Our family of four (2 adults, 2 kids ages 4 & 2) just returned from a fantastic one-week vacation at Iberostar Maya. We couldn’t have been happier with the trip and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an easy beach vacation.

FOOD. We haven’t done all inclusive much before, so as a foodie going in I was a bit concerned about the food. I honestly couldn’t have been happier with the choices and quality of the food. At the buffets there was always something we could find that we liked (even for picky children), and the specialty restaurants provided great diversity and service. The restaurants themselves are quite pleasant. You could tell a lot of thought went into making them each special with appropriate décor, music, etc. The Rancho Steakhouse and Geisha hibachi restaurant were our favorites. I am glad we went with the Maya which offers more restaurant options than the Lindo. We did not feel a need to eat outside the resort at all. The main buffet at the Lindo offered the widest selection, but we were equally happy with the smaller buffet near the beach/pool. Everywhere we went, everything was always fresh as they continually are refreshing the buffets.

SERVICE. The service overall couldn’t be topped. We were constantly greeted with friendly smiles from the exceedingly polite and helpful staff, including the bellhops, housekeepers, wait staff, groundskeepers, and concierge (with one exception—see below).

GROUNDS. The grounds are truly beautiful and very well maintained. Everything is extremely clean and in good condition. The staff is constantly going around cleaning and up keeping the property. The resort is VERY large, but having read reviews from others I was prepared for this and found it manageable. To get from one end of the resort to the other is easily a 15 minute walk (esp with small children). For us it was worth the trade off of having a large variety of services and restaurants. It was not very crowded the week we were there, and we never had a problem finding shady seating near the pool or on the beach.

BEACH. Despite having pleasant weather all week, at the beach the first few days it was quite windy and the water was very rough, much to our disappointment. By the end of the trip things thankfully calmed down and we were able to enjoy it more.

CHILDREN / POOLS / ENTERTAINMENT. It was a great place to be with small children – there was plenty to do. We spent the most time at the pools, which were particularly nice, and the beach when we could. They also enjoyed the kiddie pool (small one by kids club), the wave pool, and the lazy river. We were also very happy to have a small pool right within our building (60), which proved very useful when our 2-year-old was napping and our 4-year-old was not. They also liked seeing the wildlife, especially the “monkey cats” (coatis) in the jungle area near the beach. Both kids really enjoyed the children’s “mini disco” at night and making friends to dance with. The adult entertainment started too late for them/us (around 9 pm), but the little we saw of it I don’t think we missed much.

There are only two suggestions I would make:

THE TOWEL SYSTEM – as others have mentioned this is a pain and unreasonable. In a place where everything is effortless and food and everything else is in such abundance, to have to keep track of cheap/thin towels or risk being fined just seems out of place. You can easily exchange them at the concierge in each building, but the stress of having to keep track of them is annoying. In fact we did have towels stolen from us when my husband was alone in the pool with our daughter. His attention while in the pool was rightly focused on our daughter. When he returned to the seats his shirt (which had been on top of the towels) remained, but the towels were missing. After speaking with the concierge, who was very rude and unapologetic about the situation, we did manage to have these replaced without charge.

DRESS CODE – you have nice restaurants. I get it. But we are on vacation, and this is a resort in a tropical climate. My husband did not appreciate having to wear long pants to dinner every night. I would suggest restricting this code to just 1-2 specialty restaurants and allowing shorts in the others.

We booked the trip through Fayette at TripGuy, whom I would also recommend.

All-in-all it was a wonderful and memorable trip!