This all inclusive resort is nothing short of spectacular from the moment you walk in. Located 30 minutes south of Cancun and 15 minutes from Playa Del Carmen, the Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar is the perfect place to vacation. Every aspect of this resort was magnificent: the food, the staff, the pool, the beach, the entertainment.

The hotel itself is breathtaking. With my first step into the lobby, I was overtaken with the beauty of the land. The hotel has stunning marble tiles in the lobby and on every path, fountains and ponds, flamingos swimming feet away, peacocks prancing freely throughout the grounds. The hotel is quite massive giving way for one of the largest pools I've seen. The vastness of the grounds lends itself to a peaceful and relaxing experience.

The pool reminds me of a lazy river. It runs the length of the hotel. To get from one side of the pool to the other would take about 30 minutes or more. The pool includes beach volleyball, 4 swim-up bars, and a waterfall which protects the hidden Jacuzzi within. Activities run throughout the day in certain sections of the pool for the children's entertainment, and many adults join in as well. But if you want a quiet day, the pool is large enough to find your special spot to curl up with your favorite book. The staff was exceptional throughout my stay and made everything very easy and convenient. Check in took just a few minutes and before I knew it, I was relaxing in my room with my bags and all. Whether at a meal, the pool or one of the many bars, every member of the staff put forth every effort to offer their assistance.

The hotel thought of just about everything when they designed this resort. The entertainment just never stopped. The nightly shows are magnificent and professional. The performers are talented and funny and really get the crowd involved. The shows usually started around 9 pm and would last for a couple of hours, followed by the Iberostar dance which is easy to catch on to. I found myself singing along by the second night. Vacationers of all ages participate in these evening activities. After the show, the disco was a great way to end the night. The disco is decorated in 1970's style décor, with lots of comfy chairs and a fairly big dance floor. It even had a Rolls Royce car inside for decoration. The DJ keeps the tunes pumping all night playing songs from every generation.

In keeping with the marvelous service of the hotel, the restaurants are no exception. The waiters are particularly attentive to the diners' every need. The food is fantastic. In addition to the main dining room, there are a few restaurants that you must sign up for in advance: Japanese, Mexican, Brazilian, Steak House, etc. The food at each restaurant was incredible and varied greatly, ensuring enticing meals that left me feeling completely satiated at each meal. Each restaurant is surrounded by waterways setting the stage for a romantic dining experience.

This all inclusive was absolutely fantastic and I will certainly return for another vacation in the future. Between the staff , the pool, the beautiful scenery, the activities, and other amenities, it was everything a vacation should be: relaxing and fun. For more information, go to

By Lauryn Manheim, Editor

July 15, 2003