I traveled from Dec 23rd to Dec 29th 2012. I have been to Cancun and Riviera Maya over 6 times now. Also been to Aruba, Punta Cana, among other All Inclusives Resorts. I traveled with my wife and 2 boys.
I can start off by saying that this resort is Beautiful, Very Modern, Rooms are great and spacious, the Staff is very friendly specially if you give that extra tip.... You will have great service for sure.
The Rooms - Great Rooms, but my itinerary said I will have an ocean view and I did not get an ocean view. Jessica the front desk attendant was very helpful in trying to get us a swim up room which are the best ones in the resort. Well the Family Concierge ones are the best since they have a heated pool which I will get there in my review. Going back to the room upgrade indeed the next day I was offered a swim up room but we did not like the location since the entrance was more of a Motel 6 in US.. it was outside a dark parking lot my wife and I did not like it at all so we decided to keep the room with no OCEAN VIEW... The Room was nice regardless of the view it included a separate shower, a jacuzzi tub, Flat screen TV, Ipod Pioneer speaker/connection, FREE WIFI in the room was a PLUS.. Overall the Room service was great and cleaned every day and plenty of towels, and shampoo, soaps, etc. from 1-5 I rate a good 4+
Pools - The pools are located in the middle of the buildings were all the rooms are located for La Esmeralda. The Kids pool was great, the bigger kid/adult pool was nice too with a swim up bar and the Inflatable Gym for bigger kids was fun for them to have. One thing is in December these pools were very COLD!!! You do get used to them if you are able to stay long enough in them. By the third day I didn't feel them as cold. Again is December weather which lowers to 60's at night and 80's in the day. Between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm was the best time to enjoy the best weather and the water didn't feel as bad. I walked over to the Family Concierge and their pool was heated!! So if you have a few extra hundred dollars per day to spend I suggest you get the Concierge package and enjoy the heated pool instead specially in the winter months. One MAJOR PROBLEM is the HUTS.. there are Canopies which are real nice bed to rest in but people actually get up at 2 or 3 am to put towels, shirts, sandals or whatever they can find to get one of these Huts by the pool. We had one reserved, and went to get breakfast 30 minutes or so and there is a guy name Sergio in the pool area and decided to give it to someone else. That was not nice at all we had a big argument and I went to the front desk and called the Management on this. I ended up moving the people he brought to my hut. Pool chairs were hard to get too.. I understand the Resort was overbooked but better way of reserving these should take place... Rate the pools a 4+ Waiters Luis and Bernabe were very good with getting our drinks and food...
Beach - The Beach what can I tell you about this one. Is not the best out there compared to Aruba, or Punta Cana, or any one of the beaches I have been in the Caribbean, the water is clear and the waves are not strong so it is a swimable beach but to enter and exit the Beach is very Rocky.. NEED YOUR WATERSHOES.. if you take watershoes you wont have a major problem entering and exiting the beach. you can walk to the left when you enter the Beach and it has spots where there are less rocks. If you walk 30 minutes to your right you hit the Playa Del Carmen fifth Ave. and the water there is 10X better.. By the Beach here we had a bar and a food stand which was convenient. Plus there are waiters in the Beach. Carlos Calderon was our waiter by the beach and his service was excellent.... Great job Carlos... Beach I give it a 4 could be nicer without so many rocks
FOOD - Very Important when you travel to AI's... This AI has been the one with the Best Food.. No doubt about this one.
Breakfast the Buffet was great. You can find literally everything you need. Omelets, Fried eggs, pancakes, oatmeal, bacon, sausage, fruits, smoothies, capuccinos, you name it is there. Great Buffet and tasty... Jeronimo Saragoz, Antonio and Gilberto were great in serving us every morning.
Lunch you had a great variety at lunch. We used the Food stands by the beach or pool for lunch. Burgers, salads, chicken wings, hot dogs, and Grilled Chicken these were all good..
Dinner some issues with the reservations of the Hibachi Grill tables I think they cater these to the people that have different hand Bands,.. like the family Concierge families. I tried booking these tables was not possible. I ate at the restaurant though but not at the hibachi grill the food was good. I enjoyed the food. also had the Mole in the Terrace the food here was good as well. The one I didn't cater much for was the Market which is the Brazilian Steakhouse. I am used to a Fogo here in the US is not the same the meats are not as great and they were very raw even though I kept telling them to cook it more... The Salad Bar was good though. Two nights we also had to go to the Buffet for Dinner. Guess what the Buffet for X-mas had Lobster Tails. That was a plus.. Very good Dinner this day. Overall the Food was very good, plenty and tasty... I give it a 4+ on the food.
Drinks - ah the Drinks.. All non-alcoholic drinks included sodas, lemonade, smoothies, etc.. all good.. Alcohol was good too, Don Julio Tequila was included, Tres Generaciones, all the scotches, Buchanans, Chivas, Crown.. all included. so all name brand of Liquor was included and plenty of it... Beers I saw El SOL, Heineken, but remember the TIP... you will get better service better drinks... Alcohol give it a 5
Entertainment - The entertainment is a bit weak. Even though they did have a Michael Jackson show one night that one I missed half of it because of dinner but the half I saw was very good. The Lion King was whack.. Didn't like this one my family was falling asleep on this show... Entertainment by the pool and the beaches was not there at all. But I am there to relax and enjoy the weather and a good night sleep this resort has it all.
To get to the Resort you do go through a rough looking neighborhood but there is a security guard at the gate before entering which seems to be "safe" but is Mexico you always have to be on the lookout yourself of your surroundings. But the Resort is no issue. Go there you will love it this Resort is kept very clean.. Book a Transfer with BestDay Travel they were on time and great shuttles to take you there and back to the airport.
See you soon Playa del Carmen... would I go back to this resort? If the price is right yes... not going to over pay for this one again...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in a stunning little bay, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is the superior luxury family-friendly resort in the Riviera Maya, combining a prestigious Caribbean setting with world-class facilities, including Family Concierge, the ultimate in spa treatments, a relaxed ambiance, and flexible meeting spaces with state-of-the-art equipment. This elegant resort has a Mayan ecological feeling, and an oceanfront location surrounded by a lush tropical mangrove preserve and with views of Cozumel Island. Take your senses on a culinary tour through eleven remarkable restaurants serving delicious cuisine from all around the world and ten bars serving unlimited international Premium brand drinks. Enjoy life-enriching experiences such as tango dance classes, sushi-making, and sensorial experiences. This luxury family-friendly All-Inclusive resort is located about 45 minutes from Cancun International Airport and just steps from extraordinary beaches and attractions such as Playa del Carmen’s 5th Avenue, Xcaret, Akumal, Xel-Ha, and near world-famous Mayan archaeological sites such as Tulum, Chichén Itzá and Cobá. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Hotel Playa Del Carmen
- Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda Riviera Maya, Mexico