance and atmosphere of the more luxurious, adults-only Iberostar Grand, and rarely left the property. The five Iberostar properties together make for a massive complex with over 2,000 rooms.

Golfers will enjoy playing the championship 18-hole, par 72 Playa Paraiso golf course. Other activities at the resort include snorkeling, catamaran sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and a diving initiation course in the pool, fitness room, aerobics, tennis, table tennis, volleyball, basketball, archery and cycling. Extra costs are for PADI diving school, tennis classes, banana boat and spa.

Day trips to Playa del Carmen are quite popular. The resort offers a free shuttle leaving at various times throughout the day. In Playa del Carmen, travelers can go shopping, eat at local Mexican restaurants, try parasailing and other beach activities and soak up some local Mexican culture. Playa del Carmen is the quieter sister of Cancun, and couples on a romantic vacation tend to prefer this town.

Agents can contact Long (jlong@iberostar-hotels.com), the hotel's vice president of sales and marketing, for large group or VIP bookings. Agent commission is 10 percent.