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“This hotel needs to be better maintained” 3 of 5 stars
Review of BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

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BlueBay Grand Esmeralda
4.0 of 5 Resort (All-Inclusive)   |   Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 | Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Special Price
25% off room rate
Ranked #122 of 201 Hotels in Playa del Carmen
The Woodlands, Texas
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 34 cities Reviews in 34 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“This hotel needs to be better maintained”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2012

The hotel is just OK. Do not stay here if you use a wheelchair or have babies in strollers. Everything is a long walk away and if you use a wheelchair or a stroller you can't get on the golf cart type transportation. It is Ok if you do not like swimming in the beach because it is not the best beach in the area. The beach is good for sun bathing only.
The lobby floor was a little bit chipped and looked like it needed repair. The bathroom by the pool was missing a toilet seat.
I personally do not like to be offered time-shares at my hotel. They try to get you to attend a "complimentary breakfast and tour". You can decline but I would rather do not be bothered.

Room Tip: Try to get a room close to the pool and beach
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,058)
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English first
Oldham, United Kingdom
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012 via mobile

I've only just got back today but felt i had to write a review now because before coming here i read the bad reviews and was a bit put off. Don't believe them! There ridiculous and petty because i had an excellent stay and would go back in a heartbeat!

The only thing i would say they could do better is the entertainment in the sports bar. It was abit boring at night time so some nights ended up going back to our rooms. Other than that it was an excellent holiday. Also if you are looking to go on excursions i would bring quite alot of money as they range from about $70-$200 each depending on what you want to do. I would recommend the catamaran trip. It was amazing and one of the cheaper excursions.

Theres a swing bar next to the beach which was nice and was open till 1am. So if the sports bar is too boring i would go there. However, on the last night we found out about the beach parties they have in the vip area bar. Everyone can go here from 11-1am. I prefered this bar as it played music and the swing bar did not.

The food was great and there is always something there for everyone. It changes everyday so you won't get bored of it. The restaurants were good but because we wen't during low season they wernt all open all of the time. There was only ever 3 open in one day rather than all 6. We ate breakfast and dinner at jaal-ha and our teas at festival.

The rooms were great and also the showers in the bathrooms were good. Everyday we got towel art regardless wether we gave a tip or not to the maids. Also, there is a mini bar with 4 beers, waters, coke, fanta, etc.. You dont get charged for this. Don't worry!'

The beach is not to clever. Its sometimes looks dirty but on other days looks clear. This is because of a hurricane they had apprently and it ripped the beach up. Now they have had to put sandbags there to try and stop the beach from completley disappearing. If you want to go to a beach with crystal clear waters then i would go into playa del carmen. If you walk straight down 5th avenue its there. To get ther you have to get a taxi and it's 200 pesos each way.

The best part of the resort i would say is the staff. They are so welcoming and friendly and will do anything for you wether you give a tip or not. So people who are putting that they are rude in there reviews then you are crazy!

I would deffinatley recommend coming here in low season as its not crazy hot so you can sit in the sun and you can get the same sunbed everyday. Also, its not busy at lunch, dinner and tea in the buffets, which i liked.

Hope this review helps!!!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
chicago
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

Just came back from the BBGE last night and our stay was wonderful! Here are some pro's:

Service: very good, the wait staff and the cleaning service were all there to help in the snap of a finger. We did tip the cleaning staff everyday, and received great service. Our room was cleaned everyday before 1-2 pm which was great because we were at the pool during this time. Bar staff was awesome and always there to suggest their fav drinks and shots!

Pool area: Very clean and I didn't find the pool to have many cracks. I know some people were complaining about the temp and it must have been the time of the year, because the temp was perfect!

Beach area: Again wonderful and really nice white sand. We found that the ocean was pretty clear about 2 days out of 7 days. We did go in on the clear days and enjoyed the warmth of the water. Other days, we took a stroll to the lagoon, which was to the left of the resort. Very nice!

My room tip: Be sure to email them if you have any specific wants. For instance, I emailed the hotel aboout a month before the trip and let them know that if possible I would like a higher level floor and I received it! The staff is really amazing, and I'm not sure why people complain so much.... .the vacation was pure paradise! Oh and food- never boring and the a la carte restaurants were superb!

Thanks for a great birthday stay Blue Bay!

Room Tip: Building 5 was a fantastic location, close to the main pool and beach. Ocean View from balcony!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Payson, Az.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2012

I visited the BlueBay Esmeralda from Oct. 31 to Nov. 5. I found the service, cleanliness of room and pool area, grounds and friendliness of staff to be first rate. The Buffet foods were varied and plentiful but were average in flavor and type. Most of the dishes were rather bland and seemed to be "flavored/spiced down" in order to cater to tourists. The Mexican dishes, as example, were limted in number and not very tasty.
Other reviewers complained about the beach area being sandbagged and the water murkey. There was a certain amount of that, but the beach was still more than adequate in scope and the waters were somewhat stirred up from the currents, but a person can go to the pool. The lagoon/inlet that is a ten minute walk away is worth the walk.
The room was always well cleaned and the fridge stocked. The tub enclosure had an edge that was at least 1 1/2 feet high and would be impossibe to negotiate for any person with leg issues. Likewise the general architecture of the Sports Bar/Theater area is unattractive and poorly designed. The Theater is long and has a low ceiling, which is very unattractive. Speaking of evening shows, the quality is inferior to similar quality resorts.
In sum, the Esmeralda is a good resort for those who do not mind being six miles away from Playa del Carmen and who want to stay at a place that is low-keyed and relaxing. If you want to party, choose another resort or brace yourself for some hefty taxi fees. Day tours and excursions are available for booking at the resort. All in all, Esmeralda is a bargain with the limits in mind.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

We went to bluebay at the end of October and had a wonderful time! After reading some of the reviews I was nervous about what to expect..Here is what we experienced...the enterance to the hotel starts the wow factor! It's beautiful and well manicured...we booked through rci as an exchange and were treated to VIP treatment..it was pretty cool...don't get me wrong,even without VIP we would have had the same great time..the only difference was we were allowed on a different section of the beach which we didn't use anyway...we were booked into a 2 bedroom in the coba building by the beach...really great rooms!! Loved being by the beach...there is the big pool...a quiet side and an activity side...we played water volleyball and had a blast! We went to one ala cart restaurant ...didnt like it! We much preferred the buffet! There is so much to choose from! We went to the lagoon down the beach..it was really pretty but it had super strong currents!! I recommend going into town a couple of nights and trying the restaurants there as well! There is a great little baked potato restaurant on the corner!! We loved it.. The service at the hotel was fantastic!!! We believe in tipping even though it's all inclusive..the people who work there work very hard and don't make a lot of money! The only place we didn't like very much was the swing bar! Go figure ...there was very little service and the bartenders seemed miserable! Not that big of a deal! My tips for anyone going there is to get a room by the beach...And treat people there kindly..they are working to make your vacation as excellent as possible! And definatly go downtown to playa del Carmen!!! Don't be afraid of the bad reviews! Some people just don't know how to enjoy a vacation! :-)

  • Stayed October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

At this all inclusive resort I found that the entertainment was STRONGLY lacking but everyone tried their best. If you are planning to eat at any of the restaurants make early reservations, all the food taste burned later on in the night. The breakfast buffet was my favorite meal. Bring money for excursions as they are plenty and fun. The hotels are beautiful and the beds are adorned with animal towels every morning by the courteous staff. BRING A LOT OF REPELLANT. Ladies beware of the sneaky guys that try to get you drunk at the bar. The grounds are very spacious and beautiful with wildlife roaming constantly. Very nice spa package.

Room Tip: All the rooms seem to be pretty much the same. There's a shuttle that will carry you in the dire...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Brooklyn, New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

First off I would like to say that Mexico is the best. Yes, you do need to stay in the resort and is not a locale where one who likes to explore the natives of the land would enjoy but Mexico is great. The service in Blue Bay was great. The workers diligently worked to make sure that you enjoyed your stay. They were very friendly and I felt that their kindness, their hard work, and generosity was sincere. I enjoyed every moment of it.

The resort is clean. There is a large amount of food and a large amount of drink choices. They also have a few a- la- carte restaurants which serve really great food. To give you an example of the service in regards to the food- my husband ordered a steak and he finished it and wanted another one. He ordered it and the food was ready for him in less than ten minutes. They did not show that they were upset about it or that it was out of the ordinary. They quickly serviced him. They also have a fancy French themed restaurant that served beautiful dishes that were very tasty. That restaurant requires you to dress nicer.

We went there during the holiday break and the hotel sent a bottle of tequila and two shot glasses for us for new year's eve. That was a nice and unexpected touch.

The only negative I had about Blue Bay was that the room was cold. There were also not a large amount of drinks in the fridge. However, the room was clean and was well maintained.

Blue Bay is definitely not a five star hotel (you have the Excellence resorts for that). However, considering the price I consider this place a definite definite bang for your buck. I would recommend someone to go there.

Room Tip: The first floor rooms do have the pools however I felt that they were not private. I would recommend...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 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.
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Additional Information about BlueBay Grand Esmeralda

Address: Carretera Federal Chetumal- Puerto Juarez km 300 | Camino a la Pileta, Playa del Carmen 77710, Mexico
Phone Number:
Location: Mexico > Yucatan Peninsula > Quintana Roo > Riviera Maya > Playa del Carmen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#41 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#49 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#55 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#73 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#82 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Grand Esmeralda 4*
Number of rooms: 979
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ideally located in an area of 445 acres in a prime position on the beach on the Riviera Maya, BlueBay Grand Esmeralda combines elegant Mayan features with contemporary design and a wide range of service to suit the most discerning traveller. BlueBay Grand Esmeralda provides a relaxed atmosphere for holiday makers. The Hotel features 979 elegant and well-appointed rooms and suites with the option of a sea or garden view. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Blue Bay Esmeralda
Bluebay Grand Esmeralda Hotel
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Mayan Riviera
Grand Esmeralda
Blue Bay Grand Esmerelda
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Resort
Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda Beach Resort Spa
Blue Bay Esmerelda
BlueBay Grand Esmeralda Riviera Maya/Playa Del Carmen, Mexico

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