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“Definitely up there for an all inclusive” 4 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   |  
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25% off room rate
Ranked #124 of 199 hotels in Playa del Carmen
San Jose, Costa Rica
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
63 helpful votes 63 helpful votes
“Definitely up there for an all inclusive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2012

Hotel is located in a HUGE property. 8 Buildings (or 9 (?)) with about 90-100+ rooms per building. 2 Concierge per building to arrange for dinner reservations, tours etc etc. Trams/Trains take you around the property for those not inclined to walk...

The beach is NOT swimmable. Dark waters, full of seaweeds. Go to Cancun/Isla Mujeres/Playa Del Carmen if your main purpose in to get in the water. Having said that, if you walk to the left, facing the beach from the resort, about a kilometer or so, there is a swimmable beach by the Tres Rios Hotel Complex. Great snorkeliing also in that area.

Food was EXCELLENT for an all-inclusive. The buffet in fact was better (IMHO) than the seat down/reservation required, restaurants. Definitely skip the Oriental.

I have never been to a resort where there are so many smokers!!! They are everywhere!!! Maybe it's because at least 80% of the guests (at least when we were there) were Europeans. I smoke myself (stupid, I know, but at least I'm trying to quit) so this did not really bother me but it was an issue with my wife and teenage daughter. Also, if you smoke, make sure you have enough cigs with you as the cigarrete prices in the hotel are about 300-400% higher than outside. I actually befriended a waiter at the sports bar so she can buy me my stogies when she went home. Gave her a $5 tip for the favor and still saved TONS of $$$ : )

Rooms are more than adequate. Mini bar in the room are included, Cokes, beers etc etc.... Friendly enough service from the front desk to the waiters, housekeeping staff. No complaints there.

Pool area was decent. Water was too cold though, so lying around and sunbathing is an option but getting in the water itself was not. We were there in January so maybe that had something to do with it.

The show at night by the sports bar is nothing out of this world, good, but nothing to write home about.

Stay here for the food and the drinks, and the decent, well equipped rooms. If you are looking to get in the water, snorkel etc etc, then skip this place. You are better of going to PDC or Cancun. If you prefer something off the beaten path then consider Tulum or even Isla Mujeres, a 15 minute ferry ride from Cancun but worlds apart from Cancun.

Bootom Line: For an all-inclusive (I have been to several, in different countries), food wise, i'll give this place 10 stars out of 10. Drink wise, also a 10 out of 10. If all you want is to eat and party then this place is definitely for you. If you are looking for something more than that then you can do better....

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
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Buenos Aires
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

Just spent a whole week at Blue Bay Grand Esmerald. Went with two friends and had lots of fun!!! Amusement team were great and organized different activities for guests to be entertained (Uri, great guy!). Food was OK, however getting into the special restaurants was difficult as reservations were suggested to be made early morning.
Swimming pool area nice, swing bar great (Samuel bar attender the best!) and waiters were very efficient. The beach unfortunately is awful, the sea is not very clean and clear. Went to Tulum and the beach there was beautiful!
Rooms nice and sports bar although opened, was quite empty every single night. As there was only 40% occupancy (which we really appreciate for the day life not to be crowded but nightlife at the hotel was dead), we went out to Playa del Carmen every night. Coco Bongo is really worth it as a show (yo can not dance is it it really crowded) and if you want to have a blast, you should go to Pallazo and Mandala.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sherwood Park, Canada
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

This resort was beautiful, extra special, and exceeded our expectations! The staff was very friendly and helpful. The resort grounds were breathtaking, situated on rescued mangrove , you were right smack dab in the middle of nature!the walks around the resort were so beautiful, and if you didn't feel like walking there were always little golf cart shuttles making their rounds. There were friendly and cute little animals wondering around (blue crabs, iguana, ramonkey ( this is the name we gave them because it looked like a cross between a monkey and a raccoon) we tried out each of the a la carte restaurants , each one was amazing! My favourites were the sushi and the Mexican themed ones. Breakfast had endless selection, buffets were delicious. The pools were awesome , very relaxing, there were beach games and pool side activities that you could participate in. I won a blue bay shirt!!! Another ice thing was that we didn't have to wear wristbands like a lot of other resorts. There is a really cool bar right on the Beach that you sit on hanging swings all around the bar, that was a lot of fun!! Just don't order a shot of tequila and a beer at the same time or else you get a drop shot and that combo will do anyone in!!!! We took an afternoon trip to Los morales ( approx 15 mins away) to do some snorkelling , this was my first time. We had a blast. We saw sharks and sea turtles, even a baby octopus!! We had also heard that in the same town, there is the most amazing ice cream shop but weren't able to make it there :( next time I guess. Final revue best resort my husband and I have been to! We highly recommend it!

Room Tip: If you want excellent drink service by the pool tip your servers! We loaded up on a bunch of u.s $1...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lansdale, Pennsylvania
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

We had a swim up balcony, I would enjoy that anytime I went, it was well worth the upgrade to have a private swimming area anytime 24/7. I did book an ocean front with the swim-up but never got my ocean view due to the mangroves. I fought for some money back and didn't get the full amount the upgrade cost me. Live and learn. I loved eating breakfast outside at one of a handful of tables overlooking the beach. The food was good for buffet style. We were close enough to 5th Ave to take a cab and visit a couple of times to enjoy a meal out or just shop. The sailing was wonderful and there was no problem getting a boat. (not the case many places we've been) Things were spread out but there was always a jitney available.

Room Tip: Don't pay for ocean front with swim up unless you're sure you're going to get it. I thin...
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  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 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
    • 4 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.
strasbourg
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

This truely is a beautiful resort, lots of wildlife great food however sometimes had trouble booking at some of the restaraunts.. I think they only make room for a certain number every nite as there was always empty tables. yes there is always complaints about the long walks to restaraunts and sometimes had to wait for trams. The beach isn't the prettiest but not their fault but a short walk to the left of the beach to the "Lagoon" is absolutly breathtaking . The most dissapointing thing for us was the entertainmen t[or lack of] We went to the sports bar for the eve and were very dissapointed.. no music etc for this reason I would not return. The time share people were annoying but eventually left us alone. rooms were always clean staff friendly

  • Stayed October 2012, 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Whitby, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2012

Wow! We are ardent travellers - abroad generally 4 times per year. We are always looking for something a little bit different - this certainly was. The hotel complex was fantastic, we were a flight of steps away from the beach. The idea of having accommodation split into different blocks is excellent as the noise level is kept to a minimum. The site was immaculately clean, staff washing walkways and walls every morning, tractor clearing the beach, pool attendant ensuring all pools were free from leaves and debris and room staff provided everything we needed and more - the towel sculptures were amazing!
The plethora of food at mealtimes was almost too much!!! We had to try a little of something different every day. Our evening meals were a selection of foods from around the world - including Mexican (of course), French Quisine, Oriental, Italian and my favourite the seafood restaurant. Booking a day in advance is no hardship - what else did you have to do? You have the rest of the day to relax!
The staff were polite, well mannered and couldn't have been of more help. We have never felt so welcomed to a place - and believe me we've been to quite a few!
It was lovely to see that the wldlife and vegetation were of prime importance.
Time share sellers? We were never approached and if a grown adult is unable to say no well then 'bigger fool you' money isn't everything!!!
We will be back!

Room Tip: Ocean View room ensured we were a flight of steps away from the beach.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2012

The service was still good, but there were cut backs!! From toilet paper to lotion and soap, shampoo (they stink) The wine was much cheaper then last year, also the food quality was not good.
That is why we give the resprt only 3 stars, they have to try harder to come back to a even 4 star resort. Many people told us they will not be back!
The best bartender was Roga, the name is shortened, than Jonathan
At the vip beach Francisco and Erick were wonderful.
Best waiter in the morning and lunch was Jorge, than Jose.
The very best was ANGEL!!!
Hope next year is better again like it was in the past years.

Room Tip: Building 5 ocean view!! But not the ground floor too many animals.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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:
#42 Luxury Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#50 Spa Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#51 Top resorts Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#74 On the Beach Hotel in Playa del Carmen
#83 Romantic Hotel in Playa del Carmen
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — BlueBay Grand Esmeralda 4*
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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