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“Fantastic!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

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Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda
4.5 of 5 Resort   |   5a Avenida Esquina Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77719, Mexico   |  
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Ranked #14 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
Northbrook, Illinois
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Fantastic!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

We stayed at Paradisus for 10 nights in early December - we had 2 rooms - 1 for grandparents and 1 for our family of 5 - 2 kids - ages 4 and 9 and 1.5 y/o baby. Olympus tours delivered us to the resort really quickly in a private van and we were swiftly escorted to the magnificent lobby, where we were met with cold purple-colored drinks for adults and some juice for the kids. Made us feel like we were on vacation immediately. The check-in was a breeze, but the 2nd room was not ready until 3pm - no biggies as we went and checked out the other room, freshened up and went to grab some lunch.
Food - One word - unbelievable! Right from the beginning, having our first meal at the resort, we knew that we are in for a treat. I LOVED an option to order my entree a-la-carte during lunch at THE MARKET. We dined at MOLE 3 times, and the 3rd time we were there, the chef prepared a special meal for us that would satisfy the toughest critics. We didn't dine at the buffet at all, since we do prefer to have a sit down dinner, but walked through the buffet at dinner time, and the food looked delicious. We never had any problems making reservations for a large group (7 to 9 people) around 7pm at all. The grill right by the beach during lunch time was our kids favorite. The burgers, hot dogs, and the chicken (though sometimes slightly undercooked) were delicious. We only dined without the kids once - at Fuego, and again, the food was outstanding. The sushi at Bana were delicious and the drinks were out of this world. One of my favorites were the martinis at the Fuego bar that would easily cost over $10 in any restaurant in Chicago.
I did, however, was slightly disappointed with service during breakfast time at the buffet - it was very spotty - some days we would wait for a very long time to get our champagne and coffee. There was vodka and tomato juice always there at the buffet, why can't there be champagne, so that people can serve themselves at breakfast? Also, there seemed to be a shortage of highchairs during the busiest time - breakfast.
I understand that part of the resort is for adults only, however, Bana is available for families with kids until 8pm. Why can't this rule apply to all of the restaurants, especially since we need to parade through most of the adult side of the resort to get to Bana? My kids would gladly try THE GRILL.
Night time entertainment was fairly good as well - the kids enjoyed the circus. Belly dancers were great as well. However, since there is no dedicated theater, the performance areas would get a bit crowded.
The rooms were big and very comfortable. We had a roll-away bed as well as the crib, and we still had plenty of room to move around. The bathroom was spacious and the rain shower was great. The fridge was restocked every day and having little snacks available in the room was a very thoughtful move.
The beach - it is very private and not very big. The ocean is great, but rocky in places, which was not a problem, as the water is very clear and one can clearly see the rocks. Some beds were reserved early in the morning, but even people that came later in the morning didn't seem to have any problems locating an available lounger.
Although we didn't stay in the family concierge area, my kids loved all the little treats like shaved ice and cotton candy (and more candy than the candy shop), and the adults enjoyed the self-serve espresso in the lobby- a nice afternoon pick-me-up (although all the bars had espresso and coffee drinks). The pool is awesome - it provided hours of fun for the younger kids (the pirate ship) and the wibit was fun for the older ones. We never had any problems with bali beds or the lounges in the pool and the bar/snack service (the ceviches were outstanding) was great!
Overall, it was a fantastic resort and can't wait to come back!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to share a complete review from your vacation at Paradisus La Esmeralda.

Our guest satisfaction is our priority. Sometimes it is challenging to achieve because all the departments of the resort are involved: Housekeeping, Food and beverage, Maintenance, Activities and of course the warm service our staff provides. We are glad to read we surpassed your expectations in all areas.

Our activities program is planned for all family members’ enjoyment, we are pleased to read you really liked the shows and we hope you could enjoy also our life enriching activities during your stay.

Thank you again for your post and we hope you will return with your family to our portion of Paradise!


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (496)
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English first
New York City, New York
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

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...

Room Tip: Any Beach View or Pool View room is nice.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you very much for taking the time to write an extensive and objective review from your stay at Paradisus La Esmeralda. As we can see, you are an experimented traveler and know exactly the most important factors to consider while selecting a resort.

We appreciate a lot your comments about the little cons you detected and we will work on them. As you experienced, we have the facilities, restaurants, beach and service necessary to be in the top 5 of the resorts in Riviera Maya.

Thank you for highlighting all the attributes that you enjoyed during your stay, like the food at all restaurants, especially the buffet for Christmas eve, the comfort inside your room, the detailed décor from all areas and the staff eager to help and pamper all our guests.

We will be waiting for your return and we are confident we will provide to you with an unforgettable experience and we will get a 5 in all areas.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
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Eastbourne, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2013

Spent 14 nights, late November early December & just spent the time relaxing & being pampered, having previously taken in the tourist sites.

We have stayed at several Paradisus Hotels over the years & have always liked the way that the Hotels are run, however, upon arrival & after a delayed flight which totaled 16 hours of travel, we were somewhat disappointed with the welcome & hard sales pitch, which was given to us at reception, for the Melia benefits programme, when it would have been rather pleasant to have been given a refreshing towel & been shown to our room. Apparantly this is one of the advantages of belonging to the Melia benefits programme, shame on you Melia! The sales pitch continued for most days of our holiday, but did not spoil our holiday as we joked with the staff about it.

The standard room (Deluxe) was very nice & quite adequate with a large balcony & it was not worth our while upgrading to a swim up suite as the water was cold & so our days were spent on the beach, the pools are great for kids, but as a couple it is good to be able to use La Perla.
The beach stretches for miles & we walked into Playa Del Carmen along golden sands.

Being vegetarians, we did not have any problems with the food & there was always plenty of choice in the buffet restaurant, which we rate very highly for cuisine & service, from the Manageress Patricia, the host Liliana & the waiters Rafael Velasco, Kristian, Miguel, Jeronimo & Patty as well as the chefs. We also rate The Vento very highly & we were extremely well served By the Manager Raul Ayala, our waiter Alex & a special thanks must go to the Chef Jorge Paay, whose deserts are to die for!

A special thanks also to our concierge Liliana who sorted out any problems & booked all of the restaurants for us, nothing was too much trouble for her & also to Marcos Pizan of Security, who was very friendly & helpful, as were all of the staff.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 6, 2013
Dear guest,

We are content to read we surpassed your expectations regarding the food and beverage service in general. Fortunately we have options for every single taste, in addition to special dietary restrictions or allergies. We are confident about this special service which is not offered in other all-inclusive resorts.

Please be sure that your gratitude to the service offered by the staff at Naos restaurant; Raúl, Alex and chef Jorge at Vento; Liliana from Guest Service and Marcos of Security will be transmitted to them. We think that receiving our guests´ recognition to their work will stimulate them to keep their remarkable work.

We have shared your notes to our Club Meliá manager, we learn from our guests´ comments and corrective actions will be taken.

We are glad to know you had a good overall experience at Paradisus La Esmeralda, and please honor us again with your visit during your upcoming vacations to the Mexican Caribbean.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
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Boulder, Colorado
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

Spent four nights here. Food was good, service was inconsistent. Nice set up for family and kids. Beach was nice for that area. Agree with another reviewer - you have to get up very, very early to get a hut by the pool. Frustrating, but there were plenty of chairs, too.

The biggest complaint we had is that our room reeked of must and mildew. With an infant, this was unacceptable. The "family concierge" responded and while we were at dinner the first night they had cleaned up the air filters (and spayed some happy scents). Two days later the stench was back, and we are still washing it out of our clothes.

Besides the rooms, a good mid-range experience.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for letting us know about your Paradisus experience trough your short review.
We are sorry to read that you were not able to enjoy your rooms´ comfort due the humidity problem. Let us emphasize that the odor issue is not a common factor at our rooms.

Sometimes the proximity to the mangrove of certain areas may provoke the smell and as you could realize, we took actions immediately.

You rated your stay as “good”, which is enough to reconsider to stay again in Paradisus in the future. You were able to see all our facilities and services and be sure that on your next stay, you will rate us as “excellent”.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tlalpan, Distrito Federal, Mexico
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

This is a nice, family oriented resort.

My only complain is that there are some people trying to agressively sell you Melia benefits programs.

We'd like to give our special congrats to:

Rafael Velasco, waiter at Naos
Marcela, hostess at The Grill

For their excellent service and efforts to fullfil every of the guests wishes.

Room Tip: The swimup rooms are awesome.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear guest,

Tour notes have been sent to the Club Meliá manager to inform him about the way their representatives invite our valued guests to assist to the presentation, where some frequent travelers find appealing deals to guarantee their vacations in more than 350 Meliá hotels around the world.

We will transfer your notes to Rafael and Marcela. Both of them are a clear example of the service we strive to provide in the whole resort.

It was a pleasure for us having you as our guest and please do not hesitate to come back in the near future.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Brand new property with amazing service and very good food for an all-inclusive. Rooms are large with modern look and feel. Rafael, Alejandro, Ricardo, and Darwin took awesome care of us every breakfast at Naos. Spa, gym also nice and staff very helpful.

Only negative: pools are not heated and beach very thin and rocky. Front desk very disorganized at check-in. Also, need a place/club for teens to hang at night.

Overall, great time and would go back.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing your Paradisus La Esmeralda experience with us and with future Paradisus visitors.

After reading your notes, it is certain that you and your family found all the elements they were looking in vacations. We will inform our waiters team at the Naos restaurant about your notes to motivate them to continue with the enthusiasm that characterizes them.

We will be waiting for your return, so you can enjoy again our Yhi Spa, our restaurants and the unique Paradisus atmosphere.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

Just came back from a week at the hotel. Great hotel if you want an all-inclusive. Clean, safe, nice rooms, attentive service. Spa gets thumbs up. Was crowded this week so had to get up at 5:30am to get hut at pool and was hard to get restaurant reservations at reasonable time. Service gets A+ for effort. Special shout out to Jeronimo Soragone at breakfast buffet who was fantastic. One big issue - resort only has 1 tennis court - hard to believe really. Obviously very difficult to book time on it.

Room Tip: Swim up rooms definitely not worth it.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Quality Manager B, Gerente at Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda, responded to this review, January 3, 2013
Dear guest,

Thank you for sharing with us the outstanding service provided by Geronimo at Naos restaurant where his charisma made you enjoyed delicious breakfast and lunch surrounded by professional and attentive waiters.

Thank you for remarking the amazing LUXEclusive plan that clearly distinguishes us from the rest of the all-inclusive resorts in the area.

Once again, we appreciate your brief review and we will be glad if you honor us with your visit again in the near future.


Alan Becerril
Quality Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda

Address: 5a Avenida Esquina Calle 112, Playa del Carmen 77719, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#11 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#12 Family Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#13 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#14 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#17 Business Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#25 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda 4.5*
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

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