Nothing like a little sun-kissed glow in mid-December, amiright? I’m excited to tell you all about my recent trip to Mexico with Funjet Vacations and Iberostar Grand Hotel Pariaso in the Riviera Maya. Funjet Vacations is a Milwaukee-based travel company where they book all-inclusive vacation packages all over the world including Mexico! Last year, FJV asked me to be part of their Funjet Insiders program where I help tell two stories in one: 1. how amazing the resorts are that they partner with and 2. how to travel Fit Foodie style! If you remember, last year’s destination was Jamaica and this year the destination is the beautiful country of Mexico! Luckily, I didn’t break my foot during this Mexico go-around :D
I know a handful of you have stayed at an Iberostar resort because I got a few of messages during my stay and this makes me so happy! This was my first experience with Iberostar and it was so so soooo beyond anything I could have expected! I’ve been to Mexico around 5 times and compared to all of my other stays, the Iberostar Grand was just fantastic! From the service, to the food, to the amenities, it’s an all around amazing resort – perfect for all walks of life! Did I mention the service? It was actually incredible. Mark and I would walk from our room to the beach and pass at least two staff members who greeted us by NAME. Hi Lee and Marcos! The team at the Iberostar Grand needs to win an award for being so personable and amazing. Big shoutout to our main man Santiago for making our stay extra special!
I want to share a little bit about the actual resort in case any of you are in the market for a Mexican vacation! The Iberostar Playa Paraiso is actually five 5-star, beautiful resorts in one. We stayed at The Grand Hotel, which is the most secluded and luxurious of the five. It’s an adult-only, all-inclusive resort nestled right on the beach and the property is absolutely stunning. Yup, that means all you can eat and drink (WOOT). Mark and I got a beachfront villa right on the ocean and let’s just say the sunrises were EPIC. I could have spent the entire time in my room because we had a rain shower and the cutest balcony ever. Obviously we ventured out because there was so much more to offer!
On top of the amazing pools and an incredible beach, the resort features multiple 5 star amenities such as four restaurants, a buffet, five bars and 24-hour room services (which we obviously used :D). There is an onsite spa and workout facility. Since Mark and I stayed at the Grand Hotel, we had complete access to the 4 other resorts — meaning we could eat and drink anywhere on the property. That was really nice because if we were on a long walk, we could stop for a pina colada no problemo! Oh, I almost forgot to mention the 3 mile running trail they have marked around the entire property. Been there done that :D
Big shout out to ^^ guy above for taking about 500 photos with me each day :)
If you are a foodie, you would love this place! From buffets to themed restaurants there is food for everyone here! Let’s start with the drinks. As you can see from the photo below, they pretty much have every liquor on the planet and the bar tenders are willing to make anything you want! What’s my drink of choice? Mojito sin azucar —> mojito without sugar! I’m all about that minty flavor, but too much sugar makes me my tummy hurt!
Mark and I wanted to get a little taste of all the food at the resort, so we booked a dinner at 4 of the main restaurants. Breakfast and lunch were always spent at the buffets they have on the property. As you can see by the next few photos, I like to get a little bit of everything at the buffets. For breakfast, I love that they had an omelette bar and pretty much every breakfast food you could ever imagine. Lunch was just as epic as breakfast with tons of fresh fish, grilled foods, raw veggies, cheeses, and about a million other choices.
HOW IS ONE SUPPOSE TO DECIDE?
Can I make a note that I used to be really intimidated by buffets because I was always afraid I would over eat and destroy my healthy eating for the day. I’ve learned that a little goes a long way if you want to try a taste of everything! Fill half your plate with veggies, a 1/4 with protein, and the other 1/4 with your carb of choice. Oh, and don’t forget dessert :)
I wish I had more photos from our dinners because they were so delicious. If you followed our journey on Snapchat, you saw photos…but silly me, I forgot to save them to my phone! The main restaurants a the Grand Hotel are reservation only and themed. We went to the Italian, Mexican, French, and Japanese-themed restaurants. My one rule when eating at one of these? Order the most authentic thing on the menu. I loved how helpful the staff was when choosing what to order…they always gave the best recommendations! My favorite two restaurants were a toss up between the Mexican and Japanese.
Overall we loved the food and drink. They had a huge amount of fresh fruits and veggies. I also love that they didn’t over salt/season! There’s nothing worse that that!
The Active/Fun Stuff
Active travel is my jam…and in case you are wondering, it DOES come with relaxation and lounging. It wouldn’t be a true vacation without that!
Long Walks on the Beach
Cliche? Nope! Taking long walks on the beach is one of my favorite ways to stay active while on a tropical vacation. Mark and I are the type of people who can only lay there for so long, so when in doubt, take a walk! It’s also a great way to explore the property and really enjoy the Riviera Maya’s amazing beaches!
About 70% of this vacation was active and the other 30% was about relaxation and pampering! It’s not fully a vacation unless you give yourself some much needed time to relax and enjoy some quiet time. We did this through the spa and yoga! Iberostar’s spa program is just fantastic! The facility has it’s own indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, and juice bar. Mark and I were treated with a relaxation massage and I didn’t want to leave! First of all, everyone is just so dang nice, and there really is nothing better than a Mexican massage!
Yoga and Fitness Program
It’s wouldn’t be a Fit Foodie vacation without yoga and fitness, now would it! One of my favorite things about this resort was not only the fact that they had multiple state of the art gyms and studios, but the amount of people actually using them! I feel like whenever I go on vacation, it’s just me in the gym. Not here! I loved seeing so many other people popping in for a quick workout before getting the day started.
One of my favorite experiences was yoga flowing on the beach. I got to do a 30 minute flow as the video team captured some footage on the last day. I was kicking myself that I didn’t wake up for the sunrise every morning to do this on the beach. NEXT TIME.
My rule of thumb when traveling is to try and get in at least a 30 minute workout in ever other day and then to be super active on the days when we weren’t doing an organized workout (ie: long walks on the beach or dancing crazy at the club…lol). We did it! We worked out 2 out of the 4 days and of course did 2 workouts from the blog (this one and this one). We used the smaller gym that was on the Grand Hotel property because it was a short 1 minute walk. The last day we got some video footage in the main gym at one of the other properties and it was EPIC. We’re talking multiple group fitness studios, a mini Crossfit box, and an entire gym of barbells and weights. I was sad we didn’t take any of the classes because there were multiple per day!
Check out their Star Fit and Fun calendar ^^. My kind of resort :D
Last but not least, I thought we could talk outfits because it was really fun to get all summery in the fall! I loved mixing some of my staple fall pieces with summer!
1: dress: Jcrew Factory / sandals: Steve Madden||| 2. dress: Everly/ sandals: Steve Madden ||| 3. romper: Romwe ||| 4. tank: Express / skirt: Madewell / sandals: Nordstrom Rack ||| 5. top: Target / bottom: Old Navy ||| top: Lululemon / shorts: Lululemon
This post is sponsored by Funjet Vacations. I was compensated and all opinions are my own. Thank you thank you thank you for supporting Fit Foodie Finds and making this website possible!