I went with three friends, two of which had been to all-inclusive resorts before. One goes to this one at least once a year. This was my first time at an all-inclusive resort and I was expecting something exceptional based on marketing and referrals. I have to say I was a bit disappointed. It's a long way to go to get there, the price is not cheap for the trip and I was expecting a five star experience. The grounds were very nice and well- kept. Rooms were spacious, though we had a few problems with the room. Maintenance took care of two of the problems quickly ( an annoying defective overhead hall light bulb and the non-functioning bathroom outlet that we needed for hairdryers, etc). The third problem was that we could not get our rooms cool enough. We slept with no covers on and ceiling fans on high speed all the time. Our friend who goes there every year said they used to set the room temps lower when they first started going there.
The resort campus is very large. We found ourselves using 'golf carts' a lot. There are many restaurants and they are all a ways from our room. I was not impressed with having to plan one's sit down dinner places when we first arrived. And I wasn't happy with several of the meals. At the seafood restaurant a lobster tail was actually several small bites and overcooked. One of my favorite meals was on the first night when we went to the buffet and had, amongst many other items, coconut fried fish. It was a hit with all 4 of us. Overall I must say that I was not thrilled with the quality of the meals.
I really enjoyed the main pool though. It was so large and long that one never felt crowded. If you are looking for a resort at which to get away and relax in quiet, this is not the place due to the daily games and sports at this pool and hosts with microphones shouting out to people for several hours a day. Thiugh they said there was internet everywhere at the resort now, there wasn't any at the pool area. you had to go back almost to your room to get coverage. Not good if you want to take a picture and send it right then.
I would not go there again. I have been to resorts ( non-all inclusive) on many islands in the Carribbean over the years and have enjoyed almost all of them. Not so much this one.
The resort was average...
The wifi may have broke my phone and I had to get a new one when I came home. And when I was leaving I came across another girl who's phone stopped working there.
When you first get there nothing is explained to you, no list of daily activities are given to you...you pretty much are left to figure things out yourself, which we did 2 days before we left.
The buffet food was the same everyday. As for dinner you HAVE to make reservations before you go or you will be eating the crappy buffet food 3 meals a day....This was very disappointing that if you don't have reservations every night for dinner you have only the buffet to eat, especially when all guests are paying enough eat a sit down dinner. And the room service was awful! Towards the end of the week everything seemed to go downhill, to get clean towels for our room we had to ask for them and never got wash rags, our key stopped working twice and we requested a late checkout and it was never put in the system. We got the run around constantly...
Resort was pretty clean, The Italian place was the best it is a MUST! Diego took great care of us!
Golf cart rides were pretty easy to get but we figured out we didn't really need them once we found our way around.
As far as the star friends I have to give a HUGE thanks to ALEJANDRO he was awesome he made our girls feel so special and have so much fun that they are still talking about him and missing him! I have to say he pretty much made the trip for us!!!!!
Overall it was nice but I wouldn't go back...........well maybe to see Alejandro for the girls but that's it.
Everyone has their own opinion. Mine will be my own as will yours if you visit this nice, clean resort. I booked our vacation to the Maya over a year ago and read many reviews. I think if you are like most people which I tend to think I am then this is how I approached the other reviews. If the review says the food or the cleanliness or whatever was horrible or the worst ever, then that's probably an exaggeration. That person had an unfortunate event occur that basically ruined their vacation and set the tone for the horrible 1-star review. If the review is incredible, delicious unbelievable service, the best ever experience, then that is also an exaggeration. This person probably doesn't get out too much but I am glad they had such a wonderful time. Keep your expectations reasonable. This resort is huge, has nice workers, it is clean, it shows some wear but things are kept up nicely, food is good, beaches are nice. Here is how I gaged myself. I looked around at all the other hundreds of people around me everyday and I saw people smiling, laughing and enjoying themselves. I saw people with food on their plates and I saw empty plates being taken away. I met lots of nice people from all over. I saw a separate incident where someone was complaining to a staff person about the dress code for dinner and another incident about the reservation system. Oh, well must be a couple of those 1-star complainers.
In summary, enjoy yourself, your on vacation. Be reasonable with your expectations and have some fun. I know we did.
I stalk Tripadvisor when researching trips and preparing for vacations, so I value reviews. Hopefully this one will help others. First of all, we chose Paraiso Maya for our family vacation with two boys, ages 7 and 9. They are more of pool kids that beach kids, so the beach wasn't high on our list of needs. We wanted a kid friendly resort with great pools. If I could rate the resort on the pools and service, it would be a 10. Unfortunately, the food left A LOT to be desired. I would not recommend this resort for couples traveling without kids or those wanting a beach resort with rooms with a view and restaurants on the water.
Check in: Check in was great. I emailed before we arrived to request building 61, and our request was granted. George was very nice and helpful. My boys were so excited about their welcome drinks, and my oldest knocked the glass over and broke it. George made him feel so much better! We arrived before check in, so packed a beach bag separately so that we could change and head to the pool while we waited.
Rooms: Rooms are large and roomy. A Junior Suite fit our family of 4 perfectly. The boys loved the towel animals in the room each day. The looked forward to what animal it would be. Our maid Francisca was fabulous. She even left us a goodbye note on our last day. Wifi was great! Almost too good, we planned to unplug, but ended up getting on ipads at night before bed.
Pools: There is a small lazy river, wave pool, and two other large pools. My only complaint is that the pools are 4-4.5 feet deep, so my 7 year old could not touch. He was restricted to the edges of the pool and few shallow areas. It was something I did not expect to be a problem, but a little frustrating for him. Everyone has their own floats in the pools. I recommend bringing your own.
Beach: The beach is pretty and there was very little seaweed. I did see a few rocks that people complain about, but they were easy to see and didn't bother us. I would not say you needed water shoes by any means. Most days were really wavy and rough, but we lucked out with one gorgeous day with little to no waves. The water was clear and calm, and reminded us of Negril water. We went kayaking that day. (Water sports goes to lunch for 2 hours during the day, and you can't get kayaks. Crazy!)
Resort Size: Yes, the resort is HUGE. I chose building 61 so that we would have a short walk to pools and the beach during the day. But that left us pretty far from the lobby and dinner restaurants. My husband estimated that it was a quarter mile from our room to the lobby. If you don't like walking or have difficulty walking, you may not love this resort. There are golf carts everywhere, though. So take advantage of them if needed.
Kids Club: We were hoping to take advantage of this for a few kid free hours, but when we saw the actual club, we knew our boys would not be very interested. It looked very babyish. Children have to wear a large vest with numbers to be identified. This makes sense, but our boys would not go around wearing something like that. I wish they had something smaller to identify kids like stickers. I also wish they had a different area for preteens. I know our kids would have loved something like this, but it just seemed geared towards the 4-6 year old range.
Drinks: My boys loved all you can drink pina coladas and Miami Vices. You couldn't tell the different between those and an adult drink. Not much alcohol. If you are looking to drink, you may want to request an extra shot.
Restaurants: This is where the review goes downhill. I read previous reviews about dining, but food is so subjective that it's hard to know who to trust. I usually attribute a bad review to an overly picky, hard to please person. My husband and I love a good meal, are not picky eaters, and are by no means foodies, but this food was downright awful. We go to an all inclusive every year, and this was by far the worst food we've had on a trip. The buffets were worse than the restaurants, but we did not have a single meal where we could say "that was delicious". I found myself wandering around the buffets just looking for something that looked good. We ended up going to Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos for dinner two nights to get better food. With that said, I did find a few good things. The mango bread at the buffets in the morning was delicious. It is usually in a loaf under a towel. I also loved the coconut cake that you had to slice for dinner. Although, it was often mislabeled. Making reservations for all restaurants was a little annoying. We hate being on a schedule on vacation. When I made reservations early in the trip, we had no trouble getting times. However, when I made changes at the end of the week, everything was booked. I don't know how, since every sit down restaurant was more than half empty each night. (All but the Japanese restaurant. I understand needing set reservations here.) I would also like to thank Maximus (Max) for the awesome service he gave my boys. He folded them napkin hats and gave them fun kiddy shots at dinner. My boys wanted to see him every night! We loved him :)
Service: Service was awesome. Everyone was so nice. Thanks to Peter in tennis for making my boys feel like pros. It was one of their favorite activities on the trip. A huge thanks to April at the concierge desk for helping me out when my 7 year old chipped his tooth. We did not have phone service, and she let me call our doctor in the states as much as needed.
All in all, we had an absolute fabulous family vacation. Would we go back? No, the food just wasn't the best, and we are always looking for a better resort. Would we recommend this to those looking to book? Maybe, maybe not. Our kids LOVED everything including the food, so it was great for them. But for adults used to more adult geared all-inclusives, it left us missing a few previous resorts. And for those of you that have already booked, no worries. It's a great resort, I can't imagine not having an awesome vacation there. I would never let a bad meal ruin my trip!
Loved the Maya! Worth the extra money.
Because you are staying at a huge resort complex, the benefits outweigh the cost of upgrading to the Maya versus the other resorts on the property. We enjoyed ourselves so much here that I am writing a review almost a year later!) As a guest at the Maya, you are welcome to use the pools and restaurants at all of the hotels with the exception of the Grand which is adults only. We were given the option to eat at an "a-la-carte" restaurant every night of our stay. The internet was free. There was at least one concierge at each building to serve and assist with anything you needed. We ordered off of a limited room service menu when needed. Not the best- but it filled "the hole" until we could sit down to eat. My family had so much fun during our visit. We took advantage of the archery, pool games, nightly entertainment, and the AMAZING kids club!! My daughter had the time of her life. She is 11 and I assumed she would not be interested at all- but they have the "tweens" separated out from the teens and the little kids- so she was completely independent and was able to experience so many fun things- even riding segways! She hasn't stopped talking about that trip and REALLY wants to go back. My 9 year old son enjoyed more time at the kids pool and spending time at the beach with us- but he loved going over to the shopping center to see the mariachi bands and shop after getting delicious tacos from the restaurant (which is totally included with your stay and should NOT be missed during your visit!) and indulging in ice cream. In the same shopping center they have a carousel and a Star Wars themed nightclub. The nightclub is set up for kids until 10pm (I believe) and after that, it's adult time. There is a wave pool and a lazy river which DEFINITELY add to the fun for the kids here at this resort. In fact, I feel like because there was so much for them to do, that my husband and I had so much time to relax and just "hang out" with each other. Just a really good mix of relaxation and action. There were always activities if you wanted them- but you could also always find a place to relax.
I do want to mention that there is a great little coffee shop with snacks in the gorgeous lobby that we frequented quite often during our visit. Visiting the other resorts was fun too. Their pool was amazing also. The beach front is cool because they have a whole boardwalk set up that stretches the length of all 4 resorts. There is food and drink available and drink service on the beach and the pools when staying at the Maya. I don't believe that is the case at the Beach or Del Mar. Your Maya wristband allows you to go to any place on any of the four properties- restaurants included. I will say that the Lindo is BEAUTIFUL as well and would be a fantastic option as well. It is almost as nice as the Maya- but you lose a couple of dining options. It faces the Maya and runs parallel on the opposite side of the pool. The nightly shows are located at the Lindo and you share the main pool. However, the Maya has an unforgettable mayan temple (air conditioned) lobby and bar. Having a few more restaurants and options with air conditioning is sometimes a gift in itself when traveling during the hottest months in Mexico. It's nice to get dressed for dinner after hours in the sun and know you don't have to sweat during your meal. The nightly shows are HOT! This is one area where I believe the resort could improve. The theater is by far one of the most beautiful I've seen.....but the air flow needs to be improved. There was a lot of seaweed when we visited, but that is the case in the WHOLE Caribbean. Same is happening everywhere. There are days where there is a lot- and days where there is nothing but blue water and fish. The resort should not be faulted for what is happening out in the ocean. This resort complex is huge- but the Maya didn't seem impersonal. I was treated as a special guest and appreciated the majority of the service I received. You can find fault anywhere if you're looking for it. Overall- I would recommend this hotel.
**Corner Room has wrap around balcony and more windows. We loved being near the center of the property. Building 61 pool view 2nd floor corner room. Third floor might be good too. I just liked being off the ground level without having to climb too many stairs or taking an elevator. Best location to enjoy the swim up bar at the pool-close to all the pool fun, ice cream, lunch buffet/snack bar, and close enough to the beach. Rooms could use some updating- some things worn down, but overall very nice for the time you spend in them.