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Barcelo Maya vs Iberostar Paraiso - which is better for teens?

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Aug 24th, 2009, 03:53 PM
  #1
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Barcelo Maya vs Iberostar Paraiso - which is better for teens?

We are looking for someplace warm to go over Christmas break with our teen & no longer teen (17 &21). We were thinking an AI with lots to do would be good. We all like the beach & water activities. Want somewhere that we can spend some time together & some apart.

I posted earlier here & on tripadvisor. These 2 complexes were both mentioned as good ones to check. I see that the Barcelo is considerably cheaper for the dates we want. The question is if it would be good for the 17 yo. It says on their website that they have teen activities and teen nights at the disco. However, some people commented in reviews that when they went there was nothing for teens to do at night. I've also seen conflicting reports as to whether there's something for teens to do at night at the Iberostar.

Has anyone been to either of these resorts recently with teens and what do you think? Or has anyone been there over Christmas break? That's probably more relevant than what happens during the summer. I am also still open to other ideas for great places to go.
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Aug 24th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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We'e been to the Iberostar Paraiso complex during Christmad week, but not with teens. There are lots of families with all ages of children at that time of the year. The resort was decorated for the holidays. They had a grand buffet on Christmas Eve and a big beach party most of the day on Christmas. Santa arrived via jet ski.
I've never been to the Barcelo, but I understand the ocean is a bit calmer there.
I know the Iberostar has plenty of acitivities throughout the day to keep teens occupied.
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Aug 25th, 2009, 01:05 PM
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We're taking our 2 kids (18 & almost 21) to that area in January. We're renting a condo a couple of blocks from the town of PLaya Del Carmen. We stayed there a couple of year ago and loved the location and the condo complex as well (Xaman Ha).

My kids like the freedom to come and go as they please. They'd go off and have lunch together, or get ice cream and things like that. We did the AI thing several times, and did stay at the Barcelo years ago, but my family was tired of the noisy poolfront activites, buffet food and that kind of 'resort' thing. There were lots of families ataying there last time we went, and although there's no organized activities, my son got involved in some pick games on the beach with other teens staying at the complex.

PDC has so many great restaurants, some good shopping and some easy day trips (Cozumel, Tulum, Coba, Xel-Ha, Xcaret, etc)
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Aug 25th, 2009, 02:48 PM
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The Iberostars have organized activities throughout the day. Some people don't feel comfortable letting their teens roam freely in a foreign county (or at home!). That is where an AI resort comes in handly--lots to do right there in a safe environment.
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Aug 26th, 2009, 06:32 PM
  #5
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Thanks for both your comments. MFNYC, if I were going with DH only, I would not even consider an AI. Would much prefer to stay in Playa del Carmen and eat at the various restaurants etc. As schmerl mentions, though, I don't know that I want the kids wandering off at night by themselves. On the other hand, I don't really want to take them to a disco etc. That's why I thought the AI might be good.

However, schmerl, you didn't answer the question of whether there would be organized teen activities at night. During the day, there should be no lack of things to do whether we are in town or at an AI. It's the evenings I'm worried about. I've read lots of reviews on tripadviser & seen mixed results about both places regarding evening teen activities.

To repeat, perhaps more clearly. Has anyone had direct recent experience with whether these AI's or someplace else have evening activities that a 17 yo would/could enjoy?
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Aug 27th, 2009, 12:39 PM
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The Iberostar Paraiso complex has a teen disco. the number of teens varies at different times. Your 21 year old can go to the over 18 disco. There are nightly shows at the IB for everyone. There are also pool and ping pong tables.
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