Our first vacation as a family was to Iberostar Hotels & Resorts in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
I traveled with my husband and then three-year-old son to Iberostar Paraiso Maya in Riviera Maya. My husband and I had been many times, but this was our first Mexican adventure as a family. I did all the mom worrying ahead of time…what will he eat, what will he drink, will he sleep, can he take the sun, will he be bored with 5 days in an all – inclusive? All the worries were alleviated within minutes of arriving.
First let me say, if you are looking for a complete “togetherness” family vacation, this is the spot! We were able to do everything together all week and not only managed to survive but had a fabulous time.
Next, let’s talk about the rooms. Our room was the furthest from the lobby, next to the beach, but a perfect location for us. We could walk out and be at the tip of the pool, over the bridge to the beach, or a few yards to the outdoor buffet. There was minimal walking during the day. If (or I should say when) we forgot something, we could run back. The rooms at The Maya are all over-sized junior suites. We could have all my son’s “stuff” on one side of the room and ours on the other.
Here are some of the other reasons why we loved the hotel: The beach and the pool. You do have to choose “beach or pool” since the pool is not on the beach. The pool is huge, one of the nicest I have ever seen. My son was amazed at the “restaurant” (pool bar) in the pool. He loved ordering himself a Zachary (a non – alcoholic strawberry daiquiri). The pool is a zero entry pool so he could walk in himself to where he was comfortable. The pool is large, so we could be down in the action by the pool bar or in a secluded part alone. For fun we would go to the wave pool or take a lounge on the lazy river, at the top of the main pool. If we were not at the pool, we were at the beach digging sand castles or in the beautiful blue ocean.
The food was also great. We ate most of the time at the outdoor buffet. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They had plenty of variety and we never had a problem finding options for a three-year-old. I gave my son a quesadilla and told him it was a Mexican grilled cheese, and he loved it. One day he asked for peanut butter and they didn’t have it. Next thing I knew, the manager walked up with a jar of Skippy.
A nice feature to note for families at The Maya is the concierge in your building. They can assist with dining reservations at the specialty restaurants, getting a golf cart ride to the lobby, extra bottled water or whatever we needed help with. Believe me they helped us often!
Our favorite part of the trip was after dinner, when we’d go to the theatre for the kids show. The first night when the staff called all the kids on stage, my son ran for the steps without looking back. Each night they played a game on stage from pass the balloon, to a hat dance contest … the staff ended each game with a song and dance with the kids on stage. My son absolutely loved it! We went every night. It was great to see the kids playing, dancing and having fun. This also presented the only “challenge” of our vacation. After the show he’d be too exhausted from all the excitement to walk back to the room. This is where the hotel would step in and zip us back to the room in a golf cart.
This hotel really went way over and above what we expected for our stay in every way. It really made for a true “family vacation”. We had so much fun we can’t wait to go back and experience our next Iberostar Resort.
Side Note: Tipping is included at this hotel and many others. I always recommend bringing small bills for when staff are “extra” accommodating. We gave tips for extra golf cart rides, extra bottled water, towels…all the extras you need when traveling with a toddler.