I love all-inclusive resorts. Especially when all you want to do is relax and enjoy a carefree vacay with food and drinks taken care of. Last month, we stayed at Ocean Riviera Paradise for 7 days for our friends’ wedding. We have been to Mexico before but last time were here we stayed at the adults-only Excellence Playa Mujeres. Below is my extensive Ocean Riviera Paradise Review if you are thinking of staying at the resort.
Ocean Riviera Paradise Location
Ocean Riviera Paradise is about 50 minutes south of the Cancun International Airport situated on the Riviera Maya seafront. There was a shuttle service arranged for us via Westjet (which is the airline we flew with) was totally safe with an amazing driver. Some travelers are always concerned about safety in Mexico, but we had no issues. The resort is also only a 15 minute ride to the city center of Playa Del Carmen. The hotel does offer free day trips to Playa Del Carmen to accommodate guests so definitely take advantage of that. Tulum is an hour away. You can also catch a ferry and visit Cozumel for world-class scuba diving, or visit the incredible Xcaret park. Location wise, the hotel is in a great spot.
Ocean Riviera Paradise Rooms
This is one of the biggest resorts Kamiran and I have stayed at with over 900 guest rooms. This is understandable considering they cater to both adults and children, and it is a family orientated resort. There are 4 different levels of rooms: Daisy, Privilege, Eden, and El Beso. We got the Daisy Room since those were the rooms that were blocked off for the wedding we were attending. Daisy is for families with kids since it is right by the kids pool, and Privilege is the VIP section. Eden is closer to the beach with direct pool access, and El Beso is the adult-only section. Our suite was on the main floor with a walkout garden. Rooms are beautifully decorated with contemporary decor that meets classic tropical accents with a modern retro vibe. Bathrooms were super spacious with beautiful colorful tile designs. Definitely gave character to the room and made it feel super homie. The rooms are next to the jungle so please be aware there is a smell of mildew, which is totally expected considering the climate and proximity to the jungle. You are so close to the jungle you will get to see so many animals around the resort like coatis and monkeys.
- 10 restaurants, 12 bars
- Despacio Spa offers massages, beautiful indoor pool, sauna etc.
- Fitness center that says it’s open 24/7 but they do close the doors at 12am
- Entertainment includes casino, live shows, and bowling alley
- 3 tennis courts and a basketball court
- Daisy Club at Ocean Riviera Paradise offers a full program of activities for kids ages 4-12.
- Teen Club offering an extensive program of activities for teenagers between the ages of 13- 17
- Free Wi-Fi
Despacio Spa Centre
We usually don’t visit the Spa while on a resort but we tried it at this resort and loved it. Kamiran had pulled a muscle while playing beach volleyball, so he tried the free 15 minute mini massage the spa has setup at the lobby. After Kamiran was done, the massage therapist gave us a discount coupon for 2 50 minute massages at the spa for just $100. It would have cost us over $300 for both if we had gone directly to the spa. So this was a great discount. I had a therapeutic essential oils massage, while Kam did the deep tissue massage. After we went to the indoor spa pool they have which was beautiful and super relaxing. The pool here is not heated so it is a bit cold.
The Restaurants and Food at Ocean Riviera Paradise
My food review for Ocean Riviera Paradise is ok. There are 10 restaurants and 11 bars within the resort, none of which require reservations, except for the Japanese Restaurant, Sakura. Which we didn’t even get a chance to eat at because reservations can only be made within a specific time frame. My favourite restaurant was Pez Vella right which is right next to the ocean. During the day it is a buffet-style restaurant and at night it is a la cart seafood restaurant. THE BEST! All the other restaurants were good, but nothing really stood out like this one. WE mostly ate at Amaranto Restaurant which is the main buffet style restaurant at Ocean Riviera Paradise.
Gluten Free Options
Lots of gluten-free selections at Ocean Riviera Paradise. The restaurant menus indicate all the gluten-free options and when you arrive at a restaurant, the servers ask if you have any dietary restrictions or food allergies, which I thought was amazing and inclusive. Gluten-free items were also indicated at the buffet line. The ice cream parlor and Mike’s coffee shop were open late so this was a highlight especially since they offered different varieties of coffee along with dessert.
The Beach and Pools
If you are looking for an exotic tropical beach with miles of oceanfront this is not the place for you. Considering the massive size of the resort, the beach is tiny. Thankfully most guests at the resort seem to prefer going to the pools and not the beach, so finding a spot is not an issue. This is probably because of the seaweed issue Mexico is having at the moment. The water is extremely murky and not inviting at all. There are 5 pools, and each one of the pools caters to a different crowd. One is for the kids, another one is for entertainment and music where they also have the foam pool party, one for more calming vibes which is also the Privilege pool, and there is the last one right by the ocean for a mixed crowd.
The Not So Great About The Resort
We had an amazing time at Ocean Riviera Paradise, mostly because we were there with friends and we had a beautiful night during our friends’ wedding. In my review for Ocean Riviera Paradise, I wanted to point out some things that could improve at the resort. Hopefully, this will help you decide whether or not this is the resort for you.
- Check-in is chaotic due to the size of the resort. Unlike other resorts, there was nothing glamorous about the check-in process. Don’t expect to be giving bubbly or in any way feel special.
- This is a very busy hotel with long wait times for service. If you have no patience this is not the resort for you.
- Beach Towels. You better not lose your beach towel! In order to get a beach towel, you have to render your towel card given to you at check-in. No towel card, no towel. No towel card or beach towel at the time of check out? You pay a $90 USD fee! I actually had someone take my beach towel from my lounge chair while I went in for a swim. THE HORROR! I did not want to pay a $90 fee for someone stealing my towel. So what did I do? I took someone else’s towel too. Not my proudest moment, but this system of paying a fee is problematic for this exact reason! People will steal your towels. I had anxiety everytime I had the beach towel with me and I was paranoid at all times someone was going to take it.
- I was mostly disappointed by how rude the staff was at the resort. I grew up in a family that owned a restaurant, so I know the business and how tough it is to be working in customer service. Which is why I am always very polite to waiters and I tip! BUT waiters here were so rude for no good reason.
Ocean Riviera Paradise Review: Who is it good for?
Groups: This resort is perfect for big groups like the wedding we were attending. Lots of pool bars, roomy restaurants
Families with Kids and Teens: Lots of activities for kids and teens to be entertained, with the Daisy Club along with the kids’ pool and water park area. Also, Teen Club has X-boxes and nightly activities.
That is my Ocean Riviera Paradise All-Inclusive review. Overall, we had a great time because we were with friends. Let me know below if you have any other questions about the resort.