Why Iberostar Resorts are Grand
It’s that time of year again where some of you are planning your winter get-a-way. Where to go? What resort to stay at? Family style? Or all adults? Many choices and decisions to be made, but for those of you who are unsure where to start, let me help and tell you why Iberostar resorts are so grand.
If there’s a heaven for me, I’m sure it has a beach attached… Jimmy Buffet
My family and I have travelled to many of the Iberostar resorts. You may have read a post last winter about the Iberostar Grand Bavaro in Punta Cana. If not and you are considering an All-Adults type of vacation, click on HERE to have a read.
For those of you still undecided…. Here is an overview of the Iberostar Resorts we have been to.
Iberostar Paraiso Maya
Situated in Riviera Maya Mexico – this resort is approximately 30 minutes from the airport. It is a large complex consisting of mulitiple resorts within the complex (Iberostar Del Mar, Iberostar Paraiso Beach, Iberostar Paraiso Lindo, Iberostar Paraiso Maya and the Iberostar Grand). If you stay at the top selections – The Grand for example – you can use all the other resorts below. Stay at the Maya, you can use the ones below…and so on.
We have stayed at the ‘Maya’ section about 5 times and the Grand once.
Pros for the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort:
- Sandy beach with a lot of palapas
- Long beach to walk
- Massive pools with a wave pool, lazy river, and waterpark for the kids
- Plenty of restaurants – Steak House and the Hibachi are a must!
- Large buffets
- Good entertainment
- Small shopping centre with casino
- Close to airport
- Star friends entertainment team for activities
Cons for the Iberostar Paraiso Maya resort:
- Can get crowded depending on time of year with spring breaks
- If you book the Del Mar or Beach sections, you cannot use the Lindo/Maya/Grand sections
- Pool is far from the beach
Iberostar Grand – Riviera Maya
Situated within the same complex as the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and on the same beach front. The Iberostar Grand Paraiso is only approximately 30 minutes from the airport. It is a magnificent resort with castle-like buildings and gorgeous ocean front suites available. Staying at this all-adults resort also gives you the availability to use the other Iberostar resorts on the complex.
Pros for The Grand (in Riviera Maya)
- Stunning architecture
- Ocean view suites available with Butler service
- Food is spectacular
- Same beachfront as the Maya section – therefore soft and sandy
- Impeccable service
- Close to airport
- Great gym
- Fabulous spa
- Beach massages available
Cons for The Grand:
- An older crowd so if you are looking for all adults but a young vibe, this may not be the place
- Coral within the ocean out front. Great for snorkeling through
- Few activities
Overall, the Riviera Maya Mexico Iberostar resorts are top notch. I would rate them both an 8/10 and would highly recommend them to others. They fit within our travel budget and we were more then pleased with the fabulous vacations we spent there.
Iberostar Quetzal – Playa Del Carmen
Situated just passed Playa del Carmen within a gated community – this resort twins with Iberostar Tucan (however, we have only stayed on the Quetzal side). It is roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour from the airport depending on traffic. If you are looking for a perfect vacation that includes a fabulous beach, jungle area with monkeys and other wildlife, close to Playa del Carmen or the ferry to Cozumel, then this is the resort for you. We have stayed at this resort 5 times.
Pros for Quetzal:
- Fantastic Beach and waterfront
- Can walk to Playa del Carmen (although it’s about an hour walk along the beach)
- Within a gated community that has a Starbucks and a market area
- Food is fantastic
- Star friends entertainment is great
- Pool is close to beach
- Monkey’s, peacocks, coatis, and other wildlife to be seen
- Beach massages available
- Great gym – must be at least 16 to go alone
Cons for Quetzal:
- Farther from airport – can take approximately an hour (or more if traffice through Playa Del Carmen)
- Older resort so rooms are dated – but clean and obtain all the necessary amenities
- They were implementing the ‘no reserving palapas’ rule the last time we were there and would actually take your items if you were too long – which happened to us once
(Sidenote: we were only gone to eat – an hour tops – and our items were removed and taken to the security desk. We explained that we went to eat as a family and that we would understand if we were gone all afternoon but an hour to eat should be reasonable. They were receptive of our explaination and our items were not taken again after that)
Overall, an excellent resort to choose from if you are looking for a family vacation. You can keep within your budget and get a vacation of your dreams. We have stayed close to the beach and within the ‘jungle’ area and both locations for rooms are excellent. I would rate this resort a 9/10 for its beauty, location, food and comfort and would highly recommend this resort to anyone as well.
Iberostar Grand Bavaro:
Situated about 25 minutes from the airport in Punta Cana. The Iberostar Grand Bavaro Resort is 5 star by all measures. An all-adults resort only with Butler service, top notch chefs, impeccable service, and on the famous Punta Cana beach. To read an indepth review of this resort – click HERE.
Pros for Grand Bavaro:
- All adults
- On the famous Punta Cana/Bavaro beach which stretches for miles
- Butler service – who will get you anything you ask for or need
- Fantastic food and restaurants
- Beautiful grounds and architecture
- Can use any of the other Iberostar resorts facilities on the complex property
- Gorgeous gym overlooking the ocean
- Fabulous spa
- Large spacious rooms
Cons for Grand Bavaro:
- If you are looking for activity, you may find this one boring – few activities going on
- The entertainment/shows were not the greatest – we often went over to Iberostar Dominicana for their shows
- Limited activities (however they do try hard to engage post dinner with dance lessons which was fun)
Overall, this all adults resort is definitely a 5 star complex compared to the other Iberostar resorts within the entire complex. If you are looking for quiet, low activity requirements, and fabulous food, then this is the resort you should try. You will return home refreshed and relaxed after being pampered by your butler and the spa throughout your trip. I would rate this resort a 8/10 only because of the lack of entertainment in the evenings. However, that would not stop me from enjoying this outstanding resort again. We will return again someday.
Iberostar Punta Cana
Situated within the same complex as the Iberostar Grand Bavaro. The Iberostar Punta Cana Resort – along with its sister side – Iberostar Dominicana – is the ‘bottom’ of the Punta Cana Iberostar resorts. We stayed here recently as a family and had a great holiday. Approximately 25 minutes from the airport and on the famous Punta Cana beach with soft white sand stretching for miles, there just isn’t a better location for a resort.
Pros for Iberostar Punta Cana:
- Location from airport (approx. 25 minutes)
- On the famous Punta Cana/Bavaro Beach
- Beach and pool were close by for ease of enjoying both
- Plenty of palapas and chairs to choose from
- Beautifully decorated for Christmas
- Nightly entertainment was good
- Casino (within the Dominicana side)
- Budget friendly
- Kids club
- Great gym and spa
Cons for Iberostar Punta Cana:
- Rooms are dated and some furniture requires some updating
- Food was hit or miss – we could always find something, but we have tasted much better at other Iberostar resorts
- Venders on the beach seemed more pushy this vacation. Security did not seem to move them along (as they did in the past)
Overall, a good resort in a great location – close to airport and on Bavaro beach – which has plenty of activities for younger children. Our family of 4 (with adult children) could always find activities to do and food to eat, however after experiencing other Iberostar resorts – we found this one did not live up to its fabulous name. I would rate this resort a 5/10 and would only recommend it to someone who only goes to Iberostar resorts. Personally, I would have upgraded to the Iberostar Bavaro if we could have. Maybe next time.
#1: At all Iberostar Resorts, they have an Iberostar Prestige membership. The staff will explain about this and will want you to join a ‘short’ info session to hear more about it. If you are seriously thinking about a membership (or time share type of package), then they will find an appropriate package to suit your needs. If you are not interested, simply say no or that you have done it before. They will entice you with a free massage, but the info session is about 1.5-2 hours long so it can cut into your day. We have done it twice and we still do not buy in. Yes, we have stayed at plenty of Iberostar resorts, but we like having the option to pick one of the chain resorts, or a completely different resort and location. That is just our thoughts, but membership may be right up your ally. We have met many friends over our years with the membership and many of them love it.
#2: Email ahead of time – if you can – to ask for any upgrades, that you are a returning Iberostar guest (if you are one) and if you can arrange restaurant reservations ahead of time. You then create a relationship with the concierge and upon arrival you have a name already in place of someone who has helped you.
To read more about the Prestige Option – click HERE.
My husband and I are 2-Time Iberostar Couple Winners. At the Iberostar Paraiso Maya and at the Iberostar Quetzal resorts, we participated in their ‘Iberostar Couple’ entertainment nights. We won both times. It was not only a fun way to meet new people, but also to get involved during your vacation. We would both admit that we laughed a lot during those events and we look back with fond memories.
Overview of ALL the Iberostar resorts (we’ve been to) and how we would rate our choices:
- Iberostar Quetzal
- Iberostar Paraiso Maya
- Iberostar Punta Cana
All Adult Options:
- Iberostar Grand Bavaro
- Iberostar Grand Riviera Maya
Iberostar resorts are so grand because they care. At the majority of these resorts, you will find the Star Friends Team, resort staff, waiters, butlers and general maintenance staff greet you with a smile and help you with any of your needs or wants. Overall, they are some of the friendliest Caribbean people you will encounter at any resort vacation you take. If you are having a hard time choosing which resort, I hope after reading this review that your choices are now narrowed down. If you require any further information or want some help or tips on how to choose a resort, please click the button below. I’d be more than happy to assist you in your decision making process.