Tour Stop: Iberostar Grand in Riviera Maya, Mexico

Mexican Hotel Review

The first stop on my tour was to Riviera Maya, Mexico. A treat to say the least. The hotel was something out a dream. I have stayed at many 4 and 5 star All Inclusive Resorts in Mexico but this resort blew my mind. The food, service, entertainment and all the outstanding amenities, every single detail of our trip was perfect. The resort complex is made up of 5 resorts all on different levels. The higher the level, the more access to the complex. We were upgraded to the highest level which is named the Iberostar Grand. It gave us access to all the restaurants, pools, spas, shows and activities.
The building and the grounds where outstanding. A quiet pool to relax and read, an indoor spa pool with hot tubs and pressured streams of water that line the walls and then the infinity pool. The infinity pool is salt water and was magnificent, with views of the ocean, swim up bar, hot tubs and plenty of areas to lounge. You could dream up any drink and the pool bartender would create it like magic. Just float around and sip on a frozen mojito, a dirty monkey or just about anything with every liquor you could ever want.
The building itself is very different then any other resort I have seen. It was elegant with a grand entrance that resembles a jungle with details that constantly made my head spin. From the lobby to the room and then restaurant it is all enclosed in with glass and marble with painted domed ceilings. This creates a unique level of comfort and elegance. Staff always available to assist from concierge to our own personal butler. The room was spectacular and included a jacuzzi, rainfall shower, king bed with a selection of pillows, lounge area, fully stocked mini bar included in the room and balcony with a private couch and with a hanging swing chair.
The activities offered gave us no reason to think of leaving the resort. The entertainment staff take pride in what they do and truly enjoy meeting new people. They organized great exercise classes like cycling, bike tours, volleyball and yoga that were really hard core. Fun pool and beach games like a crazy water balloon fight with guest throwing balloons at staff in the pool while they wore super hero outfits and floated on a trampoline. In the evening the staff would transform into excellent party hosts. They would greet us into the shows. The shows were much better then any of the other shows I have seen in Mexico. The theater was indoor’s and the set up was like a night club you find in the city with stadium seating, top notch bar and service. The shows are different every night including a magic show, Mexican dances, Broadway musicals and best of all a real Rock show. If shows are not your thing they have a sports lounge, cigar lounge, live music at the main bar or you can ask a bell boy to give you a ride to the two level all inclusive night club that is on the resort grounds and very safe.
The best part of the resort was the food! Being gluten free is often difficult to travel. Very few places understand that gluten is not just the bread but can also be in sauces and the preparation. I informed the general manager before I came, that I was gluten free but never expected anyone to make adjustments. It started with a notice that was on my bed at check in. The note was for me to take to the restaurant’s at night to notify them once I arrived, to advise the kitchen staff. Restaurant’s included Italian, Surf and Turf, Japanese and French. Each meal is a la-carte, gourmet and perfect on all levels. The wait staff is knowledgeable about both the food and wine and the little details they add make the dining experience something to remember. Each night I was given my own fresh baked gluten free bread and advised on any changes they would make to the menu if I selected specific options. At every single meal, I had lobster prepared in a different way. We visited the Surf and Turf twice because everything about the meal was fabulous. The gluten free crab soup and cold seafood appetizer that was a huge plate of lobster, mussels and crab. The main dishes included old fashion Surf and Turf with Lobster Tail and Filet Mignon, many seafood dishes or cuts of steaks I have only seen at expensive places in the city. Dessert included this gluten free chocolate bacon dish and a gluten free cheese cake. At the Japanese restaurant I was surprised by the staff knowledge of sauces and ingredients containing gluten. The sushi was fantastic and each item we tried was spot on. The Saki they offered was outrageous and I still wish I would have gotten the brand name to buy at home. Lunch, is served both a la-carte and buffet or both. The selections change every day but always included some seafood dishes being grilled outside, another indoor grill that you could choose any fish you could imagine, all different Mexican selections, different Ceviches and cold Seafood options, Salad bar, Ice cream and Dessert that were all top notch. Breakfast was similar with both a la-carte and buffet options. The breakfast included a Fruit bar with all types of Tropical fruit even Star fruit, Figs and Passion fruit. Bread station that had both gluten free and regular options and a huge assortment of accompaniments with home made jams, butters and large selection of cheese. The egg station was manned by a chef, homemade donut stations, crepe station and curered meat station where you can watch them gently carve slices of prosciutto. My favorite breakfast item is lox, which they not only had an endless supply but all marinated salmon and like ten other smoked fish options along with various Caviar and Pate to choose from. At the end of it, was a juice bar with freshly squeezed juices like papaya, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Spinach and Cactus, mixed veggie and more. If the juice selection was not grand enough you could head to the health bar and pick anything you wanted them to juice like my favorite combination of Carrot Apple Juice.
The resort knew I would be doing a review, and provided me with a full tour of the kitchen and a meeting with the executive chef. The kitchen is immaculate from floor to ceiling. Each room is temperature controlled depending on what is being made. Desserts and Seafood are prepared in cold rooms. The veggies are cleaned and sanitized daily and all examined by an doctor to insure they are safe. The Chef informed me that they continue to have about a 10% population of guests with gluten and wheat allergies. He explained to me that by September all sauces used in the resort will be reformulated to be gluten free. Being able to see how this massive kitchen was run during dinner service was an amazing sight to see. I have never seen any kitchen run that smoothly and efficiently. I was truly impressed.

Iberostar Grand is a resort that has something for everyone. They will clearly go above and beyond to make your trip perfect and truly something to remember. If you are living gluten free and have been scared that an all inclusive resort wouldn’t be enjoyable, think again. Simply stated, a perfect vacation.

Thanks again to all the staff and Chef’s at the Iberostar Grand for making my vacation something very special. Please visit the links below and to check out the resort and plan your trip.

I booked my trip here:

Or go to the resort directly:








3 thoughts on “Tour Stop: Iberostar Grand in Riviera Maya, Mexico

  1. Pingback: Tour Stop: Iberostar Grand in Rivera Maya, Mexico | Guilt Free … | All Inclusive Resort Reviews

  2. This was the first positive review of an all inclusive that I have found in hours of searching for GF options. Do you feel that they were very careful about cross contamination as well as the ingredients? Thanks in advance!

    • Yes they are very careful. The chef would always come out and advise me of what I could have. Even gluten free bread on the breakfast display was always on its own plate. The best thing is to notify the hotel before you come that your sensitive and I am sure they will take care of it. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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