Iberostar's Paraíso Maya: Where You Can Be You, And the Kids Can, Too!
Photos courtesy of Paraíso Maya
Iberostar is a brand that is steeped in familial tradition since their debut in 1986. The Spanish-born Fluxá family has more than 100 resorts in 16 countries, but in the U.S. the most popular destinations are in Mexico and the Caribbean. Although there are eight family-friendly resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula, two in Jamaica, and five in the Dominican Republic, the Paraíso Maya in Playa del Carmen really embodies all of the beauty, variety, and fun that a family vacation should be.
Located on the beach at Playa Paraíso, just 25 minutes from Cancun International Airport, Maya is intertwined between the growth of mangroves and the pristine sands of the beach. The resort greets you with a jaw-dropping main building where the lobby bar is an exact replica of the pyramid of Chichen Itza. The larger-than-life creative Mayan elements around the property are sure to wow the kids and the kids at heart. The theme carries throughout the resort from the spacious all-suite, Jacuzzi tub-laden hotel rooms to the common areas and pools.
The days of the “one-buffet, all-inclusive” resorts are well in the past, and copious dining choices are one of the most important amenities that guests are seeking today. Iberostar knows this. Maya is one of five resorts located on the property with three different levels of luxury between them. Guests have reciprocity with all resorts at or below their level. This means that guests at Paraíso Maya (which is at the middle level) have access to the five specialty restaurants, two buffets and six bars in their resort, and 11 restaurants and 14 bars across three other resorts as well.
Reciprocity works the same way with pools, activities, and entertainment so the choices are virtually endless. There is no shortage of kid’s choices available at the specialty and buffet restaurants, and each evening there are theater shows that are also family-friendly. Unlike other all-inclusive resorts that are out there, Iberostar prides itself on high-quality food and fully-stocked bars. The variety of food and activities alone make it easy to find something comfortable to everyone.
Spending a week in one place might make bored kids a worry for some parents, but not At Paraíso Maya. Their Kids Club (for children 4-12 years old) and their Teen Club (for children 13-17 years old) will keep them busy day and night with activities, sports, and pool time. Kids will paint, read, watch movies, play games, and make friends all in a supervised environment, while mom and dad get to take part in activities ranging from tennis and golf to Zumba and aerobics.
The pools at Paraíso Maya are not just sprawling and spacious, but full of fun as well. The kids enjoy a private pool, a splash park, and the only wave pool in the entire area. The adults have swim-up bars poolside, and in-pool games and free use of deck chairs, towels, and non motorized water sports, too.
Just Be You
Whether you are looking for an active vacation with off-site adventure excursions to places like Xplor Cancun, with zip lines and amphibious off-road vehicle jungle/cavern driving or just a relaxing day at the beach with a cookout of food and beverage located just steps from the water, you will find it here. If you and the kids want to get a bite to eat together, or you and your spouse want a romantic dinner for two, Paraíso Maya can accommodate you. There are healthy choices for food and activities and also indulgences available to those who desire. It is not uncommon to find guests spending time with the house cats around the property or tickling the ivories in the lobby bar during a mid afternoon drink.
There is no need to worry about sacrificing your environmental concerns on your trip as Iberostar maintains Green Globe Certification in all of their Mexican resorts. Traveling with an infant? Paraíso Maya features a baby kitchen where a professional pediatric dietician will sit, discuss, and plan meals with you. And with your door key-coded, allow you 24-hour access to the area so you can prepare food and feed your little one.
The Special Extra Touches
Paraíso Maya offers concierges in each building, making reprinting of room keys, restaurant reservations, and beach towel acquisition easy and seamless. Finding towel animals upon arrival to your room each day and chocolates on your pillow each night is welcoming and fun to come home to. Room service is 24 hours a day and the housekeeping keeps your complimentary mini bar stocked with the essentials.
Transportation around the resort by golf cart is never more than a call away, and the spa and gym are large enough to handle the entire property, but also serene enough to provide privacy, comfort, and relaxation. Golf green fees are waived for guests of the resort and both club and tennis racquet rentals are available. Names, faces, and drinks of choice are remembered. Guests are greeted with smiles, handshakes, and “Holas” throughout your visit and you certainly are made to feel like family from the time you arrive until you are on your way back to the airport. Fun and excitement or rest and relaxation, the Paraíso Maya is family-friendly forward, and is waiting for you.
More by Tom Bastek
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