by Stephen Jermanok
You’ve just arrived at Cancun International Airport, hopefully on a direct flight, hopped on an air-conditioned bus for the 30-minute drive south to the northern fringes of the Rivera Maya called Playa Paraiso, and finally make it to the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo. Enter the lobby, with its ivory and tan colored tiling and those soaring ceilings, head to the reception desk, and wait for a refreshing tropical drink to be planted in your hand. Your vacation has officially started.
A bellhop drives your family and luggage to your room and looking around, you begin to realize that you made a wise decision booking a room at the Paraiso Lindo. Opened in December 2004 as an addition to Iberostar’s other two hotels in Playa Paraiso, Iberostar Paraiso Beach and Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, the Lindo is more upscale with a keen sense of style. The three-story villas are painted in an appealing mix of sky blue and tan and topped with a thatched palapa roof. Take a stroll on a boardwalk through a mangrove forest and you feel lost in the tropical splendor. Or go for a swim in the spectacular pool, where swim-up bars are shaded under waterfalls, and a large recreation of a Mayan temple produces the only wave pool found in the Riviera Maya.
Similar to the way Iberostar Paraiso Beach and Iberostar Paraiso del Mar share restaurants, swimming pools, and other facilities, the Paraiso Lindo shares restaurants and the sprawling swimming pool with Paraiso Maya. Families are free to roam into all five of the hotels in the Iberostar complex except Iberostar Grand Paraiso, which is only open to adults. Each villa at the Lindo also has its own concierge so you can book restaurants and tours directly with them.
Our Editor Loves
- Wave pool and lazy river
- Watersports Center on the beach
- Lucy's Mini Club
- All Inclusive Rates
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
Find the Best Price for Your Stay
Even the rooms are tastefully appointed with Mayan-styled bed rests, pottery hanging from the blue sandstone walls, and a colorful pink, purple, and rouge blanket covering both double beds. Free Wi-Fi is also available in the guestrooms. The villas had no elevators, so if you're traveling with small children and strollers, be sure to book a ground floor room. Concierges are available at each villa to book restaurants each evening.
The guestrooms feature a large wraparound terrace, offering views of the surrounding palms. A small sitting area with a desk, coffee table, and chairs were nestled between the beds and the balcony/terrace. Bathrooms had a bath and tub, Iberostar soaps and shampoos, and a hairdryer. The minibar was stocked with water, soda and beer. Also in the air-conditioned room were a coffeemaker, safe, ceiling fan, clock and cable television.
The Family Rooms, situated near the beach and pool, feature one king bed and a guaranteed connecting room with two double beds. A family welcome kit is provided upon arrival, too. Six people can fit comfortably in these connecting rooms.
The suites feature one king and two double beds and are also situated near the pool and beach. The suites can accommodate up to three adults and one child.
The resort encourages you to use their app to keep up to date on activities and which restaurants are open. Yet there is no Plaza buffet and La Pagoda is undergoing major construction. Why update the app with open/closing times on a daily basis if neither of these of is option why bother? Twice I have inquired via chat if they could tell me the theme nights at the main buffet. I was told both times that there are no themes just an international buffet served every night. Surprise, surprise there is a very specific theme each night (Sat is Mexican). I am very confused as to why there will be an Asian night, an Oriental one and a Japanese night. Why?? I have yet to see anyone of the Asian persuasion at this resort. Not real thrilled with the idea of a Hindu themed buffet either.
No I don't want burgers and pizza every night but these are some exotic tastes that are a definite miss.
Our shower door does not have an interior handle so the only way to close it is by standing on my tiptoes (I'm 5'9") my sister closed it as best she could and water was everywhere.
Water tastes salty and restaurant refused to give us bottled. The soda has no carbonation and our "concierge" suggested we stick to the buffet every night instead of allowing us to make reservations for the week !
I stayed at this resort 3 years ago and raved about the food and service-now I'm embarassed I convinced my family to stay here.
This is my far one of the nicest resorts I've ever been to. I read other reviews regarding the mosquitos but we stayed in building 54 and they weren't bad at all. I can say other buildings may be worse because of the woodsy marshy areas. Our room clean and the beds were comfortable. Our fridge had issues but not overly bad. The theater was super cool! Good live shows! Lindo has the air conditioned buffet and the food was fantastic! I'd recommend the salmon at the steakhouse and the calamari dish at the Italian restaurant oh and the dessert at the Italian restaurant to die for! I recommend the room service chicken fingers. My son loved the burger place I loved the crepe place. The cocoa beach chicken burger and fries so good! Ice cream machine too. Hookah lounge. Shopping. The lindo pool was the best with a foam party twice that week so much fun! Wave pool. Loungers. Peacocks. Animals. The beach was clean no seaweed lots of room to build sand castles. The staff had activites and music. The staff were amazing. The resort was always being cleaned. It is ran like a fine oiled machine. Golf carts to take you around but I'd walk the resort especially at night it's all lit up beautifully. I loved this resort. We checked put the one next to it but the feel of lindo we liked better. I heard the golf course and kids star camp is awesome too. Wel definitely go back.
Lucy's Mini Club has nicer digs at the Lindo than adjacent Paraiso Beach and Paraiso del Mar properties. Set inside a series of thatched rooms, counselors keep kids ages 4 to 12 engaged with games, arts and crafts, dance, and basic Spanish lessons, while learning about the rich Mexican culture. Outside, there's a playground and small kid's pool where stone turtles and other animals double as fountains.
In the pool area, the wave action happens each hour in the wave pool. There's more than enough shallow area for younger children to swim around the edge of the entire pool area. Older kids will want to swim up to the bar, shaded by a large waterfalls structure, to order frozen (non-alcoholic) drinks. Or try the lazy river, which is slower than the usual lazy river found at water parks in the States. But relax, you're in Mexico. Slow down and enjoy the soothing ride.
The youthful Star Friends keep families active at the pool area with water aerobics, water polo, pool volleyball, dance lessons and guided bike rides around the large complex. Lindo's Star Friends are known for their gregarious nature, dining with guests and making sure kids are happy throughout their vacation.
While the music might not be blaring at the beach, expect a slew of activity. Huts line the sublime stretch of white sand, offering massages on the beach, grilled chicken and burgers for lunch, and more than enough bars to quench any thirst. Whether you're sitting under a cabana at the beach or catching rays at the pool, waiters walk the ground to ensure that you're never dehydrated from that hot Mexican sun.
The water sports center at the beach offers Hobie cats, kayaks, and boogie boards to try. Or pay the extra charge and jump on a Jet ski, Banana Boat, or high above the Atlantic on a parasail. Older children might want to sign up for the SCUBA diving lesson offered in the pool or go on daily snorkeling jaunts to the nearby reef. You can also purchase floatation devices, swim goggles, and other swimming paraphernalia at a shop located near the pool.
The theater at Lindo is one of the most impressive we've seen at an all-inclusive property. The stage sits under a huge thatched roof that, with enough space to house King Kong if they so desired. At night, there are two shows in the theater. The 8 p.m. show is for kids, while parents will like the main event at 9:30 p.m.
Over by the shopping center is a disco geared to teens only. There's also an Internet Center and game room off the main lobby.
Technically speaking, the Lindo offers one buffet restaurant and four specialty restaurants, featuring Cajun, Italian and gourmet (French) fare. Truth be told, you're free to reserve space at any of the specialty restaurants in neighboring Paraiso Maya and Paraiso Beach resorts, so choices of a la carte offerings include the steakhouse at Maya, Mexican, Brazilian, Japanese and Mediterranean restaurants.
Start your day at La Pagoda buffet, off the main lobby. Scrambled, poached and sunny-side up eggs, bacon, papaya, sweet pineapple, plantains, passion fruit, homemade doughnuts and mango yogurt are some of the selections. You can grab lunch at the same buffet or head down to the pool to dine at a snack bar or another buffet, Coco. Lunch options include roast chicken, grilled fish, hamburgers, pizza, and tacos. If you're hanging on the beach, don't despair. There's a small grill serving chicken sandwiches and hamburgers. The buffet at dinner offers a variety of options including Italian, Mexican, Chinese and Japanese options, along with a laundry list of desserts like fried ice cream that will keep the kids happy.
If you like spicy jambalaya and seafood gumbo, get your concierge to make a reservation at the Cajun restaurant. The steakhouse, adjacent to the lobby at Paraiso Maya, is known for their large ribeye steaks. Kids will enjoy the pasta dishes at the Italian restaurant. The French is great for a more elegant meal.
Few families realize that the Shopping Center houses a burger diner, creperie, and tapas bar included in your all-inclusive rate. There's also an ice cream bar located above the pool area in a shaded open-air atrium.
The Lindo also features 24-hour room service in case you haven't had enough food for one day. For parents of younger kids, this might come in handy if your kids are having a twilight meltdown. Order casual fare like burgers, wraps, salads, and tacos and dine as a family inside your room.
Planning & Tips
All About the Extras
There are three tennis courts vying for your attention and a fitness center that starts to get busy as soon as it opens at 6 a.m. There's also a medical center on property if someone gets a wee bit too much sun or another ear infection.
Complimentary Wi-Fi is available.
Babysitters are available for hire and a reservation is required.
The Art of Smart Timing
The allure of Mexico is its affordability, especially at all-inclusive resorts like Iberostar that are often packaged with charter flight. Come here before the Christmas holiday or after April 1 and the rates will be that much cheaper. December and April is an ideal time to venture to the Riviera Maya, with a chill in the air in much of Europe, America, and Canada, and rates below the high peak season. In Mexico, however, expect daytime temperatures to hover around 82 degrees and the ocean waters to be bath-like.
Arrive to the area via flight to Cancun International Airport. The resort will arrange transportation at booking.
It's a good 10-minute walk from the lobby to the beach, so a tram is available every 15 minutes to drive you and the kids around if need be.
For Mom and Dad
The best time to escape from parental responsibility is during the day, when the kids are occupied at Lucy's Mini Club.
For mom and dad, there's a P.B. Dye-designed golf course waiting for you. Have a golf cart pick you up for your tee time and drive from your room to the clubhouse and pro shop. A lot of work has been done to ensure that the greens on the par-72 course are indeed green. The vista of the water from the higher holes might make up for some of those errant shots.
Also on premises is a spa featuring moisturizing body wraps, massages, and treatments for mothers and daughters.