TripAdvisor Traveller Reviews
Our family of 4 (our kids are 18 & 21) stayed at this resort for our second visit July 3-10.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a friendly employee at check in. There were not any welcome drinks, which was a bit disappointing, but it was only 10am, so they may have not been prepared. Our room was ready by 11:00am, so that made up for the drinks! The employee checking us in was very friendly and helpful.
We stayed in building 13, which was closer to the pools than the lobby, which was preferred by us. This is a huge resort and be prepared that there is a lot of walking. The grounds are beautiful and the staff work very hard to keep it that way. It is very clean and very well kept. They use a machete to shape all the shrubs. It is cool to watch. Our room was very clean and our housekeeper did an amazing job at cleaning daily, making our beds and making sure we had towel animals daily. We appreciated the chocolates she left too!! Our mini fridge was stocked daily and I had asked for more water and mineral waters, as well as beer (less soda) and that was done for us. I loved that I had cans of mineral water in the fridge! Ice machines were on the 2nd floor. We had an ice bucket and coffee maker in our room as well. We left a tip in the fridge daily and we left the housekeeper a tip daily as well. There is not any drawer space for clothes, so we used the shelves in the closet, hangers and suit cases. There is not much one can do about that. The hairdryer in the bathroom worked great and we liked the shampoo and body soap dispensers in the shower. Our air conditioner worked great and we loved that there was a ceiling fan. There was a great drying rack on our balcony. There was room service available, but we did not use it.
The pools were beautiful and huge. There were many chairs, cabanas, palapas, etc. The resort was full, so in order to get the chairs of our choice, we put our towels out every morning by 7am, had coffee and waited for the kids to get up so we could all go to breakfast. Many people left their towels on chairs and did not show up for hours. It is well known that the areas around the pool are VERY slippery. I had NIKE flip flops and they worked GREAT. They DID NOT slip!!! Great find for me so they are highly recommended. We saw several people slip and fall throughout the week. There is an activity pool with music, games, etc, and then there are quieter areas as well. There is ice cream by the activity pool, which is delicious! There are about 8 kinds to choose from. The Star Friends around the pools keep people active if they want to be. There was a short walk to get to the beach from the pool, but worth it! It is beautiful. The staff rake the seaweed and bury it, so it is not an issue on the beach area. The surface around the pool and wooden walkways around the beach are very hot. The water was very blue and very clear and our favorite place in the water was down by the Grand. There were never anymore than a couple of people in the water in that area. It was fabulous! The kids rented a jet ski one day and had a blast (it was $65 for 30 min). We took the Hobie out a couple of times and just love doing that (non-motorized sports are free).
The food was very good overall at this resort. There were plenty of options at the buffet everyday and our favorite waiter was Santos. We tipped every meal. These wait staff work hard and have to accommodate and please a lot of people (some of which are very rude). There is a restaurant by the beach, and there is also a place on the beach to get burgers and ice cream. There is also a beach bar. We ate at the Brazilian restaurant and it was fantastic! It was our favorite. Delicious! We also ate at the Mexican restaurant and it was wonderful as well. We loved to go to the shopping center and get coffees, ice cream and crepes. The crepes were so good!! The shops were fun and had some good prices on items. There is a taco restaurant there that is very good and the night club is there as well. The shopping center is not far from the lobby, so we walked, though there is a tram that goes around the property. We never wanted to wait for it, so we always walked. There is a "sports bar" by the lobby and this place was our favorite hang out at night. It was air conditioned! They had a great menu as well! None of the buffets are air conditioned, but the specialty restaurants are.
The bar tenders work very hard and are great, so don't forget to tip them! They happily accept wet bills at the swim up bars! The new drink that one of them made for me this year was a melon colada. Refreshing!
Our Apple Vacation rep (Roos) was at the resort as scheduled daily and was very helpful.
One of the most FANTASTIC finds for us was a GREAT massage on the beach. Find Andre along the beach in all white pants and shirt, and you will be happy. He has a tent and massage tables set up on the beach just outside of the Iberostar property limits (right next to the Grand). We all had 65 minute massages for $50 per person. They were incredible and Andre is just awesome! We highly recommend this. He even gave us fresh coconuts after for the coconut water. Great touch!! We know Iberostar will not endorse this as they have a spa in house, but we prefer to give the local independents some business. It was the most beautiful setting and so relaxing!
We took a taxi into Playa a couple of times. It is $25 each way. We were told that the resort offers shuttles for $5 per person to and from Playa at certain times, but we prefer to go on our own and be on our own time schedule. It is about a 20 min ride depending on traffic.
We highly recommend this resort and would return for a 3rd visit. We have visited many resorts in this area and this is one of our favorites.
Needs more AC but still Paradise
Stayed at the Del Mar in early July. Great time to go before it gets too hot. This is the third Iberostar resort we have stayed at (Rose Hall and Tucan are the other two). This resort is similar to the Tucan but it is MUCH bigger.....too big if you ask me. The Del Mar is very long. The lobby seems forever to the beach. They do offer golf carts to shuttle you around the resort and for the most part these are efficient. This resort is made up of 5 resorts with a very good fitness center and a shopping mall. The Del Mar and Beach resorts share pools, theatre area for shows and themed dining areas (please note that you no longer have to wear pants to dinner...only to the French restaurant. Shorts are ok). The lobby is open air as well are the buffet areas and the theatre. You only get AC in your room and the themed restaurants. The shops in the mall have AC as well. If you are ok with being in the hot and humid air most of your trip you will be fine. To me, the theatre and main buffet areas should be air conditioned to make guests more comfortable. The Rose Hall in Jamaica is a great example of this. In this resort you don't have to be in the top level to get AC in the theatre and buffets. The Tucan is a better choice than the Del Mar because it is smaller and you are not forced to walk or take a golf cart everywhere.
Aside from my comments about the AC, the Iberostar Del Mar is a wonderful resort. There is plenty to do for all ages. I would suggest a room in the center of the resort. Ask for a room in building 16 if you want to be in the middle but you dn't want to pay for an upgrade. All buildings below 16 are considered an upgrade. Building 10 is on the beach and then you go up to building 20 which is next to the lobby. Buildings 11 and 12 are right outside of the "party pool". This is where the Star Friends (Iberostart's entertainment team) get everyone involved with pool games, dancing, etc. The beach is nice but we were not able to snorkel off of the beach because there were too many waves. The resort has a tropical lush feel and there is wildlife everywhere. They have peacocks, lizards, swans, parrots and COATI!!! The coati (pronounced qwaaaTE) are raccoon like creatures. If you feed them, which you are told not to do, they will follow you for the rest of your stay. They are rather comical as they stand on their back legs and beg for food.
The buffet and themed restaurants have a good variety of food. People will always complain about the food quality but there is plenty to choose from and I think it is above average. My only complain are the desserts except for the ice cream. They do not use the same baking techniques that we use in the USA. I am thinking it is the sugar? The various ice creams are great. My girls loved the "real" ice cream. They have an ice cream stand by the party pool and an ice cream store in the mall area which is also included. They make crapes in the store at the mall as well. The mall also has a coffee shop (included). My favorite coffee was from the lobby bar. The coffee was made fresh and it was better than Starbucks if you ask me! I went to the lobby bar every morning for a cup or two and they serve it with frothed milk. In the heat of the afternoon have them make you an iced coffee with Irish Cream....very good!....but get it from the lobby bar or the bar by the beach buffet. The coffee in the regular buffet area is not the same.
Our room was in Building 11. We were upgraded to a Junior Suite. The room was a little bigger than a standard room. It was very close to the beach and main pool area but it was very far from the lobby and the restaurants. It was very nice to be upgraded but I would not pay for a Junior Suite. It was not worth it. As I mentioned above, you would be fine in Building 16.
Speaking of "paying", Iberostar is now pushing a timeshare. If you have some time one morning I would endorse going on the talk. They tell you that you will get breakfast....but don't I get that anyway...LOL. They also bribed us by offering a free excursion or $150 in Iberotstar money. We took the money and purchased t-shirts, pottery, and alcohol to take home with us. Not a bad deal. It takes about 90 mins if you know not to ask questions and JUST SAY....NO THANK YOU.
The nightly entertainment in the AC-less theatre is good but I have now seen the same shows three times. Iberostar needs to incorporate different entertainment for their returning guests. The same magician had my daughter in one of his same acts 7 years ago.
All in all this was a great trip. We love the Iberostar and local Mexican hospitality. The workers are very attentive. The one pool bartender, Lionel, comes to mind. He was lightning fast and made an awesome caprioska. Try one! It is like a mojito but with vodka and extra muddled lime...no mint. Thanks Lionel!!!!! I hope Iberostar recognizes your hard work.
Great Family Vacation!
Just returned from a family vacation and stayed at this wonderful resort. We've been to Mexico 4 times and this was our first time staying at an Iberostar. Overall we had a great time, with minor things to complain about - but I would think that anywhere you stay you will have something come up that you were not 100% happy about ...
The #1 thing I did not like and was not happy about was the fact that you could only make 3 dinner reservations at the specialty restaurants, which we did the day of arrival to ensure we got 'in' at the times we wanted. We 'missed' one of them because we made it back too late from one of our excursions, so we ended up at the buffet for most meals with the exception for dinner in town at Playa del Carmen. I was not used to the restriction of only 3 reservations although the buffet was quite good, it would have been nice to have more dinner options than just the buffet restaurant.
The kids club was very fun for my kids, 4 & 7, and I have never left them in prior vacations, I felt quite safe doing so this time. They did so for two days which was great fun for them.
The rooms were beautiful and clean. The beaches blue, turquoise, amazing. The staff quite friendly, some did not speak english, hard to communicate at times, but they tried and in the end, you always managed to get your point across.
We did have a problem in our room with the shower faucet but it was fixed pretty quickly, so no issues there. Oh we did have someone call our room daily from Expedia asking about Excursions waking us at siesta/nap time, which was rather annoying, now that I remember ...
I did notice some other reviews about never seeing any carts and having to walk long distances to get to/from lobby/beach but we never experienced that. We always got a ride when we needed one. The kids loved this part of the trip and always 'fought' about who would sit in the front with the driver.
Overall a good place to stay, we had a great vacation and would stay there again on a future visit.
Wonderful stay and Great staff
We decided to take our vacation here, and it was our first time in this area. It was a great choice by a great recommendation. The food, rooms, entertainment can keep you busy the entire day. The beach was great, the pool nice and warm, and the staff was so nice and helpful. They really deserved a great recommendation from us. I plan on going back to this place again. They had so many activities, it is almost impossible to do them all within a week.
Needs to improve
We stayed at this hotel for a wedding, paid the all inclusive rate.
The hotel seems to be old, some areas even smell weird, like a swamp
The breakfast does not have a lot of variety, if you stay for more than a couple days you will be eating the same stuff over and over
Lunch and dinner they have way more variety, but quality is not the best, beef tends to be chewy, hamburgers taste artificial, fish lacks of flavor... And I can continue, but I think you got the idea.
The rooms are ok, spacious and the beds are comfortable, everything clean and organized in the room but seem to be old.
The alcohol never stops, don't know if they serve good or bad alcohol... You won't have a problem with keeping it coming!
The beach, most of it is nice, just be careful because there is a small area with some dangerous rocks (I saw a guy got hit in the knee)
Staff will do their best to keep you happy, you won't have a problem with them, a friend of mine felt a little sick before the party and they responded immediately!
If you get a very nice price, give a try otherwise don't spend it here.
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